The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff said the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party has no plans to suspend some of its bigwigs including former President Goodluck Jonathan as being speculated.
He said his regime would not condone impunity and indiscipline in whatever guise, but work towards re-defining the party and giving hope to the ordinary Nigerians.
Speaking through his deputy, Cairo Ojougboh in a telephone interview with Daily Trust last night, the PDP chief said he loves the party and does not wish that its members defect to other political parties.
“We are very particular about the interest of our party. We love the PDP and we are also aware that politics is a game of numbers.
“We shall not make the mistake of allowing people leave the party if we can help it but at the same time we shall not condone indiscipline.
“We have left the door open for all as we fight to re-position the party,” he said.
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was losing some top cases in court.
Obasanjo attributed the failure of the EFCC to its inability to use what he called “staunch ogbologbo lawyer,” as he said the lawyers employed by the anti-corruption agency were outsiders.
The former President said this while speaking with newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
“I was reading today when the President (Muhammadu Buhari) said the EFCC should stop losing cases. They lose cases for a number of reasons.
“One, they engage more of outside lawyers. I believe that they need staunch, `ogbologbo’ lawyers inside that will do the work.
“If I am a lawyer and I want the opponent to win a case, what I will file will be `wishy washy’. And if I file a `wishy washy’ case, the opponent will see the loophole and he will get out of it. I believe that it is important.
“Secondly, thorough investigation is very important. Now, investigation must be thorough, it must be proper and it must be really taken seriously.
“Third, our judges must be committed in fighting corruption.
“They must be committed to fighting corruption. Because if the investigation is very sound and you have `ogbologbo’ lawyer to handle the case, if you have Salamigate, you know what the answer will be.
“So it is a line: investigation, prosecution and the judiciary. If there is weakness along this line, chances are that corruption cases will continue to be lost.” Obasanjo explained.
The Nigeria Police Force has dismissed allegation by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, planned to kill him.
The police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, in a statement on Sunday, described the allegation as malicious, saying it was capable of misleading the public and causing disaffection between the NPF and the people of Rivers State.
Wike had in an interview said the IG had instructed the Commissioner of Police in the state to kill him.
But Moshood said the governor was being guarded by no fewer than 221 policemen, which he said were more than what some police area commands in some states had.
He also said contrary to Wike’s claim, only three CPs and not nine CPs had served in Rivers State since Idris assumed office.
The police spokesman said, “There was no time either recently or in the past that the Inspector-General of Police gave an order or assignment to the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State or any police officer anywhere in the country to kill Mr. Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State or directs the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State to cage the governor as alleged.
“It is incumbent on the Nigeria Police Force to educate the general public and draw the attention of the governor to the facts and figures available for press and members of the public to verify that there are 221 police personnel attached currently to Governor Nyesom Wike for his personal and official protection.”
According to the police, the personnel attached to Wike included one aide-de-camp, one chief security officer, one unit commander (Special Protection Unit); one unit commander (Counter-terrorism Unit) and one escort commander.
Others are one camp commander; one administrative officer to administer the police personnel, 54 inspectors, 136 sergeants and 24 corporals.
The police spokesman explained that 28,000 policemen and personnel of other security agencies were deployed in Rivers State in December last year for the rerun election.
The men, he added, operated under the aegis of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security platform created by the Independent National Electoral Commission and the NPF to ensure the security and safety of the electorate, INEC officials, election materials and other critical stakeholders before, during and after the polls.
The police cautioned the governor against casting aspersions on the IG and the police, advising him to be conscious of national security when making public statements.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja met separately, behind closed doors, with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and the Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The president first met with the Speaker before meeting the Senate President for about 40 minutes each.
It was gathered that the two meetings were part of efforts to address the seeming strain relationship between the Presidency and the National Assembly. The meetings also discussed the progress reports on the 2017 budget proposal, Senate’s amendment of the Electoral Act and other national issues.
The two Presidential Aides for National Assembly Matters for the Senate and House of Representatives, Sen. Ita Enang and Kawu Sumaila, respectively, were earlier sighted going into the president’s office.
The Senate President and the Speaker, who both spoke to State House correspondents after the meetings, said they had “routine consultation’’ with the president. Saraki said the relationship between the two arms of government was cordial.
He said, “The relationship is very cordial, you cannot examine (the National Assembly) by one or two issues. That is the point I’m making. You cannot examine (the relationship) based on NDDC or examine it based on EFCC.
“We have other issues like the Ministerial (names) we are going to work on and the amnesty we will soon work on. We have the budget that is more important, we have INEC, we have PIB, we have so many things and I think it is a mixture of all that that should guide us.
“So, don’t let us overheat the polity.’’
On the six months suspension of Sen. Ali Ndume by the Senate, Saraki said he had no power to recall him as being advocated by some individuals and groups.
Also speaking on the outcome of his meeting with the president, Dogara dismissed the assertion that he was in the Villa over crisis between the executive and the legislature.
He said, “It baffles me when people see you visit Mr President, the assumption out there is that something is going wrong. Nothing is wrong, it is just a routine consultation.
“You might look at it as crisis but I don’t look at it as crisis. You know I have always said this that as a government our value will be the problems we have solved.
“We can’t be remembered for avoiding or running away from problems. It is only when we provide solution to some of the things you refer to as crises and we look at them as opportunities to begin anew that people will now remember us for putting down enduring legacies.”
On the proposed protest against the recent activities at the National Assembly, Dogara said Nigerians were free to express their views peacefully
He said: “This is a democracy we are running and we have to open the space to civil society, to everyone who feels aggrieved to be able to air his grievances.
“So, if they have grievances against the institution of the legislature we will take it.’’
The federal government of Nigeria has revealed the new method used by the terrorist group, ISIS, to recruit new members.
According to Information Minister Lai Mohammed, ISIS has now resorted to targeting vulnerable individuals, including foreign students, using financial inducements to recruit them into the terrorist organisation.
He quoted a report received by the Nigerian intelligence community, which explained how 27 students of the University of Medical Sciences and Technology, UMST, in Sudan were recruited. He said this is the new method of recruitment used by the terrorists.
According to him, 22 of the 27 students, who travelled to Syria to join ISIS, are Britons.
”According to the report, the students were recruited by one Mohammed Fakhri Al-khabbas, a former UMST student from Middlesborough, United Kingdom,” he said.
“Many of the students are children of reputable doctors in the UK. Their social media accounts also revealed them as praising jihadists and championing ISIS’ cause,”
He then urged Nigerian parents, especially those who have children and wards in foreign academic institutions, to pay more attention to their activities, while urging schools across the country to enlighten their students on the new ISIS’ recruitment strategy.
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party might have had a negative impact on its members in Ondo state as two major financiers of the party in the state are making moves to join the All Progressives Congress ( APC).
According to Leadership, Hon Kingsley Kuku, former Special Adviser and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under the immediate past administration as well as former western fringe commander of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Bibopere Ajube, alias General Shoot at Sight are now set to dump the PDP.
While Kuku was the brain behind the nomination of Mr John Ola Mafo as running mate to the PDP’s governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, Ajube funded the party in Ese-Odo Local Government Area in the November 26, 2016 governorship election won by APC’s Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, now governor.
Kuku, who is currently on self exile in the United States owing to his running battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) over alleged mismanagement of Amnesty funds had penultimate week, passed the message across to his supporters back home to prepare and join the ruling APC in the state.
It is believed that Kuku’s decision might have to do with his running battle with the EFCC as he seeks for a soft landing.
In the same vein, Ajube who is an associate of Kuku is said to have opened discussions with some close confidants of Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu on behalf of the former adviser even as he seeks to retain the local vigilante job given to his company, Gallery Security Services Limited by the immediate-past governor, Olusegun Mimiko.
Senator Femi Okurounmu has revealed that the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to do the bidding of the Senate concerning the rejection of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu might result in his impeachment.
Okurounmu stated this during an interview with Daily Sun. The notable leader in the South-west and a die-hard ‘Awoist’, insists that the Senate has the final say on the appointment of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
He also added that it is the constitutional right of the President to nominate and it is the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to accept or reject the nomination.
He further added; “There are two issues involved here. If the Senate rejects him and the president allows him to act, that is an impeachable offence.
“If our legislature is up to the task, if our lawmakers know their rights and they are men of honour, that is enough to impeach the president. Even an American president cannot do that against the wish of the people.
“Once the president nominates and the Senate refuses to confirm, that is the end of the matter. If the president insists that he must continue to act, the president himself can be removed.
“The president is insisting on his appointment because he has his own agenda. And it is not for the president to come and implement a personal agenda.
“The president is not a dictator, he is not an autocrat. He was elected by the people. He is a constitutional president. As a constitutional president, there are constitutional limits to his powers. And if he exceeds those constitutional limits, he should be removed.”
The Department of State Security (DSS) has cleared the President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki of ownership of N310 million alleged to have been stolen from his house.
This will be the second time the security agency would be clearing Saraki of owning the said sumstolen by operatives of the service now standing trial.
According to reports in Vanguard newspaper, the DSS stated on clear terms that the cash did not belong to Saraki or any member of the National Assembly.
The Security body rather accused its dismissed staff, who is now standing trial for armed robbery, Abdulrasheed Maigari, of trying to fabricate a lie for a hidden motive.
It will be recalled that Maigari, a former DSS operative, had said that he and others connived to steal the huge cash from the Senate President’s home when they were working as security operatives in his house.
Earlier today, the media office of the President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki has denied for the second time, reports alleging that N310 million was stolen from the house of the Senate’s President.
In a stamen signed by Sanni Onogu, Chief Press Secretary to Saraki, he said that the reports which had been proven false by the Police and DSS were resurfacing again.
According to the statement, the report which first surfaced in December 2015 are the handiwork of those who only want to rub the name of the President of the Senate in the Mud.
Onogu therefore urged Nigerians to disregard the report wherever it is published as it is untrue.
Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Sunday appointed caretaker chairmen for the 18 local councils, according to Mr Olusegun Ajiboye, his Chief Press Secretary.
Sixteen of the appointees are men and two women.
A High Court in Akure on Friday, annulled the election of the former chairmen of the councils on the grounds that the Peoples Redemption Party( PRP) and its logo were excluded from the election. The sacked chairmen were elected in April 2016.
The caretaker chairmen are:
1. Mr Aworetan Fayowole (Ilaje)
2. Prince Odimayo Gbadebo (Irele)
3. Mrs Morenike Alaka (Okitipupa)
4. Prince George Adenikinju (Odigbo)
5. Mr Temidayo Akinsuroju (Ile Oluji/Oke Igbo)
6. Mr Bekewe Olowu (Ese-Odo)
7. Mr Ebenezer Akinsulie (Ondo West)
8. Mr Rafiu Akinkuolie (Ondo East)
9. Mr Biyi Ayinnuola (Idanre)
10. Mrs Atere Margaret (Akure South)
11. Mr Segun Oluyede (Akure North)
12. Mr Dipo Ajibola (Ifedore)
13. Mr Gani Omoluka (Owo)
14. Mr Agboola Ajike (Ose)
15. Mr Adeyemi Akinniyi (Akoko South/East)
16. Mr Augustine Oloruntogbe (Akoko South/West)
17. Mr Rafiu Eniayewu (Akoko North/East)
18. Arc. Moradeyo Ajayi (Akoko North/West) .
They will be sworn in by the governor on Monday, Ajiboye said.
A schoolmate of the embattled Dino Melaye, Abdussobur Salaam, at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, has said the certificate scandal rocking the senator is a retribution for his past sins.
Salaam who now works at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), spoke against the backdrop of the certificate controversy in which the senator is currently embroiled.
According to Premium Times Salaam while speaking on a Pen pushing social media platform, said he studied political science at ABU at the same time Melaye was a student in the Department of Geography at the university.
“Permit me to make an intervention on the issue of Dino and ABU, having been admitted and ‘graduated’ from ABU same year as Dino. I use the word ‘graduated’, very guardedly and with caution.
“Permit me to say that as at the time we were admitted, Geography Department was under the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). In our 200 level, the Faculty was split and Geography Department had issues of where to fit in. It was initially placed under Faculty of Arts and later shifted to Faculty of Sciences where it is presently domiciled. The narrative on his certificate could be correct,” Salaam wrote.
“Dino and I are supposed to be ‘friends’ but differences never permitted while we were in school. Till date, we communicate once in a while, but I dare say he is the architect of his problems. “I have spent all yesterday responding to enquiries on different platforms about Dino’s status as a graduate. My take?
“We were admitted the same year, initially into the same faculty of FASS, and given that our courses were four years, we ought to have graduated same year. “However, recalling how studentship in ABU was that period, you could never be too sure of the academic status of any ‘student’.
“What do I mean? We had ‘students’ who were always around, attended lectures, participated in all student activities, were allocated hostel space, were always holding files and feigning academic seriousness, only for an issue to come up and you would find out that despite your having known them for years, they were never students but just lived pseudo student lives!”
Salaam, who was a former Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities at FUNAAB, said such attitudes of the fake students might make it difficult for any of their colleagues to believe that they were not authentic students.
“If they were never discovered, 20 years time, if a controversy arose as to their status, one would swear confidently that the person graduated!” , he stated.
“While this is not exactly the same with Dino, you cannot be too sure until facts are unearthed.
“I know for a fact that we were admitted together. I am aware that he was very active in student political circles, though he has attempted to insinuate that he was SUG president to shore up his political profile.
Unfortunately, during our time, under the reign of Uncle K, (General Kontagora as Sole Administrator) the student Union was proscribed, so that claim cannot stick! He lied on that!
“As President of Geography students, I am aware that he was impeached. I also know that he had fraud related issues with the Kogi State Students Association and Segun Halilu personally had lamented to me about this, then.
“I remember that he wanted to join the OAU students club then, and we blocked his membership, knowing his tendencies to cause confusion and take over the structure of the club for personal ends”.
Mr. Salaam said it is only the records of ABU that can state whether Mr. Melaye graduated from the university. “On his status as a graduate, only the records can tell. For all you know, he may have had a few unresolved carry-overs. Knowing Dino, he may have bluffed, paid or manipulated the system to ensure those records are obliterated.
“If not, recall that given the circumstances of our year set, many concessions/ waivers were given to ensure that we graduated, having spent almost double the statutory length of years we should spend. Dino may just have been such a beneficiary of waivers. It is however not our place to tell, but the truth will unfold itself”, Mr. Salaam stressed.
“As a political scientist, what I see is a class fragmentation struggle. An in-house struggle within the elite class. Saraki and Dino are the subjects of attack today for a takeover of the National Assembly. They may get over it or it may consume them.
“However, I do not have any sympathy for him (Mr. Melaye) because he is also a master in the art of subterfuge, blackmail and crude propaganda. Today, he is a victim of the same method he has adopted over the years and I am happy to see the tables turn!
“Unfortunately, issues like this have led to the results they were meant to produce – public hysteria! Everyone is now caught up in debates about the Dino certificate scandal, or is it Dinogate?
“Everyone includes me! Last two weeks, it was Apostle Suleiman. This week, it is Dino. Who knows who next week will throw up? While we dwell on personalities and are distracted by their shenanigans, we continue to remain victims of the plots and scheming.
At the end of the day, things like this die off, others take their place in an endless cycle of politics of personality. While the elite class continues to regale us with entertainment, the real problems of underdevelopment, poverty, poor infrastructure, bad governance, corruption, and other malaise remain! God help Nigeria!,” Salaam concluded.