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N122m Scandal: Group Urges EFCC To Arrest Ayu, NWC Members

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, charged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest Peoples Democratic Party’s National Working Committee members and the party’s National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, over the return of N122.4million alleged bribe to the party.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, described as despicable the alleged grand larceny and graft ongoing within the PDP under Ayu, especially the allegation that he gave N122.4million to four NWC members to silence them over an allegation of financial misappropriation to the tune of N15billion realised from the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms by aspirants that participated in the PDP primaries back in May.
The group said that the party has not come out to deny the allegations by, at least, four members of the PDP, showed that there was an unprecedented corruption ongoing within the PDP.
HURIWA said for PDP to maintain that the payments were regular and legal was a slap on the faces of decent citizens, adding that it was inconceivable for elected office party leaders who ought to be accomplished men and women doing their profitable careers and professional vocation to now be said to be paid accommodation allowance was to stand logic on its head.
“Do they want to tell us that these officials sent accommodation allowances or whatever called, were hitherto homeless before they got elected into the NEC of the PDP and if they are homeless, what kind of mansion would cost an average person over N20million for just two years? These persons defending the indefensible should be arrested immediately,” HURIWA said.
Recall that in separate letters to the PDP, the NWC members had said the monies had been paid into their account without their knowledge. They also claimed they thought the monies were for their “house rent” until after a newspaper publication that exposed them.
The NWC members, who returned the money, are the National Vice Chairman (South-West),Olasoji Adagunodo; the Deputy National Chairman (South),Taofeek Arapaja; National Vice Chairman (South), Chief Dan Orbih; and National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Affah-Attoe.
While Adagunodo, Orbih and Effah-Attoe got N28.8million each, Arapaja was paid N36million.
PDP had fixed its presidential nomination form and expression of interest forms N40million, governorship N21million, Senate N3.5million, House of Representatives N2.5million and State House of Assembly N600,000.
“Also, a dollar bazaar had occurred, especially during the presidential primary of the party in Abuja back in May where the highest bidder got the ticket after allegedly doling out thousands of dollars to complicit delegates nationwide,” Onwubiko said.
Onwubiko further stated, “The return of N122.4million by at least four PDP NWC members as alleged bribe to keep quiet over billions of naira collected by the party at the last primary is another evidence that Nigeria’s democracy is challenged.
“The PDP chairman and all the NWC members have cases to answer at the EFCC and the anti-graft commission must immediately arrest them for interrogation into the alleged bogus corruption.
“It is shameful that a party which claims it wants to govern Nigeria is involved in this kind of scandal. What shall Nigerians expect from such a party should it produce the next president? Corruption galore!
“Nigerians must vote correctly in the next election. Parties and candidates with record of corruption like this should never be given a chance to enter Aso Rock as Nigeria’s president in 2023. They are selfish and concerned about their gains at the peril of the common man.”

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We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.

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Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders

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President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.

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Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders

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The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.

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