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Mbah: NYSC Certificate Saga Threat to National Security – LP

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By Jude Opara, Abuja

A Labour Party( LP) affiliated group – Labour Party Coalition for Good Governance has raised the alarm over what it described as desperate moves by the Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah over the fog surrounding his discharge certificate  from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

The group warned that if not checked, Mbah’s moves posed a national security threat, just as it was cable of destroying a major national institution such as NYSC.

Spokesman of Coalition, Ken Asogwa, in a Press conference in Abuja, said it was a grave concern that Mbah was adopting unorthodox tactics to cover the allegation of certificate forgery and thereby keep himself in office.

The specifically alleged that Mbah was  “shopping in a desperate attempt to illegally keep himself in power” in direct reference to  court cases initiated by the Governor in Abuna and Enugu  with intent to secure judgment that would stop the NYSC from proceeding with the injuries into his  discharge certificate forgery allegation.

“You may recall that the newly sworn-in governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah, has been on a voyage of forum shopping in a desperate attempt to illegally keep himself in power.

“It is this desperation that has led him to different courts in both Enugu and Abuja, where he has made efforts to procure black market judgements to forestall the inquiry into how he procured the fake NYSC discharge certificate that he parades.

“In one of such desperate moves by Mbah, he made attempts to gag the NYSC by getting a pliant judge to issue him with a black market order that sought to abridge and erode the powers of the Enugu State Governorship Election Tribunal and the NYSC, constitutionally created bodies, from carrying out their statutory and constitutional functions.

“Since the revelation by the NYSC and its Director-General that the newly sworn-in governor of Enugu State, Mr. Peter Mbah, parades a forged NYSC discharge certificate, the governor has launched a syndicated campaign of calumny against the NYSC and its Director-General.

“At a time when the NYSC is celebrating 50 years of unblemished existence and service to Nigerians, Peter Mbah should be restrained by all well-meaning Nigerians before he destroys that revered institution.

“The above exhortation is vital given that the governor, like a bull in a China Shop, has a litany of inglorious past records of a penchant for the destruction of revered institutions of government,” Asogwa alleged  at the press conference.

“You may recall that shortly after the exit of Peter Mbah as the Commissioner for Finance, Enugu State in 2007, the State Ministry of Finance office was gutted by fire in some circumstances that bore the imprimatur of an orchestrated plan designed to destroy evidence.

“Also kindly remember that when Chimaroke Nnamani, the former governor of the State, was charged with corruption, Mbah’s name was initially included by the EFCC after some rigorous and painstaking investigations that revealed that he had a case to answer in the mindless plundering of the State between 1999 and 2007.

“As a result, a 31-count charge was preferred against Mbah and his co-accused by the EFCC at the Federal High Court, Lagos. “However, how Mbah’s name was thereafter surreptitiously left out in the course of the prosecution still baffles the Enugu people.

“Again, during the fuel subsidy probe of the Jonathan administration, Peter Mbah and his Pinnacle Oil were invited by the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the probe of the fuel subsidy regime of that administration. Enugu people, to date, still consider how Peter Mbah eventually wriggled out of that probe as one of the wonders of this world.

“Currently, Peter Mbah is back in his elements, trying to destroy both the judiciary and the NYSC in a desperate bid to foist himself on the Enugu people who rejected him at the poll” the Group further alleged.

“In taking you back to memory lane, you may recall that Mbah’s NYSC saga blew open after the NYSC’s response to a Freedom of Information inquiry by a law firm into the validity of the discharge certificate Mr. Mbah submitted to the INEC.

“When the NYSC responded and repudiated the certificate, a non-governmental organization brought a direct criminal complaint of forgery of the NYSC Certificate against Mbah at the Zone 6 Magistrate Court.

“The court thereafter ordered the AIG Zone 7 to carry out an investigation on the authenticity of the said NYSC Certificate. The AIG, on his part, wrote to the NYSC to confirm the authenticity of the said NYSC Certificate.

“As can be gleaned from court filings made by the NYSC in response to Mbah’s suit against the Corps, it is evident that the NYSC had long responded to the Police inquiry by sending a letter that equally repudiated the discharge certificate to the office of the Inspector General of Police.

“Why the police have chosen not to respond to the Wuse Magistrate Court’s order still bears the hallmark of Mbah’s pattern of comprising every institution.

“Having set the above tone, we wish to forewarn Nigerians as follows:

“The implication of allowing Peter Mbah to destroy the NYSC, the way he had in the past destroyed other institutions of government, is that going forward, issuing authorities in Nigeria will no longer be the authority saddled with the responsibility of confirming the authenticity of certificates issued by them.

“For the straight understanding of Nigerians, the import of the dangerous game Peter Mbah is playing with his NYSC discharge certificate saga is that in the unlikely event that he succeeds in getting the court to validate his non-existent NYSC discharge certificate, all that is required by anyone is to go to a business center to forge certificate, or is to go to court to get an order validating the certificate and that way the certificate would be accepted as being authentic, irrespective of such certificate having not been issued by the appropriate issuing authority.

“We, therefore, urge Nigerians not to stand by and allow one desperate fellow to destroy the integrity of a national institution that has served Nigeria well since 1973,” the Group warned.

It said the NYSC needed “collective protection” from those it described as “desperate power scavengers” who acquired notoriety for the destruction of anything that stood   in their  while pursuing their ambition.

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Oil Theft: Navy Impound Three barges, Arrest Seven Suspects in Bayelsa

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The Nigerian Navy has impounded three barges laden with suspected stolen crude oil and refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) ,arresting seven, at Tunu Community Creek, in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) SOROH, Commodore Nanmar Lakan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that his command received an intelligence report on the illegal activities going on in the area and swung into action.

NAN reports that the seven suspects who were found on board the barges who claimed to be security working under Tunu leadership are kept under custody pending when the investigation is concluded.

According to Lakan, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has complained of the loss of 25 percent of their daily production in the area to oil thieves.

He said he swung into action by sending his men on both air and water surveillance in the area and their efforts paid off as the barges were impounded by his officers and men.

According to the Commander, two of the barges have the capacities of containing 637,000 litres of the products each while the third can contain 700,000 litres of the products.

Lakan added that investigation is ongoing to ascertain the owners of the barges and where the products were meant to be discharged.

He warned those who indulge in such illegal activities of oil theft to desist from such illegitimate business, as the Nigerian Navy will not allow them to find peace. (NAN)

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FG Opts for Low- key Celebration of Tinubu First Anniversary

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By David Torough, Abuja

The minister of information and national orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, has said that President Bola Tinubu’s first year anniversary in office would be low-key in line with his policy of prudent management of resources.

Idris stated this on Wednesday in Abuja during a ministerial press briefing heralding the one year anniversary of President Tinubu administration slated for May 29.

He noted that the move was in line with Tinubu’s desire to serve the country and efficiently use resources for the good of all Nigerians.

“The first anniversary will be low-key, there will be no celebration, it will be a sectoral presentation by ministries.

“This is in line with Tinubu’s administration to ensure efficient and judicious use of resources to deliver dividends of democracy to citizens.

“The president has directed that useful information should be provided in an honest, timely, and consistent manner.

“Members of the media are expected to report honestly, responsibly, and with a deep sense of patriotism. The essence of the media is to inform the people and hold the government accountable.

“Thus, over time, the ministry of Information and National Orientation finds it worthy to always brief the media and people on what the federal government is doing,” he said,

The minister also charged media practitioners to do their job with a deep sense of responsibility and patriotism.

He reiterated that, as part of the ministerial briefing, ministers of various ministries would begin presentation of their ministerial scorecards today as part of the first anniversary of the administration.

Tinubu’s First Year Marked by Economic Revival, Social Programmes – SGF

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume said the President Bola Tinubu-led administration has made significant strides in reviving Nigeria’s economy and implementing social programmes to uplift citizens during its first year in office.

Delivering the administration’s one-year progress report at a ministerial sectoral updates session on Wednesday, Akume highlighted President Tinubu’s efforts to unleash Nigeria’s economic potential through major reforms.

“This administration has implemented significant economic reforms aimed at stabilising our economy and fostering sustainable growth,” he stated.

Akume pointed to policies that have attracted foreign investment, reduced inflation, and spurred job creation across various sectors.

According to him, a major economic move was the dismantling of monopolistic control over electricity through the 2023 Electricity Bill, allowing states, corporations and individuals to generate, distribute and transmit power.

On the fiscal front, Akume said the removal of the contentious fuel subsidy was hailed as a “challenging but necessary” step to curb corruption, inefficiency and reduce the annual fiscal burden on the government.

He said infrastructure development has been another key focus area, with the completion of extensive road networks, improved rail systems and modernisation of ports to facilitate trade and connectivity.

Alongside economic measures, Akume emphasised the administration’s people-focused policies through an array of social intervention programmes targeting poverty alleviation and empowerment of vulnerable groups.

“These initiatives have provided financial assistance, skills acquisition opportunities and improved access to essential services,” he explained.

He said investments have also been channeled into healthcare through new facilities and educational reforms to boost human capital development.

Akume however, admitted the first year had its challenges from various angles but he commended President Tinubu for his “calm, unwavering commitment and resilience” in serving Nigerians with diligence.Moving forward, Akume said the administration 

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Tinubu Reverses Appointment of Wike’s  Ally after Backlash

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By Lubem Myaornyi, Abuja

President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Chukwuemeka Woke as the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.

Woke, a former Chief of Staff to a former Governor of Rivers State and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, was on May 9, 2024, appointed as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.

This was met with backlash from Nigerians who protested the appointment of an MD who is not from the South West region.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, however, revealed the redeployment in a statement on Wednesday.

Ngelale also announced the President’s appointment of Dr. Adedeji Ashiru as the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.

Apart from being an engineer, Woke is also known as an environmental expert and a politician.

He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical/Petrochemical Engineering and has worked within the Environmental, Safety, and Operations Departments of the former Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Woke served as the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area in Rivers State and held the position of Chief of Staff at the Government House in Port Harcourt for an extended period.

Meanwhile, Ashiru holds a Doctorate degree in Engineering from the CommonWealth University, UK, and has led a consortium of blue-chip companies, in addition to earning many stripes in his professional endeavour.

The statement read in part, “The President expects the new Chief Executive Officers to deploy their competencies to these critical agencies for sustainable gains and turnaround while maintaining utmost transparency in their operations.”

Tinubu Appoints Shehu Muhammed New FRSC Marshal

Similarly, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Shehu Mohammed as the new Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps.

Mohammed, an Assistant Corps Marshal, would replace Dauda Biu, who was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022.

A statement on Wednesday by the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Segun Imohiosen, said Mohammed’s appointment took effect from May 20, 2024.

He noted that Mohammed’s appointment was for an initial period of four years.

 “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the appointment of Assistant Corps Marshal Mohammed Shehu as the Corps Marshal/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission.

“The appointment is for an initial period of four years with effect from May 20, 2024, to the relevant provisions of the Act establishing the Commission.

“President Tinubu tasks the appointee to bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new assignment,” the statement partly read.

Tinubu Inaugurates 15-man Governing Board for NEITI

On the other hand, President Bola Tinubu has reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by inaugurating the newly constituted 15-member National Stakeholders Working Group, also known as the Governing Board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, who also chairs the new NEITI board, the President said transparency in the extractive sector as well as prudent management of Nigeria’s resources was central to his administration’s economic agenda and the anti-corruption policies.

“The present administration is passionate and remains fully committed to the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the work of NEITI and the visible impacts which the EITI process has achieved so far in Nigeria,” the President stated at the inauguration which took place in Abuja.

He added, “Our faith in the EITI process is not just because it is central to our key government agendas, but also because, over the years, NEITI has demonstrated a high degree of competence, integrity and commitment to the values that the country requires to achieve economic growth and development in the sector.

“This has been through the availability of reliable information and data required for national planning and reforms. NEITI has supported revenue growth in the sector through the meticulous application of EITI principles.

“Our national and global focus is on energy security, efficiency and justice in energy financing, renewables and control of emissions. The work of NEITI is so important to our country and particularly this administration in helping us to define our country’s engagement strategy on the energy transition debate through consultations, constructive engagement driven by reliable information and data.”

Tinubu emphasised NEITI’s non-partisan nature, calling on the NSWG members to conduct themselves according to the EITI standards that define the function of the NSWG to be focused on policy and oversight, not day-to-day management.

“It is also necessary for me to stress that your appointment is a part-time one. Your appointment as a member of the NSWG is not a full-time job and as members, please note this very carefully to avoid getting involved in issues of day-to-day management which is the work of NEITI management under the leadership of the Executive Secretary.

“You are therefore advised to conduct yourselves in accordance with this requirement,” the President stated.

Addressing the board shortly after the inauguration, the NSWG Chairman, George Akume, stressed the need for the new NEITI board to immediately take steps to address the outstanding issues raised by the EITI validation report.

“This board has the responsibility to understand the issues and provide policy support to the secretariat to successfully implement the plan.

“Nigeria scored 72 points in that global assessment and I hope that Nigeria will score 100 points at the next validation due in January 2026 under this board and my chairmanship.

“Our duty as a board is to provide strong policy direction for NEITI and the extractive sector for the full implementation of the EITI principles and standards to ensure transparency and accountability in the sector.

“We must support the ongoing independent audits of the industry, reforms in the oil and gas sector being driven by the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, the reforms in the solid minerals sector, the proposed amendments of the NEITI Act, pay attention to the debate on climate change, energy transition, beneficial ownership disclosures, domestic resource mobilisation, contracts transparency implementation and EITI standards on Open Data,” Akume stated.

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