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SGF: PDP demands independent commission of inquiry



The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said it has no confidence in the panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. Babachir David Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayodele Oke.

This, according to the party, amounts to one being a judge in his own case. Instead, PDP is calling for “an independent commission of inquiry comprising eminent Nigerians of proven records of integrity, independence and competence,” to investigate the suspended government officials.

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, announced the setting up of a committee comprising the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo; Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) to investigate the two suspended government officials.

PDP, in a statement yesterday by the spokesperson of the National Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said it does not believe that justice could be done in such situation.

“We are at a loss why the president would set up a panel comprising members of his cabinet to investigate other very powerful senior members of the same executive. Where is the transparency in that?

“Not that we doubt the integrity of the Vice President (for whom we have the utmost respect) and other panelists, but it appears the matter is being settled within the government closet without the transparency, independence and impartiality necessary in a situation like this.

“Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to have been done,” the statement observed. The party recalled that the presidency instituted similar committee headed by the AGF to investigate the SGF (on this same matter) and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

According to the PDP, the SGF was cleared of wrongdoings in the grass cutting scandal, noting that it is amazing that the president, who it said swiftly accepted the recommendations of the AGF, would now suddenly set up another panel comprising the same AGF to investigate the matter again.

“The pertinent question is whether the president has now realised that the initial investigation by the Attorney General was not thorough or a cover up to protect a fellow cabinet member. “If that is the case, then the president needs to come clean with Nigerians by formally repudiating and rejecting the report.

He must then tell Nigerians why the author of such a dastard, useless and worthless report should be included in the new panel,” the statement further added.

The PDP noted that the only way Buhari could reassure Nigerians that there are no sacred cows in his government is for him to institute an independent panel to investigate the matter. “Against this backdrop, we are constrained to express our lack of confidence in the new panel headed by the Vice President.

The present situation amounts to the government being the judge in its own cause,” PDP stated. The opposition party also described Buhari’s anti-corruption war as a ruse aimed at deceiving Nigerians.

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Lagos distributes 12 coconut processing equipment to councils



Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) has distributed coconut processing equipment to coconut processors in 12 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the state as part of its empowerment programme in the coconut value chain. Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Mr. Okanlawon Sanni who distributed the coconut processing equipment to beneficiaries disclosed that the state had shown commitment in boosting food security in the state, stressing that government had included coconut processors in its agricultural development programme with a view to developing the state’s coconut value chain.

Sanni noted that the 12 units of coconut processing equipment donated to coconut processors in the state included, Stainless two ton per hour coconut greater, 7.5 H.P Electric motor, Industrial burners, Aluminium bowls and spoon amongst others.

Meanwhile, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau who also spoke at the event noted that the empowerment program for the coconut processors cut across processors from Badagry, Kosofe, Ori-Ade, Oto Awori, Ibeju- Lekki, Epe, Ojo, Surulere , Ikorodu,Lekki Agege and Alimosho LGAs & LCDAs. While congratulating the beneficiaries, Suarau opined that coconut value chain has a lot of potentials that can be harnessed which can impact positively on the GDP of the country.

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Employee sues CIG motors over alleged termination of appointment



A former staff of CIG Motors Company Limited, Akeem Adebiyi Adeyemi, has filed a N1.062 million suit before the National Industrial Court (NIC), Lagos Division, against the management of the company over an alleged wrongful termination of appointment. In the suit, reference NICN/LA/35/2018 filed through his lawyers, Olawale Fapohunda, the claimant is seeking a declaration that the purported termination of his employment with the defendant through a letter dated August 31, 2017 based on protest against certain racial comments by the chairperson of the company, Mrs Chen Xuixia is illegal, malicious and wrongful.

The claimant sought the court’s declaration that the defendant breached his right to freedom from discrimination as provided for under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and Federal law of Nigeria, Cap C23 LFN 2004.

He asked the court to declare that the deliberate refusal of the defendant to remit his pension contribution from April 2017 to August 2017 was unlawful and a violation of the provisions of the Pension Reforms Act 2014 and that the refusal of the defendant to remit the Personal Income Tax monthly deduction made from him to the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service was unlawful and a violation of the provisions of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 LFN 2004.

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Catholic Church rejoins CAN



Barely five years after the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria pulled out of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the church has announced its return to the umbrella organisation of Christians in the country. The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria(CBCN) had, in a letter dated September 24, 2012, announced its withdrawal from the organisation. Although the letter was not explicit on the reasons for the action, many believed it was due to some disagreements.

The re-union which reportedly took place at the weekend, saw a delegation of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, led by Rev. Fr. (Prof.) Cornelius Omonokhua, attending an expanded two-day National Executive Committee meeting of CAN for the amendment of its constitution. President of CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, expressed delight at the new development, describing it as one of the best things that has happened to CAN in recent times.

In a statement issued by Adebayo Oladeji, his Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Ayokunle said bringing the Catholic brethren back to the fold was part of his vision for CAN. “I must acknowledge the support and understanding of my brother in Christ, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and his team.”

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