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Vice-President Osinbajo urges Nigerians to be hopeful, prayerful

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Osinbajo to attend ACCI Young CEOs summit

… As Buhari departs Abuja for COP26 in Glasgow, UK***

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday in Jos urged Nigerians to be hopeful of finding lasting solutions to insecurity in the country and to be fervent in prayers.

Osinbanjo gave the charge in his goodwill message to the annual thanksgiving service of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Plateau Chapter.

He said in spite of insecurity and other challenges, Nigerians and especially believers must speak positively of the country.

“The tongue carries power.

We must speak the reality we desire as children of God,’’ he charged.

He said that God does not promise a life without challenges, but that He would be there for His children in all circumstances, adding that the future of Nigeria is bright because the country belongs to God.

The vice-president also said thanksgiving to God was required of believers in order to access His blessings.

He prayed for a new season for the Church of God saying: “the Church is coming to a greater glory and new season of victory.’’

Also read: Osinbajo harps on transparency as $80m World Bank assisted procurement project begins

In his remarks, Plateau’s Gov. Simon Lalong prayed for wisdom for Nigerian leaders to surmount the challenges of the country, especially insecurity, adding that COVID-19 had also worsened the economic situation of Nigeria.

He encouraged believers to thank God for His mercies through giving their substances for the expansion of His kingdom on earth.

In his exhortation, the National President of PFN, Bishop Francis Wale-Oke, said: “It is good to give thanks unto the Lord.’’

Earlier, Plateau Chairman of PFN, Rev. Steven Dangana, admonished Christians to develop the attitude of gratitude saying that “When we are grateful, we will become graceful.’’

The newsmen report that the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen and Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo, the Plateau Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria were among dignitaries at the event.

In the meantime, President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for Glasgow, Scotland in the United Kingdom, to attend the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The newsmen report that the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello; Director-General Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, were at the airport to bid farewell to the president.

According to an earlier statement issued by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, on Sunday in Abuja, the president is scheduled to deliver his national statement at the High-Level segment for Heads of State and Government at the conference on Nov. 2.

”President Buhari’s address is expected to highlight Nigeria’s key priorities and action to tackle climate change as well as progress on the country’s transition to low carbon economy, consistent with achieving the Paris Climate Agreement,” he said.

Shehu revealed that the conference, hosted by the United Kingdom in partnership with Italy, would bring parties together to help accelerate action towards the Paris Agreement as well as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

”Given Nigeria’s leading role in taking climate action and as a signatory to the Paris Agreement, COP 26 will afford a unique opportunity for the Nigerian delegation to work with other parties to make progress on the main goals of the conference.

”These include securing global net-zero by mid-century and keeping 1.5C within reach; adapting to protect communities and natural habitats as well as mobilising the much needed finances to meet the set targets,” he further maintained.

While in Glasgow, according to Shehu, the president will participate in some side-line events hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.

He said Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State, Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno; and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

According to the presidential aide, the Nigerian leader will thereafter travel to Paris, France, on an official visit to reciprocate an earlier one to Nigeria by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and also attend the Paris Peace Forum 2021.

The forum will be the fourth edition to be hosted by the French president.

”It will have Heads of State and Government and CEOs of major multinationals, as well as several civil society actors, gathering to advance concrete solutions to the enormous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve global governance in times of COVID-19.

 

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Jimoh Ibrahim Withdraws Suit Against APC, Aiyedatiwa, INEC

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Jimoh Ibrahim Withdraws Suit Against APC, Aiyedatiwa, INEC

 Sen. Jimoh Ibrahim has withdrawn the suit filed challenging the emergence of Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the Nov. 16 governorship election in Ondo state.

Co-defendants in the suit seeking nullification of the party’s governorship primary conducted in the state on April 20 are APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It would be recalled that the senator had after the conduct of the party’s governorship primary held on April 20, alleged irregularities and no election in the 18 local government areas of the state.

At a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Ibrahim attributed the withdrawal of the suit to a series of interventions made by President Bola Tinubu on the phone and physical meeting held with him at the Villa.

He said the litigation was not about him but for the sole purpose of ensuring internal party democracy, which was lacking in the APC governorship primary election.

Ibrahim said: ” The suit is now withdrawn due to the intervention of President  Tinubu.

“The President called me, had a meeting with me, and assured me that he will, as the party leader,  improve on internal democracy within our party.

“And I will need to withdraw the case to enable him to chart a way forward.

“Earlier, the governor visited my Asokoro residence for several hours after an unsuccessful visit to my hotel room in Akure.

” I cannot disobey the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because the issue I’m fighting for is not personal.

“It is simply to improve internal democracy to which the President has promised improvement. My respect for the President is absolute!.”

He thanked Tinubu for his words of wisdom and encouragement during their meeting and for emphasising his commitment to internal democracy again.

“The withdrawal of this legendary suit coincides with the first anniversary of the  President’s incredible performance in office, and this is my gift of the “cake” of the first anniversary,” Ibrahim 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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