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NGF launches peace initiative to tackle insecurity, conflicts, violence

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Gov. Fayemi restates commitment to nation’s unity, peaceful co-existence

… As Troops nab Boko Haram informant, thwart attack on Yobe community***

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has launched a Peace and Inclusive Security  Initiative (PISI) to tackle insecurity, conflicts and violence in the country.

The Chairman of NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi, while launching the initiative in Abuja, said there was urgent need for consensual action on security governance.

Fayemi, who is also the governor of Ekiti, said the launch of PISI heralded an important milestone for NGF as it seeks to build a more inclusive and collaborative platform to drive an urgent country-wide response to the security challenge Nigeria was facing.

“One of the key areas where there is urgent need for consensual action today is security governance, given the escalation in the spate of violence and coordinated criminal activities that have undermined government authority and waned public trust in recent times.

“The level of insecurity across parts of the country is not only eroding citizens’ safety and peoples means of livelihood, it is also threatening the expression of the rights of all Nigerians.”

Fayemi said the security crisis had been attributed to several factors – including an oversized population and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.

He also listed rising ethnic conflicts, with different ethnic groups subsumed in conflicts and pitched against one another and mass displacement of persons from their areas of residence.

“Although the Nigerian government has intensified efforts to tackle the security and near humanitarian crisis, serious underlying socio-economic issues mean that the solution to the problem requires more than a security action.

“Unexpectedly, the COVID-19 pandemic is also changing the security landscape. Existing risks have been intensified while new risks have emerged, including rising social tensions, as we saw from the ENDSARS protests.

“The new reality has seen the rise of non-state actors such as the Eastern Security Network (ESN) the Western Nigeria Security Network—also known as Amotekun—in the South West and several groups in the South South region and other parts of the country.

“Ultimately, how well we respond to the security challenge depends on the level of collaboration between state and non-state actors.

“I believe this dialogue will help to significantly contribute to a country-wide response to the security challenges in the country among other developmental issues.

“To consolidate on the measures taken by individual state governments and regional bodies of state governors, this PISI will help establish strategic dialogues and a mechanism to stimulate collaborative responses among stakeholders on conflict and security at the Federal, state and civil society level.

“ It is a positive initiative which I am confident will strengthen the governance arrangement for security in the country.”

Fayemi said state governments were committed to the ideals of the initiative, adding that many had already begun different levels of collaborative arrangements on these concerns.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said that peace and stability would be achieved when the causes of conflict in the society were managed through strong, fair and responsive governance mechanisms, whether at community, state of Federal level.

The Development Director of the Office, Chris Beecroft, in his remarks at the lunch said the use of the police and army would always be only part of the solution.

“Greater emphasis needs to be placed on reconciliation, mediation, arbitration and access to justice- all vital components of a vibrant, resilient and effective social contrast.”

Beecroft said that conflict represented an existential threat to Nigeria’s unity and its development, adding that Nigeria faced  peace and security challenges.

“The rise in conflict risks destabilising Nigeria’s democracy in the run-up to the 2023 elections.

“There is an active insurgency in the North East; farmer-herder conflicts are extending across the country; resource conflicts in the Delta; tension in the South-East; and banditry in the North West.

“Conflict destroys lives, destroys livelihoods, destroys hope and ambition for the future. Conflict represents an existential threat to Nigeria’s unity and its development,” Beecroft stated.

He blamed this on the injustice and impunity, as well as weak justice institutions in the country.

He called for job creation for young Nigerians for them to have a stake in a prosperous and peaceful Nigeria.

He added that “with the right commitment, dedications and support, there are solutions .”

Beecroft stated that the UK FCDO recognised the important role the NGF played in setting the peace and security agenda and in building state and community level structures and institutions to reduce violence and respond to conflict and insecurity across Nigeria.

“The UK is pleased to have been able to support this initiative and is committed to continue working with the NGF in advancing its peace and security agenda,” he said.

Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.) in his remarks, stressed the need for inter-agency collaboration among security agencies to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.

Abubakar, Chairman of National Peace Committee, who was represented by Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah said without the collaboration,  addressing the challenge would be difficult.

He said the committee was ready to work with any institution and organisation to achieve peace in Nigeria.

Hajia Sadiya Farouk, Minster of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said job creation was key in addressing insecurity in Nigeria.

Farouk, who was represented by the Senior Special Adviser to the Minister, Dr Umar Bindu said the ministry was keen in job creation.

She stressed the need for Nigeria to also harness its potential in the space technology as well as verse education and research institutions to tackle insecurity.

Highlights of the occasion included the inauguration of PISI Technical Committee and panel discussion on “conflict trends and efficacy of current response to conflict and insecurity in Nigeria.”

In the meantime, Troops of Sector 2 Joint Task Force Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), have nabbed a notorious Boko Haram/ISWAP informant carrying out espionage activities on troops in Katarko village of Yobe on Thursday.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, said the gallant troops also repelled and thwarted an attack on the village by the terrorists.

Also read: Troops eliminate 11 terrorists, recover arms, fuel

Nwachukwu said the informant identified as Abor Kawu confessed to have monitored and disclosed troops’ location and movements to the terrorists during preliminary investigation.

He said that the suspect also revealed that more Boko Haram collaborators were deployed in the general area to spy on the troops.

According to him, troops have been placed on red alert and effort is ongoing to unravel the network of informants within the general area.

“While commending the troops for their vigilance and tenacity, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, charged them to flush out Boko Haram/ISWAP elements in the area.

“The COAS also urged law abiding citizens to continue to avail troops with credible information to enhance their operational efficiency in order to flush out criminal elements who are concealed in the communities,” he said.

 

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Edo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor, Shauibu

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Edo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor, Shauibu

The impeachment followed the adoption of the recommendation of a seven-man judicial panel led by retired Justice Stephen Omonua.

At plenary in Benin, the Majority leader of the house, Charity Aiguobarueghian said the report of the 7-man panel presented to the house found Shauibu culpable of disclosure of government secrets.

Aiguobarueghian further disclosed that though the panel was unable to establish the case of perjury against the deputy governor, it made two findings and one recommendation upon which the decision to impeach the deputy governor was anchored.

According to him, “the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry recommended that the deputy governor be impeached on the ground of disclosure of government secrets.’’

During voting on the motion, 18 out of 19 members present at plenary voted for the impeachment of the deputy governor while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai conducted a head count of the lawmakers who voted for and against the impeachment of Shaibu.

The clerk said with the figure, the house stated that it met 2/3 (16 members of the House was needed to carry out the impeachment).

The assembly thereafter upheld and approved the recommendation of the seven-man panel and thereafter impeached the deputy governor.

The speaker, Blessing Agbebaku directed the Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai to forward copies of the impeachment to Gov. Godwin Obaseki for assent.

The Edo House of Assembly on Monday impeached the Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu.

The impeachment followed the adoption of the recommendation of a seven-man judicial panel led by retired Justice Stephen Omonua.

At plenary in Benin, the Majority leader of the house, Charity Aiguobarueghian said the report of the 7-man panel presented to the house found Shauibu culpable of disclosure of government secrets.

Aiguobarueghian further disclosed that though the panel was unable to establish the case of perjury against the deputy governor, it made two findings and one recommendation upon which the decision to impeach the deputy governor was anchored.

According to him, “the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry recommended that the deputy governor be impeached on ground of disclosure of government secrets.’’

During voting on the motion, 18 out of 19 members present at plenary voted for the impeachment of the deputy governor while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai conducted a head count of the lawmakers who voted for and against the impeachment of Shaibu.

The clerk said with the figure, the house stated that it met 2/3 (16 members of the House was needed to carry out the impeachment).

The assembly thereafter upheld and approved the recommendation of the seven-man panel and thereafter impeached the deputy governor.

The speaker, Blessing Agbebaku directed the Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai to forward copies of the impeachment to Gov. Godwin Obaseki for assent.

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Court Remands Emefiele In EFCC Custody As Trial Begins April 11

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Emefiele: CBN disbursed N12.65bn as agriculture intervention since January; N1.09 trillion since 2015

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday remanded the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for alleged abuse of office and fraud to the tune of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion.
It was reported that Justice Rahman Oshodi remanded Emefiele in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody while his co-defendant, Henry  Isioma-Omoile, was remanded in the Ikoyi custodial centre.
Oshodi remanded the defendants pending the determination of their bail applications on April 11.
The judge adjourned the case until April 11 for the determination of bail application and commencement of trial.
Earlier, EFCC arraigned Emefiele on a 23-count charge bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage, while his co-defendant was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) had asked the court for a trial date following the defendants’ not guilty pleas.
Oyedepo also informed the court that the prosecution would be asking for a closed section for some of its witnesses who were willing to come to court to testify but scared for their lives.

Counsel to the two defendants, Mr Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, had in their bail applications, urged the court to grant them bail on self-recognizance and liberal terms pending the determination of the case.
Labi-Lawal, in a 35-paragraph affidavit, said that the first defendant (Emefiele) complied with the bail application given to him by Justice Hamza Muazu in his ongoing fraud trial in Abuja.
He added that the charges against the first defendant were bailable.
“Though the first defendant was granted administrative bail by the prosecuting authority, he is seeking bail based on self-recognizance, and he is ready to attend trial.
“The court should also take into consideration the status of the first defendant as he was the former CBN governor of the country,” the counsel said.
The defence counsel further said that Emefiele religiously presented himself before Justice Hamza Muazu in Abuja to answer allegations before him.
According to the counsel, the first defendant was not at flight risk as he was the first person to arrive in court.
He also prayed the court to grant bail to  Emefiele on liberal terms
Labi-Lawal also moved a bail application for the second defendant and urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.
Prosecution counsel, Oyedepo, did not oppose the bail applications.
Oyedepo, however, urged the court to exercise its discretion judiciously in granting bail to the defendants.
In one of the charges, EFCC  alleged that Emefiele abused the authority of his office as CBN  governor by allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $2.2 billion without bids, the act which was prejudiced to the rights of Nigerians.
It also alleged that the ex-CBN governor corruptly accepted an aggregate sum of  $26.5 million from NIPCO Plc through Donatone Ltd.
The commission also accused Emefiele of receiving the sum of $400,000 from Source Computer Ltd. on account of the approval of a “contract” in favour of the said company by CBN.
The anti-graft also alleged that Emefiele used his position as the governor of CBN  to confer corrupt advance on his associate, Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd. by approving payment of an aggregate sum of N900 million to the company.
Emefiele was also alleged to have used his position as the CBN governor to confer a corrupt advantage on Comec Support Services  Ltd. by approving the sum of N149 million to the company.
EFCC also alleged that the former CBN governor used his position to confer a corrupt advantage on  Andswin Resources and Solutions Ltd. by approving payment of the sum of N398 million to the company.
EFCC also accused Emefiele’s co-defendant (Isioma-Omoile) of giving the sum of $100,000 to the governor as a gift reward for allocation of foreign exchange.
According to the prosecution, the alleged offences violate Sections 8, 10, and 19 of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act of 2000, Sections 65, 73, and 328 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

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NAGAFF Vows to Stop Kwankwaso from Taking Over NNPP

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NNPP inaugurates 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, Aniebonam remains BoT Chairman

…Votes N150m take off professional fees for lawyers to begin litigation warfare!

Members of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) will vehemently resist the taking over of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) by the group noted to be loyal to Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

It would be recalled that the NNPP was originally founded by the National Association of Government-Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF, largely to provide a credible platform for maritime industry stakeholders to make a national impact within the nation’s political space.

It. would also be recalled that the former Governor of Kano, Senator Kwankwaso latched on the NNPP, after his effort to run as the flag bearer of another political party was dimmed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who emerged as the PDP presidential candidate.

NNPP inaugurates 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, Aniebonam remains BoT Chairman

Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Presently, a statement issued by the NNPP National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Clement Iwegbuna, lamented that what started as a child’s play is becoming a reality with the body language and actions of Senator Kwankwaso to highjack NNPP from the original owners, the members of  NAGAFF.

In a swift move, the president of NAGAFF, leading the pack of resourceful young freight forwarders said the original are poised to match money for money and contact for contact to retrieve NNPP from the people tagged ungrateful.

The statement revealed that the sum of N150,000,000 has been contributed as a take-off professional fee for the lawyers to take on the serial litigations upcoming.

NAGAFF accused Kwankwaso of court abuse with the institution of a court case involving INEC at Kano State High Court. “And so what does it take someone who held the position of minister of defence and member of the national assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to know that it is out of jurisdiction to do so.

NNPP is a national party and INEC is a federal commission. “Let Nigerians be told that there is a new order in Nigeria judiciary at the moment. If Senator Kwankwaso likes let him, Elder Buba Galadima and all of them who are the former members of the National Working Committee led by Alhaji Abbah Kawu who was alleged not to be able to write a statement at the state police command, Abuja when he reported a case against Mr Phillip Oyana the Zonal Secretary North Central of New Nigeria Peoples Party.

“Our young, vibrant and informed lawyers shall meet him and his cohorts in court. Once again we hold no malice against any person. All members of NNPP and NAGAFF are children of God and always ready to show love to all manner of people who may come our way,” the statement further said.

The statement directed and appealed to all members of NAGAFF and NNPP to keep the peace of the society and be law abiding and respectful to the constitution of Nigeria.

“Regret to note that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had avoidably prided himself to have brought NNPP to relevance and recognition. Tell the American marine that trash for the fact that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso forgot to note that NNPP is as old as People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria spanning over 24 years in existence. He joined less than 2yrs ago.

“We consider Senator Kwankwaso as someone who is avoidably arrogant and proud for no good reasons. This is because NNPP provided him the opportunity to contest the Presidency of Nigeria 2023 with great men like the current president of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PDP) and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party

“Let it be on record that if NNPP were not winning elections for the period under review it would have been deregistered like the one he facilitated which was called Alliance National Party. As a matter of fact, the current headquarters of NNPP in Abuja is the same office used by the defunct Alliance National  Party whose chairman was one Moshood.

“We also know that the current executive Gov of Kano Alhaji Abbah Kabir who was shortchanged in the previous elections took advantage of us as children of God to be protected and today those evil men could not stop him from becoming the Gov of Kano State.

“Therefore senator RABIU MUSA Kwankwaso should be taught the principles of humility and gratefulness to people who have been nice to him.

“In all of these, he may wish to distance himself from elder Buba Galadima if he wants to make headway in politics. The former President, Gen. Buhari did realise and distanced himself to combine with Asiwaju B. A. Tinubu, the grand master to become the President of Nigeria.,” advised.

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