My emergence as Deputy Senate President is my Crime – Ekweremadu

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

ABUJA — DEPUTY Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, again, yesterday, reiterated his innocence over the charges of forgery of the Senate Standing Rules brought against him by the federal government. 

He said his only offence was his emergence as the Deputy Senate President against the wishes of the “powers that be”. Ekweremadu, who according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, spoke when members of Enugu State Economic Advisory Committee paid him a solidarity visit at his residence in Enugu, insisted that his hands were clean. Ekweremadu, who is also a member of the  Economic Advisory Committee set up by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the inception of his administration, reiterated his commitment to the principles of the separation of power, independence of the legislature, and growth of the nation’s democracy.

He said: “I am, indeed, humbled by your solidarity. As they say, the true test of a man is not where he stands in the time of comfort; it is where he stands when there is crisis. Many people may not take this step of faith because of the situation we found ourselves in the country; some may be afraid of their liberty and afraid of any reprisals. But you have stepped out to come and show solidarity and ask questions in a matter concerning one of your sons. “Let me start by saying that I reinstate my innocence; that I committed no offence or forged any documents; and non of the accused persons to the best of my knowledge committed any offence, let alone forging any document. Let me also say that no senator accused me, President of the Senate or the other people of committing any offence.” No senator or bureaucrat accused us of forging any document. “Again, as a lawyer, I know what is called Proof of Evidence, that is the statement of witnesses who are going to confront you with the offence for which you are being charged. “I was served, and I have read this document (court process) from the first page to the last page; no witness said any of us committed any offence. Our only offence is that Senator Bukola Saraki and myself emerged as President of the Senate and Deputy President of the Senate. Some people found it unacceptable, and that is why we are being charged, not that we committed any offence”. Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Monsignor Prof. Obiora Ike, said members were in Ekweremadu’s residence to get his own side of the case as regards what is happening at the National Assembly, and thanked him for granting them audience. “One more thing, our people stand behind you, our people believe in you and our people are praying for you; and when you are in public service, there is always trouble, but when you are forthright, you will always triumph”, he said. Prof. Ike stressed: “We respect the principles of democracy, which speak of separation of powers among the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature. In the year 1625, Montesquieu De Baron, a French philosopher spoke about the separation of powers as a guarantee of true freedom; because he believed that despotism and dictatorship will lead to anarchy, they will lead to lack of freedom. But if you separated powers, and regulated them by law, then you had a stable society. And that was in Europe at a time of Monarchism to the enlightenment.”

Manitoba Heads to EFCC over alleged N13.8bn fraud courtesy of Melaye

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ABUJA—Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, on the platform of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has dragged Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Ltd, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged diversion of N13.8 billion and abuse of Public Procurement Act.

In a petition, dated July 28, 2016, submitted to the EFCC, weekend, and received by the agency’s Head of Media and Public Affairs, Osita Nwajah, the senator accused Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Ltd of diversion of funds, economic sabotage, criminal violation and abuse of Public Procurement Act. Melaye, through his organisation, Anti-Corruption Network, which he founded to assist in fighting corruption in the country, said his petition against the foreign company was borne out of objectives of the organisation’s desire to ensure that economic and financial crimes in the country were not only duly investigated but also prosecuted. In the petition to the anti-graft agency, Melaye, who is the Director of the anti-crime organisation, said investigations carried out uncovered several economic and financial crimes committed by Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Ltd and also violations of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, maladministration in governance and outright disregard of best practices in the TCN by the company. The senator, who appealed to the EFCC to cause an investigation into the activities of Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Ltd and prosecute all offences with particular attention to market fund and operations, pursuant to Section 5 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, accused Manitoba of fraudulently diverting funds in 2015, meant for trace maintenance. He also accused the company of involvement in splitting of contract to avoid the TCN Tenders Board and Ministerial Tenders Board ‘“as observed in the contract of repairs of telecommunications equipment and power stations:330kv substations   (S1 and and S2) which amounts to N247,061,796 and N248,859,350.00 respectively.” “The award of contract verbatim at the cost of N893,000,000.00 for the repair of telecommunications equipment and remote terminal units associated with PHCN (legacy)   power stations and TCN 330kv substations to various sums which were paid for, but never executed. ‘“Failure by the company to ensure probity, accountability and transparency in the management of TCN, as no audit has been conducted on the accounts of TCN since assumption of management by the company. ‘’This is in contravention of the terms of contract signed between the company and the Bureau of Public Enterprise and this has no doubt led to many irregularities in the market operations sector, “he said. Melaye called on the EFCC to advise the government to debar Manitoba for the several contraventions of provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, while acting as managers of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

ITS THE OFFICIAL UNION OF ABIDEMI SAMUEL AND EJIROGHENE ROSEMARY

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

It will be a thing of joy as Abidemi Samuel gets joined together with Princess Ejiroghene Rosemary on the 27th of August 2016 at the Faith Baptist Church in Warri, Delta State by 11:00am. Reception follows immediately at St. Micheal Catholic Multipurpose Hall DSC Township 1. 

 

It could be recalled that the duo have been dating for 4 years, as reported by a post on the bride's facebook profile. The duo call on all friends and family to attend the wedding as they make their relationship official. 

 

BREAKING: JAMB withdraws 2016 admission lists sent to varsities, others

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has withdrawn the list of recommended candidates for admission earlier sent to the tertiary institutions, the Board said in a statement on Sunday.

“This is to ensure that the University Senate perform its statutory responsibility of conducting the selection of candidates and refer it to JAMB for confirmation in line with the admission criteria of merit, catchment and educationally disadvantaged states as directed by the Hon Minister of Education at the policy committee meeting,” Fabian Benjamin, the organisation’s head of media, said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.

“The earlier list was sent to help fast track the process of admission so as to allow other tiers of institutions also conduct their admission. 

“Candidates should not panic because this is part of the process of the 2016 admission exercise. JAMB regrets any inconvenience this decision would have caused the tertiary institutions

“The Board regrets any inconvenience it’s proactive step would have caused the tertiary institutions.”

SHERIFF CONDOLES WITH ISAIAH ESIOVWA OVER FATHER’S DEATH PA GODWIN ESIOVWA

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

SHERIFF CONDOLES WITH  ISAIAH ESIOVWA OVER FATHER'S DEATH PA GODWIN ESIOVWA 

Hon Sheriff Commiserate with his core loyalist Mr Isaiah Esiovwa (SA to the Delta State governor on Security)over the demise of His Father Pa Godwin Esiovwa.

Hon Sheriff described the late Pa Godwin Esiovwa as a very humble man worthy of emulations.He said Pa Godwin Esiovwa lived a near faultless life since knowing him.He called on Mr Isaiah and other Children Papa left behind to be consoled by the fact that their late Father lived a good life and also take a clue from the life He lived.

Hon Sheriff promise to stand by the family to ensure a befitting burial is given to Pa Godwin who lived for over a hundred years.

May papa Soul Rest in Peace.

Budget Padding: Jibrin writes EFCC, wants Speaker Dogara, others arrested

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

The whistle blowing lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, says he has written a petition to Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies to investigate his allegations against the House leadership.

Mr. Jibrin, in a series of posts on his Twitter handle, said he had been granted extra security because he had become a “key witness” in the investigation and potential trial of the accused lawmakers.

The former chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee said his offices were also protected by officials to secure documents relating to the case.

“On the request of my lawyers, the security agencies have promptly protected the appropriation secretariat, my office and provided maximum protection to Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin as the key witness during prosecution in the matter,” Mr. Jibrin wrote in third person.

The lawmaker from Kano State said a petition he wrote to authorities against Mr. Dogara, his deputy Yusuf Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Doguwa, Minority Leader Leo Ogor, and others was dispatched yesterday.

“The case against them ranges from corrupt enrichment, abuse of office and public trust, living above means, massive movement of funds in budget,” he said.

Other lawmakers reportedly mentioned in the petition include, Herma Hembe, Zakari Mohammed, Chike Okafor, Dan Asuquo, Mohammed Bago, Haliru Jika, Jagaba Adams and Babanle Ila, who all head various committees in the House.

The Speaker and the House have denied any wrongdoing and accused Mr. Jibrin of being bitter because he was removed from his position.

 

 

On Saturday, Mr. Jibrin said he had confidence in the fact that appropriate agencies would soon arrest Mr. Dogara and others he mentioned in his allegations, adding that the Speaker should stop blaming extra forces for his woes.

“This is a defining moment in the struggle to cleanse the House, first time a member will drag 12 of his colleagues to the anti-graft agencies,” he said.

“This has opened a rare opportunity for the anti-corruption agencies to decisively use this as a case study to send a powerful signal.

“Speaker Dogara has resorted to blame of so-called external forces, are those forces responsible for moving FG projects to his farm?

“I am confident that the EFCC and ICPC will effect the arrest of Speaker Dogara and the 11 others to commence prosecution in earnest.

“I will share with you the contents of my petition to the EFCC and ICPC in due course and shall return with more shocking revelations.”

Mr. Dogara’s spokesman, Turaki Hassan, rejected PREMIUM TIMES’ calls seeking his reaction to the “petition” and the closure of the Appropriation Committee office in the House of Representatives.

SSS has no business in budget padding scandal – House Minority Leader

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The Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, on Saturday opposed the involvement of the State Security Service, SSS, in the budget padding crisis in the parliament.

Mr. Ogor said the police and the two anti-graft agencies, EFCC and ICPC, were more appropriate to investigate the scandal.

Mr. Ogor’s contention followed the announcement by a former chairman of House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, that he had petitioned security agencies on his allegations that the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and other lawmakers padded the 2016 budget.

Mr. Jibrin said following his petition, the secretariat of the House Appropriation Committee was shut by agents of the SSS.

He began working to oust Mr. Dogara from office a day after the Speaker announced his removal as chairman of Appropriation Committee on allegations that he committed serial betrayal of trust. 

Mr. Jibrin said he had confidence in the fact that his petition would prompt appropriate agencies to arrest Mr. Dogara and others he mentioned in his allegations, including Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Doguwa and Mr. Ogor.

But Mr. Ogor, in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday, said Mr. Jibrin was wrong to involve the SSS, but added that he would work to clear his name. 

“The right authority to investigate this matter is the Nigeria Police and not the State Security Service,” Mr. Ogor said. “But because my name is involved, I would go to any extent to clear my name.”

 

 

“The internal security of the nation is the function of the SSS. This is clearly the work of the Nigeria Police. EFCC can also investigate the matter.” 

Mr. Ogor also refuted Mr. Jibrin’s allegation that he was living above his means, saying “it is very insulting for anybody to tell me I’m living above my means because I live in Apo Legislative Quarters for 14 years.”

“Is it because I’m not living in Maitama or Asokoro?” Mr. Ogor said.

Mr. Ogor urged the public to dismiss Mr. Jibrin’s allegation that he colluded with Mr. Dogara and others to manipulate line items in the budget in order to fraudulently award public funds to themselves.

He said Nigerians should ask Mr. Jibrin why he presided over a “mutilated budget” as the chair of Appropriation Committee.

“The president said ‘I won’t sign until I see the details.'” he said. “So, the question you’re supposed to ask yourself is, why did the president refuse to sign the budget? Because the budget was mutilated. 

“When the president returned the budget back the budget was now referred to the National Assembly. The National Assembly set up an ad hoc committee to now restore the budget from that mutilated nature.”

Mr. Ogor said he had no influence over budget decisions in the House. 

“Do I have access to appropriation? For Christ sake, let all of us grow up,” Mr. Ogor said. “Somebody is busy lying there and everybody has accepted.”

Some Ministers are squatting and living in conditions equal to that of most Nigerians- Rotimi Amaechi

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

 

During an interview with Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said some ministers are currently squatting in Abuja, and live like regular Nigerians.
Amaechi, who recently launched the Abuja-Kaduna railway line said:

“Listen to me; do you know that ministers, as we are talking now, some of them are squatting? We are living in conditions equal to that of most Nigerians”.

He also said that with the construction of the rail line, life would be easier for Nigerians and accommodation more affordable. He added that Nigerians can now live in Kaduna and work in Abuja, while paying less for accommodation in Kaduna.

He said:

“For those who don’t have houses, they’re able to rent houses at a cheap cost in Kaduna as against that of Abuja. It also impacts the savings; you have disposable income in your hand. It also impacts on agriculture, agricultural produce, you can transport easily and it will impact on cost of production because at that point, you’re able to move the cargo at a cheaper cost.

“And then whatever comes out of production, will be sold to the people at a cheaper cost. So basically, it has economic importance that would at the end of the day, impact on the socio-economic entities of Kaduna and Abuja.”