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Posts tagged ‘House’

FG sponsors crude oil theft – Tambuwal.



Crude oil thieves are being sponsored by the Federal Government, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has said, insisting that the crime is not being perpetrated by ordinary criminals, but by those who enjoy the backing of government.Tambuwal, said this at the inauguration of the House Ad-hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft in Nigeria in Abuja, noting that the only way to fight the crime is for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute suspected crude  oil thieves in the country.He said the House would ensure that law enforcement agencies were well equipped to carry out investigation of those engaged in the illicit business.“This House must use its influence to ensure that the law enforcement agencies approach their investigation of the criminals engaged in oil field theft from a more sophisticated angle.“We need to put in place the right kind of legislation to improve the monitoring of on-shore and off-shore areas in order to discourage vandalism.“We need to establish a robust regulatory framework to plug all loopholes through which all sorts of official and unofficial corruption thrive in the oil sector,” he said.He said that oil theft had reached a level that required the assistance of every Nigerian to check the dangerous trend.“Oil theft in our country has now reached an industrial scale, we need the concerted efforts of all stakeholders who must be invited and heard at a scheduled 5-day public hearing.“There is also no doubt that we must try, as much as possible, to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as soon as possible,” he said.He urged members of the committee to scrutinise the report by the Royal Institute for International Affairs, which alleged that Nigeria’s oil was being stolen not just from pipelines, but also from tank farms and export terminals.The Chairman of the committee, Bashir Adamu (PDP-Jigawa) said illegal bunkering costs Nigeria an estimated N780 billion annually.Mr. Adamu said unless government summoned the courage to fight the menace, the situation would further worsen the country’s economic woes.The legislator explained that the rising level of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, particularly in the Niger Delta region, had assumed higher dimensions.He said that the ugly development had made operations in the oil and gas Industry one of the most expensive in the world.“Attacks on production facilities have led to several shut-downs and declaration of force majeure by the international oil companies (lOCs), ultimately resulting in loss of revenue to the government,” he

said.Adamu recalled that in April 2013, oil giant – Shell Petroleum Development Company – shut down the 150,000bpd Nembe Creek oil pipeline due to the urgent need to clear illegal connections.He called for serious efforts to combat the menace, adding that the trend had become more complicated because of its international slant.“Cooperation between the government and private sector is vital to achieving effective maritime security and prevent crude oil theft within the nation’s maritime domain”.It would be recalled that the House, during its sitting, set up a 14-man committee to investigate people or institutions behind oil theft in the Niger Delta.The House had earlier called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately overhaul the operations of the Joint Task Force (JTF), in the Niger Delta to ensure a more proactive security check of all oil installations in the country.Adopting a motion introduced by Aliyu Sani Madaki (PDP-Kano) on the issue yesterday, the parliament, without debate, resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to look into the propriety of contracting the protection of the country’s waterways and oil pipelines to private firms, among others.It also mandated the committee to investigate the allegations made by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Akpobolekemi, of the involvement of influential people in oil theft and the fact that the organisation had seized ships belonging to the oil thieves and report back to the House within two weeks.The Federal Government had in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility, awarded pipeline surveillance contract to protect the country’s waterways so that crude oil theft could be curbed.But the House said engaging a private firm to man the country’s waterways had worsen the level of the oil theft thereby making its presence unnecessary.It noted the revelation by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who said the illegal oil theft (bunkering) could be as high as 400,000 barrels per day.This, according to her, led to a 17 per cent fall in official sales of the crude oil in international market.The House last October accused President Jonathan of doing too little to curb increasing oil theft, and said the government’s reluctance to deploy improved methods to end the theft was tantamount to “economic sabotage”.A spokesperson for the House, Zakari Mohammed, said the government had no explanation for not addressing the theft with new technologies available, but choosing to offer excuses.


Source: Radio Biafra.

BMW Scandal : Defiant Oduah Says She Will Not Quit – PM News, Lagos.

Stella Oduah
By Simon Ateba

Nigeria’s embattled aviation minister, Stella Oduah, will not resign and those who claim the House of Representatives had called for her resignation or sack should go back to school, she said on Tuesday in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria.

Oduah said federal lawmakers had neither indicted her nor called on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack her.

Rather, she said, what the House recommended was for the presidency to review some of the things in the aviation sector.

The minister, who inspected remodelled facilities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, was asked by a journalist if she would resign following federal lawmakers recommendations to President Jonathan.

She replied, ” I think it means you don’t read or you probably don’t understand English because I read it too. What is there is that Mr. President can and should review. That is what they said there. Probably, you should go back to school.”

Oduah’s statement left a mammoth of journalists who had thronged the airport bewildered.

The Nigerian House of Representatives last week endorsed the report of its Committee on Aviation, which had indicted Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, over the purchase of two BMW cars at the hefty sum of N255 million.

The House endorsed the report at a Plenary last Thursday.

The report concluded that for approving cars that were not budgeted for in 2013 and for an amount far above the approval limit of the ministry, Oduah had broken the law.

It said the minister committed the breach by approving expenditure of over N643 million for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to procure 54 vehicles this year.
The House noted that her approval limit as a minister was N100 million.

The House asked President Goodluck Jonathan to decide whether he should continue to retain her services as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A major recommendation of the committee, which was adopted, read, “The House urges the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to review the continued engagement of the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, for having contravened the Appropriation Act, 2013 and the approved, revised threseholds by exceeding the Ministry of Aviation’s approval limit of N100m by the purchase of 54 vehicles valued at N643m.”

The endorsement of the report by the House elicited a prompt response from Oduah, who described the action as premeditated and with a hidden agenda.

“We are shocked and disappointed that in spite of the deluge of representations and evidences provided by the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah and all invited stakeholders on the matter, the House would reach conclusions that have only confirmed that there was a hidden Agenda in the entire exercise from the beginning,” said Joe Obi, Odua’s spokesperson.

Speaking on the remodelled airport, Oduah assured that the airport would be commissioned before the end of first quarter of 2014.
“We want to be able to start the usage of all these facilities by first quarter of next year. What is very key is that passenger travelling experience will be very very different,” Oduah said.

She added: “It will be the way it should be; it means you have the comfort, you have the safety and you have the security and most importantly as you’ve seen we’ve increased the capacity which means you have ample space to really do what you are supposed to do.”
On the national carrier, she said she encountered a bit of a challenge.

“We are trying to rectify that challenge. I think we will do it very soon but the important thing is that we want to give Nigerians a national carrier that we all aspire to have. That that will be a true representation of all of us, that that can be bought from the market. That that will be professionally and efficiently managed,” she said.

She didn’t go into details about the challenge, told journalists they don’t need to know about the issue.


INEC tells PDP, We can’t declare Reps seats vacant.

Jega inec2

Pressure mounted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the seats of the 37 Reps who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has met with rebuff from the commission.The electoral body has told the ruling party that it is not within its powers to take such an action.Speaking to The Nation on the matter, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Kayode Idowu, said that in the first place the commission was yet to receive any letter from the PDP on the defected lawmakers.He also explained that it is not the duty of the commission to declare the seats of lawmakers vacant in whatever circumstance.“Honestly, I am not aware of any such letter. I sincerely don’t know anything about it. But let me also add that it is not the job of INEC to take such a decision. INEC is not the one to declare seats of elected public office holders vacant. That is not what the law says and I can tell you that INEC is not going to do that,” he said.Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Mr. Ahmed Gulak, had been quoted in a newspaper interview that the PDP had written to INEC and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, to declare the seats of the 37 Reps vacant.Details of the letter dated December 19, 2013 emerged yesterday.The embattled National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, and the National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon, who signed it asked INEC to immediately conduct elections into the affected constituencies following the defection of its members to the APC.The PDP, they claimed, has no factions and consequently the defectors argument that they left on account of factionalism holds no water.They said: “the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in section 68 (i) (g) clearly spell out the consequences of cross carpeting when there is no division in any party. We wish to re-emphasize here that the

Courts have pronounced, and INEC has concurred that there are no factions in the PDP.”Section 68 (1) of the 1999 Constitution provides thus: “A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if -(a) he becomes a member of another legislative house.(b) any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, would cause him to be disqualified for election as a member;(c) he ceases to be a citizen of Nigeria;(d) he becomes President, Vice-President, Governor, Deputy Governor or a Minister of the Government of the Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State or a Special Adviser.(e) save as otherwise prescribed by this Constitution, he becomes a member of a commission or other body established by this Constitution or by any other law.(f) without just cause he is absent from meetings of the House of which he is a member for a period amounting in the aggregate to more than one-third of the total number of days during which the House meets in any one year;(g) being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected;Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored; or(h) the President of the Senate or, as the case may be, the Speaker of the House of Representatives receives a certificate under the hand of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission stating that the provisions of section 69 of this Constitution have been complied with in respect of the recall of that member.(2) The President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, shall give effect to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, so however that the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives or a member shall first present evidence satisfactory to the House concerned that any of the provisions of that subsection has become applicable in respect of that member.The federal legislators dumped the PDP on Wednesday and formally joined the APC.Their joining the opposition party increased the number of APC legislators in the House from 135 to 172 and left the PDP in the minority with 171 Dare Odufowokan.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Tambuwal’s blame of Jonathan an attempt to mask incompetency to anti-graft battle.


In the buck passing in regard to the public concern about the growing spate of corruption in the country and failure of the dispensation to battle the scourge, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, blame the Jonathan administration for the irredeemable turn corruption has taken. He thinks that the fight against official graft has lost momentum due largely to the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan would rather set up committees to investigate corruption cases than refer them to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission—EFCC— for prompt action.He forgets to mention that there are several cases of corruption allegations referred to the Lamorde-led EFCC that have not seen the light of day. He forgets also to mention that the EFCC lawyers were whacking up cases referred to the commission, until some of them were found out and sacked. All the corruption cases investigated by the House Committees including those involving Hon. Farouk Lawan and Herman Hembe, to mention a few, that are yet to be satisfactorily and effectively disposed off are presumed to be Jonathan’s fault. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, was chased about like a common criminal right from the day he left office by the EFCC. What has become of the corruption case involving him? Perhaps, President Jonathan prevailed on the EFCC and the courts to drop all charges against Mr. Bankole. What about the rot in the judiciary—about allegations that some multi-million naira assets and fat bank accounts have been traced to some judges of the courts? What about allegations that members of the House do collect bribes from agencies of state to pass legislations, such as police budget and the Securities Exchange Commission’s Act, for instance? Are all these episodes of unresolved corruption issues to be blamed on the Executive arm of government headed by the Presidency?What about issues of criminal legislations initiated by the House of Reps under the leadership of Hon. Tambuwal, such as the ongoing attempt by the House to pass a bill authorizing members to operate foreign bank accounts; a move that has been described as a legislative strategy to legitimize money laundering? Is this also the fault of President Jonathan? Where and to whom will Aminu Tambuwal pass the buck of the corruption episodes in the legislature?What discerning minds have come to appreciate is not that Jonathan as President should usurp the powers and functions of agencies and organs of government in the bid to stamp out corruption from the body politic, but that incremental wrong doings overtime with an entrenched culture of impunity nurtured and nourished by the military has made corruption, in our time, to spiral out of control.

The Jonathan dispensation, it has been contended, merely created the libertine ambience for corrupt practices to be fully exposed, as never before when Heads of State used to cover up for their cronies and protégés and allow only enemies who fall foul of the law to face the full wrath of the anti-graft agencies. What can be stated unambiguously is that the Jonathan government allowed corrupt practices to be fully exposed.Nigerians, today, have a long list of corrupt people in the corridor of power including the legislature and the judiciary as well as the financial services sector. Let Tambuwal and the defecting governors not be deceived that they can escape the wrath of the people when the bubble burst on the strength of their capacity to pass the buck to Goodluck Jonathan. Everybody, including past heads of state, is blaming the President for all the woes and corruption problems inundating the country. People who should know better, who are themselves part of the network of corruption, are creating the wrong impression that if all the blames for failure of the anti-graft war were heaped upon the President, they would be spared the anger of the people in the likely event of civil rebellion.Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State once warned that the way the political class is running the affairs of the country, they may not receive the support of the people if democracy in the country comes under threat. When Oshiomhole spoke, he never made excuses for himself. He was lamenting the deficit of credible political practice by the state actors—their lack of integrity, their corruption and profligacy, and their general inability to deliver service to the people.My point is not that the President should be spared where and when he errs. My point is that the buck passing going on now, as if the affairs of state are the sole responsibility of Goodluck Jonathan, is in bad faith. Aminu Tambuwal should not delude himself that Nigerians have a high opinion of the House of Reps which he superintends. Corruption issues are glossed over in the legislature as it is treated with a dignified nonchalance by the other arms of government.Tambuwal should be honest and tell the world the truth about corruption episodes in the country—that corruption is defended and protected on the platform of ethnicity. That is why no head of state has been able to deal with it frontally. General Murtala Mohammed who tried to deal with corruption issues in the military and the civil service constructively, did not quite understand the trajectory and networking of corruption, and did not know what hit him in the process.Corruption issues can be uprooted in the country mainly by taking the battle away from the centre to the federating units through devolution of power and fiscal federalism, the way it was at the birth and early days of nationhood. Smash the centre and give economic power to the zonal or regional power blocks and corruption battle will shift from the centre to the component units, where the dead would have to bury the dead until kinsmen can shout “enough is enough” and tell themselves to stop killing one another and use the commonwealth for the development of the fatherland for the benefit and happiness of all.Tambuwal should work for a decentralized Nigeria, a fiscal federal structure, a country where the people and their sensibilities, rather than the whims and narrow self-interest of the few who happen to be in control, dictate and drive state affairs. That is the time any head of state can launch a serious offensive against corruption.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Washington Examiner’s York: GOP Plan Could Replace Obamacare.

Republican lawmakers are quietly getting behind a health plan that could replace the Affordable Care Act, according to Byron York, chief political correspondent of the Washington Examiner.

Democrats say this all the time, ‘look, Republicans don’t have any plan, they just want to go back to the status quo, there’s no reason to listen to them,'” York told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.

He said the Republican Study Committee has written a bill — HR 3121 — with “basic Republican healthcare prescriptions,” including buying insurance across state lines, high risk pools for people with preexisting conditions and medical malpractice reform.

“It repeals Obamacare and it’s a bill that most Republicans probably could support. There’s 117 cosponsors of it right now, that’s a bare majority of the Republicans in the House,” York said.

“Democrats have already scoffed at this. They said, oh, that’s the same old, same old, nothing new there. But the thing is, the healthcare debate has changed because of the ongoing failures of Obamacare.

“A lot of Republican strategists believe, I believe they’re correct, the public would really like to hear what the Republicans have to suggest about fixing this problem that apparently is just getting worse.”

York said that the nation may soon see some shocking figures surrounding the healthcare law.

“We could have a really just a stunning situation come January which is there could be more people who have lost their health coverage under Obamacare than have gained it,” he said.

“Now, that was completely defeating the purpose of the Affordable Care Act. It would be a stunning failure and it seems to me Republicans have to be able to say, look, this is not working and it’s going to get worse; here’s what we ought to do.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

Tambuwal’s Game of Stone Throwing By Ochuko Ekpekurede.

By Ochuko Ekpekurede

For a performance in the midst of his learned colleagues at the Nigerian Bar Association anti-corruption lecture on Monday December 9 in Abuja, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal of the House Representative deserves a trophy in populism. His note was familiar and his view spot on. That is, if you are a common Nigerian who is displeased with the system especially the fight against corruption.

Tambuwal who has been flirting with the opposition APC while pleading his fidelity before the leadership of his party, came out smoking against President Goodluck Jonathan, carpeting him for making nonsense of the fight against corruption by shielding his harem of female ministers from the searchlight of the anti graft agencies. As far as he is concerned, Jonathan has become the stumbling block in the fight against corruption.

Tambuwal deserves some attention if not accolade for the courage to vent out the frustration of some Nigerians who could not understand the wisdom behind some of President Jonathan’s actions. I am one of those who can not fathom the logic in Jonathan’s decision to burden the office of the national security adviser with the investigation of what the media has dubbed Oduahgate. Why did he not mandate the anti-graft agencies to investigate the alleged fraud, if not that he were working to an answer? “In some cases, you have the government setting up new committees to duplicate the job already done by the parliament. Take the bullet proof cars case, the NSA, with all the security challenges confronting the country, should not be burdened with a job that can best be handled by the anti-corruption agencies,” said Tambuwal.

Interestingly, the time frame for the inquiry has since lapsed and nothing has been heard; which makes the whole affair disquieting. Meanwhile Stella Oduah sits pretty as cabinet minister praying that, over time, Nigerians would forget about her alleged thievery.

Nevertheless, Tambuwal’s attack on Jonathan, just like the JTF onslaught on Boko Haram came with some collateral damage. The EFCC, the nation’s more famous anti- graft agency was caught in the cross fire. Wondering why the President will over look the EFCC in setting up a committee to investigate Oduah, Mr. Speaker expressed reservation at the conduct of the anti-graft agency. But the accusation of corruption which he hauled at the agency appears rather hash in view of the fact that there were no supporting facts beyond his frustration that the EFCC failed to follow leads in the investigative reports by some Committees of the House. He listed the report of Herman Hembe Committee which investigated the Capital Market and the Farouk Lawan Committee that probed the monumental fraud in fuel subsidy regime.

Tambuwal believes the EFCC left Aruma Oteh, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC and went after Herman Hembe and his deputy, Feanyi Azubuogu. He also claims the anti- graft body abandoned the Farouk Lawan report but embraced the Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede report. This seems to me like an attempt to deodorize the House of Reps while making the EFCC the fall guy.

For whatever it is worth, I think the leadership of the House should be grateful to the EFCC for restoring its integrity by prosecuting Hembe and his deputy. Even though the allegations by Oteh remained unproved, their action was reprehensible and left a tar on the image of the assembly. And it does not speak well of Mr. Speaker to come to the defence of suspects under trial. If they are innocent let the court be the judge. I don’t think Tambuwal reflected on the comments. If he did, he probably would have acted differently. His comment on Hembe portrayed him as someone who is cross with the EFCC for the having the courage to prosecute members of the National Assembly, while sparing the other person from the executive branch alleged by the House of Reps to have also committed a wrong. “When we commenced investigation into the matter, what became of paramount importance to the EFCC was allegation that one of our members collected money as estacode to travel but failed to do so”, he said. Does it mean that Mr. Speaker is comfortable that members of the House will collect estacode in public fund and fail to make the trip for which the money was paid?

If Oteh has done anything wrong and the EFCC failed to act, it should be condemned but I can’t see where the agency misfired in prosecuting Hembe and Azubuogu for collecting estacode and failing to make the trip.

Perhaps Tambuwal, from his vantage position could be privy to the EFCC investigation report to warrant his outrage.  Otherwise, it is baseless. It doesn’t seem logical to me for both Hembe and Oteh to face prosecution at the same time, for what offence? I strongly believe that there must be reasons from the EFCC investigation that recommended Hembe and his deputy for prosecution.

I also don’t agree with Tambuwal’s conclusion that the EFCC ignored the Farouk Lawan report in preference for Imoukhuede’s. Has Tambuwal reflected on whether Nigerians care about which report forms the basis of investigation by law enforcement agencies? What is important to Nigerians and those who love this country, is that people are punished for wrong doing. At least it was refreshing seeing children of leaders of the ruling People Democratic Party, PDP being arraigned for defrauding the Nigerian Government in bogus subsidy claims. I don’t have the numbers but I know for a fact that not less than 40 suspects are under trial for subsidy related offences. An equal number of suspects, including directors and permanent secretaries, are also being tried by the EFCC for pension malpractices. In deed, a conviction was achieved early this year in John Yusufu who unfortunately got a crooked slap on the wrist from Justice Abubakar Talba.

I am disturbed by this Tambuwal’s out burst which a friend of mine described as holier- than- thou attitude. I honestly do not know how valuable a report of a Committee whose former chairman was entangled with a corruption scandal with an oil magnate over bribery allegations would be to any law enforcement agency. If Tambuwal must be honest to himself and Nigerians, he must concede that the House of Representatives and its Committees suffer serious integrity deficit as not a single investigation by that chamber has been free from corruption allegations. Some of us have not forgotten how Ndudi Elumelu crisscrossed the length and breadth of the country, upbraided power contractors for corruption only for him to be entangled in the mess. What about Farouk Lawan? Mr. Integrity is in court battling to clear his name of the allegation of demanding bribes in US Dollars from Femi Otedola, What of Hembe and Azubuogu?

I think Tambuwal should leave Nigerians to determine which institution is corrupt. Some of us who work with development organisations are familiar with the procedure for grant awards and I am surprised  our Honourable Speaker will accused the EFCC of being corrupt because it does not account to the National Assembly for donor funds! Have the donors complained to the National Assembly that the EFCC misused their fund?  Should the EFCC be accountable to the National Assembly for funds not appropriated by it?

I believe Tambuwal has opened a Pandora box which should ultimately strengthen our anti corruption organisations. I am curious that the EFCC that is said to be broke is the same one that is misusing donor funds. How? Tambuwal did not elaborate. I think the EFCC has a lot of education on her hands, for our law makers to understand the procedures for donor funds administration. I say so because I know for a fact that donor support, contrary to the view that some of us in this part of the world have, does not come cheap. They are offered on very stringent conditions. Most are project based and often, officials of the awarding organisations are on ground to monitor the use of the funds.

The irony of this charge from Tambuwal is that he is prepared to hold other agencies to a standard which himself is not prepared to uphold. Nigerians have shouted themselves hoarse, calling for members of the National Assembly to disclose the allowances that they awarded to themselves. Till this moment, Tambuwal and other principal officers have been silent. Yet it is common knowledge that Nigerian law makers are the highest paid in the world, the bulk of the earnings gratuitously self- awarded. Or is it the gambit to dash Tambuwal and other principal officers pension for life for serving a minimum term of four year at the National Assembly!
Ekpekurede, Development Expert lives in Abuja


EFCC’s Clearance Of Agbaso, the demise of Okorocha’s tyranny, Vanish Madumere , restore Sir Agbaso -Imo Youths.


Agbaso Okorocha

Apparently dismayed by mixed reactions trailing the coming into power of Owelle Rochas Okorocha as Governor of Imo State, leader of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Imo State, Chief Martin Agbaso have been battling with his conscience since after the 2011 elections as he said that he will soon make a public apology to the people for being instrumental to emergence of the Ogboko born politician as the Governor of the state.
Addressing Journalists over the clean bill given to his brother and former Deputy Governor of the state, Sir Jude Agbaso by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chief Agbaso disclosed that EFCC has traced the alleged N458m bribe given to his brother by Joseph Dina to a Bank account in Lebanon.
He said, “Today I am exceedingly happy that my brother has been vindicated and the Agbaso’s name cleared from the mess. But sad that a man can sit in a place to hatch plans how to destroy an innocent man”.
Going down memory lane, Chief Agbaso recalled how Imo State House of Assembly hurriedly within two days of the allegation of bribe against his brother concluded their Kangaroo investigation and subsequently impeached him.
“I told Imo people and all those who cared to listen that time that no Agbaso son is capable of asking for a bribe for any reason whatsoever”.
Chief Agbaso maintained that it was ridiculous that a group of honourable people at the legislature hurriedly went into such a matter of large magnitude and the same day the Justice Njemanze probe panel concluded their own investigation, forwarded it to the House of Assembly who did not hesitate in impeaching an elected candidate the same day.
He regretted that rather than face the truth of the matter, the Imo State House of Assembly became a willing tool in the Governor Rochas Okorocha’s evil machinations.
Said he, “Governor Okorocha’s inlaw brought the said contractor who Okorocha went ahead to pay the whooping sum of N1.3billion to a journey man for no job done”.
Agbaso made it clear, “we are going to take steps to address the perpetrators of this wicked action as well as restore his position as the Deputy Governor through every possible legal process”.
On his public apology, Agbaso said that in no distant time, he would address a world press conference on the “man called Rochas Okorocha. I will take my time to apologize to the people of Imo State for aiding Rochas to become Governor”.
Agbaso who denied any financial inducement from Okorocha before he surrendered his APGA Guber ticket, said that he would soon open up on what transpired between him and the Governor before the 2011 election.
Meanwhile, lawmakers of the Imo State House may have gone into hiding to avoid public attacks over the latest discovery by EFCC.
The Imo State House of Assembly were unable to sit for plenary yesterday because the House could not form a quorum.
The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu adjourned sitting till today when the House was informed by the Clerk of the House that the House could not form a quorum. Only five of the 27-Member House appeared for sitting.
Rt Hon Uwajumogu before adjourning the House welcomed teachers and students of Ray Jacobs Boarding School, Mgbidi, who were on a excursion trip to the House. He apologized on behalf of his colleagues and asked the school to meet with the management of the House to fix a later date.
The Speaker noted that the House could not form a quorum because according to him, some of the Lawmakers are having meetings in their various committees while members of Owerri extraction went on a visit to the Governor.
It was learnt that the Lawmakers, apparently aware that they goofed by impeaching Agbaso kept away from the Imo Assembly Complex for fear of attack from mobs demonstrating against the illegal impeachment.
In a similar development, a group known as Imo Youth Mandate, a mass based youth organization in Owerri Zone, Imo State, yesterday, staged a peaceful protest over what they described as a depression by Governor Rochas Okorocha to wipe out the face of Owerri Zone from the surface of governance in the state.
Briefing Journalists at the Wetheral roundabout, Okigwe road, Owerri, leader of the group, Comrade Soribe Kelechi, noted that Governor Okorocha has done the greatest evil in the state, by impeaching Sir Jude Agbaso, adding that the impeached deputy is innocent of the N450 sham allegation against him.
He revealed that Rochas Okorocha connived with his accomplices at Imo House of Assembly to dupe state of her hard earned money and called for the immediate impeachment of the Governor.
Comrade Kelechi further stated that since the EFCC has vindicated Sir Jude Agbaso, the IMHA should at once reinstate him as his hands are clean.
The youth leader described Okorocha as a man of less prowess, who treats issues that affect the masses with laxity, adding that he has proved his incompetence in governance.
Comrade Kelechi also lambasted Speaker Uwajumogu for aiding criminality, noting that he has shown that he is unfit to spearhead the State Assembly.
He described Uwajumogu as the worst Speaker Imo State has ever produced, adding that he has made mockery of the state’s legislature.
He further blasted Benjamin Uwajumogu for allowing his partner in crime to destroy Imo State, adding that very soon, their lies and fabrications would be adequately treated. “Uwajumogu has proved that he is bereft of knowledge and should vacate from that position he is occupying” he added.
Adding his voice, the state youth leader of APGA, Comrade Emeka Nwankwo also lashed Okorocha for disgracing the entire Imo State with his atrocious and evil style of administration, adding that he facilitated the impeachment of Sir Jude Agbaso.
He described Governor Okorocha as a man who is ignorant of the machineries of governance and advised him to start packing his evil luggage from Government House.
Comrade Nwankwo also lampooned Speaker Uwajumogu for his weakness and irresponsible style of governance, adding that Uwajumogu and his cohorts duped Imo State.
He advised Imo Speaker to cover his face in shame, as his leadership has not reflected the wishes and aspirations of Imo people and further mandated Prince Eze Madumere to quickly vanish as Imo Deputy Governor.
Comrade Nwankwo however called on civil society organizations and well meaning Nigerians to stop Okorocha and his cohorts from destroying Imo State.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Tambuwal scared of his own shadow for possibility of no confidence vote, may resign.


Following the envisaged mass defection by federal lawmakers to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), as a fallout of last week’s dumping of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by four governors, the battle for the control of the House of Representatives may have begun.Daily Sun gathered that Speaker Aminu Tambuwal is under pressure to resign over fears that some of his colleagues, especially members of the PDP, who are not interested in defecting to APC, may pass a vote of no confidence in him as well as frustrate his leadership of the House.It was gathered that the lawmakers after Tambuwal would, among other reasons, accuse him of masterminding the insistence of $79 oil benchmark for 2014 budget projection.Sources revealed that some legislators who have enlisted in anti-Tambuwal project have been meeting and trying to enlist as many supporters as possible. It was gathered that they are working with some chieftains of the PDP.Daily Sun gathered that his supporters are also preparing to defend him, especially over the oil benchmark, since they have the support of governors of their states.The lawmakers are backed by their governors, who also encouraged and influenced them to support a $79 benchmark because of the cash crunch that lesser benchmark would cause the states. Many of the states are having financial problem owing to a drop in revenue allocation, which has made it impossible for them to pay salaries and meet other obligations.Meanwhile,

it was gathered that the main anxiety is that there may be commotion in the House, if some lawmakers trying to pass a no confidence vote in Tambuwal.Some lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed fears that if there’s commotion in the House, security agents may take over the National Assembly, causing the House to adjourn sine dine.“We are not afraid that they would succeed in passing a vote of no confidence in Tambuwal. Our fear is that in an attempt to do so, there may be commotion in the House, which could give those after the Speaker to send in security agents, just as it happened in Rivers State,” one of the lawmakers stated.He contended that if this happens, it may be impossible for the House to meet and perform its functions, adding: “I suspect that the government is afraid that if APC takes control of the House, it would be difficult for it to get approvals on certain things. Therefore, they may not want the House to sit.”

Source: Radio Biafra.


INDICATIONS emerged on Tuesday that all is not well within the leadership of the House of Representatives as some members are reportedly spoiling for war over an alleged largesse from the presidency to all members of the House, but was reportedly cornered by some members of the House leadership.Nigerian Tribune learnt that the largesse was meant to douse the tension in the House over the issue of crude oil benchmark for 2014 but some members of the House leadership reportedly cornered the largesse by allegedly shortchanging some members, while others did not even benefit at all.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the largesse for members was to be about $100,000 but some were given $40,000 while others did not get anything at all.Nigerian Tribune learnt that trouble started when some members of the House were reportedly confronted with documents by some presidency officials who reportedly opened up on the largesse routed through some members of the House leadership.Nigerian Tribune further gathered that the development forced some key members in the House to demand for executive session to iron out the ugly development.Nigerian Tribune also learnt that at a meeting that preceded Tuesday’s executive session, a meeting was held between members and the House leadership but the Speaker, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal was said to be absent at the meeting.At the meeting, which Nigerian Tribune learnt was tense, reportedly had some members questioning the House Leader, Honourable Mulikat Adeola-Akande who traditionally ought to be the go-between the presidency and the members, but she reportedly told the gathering that she knew nothing about the largesse.It was gathered that members at the meeting were so angry that they reportedly promised to effect changes in the House leadership from both the Majority and the opposition except the Speaker, who was reportedly going to be spared.However, at Tuesday sitting the House entered into a closed door session, to discuss the largesse crisis and the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).But Deputy Chairman of the House committee on Media and Public Affairs, Honourable Victor Ogene who briefed newmen after the closed door session denied the insinuation that presidency largesse was causing crisis in the House.Instead he claimed that the closed door session dwelt on the MTEF, and  insecurity in Borno as well as the burial arrangements for their late colleague, Hon. Raphael Nomiye.On the allegation, the deputy House spokesman said that it was not true, saying that, “If money went round in the Senate, I’m not a senator, and I’ve not read any such report. In fact, I have not seen any dollar. So, if money has come from anywhere, the question should be put to the person sending the money. I will be glad to get money on behalf of my people, if you have a leeway to the person sharing the money. But seriously speaking, you all saw us when we came out, smiling. The issues I told you clearly was between those, who insisted that the benchmark remains at $79 and those, who felt that it was okay at $76.5.”He however said that, “I have always insisted that we cannot be blackmailed as a House. If the attempt to make us stand at a particular benchmark, at a particular figure is to blackmail us, then I wonder why a House, which decided on $79 would be the same that received money, and is keeping it. I mean, it does nor correlate. It does not add up, at all.”The deputy spokesman of the House added that,“So as we speak, $79 is the position of the House, but several members, in their own wisdom, also decided that we should give the committee an open mind to go for that kind of negotiation because, if you stick to one particular price, it’s like foreclosing discussions. So, if there are superior arguments or fresh facts that would be put before the committee, regarding why there has to be a shift, I’m sure the committee is better informed now to take a decision at the Conference Committee level.”Meanwhile, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal over the House budget and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) which is to form the basis of 2014 budget benchmark.Sources close to the Reps confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja that the same stormy executive session show members raising allegations that the leadership has not been forthcoming on details of the 2013 House Budget.Sources in the House confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune that the executive session that lasted for two hours was not just stormy but saw a number of Reps calling for the heads of the leadership.It was learnt that members erupted in anger over what they called the leadership’s failure to account properly for the  House internal budget for 2013.A member who spoke in confidence stated that the members were shocked that the leadership had taken them for granted all along.It was also gathered that members were also angry that the leadership appeared to have connived with an opposition party to bring them into collision against the Senate on the MTEF.It was learnt that the leadership allowed the opposition figures in the House to lead them astray after the two chambers and the executive had agreed with the executive on the budget benchmark of $76.5 per barrel for 2014 budget.Members were said to have expressed their disappointment at the inability of the leadership to convince members on why the House reneged on the agreement reached with the Senate  and the executive on the oil benchmark of $76 .5“I can confirm to you that the executive session that lasted for more than two hours was stormy. The  politics of MTEF polarized members? We demanded for explanation as to why  the House was set on collision course with the Senate on the issue of the benchmark. We also asked why the leadership could not account for the House budget of 2013. And there appeared a deliberate attempt to divert attention of lawmakers on this issue,” a source said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

House Votes to Extend Ban on Undetectable Firearms.

Image: House Votes to Extend Ban on Undetectable Firearms

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to extend for 10 years a ban against firearms that cannot be detected with metal detectors or X-ray scanners.

On a voice vote, the Republican-led House sent the measure to the Democratic-led Senate, which is expected to consider a tougher alternative before likely approving it.U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urged Congress last month to extend the ban, citing a proliferation of plastic guns made with 3-D printers.

While the House has agreed on little this year, contributing to one of the most unproductive and unpopular Congresses ever, it passed the bill with bipartisan support despite reservations by a number of Democrats that it does not go far enough.

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York has proposed plugging “a loophole” in the ban by requiring that all firearms include at least four ounces of metal that cannot be removed.

Without such a provision, Schumer and others warn, the metal could be taken off the firearm, allowing it to avoid detection and be carried into a supposedly secure area.

Schumer does not have much time to make his case. The ban expires on Monday, the day the Senate returns from a two-week recess.

On that day, Democrats may try to quickly approve Schumer’s proposal with the unanimous consent of the Senate.

If that fails, as anticipated, the Senate is expected to give final approval to the House passed bill, clearing the way for President Barack Obama to sign it into law.

Democratic Representative Steve Israel of New York joined Republican Representative Howard Coble of North Carolina in drafting the House bill. Like Schumer, Israel prefers a stricter measure, but said at a minimum wants an extension of the ban.

“We now have enough momentum to pass an extension of the ban before December 9. But we don’t have enough momentum to pass a modernization of the ban before December 9,” Israel said.

“But once we pass this bill, we need to make sure bad guys can’t skirt the law,” said Israel, voicing confidence that the law will be strengthened. “It’s common sense.”

Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky, a leading Republican, expressed concerns of his own, and said, “I’ll be looking to tighten up the process.”

Israel has proposed requiring that two major components for a handgun and three major components for a rifle be made of unremovable metal.

Earlier this year, the U.S. gun lobby helped defeat tougher gun control sought by Obama in wake of a massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Overall, the gun industry has not said much about the drive to extend the ban on undetectable guns, but backers believe fear of the industry is a reason why the House bill was not tougher.

Winnie Stachelberg, an executive director of the Center for American Politics, a liberal advocacy group, denounced the House bill as inadequate.

“We urge Congress to put public safety ahead of craven politics by enacting comprehensive legislation,” Stachelberg said.

Israel said the National Rifle Association, one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, had been essentially silent on the effort to renew the ban.

But the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, backed the extension in a letter to Congress.

“The current law has proven effective,” wrote Lawrence Keane, the foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel.

Keane said on Tuesday, however, that his group opposes proposals to toughen the ban, dismissing them as excessive and potentially harmful to the legal manufacturing of firearms.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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