Connect with us

Politics

Pencom Fund: Reps Threaten To Issue PFAs Bench Warrant

Published

on

House of Representatives has threatened to issue a bench warrant to compel Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to appear before its ad-hoc committee, if they fail to attend the public hearing.
Rep Johnson Agbonayinma (APC-Edo), Chairman, Ad hoc Committee to investigate the activities of National Pension Commission (PenCom) and its Administrators, gave the warning on Wednesday in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
The Tides source reports that the House had, after a resolution passed in Feb., ordered the committee to commence investigations into the activities of PenCom since April 2017 over allegation of violation of the Act establishing the commission and the N9 trillion pension fund controversy.
However, the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOP) had, in two separate letters dated Jan. 28 and April 2, informed the committee that the PFAs would not be able to appear before the committee on Jan. 29 and April 4.
PenOp had, in the letters, attributed the reason the PFAs would not attend the meetings “to prior engagements slated for the same day.”
Agbonayinma, who cautioned the PFAs against disobeying the order of the House, said the PFAs and other stakeholders in the industry were deliberately avoiding the ad hoc committee.
According to him, the pension association, which the committee did not write letters to or invite, has no right to derail the lawmakers from holding the investigative hearing.
“If they fail to appear before the committee, we would have no option than to apply the law.
“That is, we would have to seek to issue bench warrant so that they can be compelled to come to appear before this ad-hoc committee.
“We would do just that to PFAs that refused to appear before this ad hoc committee ànd any organisation, not just the PFAs that are invited but the banks and PenCom,” he said.
The lawmaker, who expressed concern over the development, said the committee would not succumb to any deliberate effort to undermine the committee’s work.
“We have been having different issues; people trying to avoid coming to the public hearing.
“We had our first public hearing. In order for us to continue with our investigations that was slated for Thursday, I believe some people are trying to derail the wheel of the progress of our ad hoc committee.
“We invited different PFAs, we invited the PenCom, the acting DG, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and many civil societies who submitted document related to the subject matter.
“We never invited the so-called Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp).
“But we are surprised to be receiving letters; the first one we received before our public hearing telling us that the PFAs will not be able to attend under the umbrella of PenOp.
“There was no time this ad hoc committee wrote a letter to PenOp. They have been representing the various PFAs we have invited, the administrators, some of the banks and the custodians of the funds,” he said.
Agbonayinma said the committee was surprised to receive another letter from the association on April 3 “writing to us that the pension operators will not be able to attend the investigative hearing slated for tomorrow (April 4).”
The legislator, who condemned the act, described the move as “a plot to derail the wheel of progress of the ad hoc committee.”
“This has to do with the Nigerian people, the workers who have worked and deserved to make sure that whatever money is deducted from their accounts should be put to use and the PenCom must do the needful,” he said.
He, however, hinted that since no one has been indicted, the public hearing was “to serve as an opportunity for the stakeholders to clear the air on issues raised and assure Nigerians that nothing is amiss.”

Continue Reading

Politics

Edo PDP Decries Obaseki’s Poor Performance

Published

on

The Edo State Chapter of the PDP has again descended on Governor. Godwin Obaseki, describing his tenure as a hardship phase for the people.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday in Benin, the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Dan Orbih, said that Obaseki had failed to offer leadership to make the people enjoy the dividends of democracy.
According to Orbih, the governor should face governance and stay out of the endless crisis rocking the state’s chapter of the APC.
Orbih, who has been a vocal critic of Obaseki’s style of governance, said his advice was imperative because the crisis in the APC had become a distraction for the governor, preventing him from offering meaningful governance.
He lamented that Obaseki’s three-year tenure had only brought agony and deprivation to the populace, denying them the benefits expected from democracy.
The PDP chieftain also advised Obaseki to desist from the “yearly jamboree” of inviting people for talks in the name of marking anniversary but to channel resources to tackling problems.
“It is obvious that the APC has nothing to offer to the people of Edo State. As at today, Edo State is the only state where only a few elected members of the State Assembly are sitting.
“More so, the governor has not delivered on the 200,000 jobs he promised youths in Edo State.
“Our roads are begging for attention. There is worsening insecurity, in spite of the huge amount of security vote he withdraws monthly.
“He should, henceforth, commence the support of security agencies in the state for efficiency and if he cannot, he should stop withdrawing or collecting security votes.
Orbih also decried the inability of the government to pay bursaries and grant scholarships to Edo students in various institutions of learning, lamenting the dilapidation of various schools in the state.
According to him, the least the government can do for the youths is to employ more teachers to tackle the dearth of teachers in the state.
“The APC promised better days for Edo State and more than 11 years after the people have nothing to show for the promise.
“Edo people should remain resolute and committed in effecting a change in government come 2020.
Orbih also condemned the state government’s clampdown on civil society groups for demanding accountability to determine the status of infrastructure in the state.
“The governor owes it a duty to account for every action of his in the state.”
On the defection of Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the PDP’s flag-bearer in the 2016 gubernatorial elections to the APC, Orbih said that Ize-Iyamu was yet to inform the PDP of his decision, noting however, that the PDP in the state was intact, stronger, more united and bolder.
He disclosed that the party had concluded plans for mass mobilisation of voters, ahead of Edo 2020.
According to him, Edo PDP knows how to manage itself, and in 2020, we will do the needful because we want a party that can manage crisis.

Continue Reading

Politics

Kogi Poll: Court Hears Suit Challenging Bello’s Eligibility, Today

Published

on

A suit challenging the eligibility of Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State to contest the November. 16 governorship election in the state will be heard today, Friday, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The originating summons, which is instituted by Natasha Akpoti, the Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming poll, will be mentioned at Court 5 before Justice Inyang Ekwo.
The Tidereports that while SDP candidate is the plaintiff, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are1st and 2nd defendants respectively.
The suit, dated October. 10 and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019, filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Akpoti’s behalf, sought the court’s determination on the eligibility of Governor Bello in the Saturday election, having allegedly been involved in double registration as a voter.
Akpoti said “that by his wilful act of making double registration as a voter, Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election, having committed an act of electoral fraud.
“That Mr. Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st Defendant.,was initially registered as a voter sometime in 2011 in Abuja, by the 2nd defendant.
“That Bello. the candidate of the 1st defendant again fraudulently procured from the 2nd defendant. a second registration as a voter on 23rd May,. 2017, at Government House. Lokoja, while his 2011 first registration as a voter in Abuja was still live, extant and subsisting.
“That the said Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant carried out the double registration with the 2nd defendant so as to scuttle due electoral process.
“That such a person is not a fit and proper person to be voted for in any election, let alone for the high office of the governor of a state.”
Recall that Justice Ekwo had, on Tuesday, delivered judgment, disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate in Bayelsa, Sen.

Continue Reading

Politics

Udom’s Victory, Justice Directed By Law

Published

on

The Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom State chapter, has described the victory of Governor Udom Emmanuel at the Appeal Court in Calabar as justice directed by law and not through federal might or political colouration.
The Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Ini Ememobong said this in a reaction to the ruling of the Appeal Court on Wednesday which upheld the verdict of the Governorship election petition tribunal.
In a statement, Ememobong said, “the judgement of the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar on the Appeal filed against the verdict of the Governorship election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress and her Governorship candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere, delivered today has again aligned with reality by confirming the sanctity of the ballot.”
“ In the well-considered judgement, the noble Lords of the penultimate court, held that the Appeal was lacking in merit, agreeing with the tribunal that the APC did not lend credible evidence to prove their case and that they had dumped documents in the panel without linking them, as required by law.
“By this judgment, the judiciary has again shown that justice is directed by law and not federal might, partisan colouration or other extra-legal dispositions. To this, we are deeply grateful to the court and wholeheartedly welcome the judgement.”
The Publicity Secretary, however, renewed the call for partnership with the opposition APC, in the execution of Akwa Ibom Project.
He noted, “We acknowledge the zeal and emotional investments committed to the Governorship quest by Obong Nsima Ekere, an illustrious Akwa Ibom son, who rose to the exalted office of Deputy Governor through the instrumentality of our party. He has fought the fight, ran the race, but the results are not in his favour. We urge him to avoid the temptation of escalation of commitment and rather view the Akwa Ibom project as the cynosure and act in the benefit of the larger interest of the people.
“We commend Akwa Ibom people who have continually stood firm with our party, through their votes. Our legal team for diligent and excellent representation. The legal department of our Party led by the State Legal Adviser, Goddy Umoh Esq has shown great dedication in the pursuit of this case deserves commendation. God Almighty deserves our praise for His mercies and protection throughout the elections period.”

Continue Reading

Trending