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Buhari Appointed EFCC Guests As Ministers —- Former APC Spokesman Timi Frank

Peter Okunoren

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Political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank has said that the corrupt pedigree of some personalities that now populate President Muhammadu Buhari’s new cabinet shows that governance in the country has been officially and effectively handed over to looters and manifestly corrupt individuals.

He called on Nigerians to lower their expectations for true dividends of democracy but should rather expect an unprecedented and astronomical rise in the level of corruption in the country during the period the current administration will remain in office.

Reacting to the inauguration of new Ministers and assignment of portfolios released on Wednesday, Frank, in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, said nothing positive can come from the new Ministers because “70 to 80 percent of them have at one time or the other been guests of the anti-corruption agencies with most of them still battling corruption charges in court.”

According to Frank, “there will be more corruption in this cabinet than in any other administration in the history of Nigeria as some of the Ministers purchased their slots and would want to recoup their investments at the detriment of Nigeria and Nigerians.

“Therefore, I urge Nigerians to brace up for more hardships as corruption and incompetence have been enthroned with corruption masters turned Ministers to run the affairs of government in Nigeria.

“Buhari told Nigerians in 2015 that he will cut his salary by 50 percent, reduce the aircraft in the presidential fleet before he became President. He also said he would reduce the cars in the Presidential convoy.

“But Nigerians can testify that this was never done. He neither reduced his salary, aircraft in the presidential fleet nor cars in his convoy.

“With this, therefore, it is clear to Nigerians that General Buhari is a product of lies who has continued to live and rule with falsehood. It is clear that Nigeria cannot move forward under these circumstances because darkness and light have nothing in common.”

Reacting to Buhari’s directive that ministers who want to see him must go through his Chief of Staff or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Frank queried: “What is the President still doing in office? By this action, he has completely abdicated his responsibilities and declared himself unavailable and unfit to occupy the Office of President.

“To subordinate ministers to the whims and caprices of his aides represent gross abuse of office and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This is impunity of the highest order and a criminal alienation of the states of the federation that these ministers represent. Effectively, General Buhari’s misguided order means that the CoS and SGF are the de facto presidents.”

He said that another reason why Nigerians must not take Buhari and his cabinet serious is that he is not a man of integrity.

“In 2015, while campaigning, General Buhari promised to reduce the cost of governance if elected. After his election, he appointed 36 Ministers in apparent fulfillment of the promise. Why did he appoint 43 Ministers in 2019?

“We don’t need a seer to know that ballooning of the cabinet would greatly increase government administrative cost and impact negatively on his ability to deliver on infrastructural development in the face of dwindling national revenue.

“Never in the history of Nigeria has any President appointed 43 Ministers. What has changed between 2015 and 2019 that led to this atrocious expansion of the cabinet?” Frank asked.

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BREAKING: Buhari Fails To Renew Fowler’s Tenure, Names Muhammad Nami As New FIRS Boss

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Muhammad Nami to replace Babatunde Fowler as chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Fowler’s tenure expired on Monday.

More to follow…

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Orji Kalu Will Receive Full Salaries, Allowances In Prison — Senate

Peter Okunoren

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The convicted Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, will continue to receive his salaries and all other entitlements while in prison, the Senate has said.

This is despite that he will not be performing any legislative function from prison.

The spokesperson of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki, disclosed this to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.

He said despite the conviction, Mr Kalu remains a sitting senator and will be paid all of his entitlements in full.

He said until the case gets to Supreme Court and a final judgement is given, Mr Kalu remains a serving lawmaker.

“He is still a senator. This is the first court. The matter is going to Supreme Court so, he still has the opportunity to appeal up to the Supreme Court level.

“Of course they will pay him. Because he is a sitting senator just like I said…if you file for an appeal, you are still serving and so they will pay you.

“All his entitlements will be paid. There is no cause for alarm. In fact, even if the Court of Appeal says they have upheld the judgement of the lower court, he still has the right to go to Supreme Court. So once the Supreme Court says, yes, the judgement is okay, then that’s the final,” he explained.

Earlier, Mr Akwashiki said Mr Kalu’s seat will not be declared vacant.

He explained that no provision in the constitution that says the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted at a lower court should be declared vacant.

Mr Kalu’s seat will not be declared vacant except he (Mr Kalu) has explored all the legal options available to him without success, he said.

“Even the tenure of a former governor Joshua Dariye, who has been in prison for some time now, ran its course until the end of the 8th National Assembly. Nobody declared his seat vacant.”

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced Mr Kalu to 12 years in prison after convicting him of N7.65 billion fraud.

Mr Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, was pronounced guilty of the charge in a trial that lasted for 12 years.

The conviction comes 12 years after the ex-governor was first arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2007 and was tried alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Udeh Udeogu, who was Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Mr Kalu’s tenure as governor.

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BREAKING: Assassins Attacks MD Of Maersk Line, Wife Forced To Drink Acid

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Palpable tension has enveloped Maersk, one of the biggest organizations in the Nigerian maritime industry.

According to reports, the Managing Director of Maersk Line, Gildas Tohouo Tohouo, and his family were said to have been attacked at their Lugard Road, Ikoyi home last night.

The attacked happened while he, his three children and his wife were at home.

While reports are saying that the man himself was severely stabbed and battling for his life, the wife is said to have given up the ghost as she was forced to drink acid by their assailants.

Several angles are being linked to the unfortunate incident. While some are saying the attack must have been as a result of a generator contract gone wrong between Maersk and some other unnamed companies, some are saying the attack was as a result of domestic electrician that was sacked.

Those in the know are claiming that Maersk as an organization is not new to attacks as such that results in the loss of lives. A source who craved anonymity claims that the company once sent two Dutch auditors to look into its books and both men were shot dead by assassins in a full office.

The attack on the managing director and his family is being suspected to be an insider job by some other people because the security around where he lives is premium and he lives close to former interim head of state, Chief Ernest Shonekan, whose place also enjoys excellent security because of his status as a former head of state.

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