They are: 1. Dr Chris Ngige (Anambra)
2. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti)
3. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers)
4. Babatunde Fashola (Lagos)
5. Abdurrahman Dambazau (rtd) (Kano)
6. Aisha AlHassan (Taraba)
7. Ogbonaya Onu (Ebonyi)
8. Kemi Adeosun (Ogun)
9. Abubakar Malami SAN (Kebbi)
10. Senator Sirika Hadi (Katsina)
11. Barrister Adebayo Shittu (Oyo)
12. Sulaiman Adamu (Jigawa)
13. Solomon Dalong (Plateau)
14. Ibe Kachikwu (Delta)
15. Osagie Ehanire (Edo
17. Udoma Udo-Udoma (Akwa Ibom)
18. Ahmed Isa Ibeto (Niger)
19. Ibrahim Jibril
20. Audu Ogbeh (Benue)
21. Amina Mohammed (Kaduna)
Screening to Commence next Tuesday 13th of October
• EFCC, defence beg judge to continue Oronsaye’s trial
• Mbu resumes, says ‘my posting not punitive’
• Ondo bailout loan intact, says Mimiko
• ECOWAS court seeks power to handle criminal cases
• Name educationist as minister, NUT tells Buhari
• Ogun teachers beg Amosun to recall sacked colleague
• Edo councillors lock out chairman over bailout loan
• Bayelsa women warn against electoral violence
• Alison-Madueke’s UK Interrogation Continues, Husband Flies in Legal Team
• Rapprochement: Saraki Pays Surprise Visit to Akume
• Naira Appropriately Priced, Emefiele Insists
• Shell Begins Crude Oil Production from Bonga Phase 3 Project
• Nigerian Football Fans Set up Alternative Premier League on Twitter
• Buhari: 2016 Budget will Contain Policies to Diversify from Oil
• Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Abuja Blasts
• Tribunal overrules Wike on admissibility of election documents
• Domestic, workplace challenges, bane of nursing care – Olushola, Chairman NANNM
• DPO threatens as Police nab 4 masked cultists in Asaba
• Road sweepers hold Cross River SSG hostage
• Why UK govt seized £27,000 from Diezani
• Buhari plans diversification of Nigeria’s economy in 2016 budget
• Investors waiting for Buhari’s economic policy—British expert
• CBN considers review of restrictions on forex market
• Customs impound NFF’s consignment
• NIGERIA’S UNITY: Ezekwesili, Adefarasin, Ghebreab chart way forward
• ‘2019 Election: Best time for Ndigbo to produce Nigeria’s President’
• Coronation of Olu of Warri: Itsekiri professionals, planners to meet Oct 10
• World Teachers’ Day: Teachers present catalogue of demands to govts
• Children, adults can be cured of cancer for life — CLWCF
• African experts compile evidence for WHO fertility guidelines
• Fresh hope for Nigerian cancer patients
PDP Press Statement
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) notes with deep sadness and concern, the resurgence of terrorism and renewed attacks on the Federal Capital Territory, with last Friday’s bombings in Nyanya and Kuje satellite towns of the territory.
That the Abuja coordinated attacks came just as the nation was already celebrating the success of our security forces in their efforts to rout terrorists, indicates either a fact of dereliction of duty or sabotage against the anti-terrorism fight.
Whereas we have remained steadfast in our commitment to support each and every policy adopted by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari aimed at ending terrorism, especially knowing the importance of secured environment in achieving peaceful co-existence, an imperative for development.
And whereas we are aware that a bomb is an ill-wind that blows no good to anybody in the community, scaring away potential investors, we are therefore duty bound to draw attention to certain grave factors, possibly leading to the unfortunate resurgence, which, if unchecked could worsen the ugly situation.
Our checks reveal that poor intelligence gathering by the Department of State Services (DSS) and other relevant intelligence group is largely, if not directly responsible for the resurgence of terrorists, who have earlier been pushed to the precipices in the Sambisa forest in Borno state, to the extent that they have slipped back into other cities, including the nation’s capital.
From all indications, the DSS under the watch of the current Director- General, Alhaji Lawal Daura does not seem to be in full grip of the intelligence situation.
This is apparently traceable to the avoidable distractions occasioned by the flagrant use of the agency for political assignments since the emergence of the new Director-General, in addition to the apparent administrative disharmony within the service, all resulting in the erosion of professionalism, harmony and loyalty among personnel.
In the last few months, the DSS, instead of concentrating on its primary statutory duties of providing domestic intelligence, security service and criminal investigations for the state, has, under the new Director-General, directed all its energies on political matters; chasing after opposition elements, interfering in election tribunal activities, intimidating and hounding tribunal witnesses, while terrorists resurge, and combatant security forces left with scanty intelligence.
The situation with the DSS has become so pathetic that it could not even effectively analyze reported suspicious tweets “predicting the attacks” as a cue to forestall last Friday’s attack in Abuja and other parts of the country.
Indeed, our nation cannot afford a retrogression from the gains already made in the fight against terrorism due to the failure of a disorganized, improperly coordinated and distracted intelligence agency, that is not able to live up to its billing.
It is on this note therefore that we urge President Buhari, as a matter of urgency, to take a critical look at the situation in the DSS, overhaul its management, administration and operations to ensure that the required leadership and spirit needed to operate optimally exists in the agency.
We wish to note that our position is beyond politics. Security is a matter that concerns all Nigerians irrespective of political, religious and ethnic affiliation and must be taken seriously in the general interest of our dear nation.
This nation belongs to all of us and we, as citizens and critical stakeholders must join hands, irrespective of our political differences, to ensure that we give the Federal Government the required support in the fight against terrorism in our country.
A great nation is the dream and aspiration of every Nigerian and that was demonstrated just on Thursday, when the populace renewed their faith in the oneness and progress of the country during the 55th Independence anniversary celebration.
Prince Uche Secondus
Acting National Chairma
Okorocha, who made the allegation yesterday, during the World Teachers’ Day celebration at the Heroes Square in Owerri, the Imo state capital, said the 16 years of PDP rule was the worst in the history of the country because it was looted dry.
He said: “The PDP destroyed the economy of the country through mindless looting of the nation’s resources after its 16 years in power, which will take the country over 10 years to recover. So, this is the problem which has affected every sector including the education.”
The governor was, however, quick to add that despite the bad economy, his administration had continued to pay special attention to the education sector in the state, stressing that education was the power of the state.
“Education is our power and it is the pivot of the Rescue Mission and not even the bad economy can deter us from investing in the education of our children because that is the only real legacy we can give to them. Today, because of the free education policy of this administration, the school enrolment has tripled in the last four years,” he said.
Okorocha stated that his administration would continue to improve the welfare of the teachers in the state and the learning environment.
Earlier, the state Chairman of Nigeria Union Teachers (NUT), Napoleon Emenike Aniche, who thanked the governor for his commitment to free and quality education in the State, however, appealed to him to look into the plight of retired primary school teachers whose pensions were yet to be paid.
The NUT chairman also appealed to the governor to lift the promotion ceiling of qualified teachers to grade level 17, saying it was the case in other progressive states.
The PUNCH learnt that the purchase of houses each in London by the former minister and the sacked NNPC top shot had sent the police investigators after them since 2013.
Alison-Madueke and the ex-MD had bought a house each in London through a mortgage but the two were said to have attracted suspicion when they offered to pay huge sum to clear the mortgage on the properties.
A source said the ex-minister’s house cost £12.5m. The source was however silent on the cost of the house bought by the former MD of the subsidiary of the NNPC.
It was learnt that the UK’s National Crimes Agency had dispatched a team to Abuja for an investigation into the incomes of the affected public officers because of the huge amount of money that was being paid steadily to defray the amount on the mortgage.
The source explained that the police suspected that the mortgaged London properties might have been serviced with laundered money from the Government of Nigeria.
The source said, “This particular investigation did not originate from Nigeria. I can tell you that this is different from the investigation being conducted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission into the financial operations of the NNPC under Alison-Madueke.
“This is a strictly UK investigation and it has to do with the procurement of a property in the UK for £12.5m through a mortgage arrangement in London.
“The UK authorities became suspicious when they realised that the agreed monthly amount for the mortgage was too high for the income of a public official without other sources of income.
“You know the (UK) people; they kept quiet when the whole arrangement was going on in 2013. They allowed the funds to go into their economy before they moved in against them with the intent to seize the properties.
“She was not the only person that bought the properties. The other guy, a close ally from the NNPC also bought a house in London. These are the issues the UK police are investigating.”
The investigation, which commenced in 2013 climaxed Friday last week with the arrest of Alison-Madueke and four others by the UK police for alleged fraud.
The EFCC raided the residence of the ex-minister at Asokoro same day she was arrested in the UK.
Although the raid did not yield any huge financial recovery contrary to media reports, the operatives from the Subsidy Unit of the EFCC carted away several documents from the residence.
The EFCC operatives, who insisted that only N1.2m was recovered from the Asokoro residence of the minister, said that the files moved away from her house were being analysed.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Monday declined to comment on the Alison-Madueke saga.
Uwujaren said he did not know anything about the ex-minister’s case.
Meanwhile, the British National Crime Agency on Monday obtained court permission to temporarily seize £27,000 (N8.078m) from a former petroleum resources minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Reuters reports.
The ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s oil minister between 2010 and 2015 and her cohorts were arrested in London last Friday and charged with money laundring offences.
Reuters quoted an administrative officer at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court as saying on Monday that the NCA had applied to the court for an order to seize various sums of money in relation to Alison-Madueke and two other women for up to six months.
The administrative officer did not provide any information on the link between the three women.
The NCA had on Friday issued a short statement saying its International Corruption Unit had arrested five people in London as part of an inquiry into suspected bribery and money laundering offences.
The NCA did not name those arrested but said all five had been released on conditional police bail, pending further investigations in Britain and overseas. It said the investigation had started in 2013.
But the Federal Government through presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had confirmed late on Sunday the arrest of the former minister and that “the government of Nigeria is collaborating with the UK authority in the investigations and her trial.”
They are also set to reject an incomplete list, saying the constitution provides for a nominee from each state of the federation and that any list that did not cover the 36 states would suffer serious opposition on the floor of the Senate.
The senators have also vowed that they would not be cowed by the trial of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, just as they promised to adopt stringent measures in line with the provisions of the Constitution during the screening of ministerial nominees.
They added that the tradition of take-a-bow for senators coming for screening as ministers would be jettisoned, adding that they were prepared to send names of nominees to the sender of such a list.
Senate President, Dr. Saraki, is currently facing trial at CCT, following a 13-count charge levelled against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, bordering on alleged corruption and false declaration of assets in 2003 and summoned him to appear before it, which he did.
Speaking with journalists yesterday in Abuja, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abia North, who noted that the list was expected to be complete, in line with the Constitution, said: “The list will be unveiled tomorrow( today). The Senate President kept to his words that the envelope will remain sealed until tomorrow (today).
“We know that all we have been reading could be speculations until it is opened. It will be read on the floor of the Senate and we will know. Even the 21 that people are speculating will be ascertained tomorrow (today) on the floor.
“The Constitution does not support ministers by batches. Every state must be represented but if the number is not complete, some of us may raise constitutional issues. If we have to wait for another three months for him to send another list comprising representatives of other states, it means those states would be non-functional.
“We will be guided by the constitution and the rules of the senate. This time around, we resolved that we are going to be quite stringent. We are going to ensure that whoever is coming as the minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be somebody worth the salt; somebody we can rely upon and somebody that would have met the constitutional requirements.
‘We’ll stick to the rules’
“We are not considering waving any rule. Why should we wave the rule? If we want to do that, it should be before the screening. I believe that at the end of the day Nigerians will be happy because some Nigerians are already saying that the names being speculated were not what they have been waiting for these five months.
“This government has tagged itself as the government of change. If that is the cardinal thing, it will be against this Senate and, indeed, against the President and Nigerians for us to see a very strong allegation that hinges on corruption and we ignore it. If we see a strong petition, definitely we will look into it and follow it to a logical conclusion.
“If it requires writing to the anti-graft agencies like ICPC or EFCC to give us a report on such a person, we will do that because that is what screening is all about. Screening is not a tea party. In Cross River State the appointees are going to write aptitude test.”
Days of take-a-bow over
On the President’s decision to appoint himself as Minister of Petroleum, he said: “I do not think the President’s name will be on the list and I also do not think that the President will say he is a minister because if you are a minister, one of the conditions is that you must be subjected to screening and approval of the Senate.
“He, as the chief minister, can be there to supervise any ministry, but he cannot be a minister. Whoever is advising him to be minister is not advising him rightly.”
Chairman, Senate ad hoc Committee on Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West): “In our screening of ministers, it will not be business as usual. The era of take a bow and go are over. The right people will be made ministers without any political or religious consideration.