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Operators seek govt’s intervention in SEC, Oando face-off

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Operators in the Nigerian capital market have called for urgent intervention of the Federal Government in the face-off between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Oando Plc.

They reacted in Lagos to the outcome of a forensic audit on Oando released by SEC on May 31, as well as a court injunction restraining SEC from sacking Oando’s Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Adewale Tinubu, and his deputy, Omomofe Boyo.

The operators applauded the courage of SEC’s Acting Director-General, Ms. Mary Uduk, in releasing the outcome of the forensic audit.

Following the outcome of the forensic audit, SEC on June 2, constituted an interim management team under the leadership of Mutiu Sunmonu for Oando Plc.

It said in a statement that Sunmonu would oversee the affairs the company and conduct an Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) on or before July 1, to appoint new board of directors.

The commission said that the new board of directors would subsequently select a management team for Oando Plc.

However, a Federal High Court in Lagos on June 3, granted an interim injunction restraining SEC from executing the interim management in Oando.

The injunction followed an application filed by Tinubu and Boyo, who applied for the enforcement of their fundamental rights.

The court also restrained SEC from imposing a fine of N91.13 million on Tinubu, and barring him and Boyo from being directors of public companies for five years.

Ambrose Omorodion, the Chief Operating Officer, Invest Data Ltd., said that the Federal Government would need to intervene in the matter to safeguard investors’ confidence.

Omorodion said that the unfolding events between Oando and SEC could dampen investors’ confidence and tamper with Nigeria’s integrity.

He said that the international investment community was watching to see the manner the Oando issue would be handled.

He said: “The way SEC and government will handle this issue will go a long way to determine the success of the nation’s drive for financial inclusion and attraction of new retail investors and foreign investors returning to the market.”

Omorodion also urged the government to strengthen the commission by ensuring appointment of its board members soon.

He expressed disappointment that SEC had been operating without board for about four years and had been with an acting director-general for over a year.

Moses Igbrude, Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), alleged that shareholders had suffered enough loss in Oando with no dividend and poor market pricing.

Igbrude said that court injunction could lead to long legal battles which could further affect the company’s shares price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

He urged the exchange to place the share price on technical suspension to protect investors from further loss.

The shareholder activist said that SEC should not allow its authority to be undermined if the outcome of the forensic audit was true.

He said: “I will appeal to whoever that is affected to obey the directives from SEC for the sake of our investments. Oando as a company has suffered enough of reputational risk, adding that shareholders, for a long time, have not been paid dividend.”

Boniface Okezie, National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), said: “The grass suffers when two elephants fight.”

Okezie said that SEC and Oando must maintain the peace in the interest of all stakeholders, especially retail investors.

The PSAN boss, who commended the commission for protecting investors, said that SEC should also beam searchlight on other oil companies quoted on the exchange.

The National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Shehu Mikail, said that the SEC/Oando dispute needed a holistic approach to restore confidence.

“Oando saga is a big issue in the Nigerian capital market that needs a holistic approach if really we are going to adhere to the truth of corporate governance,” Mikali said.

He said that the action of SEC was in the right direction and aimed at protecting the interest of Oando shareholders.

“Foreign investors are watching the drama and local shareholders and stakeholders are also awaiting.

“The outcome of the saga would determine the direction of the capital market,” Mikali added.

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Nigerian Air Force kills ISWAP leaders in Borno State

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Nigerian Air Force kills ISWAP leaders in Borno State

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday said it killed some key leaders of the Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP at Jubillaram and Alinwa in the northern part of Borno State.

This came as troops of the Operation Hadarin Daji in Zamfara State killed 13 bandits and arrested eight others in Zamfara State.

NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said yesterday in Abuja that the Air Force Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole, under the auspices of Operation Rattle Snake III, struck the ISWAP leaders as they assembled for meetings, after intelligence reports.

The statement however, did not give the number of those killed, their names or ranks in the group, but it added: “The mission was executed on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating that some key ISWAP leaders had assembled for meetings, which were being held simultaneously at two separate venues, at Jubillaram and Alinwa in Marte Local Government Area.

“Accordingly, the ATF scrambled its attack aircraft to engage both locations, damaging the meeting venues and neutralising the terrorists,’’ Daramola said. He said they were neutralised in operations conducted on Thursday.

Daramola said NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, would sustain its air campaign to shape the battlespace in the North East for the effective conduct of further ground and air operations.

According to him, Operation Rattle Snake III which commenced on February 4, was aimed at targeting selected locations within the North East in order to shape the battlespace for more effective onslaught against the insurgents.

The multinational joint task force (MNJTF) also recently announced that it killed a high ranking ISWAP commander named Khalifa Umar.

A statement from the Task Force said the influential commander of the terror group was “eliminated” during an airborne attack on one of the insurgents’ hideout on a Lake Chad community known as Tunbums Sabo.

The statement signed by Timothy Antigha, the spokesman of the MNJTF, indicated that Khalifa Umar was killed during an “ongoing offensive operations against ISWAP and other purveyors of violence and instability in the Lake Chad Basin.”

Although ISWAP’s main area of operations is further east in the Lake Chad area, the group has attacked a number of military locations in the Maiduguri-Biu-Damuturu triangle in recent months. In late July, ISIS claimed ISWAP fighters killed 25 Nigerian troops in Benisheikh and earlier that month claimed ISWAP fighters fought off a Nigerian military assault in the Damboa area.

In a related development, troops of the Operation Hadarin Daji in Zamfara State killed 13 bandits and arrested eight others in Zamfara State, the Acting Force Information Officer, Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan said in a statement yesterday.

He said between February 10 and 20 2020, troops conducted clearance operations, ambushes and fighting patrols in several locations across the theatre including: Tungar Mata, Tuduki, Kawaye and Mararaban Kawaye villages in Anka Local Government Area, Moriki town in Shinkafi Local Government Area, Belhi, Ruwar Kura, Kyaram, Gallai and Shirkai villages of Bukkuyum Local Government area.

Other communities are Tsauwa, Dankar and Yan Gayya villages of Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State and Gallai, Shirkai and ‘Yarkuka villages in Kebbi state.

The operations resulted in the interception of a large ammunitions, neutralization of 13 bandits with several others fatally wounded, arrest of 8 suspected bandits ( including a female) and the recovery of several items.

Captain Oni-Orisan said OPHD troops also intercepted suspected drug counterfeiters and drug dealers with 350 cartons of fake “PECOL” drugs and a sizeable consignment of suspected Indian hemp in Zurmi and Shinkafi Local Government Areas of Zamfara State.

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NYSC solicits NITDA’s support, seeks more ICT centres for its state secretariats

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NITDA DG, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi and NIYSC DG, Shu’aibu Ibrahim. PHOTO: NITDA

By Lukman Oladokun

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has approached the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA to help in replicating the Information and Communication Technology Centre it established at the Federal Capital Territory Secretariat in other state secretariats in order to further strengthen the ICT platform of the Corps.

The NYSC Director-General, Shu’aibu Ibrahim, who was at the NITDA Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, pleaded with NITDA to avail more state secretariats with the opportunity given to the FCT secretariat.

Mr Ibrahim, a brigadier general, recalled that NITDA and NYSC have a long-standing relationship that dated back to when the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was the Director-General of the agency.

He stated that he wants to strengthen the collaborations that exist between the two government agencies.

Mr Ibrahim noted that strengthening the partnership would assist the Corps to overcome some of the challenges it is facing, especially on checkmating the spread of fake news on social media.

Citing an example with the story of a JSS2 student alleged to have impregnated a Corp member, the NYSC DG described the abuse of social media as worrisome and appealed to NITDA to stem the tide.

“Something has to be done to checkmate the menace of social media to save us from various embarrassments. Things that have happened in the past are now being put forth on social media to look like recent events. People are using the platforms to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

“You can imagine people creating accounts to defraud Corps member that they can help them to be redeployed.”

He called for the arrest of such people to serve as a deterrent to others so as to reduce the menace.

While responding to the NYSC’s request, the NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Abdullahi, assured that NITDA would look into the requests and start the intervention this year.

He said NITDA has done a lot in building the capacity of Corps members serving in the agency but “we can expand it to cover the FCT as a pilot project”.

Mr Abdullahi stated that it is pertinent for the agencies of government to partner together in helping to build the skills of the Corps members because “what most Corps members have is the knowledge and we need to help them in transforming the knowledge to skills so it can be beneficial to them and make them self reliance.”

He added that “NYSC is a gateway organisation that can be used to harness the potential of the youths in the country which will aid the nation in his drive to transform the economy to digital economy.

Mr Abdullahi noted that the agency has built ICT hubs and Digital Job Capacity Centre across the country which he said can be used in transforming knowledge to skills.

He called on the youths not only to use their devices for social media alone as it is distracting and time wastage but to learn skills online and make money.

“Social media abuse is a burning issues that disturbs everyone; we have to work with other government agencies to collaborate on solving the issue. There is need to regulate it and people should be held responsible for whatever content they posted.”

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Magu never said corruption caused Coronavirus, says EFCC

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Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has denied that its chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said coronavirus is caused by corruption.

The EFCC on Tuesday described as “false and misleading”, reports that Magu tied the cause of coronavirus to corruption while delivering his speech at the passing out parade of 281 cadets of the EFCC Detective Inspector Course-5 in Kaduna on Tuesday,

“This information is false and misleading,” the agency said via its Twitter, adding that its chairman only said, “Tackling corruption is a clarion call, given that corruption is a huge burden to the nation. It is worse than Cancer, Ebola Virus, Coronavirus and all other deadly diseases put together.”

But contrary to EFCC’s claim, Magu during the event attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, said: “Corruption is the biggest strategy to humankind. Your excellency, corruption is worse than all the diseases now running about.

“And I strongly believe, Your Excellency, that even the coronavirus is caused by corruption,” he said.

The video below captured the moment Magu made the statement during the passing out parade that was aired on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

“I strongly believe coronavirus is caused by corruption” – Magu, EFCC acting chairman.

Please where do we get these kind of people from? And how do they end up leading us?

Most importantly, how can we throw these set of people away pls? 🤦🤦 pic.twitter.com/HXnLQo4bdm
— Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz) February 18, 2020

Since its recent outbreak in Wuhan, China, coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed over 1,800 people across different countries and infected more than 70,000.

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