NJC Begins Investigation Into  Petitions Against Osun Chief Judge

The National Judicial Council had commenced investigation into the several petitions filed against Osun Chief Judge.

The Council in line with its tradition had taken up its independent investigation after rejecting the report and recommendations of a similar probe by the House of Assembly as forwarded by Governor Ademola Adeleke.

A copy of the petition filed by the state judicial workers’ union was reportedly sent for response.

An official of NJC saud that there was an investigative query already issued, adding that they heard that the person in question is out of the country.

He added:”The investigation has commenced. The petition has been sent for answer. It is the response the Council is waiting for. So nobody has killed the petition as indicated in some media reports.

“NJC has its procedure. Petitions are normally reviewed without bias. The NJC had only rejected the Governor’s request. That does not invalidate the petitions which was filed by the workers and their union.”

A copy of one of the petition obtained on Wednesday listed series of allegations against the Chief Judge.

According to the petition,about N7.5million recovered from some condemned persons involved in the widely reported Ikirun Bank robbery in the state, was diverted.

The petition alleged that directive was given that the sum recovered from the convict must be paid into the account of Osun State Government but a contrary directive was also given that the money should be paid into the account of the state judiciary.

The petition also alleged that some staff of the Osun Judiciary were unilaterally suspended, without any recourse to the State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for more than four years, while salaries and allowances of the affected staff were paid into an unauthorised special account without notifying the state government paying the salaries.

It was further alleged that even though some of the suspended staff faced several panels, including the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), which exonerated them, their suspension was not lifted against known administrative principles.

The petition also said another set of staff of the Osun State Judiciary were arrested, investigated and prosecuted in 2020 over alleged stealing of office materials and that the staff were later discharged and acquitted by court but the verdict, which ordered their reinstatement and restoration of their salaries and allowances was not disobeyed.

24 Lawmakers Withdraw Impeachment Notice On Fubara

Mohammed Shosanya

Twenty four lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule as Speaker on Wednesday withdrew their impeachment process on the Governor of the state, Sir Siminalayi Fubara.

The lawmakers loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, had on October 30 attempted an impeachment on the state Goveror, sparking a leadership tussle in the state assembly.

Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule and Rt. Hon Ehie Edison had been at loggerheads over the speakership of the house.

Four lawmakers loyal to the Governer following the failed impeachment attempt, convened and impeached Amaewhule from the position of the Speaker and elected Edison the new Speaker.

This was as a State High Court presided over by Justice M.W. Danagogo recently recognised Edison as the authentic Speaker of the House.

A statement signed by Martins Wachukwu, Media aide to the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly on Wednesday, stated that the lawmakers took the decision at a plenary held at the Auditorium of the House of Assembly Quarters in Aba Road, Port Harcourt.

The statement said the move was in pursuance to the truce between Governor Fubara, Nyesom Wike and the Martin Amaewhule led lawmakers brokered by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on December 18 in Abuja.

According to the statement, . Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule, while reading a letter on the floor of the House, signed by 24 Members, recalled that on October 30, 2023 a notice of impeachment signed by 24 Members of the House pursuant to Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution as altered was read by him, accusing the Governor of gross misconduct.

Amaewhule emphasised the lawmakers following their immense respect for the president, decided to abide by the terms of agreement he brokered without delay, adding that the House would continue to perform its constitutional functions of law making and oversight for the development of the State.

The statement noted that the House considered further Report of the Adhoc Committee on the Aleto Oil Spill, recalled that in August, 2023 the Committee submitted its Report on an oil spill in Aleto community caused by equipment failure.

Commenting on the report, Amaewhule commended the Committee for following up the Resolutions of the House on the initial Report and urged the Committee to continue and ensure that proper and full remediation is effected.

Gas Will Spur Nigeria’s Industrialization,Says Kyari

Mohammed Shosanya

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd., Mr. Mele Kyari,says the company will utilise Nigeria’s abundant gas resources to revolutionize the nation’s power and industrial sectors.

He disclosed this during a signing ceremony of a Shareholders Agreement (SHA) between the NNPC Ltd., UTM Offshore (an indigenous company), and the Delta State Government on the development of the first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility in Nigeria, held at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, on Tuesday,according to a statement signed by Olufemi Soneye,Chief Corporate Communications Officer.

“In the next 2-3 years, we will use gas to bring about a revolution in our country. The outcomes will be clear on the table; there will be prosperity, and value will be created. Not just creating gas for export but progressing on all our initiatives of bringing gas into the domestic market. Our backbone infrastructures are almost ready to ensure we achieve that. Once that happens, we will see the immediate impact on the power sector, gas-based industries and several other collateral value that this will create,” the GCEO stated.

Describing the FLNG project as a task that must be done, Kyari said Nigeria is a gas country whose abundant gas resources have been under-utilised. He stressed that the new focus is to monetise such gas resources for the benefit of the country and the world.

He said the FLNG Project clearly fits into the Federal Government’s gas aspirations under the Decade of Gas Initiative and in line with Mr. President’s clear agenda to create a gas hub so that value can be maximised, and Nigeria achieves the prosperity that it deserves.

Reiterating NNPC Ltd.’s commitment towards the project, Kyari said the FLNG was the first of its kind that the company was taking keen interest and holding an equity in.

“More than this, there are several Floating LNGs that we are promoting, including fixed LNG projects. We are happy to collaborate with the Delta State Government. We will take practical steps to get it done. We are committed to delivering this project in time, on schedule and in the best possible cost,” the GCEO added.

Earlier in his remarks, the Group Managing Director of UTM Offshore Limited, Mr. Julius Rone described the SHA execution as another significant milestone in actualizing Nigeria’s first indigenous FLNG.

He thanked President Bola Tinubu for his dedication towards developing the Nation’s gas resources, as exemplified in the recently held COP28 Conference in Dubai, UAE, where the President made a commitment for the complete flare-down and use of Nigeria’s gas resources as a transition fuel to achieve the global transition to cleaner energy fuels and reduce methane emission in oil and gas operations.

He also lauded the GCEO of NNPC Ltd for his leadership and commitment in ensuring that Nigeria’s gas resources are developed within the provisions of the Petroleum Industry act (PIA) 2021.

Also speaking, the Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori said that the Delta State Government, which has 40% of Nigeria’s proven gas reserves, decided to take 8% equity because of its conviction of the strategic importance of the project to the national economy.

Apart from producing over 300,000 metric tonnes of LPG (cooking gas) which will be dedicated to the domestic market, the Governor said the FLNG project will also help to mitigate the environmental hazards in the Niger Delta by reducing gas flaring; creating ample employment opportunities and ensuring the switch from kerosene and firewood to cleaner energy, thus improving the health and general wellbeing of the people.

In attendance to witness the execution of the SHA was the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, who said the FLNG will ensure the monetisation of Nigeria’s gas resources to drive the economy and attain energy security.

Speaking briefly on the project, the Executive Vice President, Gas, Power & New Energy, Mr. Olalekan Ogunleye lauded the Federal Government for its belief in the ability of gas to drive and accelerate economic growth which has been exemplified by the initiative to create a gas economy, especially through the Decade of Gas.

The FLNG facility is expected to produce 1.81 to 2.72 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) of gas. The project equity has NNPC Ltd., UTM Offshore and the Delta State Government holding 20%, 72% and 8% stakes respectively.

CSR: NAOC JV Delivers Medical Equipment To Rivers,Bayelsa,Delta,Imo States

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) on behalf of NAOC Joint Venture has donated medical equipment to tertiary health institutions and hospitals in its four states of operations in Niger Delta, Nigeria.

The commissioning and handover ceremonies were held recently during which the equipment were given to the medical facilities located in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Imo States. In particular, eleven (11) mobile ventilators were donated to hospitals in various cities.

According to the company,the initiatives were implemented to promote efficient health care delivery in the states and the communities in order to contribute to development of the regions through a healthy population.

The company and the institutions will establish a joint monitoring and evaluation team that will review periodically the performances and feedback on the utility and impact of the machines to the health care delivery in the institutions.

The company and its partners implement initiatives such as infrastructure, health, education and capacity building targeted at local socio-economic development to promote the sustainable development of the communities and states where it operates.

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) operates in the land and swamp areas of the Niger Delta under a joint venture agreement, popularly referred to as the NAOC JV. The NAOC JV includes the NNPC E&P Limited (NEPL), NAOC and Oando.

House To Probe  NNPCL JV Agreements’ Inflated Cash Calls

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria’s House of Representatives has expressed readiness to investigate the loss of over $60 billion revenue due to inflated cash calls by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited Joint Venture Agreements.

The House also mandated the relevant committees to conduct a thorough probe of all NNPCL Joint Venture operations to determine income and cash call costs due to each partner, especially the Federation and also whether due process and diligence were followed.

The resolutions were passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. John Chika Okafor on the floor of the plenary on Wednesday.

Hon. Okafor,who moved the motion said NNPCL on behalf of the Federal Government operates Joint Ventures and related agreements with private oil companies in both oil and gas sectors, with the aim of sustainable revenue generation, thus enhancing the economic development of the nation.

He noted that that the NNPCL, as representatives of the Federal government and Federation have about 60 per cent holding while other partners account for the remaining 40 per cent.

He said the joint ventures operate under a “Joint Operating Agreement” that spells out the responsibilities of each of the partners in the ventures.

The lawmaker noted that: “Due to bloated cash call costs, the NNPCL Upstream Investment Management Services, a unit under the NNPCL in charge of negotiation of costs (both Capex and Opex) have caused huge losses in the neighbourhood of $60bn over the years.

“The activities of NUIMS have resulted in huge revenue losses, fiscal deficits and an alarming debt profile, aware of the need to ensure probity, transparency and value for money in the NNPCL Joint Venture operations.”

Meanwhile, the House has called for the remittance of accrued 5 per cent users’ charge on petrol pump price and diesel to Federal Roads Maintenance Agency FERMA to enable it discharge its functions.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Aderemi Oseni, urging Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPCL, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and Ministry of Finance and Office of the Account General of the Federation to ensure that the user’s charge are immediately remitted to FERMA under Section 4(1) of the agency’s (Amendment) Act, 2007.

Leading debate on the motion, Oseni said to underscore the importance of funding to road management and maintenance, Section 4(1) of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (Amendment) Act, 2007 provides that “The fund of the agency shall consist of 5 per cent users’ charge on pump price of petrol, diesel and of which 40 per cent will accrue to FERMA.”

He expressed concern that since the commencement of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (Amendment) Act, 2007 which embodies this provision, the users’ charge has not been remitted to the agency which has accumulated to about N900 billion stating that the House was “disturbed that the perpetual non-remittance of N900 billion in user charges on petrol and diesel pumps negatively impacts the FERMA’s finances and performance consequently affecting the state of federal roads.”