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Gov. Udom to Buhari: Intervene in A/Ibom Assembly crisis

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the Akwa Ibom Assembly crisis to ensure continuous peace in the state.

Emmanuel said this at a news conference held in the Government Lodge in Uyo on Tuesday after the pandemonium in the State House of Assembly.

He said that the state would continue to remain peaceful in spite the siege in Akwa Ibom House of Assembly.

“We are calling on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, please, we are citizens of this country and the President should take necessary action to forestall this because we have seen the sign.

“I want to believe my people will be protected by the constitution and by the law of this country.

” We stand for peace and we shall ever remain peaceful and law abiding citizens of this country,” Emmanuel said.

The governor also expressed displeasure over the deployment of police to the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly and called for the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police, CP Musa Kimo from the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kimo assumed duty in the state on Nov. 23.

The governor said that democracy in the state was being threatened and appealed for support to protect `the hard earned democracy.’

He said that the state government had received intelligence report on plans by the sacked lawmakers to take over the house of assembly alleging that the plans were being executed and supervised by the police.

He alleged that the same police that he used state resources to equip were fighting the state; adding that several petitions to President Buhari and the IGP about the activities of the Police and the sacked lawmakers had been ignored.

“The court ordered the speaker that those who had defected, their seats should be declared vacant, this is not the first time and it is in line with the rule of law.

“I want to call on the police force to ensure that the commissioner of police and the Quick Response Squad are withdrawn so that we can maintain peace,” Emmanuel said.

Recently, angry youth and supporters of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state had stormed the assembly complex to protest the sack of a lawmaker, Idongesit Ituen.

Ituen, who represented the Itu State Constituency, was sacked by a federal high court for defecting from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

In spite of the protest, the Speaker, Onofiok Luke, then declared vacant the seats of four more lawmakers who had also defected from PDP to APC.

The sacked lawmakers, (five), later held their sitting where they ‘removed’ the speaker, Luke, and ‘elected’ one of them, Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim State Constituency) as the “new speaker.”

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EFCC denies arresting Atiku’s sons

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied arresting the sons of Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

EFCC’s Acting Spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, made the denial in a statement in Abuja, on Monday.

According to Orilade, we have received several calls and e-mail messages asking us to confirm the arrest of the sons of Abubakar as being alleged in some quarters.

”Some only said we raided the apartments of Atiku’s sons looking for foreign currencies.

”This is nothing but another tales by moonlight.”

He said that the commission, as a responsible organisation, was abreast of the establishment mandate and shall not deviate from such mandate.

”We never went after Atiku’s sons, neither were Atiku’s sons among the two boys arrested.”

The spokesperson, however, said “it is in the news that we have been investigating the former Abia governor, Sen. Theodore Orji, over alleged N27 billion money-laundering.

”In the course of investigation, we discovered that he laundered part of the money through his sons.

”We have been on the trail of some of the purchases made by his sons, including the cars the boys allegedly bought.

”There is no link whatsoever to Atiku.” (NAN)

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Alleged 1.4bn fraud: I’m innocent – NBA President cries out

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President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Paul Usoro, says he is innocent of the N1.4 billion money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Usoro stated this while fielding questions from reporters on Sunday after the NBA National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja.

He said, “I haven’t been served. I expect I will be served but the facts as I know it, I am completely innocent and the facts as I know it, I presented it in the address that was adopted by NEC.”

“Assuming that there was something that was done; except the association itself makes a complaint to the EFCC or any of the other criminal investigating agencies, then they don’t have any basis having to come in into what we are doing,” Usoro added.

“We are an association of lawyers; we have a way of regulating ourselves.”

The NBA President, however, said he would appear in court.

He further called for a legislation that would prohibit media trial of persons in court.

According to him, the situation if not addressed will lead to maligning of character whether or not one is innocent or guilty of the offence he is charged with.

The EFCC had filed 10 counts of fraudulent conversion of N1.4bn against the NBA President before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

In the first count, the EFCC alleged that Mr Usoro and some persons conspired in 2015 to convert the sum of N1.4bn property of the Akwa Ibom State Government which they ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of crime.

The others accused by the anti-graft agency are Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State (who currently enjoys constitutional immunity against criminal prosecution), as well as the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Nkan; the Accountant-General, Mfon Udomah; the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Uwemedimo Nwoko; and Margaret Ukpe.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, who signed the charge sheet said the offences were contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

Five senior advocates – Gboyega Awomolo, Tayo Oyetibo, Theophilus Oyesanya, Onyechi Ikpeazu, and Damian Dodo, have been listed as witnesses along with some bank representatives to give evidence in the matter.

The commission said it would arraign Mr Usoro on Monday, December 10.

-ChannelsTV

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2019: I’m not neutral, vote out Buhari – Obasanjo declares

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that only a fool would sit on the fence when his country was being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism and brazen impunity.

Obasanjo warned that if Nigerians failed to become active and get much needed change of the current administration, what they would suffer would be much worse than their current situation.

He said this while reacting to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) titled, “Atiku: Obasanjo Shifts Political Gear to Neutral,” which suggested that he would not campaign for any particular candidate in 2019.

He had spoken at the 27th annual Owu National Convention held on Saturday in Iwo, Osun State.

But in a statement issued yesterday by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, the ex-president said it was disingenuous and malicious for anyone to suggest that he was being neutral.

He warned against manipulating his position on the 2019 presidential election to perpetrate or perpetuate Nigeria’s continued destruction.

Obasanjo stressed that nobody should fool himself or deceive others about his position that “what we have currently and as the affairs of Nigeria are being run is not the best for Nigeria.”

The former president urged Nigerians who are victims of the current situation in the land to stop complaining but go out to get beneficial change.

“They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive just complaining and complacent and they allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria,” he added.

Obasanjo, who had faulted the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, recently endorsed the ambition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for 2019.

He maintained in his statement titled, “2019 elections and reports of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s neutrality,” that he will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored.

The statement read, “While Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is in Cairo to attend the maiden edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), of which he is Chairman of the Advisory Council, his attention has been drawn to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) with the headline ‘Atiku: Obasanjo Shifts Political Gear to Neutral.’

“It is disingenuous, if not malicious, for anyone to suggest that Chief Obasanjo was being neutral when he chose not to use the Owu Convention as a platform for political campaign but instead adopt a communal and familial approach in talking to members of his Owu family.

“For the records, and as accurately reported by some media organisations, what the former President said at the Convention in Iwo was that while he would not impress any candidates on them, Nigerians should vote for credible candidates who will drive growth and development and make their lives better than it is now.

“Chief Obasanjo’s statement did not suggest his neutrality. In fact, the former President believes that only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious. Chief Obasanjo is no such fool nor is he so unwise.

“The former President reassures Nigerians that he will not sit on the fence when he needs to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Chief Obasanjo reaffirms that he is on the side of what is best for Nigeria and what we have currently and as the affairs of Nigeria are being run is not the best for Nigeria, so nobody should fool himself or deceive others about Chief Obasanjo’s position.

“The former President further urges Nigerians who are victims of what we have for now to stop just complaining and go out to get beneficial change. They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive just complaining and complacent and they allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria.

“If they do not become active and get much needed change of the current administration to a government that will improve the economy, regain the confidence of investors and generally drive growth, development and economic progress with security, what is coming will be much worse than what Nigerians currently suffer.

“On his part, Chief Obasanjo will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored. Nobody should manipulate Chief Obasanjo’s position, particularly on the 2019 Presidential election and what he said in Iwo to perpetrate or perpetuate continued destruction of our country.

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