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Senate Moves To Probe Obasanjo, Jonathan, El-Rufai, Others

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Former Nigerian presidents; Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as former ministers of the federal capital territory, El Rufai and Bala Mohammed are all set to be probed by the Nigerian Senate.

The Senate said yesterday that it will soon begin a holistic investigation into all the issues relating to the Concession and privatization of some government property in the Federal Capital Territory to the tune of N2.7 billion, just as it described the entire process as a national disaster and leadership failure, Vanguard reports.
According to the Senate, it was disheartening that inspite of the barrage of investments in the territory, with the private owners of these government establishments making huge amount of money, the revenue portion on these investments stood at zero over the years since 2008 to the coffers of the federal government.
Against this backdrop, the Senate said that it would summon all the key players in the past governments that were responsible for the concession and privatization of these property to private individuals in the nation’s capital city.
Speaking yesterday during a meeting with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello and the entire leadership of the FCTA appeared before the Senate Committee on the FCT, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West who vowed that the Senate would get to the root of the matter by bringing to book all the major players in the concession and privatization process of these property.
Melaye who described the process as real leadership failure and a national disaster, however warned that the country cannot allow this to continue if Nigeria as a country must grow, adding that the Committee would expose all those involved, even when it amounts to exhuming corpses if those involved are dead, adding that people pay to use Eagle Square, facilities at the International Conference Centre, ICC and other government investments, yet at the end of the day, there is zero remittance to the government.
He said, ”It is worthy of note that these FCT owned companies received huge returns on investment without making returns to FCT Administration. The returns are in billions of Naira. They are spent and re-invested without appropriation. This is contrary to the principles of accountability and due process. The Committee is also worried about the revenue line charge on investment income. The actual performance on This charge has zero returns over The years.”
Incidentally, the concession and privatization of these government property was carried out during former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan,just as the Ministers were Mallam Nasir El- Rufai who is now the governor of Kaduna State; Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar; Senator Bala Mohammed, among others.
Meanwhile, the FCTA Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello told the Committee that the Concession was not carried out now, just as he said that unfortunately, all those that took the decision were not in the hall and the present government, adding that the Senate must be commended for trying to right the wrongs that were made in the past.
According to him, he had put in place a seven-man interim management team headed by Dr. Bashir Isyaku was put in place to oversee the affairs of the AICL, just as he pleaded with the Senate to give the Committee time to complete its assignment and he would then present the report to the Senate Committee.
Senator Melaye said, ”Let me say that the abysmal performance of These concessioned properties in The FCT is basically a direct consequence of leadership failure. By the twilight of Thye past administrations in Nigeria, a plethora of discontentment on The exercise had reached fever pitches. We as members of This Committee will continue to bridge The meaning of our resolve with realiTies Through our oversight for effective implementation.
 
Senator Melaye further said, “permit me to comment on some of the concessioned properties as follows:The Karu General Hospital was initially a 222-bed facility built by the FCT Administration. It is important to note that 40% of the Hospital is leased to Primus Super Specialty Hospital (an Indian HoSpital) for management. The hospital commenced operation on 19th April, 2017.
 
“THIS DAY DOME.Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL) was allocated Plot 702 Cadastral Zone A00, CBD, Abuja and thereafter entered into two years Lease Agreement with leaders and company popularly called “This Day Dome Arena” in respect of the said plot. The Lease Agreement was effective from May 1, 2009. The total rent payable for the term was N97,090,284:02.
 
“EAGLE SQUARE AND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE (ICC), ABUJA. The Committee observed that the Eagle Square and Abuja International Conference Centre were concessioned to the same company who had no evidence of previous facility management experience anywhere in the world, and without financial capacity to manage the facilities. This company had to fall back on FCTA to buy new equipment to kick-start its operations. It is worthy of note that the management of the two concessioned facilities makes millions of Naira on a monthly basis since the commencement of its operations.
 
“GARKI HOSPITAL. Garki Hospital was concessioned to Nisa Premier Hospital in partnership with Nisa Premier Apeiron Consortium. It is pertinent to state that Garki Hospital was built to provide affordable healthcare for residents of Garki District. The aim of providing the facility was defeated as the management of the hospital now charges relativety very high fees on patients due to concession of the hospital. The Committee frowns at this misdemeanor. As representatives of the people, we hold it as a responsibility to care md protect the people’s lives‘ worst harzard and misfortune specially in a time like this.
“Time and time again, I wonder deep in my heart why must it be Garki which hosts the lower and medium cadre officers in the civil service. Why not Asokoro or Maitama Hospitals, which are surrounded by high caliber of Nigerians from all walks of life.
 
“SHERATON HOTEL & TOWERS. Sheraton Hotel and Towers was incorporated on 16th January, 1981 as a private liability company which later transformed into public liability company in 1990. The hotel was constructed by Government with a loan of about $300 million (Three Hundred Million Dollars) borrowed from a German Bank. The debt was eventually settled by Government because there was a sovereign guarantee on it.
 
“The then Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Mrs. Irene Chigbue, stated clearly during the Investigative Public Hearing of this Committee in 2008 that Government Agencies were invited to subscribe to the ownership of the company in which Abuja Investment Limited was part of the subscribers.
 
“It is important to note that 87% of the Federal Government shares of the hotel, that is 51% was sold to core investors while other shareholders’ shares remain unchanged.
 
“It is worrisome to state that Sheraton Hotel and Towers was privatized for $34 million (Thirty Four Million Dollars) only.
“The Committee was reliably informed that the 51% of the shares of the hotel was valued and sold for $34 million. This means that the total value of the hotel is less than $68 million.
 
“This figure is very ridiculous because the hotel was constructed at a period when the Naira was stronger than the dollar ($300m). Despite the hotel’s 20 years of operations (1982 2002), the Return on Investment (ROI) was a negative quantity.Today, the facilities in the hotel is depreciating by the day. The hotel is not well managed with many of the rooms uninhabitable.
 
“NICON LUXURY. The sale of Sofitel International Hotel which is also known as NICON Luxury Hotel followed the same pattern as the Sheraton Hotel and Towers.
 
The hotel was constructed in 1980. The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, owns 92.5% of the shares, FCDA owns 4.64%, NICON Insurance owns 01%. The remaining shares were distributed accordingly.
 
“Committee noted as follows in the course of its findings: That about $130m was spent in building the hotel; That 90% of the shares were sold for only $50m as against $130m it took the government to build the hotel: and That 19 million Euro was used for the furnishing of the hotel, bringing the total estimated cost of the asset to $200 million.
 
“ABUJA INVESTNENT LIMITED (AIL) Abuja Investment Limited is an investment company which houses all FCT owned companies The companies include Abuja Market Management Limited (AMML) and Abuja Investment Property Development Company (AIPDC).
 
“ABUJA GARDENS. The Committee has no sufficient information about The concession of Abuja Gardens.”

Source: Vanguard

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#EndSARS: Ekiti state government declares 24-hour curfew

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Following the various attacks on #EndSARS protesters in the state, Governor Kayode Fayemi has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state effective from 10pm on today, Tuesday, October 20.

In a statement released by the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, the state government said the curfew became necessary following the state government’s observation of how the end SARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.

Read the statement below

1. The Government of Ekiti State has observed with growing concern how the ENDSARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.

2. The hoodlums have capitalised on the ENDSARS protest to rape, assault, rob and extort innocent citizens across the State. These are in addition to the wanton destruction of properties, particularly private properties.

3. Government is concerned that if this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, it will lead to a breakdown of law and order thereby threatening the wellbeing of the people of Ekiti State.

4. For the purpose of clarity Government continues to show understanding and responsiveness to the demands of the legitimate protesters.

5. On 16th October 2020, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Governor, Ekiti State met with the protesters in person. While identifying with the legitimacy of their protests, he assured them that the State Government will immediately put measures in place to respond to all their demands.

6. Government has since then constituted a Human Rights Investigation Panel to review all cases of abuse by Officers of the disbanded SARS. In addition, Government has enabled a Victims Compensation Fund to facilitate speedy remedial measures for victims of such abuse.

7. Furthermore, several officials of Government have engaged the protesters at multiple fora and platforms including the social media in order to ensure that concerns of protesters are properly identified and responded to in a prompt and efficient manner with necessary feedback.

8. Government had also at various times drawn the attention of the protesters to the troubling hijack of the protests by individuals whose only interest is to inflict violence on the people of the state.

9. In the past 48 hours there have been incidents of gang-rape, robberies, physical assaults on innocent people, looting and burning of a police station. These acts of brigandage are not in consonance with the legitimate aspirations of the protesters. It cannot be logical to seek to remedy impunity with impunity.

10. Government therefore cannot afford to watch a deliberate enthronement of anarchy by some bad elements who have hijacked the protest for some clandestine reasons.

11. Consequently, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, hereby imposes a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State starting from 10.00 pm tonight, Tuesday, October, 20, 2020.

12. Only essential workers and service providers with valid means of identifications are allowed to move around during the period of the curfew.

13. Any person found on the street that does not belong to this category, would be promptly arrested and prosecuted according to the laws of Ekiti State.

14. We seek the understanding of the good people of Ekiti State as we continue to take deliberate steps towards ensuring that peace and normalcy return to our state.”

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Davido speaks on the events of the past 48 hours

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Davido speaks on the events of the past 48 hours

Nigerian superstar, Davido has said criminals are responsible for the attack on two Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State.

Davido made the claim while absolving End SARS protesters of involvement in the attacks.

The singer pointed out that no amount of mischief would stop the protest against police brutality and bad governance.

Davido made the remark while condemning the attack on two Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State.

The hoodlums had attacked the facilities and freed some inmates.

Reacting, the singer in a series of tweets wrote: “After seeing all that’s gone on today I just want to say that from the beginning we have preached that the protest must remain peaceful and Law Abiding and as far as I know we have kept to that! And we will continue to keep to that so the narrative can NOT be switched up on us!

“The people they claim broke into prisons to free convicted criminals, burn police stations to steal weapons, damage police, government, and private vehicles are Criminals and everybody must condemn these acts. They are not part of our movement !

“#EndSars is a peaceful and law abiding protest that is going somewhere great! And no mischief can scatter it!”

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Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari

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Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari

The Nigerian Senate has called on President Buhari to urgently address the nation so as to douse the tension in the country.

This comes as hoodlums continue to carry out various attacks on #EndSARS protesters and others in some parts of the country.

The Senators made the call for President Buhari to speak to the Nation after a motion was moved by Senator Biodun Olujimi and co-sponsored by all Senators on the ongoing nationwide protests believed to have been hijacked by hoodlums.

Part of the resolution of the Senators after deliberation include:

-Urge all tiers of government to put in place and sustain policies of social economic reforms that raise the standard of lives of our people;

-Call upon the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment;

-Urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure a holistic comprehensive reforms of the police to increase the overall welfare including training and medical insurance of all members of the Nigeria Police Force

-Appeal to all Nigerians to resort to use of legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts;

-Urge the Nigerian youths and the Nigerian citizens to approach the National Assembly Committees Constitution and Reforms in order to secure far-reaching holistic amendments that are vital to the restructuring of our federation

-Urge the Federal Government to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters with necessary timelines to rekindle confidence in government

-Appeal to #EndSARS movement and protesters to kindly in the interest of everyone stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue; 7. Urge Mr. President to address the nation as soon as possible on these issues.

-Police should make it a duty to accompany protesters and should be involved in protecting genuine protesters.

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