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Ikoyi Billions: House C’ttee Issues 24-hour Ultimatum to NIA DG

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  • Ikoyi Billions: House C’ttee Issues 24-hour Ultimatum to NIA DG

The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence on Tuesday handed down a 24-hour ultimatum to the suspended Director- General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke, to appear before it and shed more light on the controversial N13 billion recently discovered in an Osborne apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Oke, who ought to appear before the committee yesterday alongside other invitees, allegedly shunned the investigative hearing which was ordered by a resolution of the House.

However, the committee, chaired by Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji (APC, Zamfara), further summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

Jaji claimed the committee had received useful information and petitions from members of the public on the local and foreign currencies – $43.4 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million discovered.

He expressed displeasure over the failure of all invited stakeholders to appear before the committee on Tuesday.

Jaji added that the investigative hearing was in line with section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution which empowered the National Assembly to expose corruption, hence urged all the agencies and appointed officials to respect constituted authorities.

According to him, the suspended NIA boss is to appear on May 10, 2017, by 12p.m; while CBN Governor will be expected at 2p.m. as well as Magu by 3p.m.

NSA is to appear by 4p.m.

He said: “This is the law of the land and we have to respect the constituted Authorities which the National Assembly is one of them. And it is disrespected for any agency that this government put in place in campaigning against corruption and many Nigerians are very much aware of this saga, the $43 million.”

The chairman further expressed concern that no agency of government had so far laid claim to the recovered funds legally or otherwise.

He said the committee would soon compile its report and present it before the House in line with its resolution.

A member of the committee, Hon. Nkiruka Onyeojeocha (PDP, Abia), who read riot act to the affected agencies noted that the committee had only one week to submit its report to the House.

She said the lawmakers would not hesitate to make relevant recommendations in its report should the invitees fail to take advantage of the investigative hearing to clear their names.

The committee warned it would not allow any of the invited stakeholders to delay its assignment.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Lawmakers Tensed Over Possible Boko Haram Attack On National Assembly

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Lawmakers have been notified of a possible attack by Boko Haram insurgents on the National Assembly complex and other public buildings in Abuja, The media gathered.

Several members of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, confirmed to Punch correspondent that they had been notified of the imminent attack by the terrorist group.

One of them, who is from a state in the South-West, said his presence would henceforth be limited on the premises.

“That is the security alert I saw today. I’m already moving out of here. I’ll only be around when there is a major reason to do so. Nowhere is safe in the country anymore,” he said.

Already the notice of the impending attack has been made available to the lawmakers.

The notice, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, was sent to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, other principal officers and all members of the House.

The ‘security alert’, dated May 4, 2021, was issued by the Chairman of the House Committee on Internal Security, National Assembly, Mr. Usman Shiddi.

It was titled ‘Re: planned insurgent attacks on VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja.’

The alert read, “I refer to the above subject of which a copy of the intelligence report from the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force in the National Assembly Complex has been made available to my office.

“The report indicates planned insurgent attacks by some elements of Boko Haram on some VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja, including the National Assembly complex.

“In view of the above intelligence, I have considered it paramount to advise that all members should, henceforth, use the presidential gate for ingress and egress.

“This is to avoid the unforeseen congestions that are sometimes encountered at the main gates since such congestions could easily be the targets for these insurgent elements.

“Security agencies are, however, actively on top of the issue to unravel and to contain the intended menace. Accept the assurances of my highest regards, please.”

Security has been beefed up in and around the complex since Thursday last week.

For the first time, security operatives on that day checked vehicles entering the premises, causing traffic congestion especially at the third (and last) gate, a process that has continued to date.

Before now, the security operatives were only after the identities of drivers and passengers to confirm that they were staff members, legislative aides, journalists, or persons working in private businesses in the complex.

The media correspondent observed that soldiers joined the regular sergeants-at-arms and men of the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps that manned the gates.

Recall that the Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello, had on April 26, 2021, raised the alarm over Boko Haram terrorists taking over a part of the state, hoisting their flag in Kaure village from where they had made incursions into more than 50 villages.

Bello said Abuja was not safe, with Boko Haram’s presence in Kaure – a two-hour journey from the Federal Capital Territory.

He said, “I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger State. Here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here.”

The same day, Gbajabiamila had met with the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, in company with the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

On the next day, the House held a long executive (closed-door) session to discuss the rising spate of insecurity across Nigeria, calling on Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security.

At the secret session that lasted over three hours, the lawmakers unanimously adopted a series of resolutions, one of which was that “the Federal Government should ensure the protection of national infrastructure and assets, particularly the Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State.”

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Lagos State Plans To Launch 500 Small New Buses Next Week

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to introduce 500 small new buses to the state by next week Thursday in a bid to provide alternatives to local motorcycles.

The Governor said this in a speech on Wednesday to mark the opening ceremony of the Lagos Architect Forum. The forum themed, ‘The City of Lagos: The Next Twenty Five Years’ was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos chapter, at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.

The 4-day forum which will run till Saturday had in attendance other dignitaries including the Oniru of Iru Land, HRM Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal; the Lagos State Chairman of the NIA, Arc. David Majekodunmi; SA to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye; and the President-elect of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Arc. Enyi Ben-Eboh.

In his speech, the governor noted the progress made in the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda and his vision for the Lagos master plan to ensure that Lagos becomes ‘Africa’s model megacity’ by 2050. Acknowledging the challenges in the transport sector, the Governor gave assurances on improving the various modes of transport including the roads, waterways and rail lines.

“For the waterways, we’re currently building 16 jetties and terminals. About seven of them should be ready before the end of the year; we have some that are already currently being used.

“All of them will not look as nice as the one at Falomo, but we want all of them to be comfortable. We have a fleet of almost 20 boats now each carrying 50, 60, 40 passengers. We want people to use the waterways which is why we’re investing in them,” Sanwo-Olu said.

On road and rail transport, Sanwo-Olu said the state would soon begin to operate 100 new high-capacity buses, with plans to launch 500 LASTMA small buses by next week Wednesday or Thursday as alternatives to okadas that don’t have enough passenger space. He also promised that one of either the blue or red rail lines will become operational by next year.

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Presidency Warns Over Alleged Plot To Overthrow Buhari’s Administration Through Vote of No Confidence

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Muhammadu Buhari

The Presidency on Tuesday claimed it has evidence that reveals that certain “disruptive elements” are recruiting ethnic groups and politicians with the motive of convening conferences where a vote of no confidence will be passed on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.

It said the purpose of the move was to further throw the country into turmoil.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Our response to DSS alert, by Presidency.’

Adesina was giving further insights into a recent claim by the Department of State Services that some people were planning to undermine the government and the nation’s sovereignty.

The presidential spokesman however said the present regime would keep the country together, even if some unruly feathers would be ruffled in the process.

He claimed that some disgruntled religious and past political leaders are behind the plans.

The statement read, “The Department of State Services on Sunday alerted on sinister moves by misguided elements to wreak havoc on the government, sovereignty and corporate existence of the country.

“Championed by some disgruntled religious and past political leaders, the intention is to eventually throw the country into a tailspin, which would compel a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership.

“Further unimpeachable evidence shows that these disruptive elements are now recruiting the leadership of some ethnic groups and politicians around the country, with the intention of convening some sort of conference, where a vote of no confidence would be passed on the President, thus throwing the land into further turmoil.

“The caterwauling, in recent times, by these elements, is to prepare the grounds adequately for their ignoble intentions, which are designed to cause further grief for the country.

“The agent provocateurs hope to achieve through artifice and sleight of hands, what they failed to do through the ballot box in the 2019 elections.

“Nigerians have opted for democratic rule, and the only acceptable way to change a democratically elected government is through elections, which hold at prescribed times in the country. Any other way is patently illegal and even treasonable. Of course, such would attract the necessary consequences.

“These discredited individuals and groups are also in cahoots with external forces to cause maximum damage in their own country. But the Presidency, already vested with mandate and authority by Nigerians till 2023, pledges to keep the country together, even if some unruly feathers would be ruffled in the process.”

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