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Akpabio debunks insinuation that he was detained by EFCC, says no reason to bribe the anti graft agency boss

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Akpabio debunks insinuation that he was detained by EFCC, says no reason to bribe the anti graft agency boss

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has reacted to what he called a defamatory article written by an online medium, titled: “How EFCC detained Godswill Akpabio for two hours after attempting to bribe Agency Chairman with $350,000.” He said the report “is false.”

The Minister according to a press statement signed Saturday by his Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, said he has no reason to offer bribe to the new Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa and never did.

According to the statement, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Akpabio, through a telephone call, sought audience with the new Chairman of the EFCC to discuss the transfer of funds belonging to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in respect of the 3% statutory remittances from Oil and Gas Companies in the custody of the EFCC.

President Muhammadu Buhari had since December 2020 approved the transfer of monies earlier paid by International Oil Companies into the CBN/EFCC account now to be transferred to the CBN/NDDC account.

The Chairman, as contained in the statement, granted the request for 10.00am but due to other exigencies, the Minister requested for a change of time to 11.30am whereupon the Chairman amended the request to 12noon due to his busy schedule. The two Senior Officials met and had a robust discussion and the Honourable Minister received very intelligent and useful input from the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrashed Bawa on the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC.

“However, the discussion was inconclusive since the Minister needed to attend a security meeting with select South-South/South-East leaders and Governors in the Office of the National Security Adviser then slated for 1.30pm of the same day. Both Officials resolved to reconvene same day by 5.00pm to conclude their interactions. The Minister returned to the office of the EFCC Chairman at about 5.45pm and departed thereafter at about 6.20pm after very resourceful deliberations.

The statement explained further: “There was no issue of detention and Senator Akpabio could not have carried $350,000 into the office of the Chairman of the EFCC as he went there without a bag or a container. The EFCC Chairman Bawa gave useful and intelligent advice on the methodology of achieving success in the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC.

“The Honourable Minister sought the cooperation of the EFCC to actualize recoveries of further 3% levies due to the Commission still being owed by some Oil and Gas Companies.

“The meeting between the duo was not arranged by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN and for the umpteenth time, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs did not bribe the Honourable Attorney-General with $5 million as alleged to get Mr. Effiong Akwa elevated to the position of the Interim Administrator of the NDDC.

“It could be recalled that the appointment of Mr. Effiong Akwa was duly made by Mr. President in obedience to an exparte order of court in suit number ABJ/CS/616/2020, before the Federal High Court, Abuja which restrained named Members of the Interim Management of the NDDC from carrying out their duties until the application for an order of Mandamus was argued and disposed off.

“In that suit, the Court had ordered that the headship of the NDDC should be handed over to the most Senior Director pending the conclusion of the suit. The most Senior Director at that time happened to be Mr. Effiong Akwa, who, months earlier had replaced the late Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Chief Bassey Etang who passed on in May 2020 after a brief illness, and the originators of the suit did not replace the late Chief Etang with Mr. Akwa as a party in the suit hence his emergence as the Interim Administrator.

“How then does the name of the respected Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN come into the appointment of the Interim Administrator that was clearly a child of circumstance?

“The above explanation is to disabuse the minds of the general public against the falsehood peddled by the authors of the false and malicious publications. The general public is hereby advised to discountenance the said publication as it is propelled by persons whose stock-in-trade is politics of blackmail now occasioned by the very serious progress made in respect of the on-going Forensic Audit of the NDDC.”

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2021 Eid-el-Fitr: Gov Sule preaches peace, love, reiterates observance of COVID-19 protocols

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From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

Nasarawa state governor Abdullahi Sule has called on security agencies across the state to
continue to be vigilant by intensifing their efforts in safeguarding lives and property of the citizens in the state at the Eid-El-Fitr celebrations.

In a statement signed by the acting governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe which was made available to our to the NationalUpdate on Thursday, he called on the Federal Road Safety Commission and other security agencies to ensure traffic is properly maintained to safe guard the lives and property of the citizens of the state.

The governor used the medium to call on motorists and other road users to obey traffic regulations.

He said: “As we come to the end of this year’s Ramadan Fast, on behalf of the Government and People of Nasarawa State, I felicitate with all Muslim faithful in the State as we join millions of Nigerians and other brethren across the globe to mark the 2021 Eid-el-Fitr (Sallah) celebration.”

The statement reads in part, “I implore all Muslims to remain steadfast in applying the virtues of Ramadan through sustained supplication, hospitality and good neighbourliness, as well as imbibing the spirit of sharing in our daily lives.”

He admonished the citizens of the State to continue to pray for the peace, security and economic prosperity of the State.

“My dear brethren, perhaps, I should take the liberty of this festive period to warn on the danger of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. I need to state that we have received the first dose of Astra Zeneca Vaccine and distributed same across the Primary Healthcare Centres in the State,” the statement added.

The governor, however, called on religious and opinion leaders to continue to sensitize the public on the need to accept the vaccine and get vaccinated for the well-being of the society.

He added that the protection of lives of the people during this trying times remain sacrosanct, hence the need to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.

The statement further urged the people of the state to continue to preach peace, show love, understanding, tolerance and good neighbourliness among theirselves and humanity at large.

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Eid-el-Fitr: Gov Matawalle calls for prayers to end banditry

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Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, has called on Muslim Ummah to unite in prayer towards ending insecurity bedevilling the state during the Eid el- fitr celebration.
In a statement marking the Eid el-fitr celebration, the governor said consistent prayers would greatly assist in easing the tension in the state.

In a statement signed by Yusuf Idris Gusau, the Director General Media, Public Enlightenment and Communication, the governor assured the state’s civil servants that in spite of dwindling resources characterized by impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on global economy and banditry activities in the state, his administration will not take decisions that will be detrimental to their welfare.

The governor gave the assurance in his Eid-el-fitr Sallah goodwill message to the people of the state.

While observing  that many states having suffered from the current trying times causing such state government to consider reducing their workforce, Matawalle maintained that such will not happen under his leadership.

He said, intead, his administration has continued to evolve ways of meeting the demands of the people through the purchase of a range of food products, which were distributed across all the State’s 2,516 polling units, provision of assistance to a number of Islamic centres throughout the State in order to sustain the government’s food  distribution efforts during the Holy Month.

Similar gesture was also extended to the state’s Council of Chiefs, Remand Home, Orphanages, and Civil Servants, 40,000 pieces of shadda and atamfa clothing materials were purchased and distributed to orphans and other less privileged individuals to enable them celebrate the Eid el- fitri in a happy state of mind.

In order to give a sense of belonging to those in prison custody, the state government also donated 400 bags of assorted grains to the inmates of Gusau Correctional Facility in the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan.

He said despite the threats posed by banditry and its repercussions, in addition to the cash crunch, his administration is leaving its mark on the sands of time by mobilising resources to execute a number of public projects across the State. 

The governor wished the people of the state a happy and memorable Sallah celebration and urged the good people of the state to continue to pray for peace and tranquility as well as continue to uphold the good morals and lessons learnt in the Holy and blessed month of Ramadan to better the society calling for more prayers to end banditry in the state and the country at large

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Eid-El-Fitr: Police in Kogi to ensure adequate protection of lives, properties

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The Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, CP Ede Ayuba Ekpeji has reiterated the Commands’ readiness to synergise with other security agencies in the State to ensure adequate protection of lives and properties during and after the Eid-El-Fitr celebrations.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command DSP William Aya in a statement issued on Wednesday assured members of the public that the Command has made adequate deployment of its personnel across the State to secure public places and guarantee a safe and secure environment for all.

Explaining further, Aya noted that the Area Commanders, Tactical and operational Commanders as well as the Divisional Police Officers have been charged to ensure a hitch free celebrations in their Area of Responsibilities.

He urged law abiding citizens to go about their lawful activities as he warned those planning to firment trouble to desist from any act capable of disrupting the existing peace the State is enjoying.
According to him, the Command will not hesitate to deal with any one caught committing any act of lawlessness in the State.

The Commissioner of Police called on the members of the public to sharpen their power of observation and report any suspicious objects, movements and activities around their neighborhood to the Police or any other security agencies in the State to enable prompt response to mitigate the act.

The CP commended the heads of Security agencies in the State on the effective synergy in the fight against criminality. Also to members of the Police Command’s management team for their continue support to making the Command achieved a relative peace we are enjoying.

To this end, the Commissioner of Police assures that the command’s tempo in the fight against crime and criminality and to reclaim public spaces remain unequivocal and unwavering.

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