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Alleged N2.5bn fraud: Court adjourns trial of NBC DG to May 27

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The Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned the trial of the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo, until May 27 for continuation of trial.

Mr Modibbo is standing trial alongside Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Ltd, and Dipo Onifade, the Chief Operating Officer of the company.

Messrs Modibbo, Omoluwa and Onifade were dragged to court along with the company by the ICPC on a 12-count charge bordering on fraud in the DSO project of the federal government.

They all entered a not guilty plea when the charge was read to them when they were arraigned.

The trial judge, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo fixed the date after the prosecution called its fifth witness.

The witness, Adama Charles, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Henry Emore, told the court that he was an investigator with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

He said he met the defendants in the cause of investigating a petition relating to the Digital Switch Over, (DSO) project of the federal government.

“In the cause of investigation, we analysed some documents including bank statements and realised that N1.7 billion was paid to ITS with the description, “seed grant”, and N2.5 billion was paid to Pinnacle Communications Ltd as seed grant.”

Mr Charles also told the court that N100 million was paid from the N2.5 billion to Mr Onifade and another N27 million was later paid totaling N127 million, part of which was kept in a fixed deposit account.

Under cross examination by Alex Izinyon, SAN, the witness said during the course of investigation, his team saw that the approval for payment of the money was given by the Minister of Information and Culture.

He, however, added that the minister was misled into approving the payment.

The witness added that there had been no complaint from the minister to the ICPC saying he was misled into making the approval.

The matter was adjourned until May 27, June 3, 4, 26 and July 1 for continuation of trial.

(NAN)

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Sylva assumes duty as minister of state for petroleum …As NNPC, others welcome him

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The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has assumed duties with a pledge to reposition and chart a way forward for the Nigerian petroleum sector.

A press release Wednesday by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Chief Sylva pledged to work with the experts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the other departments and agencies under the Ministry to move the sector forward.

In a welcome ceremony for Chief Sylva at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who was accompanied by his wife, Alanyingi Sylva, stated that with the calibre of workforce in the Ministry, he was sure that the nation’s oil and gas sector would move to the next level.

Chief Sylva, who is a former Governor of Bayelsa State brings on the job several years of cognate experience in the petroleum sector.

The new Minister of State contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, reassured Chief Sylva of the readiness of all members of staff in the Ministry to support him to succeed in the onerous task of transforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the good of all stakeholders.

On hand to welcome the Minister at the brief ceremony were the Group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau; and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, amongst others.

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Police re-arrest suspected Taraba kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume

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The Police have re-arrested a kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume, two weeks after he escaped from the custody of the Intelligence Response Team.

The IRT operatives they came under attack from soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State, as they conveyed Wadume from the scene of his arrest.

Three policemen and two civilians were killed during the incident, while five other Police officers were injured.

The Force spokesman, Frank Mba, in a statement confirmed that  Wadume was re-arrested in the late hours of Monday at his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.

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Lagos governor, Sanwo-Olu, swears in cabinet members, warns against corruption

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday sworn-in 35 members of his cabinet that will assist him in piloting the affairs of the state in the net four years, urging them to embrace transparency and accountability.

The event held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, was witnessed by thousands of well wishers and dignitaries.

Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu said in his inaugural address on 29th May, he declared that his ultimate goal would be to ensure that Lagos State remained one of the top destinations on the African continent to live, work and invest in, saying that this was not just his goal, it was what the people expected from his government and “we cannot afford to disappoint them.”

“Fortunately for us, we have a foundation from which to build from. The Blueprint for a new Lagos and the Development Plan (2012 to 2025) are still relevant as strategic reference materials for a systematic implementation of medium and long-term policies in line with the overall vision for our State.

“However, in this administration, our task must be to accelerate the trajectory of growth and development of Lagos State embarked upon by the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and built upon by successive administrations. Today, providence has entrusted us with the great responsibility of ensuring that the vision of the blueprint and the Development Plan comes to pass wholly and completely.

 

Below is the list of the commissioners, special advisers and their portfolios:

COMMISSIONERS

Commissioner for Finance -Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo

Commissioner for Education -Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo

Commissioner for Health -Prof. Akin Abayomi

Commissioner for Fiscal Planning and Urban Development -Dr. Idris Salako

Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment -Mr. Tunji Bello

Commissioner for Information and Strategy -Mr. Gbenga Omotoso

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA -Mrs. Bolaji Dada

Commissioner Energy and Natural Resources -Mr. Lere Odusote

Commissioner for Transportation -Dr. Frederic Oladeinde

Commissioner for Agriculture -Mr. Gbolahan Lawal

Commissioner for Housing -Moruf Akinderu Fatai

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice -Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN)

Commissioner for Science and Technology -Mr. Hakeem Fahm

Commissioner for Ministry Establishment, Training and Pension -Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle

Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure -Engr. Aramide Adeyoye

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development -Mr. Segun Dawodu

Commissioner for Home Affairs -Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf

Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs -Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke

Commissioner for Commerce and Industry -Mrs. Lola Akande

Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture -Mrs. Olufunke Adebolu

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget -Mr. Sam Egube

Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations -Dr. Wale Ahmed

SPECIAL ADVISERS

Special Adviser for Agriculture -Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya

Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement -Princess Aderemi Adebowale

Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Affairs -Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo

Special Adviser for Housing -Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka

Special Adviser for Drainage and Water Resources -Joe Igbokwe

Special Adviser for Innovation and Technology -Mr. Tubosun Alake

Special Adviser for Urban Development -Architect Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi

Special Adviser for Central Business Districts, CDB -Anofi Olanrewaju Elegushi

Special Adviser for Arts and Culture -Bonu Solomon Saanu

Special Adviser for Transportation -Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka

Special Adviser for Commerce and Industry -Oladele Ajayi

Special Adviser for Education -Mr. Tokunbo Wahab

Special Adviser for Sustainable Development Goals and Lagos Global -Mrs. Solape Hammond

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