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Buhari’s appointee alleges diversion of N6.2b NDDC COVID-19 Palliatives

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Buhari’s appointee alleges diversion of N6.2b NDDC COVID-19 Palliatives


The Chairman of the COVID-19 Palliatives Distribution Committee of the NDDC, High Chief Sobomabo Jackrich has accused the NDDC interim management committee of embezzling N6.2b under the guise of palliative distribution.
Jackrich who said he was appointed by President Buhari therefore petitioned the national assembly to investigate the embezzlement of the N6.2b approved by the President for Palliatives in the Niger Delta during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His petitioned to the Committees on privilledge and ethics of both chambers of the national Assembly alleged that the money for Palliative approved by Buhari was corruptly diverted by the IMC in concert with identifiable powerful forces hence cannot be accounted for.
He said though the Palliative Distribution was officially flagged off in Port Harcourt with the mandate to commence distribution. 
“Today, all of that can be regrettably described as a show of shame and a scam.
He said the N6.25b has curiously been allegedly misappropriated and embezzled by the IMC of the NDDC and their Co-conspirators.
He therefore asked the National Assembly to probe the IMC under Professor Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei with a view to making it account for for the said amount.
He said whereas the Palliative was meant for the indigent and poor, curiously, just a handful of food items staged-managed event was provided and distributed to an insignificant number of persons in the Niger Delta under a camera-party.
He said it was meant to falsely give the impression that the Palliative have been distributed.
He said some of the food items were politically shared among the IMC choice areas including a few states of choice which aligned with them politically to undermine the original essence for which President approved the amount.
“As the chairman of the Palliatives Distribution Committee, I can not account for the Palliatives as my Committee was sidelined just because I as the Chairman demanded for Accountabolity and Transparency in the processes as well as value for money with respect to the Palliative. 
“That I was handed the template for the distribution of the Palliatives wherein it was indicated that Nine Trucks of food items will be distributed to each of the Nine states in the region.
However, he indicated that the IMC hijacked the entire process only to call him and hand few bags of rice and beans just to induce me to play along with them giving the false impression that the process was successful.
“This appears to me as a coverup plot. Most of the food items that they claimed to have distributed were spoilt and unhealthy for human consumption.

“Thus only the IMC can tell where they got those poisonous and rotten  food items from. The next thing we hear surprisingly, is that the Palliatives has been distributed. 
“I managed to monitor from a distance the charade and show-off since I and my Committee were stripped of our assignments by the IMC in the distribution processes and left us incommunicado. All needed logistics that my Committee was supposed to work with were entirely denied us.”

He said he is aware that what was distributed under the guise of medical equipment were old goods and wares in the Commission’s warehouses which was put on Camera just to deceive the unsuspecting public and mislead the President.

“This too was staged. No single kits or COVID-19 Test Centres were set up by the Commission in the Nine Niger Delta states till date.
“It is for the records that I state these facts.”

Continuing he said,
“Surprisingly again, at their corrupt leisure and malevolent unbridled appetite, the Managing Director openly on camera admitted to some disturbing embzzlement of unbudgetted funds in the Commission during this pandemic. “Responding to questions at the National Assembly regarding the COVID-19 Relief Fund paid to NDDC staff the MD said ”ONLY N1.3 billion was used to take care of staff” despite being paid their salaries. 
He said “We used it to take care of ourselves. We are NDDC, we need to take care of ourselves too,”. 
He said that was the level of impunity and fraud in the Commission adding however, “That in the mandate of the President when he approved the 6.2 billion Naira for Palliatives in the region.”
He explained further that,
“There have been several barefaced embezzlement of billions of Naira from the Commission that was originally established to help the people’s of the region but to no avail.
“There have been records of scam contracts supervised by the IMC.  Unfortunately, they have procured some dubious Non Governmental Organizations NGO’s to defend and cover up their malfeasances and give them a clean bill through procured reports and presentations during the course of ongoing investigations.”

He said the media has been awash with respect to sweeping allegations and counter allegations against the IMC over alleged corrupt embezzlement of billions of Naira from the NDDC through countless fronts.
“These stories further show the level of deep seated corruption going on in the Commission against the impoverished peoples of the Niger Delta.”

In the petition he asked the lawmakers to quizz the IMC to show material evidence of compliance with the relevant Sections of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
The petition slso asked that they should be made to show proof of procurement and utility of the necessary foodstuffs, medical equipments as well as their distribution to the Niger Delta states by the Palliatives Distribution Committee chairman.
The petition also asked that, “The IMC and any other public office holder(s) no matter how highly placed as long as the probe is concerned should be suspended from office just like Ibrahim Magu of the EFCC so as not to interfere in the ongoing investigations in the NDDC. “This will disable him from compromising relevant documents and or personnel in the interest of transparency.  “The sweeping allegations against the IMC and their overtures disqualify them from overseeing any forensic audit because they have become interested Parties in the criminal investigations ongoing in the NDDC both by the audit and the National Assembly just to sabotage President Muhammadu Buhari.”
He said it will disable the management from compromising relevant documents and or personnel in the interest of transparency. 
He also asked that the IMC should be made to explain the hijack of the Palliatives Distribution process and the sidelining of the inaugurated Palliatives Distribution Committee which was saddled with the task of Distribution of the Palliatives in the nine Niger Delta states as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari. 
The petition further asked the committees to compel the IMC to pay all outstanding stakeholders and contractors whose job have been verifiably executed.
The petitioner specifically asked that they be made to pay him all monies and logistics owed him by the IMC and the NDDC. 

“The National Assembly should take into consideration all issues raised in this petition  and any other relevant information and investigate/probe into them in the interest of justice for the people’s of the Niger Delta.”
He explained that5 in 2019, the current Acting Executive Director of Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojugbo, and the late Executive Director of Finance and Administration Chief Ibanga Bassey Enang, on behalf of the IMC under the former Acting Managing Director, Dr. Joi  Nunieh had approached him requesting that he helped to intervene in quelling the raging unrest and insecurity in the region particularly in the host state of the Headquarters of the Commission.

“They expressed confidence that I had the command to manage the restive youths and other stakeholders who frequently mounted pressures on them making it almost impossible for the IMC to do their job successfully.
“They committed and pledged to provide me with the needed logistics and other necessary resources on a monthly basis for this purpose from the Commission.
“This necessitated my visit along with other major stakeholders such as Mr. Ebokabowei Victor Ben (Boyloaf) etc in the region in November 2019 to the NDDC headquarters on a solidarity visit to Joi Nunieh-led IMC to give them the needed support so as to enable them succeed.
“During that visit we passed a vote of confidence on the IMC as a way of accepting them before the aggrieved people’s of the region.
“As a public commitment, as an acknowledgement that I am a respected and  responsible leader in the region, I had to start work immediately using my personal resources to pursue peace and security in the region with the consent of the IMC believing that the commitment on trust will be implemented by the IMC.”

He said the IMC has paid and continued to pay ghost and suspectedly fraudulent contractors billions of Naira for jobs and contracts that cannot be verified or justified serving as conduit pipes.

“These issues are part of what I have painstakingly tried to get the IMC resolved as part of the peace and security efforts in the region but they have chosen to look the other way while the region is put on the edge for crisis.
“This also I have brought to the attention of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. This is what has been happening in the NDDC as the IMC continues to thrive in the unrest in the region through corrupt means.”
He also alleged that there there is a long list of genuine Contractors from the Niger Delta that were awarded distilting and other Contracts which they fully executed and their executed jobs are verifiable with evidence of confirmation by the IMC which visited the sites for verification. 
He said most of the contractors are genuine and critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta who play major roles in helping to keep the peace and security in the region.
“However, the IMC  under Prof. Daniel Pondei has refused to pay them because the Contractors refused to play along with the IMC which fraudulently sought to cut their payments by thirty to forty percent for themselves at the total loss of the contractors.”
He observed that the expenditures did not observe the extant provisions of the Public Procurement Act. 
“The IMC may be compromising and jeopardizing the Forensic Audit said to be ongoing in the NDDC.  The IMC by their actions is by omission or commission instigating crisis and insecurity in the Niger Delta.

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Our problem with #ENDSARS protest was the hijack by miscreants says Buhari

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Our problem with #ENDSARS protest was the hijack by miscreants says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has explained to former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria, that the initial genuine and well-intended protest of youths in parts of the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected.

In a virtual meeting with the former leaders, Buhari said he could not have folded his arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism in the country.
These were contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja Friday by his special adviser
(Media & Publicity) Femi Adesina
In the statement Buhari reeled out the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youths protesting against the excesses of some members of the SARS.

He recalled that the youths had demanded that the squad be disbanded, and further articulated the additional demands, including:

”The immediate release of all arrested protesters.

”Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.

”Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days.

”Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in Police salary.”

The President declared: ”We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands.

”Unfortunately, the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the Government to address their grievances. Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent.”

President Buhari expressed concern that in the mayhem that ensued, many lives were lost, while a number of public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalized.
The President reaffirmed that,

”We will continue to improve good governance through our democratic process including through sustained engagement.

”We shall also continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. Here, I want to also reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity of this country.”

He thanked the former Heads of State for attending the meeting and their invaluable comments, observations and advice, adding that ”Nigerians expect nothing less from responsible statesmen.”

Each of the former leaders commended President Buhari for steps taken so far to restore calm and order to the country and also applauded the presidential broadcast of Thursday as detailed and soothing to the country.

”I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended. Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you,” former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said.

The former heads of state were unanimous in their view that generation of employment and growing the economy including through direct foreign investments were critical to checking youth restiveness.

They also expressed their condolences to the bereaved families of civilians, policemen and soldiers killed as a result of the violent protest, and reaffirmed the commitment to respect the fundamental rights of citizens, including for peaceful protest as enshrined in the Constitution.

The former Heads of State also condemned the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatists, and were of the opinion that such acts should be stopped.

Equally, the former Leaders commended the actions taken by Governors to address the demands of the ENDSARS protesters and their efforts to check the excesses of those who perpetrated violent acts and conduct.

Finally, they called on youths to pursue peaceful means, in seeking redress through engagement with Government and encouraged further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country.
At the meeting were all living past leaders, including: Gen. Yakubu Gowon, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Lekki Killings: No Country aspires to defeat Its People – Jonathan 

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Lekki Killings: No Country aspires to defeat Its People – Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has reminded Nigerian authorities that no nation can win any war target against it’s own citizens as he reiterated the need or peace
He spoke while condemning the killing of #EndSARS protesters by military men at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on Tuesday.
The former president in a statement released on Friday, indicated that the use of deadly force against citizens only worsens the tensed situation while condoling with the families of victims who lost their lives.
“My deepest condolences to the families of young Nigerians who have lost their lives in the past few days as a result of End SARS protests.
“I pray that God grants them the fortitude they need at this difficult time.
“I would Like to let everyone know that nation-building is a collective task which involves the genuine efforts of all patriotic citizens whether old or young.
“Our country cannot afford to lose the lives of our youth who we look up to take over leadership and continue our nation’s journey to greatness.
“As leaders, we must also understand that a nation can never win a battle against its own people.
“Thus, I totally condemn the use of deadly force against citizens because this only worsens tense situations.
“We must therefore move away from battlegrounds to middle grounds in our individual and national life.
This, I believe, show like cases the essence of democracy.
“I condemn any unnecessary loss of life and urge efforts to be stepped up to ensure that such incidents do not re-occur. “Finally, we all must accept that we are all brothers and sisters of one Nigeria, and always act accordingly towards each other,” he said.

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Humanitarian ministry says stolen rice from Lagos warehouse not part of its consignment

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Humanitarian ministry says stolen rice from Lagos warehouse not part of its consignment

Humanitarian ministry on Friday debunked insinuations that the consignment of stolen rice from a Lagos warehouse emanated from the ministry

Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Nneka Ikem Anibeze gave the indication via a statement issued in Abuja.

Anibeze clarified the mixup while reacting to trending report on the social media, alleging that the COVID-19 palliatives found in a Lagos warehouse were from the Ministry.
She said,

“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development has been made aware of trending messages on and off social media alluding to the fact that COVID-19 palliatives found in a Lagos warehouse were from the ministry.

“This is nothing but a tissue of lies. The photos and videos recorded at the warehouse show that the bags of rice and other items were clearly marked ‘Lagos State Government and CA-COVID’.

“CA-COVID is the short form of Coalition Against COVID-19, a private sector-led task force in partnership with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control NCDC and the World Health Organization WHO with the sole aim of combating Covid-19 in Nigeria.

“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development did not procure, distribute or facilitate the distribution of palliatives under the Ca-Covid initiative.

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