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Court Stops FG On $300 Million Abacha Loot

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The federal high court sitting in Abuja has stopped the Federal Government from taking further steps towards appointing a consultant for the monitoring and implementation of the $300 million allegedly looted by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, which was repatriated to Nigeria through a tripartite agreement between United States of America and Bailiwick of Jersey.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, who halted the process, ordered all parties to the suit to maintain Status Quo Ante Bellum and not take any steps whatsoever to affect the res (the subject matter of disputes before his court), the Federal Government of Nigeria, the United States Government and the Bailiwick of Jersey entered into a tripartite agreement for the implementation of the $ 300 million Abacha loot on the condition that the funds would be used as part of the funding for the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja – Kano dualization and the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.

Accordingly, the government sent out an invitation for consultants to submit proposals to the Federal Ministry of Justice, whereupon, the claimant PPP Advisories Consortium was among the 4 prequalified firms among the 17 firms that responded to the request for prequalification. After the evaluation of the financial proposals of the 4 prequalified consultants, the claimants PPP ADVISORIES CONSORTIUM secured the highest combined Technical and Financial score and therefore ought to have been awarded the contract instead of Cleen Foundation which got the least combined Technical and Financial score among the four prequalified consultants. The procurement panel of the Federal government arbitrarily disqualified the claimant and recommended the firm that came 4th (Cleen Foundation) as the preferred bidder to be awarded the contract.

Dissatisfied with the outcome, the claimants – PPP Advisories; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Issa Shuaibu & Co (PPP Advisories Consortium) – approached the Federal High Court challenging the legality or otherwise of the Federal Government decision.

Listed as defendants in the writ of summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1449/2020 and dated November 3, 2020, are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF); the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General of the Federation’ Mr Dayo Akpata, SAN, (sued as Chairman Ministerial Tenders Board) and the Bureau of Public Procurement.

The claimants through their counsel, Dr Daniel Bwala, are urging the court to make an order setting aside the decision of the procurement panel adjudging its Technical and Financial proposal as non-responsive.

They equally urged the court to make an order directing the defendants to issue a letter declaring them as the winning bidder, and invite them for negotiation, having achieved the highest score and therefore emerged the winner of the bid.

Among other reliefs, they are seeking a declaration that their disqualification by the defendants as communicated via a letter dated 28 July 2020 wherein their Technical/Financial bids submitted were not adjudged responsive due to the fact that the lead partner is not a registered Civil Society Organization is wrongful, illegal and void. The claimants having satisfied the requirements of the Request for Proposal (RFP) in respect of the Monitoring of the Implementation of the Tripartite Agreement for the sharing, transfer, disposition, repatriation, and management of forfeited Assets and the entire bidding process.

When hearing in the case resumed on Tuesday, counsel to the claimant (PPP Advisories Consortium) Dr Daniel Bwala urged the court to hear the motion on notice for an injunction to restrain the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the Bureau of Public Procurement from taking any steps in the appointment of a consultant for the monitoring of the implementation of the Tripartite Agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria, the United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

His application followed the absence of the AGF (1st defendant) in court despite being served with the summons as well as the hearing notice twice.

However, counsel to the 3rd Defendant (Bureau of Public Enterprises), who was present in court urged the court for an adjournment to file their Defence.

Dr Daniel Bwala on behalf of the claimant, PPP Advisories Consortium, informed the court that unless the court makes an order for status quo to be maintained, the Federal government may proceed and award the consultancy contract to Cleen Foundation who scored the lowest combined Technical and Financial score among the four prequalified consultants.

He added that if the action is allowed to take place, it will most likely dent the image and name of Nigeria in the eyes of the international community and make a mockery of the requirements of competitiveness and transparency required in all Federal Government procurements as outlined by the Bureau of Public Procurement Act, 2007.

Bwala informed the court that the $300 million repatriated to Nigeria is to be used as part of the funding for the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja – Kano dualization, and the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.

Justice Ekwo after listening to Bwala, consequently made an order for all parties in the action to maintain the status quo and not take any steps towards implementing the subject matter of the dispute pending the hearing of the motion on notice fixed for January 21, 2021.

BIG STORY

Sexual Assault: Baba Ijesha Denied Bail, Case Transferred To High Court [PHOTOS]

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The Yaba Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State, on Wednesday, declined to grant the bail application brought before it by embattled Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, popularly known as Baba Ijesha.

Baba Ijesha, who wore a blue t-shirt, was taken to court in a black maria vehicle of the Rapid Response Squad.

Baba Ijesha has been in police custody since April 22, 2021, when the Lagos State Police Command announced his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the care of popular comedienne, Adekola Adekanya, otherwise called Princess.

It was earlier reported that Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Baba Ijesha might be sentenced to life imprisonment if found guilty in court.

“After due consideration of the facts in the case file, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions issued legal advice on the 4th of May, 2021, which is to the effect that a prima facie case has been disclosed against Mr. Olanrewaju James and recommended he be charged under the following provisions of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015,” he had said.

On May 17, 2021, Baba Ijesha was granted bail by magistrates and judicial workers on tour to decongest prisons in the state during the industrial action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria.

However, Baba Ijesha could not meet the bail conditions which include N500,000 and a level 16 civil servant as surety.

Baba Ijesha consequently appeared before the magistrate in Yaba on Wednesday.

Speaking with reporters after the arraignment today, one of the counsels for the suspect, Kayode Olabinran, said he prayed the court to grant his client bail on health grounds.

He, however, said the magistrate declined to grant his client bail as the case was already filed at the High Court in Lagos by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in the state.

He said, “He (Baba Ijesha) was not granted bail because the case has been filed at the High Court and that has denied the (Magistrate) Court the power to grant him bail.”

Olabinran also said the date for the hearing at the High Court was not yet known.

Also, Baba Ijesha’s colleague, Yomi Fabiyi, who was in court in solidarity with the actor, said “justice must not be dispensed with the personal sentiment”.

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Days After Google Yanked Off His Crowwe App, Instagram Also Deletes Adamu Garba’s Account

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Former Presidential Aspirant, Adamu Garba’s Instagram account has been deleted.

This occurred shortly after Google deleted his Crowwe app from the Google Play Store.

Nigerians had taken to google play store to drop horrible reviews on the instant messaging app, which imitates Twitter.

They also reported that Crowwe’s Terms and Conditions were plagiarized word for word from another app, Spotify.

Google in a response to the reports, yanked the Crowwe app from the play store.

“Google removes from the Play Store, applications that are perceived to have violated its policy.

“Once your app is removed, the published version of your app won’t be available on Google Play until a compliant update is submitted,” the app store policy said.

However, we’ve noticed that Instagram had now deleted Mr Garba’s IG account from the popular image and video sharing app, with his page displaying ‘the user not found.’

The reason for deleting Mr Garba’s account was unclear but Instagram is known for banning accounts that violate its policy or reported for spam, fraud, or a fake account.

Also, he has received a public backlash regarding his Crowwe app accused of disingenuity.

Reacting, Mr Garba who spoke with newsmen on Wednesday morning said that Instagram took down his account because some users reported him.

“It was reported by some users and was disabled by Instagram,” he said.

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I Have First-Hand Experience In War, I Can Tackle Nigeria’s Insecurity —- Buhari’s COAS Faruk Yahaya

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Faruk Yahaya, Nigeria’s chief of army staff, says he has the required experience to tackle insecurity in the country.

Yahaya stated this on Tuesday when he appeared for screening before the house of representatives joint committee on defence and army.

The army chief said he had participated in war and peacekeeping in Liberia, adding that with his experience, he can ensure improved security in the country.

“I have brought along with me 36 years of military experience, having joined the army on 27 September 1985, as a member of 32nd regular course in NDA,” he said.

“I passed out on 2nd September 1990, and I was posted to the infantry corps as an infantry officer, and since that time, I have passed through all the relevant courses commensurate to my career as I grew up, and I had served in various capacities, including command, staff, instruction, and administration, including extracurricular.

“Less than three years ago, we were drafted to Liberia where I had the first-hand experience in war if you would call it so. And finally, my unit was located at Kata town, member of number 16 and for those conversant with that deployment, Kata town was the last deployment of the ECOMOG who were the ones facing Charles Tylor NPFLA there.

“So, all activities including wars and operations, including of course negotiations, were conducted by my unit on behalf of ECOMOG.

“We have severally hosted the United Nations negotiations in Kakata. We have hosted other factional leaders, including Kromah, Johnson, and others in those negotiations. We also fought our way to that end.

“So, if you will, I have the first-hand experience, barely three years after my passing out in war and its processes, similar to what we are facing now.

“After that, when we came back to the country, I was also promoted to guards brigade here where I served as a platoon commander. So, I am also abreast with the security requirement of Abuja itself and the parade and other requirements that characterized that deployment.

“Subsequently, I grew up in my career to become a commanding officer in guards brigade garrison in Abuja here, and so I was involved in all the security requirements of securing Abuja and, particularly, the presidential villa.”

Yahaya said going by his military experience, he is well equipped to tackle the security challenges across the country.

“Looking at my career, I have virtually seen it all. I have seen war in other countries; I have seen how it was done. I was involved also in internal security operations both there and here,” he said.

“Here also, I have been to the north-west like I mentioned, south-south like I mentioned, and to the north-east. The challenges we are facing now are characterized by what I have mentioned. I have first-hand information where I have commanded troops and administered them in achieving what we have done.

“What I brought is the certificate of experience and commitment I have had all across my career. Throughout my career, I have been appointed as at when due. I am determined to provide my best, having known what is required to achieve the result.”

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