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Breaking: Lagos Assembly Stops Salaries Of Government Appointees Without House Approval

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Breaking: Lagos Assembly Stops Salaries Of Government Appointees Without House Approval

– Summons HoS, Accountant-General, Commissioner

– orders withdrawal of appointment letters to affected appointees

 

 

 

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday ordered the withdrawal of letters given to government appointees whose nominations should have been sent to the House for their screening and confirmation, but who took up the jobs without the due process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The House also ordered immediate halting of salaries and remunerations enjoyed by the affected government appointees pending their appearances before the House. The Assembly further summoned three top officials over the issue.

Those summoned include the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Accountant-General of the State, Dr. Abiodun Muritala, and the state’s Commissioner for Establishment, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle.

In a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ brought before the House by Hon. Noheem Adams, Deputy Majority Leader, the lawmakers lamented the increasing situation where supposed nominees of the governor continue to work without being screened and confirmed by the House

Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, who presided at the sitting, agreed with the lawmakers that appointments of that nature without recourse to the House amounted to infractions.

“I quite agree with all of you that the failure of such nominees to appear is an infraction or violation of the laws of this House, especially as it relates to the MDAs, most of which were established by the laws of this House,” Dr. Obasa said adding that the laws of the House of Assembly have statutory provisions that nominees of the governor must appear for confirmation.

“It is becoming common and regular and if we fail to act now, it becomes a norm. I share your sentiments that there is a need for us to put a stop to this. I am aware of the development in the Audit Commission, I am aware of the one in the Law Reform Commission and now the Auditor-General and some others,” he said.

Raising the issue earlier, Hon. Adams cited Section 196, subsection 2; Section 198 and Section 126, subsection 3 which give backing to the House of Assembly in respect of nominations by the governor for appointments.

“Section 126, subsection 3 provides that except with the resolution of a State Assembly, no person shall act in the office of the Auditor-General for a state for a period exceeding six months.

“As the chairman, House committee on legislative compliance, I have observed that some appointments to boards and other agencies were not brought to this noble House. If this persists, the principle of separation of powers will be in jeopardy.

“For example, the Auditor-General was appointed on the September 22, 2022 and today is April 11, 2023,” Adams said adding that the Auditor-General’s appointment in acting capacity had exceeded what the laws stipulate.

Supporting Adams, Hon. Ademola Kasunmu said the stipulations of Section 198 should be strictly adhered to. He added that because such appointments are considered null and void, every remuneration that had gone out, should be returned to the coffers of the State.

Speaking on the same matter, Hon. Victor Akande observed that the situation happened in the judiciary where an appointment was done without recourse to the House and the due process.

Hon. Sa’ad Olumoh lamented that such appointments without regard for the House were becoming too many.

“Separation of power is a doctrine enshrined in the constitution. The executive has the right to nominate people and the House has the responsibility to either confirm or reject such nominations.

“It is not only in the office of the Auditor-General, but I don’t know in what capacity one can act beyond the time limit without recourse to the House,” he said while urging the House to look at the issue holistically so as to put an end to what could cause issues later.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo, who noted the difference between nomination and appointment, lamented: “Today, we have a lot of people parading themselves with many names without appearing before this House for clearance. It should not be a padi-padi thing. This is a constitutional matter and if we do not adhere, we would end up facing the wrought of the people.”

He said it was an infraction to have people who are not cleared by the House receiving salaries and “I am of the opinion that such money is supposed to be returned to the coffers.”

Hon. Desmond Elliot called on the House to act in a way to curtail any future occurrence while Hon. Femi Saheed suggested that “in line with the constitution, anyone acting outside the stipulated time must recourse to the House.”

He further suggested that the Head of Service be made to appear before the House to clear himself over the issue.

 

 

Breaking: Lagos Assembly Stops Salaries Of Government Appointees Without House Approval

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EFCC and the Failed ‘Revolution’ By Raheem Nasir (Opinion)

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EFCC and the Failed ‘Revolution’ By Raheem Nasir

EFCC and the Failed ‘Revolution’

By Raheem Nasir

If not well planned, a revolution for a good cause will not succeed, let alone a camouflaged “revolution” sponsored by suspected looters and fraudsters and others undergoing prosecutions or awaiting trials in the courts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

 

 

 

The nation was informed through social media that a massive “revolution” in the form of nationwide protests would be held against the EFCC for the most spurious reasons possible.

 

 

That apart, the proposed protests planned for July 5, 2024, were to culminate into a similitude of #Endsars protests witnessed by the nation years ago, during which tens of people lost their lives and property, mainly public-owned, worth billions of naira were destroyed; and from which the nation is yet to fully recover. The protesters’ main goal was to get the present Chairman of EFCC, Olaonipekun Olukoyede, removed while pretending to be protesting against a few reported cases of overzealousness on the part of some operatives of the commission.

 

 

The call for the head of the EFFC’s boss was not for corruption or any illicit practices like some of his predecessors, but vaguely for some overzealousness of a few EFCC operatives while carrying out their sting operations.

 

 

We want to congratulate the Chairman of EFCC on the failed protests and the recently heightened attacks on the agency in the media. It shows that Olukoyede and his team are doing well! EFFC cannot expect Corruption not to fight back. And the fact that the sponsored protests of July 5, 2024, failed does not mean Corruption will still not sponsor other protests on the streets or in the media, as usual. The machinations and shenanigans of Corruption against EFCC are well-oiled, coordinated by professional consultants and ongoing.

 

EFCC and the Failed ‘Revolution’
By Raheem Nasir

 

 

What Olukoyede and his men need to do is to stop corruption at all costs before it can perpetrated; get the operatives more professional and undeterred in their commitment to save the nation from endemic corrupt practices, economic and financial crimes and sabotage.

 

 

 

What the nation has lost to corrupt practices in private and public lives is enough to fix the huge infrastructural deficits bedevilling Nigeria. What famed corruption, internet fraud and scams popularly referred to as 419 have cost the image of this country is dishearteningly unimaginable to the extent that every holder of the green passport is suspected to be corrupt abroad and genuine investors are scared of Nigerian businessmen and women.

 

 

 

It is very heartwarming that on the day of the daggers drawn when faceless anti-EFCC blabbers expected the worst to happen to EFCC’s offices across the nation and culminating in the removal of its hard-working chairman, the organisation ironically recorded yet another major victory against corruption and its allies as the court ruled on that same day, on the N2 billion naira pension fraud case and ordered the final forfeiture of at least 20 property linked to the convicted former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.

 

 

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Joyce Abdulmalik, in a judgment, held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt that the 20 expensive properties, located in different parts of the country, were acquired illegally.

 

 

According to Justice Abdulmalik, the applicant, EFC, effectively discharged its responsibility, under the law, to establish that the property was acquired with proceeds of crime.

 

 

The judge also held that the “various individuals, who responded to an earlier interim forfeiture order, requiring interested parties to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited, failed to establish their ownership of the affected properties with credible evidence.”

 

 

 

Out of the 23 property listed in the schedule, three of them were left out. Maina’s wife, Laila, who claimed to be a citizen of the United States, and some of his relatives and associates, including Uwani Usman, Alhaji Aminu Yakubu Wambai, Haruna Mu’azu Musa and Aliyu Abdullahi, had claimed ownership of the 23 property.

 

 

 

The anti-graft agency had earlier obtained an order of interim forfeiture of 23 properties linked to Maina, currently on an eight-year jail term for pension fraud to the tune of N2 billion.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Abdulmalik agreed with the lawyer of the EFCC, Farouk Abdullah, that those who claimed to own the property failed to effectively establish the alleged ownership as they could not produce credible evidence.
She said: “It is trite in law that civil cases in non-conviction forfeiture are hinged on the preponderance of evidence. Again, I hold that the respondents have failed woefully in tilting the scale of evidential weight in their favour.”

As far as the operations of EFCC since the assumption of office of Olaonipekun Olukeyede as Chairman is concerned, the preponderance of the evidence is that there is a new Sherif in town! The agency has recorded unprecedented achievements in the fulfilment of its statutory goals in terms of recoveries of humongous amounts of money, undaunted trials and convictions of high-profile corrupt public officials.

The gang-ups and simulated attacks on EFCC are like the cry of a beaten baby; it’s not unexpected. The burbles of corruption-fight-back against the agency that is often seen in the media would fizzle out like that of a failed revolution.
Raheem Nasir, a social policy advocate, sent this piece via [email protected]

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Buratai Lauds Tinubu’s Increased Support for Counterinsurgency Operations

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Buratai Lauds Tinubu’s Increased Support for Counterinsurgency Operations

Buratai Lauds Tinubu’s Increased Support for Counterinsurgency Operations

 

 

 

 

…as NDA Course 29 Reunites in Maiduguri, Reaffirms Commitment to Nation-Building

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, played host to the 29th Regular Combatant Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy NDA as they gathered for their 2024 Annual General Meeting. The event was a celebration of their rich heritage and a reunion of old colleagues.

 

 

 

Buratai Lauds Tinubu’s Increased Support for Counterinsurgency Operations

 

 

 

The evening was filled with cultural dances, jokes, and sumptuous meals, creating a relaxing atmosphere for the members.

 

 

 

Former Chief of Army Staff and former Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, commended the federal government for the support in the war against insurgency.

 

 

 

 

 

“Nine years ago, we would never have had the opportunity to gather like this here in Borno and in Maiduguri in particular. Once it is 2 o’clock as someone said, everyone goes inside and remains there till the following morning probably nine or ten. The restrictions were heavy, the atmosphere was charged with so much insecurity. But today, to the Glory of Almighty God, we are thankful to God for the sustained counterinsurgency operations leading to the sustainable security being achieved and being experienced today in the Northeast,” he said.

 

 

 

“We must appreciate the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and thank President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the increased support to the Armed Forces to prosecute the counterinsurgency operations against Boko Haram and its subsequent version of ISWAP.”

 

 

 

 

 

Buratai also praised the members for their support during his tenure as Army Chief. “You have been wonderful for over forty years precisely 44 years when we met together for the first time 3rd January 1981 and we have maintained that relationship. I want to thank you for your support to me in particular.

 

 

 

 

 

“You stood by me when I was Chief of Army Staff in a very difficult period, the time of the Boko Haram rampage and it was a period that was volatile, uncertain, complex and of course ambiguous environment and times as well. The environments were charged with so much opposition and mischief that is within the sociopolitical environment and within the geographical environment of the northeast also was tensed with the various attacks that have been going on in this area but you stood by me and supported me and together, we succeeded.” He adds.

 

 

 

 

The Betara of Biu equally applauded the Theatre Commander Major General Wahidi Shuaibu, the other components as well as troops for their resilience and sacrifice.

 

 

 

Commodore MB Teidi (Retd), President of the Association, reflected on the journey that began over four decades ago. “Let me take a moment to reflect on the journey that has brought us to this moment. The history of NDA 29th Regular Course started on 3rd January 1981 when 155 young men reported for military training at the Nigerian Defence Academy. Most of us received the Presidential Commission and thereafter were posted to various services in the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force to pursue their Military career, while some opted out of the training to pursue their next best destined options.

 

 

 

“The inaugural meeting of this association was initiated by Major TY Buratai when most of the members were on Staff Course at the Command and Staff College Jaji. It was not until 2014 after the burial of one of our course mates, that the idea of a formal body with a constitution was muted. Since then the association has enjoyed consistent yearly meetings in line with its constitution.

 

 

 

 

 

The event brought together former colleagues from across the services and the business community, including serving military personnel such as Major General Wahidi Shuaibu, Theater Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, and the Air Component Commander.

 

 

 

 

The reunion demonstrated the strong bonds and camaraderie forged during their military careers. As they reminisced about their past experiences, they celebrated their achievements and the progress made in the fight against insurgency.

 

 

 

“Nine years ago, we would never have had the opportunity to gather like this here in Borno and in Maiduguri in particular. Once it is 2 o’clock as someone said, everyone goes inside and remains there till the following morning probably nine or ten. The restrictions were heavy, the atmosphere was charged with so much insecurity. But today, to the Glory of Almighty God, we are thankful to God for the sustained counterinsurgency operations leading to the sustainable security being achieved and being experienced today in the Northeast,” he said.

 

 

 

 

“We must appreciate the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and thank President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the increased support to the Armed Forces to prosecute the counterinsurgency operations against Boko Haram and its subsequent version of ISWAP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buratai also praised the members for their support during his tenure as Army Chief. “You have been wonderful for over forty years precisely 44 years when we met together for the first time 3rd January 1981 and we have maintained that relationship. I want to thank you for your support to me in particular.

 

 

 

 

“You stood by me when I was Chief of Army Staff in a very difficult period, the time of the Boko Haram rampage and it was a period that was volatile, uncertain, complex and of course ambiguous environment and times as well. The environments were charged with so much opposition and mischief that is within the sociopolitical environment and within the geographical environment of the northeast also was tensed with the various attacks that have been going on in this area but you stood by me and supported me and together, we succeeded.” He adds.

 

The Betara of Biu equally applauded the Theatre Commander Major General Wahidi Shuaibu, the other components as well as troops for their resilience and sacrifice.

 

 

 

 

Commodore MB Teidi (Retd), President of the Association, reflected on the journey that began over four decades ago. “Let me take a moment to reflect on the journey that has brought us to this moment. The history of NDA 29th Regular Course started on 3rd January 1981 when 155 young men reported for military training at the Nigerian Defence Academy. Most of us received the Presidential Commission and thereafter were posted to various services in the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force to pursue their Military career, while some opted out of the training to pursue their next best destined options.

 

 

 

 

 

“The inaugural meeting of this association was initiated by Major TY Buratai when most of the members were on Staff Course at the Command and Staff College Jaji. It was not until 2014 after the burial of one of our course mates, that the idea of a formal body with a constitution was muted. Since then the association has enjoyed consistent yearly meetings in line with its constitution.”

 

The event brought together former colleagues from across the services and the business community, including serving military personnel such as Major General Wahidi Shuaibu, Theater Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, and the Air Component Commander.

 

The reunion demonstrated the strong bonds and camaraderie forged during their military careers. As they reminisced about their past experiences, they celebrated their achievements and the progress made in the fight against insurgency.

 

 

 

 

The 29th Regular Combatant Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy is no doubt, a shining example of the power of friendship and service to the nation. As they look to the future, they continue to stand together, committed to their objectives and to the development of the nation.

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Economic Hardship: Pro-Democracy Group Hails Kalu,  Reps Over Salary Slash

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Economic Hardship: Pro-Democracy Group Hails Kalu,  Reps Over Salary Slash

*Economic Hardship: Pro-Democracy Group Hails Kalu,  Reps Over Salary Slash

 

 

The Socialist Movement of Africa (SMA) has commended the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, for advocating for a 50% salary cut among lawmakers to support the government’s efforts in addressing the economic hardship facing Nigerians.

 

Economic Hardship: Pro-Democracy Group Hails Kalu,  Reps Over Salary Slash

 

In a statement signed by its President, Dr. Apex Segun, the group also applauded the House for their collective decision to donate their salaries to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.

Segun said this selfless act demonstrates their commitment to the well-being of the people and their willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good.

Recall that the Green Chamber, on Thursday, on the recommendation of the Deputy Speaker, agreed to slash their salaries.

Kalu said: “This government is doing its best, but one year is not enough to address the challenges of this country. I want to plead with our colleagues to sacrifice 50 per cent for six months.”

In reaction, Segun said in a time of economic uncertainty, it is heartening to see leaders like Kalu putting the needs of the people above their own.

He said the actions of the Deputy Speaker and his colleagues embody the spirit of patriotism and democracy.

“The Socialist Movement of Africa (SMA) is thrilled to express its deepest admiration and appreciation for the exemplary leadership and selflessness displayed by the Deputy Speaker and the entire membership of the House,” he said.

“Their recent decision to donate 50% of their salaries for six months to support the government’s efforts in addressing the economic situation in the country is a testament to their commitment to the welfare of Nigerians.

“In a time when the country is grappling with the challenges of the high cost of living, food scarcity, unemployment, and other economic hardships, the House has shown that they are truly representatives of the people.

“Their willingness to make sacrifices and put the needs of the people above their own is a beacon of hope in these trying times.

“We commend the Deputy Speaker for his patriotic leadership in advocating for this noble cause. His selfless act is a shining example of what it means to be a true leader.

“The House has shown that they are a body of compassionate and empathetic leaders who are willing to take bold steps to address the challenges facing the nation.

“We applaud the House for their collective decision to put the needs of the people above their own. In these trying times, the SMA urges all public officers and indeed Nigerians to emulate the example of the Deputy Speaker.”

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