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Business and Economy (496)

Delay in the appointment of ministers, failure to check the marauding Fulani herdsmen and flawed monetary policies are all hallmark of President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure, according to award-winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

“He had an opportunity to make real reforms early on, to boldly reshape Nigeria’s path. He wasted it,” Adichie said in an op-ed published by the New York Times on Wednesday.

In spite of her admission that Nigeria, as the most populous nation in Africa, is difficult to govern, and that falling oil prices were beyond the president, Adichie noted that certain policies the present government had implemented were anti-development.

“After an ostensible search for the very best, he presented many recycled figures with whom Nigerians were disenchanted. But the real test of his presidency came with the continued fall in oil prices, which had begun the year before his inauguration,” she continued.

“Nigeria’s economy is unwholesomely dependent on oil, and while the plunge in prices was bound to be catastrophic, Mr. Buhari’s actions made it even more so.

“He adopted a policy of ‘defending’ the naira, Nigeria’s currency. The official exchange rate was kept artificially low. On the black market, the exchange rate ballooned. Prices for everything rose: rice, bread, cooking oil. Fruit sellers and car sellers blamed ‘the price of dollars’. Complaints of hardship cut across class. Some businesses fired employees; others folded.

“The government decided who would have access to the central bank’s now-reduced foreign currency reserves, and drew up an arbitrary list of worthy and unworthy goods — importers of toothpicks cannot, for example, but importers of oil can. Predictably, this policy spawned corruption: The exclusive few who were able to buy dollars at official rates could sell them on the black market and earn large, riskless profits — transactions that contribute nothing to the economy.”

She said certain presidential actions or inaction are contributing to Nigerians’ declining hope which is precipitated by an economy in a downward slide. These include a selective anti-corruption drive, insecurity occasioned, largely, by activities of Fulani herdsmen, the invasion of judges’ residences by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), and the perceived promotion of ‘northern Sunni Muslim agenda’.

Though Adichie acknowledged the difficulty in solving the malaise she highlighted in the op-ed, she insisted the government could have done more to make the situation better.

“There are no easy answers to Nigeria’s malaise, but the government’s intervention could be more salutary — by prioritising infrastructure, creating a business-friendly environment and communicating to a populace mired in disappointment,” she said.


Precious Chikwendu Fani-Kayode, wife of former Minister of Aviation says she was badly treated in Ado Ekiti while her son was denied food by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Ekiti State on Monday.

She disclosed to the Punch newspaper after the incident that she went to Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, to see Governor Ayodele Fayose when she stopped at the branch of Access Bank in the town to withdraw money.

She was stopped by some officials of the anti-graft agency who accused her of trying to withdraw money from a frozen account.

She warned the anti-graft agency to leave her alone as she was not a politician but a private person.

“I’m not a politician and that account had been dormant for about five years. I only activated it last month in Port Harcourt.

“I decided to go to Access Bank to make some withdrawals when I was detained on the instructions of the EFCC.

“They told me the account had been frozen and they were asked by the EFCC to arrest me on the spot.

“I have been operating the account since 2005 when I was a student in the university. They had earlier frozen my two bank accounts which they have not opened till today and I have been waiting for them to invite me, but up till today, they have not.

“The balance in the account is just N200,000; so, I don’t know what their interest is. I’m a private person. I have not received any political fund; so, why are they trying to starve my family?

“That account has nothing to do with politics. This is dehumanising. I had to called the governor to inform him of the development.”

Condemning the action of the EFCC and the attitude of the bank officials, Fayose warned the anti-graft agency against becoming lawless and reckless against Nigerians.

Fayose added, “They can’t try that nonsense in my state. If they try it, there will be a showdown. They are over-stepping their boundary.

“This is a country that operates a constitution. What kind of molestation is this, taking away the rights of Nigerians because you are investigating?

“Must they terrorise people because they are in opposition? I have demanded an apology from the bank. If it fails to do that, I’m done with them. This is lawlessness.”

Despite the criticisms that have trailed his comment that his wife, Aisha, belongs to the kitchen and “the other room,” President Muhammadu Buhari says he stands by his earlier comment.

He insisted that his wife’s duty was to take care of him, hence, she should stay away from politics.

Buhari said this in an interview he granted Deutsche-Welle’s Phil Gayle shortly before he left Berlin, Germany on Saturday. 

The reporter had asked the President to clarify what he meant by his earlier comment while reacting to an interview his wife granted the Hausa Service of the BBC in which she alleged that her husband’s government had been hijacked.

The following discussion ensued between the President and the reporter:

Recently your wife criticised your choices for top jobs, and you responded by saying “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room.” What did you mean by that, sir?

I am sure you have a house. … You know where your kitchen is, you know where your living room is, and I believe your wife looks after all of that, even if she is working.

That is your wife’s function?

Yes, to look after me.

And she should stay out of politics?

I think so.

Buhari’s insistence contradicted the position of his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who said on Friday that the President was only joking with his remarks on his wife while addressing a joint press conference with Angela Merkel of Germany.

On the recent release of the 21 Chibok girls, Buhari said the Federal Government had always preferred to talk to bona fide Boko Haram leaders about the release of the girls.

He said his position had always been that government must have a credible person or persons that would intervene, preferably the United Nations or international NGOs.

“I think that the Federal Government of Nigeria team insisted on a better type of arrangement and we secured 21 out of about 220 of the Chibok girls,” he said.

When asked if the government released Boko Haram commanders in exchange for the released girls, Buhari said he did not have the details of the deal yet.

He explained that the girls were released shortly before he left Nigeria for Germany on Thursday, hence he had not received full briefing on the deal since the issue should not be something to be discussed on the telephone.

Buhari said he hoped to get the full briefing on his return to Nigeria. Buhari returned to the country on Saturday.

When asked if he knew what had happened to the remaining girls, the President said his administration was working hard to find out.

“That is what we are trying to find (out) now. The more we get, the more information we get about the balance, whether they are dead or alive … and where they are.

“The important thing about really insisting on the go-betweens – especially NGOs, the United Nations – is the credibility of persons that will be talking to the Federal Government,” he said.

When asked for the purpose of his three-day official visit to Germany, Buhari said his aim was to woo more investors from the country.

He said, “We want a lot. We want German investors. As you know, there are about 100 German companies in Nigeria, and German investors have earned a lot of respect from Nigeria because of the quality of the manufactured goods they produce, especially machinery. … Nigerians work very hard to learn as much as possible, and attract German investment in manufacturing, especially.”

Buhari promised to look at the Gender Equality Act as part of the nation’s law.

When asked if he believed that gender equality was a good thing, the President said, “It is a good thing to the extent that it is accepted culturally throughout the country.”

THE nation’s air has been filled with excitement since the news of the release of 21 of the secondary school girls kidnapped by the dreaded Boko Haram sect at Chibok, Borno State, since April 2014. Their release came after they had spent about 900 days in the den of the dreaded sect along with their more than 200 other colleagues.

While many see Thursday’s release of the 21 girls as a sign that the remaining 197 who are yet unaccounted for will return, others see it as a development that portends a bitter-sweet experience for the affected parents because of the heart-rending experiences the returnees will narrate to them and the revelation of the identities of those that are dead as well as the circumstances that culminated in their demise.

Fatima Abba-Kaka, a member of Bring Back Our Girls (#BBOG), the advocacy group at the forefront of the agitation for the release of the girls, said in an interview with our correspondent: “For some of the parents, the arrival of these girls will mean the truth about those that Boko Haram claims have been killed. These ones will probably tell the real story of the girls that lost their lives.”

Mr. Hosea Tsambido, the Chairman, Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA), Abuja, an umbrella body for members of the Chibok community, was allowed audience with the girls when they arrived Abuja. He noted that while the girls were all emaciated, they were well composed and acted in very normal and respectful manner. He also said they were very excited when he introduced himself to them.

Tsambido said: “I met them. They looked so emaciated but composed and not acting rude at all. There was nothing to show that their stay with terrorists for so long had changed them. They were so excited when I introduced myself. They know a lot of my siblings back home and still remembered their names.

“A lot of the parents kept calling me for information as soon as the news broke, to know if their daughters were among the 21. When I eventually got the names and called their parents, I did not actually sense so much excitement from them, because they have been traumatised for so long and it took a while for the news to sink in that their daughters are finally back. The other parents who are not amongst the 21 feel so bad that their daughters are still in captivity.”

The Chairman of the Chibok parents and father of one of the girls still in captivity, Yakubu Nkeki, said they had been contacted by the Minister of Women Affairs and had been asked to come to Abuja with the parents of the 21.

He said: “I just spoke with the Minister of Women Affairs. We have been invited to Abuja. We are boarding a vehicle and will hopefully arrive Saturday. My daughter is not among the 21, but as their leader, I am happy for the lucky parents. I am very happy for them that their daughters are back.

“Most of the parents in Chibok have been rejoicing since the news broke. They have all been trooping to my house in excitement. The release of these 21 has renewed our hope for the release of our other daughters, which is good. We don’t want to think about those whose daughters might have died. The important thing for us is that we have hope and our hope has been renewed by the release of the 21.”

Another parent, Rev. Enoch Mark, whose two daughters are amongst the abducted girls, expressed excitement about the release of the 21. Although none of his daughters was among the 21, Rev. Mark says he sees the move as a sign that more of them will be released.

He said: “My wife and I have been unable to sleep since we heard the news. Even though neither of my daughters is amongst the 21, I am still really excited and hopeful because it means that those still alive will all return home soon. I am so grateful to the government for making this possible.”

Rebecca Isyaku, the girl who escaped by jumping off the vehicle when they were being taken away by Boko Haram more than two years ago, was filled with excitement at the release of 21 of her friends.

She said: “I am very happy today because I hear that 21 of my friends have been released. I used to think the government could not do it, but this has shown that it can. It even seemed like the government itself felt that it could not do it, but this has shown that it can.

“Even though we are yet to see or hear the names of those released, we are still happy that 21 of them are back. We will keep demanding until the others return. This has brought more life to the parents. They had been thinking of their daughters but now they have hope. Their faith has been renewed.”

A member of the Chibok community, who lives in Maiduguri, in a telephone conversation with The Nation, expressed excitement, saying it is what the community has been asking for.

He said: “We lack word to describe our excitement. This is what we have been asking for. Now that our hope has been restored, we are going to organise prayer and fasting to seek God’s face for the return of the others.

“We learnt that they swapped a few leaders of Boko Haram for the girls in Banki. Whether it is true or not does not matter. The government can release as many Boko Haram members as they want so that they will release our daughters and other Nigerians in captivity. This singular act by the government has renewed our confidence in the government.”

Another member of the community and member of the #BBOG, Gyanpany Yanga, said that they were not bothered if a swap for Boko Haram leaders would mean more terrorists out there because they have always seen Boko Haram as still being active with their constant attacks on Chibok and neighbouring communities.

“I am very happy, honestly. I commend the Federal Government for a job well done. But any of their lapses, we will still talk about it. Not that we are fighting; we are telling them the truth. Let them continue the good work because after they have brought back all the girls and it remains one, we will continue to demand.

“We are not bothered if it was a swap or not or what it might mean to our community, because Boko Haram is still disturbing in Chibok. They recaptured about four villages a few days ago. So, whether the girls were returned as a result of an exchange or release, or whether their number will increase or not, the government knows that it has to stand up to work as a responsible government.

“We know the capabilities of our military and how good they are. We recommend them all over the world.”

The leader of strategic team for #BBOG, Aisha Yesufu, on her part stated that the release of the 21 girls would not be complete until the government puts enough effort into their rehabilitation and reintegration into the society.

“I am very excited and joyful for the wonderful development. That says a lot for us. It means a lot. We have continuously demanded from the government because we believe in the capability of our government.

“Today, we have seen it with the rescue, and we know that the remaining 197 out there will also be rescued and we hope that all other that were abducted will be released as well.

“For us as a movement, the rescue of the Chibok girls is the easy part. The main part for us is to ensure that our girls are rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society and made to get that life that is theirs, which the terrorists tried to truncate.

“We are not just a movement that demands, we proffer solutions, and part of what we have done is the verification, authentication and reunification system that we passed over to the government. And from what we are seeing on ground, there has been an improvement with the government in this situation than we saw when Amina Ali was found.

“We must not let the terrorists win with them, because if we just rescue them and allow them to just be, then everything would have been defeated. We need to ensure they are rehabilitated, returned to school and get that education and become the world leaders they are meant to be.”

While the leader of the group, Oby Ezekwesili, was said to have travelled to the US and was not on hand at the Unity Fountain with the rest of the group to celebrate the release of the 21 girls, her excitement on her twitter handle was infectious as she thanked the government, the Red Cross, the military and the Swiss government for their combined efforts in ensuring the girls’ release.

Some of the tweets read: “I can only weep right now. You know that kind of cry that is a mix of multiple emotions. Lord, some of our girls are back. It is 4 am in California and I can no longer sleep. Join me in singing the words of Psalm 126. When the Lord turned again the CAPTIVITY.

“With tears of unspeakable joy at the release of 21 of OUR #ChibokGirls, We cry out and use them as a point of contact for the rest 197. Imagine how it feels for parents of our 21 #ChibokGirls to behold and hug their daughters after 913 days of their captivity. #HopeEndures on.”

Another member of the group, Fatima Abba-Kaka, in her excitement, said that finally, the group has been vindicated. She said that God has vindicated the group from those who said that the girls were never taken.

“I feel incredible. I couldn’t eat today or do anything. This is what we have been expecting from our government. We believe in our government. Even when they thought they couldn’t, we believed they could, and they have done it and need to do more.

“The issue is that if there is negotiation, there has to be an exchange. We gave the government three scenarios—negotiation, military might or a combination of the two. Definitely if you negotiate, you will release their own.

“Right now, let us get all our girls and abducted people back and then the military can strategise and know how to handle Boko Haram. To me, the life of a single Chibok girl is more than anything. So I am okay with the negotiations.

One of the seven judges arrested by the Department of State Services, DSS, has admitted that he took bribes running into millions of naira.

A DSS source revealed that the judge on being confronted with the proof of the N500 million bribe he collected prostrated before the DSS boss and begged him not to expose him.

He was rolling on the floor and this was captured, the source told The Nation newspaper.

The judge had refused to unlock the safe in his house for DSS operatives to have access to its contents.

The DSS, however, plans to take possession of the safe to uncover its contents, the source said.

It was gathered that the agency has been questioning bank chiefs and directors over links with some of the alleged corrupt judges.

Those arrested were two Supreme Court Justices ­– Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro; – the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, who was picked up in Sokoto; Justice Adeniyi Ademola (Federal High Court); the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike; Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court; and Justice Muazu Pindiga (Gombe State High Court).

The source said: “Corruption in the Judiciary was based on our intelligence gathering and alerts from informants and petitions. It is not based on the perception of Nigerians. We have been on the trail of some of these judges in the last few months.

“For instance, we started probing one of the seven judges in detention since the Ramadan period of 2015. When we got sufficient intelligence on him, bordering on over N500 million bribe, we invited him.

“The judge was given a copy of our report on him. By the time he read it halfway, he prostrated, held the legs of the security chief (Lawan Daura) and begged for forgiveness. We captured the way he was reeling on the floor.

“We later sent a security brief on him to the National Judicial Council (NJC) with enough evidence. But he was cleared by the NJC as having committed no wrong. Since the NJC could not do the needful, we have decided to subject him to a judicial process.

“We also have a case of one of the judges who refused to unlock a safe in his house when our operatives went to his house. We may actually secure the leave of the court to relocate the safe to Abuja.

“Another detained judge got a contract from Bauchi State Government and obtained a loan from a bank. But when he defaulted in paying back the facility, the bank filed an action against him before the Federal High Court in Bauchi. What is the business of a judge with contract?”

Another source gave insights into the ongoing operation against 15 judges by the DSS.

“We are digging more and getting fresh revelations from these judges. For instance, a Federal High Court judge in detention actually spread the N54 million and $171,779 recovered from his residence in different rooms. He kept them in different parts of the rooms like a thief.”

“There is no immunity conferred on judges, we are only duty bound to protect the court because it is a sacred place, a temple of justice. Once you have issues, you go to court but immediately a judge is outside the court, he or she is like you and me.

“There is nothing unusual about the arrest of judges other than it has not been the practice. But it is normal. Once a petition is lodged, it is normal that you just have to look into it as a security agency.”

“We have started looking into allegations against some banks; we have torn all banks apart. Some bank chiefs have been coming to the DSS office in Abuja for clarifications on some transactions we are investigating.

“Every week, not less than three bank officials come here. We will let you know the outcome soon.”

The suspects

The Nigeria Police on Monday paraded nine suspected kidnappers of Margaret Emefiele, wife of Godwin Emefiele, Governor Central Bank of Nigeria.

The woman was kidnapped on 29 September and released within 24 hours by her captives who were later arrested.

The names of the suspects, including two serving soldiers, were given as Lance Corporal Musa Maidabra ‘M’ 28 years
2 Lance Corporal Edwin George ‘M’
3. Ernest Anthony Uduefe ‘M’ 32 years (dismissed Soldier)
4. Mohammed Abubakar A.K.A Dogo ‘M’ 29 years (Gang Leader)
5. Mohammed Musa ‘M’ 26 years
6. Mohammed Sule ‘M’ 26 years
7. Ibrahim Abdullahi ‘M’ 30 years
8. Aliyu Musa ‘M’ 30 years
9 Mohammed Yusuf ‘M’ 36 years

The suspects

The suspects


Police officers addressing the press

Police officers addressing the press

The suspects

The suspects

Another car bought with the money collected

Another car bought with the money collected

The suspects and the stacks of money retrieved from them

The suspects and the stacks of money retrieved from them

Car bought with proceeds of crime impounded from one of the suspects

Car bought with proceeds of crime impounded from one of the suspects

Former governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori, is due to  become a free man in December, after spending half of his jail term in United Kingdom prisons, according to a report from London.

Ibori was jailed for money laundering offences by Southwark Crown court in 2012.

But it is unclear yet whether he will return to Nigeria immediately as legal proceedings concerning the confiscation of his assets worth tens of millions of dollars are yet to be resolved.

The delay in resolving the issue stems from allegations of police corruption in the Ibori matter and the likelihood of the former governor taking his case to the Court of Appeal.

His lawyer told the court on Friday that the former governor   would appeal against his conviction on the grounds that British police and lawyers involved in his case were themselves corrupt.

Ibori, who governed Delta State from 1999 to 2007, is serving a 13-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2012 to 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering.

While in office, Ibori acquired luxury properties in Britain, the United States, South Africa and Nigeria. He is the most senior Nigerian politician to have been held to account for the corruption that has blighted Africa’s most populous nation.

His jailing in Britain, where he had laundered millions of pounds and sent his children to an expensive private school, was hailed as a high point in the international fight against graft and an important signal to other corrupt politicians.

But his lawyer Ivan Krolick told Southwark Crown Court on Friday that Ibori was “95 percent certain” to challenge his conviction in the Court of Appeal based on documents that have only recently been disclosed to the defence by the prosecution.

At the same hearing, Stephen Kamlish, a lawyer for Ibori associate and convicted money launderer Bhadresh Gohil, said the documents showed there had been widespread police corruption followed by a cover-up that was still going on now.

The main allegation is that a police officer involved in the Ibori probe took payments for information in 2007 from a firm of private detectives working on Ibori’s behalf. At the time, Ibori had not been arrested and was still in Nigeria, but knew that British police were investigating his finances.

Kamlish said prosecution lawyers had known there was evidence of police corruption but had failed to disclose it to defence lawyers. Krolick told Reuters on the sidelines of Friday’s court hearing that Ibori did not know about the payments at the time.

The police have said that the allegation was thoroughly investigated and that no one was arrested or charged, and no misconduct identified. The officer against whom the allegations have been made is still in active service.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), after a lengthy internal investigation, said in September it was confident that the convictions of Ibori and Gohil remained valid.

The CPS has said it found “material to support the assertion that a police officer received payment in return for information.” It did not use the word “evidence”, suggesting it did not consider the material in question amounted to proof.

But the CPS conceded in September that the material should have been disclosed to the defence, and handed over thousands of documents to defence lawyers. Those were the documents that Kamlish and Krolick were referring to in court on Friday.

Gohil has already filed an appeal against his conviction. Krolick said Ibori was likely to do so once his legal team had finished going through all the newly disclosed documents.

As is normal under British procedures, Ibori is due to be released in December after serving half his sentence, taking into account pre-trial detention.

Gohil, a British former lawyer, has already been released after serving half of a 10-year term for his role in laundering Ibori’s millions.

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Odigie-Oyegun has broken his silence as he responded to the sundry allegations of misdeeds leveled against him by a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

Odigie-Oyegun in a statement maintained that he did not commit any wrongdoing over the decision by the top echelons of the party to settle for Chief Rotimi Akeredolu as the party’s flagbearer in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship poll.

He described the allegation of bribery and corruption leveled against him as reckless and baseless, adding it was unfortunate that such insult was directed to his person deliberately to dent his hard-earned reputation built over the years.

He said: “Nobody has the kind of money that can buy my conscience or make me do injury to an innocent man. In all the primaries conducted under my watch as national chairman, I have strived to ensure a free, fair, transparent and credible process. The 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election was not an exception. There must be internal democracy in the party and our constitution must be respected by all.”

He further faulted allegation that he overruled the NWC’s vote of “six against five” in favour of canceling the primary election results and conducting another primary

Akeredolu added: “According to the minutes of the 18th emergency meeting of the APC NWC held from Monday, September 19, to Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, there was absolutely no meeting which I chaired that voted in the manner alleged. Clearly, the report on which the media office of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu acted was a figment of someone’s wild imagination.

“On Thursday, September 22, 2016 being the final day for submission of candidate by political parties, the NWC discussed the possibility of voting having finished deliberation on the2 016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee Report because members in support of cancelling the primary results were still strident in their position.

“A member of the NWC, however ,drew the attention of the meeting to its previous decision in which the report of the Primary Election Committee was adopted while the Appeal Committee was set aside. The implication of this decision he reasoned was that a decision to submit the name of the winner of the primary election was already taken unless the NWC will now wish to reconsider its earlier decision. I agreed with this and ruled that the previous decision of the NWC be upheld.”

On allegation that the names of “over 150 valid delegates were excised to make room for an equal number of impostors, he said: “The Ondo State approved delegates list was compiled in strict compliance with the party’s constitution. Only qualified delegates were included in the list.

“Moreso, none of the aspirants or the Appeal Committee has submitted to NWC a list of delegates who were not qualified to be included in the delegates list but were listed as delegates or presumed qualified delegates who were not included in the delegates list used for the primary.”

On the claim that he used a “prayer interlude” to “secretly excuse” himself from the NWC meeting to submit the name of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the candidate of the party, he said: “The allegation is high fiction and an insult to the intelligence and sensibility of the respected NWC members present at the meeting. We do not and have never engaged in prayer interludes/sessions outside the usual opening and closing prayers. The prayer that is being referred to must be the closing prayer for the meeting.”

He went on to shed light on the position of the national working committee position on the issue thus: “The Party’s NWC decision to reject the 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee Report was taken on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in executive session after careful and exhaustive deliberations. The minutes and rejection were confirmed by the NWC on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

“The NWC in its four-point resolution rejected the Appeal Committee’s recommendation on the grounds that the report was fundamentally and fatally flawed. The NWC observed that the Appeal Committee contradicted itself when it admitted in its report, “In making the above recommendations one is not unmindful of the fact that there may have been substantial compliance in the conduct of the exercise.” but still proceeded to recommend the nullification of the primary election.


Wednesday, 05 October 2016 23:24

Naira firms against dollar

Written by

The Naira on Wednesday appreciated against the dollar in all the segments of the foreign exchange market, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The currency gained 9.97 points to exchange at N310.24 from N320.21 it recorded on Tuesday, representing an appreciation of 3.1 percent.

It also gained a point against the dollar at the parallel market, exchanging at N475 from N476 posted on Tuesday, while it closed against the Pound Sterling and the Euro at N590 and N510, respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the market, the naira traded at N354 against the dollar, and at N580 to the Pound Sterling and N510 to the Euro.

Traders at the market said that the sale of foreign exchange to BDCs was already easing the liquidity challenges at the market.

NAN reports that since the resumption of the sale of the currencies to BDCs was restored, the naira had been on a steady path to recovery.

Industry watchers believe that if the new arrangement continued, the Nigerian currency would regain its lost glory.

A Federal High Court, sitting in Jos, Plateau State, has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, for refusing to show up in court.

The EFCC said in a Facebook post that Goje, who is being charged with an alleged N25bn fraud, might be arrested on Wednesday (today) if he failed to show up in court.

The statement read, “A Federal High Court, sitting in Jos, Plateau State, on October 4, 2016 (Tuesday) issued a bench warrant against former Governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje, for refusing to show up in court. The warrant is however to take effect by 8am on October 5, 2016, if he fails to show up in court again.”

Among several charges, Goje, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, is accused of illegally awarding a N1bn contract for the supply of dictionaries to secondary schools while he was governor of the state.

At the last sitting, a prosecution witness, Salisu Abaji, said the ex-governor awarded a contract for the supply of dictionaries for over N1bn to Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board without following procurement process.

He was also alleged to have paid 85 per cent of the contract sum upfront to the supplier, Real and Integrated Hospitality Company, as against the prescribed 15 per cent as contained in the UBEB guidelines when he was the governor.

The prosecution witness, who is a former secretary to UBEB, made this testimony against his former boss.

He further submitted that one Aliyu el-Naffty, former UBEB chairman, also an accused person standing trial along with Goje, awarded the contract the same day and ordered the advance payment based on the directive of the then governor.

Another prosecution witness and former storekeeper to Gombe State Government House, Mr. Mohammed Aliyu, concluded his testimony by tendering receipts of all payments made to the food contractor to the government during the eight-year administration of Goje from 2003 to 2011.

However, Abaji admitted that he played a role in the award and payment of the said amount as upfront to the contractor.

This he did under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr. Adeniyi

Meanwhile, the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said enforcement alone could not stop corruption, adding that the commission would also focus on preventive measures in the fight against corruption.

The EFCC boss said this at the unveiling of the EFCC Creative Youths Initiative against Corruption in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said, “We are the first to recognise that enforcement alone cannot win the war against corruption.  Prevention is an effective and necessary weapon that must be employed in conjunction with enforcement, and there is no group of Nigerians better equipped to wield that weapon than the youth.

“Let us bear in mind that the task to rid the nation of the corruption cankerworm cannot be left to the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies alone.  We are all stakeholders in the war and cannot let the future generations down; it is for their future that we must sacrifice our today.  Let us work together for our dear nation; let us join hands to build for our children the future we desire.”

Magu said the EFCC would not relent in its efforts to rid the nation of corruption. He added that the commission would continue to recover stolen assets and funds.

“Let me clarify that EFCC will continue to vigorously enforce its mandate alongside engaging in preventive initiatives such as this.  Therefore, even as we appeal to the old and the young to shun corruption and other forms of fraud, expect to see more investigations, more arrests, more trials, more convictions and more recovery of stolen assets,” Magu said.

The event attracted pupils from several schools across the country.

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Xclusive Nigeria Television (XNTV)


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