Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami to publish names of those indicted in the alleged misappropriation of over N6 trillion in the running of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) between 2000 and 2019, as documented in the recent Forensic Audit Report on NDDC.
In the open letter dated 25 September 2021 and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation also urged him to direct Malami and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible for the missing N6 trillion, and to fully recover any misappropriated public funds.
SERAP said it was in public interest to promptly publish names of those indicted in the audit report and to ensure that they face appropriate prosecution.
The letter read in part: “Despite the country’s enormous oil wealth, ordinary Nigerians have derived very little benefit from trillions of naira budgeted for socio-economic development in the region primarily because of widespread grand corruption, and the entrenched culture of impunity of perpetrators.
“The level of grand corruption in the NDDC and the devastating effects on poor Nigerians are serious enough to meet the requirements of crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to which Nigeria is a state party.
“The public interest in publishing the names of those indicted by the audit report outweighs any considerations to withhold the information, as there would be no prejudice against those whose names are published as long as the information is appropriately framed and truthful.
“The audit report raises prima facie evidence of grand corruption and its staggering effects in the Niger Delta. Nigerians have the right to know the names of those indicted and other details in the report, as guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Freedom of Information Act.
“Publishing widely the report and the names of those indicted would remove the possibility of obstruction of justice, and provide insights relevant to the public debate on the ongoing efforts to combat grand corruption and the longstanding impunity of perpetrators in the country.”
Udora Orizu, Thisday Live
Nnamdi Kanu: I lectured Abaribe on how to live in prison – Shehu Sani
Shehu Sani, a former Kaduna Central Senator, has recalled lecturing Senate Minority Leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe on how to live in prison.
Sani said he used to lecture Abaribe on how to live in prison in case he gets prosecuted over his Biafra agitation.
He disclosed this while sharing a throwback photo of himself having a discussion with Abaribe on the floor of the Upper Chamber.
In a post on his Facebook page on Wednesday, the former lawmaker disclosed that Abaribe also tried to convert him into believing in the Biafra ideology.
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He wrote: “My good friend Senator Abaribe was trying to convert my citizenship to Biafra while I used to give him lectures on how to live in prison when they come for him, using my years of experience in Kiri Kiri, Port Harcourt and Aba Prisons in the 90s.”
Abaribe had stood as one of the sureties for Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in 2017.
But Kanu jumped bail and fled Nigeria after regaining his freedom, following a ruling by Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja Federal High Court.
Following Kanu’s action, it was believed that the Nigerian government would go after Abaribe as he risked imprisonment.
However, Kanu was rearrested in July and is currently facing trial.
Plateau lawmakers fight over mace, impeach speaker
There was a rancorous situation on Thursday at Plateau State House Assembly as the legislators fought over the mace, the symbol of authority, leading to the impeachment of the Speaker, Abok Ayuba Nuhu.
Nuhu was promptly replaced with Sanda Yakubu, who from Pingana constituency of the Bassa Local Government Area of the state.
It was leant that as early as 5.30am on Thursday, members of the assembly had started arriving at the chamber of the house.
The rumours about the impeachment of Abok had started a week ago when press releases and write-ups went viral on social media over his clash with the state governor, Solomon Lalong.
The lawmakers almost exchanged blows when the issue of the impeachment was tabled in the house on Thursday. The Peoples Democratic Party members, who were loyal to the speaker, took the mace to prevent the impeachment.
But the All Progressives Congress members, who were in the majority insisting on the impeachment, dragged the mace and placed it in its position, and went ahead with the process.
It was learnt that before the state lawmakers converged on the house, the road leading to the assembly was blocked by security operatives.
There had been grudges between Governor Simon Lalong and the impeached speaker following the attack in Yelwan Zagam, the community of Jos North, where people were killed.
After the attack, the speaker started criticising the governor openly. He also stopped attending public functions in the state.
Ogun gives land encroachers 1 month grace to process titles
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has announced a one-month moratorium for residents and entrepreneurs who have encroached on the state government-acquired land.
He announced this at the launch of an online portal, Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS), at the Tech Hub in Abeokuta.
The governor gave them up till November 30 to apply for ratification of their documents.
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In his address, the Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Okubadejo, said the portal will also offer those who have encroached on the state government land in different parts of the state an opportunity to get title documents via the Property Registration Programme (PRP) for only a defined period.
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