Vanguard Newspaper 14 February 2018
8—Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Boko Haram membership thinning out — Buhari •How FG’ll completely dismantle A BUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Abuja said the era of Boko Haram terrorism was gradually drawing to end, with the narrowing of the recruitment base of the insurgents, and renewed onslaught by Nigerian Army. The President spoke on a day his Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government was developing narratives and communication strategies to completely dismantle and neutralise Boko Haram violent ideology and messages. Receiving the Letter of Credence of Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See to Nigeria, Antonio Filipazzi, at State House, President Buhari said the terrorist group had lost appeal in its initial strongholds, necessitating a steady retreat that would eventually culminate in ending the insurgency. He said: “You can’t indoctrinate people who are below the age of 14 years and blow up churches, mosques, markets and you keep shouting God is great. “It is either you don’t know what you are saying, or you simply don’t care or believe what you are saying. It is part of our success story that Boko Haram is finding it more difficult to recruit people. “The Nigerian Army is also not making it easy for them to grow, with more intelligence, orientation and regular, measured onslaught on their camps.’’ The president said the ongoing effort to dismember the terrorist group, and render it completely powerless would be intensified. Buhari, who described the Catholic Church as a strong partner in the development of Nigeria, noted that the church had made very significant contributions to the development of the educational and health system of the country. In his remarks, Filipazzi said Pope Francis had taken a keen interest in the fight against terrorism, corruption and reviving of the Nigerian economy. “Mr. President, the Holy Father, sends his warm greetings and he is keen to denounce corruption everywhere,” he added. How FG’ll completely dismantle Boko Haram — Minister Meanwhile, speaking at the public presentation of "Poicy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism," Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government was developing narratives and communication strategies to completely dismantle and neutralise the Boko Haram violent ideology and messages. The minister said although the terrorists had been defeated and now on the run, Boko Haram — Minister the challenge of countering their violent ideology remained. “We are committed to developing narratives and communication strategies that will completely dismantle and neutralise the Boko Haram ideology and messages. “Thanks to the leadership and political will demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari, which has served as a morale booster for our gallant men and women in uniform, Boko Haram has been decimated and put on the run by our gallant military." PRIZE PRESENTATION: From left, Executive Director, Retail Banking, First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Mr. Olu Akanmu; Country Manager, Nigeria & West Africa of Virgin Atlantic Airline, Mr. Samuel Lindfield; a winner of the FCMB & Virgin Atlantic Staff Reward Scheme, Mr. Oritsesola Megbele; Managing Director of FCMB, Mr. Adam Nuru and Head of Sales, Virgin Atlantic Airline in Nigeria, Mrs. Omolola Kufile, during the prize presentation ceremony to the winners, in Lagos. Patience Jonathan wants out-of-court settlement with EFCC FORMER First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, appears to be tired of fighting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in court and has asked for an out-of-court settlement. In a January 30, 2018 letter, entitled, “Proposal for out-of-court settlement of all cases related to Dame (Mrs.) Ibifaka Patience Jonathan,” Mrs. Jonathan told the EFCC of her intention to settle the matter, the News Agency of Nigeria reported yesterday. The letter, which was written by her counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe, is being considered by the EFCC. The letter said: “As senior counsel, representing Dame (Mrs.) Patience Jonathan (former First Lady) and companies linked to her and some family members, associates, companies and NGOs, we have thought it fit to engage your commission in a discussion over all issues involving her and the commission with a view to having amicable resolution of all cases as stated above. “This will enable both sides create an atmosphere for mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence. We will, therefore, appreciate it, if you can give us an appointment at your earliest convenience to have a discussion over all matters involving her and members of her family. “We believe that an amicable settlement will be in the best interest of both your commission and our client. “We assure you of our utmost commitment and sincerity of purpose in this connection, and we solicit your cooperation in this regard. Please, accept the assurances of our warm regards.” The news agency, NAN, said the letter came as EFCC stumbled on more startling information on how Mrs. Jonathan piled up dollar deposits in Skye and First banks, including how she lavished part of the money. Alleged illegal appointments in NNPC: Court hears suit against Buhari, Baru, March 28 By Ikechukwu Nnochiri A BUJA—ABUJA Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, fixed March 28 to begin hearing on a suit accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of approving illegal appointments in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The suit, which was lodged before the court by a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi, has been assigned to Justice Ahmed Mohammed for hearing. Aside President Buhari, other defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/990/ 2017 are Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru; NNPC, and its Board of Directors. The plaintiff is praying the court to declare that it was unconstitutional for President Buhari to unilaterally approve appointments or any form of re-organisation in the Senate probes scarcity of lower denomination currency notes By Henry Umoru ABUJA— THE Senate has begun a probe into why banks in Nigeria no longer dispense lower naira denominations, with the excuse that they hardly receive them from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Consequently, the Senate warned that if the situation was not remedied urgently, it might lead to total collapse of the economy. Against this backdrop, the Senate mandated its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, led by Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South) to urgently carry out a holistic investigation into the matter, with a view to proffering lasting solution on the matter and report back within two weeks. Resolution of the Senate, yesterday, was sequel to a motion by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North), entitled “Scarcity of Lower Denomination Currency Notes.” Presenting the motion, Nwaoboshi said: “The Senate notes with serious concern, protracted scarcity of lower Naira denominations. “It is concerned that scarcity of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 naira notes poses a severe threat to the economy of the nation, which is just recovering from recession, as it is worsening inflationary trends, with attendant consequences; “It notes that the nation’s currency is highly essential and critical in national development and if mismanaged, the economy is doomed with adverse effect on the people and the nation; “It is worried that banks in Nigeria no longer dispense lower naira denominations with the excuse that they hardly receive them from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN." NNPC without input and consideration of its Board of Directors. Among other things, the Abuja-based legal practitioner asked the court to determine, among other things, “whether in view of section 2 subsection (1) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, as amended, read alongside Section 5(1) (a) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, either of the 1st Defendant or the 4th Defendant (Baru and Buhari), is entitled in law to unilaterally make or approve appointments into any position within the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (the 2nd Defendant herein) or any other form of reorganization in the 2nd Defendant, without the prior input, consideration and approval of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [the 3rd Defendant herein)?" Boko Haram: Shekau on the run dressed as woman —Army By Joseph Erunke A BUJA—THE Nigerian Army said, yesterday, that Abubakar Shekau, factional leader of Boko Haram terrorists group, has fled the Sambisa forest, following its troops’ intense raid in the area to completely dislodge the terrorists. But the Army said the terrorists’ leader disguised as a woman to flee the area. The troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, in statement relayed to the media through Army spokesman, Brigadier- General Sani Usman, said Shekau was on the run, disguising as a woman in different hijab attires. It said credible information from surrendered insurgents indicated that the factional leader of the group could not sustain the tempo of the heat of the ongoing counterinsurgency going on in the forest. Usman added that the troops also rescued civilians being held hostages by the terrorists and recovered arms, ammunition, improvised explosives devices, IEDs, making materials as well as other equipment. The statement read: “The concerted efforts of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole on the ongoing clearance of the Boko Haram terrorists through Operation Deep Punch II has been yielding tremendous results. “Credible information from arrested and surrendered insurgents indicated that the purported Boko Haram terrorists group factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, could not bear the heat anymore as he has abandoned his followers, he is running for his dear life. “He is desperately trying to escape the theatre disguised as a woman dressed in Hijab. We reliably gathered that to avoid detection, Abubakar Shekau alternates between blue and black coloured hijabs".
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018—9 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 FG has spent N1.2trn to support states —Osinbajo By Boluwaji Obahopo LOKOJA —Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, said the Federal Government has supported 36 states of the federation with N1.19 trillion as at September 2017. He also disclosed that the Federal Government had finally resolved all legal issues holding down Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex. Osinbajo said the funds were made available to enable state governments meet the challenges of shortage of funds for the execution of programmes in their respective states. The vice president, who stated this at the maiden Kogi State Economic and Investment Summit in Lokoja, said the funds had enabled some state governments to embark on capital expenditures. According to him, the funds were made available through the excess crude account, Paris Club refund, loans, among others, to the states. He explained that parts of the funds were the entitlements of the state that they legally had access to, while some of them were loans to be repaid. He noted that the present administration had the highest capital expenditures in two years, adding that these were evident in the ongoing railway line construction, road constructions and hydro power projects, among others. He said the Kogi Economic Summit came at the right time that the country was trying to reduce its dependence on oil and increase its non oil income with the promotion of agriculture and the abundant solid mineral resources across the country. On Ajaokuta steel complex, Osinbajo said the government also revived 110 megawatt electricity being generated at the steel plant and connected to the national grid, adding that the technical aspect to the steel complex was already functioning. He also said the rail lines leading to the steel complex would be constructed as works at Itape had also commenced. On the issue of dredging of River Niger, Osinbajo said it had been done and that it would assist the steel company when it comes on stream. The state governor, Yahaya Bello, said the summit was packaged to change the identity of the 27 years old state from a civil service state to an industrialised one. He said his •Says FG has resolved all legal issues holding down Ajaokuta steel administration had in the last two years, prepared the ground for economic and industrial breakthroughs for the state by solving the problems that had been hindering economic growth in the state. Bello said the state was now safe for investors and investments, adding that the problem of security had been tackled. PRESENTATION: From left, Mr. Grama Narasimhan, Executive Director, Retail & Consumer Banking, Sterling Bank; Ms. Evelyn Nwaokolo, Emirates Holidays Nigeria; Mr. Obinna Henry Ezeanyim, winner of International Holiday Trip to Dubai; Ms. Eniola Obe, Regional Business Executive and Mr. Henry Bassey, Chief Marketing Officer, both of Sterling Bank Plc, during the Sterling Bank 1dament promo prize presentation to winners of International Vacation, in Lagos, yesterday. Benue killings: Herdsmen agree to cease fire By Peter Duru M AKURDI—PEACE may finally return to Benue State as herdsmen attacking parts of the state have agreed to lay down their arms and abide by the provisions of the Benue Open Grazing Prohibition Law. They, however, asked for more time to help them adapt to the new policy as well as resort to grazing in the grazing reserves already developed in the Northern parts of the country. This position was reached at the end of the meeting by the herdsmen, stakeholders and governors of Benue and Nasarawa states with members of Technical Sub Committee of National Economic Council Committee mediating in the herdsmen and farmers crisis in Benue, Nasarawa, Adamawa and Taraba states, headed by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State. Addressing the media,yesterday, at the end of its assignment in Makurdi, chairman of the committee, Governor Umahi said the team had successful meetings with all the parties in Benue and Nasarawa states. Reeling out the decisions reached at the end of the mediation talks, Governor Umahi said: “We observed •Accept Benue grazing law, but ask for more time that all the parties are willing to make peace and we are looking at the conditions and suggestions of the various groups handed over to us as the way forward to having peace. “From discussions, it was agreed by the parties that Benue State has the right to make laws and that individuals or group of people that are in the state have a duty to obey the law. “They also have a duty to meet with the authorities of the law to dialogue on any section of the law that they believe will not favour them. “We have agreed, from all parties to this unfortunate matter, that we will pursue peace, disarm any group that is harbouring militia and support the security chiefs to arrest anyone found with illegal weapons. “The security people have also vowed that inline with the directive they have, anybody with illegal weapon must be arrested, no matter who the person is. “The cheering news is that the herdsmen in Benue and Nasarawa states are willing to abide by the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of Benue State but they would need more time for ranching and support from the Federal Government to move into grazing reserves." OPL 245 ownership dispute: Abacha has no case with us, EFCC tells court By Ikechukwu Nnochiri A B U J A — ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday persuaded the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to strike out its name from a suit the eldest son of late military head of state, Mohammed Abacha, filed to reclaim ownership of disputed Oil Prospecting License, OPL, 245. EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr. J. A. Ojogbane, told the court that the suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/ 201/2017, did not disclose any cause of action against it. The agency maintained that it was not in anyway linked with any of the reliefs the plaintiff is seeking from the court with respect to the controversial oil block. It, therefore, moved the court to uphold a preliminary objection it filed on May 18, 2017, asking to be de-listed as one of the defendants in OPL 245 ownership dispute. Following a no-objection $44m NIA missing fund: Kingibe intimidates Reps into closed-door session By Emman Ovuakporie ABUJA—MEMBERS of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and National Intelligence were, yesterday, intimidated into submission by chairman of Presidential Review Panel, PRP, on National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Babagana Kingibe. The committee, which was charged with the responsibility of probing into the missing $44 milion belonging to the agency and the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Mr. Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar as director general was held up by Kingibe and his colleagues when they refused to sit down. The PRP, chaired by Kingibe had been summoned by the committee to explain its role in the alleged disappearance of the $44 million, as well as Mr Abubakar’s appointment. But on getting to the venue of the hearing yesterday, Kingibe stood for a few minutes when the clerk of the committee approached him, asking him and his colleagues to take their seats. But the former ambassador declined, saying, “no, I won’t sit down, what is all these, do you people want to make a stance by Abacha’s lawyer, Mr. J. A. Achimugu, who said he had expected a stiffer opposition from the commission, Justice John Tsoho, in a bench ruling, struck out the EFCC as the 6th defendant in the matter. However, the court fixed April 23 to hear the preliminary objection the Federal Government filed to abort Abacha’s bid to reclaim OPL 245. Justice Tsoho said he would consolidate every other objection against the suit and hear them together. The Federal Government had in a process filed by the Attorney-General of the show of us?" The clerk then urged him to see the committee chairman, Aminu Sani Jaji, who was seated with his colleagues awaiting Kingibe’s arrival. But instead of approaching the chair as protocol demands in National Assembly, Kingibe said: “No! I won’t go there, you tell him to come.” Out of courtesy, the chairman rose from his seat and met him as they both stepped out of the hearing room. Kingibe finally agreed to sit, and following his discussion with the chairman, Kingibe began the introduction of his panel members. He also tried to introduce other members of the panel, but the committee chairman interrupted him, saying that he should allow the men to introduce themselves. However, the former ambassador ignored the chairman’s observation and said: “all of these men you see here are above 70 years old, with a combined age of over 300 years.’’ After the introduction, the chairman announced that journalists should leave the hall for members to have a closed door session with Kingibe and his colleagues. CBN wants shell banks abolished in Nigeria ABUJA—THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has called for the abolition of shell banks in the country, saying they serve as institutions for money laundering. Shell banks are institutions that carry out activities where they are not licensed. Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, who was represented by Director, Legal Services Department, Mr Johnson Akinwunmi, made the request in Abuja, yesterday, at a public hearing organised by House Committee on Banking and Currency on a Bill to amend the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) and other bills. He said the shell banks, apart from being used for money laundering, distort the banking system and might pose a problem to regulatory agencies. Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, asked the court to dismiss or strike out the suit wherein Abacha was claiming ownership of Malabu Oil & Gas Limited. Aside Federal Government and Minister of Petroleum Resources, who are 1st and 2nd defendants in the matter, other defendants equally challenging the competence of the suit are Shell Nigeria Ultra-Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd, Nigeria Agip Exploration Company Ltd and and Chief Dan Etete.