I Never Collected N4bn Bribe from Magu, Osinbajo Petitions IG

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has moved fast to clear his name in the allegation that he collected the sum of N4 billion bribe from the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
In a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, the Vice President called for investigation of the allegation, saying his accuser, one Jackson Ude, was in the habit of publishing false and malicious allegation against him.
In the petition, by his lawyer, Mr. Taiwo Osipitan, the VP said the publication was capable of bringing him to public ridicule.
Ude who was former Director of Strategy and Communications under President Goodluck Jonathan administration, had in the publication, an online platform, claimed that Magu embezzled the sum of N39billion out of which he allegedly gave the sum of N4billion to Osinbajo for what he described as soft landing.
Part of the petition, reads, “On the 8th of July 2020, Mr. Ude wrote and published on his website materials/stories which are criminally defamatory of our client. We have the instructions of our client that the said publications are injuriously false in every respect.
“These vicious and malicious publications are meant to achieve one objective only, to present to his readership and others (Nigerians and foreigners) that our client is a dishonest and disloyal public officer and consequently unfit for the position of Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is occupying.
“We are of the view that unless an action for criminal defamation is commenced against the said Mr. Jackson Ude, he will continue to use his social media platform to publish materials that are false and criminally defamatory of our client’s reputation.
“In view of the above, we humbly request that you cause the above allegations made against our client to be investigated and if the suggested investigation confirms our complaint of the falsehood of these allegations, to initiate criminal proceedings pursuant to the provisions of Sections 391-395 of the Penal Code Act for criminal defamation against the said Jackson Ude.”


COVID-19SO: Nigeria Adopts 16 Essential International Electromedical Equipment Standards

No fewer than 16 international standards on essential electro-medical equipment have been adopted by the Nigerian National Mirror/Technical Committee on Electromedical Equipment as part of the moves to check the coronavirus pandemic.
This was disclosed by the Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma while addressing the committee in virtual meeting.
Aboloma posited that there are increasing demands globally for the production and consumption of quality, safe and dependable medical equipment and systems in their varied brands.
This according to him, is in response to the emergency demands foisted on medical systems globally which has consequently challenged National Standards development bodies to ensure the availability of standards in order to continuously save lives.
Represented by the Director, Standards Development Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, the SON Chief Executive stated that the sixteen International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)/International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards have become global requirements in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, the global work place has been drastically altered necessitating that the meeting be conducted virtually for safety and in compliance with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)’s directive on social distancing as a measure to mitigate further spread of the dangerous corona virus.

He reiterated the sensitivity of the medical sector for reasons of safety, precision of equipment, functionalities and value for money in the face of the global health and economic challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and expressed deep appreciation for the Committee members’ contributions and sacrifices
Aboloma assured the Committee of SON’s commitment to continuously guarantee availability of standards, creation of awareness and promotion of strict implementation and compliance in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and regulatory authorities.
He stated that the development and subsequent implementation and enforcement of the 16 standards when approved by the Standards Council would among others, encourage and support local production of medical devices, equipment and systems; provide the necessary benchmark to adjudge imported medical equipment in the category; assure compliance to medical safety standards in terms of performance, reliability, accuracy/precision, patients’ safety, precise communication protocol with other medical devices as well as handlers’ safety.
The SON Chief Executive enumerated other benefits of the adopted standards as including to support research and developments in the electromedical equipment and systems in Nigeria; create fair playing ground for all related medical equipment produced locally and imported into the Nigerian markets as well as promote greater competitiveness of locally manufactured and imported electromedical equipment.
Commenting on the sixteen IEC/ISO standards, Chairman of the National Mirror/Technical Committee, Dr. Ayodele Esan pledged the members’ commitment to ensuring the best for the Nation in the consideration of the standards.
He assured the SON, DG that the rich knowledge and experiences of the Mirror/Technical Committee members would be brought to bear in the deliberations, stressing that the wide representation of stakeholders at the meeting is a pointer to how seriously they view the assignment.
Dr. Esan stated that the adoption of the international standards would enhance local production of electro-medical equipment and provide strong basis for regulation.
According to him some of the electromedical equipment standards considered included for critical care ventilators, Electromagnetic disturbances, usability, environmentally conscious design, medical electrical systems used in the home healthcare and support equipment for ventilatory impairment among others
Stakeholders represented at the technical meeting include Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Nigerian Society of Engineers, Manufacturers of Electromedical Equipment, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), the Academia and other experts from around the country with the SON providing secretariat support services.

Enugu: Ugwuanyi Inaugurates Advisory Committee on Community Policing

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has inaugurated the 17-man State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC), chaired by the State Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmad Abdurrahman, with the Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, HRH, Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, as co-chairman.
The new Community Policing programme is an initiative of the Nigeria Police Force, as communicated by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu Abubakar, which is saddled with the responsibility of deepening community approach as well as confidence, trust and mutual respect between the Police and the people, in the management of crimes and criminalities.
Inaugurating the committee at the Government House, Enugu, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that his administration has rejigged and re-tooled the state Security Architecture to bring it up to speed with emerging dimensions of insecurity and criminality” through institutionalized collaboration among its Neighbourhood Watch groups, Forest Guards and security agencies, especially in the area of intelligence sharing.
The event was attended by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Abubakar, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, ICT, DIG Celestine Okoye, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 13, AIG Danmallam Mohammed, and other Senior Security Officers.
Gov. Ugwuanyi further disclosed that the Enugu State Security Trust Fund law is in place to ensure sustainable support for the security agencies in the state while the State Forest Guards Law is before the State Assembly.
He added that “the deployment of our Automated Drone Surveillance Solution to give the needed impetus to our security surveillance is underway”.
The governor stated that “the new Community Policing model is in sync with our extant strategy and will certainly be a strong flip to our modest accomplishments in security of lives and property in Enugu State”.
Pointing out that the Nigeria Police has a clear template for the implementation of the strategy, Gov. Ugwuanyi explained that “this Committee is to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the Community Policing in Enugu State”
He congratulated members of the committee for their selection to execute the onerous task and expressed confidence that they will provide the needed leadership for Community Policing in the state “given your competencies in security matters, diverse experiences and track records of performance”.
Speaking, the IGP lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for the successful inauguration of the committee in the state, stating that the new Community Policing model will be driven by the community.
In his remark, AIG Mohammed said that the new Community Policing “is a right idea at the right time”, assuring that “we will do our best to make sure that the good people of Enugu State, South East and beyond sleep with their two eyes closed”.
Responding, the chairman of the newly inaugurated committee, CP Abdurrahman, thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for the wisdom in resuscitating the Community Policing in the country.
He also applauded the IGP for making the programme a reality and went further to appreciate Gov. Ugwuanyi for his leadership role and commitment to peace, which he said, contributed to the successful take-off of the programme in the South East geo-political zone.
The CP pledged the committee’s loyalty and commitment to work assiduously towards the full realization of its set-objective.
The committee co-chairman, Igwe Amb. Agubuzu added that “the Traditional Rulers of Enugu State will work closely with this committee to achieve the objectives for which it was established”.
Members of the 17-man committee also include O.S. Olofu (Enugu State Director, DSS); Air Commodore Chidiebere Obiabaka (Commander 533, Base Services Group of the Nigerian Airforce, Enugu); Abdullahi Abdul (Enugu State Commander, NDLEA); Everistus Obiyo (Commandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Enugu State Command); Emmanuel Arogundade (Comptroller, Nigerian Immigration Service, Enugu State); Ogbonnaya Kalu (Sector Commander, FRSC Enugu State) and Engr. Okwudiri Daniel Ohaa (Chief Fire Officer, Enugu State Fire Service)
Others are; M.I. Baya (Controller of Nigeria Custom Service, Enugu State); K.‎ C. Emelue (Comptroller of Correctional Service, Enugu); Hon. Dr. Dominic Ezema (Chairman, Police Community Relations Committee, Enugu State); Alhaji Abubakar Sambo (Sarki Hausa); Rev. Emmanuel Edeh (Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Enugu State); Prof. Chinedu Nebo (Former Minister of Power, Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Enugu West Senatorial District); Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji (Former Minister of Power, Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Enugu East Senatorial District) and Hon. Dr. Maduka Onyishi (representing Enugu North Senatorial District).

Amaechi Bridge: Gov. Ugwuanyi Has Wiped Away My Tears. Says Nwobodo

The former Governor of old Anambra State and Senator who represented Enugu East Senatorial District, Senator Jim Nwobodo, on Wednesday, said that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has wiped away his tears by constructing the 14-Bay Bailey Bridge across Nyama river linking Umuogo and Umuagba Amechi Uno/Obeagu communities in Enugu South Local Government Area.
Sen. Nwobodo, who spoke during the inauguration of the bridge by Gov. Ugwuanyi, expressed his “greatest gratitude” to the governor for “constructing this bridge for my community on your own initiative and without any prompting.”

The contract for the construction of the bridge was awarded to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Engineers by the Enugu State Government.

Speaking further, Sen. Nwobodo said that he was delighted that Gov. Ugwuanyi has actualized the long-held dream of his community, a feat that past governors could not accomplish.

Senator Nwobodo who was accompanied to the event by his wife, Pat, also commended Gov. Ugwuanyi, for entrenching peace and good governance in Enugu State.

He pointed out that the existing peace in the state has brought security and rapid development, especially in the rural areas, saying: “Thank you (Ugwuanyi) for this great honour you have done to me. I thank you for wiping away my tears”.

His words: “Since 1999, I have never been to Enugu and stayed more than two weeks. But since this governor came, I have been in Enugu for the past six months because of the peace he has entrenched.”

Inaugurating the bridge in the company of the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Lasisi Adegboye, Sen. Nwobodo, his wife and other dignitaries, Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that his administration was compelled to construct the bridge because of the need to unlock the tremendous opportunities for the benefitting communities in line with the state government’s rural development agenda.

The governor disclosed that his administration “made a deliberate choice of awarding this project to 82 Division Army Engineers owing to their rich history of competency in delivery of resilient Bailey Bridges”, adding that “the event of today evidently justifies this procurement decision”.

According to him, “this project dovetails into the integrated rural development agenda of our administration; enhancing connectivity and access to homes/businesses/communities as well as stimulating commerce/economic growth in the benefiting communities”.

Gov. Ugwuanyi who recalled that his administration had in its first tenure completed 11.5km of asphalted road network in Enugu South LGA that are already in use, stated that “our administration further commits to improving the approach roads to this Bailey bridge after the rainy season”.

He, therefore, implored the residents and all users of the bridge and other roads to avoid unnecessary physical damage to them to ensure their durability.

Earlier in his speech, the Supervising Engineer of the bridge construction, Brig. Gen. Samuel Bitrus, expressed special gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for giving the Nigerian Army the opportunity “to be partners in your developmental strides for the benefit of the people of Enugu State, particularly the Amechi community and the entire humanity in general”.

Brig. Gen. Bitrus explained that the “Bailey Bridge is a 14-Bay steel deck bridge of Single Truss Single Storey (SS) configuration and a class 16 Military Load Capacity (MLC/Tons) bridge”. He further explained that “the entire bridge is supported by the sub structure made up of the home/far bank abutments and an intermediate pier built to specification with 6-8m deep piling work to guarantee stability capable of withstanding any volume of downpour”.
He therefore, on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General TY Buratai, congratulated and appreciated Gov. Ugwuanyi for “attaching importance to linking up communities in dire need of infrastructure through projects such as this one, so much so that he is here to commission this project himself”.

Other dignitaries at the event include former Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Hon. Goddy Agbo, the member representing Enugu South (Rural) in the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onyinye Ugwu, State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Greg Nnaji, and the Chairman of Enugu South LGA, Hon. Monday Eneh.

FIRS Extends Waiver, Penalties on Tax Debts

A waiver on tax debts and penalties has been extended by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), from June 30 to August 31.
The extension which was contained in a press statement issued by the agency was to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the statement by the Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Dr. Abdullahi Ahmad, the extension was to support tax-paying individuals and business entities, adding that it involves “tax audit, tax investigation and desk review assessments approved installment payment plans under Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) yet to be fully liquidated.”
The statement warned that there would be no further extension after August 31, adding, “tax debtors are therefore enjoined to liquidate their outstanding tax liabilities on or before August 31, 2020, in order to enjoy a waiver of accumulated penalties and interests.”
The Executive Chairman of the FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, was quoted as saying that measure was part of the agency’s efforts to mobilise resources for the federal government as fiscal power has been affected by poor revenue from oil.


Editor Cries Out, Seeks Sanwo- Olu’s Intervention over Activities of Land Grabbers

The Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of South South International magazine and former President of the League of Maritime Editors and Publishers, Dr. Ovie Edomi, has cried out to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice over the activities of land grabbers in Ibereko, Lagos.

Edomi who is also the former Publicity Secretary of Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria, in a letter to the governor and the Attorney general of Lagos, explained how the land he had paid for in installments for between 2016 and 2018 to the Kelani family, a prominent family with vast land in Ibereko was allegedly trespassed upon by an Assistant Customs Comptroller, Mr Lucky Udukhomose, serving in Tin Can port, Apapa along with his wife, Pastor Mrs Favour Udukhomose.

He said the two connived with Omonile to buy the same land from one Chief Ogabi who claimed to be related to the Kelani family in order to expand Sapphire Gold Group of Schools, a private school built by the Assistant Customs Comptroller for his wife beside the Editor’s mini estate.

According to Edomi, the Lagos State law on land Grabbing has made Lagos State very peaceful for its’ inhabitants and wondered why a serving Customs officer, who knows the law and should be seen obeying the law be the one to connive with unscrupulous element with a view to promoting his business interest when the Customs boss knows for a fact that the Journalist who had plantains planted on the land and has been harvesting the plantains for upward of 2years owes the land.

Edomi alleged that the plan of the Customs officer and his wife was to engage in indiscriminate construction of private schools and warning that it was wrong for any construction to be aimed at blocking government approved streets and made the street a close without government approval.

He said this will someday lead to breakdown of law and order in Ibereko if the government does not implement its’ urban planning and environmental laws.

He called on the state Governor to put up stricter measures to check those who build indiscriminately without regard to the laws of the state and speed up the prosecution of land Grabbers in order to check the menace of land grabbling as well as close all illegal schools in Ibereko, Badagry.

Edomi lamented that his life is being threatened by self acclaimed Chief Ogabi and his two Brothers who are acting on behalf of the Customs boss and his wife.

He called on the Governor and the Attorney general of the state, well meaning Nigerians, the World Press Organization as well as the Presidents of NUJ, UPU worldwide, CAN, PFN and NBA to equally intervene on the matter.

Edomi noted that with over 20 million people and expected to double by 2040, Lagos State will become a mega city as envisaged by the Lagos State government if people obey town planning and environmental laws.

A document by the Kelani Oke family claimed that the land stretching from Kelani Street down to Oke Oko street at Ibereko belong to their father and claimed that the Customs boss had approached the Kelani family through one Chief Ogabi Brothers to buy the land but he was told that the had been sold to a Journalist.

Edomi who is equally an Editorial Board member of the Compendium on Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, further told newsmen that he earlier reported the matter to the Comptroller of Customs, TIN Can port, but regretted that nothing was done before crying to the Lagos State Governor for justice.

He said that this was when he saw that the Customs boss took advantage of the lockdown owing to the COVID-19 pandemic to start construction of a storey building on the land.

He decried that such construction was in contravention of the government’s order during this period of lockdown.

Edomi, who described the development as a demonstration of lawlessness, ungodliness, oppression, insatiable greed and attempt to use one’s privileged position to acquire other people’s property or pervert justice, said he has no other option than to cry to the Lagos State Governor.


FCC to Audit MDAs to Ensure Principles of Federal Character in Appointments

*Says commission will sanction any erring MDA
The new Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) , Dr. Muheeba Npom Wednesday said her commission will soon begin audit of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that federal character principles are followed in appointment of personnel.

Npom said the audit will be to ensure that the federal character principles are observed in appointments without sacrificing merit.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja at a press conference, she said this was to ensure that the constitutional provision is followed, adding that the principles were mainly to ensure national unity and cohesion.
She said that there has always been suspicion on whether the principle is being followed, but assured that the new board was out to change the narrative.
She threatened to sanction any MDA that has not followed the federal character principles in appointment.
According to her, “Since the establishment of the commission 20 years ago, public perception has remained at its lowest ebb. However, we are poised to change the narratives. We shall work assiduously to improve on the image of the commission with a robust advocacy by engaging stakeholders in a sustained campaign of our role.
“We shall, God’s willing, build on the commission’s modest achievement and quickly move to make the desired impact. I call on all of you to join us on this onerous task of the commission.
“Public concerns have been expressed and we have been confronted even before our assumption of office with seemingly unethical practices. It is of great concern that our laid down procedures and operational standards have been compromised. We have resolved to change these narratives. To enhance the power of prosecution for any erring agency, the commission shall renew the laws and seek for amendments from the National Assembly where necessary.”

Benue Boat Mishap: 14 Bodies Recovered

Fourteen dead bodies have been recovered after the River boat mishap which sad incident occurred on Sunday.
Benue Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed this in a statement released Tuesday.
Anene said that only two passengers were rescued while other victims were still missing as at Tuesday.
The boat was conveying members of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Adeke community, Makurdi, to a programme when the mishap occurred.
She added, “The tragic incident of 5/7/2020 kept the command searching and hoping that victims of the boat mishap would be rescued alive.
“Regrettably, a total of 14 corpses: 8 females and 6 males, were recovered from the river while other victims still missing.”

Buhari Suspends EFCC Chairman, Magu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has been suspended from office pending the outcome of the investigation by the Justice Ayo Salami Presidential Panel against him.
Magu is spending his second day in detention as he was not allowed to go back to office after being summoned by the Committee on Monday.
Punch Newspaper reports that President Buhari had suspended the Acting EFCC chairman before the Presidential Panel sitting on Tuesday.
His suspension, according to the Punch report was to allow the Panel do its job without interference.
Magu was on Monday summoned to the Presidential Villa to face the Panel.
The investigation against Magu is based on allegations that he is living above his means, diversion of recovered funds and fraternizing with corrupt persons.
It was also reported that the allegation against Magu may not be unconnected with the report by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and that of the Department of State Services.


Bello: Digitalisation Will Check Corruption in Ports Operation

Digitalisation of the whole ports processes will impact positively by checking corruption in the system, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, said Monday.
Bello told the management team of the Clarion off-dock Terminal who paid him a courtesy visit in Lagos that digitalization will equally enthrone enduring efficiency and competitiveness in the industry.
He said that the ports economic regulator was working hard to ensure that the ports are fully digitilised by March next year, adding that the current situation stands at 65 per cent.
He said there were certain transactions, such as bill of lading and invoicing that are carried out online.
According to him, ”We are meeting with shipping companies, terminal operators and the banks to harmonise the process so that it will be okay and because all these things need to be integrated.
“Most terminal and shipping companies are online, like 85 per cent and we need to make things more efficient.
”That is why we want to digitise so that one can exit cargo without going to the port.
“Digitisation is also against corruption. If one does not physically interact, you pay electronically and reduce corruption, it will be cheaper, more efficient and we will be more competitive.”
He explained that the target of the Council was to ensure that the terminals become very efficient.
He added that to make the system efficient, the Council will introduce three modes of transportation, the barges, roads and the rail.
Bello noted that coronavirus has been a disruption in the system, but called on the operators to do their best to return to normal operations.
He said that due to COVID-19, many people abandoned their goods, a situation which according to him led to congestion in the system.
He said, “We are working to ensure that goods are cleared because lack of space at the ports is very dangerous. It signals congestion, both at the seaside and on the land side.
“There are lots of cargo that are abandoned and need to be auctioned. We suggest to Customs to do on-the-spot auction without even taking them off because some of the goods are expired.
“So, there is need to help the terminal operators clear the goods so that ships can have better turnaround time; now 50 days which economically is inefficient”
The Vice President of Clarion Mrs Ifeoma Eloka in her response commended the Executive Secretary for the intervention of the Council over the closure of the terminal by the Customs.
The Closure, according to her, led to a lot of losses.
She equally commended the Customs for their part of reopening the terminal for business, assuring that the measure will lead to appropriate service delivery.


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