Connect with us

THE NEWS

N/Delta activist, David Ekuetafia hits Akpabio over NDDC’s interim committee

Published

on

A Niger Delta social activist, David Ekuetafia (Esq.) has flayed the delegation of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Ekuetafia also stated that the setting up of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) goes against the Act establishing the interventionist agency.
According to a statement made available to newsmen Monday, the activist declared the IMC illegal, noting that the Niger Delta Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, lacked the capacity to inaugurate any committee to pilot the affairs of the NDDC.
Calling for the immediate sack of the IMC, he explained that the board members of the Commission have the same status as the minister, being that they are screened by the Senate and only the president, as stipulated in the NDDC Act 2000 in section 2 (1) (c), has the authority to appoint and inaugurate the Board.
Several controversies have trailed the NDDC, especially with the inauguration of the IMC by the minister. The Senate had concluded the screening of the presidential nominees to the NDDC last week, urging them to assume duties with immediate effect.
Emphasizing that the power to make appointment to fill any vacancy in the Board exclusively rests with the president, the lawyer said, “the NDDC Act 2000 does not make any provision for the President, to delegate his power to control, supervise or direct the affairs of the Commission, to any Minister, individual or group of individuals whatsoever.
“This position is clearly stated in section 7(3) of the law as follows: ‘the Commission shall be subject to the direction, control or supervision in the performance of its functions under this Act by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.
He further stressed that the ministry only has liaising role with the agency to avoid duplication of projects, positing that like the North East Development Commission (NEDC), is under no ministry, the NDDC should not be an exception.
“However, let it be clearly stated here that by the Act of  the  National Assembly which established the Niger Delta  Development Commission, it makes no provisions for an interim management committee to be appointed and inaugurated by a Minister. This is because each member of the board is of equal status with a Minister having also passed through the Senate screening and confirmation.
“Therefore, let it be known and equally asserted here that by the enabling Act, no person is lawfully permitted to assume the role or perform the functions of the offices of the Managing Director, Executive Directors and other members of the Board of the NDDC without fulfilling the statutory requirements of screening and confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
On the forensic audit, Ekuetafia pointed out that Senator Akpabio was “part of the alleged failure of the previous boards of the Commission sort to be investigated,” having been the state governor of Akwa Ibom and then, a Senator under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform.
He posited that it will be unconstitutional for him to oversee, by virtue of his heading the NDDC, the forensic audit.
“Moreover, the law forbids the Hon Minister of being a judge in his own cause as the planned forensic audit by the Federal Government, when put in place, its terms of reference would cover the periods of 2007 to 2015 when Chief Akpabio was a member of the Niger Delta Development Advisory Committee created by section 11(1)(a) of NDDC Act 2000.
“It is therefore legally and morally wrong for the Honourable Minister to constitute and inaugurate a committee to oversee the investigation of the past boards (2001 to 2019) of the Commission of which he played prominent roles as a sitting governor and a leader of the people’s Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State. It was the PDP led Federal Government that constituted these Boards up to 2016.
“It is therefore the expectation of every well meaning Nigerian for the President, as a matter of urgency, to call, the Hon Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Senator Godswill Akpabio, to order.
“Mr President should specifically direct him to stop arrogating to himself or  usurping the statutory powers exclusive to the President under the NDDC Act 2000 by openly sacking the illegal interim management committee headed by Dr Joy or Joi Nunieh.
“We  call on Mr. President to formally  inaugurate the Dr Pius Odudu led Board which the Senate has successfully screened and confirmed, to enable them assume the duties of their offices without further delay,” parts of the statement read.
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE NEWS

Buhari appoints new FIRS chairman

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Muhammad Nami to replace Babatunde Fowler as chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Fowler, whose tenure ended on Monday, was confirmed for a four-year tenure by the senate on December 9, 2015.

He is expected to hand over to the most senior director on the board until the senate confirms Nami as FIRS chairman and the new board.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Nami is a tax, accounting and management professional with three decades of practical working experience in auditing, tax management and advisory and management services.

“He is an expert in rendering advisory support services to investors in respect of new business start-ups and management of existing businesses. He has also continuously rendered outsourced services to clients in trading, service and manufacturing sectors of the nation’s economy,” the statement read.

Muhammad Nami attended Bayero University Kano and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology (1991) and a masters of business degree (2004) respectively.

He is a fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Institute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria and Associate Member of Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria.

He started his career with PFK in 1993 and rose to the position of a senior consultant in charge of tax management and advisory services.

He is currently the managing consultant of Manam Professional Services (chartered tax practitioners and business advisers) based in Kaduna, Abuja, Niger state.

Muhammad was appointed as a member of the presidential committee on audit of recovered stolen assets in November 2017.

The FIRS board is composed of a member representing each of the six geographical zones and statutory representatives from a select number of ministries and government agencies.

Continue Reading

THE NEWS

Heads of Akiogun ruling house, community leaders, others pick Aremo Adesegun Oniru as next Oniru of Iruland

Published

on

There appears to have been a breakthrough in the search for the next Oniru of Iruland in Lagos State as the heads of Akiogun Ruling House, community leaders, elders and youths of Iruland have picked a former commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development in the state, Prince Aremo Adesegun Abiodun Oniru as the next Oniru of Iruland.
Heads of Akiogun Ruling House, community leaders (baales) of some settlements in Iruland including Baale of Ilabare, Chief Ahmed Basorun, Baales of Oko Kuku, Ipewun, Osolu, Alakoto, Mosafejo, Falomo, Abule Ode amongst others unanimously agreed that Prince Adesegun Oniru should be installed as the next Oniru of Iruland.
Others including women, youths and several residents of the area, who were present at the venue of the declaration lent their voices to the choice of Prince Adesegun Oniru, son of the late Oniru of Iruland, Oba Abiodun Oniru, who died in September, 2019, as the next Oba of Iruland.
This declaration was however, preceded by a traditional rite, where kolanuts were thrown on the floor for a sign of approval or rejection.
The traditional rite was declared positive in favour of Prince Adesegun Oniru as the kolanuts turned to the positive side, an indication that his tenure as Oba would be peaceful and favourable to the town.
Prince Adesegun Oniru, an engineer, and administrator was born on March 11, 1965.
He attended Kafy Cross School, Lagos, St. Berriaden Private School, Ibara, Abeokuta, Hall School, Sussex, England, and Stafford House Tutorial College, England.
Adesegun Oniru also attended Waltham Forest College, U.K in 1989 and University of Westminster, U.K in 1991.
Prince Oniru was the Managing Director of Lagos State Waterfront and Tourism Development Corporation between 2003 and 2005, and Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure to Lagos State Governor in 2005.
He served as the Commissioner for Housing in Lagos State and later Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development in the state between 2007 and 2011.
It will be recalled that there had been wars amongst the various ruling houses in Iruland shortly after the demise of Oba Abiodun Oniru.
Just last week, a ruling house in the area, Abisogun Family described a report in a section of the media that the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to ex-governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Mr. Hakeem Ajasa has been picked as the next Oniru of Iruland in Lagos State as fake news.
According to the family, the selection of Ajasa, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) as the next Oniru of Iruland, is kangaroo and it was not known to the entire family.
The family said in a public notice titled; “Fake News By A Section of Abisogun Ruling House” that the “public and all interested parties are put on notice of the kangaroo selection of a person unknown to the entire Oniru Family to rule over their land and fill the currently vacant Oniru Chieftaincy stool.”
The family, who described themselves as Cheated Members of Abisogun Ruling House, alleged in the notice that was released to the media on Friday that being a policeman, they had information from reliable sources that Akeem Ajasa had harassed, intimidated and threatened other members of his ruling house.
The family insisted that from time immemorial, no member of any royal family could impose himself on the community.
Continue Reading

THE NEWS

Why Sowore was re-arrested – DSS

Published

on

The Department of State Services (DSS) has explained why it re-arrested Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement.

The secret police in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya and made available to The Witness on Saturday said Sowore was re-arrested because he “resorted to acts inimical to security”.

The statement further disclosed that its officers did not arrest the activist in court, claiming that the journalist’s supporters were only acting an “orchestrated drama”. The security agency said there were none of its officers involved in the incidents recorded in the courtroom.

 

Read the full statement below:

It has become important that the Department of State Services responds to the serial misinformation being circulated in the media about its involvement in the incident that occurred on 6th December, 2019 at the Federal High Court, Abuja. It is instructive to note that during the court proceeding of the day under reference, Defence Counsel, Femi FALANA (SAN), called the attention of the Judge to a suspicion that the Service was planning to re-arrest Omoyele SOWORE immediately after the court session. The Court discountenanced his alarm and asserted that the Service was law abiding and would not engage in such and subsequently adjourned to February, 2020.

However, when SOWORE stepped out of the court and sighted operatives of the Service within the premises, he ran back into the courtroom. In a bid to shield him from an imaginary arrest, his uncontrollable supporters mobbed him while chanting “you can’t arrest him” thus the pandemonium that ensued.

A critical look at the videos in circulation would convince any objective viewer that there was no DSS personnel during the entire period the Sowore crowd acted out its orchestrated drama. Its personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident. In actual fact, it was his people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for – simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute.

Eye witness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises. The eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. His lead counsel has affirmed this.

The DSS, as a professional, responsible and law abiding Organization, could not have invaded a courtroom including the one presided over by a respected Judge who is not only handling its case but whose Order was unconditionally obeyed within a 24 hour ultimatum. The Service holds the judiciary in utmost respect and will continue to work with it for national peace and public safety in Nigeria.

It has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts. In this regard, public attention may be drawn to the 25th July 2019 statement of SOWORE that “I’m not talking of protest. I’m embarking on revolution… Don’t tell me about legal implications or what a Judge will say. I don’t care …” On 5th December when SOWORE was released, he had, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja addressed a group of persons who, he reassured of his cause to create anarchy in the country.

It may be recalled that the Service had on 3rd December, 2019 raised alarm about a plot to destabilize the country. It is quite remarkable that the plot has already started playing out. To ensure this objective is further achieved, some persons and groups are scurrying to seize the opportunity of the misleading court incident and the wrong narrative against the DSS to organize an insurrection in the country. They have continued to falsely curry and mobilize international sentiments and attention, through clear misrepresentation of the facts, for their selfish ends.

For emphasis, it should be noted that SOWORE is facing trial not as an activist, journalist or a politician, but for his resort to call for violence, forceful takeover of government and suspected transnational illegal activities. It is most unfortunate that SOWORE, shortly after being released from custody, based on court order, resorted to acts inimical to security. To this effect, only SOWORE has been re-arrested as his co-defendant, Olawale BAKARE, was not picked up even when FALANA had promised to deliver him to the Service that is not presently interested in him.

Though sections of the populace have been fed with spurious narratives about these developments, Nigerians and the International Community should not be gullible or even vulnerable to the machinations of groups desirous of misleading them.

The Service is committed to the discharge of its mandate of detecting and preventing threats against the internal security of Nigeria. It supports democracy in the country and will do all that is legal to protect it. It will also ensure that efforts of anti-democratic forces are frustrated.

 

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services,
National Headquarters,
Abuja
7th December, 2019

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending