2face insists Protests will hold in Lagos, Abuja
C M Y K 8 — SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 4, 2017 National Assembly invites Fashola over change in leadership of TCN By Henry Umoru THE National Assem bly yesterday invited the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola over the sudden change of leadership of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, just as it asked the company’s leadership to remain in office for now. In a statement jointly signed yesterday by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Daniel Asuquo, the National Assembly said that the minister and his team shunned the meeting fixed for yesterday. Against this backdrop, the joint committee has summoned Fashola and all other relevant officials to appear before it next week Monday to answer questions relating to the change of leadership of TCN, even as the Committee urged all TCN staff and relevant stakeholders to maintain the peace in the overall interest of the nation. A statement titled: “ The TCN leadership crisis and its effect on the power sector,” read in full, “ The Joint Committee on Power of the National Assembly acting on its oversight received disturbing correspondences and information regarding the sudden change in the leadership of TCN, and its attendant crisis. “Considering the urgency of the matter, especially due to the present economic recession, the Joint Committee resolved to invite the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing to explain the decision of the Ministry to “ import” from the ADB( one of the leaders to TCN) yet another duplication of the Manitoba experience which had left a negative impression on the fortunes of TCN and indeed, the Power Sector. “The Joint Committee invited the Hon. minister of Power, Works and Housing to appear before the Committee with relevant officials on the 3rd of February which he could not appear.” “Consequently, the Joint Committee met and re- *Says status-quo ante must be maintained *Fashola out of Abuja on assignment —Aide TCN: Our position — AfDB ...Explains $155m deal ..As FG confirms Mohammed as Atiku’s replacment By Chris Ochayi THE African Develop ment Bank, AFDB, yesterday, said it acted in line with a request from the Federal Government to release its staff, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed to head the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, for a period of one year. The AFDB in a statement issued by its Senior Communications Officer, Nigeria Country Office, Fatimah Abubakar Alkali, in Abuja, explained the bank approved the request to support the government in its power sector reforms. According to the statement, “the African Development Bank, AfDB, approved a $155 million loan for the Economic and Power Sector Reform Programme, EPSERP, which became effective on 19th October 2012. “The support was aimed at improving power systems and the business environment and also sustaining growth through sound macroeconomic policies and budget priorities. The amount was fully disbursed in 2 tranches on 1st March 2013 and 21st December 2015 respectively. “The programme will benefit the entire population of Nigeria in terms of extended access to a more reliable supply of electricity at improved quality and reduced cost.” The bank further remarked that, “The EPS- ERP will have a major positive impact on the private sector through the substantial reduction in the cost of doing business for all economic sectors, particularly in the formal and informal manufacturing and service activities which are seriously constrained by the power supply gaps. solved as follows: that the status quo ante in respect of the management must be maintained; that the Minister should endeavour to appear before the Committee on Monday, 6th February, 2017 by 10am and that all TCN staff and relevant stakeholders should maintain the peace in the overall interest of the nation.” Fashola out of town— Aide Reacting to the invitation, the media aide to the Minister, Hakeem Bello said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry wrote to the Senate informing them that the Hon Minister who was out of Abuja on assignment could not honour the invitation, adding that he would be at the National Assembly to meet with them. According to him: “We are currently on tour of the highway projects in the South East zone of the country. We have been to Imo and Abia, and now we are heading to Eboyin,” he said. •Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (middle) flanked by the Executive Chairman of Daar Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Paul Dokpesi and the Special Assistant to the Minister, Mr. Segun Adeyemi when the minister paid a courtesy visit to the Media Group in Abuja yesterday. “On 19th September 2016, the AfDB received a request from the Federal Government of Nigeria for the release of one of its staffers to serve as interim Chief Executive for 12 months.” The bank approved this request to support the government in its power sector reforms. “The staff member has been granted a special leave without pay for 12 months. The African Development Bank is committed to assisting Nigeria achieve the objectives of its reforms in the power sector in accordance with the priorities already approved by the authorities. It is to be noted here, that the appointment of the TCN management is a prerogative of the national authorities.” Meanwhile, Federal Government has confirmed its approval of the secondment of Usman Gur Mohammed as the interim Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Louis Edozien said in a statement yesterday that Mr. Mohammed has resumed duty with a 12- month non-extendable deadline to complete his transformational mandate. B-R-I-E-F-S Police confirm herdsmen attack on Enugu farmer By Dennis Agbo THE Enugu State police have confirmed an al leged herdsmen attack on a farmer at Awha Ndiagu in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu state, which led to the hospitalization of the farmer. Though the farmer’s name could not be ascertained as at press time, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ebere Amaraizu, told Saturday Vanguard that the incident occurred. “The suspects had issues with the farmer, which led to his being assaulted,” said Amaraizu. Suspected herdsmen on Thursday reportedly attacked a farmland and inflicted machete cuts on the victims who managed to survive the incident. An eyewitness said, the victim was rushed to a hospital where he is presently receiving treatment. “The victim who was in state of coma was assaulted with matchete at his back and one of the fingers was cut off. APGA warns Okorocha, asks him to join hands with Obiano to unite S/East By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka WORRIED by the verbal war between Governors Willie Obiano of Anambra State and Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, yesterday called on the two governors to join hands to unite the South East, instead of pouring venoms on each other. National chairman of APGA, Dr. Victor Oye said in an interview in Awka that the zone could not afford distractions from their two leaders, who were expected to show good examples for others to follow. Oye said: “Fighting each other in the media is something that is not acceptable to APGA. Okorocha should know that he would not have become governor if not for APGA and I want him to be conscious of that anytime he opens his mouth to pour out venom on the other governors in the zone. “APGA, as a political party, views Governor Okorocha’s comments on the party with every seriousness because describing APGA in such derogatory manner is not tolerable to us as leaders of the party. As an Igbo man, we expect Okorocha to cooperate with his brother governors in the South East to build a homogenous region withstand incursions from outside the zone. “In fact, for saying that three governors in the South East were planning to join APC showed that he intentionally wanted to ignite the ember of hate that is capable of setting up a conflagration that is capable of consuming the entire South East and generating needless bad blood. “In particular, he needs to cooperate with Obiano to write a good history of the South East on the map of Nigeria. We therefore call for unity between the two governors because if they are not united, it will be a minus for them. “They should work together to promote cohesion, unity and brotherhood so that they can speak with one voice and tackle their common problems together. Division and unnecessary suspicion among governors in the zone should be done away with, so that the benefits of democracy can trickle down to the grass root in the zone.” WORLD CANCER DAY: Nigeria records 14,000 cervical cancer cases annually IN a bid to ensure that Africans are properly ed ucated on the dreaded cancer scourge, Partnership for Eradication of Cancer in Africa (PECA), has adopted a partnership based approach to improve the life of people living with cancer and to reduce the rate of cancer-related deaths. The Chief Operations Officer for PECA, Dr. Gregoire Williams,who spoke yesterday in Abuja ahead of today’s World Cancer Day explained that about 14,089 new cervical cancer cases were diagnosed annually in Nigeria. His words: ‘’Available information confirms that about 14,089 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed annually in Nigeria. On Cervical cancer the WHO estimates ranked it as the second leading cause of female cancer in Nigeria and most common in women aged 15 to 44 years in Nigeria. “HPV infections are so common that nearly all men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Most people never know that they have been infected and may give HPV to a sex partner without knowing it.” However, Williams is collaborating Cedarcrest Hospitals in Gudu, Abuja to improve health care service delivery in Nigeria by offering free and subsidised screening services targeting the four major types of cancer accounting for the highest mortality rates in Nigeria.
Lawyers task Buhari over Onnoghen’s confirmation as CJN By Ikechukwu Nnochiri & Bartholomew Madukwe FOLLOWING the retirement of immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who clocked 70 on November 10, 2016, some lawyers have expressed diverse opinions over the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to forward the name of Justice Nkanu Onnoghen to the Senate as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 10, 2016, okayed Onnoghen who is presently the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, to head the Nigeria judiciary in acting capacity. The appointment was based on a recommendation letter from the National Judicial Council, NJC. Eminent legal practitioners who spoke on the matter included Mr. J. B. Daudu SAN—former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN —Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN;Human rights advocate, Mr. Femi Aborisade, trade unionist and socialist; and Chief Morah Ekwunohhuman rights lawyer. Daudu said: “It ought to be known that the appointment of a CJN is not the exclusive preserve of the Executive arm of government. It is a tripartite arrangement, which involves the judiciary acting through the NJC by way of recommendation, the executive through the President by way of appointment and the legislature by way of confirmation of the said appointment. “The question that now arises is why the President will refuse or omit to act on the recommendation of the NJC and instead chose to appoint the NJC nominee in an acting capacity. “If he is not good for the substantive office why is he then good to act for three months in the same capacity? After all, it is the same security report on the suitability of the candidate that is relied upon by the NJC that the Presidency relies on too.” Prof. Sagay, on his part, pointed out that the number of Justices who have brought ruin to the Judiciary made it necessary for close vetting of candidates for Chief Justice of Nigeria at the Presidential level. He said the president is not a rubber stamp of the National Judicial Commission (NJC), noting that the body has failed to exercise due diligence in the past when making recommendations to the President. According to him, “the lack of due diligence on the part of the NJC allowed at least two Justices of the Supreme Court to slip through the net of judicial vetting to become the Chief Justices of Nigeria. And that became a permanent embarrassment to the Judiciary and Nigeria as a whole. Sagay, who is a Professor of Law and human rights activist, explained that the Supreme Court was almost abased by the stink of corruption after the 2007 elections that brought Yar A’dua to power, and Justice Onnoghen was among the three Justices at the apex court. Ozekhome observed that in the last 30 years when Justice Mohammed Bello became the CJN, till 11th of November, 2016, when Justice Mahmud retired, all the Chief Justices of Nigeria hailed from the northern part of beleaguered Nigeria. He stated: “The last time a South-South person smelt the exalted seat was between 1985 –1987, over 30 years ago, through Justice Ayo Gabriel Irikefe. The last time I checked, this country belongs to us all. It was therefore with bated animation and curious anxiety, that the country waited for the appointment of Onnoghen. “It is crystal clear from the provisions of section 231 (1) and section 21 (1) to the third schedule (part 1) of the 1999 Constitution, that once the NJC has recommended a name to Mr. President for appointment, the President’s function at that stage is simply ceremonial to forward same to the Senate for confirmation. It is the Senate, not the President, that does the screening, to determine whether or not the person so recommended by the NJC meets the criteria set out in section 231 (2)s which states: “A person shall not be qualified to hold the office of CJN or a Justice of the Supreme Court, unless he is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than 15 years.” According to him, if Onnoghen was found worthy to be sworn in as acting CJN under section 231 (4), why not simply forward his name to the Senate for outright confirmation as CJN under section 231 (2)? Ozekhome averred that the President lacks absolute power to determine who becomes CJN, or to side-track or circumscribe NJC’s “recommendation,” or Senate’s subsequent “confirmation”. SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 4, 2017 — 9 Give Obaseki a chance to succeed, Obahiagbon tells Edo APC leaders, lawmakers By SIMON EBEGBULEM IMMEDIATE Pastor, Chief of Staff to the state Government, Mr Patrick Obahiagbon (Igodomigodo), yesterday appealed to leaders of the All Progressives Congress and members of the Edo State House of Assembly to give Governor Godwin Obaseki the desired cooperation to succeed. He said the recent comment made by the governor that Government House was not a place where money is shared should not be misconstrued as the governor was only trying to explain that the scarce resources in his possession would be managed for the betterment of the generality of the people of the state. Delta CP blames unemployment rate on infiltration by non indigenes By Festus Ahon, ASABA DELTA State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ibra him Zanna has blamed the high rate of youths unemployment in the state on purported infiltration of the state by non indigenes. Zanna who spoke when he played host to the newly sworn-in executive of the State chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, led by it’s chairman, Comrade Kenneth Okorie at the Police Headquarters in Asaba, lamented that people from other states claim Delta State during recruitment exercises thereby usurping the few slots allocated to the state. Enugu Magistrates get Laptops, others By Dennis Agbo MAGISTRATES in Enugu State judiciary, yesterday received 76 laptops and 25 desktop computers and 20 printers from the state government to enhance service delivery and productivity towards the dispensation of justice. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who made the donations noted that the items were also procured to replace the obsolete manual typewriters that had been in use in the state’s magistrates' court prior to the magnanimity of the governor. Receiving the items at the Enugu High Court, the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Ngozi Emehelu, who was represented by the Chief Registrar, Mrs. Ebele Egumgbe applauded Governor Ugwuanyi for his vision and kind gesture to the judiciary. She expressed delight at the commitment of the governor towards the welfare of the magistrates, and other public servants in the state despite the prevailing economic challenges in the country, adding that the modern technological devices will improve their productivity and service delivery. Glo-sponsored CNN African Voices commemorates Fregz, Nigeria’s celebrity chef GBUBEMI Fregene, a celebrity cook of Nige rian descent widely known as “Chef Fregz,” will be celebrated this week on CNN African Voices, a programme sponsored by Globacom. Globacom said in Lagos that the chef will be featured on the show this weekend with two others, South Africa’s Puppeteer,Janni Younge; and Ugandan actress, Flavia Tusimme. Chef Fregz is an ardent believer in the dictum that says to create great tasty meals, one needs a lot of love and passion. His passion for cooking has culminated in his rise to the pinnacle of his chosen profession within a very short time. The chef, according to a statement by Globacom, will excite viewers with the story of his rise to stardom as well as how his passion for marrying “creativity that is fresh and unbridled with elements of the budding youth culture and the world-class training he received at Le Cordon Bleu” helps him to prepare meals that are described as truly unique culinary experiences. Chef Fregz was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State.