The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, said yesterday that the House would follow up on the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee on the probe of fuel subsidy.
Tambuwal made the promise when the organised labour paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, saying that the House would continue to make laws for the good of the country.
“The House will continue to do things that meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, we will remain focused.
“The National Assembly will not make any attempt to take away the freedom of Nigerians but rather, will make laws to strengthen our democracy.’’
Tambuwal maintained that the House would continue to partner with civil society organisations (CSOs) as they were critical to the legislature.
He cautioned religious leaders over comments on the activities of the Boko Haram sect which, he said, was not religious.
“Religious leaders should be more cautious in their comments over Boko Haram. Boko Haram is not purely religious, but they are out to destroy the nation.’’
Earlier, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),Mr Abduwaheed Omar, said that organised labour was in support of the House in the fuel subsidy probe.
“We want to assure you that the organised labour will be behind you.
“We want the report to be taken to its logical conclusion; all those culprits must be brought to book.
“The path you are treading is the right path, whoever rises up to do the right thing must be allowed to continue.’’
Omar said the National Assembly members were the true representatives of the Nigerian people and must be allowed to do their work.
The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC),Mr Peter Esele urged the National Assembly to ensure that Nigerians were not denied their freedom in the name of anti-people law.
He said that the congress would ensure that those indicted in the fuel subsidy report were prosecuted.
According to Esele, sovereignty of the Nigerian people resides in the National Assembly.
However, contrary to the unanimous decision of the members of House of Representatives to prosecute culprits on fuel subsidy scandal, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, has revealed that the federal government cannot prosecute the people indicted in Lawan’s probe report over the management of the fuel subsidy.
He said Lawan’s report was just a ‘fact-finding’ mission.
A statement from the office of AGF yesterday stated that the government would need relevant agencies to conduct necessary investigations before it can commence the prosecution.
According to him, “government must be guided by the dictates of the rule of law and due process as required of any democratically elected and responsible government. In this regard, the need to ensure that thorough investigations are carried out by relevant law enforcement agencies cannot be overemphasized.”
He noted that the exercise carried out by the legislature is “mainly fact-finding.” He further pointed out that the report of the ad-hoc committee and the resolutions adopted by the House of Representatives, were yet to be transmitted to the executive arm of government.
“Nevertheless, when the report and accompanying resolutions are received, the relevant law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies will commence the tedious process of sieving through the report, with a view to assembling all the essential ingredients required to sustain criminal charges that may be filed as a result of such investigations” he added.
He stated that “experience has shown that whenever our law enforcement agencies are stampeded to arraign suspects, the end result is usually the discharge of such suspects by the courts ostensibly for want of evidence.”
“Nigerians must therefore allow our law enforcement agencies to conduct painstaking investigations that will ultimately satisfy the standard of proof required in criminal cases.”
He however admitted that the allegations contained in the subsidy probe report deserve serious action on the part of all those with oversight responsibility over the agencies and persons concerned.
Adoke urged Nigerians to have faith in the processes being undertaken and to patiently wait for the outcome of the investigations and subsequent prosecutions that may flow from the fuel subsidy probe and the on-going probe by the Senate.
He told a non-governmental organisation, ‘Save Nigeria Group’ (SNG) that has given the government a two-week ultimatum for prosecution of all those indicted in the report that the threat to embark on demonstrations and strike would only “compound the problem and divert attention as well as the energy that would otherwise have been channeled into productive use by law enforcement agencies”
Adoke reiterated government’s commitment to anti-corruption as he recalled the President’s initial reaction to the report of the fuel subsidy probe, saying that “any person found wanting will be prosecuted irrespective of the person’s standing in the society.”
He therefore enjoined all Nigerians who are concerned about the revelations from the fuel subsidy probe report to be “patient and exercise restraint while essential processes are carried out by appropriate agencies.”
“As Attorney General of the Federation, I swore to uphold the Constitution and I am therefore not oblivious of the constitutional responsibility placed on my shoulders to ensure that those who contravene our laws are held accountable through the legal process” he stated.
FG Alerts On Massive Flooding In Rivers, FCT, Others
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has predicted more devastating floods from the end of August to early October in some states of the federation, including Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Already, the agency said in line with its earlier predictions, Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states had witnessed severe flooding as a result of heavy local rainfalls compounded by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interaction with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said.
The DG said his agency was monitoring the development as we approach these critical months, adding that it will also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.
Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of Disbanded OSPAC Leader In EMOLGA
The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of one Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, the leader of disbanded OSPAC in Umudioga community in Emohua local Government Area of the state, last Tuesday.
The spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Tide, said the dismembered body of the victim has also been recovered and deposited in the mortuary for preservation.
The police spokesperson further stated that the police has restored normalcy in the community while the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has ordered for full investigation into the incident.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be cultists, last Tuesday, invaded Umudioga community, and killed Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, who was said to be the leader of the disbanded OSPAC, a local vigilante group in the area.
A native of the community, who pleaded anonymity for fear of the unknown, disclosed that the gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated assault rifles, stormed the community in the afternoon and went for their target.
The source further revealed that the gunmen shot Isaac dead before beheading and dismembering his body, and later paraded the head of their victim in the community while urging natives not to panic as they came for the deceased and not for the community.
The Tide gathered that some other members of the disbanded OSPAC have already fled the community as a result of the killing of their former leader and fear of being attacked by the cultists who are hunting members of the defunct OSPAC in the area.
It was learnt that many suspected cultists were arrested and killed in the community while others fled during the reign of the deceased OSPAC commander in the community in 2019.
The Tide further learnt that the killing comes barely three weeks after the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Dr Chidi Lloyd pronounced the dissolution of all vigilante groups in the LGA, and asked communities that make up the council area to submit five names of natives who would be screened and admitted into a new security outfit to be established and funded by the council in no distant time.
By: Akujobi Amadi
JAMB Fixes Mop-Up UTME For 18,000 Candidates, Aug 6
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has rescheduled examination for more than 18,000 candidates who experienced biometric verification challenges and those who genuinely missed the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as a result of a clash with this year’s National Business and Technical Examinations Board examination.
The mop-up UTME is scheduled for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, made this known in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Mop-Up UTME Holds Friday, 6th August, 2021…JAMB’.
The statement read, “Following detailed investigation and careful analysis of the highly-successful 2021 UTME, and with due consultation (resulting in gracious concession) with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s on-going SSCE, JAMB has scheduled a Mop-up UTME for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the nation.
“About 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number on http://www.jamb.gov.ng/2021mopup.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
“Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts (as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
“Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problem, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date (and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination. (Adequate screening arrangements have been made to re-verify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution).
“Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then on-going NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB.
“Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination. The slips are to be printed from the JAMB website https://www.jamb.gov.ng using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, August 1, 2021.
“The board strongly advises candidates to avoid supplying their vital information, including registration number to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafe(s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates. CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secured for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own.”
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