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Nigeria On The Verge Of Bankruptcy, Says Emir Sanusi |The Republican News

Emir Mohammad Sanusi II

by Kolade Adeyemi

Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11 on Tuesday declared that Nigeria is on the threshold of bankruptcy following unfavourable economic policies such as subsidizing petroleum products and electricity tariffs. The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who spoke during the ongoing 3rd National Treasury Workshop organized by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation holding in Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano advised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to cancel subsidy in petroleum subsidy and electricity tariffs if the economy must stabilize.

According to him, “the country is Bankrupt and we are heading to bankruptcy. What happened is that the Federal Government do pay petroleum subsidy, pay electricity tariff subsidy, and if there is rise in interest rates, Federal Government pays.

“What is more life-threatening than subsidy that we have to sacrifice education, health sector and infrastructure for us to have cheap petroleum.“If truly President Buhari is fighting poverty, he should remove the risk on the national financial sector and stop the subsidy regime which is fraudulent.”

He insisted that Buhari must tell Nigerians the fact about the economic situation and also act quickly on it because the nation is already bankrupt.
According to him, “since I have decided to come here, you have to accept what I have said here. And please, if you do not want to here the truth, never invite me.

“So let us talk about the state of public finance in Nigeria. We have a number of very difficult decisions that we must make, and we should face the reality. His Excellency, the President said in his inaugural speech that his government would like to lift 100 million people out of poverty, it was a speech that was well received not only in this country, but the world-wide.

“The number of people living with poverty in Nigeria are frightening. By 2050, 85 percent of those living in extreme poverty in the world will be from the Africa continent. And Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will take the lead.

“Two days ago, I read that the percentage of government revenue going to debt services has risen to 70 percent.
These numbers are not lying. They are public numbers. I read them in the newspapers. When you are spending 70 percent of your revenue on debt services, then you are managing 30 percent.

“And then, you continue subsidizing petroleum products; and spending N1.5 trillion per annum on petroleum subsidy! And then we are subsidizing electricity tariff. And maybe, you have to borrow from the capital market or the Central Bank of Nigeria to service the shortfall in the electricity tariff, where is the money to pay salaries, where is the money for education, where other government projects.

The Royal Father lamented that for 30 years, successive governments have had this project called petroleum subsidy, insisting that this is the right time to stop it so as to save the nation’s economy.

Speaking during the workshop, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris noted that, “the overall objective of the workshop is to promote accountability and transparency in all facets of the nation’s public finance and management architecture.

“It is expected that participants should appreciate that accountability and transparency remain major watchwords for prudent financial management practices and are, therefore, major prerequisite for economic growth and development.”

He charged participants to strive towards identifying the challenges to accountability and transparency the management of public funds, improving independent revenue base and profile of government, as well as proffering revenue diversification for governments at all levels so as to cut down the cost of governance.

In his address, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu identified corruption as the bane of the country’s economic woes.

He warned public and private office holders to desist from corrupt practices, stating that his office has zero tolerance to corruption.
According to him, “transparency and accountability are twin sisters of good governance. They are the tools to tackle corruption. It is true that we can leave a good legacy.”

Magu, however, called on the Federal and state Accountant-Generals to take the lead in the fight against corruption, adding that they must insist the right thing must be done in their offices.

In his address, Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said Kano state was the first to establish the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in its bid to fight corruption and block leakages.

According to him, the state also put in place, the Anti Corruption and Public Complaint Commission to checkmate corrupt practices of public servants in the state.

(thenation)

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Yahoo Boys: Oyo Has Highest Number Of Internet, Cyber Crimes In SouthWest – EFCC

Nabbed cybercrime victims known locally as Yahoo Boys

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Monday, revealed that Oyo State has the highest number of cybercrimes and corruption related cases out of the six states in the South West.

This was disclosed by the Zonal Head of the commission, Mr. Friday Ebelo when speaking with newsmen in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The statistics, he noted, was based on the last six months since the baton of leadership changed in the zone.

Most of the suspects, who perpetrate cybercrimes and other fraudulent acts, he noted, are between the ages of 18 and 40.

Ebelo said: “If you are looking for the number of convictions, Oyo State should be seen as the highest. We are based in Ibadan and since I resumed here, the tempo of our activities has increased.

“These suspects of cybercrimes and fraud related cases operate from Lagos and share their loots in Ibadan. But now, most of them are leaving Ibadan for the adjoining states.”

While giving a further breakdown of the statistics, the EFCC official said: “This year, the zone received a total of 481 petitions. We were able to secure 83 convictions out of the 107 cases filed at different courts within the zone. That represents 83 per cent of the total number of cases filed.”

“From January to June 21, 2019, an aggregate sum of N116.9 million has been recovered. Others, which are in foreign currencies, include $39,129, £1,800 and £50,” he said.

He added that 65 vehicles were recovered from the suspects.
Ebelo explained that in some cases, criminals, who act as agents of the commission, use its name to seal up properties saying this is a scam as the commission does not work with any agents.
He appealed to parents to be more vigilant and pay constant visits to their wards in schools. (Vanguard)

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Server Saga: Many INEC Staffs Say Results Transmitted To ‘Central Server’ |The Republican News

Pic.14. INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu speaking during the formal opening of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections Result Collation Centre, in Abuja on Sunday (24/2/19). 01726/24/2/2019/BJO/NAN

Ebuka Onyeji, Adejumo kabir and Alfred Olufemi

Several officials who said they were deployed as electoral officers by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 presidential election said they transmitted results electronically to a ‘central server’ through smart card readers.

This they said was done in compliance with the directive given by the commission during a three-day training before the polls.

The 20 officials deployed to various states, who mostly worked as presiding officers, said they were told that there was a “central server in Abuja” where results are collated electronically.

It is not immediately clear on which “central Server” the officials admitted to transmitting results but this has added a new twist to the ongoing confusion trailing INEC’s consistent denial that it used no server for the election.

A manual issued to the electoral officials by INEC for the 2019 election revealed that the “Communicate” icon on the Smart Card Reader should be used to transmit the accreditation data to the central server.

Another handbook for election officials in 2018 was however more précise on how presiding officers should use the card readers for electronic collation and transmission of results.

It said it became necessary to apply technology to transmit data and results from the polling units due to irregularities that take place after the voting process.

“After successfully filling the EC8A result sheet and announcing the result, the presiding officer shall tap the e-collation application on the home screen”, a part of the book read.

Backstory

The runner up in February’s presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the election tribunal.

Atiku Abubakar (Photo Credit: Channels TV)

Determining whether the commission operated a central computer database that received election results has become central to the dispute after Mr Abubakar said results obtained from the server proved he won the election with 1.6 million votes to defeat Mr Buhari.

But INEC has strongly denied the claim, saying it neither transmitted results electronically nor saved them on any server. It said such activities were not permitted by the electoral law yet. The commission also accused Mr Abubakar of circulating fake results.

CONTRADICTIONS

Following the controversy over the veracity of INEC’s position on not using a central database, PREMIUM TIMES randomly interviewed about twenty electoral officers who worked in various states during the election.

While most of them admitted to sending the results electronically using the internet enabled smart card readers as directed, the rest said they only sent the number of accredited voters and rejected votes, “to the central server”.

Some of the officials, who requested to speak anonymously for fear of victimisation, said they were instructed to turn in the card readers after sending the results.

“INEC asked us to paste the result sheet and also send them electronically through the card reader,” a serving corps member who worked as an ad-hoc staff at Ido Local Government of Oyo State said.

“The results, as we were told, were sent into a central server in Abuja. The results can’t be more than the accredited voters on the card reader. It will reject it… You can’t submit your card reader without posting the results.”

Gbenga Oladayo, an Assistant Presiding Officer (APO) in Ipetumodu area of Osun State, described INEC’s denial as ‘contrived’.

“They told us there’s a server that automatically records the number of accredited voters, cancelled votes and rejected voters.”

The APO2 for polling unit 023 at Maryland, Kosofe Local government in Lagos corroborated this.

“We did that as we were told during the training. I was shocked when I also saw the news that INEC claims that there is no server.”

‘How we handled results’

An ad-hoc staffer for PU8, Ode Ajibade Ward, Ilorin East Local Government, Ode Ajibade in Kwara State explained how they handled the results as instructed.

“We were instructed, in line with the guidelines, to record the results on form EC8A and paste at the polling unit and also transmit the result via the electronic card readers through the e-collation option, and this was communicated to us during training. The revision was done by ‘RAC TECH’ guys too.

PVCs Card reader
PVC Card Reader

“The challenge we had was bad network. However, we ended up transmitting the results via the electronic card readers when we got to the collation centre. You must send the results before submitting the card readers.”

When asked where the results were transmitted to, he said he believe ”it’s to the central server”.

“Not only were the results sent. Figures regarding accredited voters were also transmitted. I did all these as the PO, and I also had an APO (VP).”

Another ad-hoc staffer for PU10, Ologbenla ward, Ifetedo Local Government, Osun State gave a similar account.

But the Presiding Officer (PO) at PU002, Ward 8, Agege Local Government of Lagos State disputed this.

He said ”they were not directed to do anything with the result”.

Hitches

Others who spoke said they experienced hitches in sending the results to the “central server” due to network challenges.

Ayo Aderibigbe, the P.O for Kware Local government in Sokoto State said during the training, said, “We were told to press the ‘send’ button on the card reader after the voting and the counting has been done.”

“They told us it would automatically get to them. But on Election Day, it was not going through because of the poor network, and after trying for hours, we paid one of the INEC technical officers at the local government, Raphael. He promised to help us upload this to the server when it was less congested,” Mr Aderigbe, a corps member, said.

Another corps member, who was the P.O at PU 022 ward 2 of Jos South local government In Plateau State, had a similar experience.

“I could not sleep that night. The issues most people had was the network. The network was not responding.”

But Collins, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University on election duty at PU008 of Fajuyi hall, Ile-Ife in Osun State said the network was “okay”.

“At exactly 1:40 p.m. that day, we sent the necessary information that should be sent via the card reader. I was shocked by INEC’s denial.”

Conundrum of INEC laws

PREMIUM TIMES saw details of INEC’s budget for the 2019 elections, and the spending plan shows the electoral body collected N1.47 billion from the federal government for servers.

But a spokesperson for the commission, Festus Okoye, told this Newspaper that the budget for servers was made in anticipation that President Buhari would sign the amended Electoral Act to allow electronic transfer of voting results.

PRESIDENTBUHARI PRESIDES OVER VALEDICTORY SESSION: 0B. President Muhammadu Buhari during the valedictory for the Minister held at the Council Chambers State House Wednesday in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAY 22 2019

This medium reported how Mr Buhari refused to sign the Electoral Bill in letters to the leadership of the National Assembly last December. The president said signing such a bill few months to the general elections could disrupt the process, a position criticized by several Nigerians.

With the foregoing, our reporters further reviewed the duties of the electoral officials as prescribed by the electoral act and guide.

According to the electoral regulations and guidelines for 2019 elections, the presiding officers are duty bound to “transmit the result as prescribed in the Electoral Act”.

Section 65 of the Electoral Act specified how results should be submitted by the presiding officer but did not provide for electronic transmission of results and data.

However, a new section (65A) inserted in the amended electoral act seeks to mandate digital storage and archiving of election results by INEC at its national headquarters.

It is that amended electoral act that Mr Buhari refused to sign into law.

More questions than answers

In a response to INEC’s denial of the server and its purported result, Mr Abubakar submitted affidavits from 12 persons he said worked for INEC as election officials.

The officials reportedly admitted under oath that they transmitted results electronically.

A civil society group, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), said its observers saw polling officers ‘attempting’ to transmit results electronically in 65 per cent (961 of 1489) of polling units observed on the presidential Election Day.

After the postponement of the election by a week, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom, Mike Igini, also said the commission made provisions for a central collation server.

“…The fact is that I am aware that at the polling unit, the same result is there, the duplicate has been given to the party agents and transmitted to the central server. Without talking to me, both of you have the result” the official said during a Channels TV programme aired on February 18.

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Lagos Billionaire, Julian Osula Ordered For Helicopter After Being Stuck In Traffic Along Lagos-Benin Road

By Ike A. Offor

Chief Julian Osula, the Lagos billionaire in a viral video that is making rounds in the social media, ordered for a helicopter to come and pick him after spending over two hours in a traffic gridlock along the Lagos-Benin expressway.

It was gathered that Chief Julian Osula, who made fortune selling luxury goods and accessories to the rich and famous, had a business to attend to and could not afford to wait much longer in the traffic.

Read also: https://therepublicannews.net/2017/11/23/julian-osula-the-ruthless-lion-of-victoria-garden-city-lagos-and-his-victims-rn/

It is alleged that Julian Osula only deals with the rich and famous due to the high class wrist watches and other accessories he deals on, which are only affordable to the rich and famous.

So, it is understable if he was in a hurry to catch up with some business schedule because profit made in one of such business meetings can pay million times over the price of hiring a helicopter.

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Election Tribunal: Atiku Responds With A Message Of Hope, Promises To Fight For Justice Till The End |RN

PDP Presidentinal Candidate, Atiku Abubakar with his message of hope

By Ike A. Offor

The presidential candidate of the foremost strong opposition party, Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has given a message of hope following the outcome of the request made by PDP to access the INEC server.

Atiku in a two-minute video message expressed hope concerning the ongoing hearing by the presidential election tribunal. He told his supporters that he appreciates their assistance, and support. He also assured them of hope and the zeal to fight for justice on their behalf till the end.

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Fulani Vigilante: MASSOB Calls SE Governors Cowards, PANDEF Asks Them To Form One In North East

Biafrans

Chukwudi Akasike and Theophilus Onojeghen

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra has described state governors in the South-East as cowards for failing to defend the Igbo when leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria offered to raise a vigilante outfit to protect the region.

MASSOB explained that while the governors and leaders in the South-West were suggesting ways to tackle the menace of herdsmen within their states, governors in Igboland could not reject the suggestion.

Director of Information of MASSOB, Sunday Okereafor, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH in a telephone interview, said the Igbo should know that the attitude of their governors was an indication that they had no leader.

He said, “We say no to the plan to make Igboland part of Fulaniland. If there is any problem in the South-East, the governors indicted will pay the price; it is going to be a heavy price. We are ready for them.’’

Also, the Pan Niger Delta Forum also condemned the call by the cattle breeders association.

PANDEF warned the Federal Government not to heed the demand of the group, saying the government should stop treating the group with “obnoxious impunity.”

In a statement on Saturday signed by PANDEF’s National Secretary, Dr Alfred Mulade, it stated that the call was misplaced, promising to stand with other socio-cultural bodies, including the Ohaneze Ndigbo and Afenifere, to ensure failure of such plan.

PANDEF asked the group to rather form a vigilante group to tackle insurgency in the troubled North-East.

The statement read in part, “PANDEF stands solidly with its contemporaries, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere in their similar response as PANDEF’s position on this yet another reckless display of rabid impunity covered by rabid obnoxious immunity.’’ (Punch)

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Buhari vs Atiku: We’ve Evidence INEC Procured, Installed, Deployed Servers In 36 States, Two Groups Claim

PIC.16. NEW INEC CHAIRMAN, PROF. MAHMOOD YAKUBU TAKING OATH BEFORE PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AT THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA IN ABUJA ON MONDAY (9/11/15) 7076/09/11/2015/ICE/NAN

“Apart from the incontrovertible facts our IT and legal teams have in their possession, and ready to bring to the attention of the tribunal, I wish to present to you another evidence obtainable by FoI.”

A joint committee of information technology and legal experts has claimed to have incontrovertible evidence about Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) servers, installed in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The groups, Deservation and Pukka Initiative, made the revelation in Yola, Thursday night, showing a document, that detailed how and when INEC server was allegedly installed and put to use.

Dr. Sani Adamu, who spoke for the two groups, said, “Apart from the incontrovertible facts our IT and legal teams have in their possession, and ready to bring to the attention of the tribunal, I wish to present to you another evidence obtainable by FoI.”

Quoting the INEC chairman, Prof. Yakub Mahmood, Adamu stated the electoral body’s chairman had publicly declared that “we are pioneering and deploying in 2019 general elections, a new platform for the electronic Collation and transmission of results of the 2019 elections”.

He, therefore, decried alleged moves by INEC to deny the availability of the server, stressing that the action is grave, just as it is a looming national disaster.

Countering the electoral umpire’s claims, Adamu referred to “INEC’s 2017-2021 strategic programme of action  document, page 5, serial number 1.4 and key action, titled ‘improve ICT operational deployment and utilization, including activities SN 1.4.1 to SN 1.4.57”, saying these series of activities “have captured all the essence of the server deployment by INEC”.

He insisted that all of the activities underscored the approval for a server and its subsequent implementation between the first quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Specifically, based on activities SN 1.4.57 in the strategic programme of action 2017-2021, the INEC leadership have received the approval for the transmission of electronic results to the collation centres.

“In the same vein, SN 1.4.16 indicates that INEC has received the approval to procure servers for the 36 states and the FCT in the second quarter of 2017 and completed in the second quarter of 2018.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to tender a copy of the 2017-2021 strategic programme of action document, which dealt with issues of ICT including servers, card readers and the electronic transmission of election results,” he claimed.

He called on all Nigerians to join the campaign for INEC to own up and do the needful. “Because we are in a situation similar to the June 12 of Moshood Abiola,” he added.

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