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Presidency piles pressure on Saraki, Dogara to reconvene NASS

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…As Kachikwu tasks NLNG on expansion beyond Train 7***

Senator Ita Enang, the Presidential Liaison in the Senate has warned that Nigeria might face total government shutdown if the National Assembly did not reconvene urgently.

It was the second time in 24 hours that Enang would speak on the issue. The National Assembly went on recess on 24 July and will reconvene on 25 September, with the budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Supplementary budget requiring attention.

Enang said the assembly also needed to approve foreign loans for the country, funds from which government planned to bankroll the capital budget of 2018.

Enang reiterating his statement Sunday, said: “We are still appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene; you remember that we passed the budget with the understanding that a great amount of the money will be gotten from foreign loans.

“Although it was approved that there would be a loan, the amount that would be gotten was not approved; the Fiscal Responsibility Act requires that the President should specifically state the amount he wants to get from foreign loans and present it before the National Assembly.

“That letter has been presented before the National Assembly and it has to pass that amount before it could be obtained from the foreign financing institutions.

“This is what we are asking and if does not happen, in the next few months, we have a complete government shutdown because what we are receiving from the Federation Account as Federal Government share — the capital component — is not enough to sustain even 15 per cent to 20 percent of budget.

“So, there may be a complete government shut down and I know Nigerians will not like it; that is why we are appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene,’’ he said.

Enang spoke at the State House on Monday after a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

He had met the Acting President along with Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan.

Meanwhile, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has called an emergency meeting of the leadership of the Upper and Lower chambers of the National Assembly.

The meeting, which is scheduled to hold on Tuesday in Abuja, comes days after some lawmakers called for the reconvening of the assembly in order to attend to some urgent matters of state.

The principal officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to attend the meeting.

It will be the first meeting since the National Assembly went on recess two weeks ago, following heated political manoeuvrings trailing the defections in the parliament.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the National Assembly is also expected to meet with Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

The Presidency had said that it was not contemplating and would not be a party to anything that would destabilise the National Assembly.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, faulted the allegations that they were planning to get the Senate reconvened illegally.

In the meantime, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has tasked the Board and Management of Nigeria LNG Limited to expand the production volumes beyond what Train 7 will bring to catch up with other countries, secure a significant share in the global LNG market, and help with domestic supply of LNG in line with the company’s vision to help build a better Nigeria.

The Minister said over the weekend when he visited the NLNG Plant on Bonny Island, Rivers to assess the company’s state of preparedness for the construction of a new that will lift the country’s Liquefied Natural Gas Production (LNG) output by 35% from 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.

The Minister was received by the Managing Director of NLNG, Tony Attah; NLNG’s Deputy Managing Director, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu; NLNG General Manager, Production, Tayo Oginni; and NLNG’s General Manager, Human Resources, Eucharia Ezeani.

The Minister was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan; the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), represented by Salihi Dawaki; Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), represented by Deputy Director, DPR, Mr Sanya Bajomo, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote; Special Technical Adviser (R&D), Rabiu Suleiman; Ministry officials; and other officials of agencies under the Ministry.

Speaking during a tour of the six-train plant complex and the Train 7 site, Dr Kachikwu said “Train 7 doesn’t have a good history in terms of operations. President Muhammadu Buhari will tell you when they started this project, they targeted 12 trains. Through no fault of yours, Train 12 hasn’t happened, but Train 7 is coming. Now, you have Train 7 largely ready to go. What excites me is that this Train will be bigger than the other individual trains but in your 30 years outlook, you have to begin to look at Train 8. We need to catch up.

“The transition to cleaner energy is going to happen faster than you think. As we reconstruct our refineries, we are going to be looking at how to make them more green friendly, but every indicator of our studies shows that the fastest move we are going to make to green energy is on gas. Although your market today is focussed on externalisation,  you will soon see government policies drive you towards internalisation very rapidly. So you need to grow those volumes for the teeming population we have. I challenge you to look at this and grow from the 30 MTPA you are talking of now to about 40 MTPA over the next 30 years,” he charged.

“One of the things we say every time to people is that they should look at the Nigeria LNG model. The model has stood the test of time. It has worked, it is efficient, non-interventionist and very transparent. To all of you who are leaders here, you need a lot of praise and support for the consistency to which you have delivered. This country can be better if we manage it well. What NLNG and a lot of the Joint Ventures bring to the table is that there are a lot of Nigerians with the capabilities of great management.”

While briefing the Minister on NLNG’s operations, Attah said it was time for Nigeria to use gas as a catalyst for industrial and economic transformation.

“With the support of NNPC, our ambition remains to grow through Train 7. We built six trains fast because every 18 months we were adding a train, but from 2007 to date, we have not been able to move. But with your support and that of the Federal Government, we have the full backing of all critical stakeholders. The stars have lined up in support for our expansion project and we are at a point of no return. So, for us, it is about the future and more importantly, the licence to grow which is about dealing with today’s realities and peculiarities. The starting point for us is safety. We work in a complex and intricate environment and safety is everything for us in keeping our people safe and assets safe to deliver value to our shareholders,” he said.

Expressing appreciation to the Federal Government for the support for Train 7, NLNG Deputy MD, Mai-Bornu, said the Minister’s visit to Bonny was a boost toward the Final Investment Decision (FID).

“In the long run, the benefit of a bigger market share in that space will translate into more revenue for our nation through taxes and shareholding for the Federal Government through the NNPC which currently holds 49% shares in NLNG.

“Additionally, this country will witness more transformational CSR initiatives sponsored by Nigeria LNG, as we have demonstrated keen and concerted resolve in fulfilment of our commitment towards helping to build a better Nigeria,” he added.

The Minister’s visit is coming on the heels of the milestone events in preparation for Train 7 construction, which include the award of contracts for the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) by NLNG and the repayment of US$5.45 billion Shareholder loan for its existing trains, signifying readiness to seek funding for the new project.

NLNG will be seeking funding in the financial market for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of Train 7 and investment in the upstream gas sector in Nigeria that will ensure the sustainability of feedgas supply to its existing trains (Trains 1 to 6) and the new train .

NLNG is owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by NNPC (49%), Shell Gas B.V.  (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).

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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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