- Buhari Fires FRC Boss Over Adeboye, Others’ Tenure
Fresh facts emerged on Monday why President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the Executive Secretary of the Financial Regulatory Council of Nigeria, Mr. Jim Obazee, in connection with the implementation of the controversial corporate Governance Code 2016.
On Monday that Obazee was sacked for disobeying a directive of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechuckwu Enelamah, that the implementation of the regulation should be suspended.
Among others, the code stipulates 20-year tenure for heads of religious groups and civil rights organisations.
Buhari had, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday, approved the immediate removal and the replacement of Obazee.
According to the statement, the new Council, as approved by the President, has Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman as chairman.
The President has also approved the appointment of Mr. Daniel Asapokhai as the Executive Secretary of the council to replace Obazee
Sulaiman is a former Managing Partner/Director of Arthur Anderson and later, Accenture.
He is a chartered accountant and a product of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School.
Asopokhai is a partner and a Financial Reporting Specialist at the PriceWaterHouseCoopers Nigeria.
He is a product of the University of Lagos and the University of Pretoria.
Shehu said Buhari had also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, to invite the 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organisations specified in the FRC Act to nominate members of the board of the council.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God had, on Saturday, stepped down as the overseer of the church in Nigeria in accordance with the governance code of the FRC.
Adeboye, who made the announcement during the church’s annual ministers thanksgiving service, at the Redemption Camp in the Mowe area of Ogun State, said the new regulation would affect clergymen, including Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church Worldwide International, aka Winners Chapel; Pastor W. F. Kumuyi of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry and Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission.
On Monday, the minister had, on October 17, 2016, written the FRC boss, directing him to suspend the operation of the controversial regulation, which the Christian Association of Nigeria alleged was targeted at weakening the church.
According to the report, Obazee refused to suspend the regulation because there was no gazette backing the suspension of the regulation.
Enelamah’s recommendation nailed Obazee
Enelamah had earlier recommended to Buhari that the implementation of the regulation be suspended.
A top government official, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said the President approved Enelamah’s recommendation and the minister thereafter conveyed the decision to Obazee.
The source said, “Since the minister had conveyed the President’s approval that the implementation should be suspended, it was taken for granted that it had been suspended.
“Surprisingly, the Presidency received a report that during the Christmas period, Obazee hosted chief executives of some quoted companies to a dinner.
“It was at that dinner that he reportedly told his guests that the law had taken effect and would be implemented.
“The report got to the government and the President was angry about it.”
The President of the National Council of The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, was said to have led the chief executives of companies to the dinner.
Another source, who confirmed the development, said Buhari sacked Obazee and dissolved the board of the FRC on Monday based on the recommendation of Enelamah.
Ministers warn President on implication of code
A top source in the Presidency stated that Obazee was sacked because he defied the directive of the minister.
“The President was irked by the fact that the FRC disobeyed the directive of the minister that the regulation should be suspended,” the source stated.
Another source added that the Presidency found it curious that a regulation, which the Council could not implement during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, was being enforced under Buhari.
“Although the regulation dated back to Jonathan’s administration, why did he fail to implement it and ask the religious leaders to resign? Why did the council wait till the present administration before insisting on its implementation?” the source asked.
It was also gathered that some ministers told Buhari on Monday morning that the gale of resignation that would sweep across the Pentecostal churches in the South would affect his government.
One of the ministers, who spoke on condition of anonymity with one of our correspondents, said the ministers reminded the President that the regime could be tagged anti-Christian if action was not taken.
FG suspends code of corporate governance
Meanwhile, the Federal Government, on Monday, suspended the controversial Corporate Governance Code, which was issued on October 17 by the FRC.
The suspension was disclosed in a statement by Enelamah.
In the five-paragraph statement by the minister’s Strategic Communication Adviser, Constance Ikokwu, he said the code was suspended in order to carry out a detailed review of its application.
The review, according to the statement, would now involve extensive consultations with stakeholders upon the reconstitution of the board of the FRC.
The statement states, “The Corporate Governance Code issued by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria has been suspended, pending a detailed review, extensive consultation with stakeholders and reconstitution of the board of the FRC.
“Government remains committed to restoring and enhancing market confidence and improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.’’
The FRC is one of the parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and it is responsible for setting and promoting compliance with standards for accounting, financial reporting and auditing in Nigeria.
Shareholders rejoice as FG sacks FRC boss
Shareholders in the country’s capital market, on Monday, expressed joy over the sack of Obazee, saying it was a timely step in the right path.
They said the erstwhile FRC chief executive had overshot his bounds so many times before recent developments.
In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, the President, Renaissance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Olufemi Timothy, said at this particular time, the sack of Obazee was a good thing that had happened to the country as a whole, and not just the capital market.
He recalled that Obazee had earlier maintained that only chartered accountants could be admitted into the audit committee of companies, going against the practice where any elected shareholder could be elected into the position by fellow shareholders.
Timothy added, “He had gone beyond his mandate, and putting the country on a very hot seat. I think President Muhammadu Buhari is no longer comfortable with him. It is the best thing to happen to us to save the nation.”
Also, the President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Shehu Mikail, described Obazee’s sacking as “lovely”, saying the FRC boss had no business regulating bodies that were not under him.
Mikail stated, “This means the government has heard the cries of the people. I really support his sacking.
“People saddled with responsibilities should take into cognisance the interest of the people. The former FRC boss did not properly liaise with the regulators, but rather saw himself as superior.”
Also, the National Director, Legal and Public Affairs in CAN, Kwamkur Samuel, described Obazee’s sacking as a commendable development.
He said, “The Nigeria church and indeed many well meaning Nigerians will want to hear the total disbandment of the obnoxious, archaic and anti-Christian law by the Federal Government or the amendment in respect of the church.’’
Abdulaziz Yari, Former Governor of Zamfara State, to Forfeit N270 Million in Zenith, Polaris
The former governor of Zamfara State, Mr. Abdulaziz Yari, could forfeit as much as N270 million stashed in Zenith Bank and Polaris Bank, according to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu said the former governor could not prove how he came about the money legitimately to the court on Tuesday.
Mr. Yari, 52, who served as governor of Zamfara State for eight years between 2011 and 2019, was said to have used his position to amass wealth, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) stated.
Since the court granted an order for interim forfeiture of Yari assets in August 219m he has been unable to explain why the money found in his bank accounts should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Justice Ijeoma explained that while there is nothing wrong in having such an amount in one’s bank account, the owner must be able to explain the legitimate source of such funds.
“The respondents, who have been given an opportunity to tell their story, have failed to provide evidence for such legitimate income.
“The respondents have not countered the case and facts presented by the applicants (ICPC).
“The respondents, having failed to establish the legitimate source of the money as stated in this case, this honourable court hereby makes an order of final forfeiture of the following:
“An order of final forfeiture of N12,912,848.68, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.
“An order of final forfeiture of $57,056.75, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in an account number …in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.
“An order of forfeiture of N11,159,674.17, being proceeds stashed in an account in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.
“An order of final forfeiture of $319,000.91, being proceed of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.
“An order of final forfeiture of N217,000.04, being proceeds of some unlawful activity allegedly stashed in the name of B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.
“An order of final forfeiture of $311,817.15, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of BT. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited,” the judge held.
45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Launches ‘office Of The Former President’ In Florida
45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Launches ‘office Of The Former President’ In Florida
The former President of the United States, Donald Trump, has launched the “Office of the Former President” in Florida in a move that suggests the 45th President of the world’s most powerful country remained resolute in his fight to return to office in the year 2024.
According to a statement released, the purpose of the office will be to oversee Trump’s post-presidential advocacy, ‘Make America Great Again’.
“The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organising, and public activism,” an official statement said.
“President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People,” the statement added.
The former president has not made any public appearances since he left office on January 20, 2021, instead remained inside his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort.
President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.
The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.
According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.
The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.
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