…Calls For Forensic Examination
By Augustine Akhilomen
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure due diligence in unraveling the ownership and all related matters following the freezing of three bank accounts owned by the Lagos State Government over an alleged N9.9bn fraud.
CACOL Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran in a statement issued by the organization’s Coordinator for Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, while commending the anti-graft agency for securing a Federal High Court order to freeze the account, noted that proper investigations must be conducted to prevent possible witch hunt.
Media reports in the last twenty four hours had linked the frozen accounts to the former governor of Lagos state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode despite the fact that the ex parte application by the court did not in any way mention Ambode’s name, but the name of a former Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff, Mr. Adewale Adesanya.
“Consequently, we take heed of the screaming headlines of the EFCC that already link the Banks’ accounts to the person of the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and urge the anti-graft agency to do due diligence in ascertaining ownership, purposefulness, and all necessary examinations of issues, remote and immediate, surrounding the humongous lodgings so as to avert possibilities of any witch-hunt.”
The CACOL boss added, “We remain convinced that official corruption must be tackled, frontally, if Nigeria must heave a sigh of relief and reverse itself from a seeming trip to economic and social perdition, hence, our total commitment and support for the war against the ogre of corruption. Howbeit, for the fight to achieve the set goals of the current federal government and tallies with the wish of majority Nigerians (who are usually the main victims) the innocent must never be framed-up, witch-hunted or sacrificed on the altar of political expediency or self-righteousness,” he said.
Adeniran noted that CACOL during the compilation of its fourth edition of its Op-ed Publications to appraise the score card of the Lagos State Government in Lagos state of its performance score-card, LOP4 (Lagos state Open Parliament), asked the general public to provide hard or soft evidence, suggesting suspicious lodgings by any government official of funds belonging to the state, however adding that “nobody was able to do this throughout our investigation for that particular LOP edition.”
“It is, therefore, curious, though commendable, if such lodgings have been discovered to be in separate bank accounts and interpreted to be for illicit self-enrichment and corruptive purposes. These banks have also now been revealed by the EFCC to be First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Access Bank and Zenith Bank with their account numbers given as: 5617984012, 0060949275, and 1011691254, respectively,” he said.
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NCC To Subscribers: Don’t Allow Your NIN To Be Linked To Another Person’s SIM
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has strongly warned telecoms consumers to ensure they do not allow their National Identification Number (NIN) to be linked to another person’s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, no matter how close the person is to them.
The Commission gave the warning during its third run Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) programme, broadcast live on Human Rights Radio, 101.1 FM in Abuja.
The event was hosted on the platform of ‘NCC Digital Signature on Radio’.
The NCC Digital Signature on Radio is the flagship radio programme of the Commission created to educate the general public on the mandates of the Commission and for sharing salient, consumer-centric and up-to-date information on how NCC is delivering on its mandates.
Speaking during the radio programme, focused on ‘the Benefits of NIN-SIM Integration’, NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, said “On no account should a telecom consumer, however, circumstanced, allow another person to register a SIM with another person’s NIN.”
Idehen said compliance with this advice will protect the true owner of the NIN from any liabilities or negative consequences arising from the use of another person’s SIM.
“If the person, whose SIM is linked to your line use his own SIM to commit crimes or any form of atrocities, it is easy to be traced to you and then, you will be dealt with because the SIM is linked to your NIN,” he said.
During the phone-in segment of the radio programme, which lasted two hours, consumers within Nigeria and in the Diaspora, especially from the United Kingdom (UK), Russia and neighbouring countries like Ghana, among others, were able to call and get clarifications on concerns they had regarding the ongoing NIN-SIM integration in Nigeria.
Discussions largely focused on educating consumers on NIN and its purpose, process of obtaining NIN, why consumers are being asked to submit their NIN to their Mobile Network Service Providers, the benefits of NIN-SIM linkage, the relationship between NIN and Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration, the step-by-step approach to linking NIN to SIM, and the role and uses of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) *346# in the NIN-SIM integration activities.
Efosa was joined in the studio by NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who was represented by an Assistant Director in the department, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan; and a Deputy Director, Projects Department of NCC, Mrs. Nnenna Ukoha, who jointly educated consumers on the various aspects of NIN-SIM integration exercise.
Other panellists include NCC’s Head, Consumer Information and Education, Mistura Aruna; Head, Corporate Communication, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke, as well as representatives of mobile operators, including MTN, Airtel, Globacom, and 9Mobile.
During the radio programme, telecoms consumers were reminded repeatedly of the October 31, 2021 deadline for NIN-SIM integration.
The Federal Government had extended the deadline earlier giving for the completion of the NIN-SIM linkage to 31st October 2021.
The two-hour discussion programme, which was also live-streamed on the social media, recorded broader participation than its forerunners due to a combination of the regular radio listenership with viewership on Human Rights Radio’s social media assets.
Thus, it achieved NCC’s objective of using a mass medium to expand its reach to telecom consumers to enhance their protection through information sharing, and education in order to improve the quality of consumer experience with telecom services in Nigeria.
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PDP Charges Nigerians On National Rebirth
The Peoples Democratic Party has urged those behind mindless killings and terrorism in Nigeria to have a rethink and retrace their steps.
The party also charged those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country.
This was contained in a statement in which the party felicitated Nigerians as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Maulud which marks the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
The statement titled, ‘Eid-el Maulud: PDP Felicitates with Nigerians, Urges National Rebirth,’ was signed by the PDP National Publicity, Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan.
It read, “The Peoples Democratic Party urges Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Eid-el Maulud for solemn introspection and make commitment towards a rebirth in all areas of national life.
“The party notes that Eid-el Maulud, the celebration of the birth of Holy Prophet Mohammed, presents a providential occasion for our nation to put behind, all issues that cause disunity, disaffection, strife and despondency and move to a new beginning by embracing the virtues of love for one another, tolerance, mutual understanding and forgiveness, in line with the teaching of the Holy Prophet.
“The PDP insists that such is the only way to move the nation forward under the present circumstance.
“Our party urges Nigerians to resist all forces that seek to disunite them for selfish reasons and continue to work together, especially in their determination to chart a new course for our dear nation on the platform of the PDP.
“The PDP also calls on Nigerians to use the occasion to make fervent supplication to God for divine intervention as well as show love by reaching out to one another, especially the less privileged and victims of escalated acts of terrorism in our country.
“The party also urges those behind the mindless killings and acts of terrorism in our country to have a rethink and retrace their steps, while charging those in authority to redouble their efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing our nation at this critical time.
“The PDP felicitates with Nigerians and wishes them a happy Eid-el Maulud celebration.”
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FG Takes Delivery Of Final Batch Of Tucano Jets
The federal government said it has taken delivery of the final batch of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets expected from the United States.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this when he featured on a phone-in television programme “This Morning,’’ monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“All the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets have been received. As at this morning(yesterday), all the 12 were here and they have been deployed to the North-East.
“We can see that the Tucano jets are actually game changer.
“Most of the successes we have recorded in recent time is because of the acquisition of the new platforms, not limited to the super Tucano,’’ he said.
The minister said with the recent notable successes recorded by the military on insecurity, he was amused by a story on Monday that the Nigerian Air Force paid N20 million to bribe bandits so that they would not bring down the president’s aircraft.
“Fortunately, the Air Force immediately debunked this because this exposes their ignorance.
“Between Zamfara, Katsina, parts of Kaduna and Niger states, there are about 150 bandit camps. Who then was the money given to?
“It does not make any sense and it is because they do not understand how bandits operate that is why they can peddle that kind of fake news,’’ he said.
Mohammed said with the improved security situation in the North-east and North-Central Zones the nation would experience improved food security.
“If you observe what is happening of recent, you can see heightened activities in the agricultural area.
“This is because of the superior fire power of the military which is now making it possible for people to go to their farms, especially in the North East.
“They have been able to put the criminals at bay,’’ he said.
The minister gave an assurance that the success of the military against terrorists and bandits would be sustained.
He therefore, solicited the cooperation and support of Nigerians for the sustenance of the military action.
The Nigerian Air Force on July 22 took delivery of the first batch of six of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, who made the announcement, said the aircraft arrived in Kano.
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