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If the Yemi Osinbajo-led panel probing the allegations of financial impropriety against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal, indicts him, either the former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, or former Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, may clinch the top-ranking cabinet post,it has learnt.

Both men are said to be on a shortlist that is currently before President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Osinbajo panel kicks off the investigation into the management of funds meant for humanitarian assistance in the North-east.

Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke, were sent home by Buhari last week over their respective involvement in the alleged mismanagement of the funds allocated to the Presidential Initiative on the North-east (PINE) and the discovery of N13.3 billion in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, penultimate week.

The president also set up a panel headed by Vice-President Osinbajo, with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), as members to probe the suspended officials.

However, before the panel concludes its findings and submits its reports, it was  learnt from sources in the presidency that a shortlist was already being considered for Lawal’s replacement in the event of his indictment.

Lawal, who oversaw the management of PINE in his capacity as SGF, was alleged to have awarded a N220 million tree-cutting contract to his company, Rholavision Engineering Limited, in contravention of public sector rules barring government officials from awarding contracts to companies in which they have an interest.

Given the damning evidence against him, the thinking is that Lawal may not survive the probe, hence the decision to send a shortlist of possible replacements for the post of SGF.

Speaking on the development, a reliable presidency source said: “The general belief is that Babachir Lawal may not survive the findings of the probe panel, so a shortlist has been drawn up.

“Two names featured prominently on the list. They are Adams Oshiomhole and Olorunnimbe Mamora.”

The source recalled that Buhari had on the expiration of the tenure of Oshiomhole in November last year, told the former labour leader that he deserved a federal appointment, having in his estimation done well as a two-term governor of Edo State.

Although no one knew what the president actually had in mind when he made the remark, it was later believed that Oshiomhole might have been pencilled down as a possible replacement for the incumbent National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), since the office had been zoned to the South-south, the source volunteered.

But with the suspension of Lawal and inability of the APC to hold its national convention due to financial constraints, the presidency source said Oshiomhole has been listed as one of the candidates being considered as SGF.

About two weeks before Lawal’s suspension, Oshiomhole was sighted in the Presidential Villa where he had visited Buhari and held a closed-door meeting with him.

Although the purpose of the meeting was not made public, sources believed that it might not be unconnected with the consideration of the former governor for an appointment.

On the other hand, it was  also learnt that some officials in both the cabinet and presidency are pushing for Mamora for the job.

Mamora was recently dropped as a non-career ambassadorial nominee.

Those pushing for Mamora, it was learnt, were said to have held the position that the former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and two-term senator, was the most marginalised among those who worked assiduously for Buhari’s victory at the 2015 polls.

A reliable source said that the wife of the president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, is one of those who have been unhappy that Mamora, who was the Deputy Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation during the electioneering, has been left out in the cold since Buhari assumed office almost two years ago.

The presidency source said when Mrs. Buhari came out openly last year to express displeasure that some individuals who worked diligently for her husband’s election victory had been abandoned while those who were not part of the campaign had been rewarded with appointments, Mamora was actually top on the list of those she was referring to.

It was also learnt that some government officials favourably disposed to Mamora had met with Buhari before he travelled for his medical vacation on January 19 and strongly made a case for the former senator.

It was also learnt that the meeting with the president had led to his decision to remove Mamora’s name from the list of non-career ambassadorial nominees, because the thinking was that the former lawmaker deserved a better appointment.

Their argument, it was learnt, was that having waited for over one and a half years then, sending him out of his base would not be helpful for his political future.

It was also informed that those making the case for Mamora were of the view that if he had waited for almost two years while his counterparts who jointly worked with him for Buhari’s victory, he deserved nothing less that the SGF’s office.

The argument of those pushing for Mamora is predicated on the maxim that the patient dog eats the fattest bone.

Other than Oshiomhole and Mamora, it also learnt at the weekend that the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Dr. Habitat Lawal, who is presently the acting SGF, appears to be scheming to ensure that she is made the substantive SGF despite being a career civil servant.

But those privy to her ambition have said her chances of clinching the job are very slim because she is a civil servant and the post of SGF over time has been made a political appointment.

Source :Thisday
Presidency Sunday night said that speculations about the resignation of the Chief of Staff, CoS to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari and the Director-General of Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura were distractions.

Reacting to the development which became rife Sunday night, the Senior Special Assistant to the president in Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu said that the report was not true, describing it as “pure mischief”.

He explained that Kyari only went to China on errand for the President while Daura was at his duty post. “That report is pure mischief. What I can tell you is that the President sent the Chief of Staff Malam Abba Kyari to China on an assignment.

He left on Saturday and we are expecting him by the middle of the week. “The DG DSS who spoke with me a few hours ago is busy on his job. Nothing to indicate resignation. I think these are mere distractions”, Shehu said

 No fewer than three policemen and four residents of the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun State lost their lives during encounters with some gunmen suspected to be militants.
It was learnt that the three policemen, attached to the Lagos State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, lost their lives last Thursday after the gunmen abducted a Chinese expatriate.

The operatives had engaged the gunmen in a shootout when the three policemen were killed.

Another resident was also hit by a stray bullet and died on the spot.

It was gathered that the assailants on Friday attacked the home of a businessman, identified as Chief Rafiu Daramola, where they reportedly carted away N4.7m.

They were said to have shot dead three residents while escaping from the scene.

A community leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the three policemen and one resident were killed in Odi Omi, a boundary community between Lagos and Ogun states.

He said, “Last week Thursday, the militants kidnapped a Chinese expatriate. As they were leaving with their victim, the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad engaged them in a gun battle. The gunmen, however, shot dead three policemen and an indigene. The corpses were later removed and deposited in a morgue by the police.”

Around 8pm on Friday, the militants attacked the home of the businessman in the Iwopin community.

A family member of the victim said the suspects entered the house through the bathroom and ceiling.

He said, “Our father had gone to turn on the generator when the men entered the house. Some of them entered through the bathroom and others came in through the ceiling.

“They gathered all his wives and children together and asked for our phones, which we surrendered to them. They asked for our father and searched everywhere for him.

“When they could not find him, they asked for where the safe was. They broke into the room where he kept the safe and damaged it. They took N4.7m and left.”

It was that the money were proceeds of sales from the bakery and filling station owned by the businessman.

It was gathered that there was no bank in the community due to the activities of the gunmen, who usually move around in  groups in the day time.

It was learnt that as the men were driving back, their operational vehicle broke down and efforts to make it work were abortive.

A resident said the gunmen abandoned the bus and trekked back into the community.

He said, “The community is usually deserted from 8pm when most residents will be on bed. As a result, there was no vehicle for them to hijack as a getaway.

“They trekked back and started shooting continuously from around 1am till the early hours of Saturday. The three victims heard the gunshots and came out to know what was happening. But they fell into the hands of the gunmen who shot them dead.”

The victims were identified as a 25-year-old motorcycle rider, Yusuf Ogunse; a 68-year-old retired local government worker, Omotayo Onokoya; and a farmer from Edo State, one Ajapa.

A resident said when the police were alerted to the incident, they refused to respond, saying it was still dark.

“The militants, in a bid to guarantee their own safety, continued to shoot till 7am. They called their colleagues on the telephone and asked them to bring a speedboat, through which they eventually escaped,” he added.

A source said when community youths approached the abandoned vehicle, it was discovered that the number plate had been removed.

However, some documents were said to have been found, through which the owner was identified.

“We called the people at the motor park where the driver worked and they said he went for a business trip. When he finally returned, they apprehended him and handed him over to the police. The suspect, an Ijaw youth, was the insider who gave them the information,” he said.

The Ogun State police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the killing of the three residents, adding that the slain policemen were not from the state command.

He said, “They invaded the businessman’s house, but our policemen were able to repel them. At the end of the encounter, we arrested one of the suspects, while their operational vehicle was recovered.

“The suspect is helping with investigation. The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Iliyasu, has deployed some special units of the police, including men from the Federal SARS, Mobile Police Force, Anti-Kidnapping Unit, and other conventional policemen, in the scene to ensure security of lives and property.”


A road crash in the Anambra, which occurred on Awor Road, Oraifite village, in the Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state, has killed a man identified as Chinedu Nwannem, his two children and two sisters-in-law were killed by a speeding convoy.

A Facebook user, Francisca Odina, who shared the news of the family’s death on her wall, said the convoy fled the scene after the incident, which happened around 9pm on Thursday.

She wrote, “They were knocked down by a convoy on high speed. The owner of the convoy is yet to be identified. Five people died on the spot–the man (Nwannem), his two sisters-in-law and two children.

“Why would people drive at such a speed in a village? Why didn’t those people stop to help them when they knocked them down? May their souls rest in peace.”

A relative of the deceased, Chinonso Julius, also lamented the incident on Facebook, describing Nwannem as a peacemaker, a devout Christian, and a kind-hearted person.

“Chinedu Nwannem, rest in peace…. God knows the truth; we love you… Our hero, a peacemaker in my family; a man that can give all he has for the growth of his brothers and sisters; a man who trained and fed the family when we were nobody in the eye of people; a man, who made our family not to know the cost of rice, beans, wheat and groundnut oil since I was small still now.

“(You were) a man who led us to Christ with our mummy; a man of peace. Sleep well my hero; our founder; our joy; our happiness; our star.”

The Sector Commander, Anambra Federal Road Safety Corps, Ajayi Sunday, confirmed the incident, adding that the crash happened around 8.45pm.

The youths of Ede in Osun State on Sunday took to the streets to protest the sudden death of former governor of the state, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke alleging poisoning.

The protesters went to Owode Market, which is about ten kilometers from Ede, home town of the late politicians to attack traders and those who had come to buy goods from the market.

People were reportedly assaulted for patronising the market when Adeleke had been announced dead.

Many were said to have run inside the bush and churches around the market to escape beating from the hoodlums.

Travellers along Osogbo-Gbongan high way via Akoda/Sekona were held up in a heavy traffic caused by the irate youths claiming that the maevric politician was poisoned at a social function he attended in Kuta-Ogbo in Ayedire Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

Some motorists were forced to stick leaf on their vehicles in solidarity and to escape assault from the irate youths.

At Adeleke’s Ede country home, family members, family friends and political associates were in tears mourning his loss.

At exactly 1.00 p.m. his remains arrived his Ede home in a wine Sienna bus but it was learnt that his younger brother, Deji, who was not around gave an instruction that his corpse should be returned to the hospital for an autopsy before burial.

Based on the instruction, his body was taken back to Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

The first civilian governor of Osun State died in the early hours of yesterday at the age of 62.