Arrest Killers Of Ekiti Monarchs,Ooni Begs FG

Mohammed Shosanya

The Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi,Ojaja II, has implore the Federal Government and the Governor of Ekiti State, to expedite thorough investigations into the death of two monarchs in the state and ensure that the perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.

Onimojo of Imojo-Ekiti,Oba Olatunde Samuel Olusola and Oba David Babatunde Ogunsakin, Elesun of Esun-Ekiti in a terroristic ambush on Monday January 30, 2024 while returning to their respective domains from a peaceful routine meeting in Oke Ako, Ekiti State.

In a statement on Wednesday,the topmost monarch condemned in the strongest terms the heinous attack on three Monarchs in Ekiti State leading to the untimely death of two of them.

He commiserated with families of the deceased Monarchs, the people of Imojo-Ekiti, the people of Esun-Ekiti, the government and Ekiti State council of Obas and Chiefs, describing the incident as a sacrilegious audacity deliberately planned and executed to undermine security capacity of Nigeria.

“Assassinating traditional rulers in cold blood! This is absolutely unacceptable to us. If this could happen to the traditional rulers, what would then become hopes for their common subjects who look up to them for local security interventions?”.

“This is a pure sacrilege and it is a deliberate display of criminal audacity to undermine the government’s security control capacity. This reprehensible act has not only robbed us of noble leaders but has also left a scar on the fabric of our unity and peaceful coexistence as a Nation. Government must stop at nothing to ensure the perpetrators are arrested and made to face justice”,the statement said.

Ooni Ogunwusi,who doubles as the Natural Leader of the Oduduwa race worldwide called on the Federal Government to prioritize the establishment of community policing across the nation as the recent spate of killings and kidnappings of traditional rulers and school children across the country highlights the urgent need for a robust, community-oriented security system saying community policing, with its emphasis on local involvement,will be helpful to enhance intelligence gathering, deter criminal activities, and ensure the safety of Nigerians.

“We cannot continue like this. Several of our school children are still languishing in the undetected incarceration of these heartless terrorists. A party state chairman in Lagos state was a victim recently. What about the recently abducted school children in Ekiti state? Six sisters in Abuja not too long ago with one of them killed. Similar cases across the country. Who is safe in this country again? Enough is enough.”

“The time should not be later than now for Government both at states and Federal levels to show practical capacity in the area of security management and operations. The traditional rulers in Nigeria must be motivated with statutory community policing policy needed to work officially with government as we remain the closest leaders to the people, we know the traditional techniques to get rid of all these unfortunate situation, We are no cowards and we are ready to rise to the occasion defending our traditional land. Get us statutorily involved and see that what we inherited from our respective ancestors are still intact and real.” Ooni said.

The statement added:”We traditional Rulers in Yorubaland and Nigeria at large commiserate and sympathise with families of the affected traditional rulers. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ekiti State during this trying time and with all our subjects across the country who have been victims terrorist killings and kidnappings.”

Ekiti Kidnap:Ondo Amotekun Begins Manhunt For Pupils’ Abductors

Mohammed Shosanya

Men of Amotekun Corps,have stormed forests in Ekiti State searching for abductors of pupils of Apostolic Faith Nursery/Primary School, Emure-Ekiti, Ekiti State who were kidnapped on Monday on their way to Eporo-Ekiti.

The action follows the order of the state governor,Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

Speaking while parading 31 crime suspects in Akure, Ondo State capital on Wednesday, Ondo State Corps Commander, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye disclosed that Governor Aiyedatiwa ordered that the state Amotekun Corps should move to Ekiti State to assist them in searching for the kidnappers.

He disclosed that no fewer than 100 men from his command were deployed to Ekiti State to search for and rescue the victims.

He said that some persons have been arrested during the combing of Ekit forests, saying investigation is ongoing while the search for the pupils continued.

Speaking on the 31 crime suspects paraded at the headquarters of the formation at Alagbaka, Akure, the Amotekun Corps commander said some kidnap suspects were arrested and investigation has commenced on their operations in the state.

He disclosed that the 24-hour patrol of the formation with the collaboration of other security agencies in the state paid off in checking criminal activities in the state.

He warned that no hunter should enter any forest reserve in the state without permission and complying with all laid down rules and regulations by the state government.

He disclosed that the joint border patrol between Ondo and Osun states Amotekun Corps has been reinforced to prevent travellers from being attacked or molested by criminals.

On how the current wave of crimes across the federation could checked, Amotekun Corps commander charged the federal government to approve creation of state police.

He was of the opinion that state police would make it easier for each state to protect its people as they would be able to identify any new entrant in their community.

He called on the people of the state to report any strange moves in their areas and avoid commercial motorbike riders wearing hood as face mask, warning that they are criminals.

He also enjoined everyone who moves round in the night to always be with their identification cards as the state Amotekun would not relent on its resolve to chase away criminals from the state.

Senate Summons CBN Governor Over Free Fall Of Naira

Mohammed Shosanya

The Senate on Wednesday summoned the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso to appear before it next Tuesday over the state of economy and free flow of Naira at the forex market.

The Senate committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, which summoned the CBN Governor, expressed concern over the continued falling of the naira.

The naira had fell to N1,520 to a US dollar, a development that made the Senate to summon the CBN Governor.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after their closed door meeting, the Chairman, Senate committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru ( APC Lagos East), said the state of the economy, especially the inflation index was of great concern to the lawmakers.

He said: “We have held a meeting this afternoon essentially to focus on the direction of the Nigerian economy .

“We are all living witnesses of what is going on. Underlining the major issue of the economy is the way the inflation index has been and of course it is a major concern to us .

“We have deliberated among ourselves. Critical issues were addressed and we believe that the next line of action is to summon the governor of the Central Bank on Tuesday at 3 O’clock to brief us properly on the state of the economy.

“That we have resolved and will communicate to the governor of the Central Bank after which we will have further communication with members of the press.”

Environment:Sahara Group Plants 2,000 Trees Per Annum In Africa

Mohammed Shosanya

Sahara Group in partnership with Treedom is planting a minimum of 2,000 trees annually across Africa.

These initial set of trees will absorb more than 450 tonnes of CO2 over the next 10 years. This collection of trees called ‘Asharami Groves’ will be planted in the conglomerate’s locations of operation across Africa, starting with Cameroon (900 trees) and Kenya (1,100 trees),a statement said.

This collaboration is part of Sahara’s efforts to drive environmental sustainability. Treedom is a social organization that aims to support sustainable development through tree planting. Since Treedom’s establishment in 2010, more than 3 million trees have been planted across Africa, South-East Asia, and South America. All trees are planted directly by local farmers, bringing environmental, social, and financial benefits to their communities.

According to Ejiro Gray, Director, Governance and Sustainability, “Sahara Group is committed to taking ambitious actions to address climate change, and our collaboration with Treedom is a significant step towards achieving our sustainability goals. We believe that planting trees is one of the most effective ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and we are proud to partner with an organization that shares our vision of a sustainable future.”

Gray said Sahara Group remained committed to environmental sustainability and would continue to champion efforts geared towards preserving the environment and creating a better future for all. Sahara Group recently announced its 2060 net zero plan, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. This is in commitment to driving sustainability through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting energy efficiency, and adopting renewable energy sources.

Speaking on the significance of this partnership, Mario Pacifico, Managing Director Treedom, Mario expressed his excitement over Treedom’s partnership with Sahara and the impact that it would achieve.

“Treedom is happy to be partnering with Sahara to plant a minimum of 10,000 trees over the next 5 years. We see the energy industry as an area that must actively contribute to positive climate impact, which Sahara will be doing through our agroforestry projects in Cameroon and Kenya. Additionally, our farmer partners will be directly benefiting socially and economically at the same time through these projects” Pacifio added.

Sahara Group’s partnership with Treedom builds on previous tree planting initiatives, such as the planting of 1000 trees on a 2km range vegetation at Egbin Power Plc (a Sahara Group Power generation company) planting 1000 trees, helping to maintain the ecosystem balance. With about 140 electric scooters and buggies, Egbin’s ‘Go-Green’ initiatives cuts back 670,000kg of CO2 emission annually.

In addition, Ikeja Electric, a Sahara Group power distribution company pioneered the switch from paper-based to e-bills in a bid to promote sustainability. At the First Independent Power Limited (FIPL), another member of the Sahara Group family, a journey manager app digitally tracks movements that require the use of company vehicles, thereby reducing unnecessary vehicle usage and promoting more efficient transportation and environmental sustainability.

Reps Investigate Customs For Non-submission Of Three Years Audited Financial Statements

Mohammed Shosanya
The House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee has chided the Nigeria Customs Service for its failure to submit audited statements for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 financial years to the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation.

This was sequel to the commencement of the public hearing on by the committee chaired by Bamidele Salam.

The Controller General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, who appeared with other officers of the service was questioned over the queries raised by the Auditor General to the Federation on the 2017 audited report.

The queries involved the “Under-remittance of revenue into the federation account for the year 2017 in sum of N62,242,980,006.87, discrepancies in reported revenue figures, resulting in under-remittance of revenue of sum N63,601,805,270.67, under-disclosure of outstanding remittance for the year 2016 to the sum N10,473,681.51, non-maintenance of bank statements and bank reconciliation statements, non-maintenance of revenue collectors receipt.

“Violation of e-payment policy of the Federal Government of the sum of N2,654,500.00 and non-submission of audited financial statements for 2016,2017 and 2018 financial years.”

Responding, Adeniyi noted that only Common External Tariff is remitted into the Federation account by the OAGF, while others that are active are remitted into the Non-Federation Account.

He agreed that there was an over remittance of N1,170,469,464.13 only, into the Federation Account, which showed that there was no under-remittance of N62,242,980,006.87.

According to him, since the inception of the Treasury Single Account, Area Commands do not maintain accounts with commercial banks, all revenue collected are remitted directly to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the statements are accessed at the customs headquarters through CBN’s Transaction Query System.

He said, “Since the introduction of repayment in 2009, the maintenance of treasury Book 6A for revenue collections was stopped. Rather, the repayment receipts on the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System platform have replaced the treasury books 6A.

“The service does not have fuel and this necessitates the fuelling of the vehicles for operational purposes which cut across the four zonal headquarters and area commands across the nation for control purposes.

“The service submitted copies of audited financial statements and management reports for the three years under review”.

Documents submitted revealed to the Committee that the audited financial statements for 2016, 2017, and 2018 financial years were presented to the Auditor General for the Federation in 2021.

Committee members expressed displeasure with the non-submission of audited financial statements for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 financial years at the appropriate times.

The Chairman of the Committee ordered the Auditor General to present documents on other queries raised against the commission including “Splitting of contracts to circumvent tenders procedures to sum of N38,120,000.00, payment vouchers without prevent supporting document to sum of N22,396,768.00 and unretired cash advances in the sum of N12,431,199.63.”

The lawmakers agreed to allow NCS to come at a later date to respond to the queries.

Integral Communications Limited Unveils Valentine’s Promo

Mohammed Shosanya

Integral Communications Nigeria Limited is offering several mouth-watering freebies on any item sold to celebrate customers during Valentine’s season

The Valentine’s season campaign tagged “We love you with all our Hearts” will run from February 10 to 29, 2024.

In a press statement signed by the General Manager of the company, Ifeanyi Nihe, Valentine’s season provides the company with another opportunity to demonstrate its love and appreciation for its existing and prospective customers for the years of loyalty and support for the company.

Mr. Nihe said that the company is using this opportunity to thank its customers for their commitment as it values them and wish them the very best of the season.

In sharing love this valentine season, Integral Communications Nigeria Limited – a leading ICT company – has promised to gift customers umbrellas, towels and water bottles/cans, etc on every item they buy from the company.

Nihe remarked that in the spirit of the season, the company has unveiled several amazing offers to appreciate its customers during the month of love.

He said that the company recognizes Valentine’s Day as a special occasion to celebrate love and affection as it presents a fantastic opportunity for businesses to engage with their existing and prospective customers and drive sales through creative promotions and campaigns.

According to him,the company knows that its existing and prospective customers are expected to be engaged in a lot of online activities during the Valentine season and thereafter which is why it decided to make it easier for them to buy devices at affordable prices themselves and their loved ones.

Nihe disclosed that the company is delighted to excite its customers with the mouth-watering promo as the offer is its way of adding flavor to its customers’ Valentine season enjoyment.

NNPC Ltd Woos South Korean Investors For Gas Projects

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has held talks with a South Korean consortium led by Daewoo E & C on the development of gas projects in Nigeria.

According to a statement,the discussions which held in Seoul, South Korea,on Monday were aimed at deepening NNPC Ltd.’s drive to tap into the nation’s vast gas resources to be a supplier of clean and affordable energy to the global market.

The talks will pave way for the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will unlock strategic foreign direct investment in line with the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration’s policy of making Nigeria a prime destination for global investors,the statement said.

Kyari has also congratulated Temile Development Company, an indigenous player in the gas sector, on the commissioning of its 23,000 cubic meters ultra-modern Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Carrier in Ulsan, South Korea today.

According to him,the vessel named, Alfred Temile 10, represents a significant stride towards deepening the utilization of gas in-country and growing gas revenues.

He added:“It is great that Temile Development Company is able to complete the construction 23kt LPG vessel. This will go a long way in improving access to LPG in the domestic market and provide cleaner fuel in our country. Nigeria’s objective is to ensure that everyone has access to clean energy and particularly walk away from bio-mass as a source of energy. We know this is good and that is why we will continue to support it”.

He disclosed that NNPC Ltd, alongside its partner West Africa Gas Ltd (WAGL), was building its own vessels which will boost LPG supply in Nigeria with a view to saturating the market.

Kano Governor Denies Pact With Tinubu On Supreme Court Verdict

Mohammed Shosanya

Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf has denied entering any agreement with Presidency prior to 12th January, 2024 Supreme Court judgment on Kano Election Petition where he emerged victorious.

A statement by the Governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, described a document trending on social media indicating a four term agreement between the Governor and the presidency as “imaginary piece deviod all iota of truth.”

The statement quoted the governor as saying that:”For the purposes of emphasis, the rather fake agreement saying Governor Yusuf has accepted to cross carpet to the ruling APC, jettison purported claim to dissolve or allow the five emirates, discontinuing demolition of illegal structures and establishment of Kano Elders Council should be disregarded. ”

“The Governor would like to make it abundantly clear, that having secured his mandate through popular votes of the good people of Kano, and certified by a fair affirmation of Supreme Court judgment, he would not be intimidated by any political opportunist.

“Let me also remind those political jobbers hiding under the leniency of Mr. President that whatever political decision or direction that would be taken in Kano will be determined within the confines of the rule of law and executive powers vested in the office of the Executive Governor.”

The statement reads in part: “We debunk the rumour and state that no amount of blackmail will distract His Excellency Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf from delivering his laudable projects and programmes for the good people of Kano state.”

“Also worthy of note, the establishment of Kano Elders Council is a personal initiative of the Governor, which is aimed at finding lasting solutions to all solvable problems affecting the state socio-economic and political development. Hence, the Governor Yusuf was not under pressure to form the council.”

“Our attention has been drawn to a misconception making round on the social media indicating an agreement between the presidency and Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf in the aftermath of the Supreme Court Judgment that affirmed the mandate of His Excellency.

“I wish to categorically state that Governor Yusuf did not enter any agreement or condition with anybody before the Supreme Court Judgment. I therefore urged the public to dismiss the fallacy being orchestrated by enemies of progress.

‘It is on record that my lord, the Justices of the Supreme Court delivered a landmark Judgment with justice, equity and fairness and largely protect the integrity of the judiciary. ”

The governor also expressed sincere appreciation to the President and Commander in Chief His Excellency Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for allowing the level playing ground for justice to prevail through non-interference with the judicial process.

The president has demonstrated profound leadership quality by ensuring fair play despite being pushed by some undemocratic elements from Kano and beyond.The President is a true democrat who will not undermine other political parties in the interest of his party.

“Let me state and emphatically so that Governor Yusuf has no prior agreement with the President. However, the president should rather be appreciated for maintaining neutrality, peace, and stability in Kano.

“No doubt, the refusal of the president to carry out the wishes of some prominent members of his party has brought about enduring atmosphere in Kano. On this single act, the good people of Kano will continue to appreciate Mr. President and pray for him to succeed in his administration.”

Why SGF’s Circular On Contract Administration Is Ultra Vires-Mohammed Attah

Mohammed Shosanya

Mohammed Bougei Attah, Procurement Professional and National Coordinator, Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative,says the recent circular that originated from the office and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator George Akume titled “Operationalization and Development of Federal Government Contract Administration System (FCAS) for MDAs” is a clear violation of existing law on contract management and administration.

The circular which according to the memo is “ protect Government from entering potential flawed and unfavourable contracts leading to litigation at great cost..” is in fact doing the opposite,Attach maintained in a statement sent to Premium News on Tuesday.

According to him,the circular did not only undermine and usurp the statutory roles and responsibilities of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, it also potential put the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, AGF in an illegal engagement.

He also said,advising all MDAs to direct inquiries and clarifications on FCAS through the office of the AGF, via a special unit, the government has only succeeded in exposing the office to illegalities, contradictions and legal tussle that the SGF seek to avoid.

He noted that the BPP was established by Act No. 14 of 2007 to perform the oversight of contracts implementation which include the issuance of ‘No Objection Certificates’ to or for contracts award.

He said,while the Office of the SGF, AGF and the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP have statutory roles in contract awards and implementations, the AGF cannot be seen to play the role of a party or be a judge in the process.

He also said,the role of the AGF in procurement or contract administration is limited to interpretation, defence and prosecution of contract issues or cases as the case may be.

The office in this case,he said,cannot be a party to the process and be a judge at the same time in the case of any legal challenge.

He said,Section 7 of the PPA 2007 specifically mandates the BPP to oversight and advice on contract implementation in Nigeria public sector, and this include ensuring that contract approvals at the level of threshold by the Federal Executive Council, FEC and all MDAs meet certain criteria to qualify for ‘No Objection Certificates’.

He explained that the Circular from the SGF is very unfortunate because it is an act of disobedience to the very law the office is to protect.

He added:”Why create a shortcut when it is a fact that a ‘No Objection Certificate’ by the BPP is a document evidencing and authenticating that due process and the letters of this PPA have been followed in the conduct of a procurement proceedings and allowing for the procuring entity to enter into contract or effect payments to contractors or suppliers from the Treasury?

“It is important to note that “evidencing” that follows the word certificate in the definition serves as a proof of the fact while the word “authenticating” that also follow refers to giving a legal authenticity or authority to the procurement proceeding so certified.

“Further it is to confirm that the person who signed the certificate is qualified and fit, or proper officer designated to do so by law in accordance with Section 7 and 59 of PPA 2007, as well as Sections 11(9) and 20 of the CIPSMN Act 2007.

“The BPP though not a court in the conventional sense, is an independent, quasi-judicial agency of government that uses judicial principles to make administrative decisions and therefore is required by law to be properly constituted to enable it have legal jurisdiction to perform its functions. To create a “new law” therefore through a directive of circular is a direct route and opening for abuse of law, impunity and corruption.

“It should be stated here again that Procurement (contract) corruption alone accounts for over 70% of total corruption in the public sector. This recent Circular therefore lacks merit and a clear violation of the PPA 2007.

It is on record that for over 10 years, after the enactment of PPA 2007, we have consistently pointed out that the errors in the Act is purely implementation. And to correct the gaps and humongous corruption issues in contract management in Nigeria, the government need to implement Part 1, Section 1 of the PPA 2007 as well as Section 11(9) and Section 20 of the CIPSMN.

“The simple solution is to constitute and inaugurate the National Council on Public Procurement, NCPP on one instance, and to constitute the BPP in accordance with provisions in Section 16 of the Act, read together with Section 19 of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management Act 2007. Anything short of this steps will continue to take Nigeria backwards, undermine the efforts in the fight against corruption and increasing economic downturn”

Lagos Loses Control Of Inland Waterways,As Supreme Court Voids LASWA Law

The Supreme Court of Nigeria in a land mark judgment delivered in the case of NATIONAL INLAND WATERWAYS AUTHORITY & OTHERS VS LASWA, GOV. OF LAGOS STATE & ATTORNEY GEN. OF LAGOS STATE on January 5, 2024 by JOHN INYANG OKORO JSC leading other four Supreme Court Justices declared null and void Lagos State Waterways Authority Law, 2008.

The apex court noted on page 31 of the judgment that the views expressed by Femi Okunnu (SAN) in his book ‘’Contemporary State land matters in Nigeria. The case of Lagos State’’ heavily relied on by counsel for the first to fourth respondent to argue that waterways in Lagos State do not come under item 36 of the constitution and are the personal opinion of the learned author.

They do not represent the law and certainly cannot bind this court. The law is the law irrespective of whatever legal sentiment or opinion which may be thrown up.

The court said in page 37: “I have read through both National Inland Waterways Authority Act 2004 and the Lagos State waterways authority law 2008. I have no doubt whatsoever that both statutes have identical provisions.

“Section 22 of the LASWA Law defines under the control of the first respondent to include all waterways, Rivers, Creeks, lakes, tiled land and lagoons within the boundaries of Lagos State”Similar to definition of “Inland waterways” in Section 29 of national inland waterways authority act which includes all waterways. Rivers, Creeks, lakes, tiled land, lagoons below the water based line.

The Supreme Court held; “both enactment must not and cannot subsit side by side. The National Inland Waterways Authority Act being a Federal law must prevail whereas the identical law enacted by the Lagos State act of Assembly must be and is hereby declared null and void.”

Reacting, Olajide Ajana, a Lagos based Legal Practitioner and Real Estate Advisor said the recent position of the Supreme Court has lots of dire consequence with respect to lots of sand filling projects going on within the inland waterways in Lagos State particularly at the Lekki axis and Orange Island of Lagos State.

“One of the universal fundamental principle of Law is the MAXIM: Nemo dat quod no habet. Which means ‘No one can give what he doesn’t have’.

“Relating the above principle of Law to the recent Supreme Court Decision clearly means that Lagos State Government does not possess the power to issues Title or any form license to anyone within the zones and areas that falls within the Inland water ways which include all waterways. Rivers, Creeks, lakes, tiled land, lagoons below the water based line.

“Therefore claims to the above described areas by the Oba Saheed Ademola Elegunshi and others who are clinging to titles issued by Lagos State Government has no foundation, as the Laws relied on by Lagos state has been declared null and void to the extent of its inconsistency with a federal legislation. EX NIHIL FIT ; YOU CAN NOT PLACE SOMETHING ON NOTHING AND EXPECT IT TO STAND.” he added.