Nigerian News from Leadership News Wed, 04 Mar 2015 05:44:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Oil Price: APC Bitter Over Nigeria’s Economic Progress – PDP Wed, 04 Mar 2015 05:44:46 +0000 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the relentless attacks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on President Goodluck Jonathan’s strategic policies to plug leakages in the nation’s economy show that the opposition party is not happy with the economic progress in the country.

The PDP said the recent bitter criticism against widely applauded initiatives by the Jonathan administration aimed at guaranteeing the economic progress of the nation even in the face of the fall in crude oil price at the international market, not only confirms APC’s general aversion to the wellbeing of the nation but also the fact that its leaders have lost every sense of positive reasoning due to their desperation for power.

PDP national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement said it is appalling that the APC has become so anti-people that it would attempt to smear populist programmes of government in a bid to score cheap political point.

“We ask, why is APC uncomfortable with policies that promote transparency and accountability in the nation’s revenue system? Why are they bitter with the independent revenue e-collection scheme under the Treasury Single Account, which ensures greater monitoring and control of spending in MDAs?

“Why is APC bellyaching over the inauguration of the Automated Aviation Revenue Project and the directive that revenue collected by MDAs should be paid directly to the Consolidated Revenue Fund at the Central Bank for better monitoring and control?

“Is it because of their selfish agenda to pillage the nation’s resources to enlarge the economic frontiers of their leaders, the real reason for their apparent desperation for power?” the PDP queried.

The ruling party said the APC is frustrated and increasingly confused by the successes recorded by the Jonathan administration in security and economy despite the daunting challenges and has resorted to chasing shadows, especially having realised that Nigerians are no longer swayed by its propaganda in the social media and popularity contest abroad.

“Our advice to the APC is that they should stop deluding themselves with their countless lies and deceitful promises to Nigerians. They should be bold enough to accept that they have no positive agenda and lack the capacity to ensure the unity, stability and prosperity of the nation”, the statement said.

Insisting on its avowed commitment to transparency, accountability and prudent management of resources, the PDP assured that no amount of propaganda by the opposition will deter and distract it from pursuing its people-oriented programmes in line with its manifesto and visions of its founding fathers.

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Don’t Blame Us For Your Failures, APC Tells Jonathan Wed, 04 Mar 2015 05:43:48 +0000 The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) has accused the Jonathan-led PDP administration of using the opposition party as a whipping boy to divert attention from its woeful failures and broken promises.

In a press statement yesterday in Abuja, signed by the director, media and publicity of its presidential campaign, Mallam Garba Shehu, the APC said it was bemused by the allegations by the PDP national chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, that the opposition is behind the current fuel scarcity in the country.

According to Shehu, any ruling party that could lie through its teeth in order to mislead Nigerians automatically lacks the credibility to seek re-election.

He said the marketers accused the PDP government of owing them N250billion fuel subsidy, and because they had run out of line of credit, they had no choice but to stop the importation of fuel.

He further stated that the marketers also blamed the currency devaluation, which they said, made importation unprofitable.

Shehu said the APC is not in power and could not have been responsible for the current hardships facing Nigerians, including declining living standards, erratic power supply, fuel scarcity, poverty, unemployment and other harsh conditions imposed on Nigerians by Jonathan’s   government.

The APC statement said rather than looking for someone to blame, Jonathan must find an urgent solution to the current fuel scarcity, which is complicating the existing hardships of the ordinary Nigerians.


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Boko Haram: We’re Careful To Avoid Damage To Human Lives – Jonathan Wed, 04 Mar 2015 05:42:20 +0000 President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that the federal government was taking utmost care to avoid collateral damage to the lives and properties of civilians as the military intensifies its ongoing offensive against Boko Haram.

The president who pointed this out at an audience with the new South Korean ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Noh Kyu-Duk, said that the military is doing its best to avoid human rights violations in the theatre of operations in the North Eastern states.

Jonathan said, “We are sticking to international best practices in prosecuting the war against terrorism and doing our best to ensure that we don’t have cases of human rights abuses in the North East.

“We are consistently monitoring the situation and have investigated previous reports of such abuse which were mostly blown out of proportion for political reasons.

“Our military has a reputation for discipline and we have insisted on that discipline and control for the safety of civilians in the North East.

“The purpose of the entire operation is to save our people from the brutal tyranny of Boko Haram, so we cannot tolerate human rights abuses or willfully impose further suffering on them,’’ President Jonathan said.

The President also told the new South Korean Ambassador that Nigeria’s entire security architecture was being reviewed, restructured and strengthened to ensure greater safety for Nigerians and foreign workers in all parts of the country.

“We are inviting all our friends in the international community, particularly those that are more technologically advanced, to complement our efforts to build a more secure and prosperous country in which our people and foreigners can live in peace and safety,” President Jonathan told

The President implored Kyu-Duk and his Indonesian counterpart, Mr. Harry Purwanto, who was also at the Presidential Villa to present his letters of credence, to work for the strengthening of existing trade and economic relations between Nigeria and their countries.

Thanking President Jonathan for receiving them, the new ambassadors assured him that they will do their best to promote stronger economic and cultural relations between their countries and Nigeria during their tenure in Abuja.


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Jonathan Wades Into Ebonyi Crisis, Summons Elechi, Anyim, Umahi Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:39:24 +0000 The impasse crippling political activities in the Ebonyi State chapter of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a turn for the worse yesterday when a meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the warring parties was inconclusive.

The president, LEADERSHIP gathered, had summoned the state governor, Martins Elechi; secretary to government of the federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, the PDP governorship candidate for Ebonyi State, David Umahi, and some PDP leaders to the meeting with a view to addressing the political rancour once and for all.

The meeting, which lasted for over five hours in the president’s office at the presidential villa, Abuja, was also attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo and some PDP governors led by chairman of their forum and Akwa Ibom State governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio.

Also in attendance were Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and his Benue counterpart, Gabriel Suswam.

After the December governorship primary in which former health minister, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, who was Elechi’s candidate, lost to the governor’s deputy, said to be the preferred candidate of the SGF, the state has been embroiled in a serious crisis.

The governor, who also failed to win his own senatorial primary, is at the moment facing an impeachment threat from the Ebonyi State House of Assembly over allegations of misappropriation of funds, gross misconduct and anti-party activities, as he is said to have shifted his support to the Labour Party governorship candidate in the state.

It became apparent that yesterday’s meeting could not resolve the impasse in Ebonyi when Elechi stormed out of the president’s office looking rather angry.

He was also very hostile to State House correspondents who had approached him for the outcome of the meeting, threatening to break a tape recorder belonging to one of the reporters.

The governor, who said he was not in Aso Villa to answer questions from journalists, raised his walking stick, threatening angrily to smash the tape recorder of the correspondent who was adamant in trying to get the governor to talk.

Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, who spoke to journalists, acknowledged the fact that the political crisis in Ebonyi was one of the major issues discussed at the meeting, pledging that the impasse in the southeast state would soon be over.

Suswam, who came out of the meeting few minutes after his Ebonyi counterpart had left, denied, however that Elechi had stormed out of the meeting, contrary to the impression created by his body language.

He argued that the meeting went well and that Elechi only rushed out of the meeting the way he did in order to meet up with his flight.

He said, “I don’t think he (Elechi) stormed out of the meeting. We ended the meeting properly, and I believe he had a flight to catch and so he was rushing, noting that they were almost arriving at the solution to the problem

On the allegation that some PDP candidates were not campaigning for other candidates of the ruling party, especially the party’s presidential candidate, Jonathan, the governor dismissed the claim as near impossible.

He explained that all candidates of the party were duty bound to campaign for the party, which implied that every single candidate was campaigning for all others on the party’s platform.

He said: “You know, in political parties, we have issues. Different candidates have different issues. There are no universal issues across the length and breadth of the parties. So it is not true that people are not campaigning for the president.


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Incumbent Politicians Must Be Re-elected On Track Records, Not Promise – Fashola Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:37:57 +0000 Lagos State governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Monday urged the Nigerian electorate to ensure that incumbent politicians who are seeking re-election to their positions are re-elected based on their track records and not on promises.

Fashola who said this while commissioning nine networks of roads in Maidan-Aina-Agiliti area of Mile 12, Kosofe local government area of the state noted that the incumbent candidates in the forthcoming election had enough time to prove their mettle during their first term in office, adding that coming around to be making fresh promises to the electorate is deceptive.

The governor urged Lagos residents to reject dollars and other incentives being shared by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to induce the electorate in its desperation to win elections in the state.

He said, “If you collect dollars, know that you have collected your security, your roads and your infrastructure. It is demeaning, degrading and insulting for anyone who has made promises to come back and offer you money. Tell them your dignity cannot be bought by naira or dollars.”

Fashola who also commissioned 18 Classroom Blocks Aiyedire Ajibola Senior High School in Ketu area of the state said the road project was an evidence of his government’s slum regeneration and urban renewal plan.

He said whoever had visited the area before the construction would understand why the whole residents had turned up to witness the commissioning.

“I was here in 2007 and this place was taken over by flood after a downpour. The only source of movement from Kosofe to Maidan is by canoe. You were all very unhappy and asked for culvert and jetty. I said no, since you pay your taxes, I promised to give you a first-class bridge and you have it today. This is for me the value of democracy, where you can hold politicians accountable for their promises,” he said.

He emphasized that all politicians should always keep their promises; otherwise they should not be eligible for second term re-election.

On the new classroom blocks, he said government that must discharge its responsibility must do so on the welfare of its children, adding that they must be taught,” survival skills, build facilities and prepare them for what they want to do in life.”

Fashola who lauded the teachers noted that he wouldn’t have been where he is without teachers; saying in providing facilities needed in the educational sector the government has respond to the issues of the teachers.

“If you work in a place where you cannot be proud to invite their children, then there is a problem. It elevates teaching, self-esteem and pride of a teacher to say boldly that he is a teacher.

“Every school will get grant for annual maintenance every year. All the money that would have been used to build schools and infrastructure, they are sharing it in dollars. Remember somebody brought dollar at the last minute, remember somebody has been under the sun for eight years.”

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of Kosofe LGA, Afolabi Bamise thanked the state government for the “gigantic project” and promised to collaborate with the ministry of works and infrastructure for proper maintenance of the roads.

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Fire Guts Lagos Magistrates’ Court Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:36:15 +0000 There was pandemonium at the premises of the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Igbosere yesterday following a fire incident that disrupted activities at the court complex.

The fire incident, which started about 20 minutes after the chief judge of Lagos State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade inspected the three-storey court complex, affected one of the courtrooms on the last floor of the building.

According to LEADERSHIP’s investigation, the fire was caused by a power surge from one of the air conditioners in the courtroom which ignited one of the cabinets in the courtroom.

However, the day was saved by the timely intervention of the state’s Fire Service, which put out the fire before it could spread to other courtrooms.

Though the court authorities refused to comment on the incident, an eye witness, who did not want his name mentioned, said no life was lost though one of the security men attached to the court was injured while trying to help to put out the fire.

The attorney general of Lagos State, Ade Ipaye, who later visited the court, told journalists that it was just a minor incident that was quickly brought under control.

According to him, other courts were not affected and normal activities will resume at the premises today.

Ipaye also said that the court officials had already started cleaning up the courtroom to eliminate the fire debris and fire fighter’s powder that was used to put out the fire.

At the time of filing this report, the gate leading to the court was under lock and key and security men could be seen preventing lawyers, litigants and other court users from gaining access into the premises.

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N1.9bn Fuel Subsidy Scam: Appeal Court Reserves Judgement In Oil Marketers’ Case Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:35:07 +0000 Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal yesterday reserved judgement in an appeal filed by an oil marketer, Walter Wagbatsoma and two others, challenging the refusal of a Lagos High Court to quash a N1.9billion fuel subsidy fraud charge filed against them.

Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi and their company and Ontario Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited had challenged the jurisdiction and competence of the lower court presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu to hear the case brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

But Justice Okunnu had on October 10, 2014, dismissed their different applications holding that “it is the nature of the offence that determines the jurisdiction of the court and the charges here are matters that can be tried in the High Court”.

The appellants are alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N1, 959,377,542.06 from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 39.2million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.

They were arraigned before the court by the EFCC on a nine-count charge of altering, forgery, conspiracy and obtaining property by false pretences.

The appellate court presided over by Justice Amina Augie adjourned the appeal for judgement yesterday after taking arguments from the lead counsel for the appellant, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and that of EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).

At the hearing of the appeal, Olanipekun, who led two other SAN, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan and J.A. Badejo asked the appellate court to allow the appeal and set aside the ruling of the High Court.

According to the lawyer, the information on the charge sheet revealed that the alleged offences were based on importation of fuel into the country stressing that only the Federal High Court has jurisdiction to hear the matter.

But in his own argument, EFCC counsel, Jacobs urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgement of the lower court that says the High Court has concurrent jurisdiction to try the matter.

Justice Okunnu had in her judgement held that, when it comes to trial of criminal cases, the line between federal and state is necessarily blurred. Section 251 (3) has not robbed the High Court of jurisdiction in this matter, this case is not an admiralty case but a pure criminal matter. Therefore, it is not the pieces of peripheral evidence before the court that determines jurisdiction, but the nature of the law that has been infringed.”

The judge also threw out the appellants’ no-case submission on the grounds that enough evidence has been presented to the court by the prosecution, to warrant at least an explanation and answers by the defendants.

According to Justice Okunnu, “it is only when there is nothing linking the accused to the crime committed that it becomes unfair to put the accused through the trial.

“The question now is, has enough been said to warrant at least an explanation by each defendant? Enough has been said to warrant explanations and answers by the defendants,” she held.

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PDP Has Plunged Nigeria Into Economic Crisis – Amaechi Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:31:53 +0000 Rivers State governor and director-general of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has called on Nigerians to vote out President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming general elections for plunging the country into economic crisis.

This is as unknown gunmen temporarily disrupted the ward-to-ward campaign rally of the APC governorship candidate in Rivers State, Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside, at Bakana community in Degema local government area of the state yesterday.

The attack by unknown gunmen, which was immediately brought under control by security operatives, made up of the Police, Navy, Army and the Department of State Services (DSS), came less than three days after a similar attack was carried out against the campaign train of the governorship candidate of the PDP in the state, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike.

Amaechi, who spoke at Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku-Toru local government area of the state, during the APC ward-to-ward campaign, said the PDP-led federal government has run out of cash due to its profligacy.

The governor, who predicted that the dollar will soar against the naira in the coming days, urged the people to vote out PDP and vote in APC for the economic survival and revival of the country.

He said, “Because they have stolen all the money, there is no money to steal anywhere. So, they can’t even pay for fuel.”

The remaining money they have stolen for campaign, so your suffering has started.

“When we were meeting in Abuja, we were planning on what to do about the election. We said God will deliver this election for us. Now, how many of us know how much a dollar costs now? It is N225; I am predicting that before March 28, it will be N265 per dollar.”

Also speaking, the APC governorship candidate, Peterside said if elected into office on April 11, his administration will empower women, youths and also carry out reclamation in Abonnema to expand the city, adding that the APC led government at the state and federal level will ensure speedy development of Kalabari.

The governorship candidate, earlier led the Greater Together Campaign Organization (GTCO) team to wards in Bille, Bakana and Tombia communities, all in Degema local government area before going to Abonnema, urged the APC women and youth leaders to mobilise their members to turn out en masse on election days of March 28 and April 11 to vote for all APC candidates.

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Protesting Youths Shut Down Shell’s Facility In Bayelsa Over Neglect, Arrest Of Monarch Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:30:05 +0000 Protesting youths from the Obunagha Community of Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa State yesterday shut down the multi-billion dollars Gbarain-Ubie Gas Gathering Facility belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) over alleged neglect and the arrest of the paramount ruler of the community, Chief Godgive Apoh by men of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The protesting youths accused the SPDC of neglecting their corporate social responsibility on the provision of employment to the youths and construction of basic amenities such as water and hospital, adding that the desecration of the royal stool through the arrest of the paramount ruler was a joke taken too far.

The youths started the peaceful blockage of the Gas Facility as early as 6.30am, chanting war songs against the SPDC.

Leadership observed that while the protesters blocked the entrance into the facility and stopped the over 300 workers of the company from gaining entrance, the combined team of the Nigeria Police and men of the Joint Military Task Force code-named Operation Restore Hope was keeping vigil at the scene.

One of the youth leaders, Reji Akari, told leadership that the action of the angry youths was provoked by the refusal of the SPDC to honour agreements reached on employment and provision of basic amenities, saying “the SPDC has failed our people on the agreed issues of employment, scholarship, water and health facility.”

At the time of filing this report, the representatives of the protesting youths, the community leadership and the security agencies were in a meeting trying to resolve the crisis.

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MasterCard, eTranzact Tap Into Nigeria’s $21bn Remittances Market Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:28:27 +0000 MasterCard and eTranzact International Plc,yesterday at the Mobile World Congress holding in Barcelona, Spain announced an agreement to make international remittance services available to millions of consumers in Nigeria.

According to the World Bank Migration and Remittances Brief, Nigeria is the largest remittance market in Africa and the fifth largest in the world, attracting $21billion in remittances in 2014, which contributed four per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Under the agreement, citizens would be able to securely receive international remittances into their eTranzact mobile money wallets or select bank accounts through the international transfer hub, HomeSend.

A joint venture between MasterCard, eServGlobal and BICS, HomeSend bridges the gap between various entities globally such as financial institutions, non-financial entities and mobile network operators, enabling Nigerians living and working abroad to send money from mobile money accounts, payment cards, bank accounts or cash outlets back home.

Vice president and area business head for West Africa, MasterCard, Omokehinde Ojomuyide said, “For millions of Nigerians, the receipt of funds from friends and family is an important lifeline. HomeSend provides senders across the globe and the recipients in Nigeria with a convenient, safe, and cost effective money transfer channel.”

Upon receipt of funds into their eTranzact mobile wallets, Nigerians could use PocketMoni, eTranzact’s mobile money platform, to pay bills, top-up airtime, pay select merchants, cash-out at agents or at participating bank ATMs, and send money to any bank account, PocketMoni user, eTrazact card or mobile phone user.

Valentine Obi, chief executive officer, eTranzact International Plc said “Our partnership with MasterCard enables us to bring a new, cost-effective, cross-border remittance service to Nigerians, many of whom have previously struggled to access such facilities as they do not have formal bank accounts.

Obi added that “Instead of travelling long distances and waiting in long lines, Nigerians will now be able to electronically receive cash transfers from family overseas with the convenience of their mobile devices.” eTranzact, which is connected to and switches transactions for all of Nigeria’s major commercial banks, will also enable millions of consumers to receive remittances directly into their bank accounts.

“We are pleased to partner with eTranzact to bring one of the most comprehensive international remittances offerings to Nigeria. This type of service has the potential to open up new remittance corridors, expand the scope of cashless money transfers, extend financial inclusion and support the growth of the economy,” said Ojomuyide.


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