Nigerian 59th Independence

Nigerian 59th Independence

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Omoleye Sowore

Omoleye Sowore

Nigerian activist Sowore sent back to custody More »

 

Lagos assembly threatens to arrest Ambode

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the former Governor of the State, Akinwunmi Ambode and four others who served under the ex-governor as commissioners.

The decision followed two preliminary reports presented by two different ad-hoc committees set up by the House to investigate the 820 buses purchased by Ambode and to appraise the 2019 mid-year budget. The former commissioners involved include Kazeem Adeniji (Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice), Olusegun Banjo (Commissioner for Budget), Akinyemi Ashade (Commissioner for Finance) and Wale Oluwo (Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources).

Presenting the preliminary report of a 9-man ad-hoc committee to probe the 820 buses purchased by the former governor, Chairman of the committee, Fatai Mojeed said that it was discovered that due process was not followed in the purchase of the buses.

The lawmaker said Ambode used the refund of the Paris Club for the purchase of the buses without the approval of the House, saying “he did not inform the House before commencing the purchase of the buses.

“Over N48 billion was spent on the purchase of the buses and N22 Billion were spent on import duties. 520 of the buses are still at the seaport.”

Mojeed stated that the Accountant General of the state told the committee that she depended on the approval of Ambode for the purchase of the buses and that no payment voucher was made available to the committee.

According to Mojeed, they also demanded for the budget instrument used for the purchase, but that there was no budgetary provision for the purchases.

“They could not produce any newspaper where the purchase of the buses was advertised. The committee invited 20 stakeholders, 16 of them complied, while four of them refused against the constitutional provision,” he added.

On his part, Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman Adhoc Committee on mid-year budget review, alleged that the above-mentioned commissioners were invited by his committee but refused to appear without giving any excuses for their absence.

Yishawu also claimed that the former governor gave some directives on spending without the approval of the lawmakers.

Reacting to the matter, some members of the House suggested that since the ex-governor and those officials who worked with him had been invited by the two committees and refused to show up, warrant of arrest should be issued on them.

Bisi Yusuf, the member representing Alimosho Constituency 1, told his colleagues that the House is empowered by the constitution to issue a warrant of arrest on the concerned individuals for their refusal to appear before the committees.

While expressing a contrary view, member representing Badagry Constituency 1, Ibrahim Layode urged his colleagues to tread with caution.

He advised that the concerned individuals should be invited through newspaper advertisements, stating that the ex-officials were likely to come across the publications.

According to the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, “I want to observe that if they have been invited and refused to show up, we should summon them and if they still refuse, then a warrant of arrest can be issued. Now, they’ve been invited, we should summon them by using the dailies before going to the extent of issuing an arrest warrant.”

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, noted that the issue was beyond arrest warrant, “because when this house invite people and they refused to show up, it’s like setting a bad precedence for others coming behind.

“The clerk should write them, including the ex-governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and if they refused, we will do newspaper publications and after that, we will issue a warrant of arrest,” Obasa stated.

Buhari nominates Adesina for re-election as AfDB President

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for re-election as the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Akinwunmi, while speaking at an event in Lagos on Sunday, appreciated Buhari for nominating him for re-election for a second term as president of the bank.

According to Adesina, Nigeria has invested so much in me.

“When asked by former President Goodluck Jonathan to serve as Minister of Agriculture, it was duty calling me to the land of my birth.

“I served Nigeria to the very best of my ability. I thank God that Nigeria’s agriculture sector witnessed a much-needed transformation at the time.

`With the strong support of President Jonathan and the then President elect, Buhari, we campaigned very hard for the position of the President of the African Development Bank.

“It was a Nigeria effort, as all hands were on deck.

“This included our former presidents and heads of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice Presidents Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo, and of course my dear indefatigable sister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who ran a spirited campaign for me.

“By God’s grace, I was elected President of the African Development Bank on May 28, 2015, exactly 24 hours after my term of office as Minister ended.

“The nation jubilated as I became the first-ever Nigerian to be elected President of the bank since its establishment in 1964.

“Once again, Nigeria gave me air in my lungs.

“At the African Development Bank, we have worked very hard.

“In my four years as President, we have connected 16 million people to electricity, provided 70 million people with improved agricultural technologies to achieve food security.

“We have also given nine million people access to finance from private sector companies, provided 55 million people with access to improved transport, and 31 million people with access to water and sanitation.

“In all, 181 million people have directly benefitted from our investments.

“I am proud of all my staff and the Board of Directors whose hard work and relentless support have helped make this happen.

“The African Development Bank has continued to maintain its global AAA rating. Last year, the bank was rated the 4th most transparent institution globally.

“There is still much to do. We have gone some way climbing the steep mountainside of Africa’s development, yet there is still much way to go until we reach the mountaintop.

“Nigeria again is giving me air in my lungs, to keep on climbing.

“I wish to immensely thank and appreciate President Buhari for nominating me for e-election for a second term as President of the African Development Bank and for being such a wonderful champion and supporter of my re-election,’’ Adesina said.

Nigeria ready for 5G – Communication Minister

Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Oct. 7, 2019 (NAN) In line with global requirements of communications, Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications, said Nigeria was ready to deploy 5G network across the country to ease network flow.

Pantami said this on Monday at the ongoing 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) holding in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

GITEX is a global technology exhibition that brings together over 200,000 trade visitors, investors, innovators, IT experts, countries, Information Communication Technology startups from over 145 countries of the world, to share trends of ICT and ways of advancing technology innovations.

Nigeria’s participation in GITEX, which is spearheaded by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a week long programme holding from Oct. 6  to Oct. 10.

5G mobile network is the next-generation standard for wireless communication, set to start taking over the mobile network environment in 2019. 5G delivers vastly increased capacity, lower latency and faster speed.

The minster said “ Nigeria is ready for 5G network but preparation is key. We are ready but need deployment and before that we need pre-deployment and post-deployment.

“We are working to handle the challenges of pre-deployment but the approval has been given for the trial.

“Nigeria is not yet into the 5G network deliberately. Some of the telecom operators are ready to deploy the 5G network but the proposal was put on hold, so we can be productive and proactive.

“There could be potential challenges that could obstruct 5G network, which include regulations. You cannot just rush into it without preparing your ground,’’ he said.

He said that the Federal Government is engaging some security agencies like the National Intelligence Agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Police, among others to ensure a seamless process, while establishing regulations on deploying the 5G network.

The minister also said that 5G network cannot be deployed across the country yet due to some gaps in citizens being unable to access 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

“At the pace we are moving, some places do not even have 2G, there are over 200 cluster areas in the country and with this you cannot say we can move to 5G when some people are yet to access 2G, 3G.

“The gaps are already there, it is not a new one but you cannot delay advancement because other people are not benefiting, what we should do is to bridge the gap.’’

He added that Nigeria was not doing badly in technology, however, patriotism and confidence in indigenous products and services was lacking.

Pantami recalled that a Nigerian in the UK was the first person globally to develop, build and design first real time 5G network dedicated to self-organised networks in the UK , using general purpose processors.

According to him, we usually fail to deploy what we produce, we are so much addicted to foreign products and whenever we hear anything local it appears to us as inferior.

“That perception of undermining our effort is what we need to change.’’

NAN

ASUU splits as parallel body applies for registration

The Ministry of labour and Employment, has confirmed receipt of application for the registration of a new University Union, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), to be formed out of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister, Sunday, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the application was awaiting deliberation as stipulated by Trade Union laws.

According to him, a committee would be set up to define modalities before it will be approved.

“They have not been registered yet. Their application is in the ministry. It has not been treated.

“We are still looking at their application. I asked a committee to look into it, when we look at the committee’s report, we will know what to do.

“They submitted it even before I left office initially, they submitted the application in April,” he said.

On whether CONUA would not duplicate the functions of ASUU, Ngige said that would be the duty of a committee set up on the matter to reveal.

The National Coordinator of CONUA, Mr Niyi Ismaheel, said on Sunday in Abuja that CONUA had a sole purpose of redefining unionism and restore peace and stability in the universities in Nigeria.

According to him, the union will help put to an end unnecessary delays in the academic calendar of Nigerian students, following frequent strikes.

“The Union, which started in OAU now has Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Federal University, Lokoja and Kwara State University, Molete as members.

“The union is putting necessary documentations in place for official recognition by the university management and the government,” he said.

A female cadet, Uchechi Promise Echefu emerges The Best Graduating Student From Nigeria Defence Academy (Navy)

Uchechi Promise Echefu has emerged the overall best graduating student from Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA (Navy) at the just concluded passing out ceremony of Cadets of 66 Regular Course, Short Service Course 45 (Army) and 67 Regular Course (Navy and Air Force). She also bagged First Class Honours in Computer Science in the faculty of Military Science and Inter Disciplinary Studies

Uchechi hails from Mbeke Autonomous community in Isiala mbano LGA of Imo state.

She also received the following Five academic awards.

1. Commander in Chief best graduating cadet Academic Award
2. Afe Bablola best Behaved graduating cadet Award
3. Chief of Defence staff best graduating cadet Award in Military Science and Inter Disciplinary Studies
4. Commandant Best graduating cadet in Computer Science.
5. Best graduating cadet in Navy.

Ransom demanded by kidnappers on Nigerian School girls

Gunmen who kidnapped six female students and two staff members from their hostels at a remote school in northern Nigeria have made a ransom demand, the regional governor said.

Armed assailants gained entry to Engravers College, a mixed boarding school in a remote area just south of the city of Kaduna, early on Thursday and seized the victims.

“They have made a demand for money and that is being negotiated,” state governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai told reporters in the capital Abuja.

The governor refused to disclose details of the demands or negotiations as the authorities were “trying to protect the victims and secure their release”.

Abductions for ransom are common in Nigeria and the school is located in an area that has become notorious for armed banditry.

It is far to the west of the region notorious for attacks by the Boko Haram jihadist group.

Boko Haram grabbed headlines around the world in 2014 for the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from the remote northeastern town of Chibok in Borno state.

El-Rufai said those responsible for the Kaduna kidnapping had made contact with parents and that police had gathered relatives together to facilitate communication.

He insisted the police, army and airforce remained on the hunt for the kidnappers and their victims.

A mother of one of the kidnapped children told AFP she had briefly spoken with her daughter by phone.

“My daughter called me early Friday morning on a phone number I didn’t know,” she said.

“She was crying and sounded frightened.”

The school was deserted on Thursday after parents hastily took their children home as news of the abduction spread.

Nigeria, South Africa agree on trade deals and mend relations

South Africa and Nigeria signed 30 trade and cooperation agreements on Thursday, weeks after a wave of violence against Nigerian nationals in Johannesburg and Pretoria had strained relations between Africa’s top two economies.

In September, mobs armed with makeshift weapons attacked businesses and homes owned by foreigners, leading to at least 10 deaths, dozens of injuries and up to 400 arrests.

In response Nigeria repatriated around 600 of its citizens living in South Africa.

Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa and Muhammadu Buhari, at the conclusion of a two-day visit by the Nigerian leader, said they regretted the violence and subsequent retaliation in Nigeria against South African businesses, pledging instead to deepen trade ties.

The local units of South African telecoms company MTN and supermarket chain Shoprite closed all stores and service centres in Nigeria after their premises were attacked by Nigerians protesting against attacks on their compatriots in South Africa.

“As the government of South Africa, we have expressed our deep regret at the attacks directed at foreign nationals and our condemnation of all forms of intolerance and acts of violence,” Ramaphosa told journalists.

Ramaphosa said the two countries had sealed 32 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding covering trade and industry, science and technology, defence, agriculture and energy.

Nigeria accounts for 64 percent of South Africa’s total trade with the West African Region and is one of its largest trading partners on the continent.

Buhari said beyond the economic partnership the anti-foreigner violence had to be addressed quickly.

“We decided to take concrete measures to prevent the recurrence of such unacceptable incidents in the future,” Buhari said.

Reuters.

FULL TEXT: Independence Day speech by President Buhari

INDEPENDENCE DAY SPEECH

BY

HIS EXCELLENCY MUHAMMADU BUHARI

PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

ON THE

OCCASION OF THE 59TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY

1st OCTOBER, 2019

Dear Compatriots,

1st October each year is an opportunity for us to reflect and thank God for his endless blessings on our country.

  • It is also a time for us, collectively, to:
  • Remember the sacrifices made by our Founders and great leaders past; by soldiers, by distinguished public servants; by traditional leaders, by our workers —- sacrifices on which Nigeria has been built over the 59 years since Independence in 1960; and
  • Rededicate ourselves to attaining the goals which we have set for ourselves: a united, prosperous and purposeful nation in the face of 21st century opportunities and challenges.
  • In the past four years, the majority of Nigerians have committed to Change for the Better. Indeed, this Administration was re-elected by Nigerians on a mandate to deliver positive and enduring Change – through maintaining our National Security; restoring sustainable and inclusive Economic Growth and Development; and fighting Corruption against all internal and external threats.
  • This Change can only be delivered if we are united in purpose, as individuals and as a nation. We must all remain committed to achieving this positive and enduring Change. As I stated four years ago, “Change does not just happen… We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust… simply put, to bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens.”

SECURITY:

  • Good Governance and Economic Development cannot be sustained without an enabling environment of peace and security. In the last four years, we have combatted the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram. We owe a debt of gratitude to our gallant men and women in arms, through whose efforts we have been able to achieve the present results. We are also grateful to our neighbours and allies – within the region and across the world – who have supported us on this front.
  • The capacity of our armed forces to defend our territorial integrity continues to be enhanced by the acquisition of military hardware as well as continued improvements in the working conditions of our service men and women.
  • The Ministry of Police Affairs has been resuscitated to oversee the development and implementation of strategies to enhance internal security. My recent assent to the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act has created a legal framework to support our Police with increased fiscal resources to enhance their law enforcement capabilities.
  • These initiatives are being complemented by the ongoing recruitment of 10,000 constables into the Nigeria Police Force. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to arrest the incidence of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes across our nation.
  • We remain equally resolute in our efforts to combat militant attacks on our oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and accelerate the Ogoni Clean-up to address long-standing environmental challenges in that region.
  • The recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs underscores our commitment to enhance the living standards of our communities in the Niger Delta, through coordinated and appropriate programmes.
  • Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media. Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action.
  • In this regard, I reiterate my call for all to exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations. Whilst the ongoing national discourse on various political and religious issues is healthy and welcome, we must not forget the lessons of our past – lessons that are most relevant on a day such as this.
  • The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction. I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity.

ACCELERATING SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMY GROWTH

  1. This Administration inherited a skewed economy, where the Oil Sector comprised only 8% of Gross Domestic Product but contributed 70% of government revenue and 90% foreign exchange earnings over the years. Past periods of relatively high economic growth were driven by our reliance on Oil Sector revenues to finance our demand for imported goods and services. Regrettably, previous governments abandoned the residual Investment-driven Non-Oil Sector, which constituted 40% of Gross Domestic Product and comprised agriculture, livestock, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining and manufacturing activities that provide millions of jobs for able-bodied Nigerians and utilize locally available raw materials and labour for production.
  2. To address this imbalance, our commitment to achieving economic diversification has been at the heart of our economic strategies under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which I launched on the 5th of April, 2017.
  3. This medium-term development plan charted the trajectory for our economy to exit from recession and return to the path of sustainable, diversified and inclusive growth for Nigerians. Pursuant to these reforms, the economy has recovered and we have had 9 successive quarters of growth since our exit from recession. The exchange rate in the last 3 years has remained stable, with robust reserves of US$42.5 billion, up from US$23 billion in October 2016.
  4. Learning from the mistakes of the past, this Administration is committed to responsibly managing our oil wealth endowments. We will continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-oil job-creating sectors.
  5. In this regard, we are significantly increasing investments in critical infrastructure. Last year, capital releases only commenced with the approval of the Budget in June 2018. However, as at 20th June this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.
  6. Implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed. The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been directed to release N600 billion for Capital Expenditure in the next 3 months.
  7. To maximise impact, we shall continue to increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships. Through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which I initiated in January this year, we are giving incentives to private sector inflow of over N205 billion in 19 Nigerian roads and bridges of 794.4km across in 11 States of the Federation.
  8. As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimizing the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector. We will, working with the Legislature, soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendments to the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act into law, to ensure Government obtains a fair share of oil revenues, whilst encouraging private sector investment.
  9. We will also continue our fight against illegal bunkering of crude oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across our borders, including the diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts. Whilst Nigeria remains committed to free and fair continental and international trade, we will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to tackle illegal smuggling, transshipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in our country.
  10. We are resolute in reforming the power sector. In August this year, we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernize the National Grid in 3 phases: starting from 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards. This programme, in partnership with the German Government and Siemens, will provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve our transmission and distribution challenges.
  11. The programme will also look to localize the development and assembly of smart meters as well as the operations and maintenance capabilities of transmission and distribution infrastructure.
  12. I am pleased with the improved inter-agency collaboration between the Ministry of Power and the regulators in the banking and power sectors to ensure that electricity sales, billings and collections are automated and become cashless.
  13. These initiatives are important to ensure that the technical and collection losses in the sector are substantially reduced. I remain confident that Nigerians will have affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply in the not too distant future.
  14. Our efforts to improve the power sector will complement other infrastructure investments projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, which is investing in the Mambilla Power Plant project, as well as key economic road infrastructure such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kano Expressway. The first set of these projects remain on track to be completed by 2022.
  15. Our journey to food security and self-sufficiency is well underway. We have made remarkable progress in almost all segments of the agriculture value chain, from fertilizers to rice, to animal feed production. We shall sustain these policies to ensure additional investments are channeled, thereby creating more jobs in the sector. We must not go back to the days of importing food and thereby exporting jobs.
  16. Our commitment to achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification, has been underscored by the merger of the Ministry of Finance with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
  17. This combined Ministry has the important mandate to enhance the management of domestic and global fiscal risks; coordinate policies with the trade and monetary authorities; raise and deploy revenues to fund budgeted expenditure; and integrate annual budgets and medium-term fiscal strategies.
  18. With this, our revenue-generating and reporting agencies will come under much greater scrutiny, going forward, as the new performance management framework will reward exceptional revenue performance, while severe consequences will attend failures to achieve agreed revenue targets.
  19. I recently constituted an Economic Advisory Council to advise me on inclusive and sustainable macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies. This independent body will work with relevant Cabinet members and the heads of key monetary, fiscal and trade agencies to ensure we remain on track as we strive for collective prosperity. However, we are also committed to ensure that the inconvenience associated with any painful policy adjustments, is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt.
  20. Our ongoing N500 billion Special Intervention Programme continues to target these vulnerable groups, through the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and social housing scheme.
  21. To institutionalize these impactful programmes, we created the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which shall consolidate and build on our achievements to date. To the beneficiaries of these programmes, I want to reassure you that our commitment to social inclusion will only increase.
  22. Our population growth rate remains amongst the highest in the world, presenting both challenges as well as opportunities. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we provide adequate resources to meet the basic needs of our teeming youth.
  23. Accordingly, we shall continue to invest in education, health, water and sanitation, as well as food security, to ensure that their basic needs are met, while providing them with every opportunity to live peaceful, prosperous and productive lives.

FIGHTING CORRUPTION AND RESTORING GOOD GOVERNANCE:

  • On fighting corruption, our institutional reforms to enforce the Treasury Single Account policy, introduce the Whistle-blowers’ Initiative, expand the coverage of the Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System as well as the Government Integrated Management Information System have saved billions of Naira over the last four years, and deterred the rampant theft and mismanagement of public funds that have plagued our public service.
  • The Ministry of Justice, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will continue to address this menace. We are determined to ensure that transparency and good governance are institutionalized in public service.
  • We must commit to installing a culture of Good Governance in all we do. This Administration has fought against corruption, by investigating and prosecuting those accused of embezzlement and the misuse of public resources. We have empowered teams of prosecutors, assembled detailed databases of evidence, traced the proceeds of crimes and accelerated the recovery of stolen funds.
  • Furthermore, we partnered with our friends abroad to combat tax evasion, smuggling, terrorism and illicit financial flows. In June 2018, I assented to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, to provide a domestic legal framework for obtaining international assistance in criminal matters.
  • This measure has already strengthened our law enforcement agencies in obtaining evidence, investigating suspects and facilitating the recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of property implicated as proceeds of crime.
  • An example is the US$300 million recently identified as part of the Abacha money-laundering case, working closely with the Government of the United States of America. The Federal Ministry of Justice is working with the US Department of Justice to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding to expedite the repatriation of these funds.
  • The P & ID Arbitral Award has underscored the manner in which significant economic damage has been caused by the past activities of a few corrupt and unpatriotic Nigerians.
  • The policies that we are putting in place today are to ensure such criminal and unpatriotic acts do not go without consequences. Our renewed partnership with the 9th National Assembly will facilitate the swift passage of enabling laws that will institutionalize these anti-corruption efforts in our criminal justice system.
  • In this connection, I call upon our States to intensify their own efforts to instill greater fiscal transparency and accountability. And to ensure greater fiscal efficiency and optimum use of our very scarce resources.
  • The blight of Corruption is fighting back. Nevertheless, this is a battle that we shall see through and this is a war, which we shall win by the Grace of God.
  • I will also call upon all Nigerians, from every walk of life, to combat Corruption at every turn. By choosing to question and confront corrupt practices, by reporting unethical practices or through whistleblowing. Together, we can overcome corruption and will no longer be a country defined by corruption.
  • Fellow Nigerians, let me reiterate my call for unity across our dear nation.
  • Nigeria will emerge from our present challenges stronger and more resilient than ever – but only if all of us join hands to entrench Good Governance, foster Inclusive Economic Development, and defend and protect our Nation from all those who would wish us ill.
  • I thank you most sincerely and wish you a Happy Independence Anniversary.
  • May God bless you all, and may He continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Nigerian activist Sowore sent back to custody

Publisher of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore arrives at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria September 30, 2019.

Nigerian activist and former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore pleaded not guilty at a court in Abuja on Monday to charges of treason, money laundering and harassing the president.

State Security Service agents arrested Sowore in early August after he called for a revolution after a February election which he said was not credible. He ran for president in that election, in which former military ruler President Muhammadu Buhari secured a second term in office.

Buhari has faced criticism for his administration’s human rights record, particularly a deadly crackdown on members of a now-banned Shi’ite group that a United Nations special rapporteur said involved the excessive use of lethal force. The government has rejected criticisms of its human rights record.

Sowore, who also founded Nigerian online news organization Sahara Reporters, faces seven charges including treason, money laundering and “cyberstalking” for allegedly sharing false information about Buhari that insulted him and incited hated against him.

A court last week denied a request by state security to keep Sowore in detention pending the charges, but did not release him as ordered.

Last week, another federal court in Abuja threatened the head of the State Security Service with prison for contempt of court for the failure to release him. Sowore remained in detention despite the threat.

The judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, adjourned the case until Oct. 4 while Sowore remains in custody

Abuja (Reuters)

PRESIDENT BUHARI APPOINTS BABAFEMI OJUDU

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The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammodu Buhari has just appointed Senator Babafemi Ojudu as Special Adviser on Political Matters,  Office of the Vice President.

Senator Babafemi Ojudu who was the Vice chairman of the Senate committee on Defence at the 7th National