News

News (900)

Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB,  has now officially cancelled the results of 59,698 candidates over examination malpractices.

JAMB’s Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abuja at a news conference at the end of an enlarged meeting with external examiners and other stakeholders in the conduct of the 2017 UTME.

According to him, 1,386 candidates have their results cancelled over examination malpractice; 57,646 results were also affected as a result of centres-induced malpractices while the results of 666 candidates were cancelled due to multiple examinations.

The cancelled results were fewer than the 76,923 initially withheld by the examination body when the results of the 2017 UTME were announced on 31 May. 

Oloyede had said the final figure of annulled results would be announced after a thorough investigation.

There may be a second chance for some of the candidates to seat for a supplementary UTME, according to Oloyede, especially for those deemed innocent of centre-induced exam cheating.

The Supplementary exam will take place 1 July, mostly for candidates who registered late for this year’s UTME. 

Oloyede added that some of the candidates whose results were cancelled, would also take part in the rescheduled exam.

He listed the categories of candidates whose results were cancelled but would take part in the rescheduled examination to include candidates of centres with mass malpractices but who are deemed innocent, biometric non-verification machine related issues. 

Others include technical and log out issues, late registration, incomplete results and candidates who lost examination sessions due to malfunctioning of servers at the affected centre.

The JAMB boss said the decision to allow the candidates sit for the rescheduled examination was reached after a thorough review of all the reports that emanated from their centres. 

Oloyede announced the blacklisting of 48 CBT centres found culpable of aiding cheating. He said another 24 CBT centres had been suspended for one year for failing to live up to expectations. 

“The (24 CBT) centres will not participate in the 2018 UTME, but they can be reconsidered for 2019 and above.

“The delisting of 48 centres from participating in the board’s examination in future is as a result of serious technical deficiencies, extortion, organised examination malpractices and other damaging infractions.”

JAMB had released at the end of May 1,606,901 results out of the 1,718, 425 that registered for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). 

NAN

Mother of notorious kidnap kingpin, Chukwudubem Onwuamadike, a.k.a Evans, who was recently arrested in Lagos, has reportedly gone into hiding to avoid the crowd that besiege her Umudim, Nnewi home in Anambra state after news of the arrest of her son filtered in. 

Her disappearance coincided with the disclosure by the Obi of Umudim, his village, Chief Benneth Okafor, that the arrested kidnap kingpin was not known in his community as he hardly visited home, neither did he have any investment in the community. 

Lady Nwosu, as Evan’s mother is popularly called, was described as a no-nonsense woman. 

Contrary to insinuations from some quarters that her son bought her a car from the proceed of kidnapping, it was gathered that she rides a lady motorcycle popularly called Nwanyi Nnewi.  

She was also said to be assisting vendors sell their wares after which they pay her commission weekly.  

But when Vanguard arrived the canteen where she sells, she was said to have gone into hiding since Tuesday. 

A woman who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “she went into hiding because people were trooping in to sympathise with her over the arrest of her son.  

Some came for different purpose; to make mockery of her and to see the face of the mother of the arrested kidnapper. Even you newsmen were  troubling her. She has been crying since news of the arrest reached her. I do not know where she has gone to but I think it is good for her.” 

Vanguard also visited Emmanuel Anglican Church Primary School, Akamili Umudim Nnewi, the primary school Evans attended. Headmaster of the school was, however, not on seat.  

A teacher that was accosted said he was not competent to speak on the matter.

Evans cries in cell – Police source

Also, police sources said yesterday that the suspect has been shedding tears since he was thrown into the cell lamenting that; “After making billions and living in mansions, I am in the cell with common criminals.”  

He was said to have been keeping to himself in the cell and avoids other detained persons. 

We don’t know him — Nnewi monarch

When Vanguard visited Nnewi, the industrial city of Anambra state, yesterday, Evans’ arrest was the topic on everyone’s lips. Most of them, particularly traders, described his action as an embarrassment to the city, describing their indigenes as hard-working. 

At his palace, the Obi of Umudim, Chief Okafor, stated; “I was told that he hardly came home. It is only the Akamili kindred where he comes from that will be able to give a little account of the young man. It is unfortunate that many people in this village do not know him because he does not have any investment in Nnewi like an average Nnewi man, neither does he own any house here.” 

More facts emerge about the arrest

More facts emerged, yesterday, about the circumstances that led to the location of the residence of the kidnap kingpin leading to his arrest, last Saturday.  Sources attributed it to an informant residing in Magodo and intelligence reports that revealed identities of his three girlfriends. 

It was gathered that after the Inspector-General of police deployed his Intelligence Response Team to track the notorious kingpin, they made huge progress from documents recovered from his hideout in Igando, Lagos after the miraculous disappearance of his last victim. 

The documents reportedly aided them in identifying occupants of that apartment and opened an avalanche of information leading to Evans movement.  

"That was how they discovered that he lives at Magodo area of Lagos State, while other members were also residing in Lagos, Rivers, Abuja, Edo and Anambara States."

N30m IGP reward as a boost

A source who spoke with Vanguard disclosed that leader of IGP’s team, Abba Kyari, who was tracking their locations had planned to round-up all the suspects, in one swoop, but his plans failed as Evans was always changing locations, making it difficult to get his exact location.

The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity disclosed that, while Kyari was searching for Evans, and has also mobilized some residents of Magodo Estate, giving them clear descriptions of Evans, his vehicles and the name of his security man, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, also announced a bounty of N30million on information that could lead to the arrest of Evans. 

This led to the rounding up of three women believed to be Evans girlfriends, and they were identified as Amaka, Ijeoma  and Ngozi. 

The operatives were said to have discovered that Evans was very close to Amaka and he rented an apartment for her in Okota area of Lagos State. Sources explained that Evans was fond of sleeping in Amaka’s house on a regular basis and they decided to use Amaka to lure him.

It was further gathered that fearing that Amaka may have been picked by the police, he avoided her as much as he could.   

However, one of the police informants in Magodo made a breakthrough as the IRT were banking on Amaka, and he called and informed the police that he has located Evans apartment.  

He also disclosed that Evans had not been seen around his house for a long time and he was believed to have moved out of his house. 

Our source revealed that Evans was highly elusive at this time and he was quite aware that the police were closing in on him and he moved away from his home and relocated to a hotel in Agidigingbi area of Ikeja adding that he also moved his wife and children to Ghana and was trying to dispose some of his properties at the time he was arrested.

On the day he was arrested, according to sources, he was said to be unaware that operatives

had located his apartment in Magodo, when he contacted Amaka on Saturday morning. 

 "He was said to have called her on the phone around 4:15am, without knowing that some policemen were with her and asked her to wait outside her compound to meet him. She reportedly joined him later at the spot and as soon as she got into the car, he attacked her, threatening to kill her for not informing him about the police presence in her house.  

 Evans was said to have gotten angry and drove away with her in his Grand Cherokee SUV and they had an accident at Iyana-Ipaja area where he abandoned the vehicle, seized Amaka’s phone and asked her to go home.  

"It was from there that he picked a cab to his residence at Magodo to pick some few things towards travelling out of the country. After then, we swooped on him and arrested him inside his bedroom.” 

Vanguard

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, okayed request by the Federal Government to shield identities of 14 witnesses billed to testify against detained former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd.

The court, in a ruling that was delivered by trial Justice Ahmed Mohammed, granted leave for all the prosecution witnesses to give their evidence behind screen.

Justice Mohammed anchored the ruling on section 232 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, which he said permits the use of screen in the prosecution of cases involving economic crime.

The Judge noted that one of the charges FG levelled against Dasuki before the court borders on money laundering.

Dasuki who served as the NSA under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, is facing four-count charge bordering on money laundering and his alleged illegal possession of firearms.

FG had in the charge before the court, alleged that Dasuki was on July 17, 2015, at his house situated at No. 13, John Khadiya Street, Asokoro, Abuja, found to be in possession of various range of firearms without requisite license, an offence punishable under section 27 (1)(a) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN 2004.

He was accused of retaining the sums of $40,000, N5millon and another $20,000 in the same house and same date, contrary to section 15 (2)(d) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

FG further alleged that the ex-NSA had on July 16, 2015, at his residence at Sultan Abubakar Road and Sabon Birni Road, Sokoto State, retained another $150,000 and N37.6m being part of proceedings of unlawful act, contrary to Section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

It listed the alleged illegal arms it found at Dasuki’s residence in Abuja as five Tavor Assault Rifles, 1 Macro Uzi with serial No 60244(Rifle), 20 magazines (Ammunition), 1 packet of MOD (Ministry of Defence) APG calibre gun, Luger No 033375 ( gun), small magazine containing 16 rounds of ammunition, and bigger magazine containing live rounds of ammunition.

Shortly after Dasuki pleaded not guilty to the charge, FG, via a motion dated June 3, 2016, applied for the witnesses to be allowed to testify behind a screen that will be provided by the court.

Government lawyer, Mr. Dipo Okpeseyi, SAN, also applied for the witnesses to use acronyms or alphabet such as “XYZ”, in place of their real names.

Giving reasons why identities of the witnesses should be protected, FG, told the court that Dasuki is a crowned prince of the Sokoto caliphate who has large followers both within and outside the country that may be aggrieved.

It disclosed that most of the witnesses, being security operatives, are scared that they could be hunted by people that are sympathetic to the defendant.

Besides, FG alleged that Dasuki imported sophisticated firearms while he held sway as the NSA, saying most of the firearms have not been accounted for and could be in th possession of those sympathetic to the defendant.

However, Dasuki, in a counter-affidavit he filed on June 23, 2016, urged the court to dismiss the application for being a gross abuse of the judicial process.

Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN, stressed that FG had earlier filed the same application and it was rejected by the court.

Raji noted that FG had on October 12, 2015, sought the same reliefs, a request he said the previous trial Judge in the matter, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, dismissed on April 19, 2016, as lacking in merit.

The defence counsel argued that the motion having been rejected previously, could not be re-filled before the same high court since it has become functus-officio in the matter.

Raji contended that the fresh application by FG was incompetent since names and identities of all the witnesses were revealed in the court processes and are already within the public domain.

He told the court that one of the proposed witnesses, Mr. Emmanuel Ogwu, on May 18, 2015, commenced his testimony before the former trial Judge, saying the witness have not been murdered or harassed in any way since then.

It will be recalled that Justice Ademola who earlier refused to allow FG to shield identity of the witnesses, later withdrew from Dasuki’s trial after he was arrested and prosecuted by on an 18-count charge, but subsequently absolved of all the allegations against him.

Though Justice Ademola gave Dasuki bail on self recognition, operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS, re-arrested him at the entrance to Kuje Prison in Abuja, on December 29, 2015, immediately he perfected bail conditions handed to him by two different courts.

Meanwhile, Justice Mohammed has fixed September 20 and 21 for FG to open its case against Dasuki.

Vanguard

Senate President Bukola Saraki has reacted to his acquittal by the Code of Conduct Bureau, stating that the judgement has vindicated him and restored his faith in the judiciary.

He stated this in a press release issued today.

The content of the release is shown below... 

PRESS RELEASE 

Today, June 14, 2017, the Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Abuja discharged and acquitted me on a case of false declaration of assets, which started in September 2015.  

You would recall that at the beginning of the trial, I maintained that I would clear my name.

 The conclusion of this trial has vindicated my position. With the outcome of this case, our faith is renewed in our courts and our hope is restored that the judiciary in our country could indeed provide sanctuary for all those who seek justice. 

 I thank the Almighty Allah, the ultimate Judge and the repository of all powers. He alone has brought about this victory. I am immensely grateful to all my colleagues in the National Assembly for their abiding support. All through my trial, they demonstrated their strong conviction about the choice we all decided to make two years ago. I thank members of my family for their unflinching support. I thank all friends and supporters back home in Kwara State and across the length and breadth of our country for their prayers and their sacrifices. My gratitude also goes to all members of my legal team for their tireless efforts to ensure the cause of justice is served.

After undergoing the crucible of a tortuous trial, my vindication today calls for celebration. It is my belief however that if there should be any celebration at all, it should be a celebration of the hopes that this judgment gives us as citizens that despite all the challenges that we face as a country, we are well on our way to building a country where the innocent needs not be afraid. I therefore urge all my supporters to refrain from any unbridled triumphalism. 

 The challenges that our country faces today are enormous and do not allow for wanton celebration. Instead, we should all reflect on the significance of this moment and what it meant for our democracy.

On a personal note, I harbour no grudge against anyone, regardless of the role they might have played in the persecution that I had endured in the last two years. I believe that If my trial had in anyway given hope to the common man that no matter the forces arraigned against him, he can still get justice in our courts, then my tribulation had not been in vain.  

Once again, I thank my colleagues in the 8th Senate for standing firm. Regardless of the distraction of my trial, we have achieved more as legislators than the previous Senates. Now that this distraction is over, we can even achieve so much more. We must now proceed from here with greater vigour to deliver on the expectations of Nigerians and show that this 8th Senate can indeed play a central role in improving the quality of lives of our people.  

Lastly, I thank all the gentlemen of the press for your abiding interest in this case, which I believe had contributed in no small measure in ensuring that truth and reason ultimately prevailed. 

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON

President of the Senate

Nigeria's indigenous engineering company, Kresta Laurel Limited (KLL) is set to unveil it's new subsidiary,  a Construction Limited that will cater for construction jobs to the general public.

This new subsidiary of Kresta Laurel Limited, KLL Construction Limited, will be managed by Brian Greenaway, a qualified and highly experienced British engineer with experience across four continents on various aspects of engineering.

The event, which will be hosted by the Chairman of Kresta Laurel Limited, Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel, will have in attendance stakeholders in the Nigeria construction industry.

Meanwhile, the indigenous company will also host representatives of KONE Elevators, Messrs Pye Douglas and Nasyr Jakpbek at a cocktail at the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Lagos. 

Messrs Douglas and Jacpbek are in Nigeria to explore new opportunities for partnership with Nigerian construction practitioners in furtherance of their mutually exclusive partnership between Kresta Laurel Limited and KONE Elevators.

KONE Elevators of Finland is the technology leader in the elevator industry worldwide.

There is jubilation in the camp of the Peoples Democratic Party now as Chief Ademola Adeleke stormed the Iwo Township Stadium, venue of the party’s primary election to pick its candidate for the Osun West Senatorial District by- election.

Ademola, a younger brother of Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who represented the district at the Senate until his sudden death on April 23, had on Tuesday night defected from the APC based on the intrigues which characterised the process leading to the ruling party’s primary election.

Ademola, who was dressed in a white agbada was driven to the stadium in a black SUV amidst cheers from members of the PDP present for the primary election.

The Secretary of Adeleke Support Group, Alhaji Saheed Afolabi, had told our correspondent that the PDP would not conduct real election but affirmation since all aspirants had agreed to step down for Adeleke.

However, a member of the PDP told our correspondent that the party leaders are still pleading with a former senator to step down for Adeleke.

Meanwhile, the APC has also started its primary election at a venue in Egbedore Local Government but the venue is close to Osogbo, the state capital which is in Osun Central Senatorial District.

The APC primary is also expected to be an affirmation since Adeleke has defected leaving only Senator Mudashiru Hussain as the sole aspirant of the party.

Punch

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has been acquitted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT. 

The Tribunal, headed by Justice Danladi Umar, ruled on Wednesday that Mr Saraki is not guilty of allegations levelled against him.

Saraki was arraigned before the Tribunal on 13 counts of false assets declaration on September 22, 2015 and and latter re-arraigned on April 28, 2016, on an amended charges.

The Tribunal said the decision was based on the unreliability of the evidence of the principal witness in the case.

One Special Anti - Robbery Squad (SARS) officer has been confirmed dead while four of his colleagues sustained injuries in an accident at Showo village along Abeokuta /Sagamu Expressway in Ogun State.

Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE) confirmed the accident.

Akinbiyi explained that the accident which happened around 1:25 pm on Tuesday involved a Honda CRV with registration number LSD 191 ET and a truck.

The TRACE spokesperson said that "the truck was trying to make an illegal U-turn back to SAGAMU without indication before the Honda car rammed into it from the back".

"The Honda CRV has five occupants, all SARS officers, four male and one female but unfortunately the driver of the Honda CRV died". 

Akinbiyi stated that the victims were taken to Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta for treatment. 

The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi who also confirmed the accident, said that the officers were returning from Sagamu where they had gone for a court proceedings. 

Oyeyemi said the dead officer was a sergeant, named Rafiu Olaoye.

Fuel subsidy appears to have returned, as Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said it recorded ‘under recovery’ of N49.86 billion between January and March 2017.

Under-recovery in downstream petroleum marketing parlance, is when the expected open market price of PMS, which includes the cost of importation and distribution of the commodity, such as marketers’ margins, landing cost and freight cost, is below the approved official retail price at the pump.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, NNPC in its latest financials, the March 2017 Monthly Financial and Operations Report, stated that it recorded under-recoveries of N37.26 billion, N6.3 billion and N6.3 billion for January, February and March 2017 respectively.

Though NNPC did not state the amount per litre, the total amount was charged from proceeds of its domestic crude oil and gas sales.

Today, with the retail price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, at N145 per litre, NNPC is absorbing the extra cost and is paying the subsidy to itself.

In an analysis of its total receipt for the months, the report disclosed that NNPC recorded domestic crude oil and gas receipt of N132.202 billion in January 2017, rising to N171.786 billion in February, while in March, it recorded N134.96 billion.

Of the total receipts, NNPC, after appropriating for the under recovery, crude oil and product losses, and pipeline repairs and management cost, transferred N49.17 billion, N61.29 billion and N46.46 billion for January, February and March 2017 respectively, to Joint Venture Cash Calls, JVCC.

NNPC, the report also revealed, transferred a total of N89.36 billion, N116.83 billion and N94.83 billion to the Federation Account in January, February and March 2017 respectively, for onward distribution to the three tiers of government.

In its financials over the last couple of months, NNPC stopped appropriating for fuel subsidy in January 2016 up until December 2016. However, in January 2017, it returned, under a new heading — ‘Under Recovery.’

This might not be unconnected with the increase in the price of crude oil in the international market, from about $20 per barrel in 2015 to about $50 per barrel for most part of 2017.

It can also be attributed to the declining value of the naira and scarcity of foreign exchange, especially the dollar.

The increase in the price of crude oil, low value of the naira and difficulties in accessing foreign exchange, had forced many oil marketers to discontinue fuel importation.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, had a few weeks ago, stated that the downstream and midstream sectors of the Nigerian petroleum industry continued to remain challenged, disclosing that the price of PMS was rising above the current pump price.

He said:  “The environment has since changed after the review in May 2016. When we did all these, pricing for crude oil was more in the $25 to $30 per barrel; today, it is in excess of $54, which is fantastic because it means that our revenue stream is improving.

“But, it is a twin window, whenever the price of crude oil goes up, obviously the price of refined petrol goes up and we begin to have systemic challenge in terms of the pricing on the local base.

‘’So that gap has begun to return and today, what you find is that NNPC continues to import massively on behalf of the Federal Government. It has gone back to about 90-95 per cent for the whole country; therefore, its books are absorbing some of the cost implications of this.

“The second is that once this happens the marketers begin to shift backwards. Participation by individual marketers to help us continue the normal business and marketing cycle that should be what you expect does no longer exist. Most of them are not importing.”

Nigeria emerges leading African oil producer

Nigeria’s oil production has increased from 1.5 million barrels to 1.68 million barrels per day (bpd) between April and May, 2017, showing an increase of 12 per cent.

According to Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, report released yesterday, the nation beat Angola, its closest contender in Africa, which output dropped from 1. 66 million to 1.61 million bpd during the period to emerged Africa’s leading producer.

Despite the increase, Nigeria’s output still showed 600,000 bpd below the 2.2 million bpd which the nation’s 2017 budget was based.

This means that the nation has not been earning adequate foreign exchange for the implementation of its N7.44 trillion budget.

OPEC said, yesterday, that a long-awaited rebalancing of the oil market was under way at a “slower pace” and reported that its own output in May jumped due to gains in nations exempt from a pact to reduce supply.

In a monthly report, OPEC stated that its output rose by 336,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May to 32.14 million bpd, led by a rebound in Nigeria and Libya, which were exempted from supply cuts because unrest had curbed their output.

The boost means OPEC is pumping more than its forecast of average global demand for its crude this year, hindering efforts to reduce a glut. But Libyan and Nigerian output remains volatile, meaning the gain may not last.

OPEC said oil inventories in industrialised countries dropped in April and would fall further in the remaining part of the year, but a recovery in U.S. production was slowing efforts to get rid of excess supply.

“The rebalancing of the market is under way, but at a slower pace, given the changes in fundamentals since December, especially the shift in U.S. supply from an expected contraction to positive growth,” OPEC said in the report.

Oil prices gave up gains yesterday after the release of the report to trade towards $48 a barrel, below the $60 level that top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia would like to see and less than half the level of mid-2014.

Vanguard

Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) Tuesday joined other Nigerians and media organisations to condemn Monday’s invasion of the Lagos office of The Sun Newspapers by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), warning that the invasion of media houses has never worked and will never work.

A statement signed by President of NPAN and Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of THISDAY Newspaper Group, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, also urged the federal government to call EFCC to order for the greater good of the country and the rule of law. 

Obaigbena, in the statement said: “We have received with grave concern, the Monday, June 12, 2017 invasion by operatives of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) of the Apapa, Lagos corporate headquarters of The Sun Newspapers.

“Facts before NPAN indicate that EFCC operatives swooped on the newspaper in the early morning of June 12, while Nigerians were commemorating the historic day of Free Expression, and ordered security men to take them on a guided tour of the premises of the newspaper.

“EFCC operatives subsequently prevented journalists and staff from performing their constitutional duties, and abridging their rights to Free Speech by preventing those who were in the premises from leaving, and others reporting for duty from entering the premises.

“Although EFCC said they were there to enforce a 10-year-old interim order of forfeiture on the shareholding of The Sun Newspapers, the Editors of The Sun Newspapers said the EFCC officials were there on a vengeance and intimidation mission to settle scores on several stories published by the newspaper, including the alleged ownership of certain properties by the wife of EFCC acting chairman for which the acting chairman had threatened libel lawsuits.

“Instead of lawsuits, EFCC operatives raided the newspaper offices to revive a 10-year-old interim order of forfeiture that is already before an appellate court.”

Given these developments, Obaigbena said it was the considered view of NPAN that EFCC, being a state institution and a creation of the law, could not be above the law. 

He noted that the manner of the invasion also suggested that EFCC was out on a “self-help mission, a voyage to intimidate journalists, criminalise journalism and cower free speech”. 

“We should continue to remind ourselves that this crude tactic of invasion of media houses and harassment of journalists did not work in the past, it is not going to work now, and will never work. It is unknown to the Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We call on the Federal Government of Nigeria and all people of reason and goodwill to call EFCC to order for the greater good of the Federal Republic Nigeria and the rule of law,” he cautioned. 

Despite the outcry over the invasion of The Sun, the presidency Tuesday defended the action, saying the anti-graft agency was in the premises of the newspaper organisation to inspect the property.

Speaking on the issue, Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, said the media organisation was under an order of interim forfeiture, adding that EFCC operatives went there to look at the property to ensure that it had not depreciated.

The presidential aide also dismissed the notion that the reign of All Progressives Congress (APC) would be short-lived due to growing sectional agitations in the country, saying the party would exist for more than 200 years.

 Speaking at the national secretariat of the APC Tuesday in Abuja, during the official presentation of his book titled “APC: The Making of the Change Agents” to the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, Obono-Obla said he was not aware of any crisis rocking the ruling party at any level.

Obono-Obla said: “I said in the next 200 years APC will be alive. Yes, why not? Because we have done very well and we are going to remain in power as long as we continue to do well, we believe the Nigerian people will always vote for us.”

While justifying the invasion of The Sun in Lagos by EFCC, the presidential aide said: “EFCC has not gone after the media. What happened is that The Sun Newspaper was under an order of interim forfeiture, so they went there to look at the property to make sure it has not depreciated, and nothing is wrong with that.

“They didn’t go there because The Sun published a news story that was considered against EFCC or government, they went there to do their work as part of their mandate to fight financial crimes.

“Besides, you know that the media house is owned by a former governor who is under trial, and if you are under investigation, EFCC has the powers to go to court and get an order of interim forfeiture, pending the hearing of the case against you.”

APC national chairman described Obono-Obla’s book as an insider account of the merger process that culminated in the formation of the APC.

He charged other stakeholders who “participated intimately” in the formation of the party to document their accounts of events for posterity.

He also hailed the contributions and sacrifices of leaders of the legacy parties that merged to form APC. 

Thisday

Page 10 of 65