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Hours after a letter from the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to President Muhammadu Buhari accusing the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru, of insubordination and non transparent practices, was made public, another crisis has hit the oil corporation.

The Baru-led corporation is being accused of hiding $629 million (about N226 billion) in various banks without remitting the sum to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

According to Freedom Online, its refusal to remit the sum, proceeds from its operations, and the interest accruing to appropriate accounts, may soon lead to trouble.

“In fact, it seems as if Baru’s cup is full and he may soon be shown the way out”, he said.

That the money sits idly in Nigerian banks – Sterling Bank, Keystone Bank, Diamond Bank, First Bank and Central Bank of Nigeria – may soon have serious consequences for those at the cooporation’s helm of affairs.

The money is lodged in various sums in the accounts.

An account in Sterling Bank with number 0023515951 holds $26,560,076.76 while the sum of $16.6 million is in an account with number 1006160930 in Keystone Bank.

The sum of $277.8 million is in another account with Diamond Bank numbered 0033789960 while $19 million sits in two accounts with First Bank – $12 million is in a current account numbered 2006307767 and $6.9 million is in another First Bank Escrow account with number 2016965894.

In addition to this total sum of $340,102,485.10, another sum of $289 million is placed via two cheques with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to sources, “requests from relevant offices to the NNPC to remit the total sum of the said $629,093,716.77 to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company TSA account as is the practice have been rebuffed for reasons yet undisclosed”.

Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a financial policy in use in many countries all over the world to consolidate all inflows from all agencies of government into a single account.

TSA allows government banking to be unified, to enable the relevant stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation have full oversight of all cash flows across various bank accounts.

TSA also helps check cases of multiple, sometimes, untraceable accounts operated by government MDAs for collection and spending of government revenues.

It helps keep a good record of revenue receipts and expenditures and block leakages, as no agency of government is allowed to keep any operational bank account.

TSA helps check cases of idle cash lying over extended periods in bank accounts held by agencies of government, giving room for unscrupulous officials to make private wealth from interests on such deposits or by trading with the money.

Also, the scheme makes it impossible for banks that are fond of using public sector funds to make free profits to continue to do so.

The introduction of the Treasury Single Account policy therefore has been useful in reducing the proliferation of bank accounts operated by ministries, departments and agencies, thereby ensuring financial accountability as well as transparency.

Though it was first introduced in 2012 by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, its implementation was largely not until the Muhammadu Buhari government came on board and gave the scheme real muscle.

It is against the background of TSA’s potential for curbing corruption that any flouting of its rules is sternly frowned upon by the Buhari administration which is seen to be fighting corruption.

Sources said this is not the first time NNPC’s management is flouting the TSA rule but the volume of money involved and the fact that relevant queries were raised by appropriate offices but ignored may have thrown the presidency into a rage.

 

 

 

Source: Freedom Online

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Melaye Vs Adeyemi: INEC Fixes November 16 For Fresh Kogi West Senatorial Election

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The fresh Kogi West Senatorial election involving Sen. Dino Melaye of the PDP and Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC is to hold on November 16, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Melaye and Adeyemi INEC, in a statement, signed Mr. Festus Okoye, Chairman of its Information and Voter Committee, said that the senate election would hold simultaneously with the Kogi governorship election.

Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, in a statement made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja, said that another by-election for the Sabuwa State Constituency in Katsina State had been slated for November 30.

“The decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Monday,” the statement said. He said that the fresh election was a sequel to the nullification of the Kogi West Senatorial District election conducted on February 23, by the Election Petitions Tribunal and its subsequent affirmation by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Sen. Dino Melaye (PDP), following a suit filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC.

The Appeal Court, on October 11, 2019, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days from the date of judgment with all those who participated in it as eligible candidates. Okoye appealed to the candidates and political parties to conduct issue-based campaigns. “We also enjoin stakeholders to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating apprehension or a sense of fear before, during and after the elections,” he said.

Okoye also disclosed that following extensive consultations with stakeholders and a review of the security situation with the relevant security agencies, the Commission fixed Nov. 30 for the conduct of bye-election in Sabuwa State Constituency, Katsina State.

He recalled that the Katsina State House of Assembly, vide a letter with Reference Number KTSHA/PER/HON/l24/VOL.l/24, dated Sept. 26, notified INEC of the death of Mustapha Abdullahi, who represented the constituency, and subsequently declared the seat vacant.

He said that the Commission would issue the Notice of Election on October 23, while the conduct of party primaries would take place between October 24 and November 6.

According to Okoye, the last day for the submission of personal particulars of candidates (Form CF001), and the list of candidates (Form CFOO2) is November 8.

“The last day for the submission of names and addresses of polling agents is November 15, while campaigns will end on November 28,” he said.

(Vanguard)

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BREAKING: Heavily Armed Thugs Attack Kwankwaso In Kano, 8 Persons Critically Injured

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Former Governor of Kano State and the immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was attacked by thugs who are yet to be identified in Kano, Monday.

The attack, which followed the former governor’s visit to his hometown, Madobi where he had gone to open a midwifery school, was said to have been carried out around the state underpass.

Eight persons were said to have been critically injured while several cars were damaged beyond recognition.

However, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, Kwankwaso’s media aide, linked the attack to thugs loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

She said, “This attack was preplanned because we were told that heavy-armed thugs were waiting under the bridge to attack us when we were coming from Madobi.

“We believe Ganduje was behind this attack because we heard one of his aide names being mentioned during the attack.”

She noted that scores of their members were seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention in various clinics including the International Hospital while 10 vehicles destroyed and personal items carted away by political thugs believed to have been sponsored by the Kano State Government at Sharada Panshekara Sabon Titi bridge.

However, one of the Governor’s top aides, who pleaded not to be named, denied being behind the attack on Kwankwaso’s convoy.

He alleged that the attack was an internal wrangling between the Kwankwasiyya members who were apparently tired of their boss, Kwankwaso.

He said, “The attack was a misunderstanding between the Kwankwasiyya members, who accused Kwankwaso of betraying their trust by after them for his personal gains.”

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BREAKING: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi

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A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties of Bukola Saraki, former senate president, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos state.

Nnaemeka Omewa, a counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), had approached the court, seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties located at 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos.

He had told the court that they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.

Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC included “An order of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.

The commission alleged that while serving as governor of Kwara state, Saraki withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid the same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.

Delivering ruling on the application, Mohammed Liman, the presiding judge, ordered interim forfeiture of the two properties.

He also instructed that the EFCC should publish the order in a national newspaper within 14 days, for anyone with interest in the properties to show cause, why they should not be finally forfeited to the federal government.

The federal government had arraigned Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) while he was the nation’s number three citizen.

He was accused of failing to declare his assets, an allegation he denied, alleging that he was being witch-hunted.

The supreme court subsequently dismissed the false assets declaration trial.

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