NATIONAL NEWS 28 06 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • OSINBAJO UNRAVELS BANE BEHIND POOR CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS IN NIGERIA.
  • IPMAN DEBUNKS REPORTS OF PLANNED NATIONWIDE STRIKE.
  • CJN PREACHES INTEGRITY AS COURT OF APPEAL GETS 18 NEW JUDGES.
  • COURT TO HEAR FINAL FORFEITURE OF PATIENCE JONATHAN’S 5.78 MILLION DOLLARS IN OCTOBER.

OSINBAJO/CORRUPTION

Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo has blamed corruption and lack of transparency, among other factors, for poor contract negotiations in Nigeria.

Osinbajo expressed this while addressing a two-day capacity building workshop in Abuja, which seeks to help Nigeria improve its terms of engagement with the rest of the world as part of efforts to stem illicit financial flows.

The vice president who cited the P&ID case and the strategic alliance contract case where Nigeria stood at risk of losing billions of dollars due to poor and shrewd negotiations of the contracts, stressed the need to weed corruption from the polity.

He therefore hammered on the need to enforce monitoring and accountability in the process of awarding contracts in the country.

The vice president further called for proper negotiation in the ongoing discussion on climate change, which he says should put into consideration Nigeria’s peculiar economic situation and needs of the citizens.

AuGF/STAFF SALARY

Leadership of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, is currently under fire for allegedly paying excess salary to staff amounting to 38 billion naira without approval from the federal government.

This comes after the senate committee on public accounts sustained an audit query filed by Auditor General of the federation, which observed that NSITF trust fund had been implementing a salary structure that is not approved by the National Salaries, Income and wages Commission.

As part of its recommendations, the senate committee therefore directed managing director of the fund to provide approval of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission for the implementation of the fund’s salary structure.

It further advised the NSITF to arrange a meeting of the fund, its supervising ministry and the commission to rectify the anomalies before the next promotion exercise.

NLC/EL-RUFAI

The Kaduna state government is planning to set up a judicial commission of inquiry into the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC strike and protest of May 2021.

Governor Nasir El-rufai made the disclosure in a statement issued to the press by his Special Adviser on media and communication, Muyiwa Adekeye.

Governor El-rufai, who hinted that the state government is hiring over 10,000 staff to provide vital services, vowed not to allow a repeat of economic losses and the restraints of freedom that the NLC inflicted on residents of the state.

He revealed that the state executive council has communicated to the Minister of Labour that it cannot approve agreements reached at the meeting between the state government and the NLC pertaining its rightsizing policy.

However, the governor said his administration has provided a comprehensive briefing to President Muhammadu Buhari on the rightsizing policy of the state and the steps taken so far to implement it.

IPMAN/STRIKE

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has refuted reports that it plans to go on strike and shut down petrol stations across states of the federation.

Ipman’s national President, Sanusi Fari, made the denial in a statement released in Awka, maintaining that the reports emanated from unscrupulous individuals attempting to hijack the association for their selfish and profiteering adventure.

Fari therefore called on the public to dismiss any information regarding the planned strike, pledging support to the government in ensuring availability of petroleum products across the country.

The association’s national public relation officer, Yakubu Suleiman, had earlier threatened that IPMAN would go on strike and shut fuel stations nationwide beginning from Tuesday, June 29, as security personnel  laid siege on the association’s secretariat.

KANO/DRUGS

Kano state government is committed to sustaining adequate supply of affordable and qualitative drugs and other medical consumables in public health facilities across the state at reasonably affordable prices.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Tsanyawa, made this known while fielding questions from reporters in Kano.

Tsanyawa, who harped on the need to review of operational guidelines of the state’s sustainable drug supply system, SDSS, pointed out that healthcare delivery remains one of the top priorities of the Governor Umar Ganduje’s administration.

On his part, chairman of the state SDSS Committee Pharmacist, Gali Sule, urged residents of the state to critically look at the proposed amendments in the operational guidelines towards addressing the identified challenges effectively.

CJN/JUDGES

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has sworn-in 18 judges to the court of appeal.

Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony in Abuja, Muhammad charged the judges to conduct their affairs within ambit of the law and the oath of office administered on them.

The CJN who pointed out that integrity is a key to achieving success, enjoined the newly sworn-in judges to ensure fairness and transparency in the discharge of their duties so as to justify their elevation to position of the court of appeal judges.

The inauguration was earlier scheduled to take place in April but had to be postponed due to the nationwide strike of the members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN.

COURT/PATIENCE

A federal high court sitting in Lagos has adjourned till Thursday, October 7, to hear a motion seeking final forfeiture of the 5.78 million dollars and 2.4 billion naira linked to a former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.

Justice Tijjani Ringim fixed the date after taking arguments from counsel to the parties in the matter, who prayed the court to grant an adjournment to enable them file fresh applications on the case.

Justice Ringim therefore ordered the second respondent to file the application if any within 14 days, insisting the application will be heard alongside the motion for final forfeiture and adjourned further proceedings till October 7.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had filed the application for forfeiture in 2017 before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, who on April 26, 2017 ordered temporary forfeiture of the monies, an order that was affirmed by both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

ICPC/EX-JAMB REGISTRAR

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has fixed Tuesday, July 6, to arraign a former Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged 900 million naira fraud.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, fixed the date after counsel to the ICPC, Ebenezer Shogunle, disagreed with the terms of the plea bargain application that the defence counsel, Olasunkanmi Olorunnisola, SAN, had planned to file before the court.

Operatives of the anti-corruption commission had, on March 15, arrested Ojerinde in Abuja on allegations bordering on misappropriation of funds.

The commission accused the former chief executive officer of committing multiple frauds while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council, NECO.

TROOPS/TERRORISTS

Troops of the Nigeria Army have killed no fewer than 12 suspected Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP members in a foiled attack in Borno state.

Director of the army public relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, gave the hint to newsmen, saying the troops in conjunction with the air component of operation Hadin Kai killed the suspected terrorists during a gun duel.

Nwachukwu however said two soldiers were killed and five injured during the encounter, adding that a gun truck, one self-propelled gun-9, one Dushika gun, one mounted QJC machine gun, one light machine gun and five AK 47 rifles were recovered from the terrorists.

Report indicated that the suspected terrorists attempted an attack on one of the military operational bases in Bula Yobe but fled following the resistance from the troops.

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