The Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has intercepted 235 contraband with total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N91,165,860 within the first 45 days of this year.
Seme Customs seizes 235 contraband valued at N91.1m this year/Illustration (OsunBase.ng)
The Acting Customs Area Controller, Chedi Wada, told newsmen in Seme on Monday that the seizures included 22 fairly-used vehicles, 1,113 bags of rice, 24,710 litres of petroleum products and others valued at N91,165,860.
“This include 1,113 bags of 50kg foreign rice with DPV of N19,165,860, 24,710 liters of petroleum, 188 cartons of frozen poultry products, 422,500 milligrams of tramadol and 563,500ml of Amphetamine syrups.
“Others are 105 textile materials with DPV of N680,890, 22 fairly-used vehicles with DPV of N19,971,759, 84 sacks of used clothing, ladies hand bags and shoes with DPV of N277,245.
“Thirty sacks and one carton of soap with DPV of N896,227, 35 cartons of choco drink, 51 pieces of motorcycle spare parts, 28 jerry can of 25liters of vegetable oil, 25 sacks of hides and skin and 10 sacks of melon.
“Other are 89 cartons and 2 sacks of blue band, one sack of stock fish, 12 packs of peanut and 23 bundles of corrugated papers of 25 piece per bundle and 3 nylon bags of empty plastic cream containers,”he said.
Wada said that seven suspects connected with the act were arrested and were at various stages of investigations and conviction.
He pledged the determination to detecting, arresting and prosecuting those who did not comply with the extant laws regarding importation and exportation through the land borders.
Wada attributed the harvest of seizures within 45 days of the year to the “strategic policy measures put in place to tackle the menace of smuggling, irregular migrations and other trans-border crimes.”
He said that his commitment was to ensure that smuggling business became unattractive through vigorous community and public enlightenment, sensitisation on the dangers of smuggling and its impact on the economy and national security.
A leaked memo exposes the cracks and bad blood within the Buhari presidency.
President Muhammadu Buhari with his National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno [Presidency] President Muhammadu Buhari’s kitchen cabinet and security team appears in disarray, if the details of a letter making the rounds in the online and social media space are anything to go by. In the letter first published by SaharaReporters and Premium Times, National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno warns the president’s 'all powerful' Chief of Staff (CoS), Abba Kyari against meddling in security affairs in the presidency.
He also warned the nation’s service chiefs to stop taking orders from Kyari and to be wary of his interference.
The letter, addressed to the service chiefs and copied to the president and ministers for foreign affairs, defence, interior, police affairs and Kyari himself, is dated December 2019.
Kyari has long been hailed as one of the most powerful men in the Buhari presidency and the head of a cabal accused of running the President Buhari administration behind the scenes.
Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, is regarded as one of the most powerful men in the Buhari presidency (OsunBase.ng)
“While it is expected that all heads of security agencies, having spent many years in service would understand means of passing directives from the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, it may be necessary to remind all, in the face of glaring breaches to that procedure.
“For clarification, other than direct verbal directives from the President, written directives emanating from Mr President would be conveyed with a copy of his manuscript directive or at minimum, bear his signature,” Monguno wrote.
'CoS has ruptured our defence efforts'
Monguno added that “Additionally, Mr. President may convey directives to the heads of defence and security apparatus through the NSA who chairs the Intelligence Community Committee, Joint Intelligence Board and General Security Appraisal Committee on behalf of the President and the supervising ministers of defence and security agencies.
“It should be noted that the Chief of Staff to the President does not direct security apparatus of the Federal Republic of Nigeria — his job as it relates to security stops at conveying Mr President’s written directives.
“Similarly, you are reminded that the Chief of Staff to the President is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country.”
Monguno also warned the service chiefs to stop holding meetings with Kyari.
“As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organisations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr President.
President Muhammadu Buhari with National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno (Presidency) “Such acts and continuous meddlesomeness by the Chief of Staff have not only ruptured our security and defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.
“As professionals, you are aware that the security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requires concerted and centralized effort taking into account internal, external and diplomatic factors.
“It is therefore detrimental to our collective security that the Chief of Staff who is a non-supervising minister holds meetings with diplomats, security chiefs and heads of agencies.
“Pursuant to the foregoing, you are by this letter directed to desist from these illegal acts that serve nothing but the continuous undermining of our national security framework. Any breach of this directive will attract displeasure of Mr President."
A reign of terror
President Buhari’s spokespersons, Garba Shehu andFemi Adesina, did not immediately respond to Osunbase.ng’ requests for comments on the leaked letter.
Details of the letter arrive as the Buhari presidency continues to grapple with insecurity across the country.
Bandits, arsonists, kidnappers, insurgents, armed herders and terrorists have been having a field day; killing for fun and unleashing fear and panic in communities and on major roads.
President Buhari has rejected calls to sack his military and police chiefs in the wake of the attacks.
On Monday, February 17, 2020, one of the leaders of Amotekun, a new security outfit, visited the Ekiti State House of Assembly, dressed in readiness for battle.
Amotekun commander storms Ekiti assembly in combat regalia
A leader of the security outfit, whose major purpose in the assembly was to attend a public hearing, gave his submission on the security initiative.
The Ekiti State Assembly had earlier passed the Amotekun bill transmitted by Kayode Fayemi, the governor, into law.
Recall that on Thursday, January 9, 2020, governors of Nigeria’s six southwest states, launched the western Nigeria security network in Ibadan, but after a series of consultations which includes a meeting with the inspector-general of police, Mohammed Adamu, the initiative was adopted as a state effort.
Amotekun commander storms Ekiti assembly in combat regalia
Amotekun commander storms Ekiti assembly in combat regalia
Pulse Nigeria also learnt that the Osun House of Assembly on Monday passed the Osun Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Bill 2020 for first reading after it was presented by the Speaker, Mr Timothy Owoeye.
The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has felicitated with the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, and Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State over their birthday celebration.
Nigeria's First Lady, Aisha Buhari. [Twitter/@OsunBase.ng]
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, in Abuja on Tuesday, the APC governors said they joined Nigerians to celebrate the special occasion with the celebrants.
“The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has joined all Nigerians to celebrate the birthday of Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari. We celebrate this special occasion with you and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We wish to acknowledge and commend your motherly care to the nation.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State with his three wives, Hadiza, Isma and Aisha as he celebrates 60th birthday. [Twitter/@OsunBase.ng]
“We particularly acknowledge your contributions to our successes through your insightful and resolute inputs to the processes of managing challenges of governance in the country.
“As First Lady, you have inspired us to develop initiatives to ensure that the change we promised Nigerians remained a shining light of our administration,” Bagudu said.
He also lauded the feats recorded by El Rufai on his 60th birthday.
The forum’s chairman, who commended El Rufai’s leadership, vision and commitment towards a united and prosperous Nigeria, also acknowledged his contributions toward providing good governance in Kaduna state as well as at national level.
Nigeria's First Lady, Aisha Buhari. [Twitter/@OsunBase.ng]
“As Governor of Kaduna State, through all the development initiatives being implemented by your APC-led government, you represent the shining light of our politics!
“While rejoicing with Mallam Nasir El Rufai, we reiterate our commitment to roll out programmes that will strengthen the capacities of our progressive states.
“These programmes aim to create jobs, stimulate economic activity, reduce inequality and diminish poverty in Nigeria,” he said.
Lawan says the ninth National Assembly under his leadership is on the same page with President Buhari in the quest to end insecurity in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari and President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan. [Twitter/@OsunBase.ng]
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says the National Assembly will continue to work with President Muhammadu Buhari to find lasting solutions to the current insecurity in the country.
Lawan stated this while at Malumfashi in Katsina State, to grace the occasion of the constituency empowerment programme sponsored by Senator Bello Mandiya representing Funtua senatorial district in the Senate.
The Senate President commiserated with the people of Katsina over the recent deadly attacks in the state by the bandits.
"I want to assure you that we are going to continue to work with President Muhammadu Buhari till we are able to find lasting solutions to this problem of insecurity in our country," Lawan said on Sunday, February 16, 2020.
"We will also ensure that government provides infrastructure across the country that makes life meaningful for Nigerians," he added.
The occasion which drew a large crowd of party faithful and supporters was also attended by Governor Aminu Bello Masariof Katsina state.
Lawan applauded Senator Mandiya for his initiative in empowering his constituents and assured him of his support.
"Today, we are supporting a young man, who has been supported by the people of Funtua zone. Senator Bello Mandiya has been a very loyal, committed and reliable Senator.
"I want to inform you, his Senatorial District, that you have found a worthy successor to Senator Abu Ibrahim in Senator Mandiya.
"They say the young shall grow. This young Senator will grow very rapidly because he has very good hands taking care of him.
"For me, I remain committed to making sure Senator Bello Mandiya succeeds and he grows and mature into a great Senator," Lawan said.
The Senate President said the constituency project is so badly misconstrued by many.
"This (constituency project) is what we call the empowerment of the most ordinary Nigerians that otherwise wouldn’t have been remembered when you’re talking about the national budget.
"But because members of the National Assembly are so close to the ordinary man, we try to look for those issues that make a difference in their individual and collective lives.
"So for those who would today receive the motorcycles, the water pumps for irrigation and other items here, I want to congratulate you and assure you that this is just the beginning," Lawan said.
The Federal Government has selected six northern states for the pilot phase of its Open Schooling Programme (OSP).
Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi. [OsunBase.ng]
OSP which was launched in early 2019 is an open learning programme aimed at reducing the high number of out-of-school children in the country.
The beneficiaries, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kano, Adamawa and Niger, are among the 10 states which, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), are worst hit by the problem.
According to UNICEF, eight million children are out of school in the 10 endemic states, which include Bauchi, Zamfara, and the FCT.
OSP is a collaborative effort between the government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an educational development platform of The Commonwealth.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a five-day workshop for OSP Content Developers and Centre Managers opened in Abuja on Monday.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, said the intervention was informed by government’s concern about the high number of out-of-school children in the country.
Represented by Mr Edwin Zarummai, the UBEC boss said the programme was designed to last for two years with an option for expansion.
He added that UBEC would not relent in its series of effort aimed at curbing the challenge.
“UBEC, as part of its statutory responsibility in the Act 2004 to put in place measures that will address the Out-of-School-Children (OOSC) initiative, enter into collaboration with COL to introduce the OSP in the country.
“To this effect, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between UBEC and COL in July 2019, and the agreement is for the programme to last for two years with an option to extend,“ he said.
The UBEC boss added that 51 content developers had been selected for the programme to run in 58 learning centers in the six states.
Bobboyi said: “Fifty-one content developers have been selected for the programme.
“The selection was made by the states in conjunction with relevant stakeholders like NERDC, SUBEBs, Education Resource Centers, National Teachers Institute and universities,” he said.
Dr Tony Mays, Consultant COL said that the whole idea was the importance of e-learning and to help children get back to school.
“We hope at the end of the training, everybody who is part of the workshop will be able to develop some content which will be based on Nigeria schooling curriculum and will be freely available as open education resources.
“We also hope that the results of this initiative will be available for no fewer than 10.5 million out-of-school children back to school in the country.”
Hajiya Khadija Jibo, Head of Unit, OSP, thanked UBEC and COL in putting together the building blocks for the implementation of the initiative.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its Joint Venture Partners have disbursed 360 million dollars toward the Ogoniland Clean-Up project as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
NNPC, JV partners disburse $360m for Ogoni Clean-up. [Twitter/@OsunBase.ng]
The Joint Venture (JV) Partners are Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total Exploration and Production of Nigeria (TEPNG) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Malam Mele Kyari, disclosed this in a statement signed by its Acting spokesman, Mr Samson Makoji, in Abuja on Monday.
Kyari spoke during a presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat at the National Assembly.
Represented by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mr Roland Ewubare, he said that funding was not the challenge of the Ogoniland clean-up project.
He added that NNPC and its JV partners were up to date in their financial remittance to the clean-up project fund based on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) framework.
“Ogoni clean-up is a massive issue and NNPC and its JV partners are ready to fund the project as prescribed by the UNEP Report.
”We have so far disbursed $360million out of the 900 million dollars recommended.
“The disbursement was based on the standards set, which required that we release funds based on the implementation parameters of the clean-up exercise,” Kyari said.
He noted that though NNPC and its JV partners were not responsible for the implementation of the clean-up, all stakeholders must come together to ensure that the project was carried out successfully.
Kyari added that the implementation of the clean-up was very important as the exercise would enable the restoration of land, water and the economic well-being of the people in the area.
He decried the misinformation about the Ogoniland clean-up and urged the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to ensure that the narrative was corrected for the effective implementation of the project.
A member of the House Committee who was a former Minister of Environment, Hon. Aishatu Jibrin Dukku, applauded the NNPC and its JV partners for their commitment to the Ogoni clean-up project
She urged all other stakeholders to join hands with HYPREP to ensure the successful clean-up of the area.
Also, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat, Hon. Johnson Oghuma, expressed commitment of the current leadership to ensure full implementation of the UNEP Report on Ogoniland for the common good of the people of the area.
It would be recalled that the UNEP Report on Ogoniland clean-up had estimated an initial clean-up costs of over 1billion dollars for the first five years of a 25 to 30-year process.
Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, says that constitutional amendment is needed before Nigerians in diaspora can be allowed to vote.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila [Twitter/@OsunBase.ng]
Gbajabiamila said this at the Diaspora Voting Stakeholders Workshop in Abuja.
He said that millions of Nigerians, who resided outside the country, had as much a stake in the present and future of Nigeria as those who lived in the country.
“Nigerians abroad use their resources to develop businesses and support family members here at home; they invest in their communities and support national development, so it is not strange that they are seeking to participate in the electoral process.
“But, before allowing diaspora voting, there is a need to plan well by first understanding the nuances, intricacies and the hurdles in front, before considering diaspora voting if Nigeria will get it right.
“I was the principal officer when this bill came up in the 7th assembly and I shut the Nigeria in diaspora voting bill down.
“I did that for reasons the house came to understand; the language of the constitution is black and white and it states that you can only vote if you are resident in Nigeria.
“So, bringing a bill for diaspora voting at that time was a wrong move because you cannot use a bill to amend the constitution and it was on that basis that we could not take that bill.
“I am not proud of it but it was a necessity and someone had to take the responsibility; I am for diaspora voting, but all I am saying is that we have to do it right, so for that bill to stand, the constitution has to be amended first,’’ he said.
Gbajabiamila said that there was need to check if Nigeria was ready for diaspora voting because the elections conducted here come with a lot of issues and many litigation, afterward.
“Our elections here are not yet perfect, so how do we deal with diaspora voting? here, we consistently have litigation after elections, so how do we deal with that in diaspora voting?
“There are issues with diaspora voting, for instance, which of the elections will they participate in and which court will they eventually go to in case of litigation after elections?
“The topic of diaspora voting has, within a short period of time, become a matter of intense public debate; it causes us to confront the simple, unavoidable reality that this is a subject matter for which we must find resolution within the shortest possible time,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said that the workshop provided an opportunity for all stakeholders to jointly consider the value of the proposals being currently offered and develop therefrom, a workable plan of action for policy makers and the general public.
Dr Ajibola Bashiru, Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora, said that the agenda of the 9th assembly was to work for Nigerians but that the issue of diaspora voting should be a consensus with Nigerians.
Bashiru said that there was need to look at what the constitution said about such bills before it would be passed, marking out all the intricate parts to be taken into consideration.
Earlier, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who was represented by Dr Mohammed Lecky, National Commissioner of INEC, said that the commission was ready for diaspora voting.
Yakubu, however, said that legislative backing remained a challenge.
“We cannot have inclusiveness without carrying every Nigerian, wherever he or she may be, along in the electoral process; we need to bring our diasporas into the voting system because they matter.
“This is a subject matter in which the commission has shown a great deal of interest; we have studied it very carefully and positioned ourselves to do the needful at the appropriate time. We are ready,’’ the INEC chairman said.
Yakubu said that the commission had a wide range of first hand knowledge on how other election management bodies handled issues of diaspora voting, adding that there was no reason why Nigeria should not practice diaspora voting.
He said that the commission was convinced that diaspora voting was the way to go but hurdles like the election to allow diasporas participate in, logistics, funding, legislation among others still needed to be addressed.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu says the government is aware of the corrupt practices in place already.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has warned 2020 UTME candidates against exam malpractices. [OsunBase.ng]
As the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) holds mock for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) today (Tuesday, February 18, 2020), Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has warned sitting candidates against examination malpractices.
While warning universities and other tertiary institutions to abide by the rules of the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS) established by JAMB, Adamu noted that the government is aware of the corrupt practices such as admission racketeering, amongst others.
“Candidates who are billed to sit for the 2020 UTME are urged to refrain from any form of malpractices as this administration detests all forms of corruption, including examination malpractice and admission racketeering.
“Permit me to seize this opportunity to state that the leadership of any higher institution found to be involved in admitting any candidate without the prior approval of the board or outside the established platform – CAPS – would be considered and treated as corrupting the system," Punch quoted Adamu as saying.
Dr Fabian Benjamin, the JAMB's Head of Media and Information, had however disclosed that the board has so far registered over 1.9 million prospective candidates for its 2020 UTME, with a few hours to the end of the exercise.
The Oyo State Government has warned that it would prosecute any individual or group of persons found culpable of running parallel and illegal motor parks in the state.
Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde. [Twitter/@OsunBase.ng]
The Executive Chairman, Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA), Dr Akin Fagbemi, gave the warning in a statement on Monday in Ibadan. Fagbemi said that government would not hesitate to impound any vehicle found within premises of such illegal parks.
“OYRTMA, hereby, strongly warn individuals or groups planning to run parallel and illegal parks in the state to desist.
“Anyone found culpable will be prosecuted and made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Our attention has been drawn to comments made by certain individuals threatening to run some self-created and illegal parks parallel to the ones approved by government and into which park managers have been duly appointed.
“Section 2, Subsection 5a of the Oyo State Road Traffic Management Act 2009, states OYRTMA is the state government agency statutorily backed by law to oversee, coordinate and manage all government’s approved parks within the state,” he said.
He advised anyone nursing the ambition of utilising illegal parks or creating parks unapproved by the state government to reconsider his plan.
“We are set to go all out in conjunction with all other security agencies to arrest and prosecute offenders, while all vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles found at such illegal park would be impounded,” he said.
He, however, implored all commercial vehicle operators across the state to cooperate fully with the new park managers to ensure free flow of human and vehicular movement in the state.
Fagbemi further enjoined the people of the state to go about their legitimate businesses, promising that there was no cause for alarm.
The restriction was not to deny them of their means of livelihood but to ensure the safety of lives in the metropolis.
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA), Mr. Mudashiru Obasa
The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday said the restriction and ban placed on the operation of motorcycles and tricycles in some major highways were for the safety of the citizenry.
Obasa made this known at a meeting he held with the Associations of Motorcycles and Tricycles Operators in Agege Local Government and Orile-Agege Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Lagos.
He commended the associations for being calm and law-abiding since the pronouncement of the restriction and ban of their operations on some major highways in the state.
The speaker said that the restriction was not to deny them of their means of livelihood but to ensure the safety of lives in the metropolis.
“We are aware of the violence that trailed the restriction of your activities in some parts of the state.
“I want to commend you for staying calm and law-abiding here in Agege.
“Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has no hatred for motorcycles and tricycles operators, but there is the need to protect the citizens.
“I want to implore your associations to identify some of the problems hindering your operations, identify alternative routes, map out those that are not motorable and tell us.
“In this way, the local government will come in to assist.
“This is not going to be our last meeting, because, in our next meeting, I will invite the Police Area Commanders and the Divisional Police Officers (DPO) in this local government and the Commissioner of Police.
“I will also invite the State Commissioner for Transport to find a lasting solution to the issues of indiscriminate arrests in areas where the restriction is not applicable,” he said.
The speaker urged them to come up with positive ideas that would aid their smooth operation within the approved routes, adding that the government would not hesitate to support them.
Obasa noted that they were professionals and should behave as such by obeying the laws governing the state.
The speaker told them that the door of his office was wide open for deliberations and how they could be useful to themselves.
A crowd that lined up on the road welcomed Buhari to Maiduguri with jeering remarks on Wednesday.
Borno state governor, Babagana Umara Zulum President Muhammadu Buhari's recent visit to Maiduguri shows he cares about the people of the state. [Twitter/@OsunBase.ng]
The Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum has said that the people of the state have not lost hope in President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor said this while reacting to the action of the jeering crowd that booed the president when his convoy made its way into the state.
Buhari had gone to Maiduguri, the state capital on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, to condole with the people of the state over the recent Boko Haram attack in which 30 people were killed in Auno, a community near Maiduguri.
On getting to the state, some people lined up on the road booed the president shouting they don’t want his administration again.
President Muhammadu Buhari was booed by Borno state residents when he visited the state to condole with the people over the recent Boko Haram attacks in the state.. [Twitter/OsunBase.ng]
Meanwhile, the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu has said that those who booed the president were paid by politicians.
But in a statement by Isa Gusau, his spokesman, Zulum said Buhari’s visit showed he cared about the people of Borno.
He said, “Mr President, sir, your empathy for the good people of Borno state has never been with the slightest doubt. In fact, it has been so obvious. Your trip to Maiduguri on Wednesday, straight from an international engagement strongly reinforced what we already know of your compassion for the people of Borno.
“Your visit was more than a show of empathy. It strengthened our hope especially because in private, you gave us listening ears with reaffirmation of the commitment you have always had, to ending the Boko Haram insurgency. It is public knowledge that you have since day one of assuming office, made our security, humanitarian and economic situation topmost in your list of national priorities.
“Mr President, sir, Borno has not and will lose hope in you. We believe in you because no one can correctly question your sincerity of purpose. We will continue to hope and pray that God uses your presidency to grant us enduring peace and security in Borno state, rest of the northeast and the whole of our dear country, Nigeria.”