Senate Begins Final Work on Economic Recovery Bills Today

The Senate will this week inch towards passing half of its historic and the much needed economic reform package as six of the 11 priority economic growth and reform bills have been scheduled for public hearings between today and Thursday.

The legislation scheduled for public hearing today includes the National Development Bank of Nigeria Bill, which is intended to provide short, medium and long term financing to participating financial institutions for loans to small scale, medium and industrial enterprises in agro allied businesses, manufacturing, mining; and the National Road Fund Act to fund the rehabilitation and maintenance of the national road system.

Also, public hearing on the Federal Roads Authority Act, which is to manage the federal roads network so that it is safe and efficient, with a view towards meeting the socio-economic demands of the country; and the Customs and Excise Reform Act, which seeks to reform the administration and management of the Customs Service for greater accountability and revenue generation, will hold the same day.

Tomorrow, Land and Marine Transport Committee will hold public hearing on the National Transport Commission Act. The legislation establishes a National Transport Commission as an effective, independent and impartial authority in the transport sector.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Committee on Upstream Petroleum will hold public hearings on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIB).

This long-awaited legislation will establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven petroleum entities that ensures value addition and the internationalisation of the petroleum industry.

Procedurally, legislation is referred to the committee with the appropriate jurisdiction for it to hold public hearing after the bill has passed the first and second reading during the Senate plenary session.

Once the committee submits the public hearing report to the full Senate, the legislation is subject to a third reading, or final passage by members sitting at plenary as a committee of whole.

Read More: thisdaylive

Trial Of Ex-Naval Chief, Others Continue Today

Justice A. S. Umar of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja yesterday adjourned to tomorrow for further hearing on a corruption case involving a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman O. Jibrin and two others: Rear Admiral Bala Mshelia (rtd) and Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu (rtd).

Shortly after the counsels have entered their appearances, Jibrin’s counsel, Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, drew the attention of the court to the fact that, the document used in the transaction of the property allegedly acquired by his client was not front-loaded in the proof of evidence by the prosecution.

He invited the court to order the prosecution to provide same as stipulated by law.

Maikyau, also prayed the court for the release of the international passport of his client to enable him travel abroad for medicals.

However, counsel to EFCC, Joseph O. Uzor, wanted the defence to indicate the time his client is embarking on the trip and how long his is staying, should the court is inclined to grant his application.

He also urged the court to enforce the return of the passport immediately the applicant returns from the trip.

In granting the application, Justice Umar ordered the defence counsel to indicate the time his client is staying and ensure the return of the passport to the court when he is back.

Jibrin and his co-accused are standing trial alongside Habour Bay International Limited, a company linked to the first defendant, on a 4-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The naval chiefs whilst in office allegedly bought a house worth N600million from the account of Naval Engineering Services without the said purchase contract being captured in the budget.

It was also alleged that, the documentation for transfer of ownership of the property was done such that a private company owned by the family of the first defendant (Jibrin) became the buyer.


Today Is Our Independence Day– Trump

Donald Trump has told supporters at his presidential campaign’s final rally that the United States is just “hours away from a once-in-a-lifetime change.’’

“Today is our independence day,’’ the Republican candidate said in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a state that has been solidly Democratic for decades.

Report says Trump sees an opportunity among Michigan white working class voters who have been hurt by the decline of the auto industry.

Trump added that his administration would stop the jobs from leaving America and would also stop the jobs from leaving Michigan.

“We are finally going to close the history books on the Clintons, their lives, their schemes, their corruptions,” he said of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.


Today is our independence day – Trump

Meet Nigerian Candidates In Today’s U.S. General Elections

Americans in Franklin, New Jersey, will vote for Charles Ejike Onyejiaka, a fellow citizen and a transplant from Imo State, Nigeria, as the U.S. general election unfolds today.

Mr. Onyejiaka, a democrat, is the incumbent in a two-way race for Ward 3 Councilman seat in Franklin. He was one of three men presented to Franklin Town Council as fill-in candidates for the unexpired term of Phil Kramer, former Ward 3 Councilman, who became Mayor of Franklin last January.

Mr. Onyejiaka beat Alex Kharazi and Azim Uddin, also democrats and immigrants, to succeed Kramer. Today, he is contesting against Beverly Briggs-Lawson, a Republican, in the general election.

Mr. Onyejiaka is one of four Americans of Nigerian descent whose names are on ballots in grassroots elections at township and county levels this year. The others are George Chidi, Rasheed ‘BJ’ Dawodu and April Ademiluyi. All four are product of currents of civic engagement by hundreds of immigrants and first generation Americans who maintain their ties to Nigeria even as they live relatively comfortable lives in the United States.

The rising crescendo of political engagement by Nigerian-Americans is, in some ways, personified by the emergence of Nigerian-American Public Affairs Committee or NAPAC-USA, a self-described “political and social welfare think tank where the intellectual and numerical assets of Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans could be harnessed to invigorate our active participation in American political and civic life”.

The organization originated from the exertion of an intense, voluntary, electioneering campaign by some Nigerian-Americans on behalf of a Democratic candidate in California’s 36th District during the 2011 special election.
Spurred by the impact of their collective energy, the volunteers decided to create a permanent front which, with an eye on the 2012 general election, was organized as a political action committee named Nigerian-American Political Action Committee or NAPAC.

NAPAC and NAPAC-USA are legally registered entities now, the former as a 501 (c) 3 public welfare foundation and the latter as a 501 (c) 4 non-partisan membership advocacy group. NAPAC Foundation exists for the sole purpose of fostering and carrying “out the vision and objectives of NAPAC-USA and its state PACs”. Under American law, a PAC or political action committee can raise and spend unlimited amount of money on behalf of a political candidate or to support an issue.

NAPAC Foundation is yet to accumulate the billion dollar war chest some super PACs are famous for, but it did raise $50,000 for the Obama re-election Campaign because of what the group describe as “our excitement that someone with African roots had the historic opportunity to seek and was actually elected to the highest office of the land”.

Its campaign contribution in this election circle has not been disclosed but there is cause to believe that NAPAC has become the veritable gathering place for Nigerian-American activists across the United States, be they aspirants for political office or community advocates.

Of the four Americans of Nigerian descent running for office this year, only Onyejiaka seems to have no contact with the organization. Chidi and Dawodu attended NAPAC Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, this past September where they mingled with professionals, entrepreneurs and activists from as many as ten states and from cities as far as Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Baltimore. They had the honor of being the only nominees for electoral positions this year but not the distinction of being the only break-out politicians at the convention.

Also present was Tinuade Pena, a first generation American who spent part of her formative years in Lagos. An engineer and business owner, Ms. Pena is also a U.S. Army sergeant and long-time resident of Florida’s Royal Palm Beach. She was a Democratic candidate for District 86 of the Florida House of Representatives this year but lost to a fellow veteran during the primary election in August.

George Chidi is also a veteran and, the son of George Njoku Chidi, a native of Umuoye in Imo State. The younger George is running for a seat on the Board of Commissioners in DeKalb County, Georgia. His story reads almost like that of Barack Obama. His dad arrived Massachusetts in 1970 on a student visa, met his mum who is a Caucasian of Polish descent.

They got married and, unlike Obama’s dad, the older George stayed in the United States. George junior was an active duty soldier in the 25th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army for five years and, he has been a journalist and civic leader for twenty years.

Of the four Nigerian-Americans running for office, he seems to have the deepest connection to his constituents and the widest name recognition among Americans and Nigerian-Americans alike. He defeated eight other aspirants to become the Democratic nominee for this general election which he is strongly favored to win. He is very supportive of the Nigerian immigrant community, he is a known face at their social events and an active promoter of worthy causes, including the candidacy of Rasheed Bolaji (or ‘BJ’) Dawodu.

Mr. Dawodu, a Democrat, is running against Republican Kristie King for the position of Tax Commissioner in Fayette County, Georgia. A small business owner and seasoned financial management professional, Dawodu relocated to the United States from his native Lagos (Isale Eko) more than 20 years ago. He worked extensively in the public sector before going into private practice, his bid for office of the Tax Commissioner is actively supported by Fayette Chamber of Commerce and his immigrant constituency.

April Ademiluyi is the only female American of Nigerian descent contesting in the general election and she is contesting for a judicial not administrative position. She is a candidate for the Seventh Circuit Court in Prince George’s County, Maryland. April is a first generation American with roots in the Ademiluyi royal family in Ife.

Election into Circuit Courts is non-partisan, candidates participate in as many party primaries as they choose but they have to win at least one primary to get on the ballot. Ms. Ademiluyi won the Libertarian Party primary.

Prince George’s county is reputed to be home to some of the richest Nigerians in the United States, there have been some local fund raising gatherings to support April’s candidacy. She also got a boost from NAPAC president, Mr. Segun Adeyina who came from Georgia to campaign for her.

Township and county level elections usually do not attract polling agencies so it is not easy to track the progress of these candidates. One thing that can be said for all of them is, if elected, their constituencies will get top-tier professionals and more in each of them.

Charles Onyejiaka has a degree in Electronics Engineering from Thomas Edison State University, he is also something of a veteran public servant with experience dating back to Nigeria’s Second Republic.

Born in Nkwerre, Mr. Onyejiaka grew up in a family of public servants whose record of civic engagement reached its zenith during Nigeria’s Second Republic when Sam Mbakwe was governor of Imo State. His uncle served as a commissioner while an aunt worked as special assistant in the governor’s office. Charles has followed the footsteps of his Nigerian family in his new country.

In 2015, he mobilized voter turn-out in numbers that proved good enough to give Democrats their first mayoral victory in Franklin Township. He is prominent member of the local Catholic community and has served on the Township Planning Board.

George Chidi has a bachelor degree in Journalism, MBA from Georgia Tech and was chief executive officer of a firm that markets competitive intelligence for corporate clients.

Rasheed Dawodu has degrees in accounting, law, public finance and is a certified fraud examiner. He has worked for Fortune 500 firms including General Electric and Georgia Pacific.

April Ademiluyi has a first degree was in Chemical Engineering, law degree from an Ivy League university and has been recognized by Congressional leaders for working with families facing foreclosure.


Buhari’s Daughter, Fatima, Weds Today

All roads leads to Daura today, where the daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, Fatima, is set to wed the former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Malam Gimba Yau Kumo.

It was learnt that a dinner in honour of the couple is scheduled to hold in Abuja tomorrow.

Although, the venue is yet to be disclosed.

The invite card for the wedding sprung up online during the week.

The couple is set to be married later today after the traditional prayer at the president’s residence at Mai Aduwa GRA Daura, Katsina.

The vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is expected to lead a high-powered government delegation made up of ministers, governors and other political appointees to grace the ceremony.

Hajiya Fatima Buhari, who is the second daughter of President Buhari, is one of the children from his first wife, Safinatu, who died long after she was divorced from him in 1988.

Fatima, who is 38 years old, was previously married to a traditional in Katsina, with him she had six children. She  died on 14th January, 2006 at the age of 53 after she was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in 1998.

Safinatu married Buhari in 1971 at the age of 18.

Born December 11,1952, she was of Fulani ancestry, tracing her roots several generations back to late Shehu Usman Danfodio, the leader of the 18th century jihad that led to the enthronement of Sharia in the North.

Late Safinatu, the bride’s mother, was born in Jos, Plateau State to the family of the late Alhaji Yusuf Mani and the late Hajia Hadiza Mani on the 11th of December, 1952.

While growing up, she attended Tudun Wada Primary School in Kaduna from 1959-1960 and later the Nasarawa Primary School, Katsina (now Dikko Memorial Primary School).

Afterwards she went to  Women Teachers’ College in Katsina where she bagged her Grade II Teachers Certificate in 1971.

She married Gen Buhari just two days after her graduation from college at the age of 18 The marriage produced five children: Zulaiha (late), Fatima, Musa (late), Hadiza and Safinatu Buhari.

The groom an indigene of Gombe in Gombe State, Kumo was born on the November 5, 1959.

A graduate and Masters Degree holder in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi respectively, Kumo was the managing director and chief executive officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.


Idris Elba Is 44 Today & Might Be The Next James Bond

Idris Elba turns 44 on Tuesday (6 September) and what a year he’s had. From starring in six movies released in cinemas including Star Trek Beyond, Bastille Day and Zootropolis and launching his own clothing line with clothing brand Superdry, he’s been busy. He’s even been awarded an OBE!

Aside that,Ron Howard has backed Idris Elba to be the next James Bond – and says that the British actor has the right ‘presence’ to play 007.

The Oscar winning director of A Beautiful Mind is currently working with Elba on the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.’

But Ron, who is co-producing the film, seems mightily impressed by what he has seen of the star so far.

He told Radio Times: ‘He’s got such a presence, and is so cool. I’d love to see him as Bond.’

Read More: metro


Celebrity Birthday: Nollywood Producer, Emem Isong, Is A Year Older Today

The amazing Nollywood producer is one of the best we have around. Her movies are edgy and quite different from the usual we see everyday.

I love my make up by @prettifiersShe is also a mother of a set of twins and the wife of a lucky Cameroonian, Misodi Akama. She has an Africa Movie Academy Award nomination for the  for Best Screenplay.

Today we celebrate not just any woman, but our very own EMEM ISONG!

Back to the grind. #gratitudetoGod #greatweek #greatthings #workmode #homesweethome #naijahustle

God is still in the business of blessing his children and my hands are full with his many blessings. Delay is certainly  not a denial. He is indeed a God of double portion. Giving Him my heartfelt  thanks this lovely sunday Ese o Baba! Make up by @facevillemakeovers and photo credit by  @facevillemakeovers #iyabeji #houstonchronicles  #tooblessedtobestressed #atimeforeverything #yummymummy #amazinggrace

All set for the Golden movie Awards Ghana. Styled by @yolandaokereke jewellery by @mercedesrichards24 and make up by @T_Melange Hair styled by @Nancyblaq

Keshi’s Burial Rites Begin Today

The final journey home for late Super Eagles chief coach and renowned football tactician, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, will begin today, with series of activities lined up to herald his interment in Illah, Oshimili North local government area of Delta State, tomorrow.

When journalists visited his Ukpologwu Quarters home in Illah on Tuesday, the compound wore a new look, after renovation works were completed in readiness for his burial.

Work on the tomb, where his remains would be laid, had been completed as at the time of the visit.

Also, all was set at the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Illah, preparatory to the service of songs/vigil mass today, as well as the requiem mass tomorrow and the thanksgiving mass on Sunday. As a titled chief in Illah, his body would stop briefly at the palace of the traditional ruler of the town tomorrow for traditional rites.

At the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, finishing touches were being put in place to receive the numerous persons coming to pay their last respects to the fallen hero, during the lying-in-state ceremony today. Keshi died on June 7, 2016 in Benin City, Edo, age of 54.

Credit: Leadership

Body Of A-Gs Meets Today To Adopt National Policy On Prosecution Of Corrupt Public Officials

Body of Attorneys General from the 36 states of the federation will meet in Abuja today to consider and adopt a draft National Policy on Prosecution of corrupt public officials.

In a statement, yesterday, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said the meeting would also afford the body the opportunity to deliberate on desirable Code of Conduct and guidelines for prosecutors in the country.

Besides, Malami, SAN, is also scheduled to meet with stakeholders on the implementation of the outcome of the recently concluded London Summit on Anti-Corruption and Open Government Partnership. He said the meetings were geared towards intensifying the current war against corruption in the country.

A statement signed by media aide to the AGF, Mr. Salihu Isah, said: “The policy documents have been considered and approved for submission to the Body of Attorneys General by the Solicitors General and Permanent Secretaries Forum at their meeting held on October 15, 2015.

“The National Policy on Prosecution is intended for all officials and agencies involved in prosecution of crime management, evidence gathering and investigation.”

Credit: Vanguard

Sheriff, Metuh In Court Today To Stop PDP Convention

The Ali Modu Sheriff-faction of the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party is to appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday (today) to argue its application for an interlocutory injunction seeking to stop the party from going ahead with its planned national convention scheduled to hold on August 17.

The nine plaintiffs said they filed the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/464/2016 for themselves and on behalf of the Executive Committee/National Working Committee of the PDP.

They are Sheriff as the National Chairman; Prof. Wale Oladapo (National Secretary); Dennis Alonge-Niyi (Deputy National Youth Leader); Alhaji Bashir Maidugu (Deputy National Legal Advier); Mrs. Hanatu Ulam (Deputy National Women Leader); Alhaji Lawa Dutsima Anchi (Deputy National Auditor); Chief Okey Nnadozie (Deputy National Organising Secretary); and Chief Olia Metuh (National Publicity Secretary).
The suit has only the Independent National Electoral Commission and the PDP as the defendants.

The plaintiffs had filed the substantive suit on July 4, 2016, contending that that by virtue of the PDP’s Constitution, they must remain in office till 2018.

They urged the court to declare all moves aimed at removing, replacing or conducting fresh elections into their offices as illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.

The Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the party had on July 14 announced August 17 as the date for the party’s national convention when election would be held to fill the positions of national officers of the PDP.

The Sherriff faction therefore on July 20 filed an interlocutory application asking the court to stop the party from going ahead with the planned national convention pending the determination of their substantive suit.

The court presided over by Justice Okon Abang on Tuesday granted the plaintiffs order to have their case heard during the Federal High Court’s ongoing vacation.

The judge in granting the plaintiff’s ex parte motion on Tuesday, held that ordinarily, a part-heard suit could not be heard during vacation without the consent of all parties, but he decided to give room for the hearing because of its urgency.

Credit: Punch

CBN Alters Rules For Selection Of Primary Dealers As New FX Regime Takes Off Today

As trading on the Nigeria Interbank Foreign Exchange (NIFEX), which allows the exchange rate of the naira to be market-driven commences today, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has moved to change the guidelines for the selection of FX Primary Dealers (FXPDs) who shall deal in wholesale forex transactions with the CBN.

Last Wednesday, the CBN had unveiled the guidelines for the commencement of a flexible exchange rate regime, adding that it would appoint eight to 10 primary dealers, whom the central bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, referred to as “Grade A” dealers.

Others were classified as “Grade B”, whom the CBN termed as non-primary dealers, but shall remain valid and eligible to participate in the market.

It had also said interbank trading under the new guidelines would begin today, while tenors and rates for the naira-settled OTC FX Futures would be announced on June 27, 2016.

Under the guidelines for primary dealership in forex products, the CBN also stipulated that authorized dealers would be required to have a minimum shareholders’ fund unimpaired by losses of at least N200 billion, a minimum of N400 billion in total foreign currency assets, and minimum liquidity ratio of 40 per cent.

The names of the eight or 10 primary dealers were to be released by the CBN last Friday.

However, the segmentation of the market into “Grade A” and “Grade B” dealers by the CBN resulted in concerns that limiting the market to eight or 10 primary traders or banks with access to forex from the central bank could lead to the emergence of a cartel of favoured banks and price-fixing among them.

Credit: Thisday

PDP Holds Crucial BoT Meeting Today

A meeting of the Board of Trustees, (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) will hold today in Abuja.

It was gathered that on the agenda is the con­troversial amendment of the party’s constitution, ahead of its national con­vention in Port Harcourt on May 21.

The proposed amend­ment has polarized BoT members as it mandates the chairman to endorse a meeting of the statutory organ of the party before it could be convened.

The proposed amend­ment says that: “The BoT shall meet at the instance of the chairman, in con­sultation with the national chairman of the party or, at the request of half of the members of the board or following a resolution of the Board or the NEC re­quest for such a meeting.

The subsisting consti­tution of the party only states that “the board of trustees shall meet at the instance of the chairman or at the request of half of the members of the board or following a reso­lution of the board or the NEC requesting for such a meeting.”

Certain members of the BoT and NEC of the party led by former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana, had, last Wednes­day, cautioned against the amendment.

Operating under the group, PDP Elders Forum, they noted that the pro­posed amendment would be rejected except it was subjected to proper con­sultations and scrutiny of its statutory organs.

There are, however, strong indications that National Chairman, Sena­tor Ali Modu Sheriff may be encouraged to proceed with the amendment and his plan for the convention as he reportedly enjoys support of some members of the BoT.

Credit: Sun

Sokoto Girl Abduction: Family, Friends To Meet Police, Governor’s Aide Today

The family and friends of Patience Paul, a 15-year old girl who was allegedly abducted and forced into a marriage in Sokoto, will meet with the police this morning.

Isaac Paul, the girl’s brother, said over the phone that they would also meet with Imam Imam, Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s spokesperson.

“The meeting is holding by 10 a.m. at the police headquarters in Sokoto,” Mr. Paul, 28, said.

The Sokoto State government on Thursday launched an ?investigation into the alleged abduction and forced marriage of Miss Paul.

Mr. Imam said on Thursday that the government had been unable to contact the victim’s family to shed more light on the allegation.

“In the interim, the Human Rights Commission was asked to present an interim report and update the public with all information as it becomes available,” Mr. Imam said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Protests As New Electricity Tariffs Begin Today

There is apprehension among residential and commercial electricity consumers across the country as the new Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2015) takes off today amid doubts over commensurate electricity supply.

A meeting called by the regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday failed to convince the manufacturers to drop their earlier opposition to the new tariff regime.

It learnt that at the meeting with NERC management, MAN insisted that its members would not discuss the tariffs because the matter was in court.

A committee was subsequently set up to discuss an out-of-court settlement.

While employers under the aegis of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) demanded an improved electricity supply, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the new tariffs.

Speaking in an exclusive interview, the Director General of NECA, Olusegun Oshinowo, said employers of labour were spending huge resources to power their operations, which contribute to the overall cost of production.

He said: “Well, an increase of the tariffs is not something that employers would moan about really especially if one looks at how much diesel is sold at. For us, the issue is not primarily about increment to tariffs but about the availability of electricity. If power is available, employers would spend less on their operations, which would ultimately lead to a reduction in the prices of goods and services. So, if electricity is available, employers would do much more, employ more workers and produce at cheaper rate that would benefit the economy in the long term.”

Organised labour under the aegis of the NLC has however, berated NERC’s decision to increase electricity tariffs without ensuring availability of meters to promote social justice where consumers would pay for exactly the amount of electricity they consume.

According to the Congress President, Ayuba Wabba, relying on estimated bills rips consumers off.

He said: “Congress considers as illegal, unfair, unjustifiable and a further exploitation of the already exploited Nigerians, the 45 per cent increase in electricity.”

Credit: Guardian

Read Saraki’s Comments On 2016 Appropriation Bill At Senate Plenary Today

Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, shares his comments on the 2016 Appropriation Bill today at the Senate Plenary on his facebook page. Read his comments below:

My comments on the 2016 Appropriation Bill today at the @NGRSenate Plenary:

On Oil:
“For the first time in the history of our great nation, 77% of our expected revenue is non-oil based. This represents a great foundation for the future.”

On Borrowing:
“In general summary, we were all leaning towards the fact that it is not the amount that we borrow that matters, but the projects that the money is used for. Right now – as a percentage of GDP – we are still within the limits and parameters of fiscal responsibility.”

On Economic Diversification:
“A lot of Senators raised observations on the fact that in the allocations to the agricultural and mineral resources sectors, the message of economic diversification was not particularly reflected. Those are the areas that we should look into.”

On Wastage:
“Based on our experiences in the past, we have talked about not playing the blame game. However, the issue of blocking all loopholes and leakages is key. Hence, we must pay attention to the present, to address the potential for leakages in the future.”

On the Role of the Legislature:
“The Executive has played its role; it is time that we as the legislature do our part.”

On Revenue Benchmarks:
“The issue of revenue estimates must be gotten right particularly by the Finance and Petroleum Committees. The committees must particularly scrutinize this budget so that at the end of the day we can all be proud of it.”

On Zero-Based Budgeting:
“The Zero Budgeting means that projects will be critically assessed to go across all zones.”

On Legislative Malpractice in the Budgeting Process:
“Let me make this categorically clear: there will be no room for money-for-budget in the 2016 appropriations process as sanctions will be taken. We will ensure to report all inconsistencies to the relevant agencies of the executive branch.”

See More

Abubakar Bukola Saraki's photo.

NCC May Enforce N780bn Fine On MTN As Deadline Expires Today

As the December 31 deadline expires today, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may enforce payment of the N780billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria, a source close to the commission has said.

NCC is prepared to enforce payment of its $3.9 billion fine against South African telecoms giant MTN, a spokesman for the NCC told an online agency yesterday.

The deadline over the payment of the fine imposed on the MTN expires today.

But the MTN has filed suit in the Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking to quash the fine. MTN’s view is that the court case has delayed payment of the fine until there is a ruling.

But that is not the view of the NCC.

“If the MTN doesn’t pay the fine by tomorrow (today), the NCC will enforce the fine in line with relevant provisions of the NCC Act. The fact that they have gone to court doesn’t affect the fact that they have a fine hanging on their neck. These are two separate issues,” the source said.

Credit: Leadership

Akwa Ibom Guber Poll: Appeal Court Panel Sits Today

A special panel of the Court of Appeal constituted to hear and determine all appeals relating to and emanating from the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Tribunal will sit tomorrow.

The panel, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), will hear all applications as well as arguments on briefs already before it. The appellants and respondents would also be expected to adopt their briefs.

It was gathered that there are four appeals before the panel.

All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in state governorship election, Umana O. Umana’s appeal No. CA/A/EPT/ 656C/2015 will be heard on the brief presented  by his legal team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun.

Issues such as the propriety or otherwise of cancelling elections in 18 out  of the 31 local governments areas would be considered.
Also, the court would determine whether or not Umana was duly nominated by his party to contest the election.
It was gathered that the end of the proceedings, the panel would announce a date for judgment.

Credit: Thisday

Lagos High Court Arraigns TB Joshua, Others Today

The trustees of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, will today be arraigned before a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja over the collapse of a six-storey building in the church on September 12, 2014, which led to the death of 116 persons.

Senior Pastor of the church, Prophet T. B. Joshua is one of the trustees.

The trustees will be arraigned before Justice Lawal Akapo alongside the engineers that constructed the collapsed building.

A statement by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Bola Akingbade, confirmed the scheduled arraignment.

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos had dismissed the fundamental human rights enforcement suits filed by the engineers who constructed the collapsed six-storey building to stop their planned trial.

The engineers— Mr. Oladele Ogundeji and Mr. Akinbela Fatiregun—had filed two separate suits before Justice Buba seeking an order restraining the police from inviting, arresting or prosecuting them over the victims’ death.

Credit: Vanguard

Ooni Elect To Be Crowned Today

Ooni of Ife-elect, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, may be installed substantive monarch today after leaving Ilofi late yesterday.

Prince Ogunwusi had on October 30 commenced traditional rites in seclusion at Ilofi, a place meant for rituals and tutelage of a new Ooni and was to have concluded that important aspect pre-coronation exercise on November 19, signaling end of the 21-day event.

Sources, however, said yesterday that his stay in Ilofi was extended to ensure all the rites were completed before the coronation ceremony.

It was learnt that the coronation would not be done in the open but inside Ile Oodua, the official palace of the Ooni as he makes his first entry into the palace today.

A source said: “In line with the demand of Ile Ife customs and traditions, his coronation will hold behind closed doors. Only the Isoros and Ife chiefs will be involved, but I can confirm it will be done inside the palace.”

Credit: Guardian

Lamorde’s Probe Resumes In Senate Today

Barring any unforeseen changes, the resumed probe of the former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, by the Senate, is expected to hold on Tuesday, November 17, 2015.

Mr Lamorde is scheduled to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to answer questions on the petition against him by Dr. George Uboh on allegations of diversion of funds.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who confirmed this, said that the committee’s schedule requires the former anti-graft agency boss to appear before it on Tuesday.

The former EFCC boss was to appear before the committee last week Tuesday, but the committee suspended it without explanation to its action.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Ministers Take Oath Of Office Today

The long wait will finally come to an end on Wednesday, as Nigeria’s ministers-designate will take oath of office at the Presidential Villa.

The stage is now set for the ceremony to take place but some of the ministers will not have portfolios, considering the merger of some ministries by the President.

Going by the plans of the Presidency, the ceremony may not be an elaborate one, as each minister-designate is allowed two guests.

In all, 36 ministers-designate have been confirmed by the Senate, but indications from the Presidency showed the ministries have been slashed to 25.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Saraki Shuts Senate As Trial Resumes Today At CCT

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki has again shutdown the sitting of the Senate as his case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) comes up today.

At the end of yesterday’s sitting, Saraki said the sitting has been adjourned to November 10.

In an interview, Senator Dino Melaye said the sitting was adjourned to enable adhoc committees work on their reports.

“The sitting was adjourned to Tuesday to enable four adhoc committees complete their reports and submit next week,” he said.

Saraki was alleged to have operated foreign accounts while being the Governor of Kwara State and transferred the sum of $73, 223.28 from his GTB domiciliary account to an American Express account.

Credit: DailyTrust

FG Says Workers To Get October Salaries Today

Federal Government workers’ salaries for the month of October, which remained unpaid at end of the month of October, will be paid by Tuesday, November 3, the Presidency has said.

According to a statement issued by the President’s spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, some computers crashed, as the salaries were about being paid last month, making it difficult for workers to get their salaries by the end of October.

Mr Shehu said the President “is seriously concerned about the ordeals of civil servants on account of delayed payment of salaries”.

The statement emphasized that the happiness and welfare of the people were the cardinal objectives of any democratically elected government.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Senate Ends Screening, to Confirm Amaechi, Other Nominees Today

The screening of ministerial nominees, which began a fortnight ago, finally came to a close Wednesday, with the Senate deferring the confirmation of former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and 17 other nominees.

The Senate’s decision to defer confirmation of the nominees stunned onlookers Wednesday, since it is not the custom of the chamber to defer confirmation of nominees once screening is concluded.

While watchers expected Senate President Bukola Saraki to commence the confirmation of the nominees at the end of screening at 3.25 pm, he only summarized what transpired during the screening exercise and thereafter announced adjournment till Thursday.

Those screened yesterday were Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Professor Anthony Anwuka, Mr. Mohammed Bello, Ms. Aisha Abubakar and Mr. Adamu Adamu.

Credit: ThisDay

Wike: Supreme Court Decides On Tribunal’s Jurisdiction Today

The Supreme Court would today deliver judgment in the appeal filed by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike challenging the jurisdiction of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal to hear the petition against his election in Abuja.

Wike’s counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) had argued that the relocation of the tribunal from Port Harcourt to Abuja is a breach of section 285 (2) of the 1999 Constitution and provisions of the Electoral Act 2010.

The tribunal chairman, Justice Suleiman Ambursa, who led a three-man panel in his judgment on Saturday, cancelled the election of Wike.


Wike, PDP Head To Appeal Court Today

Embattled Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his sponsor, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, whose election was nullified at the weekend by election tribunal in Abuja, head to Court of Appeal today.

Chief Chris Uche, SAN, counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, counsel to Gov. Wike, say they will appeal the judgment of the tribunal.

Addressing journalists after the judgment, Uche, SAN, declared that Gov. Wike remains Governor until the appeal processes are exhausted.

“It was wrong of the tribunal to raise heavy weather on the use of card readers when INEC itself admitted that both card readers and manual can be used where there are challenges”, he stated.

Credit: DailyTimes

Senate Resumes Plenary Today

The Nigerian Senate will resume plenary today (Thursday) to continue the ministerial screening.

The Acting Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Oyewo, told reporters that the Senate had decided to reconvene on Thursday, October 22, cancelling the earlier date of Wednesday, hours after the plenary of Tuesday had ended.

The Senate  had screened two ministerial nominees from Oyo and Yobe States – Mr Adebayo Shittu and Mrs Khadija Abba Ibrahim, on Tuesday.

A ministerial nominee from Imo State, Professor Gozie ?Anwukah, on Wednesday appeared before the the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privilege on Wednesday ahead of the screening on Thursday.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Senate Decides On Amaechi, Aisha Today

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions will today submit its report on the petitions against the nomination of former governor of Rivers State Rotimi Amaechi and Ms. Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto State as ministers.

The report of the committee, which is expected to be debated on the floor of Senate chamber, will determine the fate of Amaechi and Aisha.

Reports say that screening of Amaechi, who was among the first set of ministerial nominees sent to the upper chamber, was stepped down twice. Only he and Barrister Adebayo Shittu, the nominee from Oyo State, are yet to be screened among the first set of nominees submitted by President Buhari on September 30.

Speaking in an interview, the chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, said the reports on the two nominees are going to be laid at the plenary today.

“We are through with all the two remaining petitions and we are going to submit our report tomorrow (today),” he said.

Read More: dailytrust

Senate Ministerial Screening Enters Final Lap Today

The Nigerian Senate will today resume the screening of ministerial nominees, which is expected to last for two days.

Eighteen nominees were screened last week before the Senate shifted the exercise to Tuesday.

One of the nominees expected to be screened on Tuesday is the former Governor of Rivers State, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, whose screening was shifted due to a petition against him, filed by a group in Rivers State over allegations of corruption and criminal breach of trust.

The petition was forwarded to the Senate Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions which is expected to submit its findings to the Senate before the screening begins on Tuesday.

Read More: channelstv

Court Rules On Saraki’s Appeal Today

The Court of Appeal in Abuja will decide whether or not the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) could proceed with the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki on charges of false asset declaration. The appellate court chose Monday for judgment in an appeal by Saraki, after taking arguments from parties in the case.

However, mixed reactions have continued to trail the arraignment of Saraki by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Saraki, who was arraigned last month before the CCT on a 13-count charge of false asset declaration, is appealing the tribunal’s decision to assume jurisdiction over his trial.

Credit: ngrguardiannews

Election Petition Tribunal: El-Rufai Knows Fate Today

The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna is to decide Kaduna State Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai’s fate today. The tribunal under the chairmanship of Justice A. A. Adebara is to give the judgment deciding the fate of Governor El-Rufai.

A statement made available by the secretary of the petition tribunal on behalf of the Chairman, Mrs. Hannatu Bello said the judgement in the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is to come up today. All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, governorship candidate at the last election, Mr Polycarp Danladi, had petitioned the tribunal challenging the election that brought in El-Rufai as governor of the state.

Mr. Danladi sought the tribunal to nullify the election and order a fresh election, arguing that the election was characterized by over voting and not conducted in compliance with the electoral act.


Bayelsa APC Governorship Primary To Be Held Today

The controversial Bayelsa State primaries that was cancelled in which former governor, Timiprye Sylva emerged flag bearer has been fixed for Tuesday the 29th for fresh primaries to be conducted.

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, told journalists after the committee’s meeting on Monday that they decided to cancel the controversial primaries after prolonged discussions and anyone against that decision including the former governor of Bayelsa State, Timiprye Sylva, may challenge it in court.

This leaves the party with barely 24 hours before the deadline of Wednesday the 30th of September when it must submit to the Independent National Electoral Commission, the name of its candidate for the governorship election in the state coming up on December the 5th.

Read More: channelstv

Senate Gets Buhari’s List Of Ministers Today

It is certain that the list of ministers is ready, and President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the prized document should be submitted immediately to the Senate, which resumes from its six-week break, today.

The list was said to contain the names of people like former Rivers State Governor, Mr Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi; a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Rotimi Akeredolu; former Army Chief, Lt-Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazzau, and activist lawyer, Femi Falana, among others.

It was gathered, yesterday, that President Buhari handed the list to his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, and directed him to forward it to the Senate President.

Read More: vanguardngr

NDDC Management Meets Buhari Today Over Audit Report

As the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Bassey Dan Abia, and other top management of the commission meet with President Muhammadu Buhari today at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, concern has mounted that the team may either be sacked or an inter-agency panel set up to scrutinise the accounts of the commission.

The team comprising Abia; the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Henry Ogiri; Executive Director, Projects, Mr. Omatsuli Tuoyo; and other members of the governing board have two more years to complete their tenure, having been inaugurated in December 2013.

A source in the commission said that the audit report recently released by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, may have heightened concerns among the members of the governing board and management who arrived Abuja last night.

The source said: “From all indications, the management of the commission may either be given the marching order because there are several petitions against it in respect of issues ranging from contract splitting and the rest, or a panel set up to probe the accounts of NDDC…”

Read More: thisdaylive

Lamorde To Appear Before Senate Today As Planned Probe Commences

Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, said on Tuesday that the upper chamber would go ahead with the planned probe of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, scheduled for today (Wednesday).

Anyanwu, a Peoples Democratic Party member representing Imo East Senatorial District, who stated this in Abuja while speaking with journalists, explained that he was not bound by the advice of his party’s caucus in the Senate because “I take directives only from the Senate leadership.”

He said, “ As the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, I am answerable to the Senate in the first instance. This committee attends to every petition that comes from the public and the invitation to the EFCC boss is one of those petitions and the petitioner is going to appear before the committee.

“This is a standing committee of the Senate. It is not only the EFCC boss that has been invited, there are other petitions and we have invited the petitioners and those that are petitioned.”

Read More: punchng

Coroner Delivers Verdict Today On Synagogue Building Collapse

Baring any unforeseen circumstances, the coroner inquest into the Synagogue collapse building will today deliver its final verdict at the Coroner court, Ikeja.

The coroner court, presided over by Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, fixed the July date after parties in the quest had adopted their final written addresses earlier submitted to the court.

The Lagos State Government had inaugurated the Coroner’s Inquest under the state Coroner’s System Law No.7 of 2007 to investigate the cause and circumstances resulting in the death of 166 people following the building collapse of September 12, 2014, and bring its findings and recommendations to the appropriate authorities.

For the period the inquest lasted, the General Overseer and founder of Synagogue, Prophet Temitope Joshua, who was summoned by the coroner refused to show up.

Instead, Joshua challenged the jurisdiction of the court by filing an application dated November 11, 2014 and marked ID/188MJR/2014 before the High Court, seeking a judicial review of the Coroner’s Inquest into the September 12, 2014 collapse.

He had asked the court to declare that the coroner had exceeded its  court jurisdiction by delving into areas beyond its scope.

Read More: vanguardngr

APC Crisis: Buhari, Saraki, Dogara, Others To Assemble Today For NEC Meeting

The All Progressives Congress (APC) vowed yesterday to emerge strong from its first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting after its post-election crisis.

The crisis, which has split the party’s leaders, erupted after the June 9 election of principal officers at the National Assembly.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara emerged against the party’s wish.

The party endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate and Femi Gbajabiamila for Speaker.

“We are set for the meeting which will address some issues. We are expecting the President, our governors and leaders in the National Assembly. The NEC will properly constitute the Board of Trustees (BOT) of APC because we want all our organs to function effectively.

“We are in the process of reconciliation; we will definitely put our house in order and emerge stronger,” National Secretary Mai Buni said yesterday, adding:

“Politics is sometimes like that. You know our party is the first story of a successful merger of major parties in the country; we were also the first opposition party to dislodge a sitting government; and this is the first time an opposition party is having majority in the National Assembly. You should expect some teething problems but we will reconcile and reunite all.”

Buni said one of the key parts of the agenda is on “ensuring that everybody respects the party.”

There was anxiety last night that the meeting could make or break the APC in view of the “volatile nature” of the agenda.

The warring groups in the National Assembly engaged in marathon consultations and intensified the lobbying of NEC members.

Ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, however, set the tone for the meeting by pleading with APC leaders to “shift ground and move to the centre”.

Read Morethenationonlineng

Tribunal Rules On Ambode’s Objection Today

The Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Ikeja has slated today to decide whether or not to hear the preliminary objection filed by the state Governor,  Akinwunmi Ambode against the petition filed by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Jimi Agbaje in the April 28 election.

The PDP candidate, is praying the tribunal to declare him the winner of the April poll, while challenging the declaration of Akinwunmi Ambode by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC as the winner of the election.

When the matter came up yesterday, the tribunal stated it would take all preliminary objections alongside with the petitions. The tribunal presided by  Justice Mohammed Ibrahim Sirajo however subjected the issues to argument asking parties in the matter to make their submissions.


11 States Seek N300.5bn Refund From FG, Buhari Meets Govs Today

Many state governors will at their meeting on Tuesday(today) with President Muhammadu Buhari demand the refund of billions of naira they spent on Federal Government projects in their respective states during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

A greater chunk of the money went into the rehabilitation of federal roads in the states. For instance, 11 out of the   36 states of the federation will be demanding the refund of N300.5bn from Buhari.

Following their inability to pay their workers’ salaries, many states said a bailout from the Federal Government was the only option available to them.

Read More: punchng

Money Laundering: Fani-Kayode Knows Fate Today

The Federal High Court in Lagos will today, June 18 deliver judgement in the alleged money laundering case involving the director of Media of the Goodluck Jonathan 2015 Presidential Campaign Organization, Femi Fani-Kayode.

The trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia had fixed the date last month after counsels to Fani-Kayode and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) adopted their final written addresses.

Fani-Kayode was arraigned before the court by the EFCC on a two count charge of laundering the sum of N2.1 million, while he was serving in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration as Minister of Aviation and Minister of Culture and Tourism.

He was specifically accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of conducting financial transaction exceeding N500,000, which was not done through a financial institution by accepting cash payment of various sums which was further carried in cash to First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) through some of his associates. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Read Moreleadership

President Buhari Set To Name Chief Of Staff, SGF, Other Aides Today

The shape and faces to the Muhammadu Buhari administration will begin to unfold today baring any last minute change of mind by the president, Vanguard has learnt. Among those to be named are the Chief of Staff, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF and personal staff of the president and the vice-president.

Yesterday, the president requested the Senate to approve 15 special advisers for him. Meanwhile, the delay in the announcement of senior officials of the new administration, it was learnt yesterday, flowed from the delay by the former officials of Goodluck Jonathan administration in forwarding their handover notes to the transition committee constituted by Buhari.

Sources close to the President and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, disclosed yesterday that the president would make known the senior officials of his government today. Besides the Chief of Staff and SGF, other officials to be named may include the Special Adviser to the National Assembly, Political Adviser among senior aides of the president.

“The announcements will be made today baring a last minute change of decision,” a source privy to the development told Vanguard last night even as he added that the president’s scheduled trip to Niger and Chad may be the only factors that may delay the announcement. Meanwhile, a senior associate of the president yesterday traced the delay in the announcement of the president’s senior aides to the delay in the transmission of the handover notes by the Jonathan officials to the transition team constituted by Buhari ahead of his inauguration.

“All we have been doing since Friday is poring over these notes. This is because you need to know the position of things before you delegate the appropriate personnel to any establishment of government,” a source privy to the ongoing developments told Vanguard last night.


President Buhari Meets Service Chiefs Today Over Boko Haram

The fate of all the Service Chiefs will be determined today as indications emerged, yesterday, that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces will meet with them.

Sources said the main agenda will be the battle against terrorism and the relocation of Command and Control Centre of the military to Maiduguri, Borno State capital. It was gathered that the Service Chiefs may be asked to voluntarily retire from service to give way to new appointees.

According to the source, the plan of President Buhari to relocate the Command and Control Centre to Maiduguri in order to put an end to terrorism did not receive the support of the military high command, hence he needs those who would be ready to work in line with his thinking.

Read More: vanguardngr

Jonathan To Formally Dissolve Executive Council Today

In preparation for its final handing over formalities to the incoming administration, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, will be formally dissolved today.

The session which will be presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to witness a formal speech by the President, highlighting his achievements while in office since May 29, 2011.

Ministers are also expected to make speeches on their experience as members of the council under President Jonathan.

The meeting which is expected to commence by 11am will afford each minister an opportunity to relieve his experience while in office.

Jonathan is expected to round up the session with a speech highlighting his achievements in office while setting agenda for the in coming administration.

President Jonathan is expected to leave the Presidential Villa on Friday morning for Port Harcourt, enroute Otuoke, his ancestral home.

Already, the president has packed out of the main building of the Presidential Villa and members of his immediate family are expected to accompany him to Otuoke, Friday.


Ruling On Kashamu’s Extradition To U.S Set For Today

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has allayed fears it would violate the rights of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain, Buruji Kashamu, whose extradition the United States has requested.

The politician is wanted in the US for alleged drug-related offences.

He was this past weekend placed under house arrest.

NDLEA Spokesperson, Ofoyeju Mitchell, asked the embattled senator-elect representing Ogun-East, to have confidence in the Nigerian judicial system.

“At the time of his arrest, NDLEA officers allowed Kashamu’s legal attorneys – Daniel Onamusi and Barrister Oloyede – and close family members including his wife and adult daughters to speak with him and attest to his well-being,” Mitchell said.

“Assertions that he will be bundled up under cover of darkness and whisked out of the country are untrue and should not be given any credence. We expect Kashamu as a senator-elect to demonstrate confidence in the Nigerian judicial system and not insinuate otherwise,” the NDLEA publicist said.

Kashamu has been a target of both the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for over 20 years and was indicted in the Northern District of Illinois.

Kashamu, who US court documents allege was known in his days as the leader of a prolific heroin trafficking ring based in Chicago, Illinois as ‘God,’ ‘Daddy,’ and ‘Kasmal,’ is wanted to stand trial on charges of conspiracy and importation of controlled substances, namely heroin, into the country dating back to 1994.

Credit: CAJ News

Reps Begin Consideration Of PIB Report Today

Baring last minute change in schedules, the House of Representatives will begin the clause-by-clause consideration of the report on the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill on Wednesday (today).

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, announced this on Tuesday in Abuja (yesterday) during the plenary.

Ihedioha presided over the session in the absence of the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal.

Ihedioha had earlier (last week) directed that copies of the document should be circulated to all 360 lawmakers, preparatory for the consideration in the Committee of the Whole.

“By now, I am sure copies of the report have been circulated to all of us.

“I personally went to the Office of the Chief Whip to get my own. Please, check the Chief Whip’s office to pick your copies” Ihedioha stated, adding that the consideration would start today.

The report on the bill, which aim is to reposition the petroleum industry for better output and economic reward, has been long awaited.

The 23-member Ad hoc Committee on PIB had produced its report on March 12, more than two years after Tambuwal inaugurated it on November 15, 2012.

The committee was chaired by the Chief Whip, Mr. Ishaka Bawa, a Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker from Taraba State.

However, the House delayed the consideration and possible passage of the bill, as lawmakers abandoned it to focus on the 2015 general polls.

The report, among others, recommended that the President should be stripped of his discretionary power to grant petroleum licences and leases to operators in the country’s oil and gas industry.

In making the recommendation for the removal of the President’s power, as contained in Section 191 of the original bill, the committee recommended competitive bidding for such awards to “avoid the practice whereby the power for the award of oil blocks was discretionary.”

Similarly, the committee recommended the removal of the Minister of Petroleum Resources as the chairman of the National Oil Company, proposed to assume the duties of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other key industry agencies.