Connect with us

News

Petroleum Ministry Staff Awards N145m Contract To Self – Senate

Published

on

The Senate has queried the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for awarding age N145 million media campaign contract on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to a management staff.

The query is contained in a 2015 report of the Auditor-General of the Federation, which is being considered by the Senate Committee on Public Account.

The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, is probing the expenses of federal government’s agencies.

The query was raised when the representative of the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Godwin Akubo, appeared before the committee to defend the allegation.

It reads: “The total sum of N145 million was approved by the Ministerial Tenders Board (MTB) and paid to a management staff for electronic billboard advertisement, television jingles and newspaper publications, for the campaign awareness of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), instead of contract award to competent and technically experienced companies through open competitive bidding to ensure transparency and accountability.

“Invoices and receipts of payment from the purported companies and agencies, whose services were engaged in the implementation of the programme, were not tendered for audit.”

Responding to the query, Akubo said the management staff, a Director of Press, had a wealth of experience with media coverage.

“His key role or involvement bridged the gap between the ministry and media houses based on public relations.

“He helped to fast track and reach out to the target audience in good time, therefore, his service was a blessing to the ministry.”

However, Akubo was unable to tender invoices and receipt of the N145 million media campaign contract, a development which angered the panel members.

Senator Urhoghide sustained the query and demanded the refund of the N145 million to the federation account.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, to urgently probe how N116m was spent by the ministry to purchase biros, letterhead and toners in 2015.

The organisation also asked the president and the minister to disclose the amount spent on the same items between 2016 and 2020.

“If there is evidence of misuse of public funds, refer the matter to the appropriate anti-corruption agencies for prosecution,” SERAP demanded.

In the letter dated December 12, 2020, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said it gave the minister 14 days within which to make the disclosure.

The Senate has queried the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for awarding age N145 million media campaign contract on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to a management staff.

The query is contained in a 2015 report of the Auditor-General of the Federation, which is being considered by the Senate Committee on Public Account.

The committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, is probing the expenses of federal government’s agencies.

The query was raised when the representative of the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Godwin Akubo, appeared before the committee to defend the allegation.

It reads: “The total sum of N145 million was approved by the Ministerial Tenders Board (MTB) and paid to a management staff for electronic billboard advertisement, television jingles and newspaper publications, for the campaign awareness of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), instead of contract award to competent and technically experienced companies through open competitive bidding to ensure transparency and accountability.

“Invoices and receipts of payment from the purported companies and agencies, whose services were engaged in the implementation of the programme, were not tendered for audit.”

Responding to the query, Akubo said the management staff, a Director of Press, had a wealth of experience with media coverage.

“His key role or involvement bridged the gap between the ministry and media houses based on public relations.

“He helped to fast track and reach out to the target audience in good time, therefore, his service was a blessing to the ministry.”

However, Akubo was unable to tender invoices and receipt of the N145 million media campaign contract, a development which angered the panel members.

Senator Urhoghide sustained the query and demanded the refund of the N145 million to the federation account.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, to urgently probe how N116m was spent by the ministry to purchase biros, letterhead and toners in 2015.

The organisation also asked the president and the minister to disclose the amount spent on the same items between 2016 and 2020.

“If there is evidence of misuse of public funds, refer the matter to the appropriate anti-corruption agencies for prosecution,” SERAP demanded.

In the letter dated December 12, 2020, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said it gave the minister 14 days within which to make the disclosure.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

 Na’Abba Accuses Governors Of Killing Democracy In Nigeria

Published

on

Democracy

A former speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, has lampooned governors in the country saying they have ruined democracy.

 

Na’Abba, while speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa Service yesterday, said state governors have hijacked democracy, manipulating primaries of their political parties for their cronies to emerge.

 

“The governors have drawn a line in politics in which if you are not their boy you won’t become anybody or get elected at all levels. This is happening in both the PDP and APC.

 

“Democracy should always give room for interaction among people and they should be allowed to vote the right person they want. But the governors have since changed that, there i…

Continue Reading

News

Appeal Court Rekindles Jegede’s Hope Of Sacking Aketi With Inconclusive Judgment

Published

on

Jegede

The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday partially upheld the appeal by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), in the October 10, 2020 governorship election in the state.

 

 

Jegede, who is challenging Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s victory, had approached the appellate court after the tribunal dismissed his petition for lacking in merit.

 

His counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, had asked the court to sack Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, because they were allegedly not properly nominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

 

But the respondents’ counsel, Akin Olujimi (SAN), for Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) for the APC and Charles Edosanmwon (SAN) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), faulted all the arguments of Jegede’s counsel.

 

 

They contended that the case was a pre-election matter.

 

 

In the lead judgment by Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua, the court partly allowed Jegede’s appeal on issues one, two, four and five.

 

She dismissed the appeal on issues three, six and seven.

 

In their judgments, Justice H. A. Barka, Justice J. G. Abundaga and Justice Andenyangtso Alli dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.

 

 

Justice Orji-Abadua said the Electoral Act cannot override provisions of the Constitution on qualification or disqualification of a candidate in an election.

 

 

“The appeal is partly allowed and partly dismissed,” she said.

 

The PDP and Jegede vowed to challenge the decision.

 

 

The party’s spokesman Kennedy Peretei said in a statement: “In concluding her lead judgment, Justice Orji-Abadua said the appeal was partially dismissed and partially allowed. To the ordinary man in the street, the judgment was ‘inconclusive’.

 

 

“The kernel of the Eyitayo Jegede/PDP petition was whether or not a gross violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) should be allowed to stay; whether or not Mai Mala Buni, as a sitting Governor of Yobe State, can double as National Chairman of the APC, to sign the nomination of Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) for the governorship election.

 

 

“While the Court of Appeal acknowledged that it was a violation of the Constitution, it still went ahead to dismiss the appeal.

 

“We are still studying the details of the judgment, by virtue of the fact that it was delivered via Zoom. But we have sufficient grounds to appeal the decision of the court. We are confident the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land, will do justice.”

 

 

Akeredolu has extended an olive branch to Jegede, urging him to join hands with him in building the state.

 

 

Addressing reporters, Akeredolu said: “I have said this over and over: this case itself is so flimsy for me as a person. And it is clear because where you believe that you can go through the back door and upturn the will of the people, it is not going to work.

 

“We had an election in which the party won 15 out of the local governments; you won three. You are not contesting the result of the election, but you are hinging your petition on the Chairman of the party who signed the nomination that was forwarded to INEC.

 

“For me, it is clear. With God on our side, no matter where they go about this case, it will be the same result.

 

 

“It is just like when Yoruba say that if you throw the cutlass up 50 times by the time it’s landing, it will land on its side.

 

 

“Tayo, for one reason or the other, I said to him, we don’t need to pursue this case. I had called him once or twice. I don’t see why we are going about this action; that both of us can come together to work for the benefit of the state. That is my own belief.

 

 

“I respect him, but he must have a reason behind him pursuing this case the way he’s pursuing it. It is either the party is the one pushing him or he’s the one pushing himself. Whichever one it is, I know there must be something behind what he’s doing.

 

 

“But I can assure him, like a man who is building with straw, I can assure him nothing will come out of this case.

 

 

“I will call on him again for the umpteenth time: let him come, let us work together to build that state and let us work together for the Southwest and let us work together for Nigeria.

 

 

“Importantly, he is one person that I have a lot of respect for; he has respect for me. I see him as a brother. But in election matters, you cannot avoid this kind of contestation.”

Continue Reading

News

Agbakoba Rubbishes Restructuring, Wants Regional Autonomy In Constitution Review Package

Published

on

Agbakoba

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has asked the National Assembly to consider regional autonomy in the review of the 1999 Constitution.

Following calls for restructuring, among other issues, the National Assembly had recently held public hearings across the country on the proposed review of the 1999 Constitution.

 

Speaking on the review process in a statement yesterday, Agbakoba said regional autonomy is the best solution to some of the challenges facing the country.

 

“Calls for restructuring have, in my personal view, become a catch-all phrase that has introduced more confusion than solution. I believe the simple way to go is by regional autonomy,” he said.

 

“Regional autonomy refers to the governance and administration of a federating unit in the interest of the local people, according to their aspirations. Nigeria is made up of multi-ethnic nations managed by a central authority. This model has proved unsuccessful.

 

“Europe understood that diversity is best managed by regional autonomy. Switzerland has four ethnic groups. Each of them shares the presidency through four cantons that make up their federating units.

 

“According to Prof. George Obiozor, even though Quebec is the only fully French-speaking province, yet Canada is bilingual for the sake of Quebec. On the other hand, Yugoslavia mismanaged its diversity and the result was the emergence of six distinct countries. The same fate befell Czechoslovakia, now the nations of Czechs and Slovaks.”

 

He said devolution of powers is a related concept to regional autonomy, as this means the transfer of powers from one level of government to another and vice versa.

 

The senior lawyer also suggested that legitimacy can be conferred on the constitutional review process by full involvement and incorporation of the leaders of traditional and ethnic nationalities.

 

“Prof. Ben Nwabueze has indicated that ethnic nationalities are the true representatives of Nigeria. To quote him, ‘Nigeria has no territory other than the traditional territories inhabited by its constituent nationalities from time immemorial – Yorubaland, Igboland, Hausaland, Tivland, Kanuri, Ijaw, etc. It is the ethnic nationalities that ceded or granted sovereign powers of government over their territories to Britain which makes them (i.e. the ethnic nationalities) the original and primary stakeholders in the Nigerian state,’” Agbakoba said.

 

He also expressed optimism that more would be achieved by giving prominent seats to the leaders of traditional and ethnic nationalities.

Continue Reading

Trending

Trending

Copyright © 2020 Thepage News