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NNPC calls for adequate funding of petroleum sector

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NNPC GMD, Mallam Mele Kyari (right), exchanging pleasantries with the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, at the meeting of the Senate leadership with revenue generating agencies today at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has urged the Senate to ensure adequate funding of the oil and gas sector to guarantee sustainable revenue flow from the sector.

Group Managing Director of the NNPC Mallam Mele Kyari made the appeal today at a meeting of Nigeria’s revenue generating and monitoring agencies with the leadership of the Senate at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

Mallam Kyari stated that NNPC has introduced various projects aimed at integrating the oil and gas industry with the economy and called for more funding to achieve a sustainable growth in the industry.

He also solicited the support of the Senate to curb cross-border smuggling of petroleum products, especially petrol, which he said was posing a challenge to the efforts of the corporation to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products in the country.

He commended the Senate for its support which he said, enabled the corporation to offset its cash-call arrears.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr.  Ahmed Lawan, said the generation and collection of revenue was critical to the success of the government hence the need for inter-agency collaboration and cooperation.

He said the meeting was convened to enable the Senate to understand the challenges of the agencies in their various operations with a view to finding solutions to them.

He expressed the determination of the Senate to revert to the January – December budget circle, while assuring that the 2020 budget would be passed before the end of 2019 if the executive sent it on time.

Senator Lawan noted that there was need to ensure an efficient  and reliable revenue collection strategy for the government to grow the economy, adding that there would be regular interface between the Senate and the agencies to address their challenges.

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Sowore: Falana replies DSS, says DG has stopped taking his calls

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Femi Falana, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has said that though he has an official relationship with the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, the secret police boss has stopped answering his calls over Omoyele Sowore.
Falana said this while responding to the an earlier statement of Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS.

Afunanya had accused Falana of playing to the gallery rather than reaching Bichi.

In his response, Falana admitted that he he has an official relationship with the DSS DG but said Bichi has refused to speak with him since the agency refused to release Omoyele Sowore, his client who is the convener of the Revolution Now Movement, despite a court order granting him bail.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no condition is attached to the order of the federal high court for the release of both detainees. Therefore, the SSS is aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification,” Falana said.

“In view of the reckless insinuations of the SSS I am compelled to point out that my colleagues and I did not risk our lives for the purpose of  substituting military dictatorship for civilian autocracy. It is pertinent to point out that suspects who were presumed innocent under the defunct military junta were not exposed to the crude intimidation that has become the lot of Sowore and Bakare.

“Even when five of us were charged with treasonable felony in May 1992 we were released after we had met the bail conditions.  On that occasion, the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had  been verified by the trial court. I demand for nothing less for my clients  under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the Rule of Law.

“I confirm that I have an official relationship with the DG of SSS. But since the commencement of the case of Sowore and Bakare the DG has refused to pick my calls while I have since become a persona non grata in the office of the SSS. With respect to the baseless allegation that I am playing to the gallery by demanding for the release of my clients in line with the valid and subsisting order of a competent law court I shall take appropriate action under the law.

He asked the secret police to release Sowore and Olawale Bakare, also an activist, from “illegal custody and should stop exposing the country to unwarranted ridicule.”

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We can only release Sowore to his sureties, says DSS

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DSS DG, Bichi

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it is ready to release Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement.

Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3 and subsequently flown to Abuja where he has been detained.

A federal high court in Abuja had granted him bail but the activist is yet to regain freedom even after fulfilling his bail conditions.

This had prompted a nationwide outrage and protest at the headquarters of the agency. There were reports of assault on the protesters on Tuesday.

But in a statement sent to The Witness on Wednesday, Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS, said operatives of the agency, did not open fire on protesters but prevented those who wanted to forcefully break into the agency to release Sowore.

Read the full statement below:

The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to state that its operatives did not open fire on alleged protesters who had stormed its facility on 12th November, 2019.

As a normal global security practice, the operatives stood in defence of their facility when some group of persons made unruly attempts to forcefully break into the place and effect the release of Omoloye SOWORE.

Despite serial and unwarranted provocations, the Service, as a professional and responsible Organisation, did not shoot at the so called protesters. It could not have done so.

For emphasis, the Service reiterates its avowed readiness to release SOWORE once the processes are concluded. It maintains that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of SOWORE.

While all those that have so far shown up are not directly concerned with the matter and therefore unqualified, many others have either chosen to grandstand or politicise it to achieve hidden interests.

In the last few days, the Service has continued to witness deliberate campaigns of calumny, threats and aspersions against it. It will not, for any reason, join issues with its mudslingers. The media is called upon to be neutral and remain champions of the truth.

It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for SOWORE present themselves and have him released to them. It is even more disappointing that Femi FALANA, who is a senior lawyer, would wrongly guide his client and supporters. He is rather playing to the gallery and mobilizing miscreants to subvert the Service and other state authorities. He has excellent relationship with the DGSS. But in the circumstance, he has refused to reach out to him over the case like he had on previously related ones.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Service restates its commitment to the rule of law and particularly respect to the Court. It, therefore, calls for calm but states that it will not be intimidated or harassed into hasty actions.

It reassures the public that it will not waste a second to release SOWORE if the proper processes are followed. And FALANA, sure, knows what these are.

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services,
National Headquarters,
Abuja
13th November, 2019

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APC suspends Edo gov, deputy, SSG over alleged anti-party activities

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Leaders of the All Progressives Congress APC, in Edo State have suspended the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, his deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu and the Secretary to the state Government, Osarodion Ogie for alleged anti party activities.

A chieftain of the party, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale stated this while briefing journalists in Benin City on Wednesday.

Details later.

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