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Abia Assembly probe of ex-Commissioner dead on arrival— Group

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Abia Assembly probe of ex-Commissioner dead on arrival— Group
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Abia Assembly probe of ex-Commissioner dead on arrival— Group

A group named “Abia Concerned Group for Good Governance Advocacy” on Wednesday said its attention has been drawn to the publication on the Vaguard of 28th June 2021, that House of Assembly will begin probe of ex- Commissioner of Finance over alleged misappropriation of N22bn Paris Club Refund.

Describing the development as “dead on arrival”, the group noted that the probe of any past or present Commissioner of Finance cannot be done on isolation because the Commissioner is an appointee of the Governor who he takes orders from.

According to the statement, it is important to inform the House that a probe against Obinna is invariably a probe against the Government of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu under whose authority the Commissioner for Finance functioned.

Abia Assembly probe of ex-Commissioner dead on arrival— Group

It read: For the interest of the public, we wish to make the following clarifications:

1. We have always believed that it is the constitutional right of any House of Assembly to engage in over sight function as that is the beauty of democracy.

2. That the probe of any past or present Commissioner of Finance cannot be done on isolation because the commissioner is an appointee of the Governor who he takes orders from. So, it is important to inform the House that a probe against Obinna is invariably a probe against the Government of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu under whose authority the Commissioner for Finance functioned.

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3. Given the aforementioned premises. It is also important to observe the obvious conflicts of interest between the resolutions of the Abia State House of Assembly; the onus of the investigation, vis-a- vis, the alleged culpability of the Former administration of Chief T. A. Orji, who, interestingly, is the father of the current Speaker of the State House of Assembly. If justice is therefore akin to fairness then the Speaker cannot be a Judge in his own case.

4. The N22b Paris refund received in 2016 under Okezie Ikpeazu was well utilized for the payment of arrears of salaries inherited and Abia state won award as the best State in deployment of Paris refund from the Governors forum. The issue that should be investigated is the receipt of initial N8.2b in 2011 during Jonathan administration as this funds were hidden from Abians until recently, and the amount paid as consultancy fee.

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5. It is also a well known fact that the State House of Assembly lack the power to delibrate on a matter that is presently before a court of competent jurisdiction. For the benefit of hindsight the issues in question are before two courts at Abuja for over one year. The reference numbers are as follows: CV/2470/17 FCT High court. FHC/ABCJ/CS323/202.

6. Aside the ongoing litigations at the Abuja high court, a similar matter affecting the questionable engagement of two consultants for same Paris club refund between 2011 and 2014 at 20% and 30% by past administration which would have resulted to payment or loss of N11billion Naira as consultancy fee) being 50% of N22billon) except for the diligence of same Mr Obinna Oriaku is also before the EFCC Enugu.

7. The ongoing investigation also include the engagement of one of these two consultants by past administration at 25% for the Rivers State oil well refund of N9billon for job not proven. This means that Abia paid out N2.3b.

8. It is therefore preposterous that a revered State House of Assembly with the primary task of representing the common man will venture into a deliberate or accidental probe into a matter that is already receiving attention in the law court and EFCC. If the target is one of their series of efforts to victimise Obinna Oriaku then they have to wait longer and in futility as they will surely fail as usual.

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9. Our group is of the opinion that any attempt to distract the natural course of justice, which portends hope for the majority of Abians, will be resisted by every available legal means.

10. In conclusion, we insist that hurriedly setting up an investigation at this ninth hour over a matter that was nearly covered up but for the prying eyes of the EFCC is reactive and diversionary.

11. Abians are earnestly looking up to EFCC and the Court to unravel the allegations concerning the claims of the homongous N4.3billion as consultancy charges by certain consultant.

“Abians have once been beaten but are twice shy. This is the time to reclaim our State from the scavengers that have held us down for long,” the statement read.

“Abia Concerned Group For Good Governance Advocacy.”

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Newly trained Narcotic Assistants ‘ll strengthen Nigerias anti-drug war – Marwa

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Newly trained Narcotic Assistants ‘ll strengthen Nigerias anti-drug war – Marwa

Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has said the war against drug abuse and trafficking has gained significant strength with the addition of hundreds of newly trained Narcotic Assistants to the Agencys workforce.

He made the declaration at the official passing out parade and closing ceremony of the training of Narcotic Assistants Course 3, on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at the NDLEA Academy, Kotton Rikus, Jos, Plateau State.

Marwa, Special Guest and the reviewing officer of the parade, represented by the Agencys Secretary, Mr Shadrach Haruna, said: Todays ceremony signposts yet another of the Agencys efforts towards the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign and the total eradication of illicit drugs and their effects in Nigeria. In particular, this training and passing out ceremony aligns with my vision of a well-motivated, visible and proactive workforce that is service-ready to meet the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of the Agency and that of the nation in general.

While stating that Narcotic Assistants Course 3 of 2021 is the largest of the cadre and the first-ever course in over 25 years, Marwa noted the process leading to the training started in 2019 but was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented gatherings and engendered global lockdowns across countries and continents.

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Newly trained Narcotic Assistants ‘ll strengthen Nigerias anti-drug war – Marwa

Gen. Marwa, while stressing that the Agency has lived up to its mandate and the accompanying challenges in the past eight months, reminded the new Narcotic Assistants that they will be joining their colleagues who are already in the field across Nigeria fighting the drug war. The training has prepared you physically, mentally and psychologically for the demanding tasks ahead. You must, henceforth, keep in mind that you are on national assignment in the fight against the drug pandemic, Marwa stated.

Warning of the dangers ahead, the NDLEA boss told the new officers: You are going to be assaulted and tempted psychologically and physically, subtly and brashly by merchants of this nefarious trade. You will be offered money and other forms of gratification. I call on you all to cultivate the will, guts and coping skills required to reject these temptations and allow for effective discharge of your duties.

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The NDLEA Chairman also seized the occasion to remind the new Narcotic Assistants and the public at large that the fight against illicit drug, this time, is not half-hearted and will not be compromised: The Agency more than ever before demands complete loyalty, commitment, sacrifice and dedication from you in pursuit of the nations goal of a drug-free society. Since I assumed office, I have demonstrated in word and in action, a desire to up the ante of Drug Enforcement Administration in Nigeria as well as improve staff welfare and better working conditions for the Agency. It is my aspiration that by the time the current series of Basic Training is completed, the NDLEA will be able to establish offices and presence in all the seven hundred and seventy-four (774) local government areas in Nigeria.

While assuring the new officers of the leaderships resolve to continue to work on improving the welfare, working conditions and environment of the Agencys workforce, Marwa urged them to abide by the ethos of paramilitary service, namely discipline and loyalty. I charge you all to conduct yourselves as well-trained and disciplined men fighting a just war aimed at ridding the country of the drug scourge, he said.

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He concluded his speech with a call to the public to join forces with the NDLEA at safeguarding the country against the drug menace.

We must always keep in mind that it is our society, our children, our youths, our people, our future and our culture that are under attack and in danger of being replaced by the drug culture. Let us together arise in unison against this dreaded monster, said Marwa.

The ceremony, which concluded with an awards presentation to the best performing cadets in eight different categories, was well attended by a cross-section of the public and service institutions, including representatives of the GOC, 3 Div, NA, Federal Road Safety Commission, (FRSC), Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Correction Service, chairman, Senate Committees on Narcotics and Jos North Traditional Council among others.

Femi Babafemi
Director, Media & Advocacy
NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja
Saturday, 25th September 2021

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NDDC donates Special Protection Unit Base for Nigeria Police

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NDDC donates Special Protection Unit Base for Nigeria Police
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NDDC donates Special Protection Unit Base for Nigeria Police

Sets for commissioning, Tuesday

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Tuesday (September 28) commission the Special Protection Unit Base 6 barracks, built and donated by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to the Nigeria Police Force.

The barracks, with 68 fully air-conditioned flats, also comprises a five bedroom commander’s quarters, functional office accommodation, a sentry post, guardroom with armoury and a parade ground.

It is located in the Omagwa area of Port Harcourt, which is the host community for the Port Harcourt International Airport.

Construction of the barracks started several years ago, but was completed early this year as part of the renewed drive by the Commission, under the leadership of the Interim Administrator/Chief Executive, Mr Efiong Akwa, to complete key projects.

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NDDC donates Special Protection Unit Base for Nigeria Police

Speaking last July, Mr Akwa had noted that the apartment complex was meant to provide accommodation to Policemen in the Special Protection Unit (SPU) of the Force.

“The housing units will therefore help to improve security around around and within the Port Harcourt International Airport”, said the NDDC Chief Executive.

In the last two years, NDDC management has worked hard to complete important projects in different sectors of the economy. In addition, it has also donated many amenities and facilities, including garbage trucks and medical equipment to state governments in the region.

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Buhari’s fiercest critics dine with him at Aso Villa – Adesina

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Buhari’s fiercest critics dine with him at Aso Villa – Adesina
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Buhari’s fiercest critics dine with him at Aso Villa – Adesina

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said that some of the fiercest critics of his boss, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), dine with him at Aso Rock in Abuja.

He disclosed this in a piece titled, ‘Buhari, FFK, And The Quality Of Mercy’.

According to Adesina, the defection of former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress last week has caused “not a small ruckus” because of his past acerbic comments against Buhari.

He said though Fani-Kayode had said “unpardonable and unprintable” things about Buhari, his family and the APC, the President displayed “mercy” by receiving the controversial ex-minister into the party at the Villa last week.

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The presidential spokesman wrote, “Naturally, a lot of loyal APC members are hopping mad that FFK was readmitted into the party. And not only that, he got back at the highest level. Not at his ward in Ile-Ife, Osun State, but the triumphal entry was at the Presidential Villa, with President Buhari himself as the host.

Buhari’s fiercest critics dine with him at Aso Villa – Adesina

“I understand the umbrage taken against the development by teeming APC supporters. It’s the natural thing to do. But then, having vented spleen, raised dust and almost brought down the roof, the next thing is to isolate the issues dispassionately. With the bile displayed towards President Buhari and his family over the years, how did the man find the grace to have received FFK? How was he convinced? Who did the convincing? What were the extenuating factors? How? When? Why?

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“By agreeing to the readmission of FFK to APC as the leader of the party, and hosting him at the Villa, President Buhari displayed amazing capacity to forgive, to show mercy, and let bygones be bygones. How many of us can do that? Not many.”

“I have worked with the President for over six years. And I have seen amazing things in terms of accommodation and capacity to forgive. I have visited him at home many times in the evenings, only to find at dinner table with him people who had been abusing his forefathers on television earlier in the day.

“This President has a capacity to forgive, and forget. And make peace. That was what he displayed in the case of FFK. Nothing short of divine attribute, which me and you should covet and seek to approximate,” Adesina added.

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