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Widen Arms Fraud Probe …CSO Tells DSS

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The Department of State Services (DSS), has been asked to extend its on-going probe to the offices of the National Security Adviser (NSA), occupied by Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd) and the Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Muhammad Dan-Ali (rtd).
The Nigeria Concerned Citizen Assembly (NCCA), made this request in a letter written to the DSS on June 27, 2016, and made available to newsmen, yesterday.
This came following the arrest of a member of the Presidential Investigative Committee on Arms Procurement, Air Commodore Umar Muhammed (rtd) by the DSS.
According to the group, the arrested committee member allegedly indicted both men as key influence in the syndicate.
In its letter to the Director-General, DSS, the CSO asked the secret police to dig deep into the case and ensure no stone is left unturned in bringing the culprits to book.
The letter signed by its Convener, Dr Abraham Odukoya, read in part: “It may interest you to know that Air Commodore Muhammed (rtd) owns a guest house valued at N3.2billion within the highbrow area of the FCT-Abuja where he plays host to the Minister of Defence, who actually attained his present position due to the influence of Air Commodore Muhammed.
“This is a clear indication that the allegation that the duo are collaborators in crime and benefited from the arms procurement fraud may not be false after all,” the group said.
It also warned that the sincerity of the agency in carrying out the investigation would be a test of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to its campaign promise to tackle corruption.
The group which said the DSS could be on the verge of making history in the anti-corruption war given the calibre of those it is currently investigating, has raised concerns that the ONSA and Minister of Defence are already using their clout and connections to block the investigation after the level of their involvement was revealed.
NCCA expressed concerns that “highly placed individuals” are out to scuttle the investigation given the concerted efforts they have been making in this regard since the arrest of Air Commodore Muhammed (rtd).
The group which backed the arrests made by the DSS insisted that the agency must conduct a thorough and impartial investigation.
“We are poised now more than ever before to kill this notion that high and mighty persons are above the law and cannot be touched even when they commit heinous crimes.
“We, at NCCA, are solidly behind you and call on you and the entire leadership of the DSS to continue to distinguish yourselves by ensuring that you get to the bottom of this arms procurement fraud in such a manner that no person, no matter how highly placed, is left off the hook,” it demanded.
The assembly warned that those involved in the fraud could constitute the greatest security threat to the nation if they are allowed to walk the country free with the proceeds of their crime.
“The security implication of allowing those who have looted such huge amount on of money hang around freely and perhaps even use the monies to influence decisions in Nigeria is best analysed by your office,” the letter declared.

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Nigerian Law School, PH Campus’ll Be Ready In Six Months, Wike Vows

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has received a formal letter of approval from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, for the establishment of a Nigerian Law School campus in Port Harcourt.
The letter was presented to the governor by the Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Huyatu Chiroma, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Wike said it was gratifying that the Council of Legal Education and the Attorney General of the Federation have graciously given approval to the Rivers State Government to assist in the establishment of a Law School in Port Harcourt, an offer which was initially rejected by the immediate past administration in the state.
The governor commended the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, for his statesmanship and commitment to the growth of legal education in Nigeria.
“This is devoid of any political affiliation. I must commend him for this show of sportsmanship, for this show of leadership, that at the end of the day, it is Nigerians and Rivers people that will benefit from the establishment of this campus in Port Harcourt.”
Wike explained that construction work had already commenced at the site approved by the state government for the Port Harcourt campus of the Nigerian Law School.
According to him, the campus will be ready in the next six months and the Certificate of Occupancy for the school is ready.
“The six months that we have given is not six years. Six months is six months. Even if any other project will be suspended, let it be suspended. This project must be finished within six months. And I also urged you to appoint a deputy DG who should move down to Port Harcourt immediately.”
The Rivers State governor explained that some corporate organisations, including banks, have expressed their readiness to build hostels and library in the campus, pending the approval of the authority of the Nigerian Law School.
The governor urged the Nigerian Law School management to graciously immortalise the former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice for the Federation, Justice Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas, SAN, by naming the Port Harcourt campus after him.
The Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Huyatu Chiroma, said the process for the establishment of a Law School campus in Port Harcourt started on the June 4, in Yenagoa when Governor Wike threw a challenge that if given an opportunity, Rivers State Government was ready to construct and deliver a new campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt within six months.
He explained that afterwards, the Council of Legal Education met and unanimously agreed to accede to the request of the Rivers State Government and this was also endorsed by the Attorney General of the Federation.
The Attorney General of the Federation in this letter to Governor Wike which was read by Chiroma, said immediately he received the letter from the Rivers State Government to assist in the establishment of a new campus in Port Harcourt, his office forwarded same, via Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary for consideration by the Council of Legal Education.
“I am delighted to convey to you the acceptance of your offer by the Council of Legal Education at its meeting held on June 18, 2021. A copy of the approval letter and a draft Memorandum of Understanding to guide or govern the conduct of the partnership project is hereby forwarded to you for your kind consideration and further action.
“While appreciating the kind gestures of the Rivers State Government in the promotion of legal education in Nigeria, please accept the assurances of my best regards and high esteem as always.”
In his remarks, the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Zacchaeus Adangor, said the Law School campus in Port Harcourt will stand out as one of the most iconic achievement of the Governor Wike’s administration.
The Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi, commended the Attorney General of the federation and the Council of Legal Education for the approval and assured that the state will construct a befitting campus in Port Harcourt.
Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze C.J. Okocha, SAN, said though the new campus is in Port Harcourt, it will be for the benefit of all Nigerians and the legal profession.
The chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt branch, Prince Nyekwere applauded the approval, and urged the Federal Government to devolve some of its obligation in the Executive List to the federating States.

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Buhari Off To London For Medical Check-Up, Today

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday travel to London, for a scheduled medical follow-up.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Femi Adesina, confirmed this in a statement, yesterday.
Adesina said the President is expected return to the country in the second week of next month.
“He is due back in the country during the second week of July, 2021,” the statement said.
It would be recalled that on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Buhari had visited London to receive medical attention from his physician.

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South Only Seeking Egalitarian Nation, Not War, PANDEF Insists

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The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has said the interest of the South was to ensure that the country became an egalitarian nation where everyone was treated equally.
The National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Hon Ken Robinson, who said this in Port Harcourt, yesterday, described as unfortunate the claim by ACF that the south was trying to trigger war in the nation.
Robinson maintained that the northern leaders were inconsistent with their view about the nation, regretting that ACF was shield the misdeed of the criminal elements from the North.
He said, “It is unfortunate that the ACF is not consistent. Few days ago I heard they said they were trying to reach out for dialogue and then the next day they are saying the southerners are trying to trigger war, how?
“We are insisting that some wrongs and attitude that are not acceptable should stop. What the South is asking for is that we have to be a country let’s be a country.
“Let’s be a country where everybody is treated as citizen of the nation. Not a situation where some people are super citizens and others lesser citizens that is the attitude we see every day.
“People who carry guns, invade farms and destroy livelihoods molest women, kill people are treated as super humans, and then the southerners are saying no and resisting that kind of attitude and the North begin to brand southerners as people who threaten people for war.
“No one is afraid of war. If that is what they want let it be so. All we are saying is that Nigeria is no longer a country as it is.
“There is so much injustice and discrimination. The Muhammadu Buhari administration has worsened the whole thing. This is glaring in appointment and project execution and all of that. Let there be a change in attitude that is all we are saying. Let us have an egalitarian nation where everybody will be treated equally.
“Where we produce resources and we get little. You plunder our resources. The NNPC has become as some have said it Northern Petroleum Corporation, it has become a grazing ground for a section of the country with the exclusion of those whose land the industries are being operated and you say this is asking for war. This is ridiculous!
“That is a very irresponsible statement. We are patriots; that is what we are. We have contributed so much for the development and sustenance the country. Nobody will build his house and would want to destroy it, but if you think that I will build a house and you would want me to leave it and become a tenant in the house that I built, you are the one looking for war.”

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