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Assassination attempt: Melaye express dismay over Bello’s silence

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Assassination attempt: Melaye express dismay over Bello’s silence

By John Akubo, Lokoja

The senator representing Kogi west Dino Melaye has expressed outrage and disbelief that four days after the attempt on his life, the Kogi State governor, the Chief Security Officer of the State, has not shown any concern saying, “The Governor’s deafening silence speaks volumes”.

He said it would have been more honourable for him to have called or visited to know the state of affairs with him as a serving Senator from Kogi State.

This was contained in a press statement which was signed by Ayodele Gideon media aid to the senator which was made available to the Guardian in Lokoja yesterday.

The statement reads, “In the history of Kogi West, various political gladiators have, at various times, had their differences but none had ever been escalated to the level of an attempt on life.
“Chief Awoniyi and Chief Daniyan (both of blessed memory) had their strong differences. Senator Dino Melaye and Prince Olusola Akanmode also had their differences. Arc. Stephen Olorunfemi and Prince Olusola Akanmode and Tunde Ogbeha, also had their differences.”

Continuing it stated, “Senator Dino Melaye and Senator.Smart Adeyemi had their serious political differences. None of these differences was ever escalated to the horrendous level of the assassination attempt.

The senator expressed deep shock over the assassination attempt on his life late on Friday 14th April 2017 in his constituency residence in Aiyetoro-Gbede, Kogi West Senatorial District.

He described the situation as unfortunate, regretable, highly disturbing and very strange to the socio-political.culture of Kogi West senatorial district.

The Senator thanked the Almighty God for sparing his life as he declares that God is his “Rock and Salvation”.

Melaye declared his unrelenting resolution to continue to champion democratic courses targeted at good governance, masses empowerment and the Rule of Law.

He also promised never to relent in his fight against corruption, maladministration, impunity and nepotism.

In his words, “No amount of threat, blackmail, name-calling and/or harassment will stop me from being the voice of the voiceless and the mouthpiece of the common man”.

He said the incident is alien to Okun people and to Kogi West.

“The advent of Yahaya Bello as Governor and Taofiq Isa as Local Government administrator in the political firmament of Kogi state has brought this unfortunate socio-political paradigm shift.

Senator Melaye called on Kogi Elders, Traditional Leaders and Opinion Leaders to call for order and restraint. ‘It may be Dino Melaye today, we don’t know who is next’.

“The agitation for good governance, payment of worker’s salaries and welfare of pensioners should not be punished with assassination.”
In a swift reaction the Director general media and strategy Kingsley Fanwo said they don’t want to join issues with Senator Dino Melaye.

“He is an adult and can explain the path he has chosen to tread. If he accused the Governor of complacency in the so called assassination attempt, those who have been following the trend from the day his group promised to make Kogi ungovernable will not be surprised.

“The case is under investigation by the Police and making serious statements about it may be seen to be subjudice. We have been witnessing imaginary attacks in the state and when the Governor travelled to Kogi East, his antagonists also alleged he was attacked even when the opposite was the case.”

He said the government, believe the Nigeria Police is capable of getting to the root of the allegations to do justice to it once and for all.

He said people need to ask Senator Dino Melaye if he reported the incident to the Governor who is the Chief Security Officer of the state.

“If you didn’t tell him anything, he too will have nothing to say. The reports of the security agencies will surely untie the riddles surrounding the allegations.
Security should never be politicised in our state. We will not be distracted. We know the plans but if they know Governor
Yahaya Bello, they would know he is too focused to be distracted, too courageous to be intimidated.

“We are waiting for the reports of the investigation after which we shall be properly guided to make informed comments. Nigerians know what is happening.”

https://m.guardian.ng/news/assassination-attempt-melaye-express-dismay-over-bellos-silence/

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Senate panel unravels N443bn subsidy scam by NNPC

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Senate panel unravels N443bn subsidy scam by NNPC

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday uncovered a scam involving N443B by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which allegedly lavished the money on oil subsidy in 2016 without budgetary provision.

The panel, therefore, summoned the leadership of the nations oil firm to brief it on the expenditure.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, issued the summon yesterday when the panel considered a 2016 report by the Auditor-General for the Federation.

“During the examination of subsidy records provided by Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), it was observed that total subsidy paid during the year 2016 was N443,940,559,974.80,” the audit report.

The breakdown of the fund showed that N403.3 billion was paid to oil marketers, while interest & foreign exchange differential gulped N40.6 billion, totalling N443.9 billion.

The fund, according to the report, was spent in 2016 without budgetary provision and was deducted at source.

“This reflects continuing weaknesses in the budgeting process adopted by the Federal Government,” it added.

Responding to the audit report, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, told the committee that the NNPC would be in better position to explain the extra-budgetary spending.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide summoned the NNPC Group Managing Director, Melee Kyari to give explanation on the expenditure.

In a related development, the committee also summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria over alleged disappearance of $9.5 million interest from Investment Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude.

The invitation of the Apex Bank in the country was sequel to the 2016 Auditor General Report which accused the Central Bank of Nigeria failing to present documents supporting the investment for verification.

The Senate observed no letter supporting the investment of the fund and the actual amount invested were not made known.

The Query reads, “During the examination of transfers to Forefinger Excess PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Accounts it was observed that during the year 2016, amount totalling $6 million and $3.5 million were credited to the Foreign PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account as interest on Funds investments.

“The authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests totaling $9.5 in deposit account, the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest were no made available for audit verification.

“This observation had also been a subject of my reprts since 2017 without any positive response from Central Bank of Nigeria

“Records made available for audit further revealed that the balance in the foreign PPT/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude a accounts as at 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD, 251,826 respectively

“This suggest the foreign PPT/Royalthy was depleted before the year end.

“The Accountant General has been requested to provide the authority for the funds invested, tenor of the investment, rate unrest payable, certficate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide however asked the Accountant General of the Federation, to respond to issue raised in the Auditor General Report.

The Accountant General was unable to present any document on the issue raised by the Committee.

He further told the lawmakers that the Office of Accountant General has sent a letter to the Central Bank of Nigeria for clarification on the issue raised.

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

By Aminci Audu

The minister of communications and Digital Economy Isah Ali Pantami has declared that Nigeria is ready for 5th Generation Network (5G) as long as the major challenges are taken care of.

Pantami spoke yesterday, at a one day investigative hearing on the present status of 5G network organised by the joint Senate committee on communication, sScience and Technology, ICT and Cybercrime and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.

The minister in his presentation allayed the fear among Nigerians over the planned deployment of the network saying the Federal Government has taken all necessary precautions by investigating through research and trial on all issues raised.

He said “The position is that we are almost at the final stage. So now, Nigeria is ready for 5G as long as we address the major challenges.”

“We have not gotten there, wether we will deploy 5G but we are on track conducting research, investigations, engaging stakeholders and definitely if all issues are addressed, the executive will support the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.”

He noted that so far no negative impacts has been established from the research and trial carried both locally and at the international level. 

On the speculation that the 5G network escalated the COVID-19 he said there is no link between 5G and COVID-19.
“And there is no relationship between 5G and any desease. The only issue being raised usually is about radiation.  But people don’t realise that the radiation of 4G is more harmful than that of 5G. 
“The radiation of microwave oven at home is more harmful than that of the 5G. The radiation of even the smart phone itself is even more harmful that that of 5G

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

The South-south Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has faulted allegations of wrong doing leveled against the Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva over the choice of Saipem, an Italian firm to handle the Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract.

SELF in a statement argued that the deal also endorsed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Board Engr. Simbi Wabote was in the best interest of the country.

SELF position was in response to an online publication which accused the duo of bribe taking running into millions of naira in the deal.

SELF warned the publisher of the medium , Mr Jackson Ude, to desist from blackmailing leaders of the South-south extraction in a bid to score political goals.

Urging the Publisher of the online medium to show proof his allegation, SELF noted: “We strongly condemn the allegation leveled by Pointblanknews.com and its sponsors, this is highly condemnable and viewed as a sponsored plot to instigate hate against the Minister and derail his concentrations.

“This is ridiculous and belittling of Jackson Ude, the face behind this blackmail for being petty to the ground level for publishing tissues of lies about the persons of Timipre Sylva and Simbi Wabote.

“Nigerians should not believe this and throw it into the dust bin. It’s incumbent on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the positive drive of Minister and collaborate with him, towards the actualization of the onerous task at stake.

“Although Jackson Ude and his medium Pointblanknews.com are criminally known for thriving in the business of blackmail, especially against the officeholders from the Niger Delta region. But this forum will henceforth resist this criminality by deploying all known instrumental of law to fight the faces behind these tissues of lies.

“This Forum is using this medium to warn the likes of Jackson Ude to stay away from Nigeria and the South-south most especially if they are not ready to turn a new leaf because the business of blackmail has long become outdated and unpopular.”

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