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‘Plenty Surprises’ In Buhari’s Cabinet List, Nominees Undergo Security Checks

Peter Okunoren

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As stakeholders and ordinary citizens get impatient over the delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to send his list of ministerial nominees to the Senate for their input and vetting, there were strong indications yesterday that the list will be out this week.

An insider source, not willing to be named, said the list has been forwarded to security departments for appropriate checks and that only the President and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo know details of every nominee that made the final list.

The source added that even the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF) and Chief of Staff (COS) to the President will only see the final list tomorrow or early in the week when it’s set for the Senate.

On whether it was the President alone that nominated all the names, the source said that governors and other stakeholders sent in nominees but no one knows for sure whether their nomination was eventually accepted.

This was as some founding members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who confided in The Guardian yesterday, said that President Buhari’s cabinet may not be too new as majority of the ministers that started with him are set to return. They supported their assertions with the re-appointment of Kyari as COS despite criticisms.

Regarding chances of former ministers returning, the insider source tipped former Works, Power and Housing minister, Babatunde Fashola as being ahead of others from the Southwest. The source wouldn’t tell whether Fashola is getting the job on his personal reckoning, or whether a godfather is putting in a word for him.

The source, however, assured of plenty surprises. While the possibility of former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode getting a slot is said not to be categorical, Fashola, for instance, may not continue to enjoy the status of super Minister, having the three ministries under one portfolio like he did for nearly four years. A split is very likely.

The source added that former Industry and Trade Minister, Okechukwu Enelamah is not coming back because he doesn’t seem a favorite of the Presidency cabal. The immediate past Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Adaramola is also not returning on performance ground, just as he has been accused of not using the post to the utmost advantage of the party and his people.

On another hand, former presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina may be set for promotion to a higher office, while other presidential spokespersons, Garba Shehu and Laolu Akande, whom many expected to have been named last Friday along with other Presidency aides, the source assured, will all come back.

As the President continues to keep the ministerial list to his chest despite the concerns it is generating across the country, another source hinted at some factors that had been causing the delay of the final list.

One important factor, the source told The Guardian, was that since most of the immediate past ministers were being considered for possible return, forensic investigations of financial misdeeds by some of them had to be done, thereby causing some delay.

The other factor, the source added, was the appointment of SGF and COS, which the President did on Friday, because the two offices, apart from coordinating ministers’ affairs, would also interface with principal officers of the National Assembly for clearance of government appointees.

Meanwhile speculations about the names that have made the President’s list have continued unabated. Checks by The Guardian revealed that a founding member of APC, based in the Southwest, was pushing for former Commissioner of Finance in Lagos, Mr. Wale Edun to take the Ogun slot but a truce is said to have been made with Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo.

The Egba people are bent on producing the minister since Ogun East had produced the Vice President and the governor, Dapo Abiodun. Although, the Yewa people in Ogun West are also contesting the ministerial slot, the Egbas have maintained that the volume of votes President Buhari scored in the last presidential election surpasses what the entire Ogun West generated and as such, they should have the slot.

In Ekiti State, there has been a strong argument in support of former governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who has been on the flanks since 2003 when he left power and has remained loyal and committed to the party. This is, however, not in consonance with the desire of some forces pushing for the likes of former Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Dele Alake and former Senator Femi Ojudu.

To further secure and entrench the interest of APC in Rivers State ahead of the 2023 election, the party is said to have strongly supported the retention of the former Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi. The Guardian learnt that APC may not have alternative to the former governor of Rivers State.

Moreover, the immediate past minister is adjudged to have performed creditably as minister, especially with the strides made under his leadership in the railway transport sub-sector.

As a matter of fact, President Buhari is said to be impressed with Amaechi and the immediate past Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa, who some party members have also said is likely to be compensated by Mr. President with some appointment because of the milestone achieved in the railway sector. Recall that the railway sector featured as one of the strong campaign points of the party in the last election.

Meanwhile, anxiety has continued to grow in the Senate over the delay in the submission of the ministerial list by the Presidency.

As the upper legislative chamber prepares to embark on its six-week end of session recess by the end of July, one of the newly elected APC principal officers expressed concern over the delay.

He said it was the expectation of many lawmakers that the President would have submitted the ministerial list before the resumption of the Senate from the two weeks recess it embarked upon shortly after its inauguration.

The lawmaker said the Senate is seriously looking forward to having the list of nominees for screening and confirmation, at least, within the next two weeks so that it could conclude work on it before the end of session recess.

“If you check around the Senate premises, you will notice that our offices are yet to be furnished. Yet, we decided to remain in session because of expectations of that the list would soon be sent to us,” he said.

Excerpted from a report by The Guardian.

BIG STORY

Policemen In Alagbon FCID Assaulted Me, Collected N90,000 From Me As Bail —– Businesswoman

Gbemileke Ajayi

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An industrialist, Damilola Babalola, who sued two Police officers, Inspector Lateef Adekunle and Sergeant Shedrack Nwadike, has explained that she took the action to free herself from constant harassment.

The 33-year-old businesswoman had sued the officers at the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja for allegedly assaulting and extorting money from her.

Other respondents are the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, one Pastor Olukayode Johnson, and Mr. Sunday Enyiukwu.

According to PUNCH Metro, the Ogun State indigene had a business transaction with Enyiukwu that went south, which led to the latter reporting her at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Annex, Alagbon, Lagos.

It was gathered that Enyiukwu sold a 150 KVA generator to Babalola for N3.2m, while the latter made an initial payment of N1.3m.

According to Babalola, the generator was delivered to her factory but it did not work, while all efforts to make Enyiukwu replace it or return her money proved abortive.

Our Correspondent gathered that Enyiukwu, instead, filed a petition against Babalola at the FCID, Alagbon.

Babalola, who noted that she went to the FCID to respond to the petition, said her ordeal in the hands of the officers was unsavoury.

She said, “In November 2018, I got an invitation from the FCID, Alagbon, to respond to a petition and I felt that I should go there to explain my own side of the story, but when I got there on November 7, 2018, I was shocked by what I saw.

“I was accused of stealing a generator and threatening the seller, and I asked them where all that came from and they said Enyiukwu said that I leased the generator for N50,000 per day and that the money I paid him expired within 26 days and I didn’t want to release his generator.

“They asked for my receipt and I told them that he did not give me one because whenever I asked him, he was always giving one excuse or the other, and the officers said that meant that the generator was leased out and I said if that was the case, he should provide the lease agreement; but instead, I was harassed; the Police recorded a video of me and locked me up.

“I was asked if I was going to pay the balance and when I realised that if I did not agree to pay the balance, they would not let me go, I had to agree to a payment plan and pledged that whatever I was able to come up with in December, I would bring it; but before I was released, N70,000 was collected from me as bail from the N200,000 they asked for.

“I was unable to raise any money in December and I called Inspector Adekunle to tell him that I was unable to come up with any money, but he harassed me and threatened that I was going to spend Christmas in detention if I didn’t transfer money to him, so I had to look for N20,000 and send to him.

“On January 22, 2019, I was able to come up with N200,000 and I took it to their office and when I got there, the money was counted in my and Enyiukwu’s presence and I was given a piece of paper to write down how I was going to pay the balance and my phone was collected from me and they said since I would be paying in tranches, they had decided that the generator should be collected from me.”

She stated that she took the policemen to her colleague’s factory on Acme Road, Ogba, Lagos, for her to serve as a witness.

She added, “I led them to Alausa because I felt that I would see someone that I could explain my predicament to, but when they realised that I was leading them to Alausa, they said we should turn back.

“Sergeant Nwadike, who was in my colleague’s car, opened the door and came down; but before I knew what was going on, he had started beating me and tried to drag me into the Police vehicle, but I kept shouting and the officers called for back-up from Alausa and I was taken back to Alagbon and they locked me up.

“The following day, my sister and mum came to bail me and the officers said they were not going to release me until payment was made again and my sister had to drop a cheque for N300,000 and post-dated it for the end of January, because her account was not funded at that time.”

When our Correspondent contacted Enyiukwu, he refused to comment on the matter, insisting that it was in court.

Babalola had filed a motion on notice numbered ID/8016MFHR/19 before Justice Yetunde Pinheiro that the officers made her pay for bail before she could regain her freedom.

She is praying the court to declare her arrest on November 8, 2018 and January 22, 2019, as illegal, unlawful and violation of her personal liberty as guaranteed and preserved by sections 33, 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The matter has been adjourned till October 4.

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Ukrainian Lady Stabs Nigerian Doctor Lover To Death But Released From Detention Because ‘She Has Two Kids To Cater For’

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The lady in this picture above had stabbed her Nigerian medical doctor lover to death in Ukraine. But ironically and sadly, she had been released from detention because ‘she has two kids to cater for’.

It was gathered from Daily Focus’ report that the couple had an argument at the woman’s residence and it degenerated into the woman stabbing the doctor twice in the abdomen.

As if the stabbing was not enough, the lady’s father hit the Nigerian victim on the head with a hammer after realizing that he had not died from the stabbing incident.

According to the report, Dr Gbolade Ibukun Ejemai was in a relationship with Ukrainian mother of two, Victoria Popravko but they had a disagreement and the woman called for a discussion at her residence to settle the matter.

It was not the first time Ejemai was visiting Victoria at her residence hence nobody raised suspected anything sinister at the invitation.

Narrating how Gbolade was stabbed to death, Dr. Ajayi, a friend of the deceased, said: “Victoria Popravko invited Gbolade Ejemai over to her house on Friday, August 8, 2019, to talk things over in the morning.

“They’ve had some prior discussions which nobody really knew for sure as they were in a relationship. He went over to hers, it wasn’t his first time visiting her but turned out to be his last.

“They got into some arguments and one thing led to another, she stabbed him in his abdomen, twice, puncturing a couple of organs and landing him in a coma. He lost about 40% of his blood volume and that led him to a very critical condition.

“He was taken in for the first surgery on the same day and we waited almost 24 hours for him to get conscious. On Sunday, he opened his eyes and was able to recognize people.

“Then he told his side of the story about how Victoria’s father realized that he wasn’t dead after the stab wound and went ahead to hit him with a hammer on his head.

“We didn’t know about the hammer and its impact until Gbolade himself woke up and spoke up. We were hoping for a miracle and praying he got better until Monday when he developed a complication and had to be operated on the second time.

“He was taken in for the second surgery and it went well. He didn’t come conscious though. By Tuesday afternoon, he gave up the ghost.”

Victoria was arrested at the scene of the incident but has now been released on bail less than 24 hours later because “she had two kids to cater for” and they couldn’t keep her until the investigation was done and over with.

Lamenting the injustice, Dr. Ajayi said: “This is unfair judgement because she was caught at a murder scene.

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JUST IN: FIFA Bans Samson Siasia For Life Over Bribe, Manipulations; Gets $50,000 Fine

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World football governing body, FIFA has banned former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, for life.

Siasia was banned from all football-related activities by FIFA after being found guilty over bribery and attempt to manipulate matches at the international level.

A statement from FIFA reads: “The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Mr. Samson Siasia, a former official of the Nigeria Football Federation, guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

“The formal ethics proceedings against Mr. Siasia were initiated on 11 February 2019 and stem from an extensive investigation into matches that Mr. Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes.

“This large-scale investigation was conducted by FIFA via its competent departments and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities.

“In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr. Siasia had breached art. 11 (Bribery) of the 2009 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and banned him for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.

“In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 has been imposed on Mr. Siasia. The decision was notified to Mr. Siasia today, the date on which the ban comes into force.”

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