Vanguard Newspaper 13042018
8—VANGUARD, FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 FORUM: From left, Mr Goshem Obed-Bella, Member, Governing Council, Nigeria- Malaysia Business Council; Mr Mohammed Khairy, Trade Commissioner, Malaysia Trade Office in Nigeria; Mrs Adesola Adebutu, President, Ogun State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, and Mr Babatunde Faleke, Regional Coordinator, South- West, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, at a stakeholders' forum on cocoa, rubber and palm oil export to Malaysia, at NEPC Conference Hall, Apapa, Lagos, yesterday. Photo: Lamidi Bamidele Offa killings: Senate probes robbery attack •Urges IGP to reinforce security measures By Henry Umoru ABUJA— THE Senate has begun a probe into the deadly armed robbery attack on several banks in Offa, Kwara State, which led to the death of nine policemen and several others. It, however, mandated its Committees on Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the matter and report back to the Senate within two weeks. The upper chamber, which observed a minute silence for the innocent people who lost their lives during the robbery attack, directed Inspector- General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to reinforce security measures to secure lives and property in the area. It also urged the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Army, to consider setting up of Forward Operating Base, FOB, for Kwara South senatorial district. The Senate also called on the banks to consider immediate re-opening of their branches for normal businesses as soon as the security atmosphere improved. It commended the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for rising to the situation instantly by visiting Offa Local Government Area after the attack. Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion by Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South), who had earlier cited Orders 42 and 52 and later moved a motion on the deadly armed robbery attack on several banks in Offa, Kwara State where nine policemen and several others were killed. Presenting the motion, Ibrahim said: “The Senate notes with dismay the deadly armed robbery attack on five Deposit Money Banks, DMBs, in Offa on April 5, 2018, in which nine policemen and nine others, including passersby, lost their lives during the attacks as confirmed by the Nigeria Police Force. “There are several others injured receiving treatment in various hospital in Offa and Ilorin. The DMB’s include; Union Bank, Ecobank, GTbank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and a Microfinance Bank which suffered huge financial losses after the attack. “Aware that Offa local government in conjunction with the traditional ruler, The Oloffa of Offa, and prominent personalities in Offa community and its environs have put in place various measures, including the provision of logistics to security agencies to prevent any re-occurrence of such incessant robberies and killings within the area in the past. “Worried that if such attacks are allowed to continue, it may lead to the closure of financial institutions in the town and this may cripple commercial activities in the town and its environs." Suspension of NEMA directors: Reps summon Osinbajo, Magu, Oyo-Ita By Levinus Nwabughiogu ABUJA—IN a rare display of legislative oversight functions, the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management, yesterday, summoned Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo over an alleged illegal suspension of six directors at National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA. Others summoned for the same purpose were Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, and Head of Service, Winifred Oyo- Ita. The committee reached the resolution at its resumed sitting of investigation into alleged violation of public trust at NEMA. It will be recalled that the committee at its first sitting on Wednesday, accused the agency’s Director-General, Mr Mustapha Maihaja, of breaching Public Procurement Act, PPA, by awarding contracts to ghost companies that did not meet legal requirements. In their testimony at the session, the directors, who are currently being investigated by the EFCC, following a petition written against them for alleged abuse of office, claimed they were suspended for kicking against some of the policies of Mustapha Maihaja at NEMA. The directors include Akinbola Gbolahan (Finance and Accounts); Umesi Emenike (Special Duties) and Alhassan Nuhu (Risk Reduction). Others are pilot in charge of air ambulance and aviation unit, Mamman Ali Ibrahim; Chief Maintenance Officer, Ganiyu Deji, and Director of Welfare,Kanar Mohammed. Their suspension was effected by the agency’s Governing Council chaired by Vice President Osinbajo without due process. Led by Isa Ali, the committee also summoned Magu and Oyo-Ita for further explanations. Also at the session was Comptroller of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali. His summon originated over alleged irregularities in the importation of 6,776 metric tonnes of rice donated as relief materials by the Chinese government. Abacha loot: Reps probe proposed payment of $17m to lawyers THE House of Representatives, yesterday, resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the payment of $16.9 million to lawyers by Attorney-General of the Federation for the recovery of ‘Abacha loot’. The committee is also to investigate the controversy surrounding the engagement of Nigerian lawyers for a fee of N6 billion after the actual work had been concluded by another set of lawyers. The Cable reported that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, refused to approve the payment of $16.9 million fees to two lawyers for the recovery of the loot worth $321 million, adding that she also wrote a letter to PDP tackles Buhari over comment on Gaddafi By Dirisu Yakubu A BUJA—PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, charged President Muhammadu Buhari to own up to his “inability” to curtail the security situation in the country instead of always resorting to excuses, particularly in the international arena. The party also said telling Archbishop Justin Welby that the insurgents and marauders killing Nigerians were fighters trained by the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi, President Buhari has raised a lot of doubts about his fitness for the job before him. A statement by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said: “We invite Nigerians to recall that in November 2017, President Buhari had informed the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire that Gadaffi’s fighters were responsible for the escalation of Boko Haram insurgency. “This time, Mr. President has revealed that the killerherdsmen ravaging our nation and killing our people are from Libya. “If the All Progressives Congress,APC-led Federal Government knew all these while that the marauders and insurgents are invaders, then why is it engaging them in dialogue, reportedly paying ransoms and even considering the amnesty option for them. “In the same vein, Nigerians should demand explanations from President Buhari on why his administration has been asking the victims of marauders’ attacks in various states, particularly, Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Plateau, among others, to learn to accommodate, if it knows that the attackers had links with Libya.” President Muhammadu Buhari, raising objections to the payment. But the minister has denied being involved in any controversy over the issue. At yesterday’s plenary, some of the lawmakers who spoke on the matter described Malami’s engagement of the lawyers as “height of injustice.” The deliberations followed a motion raised by Mark Gbillah, from Benue State, asked the House to carry out a “forensic investigation” on the issue to unravel the circumstances surrounding the controversial deal. “It will be a conflict of interest if proven that the minister has initial relationship with the Nigerian lawyers,” he said. NSE set to migrate 4 firms to Premium Board By Nkiruka Nnorom NIGERIAN Stock Exchange, NSE, has said Access Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc will be migrated to its Premium Board next week. The companies will join Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, and Zenith International Bank Plc, which were migrated to the Premium Board in 2015, thereby bringing the total number of companies on the board to seven. According to the exchange in a statement, the inclusion of the four companies is sequel to their applications and meeting the listing requirements for the board. The Premium Board is the listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet the exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards. The board is a platform for showcasing companies who are industry leaders in their sectors. Premium Board features companies that adhere to international best practices on corporate governance and meet the Exchange’s highest standards of capitalisation and liquidity. The exchange noted that the companies have all passed the Corporate Governance Rating System, CGRS, and have market capitalisation of N347.12 billion, N378.60 billion, N391.37 billion and N374.48 billion respectively. Commenting on the development, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said: “This migration affirms the strides our listed companies are making towards meeting the highest standards of corporate governance and underpins the robustness of our market. "The new companies have consistently demonstrated their inherent values to be globally competitive brands and we congratulate them on the attainment of this migration.”
VANGUARD, FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018—9 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 By Henry Umoru ABUJA— THE Senate, yesterday, went into a rowdy session after Eyninaya Abaribe, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, member from Abia State, described President Muhammadu Buhari as incompetent. Abaribe had moved a motion reacting to a comment made by Buhari in UK on Wednesday. While receiving Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Buhari blamed the farmers, herders clashes on militias trained by Muammar Gaddafi, former Libyan President. But speaking on the floor of the chamber, Abaribe wondered why the President was still the commander-in-chief when he could not protect the country from invasion. He said: “Two explanations were given by highly ranked security personnel on the matter of herdsmen versus farmers clashes. “First of all, the IGP said these killings were as a result of laws being passed by states. Secondly, the Defence minister said these killings were as a result of the blockage of routes through which these herders are to move their cattle. “We continue to look at all these explanations. Yesterday in London, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the President of Nigeria said the killings are as a result of the people who were trained by the late Muammar Gaddafi and so implying that these people doing these killings in Nigeria are from outside Nigeria and even if he says they are invaders from outside Nigeria, what it means is that now it validates my last point on this floor. “When a commander-inchief cannot take care of invaders, invading Nigeria why is he still a commanderin-chief, why do we continue to indulge? Why do we continue to indulge this president that everywhere he goes he tells everyone outside this country that he is totally incompetent? Because it is obvious” At this point, lawmakers of All Progressives Congress, APC, challenged him, with shouts of “point of order” erupting in the chamber. After calm returned to the chamber, Ahmed Lawan, Majority Leader, cited order 53 of the Senate rules, saying the president deserves respect. Lawan said: “The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the leader of this country and deserves the respect and courtesy of this chamber and those of us in it. VISIT: Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu (right), welcoming President, International Criminal Court, Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, during the jurist's courtesy visit to the Senator in Abuja, yesterday. Rowdy session as PDP senator calls Buhari incompetent •Senate suspends Omo-Agege for 90 legislative days •I’ll continue to be ardent supporter of Buhari— Omo- Agege •Saraki disbands pro-Buhari support group in Senate “I was once a member of the opposition and I do not recall ever insulting the then president. This is our institution. If we do not conduct ourselves with respect, nobody will. I want to ask my colleague to immediately withdraw his statement and apologise to this chamber.” Cautioning Abaribe, Senate President,Dr Bukola Saraki, said offensive words should not be used. Responding, Abaribe said: “I am very well guided by you but there are words that there are no alternatives to. What I did was to interpret the words by Mr President in London. If any word I used is misunderstood by anyone, I apologise. What I am saying is simple.” Senate suspends Omo-Agege for 90 legislative days Meanwhile, the Senate has suspended Senator Ovie Omo- Agege (APC, Delta Central) for 90 legislative days, apparently for kicking against the new sequence of elections adopted by the upper chambers, which was alleged to have been targeted at President Buhari ahead of 2019 election. . Senator Omo-Agege has also been asked to withdraw from the court his suit against the Senate President, Saraki, and the Senate as part of the conditions to forgive him at the expiration of the 90 legislative days’ suspension. The Senate also mandated that Parliamentary Support Group (Senate) for President Muhammadu Buhari in which Senator Omo-Agege is the Secretary and Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West), chairman, must be disbanded immediately. Decisions of the Senate were sequel to the report of Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East)- led Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which investigated the Senator. Earlier, the committee had recommended that Senator Omo- Agege be suspended for 181 legislative days for dragging the upper chamber to court and to serve as a deterrent to others, but following appeals from the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) and Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central) for leniency and in the spirit of one family, Senate President Bukola Saraki reduced it to 90 legislative days. I’ll continue to be ardent supporter of Buhari— Omo- Agege Senator Omo-Agege, while responding to the decision of his colleagues, said he would continue to remain an ardent supporter of President Buhari, adding that the Senate ought to know that the matter was pending in court and its action subjudice. He said: “As already wellknown by many, the issues acted upon today (yesterday) by the Senate are pending before a court of competent jurisdiction and, therefore subjudice. It is the Senate’s view that the issues be withdrawn from court for an amicable resolution to hold. Until a resolution is reached, it is better to respect the court processes by not commenting on them.” He said the decision to disband the Parliamentary Support Group, PSG (Senate) for President Buhari as raised by Senate was left with the over 50 members of PSG to decide. In his remarks, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki said: “Distinguished Colleagues, a number of points have been raised. One borders on the issue of preserving the integrity of this institution. To me, that is what I think is the most important thing for us. “Second, is where we take actions that are not sincere. I think in this chamber, if we want to talk about who has the right to say he is Chairman of a Parliamentary Support Group for Mr. President both by action and by what we have done, I think that I have the right to lead that more than anyone else here. “Those of us that understand politics, understand that because of our own peculiar interest, sometimes some people decide to act like they are holier than thou or more committed at the expense of others. This is not something that we should tolerate, and I believe that in an institution like this we must show discipline, but at the same time we must also show compassion." Malabu scandal: Court papers expose Nigerian officials who authorised payments of $875m COURT documents filed by US banking giant, JP Morgan Chase Bank, have revealed the Nigerian officials who authorised payments of $875 million to accounts linked to a former Nigerian oil minister in the fraudulent Malabu deal, Dan Etete. The details are contained in a fresh claim filed by the bank to counter the massive claim for damages filed by the Federal Government in 2017. Those named to have authorised the payments, which were made in 2011, are Yerima Ngama, who was then Minister of State for Finance and Otunla Ogunniyi, then Accountant- General of the Federation. The two others named as authorised signatories at the time were Danladi Kifasi, Permanent Secretary at Federal Ministry of Finance and Babayo Shehu, Director of Funds at the Office of the Accountant-General. Last November, the Federal Government had sued the bank for $875 million (N315 billion) in London courts over its alleged failure to block payments made from the massive Malabu oil deal that is under a string of international corruption investigations. In the civil claim issued in the High Court, the government argued that JP Morgan had been “grossly negligent” when it was banker to a previous government. The claim alleged that JP Morgan did not act “with the reasonable care and skill to be expected of a bank in compliance with the laws of England and Wales” when it authorised enormous payments resulting from the 2018 budget: C'ttees on Defence, Army, NAF, 17 others holding Senate to ransom — Saraki By Henry Umoru A BUJA—SENATE President, Dr Bukola Saraki, yesterday, raised the alarm that Senate Committees on Defence, Army, Air Force, Navy, Federal Capital Territory, FCT; Niger Delta and 15 others were holding the Senate to ransom in its bid to put finishing touches to the 2018 Appropriation Bill, following their refusal to submit reports on the budget.. Speaking, yesterday, during plenary, Saraki named committees on Industry, States and Local Government, Culture and Tourism, Petroleum 2011 oil deal. There was an “abuse of the banking system,” the claim said, adding that JP Morgan “could and should” have done enough reasonable due diligence to discover the deal involved, the “misappropriation” of up to $1.1 billion from state coffers. It, therefore, demanded that the bank repay $875 million it paid out to Mr. Etete, in addition to interest, and to account for the rest. Counter claim The bank, in its counter claim, submitted in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, denied any wrongdoing. The document, according to online publication, Premium Times, was dated March 29 and signed by Rebecca Smith, a representative of the bank’s solicitor–Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, London. The bank admitted that on May 4, 2011, an escrow agreement was concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), JP Morgan and two other parties, including Shell’s SNEPCO and Agip(Eni). The government had earlier in April 2011, agreed to allocate the controversial OPL245 to both SNEPCO and NAE, with agreement that the two parties will transfer $1,092,040, 000 to a Nigerian government’s escrow account with JP Morgan. The bank, which became an ‘Escrow agent’ by the terms of the deal, said it was obliged to receive the money and transfer to accounts nominated by the federal government but was not a party to the Malabu resolution deal. (Downstream), Petroleum (Upstream), Sustainable Development Goals, Primary Health and Communicable Diseases, Health, Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Capital Market, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Works; Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy; and National Cooperation and Integration as those yet to submit their reports to enable the Senate Committee on Appropriations work on the reports for subsequent passage of the 2018 budget. He, however, gave the 20 committees today to submit their reports.