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President Buhari signs 3 new bills into law

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President Buhari signs 3 new bills into law

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the ​National Biosafety Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019, with a view to preventing any adverse effect to human health and environment in the country, TOPNAIJA.NG reports.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on the National Assembly (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Enang said the bill amended the National Biosafety Management Agency Act No. 20, 2015 to enlarge the scope of application of the Act by including the emerging aspects of modern biotechnology and biosecurity in the country.

According to him, the Amendment empowered the Agency to put in place measures to ensure Bio-Security across the country.

The presidential aide further disclosed that the president signed into law the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act, 2019 and Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019.

He said the Asset Management Act 2019 further amended the 2010 Act by increasing the powers of the commission in enforcement of recovery of debts from persons owing legacy banks or seizure of property subject of loan obligation.

”In particular, it empowers AMCON to place any bank account or any other account comparable to a bank account of a debtor of an eligible financial institution under surveillance.

”The new Management Corporation of Nigeria Act gives AMCON powers to obtain access to any computer system component, electronic or mechanical device of any debtor with a view to establishing the location of funds belonging to the debtor.

”And to obtain information in respect of any private account together with all bank financial and commercial records of any debtor of any eligible financial institution, banking secrecy.

“The protection of customer confidentiality is not a ground for the denial of the power of the Corporation under this section,’’ he said.

According to Enang, the law now makes it mandatory for AMCON to, despite the convention of confidentiality of banking, business and contracting relations to: “furnish the Federal Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a list of recalcitrant debtors.

”And then impose an obligation to seek clearance on the Federal Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies when the Federal Government, any Ministry, Department or Agency proposes to contract with, or pay, debtors on the list furnished by the Corporation.

”It further provides that: (1) all money standing to the credits of the Corporation in any bank account is deemed to be in the custody and control of the Corporation.

“(2) where any proceeding is pending in any court of competent jurisdiction by or any the Corporation, the grant of any interim, interlocutory or preservative order of attachment against the Corporation’s funds in any bank is prohibited.

“(3) the Corporation may require any eligible financial institution from which it has acquired an eligible bank asset or any director, manager or officer of such eligible financial institution to furnish information and produce documents, books, accounts and records in relation to any eligible bank asset acquired by the Corporation from such eligible financial institution or in relation to the borrower or other obligator connected with such eligible bank asset.

Enang further noted that: “The Act also states that upon dissolution of the Corporation:”

(a) all unresolved eligible bank assets then held by the Corporation shall be transferred by the liquidator or joint liquidator to such government agency, or for valuable consideration, to a third party asset management company or other entity specified by the Central Bank of Nigeria;

(b) all then existing staff shall be re-deployed to and absorbed into the Central Bank of Nigeria or the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The presidential aide stated that the Act provided for ‘’a part-time Chairman who shall be a Deputy Governor in the Central Bank of Nigeria to be nominated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.’’

On the Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019, Enang said: ”This Act establishes an Agency charged with the responsibility for administering pension scheme for civilian personnel of the Agency.

”This covers pension on voluntary retirement and benefit if death occurs in course of duty as well as pension if in normal course of retirement.”

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APC originated hate speech, APC chieftain says

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APC originated hate speech, APC chieftain says

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and human rights advocate, Joshua Alobo, on Monday, insinuated that his party originated activities that can now be interpreted as hate speech in the current administration.

Mr. Alobo was responding to a question on Sunrise Daily, about the Department of State Security Service’s treatment of founder of RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore.

He said he was “seriously embarrassed” by the situation as Sowore was “among those who canvassed for the ‘change’ mantra.”

“APC, in which I am a chieftain, originates hate speech,” Mr. Alobo, who is the President of the International Human Rights and Development Centre, continued.

“Look at what happened at . . . even Lai Muhammed and the rest, nobody was arrested. Look at the fuel subsidy protest at the freedom square. If not that Jonathan was proactive to deploy soldiers . . . I was in Abuja; even though I wasn’t in the general protest, I was using my vehicle to monitor the whole situation.

“So a lot of showbiz was going on during the Jonathan administration, they don’t look at it as a threat to the government. What is Sowore? They are just making the guy to be too popular, I don’t know him as a person. But they have been reading Sahara Reporters right from Jonathan era, a lot of information has been disclosed and all those things.

“So if a media practitioner cannot express his opinion, then what will he do? And this is a man that has the pedigree of activism right from University. So the DSS for goodness sake should not bring another terrorist group. It is the suppression of Yusuf Muhammed that escalated into what we have now as Boko Haram.”

Sowore was re-arrested by the DSS on Friday less than 24 hours after he was released from the agency’s custody. The move has drawn condemnation from several quarters, including Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and the US government.

However, the DSS has said Sowore was re-arrested because he resorted to “acts inimical to security” shortly after being released from its custody.

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Lagos State will not repeal jumbo pension law – Braimoh

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Lagos State will not repeal jumbo pension law - Braimoh

The Lagos State House of Assembly has revealed that they will jot tow the path of heir Zamfara counterparts by repealing the state’s pension law permitting former governors and other public office holders to receive juicy pensions from state coffers.

In an interview with NAN on Sunday, Tunde Braimoh, chairman, house committee on information and strategy, said Lagos assembly will not repeal pension law for its former governors like it was done in Zamfara.

A federal high court in Lagos had ordered the federal government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the national assembly.

The court also directed Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to receive such pensions.

Braimoh, however, faulted the court ruling that ordered Malami to take immediate legal action towards the abolishment of state laws that permit “former governors to enjoy governors’ emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.”

He told NAN that as long as the law did not contravene the constitution, state assemblies had the right to make laws for the benefit of the society in which they operate.

The lawmaker said separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution empowers the legislature to make laws, the executive to implement and the judiciary to interpret the laws.

“The Supreme Court had made it clear several times that no arm of government can repeal the constitutional provisions of another arm of government,” he said.

“Therefore, legislators make laws that are in tune with the yearnings and dynamics of their society.

Braimoh said he was not aware of any law that restricted state assemblies from making laws for the provision of welfare package of former governors and public office holders.

Below are details of the pension of former governors of Lagos:

The Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor Pensions Law of 2007 provides one of the most lucrative pensions in the federation. The highlight is that the former governor is entitled to six new cars every three years and a house in Lagos and another in Abuja. Conservatively, a house in Lagos will cost N500 million and one in Abuja N700 million. The former governor and family (spouse and children ─ both married and unmarried) are entitled to free medical which is not capped. Another highlight is that the ex-governor is entitled to a cook, steward, gardener and other domestic staff who are pensionable.

THE BENEFITS

Annual Basic Salary: 100% of annual basic salaries of the incumbent governor and deputy.

Accommodation: One residential house in Lagos and another in FCT for the former governor; one residential house in Lagos for the deputy.

Transport: Three cars, two back-up cars and one pilot car for the ex-governor every three years; two cars, two back-up cars and one pilot car for the deputy every three years.

Furniture: 300% of annual basic salary every two years.

House maintenance: 10% of annual basic salary.

Domestic staff: Cook, steward, gardener and other domestic staff (no limit) who shall be pensionable.

Medical: Free medical treatment for ex-governor and deputy and members of their families (not just spouses).

Security: Two SSS operatives, one female officer, eight policemen (four each for house and personal security) for the ex-governor; one SSS operative and two policemen (one each for house and personal security) for the deputy.

PA: 25% of annual basic salary.

Car maintenance: 30% of annual basic salary.

Entertainment: 10% of annual basic salary.

Utility: 20% of annual basic salary.

Drivers: Pensionable (no limit to number of drivers).

Severance gratuity: Not specified.

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DSS denies invading court to arrest Sowore, says it was staged

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DSS denies invading court to arrest Sowore, says it was staged

The DSS has come out to deny claims that its operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday and forcefully taking Omoyele Sowore away less than 24 hours after he was finally released on bail.

In a statement signed by Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesperson, the secret police said Sowore’s supporters were the ones acting an “orchestrated drama”, adding that the viral video of the incident did not show any of its officers. He further denied that his operatives disrupting proceedings and chasing away presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu,

Afunanya said, “Our personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident.

The agency further said that “in actual fact, it was his (Sowore’s) people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for — simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute”.

 

“Eye witness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises. The eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. His lead counsel has affirmed this.

In the statement, the department also explained the reason for going after Sowore less than 12 hours after releasing him.

The DSS said following his release, the activist “resorted to acts inimical to security”.

The agency said, “It has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts. In this regard, public attention may be drawn to the 25th July 2019 statement of SOWORE that “I’m not talking of protest.

 

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Ganduje gives Emir Sanusi new appointment amidst new emirates battle

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Ganduje gives Emir Sanusi new appointment amidst new emirates battle

Amidst the brewing political tension in Kano, the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II as the first chairman of the newly-formed State Council of Chiefs.

The appointment was announced amid the face-off between Ganduje and Emir Sanusi over the creation of new Kano emirates signed into law last week by Ganduje. There had been speculations that the Emir of Bichi, Aminu Bayero, would be appointed to chair the council.

In a statement on Sunday by his spokesman, Abba Anwar, Ganduje ordered Sanusi to summon council meeting immediately.

A court had earlier nullified the creation of four new emirates in Kano though the Kano government still insists on recognising them.

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CAN mourns death of Reinhard Bonnke at 79

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CAN mourns death of Reinhard Bonnke at 79

Popular German television evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, has died at the age of 79, TOPNAIJA.NG reports.

His wife, Annie in a statement on Saturday announced the passing of the Pentecostal minister.

A statement released on his verified Facebook page, explained that Bonnke who was popular for his evangelical work all over Africa, passed away peacefully and was surrounded by his family today December 7th.

 

“It is with sorrow that the Bonnke Family would like to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on December 7, 2019. For the past 60 years he has preached the glorious Gospel of Jesus throughout the entire world. We want to thank you on behalf of him and our family, for your kind love and unwavering support, which enabled him to preach the matchless message of salvation to countless people” the statement read

President Buhari signs 3 new bills into law

Reinhard Bonnke (April 19, 1940 – December 7, 2019) was a German Pentecostal evangelist, principally known for his gospel missions throughout Africa. Bonnke had been an evangelist and missionary in Africa since 1967. Bonnke oversaw 75 million recorded conversions to Christianity.

Mourning the passage of the German televangelist, the Christian Association of Nigeria described his death as a huge loss to the body of Christ all over the world.

The CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media & Communications, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, described Bonnke as “one of the greatest generals of the gospel of eternal salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ on earth.”

He noted, “CAN and the entire Christian communities in Nigeria join the rest of Christians all over the world to mourn this fiery preacher and teacher of the Gospel and mentor to several evangelical leaders all around the world today.”

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Sowore’s rearrest: We sliding into dictatorship – PDP

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Sowore's rearrest: We sliding into dictatorship - PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the furious invasion of the sanctity of the Federal High Court by the Department of State Services (DSS) confirms that Nigeria is finally sliding into a frightening dictatorship.

The Party in a statement through its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the invasion of the court is a vindication of its earlier stand that the nation is no longer governed by democratic principles of the rule of law and dictates of the constitution.

According to the opposition Party, what played out in the court on Friday was shocking.

PDP said it is disturbing that the DSS, in a most horrific manner, swooped on the court and held the judiciary to ransom.

The Party stated that the invasion is in a forceful suspension of the constitutional order and a further battering of the judiciary, which points to emerging lawlessness that can only find space in a military regime.

Without prejudice to the charge against the Convener of the “Revolution Now” movement, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the PDP held that, in a normal democracy, it is the duty of the court to determine the fate of an accused, according to the laws and not a resort to brute force by the government to silence persons with dissenting voices.

“Our Party notes that such a violation, as embarrassingly witnessed in the Abuja court this weekend, is a direct invitation to anarchy and a huge threat to the unity, peace, stability and corporate existence of our nation and the safety of our citizens.

“Indeed, this is not the Nigeria our citizens yearn for and it is imperative to restate that Nigeria, under the Buhari Presidency, is fast sliding into a dark country where laws are suspended, the judiciary is assaulted and citizens are stripped of their fundamental rights,” the Party stated.

The PDP called on well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to call the government to order before its actions or inactions will derail the nation and trigger a breakdown of law and order in the land.

The PDP urges Nigerians across board, irrespective of political, religious and ethnic learnings, to unite in condemnation of dictatorial tendencies of the present administration and in defending our democracy and unity as a nation.

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IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu loses his father

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IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu loses his father

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, has lost his father, Eze Israel Kanu.

This comes four months after his mother, Ugoeze Sally Kanu, passed away.

Eze Kanu was the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu Umuahia community till his death.

The traditional council of his community led by Edward Ibeabuchi confirmed his demise.

Eze Kanu had not been seen in the public since September 2017, after a detachment of soldiers raided his palace.

One of his sons, Emmanuel, also confirmed the demise of his father.

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Court orders forfeiture of N1.5 billion hospital linked to Okorocha’s aide

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Court orders forfeiture of N1.5 billion hospital linked to Okorocha's aide

A Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, Imo state capital, has ordered the final forfeiture a N1.5bn hospital, allegedly linked to an aide of Rochas Okorocha.

Dews of Hope Hospital, Owerri, a state-of-the-art 200-bed hospital was linked to an aide of the immediate past Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha. Based on an application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), T.G Ringin, judge of a federal high court in Port Harcourt, had given an interim forfeiture of the property on August 22, 2019.

The EFCC had told the court that it had evidence that the facility was acquired through “proceeds of illicit activities”, saying funds from government house, Owerri were traced to the hospital.

The commission said its investigation revealed that Paschal Obi, former permanent secretary and principal secretary to Okorocha was a signatory to the accounts.

Obi, now a serving member of the house of representatives, has denied ownership of the medical facility.

Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman of the EFCC, said when he honoured the invitation of the commission, the managing director of the hospital, could not also explain how the project was funded.

“These developments led the Commission to file for the forefeiture of the property on July 25, 2019 under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud, and Other Related Offences Act 2006,” Uwujaren said in a statement.

“In granting the request for the interim forfeiture of the property, the court ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the Order in a national newspaper, which was accordingly complied with in the Nation Newspaper of August 30, 2019 and Leadership Newspaper of September 3,2019 respectively, asking interested parties to show cause why the property should not be forfeited to the federal government within fourteen days from the dates of the publications.

“Upon the expiration of the fourteen-day notice and with no one showing interest in the hospital, the Commission filed for the final forfeiture of the facility.”

Below are pictures of the massive hospital:

Dews of hope hospital

Dews of hope hospital

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IPOB claims Spain attack on Transport minister, Amaechi

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IPOB claims Spain attack on Transport minister, Amaechi

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has claimed responsibility for the attack on Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation in Spain.

IPOB said its members attacked Amaechi in respect to an order by its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Amaechi had on Friday claimed that he was attacked by some “misguided” Nigerians in Madrid, Spain.

The Minister, who had made the disclosure via his Twitter handle, however, added that he was not hurt as the attackers were fought off by the Spanish police.

However, a statement signed by IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful reads: “Yes, IPOB beat Amaechi the Transport Minister base on the standing order given by our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to reprimand those politicians who think they have arrived. IPOB Spain precisely Madrid, beat Minister of Transport Chibuike Amaechi in Spain.

“The order was there before the attack on former Deputy Senate President Dr Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany.

” IPOB is warming all those corrupt politicians who brought hardship to the people that we are waiting for them anywhere we meet or see them. We are telling the whole world why they must be dealt with because they are not sincere to the people to the suffering citizens.

“We ask to retrace their steps otherwise IPOB in the diaspora will continue to treat their foolishness anywhere around the world.”

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Rotimi Amaechi attacked by Nigerians in Spain

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Rotimi Amaechi attacked by Nigerians in Spain

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that he was attacked by some “misguided” Nigerians in Madrid, Spain on Friday.

The minister disclosed this in a post on his official Twitter page.

The former Governor of Rivers State, however, added that he was not hurt as the attackers were fought off by the Spanish police

He wrote,

“Some minutes ago, I was attacked by a few misguided Nigerians while on national assignment at a climate change event in Madrid, Spain.

“They were quickly repelled by the Spanish police before they could do any harm. I am fine. I was not hurt. Thanks for your support and prayers.”

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