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BIG STORY

Why They Want Wale Tinubu Out —-Report

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Many,  especially members of the business community, were shocked last Friday when the Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, ordered the Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, and his Deputy,  Omamofe Boyo, to immediately resign from the leading oil firm over alleged infractions and breach of stipulated rules of SEC.

The order, which was relayed via a syndicated press release, also announced an interim management Board, which will convene a special general meeting of shareholders, where new management board would be selected and inaugurated.

However, the severity of the penalties and the timing of the release have roused public curiosity as to the motive and the basis for the penalties. 

Speaking during a press conference held at the Company’s head office, the Chief Operating Officer, Oando Energy Resources, Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune, said: “We were not given a chance to review and respond to the outcome of the report. You do not sentence a person to death without giving him or her a chance to defend him or herself.”

In this instance, we have been sentenced to death without knowing what our crime is or being given a chance to defend ourselves. 

“At the barest minimum, best practice requires that you give the person a chance of a fair hearing. We have not been accorded this opportunity.”Irune further explained that when the company made the decision to drop its court case challenging the SEC’s decision to carry out a forensic audit, it was assured that it could trust the system for an independent investigation that would be fair and follow due process. 

He explained further that the Management agreed to the forensic audit, having been assured that it would be done in the spirit of transparency, cooperation and full disclosure.

Since the development,  which many have described as “draconian”, echoes of Oando’s sentiments seem to be resounding across the country,  with everyone wanting to know what the Oando management had done to warrant such stringent penalties. Amidst the increasing wave of criticisms of the SEC order, renowned banker, Atedo Peterside, Founder,  Stanbic IBTC, wondered why the SEC would not share the findings of the forensic audit with Oando, thereby giving the management an opportunity to defend itself.

Atedo, who expressed his sentiment through social media,  went further to challenge the SEC to share the forensic audit findings and Oando’s response with the general public for all to judge.

According to a source, the forensic audit report was ready and submitted by Deloitte and Touche as far back as December 2018, adding that “The reason SEC decided to sit on the report for six months without engaging Oando where necessary remains a mystery yet to be unraveled. “It also brings to mind the famous quote that “power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

Is this a case of abuse of power or has someone been put under duress to release the report without any regard for due process? What are the details of the infractions as opposed to a summary and what are the associated penalties for each infraction according to the SEC rule book?”The oil giant also wrote a five-page letter dated June 1, 2019, and addressed to the acting Director-General, SEC, Mary Uduk, demanding the withdrawal by SEC of the penalties listed in the letter within three days.

Also, in the letter, the Company insisted that the findings were largely unfounded and remained unsubstantiated in the absence of any representation before the regulator arrived at its sanctions.

Oando also demanded that it should be given the findings of the forensic audit as well as an opportunity to defend itself.

Another source disclosed that SEC officials are playing out a script, after allegedly receiving a bribe from Volpi owned by Gabriele Volpi, an Italian-born Nigerian businessman, who is also a business partner and close ally of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the last general election,  Atiku Abubakar.” It is well known to many that SEC sinks with corruption that was the reason it former DG was accused of fraud by the ICPC. ”  

A source added. It was gathered that it is an agenda to wrestle the company from Tinubu, in order for them to use the Oando resources for Abubakar’s court proceedings since the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) terminated its boat pilotage monitoring and supervision agreement with one of its cash cow,  Intel, for failure to pay $145 million in revenues to the  Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account ( TSA). Shortly after the purported order by the SEC , Volpi, the Chairman and main shareholder of Intels Nigeria Limited, who has been having a running battle with Tinubu and Boyo over the control of the oil and gas company, commenced a desperate move for the soul of the company that Tinubu sweat to build from the scratch.

It was disclosed that Volpi has begun consultations since last weekend and is desperate to join Dahiru Mangal to join him, despite Mangal making peace with Tinubu and Boyo and appointing three directors into Oando Plc.  But they would have no quorum to convene the board and take decisions.

However, on Monday, June 3, Tinubu floored SEC at the  Federal High Court in Lagos. In a ruling, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun restrained the SEC from removing  Tinubu and Boyo as Oando Plc’s Group Chief Executive  Officer and Deputy Group Chief Executive  Officer, respectively.

Justice Olatoregun granted the interim injunction, following an application filed by both Tinubu and Boyo.

The Oando chiefs had applied for enforcement of their fundamental rights.

The court also restrained SEC, its servants or agents from taking any step concerning the Commission’s letter dated May 31 in which it barred Tinubu and Boyo from being directors of a public company for five years.

Justice Olatoregun also restrained the Commission from imposing a fine of N91.13 million on Tinubu.

The Judge also ordered SEC to restrain from all actions on the said letter pending hearing and determination of the applicants’ motion for an interlocutory injunction.

Justice Olatoregun restrained Mutiu Sunmonu from acting as the Head of Oando’s interim management team pending the hearing and determination of the motion.

BIG STORY

#JusticeForUwa: Students Protest In Benin, Demand Death Sentence For Sex Offenders

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday occupied major streets of Benin City, the Edo state capital in protest.

The students demanded justice for Uwaila Omozuwa, an undergraduate of the University of Benin who was recently raped and killed.

They also demanded that a death sentence be pronounced for sex offenders.

The President of the students’ union, Danielson Akpan, spoke with Channels Television during the protest demanding justice for their late colleague.

The lawmaker representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Dennis Idahosa, who also joined the students in the solidarity march vowed that he would move a motion to support capital punishment at the floor of the house.

Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Johnson Kokumo had earlier on Wednesday promised that efforts would not be spared in ensuring that the culprits involved in the circumstances that led to Uwaila’s death are apprehended and made to face the law.

Kokumo made the promise when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.

Uwa, a 22-year-old student of UNIBEN was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, Edo State Capital.

The hoodlums were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

The news of her death has continued to spark outrage with trends on social media demanding justice and an end to rape.

(Channels TV)




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BIG STORY

Buhari Is Not In Charge Of Aso Rock —- Wole Soyinka

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Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, says he does not believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is in charge of the country.

Speaking on Thursday during an interview on PlusTv Africa, the renowned writer said the answer to the nation’s problem is decentralization, adding that there’s a need for the people to be historically conscious.

Soyinka was reacting to an open letter written by Umar Dangiwa, retired colonel and former military administrator of Kaduna, to Buhari over the president’s knack for appointing people from his section of the country into office.

“First of all, I was appalled by the silence that followed this revelation. I think those who are responsible for this criminal lopsidedness should be punished. It is not sufficient just to discuss it. It’s criminal,” Soyinka said.

“I have said this before. I don’t believe there is really anybody in charge in Aso Rock. I’m sorry to say this. I’ve been studying the trend over the past year and a half and I believe this president is not in charge of this nation, in so many aspects and directions. I’m convinced he’s not really and totally with it.

“It’s so serious. It is not the fact alone, we know the history of this. We know what it has caused the nation and we know it isn’t over yet. And you say are launching an enquiry. That’s not enough. This man is not in charge.”




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BIG STORY

Police Arrest 3 Brothers For The Kidnap and Murder Of A Mother Of 5 In Abuja, Exhume Corpse Of The Deceased For Forensic Examination [GRAPHIC PHOTOS]

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Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested three (3) suspects namely; Johnson Emmanuel – 38yrs, Gideon Emmanuel – 31yrs and Success Emmanuel – 27yrs for the kidnap and gruesome murder of one Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya on 14th May 2020.

The suspects, born by same parents, all-male and native of Isiekenesi, Ideato LGA of Imo State were arrested by the Police in their home town where they had taken refuge after committing the crime in Abuja, in order to evade police arrest.

Investigations that led to the arrest of the suspects is a sequel to complaints received from one Chinedu Ogbonnaya who alleged that his mother, Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, 55yrs, a native of Ozuitem in Bende LGA of Abia State had been kidnapped and a 5-Million naira ransom demanded before she could be released. A comprehensive and painstaking investigation by the police operatives resulted in the arrest of the three (3) suspects, whom, in the course of interrogation, revealed that the victim had long been murdered and buried. Further findings revealed that the victim, a widow, who had been a Facebook friend of the principal suspect – Johnson Emmanuel, was lured from her home in Gwagwalada to visit the suspect. The suspect thereafter took advantage of the visit, served her yoghurt laced with drugs and subsequently had her murdered. The suspect had killed the victim and buried her remains in a septic tank, went ahead to reach out to the family of the victim using her phone and demanded 5-Million naira ransom as pre-condition for her release. ​

Meanwhile, on 4th June 2020, the suspects led a team of investigators alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank. The exhumed body has been taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja for forensic examination.

A Toyota Highlander Jeep belonging to the deceased has also been recovered by Police operatives at a mechanic workshop in Apo where it had been repainted into a different colour, vehicle documents fraudulently changed and ownership of the stolen vehicle criminally transferred to one of the masterminds of the crime – Johnson Emmanuel.

Investigations also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold-off to a third party apparently to obliterate evidence.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni, while commending the operatives for a job well done, reassures that perpetrators of any form of crimes in the country will not go undetected and unpunished. He, however, enjoins citizens to be more security conscious and report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest police station.





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