By Modupe Gbadeyanka
An umbrella association of all registered political parties and political associations in the county, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), has demanded the immediate sacking of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.
The group wants Mr Malami removed over what it described as the unwarranted invasion of the house of the second most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili, by security operatives last week.
A few days ago, the home of Mrs Odili, wife of the former Governor of Rivers State, Mr Peter Odili, was invaded by some security officials. The incident generated reactions and the CNPP has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove his Justice Minister from office over the matter.
In a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Mr Willy Ezugwu, the CNPP wondered “why President Buhari is still keeping Malami as the chief law officer of the federation despite several embarrassing comments and actions.”
According to the group, “Malami’s continued stay in office as AGF and Minister of Justice has become one of the biggest threats to democracy and rule of law in the country.
“Under his watch as AGF and Minister of Justice, there have been obvious state-sponsored invasions of houses of justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the Federal High Court, without any justification.
“The CNPP, therefore, calls on the National Executive of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to rise up to the occasion and ensure the protection of the country’s judiciary and judicial officers in view of the unwarranted threats and intimidation of officers in the temple of justice, using security operatives under Malami’s watch.
“His comments on national issues in recent times have equally portrayed him as a grave danger to rule of law and Nigerian democracy.”
Meanwhile, the group has congratulated the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the successful conduct of its national convention, urging other political parties to emulate the rancour-free convention and the emergence of the youngest national youth leader in any major political party in the country.
Reacting to the successful conclusion of the PDP’s national convention, the CNPP noted that “democracy can only grow in an atmosphere of transparency and fair play.
“The PDP has demonstrated that it is ready to get things right by departing from the era of unbridled impunity in the conduct of its affairs to become an example of a truly repentant political party.
“We commend the emergence of a 25-years old national youth leader of the PDP, a giant step in accommodating the younger generation of Nigerians who have been desirous to contribute to nation-building.
“We, therefore, congratulate all the elected party leaders in the extraordinary convention of the PDP and urge them to work towards deepening of Nigeria’s democracy and promotion of good governance in the country.”
EFCC Questions Ex-NDDC Boss Nsima Ekere Over N47bn Fraud
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Nsima Ekere, has been grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former NDDC boss was at the Lagos office of the agency on Wednesday to honour an invitation to him to answer questions surrounding an alleged fraud to the tune of N47 billion.
In 2016, a year after losing the governorship primary election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State to Governor Udom Emmanuel, he was appointed as the MD of the commission.
He left office in 2018 to concentrate on his ambition to rule his home state and contested the gubernatorial poll in 2019 under the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost again to Mr Emmanuel.
In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019 and the report of the exercise, according to the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio, said several frauds were uncovered.
The EFCC, reports said, has been trailing Mr Ekere and yesterday, he turned himself in and he was questioned on the allegations of contract inflation and award of fictitious contracts while in office.
This development is coming two days after the anti-money laundering organisation arrested the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, over allegations of diversion of N80 billion.
He was suspended yesterday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainah Ahmed, to enable a transparent investigation into the matter.
Also, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs Patricia Etteh, was apprehended on Tuesday by the agency over allegations of diversion of funds for projects.
IPMAN, EFCC Move Against Oil Theft, Vandalism in N’Delta
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has sought the support and intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in curbing oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of IPMAN, Mr Bello Binna, during a visit to the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Nwanneka Nwokike, in his office.
Mr Binna said that the EFCC was the only agency trusted to give solutions on issues of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, IPMAN was more comfortable with what the EFCC is doing to curb
“We are here to collaborate with the Agency with which we are more comfortable, and we believe that with your support, our jobs will have a headway.
“In the past, our efforts have been wasted, we were advised that the agency that has the mandate to make our job effectively is the EFCC,” he said.
Responding, the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Mr Nwanneka Nwokike, said the EFCC was working tirelessly to put an end to the menace of illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region.
Mr Nwokike also stressed the need to educate youths within the region on the ills of oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
“I assure you that the EFCC has the desire to reduce, if not bring to an end, the menace of illegal oil bunkering.
“We will educate our youths on the dangers of this, which is part of our mandate, educating our youths on why they must leave these illegalities. We must all come together to see how we can tackle this menace. I want to assure you that we will work together,” he said.
Akinwumi Adesina Turns Down Requests to Become Next Nigerian President
By Adedapo Adesanya
The President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has ruled himself out of the 2023 presidential race in Nigeria.
Mr Adesina made his position known in a statement on Tuesday after months of calls for him to join the contest after a group bought the presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him at the cost of N100 million.
In the statement, the banker emphasised that his current desire is to continue to hold the office of the president of the AfDB which he won reelection for last year.
However, he expressed appreciation for those who found him worthy of leading his country at this critical time it is undergoing different challenges ranging from economy, security and others.
“While I am deeply honoured, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to considered,” the statement read in part.
“I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development.
“I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa,” Mr Adesina added.
Less than two weeks ago, a coalition of 28 groups purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms for the former Agriculture Minister.
The coalition consists of groups such as the Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora, One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, women groups, farmers, and other civil society groups.
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