The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to suspend the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, pending the conclusion of the investigation by a presidential panel.
BMO Chairman, Mr Niyi Akinsiju, who said this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, described Magu’s suspension as a testimony to Buhari’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
Akinsiju said: “The decision to suspend the acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, pending the conclusion of the investigation by a Presidential panel is a testimony to President Buhari’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
“The swift response by the President shows that nobody is above the law in the Buhari’s administration.
“We see the decision to invite Magu to appear before the panel headed by Justice Ayo Salami as yet another proof that there is no sacred cow as far as investigation into allegations of corrupt practices is concerned.
“President Buhari has demonstrated once again that nobody is indeed above the law as even his appointees, no matter how highly placed, can at any time be asked to respond to issues as they arise.
“This is proof that the President is a stickler for due process; he could have fired Magu, he has that prerogative, but because the acting EFCC chairman was accused of committing acts of infractions, he was afforded the due process of fair hearing before an administrative panel.
“We have all seen how the same process was followed in cases that involved former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal and the immediate past Head of the Civil Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita.”
The BMO chairman noted that it was out of place for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to gloat over a decision that deserves praise.
“We have heard the gloating by PDP and some of its supporters online and offline, but the joke is really on them because it shows clearly that even the head of the anti-graft agency could be invited to provide answers to knotty issues, unlike what we had in the past.
“We do not know many Presidents would do that, or even see the need to do that. We recall that one-time Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was not even given the opportunity to defend himself before a probe panel when sundry allegations were raised against him, before then President Goodluck Jonathan suspended him outrightly in 2014.
“We also invite Nigerians to remember how former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke blatantly refused to appear before the National Assembly on several occasions without any consequences.
“It got so bad that the Senate, on at least one occasion, asked former President Jonathan to choose between the National Assembly or the minister, before she finally honoured the Senate committee invitation.
“Also, Magu is appearing before a panel headed by a former President of the Appeal Court who was unceremoniously eased out of office by a PDP government, without being given the opportunity to defend himself.
“So we believe PDP should sit this one out and see how the due process really works, even if it means investigating the head of an anti-graft agency”.
Akinsiju also reassured Nigerians that Buhari’s war against corruption is still on course.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Work resumes in Oyo State after Eid-el-Kabir holiday
Some workers in Oyo State on Monday, resumed work after the annual Muslim Eid-el-Kabir festival, celebrated on Friday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Some of the workers monitored around Oyo North area of the state, comprising 10 council areas, showed up for work in their respective offices as early as 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
NAN reports that the resumption of workers after observing the Thursday and Friday public holiday declared by the Federal Government, was witnessed by greetings and throw of banters among the workers.
Workers were also seen exchanging meat, drinks and gifts as they discussed the merriment of the festive period.
Some workers who spoke to NAN in separate interviews, expressed satisfaction and happiness over the festival time and resumption.
A middle-level council worker at Iseyin Council area, Ismail Ishola, said the period was enjoyable and memorable for him and his family members.
A top official at the Saki West Council, who preferred anonymity, also said the period was good for him and his neighbours.
Another worker in Iseyin Council area, Mrs Aina Adio, said the holiday was equally a memorable period, saying that she had a good time with friends and family.
She, however, decried unsteady power supply by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) saying that “very good time but we ran on generator for greater part of the period”.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Monarch urges strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols
Oba Mufutau Oyekanmi, the traditional ruler of Asipa (the Alasipa of Asipa) Ilufemilloye Fashina V111, near Ipetumodu in Osun State, has urged Nigerians to support the government on strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols to curtail the spread of Coronavirus across the country.
He made the call on Monday at Asipa in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun when he met with some journalists in his palace.
The monarch commended the efforts of the local, state and Federal Government on measures put in place to ensure safety of lives of the citizenry in tackling
Oyekanmi said “recently, government took bold steps at the right time to curtail the spread of Coronavirus by not allowing congregational prayers.
“Some people were not happy with the ban of the Muslim Eid festival prayer by the Osun State Government but it is simply because of us so we
can celebrate many more of Eid el-Kabir.
“We thank God by sparing our lives to witness this because it’s the living that celebrates.”
Sikiru Ayedun, former Osun State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, said
Ayedun said that the order of the state government on no Eid prayer for the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir was because of the COVID-19 “and a
test of faith.
“Whatever people are doing today is part of sacrifice, because at this point in time, our faith is being tested.”
The former commissioner assured that at the end of the tunnel, there would be a new dawn, but Nigerians should seek peace,
tranquility and live with one another in brotherliness.
Alhaji Eluyera Oyewole, former Education Secretary, Ife South Local Government, Ifetedo, Osun State, said that “everyone has
now realised that COVID-19 is real and that the pandemic is killing both the rich and the poor.
“Osun State Government did not make mistake in banning congregational prayer for the Eid el-Kabir festival, for this can increase human contact
during celebrations and that can cause more infections.
“Thank God for our government that is 100 per cent proactive, by doing the needful, else, it will have spread the virus.
“Government is doing its best; we urge for support from all by obeying the COVID-19 protocols.”
In the same vein, Alhaji Fatai Kolawole, former Permanent Secretary, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), commended
the efforts of the state government for trying to save the lives of the citizenry against COVID-19.
Kolawole said that banning congregational prayer for this year’s festival was a welcome idea, saying this is just for a brief period as it would not last forever.
He asked everybody to co-operate with government on directives given, adding that“COVID-19 is a joint task that government alone cannot fight.
“Very soon, COVID-19 will be eradicated, whereby things will be normalised educationally, economically, socially.”
He urged all and sundry to co-operate with local, state and Federal Government in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus by strictly adhering
to the use of face mask, regular washing of hands with soap and sanitizer, as well as keeping social distance, among others.”
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
`NDDC yet to pay contractors that handled road projects I facilitated’-Orji Kalu
Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Kalu, said on Monday that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) had not paid contractors that handled roads he facilitated in Abia.
Kalu stated this in a statement issued by Mr Emeka Nwala of Office of the Senate Chief Whip and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria
The former governor of Abia was reacting to claims by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio that 60 per cent contracts awarded by the commission were handled by members of the National Assembly.
Akpabio mentioned ex governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori, Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Sen. Orji Kalu and others as beneficiaries of several contracts awarded by the NDDC.
“The road projects mentioned by the minister are the interventions I facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before I became a senator,’’ he said.
Kalu argued that his name was mentioned because he used his letter headed paper to write a sympathetic letter to NDDC in 2016 pleading with the commission to rescue roads in Abia.
“I was Governor of Abia between 1999 and 2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018 during my tour to several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads.
“The NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.
“Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention,” Kalu said.
The senate chief whip also noted that the contracts were awarded by fully constituted body of NDDC with its board and not any interim management of the commission.
He said “the roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu road, Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru ring road and Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze Ndi Oji Abam-Atan road.
“Others are Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende and Ozu-Amuru-Abam roads.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads long time ago except Abam-Atani road, which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
“Meanwhile, the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime.
“I am much concerned about roads because I understand the economic importance of good roads.
“As a community leader, I do not intend to stop my interventions on roads in NDDC states because all the states need good roads.
“Good roads help to drive the economy,’’ Kalu said.
He, however, urged the commission to focus on paying contractors that delivered their jobs.
Edited Obike Ukoh
Sen. Ubah, Obikwelu return as Anambra FA Chairman, Vice through e-voting
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, President of FC Ifeanyi Ubah has been re-elected as Chairman of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) for a second term, in an election conducted through electronic voting on Sunday.
Jude Obikwelu, a long time vice-chairman of the association was returned unopposed.
The result of the elections was signed by Jude Anayadufu, chairman of the 2020 AnSFA electoral committee and issued to newsmen by Obinna Dike, Head of Media and Publicity, on Monday in Awka.
Philip Balepo, a veteran journalist was also elected into the board as a first timer.
Other elected members of the board were Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Amuzie Cyprain, Obiefune Collins, Adinnu Okezie and Ada Edward.
Elections were also successfully conducted into 19 Local Football Councils (LFC) while in Orumba South, forms were returned late and bye election would be held on a later date.
“The elections held on August 2, 2020 with Obinna Dike as the Returning Officer for the LFC, while Godwin Madubuko was the Returning Officer for the Board Elections.
“In the LFC elections, there was a tie in the Chairmanship position for Onitsha South with option of a coin toss. A bye election will be conducted for Orumba South LFC which returned forms late. Other 19 LFCs were through”, the statement said.
“The Electoral Committee thanks the candidates, delegates, agents, stakeholders, media and the government for their collaboration in ensuring a smooth electoral process.
“Appreciation also goes to the Nigeria Football Federation and Sports Ministry for their roles in the elections,” it stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anambra FA elections originally scheduled for July 27 and July 28 were suspended on the orders of the state government that it would violate COVID-19 rules.
The election had reached advanced stage with conclusion of sales and return of forms, screening, appeal and final briefing for all candidates and delegates eligible to participate in the quadrennial election before it was called off by government.
The electoral committee communicated the development to the AnSFA which met and gave it powers to conduct the election through virtual processes.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)