City Voice Newspaper - Lagos News, Nigeria News and world news Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:29:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 N3bn fraud allegation: CSO gives Oyo-Ita 72 hours to resign or face mass protest Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:29:24 +0000 Emmanuel Afonne

A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Independent Public Service Watch (IPSW), has called for the resignation of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita following the allegation of N3billion fraud leveled against her.

The CSO in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja by its Executive Secretary, Mr Okpanachi Jacob, vowed to commence nationwide protest against her if she fails to resign within 72 hours.

It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating Oyo-Ita over alleged N3billion contract scam, abuse of duty tour allowance, money laundering, among others.

The group said it would henceforth take legal action against the likes of Oyo-Ita to ensure that public servants facing corruption trial vacate their seats pending the outcome of their investigation.

“As stakeholders in the Nigeria project, we shall henceforth go all out including seeking legal means to ensure that public servants facing corruption trial vacate their seats pending the outcome.

“We hereby issue a 72- hour ultimatum to Mrs Oyo-Ita to resign from office barring which we shall massively mobilise our civil society partners to picket wherever Oyo-Ita is.”

Jacob stressed that Oyo-Ita ought to have resigned her position pending the outcome of investigation, as all efforts to reform the civil service would amount to nothing if she remained in office with the level of the allegation against her.

He wondered why public servants facing investigation for corruption in the country still find it convenient to remain in office.

“It is worrisome and unacceptable that the Head of Civil Service of the Federation that is central to the fight against corruption is involved in corrupt practices.

“There is no way the service can be reformed when its head is enmeshed with series of allegations of corruption.

“More painful is the fact that a single Nigerian and a woman of Oyo-Ita’s calibre who by all means looks very pious, will be in custody of such mind numbing sum of money in the midst of the abject poverty faced by civil servants and Nigerians in general.

“Preliminary findings by the anti-corruption agency confirmed that about N3billion has been traced to the Head of Service which came in through proxy companies.

“Also, about N600million has been traced to the account of one of her key aides who has been unable to give any justifiable explanation for it,” Jacob said. (NAN)

FG explains reasons behind ‘repatriation’ of El ZakZaky from India Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:22:42 +0000 The Federal Government on Friday explained the circumstances that led to the “repatriation” of the leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheik Ibrahim El-zakzaky, from India.

Mrs. Grace Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said that “acts of misconduct exhibited by El-Zakzaky in India necessitated his repatriation”.

“First of all, it was El-Zakzaky himself that chose the Medanta Hospital in India for his treatment; the Federal Government gave him the option to chose any hospital in the world and he chose Medanta.

“The public may note that El-Zakzaky’s actions in India demonstrated malicious intents that were capable of embarrassing the governments of Nigeria and India.

“With total disrespect and complete loss of decorum for international procedures, El-Zakzaky, while in India, initiated contacts with a team of lawyers, led by Ali Zia, Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh. His aim was to seek asylum in that country.

“He also contacted some Non-Governmental Organisations such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission and other Shiite groups in pursuant of the goal.

“It is important to note that if an Indian court had granted El-Zakzaky asylum, it would have violated the Nigerian court order that granted him permission to travel for medical treatment,” Gekpe said.

According to her, El-Zakzaky used the opportunity of being in India to attempt to internationalise his cause by mobilising the right groups.

She added that the most unfortunate and embarrassing aspect was his quest to be relocated to a five-star hotel to receive visitors instead of being admitted in the hospital as a sick person he claimed to be.

Gekpe explained further that in spite of his misconduct, El-Zakzaky’s wife went further to antagonise the Indian and Nigerian security agents and accused them of killing her children.

“These acts were aimed at winning international sympathy as well as disparaging the Nigerian Government.

“Having subordinated the quest for medical treatment to other ulterior motives, it became obvious that El-Zakzaky was focused on realising some sinister motives, thus the decision to return him to Nigeria,” Gekpe said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Nigerian Government and its relevant agencies took steps to comply with a Kaduna High court order that granted El-Zakzaky leave to travel to India for medical treatment.

The man, who is facing an 8-count charge bordering on homicide, had been in detention since 2015.

But the government, in a statement on Wednesday, Aug. 14, said that El-Zakzaky, while in India, began to display ulterior motives against laid down procedures by requesting that his International Passport be handed over to him, a request security agents ignored.

The statement said that the situation became worse when the cleric refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks.

Lawyer docked for posting ‘fake news ‘on Edo University on facebook Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:19:59 +0000 By Peterson Ibi

For allegedly publishing fake news about Edo University Iyamho on his facebook account, a 59-year-old lawyer, Ogedengbe Oiseoruemi Ayodeji, was on Friday arraigned before an Oredo Magistrate Court.

Oiseoruemi was arraigned on a four-count charge punishable under sections​ 517,375, 517 and 59(1) of the criminal code of the defunct Bendel state, also applicable in Edo state.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecuting counsel, Thomas Ojo, told the court that on June 22, 2019, the accused and others now at large, unlawfully published a defamatory matter on his Facebook account with the name Ogedengbe Oisoruemi Ayodeji Uduanghe, titled press statement on Friday 21, June 2019, that NUC revokes Edo University Iyamho’s operating licences, with the intent to injure the reputation of Edo University, Iyamho.

The charge sheet reads in part; “That you and others now at large, did conspired among yourseles to publish fake news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public, thereby committing the offence punishable under section 517 of the Criminal Code.”

The defense team, led by Peter Uwadiae Esq., pleaded with the court to grant bail to the accused on self-recognition.

Uwadiae, who led 27 other lawyers in defence of the accused, told the court that the accused is a legal practitioner and would not jump bail if granted.

He added that the Benin Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association will ensure that he attend trial.

The presiding Magistrate, I .U. Iyoha, granted the accused bail on self recognition.

He adjourned the case till September 3, 2019 for continuation of hearing.

Speaking with journalists at the court, the Public Relations Officer of Edo University Iyamho, Betcher Ekhosihun, reaffirmed that the institution is owned by Edo state government.

He noted that the institution does not need an operating license but recognition by the National University Commission.

He however cauntioned people against publishing fake and unverified news in social media as the law will definitely catch up with them.

“The issue of establishing university in Nigeria is on concurrent list and that gives power to both the federal and state government to establish university. Once that is done, they write to the NUC, that will issue recognition to the university and Edo University which is the 41 state university has that recognition,” Ekhosihun said.

We recovered phones used to plan attempted Benin prison jailbreak from prison officers – police Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:12:52 +0000 By Peterson Ibi/ Benin

Edo State Police Command says on Friday it recovered from prisons officers, two phones allegedly used by prison inmates to communicate with suspects implicated in the attempted jailbreak at the Oko Prisons, in Benin.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. DanMallam Mohammed, disclosed this while parading suspects arrested in connection with the incident.

This claim has however been denied by the State Command of the Nigerian Correctioner Service.

The suspects arrested in connection with the jailbreak are; Amos Isiky (35), Oheneme Kingsley (40) and Raphael Ebisin (34).

According to Mohammed, “their intention [suspects] was to use dynamites and improvises explosive devices (IUD), to blow up the facility with a view to liberate some of their gang members detained in the prison since December, 2017.”

“One Nokia 3310 and FERO Android phone with MTN numbers 0810 104 1817 and 0816 874 4240 respectively, were recovered from Prison Officers.”

Also recovered from the suspects were one long-barrel gun, and an Infinix phone.

When contacted, the image maker of the Nigerian Correctioner Service, Aminu Suleman, said no officer of the Service was arrested in connection with phones

“That is not correct. The Commissioner of Police cannot say that phones were recovered from officers of the prisons, because, phones recovered from those arrested and all the operation is a joint intelligence and collaboration to ensure that those who were involved were arrested.

“No prison officer has been arrested. Phones recovered from those who were arrested are not from prison officers. The phones were recovered in the operation with efforts from Nigeria Prisons Service. Phones that were used both by the…em…used for communication were recovered.

“The suspects were having contacts with the inmates. There are various means of communication. You know that inmates are allowed to have visitation from their relatives, that is permitted.”

Appeals Court dismisses Labour Party’s petition against Dapo Abiodun’s election victory Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:07:03 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State on Friday dismissed the appeal filed by Labour Party against the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun as Governor of Ogun State at the last governorship election.

The LP went to appeal after losing at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta.

The Tribunal panel, led by Justice Ali Halilu, dismissed the LP’s case based on the provisions of paragraph 46(3) of the Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended.

The Appeal was filed by Mrs Modupe Sanyaolu and Labour Party against the Governor, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking the leave of the Tribunal to reverse itself by re-listing the Petition.

The Appeal Court, according to a statement by Governor Abiodun’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin during its ruling, described the Labour Party’s repeated challenge of the Governorship election results that produced Governor Abiodun as lacking merit and outrightly frivolous.

The statement added that the Appeal Court upheld the submission of Abiodun and All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Barrister Wale Abeeb Ajayi that the Governor was duly elected and calling for the invalidation of the poll that returned him could not stand legal requirements for nullification of elections.

Ajayi, counsel to Governor Dapo Abiodun, described the verdict as “victory for democracy. The Appeal like the petition was bound to fail. It was dead on arrival”.

The labour Party, Ajayi added, “did not submit the details of the Deputy Governorship candidate to INEC; failed to raise any complaint before the election and failed to sue INEC before electioneering. How can they now bring up a pre-election matter for adjudication when the election had been won and lost?.

“They also failed to appear at the tribunal on the date fixed for hearing of the frivolous petition on unfounded excuses. The tribunal has done the needful by dismissing the Petition in the first instance. Consequently, the application to relist lacks merits and tribunal rightly refused same.”

Samson Siasia gets FIFA life ban from football Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:02:25 +0000 FIFA has slammed a life ban on former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia. In addition, he has been fined $50,000 for agreeing to ‘the manipulation of matches.’

Siasia was coach of Nigeria between 2010-2011 and for a spell in 2016. He was also coach of Under 20 and Under 23.

FIFA did not state when he committed the infractions, but said the ex-Nigeria international has been notified today.

Siasia is the third African to be banned by FIFA. Former Sierra Leone FA official Abu Bakarr Kabba and former Botswana FA official Mooketsi Kgotlele were suspended in July for five years and for life respectively.

Full Text of Statement:

The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Mr Samson Siasia, a former official of the Nigeria Football Federation, guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

The formal ethics proceedings against Mr Siasia were initiated on 11 February 2019 and stem from an extensive investigation into matches that Mr Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes. This large-scale investigation was conducted by FIFA via its competent departments and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities.

In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Siasia had breached art. 11 (Bribery) of the 2009 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and banned him for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 has been imposed on Mr Siasia.

The decision was notified to Mr Siasia today, the date on which the ban comes into force.

US threatens sanctions following UK release of seized Iranian oil ship Fri, 16 Aug 2019 08:31:40 +0000 The U.S. has expressed its disappointment with the U.K. after a Gibraltar court allowed the release of an Iranian tanker suspected of hauling oil to Syria, and threatened sanctions against ports, banks and anyone else who does business with the ship or its crew, two administration officials said.

The court’s decision Thursday to release the Grace 1 was a missed opportunity and the Trump administration hopes that the U.K. government and authorities in Gibraltar will reconsider, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.

They said the court order rewards Iranian terrorism and Tehran will interpret the action as appeasement.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement Thursday night that the ship “was assisting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by transporting oil from Iran to Syria.

“This could result in serious consequences for any individuals associated with the Grace I.” In April, the Guard Corps was designated a terrorist organization by the Trump administration.

The Grace 1 had been held in Gibraltar after British forces seized it last month on suspicion that it was hauling Iranian crude oil to Syria.

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to block the vessel’s release, but the Gibraltar Supreme Court on Thursday said American authorities hadn’t filed the appropriate legal application.

The two administration officials said the Grace 1 should now be considered a pariah. Anyone that does business with the ship, its crew or its owners, or provides financial transactions or port services to the vessel could be liable for evading U.S. sanctions, the officials said.

They argued that the U.K. should think of the tanker issue in terms of the broader relationship with the U.S., particularly as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government presses forward with departing the European Union and seeks a free-trade agreement with the U.S.

While the people wouldn’t say the release threatens prospects for that deal, they added that the U.K. should ask if it wants to do business with the U.S. or Iran.

Iran said the ship wouldn’t sail to a sanctioned destination and is now rushing to return it to international waters before the U.S. finds a way to prolong its six-week detention.

“In light of the assurances we have received, there are no longer any reasonable grounds for the continued legal detention of the Grace 1 in order to ensure compliance” with European sanctions, the Gibraltar government said in an emailed statement.

EFCC to host Commonwealth anti-corruption management workshop Fri, 16 Aug 2019 08:21:25 +0000 By Peterson Ibi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), will next week host a five-day workshop on “Strategic Management of Anti-Corruption Agencies.”

The event will be hosted in EFCC Academy, Karu, Abuja, from August 19 to 23, 2019, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre (CAACC).

A statement signed by the Acting Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Tony Orilade, said the hosting of the workshop follows EFCC’s agreement with the Botswana-based CCAAC, to host and co-facilitate one of the six trainings of the body in 2019.

The training will avail African anti-corruption agencies, particularly those of the 19-member country organisation the opportunity to gain from EFCC’s wealth of experience in anti-corruption fight.

All anti-corruption agencies in the country will also feature in the workshop.

Founder of the Centre for Value in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi, will present the opening paper, titled; Strategic thinking: Ensuring Relevance of Organisational Strategy and Strategic Planning and Management.”

This will be followed by a presentation titled; “Understanding the Elements of Effective Anti-corruption Strategy,” by the Policy Advisor, Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Roger Koranteng.

Dr. Ada Chidi-Igbokwe, a United Nations Consultant on Anti-corruption, will also deliver a talk on: “PESTLE and SWOT Analysis: Understanding how your Agencies’ Competencies and Shortcomings Translate into Strategic Strengths and Weakness,” as well as “Understanding Key Strategic Issues on Formulating Organisational Values, Goals and Objectives.”

The Commandant of EFCC Academy and former Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Professor Ladi Hamalai, will discuss on “Anti-Corruption Strategy and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals,” while Rasheedat Okoduwa, ICPC’s spokesperson, will speak on “The Role of Effective Communication in the Fight Against Corruption.”

Court to rule on suit seeking to stop ministerial inauguration Fri, 16 Aug 2019 08:16:13 +0000 By Taiye Agbaje

The Federal High Court Abuja will, on Monday, deliver its ruling in a suit, seeking to stop President Muhammadu Buhari from inaugurating the 43 ministerial nominees over the exclusion of an FCT indigene from his cabinet list.

The applicant, Mr Musa Baba-panya, who was also the counsel in the case, had, on Thursday, approached the court with an exparte motion, asking the court to stop the president from going ahead with the inauguration.

In suit number: number: FHC/ABJ/CS/878/19, Baba-panya, who is also an indigene of Karu in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said the president’s action was contrary to an Appeal Court judgment delivered on March 15, 2018.

President Buhari is the 1st defendant while the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) is the 2nd defendant in the case.

Buhari would be inaugurating the 43 ministers-designate earlier confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 21.

The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had, on Aug. 6, said that the inauguration would hold at the Federal Executive Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Baba-panya, who argued that the Appeal Court’s ruling was a compelling order, said it was served on the president through the AGF.

The lawyer, in an originating summons dated Aug. 7 and filed Aug. 8, said that ”the 43 confirmed ministerial appointees now awaiting swearing-in or inauguration as the Federal Executive Council is incomplete, illegal, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”

”The 1st defendant stands in contempt of law and court for his brazen refusal to comply with the tenor of the Abuja Division of Court of Appeal judgment of 15/1/2018 compelling him to the immediate and forthwith appointment off an indigene of FCT, Abuja as minister of the federation,” he said.

Baba-panya, who was in court with another lawyer, Sylvanus Tanko, prayed the court to grant an interim injunction restraining the president from inaugurating the confirmed ministers-designate pending the determination of the motion on notice.

He said allowing the president to go on with his decision would mean that ”he is going to constitute an illegal cabinet.”

According to him, the violation of the FCT indigene’s rights to ministerial representation has been going on since May 29, 1999.

”So it is not a personal issue. All previous presidents have also violated our rights,” he said.

He said despite the fact that President Buhari presently has 43 ministerial-designate, he was yet to meet ”the minimum requirement of the constitution which is at least one minister each from the 36 states including FCT, making a total of 37.”

He said:”if the court would not be inclined to grant the interim injunction order, we have prayed in the alternative for the court to issue an order on the Mr President and the AGF to come and show course why it should not issue an interim injunction.”

He said he had a substantive suit which seeks 12 reliefs and five issues to be determined.

He reminded that efforts had been made since July for the matter to be heard.

The lawyer, however, wanted the court to determine ”whether 1st defendant is an offender of the Oath of Allegiance and Office, and a contemptnor of a valid court judgment and the rule of law.

”Whether 1st defendant is no longer a fit and proper person to continue holding or remain in the office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and if so what consequences?

”Whether damages and costs are not only warranted but same are to be so awarded.”

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, therefore, ordered that the suit should commence during the vacation period of the court.

The judge struck out the initial application restraining the Senate from conducting the confirmation of the ministerial nominees as prayed by the plaintiff and adjourned the matter until Aug. 19 for ruling.

Ogun governor offers employment to 20 graduates who top job portal application Fri, 16 Aug 2019 08:06:10 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta

The Ogun State government has offered 20 unemployed graduates automatic employment into the State’s civil service.

The beneficiaries were selected based on their performance at the aptitude test conducted during the launch of the state’s job portal at the Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.

The event was witnessed by
the Vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and dignitaries across the country.

The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun assured that the job portal will register on a continuous basis unemployed graduates for job opportunities as well as employed graduates for training and workshops.

His words: “The official launching of the Ogun Job Portal, today, is another milestone in the successful implementation of our Administrations Building our Future Together Agenda. Let me state that this job portal will register, on a continuous basis, employed and unemployed youths in the State with a view to providing them jobs and training opportunities suitable for their trade and academic qualifications.

” For those who care, a country with 23.1 percent unemployment rate or 20.93 million young people out of job is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.

”To underscore the severity of this challenge, you all will recall how many of our young people died looking for Immigration jobs in 2014. Also recently, when the Customs Service called for employment, 525,215 applicants applied online for the less that 2,000 vacant position.

”We cannot sit and watch this situation degenerate any further hence this is a way of thinking out of the box. Not all of us will do White Collar jobs and not all White Collar jobs increase GDP”.

On the Job portal, the Governor explained further: ” This Portal will, therefore, provide a platform for readily available and updated information of our graduates and those with vocational skills across the State with the aim of matching them with potential employers, training opportunities, not only within the Public Service but also with the Private Sector, as our partners”.

He stressed that the people of the state would not be short changed in scheme of things.

“I want to assure the citizens and residents of the State that they will not be short-changed. We are preparing a Local Content Bill which will be sent to Ogun State House of Assembly. When this Bill is passed into Law, it will make investors to first look inward to availability of workers in Ogun State and make our youths their primary catchment area when they site their companies in Ogun State” .

The governor also noted that the state government will provide a database to allocate the Ogun State youths to the appropriate sectors where they will be most productive for themselves and the State.

”More significantly and it is my belief that the interface with active industry players would positively shape economic growth by enhancing the capacity of small and growing business.

”My administration is committed to provide a viable platform that gives optimal job opportunities. Our belief is that a gainfully employed citizenry will also contribute in no small measure to the socio-economic development of our dear State.

”We are also working assiduously towards restructuring and reorganizing all sectors of our dear States economy for more opportunities to our people by consciously nurturing their potentials.

”We are also putting a measure in place to prepare and situate our people to fit adequately into all sectors of our dear States economy where we all can individually and collectively aspire for uncommon prosperity.

”Permit me to also emphasize that our dear State is now an investors destination of choice. We now have more industries in our dear State. We should take the advantage to have more of our people employed, employable and as net employers of labour.

”The fact is that, as more industries continue to berth in our dear State, there will be improvement in our trade and commerce, food security, poverty alleviation, and more employment opportunities for our people.

”We are providing a database to allocate our people to the appropriate sectors where they will be most productive for themselves and the State. More significantly and it is my belief that the interface with active industry players would positively shape economic growth by enhancing the capacity of small and growing business”.

Osinbajo, who was the Special Guest of honour, commended the state over the employment of the 20 graduates.

”The governor has really done well, this is part of what a state must ensure in the state, I want commend him for this initiative. I also want to advise other state governors to emulate Dapo Abiodun”.

One of the beneficiaries, who is a serving corps member, Olayode Segun expressed joy, saying that he never knew he could get the opportunity.

”I feel being on top of the world, because am so lucky to be one of the beneficiaries, I was not expecting this, in fact I am so happy, the Ogun State governor has done well, despite the fact am not an Ogun State indigene I still get opportunity here’, he said.