- Magu Came to Beg me for Confirmation, Saraki Tells CJ
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki says the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, visited him in 2016 and begged him to ensure that he was confirmed by the Senate.
Saraki added that he explained to Magu that the Department of State Services had written a letter to the upper chamber of the National Assembly accusing the EFCC boss of corruption and being unfit to hold the office and thus should not be confirmed.
The former Senate President said this in a letter addressed to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati.
Saraki’s letter was written in response to a previous letter written by the EFCC to the chief judge.
The EFCC in a letter sent to Abdu-Kafarati, on May 21, accused Justice Taiwo Taiwo of being biased against it.
Saraki had filed a fundamental human rights suit before Justice Taiwo who in turn granted an ex parte order restraining the commission and five other agencies of the Federal Government from continuing its investigations of certain corruption allegations against him.
However, in a protest letter signed by Magu, the EFCC requested the re-assignment of the two ex-governors’ cases and all other ones involving it in the judge’s docket to another judge of the court.
In his own letter, however, Saraki said the EFCC was after him because Magu believed he had a hand in his confirmation.
The letter read in part, “Your Lordship, Mr. Magu after his nomination, came to see me pleading that I should do my best to help him during the screening process. During that meeting, I made it clear that I had no objection to his nomination and revealed to him, in confidence that he needed to go and clear himself with the DSS because the report on him was unfavourable.
“In fact, I bent backwards to let him read the content of the indicting security report submitted on him.
Also, I decided to delay the screening to give him ample time to get the DSS to change the report. As it eventually turned out, he was unable to get the adverse DSS report reversed.”
Saraki, who was the Chairman of the 8thNational Assembly, said the acting EFCC boss had since been hounding him.
He said the DSS actually sent two reports against Magu and it was the belief of the agency that confirming the nomination of such a man would be inimical to the war against corruption.
The former Senate President wrote, “My Lord, Mr. Magu is after me because he feels that as the President of the 8th Senate, I was responsible for the non-confirmation of his appointment, whereas the reason his appointment was not confirmed is all too familiar: an agency of the executive, which nominated him, the DSS, sent two reports to the Senate in which it categorically stated that Magu failed the integrity test, that his confirmation would shackle the EFCC from effectively tackling corruption in the country and hampering the anti-corruption drive of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”
He said it was in a bid to ensure transparency that the Senate allowed Magu’s screening to be aired live on television.
Saraki, who was governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011, urged the CJ to ignore the EFCC’s request even as he added that all the allegations levelled against him were not different from the charges filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal which were quashed by the Supreme Court.
The former Senate President said it was funny that of all the agencies which were restrained by the court, it was only the EFCC that was attacking a judicial officer for doing his job among the six defendants goes to show that the commission and its leadership are “unnecessarily mischievous, pugnacious and overzealous.”
He, therefore, asked the CJ to ignore the EFCC’s petition
FG Puts School Resumption Plan on Hold as COVID-19 Cases Hit 30,000
FG Drops School Resumption Plan as COVID-19 Cases Cross 30,000
The Federal Government has dropped plans for certain students to return to school following the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 30,249 on Wednesday.
“Till date, 30249 cases have been confirmed, 12373 cases have been discharged and 684 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” the NCDC stated.
The report forced the Federal Government to drop plans for certain students to return to school.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday.
“We will not open soon for examinations, or for any reason, unless it is safe for our children,” Adamu after a cabinet meeting.
“Our schools will only open when we believe it’s safe for our children and that is when the situation is right, not when the incidence of the infection is going up in the nation.”
Complete Confirmed COVID-19 Cases by State
|States Affected||No. of Cases (Lab Confirmed)||No. of Cases (on admission)||No. Discharged||No. of Deaths|
FG Approves N109bn Contracts for Four Roads, Hostel
FG to Spend N109bn On Four Roads, Hostel
The Federal Government on Wednesday approved different contracts on roads and others totalling N109.187bn.
The approvals for the contracts were parts of the decision reached at a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The contracts were approved based on the requests of the Ministry of Works and Housing as well as the Ministry of Education.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that his ministry submitted two memoranda for projects estimated to cost a total of N108.44bn.
He disclosed that the council approved an augmentation of existing contract by N25bn for the completion of the Enugu – Lokponta section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway.
He said, “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented two memoranda. The first one was to aid the completion of the Enugu – Lokponta section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt highway. It was an augmentation of existing contract by N25bn; the council approved that augmentation.
“The second memorandum was the award of three different roads. The first is Dikwa-Marte-Mungunu road for N60. 273bn and the Numan Road linking Borno and Adamawa for N15.527bn and the third is for Gombi-Biu linking Adamawa and Borno also for N7.643 bn.”
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the FEC approved an agreement between the Kaduna Polytechnic and an investor to renovate 18 blocks of student hostels.
The contract, which is a 15-year concession at the cost of N744.26m is under a Renovate Operate, Maintain and Transfer arrangement.
He said, “It will take one year to construct the hostels, after which the contractor will run it for 15 years within which they will recover what they have sunk into the project.
“There are 18 blocks of hostels and each room in a block will house four students. The total number of students to be housed will be 4,032.”
COVID-19: EU Restricts Nigerians From Entering Europe After Infecting them
European Union Excludes Nigerian from 54 Nations that Can Enter the Region
The European Union (EU) has excluded Nigeria from the list of 54 nations that will be allowed to enter the region when it eventually opens its external borders in July.
In a statement published on schengenvisainfo.com, the union listed the 54 countries as Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guyana and India.
Others are Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.
While China, the outbreak nation, South Korea and Japan, two of the most affected nations in the world, will be allowed to enter the Euro-area when external borders reopen in July, Nigeria with fewer cases of COVID-19 has been excluded from the list despite an Italian businessman been the index case.
The Italian businessman had traveled to Nigeria in February 2020 and tested positive to COVID-19 on February 27 after interacting with Nigerians that came in contact with him.
The Nigerian government had allowed citizens of Euro-area to travel into the country despite the rising number of new cases in the region, especially in Italy, France and Germany. However, the revise is the case now, even with Nigeria addressing the situation started by the European Union.
Eric Mamer, the spokesman for the commission, said “The European Union has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers.”
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