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Missing $20bn: Falana demands audit of NNPC accounts

A  Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has called for a proper  auditing of the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation  following allegations by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,  Mr. Lamido Sanusi, that the corporation has failed to account for $20bn  oil proceeds.In an interview with one of our  correspondents in Abuja on Thursday, Falana said, “The allegations are  worrisome for a country that wants to be taken seriously at home and  abroad.“It is embarrassing that those put in  charge of the economy, either out of ignorance or mischief, do not  appear competent to manage the responsibilities of their offices.”Recalling that Sanusi had recanted his  earlier statement that the NNPC failed to remit $49.8bn to the  Federation Account between 2012 and July last year, the human rights  activist asked the CBN governor to always reconcile his figures before  releasing same to the public.“It is absolutely irresponsible of the  governor of a central bank, even in a banana republic, to come out and  allege the disappearance of the colossal sum of $49.8bn, and as soon as  he was challenged, the figure was reduced to $12bn with an apology, only  for him to wake up two days ago to say sorry the figure is $20bn,”  Falana said.He, however, said it was not sufficient  for the NNPC to suggest that Sanusi should not be taken seriously, but  that the true position of the corporation’s accounts must be disclosed.He said, “As far as I am concerned, the  Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has no  powers under the law to reconcile accounts.“It is the constitutional duty of the  Auditor-General of the Federation to audit the accounts of the Federal  Government and its Ministries, Departments and Agencies.“The auditor-general should, as a matter  of urgency, look into these figures and come out with the correct  position of the Federation Account.”Meanwhile, Vice-President Namadi Sambo  on Thursday absolved himself of any blame in the case of the alleged  $20bn missing from the Federation Account.Sambo, who spoke through his media aide,  Mr. Umar Sani, was reacting to a statement by the Vice Chairman,

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Nigeria irredeemable but Jonathan insists, begs envoys to Help sponge Nigeria’s image clean.

President  Goodluck Jonathan Thursday in Abuja urged ambassadors serving in  Nigeria to do their best to convey the positive realities of the country  to the world.Speaking at an audience with the outgoing Italian  Ambassador, Mr. Roberto Colamine, President Jonathan said that  by doing  so, the envoys will help immensely in correcting current misconceptions  and adverse…

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Oil Money: Beggars have no choice; Northern elders fight over Jonathan.

NORTHERN opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition was yesterday fragmented with the emergence of a new group of elders supportive of the president and his policies towards the region.The Northern Elders Council, NEC led by elder-statesman and Second Republic Presidential Adviser, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, which was inaugurated in Kaduna by Governor Mukthar Yero of Kaduna State, immediately pledged to oppose all those they claimed were out to cause confusion in the land.The group comprising former ministers and National Assembly members and businessmen including billionaire businessman, Alhaji Hassan Adamu, Wakilin Adamawa, former Senator Muktar Aruwa among others.However, the new group was immediately dismissed by Second Republic legislator, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, who said the group cannot deliver Jonathan in 2015. Junaid’s assertion nonetheless, immediate past governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau pledged to work for the re-election of Dr. Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election.Yakassai at the inauguration of the council in Kaduna said the group emerged to protect and project northern interests and at the same time secure the existence and stability of the country.“We reject intimidation, threat and violence. Leaders and elders must lead by example. It is unacceptable for elders to make inciting and inflammatory statements capable of breaching the peace. We say no to war-like and belligerent posture,” Yakasai said.File : President Goodluck Jonathan (right) and Vice President Namadi Sambo arriving for the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.“Let me reiterate that the purpose for the establishment of NEC is to protect the socio-economic and political interest of the north, the corporate existence and stability of the Nigerian nation.“We are firm and committed to the Nigerian project, we recognise the significance of Nigeria’s centenary as a political entity and call on all Nigerians to serve as agents of consolidation of national unity and continued existence of our nation as one indivisible country.“The Northern Elders Council acknowledges the current spate of violence and insurgency in the North, armed robbery and kidnapping in the other parts of the country and we urged all men and women of good will to act in concert to eradicate these menace and stabilise the polity.“The Northern Elders Council applauds the excellent working relationship with between the President Goodluck Jonathan and his vice, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, as the political leader of the north. Namadi Sambo has shown total loyalty and dedication to Mr. President and we urged them to continue work together in harmony in the interest of our nation,” Yakasai said.He said the group was supportive of the forthcoming national dialogue.Inaugurating the group yesterday, Governor Yero said the emergence of the group was a welcome development, adding that “as an ardent believer in the power of dialogue in building unity among diverse people,

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2015: Northern Elders can’t deliver north to Jonathan – Junaid Mohammed

Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, yesterday, dismissed as non-existent northern groups parading themselves as the major political platforms whose support President Goodluck Jonathan needed to win the 2015 election.Mohammed, who was reacting to the inauguration of the Northern Elders Council, NEC, in Kaduna on Thursday, described the group as alien to the political history of the north and its people.The politician said the emergence of the NEC was meant to curry political patronage from the Presidency for the rehabilitation of most of the members, who were in dire need of help, as they did not enjoy the mandate and support of the people of the north.Mohammed said, “The so-called northern leaders and elders are not speaking for anybody in the north but themselves. They like to embellish the truth in order to get cheap political patronage from the powers that be.“I want to put it on record that none of these so-called northern leaders can deliver the region to Jonathan in 2015 because the people of the area are not with them. When the chips are down, they will run away.“It is unfortunate that political prostitutes who have access to the media have been taken seriously by the government and heavily supported to blackmail the genuine political leaders in the north for selfish reasons.Mohammed asked those fraternising with the group to beware, as the members cannot usurp leadership from the genuine political leaders in the north to be able to salvage President Jonathan’s political future.He said, “It is common knowledge that none of the groups claiming to be representing the North, either as elders’ council or group is genuinely interested in the wellbeing of the people of the north.They are mostly working for themselves and cannot save the political interest of any President.

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Fulani herdsmen kill 22 in Plateau

No fewer than 22 people were killed yesterday in a fresh attack by some Fulani herdsmen in Plateau State. This was even as some Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday night invaded Askira, the Headquarters of Askira-Uba Local Government Area of Borno State and killed three people. The Plateau attack was carried out by the herdsmen at Mavo village in Wase Local Government Area of the state The local government was inhabited by the Taroh ethnic nationality. An eyewitness said over 10 houses were razed by the gunmen during the attack, which also left several people injured Our correspondent learnt that the killing created tension in the community as youths stormed the street to protest the incident, but were repelled by security operatives

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MD Abubakar’s war against Igbo police officers dangerous •Jonathan, others asked to intervene

The systematic war against Igbos in the Nigerian Police under the watch of Mohammed D. Abubakar has met with strong condemnation from frontline rights group International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety). In the concluding (Part Three) of its petition, the first two parts of which were published by News Express on Monday and Tuesday, Intersociety drew the attention of President Jonathan, the National Assembly and the Federal Character Commission to the dangers posed by the deliberate exclusion of Ndigbo from producing police top officers in the next 10 years. “In view of the foregoing Mr. President, we demand for your immediate intervention and ordering of full scale and conclusive investigation into the promotion and posting policy of the present Nigeria Police Force,” Intersociety said, adding: “On account of our demand for Mr. President’s full scale investigation, it is our further demand that a thorough shake up should be carried out in the NPF command

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National Conference Unnecessary – Kukah

Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah  has said that the proposed National Conference scheduled to begin next  month will not achieve any tangible thing for the people of Nigeria. Speaking to Hausa Service of the BBC, monitored in Abuja, the cleric  said that the proposed conference would not be an avenue to tackle …

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2015: The Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC) Cautions Dokubo Over Unguarded Uttrances

The Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC) on Wednesday advised the  leader of the out-lawed Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force  (NDPVF), Asari Dokubo, to stop heating up the polity by making unguarded  statements. Dokubo had on Tuesday reiterated that his kinsmen in the oil-rich  Niger Delta would foment trouble if President Goodluck Jonathan failed  to secure second term…