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We’ll Jail More People In 2019, EFCC Tells Nigerians

Peter Okunoren

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The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, says the EFCC is committed to ensuring that more corrupt persons are jailed in 2019.

The EFCC boss was quoted as saying this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr Tony Orilade, on Thursday.

Magu said the anti-graft agency secured the conviction of 312 persons in 2018 and the agency was targeting double of this figure (624) in 2019.

He said the commission was committed to intensifying its efforts in order to ensure that it secured more convictions in 2019.

“With 312 convictions in 2018, we are strategising to redouble our efforts in 2019, as part of our concerted efforts aimed at ensuring that the negative narrative of pervasive corruption in the system is changed for the better, and the perception that some persons are above the law, remains altered,” he said.

Magu, who was speaking to officers while on a working tour to the Lagos office of the commission, on January 3, 2019, noted that the EFCC had already secured three convictions in 2019, which he described as a good start.

“The commission shall continue to rid the country of economic and financial crimes and effectively coordinate the domestic efforts of the global fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” he added.

Magu stressed that the EFCC remained committed to carrying out its duties “in conformity to best international practices within the ambit of the law.”

While commending the exemplary leadership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, for the success recorded in the past year, the EFCC boss stressed that the judiciary was key to winning the corruption fight.

He said, “Let us have it at the back of our minds that we are only prosecutors; without the support of the Judiciary, led by the CJN and other heads of courts across jurisdictions, we could not have been able to achieve the much we did in 2018. Therefore, to be able to double that feat in 2019, let us know that we cannot do without the judiciary.”

He further called for the unalloyed collaboration of other stakeholders, urging Nigerians to be “more dedicated and determined in reducing corruption to the barest minimum.”

“Those who stole our commonwealth should know that there is no hiding place for them. A high tension searchlight is being beamed on them, it is in their interest to surrender because the game is up,” he said.

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Sanwo-Olu Reviews Administration’s Strides, Says Education, Security, Infrastructure Key Priority

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has highlighted key components of his administration, which he said are aimed at delivering his Greater Lagos vision.

The Governor named education, security, improvement of infrastructure as well as upgrading of the environment as some of the sectors his government will invest in to achieve a greater Lagos.

Governor Sanwo-Olu made the revelation while answering questions as a guest on Channels television’s flagship programme, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

While enumerating the success story of his administration in the last 196 days, the Governor said a lot of achievements have been recorded in the area of security of lives and property of the residents.

The Governor said: “At a period like this – going to the end of the year, criminal activities are usually on the increase because people want to do things to make quick money. We are working on salvaging the situation. We have a new Commissioner of Police who has hit the ground running from the first day he came in.

“You heard of the unfortunate incident of an expatriate that was stabbed to death by domestic staff recently. I was up till 2am last Friday because we were tracking the suspects. The Commissioner of Police led the team and we were able to apprehend the two suspects.

“Policing and security come in two ways. It comes with intelligence.

What kind of information do you have prior to or after the event? You really don’t know who has a criminal tendency by mere looking at their faces. We must have more men out there on the streets and we must have the ability to be able to respond when there is a distress call.

“That’s why we keep increasing the number of vehicles we provide for them. We keep supporting them with a lot of communication gadgets. We keep saying to them that whatever they need to be able to respond when the distress comes, which is often sudden, we’ll give to them. When we do the analysis, it will be an issue of how well we are able to track and get the perpetrators of these acts.”

The Governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to adopt technology to combat crimes and reduce them to the barest minimum.

He said: “One of the things we realize is that security is also going tech. You need a lot of technology and devices to monitor crimes, and whilst we are doing a lot of hard things, we are also building up technology. Next year, we are building a new Control and Command Center as part of our Safe City project and Mega-City security deliverables. We are going to bring to Lagos all those security measures you see in developed Nations.

“At the first phase, we will install about 2,200 high definition cameras across the State. From a CCTV, we can view, review, monitor and track incidents as they happen. We will also train officials. These are some of the things that will happen in the first quarter of next year”

On the issue of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the Governor said: “The NURTW is a national body of the Nigerian Labour Congress. It is a registered trade union organization.’’

“Like other unions, they are under the supervision of the State government. We regulate and supervise them. And we have warned that they could be proscribed if they don’t conduct themselves well.

Sanwo-Olu spoke about the State government’s plans for the construction of the 4th mainland bridge, saying his administration will make use of private equity to achieve the project.

“Two weeks ago, we advertised for the expression of interest from construction firms around the world for the 4th mainland bridge project. Our total budget for next year is about $3 billion and that’s the highest in the country. The 4th mainland bridge, from the design, we have seen that it is a 37-kilometer road. We cannot handle it alone so we are going to use private equity.

‘‘We have advertised. We have the alignment, we have the right of way and all of the biometric study. Let everyone worldwide come and play a role.

The Governor also spoke extensively on his plan for the education sector, saying the state government is determined to elevate the status of the primary education to a very competitive level.

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BREAKING: Sigh Of Relief As Electricity Workers Suspend Nationwide Strike

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The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has suspended its strike embarked upon on Wednesday to draw the federal government’s attention to the plight of its members.

Following a meeting with officials of the federal government, the union accepted to discontinue the one-day-old strike.

According to the National President of NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, who confirmed the outcome of the meeting to THISDAY, the workers’ grievances were conclusively addressed.

He said that all the concerns of the union and its members were addressed at the talks which lasted till the wee hours of today.

“We have concluded deliberations and all issues were addressed, but we are awaiting implementation. Meanwhile, our strike action is suspended,” Ajaero said.

Following the expiration of the 21 days ultimatum issued by NUEE to the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, to implement their demands, and the failure of the minister to dialogue with the union before the ultimatum which lapsed midnight Tuesday, a nationwide blackout was imminent as electricity workers began indefinite strike Wednesday morning.

The strike led to the shutting down of most of the offices of Distribution Companies (Discos) across the country.

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Trouble Brews In FIRS As Workers Rejects Fowler’s Handover To Aina, Demand Handover To Senior Director

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Twenty-four hours after the change of guard at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), members of staff of the Service have given the authorities till Friday for the most senior director to take over as acting chairman.

Mr. Babatunde Fowler handed over to Abiodun Aina, Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group after President Muhammadu Buhari named Muhammad M. Nami to replace him as chairman and sent his name to the Senate for confirmation.

According to a communique sent to the Acting Executive Chairman, the workers, under the aegis of the Joint Union Council of FIRS, threatened that they cannot guarantee industrial harmony after Friday if Aina continues to act as chairman.

The FIRS claimed that Aina, “does not have the basic qualification/requirement (HND or BSc) to be employed into the Service.”

Besides, the union said Aina’s appointment to the position of Coordinating Director “was against the provision of Section 2.19 of FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes which states as follows: Appointment to the post of Coordinating Director shall be made by the Board on the recommendation of the Executive Chairman.”

Aina’s appointment they claim should “be open to all confirmed Directors of the Service and it shall be competitive based on experience, competence, and seniority, as he was never a director in the Service rather a Senior Special Assistant to the erstwhile Chairman of FIRS.”

They also claimed that “his name is not on the seniority list of confirmed FIRS staff and FIRS directors on the staff nominal roll rather on the list of Contract Staff of FIRS.”

At the end of the emergency meeting, union members resolved that “in accordance with the Presidential Directive, the seniority list should be followed and the appropriate person be directed to act, pending assumption of duty of the New FIRS executive chairman.

“That if by close of work on Friday, 13th December 2019, no action is taken to this effect, Union will no longer guaranty further industrial harmony in the system.”

The communique was signed by Okere Samson (JUC Chairman); Idris Hassan Abdulrahaman (JUC Vice-Chairman); Lekwot Friday Thomas (JUC Secretary); Jimoh Idowu; Kenechukwu Oliver; Shehu M.D; Esther Acheme; Jane Akinbami; Abba Dalhatu; Akpabio N.M; Ajoge J.Y; Akorga Lucy; Ohiwere Ahmed A; Abubakar Abeni; Hussaini Moses; Nwoha Godwin and Habiba Adekunle.

The union leaders sent copies of the communique to Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nígeria President and his Nigeria Civil Service Union counterpart.

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