A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Initiative for Leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria (ILEWN), has urged the new board of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to embark on policies and programmes that will ensure confidence in the capital market.
A statement signed by the Executive Director of ILEWN, Mr Splendour Agbonkpolor, tasked the new SEC board to right all perceived wrongs perpetrated against some companies particularly the sanctions imposed on Oando Plc and its management team.
The call is coming following Monday’s inauguration of the new SEC board appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Agbonkpolor congratulated the new SEC board, Chaired by Mr Olufemi Lijadu, and urged the team to justify the confidence reposed in them.
He stated that the SEC legal team had also acknowledged queries in several quarters challenging the lack of due process in the investigation of Oando.
“The SEC has enormous responsibility of ensuring that the Nigeria capital market is robust to ensure local and international investors have confidence in it.
“However, recent actions of the SEC management have cast aspersions on its neutrality as a regulatory agency.
“Therefore, the new board has enormous task of correcting all the perceived injustices seen to have been done by the SEC to some players in the sector.
“Worthy of note is the decision of SEC to keep Oando Plc suspended in spite of its failure to make public its findings of the investigation it carried out two years ago,” the group stated.
Agbonkpolor further argued that the failure of the commission to make public the findings of its investigation before sanctioning the oil company created the impression that it was acting a script.
It would be recalled that SEC had On May 31, ordered Oando’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Wale Tinubu, and other affected board members to resign based on the report of forensic audit performed by Deloitte and Touche which revealed alleged infractions.
The infractions according to SEC include: False disclosures, market abuses, misstatements in financial statements, internal control failures, and corporate governance lapses, stemming from poor board oversight, among others.
But the company immediately replied, saying the alleged infractions and penalties were unsubstantiated, ultra vires, invalid and calculated to prejudice the business of the company.
Similarly, SEC further directed Oando to suspend its annual general meeting.
Edited by Obike Ukoh
Abia-CSDP executes 240 YESSO projects in 12yrs — GM
The General Manager, Abia State Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), Dr. Chinatu Njoku, said the agency had executed 240 projects so far in 10 local government areas of the state in 12 years.
He further stated that the projects fall under the Youth Employment and Social Support Opetation (YESSO), funded by the World Bank since 2007.
He expressed joy that World Bank Implementation Support Mission “was highly impressed with our performance.
“The team, which came to monitor what the agency is doing in Abia was impressed with what they saw.
“They were equally happy with the implementation of YESSO projects,” the Abia-CSDP boss stated.
He further stated that the Abia-CSDP and YESSO projects in the state received strong financial support from the World Bank “to provide support for vulnerable groups in the state.”
Njoku also attributed the success recorded by the agency on the two projects to the huge support from the state government.
He spoke further on the essence of the visit by the World Bank team to Abia, saying that “they came primarily to assess our performance in line with our agreement with them.”
“They sought to find out if we were funding communities and groups and also keeping laid down rules of engagement.”
Njoku described the visit as “fundamentally beneficial to the agency.”
According to him, “The group raised issues aimed at strengthening our capacity and deepening our success.
“The World Bank team was impressed that the Abia-CSDP and YESSO projects are doing well.”
He said that the team was grateful to the state government for its support to them which, he said, contributed to the success story in Abia.
“They also commended the unity of purpose and cohesiveness of the staff of the agencies,” Njoku said.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)
Imo govt. dissociates self from ultimatum to herdsmen
The Imo Government has dissociated itself from an ultimatum from a group giving herdsmen in the state 24 hours to vacate the state.
In a press statement issued on Monday in Owerri, Mr Chibuike Onyeukwu, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Emeka Ihedioha, stated that the group, operating under the aegis of Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, lacked legitimacy to speak for the state.
The statement described the reported ultimatum as “an embarrassment to the government and people of the state” and urged members of the public to disregard it.
It further stated that the group gave the warning, following an alarm raised by the managemenet of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri over relorted damage to their farms by animals allegedly owned by herdsmen.
“The attention of the Government of Imo has been drawn to a report on some news media, credited to a group, which identified itself as Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, giving herdsmen in the state 24 hours to quit.
“The group, led by one Goodluck Ibem, relied on an alarm allegedly raised by the management of the university, accusing herdsmen of destroying their farm lands and crops, among other concerns.
“The government of Imo, under the leadership of Ihedioha, hereby dissociates itself and entire good people of the state from the said ultimatum.
“Imo government is embarrassed by the development and has taken steps to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the state,” the release stated.
Onyeukwu stated that while efforts were on to ensure that the concern raised by the management of the university was addressed, the state government “shall not tolerate a situation where individuals take the laws into their hands.
“For the avoidance of doubt, citizens of Imo are very peaceful, hospitable and have always enjoyed cordial relationship with neighbours and strangers in the state.
“Imolites are at peace with residents and have no axe to grind with anyone living or doing business in the state, as long as such transactions do not in any way violate the laws of the land or constitute public nuisance,” Onyeukwu further stated.
He urged the general public to disregard the report and go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)
Rep assures of improved welfare for military personnel
Hon. Tajudeen Adefisoye, Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Army, has assured that his committee will give priority to the welfare of military personnel.
Adefisoye stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Super Camp, in Okitipupa on Monday.
The lawmaker, representing Idanre/Ifedore Constituency, said that his committee would work tirelessly to ensure that soldiers were well catered for in the discharge of their duties.
He also promised to foster robust relationship between the military and the civilian populace in the country.
“I am most impressed with the functional facilities that are available in the Super Camp, particularly the helipad.
“The Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Zakari Abubakar, also deserves commendation for the humanitarian services being rendered by the military to residents of the host communities.
“Provision of potable water, distribution of sports wears and computers to students in the Ondo South Senatorial District by the military are undoubtedly deserving of commendation,” he said.
The lawmaker also thanked Abubakar for doing a great job to curb crime and criminality in the state.
Adefisoye also commended the traditional rulers of the host communities for supporting community policing.
He lauded the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for making funds available to run the camp, thereby ensuring peace in the southern zone of the state.
Responding, the brigade commander said that the ongoing clearance activities of ‘Operation Crocodile Smile IV’ had been yielding the desired results in the state and across the country.
Abubakar urged the public, particularly the host communities, to take advantage of the hot lines provided by the Nigerian Army to provide useful information to attain success in clearance operation.
The commander later conducted Adefisoye round the camp and explained to him its strategic security importance.
Although Abubakar said that the camp was a military barrack, he, however, added that it also housed the police and other paramilitary agencies like DSS, Immigration, NDLEA and the NSCDC.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and ‘Wale Sadeeq
LASG evacuates lion from private residence to Lekki Zoo
The Lagos State Task Force says it has successfully moved a lion found at a private home around Victoria Island to a zoo in Omu Resorts, Lekki.
The Chairman of the agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, said in a statement on Monday, that the exercise was carried out in conjunction with officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and medical personnel from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan.
Egbeyemi said that Dr Ogunmo Bamidele, who led the medical team from the University of Ibadan, had to tranquilised the lion thrice before evacuation.
He said that the agency responded to a petition from residents on the use of the lion as maiguard.
According to him, investigations revealed that the lion was brought in from Cameroun by an Indian national two years ago.
”Immediately I got the petition, I deployed my officers to the house at No. 229, Muri-Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, where they kept a close watch for more than 72 hours before the lion was finally removed today,” he said.
He assured residents that the owner of the lion would face the full wrath of the law, while warning residents to abstain from harbouring wild animals that endanger the lives of others.
”In as much as we appreciate residents around Victoria Island for their quick action, we urge every member of the public to be observant in their immediate environment.
”Residents should report any strange or unusual activity to appropriate government authority for prompt action,” Egbeyemi said.
The Director, Veterinary Services, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Macaulay Rasheed, advised members of the public to stop rearing wild animals in private homes to avoid unnecessary attack and contagious animal diseases.
Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka/Wale Ojetimi
Woman bags 3 years imprisonment for stealing one-month-old baby
An Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court, on Monday, sentenced a 39-year-old woman, Mercy Momoh, to three years imprisonment for stealing one-month-old baby.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Adesoji Adegboye, found the convict, whose house address was not given, guilty of the charge of stealing.
The convict had pleaded guilty to the charge and begged for leniency by the court.
The Magistrate, who summarily tried and sentenced the convict to three years imprisonment, however, gave her an option of N100,000 fine.
Earlier, the police prosecutor, Sgt. Samson Osobu, had told the court that the convict committed the offence on Sept. 20 at the state government secretariat in Ado-Ekiti.
Osobu told the court that convict had stolen a month-old baby belonging to Funmilayo Dada.
According to him, the offence contravenes Section 371 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
He told the court that the convict had seen the woman with her baby and tricked her with the story that the Ekiti State Empowerment Programme at the state secretariat was disbursing money to the less-privileged.
The prosecutor said that the convict had further tricked the woman to leave her baby and cell phone with her, while she sent her to help purchase call card.
Osobu said that when the woman came back, both the convict and her baby were nowhere to be found.
He added that the mother of the baby reported the matter at the police station and that through information, the convict was apprehended by the police and the baby given back to the mother.
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa and ‘Wale Sadeeq
Northern Governors Forum congratulate Bayelsa, Kogi governors – elect
The Northern States Governors Forum, (NSGF), has the congratulated Bayelsa Governor-elect, Chief David Lyon and re-elected Kogi Gov. Yahaya Bello over their victories in the last Saturday’s elections.
Lalong, in a congratulatory message issued by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Simon Macham, described Lyon’s victory as a demonstration of the people’s confidence in his ability to perform.
The NSGF chairman said that Bayelsa people had no doubt in his ability of their governor-elect to deliver the change to the state in line with the vision of APC.
He said that the re-election of Bello was yet another sign of confidence reposed in him by the people of Kogi.
Lalong said that it was also an opportunity for the state government and the people to work harder in taking the state to the next level.
He assured the elected governors of the support of the Forum as they settle down to fulfill their campaign promises to the electorate.
edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/ Dada Ahmed
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