Connect with us


/">

BIG STORY

Court Stops FG On $300 Million Abacha Loot

Avatar

Published

on

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

Only God Can Give Victory Over Insecurity —– Femi Adesina

Avatar

Published

on

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says Nigerians who fail to commit the security situation into the hands of God could be guilty of indirectly prolonging the war against insurgency.

Adesina said this in an article on Thursday titled, ‘The Decent for the Indecent, the Just for the Unjust’.

The President’s aide noted that a short viral video showed a soldier and four others singing that victory is from God alone.

Adesina, however, said many Nigerians had failed to understand that only God gives victory.

He wrote, “But victory is from God alone. That is what we must realize as Nigerians. Do we ever pray for our troops in the frontlines? Do we remember those youths, our pride, and strength, faced by death daily, as we sleep in the comfort of our homes, ensconced in the tender bosom of our wives?

“As we pray; God give me money. Give me a car. Give me a promotion. Kill my enemies. Do it now. Do we ever remember our soldiers? Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray…did you pray for our soldiers? Victory comes from God alone. If you don’t pray, you may be guilty of prolonging the war in North-East, North-west, North-central, and all over Nigeria.”

The President’s spokesman said rather than understand the fact that only God can give victory, some Nigerians had become wailers.

“Yes, victory is from God alone. But do some people know? Does it ever enter into their consciousness? They only wail: ‘this insurgency war has lasted too long. The banditry has demystified our military. They are cowards. The top guns don’t even want the battle to end.

“They are making money in billions.’ Okay. Making money in billions and wasting our soldiers, our youths, our future, and hope, in their hundreds and thousands because of blood money. That is all some people see; permanent cynics and sceptics, who know nothing of altruism, and whose God is their belly. They think only of pecuniary gain, nothing else,” Adesina said.

He said as the nation marks this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Nigerians should seize the opportunity to pray for the military and encourage them and not run them down.

 

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Lagos Okays School Reopening January 18

Avatar

Published

on

The Lagos State Government has affirmed its earlier pronouncement that all public and private schools in Lagos State below tertiary level should resume on Monday, January 18, 2021, for the second term 2020/2021 academic session.

This affirmation was made today by the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo while noting that this is in line with the Federal Government’s resolution after reaching a consensus with relevant stakeholders.

Details later…

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Drama As Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly At Armed Forces Remembrance [VIDEO]

Avatar

Published

on

The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

Studies show that domesticated doves that are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.

The Vatican stopped the ritual in 2014 when Pope Francis released two birds that would not fly out of the window of the papal apartment and required several attempts to get the birds to fly out over a crowd of spectators.

A similar incident occurred just the year prior at an event where Pope Benedict XVI released doves during a Holocaust remembrance event. The doves were attacked by a gull, with one dove being singled out and injured, according to Wikipedia.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.

The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.

“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.

Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.

“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”

 

Continue Reading

Most Popular