Tag Archives: Mohammed

COVID-19: I had no contact with Abba Kyari – Douye Diri says.


Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri has denied meeting with Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, before they tested positive for coronavirus.

Diri who disclosed this during a visit to the state isolation center located at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital in Okolobiri, Yenagoa local government area on Wednesday March 25, said when he met with Bala Mohammed at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, he had not been infected with the virus.


The Bayelsa State Governor also revealed that he never met with Kyari as he was in Germany at that time.

Diri said;

“I have no contact with Governor Bala Muhammed and Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Buhari.


What happened was that in the NEC meeting, we normally sit in alphabetical order, after Bauchi is Bayelsa, so on Thursday last week, when we had NEC meeting, we sat close, and before then,

he had not contacted the virus.“During the NEC meeting, Abba Kyari was not there, we were told that he was somewhere in Germany.


So, actually I am even taken by surprise, where and how the speculation is coming that I had contact with the Chief of Staff.

“For Bala Muhammed, yes, we always sit close during NEC meeting, and by then, he had not contacted the disease.”

The Bayelsa State Governor also stated that they have taken measures in protecting its water and land boundaries, and also monitoring visitors coming into the state.


#Newsworthy…

Upadte: Abubakar, Adoke released on bail


Immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has been granted bail on fresh money laundering charges.

He was granted bail by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, earlier today.

The second defendant, Aliyu Abubakar, was also granted bail.


Justice Binta Nyako imposed the same terms and conditions of the bail they were earlier granted by Justice Idris Kutigi of the Gwagwalada Division of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on January 30.

Justice Kutigi had granted each of the men N50m bail with a surety, each.


Adopting the same conditions on Monday, Justice Nyako directed that the defendants should deposit their passport with the FCT High Court.

Defence lawyers – Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo(SAN), who said their clients had already met the bail conditions, pleaded with the court to make a specific order barring the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from re-arresting them once the release order is served on the commission.


The judge said such order would not be necessary as there would be no basis for their rearrest or continued detention once the court’s release order is served.

Adoke and Abubakar had earlier pleaded not guilty to the seven counts of making payments of dollar equivalent of about N600m in violation of money laundering law.

The prosecution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, alleged that they committed the offences in September 2013.

The judge fixed April 1 and 2 for trial, The Punch reported.


#Newsworthy…

I’d rather be locked up in Kuje prison than EFCC prison

…Adoke did not run away,

…He went for his masters degree abroad


Mohammed Adoke, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, (SAN), on Monday, said he preferred to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mike Ozekhome (SAN), spoke on Adoke’s behalf shortly after he was arraigned on fresh money laundering charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.


Adoke was arraigned alongside Aliyu Abubakar, who was accused of paying dollar equivalent of N300m in Adoke’s account in September 2013 in violation of the Money Laundering Act.

Ozekhome was arguing his client’s bail application when he noted that his client was produced in court by the EFCC from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabi, Abuja, where he had been admitted for treatment.


After the defendants took their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga, urged the court to remand them in the custody of the EFCC pending when their bail applications would be heard and determined. NobleReporters learnt

The defence lawyers immediately noted that they already filed their bail applications and had been responded to by the prosecution.


Ozekhome appealed to the the court to grant bail to Adoke in liberal and affordable terms and conditions, saying that his client would prefer to be remanded in the Kuje Correctional Centre, instead of the custody of the EFCC.

“The first defendant voluntarily returned to the country. There is his statement attached to show that he returned to the country voluntarily. He did not run away. We have attached an exhibit to show that he went for his Masters’ study abroad.

Mohammed Adoke, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, (SAN)

“We have deposed to the affidavit about his health conditions. The prosecution themselves brought him to court from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabib in Abuja, this morning. We also plead that he be taken to the Kuje Correction Centre, a euphemism for Kuje prison pending when he meets his bail conditions to avoid the mental psychological strictures he goes through in the custody of the EFCC.

“My lord we pray that he be granted bail in liberal and affordable terms and conditions so that he can take care of himself. The law says, ‘come and stand trial’, it did not say ‘come and sit trial or come and prostate trial. My lord as you can see, the first defendant who is less than 60 is already bent with age,” he said.


#Newsworthy….

IGP Adamu: Vehicles illegally using siren, covered number plates will be impounded

...warned against the illegal use of sirens and revolving lights

… ordered state commissioners of police to impound all vehicles illegally using spy number plates, or covered number plates

… illegal use of such practices constitute security risks to the people and country


On Monday, February 3, the inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, made moves in ensuring the safety of the people and country when he gave a new order.

The police chief in a recent announcement ordered the clampdown on illegal use of siren, revolving lights and spy number plates. This is following the working visit of the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Boboye Oyeyemi and his team at the police headquarters.

Adamu in a statement by the police force PRO, Frank Mba noted that all police commissioners of Police have been directed to seize all vehicles caught illegally using spy number plates, sirens, revolving lights or covered number plates.

Vehicles illegally using siren, covered number plates will be impounded – Police boss Source: Original Mba went on to explain that any vehicle found without permit for such practice will be impounded immediately.

The directive was given from the police boss because such practices are illegal and constitute security risks.

It was previously reported that Adamu warned police unit commanders against illegal acts such as harassing citizens and mounting unauthorised roadblocks.

The IGP issued the warning on Wednesday, January 8, after meeting in Abuja with unit commanders. Adamu issued the warning after several reports of illegal and unprofessional acts by police operatives which are against the police force.

He also reminded the officers that their duty is to protect the lives and property of Nigerians.


#Newsworthy…

Court charges Adoke with N50m bail ..

…issues warrant of arrest on Etete


An Abuja High Court sitting in Gwagwalada, yesterday, admitted to bail a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, SAN, in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.


The trial judge, Justice Abubakar Idris Kutigi, also admitted Adoke’s co-defendants, Aliyu Abubakar and Rasky Gbinigie, to bail pending the determination of corruption allegations against them.

While it gave the 2nd defendant, Abubakar bail in the sum of N50 million, it granted the 3rd defendant, Gbinigie bail in the sum of N10 million.


The court ordered that the sureties must be responsible citizens that must depose affidavits of means.

Justice Idris further held that the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must own verifiable landed properties worth the bail sum.


The court further ordered the sureties to tender their three-year tax clearance certificates, even as it seized international passports of all the defendants, warning them not to travel out of the country without permission.

The court held that the defendants must sign a written undertaking not to interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses and to make themselves available for trial at all times.


The judge, however, warned that breach of any of the conditions would warrant automatic revocation of the defendants’ bail.

He consequently dismissed a counter-affidavit the EFCC filed to oppose the release of the defendants on bail.


In a related development, the court also issued a warrant for the arrest of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dauzia Loya (Dan) Etete and two others that were linked with the alleged $1.1 billion Malabu Oil scam.

Justice Kutigi issued the arrest warrant on the strength of an ex-parte application and affidavit the EFCC brought before the court.


Others the court said should be arrested are Munamuna Seidougha and Amaran Joseph.

EFCC had, through its counsel, Bala Sanga, told the court that the trio have been at large and had since refused to make themselves available for trial.


It alleged that the suspects have been residing in France and were occasionally sighted in different parts of Europe.

The anti-graft agency maintained that the order would enable it to collaborate with the International Police (Interpol) to ensure that they were arrested and extradited back to the country for prosecution.

The three suspects were mentioned as defendants in corruption charges pending before different courts.

They were accused of complicity in the alleged fraudulent transfer of ownership of Oil Prospecting License, OPL, 245, regarded as one of the biggest oil blocs in Africa.


#Newsworthy…

I have been having sleepless night – Bauchi governor..

…over poor security


Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed has said that security is one area that has given him sleepless nights since he assumed office. In this interview with a select group of journalists, he also spoke on his recent victory at the Supreme Court among other issues.

After the Supreme Court verdict, you invited ex-governor Mohammed Abubakar to come and move Bauchi State forward. But has he congratulated you after the Supreme Court judgment? If no, it means he may turn down your invitation.


You saw what happened even during the court process, we greeted each other. We always have respect for each other and because I am younger, the onus is on me to go and greet him. I greeted him when we were seated in the Supreme Court and after the verdict, I went and greeted him and said well this is over, and he said yes. So, to me, we are still good compatriots. We are still good friends and there is nothing to show that he will not welcome the opportunity of working together unless he chooses because sometimes we politicians, our own lieutenants are the ones putting things into our ears because if there is peaceful co-existence, they won’t be able to get what they are getting. But I will advise him to take the olive leaf so that we can be our own brothers’ keepers and we can be co-compatriots.

How would you describe the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment in Imo State that sacked Emeka Ihedioha of your party?


The Supreme Court judgment is a manifestation of the judicial process. I know it was a very painful outcome for me as a PDP member and for me as a friend of the former governor who was affected; also for me who knows what Emeka stands for democracy and the roadmap he has established in terms of trying to rescue Imo from the vagaries of that state. So, it was very painful and it was something very unexpected and definitely my state of mind was such that I was even out of the country and I felt very bad because I knew what happened to him could happen to anybody. The Hausa say the outcome of any judgment is normally diametrically opposed to rational thinking. So, it is not about rationality. It is about the outcome that affected us which was diametrically opposed to what we expected or what we want. When the Supreme Court gave us Zamfara, we were very happy but when it went against us, we were very unhappy and that’s why you saw us demonstrating. That is democracy. But certainly, it has given me some hiccups, some fears for the first time thinking that the confidence expressed by my competitor has something to do with some assurance in some quarters and somewhere but I still had faith in God. The court processes are definitely big distractions. To me, they were uncalled for because I was coming from the opposition and nobody gave me a chance of winning and Mohammed Abubakar knew that I didn’t rig that election and I know he knew I won the election. I would not have manufactured any resources to come and dislodge him if not because of the will of God and the mandate given to me by the people.

I didn’t even have the wherewithal to do that. That is why I considered it very painful. But painful as it was, I am ready to forgive because that is the expression of democracy. He has the right to go further and make sure he exercises his universal suffrage, his right as a human being to go to court and we have gone the whole hog.


We wasted so much time and we were not able to plan very well. We would not be able to plan like Emeka planned in Imo and at the end of the day, all this has come to naught. Definitely, it was a big distraction.

You started with former Governor Isa Yuguda against all odds and became a success; you defeated a sitting governor to become a senator, moved the doctrine of necessity and became FCT minister for six years. What makes you thick?


We started with Yuguda during the ANPP and we did so much for Bauchi and no sooner the same kind of political situation emerged. I was a senator so I decided to do my senatorial work and that was what brought us to the Doctrine of Necessity before I became a minister. I didn’t go to Abuja to become a minister and that is why I am telling people that they should believe in God. They should have the courage to say things that are difficult to say when it is their responsibility to say it. It doesn’t matter who that person is. I have never had anything in common with Jonathan. We were not even in the same party and he gave me a state and structure, that is the Federal capital city to run. That is why today, I am completely detribalised. I don’t have any feeling of differences in terms of human relations because to me, it depends on what anybody can do for you. Even at the moment, I have some SAs that are from the South because they can do a lot to add value. What I believe in is opening new frontiers in doing things that are difficult to do, in making sure that we bring to active thinking, inventing, creativity. That is why I invoked the Doctrine of Necessity; that is why I got the Land Swap where we were to do things to centralise the private sector to bring in one point two trillion and at the end of the day, the EFCC said that one trillion was in my account. It’s because they didn’t understand the scientifically based template that we came up with in terms of doing it with the Dangotes and the rest. So, we will do it but we will be careful with the GDP and the economic level of Bauchi so that we don’t exercise our discretion and put the common man in jeopardy. Bauchi is a place where there is no development control. You will see so many developments on the road corridor but we are exercising patience.

Somebody like me from Abuja, we don’t tolerate that but today I have to tolerate it because I must provide alternative before I remove those shanties on the road. If you just do it, you will make so many people jobless and already, there is joblessness. Already all the Suya spots, they are all on the road corridors but if you remove them, many people will lose their jobs so you have to do something to make sure you don’t cause pain and loss to the people in trying to make the city neat. So, I am a person who believes in doing things and a person who takes everybody along. I want to give everybody opportunity especially those brilliant people, more brilliant than me to be able to work and do things for the people, and leave legacies and landmarks the way we built the Airport road, the Outer Express way Kubwa; people were thinking it was done by the Federal Ministry of Works. It was I who did it. We built the World Trade Centre, so we want to do something in Bauchi. One thing I must say, out of our former leaders, my former boss Yuguda has left legacies and landmarks. He built an airport, a hospital and he built a university. Nobody has done that. So, whatever you call him, he has done something and that is what leadership is all about and I will leave legacies and landmarks.


Considering the mammoth crowd of supporters that welcomed you to Bauchi after the Supreme Court verdict, how will you manage the high expectations of the people against the backdrop of the lean resources of the state and the promises made to them?

You can only manage expectations by being transparent and telling people the truth. I know people have highest expectations especially my mammoth supporters Everybody is looking up to me. I know almost everybody. I grew up in the neighborhood where everybody knows me.


Everybody knows my parent. I am from a very large family, a royal family. I have so many constituencies, a politician who knows almost all the political operators, a journalist who knew almost all the reporters, a civil servant who knows almost all the civil servants in the federal civil service. So, you can see even the expectations of my three constituencies is enough to coerce me and most especially as somebody who has gone to the nook and crannies, calling people to vote for him without giving them money; they sweated, they cried, they delivered and so their expectations are high. But I believe in my fidelity, in my sincerity and fear of God. Don’t live anything anymore. I have achieved so much. There is nothing people have not done to bring me down; they have not brought me down. What I need to do is to leave legacies and landmarks and to do something that will benefit people collectively, not necessarily individuals. Where they will benefit individually, I will be very happy to do it. You have seen what we are doing on water. We took a World Bank loan for four years but they only started when I came on board. Six months ago and we are exiting in June this year. We are fighting with WB because their resources must be freed and taken to another state. We’re doing it. We will make sure we finish all the connections, the reticulation and the metering by the grace of God. If we are not able to do it, then we look for resources because WB will not wait for us.

Are you going to investigate your predecessor?


It is not what I have come to do. I have always drawn a line but in the course of governance if I find out that there is anywhere the= government of the people of Bauchi State are shortchanged, I am not going to let it go because nobody spared me when I left FCT. I was the most investigated person in Nigeria and I dare anybody to tell me any account where I kept money which warranted that investigation. But I took it as an expression of accountability. I don’t think MA should be afraid of being investigated if he has no skeleton in his cupboard. It is not a priority to investigate him only that if in the course of what my ministries and departments are doing, you have cause to do that, then definitely we are not going to spare him because doing that will shortchanged the people of Bauchi and will make them unhappy.

You expressed a hand of fellowship to the former governor to join your administration to move the state forward. How do you intend to do this collaboration?


It is about the issue of continuity. I am continuing with his programmes which he might have taken over from others. Dynamism in governance is what is called collaboration. I am not going to set aside my own and give him to operate as a governor but definitely, if he gives me opinion, because he has been there as a governor, we are going to take it and use it . The only thing is that I have expressed that I am ready to work with him. It is now left to him to accept.

Definitely, we are not dependent on him but certainly we recognise his position as a former governor and because, me too one day I hope I live long, one day I will become a former governor and somebody will look for my opinion.


In your quest to take Bauchi to the New Level, how do you plan to involve indigenes of the state residing outside the state?

I have always told journalists that my success or failure is your own because you don’t have many journalists as governors and I own whatever I become to your constituency because I was a reporter for many years. Journalists have helped me and I have the burden of making sure I reciprocate what you did to me. I am the most vilified person, most misunderstood person. Maybe because of my background and attitude because I can make some leaders hate me by virtue of my pronouncement or what have you. My astronomical rise is a source of discomfort to so many people and so I am someone that is put on the spot. I must confess that since I left office in 2015 and I faced challenges you have been with me. They wanted me in prison but you stood by me.


You have frequently talked about saboteurs in your government… when are you planning to tackle the issues?

It is not about the beggar. It is a double edge sword. Yes we are peaceful, we are tolerant, we are accommodating, we are forgiving butn we should not be dared. Nobody should dare us. If you see our accommodating attitude as an expression of weakness, then you are mistaken. We are just doing it because that is leadership. Leadership is about accommodating all the differences. Not all the things will be palatable to you but you must accommodate them. At the same time, if somebody is going to throw the carpet under your feet, you will not just look and look until you fall and at the end of the day, you take the blame. There are areas that you can be sabotaged in governance. I have been an administrative officer from Grade Level 8 to 17 at the federal level and I know administration that you don’t want to be sincere on your opinions on this and that. That even goes to the bureaucracy. If you think your loyalty is to the last administration we are not going to tolerate it. Or you are leaking our secrets and so on and so forth, we are not going to tolerate it. We will punish you. If you sabotage us or do things that are inimical to the progress and peace of the state, we are not going to tolerate that.

What is your take on youth restiveness which has become a hydra-headed monster in the state? Because most of these restive youth are your supporters.

Youth restiveness was not caused by me. We inherited it from the administrations of the past and we will tackle it. We will open so many windows, show many ways and means. As you said, they are our supporters and we are not doing it on party lines. We will do it as a government. Whether they are APC youth, they are PDP youth, we are going to make sure that we give them something to do and definitely by the next two or three months, you will see us visiting all the 20 local governments, doing things that will provide some palliatives before we do something on a permanent basis.


#Newsworthy…

Malabu oil fraud: Moh’d Adoke arrive court


The immediate past Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) will this afternoon be arraigned on fraud charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Already, Adoke has been brought to the Gwagwalada division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, for his arraignment before Justice Idris Kutigi.


Dressed in a white caftan with a cap to match, Adoke who was clutching a walking stick appeared pale as he stepped out of the bus that conveyed him to court.

While in the courtroom, the former AGF exchanged pleasantries with some senior lawyers in court, including Wole Olanikpekun (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Solomon Umoh (SAN); Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Paul Erokoro (SAN) and A.U. Mustapha (SAN).


#Newsworthy…

Emir Sanusi II seek Buhari’s death to become Vice president to Osinbajo – Junaid


Junaid Mohammed, a second republic lawmaker, says Muhammadu Sanusi II, emir of Kano, lobbied for the position of vice-president when President Muhammadu Buhari was hospitalised in London.

Osinbajo presided over the country when Buhari treated an undisclosed ailment in London in 2017.

Speaking with TheInterview, Mohammed said the emir asked Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to consider him for the nation’s number two position in the event that the president dies.


The former lawmaker also alleged that Sanusi met with some south-west leaders to canvass support for a presidential candidate aside Buhari.

“Once Buhari was sick, very sick in England, he went to Osinbajo, this current Emir Sanusi; he was sure that Buhari was going to die. And if Buhari dies, he would like Osinbajo to consider him as a vice president, even though on the surface, he belonged to no party,” he said.


SANUSI WANTED TO BE VICE PRESIDENT

“He wanted Osinbajo to consider him as vice president! Now, anybody with any sense of logic, any sanity would not countenance this kind of thing. If for whatever reason, this issue was reported to Buhari, if Buhari were another leader, he would have got rid of him in a jiffy.


“I know for a fact, and I am glad there people involved who will now confirm. The Emir of Kano, when he was governor of Central Bank went to see my friend Bola Tinubu and went to see the current Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu telling them that a certain presidential candidate was actually the choice of Kano and the choice of the north. So, he would want them to support that person.

“The Oba was diplomatic. But Tinubu told him in no uncertain terms that we are supporting Buhari; not because we like his face. We are supporting Buhari because, consistently, he has scored 12 million votes since he came into politics in 2002.


“This is not the first time. I am now 70 years old. I am older than the Emir of Kano, who I have known since childhood. And I knew his father and mother.”

On the crisis between Sanusi and Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, Mohammed said there is no need to set up a committee to reconcile the duo.


TheCable had reported how Ganduje launched moves to remove the emir, who was reported to have opposed his reelection bid.

The governor broke the emirates into five shortly after the report, stripping Sanusi of the control of 34 local government areas of the state.


NOTHING WRONG IN REDUCING SANUSI’S POWERS

Commenting on the action of the governor, Mohammed said: ‘Now you are telling me that if the emir of Kano is somehow muzzled or his power is reduced or his presence on the national stage or his reckless political statements are curbed, Kano will not be the same? Or the north will not be the same? So what?


“The emirs are what they are because some people accept the emirate or the institution. I don’t. But even if I were the governor of Kano State, I would not want to demolish the emirate because apparently there are some people who respect the institution. I don’t. But that is another matter completely. But you have to be very careful about warning these emirs to keep away from politics.

“And as far as I am concerned, there is no problem to solve in Kano. If there is a personal quarrel between the governor and the Emir, okay, let them go and sort it out themselves. In trying to get involved in this matter, some people are being deliberately mischievous and they are fighting their own personal fights.


“There was an attempt to reconcile this matter within Kano people. I was in the United Kingdom before Christmas. I traveled with a one time Vice President of this country and we got to discuss this issue.

“The first question he asked is what is the locus of those so called northern elders? Who are they representing? How many of them have ever won elections in their lives? And how many people are from Kano? Of the three people sent to go and have a discussion with Ganduje, none of them is a Kano man.


“In fact, one is a known enemy of Kano State and he has spent the whole of his life abusing and insulting Kano and Kano people. Now you make him among the three people to go and see Ganduje in an issue that, strictly speaking is a Kano issue.

“As far as I am concerned, this issue is not a Federal Government or Buhari issue. It is a Kano issue. And the law that was passed was not a Federal law, which Buhari would have had the responsibility to implement the provisions of that law.


“It was a Kano law. And when the law was quashed on a technicality, they went back and rewrote the law. So what’s the problem? You cannot tell me that because the governor of Kano has taken a decision to split the emirate and create more, the heavens will fall. This is not new, not new in the north, not new in Nigeria.”

When asked for reaction, a palace source told TheCable that Mohammed is a distraction that the emirate would not want to join issues with.

Emir Muhammadu Sanusi | V.P Yemi Osinbajo

He said the rumour out initially was that the monarch lobbied Osinbajo to make Rabiu Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano, Osinbajo’s vice-president.

On his part, Laolu Akande, spokesman of the vice-president, said: “I don’t react to speculations; it’s baseless.”


#Newsworthy…

Customs North Border Drill Sector Coordinator To Visit Kwara Communities Near Border


The Customs Border Drill Sector Coordinator for North Central Nigeria, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, has promised to visit border communities in Kwara State.

Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba disclosed this when the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Salihu Yakubu Danladi, visited his office.

He made clear that the partial closing of Nigeria’s land borders is not intended to witch-hunt or obstruct any legal businesses nor any community, but to prevent the illegal export of petroleum products, to encourage local farmers and manufacturers, to control the inflow of arms and ammunition, to stop the traffick illicit drugs and other prohibited goods into the country, and to enable neighbouring countries to comply with ECOWAS protocols on cross-border trade.


Garba, who is posted from Seme Area Command to Sector Three 3, said the Nigerian Customs service is just an implementer of Federal Government policies and advised that state governments should channel their grievances through the appropriate quarters.

The Comptroller promised to use the opportunity of his visit to meet with individuals and bodies engaged in legitimate business, mentioning that border security seeks to solve the critical problems of irregular migration and trans-border crimes such as the smuggling of small arms and light weapons, illicit petroleum products, human trafficking, drug trafficking and terrorism, among other issues.


He added that these crimes must be tackled head-on and that was what had informed the Federal Government in closing the country’s land borders.

The Nigeria Customs Service on August 20, 2019, on the directive of the Federal Government, partially closed Nigeria’s land borders.

Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba

Earlier in the visit, Salihu Yakubu Danladi in the company of Chairman House Committee on Education and Human Capital Development, Hon. Mohammed Baba Salihu, expressed concern over the hardship of fuel scarcity presently being faced by the four districts of Baruten Local Government Area of the state (Ilesha Baruba-Okuta-Chikanda Axis).

The Speaker appealed to the Sector Coordinator to reconsider the decision of restricting fuel supply 20 km to border communities, as a litre of petrol is now selling for between N250 and N300.


#Newsworthy…

32 year old Kabiru Moh’d arrested for making video of president Buhari getting married to Minister of finance, Ahmed Zainab


A 32-year-old man, Kabiru Mohammed, has been arrested by men of the Department of State Services DSS for creating and sharing fake videos depicting President Buhari’s marrying the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq.

Recall that in October 2019, rumors were rife that President Buhari was set to wed Farouq. It turned out to be a false report as nothing like that ever happened.


Parading Mohammed before newsmen at its National Headquarters on Friday January 3rd, the DSS Public Relations Officer, Dr Peter Afunanya, said an investigation was launched, following a formal complaint to the Service by the Minister for Finance.

“Last year, 2019 between August and October there was a defamatory video that circulated widely across Nigeria and showing false engagement of Mr President in marriage with some members of his cabinet. One was the Minister for Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and another was that of the Minister for Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq. On the 11thof October, 2019 the Honourable Minister for Finance, brought a formal complaint to the Service in which she stated that the video had cost her big embarrassment and asked that an investigation be opened into that audio/video and the materials associated with it, the infographics and all the materials that were in circulation at the moment. She asked that a detailed investigation be opened in that regard with a view to identifying the persons or groups of persons that may have been behind the circulation of such defamatory materials.


The Service went into investigation and we can announce that it had apprehended the person that is involved and the person who started this and who circulated the materials. His name is Kabiru Mohammed. He hails from Kano. He is 32 years. He holds a diploma in Hausa and Fulfulde from the Federal College of Education, Kano and also holds a diploma in Mass Communication from Aminu Kano Islamic School, according to him.

He has confessed and investigation has also revealed his involvement in the creation of these materials and the circulation of the materials. Investigation is continuing to determine the actual reasons behind his intent. What we can assure you as Nigerians is that we would continue to deepen this investigation and bring it to a logical conclusion.


We will do everything needful within the ambit of the law to bring this to a logical conclusion, as to determine whether there is or not other persons, interests and motives behind this other than what he has said.

We want to use this opportunity to once again please ask Nigerians as always that the spread of false news through the social media does not do well for any person. You may enjoy the spread of such falsehood when you are not the victim. But if you become the victim, you will know the pain. And we want to urge every citizen and residents and of course Nigerians, that anywhere they are, they should desist from spreading falsehoods, misrepresentations, rumours against one another, against then government, and against institutions of government.

Kabiru Mohammed

By the time you click that button and you spread or participate in sharing news that is not true, you are helping in causing disharmony, you are helping in bringing problem in the country. And you are also feeding on differences in the country to bring about chaos, anarchy and instability. As we go into the New Year, we urge everyone to make a new attitude and begin to find reasons to be more patriotic, to be more law abiding, and be better citizens and to help move Nigeria forward. On our part we would continue to perform our duties and responsibilities without let or fear and will always collaborate with all stakeholders particularly the media and strategic partners to make sure there is lasting peace in the country.”

A remorseful Mohammed admitted to creating and sharing the videos and pleaded for forgiveness, saying it was a mistake.


#Newsworthy…

Adoke to spend New year in jail as judge reject bail conditions.


Hearing in the bail application brought by the detained former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke suffered a major set back on Tuesday before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The development came as Justice Othman Musa has ordered the return of the case file involving Adoke to the Chief Judge of the court, Justice Ishaq Bello, after the expiration of the 14 days allowed for Mr Adoke’s detention.

The court had on December 20, 2019, granted an exparte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to detain Adoke for 14 days in it’s custody to enable it round up it’s investigation.


The legal life of the detention order will expire on January 2, 2020.

Although Adoke had through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, filed a bail application before the court, it was not moved in court on Tuesday.


A lawyer from the Chambers of Ozekhome, Benson Iganoi, informed the court that although they had their application for Mr Adoke’s bail, they needed time to respond to counter applications brought by the EFCC.

Mr Adoke had been held for over a month in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, following a request by the EFCC through INTERPOL before he returned to Nigeria on December 19.


Mr Adoke who has been on a self imposed exile since 2015, has pending criminal charges brought against him by the commission for his alleged role in the scandal that followed the granting of the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI.

The controversial contract had resulted in the payment of $1.1 billion dollars to accounts controlled by an ex-convict and former petroleum minister, Dan Etete by Shell and ENI

Mohammed Bello Adoke

Mr Adoke has denied any wrongdoing in the matter.

The allegations has however resulted in international prosecution of suspects linked to the matter.


#Newsworthy…

Lai Mohammed: Nigeria secured highest convictions globally in 2019.


Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Monday December 30 announced that Nigeria secured the highest convictions globally in 2019.

Highlighting some of Buhari-led administration’s achievement in its fight against corruption in 2019, the Minister stated that there is progress in all fronts including institutional reforms, loot recovery and prosecution of allegedly corrupt persons.

Lai Mohammed disclosed that EFCC’s record of 890 convictions alongside the recovery of stolen funds that amounts to billions, had the highest number of convictions of high profile persons in the world.

He said;

”The fight against corruption also gained momentum within the period, with high profile convictions. Between January and October 2019 alone, that’s a period of 10 months, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured 890 convictions.

”This is the highest anywhere in the world. Recall that in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the EFCC was only able to secure 103, 189, 190 and 202 convictions respectively. The high rate of convictions in 2019 is in addition to the billions of naira in looted funds that have been recovered by the EFCC.”


#Newsworthy…

Lai Mohammed denies supporting ‘Hate speech bill’

...says no cause for alarm over our rising $84bn debt profile


Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, says there is no cause for alarm over the country’s $84 billion debt profile.

The Minister said this at a press conference held today December 30th where he highlighted the administration’s major achievements in the year 2019.


There is currently a nationwide outrage over a $29.6 billion loan request President Buhari sent to the National Assembly. In his letter of request, President Buhari said the loan is “critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes”.

Reacting to the outrage, Lai Mohammed at the press confrence said


“There have been concerns in certain circles about the country’s growing debt, both domestic and external. In the process, there have been some misrepresentations and scare mongering. We therefore believe it is important to put things in the right perspective, so our citizens will be well informed.

The public debt stock is actually a cumulative figure of borrowings by successive governments over many years. It is therefore not appropriate to attribute the public debt stock to one administration.


Nigeria’s total public debt stock in 2015 was $63.80 billion, comprising $10.31 billion of external debt and $53.49 billion domestic debt. By June 2019, the total debt stock was $83.883 billion, made up of $27.163 billion of external debt and $56.720 billion domestic debt. It is therefore not correct to say that Nigeria’s external debt alone is $81.274 billion.

There is yet no cause for alarm. This is because Nigeria has a debt ceiling of 25% in the total public debt stock to Gross Domestic Product (Debt/GDP), which it has operated within. The ratio for Dec. 31 2018 and June 30 2019 were 19.09% and 18.99% respectively.


The debt service to revenue ratio has however been higher than desirable, hence the push by the government to diversify the economy and increase oil and non-oil revenues significantly. The government is also widening the tax base to capture more tax-paying citizens.”

Lai Mohammed also denied claims made by a member of the Nigerian Senate, Sen. Francis Fadahunsi, that he is the sponsor of the controversial Hate Speech bill. Fadahunsi in a recent media chat, alleged that Mohammed is behind the bill aimed at crippling quality and vibrant journalism. Reacting to the allegation, Mohammed said

Minister for culture, Lai Mohammed

You must have read the fake news attributed to Sen. Fadahunsi that I am behind the hate speech bill at the National Assembly, and that the senator who is sponsoring the bill is fronting for me. This is a typical example of the fake news we are trying to fight.

I am not the sponsor of the hate speech bill at the National Assembly. However, I remain committed to sanitising the social media. I have said that all stakeholders will be involved in determining the modalities for regulating the social media”.


#Newsworthy…

FG bans minister from travelling abroad, says estacode won’t be calculated hourly.


Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed has announced that henceforth Ministers and some other government officials will only be allowed to travel outside the country 8 times a year.

Ministers have also been directed not to go on foreign trips more than twice in a quarter. Lai Mohammed also announced that Ministers are now expected to travel with only 4 aides relevant to each trip outside the country. Government officials below the rank of ministers are henceforth entitled to fewer aides on foreign trips.

He also disclosed that estacode will no longer be calculated on hourly basis.


#Newsworthy…

Muslims in Nigeria are good set of people – Sokoto Sultan.


The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has said that the Muslim faithful in Nigeria are good people.

The traditional ruler, who is also the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, said this while addressing participants at the 34th National Qur’an Recitation Competition in Lagos.


The Christian Association of Nigeria had backed the United States report, saying Christians are being persecuted in the country but Sultan insists nothing of such exists, stressing that not all Fulani herdsmen are Muslims and they were not after the Christians as insinuated by CAN.

He said, “And I want to assure you that no Muslim would be provoked into taking up arms against anybody based on what you have been seeing in the media particularly of recent.

Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar

“These are issues we need to tackle; these are issues the various governments at all levels need to tackle by sitting down and talking to one another because making public comments don’t normally help.

“They aggravate situations. And I want to assure all, everything is right with us. The Muslims in Nigeria are very good people. We will continue to do the best. But among all good people, there are also bad people and we know there are bad people among all societies.”


#Newsworthy…

Just in – Police set manhunt for abductors in cross river.

The Cross River Police Command has launched a manhunt for the abductors of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman in Cross River, Ben Ukpepi.

Ukpepi was abducted on Tuesday at his residence in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state by unknown gunmen. The State Police Spokesperson, DSP Irene Ugbo said efforts were on to rescue the chairman unhurt.

She said the Anti-Kidnapping and Cultism Unit of the police was working tirelessly with a view to rescue Ukpepi.

“Since we received the report of his kidnap, we have deployed our special unit on kidnapping to handle the matter and I can assure you that the NLC chairman will be released.” She pledged.

Alfred Mboto, Permanent Secretary on Security, Governor’s office, Calabar, said the state government was working with security agencies to secure the release of Ukpepi from his abductors.

Mboto gave the assurance that with commitment of the state government in safe guarding lives and properties of residents, the NLC chairman would be rescued unhurt.

#Newsworthy…

Court order EFCC to remand former minister, Adoke for 14 days.

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in Maitama, Abuja has granted the request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to remand former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohamed Adoke for 14 days pending investigation.

Justice Othman Musa, who is the court’s sitting vacation judge granted an ex-parte motion moved this morning by EFCC’s lawyer, Fatima Mustapha to that effect.

“Application to remand the suspect in EFCC custody for 14 days pending investigation is granted,” the judge said

#Newsworthy…

Update – RMAFC warns against rising debt profile

…internal and external debt profile

The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has warned against continued deficit budgeting, which results in the country’s rising debt profile.

This was part of the commission’s observations contained in the communique it issued at the end of its three-day retreat in Lagos recently.

The commission, during the retreat, observed that “deficit budgeting which creates avenue for borrowing has continued to raise the country’s debt profile internally and externally.”

In the communique signed by the commission’s Chairman, Elias Mbam, and Acting Secretary, A. B. Mohammed, RMAFC revealed issues affecting the development of the country and challenges hampering the effective performance of its constitutional mandates.

Among issues observed at the retreat were the non-involvement of the commission in the budget process of government despite its fiscal efficiency function”, and that “inadequate funding, insufficient geoscience data, artisanal/illegal mining activities, community agitations as well as low technology utilisation seriously affect the operation and performance of the solid mineral sector.”

In its recommendations, the RMAFC said, “the commission’s enabling law should be amended to guarantee its financial independence and power of enforcement to enable it discharge its functions effectively, and that the commission should evolve a workable mechanism to block revenue leakages, diversion of funds, and recover unremited revenues.”

The commission also resolved that it would encourage government at all levels to save for the rainy days as well as develop the political will to diversify the economy.

In addition, it recommended that, “utilisation of external and internal debts in financing budget deficits should be closely monitored for use in the execution of infrastructure and not for recurrent expenditures”; that “the commission should be involved in the preparation of the budget particularly in setting targets for revenue generating agencies,” and that “the oil and gas industry should carry out institutional reforms including accurate metering systems at all terminals,” among others.

The commission called on the federal, states, local governments, revenue generating agencies and other stakeholders to partner with it in the discharge of its constitutional functions by considering and implementing the recommendations in the communique.

#Newsworthy…

Lai Mohammed – No going back on social media regulations.

…Regulate content not social media

The Federal Government has restated its resolve to regulate the activities of the Social Media which it claimed was being used for the spread of fake news and hate speech.

Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammad stated this at the annual roundtable on Cultural Orientation in Owerri, Imo State.

The minister, who was represented at the event which theme was: “Youth, social media and cultural development in Nigeria” by a Director in the ministry, Mrs.Memunat Idah-Lah, said the role of the Nigerian youth as key drivers of development and cultural ambassadors as well as the value of the social media in contemporary times have continued to attract the attention of government and development experts.

“The key issue slated for discussion from the theme of this conference is the social media. Permit me to use this opportunity to reiterate the position of government that the social media needs to be regulated.The resolve of government to regulate the platform is not designed to hamper freedom of expression or gag public discourse as being alleged, rather, it is to prevent its abuse and the negative consequences.

The phenomenon of hate speech, fake news and other forms of criminality which features regularly on the social media have the potential to harm the nation’s security, national unity and our overall national interest.

“It is important to note that our position is in tandem with global best practices. Most countries including the advanced democracies are adopting one form of regulation or another. However, in our case, we collaborate with stakeholders in determining the best option for our dear country.”

But Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by Ikenna Emeh, said what the Federal Government needs to regulate is the content and not the use of social media in the country.

He pointed out the Federal government needs to make a distinction between Hate Speech and regulation of the social media.

“There is every need to regulate the content of the social media and not the use of the social media in the country and it is important that the Federal government because there is difference between hate speech and regulation of use of social media content.”

Earlier, Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation, Louis Eriomala said ,” While we appreciate the enormous benefits to be derived from responsibly using the Internet and social media , we are deeply concerned about the negative consequences of its misuse on our Culture and the future of our youths.

According to him this concern has resulted in several countries adopting one form of regulation or the other to defeat the illegal activities in the social media.

“In this regard, the Institute fully supports the regulation of the social media platform . It is gratifying to note the assurances from the Senate President Lawan Ahmed and the Minister of Information and Culture , Alhaji Lai Muhammad that a final decision would be reached after a Robust Stakeholders engagement.”

#Newsworthy…

EFCC bugle Former AGF, Adoke on his arrival from Dubai.

Former Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, has arrived Nigeria from Dubai.

The ex-AGF left Dubai following pressure from EFCC boss Ibrahim Magu who reportedly held series of meeting with Dubai authorities in respect of the former Attorney General. He was accompanied by INTERPOL officers on Emirates Airlines Flight 785.

The aircraft departed the Emirati commercial capital at about 11am Dubai time (8am Nigerian time) and touched down at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja at 3:45pm. Officers of the EFCC were on ground at the airport when he arrived to intercept him.

#Newsworthy…

Senate affirms appointment of Mo’ Nami as executive chairman.

…replaces babatunde fowler

The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of Muhammad Nami as Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Nami replaces Babatunde Fowler.

Announcing Nami’s confirmation, the FIRS in a post on Twitter, said, “The Senate a few minutes ago confirmed the appointment of Muhammad Nami as Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service.

“Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, slammed his gavel at 2:51pm today (Wednesday), signalling the confirmation of Nami’s appointment.”

#Newsworthy…