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Gospel Preachers Preoccupied With Prosperity Than Righteousness – Osinbajo

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Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has berated gospel preachers for failing to lend support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war by failing to preach against the scourge.

Speaking at the 30th National Biennial Conference of the Students Christian Movement of Nigeria held in Enugu, Osinbajo noted that preachers were preoccupied with preaching prosperity rather than righteousness.

“Very rarely do you hear our preachers talk about corruption from their pulpits. If a nation is not righteous nothing will help it.”

Osinbajo said that the problem with Nigeria was neither ethnicity nor religion but systemic corruption.

He said that corruption had been so entrenched in the country that if you dare challenge it, you will be in the minority.

He, however, challenged the youths to change the narrative and make the difference by checking the impunity of those that had stolen the resources of the country.

“Our problem in this country is not ethnicity or religion; it is not about Christians or Muslims. Our problems are the same wherever you go in this country.

“The story of our country is about good and evil. It is about those that have left us in this condition by stealing our common resources.

“Do not let anyone deceive you.”

The acting president challenged members of SCM to ensure that the movement becomes one of the tools that will move the country forward.

“You should understand that our country can be delivered by people like you.”

According to him, young Christians have special and distinct roles to play in the transformation of the country which is superior to those of other sets of people.

“All of the great nations of the world were transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not a gospel that tickles people’s imaginations or dwells on prosperity.

“It is not a gospel that fits your fancy. It is a gospel that teaches that righteousness exalts a nation.”

Osibanjo appealed to Nigerians to stand against the plundering of the nation’s resources as well as support the anti-corruption initiative of the Federal Government, irrespective of party affiliations.

Earlier in his address, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State commended the organisers of the event for a successful convention.

Ugwuanyi said that Christians needed such events in order to seek spiritual reformation and renaissance, considering the situation in the world.

He said that Christians also needed to contribute their quota toward promoting good living among Nigerians.

Ugwuanyi urged Nigerians to continue to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and for the peace of the nation.

In an address of welcome, the National President of SCM, Rev. Eric Ighalo, commended Osinbajo for honouring their invitation.

Ighalo said that the conference was about active involvement of youths in reversing the problems that had held the country down through dialogue, collaboration and contention.

(NAN)

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Support Buhari, APC To Stop Looters, Oshiomhole Urges Nigerians

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National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole

Tony Osauzo, Benin

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday, called on Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to remove thieves and looters who believe it is their birthright to continue to loot the‎ country.

He made the call while addressing party supporters who came to welcome him at the Benin Airport on his way to Delta State.

Oshiomhole stated that working with the President, he would ensure that government focuses on the people; that government will not focus on the welfare of the few at the expense of the majority and that government must do everything possible to ensure that those who work have something to show for their labour.

“We must support the President and the APC to remove all those thieves, all those looters who believe it is their birthright to continue to loot; those who say that their purpose in government is for juicy not for the welfare of the people.‎‎”

The APC National Chairman who expressed his gratitude to the people promised that he would represent their feelings, their aspirations and meet their expectations as far as the running of the party was concerned.

He continued, “At this point, I am very clear, we will have to fight odds on the basis of our conviction and we will adjust our style; we will not borrow other peoples style.

“I am very proud of my working-class background and we will bring those values into the leadership and management of the All Progressives Congress”, he said.

In an apparent response to youths and party faithful clamouring for attention from the state government, Oshiomhole said: “I assure you that I will work together with our governor and ensure that any error, any concern that you have that they are addressed satisfactorily.

“And I want to assure you that the tradition of carrying our people along will be sustained; you represent what I call our infantry division. You are the ones on election day who ensure that our voters come out. You are the ones who ensure that the PDP rigging machine was defeated.

“We must keep you as a standing force. Together we will match on and will ensure that everyone who works is looked after.

“I know there are people with all kinds of stories but let me assure you that after the storm the weather will settle.

“Trust me, as you have not abandoned me, I will never abandon you and to our youths, I want to particularly appeal to you; don’t lose faith.

“There will be work, there will be participating; there will be involvement, there will be crucifix we will not throw away anybody.

“Nobody will be used and dumped. If yesterday has come beautiful, tomorrow will be better”, the APC National Chairman said.

Earlier in an interview, he spoke on unfolding political scenario in the country and said the interest of Nigeria was greater than the sum total of the political parties.

Oshiomhole continued, “We must engage and engage and pro-attack whether they call me attack-dog. I will rather be an attack-dog than be a mushroom eater.

“I asked you to understand that what is at stake is beyond the APC and the PDP. Nigeria is much more than the sum total of all the political parties.

“We will see who is who next year February. In Edo, they made this argument that politics is different from labour, we used labour tactics to humble them and they became converted.

“Exactly the same way we used it in Edo, we will use it either in Kwara, Benue or Sokoto or anywhere.

“Be fair in your reportage, this is not about me, it is not about them, it is about the Nigeria people. For those questioning my choice of style.

“I will not adopt the ruling class tactics to deal with a cankerworm of disease. I offer different style in order to get a different outcome”, he said.  (The Sun)

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Certificate Forgery: SERAP Gives NYSC 7 Days To Provide Document On Adeosun

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Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun

NAN

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Thursday, gave the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) seven days to provide documents for the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun’s Discharge Certificate.

A statement signed by the group’s Deputy Director, Mr Timothy Adewale, released in Abuja, said that SERAP, leveraging Freedom of Information Act, had forwarded a request, asking Director-General NYSC, Brig-Gen. Sule Kazaure, to release the documents.

Adewale said that the request urged Kazaure to urgently provide information on specific details and documents on the Exemption Certificate granted to the minister.

He said that if the information was not provided to SERAP within seven days of the receipt of the request, Registered Trustees of SERAP would take all appropriate legal actions.

“SERAP also asked Kazaure to provide information and documents on whether Mrs Adeosun applied for NYSC Exemption Certificate, and if she did, to clarify whether the NYSC actually granted her the certificate.

“SERAP also wants to know the circumstances and the provisions of the NYSC Act under which the Exemption Certificate was granted.

“This is because we need the information to determine if the crime of forgery has been committed and if so, to consider possible action in the circumstances.

“The action may also include but not limited to asking the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, to pursue prosecution or for us to consider the option of a private prosecution.”

He said that the organisation believed that by providing the FOI request on the information and documents on the Exemption Certificate, NYSC would help put an end to any insinuation of complicity.

He said that by that act, NYSC would have displaced transparency and accountability in the discharge of its statutory mandates, adding that it would also contribute to improving the integrity and image of the corps.

According to Adewale, SERAP believes Mrs Adeosun remains innocent until the allegations against her are properly tested and proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of competent jurisdiction.

He said that continued silence of NYSC management on the matter may create an impression that an offence may have been committed, fuelling accusation that the management had something to hide.

The director stated that SERAP had urged the NYSC management to open up on the matter and provide information and documents as requested.

He said that this would be one step in the right direction, adding that SERAP was concerned about the perceived lack of transparency and accountability of NYSC management on the matter.

Adewale said that the development had seriously undermined public trust and confidence in NYSC as a public institution established to serve the public interest.

He recalled that NYSC management issued a statement confirming that the minister applied for an Exemption Certificate, and promised to ‘investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question.”

He said, however, that SERAP was concerned that the statement lacked specificity as to whether Adeosun was issued the certificate.

Adewale pointed out that though the statement was issued on July 9, 2018, NYSC management had so far failed or neglected to publish the outcome of the investigation as promised.

“Nigerians are also entitled to the right to truth derived from the obligations of the government and its institutions to carry out an investigation into allegations of issues like forgery that have been levelled against Mrs Adeosun.”

According to him, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information relating to the granting of any NYSC Exemption Certificate are widely disseminated.  (The Sun)

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Buhari Has Power To Issue Executive Order 6 – Lai Mohammed |RN

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Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Chukwudi Nweje

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that President Muhammadu Buhari has the power to issue Executive Order Number 6.

Besides, Mohammed described the Executive Order as the administration’s most potent weapon against corruption.

The minister stated this at a press conference in Lagos, on Sunday, where he explained that section 5 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, which extends to the execution and maintenance of the constitution, all laws made by the National Assembly, mandated president Buhari to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power, and challenged those opposed to it to go court.

‘’The truth is that, having realised the potency of the Order in giving muscle to the fight against corruption, which, by the way, is one of the three cardinal programmes of our administration, the corrupt and their cohorts have become jittery. They have every reason to be. Henceforth, it won’t be business as usual.

“For those who claim that the Executive Order Number 6 is dictatorial, it is clear they have not even read it. Section 3 (i) of the Order states that any person who alleges that his rights have been violated, are being or are likely to be contravened by any of the provision of this Executive Order, may apply to a competent court in his jurisdiction for redress,’’ said Mohammed.

Last week, the National Assembly urged the president to suspend its implementation, having noted that it is similar to Decree 2 of 1984.

Regardless, Mohammed noted that executive orders are neither new to Nigeria nor will president Buhari be the first to sign them. “In 1980, then President Shehu Shagari issued an Executive Order to modify the Public Order Act. This was unsuccessfully challenged in court by then governors of Ogun and Borno states and, in 1999, then President Olusegun Obasanjo issued executive orders to abolish the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) and to proclaim May 29 as Democracy Day”, he said.

According to the minister, the war against corruption must be won, in order to free resources for the nation’s development. He also noted that it is the new measure became necessary to “re-kit and re-tool’’ the administration’s arsenal to effectively tackle corruption.

Mohammed said even in the United States of America, after which Nigeria’s presidential system of government is fashioned, presidents, starting from George Washington to Donal Trump, have used Executive Orders to shape policies.

“George Washington, who was president of the US from 1789 to 1797, issued eight Executive Orders. Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945) issued 3,522 Executive Orders; Barack Obama (2008-2016) issued 275 in eight years; Bill Clinton (1993-2001) 364 and current President Donald Trump, 80 so far. Recently, the US Supreme Court upheld, 5-4, President Trump’s indefinite ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, That ban was the result of an Executive Order.’’

The minister hailed president Buhari for showing uncommon courage and leadership by unveiling Nigeria’s most potent tool against corruption and appealed to Nigerians to support the administration’s efforts to tackle the cankerworm of corruption.

Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 aims to, among others, restrict dealings in suspicious assets, subject to investigation or inquiry bordering on corruption in order to preserve such assets from dissipation, and to deprive alleged criminals of the proceeds of their illicit activities which can otherwise be employed to allure, pervert and/or intimidate the investigative and judicial processes.  (The Sun)

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BREAKING: Court Grants Ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki Bail |RN

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Ex-National Security Adviser, Lt Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) 

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, granted bail to the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Dasuki had been on trial for alleged diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms to combat the Boko Haram menace to the 2015 presidential campaign of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The bail granted the embattled former presidential aide, on Monday, would be the sixth such bail granted him since the trial.

The trial judge, Justice Ojukwu, described the continuous detention of the Dasuki for the last two and half years as ‘an aberration to the rule of law and the contrition’.

She, therefore, grated the former NSA bail in the sum of N200 million and two sureties.

The sureties according to her, must not be lower than grade 16 in the civil service and where they are private citizens they must be owners of landed properties in Asokoro, Maitama, Utako or Garki area of Abuja.

Also, each surety is expected to pay a sum of 100 million as bail guarantee into the court litigation account.

Meanwhile, Justice Ojukwu took a swipe at the Department of State Services (DSS), stating that it could give itself the powers to met out punishment at a person as only the court has the powers to do that at the end of a trial. (The Sun)

Details later…

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Why Buhari Won’t Arrest Obasanjo |The Republican News

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President Muhammadu Buhari and Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, has cried out that President Muhammadu Buhari plans to arrest him.

 

I consider it the mother of all false alarms: Buhari lacks motivation for such an action.

But according to Obasanjo’s June 6 statement, which was signed by an aide, the plan arises from “(Buhari’s) desperation to frustrate, intimidate and blackmail him into abandoning his divine mandate to protect the rights of the people to better life and living” because of Obasanjo’s indictment of his administration in January.

Expressing disgust with Buhari’s abysmal performance in office, Obasanjo had urged him not to seek re-election.  Ordinarily, Obasanjo’s status as a statesman ought to be enough for him to speak out on matters of national interest.  But having squandered that, he now mistakes his six-month-old university diploma for God’s very mandate.

But to be clear: in a normal polity, the prosecution—not persecution—of Obasanjo should have started on or right after May 29, 2007, following his loss of presidential immunity, for a truckload of offences that are now well-known to Nigerians.  But he had carefully planned his future, handpicking those who took over from him, thereby foreclosing the option of justice when Umaru Yar’Adua took office in 2007.

Mr Goodluck Jonathan, who eventually assumed the presidency in 2010, ought never to have been anywhere near that office, considering his abysmal record as governor of Bayelsa.

Still, Obasanjo shoehorned him onto the express path to the presidency, and when he made a mess of it, accused his creation of being fake and ineffective.

But he was fake and ineffective by design: Obasanjo’s.  But Obasanjo knew if he had made the patriotic choice and allowed the emergence of a strong and popular president, he might have wound up in prison rather than as a larger-than-life political deity forever trying to define Nigeria in his image.

But the man with a “divine mandate” (to protect Nigerians) has never apologised to Nigerians for his chicanery in manipulating the political process for his own purposes.

Now that in Obasanjo’s eyes, Buhari has descended to the same political lower life form—even if so in the eyes of many disappointed Nigerians—we must remind ourselves not only of Obasanjo’s responsibility for our suffering but also of other crimes as president that he has yet to pay for.

Crimes that, despite Obasanjo’s “alarm,” Buhari has no intention of making him pay for, nor can make him pay for.

And then there are those that he selfishly continues to commit. In the June 6 statement, Obasanjo said, among others, “We are currently in a nation where the Number Three citizen is being harangued and the Number Four citizen is facing similar threat within the same government they serve.”

This illustrates the double standards and arrant hypocrisy by which Obasanjo has perennially divided and cheapened Nigeria.

Bukola Saraki may have other issues with the executive branch, but at the heart of his troubles are allegations of false declaration of assets from his governorships of Kwara State.  Lest we forget, in 2006 during Obasanjo’s second term, 15 governors, including Mr Jonathan, were indicted for similar offences by his Joint Task Force and recommended for trial.

But Obasanjo personally rubbished the report and instead, gave Mr Jonathan the vice-presidency.  In that light, Obasanjo is consistent: the only side he has ever been on is Obasanjo’s, not justice.

To hear Obasanjo tell it, however, he is clean, and he was absolved by everyone, particularly the EFCC.  On that score, here is how he attempted to handcuff Buhari in his statement: “The same EFCC that had conducted a clinical investigation on the activities of Obasanjo in and out of government…would now be made to stand down the existing report that gave Chief Obasanjo a clean bill of health on the probes…”

Obasanjo never says that it was his EFCC that “cleared” him while he supervised it.  Or acknowledge that Nuhu Ribadu, who chaired the commission at the time, subsequently declared publicly that his government was more corrupt than Sani Abacha’s had been.

One more example: in April 2010, a report of the United States confirmed that over 80 Nigerians had collected bribes, some of them in the millions of dollars, from Halliburton.  They included former heads of states, notably Ibrahim Babangida, Abdusalam Abubakar…and Obasanjo!

That report, and a local one two years earlier by the Mike Okiro panel set up by Yar’Adua, reached the same conclusions that are well-known to Buhari.  But no Nigerian leader, certainly not Buhari, has had the courage to do anything about it.

That is because Buhari is not interested in fighting corruption symptomatically.  His corruption does not involve people who are as “important” as Obasanjo.  He also appears to be working with the template that leaders don’t harass former leaders, an EFCC official describing last year an arrangement under which Buhari will not arrest Jonathan or his wife.

Note that until Obasanjo shot Buhari’s re-election plans full of holes, Buhari never expressed one negative thought about him.  Only then did Buhari dig up Obasanjo’s infamous expenditure of $16bn in the power sector between 1999 and 2007.

But it is the same Buhari who had always vowed to recover all the funds looted since 1999. “We want to have everything back – all that they took by force in 16 years,” he swore in November 2015.

And yet, in the three years during which he has borrowed externally by the billions, he has not set about recovering any part of that $16bn.  Or any major accounts and scandals of real magnitude.

In other words, Obasanjo symbolises the duplicity and emptiness of Buhari’s mythical onslaught on corruption.  Obasanjo is proof that Buhari’s war is not blind; to investigate Obasanjo would open Pandora’s Box.

But now there may also be another reason why Buhari appears to be playing with parallel agendas: his own record.  In “Petroleum Trust Fraud,” last week, Ray Ekpu, one of Nigeria’s most accomplished journalists, explored Buhari’s sordid tenure as Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund under Abacha.  It is not an insult to say it diminishes Buhari considerably.

The irony of the power-play between Obasanjo and Buhari is that, in the end, a man without a conscience wants to be the conscience of a people. Had Obasanjo Nigeria at heart, he had eight full years to serve Nigerians with distinction.

He didn’t grasp the opportunity: the same test Buhari is failing as we speak.

(Akahi News)

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BREAKING: Court Jails Ex-Plateau Gov. Dariye, 14 Years For N1.16bn Fraud

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  Ex-Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, jailed for 14 years

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja, on Tuesday sentenced a former Governor of Plateau State and serving senator, Joshua Dariye, to 14 years’ imprisonment on charges of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of overN1.16bn belonging to the state.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko  ‎in a judgment which took her six and a half hours to read convicted the ex-governor on 15 out the 23 counts preferred against him.

The judge barely a fortnight ago, imposed 14 years’ jail term on ex-Governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, on similar charges.

On Tuesday she sentenced ‎Dariye to two years imprisonment on each of the five counts bordering on criminal misappropriation and 14 years’ jail term on each of the 11 counts of criminal breach of trust.

The judge, however, ruled that all the sentences would run concurrently, implying that the convict would have to spend 14 years in jail.

The punishments imposed on the ex-governor for the two categories of offences of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation are the maximum as provided under sections 315 and 309 of the Penal Code Act, respectively.

The judge threw out eight of the 23 charges on the grounds of either duplicity or lack of sufficient evidence.

‎Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s lawyer, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had in opposing the defence lawyer’s plea for mercy, urged the court to impose the maximum sentence to serve as deterrence to others.  (Punch)

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