Jonathan’s Aide, Three Other Ex-Nigerian Officials Named In $20m Bribery Scandal In Switzerland
Three former top officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority and a former special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan have been named in a massive foreign bribery scandal that has led to the conviction of a company and some of its top officials in Switzerland, Premium Times reported.
Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Ltd was sentenced to a fine of one million Swiss Francs and asked to refund 36 million Swiss Francs illegal profit after it was indicted for allegedly making illicit payments to a former Managing Director of the NPA, Adebayo Sarumi; a former Managing Director of NPA’s Eastern Ports, Felix Ovbude; a former Executive Director of Finance at the NPA, Abba Murtala Mohammed; and Daniel Afam-Obi, a former executive assistant to Sullivan Akachukwu Nwankpo who was ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s special adviser on technical matters.
Investigators believe Mr. Afam-Obi acted on behalf of Mr. Nwankpo. While Messrs Sarumi, Ovbude and Mohammed allegedly collectively received $2.6million in kickbacks, Mr. Afam-Obi was said to have been paid $157,000 for unknown reasons. Another $18million dollar was passed to companies in which some yet unknown Nigerian officials have interests.
Katsina Federal University Shut Over VC’s Reinstatement
The Federal University, Dutsinma, Katsina State, has been shut following tension over reinstatement of its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Haruna Kaita, who was fired by the university’s management over alleged financial misappropriation, but recently reinstated by a court order.
His attempt to resume office last Friday led to a build up of tension between his sympathisers and those in support of his ousting. An eyewitness said some of the students on Friday showed their disapproval of the VC’s reinstatement by shouting slogans to kick against his recall, while those in support of the his return tried to confront them.
It was learnt that the situation led to division of students and staff along religious lines.
Senate Denies Plan To Hike Fuel Price
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has denied that the upper chamber of the National Assembly is proposing an increment in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) by N5 as part of measures to generate funds for road repairs and maintenance.
The Special Assistant to the Senate President on New Media, Mr. Bankole Omisore, in a statement on Saturday, denied the report that the legislature such a plan.
As part of the recommendations in the report by the Senate Committee on Works on the National Roads Fund Establishment Bill 2017, a levy of N5 will be imposed on every litre of PMS and Automobile General Oil (diesel) imported or refined in the country.
Omisore, however, explained that at the public hearing on the National Roads Fund Bill, the stakeholders were unanimous on the need to access a percentage of the funds for sustainable maintenance of roads from the pricing template of petroleum products.
He said while the unanimity was on a percentage, opinions varied as to what percentage. “Some argued for 25, 11, 7 and 5 per cent of the value of the price of the product,” he noted.
Federal Government To Prosecute Promoters Of Fake News
The Federal Government today said that it will not relent until it has exposed those behind the fake news phenomenon in the country and bring them to justice.
In a statement in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that those behind the fake news had the intention of destabilising the polity and causing disunity among the country’s various ethnic and religious groups.
The statement was signed by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Special Adviser to the Minister. The minister urged Nigerians to be extra vigilant in view of the worsening cases of fake news being spread by the unscrupulous persons.
Mohammed noted that over the weekend alone, several major cases of fake news were recorded, each of them capable of causing panic, triggering chaos or setting one group against the other.
He said that a gory video of a blast that occurred many years ago was being circulated along with the false news of a bomb blast in Abuja, while news of a non-existent bomb blast in Lagos was also widely circulated.
He said the Police had however debunked the fake news.
Mohammed said the latest strategy being employed by the purveyors of fake news was to attribute to top government officials, improbable statements capable of destabilising the polity, causing tension and threatening the country’s unity.
”This is why we are appealing to Nigerians not to ever engage in a knee-jerk reaction to any news, and to subject every information to a very serious scrutiny by checking with security agencies and government spokespersons,” he said.
The Minister described the fake news phenomenon as ‘the scourge of our times’ noting that it would “probably get worse in the months ahead”
He, therefore, called on all Nigerians to be very vigilant so that fake news purveyors do not succeed in their quest to sow the seeds of chaos and confusion.
He also appealed to the traditional media, which has a reputation to protect, to join the campaign against the purveyors of fake news.