Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Monday 27th July 2020

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Monday 27th July 2020

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 27/07/20

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2023: Time For A President From The South-East, By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

SOC Okenwa

In the middle of last month of June this year the President of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, had granted a controversial interview to the Lagos-based national newspaper, Vanguard, where he stirred the hornet’s nest by declaring that the northern politicians were still very much interested in the 2023 presidential poll and in succeeding President Buhari. Shettima may have spoken in his private capacity as a Nigerian and in such circumstance he was entitled to his opinion.
But even at that he goofed by veering off and shooting without consideration of the centrifugal forces pulling Nigeria in different directions in the past and even presently in a dangerous situation of a presidency by proxy. Nigeria may break up if 2023 is not properly ‘negotiated’ or managed to assuage the grievances of a whole lot of contending forces at play.
In the interview the over-fed Shettima had said: “How can you think we will cede power to the South in 2023? The North still wants the presidency. The south is in charge of the economy and they have everything, so why would they want to take away the only thing we have?” Wonders shall never end in our confused politico-social space. So the south have everything since they control the economy? Holy Jesus!
Well, Yerima may be right by saying that the south is richer, more educated, more developed and more sophisticated than the north but it took collective efforts of the people and their entrepreneurial prowess to realise what exists from Lagos to Onitsha, Ibadan to Port-Harcourt. It takes sound economic idea, determination and ambition for a region or an individual to develop bringing out the best in themselves.

SOC Okenwa

When the south is working towards improving the infrastructural lot of their cities and communities and the living condition of their peoples where were our northern brothers and sisters? And what were they doing? Sleeping? Playing politics of almajiri or talakawa? Or counting and depending on quota system and federal character? Growth comes from what you possess within!
The presidential election in Nigeria is scheduled to take place in three years from now in 2023. But political permutations toward the poll have already begun in earnest. Since the south-east (Igbos) has not produced the President of the federation since the restoration of democracy in 1999 it stands to reason to state here that the Igbos ought to be given the opportunity in 2023 to produce the next Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The Nigerian politics has something odious to do with ethnicity and regionalism. And sometimes religion and tribal sentiments are brought in to score cheap political points.
When the late June 12, 1993, presidential election winner, Bashorun Moshood Abiola, was criminally denied his popular mandate and subsequently eliminated in prison the northern military cabal post-Sani Abacha had desperately sought out a Yoruba man to placate the south-west as opposition to the unjustifiable annulment of the free and fair poll mounted.
The military high command led by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar reached out to Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, then in prison, to do the needful by pulling the nation away from the brink apart from using ‘Baba’ to silence the Oduduwa vigorous mob. Obasanjo, a former benevolent martial dictator sent to a gulag on a trump-up coup-plotting charge by the late Gen. Abacha, was thus liberated in a jiffy and rigged into power in 1999 as President.
From Obasanjo to the late Shehu Yar’Adua and from him to the good-lucky Goodluck Jonathan and now Muhammadu Buhari the Igbos appear to be sidelined in the presidential scheme of things. GEJ, despite the ‘Ebele’ in his name, remains an Ijawman and not Igboman from all indications. First-class Igbos know themselves from Ihiala to Orlu, Udi to Aba.
So given the historic marginalisation and persecution of the ‘Biafrans’ following the crushing defeat suffered in the civil war of the late 60s/early 70s reason must be made to prevail as we giddily march towards 2023 with Buharism constituting a bundle of disappointment and failure. We deserve better come 2023!
However, no one is deluding themselves that the Igbos would be given power on a platter of gold. That is far from what we are advocating here — power on the basis of marginalisation or even Biafran statehood agitation. It must be done on justice and merit terms! We strongly believe there are abundant presidential materials east of the Niger.
The Igbos should, as a matter of political priority, align forces with other regions and zones marshalling out superior argument and negotiating hard for the two prominent dominant parties (APC/PDP) to agree to ‘zone’ power to their region. It takes political shrewdness to beat a system tailored against one’s interest.
Since Presidents and dictators had tried and failed for decades to transform Nigeria and change the living condition of Nigerians we believe it is time, come 2023, to try an Igboman for the top job. A man from the oriental part of the country could succeed where others had posted woeful failures! A man of impeccable character from the east (forget Senator Orji Uzor Kalu) could bring to the table what others were afraid to confront — restructuring of the dysfunctional federation.
With an Igboman as President then Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB Biafran agitators may be put out of ‘business’. When 2023 comes, therefore, let us seriously consider electing an Igboman as the number one citizen so that every region or component of the federation would feel a sense of belonging for once.
When 2023 finally knocks on our political doors signalling arrival in the global political firmament and another northerner (whoever that eventually turns out to be) succeeds Buhari in Aso Villa as President then we shall have no other option than to ask broodingly: Nigeria: Quo Vadis? 
And then the likes of Shettima Yerima would then be called upon to justify why disintegration should not happen next; why it should not be the viable alternative.
SOC Okenwasoco_abj_2006_rci@hotmail.fr

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Nigerian Soldiers In Borno Lament Poor Feeding By Government, Accuse Commanding Officer Of Embezzlement Of Funds

Video of Nigerian Soldiers In Borno Lament Poor Feeding By Government, Accuse Commander Of Embezzlement

Nigerian Soldiers In Borno Lament Poor Feeding By Government, Accuse Commander Of Embezzlement

WATCH VIDEO: Nigerian Soldiers In Borno Lament Poor Feeding By Government, Accuse Commanding Officer Of Embezzlement Of Funds

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EXCLUSIVE: How Nigerian Government Officials, NNPC Staff Sold 48 Million Barrels Of Stolen Crude Oil, Issued Death Threats To Whistleblower

Facts have emerged on how some Nigerian Government officials and senior Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations staff connived to sell 48 million barrels of Bonny Light crude oil stolen from the country during the first year of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office in 2015.
The stolen crude was moved to China where it was stored in various ports and terminals including Sinochem tanks in Zhoushan bonded area and Vishal star tanks.
Potential buyers were from that point contacted for the stolen product by the Nigerian Government officials including a company that eventually blew the whistle on the monumental fraud.
Realising that the crude was stolen, SAMANO SA DE CV brought to the Nigerian Government’s attention the criminal activity involving the NNPC, according to documents seen by SaharaReporters.

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Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, late Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari, and Mr Umar Mohammed were all promptly notified of the stolen crude in order to take appropriate action.
However, a letter written by the whistleblower to the President was prevented from getting to him by Mohammed.
In October 2015, the stolen crude was moved from China without the knowledge of President Buhari and sold illegally by some government and NNPC officials with the proceeds not remitted to the government’s coffers.
When the whistleblower pushed for its agreed five per cent cut of the sale of the crude for exposing the theft, its officials were harassed and issued death threats.
Several efforts for compensation by the whistleblower continues to be frustrated by government officials, who were part of the illegal deal and economic sabotage.
The whistleblower in a letter by its lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole of Lord and Temple, a United Kingdom-based law firm, dated July 23, 2020 to the NNPC GMD has demanded for the company’s compensation for helping to expose the criminal activity.
The whistleblower policy, an anti-corruption programme launched in 2016 by the Nigerian Government, encourages individuals to report cases of financial mismanagement or stolen funds in return for a share of the recovered item if the information provided turns out to be credible.
The letter reads, “Our client was approached by a group in the Peoples’ Republic of Chinas with the intent to sell 48 million barrels of Bonny Light Crude Oil believed to have been stolen from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and stored in various ports and terminals in China.
“It was revealed to our client that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations authorised certain companies to sell the stolen product.
“It was agreed that an investigation into the stolen products should be made to ascertain the veracity of the information and gather more facts as to the fraudulent activities. It was also agreed that if the information is found credible, the perpetrators of the offensive will be apprehended and that compensation due to our client for the information so brought forward will be awarded.
“In October 2015, our client got wind of the fact that the stolen products were being moved from their location in China by the Nigerian Government in calculated steps to recover the said products. Our client then caused a letter to be written to Mr Mele Kyari, through Mr. Marco Ramirez, offering to legally purchase the said products from the Nigerian Government if available for sale.
“Our client through its representative subsequently wrote to Mr Umar Mohammed clarifying its intention to the criminal activity in respect to the stolen products and not to make illegal purchases of the same.
“To date, our client has unfortunately not received any form of compensation for the information provided to the Nigerian Government in respect of the stolen products and or response to its offer to legally purchase the same when recovered.
“The upright act of reporting the criminal activity to appropriate quarters was not protected by the expected confidential nature of the policy, thereby exposing officials of our client to serious consequences including threat to life.”
DOCUMENT: Whistle Blower Letter to NNPC by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

The whistleblower’s lawyer further revealed that Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and former Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, were contacted to help get its compensation but nothing tangible surfaced.
The company has now threatened to take legal action against the NNPC if after 14 days from the date of the receipt of the letter the demand was not met.

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Police Arrest 26-year-old Man For Defiling Four-year-old Girl In Adamawa

The police have confirmed the arrest and detention of one Pwadimadi Zeham, 26, for defiling a four-year old girl in Adamawa State.
Spokesperson for the police in the state, DSP Suleiman Nguroje, told SaharaReporters that Zeham, who was arrested in Numan town where he committed the crime, had on Thursday had carnal knowledge of the little girl.

He said, “The Adamawa State Police Command wishes to inform the public that it’s fight against sexual violence against women and children is extended to Numan Federation.
“Detectives attached to Numan Division have arrested one Pwadimadi Zeham, 26, a resident of Mbulawa ward, Numan Local Government Area, for raping a four-year-old girl.  “The suspect, who happened to be a close neighbour to the victim, took her into his room on July 23 and had carnal knowledge of her.
“The mother, upon noticing the unusual behaviour of her little baby, closely monitored and observed sperm in her private part, hence she reported.
“The victim is now undergoing medical screening while the suspect is taken into custody for investigation and prosecution.”
This comes one week after two minors were raped in the state, the first being a nine-year-old, who was defiled by her step-father; and the second an underage girl with special needs.

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Corruption In PDP Made Me Rejoin APC, Former House Of Reps Speaker, Dogara, Says

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has explained the reason why he left the opposition Peoples Democratic Party for the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Dogara said he resigned from the PDP because of the alleged failure of governance in Bauchi State where he hails from.
In his letter of resignation addressed to the Bogoro ‘C’ Ward chairman of the PDP, the former House of Representatives Speaker said Governor Bala Mohammed whom he helped into power, had not lived up to expectation.

His letter reads, “I write to intimate you of my decision to resign my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party. This became necessary because the same reasons why we fought hard in 2019 to effect changes in the governance of our dear state are festering now.
“I intend to bring these issues to the front burner once again as the fight to install a decent and egalitarian government in our dear state continues.
“I cannot raise these issues and many more questions without a charge of disloyalty levelled against me if I were to remain a member of the PDP. I cannot also fail to raise these questions now having raised similar ones during the administrations of governors Isa Yuguda and Mohammed A. Abubakar. If I abdicate this responsibility on the altar of partisan loyalty, I will be the most irresponsible and unprincipled politician in Bauchi State.
“Thus, by this letter, I have resigned my membership of the PDP to enable me keep faith with my principle of fighting for good governance in our dear state.”

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COVID-19 Fears Rise In Abia State After Escape Of Detainees From Police Station

There are fears that the police formation in Abia State may be infected with COVID-19.
This followed the escape of 29 detainees from a police station in Umuahia, the state capital.
The  Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre  in a statement said that sources in the police confirmed that the incident may have been caused by fear of Coronavirus.
“Reliable sources informed us that there is an outbreak of COVID-19 at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Umuahia. The source said the number of affected detainees and police officers are yet to be ascertained.

“Police authorities are reported to be taking measures to ensure that the virus does not spread to other police formations in Umuahia. Our source said samples have been taken from detainees at Central Police Station Umuahia,” the statement said.
The group noted that 20 of the 29 detainees have been rearrested with minimal force but called for an investigation into the incident.
“It is, however, imperative to inquire into the reason the detainees made the escape. It is important to ascertain the categories of offences of the detainees to know if they fall within categories of offences permitted under the IGP’s directive to detain accused persons only for major offences. It is also important to ascertain the conditions and security of the cells, the level of congestion in the cell, whether there is maltreatment of inmates and if there’s scare of infection.
“It is clear that the refusal by correctional centres to accept persons on trial ordered by courts to be remanded in prisons has forced judges and magistrates in Abia and other states to order the remand of defendants in police cells thereby creating challenges for the police with regards to complying with the directives by the IGP to ensure decongestion of police cells.
“This has led to breaches of the IGP’s directive that arrests and detention should be minimised to only major offences,” the statement added.

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#RevolutionNow: Court Fixes August 10 For Ruling On No Case Submission In Trial Of Journalists

A Chief Magistrates Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State and presided over by Mrs Rita Marshall, has fixed August 10, 2020 to rule on the no case to answer submission filed by the defendants in case number MC/428C/19.
The defendants, Jonathan Ugbal and Jeremiah Archibong, are the News Editor and Managing Editor of CrossRiverWatch, an online newspaper based in Cross River State.
They were arrested on August 5, 2020 and after spending two nights in detention, three counts charges bordering on conspiracy, unlawful assembly and conduct causing breach of public peace were preferred against them when they were arraigned on August 7, 2020.

Mr Jonathan is said to have arrived the venue for the #RevolutionNow protest in the morning of August 5, 2019 on his way to work to report it but was arrested by the Anti-Cultism and Kidnapping Squad, who claimed he had knowledge of the protest beforehand and therefore was part of the planning.
Mr Archibong and Nicholas Kalu, a correspondent with The Nation newspapers, visited the unit to inquire why he was arrested and were both detained.
However, Mr Kalu was released shortly before midnight.
After several adjournments, the arresting police officer, DSP Igini Chukwuma, and the investigating police officer, Sergeant Aaron Adie, testified before the court.
Chukwuma told the court that he was ordered to arrest anyone, who approached the venue and having seen Jonathan he decided to “take him in”.
He said he was later ordered to transfer him to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, which he did and had no knowledge of the investigations after that.
Sergeant Adie in his testimony denied knowledge of the fact the duo were journalists and could not explain why only two out of the three were charged in court.
Also, he said he neither knew the source of livelihood of the duo nor their addresses.
Counsel to the defendants, Kehole Enya, proceeded to file a no case to answer submission, which was adopted on Wednesday.
He prayed the court to acquit and discharge the duo as the police had failed to prove their case.

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Iyaloja-General Of Ondo State Is Dead

Ruth Olowookere, the Iyaloja-General of Ondo State, is dead, SaharaReporters can confirm.
Olowookere, who died on Sunday afternoon, was the President of the National Association of Traders and Market Leaders Council of Nigeria.

A family member of the deceased, Kunle Ajibogun, confirmed the death of the woman.
He said, “She died on Sunday at the aged of 70 after a brief illness. The family is deeply saddened by her demise.”

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Magu Denies Misappropriating N329bn Recovered Funds For NNPC

Ibrahim Magu

Suspended Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has denied a media report that he misappropriated the sum of N329bn recovered for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
He said the fund was remitted directly into NNPC dedicated accounts via REMITTA under a special arrangement endorsed by the oil firm, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the affected indebted marketers.
Magu disclosed this on Sunday in a statement by his lawyer, Wahab Shittu.

Ibrahim Magu

He said NNPC formally requested the commission to recover the said amount from NNPC’s marketers and in turn confirmed the receipt of the fund.
The statement said the anti-graft agency never took custody of any of the recovered funds. 
It reads, “We wish to express our profound gratitude for the successful collaboration between the EFCC and PPMC/NNPC which largely resulted in the huge recovery of debts from the marketers from the inception of the recovery exercise in 2016 till date.
“We appreciate your commission’s professional and diligent handling of the recovery of debts from the marketers throughout the period and we look forward to further collaboration in further areas.
“The issue of NNPC recovered funds has never featured in the proceedings of the panel and our client has never been confronted with such wild allegations.
“Our client is alarmed at the motive behind such spurious allegations in spite of altruistic service to the country without personal pecuniary benefits.”
On the claim that Magu was questioned by the Presidential panel over assets declaration, Shittu said that his client has never been confronted with any of such allegations.
He said the report was false and being orchestrated in the public space to malign and discredit the work of his client in the fight against corruption.
While responding to the claim that Magu failed to explain the rationale for exclusion of culprits in the alleged misapplication of N3bn at the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Shittu said the matter had been referred for prosecution and charges had been prepared ahead of arraignment in court, therefore the question of complicity by Magu does not arise.
Shittu said, “Our client did not give any express or implied directive that anyone indicted be excluded from the legal process. Our client has no interest in shielding anyone found culpable from the long arms of the law. At any rate, time does not run against the state in criminal prosecutions.”
Shittu said his client would no longer be silent in the face of sustained malicious attacks to prejudge him in the public space.
He added, “Take notice that our client can no longer fold his hands in the face of these sustained malicious attacks to prejudge him in the public space.
“Our client will henceforth point by point reply to all false allegations orchestrated against him in the public space on a daily basis as well as present his comprehensive defense for the world to see.
“This is without prejudice to the willingness of our client to defend himself in the ongoing proceedings at the Presidential investigation panel.”

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E2%80%99s-attorney-general-malami-over-opl-asset-recovery Global Anti-graft Groups Probe Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami, Over OPL Asset Recovery

Abubakar Malami

Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has been asked to make full disclosure on recovered assets linked to the OPL multi-billion dollar oil scam.
Assets running into billions of dollars have been recovered due to local and international litigations but there is increasing public outrage against the lack of transparency in the process.
The lack of openness in the entire process continues to fuel public suspicion that corrupt officials might manipulate the procedure for personal gains.
A consortium of anti-corruption groups across the world are raising series of fresh questions on the role of Malami and the funding arrangements that Johnson and Johnson, the Nigerian legal firm that has the fiat for all OPL 245 recovery claims, has entered into with Drumcliffe Partners, a U.S. litigation fund, to finance various OPL 245 related asset recovery cases.

Abubakar Malami

On Sunday, the Corner House, Global Witness, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) and Re-Common through a letter to Malami launched a filament of global campaigns for transparency in the quantum of assets recovered from the scam, which lid had been blown open.
In the petition, the groups raised 25 critical questions for Malami.
“Nigerians need to know assets recovered relating to the OPL 245 scam. This is one of the most significant corruption cases in Nigeria involving billions of dollars in stolen funds used by political figures to procure assets kept across the world. It is important that Nigerians and the international community know how many assets have been recovered”, the groups said in the jointly signed statement on Sunday.
Following earlier media publications by the group titled “The Ministry of Justice Needs To Get Its Act Together On Asset Recovery” raising questions about the Ministry of Justice’s handling of asset recovery and damages claims, particularly in relation to the OPL 245 corruption scandal, Global Witness was contacted by Montfort Communications, a public relations firm that defends the legal team of the Nigerian Government.
The groups said Montfort offered to arrange a meeting to explore earlier raised concerns about the lack of transparency in the asset recovery deal, saying it was ready for an open meeting driven by overall public interest.
The groups have raised 25 fundamental questions seeking answers from both the OPL 245 asset recovery lawyers and Malami, who as senior law officer and Minister of Justice, should be abreast of the funding arrangements and their implications for Nigeria.
The groups said Nigerians are anxious to know how many OPL 245 related contracts have been signed between Johnson and Johnson and Drumcliffe, on what dates, when and how Malami was informed of the existence of such contracts.
The group stated, “Nigerians want to know if any complaint has ever been made to any official body or official of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in respect of terms of the contracts, has Johnson and Johnson or any legal firm employed by Johnson and Johnson explained the terms of the contracts to any official of the Federal Government and whether any assessment has been made by Johnson and Johnson or any legal firm employed by Johnson and Johnson of potential conflicts of interest that might arise from the contracts?”
It said contracts signed with all relevant authorities relating to the asset recovery should not be shrouded in mystery.
The coalition asked Malami to clarify what fees and expenses arising from Nigeria’s asset recovery does Drumcliffe fund and what it does not fund, who is Drumcliffe’s counterparty in the funding agreements, adding whether it was the Federal Government or Johnson and Johnson.
It said, it is important to know what assurances Malami can give that Drumcliffe has the capital in reserve to support the Federal Government’s asset recovery efforts long-term, who is paying the FG’s £850,000 legal costs from the recent case it lost against Shell, Eni and others in London and when did the FG’s legal team in the recent Shell and Eni case first inform the government that Drumcliffe would not be liable for the £2m adverse costs in the Shell, Eni and others case in London.
It asked further, “Has the Federal Republic of Nigeria been informed of the names of the investors in Drumcliffe and what contingent liabilities have been built up by the FRN for OPL 245 asset recovery cases undertaken through Johnson and Johnson? Who sanctioned these liabilities?”

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