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‘You Hate Me, Don’t Expect Me In Your Office Before October 16’ – Fayose Writes EFCC Again

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Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has once again written the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), affirming his readiness to make himself available at the commission’s Abuja office after October 16, 2018 at 1pm.

Fayose’s constitutional tenure is expected to elapse on October 16.

He, however, accused the anti-graft agency of demonstrating what he tagged “hate prejudice, persecution and partiality.”

Fayose said should the EFCC be so much in a hurry that its investigation cannot wait till October 16, 2018, “without prejudice to Section 308 of the Constitution, I will be willing to answer questions from your team of investigators should they be willing to meet me in my office in Ado Ekiti on the 20th September 2018.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said the letter written by the EFCC to the Customs and other agencies, directing them to put him on a watch-list and arrest him if he attempted to leave Nigeria before the expiration of his tenure, raised serious questions about the impartiality, independence or neutrality of the commission.

He reminded the EFCC that “in 2007, precisely on the 19th day of December, I willingly presented myself for investigation at your Lagos office,” adding that “There is therefore nothing new or strange in my letter of 10th September 2018, which has been received and treated in bad faith and taste. I thought I was assisting due and fair process of law.”

The letter dated September 14, 2018, read; “As a responsible citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who currently enjoys immunity under Section 308 of the Constitution, it would amount to a breach of the Constitution which I swore to uphold if I appear in your office on any date earlier than 16th October 2018. If done otherwise, it will set a wrong precedent for the Constitutional Institution that I represent.

“I carefully chose that date (October 16, 2018) being the next day after the expiration of my tenure upon which the immunity I enjoy will lapse to avoid any form of insinuation and was in good faith.

“While drafting my response to your letter of 14th September 2018, my attention was drawn to your widely-publicized letter of September 12, 2018, directing the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service and similar agencies, to watch-list and arrest me on an imagination that I might leave Nigeria to escape investigation.

“It has finally put in context, your Commission’s hurriedly deleted on-line statement via EFCC Nigeria @OfficialEFCC a day after the Ekiti governorship election that: “The parri is over; the clock of immunity turn apart, and the staff broken. Ekiti Integrated Poultry Project/Biological Concepts Limited N1.3bn fraud case file dusted off the shelves. See you soon.”

“Your Commission by its actions, no doubt has presumed my ‘quilt’ even prior to the commencement of “investigation”.

“This raises the serious question about the impartiality, independence or neutrality of the Commission in the matter. I feel harassed, intimidated and embarrassed by the imputation of crime and the innuendos of criminality underlining your correspondence which has been maliciously circulated widely. This in all implies a case of persecution rather than prosecution.

“While I have handed a copy of your letter to my Solicitors for a careful study and advice, let me state here for the records, that there is nothing about me or my antecedents, as a long-standing public figure to justify the Commission’s action. I have never been a coward or a criminal.

“Notwithstanding, the demonstrated hate and prejudice, I reaffirm my willingness to make myself available to answer questions within my knowledge on the day you may indicate after the expiration of my term of office on the 15th October 2018.

“If for any good reason, your investigation cannot await the date suggested in my earlier letter, without prejudice to Section 308 of the Constitution, I will be willing to answer questions from your team of investigators should they be willing to meet me in my office in Ado Ekiti on the 20th September 2018 indicated in yours.

“Save as above, I will appreciate any date convenient to you after 15th October 2018, otherwise, expect me on the 16th October 2018 at 1pm as earlier stated.”

BIG STORY

Ritual Killings: Police Arrest Six Native Doctors Native Doctors As Delta Girls Fortify Selves Against ‘Yahoo Boys

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Following the increasing spate of kidnapping and ritual killings in Delta State, detectives attached to the criminal investigation department ( CID) at the state police command on Thursday arrested six native doctors In Ughelli town and Abraka community through intelligence gathering.

The commissioner of police in the state, Anthony Agbidi, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects to newsmen in Asaba, disclosed that the detectives acted on intelligence gathering, adding that three of the suspects were arrested in Ughelli town, while the three other suspects were nabbed in Abraka community with strange substances including prepared charms in different containers.

CP Agbidi said: “The suspects were arrested on intelligence gathering by officers and men of the state CID and they recovered different prepared charms in containers. The suspects made useful statements to the police and they shall be charged to court upon completion of investigation”.

He however called on members of the public to always provide useful information to the police with a view to arresting criminals in their hideout.

He gave the names of the suspects to include: Bernard Thomas 52, Babalola Akin 48, who claimed to have hailed from Ijebu community, Lucky Omorofu, 47, Maculey Obaro, 52, Aghalokpe Kennedy 49, and Chief Chiedu Agbarho 56 years old, adding that the suspects will remain in the police custody until investigations are completed and they are charged to court.

Meanwhile, the police have confirmed moves by young girls across the state to fortify themselves against being kidnapped for rituals purposes.

CP Agbidi, while exchanging views with newsmen on Thursday in Asaba, disclosed that young girls between the ages of 18 and 20 years have allegedly resorted to patronizing native doctors to fortified them against ritual killings among others.

He said; “the report reaching us has indicated that young girls have allegedly resorted to patronizing native doctors to help fortify them against ritual activities. The police have gone after these fraudsters and Yahoo, Yahoo boys. We will bring all of them to book soon.”

Reports say the ritualists allegedly use female pants, breasts, tongues, hearts, womb including other vital organs to enhance their diabolic activities.

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LASU Will Get Faculty Of Pharmacy When I Become Governor —— Sanwo-Olu

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To strengthen capacity in pharmaceutical profession in Lagos State, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2019 election, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria that he will ensure that Lagos State University gets a faculty of Pharmacy, if he elected as the Governor.

Sanwo-Olu made the promise on Thursday during his interactive session with the Lagos State chapter of the PSN.

He said the state university after more than three decades of existence should be a centre of academic excellence for the production of manpower in the field of pharmacy.

He said: “To strengthen the profession and boost manpower in the field of Pharmacy, I am convinced that our state university should have a Faculty of Pharmacy.

“If elected, we will make sure LASU within our four years have Faculty of Pharmacy.

“It is not just right that we have Medical College without Faculty of Pharmacy.

“I am promising you that our government will ensure that everything is done to make Faculty of Pharmacy a reality for the State-owned University.

“As professional body of pharmacists, I will implore you to give us a position paper on what we need to do that will enable us achieve our objective and I can assure that as government, we will do all within our powers to make it a reality.”

The APC candidate told the pharmacists the importance he attaches to their profession and the entire health sector in general.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Your profession is one of the most important fields for human existence.

“No one can joke with the health sector.

“So when I received your invitation, I pledged to attend this event regardless of my schedule because it is about health and we must listen to you.”

The Chairman of Lagos State chapter of the PSN, B. T. O. Adeniran, urged Sanwo-Olu to help pharmacists practicing in the State when he gets to government.

Adeniran described the issue of turnaround time in getting drugs at government hospitals across the State as very cumbersome.

She said: “We need the government to look into the welfare and working condition of pharmacist working in Lagos State.

“We want upward review of salary and allowances.

“On capacity development, we need more training for our members so we can serve the state and the public better as integral part of the health system.”

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BIG STORY

2019: Why We Chose Five Presidential Candidates For Debate —- NEDG

Peter Okunoren

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The Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) has explained how five political parties were selected to participate in the presidential and vice-presidential debates.

NEDG Executive Secretary, Eddie Emesiri, said in a statement on Thursday that the parties for the debate were picked through an independently administered multi-stage process.

The statement was issued in reaction to the criticism triggered by the number of political parties selected by the group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) organizers of the debates.

Emesiri stressed that the decision to select five parties was taken at the beginning of the process to ensure that the debates were managed effectively.

According to him, the stages of the selection process focused on political parties while the organisers considered the importance of diversity in the nation.

The NEDG Executive Secretary insisted that no preference was given to any candidate or party, adding that nobody influenced the organisers to include or exclude any political party from the debates.

The statement read: “Further to our earlier announcement of participating parties for the Presidential Debates, the organising partners of the Debates hereby reiterate the transparency and independence of the selection process that resulted in the five participating political parties.

“Firstly, we would like to state that the Presidential Debates are organised by a partnership of the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), a broad coalition of over 100 public and private broadcasters in Nigeria with coverage of terrestrial radio, television, direct-to-home, digital terrestrial television and multimedia distribution system. The members of BON are responsible for over 250 radio and tv stations across Nigeria.

“The choice of participating parties for the debate was made through an independently administered multi-stage process. The first stage was an independent online poll and the second involved the distribution of survey questionnaires per state, to professionals, artisans, students, etc; respondents were within the voting age and spread across urban, semi-urban and rural classifications. The third stage was to take an aggregate of the stage result and extend invitations to the top 5 parties for the debate.

“Following our disclosure of the participating parties earlier in the week, our attention has been drawn to some reactions in the public space over the decision to limit the participation to five parties and exclusion of some party flag bearers from the debate. Considering the vast number of contending parties, the decision to limit to five parties was taken at the beginning of our process to ensure ease of management for the debates. All the stages of the selection process were focused on political parties, taking into consideration the importance of national spread and diversity. Focus was not on specific individuals or candidates.

“We wish to emphatically state that the NEDG and BON were not influenced or induced by anyone to include or exclude any political party from the debate. We understand the disappointment of some political parties who would have wished to see their candidates share their visions for the country at the Debates. However, Nigerians have spoken through the multi-stage process and we urge all Nigerians to respect their choice as we abide by the outcome of the independent party selection process.”

NEDG and BON had named only five political parties to participate in 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

The parties listed were Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

This meant that the presidential aspirants expected at the debate are President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Oby Ezekwesili, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu.

However, Presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili, has sought for five more influential presidential candidates.

The five candidates include: Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party, SDP; Omoyele Sowore, of the African Action Congress, AAC; Byron Fagbemj of KOWA Party; and John Gbor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA.

The Vice-Presidential Debate and the Presidential Debate are scheduled for Friday, December 14, 2018, and Saturday, January 19, 2019, respectively.

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