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2023: CNPP, CSOs Give Emefiele April 21 Deadline to Resign or….

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Godwin Emefiele Exchange Rate

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Some political parties in the country and civil society organisations are threatening a showdown with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, over his alleged intention to contest for the post of president of the country in 2023.

There have been rumours that the CBN chief is planning to rule the country next year under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

At the national convention of the party last month, his campaign posters adorned the venue of the exercise in Abuja, causing many to raise an eyebrow because he should be non-partisan, increasing calls for his resignation.

Worried by the precedence his action may create, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and others have concluded plans to occupy the CBN headquarters in Abuja until Mr Emefiele resigns or denounces his purported presidential ambition and halts the activities of his support groups who they claimed are sources of distraction to his duties.

In a joint statement issued in Abuja by the Secretary-General of CNPP, Mr Willy Ezugwu and the National Secretary of the Coalition Of National Civil Society Organisations, Mr Ali Abacha, the groups noted that their “action has become necessary to save the Nigerian economy from total collapse.”

Giving reasons for the move, they said “it has become imperative to minimize the stress on the economy and to ensure that the relevant laws in the country are respected to the letter.”

According to them, “Section 9 of the CBN Act, 2007, clearly stated that The Governor and the Deputy Governors shall devote the WHOLE OF THEIR TIME TO THE SERVICE OF THE BANK and While Holding Office Shall Not Engage In Any Full Or Part-Time Employment Or Vocation Whether Remunerated Or Not except such personal or charitable causes as may be determined by the Board and Which Do Not Conflict With Or Detract From Their Full-Time Duties…

“Evidently, the law that established the CBN had foreseen that any iota of distraction or divided attention, however minimal, can spell doom for Nigeria’s economy, particularly with the deafening level of obviously sponsored clamour by different groups urging the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele to join the presidential race. It is clear that this is a source of distraction for the Governor of CBN at this time.

“Secondly, an important institution like the CBN should NEVER be headed by politically ambitious persons and it was for this reason that the CBN Act stipulated that The Governor and Deputy-Governors shall be persons of recognized financial experience… and not politicians of recognized political experience.

“Finally, if Mr Godwin Emefiele, who is eminently qualified to run for president, wishes to pursue a political career, Section 11(3) of the Act prescribed that The Governor or any Deputy Governor may resign his office by giving at least three months’ notice in writing to the President of his intention to do so…

“The question is, has the CBN governor transmitted a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari notifying him of his intention to leave office in three months from the date of the notice?

“We, therefore, call on the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele to immediately resign or publicly denounce his purported presidential ambition and order groups causing a distraction to the performance of his full-time duties to stop forthwith.

“He should immediately authorize relevant government agencies to clean up his posters which are conspicuously displayed around the CBN headquarters, in other parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and in most cities across the country.

“If these are not, by Thursday, April 21, the CNPP in conjunction with the civil society coalition will be occupying the CBN headquarters until Mr Emefiele resigns or denounces the purported distracting ongoing 2023 presidential campaign on his behalf by groups.

“It is noteworthy to state that the Nigerian economy has suffered enough stress, while the cost of living is becoming much more unbearable for the masses, and further distraction of the CBN governor’s full-time duties as stipulated by law will be strongly challenged on all fronts from April 21, 2022, since section 9 of the CBN Act 2007 (as amended) is unambiguous.

“We wish to reiterate that Mr Godwin Emefiele is eminently qualified to run for president of Nigeria but it has to be in absolute compliance with the laws of the land, especially the sections 8, 9 and 11 of the CBN Act 2007 (As amended)”, the CNPP and the CNCSOs stated.

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Senate Threatens to Withhold 2023 Capital Budget of State House, Others

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State House 2023 capital budget

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Senate has threatened to withhold the 2023 capital budget of 100 federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) until they answer the queries raised against them by the Auditor General for the Federation.

Senate President, Mr Ahmad Lawan, issued this threat on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday while ruling on a point of order.

The threat followed a point of order raised by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Matthew Urhoghide, who informed his colleagues that some agencies refused to appear before the team despite invitations sent to them.

Some of the MDAs include the State House, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministries of Interior, Transportation, Mines and Solid Mineral Development, Information, Communication, Petroleum, Defence, Police Affairs, and Sports.

Others are Works and Housing, Women Affairs, the State House, Presidential Fleet, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Independent National Electoral Commission, North East Development Commission, Nigerian Intelligence Agency, and the Nigerian Air Force, among others.

The queries covered in the auditor general’s report are from 2015-2018.

Speaking, Mr Lawan upheld Mr Urhoghide’s point of order and insisted that the public officers who utilised funds appropriated to their MDAs must give account.

He said, “Your point of order is sustained fully and completely, totally sustained; you are right on the dot to bring to the plenary your grievances.

“Secondly, I once served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee for eight years. My only problem is when you write agencies, and they refuse to honour the invite, you’d many times be forced to bring them through a warrant of arrest.

“Reading this list at plenary gives the agencies the opportunity to know now if they were not aware before for those that may claim ignorance.”

The Senate then gave the agencies a one-week deadline to communicate with the committee and set a date to appear before them or have their capital budgets withheld.

“I am taking the opportunity here to advise that in the next one week, if the name of any agency is here, that agency should reach the Committee on Public Accounts of the Senate to sort out when the agency would appear before the committee.

“If there is no communication whatsoever and no cogent and verifiable reason are given, we will slash the agencies’ budget.”

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EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos]

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auctions 435 cars

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

About 435 cars will be auctioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos between Wednesday, December 7 and Thursday, December 8, 2022.

A statement issued by the commission said this is in line with the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004, Public Procurement Act 2007, and the Proceeds of Crimes (Recovery and Management) Act 2022.

The vehicles are among those forfeited by corrupt persons, and the courts have given the agency the authority to seize them.

The cars, which pictures were conspicuously displayed with allocated lot numbers for public inspection, were allocated to auctioneers based on assessed values and an open ballot system.

The display was to provide an opportunity for interested bidders to view and indicate interest in any car of their choice.

In the statement released today, the EFCC said Nigerians would be able to acquire the cars through auction at 40 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 15A Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 14 Cameroon Road, Ikoyi Lagos and CVU Obalende, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The nine auctioneers who were allocated to the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC to dispose of the 435 cars at the designated Centre on 14 Cameron Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, are Rihanna Auction Limited; Kamyus Consult Limited; Areogun Resources  Limited; BIS N JEG; Integrated Services Nigeria Ltd; Mau & Sons Ltd; Langar Aghaji & Co; Fagobe Company Ltd and Musa Kira and Co.

At the inspection of the items for sale on Tuesday in Lagos, the Secretary to the Commission and Chairman of EFCC Asset Disposal Committee (ADC), Mr George Ekpungu, said, “the exercise, which is the first of the planned auction of forfeited properties across EFCC Zonal Commands and EFCC headquarters, is being carried out in accordance with the (Establishment) Act, 2004, Public Procurement Act, 2007 and Proceeds of Crimes (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022.

“It is being conducted in conjunction with the Bureau of Public Procurement to ensure compliance with all extant laws.”

While welcoming the auctioneers to the centre, he expressed his gratitude to sister agencies, including the Nigerian Army, who were invited to provide adequate security and ensure orderliness.

Mr Ekpungu also appealed to the members of the public present at the auction to listen carefully to the auctioneers and comply with all stipulated guidelines.

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ICPC Confirms Arrest of D’Banj Over N-Power Funds Fraud

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D'Banj N-Power funds fraud

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has confirmed the arrest and detention of Mr Oladipo Daniel Oyebanjo, otherwise known by his stage name D’Banj, over an alleged diversion of funds for the N-Power programme.

On Wednesday, it was reported by Premium Times that the entertainer was in the custody of the agency over his link with the inclusion of ghost beneficiaries in the scheme designed by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 to reduce the unemployment rate in Nigeria.

In a statement issued today, ICPC said it began to investigate the musician after receiving “numerous petitions” from concerned persons, alleging D’Banj and some compromised government officials of embezzling “N-Power funds running into billions of naira following the approval and release of such funds to the beneficiaries by the federal government.”

“Many N-Power beneficiaries had complained over the non-receipt of the monthly funds in spite of payment by the government,” another part of the statement released this afternoon said.

According to the commission, it swung into action in line with its mandate of looking into matters of corruption in government initiatives.

“About 10 persons have been invited by the ICPC over the last few months in connection with the N-Power fraud and have been granted administrative bail after their detention.

“Several invitations to Mr Oladipo Daniel Oyebanjo to appear before a team of investigators (over the alleged N-Power funds fraud) were ignored and not honoured,” it further said.

Recall that the N-Power scheme was established by Mr Buhari on June 8, 2016, to address the issues of youth unemployment and empowerment and help increase social development.

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