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EFCC Speaks On Raiding CJN Onnoghen’s Residence

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied rumours in some quarters that it raided the residence of the Chief justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

Africa News 24 reports that the social media was awash with reports on Tuesday evening that the house of the CJN had been raided by the EFCC.

Yinka Odumakin, the Afenifere national publicity secretary, had recorded a short video broadcast on social media Tuesday afternoon alleging a raid on the residence of the CJN. Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, also made the same allegation.

Reacting, the anti-graft agency described the allegations as fake news and “an evil machination by the creator and carriers of the news aimed at creating anarchy in the country.”

The commission also noted that it will file a libel suit against Fani-Kayode and ‘other purveyors of the evil news’ acting as ‘agents of destabilzation’.
Read the full statement below…

The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to the falsehood which has been spreading on the social media that the EFCC has arrested the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. This is not only a figment of the imagination of the purveyor of the fake news but an evil machination by the creator and carriers of the news aimed at creating anarchy in the country.

For the record, the EFCC never went to the house of the CJN for arrest neither was invitation extended to him.

Several calls and short messages received all point to the fact that the brains behind the fake news had one thing in mind: to act as agent of destabilization. We would not give in to their plots.

One of the architect of the fake news, Femi Fani-Kayode, was quoted as saying “Why have the EFCC surrounded the home of CJN Onnoghen and why are they seeking to arrest him? These people want Nigeria to burn! Buhari call off your dogs before it is too late! This is a democracy and not a Gestapo state! In the name of God let this madness stop”. Another arrowhead of the fake news, Yinka Odumakin shared a non-existent video which has gone viral.

We want to assure Nigerians that while we would fight corruption in line with the mandate setting up the Commission, agents of darkness, in the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin and his cohorts, would never be able to manipulate the people against the Commission.

We also want to assure Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin and other purveyors of the evil news to be ready to defend their actions in the court of law as the EFCC will file libel suit against them without further delay.

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Whistle-Blower Policy: Looters Now Bury Stolen Funds In Backyards, Deep Forests, Cemeteries – Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has hailed its whistle-blower policy, which has led to the recovery of looted funds in many currencies that may otherwise not have been discovered, describing it as an effective tool of fighting corruption in Nigeria.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the policy has also shown the depth of support among Nigerians for the fight against corruption.

He therefore thanked Nigerians for the enthusiasm and commitment that they have shown in helping the government to tackle the hydra-headed monster of corruption through the useful leads they have been providing to appropriate government agencies.

”Since we launched the whistle-blower policy, we have received immeasurable support from Nigerians. Yes, there is monetary reward for any information that leads to recovery of looted funds, but from what we have seen, most of the Nigerians who have come forward with useful leads were driven by patriotism rather than reward.

”Nigerians, fired by a fervid resolve to help banish corruption from their country, have daily inundated the offices of the appropriate government agencies with valuable information. We have been told how looters have resorted to burying stolen funds in their backyards, in deep forests and even in burial grounds.

”Thanks to whistle-blowers, it is now clear that a rapacious few have pillaged the nation’s wealth through a vicious orgy of corrupt practices. Thanks to the useful information provided by Nigerians, it is now obvious that more funds are in the possession of looters than are available to government at all levels to meets its obligations, including paying workers’ salaries, providing social amenities, upgrading infrastructure and ensuring the security of lives and property.

”As the looters continue to run helter-skelter, many of them are even abandoning their booty at unusual places, including airports. We want to assure Nigerians that we will not abandon this policy for whatever reason. Instead, we will continue to rejig it to make it more effective as a tool for fighting corruption,” the Minister said.

He said the recovered looted funds are safe, adding that as soon as the necessary reconciliation process and the litigation in some of the cases are concluded, the government will give a full account of the funds to Nigerians.

Alhaji Mohammed re-assured Nigerians who have useful information on looted funds that the government will protect their identities and also ensure that they get the stipulated reward for their effort.

#NigeriaAt59: 20 Statements Omokri Termed As ‘Lies’ In Buhari’s Independence Day Speech

Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of embedding some lies in his 2019 Independence Day broadcast.

Recall Africa News24 earlier reported that President Buhari on Tuesday, spoke extensively about some issues affecting Nigeria as a nation and efforts by his administration to address such issues.

However, shortly after the President’s speech, Omokri took to his verified Twitter handle @renoomokri where he alleged that some of the things Buhari said were lies, calling on readers to read the ‘truth’ on his page.

This online platform has compiled 20 things Omokri termed as ‘lies’ in President Buhari’s speech and his own version of ‘truth’.

For each of the points countered by Omokri, he attached a link of his ‘proof’ and challenged the government to sue him.

See them below:

1-General @MBuhari said, “In the last four years, we have combatted the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram”.

LIE: Boko Haram controls 8 Borno LGAs. Read the TRUTH here. Buhari LIED!

2-General @MBuhari said ‘The capacity of our forces is enhanced by the acquisition of military hardware’

LIE: Our armed forces use guns purchased by Shagari. Read the TRUTH here.

3-General @MBuhari said “we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression“

This is such an OBVIOUS LIE. Buhari locked up his critics and refused to obey court orders to free them.

4-General @MBuhari said “I reiterate my call for all to exercise restraint”.

This is the JOKE of the CENTURY from a man who threatened to ‘SOAK the DOG and BABOON in BLOOD’.

PRACTICE what you PREACH.

5-General @MBuhari said “This Administration inherited a skewed economy”

LIE: Buhari inherited an economy rated by @CNNMoney and @WorldBank as the world’s 3rd fastest growing economy! He ruined it in 1 year.

6-General @MBuhari said “previous governments abandoned the residual Investment-driven Non-Oil Sector”

LIE: President Obasanjo paid off our entire debt when oil was a quarter of what it sells today!

7-General @MBuhari said “exchange rate in the last 3 years has remained stable”

LIE: @Google it. The Naira was rated the 4th worst performing currency 3 years ago and one of the most depreciated 2 years ago.

8-General @MBuhari said we have “robust reserves of US$42.5 B”

LIE: What he failed to tell you is that he has more than DOUBLED our debt. When you minus the reserves from our debt, we have NO RESERVES!!!!

9-General @MBuhari said “Learning from the mistakes of the past, this Administration is responsibly managing our oil wealth”

LIE: Nigeria now pays more FUEL SUBSIDY than in 2015. Nigerians pay more for FUEL.

10-General @MBuhari said “we are significantly increasing investments in critical infrastructure”

LIE: Because Buhari more than DOUBLED our debt, we now spend more on DEBT SERVICING than on infrastructure!

11-General @MBuhari said “we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernize the National Grid”

LIE: Buhari is modernising NOTHING. The last 3 power plants Nigeria built were built by
@GEJonathan.

12-General @MBuhari said “Our efforts to improve the power sector will complement other infrastructure investments”

LIE: IMPROVE Gini? Do you have power? Nigeria now generates LESS POWER than in 2015.

13-General @MBuhari took credit for the 2nd Niger Bridge

LIE: The 2nd Niger Bridge is a PPP Project that was FULLY paid by @GEJonathan from the Sovereign Wealth Fund. Pls see attached documentary evidence.

14-General @MBuhari said “We‘ve made remarkable progress in almost all segments of the agriculture value chain”

LIE: Yet, Nigeria became the world headquarters for EXTREME POVERTY under him? Why such lies?

15-General @MBuhari said we are committed “economic stability and diversification”

LIE: Yet, in a leaked memo, his chief of staff admitted that they collect less non oil revenue than under
@GEJonathan . LIE!

16-General @MBuhari said we provide adequate resources to meet the basic needs of our teeming youth”

LIE: While @GEJonathan built 165 almajiri schools and 14 new federal universities, Buhari had built NONE

17-General @Mbuhari said he has “deterred rampant theft and mismanagement of public funds that plagued public service”

LIE: Yet, according to Transparency Int’l, Nigeria is MORE CORRUPT today than in 2015!

18-General @MBuhari said “This Administration has fought against corruption”

LIE: Look at the ministers Buhari appointed. Look at those surrounding him.

RETWEET if you know they are CORRUPT!

19-General @MBuhari said “An example is the US$300 million recently identified as part of the Abacha money-laundering case”

Yet Buhari said Abacha did not steal. Which is it sir? Did he or didn’t he?

20-Finally, General @MBuhari said “I call upon Nigerians to combat Corruption”

Is Buhari combating corruption?

* Who owns Ikoyi billions
* When will @AishaMBuhari ADC be tried?
* Who reinstated Maina?

#NigeriaAt59: Buhari Sends Strong Message To Governors Over State Finance

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged State governors in the country to ensure they properly monitor finances in their states.

Africa News24 (an24) reports that President Buhari gave this directive in his nationwide broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 59th Independence Anniversary on Tuesday, October 1.

The President in his statement said, “I call upon our States to intensify their own efforts to instill greater fiscal transparency and accountability. And to ensure greater fiscal efficiency and optimum use of our very scarce resources.

“The blight of Corruption is fighting back. Nevertheless, this is a battle that we shall see-through and this is a war, which we shall win by the Grace of God.

“The policies that we are putting in place today are to ensure such criminal and unpatriotic acts do not go without consequences. Our renewed partnership with the 9th National Assembly will facilitate the swift passage of enabling laws that will institutionalize these anti-corruption efforts in our criminal justice system.

“I will also call upon all Nigerians, from every walk of life, to combat corruption at every turn. By choosing to question and confront corrupt practices, by reporting unethical practices or through whistleblowing. Together, we can overcome corruption and will no longer be a country defined by corruption,” he added.

Independence Day Speech: Time Has Come For Nigerians To Bury Their Differences- Buhari (Full Text)

Full text of President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast to mark the 59th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence from British colonialists.

Dear Compatriots,

1st October each year is an opportunity for us to reflect and thank God for his endless blessings on our country.

It is also a time for us, collectively, to:

Remember the sacrifices made by our Founders and great leaders past; by soldiers, by distinguished public servants; by traditional leaders, by our workers —- sacrifices on which Nigeria has been built over the 59 years since Independence in 1960; and

Rededicate ourselves to attaining the goals which we have set for ourselves: a united, prosperous and purposeful nation in the face of 21st century opportunities and challenges.

In the past four years, the majority of Nigerians have committed to Change for the Better. Indeed, this Administration was re-elected by Nigerians on a mandate to deliver positive and enduring Change – through maintaining our National Security; restoring sustainable and inclusive Economic Growth and Development; and fighting Corruption against all internal and external threats.

This Change can only be delivered if we are united in purpose, as individuals and as a nation. We must all remain committed to achieving this positive and enduring Change. As I stated four years ago, “Change does not just happen… We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust… simply put, to bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens.”

SECURITY:

Good Governance and Economic Development cannot be sustained without an enabling environment of peace and security. In the last four years, we have combatted the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram. We owe a debt of gratitude to our gallant men and women in arms, through whose efforts we have been able to achieve the present results. We are also grateful to our neighbours and allies – within the region and across the world – who have supported us on this front.

The capacity of our armed forces to defend our territorial integrity continues to be enhanced by the acquisition of military hardware as well as continued improvements in the working conditions of our service men and women.

The Ministry of Police Affairs has been resuscitated to oversee the development and implementation of strategies to enhance internal security. My recent assent to the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act has created a legal framework to support our Police with increased fiscal resources to enhance their law enforcement capabilities.

These initiatives are being complemented by the ongoing recruitment of 10,000 constables into the Nigeria Police Force. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to arrest the incidence of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes across our nation.

We remain equally resolute in our efforts to combat militant attacks on our oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and accelerate the Ogoni Clean-up to address long-standing environmental challenges in that region.

The recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs underscores our commitment to enhance the living standards of our communities in the Niger Delta, through coordinated and appropriate programmes.

Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media. Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action.

In this regard, I reiterate my call for all to exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations. Whilst the ongoing national discourse on various political and religious issues is healthy and welcome, we must not forget the lessons of our past – lessons that are most relevant on a day such as this.

Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media. Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action

The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction. I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity.

ACCELERATING SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMY GROWTH

This Administration inherited a skewed economy, where the Oil Sector comprised only 8% of Gross Domestic Product but contributed 70% of government revenue and 90% foreign exchange earnings over the years. Past periods of relatively high economic growth were driven by our reliance on Oil Sector revenues to finance our demand for imported goods and services. Regrettably, previous governments abandoned the residual Investment-driven Non-Oil Sector, which constituted 40% of Gross Domestic Product and comprised agriculture, livestock, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining and manufacturing activities that provide millions of jobs for able-bodied Nigerians and utilize locally available raw materials and labour for production.

To address this imbalance, our commitment to achieving economic diversification has been at the heart of our economic strategies under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which I launched on the 5th of April, 2017.

This medium-term development plan charted the trajectory for our economy to exit from recession and return to the path of sustainable, diversified and inclusive growth for Nigerians. Pursuant to these reforms, the economy has recovered and we have had 9 successive quarters of growth since our exit from recession. The exchange rate in the last 3 years has remained stable, with robust reserves of US$42.5 billion, up from US$23 billion in October 2016.

Learning from the mistakes of the past, this Administration is committed to responsibly managing our oil wealth endowments. We will continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-oil job-creating sectors.

In this regard, we are significantly increasing investments in critical infrastructure. Last year, capital releases only commenced with the approval of the Budget in June 2018. However, as at 20th June this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.

Implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed. The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been directed to release N600 billion for Capital Expenditure in the next 3 months.

To maximise impact, we shall continue to increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships. Through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which I initiated in January this year, we are giving incentives to private sector inflow of over N205 billion in 19 Nigerian roads and bridges of 794.4km across in 11 States of the Federation.

As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimizing the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector. We will, working with the Legislature, soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendments to the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act into law, to ensure Government obtains a fair share of oil revenues, whilst encouraging private sector investment.

We will also continue our fight against illegal bunkering of crude oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across our borders, including the diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts. Whilst Nigeria remains committed to free and fair continental and international trade, we will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to tackle illegal smuggling, transshipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in our country.

We are resolute in reforming the power sector. In August this year, we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernize the National Grid in 3 phases: starting from 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards. This programme, in partnership with the German Government and Siemens, will provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve our transmission and distribution challenges.

The programme will also look to localize the development and assembly of smart meters as well as the operations and maintenance capabilities of transmission and distribution infrastructure.

I am pleased with the improved inter-agency collaboration between the Ministry of Power and the regulators in the banking and power sectors to ensure that electricity sales, billings and collections are automated and become cashless.

These initiatives are important to ensure that the technical and collection losses in the sector are substantially reduced. I remain confident that Nigerians will have affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply in the not too distant future.

Our efforts to improve the power sector will complement other infrastructure investments projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, which is investing in the Mambilla Power Plant project, as well as key economic road infrastructure such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kano Expressway. The first set of these projects remain on track to be completed by 2022.

Our journey to food security and self-sufficiency is well underway. We have made remarkable progress in almost all segments of the agriculture value chain, from fertilizers to rice, to animal feed production. We shall sustain these policies to ensure additional investments are channeled, thereby creating more jobs in the sector. We must not go back to the days of importing food and thereby exporting jobs.

Our commitment to achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification, has been underscored by the merger of the Ministry of Finance with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

This combined Ministry has the important mandate to enhance the management of domestic and global fiscal risks; coordinate policies with the trade and monetary authorities; raise and deploy revenues to fund budgeted expenditure; and integrate annual budgets and medium-term fiscal strategies.

With this, our revenue-generating and reporting agencies will come under much greater scrutiny, going forward, as the new performance management framework will reward exceptional revenue performance, while severe consequences will attend failures to achieve agreed revenue targets.

I recently constituted an Economic Advisory Council to advise me on inclusive and sustainable macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies. This independent body will work with relevant Cabinet members and the heads of key monetary, fiscal and trade agencies to ensure we remain on track as we strive for collective prosperity. However, we are also committed to ensure that the inconvenience associated with any painful policy adjustments, is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt.

To institutionalize these impactful programmes, we created the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which shall consolidate and build on our achievements to date. To the beneficiaries of these programmes, I want to reassure you that our commitment to social inclusion will only increase.

Our ongoing N500 billion Special Intervention Programme continues to target these vulnerable groups, through the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and social housing scheme.

To institutionalize these impactful programmes, we created the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which shall consolidate and build on our achievements to date. To the beneficiaries of these programmes, I want to reassure you that our commitment to social inclusion will only increase.

Our population growth rate remains amongst the highest in the world, presenting both challenges as well as opportunities. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we provide adequate resources to meet the basic needs of our teeming youth.

Accordingly, we shall continue to invest in education, health, water and sanitation, as well as food security, to ensure that their basic needs are met, while providing them with every opportunity to live peaceful, prosperous and productive lives.

FIGHTING CORRUPTION AND RESTORING GOOD GOVERNANCE:

On fighting corruption, our institutional reforms to enforce the Treasury Single Account policy, introduce the Whistle-blowers’ Initiative, expand the coverage of the Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System as well as the Government Integrated Management Information System have saved billions of Naira over the last four years, and deterred the rampant theft and mismanagement of public funds that have plagued our public service.

The Ministry of Justice, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will continue to address this menace. We are determined to ensure that transparency and good governance are institutionalized in public service.

We must commit to installing a culture of Good Governance in all we do. This Administration has fought against corruption, by investigating and prosecuting those accused of embezzlement and the misuse of public resources. We have empowered teams of prosecutors, assembled detailed databases of evidence, traced the proceeds of crimes and accelerated the recovery of stolen funds.

Furthermore, we partnered with our friends abroad to combat tax evasion, smuggling, terrorism and illicit financial flows. In June 2018, I assented to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, to provide a domestic legal framework for obtaining international assistance in criminal matters.

This measure has already strengthened our law enforcement agencies in obtaining evidence, investigating suspects and facilitating the recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of property implicated as proceeds of crime.

An example is the US$300 million recently identified as part of the Abacha money-laundering case, working closely with the Government of the United States of America. The Federal Ministry of Justice is working with the US Department of Justice to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding to expedite the repatriation of these funds.

The P & ID Arbitral Award has underscored the manner in which significant economic damage has been caused by the past activities of a few corrupt and unpatriotic Nigerians.

The policies that we are putting in place today are to ensure such criminal and unpatriotic acts do not go without consequences. Our renewed partnership with the 9th National Assembly will facilitate the swift passage of enabling laws that will institutionalise these anti-corruption efforts in our criminal justice system.

In this connection, I call upon our States to intensify their own efforts to instil greater fiscal transparency and accountability. And to ensure greater fiscal efficiency and optimum use of our very scarce resources.

The blight of Corruption is fighting back. Nevertheless, this is a battle that we shall see through and this is a war, which we shall win by the Grace of God.

I will also call upon all Nigerians, from every walk of life, to combat Corruption at every turn. By choosing to question and confront corrupt practices, by reporting unethical practices or through whistleblowing. Together, we can overcome corruption and will no longer be a country defined by corruption.

Fellow Nigerians, let me reiterate my call for unity across our dear nation.

Nigeria will emerge from our present challenges stronger and more resilient than ever – but only if all of us join hands to entrench Good Governance, foster Inclusive Economic Development, and defend and protect our Nation from all those who would wish us ill.

I thank you most sincerely and wish you a Happy Independence Anniversary.

May God bless you all, and may He continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

#NigeriaAt59: Donald Trump Sends ‘Strong Message’ To Buhari

Donald Trump, the President of the United State of America (US), has written President Muhammadu Buhari to congratulate him on Nigeria’s 59th independence day celebration.

Africa News24 (an24) reports that the content of the letter was released to the media by the United States (US) Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria on Monday, September 30.

It reads: “On behalf of the American people, I extend our warmest greetings and congratulate you on the 59th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence.

“Nigeria is among our strongest partners in Africa. We share common goals of expanding trade and growing our economic relationship.

“We are allies in the global battle against terrorism, and we want to see Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa driven out of the region and other insurgencies like them dismantled.

“The United States welcomes efforts by your administration to diversify opportunities for your talented, creative, and hardworking people to the benefit of both our countries, Africa and the world.

“I am pleased that following our meeting last year, our Vice Presidents are also building on our longstanding history of cooperation. I wish the people of Nigeria continued success as you mark another year of independence.”

Bayelsa State Speaker,Tonye Isenah Impeached, New Speaker Announced

Embattled Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Tonye Emmanuel Isenah, has been controversially impeached and replaced with the lawmaker representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 2, Monday Obolo.

Africa News24 (an24) recalls that Bayelsa State House of Assembly was on Monday invaded by some suspected hoodlums who fired warning shots into the air, throwing the whole chamber into a state of confusion before fleeing the legislative chamber with the mace.

Shortly after security personnel deployed the assembly brought the situation under control, journalists were ordered out of the chamber, as the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Abraham Nigobere took over proceedings in the absence of the speaker who left with some members of the house.

But a media Aide to Isenah, Ranami Afagha, said the impeachment of his boss would not stand as it was done against the standing rules of the House.

Afagha said the mace of the House was violently taken away by thugs, adding that since the symbol of authority was not in the House, activities of those who purportedly removed his boss were illegal and unconstitutional.

“Those who don’t want peace said they removed speaker without the presence of the mace… So, my boss still remains the Speaker,” he said.

Independence Day: Atiku Charges Nigerians @59

Former Vice President and 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar has spoken on the occasion of Nigeria’s 59th independence celebration.

Atiku in the statement made on Monday, congratulated the nation and its citizens on the occasion of another independence anniversary celebration.

In his statement, he said it would be wrong to say all is well with Nigeria, but was, however, quick to note that all hope is not lost, calling on citizens to work, hope and pray for a better Nigeria.

The full statement reads:

“On October 1, 1960, our nation’s Founding Fathers could never have fathomed that 59 years after birthing the largest black nation on earth, we would be facing a situation where we do not have a free press, our judiciary being under attack, and our youths and activists, who should ordinarily be the future of Nigeria, would be facing the very real threat of arrest and intimidation should they speak out about the state of the nation.”

“My dear citizens of Nigeria, I could go with the flow and the cliche and say all is well with Nigeria, but as the late Chinua Achebe once wrote, “when an adult is in the house, the she-goat is not left to suffer the pain of parturition on its tether”.

“I could call for prayers, as others would indeed call for today. I could also call on Nigerians to show more understanding, as indeed many have said in the past and will undoubtedly say again today. But I am mindful of the fact that the time for rhetoric has long since passed and now is the time for all lovers of Nigeria to take concrete steps to aid Nigeria’s progress, by not just praying and showing understanding, but also to take democratic action to ensure that the ideals of our founding fathers – Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress – are not set aside on the altar of tyranny.”

“All is not well when judges are persecuted for enforcing the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens. All is not well when Nigeria is now officially the world headquarters for extreme poverty and out of school children, yet the cost of maintaining those in government continues to grow, while the needs of the governed are not being met. And certainly, all is not well when the media cannot freely express itself without the fear that those who wield the big stick would use it on them for saying things as they are.”

“So, rather than just call for prayers today, I am calling on all Nigerians to believe in Nigeria’s betterment, to work for Nigeria’s betterment, and to insist that no one in Nigeria, no matter how highly placed, shall be bigger than the laws of our land.”

“It is not all gloom and doom, however. There is still hope. Much hope. I took time to listen to a recent remark made by the Emir of Kano, HRM Muhammed Sanusi II about why we need to pay more attention to the issue of girl-child education. It is an age-long truism that women are the teachers of a nation. I make bold to say that the greatness of our country, Nigeria has much to do with how well we educate how children, especially the girl-child. My commendation goes to Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State for leading the way by massively investing in public education.”

“I also specifically want to cite the example of Chief Allen Onyeama and his public spiritedness which saw him offer relief to Nigerian citizens who were victims of the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.”

“By repatriating hundreds of Nigerians back home, at his cost, Mr. Onyeama and Air Peace, have revived hope in the Nigeria of our founding fathers’ dream. I would like to quote Mr. Onyeama. When the first plane of repatriated Nigerian citizens landed at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Mr. Onyeama said:

“When I stepped inside the aircraft to welcome them, they mobbed me and started singing the Nigerian national anthem, there was nobody there singing about separation, they felt proud to be Nigerian, they rose in unison, that drew tears from me.”

“You see, when we put Nigeria first, we not only revive the Nigerian Dream, we also revive Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress, which were the ideals that our founding fathers had in mind when they came together to put forward this new and independent nation 59 years ago on October 1, 1960.”

“Nigeria belongs to all of us and we all have a role to play in making our nation great. Nigeria should be the beacon of hope, democracy and freedom, to not only the African continent but to the black diaspora the world over. And to ensure that this becomes the case, we all have a duty to support and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And this we must do, so help us God.”

“And it is on this note that I wish all Nigerians a happy Independence Day. May God bless all of us and may God bless Nigeria.”

#RevolutionNow: Court Remands Sowore In DSS Custody

Justice Ijeoma Ojuwku of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, ordered that Omoyele Sowore be remanded in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), pending the hearing of his bail application on 3rd October 2019.

Recall that Sowore pleaded not guilty to a seven-count charge of fraud, treason, money laundering and cyberstalking President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking on the bail application, the representative of the lead defense counsel, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), urged the court to allow Sowore to be allowed to continue with the bail earlier granted him by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on September 24.

But the judge said since the bail earlier granted Sowore was not predicated on the charges on which he was arraigned on Monday, a fresh bail had to be granted to him. She added that if she would have to grant them fresh bail, it had to be based on the formal written formal bail application and not oral.

She directed them to file formal bail application and then adjourned hearing till Friday.

Meanwhile, some Department of State Services (DSS) officials were seen forcefully dragging Omoyele Sowore in court earlier today as he was stopped from addressing the press.

RRS Arrests Five Real Estate Scammers

A five-member gang of real estate scammers, who were about to fraudulently lease out someone else’s duplex in Lekki Phase 2 to a house seeker for a sum of N4.5 million were on Wednesday, arrested by the operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) at the point of exchange of money and keys.
The gang, which consist of; Abolade Oladimeji (43), Ademola Ayo (45), Emmanuel Fabiyi (65), Ademola Hakeem (49) and Sunday Ayodele 52-years were arrested in Lekki Phase 2, after almost sealing the deal for the leasing of someone else’s duplex to one Mr. Obi (not real name).
The suspects all of whom are real estate agents living in border towns of Lagos and Ogun had pretended to be agent of the duplex. To expand their dragnet, the suspects had advertised the property on jiji.com with a total lease package for a year put at N4.5 million.
According to the leader of the gang, Ademola Hakeem, he had been using his knowledge of computer to post for sale and lease on various websites non-existing landed property, apartments and buildings. He added that they lure unsuspecting publics with attractive prices.
In his confessional statement to the police, Hakeem disclosed that in early September, he posted a vacancy of a 4-bedroom duplex in Lekki Phase 2 which attracted so many people amongst whom was one Mr. Obi.
“Immediately he called me through the contact on the advertisement, I knew he was genuine. I mobilized my colleagues and allocated roles to each of them to make the deal seamless. Abolade Oladimeji conducted himself as the estate lawyer. He discussed at length with our client on the legal angle as well as visitation before payment”, he stated.
“Ademola Ayo was in charge of taking client on house or land inspection. Emmanuel Fabiyi, the eldest among the team played the role of a principal agent and sometimes acted as site engineer while Sunday Ayodele assisted Fabiyi to make him look like a big man who is well groomed and seasoned in the business”, he explained.
“After the inspection, Mr Obi requested to pay us with a cheque. Initially, we rejected as our mode of payment is through bank transfer. This is to avoid too much contact as we have dedicated account owners who connive with various teams of fraud syndicates that receive deposits into their accounts and collect 30% of the proceed. After much deliberation on the mode of payment, we agreed to collect the cheque.”
According to sources, Obi was trying to dot the i’s and cross the t’s of the lease when along the line he suspected something fishy. “He did a little research which took him to the real landlord of the estate. Together, they played along with the fraudsters while a police team was briefed on the development”, the source added.
It was further revealed that the Decoy Team of the RRS ambushed the fraudsters and arrested the five of them at the various positions at the venue of cheque collection in Lekki Phase 2.
According to Emmanuel Fabiyi, popularly called Baba, “my age has been so instrumental in the various scams we’ve perpetrated. Unsuspecting victims get convinced that a man of my age wouldn’t be a scammer. This make them want to do business with us and part with their hard earned money for land purchases, rent or lease of properties”.
Baba disclosed that the police made them repay N3.2 million in one of their recent scams. He added that the gang had been involved in many successful property scams both in Lagos and Ogun State.
While pleading never to return to business if allowed to go, he stated that his family had warned him not to get involved in any fraudulent deals again. He lamented being a disgrace to his wife and children as a father.
“Am a shame to my family as an elder in church and a grandpa. My children warned me to desist from fraud after I was arrested last year but I didn’t listen to them”, he stated.
He added that the N4.5 million was to be shared in the following manner; “the account owner collects 30%, Hakeem, the bringer of the deal collects 30%, Abolade 10%, Ayo, 10%, Baba, 20% and shares 5% with Sunday Ayodele.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu while reacting to the incident advised Lagosians to be more careful while dealing with estate/property agents and always request to see the owner of the property, and also verify his/her identity before parting with their hard earned money.

Independence Day: We Are Better Together As Nigerians – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejoiced with all Nigerians on the country’s 59th Independence Anniversary urges citizens to  be wary of those who hide under religion, politics, tribe and sundry groupings to turn us against one another.

Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, publicity secretary of ruling party issued a special message appealing for unity of all ethnic and religious groups:

“We remember and salute our founding fathers who fought for the independence of our great country and also members of our Armed Forces, many of whom have paid the supreme sacrifice to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity and keep our country united.

“As a nation, we are better together than we are apart. Hence, we must be wary of those who hide under religion, politics, tribe and sundry groupings to turn us against one another. Despite our perceived differences, our strength and progress depends on our ability to harness our rich diversity.

“In spite of the inherited and our current challenges, President Muhammadu Buhari administration has made commendable strides on so many fronts, most significantly the fight against graft, diversifying and revamping the economy, curbing insurgency and emerging crimes, promoting positive values in our national life, strengthening our democratic institutions and processes and achieving a respectable international standing.

“Finally, we admonish well meaning Nigerians to engage only in acts that would heal our fault lines by promoting ethnic and religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence, which would engender Nigeria’s growth and development.

“As Africa’s most populous nation, we can do much better, given our natural resources and potential. The President Buhari administration is committed to building on and affirming our Giant of Africa status.

“Happy 59th Independence Day to all Nigerians.”

Minimum Wage: Buhari Gives Labour Minister Fresh Directive

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, to take swift action on negotiation with the organised labour on the new N30,000 minimum wage consequential adjustment.

Africa News24 (an24) reports that President Buhari gave the directive on Friday, September 27 at the 2019 Nigeria Civil Service Week celebration dinner and award night held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The President, who was being represented at the occasion by the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr Tukur Ngawa, said there was the urgent need to conclude the negotiation to allow for the full implementation of the New Minimum Wage Act which was recently signed into law.

In his address read by Ngawa at the Nigeria Civil Service Week celebration dinner and award night, the President directed the Minister to expedite action on the negotiation with the NLC.

President Buhari: “I wish to direct the honourable Minister of Labour and Employment to expedite action on the consequential adjustment negotiation of Minimum Wage. We have also approved the constitution of the Presidential Committee on salaries and allowances for the civil servants.”

“We must, therefore, resolve to work together as a team in order to implement these policies, which among others, are targeted at creating jobs for the teeming youth population, instilling discipline and accountability and ensuring healthy growth of the economy and infrastructural development as well as the renewed commitment to fight corruption,” he said.

Fayemi, Akeredolu Behind Fake Osinbajo 2023 Campaign Rally In Akure – Group

The Southwest Good Cause Groups, a coalition of civil society and ethnic organizations in the Southwest has accused Ekiti and Ondo state governors, Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Akeredolu of sponsoring a tardy protest/campaign in Akure on Thursday supposedly in the name of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to cause disaffections in the presidency.

The group in a statement made available to Africa News24 (an24)  and signed  by its Coordinator, Dr Eniola Aragbaye noted with profound distress the recent schemes of the two Governors in promoting their divisive agenda in Oodua land against the Vice President of Nigeria.
Arabgaye said aside from the two governors egghead roles in promoting schism in the Presidency in the last few weeks, ”we note their roles in sponsoring a tardy protest/campaign supposedly in the name of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The group said the governors using some faceless political elements in their states attempted to portray the Vice President as a desperate politician ahead of 2023 politics.

“Their use of these sponsored campaign supposedly to support an ambition for 2023 which the Vice President has categorically not asserted nor indicated interests in, as a loyal deputy to his principal just at the precipice of a second term, is designed to sow seeds of distrust between the two gentlemen.”

We denounce this behaviour unbecoming of good stewards of public funds, and note that in recent times these two governors have had internal issues in their states relating to security but have rather chosen to be busy bodies in Abuja matters.

Let it be known that as responsible citizens of Oodua Nation and Nigeria, our group condemns these acts of subterfuge sponsored by outside elements and grandstanding by these under performing Governors. We will also not stand by while the Vice President, an illustrious son , is rubbished on National Stage by the floundering Duo.