President Muhammadu Buhari has formally dissolved the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) as currently constituted with Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla as Chairman.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been directed to immediately take over all outstanding investigations and other activities of the SPIP.
The President also said he is awaiting the final Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) report on Obono-Obla.
The panel was established in August 2017 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while acting as president, to investigate specifically mandated cases of corruption, abuse of office and similar offences by public officers.
President Buhari thanked all members of the dissolved panel for their services, said the President’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.
Buhari in August suspended Okoi Obono-Obla, from office.
The suspension letter, signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who also directed him to answer questions from the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission.
According to Mustapha, Obono-Obla was to hand over to Dayo Apata, the Solicitor-General of the Federation, who was holding forte in the Justice Ministry at the time.
Among other things, he is being investigated over allegations of certificate forgery and other corruption-related charges. He was also accused of acting outside the mandate setting up the panel.
Kenya will in 2020 host the inaugural Africa Food Show that will bring together policymakers, industry executives, farmers and consumers to learn about emerging trends in trade on agricultural commodities, organisers said on Tuesday.
David Wang, the Chairman of MIE Groups, the event organiser, said this in Nairobi.
The premier event, which will take place in Nairobi from June 24 to 26 in 2020, will help showcase food products, processing and packaging technologies to investors as well as consumers.
“Africa Food Show will provide a platform for the next generation of entrepreneurs to gain a better understanding of the market for agricultural commodities in the continent,’’ Wang said.
Wang said that Kenya’s strategic position as a logistics hub informed the decision to host the inaugural continental food summit that is expected to unlock opportunities for local farmers, processors and distributors.
“Kenya has modern infrastructure, policy support, growing foreign direct investments that are an incentive for hosting African Food Show and highlight untapped opportunities to global agricultural commodity traders.’’
The inaugural Africa Food Show, which will be held concurrently with China Trade Week, is expected to position Kenya as an attractive investment destination for agro-processing.
Lucy Njenga, Director of Policy Research and Regulation in the Ministry of Agriculture, said the event would boost the government’s food and nutritional security agenda.
“We are open to hosting an event that will provide an opportunity for farmers and investors to exchange knowledge on technologies and innovations that are key to promote food security and incomes through value addition,’’ said Njenga.
She said that Kenya would leverage the Africa Food Show to attract additional investors in value chains such as storage, processing and distribution in order to lift the fortunes of smallholder farmers.
Fadi Kaddoura, Vice President in charge of Sales and Marketing at MIE Groups, said the event would feature exhibitions alongside the business-to-business meetings.
The meeting is expected to raise the visibility of the continent’s major agricultural commodities.
The commodities will including cereals, fresh produce, spices and nuts. (Xinhua/NAN)
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) has sealed up the national headquarters of North East Commodity Association (NECAS) in Yola over allegations of fraudulent activities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the office was sealed on Monday night, while the National President of the association, Alhaji Sadiq Daware, is at large.
According to a competent source in ICPC office in Adamawa, the commission also sealed a warehouse holding 100 tractors believed to belong to NECAS.
“The commission in one of its operation arrested one Mr. Stephen Maduwa , the Adamawa State Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria .
“After the arrest of .Maduwa, three warehouses that are linked to him were searched at Bachure and Bekaji in Yola.
“After the search, the warehouses were found to be containing 164,000 bags of maize, 412, 401 bags of sorghum, 698 bags of rice and 508 bags of fertilizer,” the source said
The source said the commodities were estimated to be worth N2.10 billion.
The ICPC Commissioner in the state, Mr Idris Bakori, however, refused to comment on the .matter, insisting that the issue was still under investigation.
The Federal Government assisted NECAS to acquire 600 tractors and farm inputs for distribution to farmers in the Northeast region.
However, communities and farmers complained of the diversion of the items and called for the government’s intervention.
The evacuation of the second batch of Nigerians from South Africa owing to ongoing xenophobic attacks, suffered an interruption on Tuesday following the delay in granting landing permit to Air Peace.
The airline has volunteered to evacuate Nigerians willing to return to the country following the recent violence against foreigners in the southern African country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the airline in collaboration with the Federal Government had on Sept. 11 evacuated the first batch of 187 Nigerians from South Africa.
There was a plan for the airline to evacuate another batch of 320 Nigerians who had indicated interest to return home, with the flight expected to arrive in Lagos at 7.00p.m on Tuesday.
However, Mr Allen Onyema, Chairman of Air Peace, told newsmen in Lagos that the airline’s B777 aircraft deployed for the operation was still on standby at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
According to him, the aircraft is supposed to have departed Lagos at 1.00 am, but was denied landing permit by the South African authorities.
“We did not take off at 1:00 a.m. as scheduled because South African authorities are yet to give us landing permit.
“We are hopeful that they will give us the permit. Our crew waited till 3:00 am, but when the permit did not come, they went back to the hotel.
“Once we get the permit we will set off to South Africa. We don’t want to speculate but we are hopeful they will give the permit,”Onyema said.
NAN reports that the South African authorities had on Sept. 11 also prevented some Nigerians from leaving the country, by insisting on a fresh profiling exercise in spite of the one earlier conducted by the Nigerian High Commission.
The situation led to several hours of delay before 187 of the more than 300 Nigerians were successfully evacuated.
Britain’s Boris Johnson said that a Brexit deal was beginning to emerge, but the EU said he offered nothing to break the impasse during a visit to Luxembourg where he was harangued loudly by protesters and rebuked for trying to shift the blame,
Don’t make the EU the bad guy,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said after a meeting with Johnson, describing the uncertainty over the timing and conditions of Britain’s exit from the European Union as a “nightmare”.
The British prime minister joined European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for lunch at the Bouquet Garni restaurant, an 18th-century building of bare stone walls and low ceilings in the medieval heart of Luxembourg.
Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, was among several Muslims that attended a special church service in New York on Monday evening.
The prayer service, hosted by the Church of the Holy Family, United Nations Parish, is an annual tradition of the UN to usher in every new session of the Assembly.
Monday’s edition came shortly after the President of the 73rd UNGA, Ms Maria Espinosa, handed over to Muhammad-Bande at the UN headquarters a few meters away.
Other Muslims at the service included presidential spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu; former Chairman of INEC, Prof, Attahiru Jega, and officials of Nigerian missions to the UN and the United States.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; the Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina Mohammed, also a Muslim, and Espinosa, equally attended the service.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that speakers at the occasion underscored the significance of the composition of the gathering to religious tolerance and harmony.
In his address, Guterres said “our presence here sends an important message” at a time of “widespread polarisation and horrific violence targeting people solely for their (religious) identity”.
“We are recognising our human connections and reaffirming respect for each other’s religions, cultures and traditions”, he said.
Speaking later, Muhammad-Bande said the service was a reminder of the “place of faith and the role that empathy and love can in agreeing when we want to disagree”.
He urged all those present to recommit themselves to God and seek His intervention while also doing their best to address the challenges facing the world.
The Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, Bishop Paul Hinder, spoke in similar vein in a sermon.
Hinder called on Muslims, Christians and adherents of other religions to unite and find a common cause in the fight against religious violence and extremism.
The service featured special prayers for the UN and its leaders, for lasting peace in war-torn regions and for a “globalisation of solidarity” against hunger hunger, poverty, disease, among others.(NAN)
Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, has described his victory at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal as the triumph of truth over falsehood.
The governor stated this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, on Monday, in Ibadan.
Makinde was reacting to the tribunal judgment that gave him victory in a petition instituted against him by Mr Adebayo Adelabu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9 governorship election.
He said that he did not expect anything less from the Tribunal ”because truth is always constant.”
The governor expressed appreciation to the people of the state for standing by him before, during and after the election.
He called on the major opposition party in the state, the APC, to join hands with him to work for the good of the state.
He said: “We want to thank the people of Oyo state who have stood behind us before, during and after the election.
“We have remained focused on the task the people of the state committed into our hands and we are pushing on with our agenda for Oyo state.
“What I will say to the APC members is that they should let us forget politics for now; let us all work together for the good of the people of Oyo state.
” Let them key into our agenda to bring prosperity to the state; let us, together, tackle poverty and ensure that our good intentions for the people of the state are realised,” the statement read.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tribunal, sitting in Ibadan, had, on Monday, upheld the election of Makinde as the governor of Oyo state.
Adelabu and his party APC had challenged the declaration of Makinde as the winner of the election by INEC, having polled a total of 515,621 votes as against Adelabu’s 357,982 votes.
The three-man panel of the tribunal, chaired by Justice Muhammed Sirajo, unanimously dismissed the petition, saying that Adelabu failed to prove the allegations of over-voting, improper accreditation, inaccurate ballot counting and non-compliance with Electoral Act.
To ensure speedy resolution of financial market disputes, the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) on Monday called for expansion of its jurisdictions beyond the capital market.
The Chief Executive Officer of IST, Mr Siaka Idoko-Akoh, made the call at the opening of the tribunal’s 2019/2020 legal year in Lagos.
Idoko-Akoh said that it had become necessary to ensure that the relevance of the body was not limited to the capital market.
He said that expansion of IST jurisdictions would engender speedy resolution of disputes in the financial services sector, away from the usual delays inherent in the regular court system with its attendant consequence for economic growth.
According to him, the tribunal’s panel comprises of persons of proven ability and expertise in corporate and capital market matters and experienced in securities and investments laws, practices, operations and procedures.
“We make bold to say that over the years, the tribunal has continued through its long line of well thought out judgments and rulings, to evolve a new and unique jurisprudence in the Nigeria capital market.
“It has become necessary however, to ensure that the relevance of the IST is not limited to the capital market alone.
“Leveraging on the IST success story, the idea has been mooted in some quarters of the need to enlarge the jurisdiction of the IST to encompass adjudication of disputes arising from dealings or transactions in the financial services sector of the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Idoko-Akoh added that over 70 judgements had been delivered in keenly contested cases across the zones within the statutorily prescribed time of three months from the date of commencement of hearing.
“This is exclusive of cases either struck out, withdrawn or resolved through our court settlement process, while about 24 cases are on-going,” he stated.
Responding, the Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Capital Market Committee, Mr Anayo Edwin, said that upon the inauguration of the committee by the speaker, the committee would consider the tribunal’s request.
“Arising from the chairman’s address, let me say that upon the inauguration of this committee by the honourable speaker, we shall consider your request for the expansion of the tribunal’s jurisdiction to cover other financial sector related cases and for other purposes”, Edwin said.
He, however, urged the tribunal to achieve sustainable growth of the financial sector through a harmonious and investment friendly capital market.
Edwin noted that this could only be attainable through the glaring manifestation of its core values of fairness, integrity, efficiency, professionalism and speedy dispensation of justice.
Also speaking, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, President of the Court of Appeal, represented by Justice Tom Yakubu, said the importance of IST could not be over-emphasised.
“The importance of the IST cannot be over-emphasied, particularly in having to do with the timely dispensation of justice in the capital market.
“It is said that time is money and if people invest in the capital market and it goes through the old rules in litigation, you can imagine how people who are the operators in the capital market will not be willing to go there.
“And so, we see that the work being done by the IST is of utmost importance to the development and contribution to the Nigerian economy,” Bulkachuwa said.
She said that the Court of Appeal would partner the tribunal to ensure that cases that came to the court were timely dispensed off.
Dr David Ogogo, Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars, said that IST was set up to enhance investor-confidence.
Ogogo pledged that the tribunal would remain committed to transparent and fair judgement.
“The reality on ground is that if there are no disputes, there would be no need to establish organisations like the IST and so things cannot always go smoothly.
“If there are disputes and they are to be resolved, then of course courage and patience will be required to handle things in the right way if you are to enhance investors’ confidence or impact positively on it.
“You must continue to render judgement given cognizance to be transparent, accountable, responsible and fairness.
“It is with this that I charge the IST to continue to be transparent and fair so that all judgements given are seen to be fair,’’ Ogogo said. (NAN)