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Sylva assumes duty as minister of state for petroleum …As NNPC, others welcome him

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The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has assumed duties with a pledge to reposition and chart a way forward for the Nigerian petroleum sector.

A press release Wednesday by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Chief Sylva pledged to work with the experts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the other departments and agencies under the Ministry to move the sector forward.

In a welcome ceremony for Chief Sylva at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who was accompanied by his wife, Alanyingi Sylva, stated that with the calibre of workforce in the Ministry, he was sure that the nation’s oil and gas sector would move to the next level.

Chief Sylva, who is a former Governor of Bayelsa State brings on the job several years of cognate experience in the petroleum sector.

The new Minister of State contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, reassured Chief Sylva of the readiness of all members of staff in the Ministry to support him to succeed in the onerous task of transforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the good of all stakeholders.

On hand to welcome the Minister at the brief ceremony were the Group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau; and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, amongst others.

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Imo guber: Supreme Court to review judgment March 2

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Nigeria’s Supreme Court has set a new date for the hearing of the application filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and sacked Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha.

The Supreme Court says the new date is now March 2, 2020.

Ihedioha and his party are asking the court to reverse the judgment which declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the 2019 governorship election.

Ihedioha was sacked by the apex court on 14 January and victory awarded to Uzodinma.

At the mention of the case on Tuesday, Ihedioha’s lead lawyer, Kanu Agabi sought for time to enable parties file the necessary papers, a request other lawyers in the case did not object to.

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, who led other six judges, in a brief ruling, granted the request for adjournment and adjourned till March 2, 2020.

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WAR IN THE VILLA: Buhari’s NSA Monguno, Chief of Staff Kyari fight dirty

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s NSA Monguno, Chief of Staff Kyari fight dirty over Nigeria security matters.

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A power tussle for the control of Nigeria’s security chiefs between the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno and President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari has shown why Nigeria’s security chiefs have been ineffective and yet sitting pretty in office.

Monguno in a letter dated 9 December, 2019 accused Abba Kyari of meddlesome in national security matters. Ordinarily, Kyari should have no role in the area, but it appears, he has been playing the surrogate for President Buhari by holding meetings with the security chiefs, without the involvement of the official that they should normally discuss with.

The letter was published by Premium Times on Monday.

There was no indication of how long this absurdity has been going on, but Monguno appears eager to end the anomaly, hence his warning memo to all service chiefs to desist from taking further directives from Kyari.

Buhari with Chief of staff Abba Kyari, who has been playing his role as commander-in-chief by giving instructions to service chiefs

Mr Monguno said Mr Kyari’s directives to service chiefs were sometimes issued without the knowledge, much less approval of the president, a practice he said has added to government’s failure to contain insecurity.

“Chief of staff to the president is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country,” Mr Monguno, a retired major-general, said in the letter.

“As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organisations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr President.

Maj. General Babagana Monguno: incensed that Kyari has usurped his duties

“Such acts and continues meddlesomeness by chief of staff have not only ruptured our security an defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.”

Mr Monguno’s letter comes as insecurity returns to centre stage as a major cause for worry among Nigerians.

The president has repeatedly promised to curb the crises, many of which he met in office, but has largely and embarrassingly failed like his predecessors.

The most importance significance of the letter is that President Buhari, as the commander-in-chief has ceded his job to Abba Kyari, despite photo-ops showing him holding meetings with service chiefs.

PDP, reacting in a statement by its National Publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said Monguno’s statement had validated its position that Buhari had abdicated the responsibilities of his office. The party called on Buhari to resign, since it appears the nation has been on autopilot.

“Following Monguno’s revelation , we reiterate earlier position that President Buhari should waste no further time in relinquishing his position as President since it is now obvious that he has become overwhelmed by official duties.

“The PDP holds that security is the most important element of governance, followed by the welfare of citizens and since President Buhari has relinquished these statutory responsibilities, he has no other reason to remain in office.

“The NSA’s letter further exposes the fact that our nation has been on autopilot under President Buhari, whose abdication of serious matters of state is directly responsible for the untold suffering, anguish, pain and escalated insecurity in the country.

“The PDP describes the Gen. Monguno revelation as a national tragedy which showcases the fact that Mr. President Buhari has become so irredeemably overwhelmed to the extent that the responsibilities of his office, including presiding over very sensitive security matters, have now been taken over by his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, who functions as a defacto President.

“Nigerians are invited to note the verdict by the NSA, who, in support of the position of the PDP, affirmed that such situation is responsible for the failure of government to defend Nigerians and find solution to the worsened insecurity under President Buhari’s watch.

“Our party recalls that even the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, had severally alerted that strange elements had usurped the functions of the president and urged Nigerians to speak out for their country.

“It is now clear that the demand by Nigerians calling on President Buhari to resign was borne out of patriotism and love for our country,” the party said.

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Magu to UK: Extradite Diezani to account for Nigeria’s $2.5bn

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Magu to UK: Extradite Diezani to account for Nigeria’s $2.5bn

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Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has appealed to the Government of United Kingdom (UK) to extradite the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke to account for alleged missing of $2.5 billion in her ministry during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Magu, at media briefing in Kaduna on Monday, ahead of the Tuesday passing out parade of EFCC trainees at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), said personnel of the Commission were trained to, “shoot and kill corruption in Nigeria, so we cannot be challenged by any threat.

Fielding questions from reporters, the EFCC boss said Diezani has stolen so much money that she needed to be extradited to the country to return the money back to the Federal Government.

According to him: “I was in London this year, we did investigation together with the UK team, and anywhere I go I always call for extradition of corrupt Nigerians to return back the money.

“This woman has stolen so much, not less than 2.5 billion dollars, but unfortunately she has generation of looters who are supporting her. This is not good.

“We are in touch with the international community, she is under protective custody, otherwise, we would have arrested her, return her to Nigeria”.

He however, said corruption is surmountable, pointing out that in 2019, a total of 1,218 convictions were secured by the Commission.

The EFCC boss also added that in January this year, 28 convictions were effected, involving billions of dollars and pound sterlings.

“We will not allow corruption to work here in Nigeria because it is destructive and disastrous. We blocked several accounts”.

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