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Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Buhari’s special media aide, Femi Adesina slams Nigerians for crying over fuel scarcity as if heavens have fallen


Adesina disclosed this on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

SAHARAREPORTERS

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina says Nigeria has only witnessed one major fuel scarcity since the inception of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Adesina disclosed this on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

Lagos, Abuja, and major cities across the country were hit with fuel scarcity following the recent importation of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.

This was followed by a public outcry over the situation which left many car engines damaged.

However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) announced that it had since withdrawn the adulterated petrol from the market.

“Each time this issue of the fuel scarcity comes up, there is also a word that comes to my mind; that word is called SNAFU, and it’s an acronym for Situation Normal All Filed Ups,” Adesina said.

“What happened is a SNAFU in the petrol supply chain in the country. In the life of this administration which will be seven years in May, it is only one major fuel scarcity we have had.”

According to Adesina, the current fuel scarcity should not be an opportunity for mischief makers to cause tension in the country.

“Now, there is a SNAFU, and some people are crying out as if heavens have fallen; no,” he said.

“We should always consider the past and the present in this country. More than any other administration, this one (Buhari’s) has restored normalcy in petroleum supply for years.

“It is regrettable that Nigerians have had to stay hours on end at petrol stations. My driver also goes to queue up for hours before he gets fuel. Some people have had their car engines damaged, very regrettable.

“But then, we should not forget that it is not a routine or regular occurrence in the country and if there was an oversight, there is already a structure that can deal with that and we have been told that it’s going to be looked at.”



Unknown gunmen kill two policemen in Imo State


The police have, however, said they have arrested 18 of the suspected attackers.

SAHARAREPORTERS

Two policemen have been killed as gunmen attacked the Isu Divisional Police headquarters in the Isu Local Government Area of Imo State.

The police have, however, said they have arrested 18 of the suspected attackers.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, CSP Mike Abattam, said armed men suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN) in their numbers went to the station in two Toyota Sienna Buses, a Toyota Camry Car and an unspecified number of motorcycles, on Sunday.

He said the hoodlums took advantage of the porous neighbourhood and attacked the station from the rear axis, shooting sporadically, throwing petrol bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices (I.E.D) that ignited the station.

Abattam said that the fire and Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) affected some vehicles and part of the building of the division.

He said that the police operatives of the division immediately responded by engaging the hoodlums in a gun duel.

Due to the superior fire-power of the police, the hoodlums were dealt a heavy blow and they scampered for safety, running in different directions with various degrees of gunshot wounds, he added.

The police said, “The operatives did not relent; they gave the hoodlums a hot chase and while escaping some ran into Golden Suite Hotel and Isu Villa Hotel respectively.

“The two hotels were immediately cordoned and raided and in the process, a total of 12 motorcycles without identification numbers and two vehicles – one Lexus RX350 SUV and one Lexus RX330 SUV – believed to have been used by the hoodlums were seen and recovered.”

Also, 17 males and a female suspect were arrested and undergoing interrogation, the police added.



Interpol declares HO Corn Founder, Harrison Osemwengie wanted over multibillion-naira investment fraud

Osemwengie duped investors with the promise of 50 per cent in return for their investments, Peoples Gazette reports.

SAHARAREPORTERS

The founder of HO Corn, Harrison Osemwengie has been declared wanted by Interpol over multi-billion-naira investment fraud.

Osemwengie duped investors with the promise of 50 per cent in return for their investments, Peoples Gazette reports.

This is according to a warrant of arrest issued from the Central Crimes Registry.

“A warrant of arrest has been issued by the chief magistrate court Lagos. He is wanted by the police for the offence of obtaining money under false pretence and investment fraud and threat to life,” the special police bulletin said.

Mr Osemwengie, during a media campaign in February 2020, promised that his firm would offer a 50 per cent return on investment (ROI) after six months to anyone willing to take advantage of it.

Subsequently, many people bought into it but there was no return on investment as promised by Osemwengie.

It was learnt that the investment funds run into billions of naira.

Foundation for Investigative Journalism spoke with an investor who said Mr Osemwengie would be able to afford the outrageous returns.

“I remember the presenter asking Osemwengie if he was sure his company would be able to pay the agreed 50 per cent ROI and tell the public that the business was well insured in the event of a disaster,” the investor said.

The report also added that Mr Osemwengie’s company would send photographs of farms that did not belong to them to investors.

In July 2020, investors began to complain about non-payment of promised ROIs, raising doubts about the company’s authenticity.

“When this happened, HO Corn quickly issued a statement blaming the pandemic and the lockdown for its inability to make payment. It, however, promised that by August, investors would get their money,” another investor told FIJ.

FIJ’s independent investigation revealed that the company left its third-floor office at the Africa Reinsurance Building, Karimu Kotun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, without informing its investors.


Nigerian senate may consider 1999 Constitution Review Report on Wednesday

The Special Assistant (Press) to the Senate President, Ezrel Tabiowo, disclosed this in a statement titled “Senate to vote on the report of constitution review committee next Tuesday.”

SAHARAREPORTERS

The Senate will, on Wednesday, lay the report of the Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution and begin to vote on the recommendations by next week Tuesday.

The Special Assistant (Press) to the Senate President, Ezrel Tabiowo, disclosed this in a statement titled “Senate to vote on the report of constitution review committee next Tuesday.”

The statement quoted the Deputy President of the Senate and Chairman, Senate Committee on the Alteration to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta Central.

Omo-Agege, while presiding over the plenary on Tuesday due to the absence of the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said the report which would be laid on Wednesday would be shared to all the Senators to enable them to have a copy each, peruse the document and bring the report to the Chamber on March 1st for voting on the amendments.

Omo- Agege said Lawan would give further details on the matter by tomorrow (Wednesday).

According to the statement, Omo-Agege said, “The Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution will meet today, Tuesday, 22nd day of February 2022, immediately after plenary sitting at room 221 of the Senate building.

“Please, this meeting is very crucial.  Tomorrow, the Senate President will announce that the report of the Constitution Review Committee will be laid on Wednesday tomorrow and, thereafter, we will take our vote on March 1st which will be Tuesday.

“That will give us about 4 to 5 days to review the report, consult as we deem fit and be prepared to vote. It is imperative that all of our colleagues be present on that day.

“As you know, there are certain amendments that will require the two-thirds majority of all our colleagues – the entire Senate – not two-thirds of those who are present, but two-thirds of the entire membership of the Senate and, indeed, there are some other provisions that would require four-fifths of the entire Senate.

“So, please, it is my appeal without prejudice to the announcement the Senate President will make tomorrow, in my capacity as the Chairman of the Committee, to urge that all of our members be prepared to be present to cast their vote on Tuesday.

“The report will be laid tomorrow and be made available to all members, which report you will take home and we expect you to bring back to the chamber on Tuesday to cast your vote.”

In February 2020, the house constituted a 56 – member Constitution review committee to handle all bills seeking for one alteration or the other in the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The 56–member committee as announced by Senator Lawan, is made up of eight principal officers who all serve as steering committee within the larger committee, a senator from each of the 36 States of the Federation and two senators from each of the six Geo-political zones.


11 Prominent Nigerian leaders who ‘Suddenly Became Sick’ during corruption trial

Some have carved a niche for themselves in the art of fainting, and it is almost always over one issue — corruption allegations.

SAHARAREPORTERS

Probing Nigerian politicians for alleged corruption is like looking for water on cocoyam leaves; it’s always frustrating as they come up with different tactics to evade justice.

Some have carved a niche for themselves in the art of fainting, and it is almost always over one issue — corruption allegations.

In other instances, some suddenly took ill when they were to be probed.

Below is a list compiled by Daily Trust on how some prominent class in Nigeria apparently use ill health as a strategy to get out of trouble.

ABBA KYARI

Abba Kyari

The supposedly most decorated officer in the history of the Nigerian Police Force is believed to be the latest person to adopt this strategy. Kyari, who is currently under the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), over alleged drug trafficking, applied for bail after a week in detention.

In an ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ANJ/CS/182/22, Kyari, through his lawyer, C.O. Ikena, sought bail on health grounds.

“My lord, his (Kyari’s) condition at the custody is critical. I filed a motion to admit the applicant to a bail on health grounds pending the determination of the substantive matter,” she told the court.

FANI-KAYODE

Femi Fani-Kayode,

Six years before Kyari caught the headlines for the wrong reason, Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister, suddenly slumped at the premises of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, while in detention over N4.9 billion he allegedly obtained illegally from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The ex-Minister, who served as a spokesman of the Goodluck Jonathan campaign in the buildup to the 2015 election, fell ill after spending 67 days in detention. The EFCC is currently trying him for forgery as he was said to have obtained false medical documents to evade justice.

OLISA METUH

In 2018, Olisa Metuh, a former spokesperson of the PDP, took the drama a bit higher as he was brought into a Federal High Court in Abuja in an ambulance and pushed into the courtroom on a stretcher. Before then, there had been different dramas on ill health; he once collapsed while walking to the dock. The judge, Justice Akon Abang, however, proceeded with the trial even while the defendant was on the floor, despite an expression of disapproval from Metuh’s counsel.

The former PDP spokesman was standing an alleged N400 million fraud trial and transaction of $2 million cash that didn’t go through a financial institution.

DINO MELAYE

Dino Melaye

The Senator, who represented Kogi West in the 8th National Assembly, slumped at the police headquarters in Abuja, appearing weak and unable to walk by himself. Melaye had been arrested after he refused to honour a police invitation for about eight days over an investigation into certain assassination attempt claims.

CECILIA IBRU

Cecilia Ibru

In 2009, the former CEO of now-defunct Oceanic Bank plc, Cecilia Ibru, collapsed in the dock while charges against her were being read. Ibru, who all had appeared stressed up before collapsing, suddenly slumped in the dock after 18 of the 25-count charge had been read to her, which caused a panic in the court. The session had to be halted for about 10 minutes before her doctor who had accompanied her to the court, attended to her and informed the court she was fit to continue with the trial.

KAMEBRADIKUMO PONDEI

Kemebradikumo Pondei

Kemebradikumo Pondei was the acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) who in 2020 “passed out” during a session at a House of Representatives’ Committee probing financial misappropriations in the commission. He was being questioned over alleged mismanagement of N81.5 billion by the interim management of the NDDC he was leading, when he “fainted.” The session had to be adjourned for fifteen minutes to enable the lawmakers to determine whether or not to continue the probe.

DIEZANI ALISON-MADUEKE

Alison-Maduek

Alison-Madueke was minister of petroleum under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. She allegedly stole billion of dollars, according to the EFCC. Shortly after President Muhmmadu Buhari won the 2015 election, she was reportedly sighted with him in the same plane jetting out of the country. Some months later, pictures of her looking old with wrinkled skin and deteriorating hair were released by Dele Momodu, the publisher of Ovation Magazine, who is currently a presidential aspirant of PDP. In an interview she granted to Momodu’s online platform, The Boss, Diezani had said she had been undergoing chemotherapy.

ABDULRASHEED MAINA

Maina

In 2019, the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) appeared in a wheelchair for his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja. Maina’s trial had been stalled due to his reported ill health. A prosecutor had questioned the health report brought to the hospital to announce Maina’s ill health.

Maina, who was in hiding for almost two years, was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS), which had hitherto been accused of shielding him from arrest.

Maina was arraigned on October 25, 2019, and pleaded not guilty to the 12-count charge of N100 billion pension fraud brought against him. Two years later, he was convicted and he is currently serving an eight-year jail term.

HAKEEM OTIKI

Hakeem Otiki,

As it is with civilians, so it is in the military. They are all Nigerians after all. In September 2019, Major General Hakeem Otiki, General Officer Commanding 8 Division Nigerian Army, appeared in a wheelchair during his trial in the General Court Martial (GCM). He was accused to have stolen large sum of money.

HALIRU MOHAMMED

Haliru Mohammed 

In January 2016, Haliru Mohammed former ‎National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, appeared before a Federal High Court in Abuja, in a wheelchair, following allegations of his involvement in the $2 billion arms deal.

KINSLEY KUKU

Kingsley Kuku

Former adviser to former President Jonathan on Amnesty programme, Kingsley Kuku, left the country shortly after Jonathan’s tenure ended. The EFCC had summoned him to answer questions bordering on misappropriation of funds but had immediately written a letter to the agency, saying he would not honour the invitation because he was at a US hospital.

He later released photos of himself at the St. Andrew Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama, where he was said to have underwent a knee surgery.




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