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Osinbajo presides over virtual FEC meeting

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Osinbajo, World Economic Forum rally support for Africa on climate change, COVID-19, terrorism

Osinbajo, Abiodun, Kwankwaso others grace burial of Isiaka’s mother in Ogun

… Says Tech, innovation should be for public good***

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday presided over a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) anchored from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari is away in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the investment conference organised by the Future Investment Initiative Institute.

The president will also perform the lesser Hajj in Madina and Makka before returning to Nigeria on Friday.

Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President; and Ade Ipaye, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, attended the meeting physically.

Ministers physically present at the meeting included Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture; Abubakar Malami, Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation; and Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation.

Others were Hajia Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of Power; Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation; and Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing.

In another development, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says technology and innovation should not just be for profit making but for the public good and solving societal problems.

Osinbajo made this submission in his remarks at Afrilabs 10th Anniversary Dinner on Wednesday in Abuja.

AfriLabs is a pan-African network organisation of over 320 innovation centers across 51 African countries.

He said there was a need for positive action, proactive and intentional policies by governments in Africa to create the environment for startups and technology based enterprises to thrive.

Osinbajo said that in Nigeria, considerable progress had been made in supporting innovation by the enactment of the Nigerian Start-Up Act.

He said the act was an effort of stakeholders in the private sector, Federal Government agencies, state governments, and the national assembly to institute legislative protection for founders and investors in start-ups.

“This is following the example of similar legislation enacted in Tunisia and South Africa.

“But as I had indicated earlier, our effort as governments across Africa have barely scratched the surface of the tremendous potentials available.

“Most innovators and startups are still unable to access cheap capital locally; many complain that the processes for obtaining financial support ought to be easier and more transparent.

“There is also still a need to train more, and develop more useful digital skills on scale,’’ he said.

According to him, Africa is still at a point in its odyssey of technology and innovation in which the big challenge is how to create the institutional architecture to safeguard and consolidate the progress already made.

The vice president suggested that first, governments in Africa  must ensure that access to support programmes are transparent and merit-based and we must work harder on providing cheap, patient capital, with a few for innovation.

“ For its own part, the ecosystem must work with government to determine the parameters of access to these programmes.”

He said that, secondly, tech and innovation cannot and should not just be for profit but for the public good.

“Tech holds the power to create gigantic commercial ventures with huge returns but the fullness of the transformative and revolutionary potential of the ecosystem will be achieved when we address issues of the public good.

“ This means bringing our capacity for innovation upon our big developmental challenges such as social security, financial inclusion and access to healthcare.

“And while we pursue this and begin to experience the power of tech to transform lives, we must also concern ourselves with issues of ethics and oversight.’’

He said that as the debate around some of the major social media platforms indicated, those in the tech ecosystem must be alive not only to the prospect of profits but to the social and public implications of their work.

According to him, technology and innovation impose responsibilities on innovators– in this case, it is the responsibility to design algorithms guided by the common good.

“Third is the huge opportunity opened up by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“The objective of the AfCFTA is to make Africa the largest single, seamless trading bloc in the world.

“The opportunities for tech and innovation to build synergies across borders and create African tech giants are obvious.

“But even now our fintech and e-commerce companies can extend their reach, as they will be able to partner with other regional and international fintechs to facilitate payments and make digital cross border remittances.

“The bright and prosperous future for Africa beckons; you all are the great titans that will take us there; we are all extremely proud of you and the work you do,’’ he said.

Osinbajo said it was exciting to have gathered under the same roof,  some of the most brilliant  minds in Africa–innovators, entrepreneurs, soon to be owners of billion dollar enterprises, creators of ground breaking technologies in medicine, education and agriculture from 320 hubs across 51 nations.

He commended the Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment, and Communications and Digital Economy, Make it Africa, Afrilabs as well the Office of the Vice President for their efforts in planning the event.

Earlier in her address of welcome, Hajia Maryam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said Nigeria was delighted to host innovators and innovation ecosystem builders.

She said that the presence of the vice president at the event underscored the importance the Federal Government attached to innovation.

In his remarks, Mr Tomi Davies, President, African Business Angel Network, harped on the need for funding, capacity building and right policies to support innovation in Africa.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of award to 12 outstanding hubs.

 

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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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