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How I resisted Akpabio’s oath of secrecy by former NDDC boss

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How I resisted Akpabio’s oath of secrecy by former NDDC boss

The former Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the immediate past Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Barrister Joy Nunieh has revealed how she was pressured to take oat of secrecy.
She accussed the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio of pressuring her to take the oath of loyalty, but she resisted
She explained that, the oath would have held her spell bound to be used to siphon the NDDC funds without being able to resist as a result of the oath placed on her.
Recounting her ordeal, she said she would have been jailed if she had succumbed to Akpabio’s ‘oath of secrecy’
The former NDDC boss explained that Akpabio pressured her three times to place her under oath to the extent that they took the matter to the Villa, as she vehemently resisted.

She feared that she would go to five years imprisonment if under Godswill Akpabio’s oath she commits infraction on the Public Procurement Act and wasn’t able to speak out, while he will be going about a free man.

She spoke on Friday at the venue of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee investigating the financial recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission.

She said: “He told me to take an oath. Though he denied that, he told me, three times until we had a reconciliation at the Villa in the office of Mr Abba who is the S.A. to the President on domestics.

“In that meeting was Alhaji Maikano and he said the only condition is when I take the oath and I didn’t take the oath and will never take it.

“After that, he said, he was going to remove me and he started the campaign of calumny against me. I didn’t even answer him because the fact will speak for itself.”

On the procurement process, “I refuse to go with him to the FEC meeting to deceive Mr. President and the reason is because the law says if I contravene a section of the procurement Act, it’s five years imprisonment without an option of fine.

“So if I had gone with him to deceive Mr. President I would have been in trouble because they said it’s 2020 budget, but Akpabio went and got approval when the budget was not ready.”

Nunieh further explained her position on the controversial contracts in the NDDC denying that she never made any payment without Akpabio’s knowledge.

“One of the issues raised against me was that I awarded contracts without them knowing about it. Am sure that is what they told you people yesterday.

“Apparently, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh never sit in the office, so he never know the workings and the bureaucracy of payments in the office.

“One, I am just a viewer of a platform that made payments in NDDC. There are different steps to take before payments are made in NDDC. One there is the issue of lassa fever which obviously they didn’t carry that one along.

“Nobody make payments in NDDC without Godswill Akpabio’s consent. When we first came to NDDC on the day of inauguration we were going to the camp, he told me Madam MD, if you don’t do what I said, the same pen I used in signing your letter; that is the same pen I will use in removing you.

Narrating further she said: “He said the first thing I should do, when I get to Port Harcourt, is to change dollars in NDDC account into Naira. I told him, I am scared to do that. He claimed that I have poverty mentality that I was afraid of money. All of you knew he accused me on that, saying I am afraid to spend money.

“After two days, he came to Port Harcourt and told that what I should do is to change dollars and I said I cannot just do that. He said I remove Mr. Katulgo from legal a d send me on compulsory retirement and he said we cannot have a northerner as head of the legal unit.

“I said, I cannot do that. I do not have the powers because I am just an IMC. It’s a criminal offence, and against public service rules for me to do that. He said I should repost all other directors that refused to take his instruction during my predecessor’s time, that is the person who was there before I came.

According to her, Akpabio wanted Senator Peter Nwaoboshi who is the Chairman of Senate Committee on NDDC and that of his House counterpart, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo implicated for their resistance to the idea of Interim Management Committee at that time.

“So, he came and ask me to draft a letter on my letterhead implicating Senator Peter Nwaoboshi for collecting contracts in NDDC. I told him that I will not do that I am a lawyer and who alledges should prove. He said Senator Nwaoboshi is giving us trouble and beside, he didn’t recognize the IMC. I said I will not do that letter. He said I was ungrateful and I refuse to do that letter.

“Dr. Cairo now said he will do the letter. He said if Akpabio asked him to kill, he will kill before he ask why did he kill and I said, for me, I will not do that. At that place, there was one Mr. Etiebet who was the only NDDC staff that was present at that meeting. He now asked Dr. Cairo to go and sent for letter headed from the office. They now went and send for the letter headed. Dr, Cairo now did a letter which I want to tender at the Ad-hoc Committee before I came late alleging that Senator Nwaoboshi had contracts and I said if I signed, any document from me seen by Mr. President, he will believe. So I will only write that EDP who should know about it.

“The next thing he told me is that I should make sure these people, leaves the procurement because apparently Akpabio before I came when himself and Festus Keyamo became Ministers, in their first meeting, they awarded 30 contracts of water hyacinths.

“Mr. Linus who was Director Finance refused to sign because it didn’t follow due process. He also said, I should implicate the Chairman, House Committee on NDDC because the Chairman of House Committee has gone to Ondo State to hold a meeting to plan against him. I said, I don’t know that one, I have never seen him. But for Senator Nwaoboshi, he was my classmate at the Law school and we were called to bar the same day, however, I didn’t see him since we were called to bar, I didn’t really remember him and that was about thirty years ago.

“When we finished that, Akpabio said I should bring all things and start pay, I said, I cannot pay for water hyacinths because the budget for water hyacinths was about 3 to 5 billion I cannot remember exactly the figure now.

“The NDDC before I came has overstretched for about 50 billion for hyacinths and so the National Assembly has written us that we should not pay for anything like that. Guess what, Akpabio never signed any documents. He will always refuse to sign, but tell you to go and commit fraud.

“For instance, he told me to go and raise a memo for an emergency contract for flood victims. You people remember that there was flood which we went to Channels AIT and all that.”

The investigation has been concluded with expectation that the report would be submitted to the Senate in two weeks time.

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Group clears Bauchi Governor of Corruption allegation

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Group clears Bauchi Governor of
Corruption allegation

From Ali Sara, Bauchi

Corruption allegations against the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir are false, blatant lies being orchestrated by his political enemies, the Bauchi State Coalition Against Financial Crimes and Injustice (BACAFCI) has said.

The National Chairman of BACAFCI Mallam Bibi Dogo stated this on Sunday while fielding questions from newsmen in Bauchi in reaction to the recent petition  filed by alleged stakeholders from Bauchi State.
The group had accused the Governor of corruptly enriching himself and mal administration in the State as reported in some media.
Dogo indicated that the coalition received a copy of the petition which it has studied but found no tangible evidence but blatant lies with the sole aim of bringing the government to disrepute out of envy of his track records and successes.

Dogo who brought dozens of documents in defense of Governor Bala said the anti graft group BACAFCI cleared Bala on all the allegations after they studied the petitions filed by the socalled stakeholders before the Economic Financial Crime Commission EFCC.
Dogo explained further that the allegations of loans for the Purchase of 3.5bn official vehicles for the Political office holders are unfounded as all due processes were followed in the award of the contract.
He said the contract for their purchase was approved by the State House of Assembly through House resolution via a letter sent by the government and duly signed by the clerk of the House Umar Yusuf Gital with reference number BASHA/POL/S/13/VOL.XIX/203 dated 17/July/2019.
He said  the contract was awarded to an indigene of the State after it followed the normal scrutiny where certificate of no objection was issued to the company before it was awarded the contract.
Dogo observed that from their findings, all cars were supplied and put to use by the beneficiaries in the best interest of the State.

He said the allegations that Governor Bala is a director in one of the companies which Bauchi Government patronized is not true as the Governor had resigned his position in the company on 1st May 2019 adding that he was not a Governor at that time because he had not taken the oath of office.
He said their findings were confirmed through Corporate Affairs Commission CAC form no 51180 on the particulars of Directors.

The Chairman also indicated that allegations of awarding road contracts, Building of Palaces, Workshops, assistance to pilgrims, supply of School Uniforms to out of School children, children meals by the government, are all genuine projects that everyone with sincere mind can see.
“Where anyone is in doubt he can go to the relevant government agencies to confirm and verify.
On the issue of School Uniforms and meals for out of school children he said the contract for the supply of uniforms was awarded to the indigenes of the State after due process and the uniforms was supplied.
Dogo indicated that the project was aimed at reducing the number of out of School children, while the Workshop was carried out in the best interest of the state at minimal cost. 

Even the issue of ghost workers, he pointed out that it was Governor Bala who held a public hearing with all stake holders on the issue he is working hard to bring sanity to the system to free some resources and employ more people in to the state Civil Service. 

He said the petitioners were either ignorant of how government operates or it was born outof malice.
“They just decided to paint the governor black due to the large number of physical projects he has execute that has developed the state.

Bibi Dogo said many of the allegations are not directly linked to the Governor but some Civil Servants whom the petitioners didn’t care to accused but the Governor that is making effort to rebuild the State through the provision of genuine infrastructures.

He advised them to always cross check their facts and offer only constructive criticisms not blatant lies.

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Lawan seeks Pakistan support in capacity building for Nigeria’s Defence Industry

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Lawan seeks Pakistan support in capacity building for Nigeria’s Defence Industry

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has urged Pakistan to aid Nigeria in the capacity building of her Defence Industry.

Lawan made the call on Friday while receiving in audience a delegation of the Senate of Pakistan which visited him to seek Nigeria’s support for the candidature of the Chairman of the Pakistani Senate for the Presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union(IPU).

The Senate President thanked Pakistan for its assistance in the area of training and supply of weapons to Nigeria Armed Forces in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges.
In his words,
“But one area that I think we need to sustain collaboration and partnership is in the area of helping Nigeria to build our Defence Industry.

“We started together in the 70s. For some reasons, we are still struggling to get stronger in the area of manufacturing or producing our needed defence weapons.

“But you have gone higher. We need to learn a lot from you in that respect.

“We have the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria located in Kaduna. They are still working hard to see how they can start producing the kind of weapons that we need in Nigeria.
“It’s going to take a while but I believe that you will graciously help us build the capacity of the people working in that place,” Lawan said.

The Senate President said the friendship between Pakistan and Nigeria which dated back to Nigeria’s Independence in 1960 had transformed into brotherhood.

“In all international fora, Pakistan and Nigeria have always been on the same side. Pakistan has been quite supportive of Nigeria in all ramifications.

“Presently, we do a lot together for our security especially the Armed Forces. You also help us with some of the weapons that we need in fighting the insurgency. We appreciate that and we hope that this kind of relationship and brotherhood will continue,” Lawan said

On the primary reason for the visit, the Senate President said the issue of the candidature of the Chairman of the Pakistani Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani for the presidency of IPU “is like one of us running for that office.”

“We will give him the support that he needs from us and if we can go beyond what we can offer as an institution to other areas including the African jurisdiction, we will do so, trying to talk to as many of our colleagues in other jurisdiction within the African region, to see if we can get them on board as well.

“But he is eminently qualified. He’s vastly experienced and Pakistan has been quite prominent and visible in the activities of IPU.

“What we require is reforming IPU to make it more robust and vibrant and also provide opportunity for supporting the various chapters across the globe. And I believe that with his experience and expertise, he will be able to do that and for us he has no problem. He has our support.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the Pakistani Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed who led the delegation said the mission was basically to seek the support of Nigeria’s Senate for the candidacy of the Chairman of the Pakistani Senate, for the presidency of IPU.

“The election is scheduled to hold in the first week of November. We feel that Nigeria’s support will be very critical and because Nigeria is a very important player in the international scenes and in particular with reference to Africa.

“It is in that spirit that we have come personally to solicit your support. And we hope that, God’s willing if we are successful, we will be voice, not just for Asia/Pacific, but the voice of Africa and democratic and civilised community of nation’s,” Sayed said.

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Works and Housing ministry gets lion share of capital expenditure at N404b in 2021 budget

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Works and Housing ministry gets lion share of capital expenditure at N404b in 2021 budget


President Muhammadu Buhari in his budget proposal to the joint session of the national Assembly Thursday has said that the works and Housing Ministry got the lion share of N404b for capital expenditure among other ministries.
The allocation he said is in line with his submission that capital expenditure in 2021 remains focused on the completion of as many ongoing projects as possible, rather than the commencement of new ones.
The president pointed out that, capital allocation to the Works and Housing sector is to facilitate the completion of several critical projects in 2021.
The works and Housing ministry was followed by that of Transportation with N256 billion in terms of heighrachy of importance.
The allocation Buhari said is line with his commitment to investing in Transportation Infrastructure.
According to him, the ministry of defence was allocated N121 billion in capital expenditure while
Power got N198 billion (inclusive of N150 billion for the Power Sector Recovery Plan).
For the ministry of Education N127 billion in capital was earmarked as another N70b was set aside for Universal Basic Education.

Commission
Other key capital expenditures of note are
Water Resources withN153 billion, Agriculture and Rural Development with N110 billion, mknistry of Health N132 billion with
Zonal Intervention Projects gettingN100 billion.
Others are ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment which got N51 billion while Niger Delta Development Commission was earmarked N64 billion.
According to President Buhari the 2021 capital budget is N1.15 trillion higher than the 2020 provision of N2.69 trillion adding that at 29 percent of aggregate expenditure, the provision moves closer to this Administration’s policy target of 30 percent.

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