BREAKING: Buhari Appoints Fashola's Man, Shasore Others As NPA, NIMASA Governing Board Members; See Full List
President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the composition of the governing boards of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as follows:

A. NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY (NPA)
(i) Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye -Chairman
(ii) Supo Shasore -Member
(iii) Suleiman Ibrahim Halilu -Member
(iiii) Constance Harry Mashal -Member
(v) Umar Shu’aibu -Member
(vi) Charles Efe Emukowhate Sylvester -Member
(vii) Hadiza BalaUsman -Member
(viii) Mohammed Bello Koko -Member
(ix) Dr. Sekonte Davis -Member
(x) Professor Idris Abubakar -Member
(xi) Mrs. I. J. Uche-Okoro -Member

B. NIGERIAN MARITIME ADMINISTRATION AND SAFETY AGENCY
(NIMASA)
(i) Major General Jonathan India Garba - Chairman
(ii) Asekomhe Oaakhia Kenneth -Member
(iii) Mohammed Gidado Muazu -Member
(iiii) Hon. Barrister Ebele Obi -Member
(v) S. U. Galadanchi -Member
(vi) Ms Nene Betty Dike -Member
(vii) Dakuku Peterside -Member
(viii) Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo -Member
(ix) Bashir Yusuf Jamoh -Member
(x) Joseph OluwarotimiFashakin -Member
(xi) Gambo Ahmed -Member
(Signed)

Bolaji Adebiyi,
Director (Press),
Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation

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Buhari and Police IG
Sahara Reporters - Several senior and mid-level police officers have provided SaharaReporters with a list of grave acts of corruption allegedly committed by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris. The officers, some of them retired but most still in active service, stated that the IGP’s notoriety for embezzlement of funds, frequent abandonment of his post, and sexual liaisons with subordinates preceded his time as the Commissioner of Police for Kano State. The allegationsraise serious questions about Mr. Idris’s fitness to lead the police force in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari with its vow to build public trust in institutions.

One of the most alarming allegations against Mr. Idrisrelate to the unlawful sale of thirty vehicles. “Idris should be investigated on the circumstances leading to the disappearance of about 30 vehicles which are known to have been released to fictitious claimants,” one serving police officer said.

The illicitly sold vehicles include a Honda Accord, registration number BP 529 KMC, sold to an Ahmed Sani Mohammed of Kano State, a Honda Civic, registration number BH 742 NSR, to an Ibrahim Jamilu of Kano State, a Toyota Sienna, registration number RBC 501 AM, to a Hajiya Safiya Danlami of Kano State, a Nissan Murano, with registration number NSR 389 XV, to a Datti Abubakar of Kano State, an unregistered Honda Civic to Garba Shehu of Kano State, and an unregistered Toyota Matrix to a Friday Kassimu also of Kano State.

According to our police sources, other vehicles disposed of in shady circumstances include an unregistered Mercedes Benz, a Volkswagen Golf 111, and a Toyota Lexus Jeep.The sources disclosed that the addresses associated with the so-called buyers of the vehicles are incomplete—often without street numbers or phone number contacts. The incomplete addresses have made it impossible to authenticate the identity of the buyers. “It is all part of the IG’s ploy to conceal his wrongdoing. We urge the Presidency to order a probe into the so-called sale of these cars. They will find that the truth is that Idris acquired most, if not all, those vehicles for himself,” one senior police source said.

Police sources told our correspondent that Mr. Idris was a practiced hand at the selling of public property for private profit. They alleged that he played a key role in the unlawful sale of police property in Kano State outposts for personal gain during the height of the Boko Haram crisis. 

Several police sources remarked on Mr. Idris’s notoriety for sexual relationships with his subordinates. “In total disregard of police ethics, the IG has been cohabitating with a corporal named Amina,” one source claimed. He added, “Amina wields a lot of influence within the force.”

Another officer corroborated the account. “Idris has the habit of dismissing senior officers during official hours to spend time with Amina who even poses for photographs in his office,” said the source. The sources told SaharaReporters that the IGP transferred Amina to Abuja where she is now living luxuriously in a hotel and driven about in a Frontier Jeep—all her expenses allegedly paid for by Mr. Idris despite his meager public servant salary.

Our sources alleged that Mr. Idris’s extravagant lifestyle extends to the United States where he has a spouse, a woman he met while on a peacekeeping mission in Liberia. The US-based wife, Maria Idris, is of Liberian descent, and reportedly has two children for the IGP. Our sources said Mr. Idris has been supporting his US-based wife, questioning how he can afford such expenses on his police salary.

“The IG’s maintenance of a family in faraway America is repeatedly discussed by fellow officers. We wonder howhas been able to pay for the expenses of his second family in the US,” one source told SaharaReporters.

Other police sources said they were dismayed that President Buhari chose a man as IGP who lacks operational expertise and courage. One officer alleged that, as the Commissioner of Police in Kano, Mr. Idris locked himself inside a toilet for hours during an attack by Islamist insurgents belonging to Boko Haram in Kano. “During a Boko Haram raid in 2012, the then Commissioner of Police [Mr. Idris] locked himself in the toilet for hours at the State Police Command Headquarters,” said the source. He added that Mr. Idris’s hiding allowed Boko Haram fighters to move through Kano unimpeded, killing men, women and children as well as police officers.

Several officers contrasted Mr. Idris’s cowardice with the bravery displayed in Borno State by the Commissioner of Police, Simeon Midenda. They said Mr. Midenda joined some agents of the Department of State Security (DSS) in a fierce battle with Boko Haram insurgents. They added that Mr. Midenda’s efforts led to the killing of numerous Boko Haram insurgents. 

Our police sources also accused Mr. Idris of naked nepotism in making top appointments. They said the IGP’s questionable appointments included that of CSP Kolo to head the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Our sources said Mr. Kolo had been accused of raping a woman. They added that Mr. Kolo was never seriously investigated for the alleged rape, adding, “We demand that the then AIG in charge, Alhaji Tambari Yabobe, be mandated to produce the case file and to explain why the matter was swept under the carpet.”

Our sources, including a member of a watchdog group, also accused Mr. Idris of leading a crop of officers who carried out extrajudicial killings in Kano State during a period of assaults by Islamist terrorists. 

SaharaReporters repeatedly reached out to Mr. Idris for comment on these allegations. However, he declined to take our calls and did not respond to text messages. SaharaReporters spoke to one of Mr. Idris’s deputies who said the IG was in a meeting and would return our call afterwards. Mr. Idris never rang back.

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He commenced his attack with a snappy and unrealistic assessment of the performance of some Ministers in the Buhari administration but dwelt extensively on Malami (SAN) of the Justice Ministry. He rationalized thus “I admit that a few (Ministers) are making some noises here and there” whilst positing that some of them are still grabbing the headlines for their actions and inaction. That “they pop up occasionally to remind us that they superintend over their ministries…”

The cat was let out of the bag when he named Malami and said “one such person is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) who huffs and puffs occasionally.” It is sad that a columnist of Odunuga’s repute could degenerate to the sad level of employing vulgar adjectives to describe Abubakar Malami (SAN), the AGF.

As a demonstration of ignorance of the powers of the AGF in Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, he posited that “fresh from his altercation with the Senate… Malami must have thought he would be doing Buhari a world of good by directing officials in his Ministry to take over decades of long high profile cases from the relevant anti-graft agencies.” That he specifically, “named the National Prosecution Coordination Committee thinking that they could be the answer to the epileptic pace at which high profile criminal cases drag on at the various courts.”

Ordinarily, one would not have bothered to join issues with his assessment of the AGF but not for the sensitive matters raised which must be put in the right public perspective. Certainly, Odunuga cannot claim ignorance that before Malami was appointed, the office of the Vice President held sway important legal matters like the NPCC. Odunuga can also not claim ignorance that before Malami, President Buhari appointed one of the best legal brains in Nigeria, Prof. Itsey Sagay to work with the Presidency to pungently come forth with a blue print on how to synergize the handling of corruption related cases in Nigeria. Why Malami should be picked on to be so directly condemned is yet to be understood by any objective person. The NPCC is indeed not a bad policy of the Federal Government.

Odunuga failed to properly inform the public that the Malami SAN as the AGF and Minister of Justice inherited the NPCC package knowing that the Buhari administration attaches seriousness in the pursuit of corruption related cases in the system.

Though, the President appointed Malami AGF, Odunuga knows as a fact that the President has no power to direct the AGF in matters of his prosecutorial powers. The office of the AGF is specially created by Section 150(1) of the Constitution and Malami as it occupant has unlimited discretions on who and who not to prosecute in the interest of the public. He alone decides the cases he takes over from the anti-graft body or discontinues. He has the power to categorize corruption cases into high profile without breaching the law. It is common knowledge that most of the corruption suspects are those in high places who corruptly stole public funds entrusted in their hands. The AGF may describe their stealing habits as high profile thieves for ease of reference and should not warrants condemnation. Apart from the use of the phrase profile crimes by the AGF, it is known that the debt management department describe some of the huge debts as high profile debts depending on the amount owed because it is not Malami, there is nothing wrong about that.

Odunuga is in no doubt aware that before Malami was appointed AGF, the Ibrahim Larmorde, led EFCC was thought to be an extension of the PDP Federal Government. Many of the high profile cases Odunuga is now referring to were reluctantly filed only to justify righteousness. The governors and others in high places involved frustrated every attempt vide vexatious and scandalous applications in court to stud progress. Can Odunuga claim ignorance of the fact that a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt then made an order restraining an ex-governor Peter Odili of Rivers State from being prosecuted? If the AGF in his wisdom and constitutionally given powers decides to exhume these manner of cases with a view to ascertain the actual position in law, should he be damned? In our criminal justice system except otherwise stated, there is no time limit for a criminal case to be prosecuted and concluded. Appointing additional hands to assist the Federal Government prosecute the present overwhelming backlog of graft cases could not by any stretch of imagination be described as a “crafty way of legalizing the job-for-the-boys”. After all, the powers of EFCC to prosecute are only exercised without “prejudice to Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution” as admonished in Section 13(2) of the EFCC Act, 2004. By that Section, it is only the AGF who has the constitutional powers to “continue or discontinue or take over criminal proceedings against any person charged by the  EFCC in any court of law.” The same goes for the ICPC Act, Police Act Section 23, FIRS Act, Custom Act and others. The Federal Ministry of Justice could prosecute graft cases using private lawyers as prosecutors with fiat.

Whilst Odunuga in one breath condemns Malami for setting up the NPCC, in another he prays that “it should at best be set up as an advisory body with the responsibility of fast-trading the current graft cases handled by the Nigerian Police Force, (DSS, EFCC, ICPC and FIRS).” Though Odunuga may not be easily suspected of having a special purpose to serve in this matter, but his anxiety for the old unproductive status quo to be maintained leaves one in great doubt. It is not a virtue for one to blow hot and cold or approbate and reprobate. It smacks of consistency. 

It is important to pungently point it out to Odunuga that, Malami by his zeal is not in any “way playing to the gallery to impress anybody” as alleged. He has a mission, a clear vision and a realistic destination. The powers to prosecute by the anti-grafts bodies are expressly limited as admitted when he opine thus “why is Malami keen on taking that privilege from these bodies in his new quest?” As one calls his attention to Section 174(b)(c) of the 1999 Constitution, it is also important to inform him that a right created by the Constitution is superior to the privilege he talked about even if such is created by a statute. A statute cannot be superior to the Constitution. The Constitution is supreme.

The language in Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution is clear, simple to understand, all embracing, unambiguous and not subject to extraneous interpretations.

The legitimate actions of Malami cannot therefore in any way be seen “as ominous signs of arbitrary interference” Malami’s mission in creating a common pool for the proper coordination of corruptions cases earlier filed by anti-graft agencies, with privileged prosecutorial powers to arraign suspects is in good faith.

Odunuga is hereby challenged to explain to the Nigeria public whether he knows of any suit where the EFCC, ICPC, DSS, the police or FIRS is sued for wrongful prosecution without the office of the AGF on behalf of the FGN not made a party? One still questions whether Odunuga’s piece is not meant to serve particular interest in so far as he knows that the privileged prosecutorial powers of the anti-graft agencies is subject to the overriding public right of the AGF to prosecute as guaranteed by the Constitution.

If corruption must be tackled effectively, all hands must be on deck and the AGF must be encouraged to do his legitimate work without distractions or hiccups.

The gimmicks by some of these big time corruption infested leaders who have perfected the art of using the courts to slow their prosecution to recover the huge stolen funds in their hands must be condemned. 

The Nigerian Judiciary must as well rise up to the challenge and show concern on the sorry state corruption has eaten into the fabric of our system by boldly removing every liberate obstacle inhibiting the successful prosecution of high profile cases involving billions allegedly stolen. No blame game would save us as a nation at the brink of being suffocated by corruption.

Chief (Barr) Utum Eteng
Private Legal Practitioner, Calabar
08034008723, 09050032600

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Chelsea Team Not Okay Yet, Must Sign More Players To Win EPL - Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte admits Chelsea’s chances of winning the Premier League will be damaged if they fail to make any more signings before the transfer window closes next week.

Conte has been desperate to add quality and depth to a squad that went stale during their dismal title defence last year, but the Blues boss has so far managed to secure only three new recruits.

The Italian splashed out £33 million ($43 million, 38 million euros) on Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi and £30 million on Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante during the close-season before this week bringing in third choice goalkeeper Eduardo from Dinamo Zagreb.

That is a paltry spree compared to the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City, who have both spent well over £100 million, while even the notoriously spend-thrift Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appears to be loosening the purse strings as Wednesday’s transfer deadline approaches.

Conte would like one quality centre-back and a top-class striker, but Chelsea have been frustrated by the huge fees they have been quoted for the likes of Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli.

Fearing Chelsea won’t get any deals done in time, Conte on Friday made it clear he is worried his rebuilding project at Stamford Bridge will be undermined.

“It is important to have the right number of players in the squad. We know Chelsea is a great team and we must fight until the end for the title,” Conte told reporters.

“But also we know that last season we finished 10th, not fifth or sixth, 10th. It’s important not to forget this.”

“I hope to improve the squad with some new players in this transfer market because when you start a very tough league like England it is important to have many players to face this situation.

“I must be honest. I think we have a problem to reach our targets. The market is very crazy.
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“I believe we can do it, but with this market it is very difficult. I have some targets but these targets are difficult to buy.”

For now, Conte has to focus on preparing the players at his disposal for Saturday’s home game against Burnley as Chelsea look to extend their 100 percent record under their new boss.

With Premier League wins over West Ham and Watford and a English Football League Cup success against Bristol Rovers, Conte has hit the ground running.

Antonio Conte admits Chelsea’s chances of winning the Premier League will be damaged if they fail to make any more signings before the transfer window closes next week.

But the former Juventus and Italy coach knows there is still plenty of work to do before Chelsea are up to speed.

“I’ve been working with these players for only 40 days,” he said. “We played three games and we won all of them.

“I’m pleased to start the season in this way to take more confidence after last season.

“But I know, and I told my players, we can improve a lot.”

With that in mind, Conte was quick to warn his players of the dangers posed by Burnley, who enjoyed a shock win over Liverpool last weekend.

“I watched the performance against Liverpool, it was fantastic, their physical aspect put a great pressure on Liverpool for 90 minutes,” Conte said.

“People pay attention to possession and say you don’t win without the ball, but Burnley had only 25 percent possession and Liverpool had 75, yet the result was 2-0 to Burnley.

“For this reason I told my players to pay a lot of attention because it will be a very tough match. We have to be together.

“The English league every game is very tough. Every game you must face with great attention and understand if you don’t have the right attention anything can happen. “

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Gov. Umahi flags off N2.1bn Operation Water Ebonyi State
Ebonyi State Government is to spend N 2.1 billion on the rehabilitation of water facilities to meet  the  water needs  of  residents of  the state.

Governor David Umahi stated this in Abakaliki on Thursday  while flagging off the state’s Sustainable Development Goals  water projects in the three senatorial zones of the state which he dubbed “Operation Water Ebonyi State.”

Addressing the people during the ceremony,  the governor said Ebonyi was among the 10 lucky states that accessed the SDG grant of N 600 million each .

According to the governor, the beneficiary states were expected to match the grant with additional N600m each in order to access the fund. He explained that  Ebonyi  did not only do so, it injected additional N900m into the pool, thereby having  the N2.1bn for the water projects.

The sum, he added, would be used to fix   the Ezillo water plant,  the Sacamori water station,  the Juju hill water scheme and the Ohaozara water station.

A statement  on Friday by his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya, quoted Umahi as saying: “Let me put it properly that Federal Government gave N600m and we were expected to match it with another N600m.

“We did and we also provided another N900m. So all together, the three lots of the projects are  going to be costing us about N2.1bn. So, FG, N600m; Ebonyi State Government, N1.5bn.  

"Let me say that the scope of this job is, part one, rehabilitation of Ezillo water treatment plant, and Sacamori pipe line  network facilities. We tend to have storage Tanks in Ichichi Forest, which will supply the  Federal University at Ndufu Alike, supply the local government of Ikwo, supply some areas in Izzi, supply our rice mill and that of Engr.Ugwu as we make efforts to get our rice millers to also take over the UNIDO rice mill.

"The Sacamori pipeline has its network through Ezza North,Ezza south, Ishielu, Izzi,Ohaukwu, and even FUNAI .
"We want to do proper integration of Ezillo water scheme and that of Oferekpe to ensure that if we have problem with Oferekpe and it  is shut down, Ezillo will start supplying. But most  importantly is the distribution network in Abakaliki."

Umahi said the 3rd one is to address the water challenges in Ohaozara. Already, we have water treatment plant there.  So what we want to do is to build a storage tank at Agukwu and build another storage tank at Ugwulangwu. So with these two storage tanks, we can  network the entire Okposi, Uburu and   Ugwulangwu."

The governor, who  lauded  President MuhammadU Buhari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babacir Lawal,  for  including Ebonyi State as a beneficiary of the  grant,  the aforementioned projects constituted the first major phase of the “Operation Water Ebonyi State.”

He also disclosed that  the Ishiagu water project had  been  redesigned and re- awarded to a competent contractor at the cost of N1.2 billion, stressing that the arrangement was to integrate all water projects.

He stated that the   Oferekpe and Ukawu water scheme would be completely ready to provide water.

Umahi also  emphasised that the distribution process of the pipelines had already  started.
"We just  started a process to do some distribution network of our pipelines .And I have directed Ministry of Water resources to immediately tell us the balance of the distribution, so that within the next one year, we should beat our chests and say, every body, especially within the capital city is drinking water."

The governor  assured the remaining local government areas that are not benefiting in the SDG water projects that they would  be considered in other areas such as provision of electricity.

He frowned at poor quality of some road project being handled by some contractors in the state and warned that any contractor who was not ready to keep to specification and standard would  be shown the way out .   

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Inyali Peter, Calabar

ben ayade
A young graduate, Mr. Charles Effiong Ewa who hails from Ebane Asim Royal Family of Big Qua Town in Calabar Municipality, is currently cooling in police cell for showing Cross River Governor Ben Ayade a placard with the inscription "I Need A Job".

A source, Mr. David Effiong told National Daily on Friday in Calabar that  Charles has been detained for about three days now in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Cross River State Police Command without trial.

According to him, Mr. Ewa, frustrated after many years of graduation without a job took to the street when the governor was passing with his convoy with 'I Need Job' placard to draw the attention of the governor to his plight only to be arrested by security details attached to the governor.

He said that, "I wish to bring to your notice a recent molestation, unlawful and complete infringement of one Mr. Charles Efiong Ewa fundamental right by the orderlies attached to Governor Ben Ayade Convoy.

"The said Mr. Charles Efiong Ewa hails from Ebane Asim Royal Family of Big Qua Town in Calabar Municipality. Information gathered revealed that he wrote on a cardboard "I need a job His Excellency" in other to draw the attention of His Excellency Prof Sen Ben Ayade while in his usual blaring of siren in the street of Calabar.

"In the process, he was arrested and kept in prison custody in Cross River State  CID for 3days now by some undemocratic and over-zealous orderlies of the Governor. This is a breach of Charles fundamental human right and total abuse to the tenet of democratic principle.

While appealing to civil society organizations and right activist to intervene in the situation, he said that, " I want to appeal to social crusaders to assist in looking into this matter by zooming their legal prism to x-ray the illegality in this matter and seek justice on behalf of this young man that is struggling with survival because of unemployment".

Condemning the act, Barr. Okoi Obono-obla, the Senior Special Adviser on Prosecution to President Muhammadu Buhari described the development as tyrannical, pathetic, undemocratic and unacceptable.

While urging the state police command to unconditionally release the victim, he urged the force not to allow itself to be used a tool of vendetta by government officials or politicians.

According to him, "I totally condemn the violation of the fundamental human rights of poor Charles Ewa by the officialdom in Cross River State in such a reckless and brutal manner. I humbly urge all men and women of conscience to condemn the Tyranny reigning in Cross River State and call on the Police to release forthwith citizen Charles Effiong Ewa".

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo  confirmed the incident saying that it was a serious offence and attempted assassination.

She said that, " Yes it is true. You know it is a serious offence to carry placard and walk to the governor's convoy that you need a job. In fact, it is an attempted assassination, so he is under our custody now and we're trying to salvage the situation ".

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