Weekend News Report

News . Weekend 1

FEC Endorses 2018 Appropriation Bill; ISIS claims responsibility for killing Nigerian soldiers in Yobe state; Aisha Buhari Denies Receiving Two SUVs from IGP; FG recovers $85m Malabu loot from UK – AGF; Saraki, Dogara & other lawmakers turn back from Aso Villa, Buhari apologises; INTERPOL speaks on Maina’s ‘arrest warrant’; IG Idris replies Sen. Misau – ‘I released cars for Aisha Buhari’s security’; Adoke & Etete ‘in hiding’ as OPL 245 trial is stalled – EFCC; ’Miyetti Allah splinter group plotting mayhem in Benue’ – Governor . . .

FEC Endorses 2018 Appropriation Bill

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Thursday approved the 2018 Appropriation Bill. Briefing journalists after the weekly FEC meeting, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, who did not disclose details of the estimates proposed for the next fiscal year, said the disclosure could only be made by President Muhammadu Buhari. He also said the federal government in liaison with the National Assembly would resolve the date of its presentation.

Buhari at FEC meeting

The 2018 Appropriation bill would be presented by the president on Tuesday – all things being equal – considering lack of presidential communication to the National Assembly to that effect as at Thursday which made the scheduled presentation technically impossible, ThisDay reported. Sen. Udo Udoma, however, said the executive remained committed to its promise to make the estimates available this month. Udoma said: “Council approved a draft 2018 budget proposal. So, we will be liaising with the National Assembly on a date in which the president will formally submit the budget to them.

ISIS claims responsibility for killing Nigerian soldiers in Yobe state

The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for an attack in Damaturu , the capital of Yobe State in Nigeria. The incident led to the death of eight soldiers. A civilian was also killed, while five persons sustained injuries on Tuesday.

ISIS logo

In a statement on Thursday, the militant group, which Boko Haram pledged alliance to two years ago, explained how its members organised the operation. “The fighters took three four-wheel-drive vehicles and others mounted with rifles and heavy weaponry and various ammunition,” the statement said. ISIS, however, did not provide evidence for its claim.

Aisha Buhari Denies Receiving Two SUVs from IGP

The wife of President Muhammadu Buhari Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has denied the allegation by senator representing Bauchi central, Isah Misau, that Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, gave her two cars. On Wednesday, Misau had told the Senate Ad-hoc Committee assigned to probe IG that Buhari’s wife had requested a Sienna and Hiace bus through her aide but Idris bought two SUVs for her.

Buhari . First Lady

According to Sen. Misau, the vehicles were purchased for Aisha Buhari’s personal use and was “not part of appropriation.” “I still have some contract papers that the IG himself submitted to the court (Misau Vs FG) where the first lady through her aide-de-camp requested a Toyota Hiace and a Sienna. But reacting via a tweet, the president’s wife denied Maina’s allegation.

“I am still using my personal cars,” the tweet read. Despite her denial, the Force Headquarters thursday said two vehicles were allocated to the security personnel of Mrs. Buhari. The Force spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, said the vehicles were not for her “personal use” as alleged by Misau.

FG recovers $85m Malabu loot from UK – AGF

The Federal Government has recovered $85m from the controversial Malabu Oils fund from the United Kingdom (UK), the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami said yesterday in Abuja.

AGF . Abubakar Malami

Malami was speaking at the Pre-Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) Consultative meeting organized by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), MacArthur Foundation and UKaid among other partners.

Saraki, Dogara & other lawmakers turn back from Aso Villa, Buhari apologises

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were among principal officers of the two chambers of the National Assembly who turned back from the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday night. The federal lawmakers were scheduled to be hosted to a 8.30pm dinner by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari & Dogara

However, security operatives on duty at the Pilot Gate insisted that all the lawmakers must come down from the Coaster bus that conveyed them for security check. This was said to have infuriated the National Assembly members who decided to turn back. When Buhari was informed about the development, he hurriedly sent his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to go and make peace with the lawmakers. Buhari later ordered investigation into the matter.

INTERPOL speaks on Maina’s ‘arrest warrant’

INTERPOL, has responded to an inquiry filed by PREMIUM TIMES on why Abdulrasheed Maina, a man it declared wanted and placed on its red notice was moving around the world without hindrance. Maina was declared wanted by EFCC in 2015. He was subsequently placed on INTERPOL’s wanted list by the EFCC. Despite the listing, Maina spent over two years in Dubai UAE and secretly visited Nigeria a few times. The embattled top Nigerian civil servant narrowly escaped arrest in the US at a point.

Interpol

Documents seen by PREMIUM TIMES showed correspondences between EFCC and INTERPOL through its Nigerian liaison from late 2015 to early 2016. The EFCC first filed a request for Maina’s Red Notice listing on November 18, 2015. After a couple of letters between the two sides, the INTERPOL office in the Nigerian Police headquarters, which is Nigeria’s designated National Central Bureau, wrote to the EFCC confirming Mr. Maina’s listing.

IG Idris replies Sen. Misau – ‘I released cars for Aisha Buhari’s security’

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said on Thursday that he released two cars for the security of the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, and not for her personal use as alleged by the lawmaker representing the Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Senator Isa Misau. Idris, who spoke through the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said he released a Toyota Sienna and Hiace bus to the aide-de-camp to the wife of the President, and not to the President’s wife.

Buhari . Sen. Misau & IG Idris

Photos above L-R: Sen. Isa Misau & Mr. brahim Idris, Inspector General of Police.

Sen. Misau had on Wednesday, while appearing before the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Investigation of Various Allegations Leveled Against the Police, the Inspector-General of Police and the Police Service Commission probing his allegations against the IG, claimed that the President’s wife requested and received two Toyota Prado SUVs from the police boss for her personal use.

Adoke & Etete ‘in hiding’ as OPL 245 trial is stalled – EFCC 

Law . Attorney Gen. & Min of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke

The EFCC says key persons to be tried in the OPL 245 affair, viz. Mohammed Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice (photoleft), and Dan Etete, former minister of petroleum (photo below) are in hiding, making it impossible for the trial to start. Adoke and Etete are to be arraigned by EFCC over the $1.3 billion deal involving Shell, ENI and Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd. Others are Aliyu Abubakar, an oil mogul, and six firms: Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd, Rocky Top Resource Ltd, Imperial Union Ltd, Novel Properties and Development Company Ltd, Group Construction Ltd and MegaTech Engineering Ltd.

Dan Etete

Johnson Ojogbane, the EFCC lawyer, on Thursday requested John Tsoho, a judge of the federal high court, Abuja, to adjourn their arraignment. Tsoho thereafter adjourned till February 15, 2018. The controversial oil licence was awarded to Malabu in 1998 at a time the beneficial owners were Dan Etete, then minister of petroleum resources who approved the licence, and Mohammed Abacha, son of the head of state at the time. It was revoked in 2001 by President Olusegun Obasanjo and awarded to Shell same year, but was revoked again in 2006 and returned to Malabu following an out-of-court settlement. President Goodluck Jonathan finally restored the block to Malabu in 2010 in a $1.3 billion deal. An estimate says OPL 245 holds reserves of 9.3bn barrels of crude oil and gas reserves.

‘Miyetti Allah splinter group plotting mayhem in Benue’ – Governor

Benue . Gov. Samuel Ortom

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has alerted to plots by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to unleash mayhem on the state. Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is a splinter group of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN). Ortom said the plot had been reported to President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the President is not opposed to request for the arrest of the leaders – Abdulahi Bello Bedejo and Saleh Al-Hassan – following his submission. According to Ortom, security agencies have been placed on the alert for their arrest. Ortom, who spoke at a briefing in Abuja yesterday, said the state lost N95 billion worth of goods and property in herdsmen crises.

Fulani Herdsmen . Armed Cattle rearer

He reiterated that there is no going back on the anti-open grazing law, which takes off next month. While MACBAN supported the law, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore leaders are against it, Ortom said. His words: “We passed the law with the support of all stakeholders, including Miyetti Allah, following adequate advocacy where gains of the law was explicitly explained. “Section 20 says those involved in cattle rustling should be adequately punished. So, cattle and livestock owners are protected. Section 19 protect farmers, stipulating stiff punishment for those engaging open grazing.

© 2017 Niger Reporters & Co. | A news aggregation website

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