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INEC Engages EFCC, FIU In Tracking Campaign Funding

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It is no longer business as usual for political parties and their candidates as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has kept a tab on their campaign funds. INEC specifically engaged the services of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) to track the campaign funds of all the parties and their candidates featuring in the 2019 general elections. The electoral umpire has also drafted the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and four other organisations to collaborate with the anti-graft agencies to do a thorough job. These revelations were made yesterday in Abuja during the inauguration of the Inter-agency Campaign Finance Monitoring Group by INEC national commissioner, Prof. Anthonia Okosi-Simbina. She said that the report of the 2019 campaign finances would be released immediately after the upcoming general elections. According to Okosi-Simbina,”we will check newspapers advert, TV, radio, billboards and we must see to the conclusion. Those who spent beyond what the legal framework provides for or spent outrageously will have themselves to blame.” The INEC chief declared that “vote-buying must be monitored too. And those reports must be published after the election. Unlike what happened in the past, six months will be too late for the report to be released. We will ensure compliance with the Electoral Act.” She said all the 10 groups engaged for the tracking of the campaign finances will be working with the electoral finance and party monitoring department of INEC. Similarly, INEC assistant director, Campaign Finance Tracking Unit, Ishaq Garba Aliyu, said that they recorded a milestone in the 2015 campaign finance tracking, adding that the commission would not leave anything to chances in 2019. “We have built the capacity of the staff members. They reviewed the tracking forms to include separate forms for candidates and political parties. The tracking ends on the day of the election,” Aliyu stated. No Politician Teleguiding Our Operations – INEC Meanwhile, INEC has dismissed the insinuations that its management led by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu was being teleguided by some politicians. INEC administrative secretary in Ekiti State, Dr. Muslim Omoleke, stated this yesterday in Ado Ekiti. He said that the commission under Yakubu is truly independent. Omoleke maintained that “no one controls INEC because we are empowered by laws to enjoy financial and administrative autonomy. It is no longer easy for them to control us.” He disclosed that 14 political parties in Ekiti State would participate in the National Assembly elections holding across the country on Saturday. Overall, 73 political parties are featuring in this year’s general elections. The INEC official assured the voters that the smart card readers would record zero failure during the polls, unlike what obtained in past elections, where commission’s personnel had to resort to incident forms for persons who fell victims of the malfunctioning machines. Omoleke added that politicians would be disappointed on Saturday if they rely on the strategy of vote-buying to win elections, saying the polling booths would be arranged in such a way that would counter such electoral heist. “We want to assure Nigerians that we will be fair to all parties. To us in INEC, no party is big or small, they are the same and it is with that spirit we are going to deal with them on the day of elections,” he said. On the issue of vote-buying, Omoleke said, “politicians won’t find it easy this time. We have mapped out our strategies and we are working closely with the security agencies to make perfect arrangements in our polling booths in such a way that no one can know where and who you actually voted for. “Apart from vote-buying, politicians also resort to ballot box snatching to win elections. This can no longer work because anywhere such an incident is recorded, the poll will be cancelled and repeated the second day. “Perpetrators of such have nothing to gain because they will automatically lose such votes to cancellation and if they are caught during ballot snatching or identified by security agencies, they will be prosecuted”, he warned. Votes Will Count, INEC Insists Also yesterday, INEC insisted that votes cast in the 2019 general elections would count. While receiving the Commonwealth Election Observer Team, INEC chairman (Yakubu) said that the off-season elections conducted by the commission were adjudged free and fair, adding that the commission would ensure that the conduct of the polls conforms with the international best practices. Yakubu said: “The elections on the 16th February and 2nd March, 2019, will be free, fair and credible. The votes will count,” stressing that INEC invited the Commonwealth to observe the election and not to monitor. He said: “I learn that the Commonwealth has deployed people to many states of the federation. The 32 recommendations the Commonwealth made after the 2015 general elections are being implemented administratively.” The INEC boss explained that recommendations which require the amendment of the constitution and the Electoral Act would be implemented when the laws are repealed. “The last recommendation of the Commonwealth Mission was accreditation and voting at the same time. The 2019 general elections will witness accreditation and voting simultaneously,” he said. Former President of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, who led the delegation, said that they were in the country to observe and not to monitor the election. He said: “We want to know INEC preparedness on the election because we will be visiting many places. After the election, we will prepare a comprehensive report. We have already prepared a preliminary report on the election,” Kikwete said. DSS Warns Against Hate Speech, Fake News In another development, the Department of State Services (DSS) has warned Nigerians, especially politicians to desist from hate speech, fake news and other activities capable of causing trouble before, during and after the 2019 elections. The DSS, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Peter Afunanya, said that “the Service will not condone fake news, incendiary or hate speeches designed to whip up dangerous ethnic, religious and/or political sentiments capable of stoking the embers of violence. “Consequently, prospective lawbreakers are forewarned to steer clear of acts capable of undermining national security and stability. The Service will, however, not stand idly and watch miscreants and mischief makers bring avoidable chaos and disorder upon the nation,” Afunanya said. He said that “politicians and the youths are expected to shun all acts of violence the same way observers are urged to keep to the fundamentals and principles of election monitoring as allowed by law and global best practices. “Without doubt the Electoral Act is clear on the roles of stakeholders. The common aim of all and sundry should be for Nigeria to hold successful elections that will be adjudged free, fair, transparent and credible and accepted nationally and internationally. Everyone is urged to conduct his or herself properly before, during and after the elections and avoid actions that may cause the breakdown of law and order.” According to him, “the DSS will professionally discharge its statutory mandate which, among others, is to detect and prevent threats and crimes against the internal security of Nigeria. Also, it will appropriately engage stakeholders. This is for the protection and success of the elections. Therefore, ensuring security that will make the electoral process noble and acceptable to participants and their supporters is uppermost to the Service. In this regard, the Service is determined to identify and arrest criminals and their collaborators whose activities are counter to the national objective of achieving peaceful and orderly elections.” Court Asked To Disqualify Atiku From Presidential Poll And five days to the presidential election, a group, the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, has sued the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over his claim of Nigerian citizenship. The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 and dated February 11, 2019, was filed on behalf of the group by Mr. Kayode Ajulo. In the suit, the plaintiff wants an interpretation of section 25(1) and (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended). Other defendants in the suit are the PDP, INEC, and the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice. The group wants the court to determine, “whether section 25 of the 199 Constitution (as amended) is the sole authority that spells out ways by which a person can become a Nigerian citizen by birth? “Whether by the provisions of section 131(a) of the same constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? “Whether by the combined interpretation of sections 25(1) and (2) and 131(a) of the same constitution and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of the 1st defendant, he can be cleared by the 2nd and 3rd defendants to contest for the office of the president of Nigeria?” If the answers to the aforesaid questions are resolved in favour of the plaintiff, consequently, the group prayed for the following reliefs: “A declaration that by the provisions of Section 131(a) of the Nigerian constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of the president of the country. “A declaration that by the combined interpretation of sections 25(l) and (2) and 131(a) of the constitution and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of the 1st defendant, he cannot be cleared by the 2nd and 3rd defendants to contest for the office of the president of Nigeria. In an affidavit deposed to by one Michael Okejimi, a legal practitioner in the law firm of Kayode Ajulo, he averred that Atiku was born on the 25th November, I946. “That from the 1st defendant’s own testimony that is gazetted and published in most national dailies in circulation, he is from Jada town in Adamawa State and Jada used to be in Ganye local government area in Adamawa State. “That Ganye is regarded as the mother of the whole Chamba tribe. “That Ganye, however, was never part of Nigeria legally as at the date of birth of the 1st defendant. “That the area had been entrusted to Britain by a League of Nations mandate in l919 and later as Trust Territory by the United Nations in l946. “That with the defeat of Germany in World War I, Cameroon became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919. “That while France integrated the economy of their part of Cameroon with that of France, the British administered theirs from neighbouring Nigeria, making 1st defendant’s Jada, a British franchise. “That a plebiscite was held in British Cameroons to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroon or align with Nigeria. “That while Northern Cameroon preferred a union with Nigeria, Southern Cameroon chose alignment with the mother country. “That on June 1, I961, Northern Cameroon became part of Nigeria, and on October 1, 1961, the Southern territory dissolved into Cameroon. “That Ganye, which incorporates the 1st defendant’s birthplace of Jada was the headquarters of British Cameroons, but it joined Nigeria following the plebiscite. “That when the lst defendant was on November 25, I946 born to a Fulani trader and farmer Garba Abubakar, Jada village and other parts of Chamba land in the then Northern Cameroon were still known as British Cameroons. “That none of the lst defendant’s parents or grandparents was born in Nigeria. “That the Ist defendant’s father died a citizen of Northern Cameroon in I957 prior to the referendum of June 1, 1961, that made Northern Cameroon became part of Nigeria.”

 

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Sanwo-Olu, Mustapha for GOCOP 5th Annual Conference

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Sanwo-Olu, Mustapha for GOCOP 5th Annual Conference

AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM

SPONSORED BY: H&H

Gocop

Gocop

The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) has confirmed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, as chairman and keynote speaker, respectively. at its fifth annual conference August24news.vom has learnt.

A statement signed by GOCOP Publicity Secretary, Olumide Iyanda, said Mr. Mustapha will speak on the conference theme COVID-19 Pandemic: Recovery and Reconstruction in Nigeria.”

Panelists at the conference, which holds on October 7, 2021, at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, starting at 10am, are the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, and Director, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Yahaya Disu.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu, the Chief Incident Commander for the prevention and control of COVID in Lagos, will preside over the conference.

The choice of topic for the conference is informed by contemporary political, economic, security, socio-cultural challenges facing Nigeria occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled socio-cultural and economic activities not only in Nigeria but around the world and the concerted efforts made nationally and globally to tame the scourge, GOCOP said.

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ESG and the Oil & Gas sector: ABSA Advocates a Balanced View

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Camillo Atampugre

ESG and the Oil & Gas sector: ABSA Advocates a Balanced View

 AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM

SPONSORED BY: H&H

Developing a social investment plan that utilizes proceeds from the oil and gas sector is critical to stimulating impactful growth across the African continent.

This view was shared recently by Camillo Atampugre, the Director of Resources and Energy, Absa Securities, United Kingdom, while laying bare Absa Investment’s focus which aims to drive sustainability and advocate for a wider pivot to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives across the oil and gas sector.

According to Camillo, the oil and gas sector remains a key channel of revenue for most African countries.

He mentioned that the sector accounts for an estimated 20% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And in places like Nigeria and Angola, the sector contributes 70% of the overall forex inflow and 60% of government tax revenues while driving growth impacts that reverberate across the labour market, the security and exchange system and other downstream segments.

He advised that considering the overt contribution of the oil and gas sector to the African economy, a strategic approach to the adoption of cleaner energy is advisable.

This is to forestall a sudden snap that could hamper the attainment of the shorter to medium terms growth projection on the continent.

He further pointed out the various responsible steps being taken across the continent to ensure compliance with the various ESG requirements as regard achieving a gradual transition into cleaner energy and repositioning the oil and gas sector to sustain a balanced socioeconomic impact along the trajectory.

“Recognising the strategic role of the sector in their economies, places like Angola and Nigeria have taken steps to improve Governance elements. In Angola, the President has put significant focus on cleaning up the image of the sector and courting foreign investors while the Nigerian national assembly recently passed the Petroleum Industry Bill which is aimed at making it easier for investment into Nigerian oil and gas operations”, Atampugre explained.

Citing the social investment roles being played by the major operators in the oil and gas sector Atampugre revealed: “For instance, oil major Shell has played a pivotal role in investing in healthcare infrastructure to help in the fight against the likes of Ebola and HIV as well as being a major party in the first community-based health insurance program in the country. Similarly, dual-listed oil and gas player Oando has trained over 2800 teachers and financially supported 88 schools via its Oando Foundation”.

He referred to the framework for achieving a faster transition to cleaner energy. Amongst them is the renewed emphasis placed by government and operators in the energy sector in Africa to implement regulatory and social investment strategies that are aimed at alleviating poverty and providing access to affordable energy.

He concluded that Absa, a specialist investment bank, is committed to helping the continent achieve its socioeconomic growth agenda as well as provide guidance that ensures compliance with various ESG goals.

He said: “As an investment bank that specialises in funding oil and gas projects in Africa and has a deep understanding of the continent, we look forward to working on projects which tick all three of the ESG elements in a socially conscious manner”.

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Ooni Calls for Promotion of Yoruba Language and Culture

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Ooni Calls for Promotion of Yoruba Language and CultureIMG-20210916-WA0037 IMG-20210916-WA0039 IMG-20210916-WA0040 IMG-20210916-WA0041

AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM

SPONSORED BY: H&H

His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi,  Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife, has called for the promotion of Yoruba language and culture which he said must not be allowed to go into  extinction.

The monarch who was represented by Oba Dr. Adebisi Segun Layade JP, the Alara Odaaye of Ara Land Ife, Osun State made this call at the public presentation and launch of a book about the life and times of late sage, chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo.

He tasked traditional rulers to champion the promotion of Yoruba language as it is the only way their culture could also be preserved.

“Most of our people when they go outside the shores of our country they choose to speak English language above the Yoruba language.

” It is a misnomer, whenever I travel to the northern part of the country, I speak Yoruba and when they notify me that they don’t understand I ask them to get an interpreter.

“I deliberately won’t speak in English language as they would have preferred, we ought to promote our own language because in other climes they use the mother tongues to teach their wards.

“Yoruba language is easy to translate and good for transmission of knowledge to the children.

Also supporting the stance, His Royal Highness Oba Oladipo Olaitan, The Alaago of Kajola Alaago, Osun State and Deputy Leader Pan Yoruba Socio-Cultural Organisation, Afenifere maintained that Yoruba language must be preserved at all cost.

He appraised the qualities of the late sage, lamenting the turn of events now a clear cut departure from what he stands for, as all seem to be without a defined purpose and void of direction.

The monarch said, “I am particularly impressed with our Yoruba language that is being purposefully energised here, we are losing it a typical Yoruba man cannot speak English, what is the purpose?

“You price yourself high because you can speak English, French and German but your own language you can’t speak it.

“The German man will always speak his language any where even at the United Nations same for the French man but we will go there and speak English, what sense does that make?

“It is easier for you to learn and comprehend in your own language and when you lose your culture, you lose everything.

“The way they took us into slavery and they are still taking us into slavery is because we’ve refused to follow our culture, when you don’t know who you are, how will you become anything in life?

“We’ve lost our roots, we’ve lost everything that is why we are where we are, you first of all have to know where you are coming from to get anywhere.

Hon. Setonji David, the Lagos State House of Assembly committee Chairman of Information, Strategy and Security who represented the Speaker Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa also corroborated the need for Yoruba Language preservation.

“Everything that has to do with our language is so important to me as far as I’m concerned total freedom is guaranteed when you speak your language, any nation that is going to develop must revert back to its original language, it is easier for the Asian countries to communicate because of this.We need to get back the potency of Yoruba language.

He also eulogize late Chief Obafemi Awolowo noting that he was a  beneficiary of his free education scheme at all levels in Lagos State.

The Author of the book titled ‘Awolowo Akikanju Asiwaju (AAA)’, Mr. Lagada- Abayomi Olanrewaju, while speaking with newsmen after the event, revealed what spurred him to write the book, citing instances of many collections of  prose works written by authors in other parts of the world, to celebrate unique personalities who have paid their dues and impacted their nation and the world positively.

He added that the disconnect he sighted in the generation of people in the world today is basically due to the absence of good write ups, that can immortalise the good virtues portrayed by the characters for upcoming young ones to learn about heroes with whom they one way or the other have a bond.

“I feel the dearth of information about the great feats of our heroes in this part of the world and the void it is causing in our children’s social development, this drove me to write this book so as to engrave the memories of our forebear, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in gold for yet to come generation.

“This is what obtains in other climes and I think it is high time we started doing same here, that gave birth to this piece targeted at re enacting the life and times of the late sage”. Lagada said.

Mr.Obadiah Sunday Akindele Deputy Director Curriculum development and evaluation  Ministry of Education  Science and Technology, Ogun State who represented the state Commissioner for Education Hon.Arigbabu .A. Abayomi while launching the book hinted that the state is poised to enlist the book in their curriculum come January 2022 .

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