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We’ll ensure sanctions against Lawyers, Bankers, others facilitating corrupt practices – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will ensure effective asset declaration by public office holders and ensure sanctions by professional bodies against lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials, and other individuals facilitating corrupt practices.

The president gave this assurance while speaking at the National Democracy Day Anti-Corruption Summit in Abuja on Tuesday.

Buhari said the government would also close existing legislative loopholes, facilitate collaboration with the judiciary, and strengthen the criminal justice system for effective fight against corruption in the country.

While ensuring comprehensive support and protection to whistleblowers, witnesses and victims of corruption, the president said his administration would adopt and formulate the policy of ‘naming and shaming’ all those who engage in corrupt practices.

He, however, maintained that the Federal Government would continue to encourage and honour transparent and honest citizens.

The president said the government would, “educate, mobilise and encourage Nigerians at the grassroots level to take ownership of the fight against corruption;

“Press for a crackdown on safe havens for corrupt assets, abolishing of bank secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens on the continent and beyond.’’

Buhari said that his administration would continue to insist on the unconditional return of looted assets kept abroad and further strengthening of international cooperation through information and mutual legal assistance.

He pledged that government would also continue to strengthen the capacity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other anti-corruption agencies by providing additional material, organisational and logistical support.

“Now, as this administration commences, we are taking stock of progress made so far in the war against corruption, assessing what needs to be done and devising new strategies to address existing challenges,’’ he said.

According to the president, his administration remains committed to the fulfillment of its promises to Nigerians which included security, economic improvement and fight against corruption.

The Guest Speaker at the event and former Director of Kenya’s Anti-Corruption Commission, Prof. Patrice Lumumba, lauded Nigeria’s strategies in fighting corruption, as he described the Nigeria’s EFCC as the best anti-corruption agency across the African continent.

He said: “In 2015, president Buhari said ‘if we don’t kill corruption in this country, corruption will kill Nigeria’ and I can’t agree with him more; and it is not only true about Nigeria but true about Africa.

“Almost every country in Africa has an agency that is charged with the fight against corruption but the EFCC stands out as the best in the continent because they have demonstrated by wide and deep that corruption can be tackled without sacred cows.

“We have seen that they have recovered monies from individuals who in other countries they are seen as sacred cows and are untouchable.’’

Earlier in his remarks, Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, narrated the achievements of the commission in the last four years.

According to him, the commission has achieved a lot in the fight against corruption, saying that the commission has so far secured 1,207 convictions.

“The convictions secured by the commission since the beginning of this administration reflects a positive progression.

“In 2015, we secured 103 convictions; in 2016 we secured 194; in 2017 we secured 189; in 2018 it was 312 convictions and from January 2019 to date, we have 406 convictions.

“Despite these records, corruption remains a challenge in our country. I believe that the fight against corruption requires a deeper stakeholder approach. The private and public sectors are critical players in this regard,” he said.

While thanking President Buhari for support and non-interference to the affairs of the commission, Magu also commended some state governments for establishing institutional mechanisms to fight corruption.

The one-day summit later went into a plenary session, where papers were presented by renowned stakeholders and scholars on how to curb electoral violence and embezzlement of public funds.

A communiqué is expected at the end of the summit.

Edited bybFelix Ajide

 

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Sam Oditah edits ======= 9 suspected electricity vandals apprehended in one-month in South-East – EEDC

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The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has arrested nine suspected vandals of electricity installations in the South-East in the past one month, an official has said.

The Head of Communications of the company, Mr Emeka Ezeh, stated this in a statement issued to the Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Wednesday.

Ezeh stated that the suspects were apprehended in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states.

He noted that the increasing rate of vandalism of electrical installations in the zone had become a major hinderance to the company’s operations.

He said that the unwholesome situation usually subjected electricity customers in the zone to darkness, while depleting the company’s revenue.

He regretted that the incident had persisted, in spite of the several imprisonments and arrests of vandals, in addition to series of engagements with stakeholders.

Eze stated: “Just recently, Okereke Ugochukwu and Paul Kelechi were arrested by villagers at Obinagu Umuadar in Abia, for vandalizing 11KV-T-Off and carting away 13 spans of cables.

“Another suspect, Chukwuebuka Igwe, an indigene of Ebonyi, was apprehended by members of Ogbo-Otu Ikenga in Anambra, while in possession of cutters and four intermediate cables suspected to be EEDC property.

“Chibuoke Jude was arrested by police from Umumba Police Station in possession of two intermediate cables suspected to be property of EEDC.

“He confessed to have got the cables from a distribution sub-station belonging to EEDC at Umuaga-Udi in Enugu state.

“In Ihe town, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu state, Sunday Ike was arrested by members of Electricity Committee of the town for allegedly vandalising a low tension aluminum cable belonging to EEDC at Okpatu sub-station.

“In Ebonyi state, one Ifeanyi Adom was arrested by members of the Amazu vigilance group in connection with the vandalism of a transformer belonging to EEDC, located at Amazu Junction, Nkalagu.

Eze stated that Adom identified one Iloegbunam Oruegbala as the buyer of the cables during police interrogation.

He further stated that the buyer was subsequently arrested and both of them detained for further investigation at the Ebonyi state police headquarters, Abakaliki.

The EEDC spokesman said that all the suspects would be prosecuted at the end of the ongoing police investigation.

“We are concerned that while we strive to improve on the quality of service delivery to our esteemed customers, some individuals that should engage in productive activities resort to frustrating the company and electricity consumers,’’ he said.

He commended community vigilance groups and security agencies for their assistance in apprehending the vandals.

 

 

 

 

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FG award winning inovator improves capacity of invented power bank

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Mr Luka Bot, winner of the 2019 best technological innovation at the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the Federal Government has improved on the capacity of his invented power bank.

Bot made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Jos.

According to the 27-year-old innovator, the capacity of the invention had been improved and upgraded from 13,000MAH to 15,600MAH.

” l was awarded N1 Million as National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) award for the best in technology earlier in the month.

“I have used the money to make the power bank meet international standard, ” he said.

Bot said he was still working on the automatic candle quencher which when completed can help control fire outbreaks caused by the use of candles in homes.

” The users will be able to set the quencher , to automatically control the period they want the candle to go off.

” The computer foot mouse can also assist amputees in the use of the computers for their various works and even non amputees can use the device, ” he said.

The inventor said his passion and interest in technology was the driving force in his achievements thus far and that he was currently mentoring 5 youths in inventions.

He urged Nigerians to patronise made in Nigeria technology to develop the sector and provide employment for the teeming unemployed youths.

Bot urged individuals, corporate organisations and government to partner with his organisation, Zang Technologies to invent products which would make life easier through providing enabling environment and sponsorships.

Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye and Abdullahi Yusuf

 

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9 suspected electricity vandals apprehended in one-month in South-East – EEDC

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The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says no fewer than nine alleged notorious vandals of electricity installations were apprehended in the South-East region recently.

The Head of Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, in a statement issued in Enugu on Wednesday, said that the vandals were apprehended in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states.

Ezeh said that the increasing rate of vandalism of electrical installations across the South-East region was a major hindrance to its operations, thereby subjecting electricity consumers to irregular power supply and impacting on the company’s revenue.

According to him, despite several imprisonments and arrests of vandals, in addition to engagement of customers as well as stakeholders within its network, this unpleasant trend had continued.

“Just recently, Okereke Ugochukwu and Paul Kelechi were arrested by villagers at Obinagu Umuadar, for vandalizing 11KV-T-Off, carting away 13 spans of cables, belonging to EEDC, located at Obinagu Umuadar, Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia state.

“Another suspected vandal, Chukwuebuka Igwe, an indigene of Ebonyi, was apprehended by members of Ogbo-Otu Ikenga, Ogidi in Idemili Local Government Area of Anambra state, while in possession of cutting implements and four intermediate cables suspected to be EEDC property.

“Chibuoke Jude was arrested by police from Umumba Police Station in possession of two intermediate cables suspected to be property of EEDC. Jude confessed to have gotten the cables from distribution sub-station belonging to EEDC at Umuaga-Udi in Enugu state.

“In Ihe town, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu state, Sunday Ike, was arrested by members of Electricity Committee of Ihe town, for vandalising a low tension aluminum cable belonging to EEDC at Okpatu sub-station of the town.

“In Ebonyi state, one Ifeanyi Adom was arrested by members of the Amazu Vigilance group in connection with vandalism a transformer belonging to EEDC, located at Amazu Junction Nkalagu.

“While in the course of interrogation, Adom identified one Iloegbunam Oruegbala as the buyer of the cables.

“The buyer was subsequently arrested and both of them detained for further investigation at the Ebonyi State Police Headquarters, Abakaliki.

“Similarly, in Ebonyi state, the duo of Chinedu Ogbu and Ebere Nwovu were arrested by some members of the community vigilance group for vandalism of a 300KVA transformer, belonging to EEDC at Nwezenyi Izzi in Izzi Local Government Area,’’ he said.

The EEDC spokesman said that all the apprehended vandals along with the buyer were handed over to the police in the respective states for proper investigation and prosecution.

“We are concerned that while we strive to improve on the quality of service delivery to our esteemed customers, some individuals that should engage in productive activities resort to frustrating both us and our customers,’’ he said.

Ezeh, however, appreciated the various community vigilante groups and state security agencies for their support in apprehending the vandals.

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Peace advocate decries rising spate of cultism, criminality among Jos youth

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Mr Jacob Pwakim, a Jos-based peace advocate, has decried the rising spate of cultism, gangsterism and criminality among youths in Jos communities.

Pwakim, a consultant with Search for Common Ground, an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), made the remark in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Jos.

According to him, activities of these groups pose serious threats to the security of lives and property within Jos and environs.

“Jos city is suddenly awoken to the reality that cultism, gangsterism and criminality among youths are increasing day by day.

“This ugly trend is threatening the life of everyone in communities within the city of Jos and posing serious threat to the fragile peace the state is currently enjoying,” he said.

To address the menace, Pwakim said all hands must be on deck and called on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to arrest and ensure that drug peddlers in the state were prosecuted.

The advocate also called on government as well as the private sector to provide job opportunities for young people, adding that such move would take them off the streets.

“Government and private sector should create opportunities for young people; no one will love to hold a gun or a knife rather than to earn a genuine living which earns them money and prestige.

“These things make impression on young people and spur them into becoming positive minds. We need to give young people hope.

“Government must also support security agencies with logistics to contain the ugly situation and make our communities safer,” he urged.

Pwakim advised community and religious leaders, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders to engage young people in communities in positive and meaningful ventures.

He also advised security agencies in the in Plateau to synergise toward ending the menace.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Oyo-Ita visits Presidential Villa, attends swearing-in of Ministers

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The Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, who was reported to be on medical leave, on Wednesday visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to witness the swearing-in of Ministers-designate.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the Head of Service, who was also reported to have submitted her resignation letter to the Presidency over alleged contract scam, was seen seated on her `traditional’ position at the Council Chamber of the presidential villa.

NAN gathered that the head of service, who arrived the presidential villa shortly before the commencement of the inauguration of the ministers by the president, was seen heading towards the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari

NAN, however, observed that Oyo-Ita, who was listed as one of the speakers at the just concluded presidential retreat held between Aug. 19 and 20, was conspicuously absent at the venue of the event.

Oyo-Ita was reported to be on medical leave after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) quizzed her over an alleged contract scam to the tune of N3 billion.

NAN reports that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who was earlier reappointed by the president, first took his oath of office during the inauguration of the Miniters.

NAN reports that the inauguration of the ministers-designate was ongoing as at the time of filing this report.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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