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HURIWA Calls FG Out over NBC’s N2Bn, N500m Bribe @ MTN

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), one of the nation’s foremost pro-democracy and civil Rights organisations has described the recently signed executive order by President Muhammadu Buhari as unconstitutional and saying that the government has been very hypocritical with the fight against corruption.

 

HURIWA claimed that “under the President’s nose a minister allegedly mismanaged N2 billion from the National Broadcasting Commission for digitisation of broadcasting but till now both the minister of information and DG of NBC are walking the corridors of power free”

 

Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, national coordinator, and the Miss Zainab Yusuf, media Affairs director of the Rights group said that “under the nose of the President An allegation of N500 million bribery made against his chief of staff that he extorted money from MTN was swept under the carpet”

 

According to HURIWA, “Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation gave out contracts to some ghost companies to the tune of $26 billion without complying with Public procurement Act and when the minister of state for petroleum complained about this monumental heist the President simply asked the NNPC GMD and the minister of state for petroleum to go and work together”

President Muhammadu Buhari.President Muhammadu Buhari

“The President is the minister for petroleum but under the last three years several billions of dollars remained uncounted for to the extent that the governors of the 36 states of the Federation raised their voices to condemn this broad day light robbery” HURIWA noted.

 

HURIWA said that  it may institute a case at the Federal High Court to seek the nullification of the illegal and outrageously unconstitutional executive order targeted at opposition political office seekers.

 

The full statement read:

The Executive Order On Suspicious Assets Is Unconstitutional- Huriwa

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), one of the nation’s foremost pro-democracy and civil Rights organisations-  has described the recently signed executive order by President Muhammadu Buhari in which the perception or interpretation is being given that the executive arm has the power of law making, as unconstitutional.

 

Besides, HURIWA gave indication that it may institute a case at the Federal High Court to seek the nullification of the illegal and outrageously unconstitutional executive order targeted at opposition political office seekers.

 

 In a media release endorsed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, National Coordinator, and the Miss Zainab Yusuf, media Affairs Director, of Rights group wrote as follows:

 

“Under the constitutional democracy in practice in Nigeria as clearly provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended, sections 4, 5 and 6 have clearly demarcated the constitutional powers of each arm of government with section 4 ceding the power of law making in the to the National Assembly and state Assemblies.

 

Section 5 gives the President and the executive arm of government that he heads the power to implement policies and to exercise powers as specified in any legislation passed by the National Assembly and sign by him or if he withhold his assent the National Assembly can apply their power of veto to override the refusal of the executive head of government to sign the legislation and by the veto override the piece of legislation becomes a law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Section 6 gives the judicial powers of the federation on the Courts of competent jurisdiction.

 

With due respect, the President cannot exercise the powers that is not donated to his office by the Constitution.

 

Secondly, the so called Executive Order is a total duplication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Act which is an Act of parliament which contains several provisions regarding temporary or permanent forfeiture and how the forfeited assets have to be administered transparently but the power to grant such temporary or permanent forfeiture belongs to the Courts of competent jurisdiction because that is the forum for the interpretation of the laws.

 

The Executive head of government will be committing outrageous illegality if he is allowed to just wake up and sign what he calls executive orders which purports to seize the powers already domiciled in the Constitution or other pieces of legislations that were properly passed.

 

The executive order is possibly a politically tainted move to crush opposition politicians, take over their assets over nebulous charges and make them financially impotent to confront the incumbent President in the next year’s general election in which the incumbent plans to run.

 

Besides, the Constitution in section 36(5) clearly stated that a suspect or an accused person is totally innocent in the eyes of the law.

 

The executive order seeks to overrule this vital section of the Nigerian Constitution. The constitution is clear on what happens to any action of government that contradicts any relevant section of the Constitution.

 

The executive order on seizures of assets is null, void and of no moment.

 

I’m optimistic that Nigerians of goodwill will challenge this attempt to institutionalize dictatorship in the competent courts of law.

 

The Constitution recognises the rights of citizens to own moveable and immovable property in any court of the Country.

 

The government of Muhammadu Buhari cannot hide under the guise of declaration of state of emergency on corruption and deprive a citizen of his/her protected and guaranteed right.

 

Only the court has this kind of power and the accused must be guaranteed fair hearing.

 

The president is simply seeking to exercise tyrannical power to deprive his opponents of their assets to cripple their political activities.

 

The current administration has been very hypocritical with the fight against corruption.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari spent 103 days on medical tourism in London at public costs but abused the law on transparency and accountability by failing and refusing to declare the exact amount spent on his health from public treasury.

 

Even when the Freedom of information Act allows a citizen to know how our funds are spent but President Muhammadu Buhari forced the central bank Governor to refuse the application for release of information on how much of public fund was spent treating the current President.

 

Under the nose of the current President, Nigerian national Petroleum corporation gave out contracts to some ghost companies to the tune of $26 billion without complying with Public procurement Act and when the minister of state for petroleum complained about this monumental heist the President simply asked the NNPC GMD and the minister of state for petroleum to go and work together.

 

The President is the minister for petroleum but under the last three years several billions of dollars remained uncounted for to the extent that the governors of the 36 states of the Federation raised their voices to condemn this broad day light robbery.

 MTN logop.jpg

Under the nose of the President An allegation of N500 million bribery made against his chief of staff that he extorted money from MTN was swept under the carpets.

 

Under the watch of the President $48 million was found in a flat in Ikoyi but till date no certainty on who owns the cash.

 

In the Nigerian Intelligence Agency over $250 million was diverted but till date the whereabouts of such huge funds are unknown and the Acting director general of NIA who raised the alarm as good whistleblower was physically harassed out of the place and I’m told he fled into the United States for his life.

 

Under the watch of this President the minister of communication was accused by his media adviser of corrupt enrichment running into multimillion Naira including purchases of choice housing assets in Abuja and Ibadan and state of the art Printing press but because the minister is campaigning for the re-election of the President that alleged crime had been concealed.

 

The disgraced SGF and Buhari’s friend embezzled nearly N500 million allegedly from North East reconstruction fund but he is not prosecuted.

 NBC_logo.jpg

Under the President’s nose a minister allegedly mismanaged N2 billion from the National Broadcasting Commission for digitisation of broadcasting but till now both the minister of information and DG of NBC are walking the corridors of power free.

 

The school feeding programme whereby over N500 bullion was budgeted and released is mired in widespread corrupt practices.

 

The President should perish the thought of witch-hunting his political opponents and allow the anti graft bodies to work by operating without political interferences. He should rather appoint a good Nigerian who is independent minded and free from corruption to head the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 

The signing of this illegal executive order shows that the President has lost confidence on the EFCC leadership which had in any case received damaging reports from Department of state services which specifically indicted the Chairman of EFCC of a range of corrupt enrichment allegations.

 EFCC1.jpg

The EFCC’S acting Chairman has also failed confirmation hearing twice and so can’t continue as head of that agency.

 

 Buhari has influenced EFCC to go after PDP regarding the Presidential campaign fund for 2015 but the APC which spent hugely to beat an incumbent is free from EFCC’S investigations.

 

The Executive order is therefore DEAD ON ARRIVAL. The National Assembly must not allow the President take over their legislative powers and Nigerians who love democracy and constitutionalism must head to court to quash this manifest illegality of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

We recall vividly that President Buhari signed what he termed the executive order on preservation of assets seized in connection with corruption and stated interalia that:

 

“Like I have said many times, if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will sooner-or later kill Nigeria,’’ President Buhari said while signing Executive Order No.6 to further strengthen institutions on curtailing and restricting illicit activities in the country.

 

“It has thus become necessary to re-kit and re-tool our arsenal to be able to effectively tackle corruption’s perilous counter-attack against the Nigerian State. Accordingly, the Federal Government of Nigeria has declared a national emergency to deal with that crisis.

 

“In this regard, the Federal Government of Nigeria in line with its anti-corruption strategy seeks to ensure that justice is not defeated or compromised by persons involved in a case or complaint of corruption,’’ he said.

 

We can also recall that the President said the viability and continuous well-being of the nation faces enormous threat from corruption, pointing out that, “Whilst there are many reasons why Nigeria has been struggling; regrettably, the most unfortunate cause of great disparity between Nigeria’s wealth and its poverty is endemic corruption.’’

 

 “It is in consequence of this that I have decided to issue the Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 to inter alia restrict dealings in suspicious assets subject to investigation or inquiry bordering on corruption in order to preserve such assets from dissipation, and to deprive alleged criminals of the proceeds of their illicit activities which can otherwise be employed to allure, pervert and/or intimidate the investigative and judicial processes.

 

“Or for acts of terrorism, financing of terrorism, kidnapping, sponsorship of ethnic or religious violence, economic sabotage and cases of economic and financial crimes, including acts contributing to the economic adversity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and against the overall interest of justice and the welfare of the Nigerian State,’’ .

 

We in the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) believe that the executive order is simply an exercise in futility because it’s inherently unconstitutional and is a political gambit to cripple political opponents because of 2019 Election which is only few months away.

 

*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko; is the National coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).

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Lack of Funds Grounds TRACON, Raises Safety Concerns over Air Travels

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Total Radar Coverage (TRACON), may collapse due to lack of spare parts raising questions over the safety of air travels in Nigeria.

 

TRACON is a project conceived to improve the level of air safety with expeditious and efficient control of aircraft within the Nigerian airspace.

 

Capt. Folayele Akinkuotu, managing director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), said that the 64 million Euros airspace surveillance system, may collapse due to lack of spare parts.

 

Akinkuotu, however, stated that the radar has remained functional, thanks to the ingenuity of NAMA engineers who have kept it working, stressing that the contractors for the multibillion naira project, Thales, a French firm, had reneged in supplying spares for the life-saving equipment.

 

NAMA wants the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, assist the Agency to upgrade and modernise the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria for a safe and efficient air transport in the country.

 

The contract for TRACON was awarded in 2003 by President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration at the sum of 67 million Euros to Thales ATM GmbH, a French company.

 

Even though the project was commissioned in 2012 with fanfare, aviation experts familiar with TRACON have described as fraudulent how the project was conceived and executed.

 

Akinkuotu said the agency needs mobile towers for safe air navigation as the two currently in use were inadequate to cater for the 21 airports managed by government and other private airports requiring their services.

 

He noted that Benin and Calabar airports were in dire need of Instrument Landing System (ILS) as the routes into these airports were difficult ones, especially during the rainy and harmattan seasons.

 

The NAMA boss, however, noted that despite these challenges, the agency had been able to address the radio communication system with the optimization of the Very High Frequency (VHF) radio for Upper Airways communication between the pilots and air traffic controllers, installation of Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), ILS in 12 locations and a Category III ILS in Lagos and Abuja, among others.

 

According to him, efforts are on to ensure that its personnel were given the requisite trainings to improve their knowledge and keep them abreast of new technology to facilitate seamless air navigation in Nigeria.

 

Akinkuotu said that before the end of the year, the ILS III would be installed in Lagos and Kano airports once funds were granted to the agency by the Ministry of Transportation.

 

He said early in 2017, there were complaints of shortcomings in the performance of Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) facilities on assumption of duty as management team in NAMA.

 

“There was desire for urgent improvement by our customers. Also, request for staff training and improvement in the welfare of the workforce was in the forefront of the welcome address delivered by the labour unions within the agency.

 

“Our approach was to identify and apply measures in the short, medium and long terms to respond to these issues. I can report today that some of the measures implemented are already yielding positive results,” Akinkuotu said.

 

According to him, a notable short-term measures implemented to address radio communication challenge was optimisation of the Very High Frequency (VHF) radio for Upper Airways communication between Air Traffic Controllers and pilots, which recorded a significant success.

 

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Kaspersky Lab’s Report Reveals Children’s Online Activities in Nigeria

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Kaspersky Lab has revealed the online activities of children across Nigeria, based on statistics from the company’s Parental Control modules. The research has revealed what children in the region watched, listened to, purchased and searched for online.

The report shows anonymised statistics on websites visited from Windows PCs and Macs, and search activity on Windows PCs, Macs, Android and iOS devices. The stats were taken from Kaspersky Lab’s flagship products that have the Parental Control module switched on, and from Kaspersky Safe Kids, a standalone service installed for kids’ online protection.

Globally, children were more likely to watch video content and listen to music, than spend time on social media, however this was not true for children in Nigeria, who were most active across internet communication media (referred to as social media/networks) in the region at 35% with the most popular being Facebook, Google Mail, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram.

This was then followed by video content and music at 29%. The research revealed that children spent more time on YouTube– in particular, showing an increased interest in Netflix and o2tvseries.com for movies and series.

Children in the region also began to visit news sites more frequently, including sports.ndtv.com, accounting for 20% of activities. Electronic commerce was also among top four categories as well:  7% of children showed their interest in exploring online stores for clothes and mobile devices. With regards to online stores, children in Nigeria visited Amazon the most.

It should be noted that alongside computer games (just under 1%), similar statistics where noted for children in Nigeria who also searched for adult-content web-sites. However, if their parents had blocked such sites, then the children’s attempts to visit these sites were unsuccessful.

“The statistics we have obtained indicate the interests of children and teens in the region today. This is why we recommend using parental control products not only to block potentially dangerous content, but also to help parents stay informed about their children’s interests and passions. Many software programs, including those from Kaspersky Lab, allow parents to see reports about their children’s online activities.

“Naturally, reports like this do not disclose any private information. In our opinion, the parents’ knowledge of what their children do online should promote better family relationships, helping to encourage open dialogue and preventing more serious threats to children in the region,” Riaan Badenhorst, General Manager for Kaspersky Lab Africa.

The Kaspersky Total Security and Kaspersky Internet Security consumer solutions include a Parental Control module to help adults protect their children against online threats and block sites or apps containing inappropriate content.

In turn, the Kaspersky Safe Kids solution allows parents to monitor what their children do, see, or search for, online across all devices, including mobile devices, and offers useful advice on how to help children behave safely online.

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Andela Taps David-Ashiru as Nigeria’s Country Director

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Andela, a company that builds high-performing engineering teams by investing in Africa’s most talented software developers, has appointed Omowale David-Ashiru as its Nigeria Country Director.

 

As Country Director, Omowale will be responsible for leading Andela Nigeria, a rapidly growing team of 500+ people, and ensuring that the organization continues to advance its objectives of developing Africa’s future technology leaders.

 

Before joining Andela, Omowale’s professional experience spanned almost two decades in management consulting and entrepreneurship. During her eleven years at Accenture, she grew to become a seasoned Management Consultant and Certified Project Manager.

 

Omowale then transitioned into entrepreneurship, launching a fashion retail company, which she managed for eight years.

 

Her experience managing complex projects for global technology and financial services companies, combined with her entrepreneurial mindset, makes Omowale the right leader for Andela Nigeria.

 

“Everything I’ve done before now feels like a preparation for this role,” says Omowale, “and I’m excited to join this wonderful team of highly motivated individuals who are investing their skills and effort into advancing opportunity and potential in Nigeria and the continent at large.”

 

Seni Sulyman, Andela’s Vice President of Global Operations and previous Country Director, Nigeria, shared his excitement about Nigeria’s new Country Director: “Omowale has the right mix of relevant experiences in leadership, management and entrepreneurship to lead the next phase of Andela Nigeria’s growth,” he said, “and I’m particularly excited because she shares the same values and aspirations as Andelans.”

 

He continued, “Andela Nigeria, our first office in Africa, is rapidly growing, and I have complete confidence in Omowale’s ability to lead the team as we continue to scale.”

 

Omowale obtained a First Class B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ibadan. In her own words, she has a deep passion for people, is an avid reader and loves adventure. Omowale joined Andela on September 3rd, 2018.

 

 

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