NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY’S THE NATION NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [26 MAY, 2018].

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Below are the headlines found on The Nation Online Newspaper for today, Saturday 26 May, 2018.
Sat, 26 May 2018
Former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has revealed the blackmail and arm twisting that characterised budget passing by the National Assembly during the Goodluck Jonathan Administration.
She cited an instance in 2015 when the National Assembly leadership forced the executive arm to part with N17 billion for the federal lawmakers to pass that year’s budget.
That, she said, was at a time crude price had gone down drastically.
The N17 billion alleged bribe, according to Okonjo-Iweala in her book Fighting Corruption is Dangerous:The Story Behind the Headlines, was besides the NASS N150 billion annual ‘standard’ budget.
 
She described federal legislators as a tough political group to deal with.
Her words: “The legislature was concerned largely about three things—the size of its own budget; the nature and the size of the capital budget, particularly investment projects; and the number and geographical location of the projects.
“Senators and Representatives felt that their role as appropriators of the budget was not just to vet and approve budget parameters and oversee budget implementation, but also to shape the size and content of the budgets, including details of specific projects.”
She said members of the NASS Finance and Appropriation even felt ”they had the right–indeed the duty–to get into the details of the budget formulation and preparation process all along the budget value chain.”

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The ex-minister said the NASS leadership, working through the various committees, “sought to add more to individual projects or create completely new, unappropriated major projects, thereby distorting the budget.”
But she explained that “not all National Assembly members supported these unfortunate manipulations of the budget.”
 
She added: “National Assembly members had negotiated large increases in the National Assembly budgets and would brook no discussions or challenges on the issue.
“Their operational budget had ballooned to N150 billion or 16 per cent of the budget and almost 3.5 times the 2006 budget (in naira).” 
Sat, 26 May 2018
Following representations made by some civil society groups, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has set machinery in motion to probe the controversy surrounding the $16 billion allegedly spent on power projects during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The anti-graft agency may invite two ex-ministers, former top
officials of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), present and past officials of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and all the people recommended for investigation by a committee of the House of Representatives.
A team in EFCC was already collating facts and figures at press time yesterday.

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But a top source, who spoke in confidence, said the move was not targeted at ex-President Obasanjo.
According to findings by our correspondent, the EFCC might conduct a forensic and comprehensive investigation into the alleged $16 billion power projects.
The scope of the investigation includes the total cost of the projects, how much was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), the total number of contracts awarded, the extent of compliance with due process and the status of the execution of all the projects.
A top source, who spoke in confidence yesterday, said: “We are looking into all the allegations and issues surrounding the power projects.
“We will conduct a comprehensive and forensic probe to ascertain the true status of all the projects.
“This investigation will actually ascertain how much has been spent so far.
 
“We have many figures being bandied about as follows: $16 billion, $13.278 billion, $10.3 billion, $8.4 billion and $8.55 billion.
“This is not an investigation aimed at ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo or anybody. We have to step in to set the records straight.
“Already, a team is collating facts and figures on these projects as part of the preliminary level/ bend of the investigation.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “We will retrieve the report of the House of Representatives Committee which investigated the power projects.

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“The House actually recommended 18 top former public officers, including two ex-ministers, for investigation by anti-graft agencies, especially EFCC and ICPC.
“Many salient issues were raised for investigation by the House
Sat, 26 May 2018
The mouthpiece of Northern Nigeria, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has backed the call on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to probe former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the alleged $16 billion power project scandal.
The ACF said that doing so would send a signal to other public office holders on the need for prudent management of the nation’s resources.
National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, in an exclusive interview with The Nation, said it is worrisome that those that were responsible for the failure of the power project were not brought to justice despite the previous probe by the National Assembly.
According to the ACF spokesman, “the calls by some Nigerians on President Buhari to probe the alleged $16 billion power project scandal is not misplaced, considering the harm corruption has inflicted on the nation and the promise by this regime to fight it.
 
“From 1999 to date, the promises made by our political leaders to improve power supply have mostly been observed in the breach.
“The National Assembly had sometimes probed the alleged corruption associated with power supply, but Nigerians are yet to know the fate of that probe.
“Most worrisome is the lack of the political will to bring to justice those found guilty by the probes which have, unfortunately, continued to encourage corruption by making it a way of life and culture.

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“Therefore, the change we need is to make public officials, however highly placed, account for their malfeasance while in office.
“The probe will serve as a deterrence to others and also instil prudence in managing public office for performance.”
Following fresh alarm by President Muhammadu Buhari, some civil society organisations have demanded for the probe of the alleged $16 billion power contracts.
Sat, 26 May 2018
With over two decades in the movie industry, Kenneth Okonkwo has carved a niche for himself. The actor-cum-politician and lawyer, who is currently working on a sequel of the 1992 blockbuster, Living in Bondage, speaks with ADENIYI ADEWOYIN on his political ambition and other issues. ExcerptsWHAT projects are you working on now’I am trying to be the governor of Enugu State. That is the project I am working on now. I am trying to contest for the governorship of Enugu State under the platform 
Sat, 26 May 2018
The general belief is that Lagosians dont like to do much of schooling. But here you are, pursuing a doctoral degree after two masters degrees.I actually started with an HND (Higher National Diploma) in Accounting. But when Nigerians were about to mess up my HND, saying that it is not equal to B.Sc., I asked myself what is in this B.Sc’ Although I was already a permanent secretary on the strength of my ICAN certificate as a chartered accountant, I enrolled for the B.Sc. degree at Olabisi On 
Sat, 26 May 2018
Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday inaugurated the 1.3 kilometre Ado-Ekiti Flyover with leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demanding a credible governorship election on July 14.They also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the conduct of a free, fair and transparent general election in the country in 2019.Sounding the battle cry ahead of the next set of elections were Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and the Peoples Democratic P 
Sat, 26 May 2018
THE fight between Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, and the Commander of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) in the state, Mr. Akin Fakorede, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), worsened yesterday with the governor describing Fakorede as a disgrace to the Nigeria Police Force and a threat to lives and democracy.The governor, it was learnt was displeased by reports that he offered N50 million to the F-SARS commander in Rivers, in the presence of the National Chairman of PDP, Prin 

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Sat, 26 May 2018
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, registered political parties in the country have adopted and signed the revised code of conduct for political parties to guide their operations before, during and after the conduct of the elections.The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was, however, absent from the signing ceremony.The event, which took place after a two-day workshop on the validation of the code organised by the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre of the National Institut 
Sat, 26 May 2018
These are definitely not the best of times for Super Eagles Russia-bound midfielder John Ogu. The media is awash with the separation from his wife, Veronica, who he married almost three years ago amid pomp and ceremony.Guests who were at the wedding wished the young couples marital bliss, while also praying that the relationship would stand the test of time. Journalists who covered the talk-of-the-town wedding were also excited that the mercurial midfielder would become more focused on his caree 
Sat, 26 May 2018
AFederal High Court in Abuja has ended the defence of former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, in his trial for alleged money laundering.Justice Okon Abang, in a ruling yesterday, closed the case of Metuh (the 1st defendant) after his 11th witness, Oladeji Bamidele ( an advertising consultant), ended his testimony.The judge said he was closing the 1st defendants case because neither he nor his lawyer was in court to explain whether or not Metuh planned to call additio 
Sat, 26 May 2018
BY now, after many years of depressing interactions with their security agencies, Nigerians are either indifferent to or conversant with the controversies surrounding every Amnesty International (AI) report that questions the rights abuse perpetrated by the military and the police. Last Thursdays damning report by the global rights watchdog entitled They Betrayed Us is no less poignant. While the cases investigated and reported by AI have been quite heartrending and serve as a reminder to just h 

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