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THE NATION

Reps begin probe of $22b NNPC’s Brass Liquefied Natural Gas project

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The House of Representatives, on Thursday, resolved to set an ad hoc committee to investigate the expenditure and implementation of the $22 billion Brass Liquefied Natural Gas project.

This followed a motion by Hon. Chinda Ogundu at the plenary on the urgent need to investigate the implementation of the project.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Brass LNG Project was originally set up in 2003 with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation owning 49%, while other affiliates namely, Conoco Phillips, ENI, and Chevron hold 17% each.

Moving the motion, Ogundu said the House noted that there had been several allegations of abuse and mismanagement of funds totaling about $22 billion meant for take-off and running of the project.

He said: “We are also aware that the project has been stuck in the planning stage for more than a decade, with some Western partners having pulled out because of tough operating conditions and unfavourable investment environment.

“We are cognisant that the Federal Government’s investment in the Brass LNG project is too enormous to be treated with kid gloves, swept under the carpet or simply put aside with a wave of the hand.

“With the provisions of Section 88(l)(a), (b)(i)&(ii) and (2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which confers each chamber of the National Assembly power to conduct or carry out investigations into matter(s) such as this.

“The Senate in January 2018, raised an alarm over massive fraud in the NNPC as it relates to the Brass LNG project and voted to investigate same, but nothing happened thereafter.”
He said if the matter is not investigated, the essence of the fight against corruption would be defeated and the Nigerian economy and indeed teeming Nigerian masses would be worse for it.
Ogundu, therefore urged the House to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter for posterity sake.

When the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, put the motion on voice vote, majority of the lawmakers, across party lines, voted in favour.

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THE NATION

Age Falsification: ICPC arraigns ex-border agency boss

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A former Acting Executive Secretary of the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), Mrs. Victoria Olutayo Odumosu, has been arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for age falsification.

ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa in a statement on Thursday said Odumosu was arraigned before Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Maitama on a five-count charge bordering on conferring corrupt advantage upon herself as a public officer in order to keep herself in public service beyond the statutory retirement age.

Okoduwa said Odumosu was alleged to have changed her date of birth on the agency’s nominal roll from 6th July, 1956 to 6th July, 1960, when she was made the head of Human Resources Department of the agency, contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

She added that this fact was unearthed by ICPC after it launched an investigation into allegations contained in a petition it had received against the accused person.

She added that Odumosu pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against her when they were read out to her, Counsel to the accused person, Sayo Odumosu, through a written application, sought the relief of the court to grant his client bail.

Justice Goodluck then adjourned the case to Friday 19th October, 2018 for bail hearing, while the suspect has been remanded in ICPC custody, the ICPC statement.

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THE NATION

Guild of Corporate Online Publishers holds second annual conference in Lagos

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The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) has concluded arrangements for its second annual conference holding on Friday, October 19, 2019 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State.

A statement released in Lagos on Wednesday by GOCOP Publicity Secretary, Olumide Iyanda, confirmed that the theme of the conference is “Online Publishers’ Role Towards a Sustainable Economy, Credible Election and Security in Nigeria.”

Former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba (CON), has confirmed his presence as chairman of the event.

“Aremo Osoba’s choice as chairman is informed by his enviable profile as a journalist, elder statesman and peace advocate.

“He brings in a wealth of experience as former Managing Director of Daily Times Nigeria Limited, Governor of Ogun State and member of the Nigerian Constituent Assembly, among others,” the statement said.

Former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Senior Team Manager for the Africa Program of the Open Society Justice Initiative, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, has also confirmed his presence as the guest speaker.

“Recognised globally as an authority in international law, international economic and human rights law, public policy and political economy, Prof Odinkalu’s presentation will provide a clear roadmap for the media and other critical stakeholders in the Nigerian projects,” the statement added.

Chairman, Centre of Excellence in Multimedia Technology, Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye; and former Director, ICT Centre, Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Prof. Leonard Shilgba, will be the discussants.

The Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other stakeholder groups in the media will be represented at the conference.

GOCOP represents media organisations registered in Nigeria with promoters drawn from practitioners who have served at senior levels in the profession.

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THE NATION

Shekarau back in Court over N900m money laundering charges

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The Federal High Court sitting in Kano on Thursday adjourned the case of alleged money laundering against former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau.

Shekarau was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside former external affairs minister Aminu Wali and one Mansur Ahmad on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N950 million.

When the case came up for hearing, the Judge, Justice Lewis Allagoa, who has just assumed duty at the Court, adjourned the trial till Nov. 19, 20, and 21, 2018.

The judge replaced Justice Zainab Bage who was transferred.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Johnson Ojogbane, had earlier told the court that the defendants, between March 26 and 27, 2015, conspired among themselves and received the said amount without going through financial institutions.

He said that the money was issued to the defendants by the Peoples Democratic Party and former petroleum minister Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The prosecutor said that the offences contravened sections 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act and Section 15(1) of money laundering Act.

The trio had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Before the adjournment, the defense counsel, Mr Jibrin Okutekpa (SAN) prayed that the court to extend the bail granted to his clients by the former judge in line with Section 163 of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.

The judge acceded to the request to extend the bail before adjourning to Nov. 19, 201 and 21 for continuation of the trial.

NAN recalls that Bage had granted the defendants bail in the sum of N100 million each with two reliable sureties in like sum.

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