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Assets declaration: Charges against me laughable, malicious – Ekweremadu

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Wednesday said his attention has been drawn to an attempt by the Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Ofem Obono-Obla, to smear his name in midst of the current political activities.
Ekweremadu described the suit filed against him by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on behalf of the SPIP over his refusal to declare his assets to the panel, contrary to the Constitution, as laughable and malicious.
He said: “Let me re-affirm to Nigerians and my supporters that I have no assets declaration case to answer. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requires public office holders to declare their assets every four years, a requirement which I fulfilled. The Panel requested and obtained copies of my Assets Declaration Form from the Code of Conduct Bureau where everything is stated in black and white.
“For emphasis, all my assets were fully and comprehensively declared to the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“What is at issue here is that the SPIP had forwarded fresh assets declaration forms to me to fill contrary to the position of the 1999 Constitution, a demand I refused to oblige because it is clearly unconstitutional. It is this refusal to disobey the Constitution that I am now being charged for.
“I am aware that the Chairman of that Panel wrote the same letter to some serving Honourable Judges of the Federal High Court, who also declined to fill them.
“I am also aware that the affected Judges petitioned the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mallam Abubakar Malami, who immediately withdrew the provocative letters and fresh asset declaration forms with apologies.
“I am further aware that the Office of the AGF had also intervened in a similar case involving the Obla Panel at the Federal High Court, Lagos and I believe all these culminated in Obono-Obla’s suspension in November 2017 before his recall.
“It is, therefore, left to Nigerians to see the politics of the so-called charges in my case. The Office of the AGF should not allow itself to be used in filing malevolent and unconstitutional charges that destroy our democracy and make mockery of our judicial system.
“I expect the Attorney-General to channel his energy to prosecuting Obono-Obla Panel over his established case of forgery of his Senior School Certificate result instead of this politically-motivated prosecution and smear campaign.
“My position is that the Public Property Special Provisions Act, CAP R4 LFN, 2004, otherwise known as Decree No 3, 1984, which Obono-Obla has relied on to charge public officials to court had become obsolete and power to investigated non-asset declaration vested in the Code of Conduct Bureau by the 1999 Constitution. Only the Code of Conduct Bureau can receive asset declaration forms from public officers.
“It is obvious that this is part of the desperate and panic measures to cripple the opposition ahead of the 2019 general elections. Every opposition candidate and leader should, therefore, be ready for such smear campaigns and onslaughts, but rest assured, however, that they would ultimately triumph where their hands are clean.
“I insist that my hands are clean. Anybody, who knows any undeclared assets of mine, should feel free to avail the public of such information.
“Nigerians and the international community should, therefore, disregard this latest campaign of calumny and witch-hunt.”
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OPAN disassociates self from online group called ‘OPMAN’

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The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) wishes to disassociate itself from the group known as Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, which cleverly adopts the acronym ‘OPMAN’.

This statement serves as a notice to individuals or organizations having dealings with this group, ‘OPMAN’ as our lawyers engage the Corporate Affairs Commission to address this development, OPAN said in a statement adding that it has no affiliation whatsoever with the group.

OPAN President, Austyn Ogannah, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the existence of a group which adopted a name similar to ours and goes by an acronym that is closely identical to ours.

“For the record OPAN has no affiliation with this group or its promoter(s).

“The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on 14th of November 2011, is the umbrella body for organisations and persons in the online/digital media space with a mandate to self regulate practitioners and promote responsible use of the new media in Nigeria.”

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NITDA sets up team to investigate, protect Nigerians from data breach

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), today inaugurated the NITDA Data Breach Investigation Team at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. The effort was aimed at safeguarding the rights, privacy and data of citizens in the country.

The Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE, while inaugurating the Team said thay, “ever since the Agency issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) on 25th January, 2019, there has been an unprecedented interest in the regulation as witnessed by the various engagements and inquiries about it”.

He further stated the objectives of the National Data Protection Regulations includes: Safeguarding the rights of citizens on data privacy; Fostering safe conduct in transactions involving the exchange of Personal Data; Enabling Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant & competitive to create jobs for eligible Nigerians.

Inuwa said that, “NITDA, as the IT sector regulator has a duty to ensure that the objectives of the regulations are being realised”. The highlight of the event was the inauguration of a 15-man committee that will investigate and checkmate any breach of the National Data Protection Regulations (NDPR).

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Reps ask CBN to suspend cashless policy

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The house of representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the controversial cashless policy it recently re-introduced.

At plenary session on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber said the policy leads to significant decrease in credit extension by Nigerian money deposit banks.

The also said it has negative impacts on small and medium enterprises “which are clearly the engine room for growth of the economy.”

In a circular released on Tuesday, the CBN had directed all deposit money banks in the country to charge 3% processing fees for withdrawals and 2% for deposits of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.

Corporate account holders will be charged 5% processing fees for withdrawals and 3% for deposits of amounts above N3 million.

The directive was, however, criticised by some Nigerians for various reasons.

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