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City FM is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Programme: CITY TALKS WITH REUBEN ABATI

Time: 11:30am

Guest: Kayode Ajulo Esq

Topic - Abba Kyari's US indictment, Akeredolu's case and APC Congresses

Date: 31 July 2021

 

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has given a $50 million loan to the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to increase lending to female-owned businesses and other local small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

According to a statement from the FCMB Friday, the credit facility will narrow the lending gap to underserved segments and complement FCMB’s lending efforts and operations in the Nigerian market.

The AfDB will disburse the funds to FCMB before the end of this year.

The statement quoted the managing director of the FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun as saying, “The $50m credit line will increase access to finance for women empowered businesses and enterprises involved in agribusiness, manufacturing, renewable energy and health care, enabling them to build back better post-COVID.

“We are delighted that a minimum of 30 per cent of the funds will go specifically to women-empowered businesses, which would in turn contribute to stimulating gender equality and empowerment.”

It added, the AfDB will also provide a technical assistance grant of $200,000 to the FCMB through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) towards supporting women entrepreneurs in developing countries.
 
Src|DailyTrust

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that new technology introduced into the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has positioned the commission to better deliver on its mandate.

INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this Friday in Abuja, when he led a delegation of the National Elections Commission of Liberia to the CVR physical registration centre at FCT headquarters of INEC.

According to him, compared to experiences from previous CVR exercises, the commission had been able to eliminate the crowd at CVR centres with the new technology.

“As you can see, the queue has disappeared and we are able to serve Nigerians better for that reason,” Yakubu said.

He assured that INEC would continue to do this until the end of the exercise on June 30, 2022, when it would suspend the process to enable the commission compile the voters’ register ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Chairperson of National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC), Davidetta Lansanah, commended the leadership of INEC for sharing Nigeria’s experience with them.

She said that the experience learned during the study tour would help Liberia in adopting the CVR in their country.

Src|DailyTrust

BBNaija Shine Ya Eye housemate, Sammie that his first sexual experience was with a Prostitute at the age of 17.

Sammie said this while chatting with his fellow housemate, Angel.

Their conversation lasted for a while and it seems to be heading to a romantic relationship as time goes on.

Both of them are slowly becoming an item as they have both been seen cuddling up in the house from time to time.

Saturday, 31 July 2021 05:19

FG approves 114 new standards for SON

The Federal Government has approved 114 new standards for the Standards Organisation of Nigeria which cut across various sectors of the economy.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who disclosed this during a recent council meeting in Abuja, said the new standards were introduced to drive economic growth, according to a statement on Friday.

The minister described the newly approved standards as being of economic, regulatory and industrial importance, particularly with the ongoing implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Adebayo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary at the meeting, said the new standards bordered on sectors such as civil and building engineering, food technology, mechanical, liquefied petroleum gas, and energy management systems.

“Seventy-seven of the new standards were adopted from existing International Standards; 26 were newly introduced, while 11 were reviewed to meet changing economic and technological requirements,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the minister has expressed optimism that a new industry report would attract more investor interest and boost foreign direct investment inflows to the country.

Adebayo, who spoke at the launch of the Corporate Sustainable Investor Report in Abuja on Friday, said the report would be useful to domestic business owners and foreign investors when evaluating the option of investing in the country.

He said, “The report has been developed in line with leading practices, effectively documenting corporate strategies being executed by local companies in their quest for sustainability.

“It covers more than 90 companies operating in various sectors of the economy while providing readers with comprehensive data on private companies’ human rights, stakeholder inclusion, innovation and environmental sustainability practices.

“Last year Nigeria generated $2.6bn in foreign direct investments. I am optimistic that this report will be beneficial in providing key investors with additional information to make informed decisions on investment opportunities in the country.”

 

Src|Punch

Meanwhile., the United States Attorney’s Office at the Central District of California has said that Hushpuppi will be “sentenced” in October 2021.

The court’s Director of Media Relations, Thom Mrozek, disclosed this to one of our correspondents in an emailed inquiry on Friday.

The court also confirmed that it ordered the FBI to arrest Kyari, who is being wanted for his alleged role in a $1m scam allegedly perpetrated by Hushpuppi and others.

 “A U.S. Magistrate Judge has issued arrest warrants for the defendants in the case, including Mr Kyari. This is standard operating procedure in nearly all of the criminal cases filed by this office.

“Hushpuppi is currently scheduled to be sentenced in late October,” Mrozek stated.

The court official, however, did not disclose whether Kyari must be in court with Hushpuppi by late October.

In a plea agreement document sighted by The PUNCH, Hushpuppi has since pleaded guilty to money laundering and internet fraud-related charges

The document was signed by Hushpuppi; his lawyer, Loius Shapiro; and Acting United States Attorney, Tracy Wilkison, among others.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Public Interests Lawyers and Advocate has said that Kyari’s indictment is an embarrassment to Nigeria, the Muhammadu Buhari-led regime and the Nigeria Police Force.

The coalition, while claiming that Kyari is no longer unfit to remain the head of the police unit, faulted the decision by the NPF to investigative him, asking that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Police Service Commission should take over the investigation.

The COPA said this in a statement  issued on Friday by its National Coordinator, Pelumi Olajengbesi, and titled, ‘The Indictment of DCP Abba Kyari by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation Over Allegations of Fraud and Abuse of Police Powers.’

The group said, “Therefore, that the continuous retention of Mr. Abba Kyari as the head of Inspector General of Police’ Intelligence Response Team of the Nigeria Police Force is no longer tenable, pending the conclusion of an independent investigation into the extent of his guilt, complicity or the lack thereof in the damning revelations made against his person and office by self-confessed internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi.”

Src|Punch

The Police Service Commission has said it will determine the fate of the Commander of the IGP  Intelligence Response and Monitoring Team, Abba Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police, indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for alleged involvement in a $1.1m Internet fraud.

The commission also noted that Kyari might face dismissal or demotion, and criminal prosecution if found culpable in the fraud perpetrated by an Instagram influencer and fraudster, Ramon Abass, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal complaint lodged at the United States District Court in California had listed Hushpuppi and Kyari among six suspects indicted in the international fraud conspiracy.

The other suspects include AbdulRahman  Juma (Abdul); Vincent Kelly Chibuzo (Kelly); Rukayat Motunrayo Fashola (Morayo); and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka (Bolamide).

Kyari, who is popularly known as ‘super cop,’ had received rapid promotions and a commendation from the National Assembly for his exploits in crime fighting.

His arrest of several notorious criminals, including alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Onuamadike, commonly known as Evans, among other notable arrests, shot him to the limelight.

On Wednesday, however, an unsealed 69-page court document showed that he had been under investigation by the FBI for his alleged link to Hushpuppi, who had pleaded guilty to fraud.

In the case marked 2:21-cr-00203, USA vs Abba Alhaji Kyari dated April 29, 2021, the FBI asked a US District Court in California to order Kyari’s arrest.

The US Department of Justice in a statement said Hushpuppi admitted during interrogation that he paid bribes to Kyari to have one of his rivals arrested and jailed in Nigeria following a dispute over a $1.1m fraud involving a Qatari businessman.

According to the FBI, Hushpuppi asked Kyari to arrest a fellow fraudster, Kelly Chibuzor Vincent, after both were involved in a dispute over the $1.1m loot.

It was stated in the court document that in September 2019, Kyari travelled to Dubai and was picked by Hushpuppi’s driver.

Following the US court arrest warrant, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered a review of the information on Kyari.

But speaking to our correspondent on Friday, the Commissioner in charge of Media on the board of the Police Service Commission, Mr Austin Braimoh, said the PSC would not be bound by the IG’s review of the allegations against Kyari, noting that the commission would carry out further probe on whatever findings the police authorities made on Kyari.

Braimoh stated that the commission’s findings would determine Kyari’s future in the police force.

He said, “The commission won’t say anything until we get the official report. We are the final decision-maker on his fate as a police officer. Everything concerning his indictment can be investigated and the criminal aspect of it can be sent to the law court but on the official aspect concerning discipline; no other body has power to do anything to him as a police officer, it is only the commission that has such powers.

“So, the commission is awaiting the full report of investigation and his indictment and we will treat it officially; we would apply the law. The law will determine the various punishments that we can award against him. He can be dismissed depending on the gravity of the offence; we can demote him, reduce his rank; we can suspend him.

“Many things are laid out before us pertaining to various offences and after that, the criminal aspect would be referred to the court for prosecution. It depends on how the report is coming; whether it is coming to us directly for us to extricate the criminal aspect and treat it or they want to treat it and refer the official one to us to discipline him.’’

Asked if the police could be trusted to carry out a thorough, unbiased investigation, the commissioner disclosed that the PSC investigation department will subject the findings of the police review to further investigations.

Giving an insight into the disciplinary process the embattled DCP would go through, Braimoh explained that Kyari would be queried after which he would be interrogated by the Force Disciplinary Committee.

He noted, “We don’t always believe the police should investigate the police (personnel) except through the commission. But the important thing is that whatever thing they decide to do, we are not obliged to accept their investigations. So, our investigation department would still go further to get the facts.

‘’What we know they would do is that a query would be issued based on the complaints against him, he would be asked to defend himself and then, he would face what we call the Force Disciplinary Committee which would interrogate him and the report is passed to the DIG in charge and from there to the IG.

‘’The IG would basically forward the final findings and recommendations to the commission. The commission would now carry on with their own investigation; we have to re-investigate what they have done to ensure that they comply with the rule of law and what is expected.

‘’Our lawyer would look into it, he would check the facts and if we feel there is negligence and that some things are not done, we would do a thorough job and eventually, we would have recommendations from the standing committee to the plenary for a final decision and our decision is final on his career.’’

When asked if Kyari should be suspended pending the investigation’s outcome, Braimoh said this was the normal thing to do.

He, however, observed that the US court had not criminalised the IRT commander, noting that Kyari would have to step aside once the allegations against him were established.

The commissioner added, “The way we look at it is that the court has given an order that he should be arrested, the court has not criminalised him yet; he has not been convicted.

‘’Since, there is little hope, or what you call beyond reasonable doubt, he may be found clean. The issue of stepping aside in Nigeria may be different.  The facts of the allegations would be made available to the force, and I’m sure the needful would be done. ‘’Meanwhile, there is uncertainty over the setting up of the panel that would review the allegations against Kyari.

 Although the IG announced on Thursday that the force would review the allegations against Kyari, Saturday PUNCH could not confirm if this had been done on Friday.

The force spokesman, Frank Mba, did not respond to inquiries on the composition of the review panel and the deadline for the submission of its report.

Src|Punch

Two repressive systems of old which heightened the advent of ‘Democracy’ in many societies were a) Monarchy, which was premised on the ‘Divine Rights of Kings’ and b) Colonialism by which imperialists exploited conquered territories.

It was thus with ample ease that freedom from oppression – the sermon of democracy facilitated its adoption in virtually all parts of the world. The popularity of democracy has however been adversely affected by a dimension whereby people claim to be democrats just to attain power only to enthrone a regime which erodes freedom thereby creating an authoritarian democracy.

Just like many African nationalists who joined the struggle for independence from colonial rule, Nigerian politicians only want to replace those in the ruling class, none is genuinely interested in attributes such as accountability and free speech.

As a result, it is difficult to find any African country, where political dissent is not remotely criminalized. Accordingly, a slogan such as ‘democracy is a game of numbers’ is now one of the popular features of democratic governance in the continent. It does not matter whether the numbers are real or cooked.

For a country to be recognized as a democracy, it has to consummate the processes and procedures for democratic governance. Nigeria for instance cannot be said to be a democratic country because her governance process has from independence in 1960 been largely fake.

It is true that she has managed to conduct elections since 1999 but it is not every form of election that democracy accepts. An election in a democratic society is a process which guarantees fairness and credibility. Countries which organize incredible and sham elections such as the ones we see in Nigeria merely ridicule themselves before the international community.

Quite often when other countries disparage many Nigerians, we argue that they ought to know that every nation has its bad eggs and that there are decent Nigerians. We conveniently forget that our bastardized democratic process, has left an indelible signpost to the world at large that ours is an unserious political entity.

People who relish the manipulation of election figures can manipulate anything hence getting visas just to visit any part of the western world is deliberately made tedious because no one is believed to be honest in our system. Many people who are allegedly elected into political offices never won any election.

Yet, they make so much noise about democracy being a game of numbers, when they and the rest of us know that the said numbers are nebulous making a mockery of democracy’s priceless element of majority rule. When it all started long ago, analysts had hoped that there would be improvements in due course that can bail us out of the dilemma.

Recent events have painfully confirmed that we have become entrenched in an unsophisticated political culture from which we are making no effort to depart. Secondly, even if the numbers are genuine, we are still not a democracy because all that matters in our clime is the so called viewpoint of the majority. In a responsive democracy, majority rule coexists with the protection of minority rights.

Kwara State is probably the most recent example of a state; whose House of Assembly knows only the game of numbers without recourse to minority rights. Although our courts have consistently declared that legislators have no powers to suspend one of their members, the undemocratic practice subsists unabated.

Two weeks ago, the Kwara Assembly suspended indefinitely Jimoh Agboola, the only member of the opposition in the 24-member state legislature. His offence was that he made comments deemed to be critical of Governor AbdulRazaq-led administration. Agboola reportedly criticised the governor during a radio programme for sidelining his constituency from developmental projects.

The case raises several issues. First, if Agboola criticised the governor, it meant he exercised his constitutional right of freedom of expression which cannot amount to an offence. Second, by speaking out on behalf of his constituents, Agboola played the exact role for which he was elected.

Third, as the only minority member of the House, the legislator lived up to the expectations of the democratic right which allows a minority to have a say. Even if Agboola’s supposed criticism of the governor bothered on defamation, it is not a House of Assembly that is legally empowered to determine the offence let alone to punish it with indefinite suspension.

But they are among Nigeria’s pseudo democrats who believe that democracy is only a game of numbers that must be intolerant of any dissenting opinion. Someone must tell the Kwara legislators that no law gives them the power to punish a constituency by depriving it of the right to be represented.

What appeared to have angered the Kwara lawmakers was the decision of the minority legislator to call on his constituents to stage a protest against the authorities for marginalizing them. Interestingly, this again is not an offence as peaceful protests are allowed in a democracy.

Consequently, the majority cannot wipe out political opposition in Nigeria on the grounds that democracy is a game of numbers. The Kwara legislators are patently wrong in their decision to punish Agboola for speaking out and for having the courage to mobilize his constituents to protest against what is not in their interest. Agboola did no wrong.

But then, in what can be called modern Nigeria, such vestiges of authoritarianism are still in place in many of our institutions. In order to be able to rig elections, Nigerian politicians have mobilized their legislators to whimsically usurp the power to determine how elections should hold in Nigeria from the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC which is the only body authorized by the constitution to do so.

As one of the legislators opined a few days ago, they have done it and only God can change it. Such a declaration by mortals confirms the lack of awareness that democracy is expected to be anchored on the rule of law where everything is done according to the due process of law. There are many things calling for change in Nigeria. One of them is to stop those who deliberately truncate the political growth of the country.

Here, we need an electoral body that can enthrone a process based on best practices for rational recruitment of leaders who can bring genuine development to our shores. We need a legislature of people of integrity whose presiding officers must not be hard of hearing.

To attain this, hearing aid devices can be provided just to be sure they do not hear the opposite of what their members say. We want an end to the justice delivery system which could credit some candidates during election petitions with more votes than the number of accredited voters at an election.

We need a new police force that would not continue to insist that they can exercise the right to ban street protests in Nigeria notwithstanding the abrogation of the unconstitutional Public Order Act of 1979 upon which they relied in the dark days of Nigeria to make the country an undemocratic landscape. These changes must precede the talk about democracy as a game of numbers.

Vanguard 

Troops of 202 Battalion have taken custody of eight Boko Haram Insurgents and their families, comprising 10 adult females and 22 children, who surrendered to troops at Ruwaza village in Bama Local Government Area of Borno state.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier Gen Onyema Nwachukwu made this known on Friday night just as he said troops of forwarding Operational Base (FOB) operating along Bocobs- Bama road have arrested another 20 Boko Haram fighters and their families, who surrendered to troops at Nbewa village, also in Bama Local Government Area of Borno state.

He said, “The surrendering families of the insurgents comprised 15 adult females and 26 children.

“The suspects all surrendered to the troops, during clearance operations in the areas on 29 July, 2021 following ongoing intense clearance operations by troops in the general areas.

“The children among the surrendering suspects have been vaccinated with polio vaccines, while the adult and female suspects, who have been documented and screened are currently undergoing preliminary investigations.

“In a separate operation, troops of 73 Battalion, Forward Operating Base (FOB) in conjunction with combined team of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and Hunters have intercepted a Boko Haram Terrorists Logistics Supplier during a fighting patrol along Molai – Damboa Road.

“On being alerted, the combined team swiftly mobilized and stormed the location, where they arrested the suspect, while he was perfecting plans to deliver logistics to the insurgents in the forest.

“Items recovered from the suspect include a vehicle, 4 jerry cans of 30 Litres of PMS, one 4 Litre gallon of engine oil, one motorcycle pump, one oil treatment, one torchlight, one mosquito net, two praying mats, two blankets, four Spanners, 10 packets of 1.5v battery and three dozens of diamond rubber solution.

“Others are five packets of candies, five packets of seasoning, and measures of other foodstuffs.”

Vanguard

The Athletic Integrity Unit, AIU, has suspended Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare with immediate effect.

After a sample collected from the sprinter tested positive for human Growth Hormone, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AlU) has temporarily suspended Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria with immediate effect.

Growth Hormone is a non-specified drug on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List for 2021, and an adverse analytical test for such a substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules requires a provisional suspension.

On July 19, the AlU took a sample from Ms. Okagbare during an out-of-competition test. The AIU was alerted of the negative analytical finding by the WADA-accredited laboratory that analyzed the sample at midday Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.

This morning in Tokyo, the athlete was informed of the negative analytical finding and her provisional suspension. She was supposed to compete in the women’s 100m semi-finals this evening.

At this point, the AlU will not make any additional comments on the subject.

AIU revealed that an out-of-competition sample from Okagbare tested positive for human growth hormone.

 

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