The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government against implementation of a directive on alleged recruitment of repentant Boko Haram members.
CAN said it had information that a number of ex-terrorists were allegedly being considered for recruitment into the Nigeria Police and Nigerian Army.
Special Assistant on Media to CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, raised the alarm in a statement, yesterday.
He wrote: “CAN is visibly disturbed at reports that the Federal Government has allegedly directed the Nigerian Army and Police to recruit some former members of Boko Haram terrorists who recently underwent deradicalisation programme.
“If it is true, CAN condemns such a policy in strong terms and ask the Federal Government, especially security agencies, to withdraw that directive which is capable of compromising the nation’s security system.”
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on the Federal Government to caution the Adamawa State Government against “hasty implementation” of the death sentence passed on five Christian youth alleged to have killed a Fulani herdsman.
Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri of a High Court in Adamawa State recently sentenced Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi to death for culpable homicide.
The convicts were alleged to had on June 1, 2017, at Kadamun village in Demsa Local Government Area ‘wilfully and intentionally conspired and attacked three herdsmen rearing cattle, killing one of them, Adamu Buba, whose body they threw into a river and also maimed several cows.’
Special Assistant on media to CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, in a statement, yesterday, warned that while CAN was not supporting jungle justice or any criminality, there has been no persecution of perpetrators of the killing of hundreds Christians over the years.
It read: “We note with regret how hundreds of our members in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Plateau states in the North-Central geo-political zones, and a state like Enugu in the South, have been killed and are still being killed on a daily basis by some criminals parading themselves as Fulani herdsmen, but are yet to be apprehended.
“While citizens stood helpless at the massacre of their peaceful fellow Nigerians, the international community watched in anguish how government security agencies could not bring perpetrators of these heinous killings to book.
“We recall with sadness how President Donald Trump had expressed sadness over killings of Christians in Nigeria and even told President Muhammadu Buhari when he recently visited the White House in Washington DC that the United States of America would no longer tolerate a situation where Christians are being killed with impunity.
“Despite the outrage that has trailed the killings of Christians in Nigeria, it is disheartening that none of the killers has been brought to justice. We are shocked at the speed of light deployed by security and judicial officers in sentencing the alleged killers of the herdsman in Adamawa State.
“Why did the court discharge the alleged killers of Madam Bridget Agbahime on the orders of the Kano State Government? Why have security officials not arrested those behind the killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna, while those arrested for the murder of Mrs. Eunice Elisha Olawale in Kubwa, Abuja, have been set free by the Nigeria Police?
“In view of the above, we are asking President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the death sentence passed on these Christian youths in Adamawa. We have called on our legal team to secure and study the text of the judgment with a view to preventing a miscarriage of justice and a future re-occurrence,” the statement added.
Similarly, the Supreme Council of Bishops, otherwise known as World Council of Bishops, has written President Muhammadu Buhari, pleading for pardon for five young men sentenced to death by a court in Adamawa for the killing of a herdsman.
It would be recalled that a Yola High Court had on June 11, 2018, sentenced the five men from Kodomun in Demsa council area of the state to death by hanging for murdering a herder in retaliation to the several killings in the area.
However, in the letter, the bishops noted that Nigeria “has suffered untold bloodshed from killings, maiming, traumatisation of innocent citizens around the North-East, North Central states, as a result of the frequent attacks by the militia herdsmen times without number.”
The correspondence, titled, “Special request for presidential pardon: Killing by hanging of five young men,” was signed by founding Primate, Abuja, Nigeria, Archbishop P. Sunday; Ecclesiastical Prelate Administrator, Houston, Texas, United State, Archbishop H. Parker; Apostolic Nuncio and Prelate to Africa, Lagos, Nigeria, Bishop J. Onyegbulem; and Ecclesiastical Prelate to West Africa, Niamey, Niger Republic, Bishop J. Hussein.
The clerics regretted that “till date no adequate justice had been meted out on them commensurate to the lives and property lost.”
It therefore “totally condemns and disapproves vehemently the death sentence passed on the five young men last Monday, June 11, 2018 by a court of competent jurisdiction in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria accused and charged for killing a herdsman.”
The letter, dated June 13, 2018 from the World Episcopal Headquarters in Texas, U.S., was routed through the Africa Episcopal Headquarters, Lagos and copied the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Samuel Onnoghen; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; as well as Governor Mohammed Jibrilla and the state’s Attorney General, Silas Bala Sanga.
The bishops added “what our nation Nigeria sues for now in our nascent democracy is peace and tranquillity, and not otherwise.”
Court Orders FG To Pay Rivers $1,114,551,610; A’Ibom $2,258,411,586
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and presided over by Hon. Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo has ordered the Federal Government to pay Rivers State $1,114,551,610.00 and Akwa Ibom State $2,258,411,586.00, respectively.
The money is entitlements of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, based on the subsisting decision of the Supreme Court over production sharing contracts arising from the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts.
Taiwo delivered the judgment in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/174/2021filed by the Attorney General of Rivers State and Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State against the Attorney General of the Federation.
It would be recalled that in 2016, Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states, through their Attorneys-General, had sued the Federal Government, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation at the Supreme Court in Suit No: SC.964/2016, seeking a declaration that there is a statutory obligation imposed on the Defendant (the Federal Government) pursuant to Section 16(1) of the Deep Offshore Inland Basin Production Sharing Act, Cap.D3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, to adjust the share of the Federation in the additional revenue accruing under the Production Sharing Contracts if the price of crude oil at any time exceeds $20.00 per barrel.
The states had asked the court to declare that the failure of the Defendant to accordingly adjust the share of the Government of the Federation in the additional revenue in the Production Sharing Contracts (variously approved by the Defendant) following the increase of price of crude oil in excess of 20.00 per barrel in real terms, constitute a breach of the said Section 16(1) of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, and has therefore, affected the total revenue accruing to the Federation, and consequently, the total statutory allocation accruing to the Plaintiffs by virtue of the provisions of Section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
The three oil producing states further prayed the court to issue a consequential order compelling the Defendant to adjust the share of the Government of the Federation in the additional revenue under all the Production Sharing Contracts in Nigeria’s oil industry within the Inland Water Basin Deep Offshore areas as approved by the Defendant from the respective times the price of crude oil exceeded $20.00 per barrel in real terms and to calculate in arrears with effect from August, 2003, and recover and pay immediately all outstanding statutory allocations due and payable to the Plaintiffs arising from the said adjustments.
It would be recalled that at the Supreme Court, the Attorney-General of the Federation opted for an out of court settlement, and consequently, terms of settlement were duly drawn up by the parties and entered as the judgment of the court.
The judgment specifically stated that the reliefs in the amended Originating Summons relating to the larger interest of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the entire citizenry of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be diligently implemented.
It was also agreed that the Attorney General of the Federation, working jointly with the Plaintiffs should undertake to immediately set up a body and the necessary mechanism for recovery of all lost revenue accruing to the Federation Account in the past and up till the date of full recovery and accruing in future or an acceptable instalmental payments thereof within 90 days next from the date of execution of these presents or its being made judgment of the court.
Following the judgment of the Supreme Court and in compliance therewith the Attorney General of the Federation, the Defendant, constituted a body to determine the respective liabilities including the amount due to oil mineral producing states as derivation proceeds.
The report of that body stated among others that Rivers and Akwa Ibom states were entitled to $1,114,551,610.00 and $2,258,411,586.00, respectively, as derivation proceeds.
However, Attorney General of the Federation, without recourse to the governments of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, unilaterally claimed to have settled with International Oil Companies (IOCs).
It was gathered that this unilateral action on the part of the Attorney General of the Federation as the Defendant in the judgment of the Supreme Court that led Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, to fill the suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Based on the suit filed by the state, the Federal High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Taiwo Taiwo, declared that Rivers and Akwa Ibom states were entitled to $1,114,551,610.00 and $2,258,411,586.00, respectively, as derivation proceeds.
The court also awarded a post judgment interest of 10 per cent in favour of the Plaintiffs until the final liquidation of the judgment.
Declare State Of Emergency On National Assets, Experts Tell Buhari
Against the backdrop of challenges facing national assets across the country, the Association of Facilities Management Practitioners of Nigeria (AFMPN), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to declare state of emergency on public infrastructure.
The call was made by AFMPN President, Collins Osayamwen, in an interview with newsmen, while speaking on the new vista his leadership has opened for the association to play a strategic and critical role as a professional body charged with the responsibility of maintaining and managing public infrastructure if the bill at the National Assembly was passed into law and assented to by Buhari in order for Nigerians to enjoy public assets.
However, Osayamwen pointed out that public infrastructure has not been given the desired attention over the years as a result of not giving recognition to professional facilities managers who government needs to collaborate with to maintain critical national assets worth billions of Naira.
He said, “It is evidently clear that our public infrastructure is in a state of emergency and the government needs to declare a state of emergency in order to rescue our public infrastructure from total collapse.
“The reason for lack of maintenance of our infrastructure is not far-fetched.
“It is because, in Nigeria, the profession that is saddled with the responsibility of looking after the built environment does not exist in the list of professionals that constitute the building team.
“We are seriously concerned about the deplorable state and deficit of public infrastructure in Nigeria. In 2012, the Infrastructure Council of Regulatory Commission (ICRC), alluded that $12billion to $15billion was required annually for the next five to six years to bridge the infrastructure deficit gaps in Nigeria.
“It is worthy of note that if these figures are anything to go by, the situation should have become worse by now, nine years later.”
He also explained that in the built environment, architects are responsible for conceptualisation, design and supervision of the project; the Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers and even the IT engineers are responsible for design and construction of the building systems; the building engineer carries out the physical construction of the building.
“Now, let’s examine the role of these professionals. They all perform a certain function and they leave the site once their assignment is completed. Not even one of the professions listed above is trained to look after the building. Once the building is commissioned, they all leave the site for a new project.
“Unfortunately, all the activities carried out in the building up till the stage of completion is less than 20 per cent of the life cycle cost.
“The remaining on-going activities and cost of over 80 per cent is operations and maintenance cost and activities.
“This critical stage in a building life cycle is often neglected, hence, the poor state of our infrastructure. I cannot overemphasize the role of the facilities management practitioners in managing our built environment,” he stated.
According to him, the main reason Nigeria has not been able to maintain her infrastructure is because “the profession responsible for maintenance is not yet recognised for its strategic role in Nigeria as a profession and Facility Management profession is not recognised as a member of the built environment practitioners.
“Maintenance starts from the design stage of a facility. It requires painstaking planning, scheduling, budgeting, sustainable programme management and implementation of maintenance technologies, and others.
“It takes more than culture to effectively and efficiently maintain a facility. It requires time, money, and experience to maintain infrastructure,” he added.
Flood Ravages NASS As Senate Confirms New COAS
There was a downpour in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, yesterday morning, leaving several parts of the National Assembly Complex flooded.
The central lobby at the ‘White House’ section of the building, which adjoins the Senate and House of Representatives chambers, was flooded.
Other areas affected include the third and last gate to the premises as well as the road linking the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to the National Assembly.
The Senate had resumed plenary, yesterday, while the House is to resume on June 28, 2021, as the National Assembly returns from a mid-term break.
At the lobby, workers of the two private firms engaged for cleaning services at the complex were busy mopping the floor while it rained.
Water could be seen dropping from several points on the famous green roof.
Some senators watched as the workers struggle to keep the floor dry.
During the plenary, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Maj-Gen Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff.
The Red Chamber took the decision after the consideration of the report of its Joint Committee on Defence and Army led by Senators Aliyu Wamakko and Ali Ndume.
Earlier, the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, had on June 2, referred the request of President Muhammadu Buhari for Yahaya’s confirmation to the committee.
The Defence Committee, which is chaired by Wamakko, was mandated to be the lead panel to screen the newly appointed Army chief.
Yahaya was appointed to replace Lt-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash with 10 other military officers while on an official trip to Kaduna State, last month.
Until his appointment, Yayaha was the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East.
Meanwhile, at the House, the downpour delayed legislative activities as several committees which had scheduled the meetings and hearings for the morning were forced to delay the events, as several workers and guests were said to have been trapped in their vehicles.
For instance, the House Committee on Disabilities, which was to begin an investigative hearing on ‘The Need to Investigate the Alleged Violation of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and Private Airline Operators’ at 11am had to commence the event at about 12:15pm.
Also, the House Committees on Communications; Justice; Information and Culture; and National Security and Intelligence, which were to hold an investigative hearing on the recent ban placed on Twitter by the Federal Government shifted the event from 10am to 1pm.
By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja
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