Newspapers Review




Ohaneze Ndigbo





Below are the headlines found on The Tribune Online Newspaper for today, Wednesday, 31 January, 2017.

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo on Tuesday clashed over the suspension of the latter.

While the Minister claimed that the suspension of Mr Gwarzo was in line with relevant Public Service Rules, the suspended DG claimed that the action of the Minister was illegal.

This came to fore at the investigative hearing by the House Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, Chaired by Honourable Tajudeen Yusuf on the “need to intervene in the conflict between Minister of Finance and the suspended Director General Securities and Exchange Commission HR 190/2017).

The Minister at the hearing, however, told the committee that she received the report of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry that investigated Mr Gwarzo, ” yesterday” (January 29), stressing that the report would be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari.

On why Mr Gwarzo was suspended, she said, “on the 27th of October 2017, we received a bundle of documents delivered to our whistle-blowing unit making allegations not only against Mr. Gwarzo but also against two other officials of SEC. On that basis, I asked the head of the whistleblowing unit to investigate”.

ALSO READ: Adeosun suspends SEC DG, 2 others over alleged improprieties

She added that “we did not immediately suspend Mr. Gwarzo because every allegation is just that- it’s allegation. It must be subjected to some scrutiny. The policy of the whistleblowing unit is they have two levels of investigation – One is cursory, the other is detailed. Due to the seniority of Mr. Gwarzo in the market and the potential impact of the matter, I asked them to go straight to level two, which is: you either prove the case or we throw this out.

“They came back with evidence that suggested that there was a very real need to issue a query to Mr. Gwarzo which is the procedure. Mr. Gwarzo was then queried. He responded. But unfortunately, his response contradicted the evidence that we had at hand. For example. Mr. Gwarzo claimed that he had resigned from the company, but the evidence we had from the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC showed him to still be a Director and a shareholder. So, on that basis, we felt there was a need to do more work.

Buttressing her point, the minister noted that, “at the same time, we were receiving information from the staff of SEC that documents were being removed. We knew that we needed to do a thorough investigation, of course, that investigation could not be done with Mr. Gwarzo still at the helm of affairs at SEC, and that was when we took the decision to suspend him.”

She added that every action taken by her was to protect the interest of the capital market, noting that, this year we are the best performing capital market in the world.

But Mr Gwarzo in his statement before the committee said that the Minister had no power to remove him as Director General, and as well condemned interference of the Ministry of Finance in the internal process of SEC.

The suspended DG also told the committee that he was suspended because of the technical suspension of Oando shares on the capital market in order to carry out the audit on shares of Oando to protect the minority shareholders.

He said that all the allegations levelled against him was frivolous and absolve himself from any conflict of interest.

He added that he had resigned his position in the companies he was alleged to have interest.

Counsel for suspended SEC DG, Mr James Igwe SAN in his submission before the committee also said that suspension and the processes taken by the minister was against Section 36 (1) of the constitution, stressing that it was inconsistent with the Act setting up SEC.

On his part, the Director Legal, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Christopher Gabriel also insisted that the suspension of DG was carried out inline with the Public Service Rules, adding that, “he is a political appointee”.

Earlier, the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, who was represented by the Deputy Minority Leader, Honourable Chukwuma Onyema, said that the House was determined ” to unravel what led to this unfortunate and regrettable situation, with a view to resolving and finding reasonable solutions, geared towards achieving positive impact on the capital market and National Economy.

Honourable Yusuf on his part said that the committee on capital market and institutions will always be fair just and open to all.

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
An Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to probe various allegations of financial impropriety against the suspended Director-General of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Munir Gwarzo has recommended his outright dismissal from public service.

The panel, in its report just submitted to the Presidency for transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari also recommended that Gwarzo is referred to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) for further investigation and prosecution.

He was said to have used his position to influence the award of contracts to Outbound Investments Limited, a company where he had interest in.

ALSO READ: Adeosun suspends SEC DG, 2 others over alleged improprieties

The report, a copy of which was obtained from Presidency sources on Tuesday night also recommended that Gwarzo should refund N104,851,154.94, which was the severance package he approved for himself and received.

The report and recommendations of the API headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, and earlier submitted to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, noted that the holding of the position of the director-general of SEC as well as a director in two private companies (Medusa Investment Limited and Outbound Investments Limited) was in breach of public service rule 030424, public service rule 030402 and Section 6 of the Investment and Securities Act, ISA 2007.

The SIP further recommended that Gwarzo is discharged on the allegations of the award of contracts to Medusa Investments Limited; award of contracts to other companies as mentioned in paragraph 5.1.1 and to which no relationship with Mr. Mounir H. Gwarzo was sufficiently established.

However, it recommended that the cases of two management officers of the Commission: Mrs. Anastasia Omozele Braimoh and Mr. Abdulsalam Naif H. be referred to SEC for appropriate disciplinary action in line with the provisions of the Staff Manual of SEC.

The Panel advised the Federal Government to re-orientate public servants to the very fact that the Public Service Rules and Financial Regulations are ground norms of every Government Service Contract, be it at the Federal, State or Local Government levels.

It added, “Accordingly, all Government Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies should be made to understand that the PSR and FR are superior to whatever specific legislation and domestic arrangements that guide their operations, except when such issues were not covered by any provision of the PSR.”

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
A former governor of Jigawa State and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Sule Lamido, has visited Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State to formally announce to him his 2019 presidential ambition in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Governor Fayose, while speaking at a reception for Alhaji Lamido and his entourage, declared that former President Olusegun Obasanjo must not be encouraged to return to the PDP, saying it was wrong for some people to be calling for his return to the party after he left.

Fayose said: “I’m surprised some people are going to Obasanjo to urge him to return back to PDP. Obasanjo must never come back. If he wants to come back, I’ll go to court.”

Reacting to Alhaji Lamido’s call for his support in his quest to emerge the PDP’s presidential candidate in 2019, Fayose described Lamido as “eminently qualified to be president of Nigeria,” saying Lamido remained “one of the few detrabilised Fulani leaders with capacity and exposure to deliver.”

He said he admired the contributions of Lamido to the growth of PDP and the country, saying “I am among those that would continue to celebrate your contributions to our country.”

ALSO READ: Atiku visits Ekiti, consults with Fayose on 2019

According to him, “I believe in Fulani people; every tribe has the good and the bad. You are one of the Fulani men that I know have the abilities to perform.”

Earlier, Lamido had decried the current socio-economic and security situation of the country and lamented that Nigerians “made a grievous mistake by electing President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential poll.”

Lamido said Nigeria had never witnessed hatred and bloodshed across ethnic and religious divides since independence as being witnessed under Buhari and appealed to PDP leaders to form a strong alliance against the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.

He said: “We can defeat them easily if we all share the same thought and pains as Nigerians are feeling now,” pointing out that “in the last three years, the wrong people are in government and I will wail because I don’t feel safe in my own country.”

Lamido said “the only hope for Nigeria in 2019 is PDP” and declared that he had got what it took to run Nigeria” which he said was “in great danger.”

He lauded Fayose for his “courage and criticism of the Buhari’s government,” describing the governor’s words as “an impetus to the country’s fledgeling democracy and tonic that has been spurring the opposition party ahead of the next year’s general election.

“You are a man of courage and a man of character who is able to stand up for the people in spite of intimidation. I respect you, I admire you and like you a lot.

“In PDP, we were in power for 16 years, somehow we lost out, we should ask the question, where was Nigeria before PDP? The vision of our founding fathers, like Chief Obafemi Awolowo , Aminu Kano, Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa had been that there should be a Nigeria populated by human beings first not tribes, regions or zones.

“We cannot forge ahead if we are governed by the culture of hate. We are failing today because we have people who are alien to democracy on board. They are exploiting our differences, manipulate our emotions and divided us and gradually turned us into a country where we hate one another.

“Fulani, Tiv and Hausa are now killing each other, blood flowing all over Nigeria. God is angry with us in Nigeria. What do we do, the party in power has no political history, only come to divide us, impose the culture of hate as intimidation blackmail is the order of the day.

“If you say your mind, you would be mocked, democracy is freedom of exposure, his govt is for few individuals without political history, our economy is bastardised”, he said.

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday returned to Abuja after a successful outing at the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was conferred as the anti-corruption Champion. The theme of the 30th [...]The post Buhari returns to Abuja after his inauguration as AU anti-corruption champion appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Former Special Adviser to Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Commerce and Industry, Mr. Deji Tinubu, wason Tuesdayinterred at the Vault and Garden, Ikoyi, Lagos, amid tears and eulogies by dignitaries and others that were [...]The post Tears, eulogies as Ambodes aide, Deji Tinubu, is laid to rest appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The firsts3x dollbrothel in France has opened its doors and its already proving very popular. The Mirror reported that hundreds of people have flocked to the s3x club in the city of love, Paris. [...]The post First sx doll brothel opens in France, as hundreds flock to s'x club appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
THE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Anambra State Command, hasannounced the deployment of over 150 personnel including specialmarshals across the State as the people of the State prepare to observe the last respect to their [...]The post Ekwueme burial: FRSC deploys over 150 officers for traffic control in anambra appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
A Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lacks powers to investigate finances of a state as appropriated by states House of Assembly, without a [...]The post BREAKING: EFCC lacks power to investigate states finances, court rules appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Mr Lanre Banjo is a political activist and former governorship candidate in Ogun State and has remained active in politics over the years. A co-founder of the Nigerian Patriotic Association and chaired the National Democratic [...]The post Nigerians must vote out under performing political office-holders in 2019 'Lanre Banjo appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who represents Delta North Senatorial District at the Senate, is former Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Delta State and currently, Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs. He speaks, in this [...]The post Niger-Deltans should allow NDDC focus on its core mandate 'Nwaoboshi appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
IN its determination to make 'housing for all' a reality, the Federal Government established the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in 1956. It was formerly known as the Nigerian Building Society (NBS). The Federal [...]The post Tracking the National Housing Fund appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
On April 14, 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped from their dormitories in Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State and Boko Haram, a terrorist group claimed responsibility for the kidnappings even as 57 of the [...]The post Restrategising BBOG campaign appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
I am one of the admirers of the political neo-classism of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He is great in understanding the niceties of Nigeria and Nigerians to the best of his human ability. Some patriots [...]The post On Igbo presidency in 2023 appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Nigerian oil and gas sector is very crucial to the survival of the nation because it provides for 95 per cent of Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings and 80 per cent of its budgetary revenues. Although, [...]The post How FG can reposition oil and gas sector appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
In its efforts to meet the growing demands for accommodation in Lagos state, one of the leading real estate and Infrastructure companies in Nigeria, Messrs Brains and Hammers Limited, has begun a strategic expansion of [...]The post Brains and Hammers partners Lagos govt on real estate development appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Concerned by the seeming official lackadaisical attitudes and the 'I don't care disposition' of citizenry over the unpredictable weather condition, caused by the global warming, participants at the 13th Annual Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Lecture organised [...]The post Akande, others task stakeholders on climate change adaptation appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
DR Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme was a man of destiny who exemplified the best of Nigeria. A child of humble beginnings in Oko, Anambra State, through the dint of hard work, love of country and his [...]The post Tribute to Dr. Ekwueme appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
I have carefully followed the discussion on restructuring/2014 Confab as it has unfolded here. My take is segmented into a few parts. First, while the APC officially boycotted the 2014 Confab, it is on record [...]The post Restructuring and 2014 Confab report appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and partners have announced the arrival of the multi-billion dollar Egina Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading, FPSO, unit to the shores of Nigeria from [...]The post Total announces arrival of Egina FPSO to Nigeria appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The 10 largest upcoming onshore oil projects worldwide are expected to add 1.135 million BPD to the global oil supply by 2025, according to research and analytics firm GlobalData. The 10 biggest onshore projects out [...]The post Largest onshore projects to add 1.1mbpd to global production by 2025 appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Amazon, JP Morgan, and Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway are launching an independent healthcare company for their US employees. The business giants announced the plan on Tuesday in a joint statement where Buffett described their shared [...]The post Amazon, JP Morgan and Warren Buffett announce launch of independent healthcare company appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga held a mock inauguration Tuesday in front of thousands of supporters, as the government sparked outrage by shutting down key media broadcasters covering the event. Authorities have repeatedly warned that [...]The post Opposition leader, Odinga, sworn in as president in Kenya, challenges Kenyatta appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Russia will target US mid-term elections later this year as part of the Kremlin's attempt to influence domestic politics across the West, and warned the world had to do more [...]The post CIA director expects Russia will try to target US mid-term elections appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
PALESTINIANS protesting against US President Donald Trump's policy on Jerusalem halted a US -coordinated Palestinian marketing workshop in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, damaging an American diplomatic vehicle as it sped away. Protesters threw [...]The post Palestinian protesters disrupt business seminar US helped organize appeared first on Tribune. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
THE Trump administration said on Monday it would not immediately impose additional sanctions on Russia, despite a new law designed to punish Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US election, insisting the measure was already [...]The post Trump administration holds off on new Russia sanctions, despite law appeared first on Tribune. 

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