Below are the headlines found on The Daily Trust Online Newspaper for today,  Wednesday, 31  October, 2017.

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun has said she is writing to President Muhammadu Buhari today to sack the suspended Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo.
 She said an administrative panel of investigation has found him guilty of conflicts of interests and breach of the public service rules.

However, Gwarzo said the allegations upon which he was investigated were false and, therefore, demanded a fair and just treatment.
Both spoke when they appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions yesterday in Abuja.
The ministersaid the  panel had concluded its assignment and submitted its report to her.
“I shall be making my recommendations to the president today (yesterday),” she said.
Based on the provision of the Investment and Securities Act, the president can sack the commission’s DG based on the recommendation of the minister and approval of the Senate.
Gwarzo was suspended by the minister in November last year, citing petitions of corrupt practices and breaches of the public service rules.
Suspended alongside the DG were two members of staff of the commission, Anastasia Braimo and Naif Abdulsalam.
There have been disagreements between the minister and Gwarzo, who accused Adeosun of interfering in his commission’s functions by directing him to stop a planned forensic audit of Oando Nigeria Plc, following allegations of malfeasance against the oil company.
At  an investigative hearing of the panel, chaired by Tajudeen Yusuf in Abuja, the duo traded blame over the matter, with Gwarzo alleging that the minister had ordered him to resign or get suspended over the issue, an allegation the minister denied.
Adeosun said: “The suspension of Mounir Gwarzo is a standalone issue. There were allegations raised against him, but we didn’t receive any petition until sometime in October last year.
“He was queried and he responded. He claimed that he resigned from one of the companies, but the evidence we got from CAC showed that he is still a director of the company and a shareholder. We went to bank records and saw that he still remained a signatory. In fact, he made a recent request for debit card in one of the accounts.
“On that basis, we met and took a decision. At the same time, we received information from the staff of SEC that documents were removed from SEC, that’s why we took that decision. We thought with Gwarzo as DG, there will be issues  if he wasn’t suspended.
“We have investigated the issue of severance package, even though he didn’t refer to us in the first place. We went to CBN and discovered that there’s no such practice. The over ruling of the SEC’s acting director of legal at the time he collected over N100m was wrong.”
“As we speak, Mr Mounir is a director in two companies, and he knows that. Of more concern is the second company, Outbound. It has transacted with SEC in the supply of diesel with Gwarzo as head. This is a company that he’s still a director.
“We believed that our decision was appropriate. It was to restore confidence in the capital market. We want investors to know that we take the capital market seriously.”
I should be treated fairly - Gwarzo
In his defence, Gwarzo said after Adeosun directed him to stop the Oando’s probe and he refused, she said to him that he has allegations against him, which were similar to that of former SGF, Babachir David Lawal.
He said since the coming on board of the minister, the commission investigated five companies and that Adeosun interfered in two, which were Oando and one other.
“On Medusa Investment Limited, I tendered my resignation letter when I heard the announcement of my appointment. Medusa has never done any business with SEC. The company is not a capital market operator.
“The other company, Outbound, is owned by my brother-in-law. There’s no document that assigned for that company. They did a business with SEC at that time. The promoters of the company are Nigerians and they fulfilled every requirement.
“I believe I should be treated fairly. Investigation of Oando should be carried out. If that isn’t done, it will rubbish SEC,” he said.
He said some of the commission’s staff were invited by the ICPC and EFCC on the issue of severance package and that they explained everything to the two anti-graft bodies.
In a presentation, the counsel to the suspended DG, James Igwe (SAN) said the setting up of administrative panel by the minister against Gwarzo was inconsistent with the constitution and the enabling law that set up the commission.
Besides, he said, Gwarzo’s suspension and other steps taken by the minister against him have no basis in law.
He said the law establishing SEC provides that Gwarzo “can only be removed by the president of Nigeria on the recommendation of the minister and with the approval of the Senate. There’s nothing in the law that says the Hon Minister can suspend the DG for even a day.”
He said even the Public Service Rules relied upon by the minister in her suspension letter to Gwarzo do not exist, saying the commission as a parastatal has powers to make its laws, which it has done.
Also, the director of legal in the finance ministry, Christopher Gabriel, told the lawmakers that in the absence of SEC board, the minister exercised the powers of the board, which was why she had powers to suspend the DG.
“Incidentally, the reference made should have been 030405 and 030406. It was an error. There was also a concomitant responsibility of the minister and she went ahead to constitute the administrative panel.
“Looking at the totality of the action taken, there is no statute that was contravened. On the other two staff, we realized that we had no powers to suspend them, so we referred their matters to the commission to follow the civil service procedures for necessary action,” he said.

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The Kano State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, held a rally at Kwanar Dangora in Kiru Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje personally attended the rally were he presented flags to APC candidates contesting for chairmanship and councillorship in the forthcoming local government elections scheduled for February 10.

The rally took place a day after an ex-governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, shelved a similar rally in response to intervention from the presidency after the Kano State Commissioner of Police advised him not to go ahead with the event for security reasons.
Although thousands of APC supporters have attended the rally, the event was brief following the death of the mother of the Commissioner for Rural Development, Alhaji Musa Iliyasu Kwankwaso.
Ganduje, shortly after the event, led other members of his entourage to Madobi for the funeral prayers of the commissioner’s late mother.
Commenting on the development, the Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, described the event as “the most peaceful rally” APC ever held in the state.
“From what I have seen today, I have the conviction that Governor Ganduje will win election in Kano come 2019.
“Despite the much talked about Kwanar Dangora rally, the turnout was very impressive. People have massively come out to receive the governor and this is a clear indication that we are in control of Kano politically.”

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Ondo and Kaduna states have resulted in 168 deaths in January 2018 alone, Amnesty International Nigeria said in a statement yesterday. 
In 2017, the rights group said the clashes claimed at least 549 lives and displaced thousands across Enugu, Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Cross Rivers, Adamawa, Katsina, Delta and Ekiti states.

AI, in the statement, said the Nigerian authorities’ response to communal violence was totally inadequate, too slow and ineffective, and in some cases unlawful. 
“Hundreds of people lost their lives last year, and the government is still not doing enough to protect communities from these violent clashes. Worse, the killers are getting away with murder,” said Osai Ojigho, Director Amnesty International Nigeria.
“In some cases where the Nigerian security agencies did respond to communal violence, they used excessive or unlawful force resulting in even more deaths and destruction,” he added. 
The rights group said it gathered witness testimony from residents, who described being attacked by a fighter jet and a military helicopter as they attempted to flee attacks.
The air raids occurred in the villages of Lawaru, Dong, Kodomti, Shafaron and Nzuruwei, where Amnesty International said it interviewed a total of 15 witnesses.
Experts identified the munitions as French-made SNEB rockets, which are known to be used by Nigeria’s Alpha Jet aircraft, the group claimed. 
“Such reckless use of deadly force is unlawful, outrageous and lays bare the Nigerian military’s shocking disregard for the lives of those it supposedly exists to protect,” Ojigho said. 
He noted that the frequent deployment of soldiers has resulted in many cases of excessive use of force, unlawful killings and extrajudicial executions throughout the country.
“The Nigerian authorities must investigate these attacks and, where these investigations indicate criminal responsibility, prosecute those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Ojigho said the wave of bloody communal violence must be addressed, and all herders and farmers responsible for killings and the destruction of property must be brought to justice.
“The Nigerian government must ensure adequate reparations for the victims of this violence, including the families of those killed.”

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) will field candidates in all elections in 2019, a chieftain of the party, Alhaji Lawal Batagarawa, said yesterday in Abuja. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The leadership of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria (FONGON) has said it will from next Tuesday begin national mobilisation nationwide for President Muhammadu Buhari as part of activities to convince him to seek re-election in 2019. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) has dissolved the State Executive Committees of Kwara, Osun, Anambra, Borno and Benue States for alleged anti-party activities. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM) has said it will welcome new coalitions, groups, and others to what it called the 3rd Force Initiative. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
A forum of nongovernment groups backing re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari is to start mobilising nationwide support for their bid next Tuesday. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Bauchi State House of Assembly has began screening of 19 commissioners nominees submitted by Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State.

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Med-View Airline PLC has suspended its Dubai flight operation till March 25 as part of measures to adjust its international operations and reposition them for better performance and consistency. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Indias largest telecoms operator, Bharti Airtel does not see much value in buying debt-laden Nigerian rival 9mobile and withdrew from submitting a firm bid before the deadline, two industry sources with knowledge of the deal told Reuters. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
A Kubwa Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, has slammed a N5 million bail on five security guards and storekeepers of Daughters of Charity Hospital, Kubwa, for alleged negligence. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The World Meteorological Agency, WMO, has called on Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, to provide technical support to other African countries Meteorological Services. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Market sentiment maintained a positive trajectory as the Equities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed yesterday with a N60 billion gain to close market capitalization at N15, 949 trillion. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The assistant coach of Nigerias U-20 women team, the Falconets, Mansur Abdullahi has expressed his gratitude to the Nigeria Football Federation and football fans for supporting the team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA Womens U-20 World Cup in France. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has launched a 20-year Transmission Master Plan that targets a wheeling capacity of 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2020 and up to 28,000MW by 2035. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
An upbeat Tiger Woods on Sunday declared his surgically-fused back had passed its first big test with flying colours. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Popular TV Drama Series, Professor Johnbull, sponsored by Globacom, continues its moral and business teachings this week by calling viewers attention to the unhealthy use of the cyberspace where fraudsters hide to defraud unsuspecting citizens. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Home-based Super Eagles striker, Anthony Okpotu, has urged his team mates currently vying for honours in the 2018 Africa Nations Championship, CHAN, in Morocco to stay focused on the task at hand. 

Wed, 31 Jan 2018
A House of Representatives panel yesterday uncovered discrepancies in the 2017 budget records of the Ministry of Communications.
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