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Ezeadichie Onyeka Michael is the Co-Founder of Haelsoft, a Professional Services Company in Nigeria that provides Information and Technology Services for small and big size companies in Nigeria(Africa). He is an Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist with Expertise in Web Technology and Digital Marketing. He has developed & Implemented Digital Marketing Strategies(Campaigns) for top brands across sectors in Finance, Telecommunication, Ecommerce who operate in the African market. His professional experience includes key roles at Google Business Group(Nigeria), Google Women on the Web (Nigeria), Edubridge Consultant and Wild Fusion where he has trained over 500 Entrepreneurs on how to use various Web Technology products to succeed online. Customer centricity, User Experience, Conversion optimization are 3 pronged framework he applies around the often-frenetic world of web analytics to ensure that clients stay competitive in the market. He believes that investing in talent is the key to long term success for brands across Nigeria (Africa).

DARKNESS LOOMS AS NUEE LAYS SIEGE AT IKEJA ELECTRIC

DARKNESS LOOMS AS NUEE LAYS SIEGE AT IKEJA ELECTRIC

Customers of Ikeja Electric Plc (IE) may once again experience the discomfort of extended darkness as members of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have laid siege at the Company Headquarters in Alausa Ikeja and all its other offices across Lagos.

The Union members who claim that the picketing of IE followed the disengagement of about 40 members of staff, have forcibly shut down operations at the offices thereby resisting access to IE personnel and customers who have attempted to gain access to the offices.

According to Ikeja Electric, the recent separation of staff, was due to varying actions which are not in furtherance of the overall company objectives.

This protest in coming in the heels of the promotions of about 300 employees last week and the recruitment of over 500 new employees in the past one year. The promotion exercise cut across all cadres of staff, including members of the respective Unions in the organization.

Speaking on the development, Head Corporate Communications Felix Ofulue, questioned the motive for embarking on the protest which he described as self-serving.

“When NUEE chooses to cripple socio-economic activities of over a million households, for issues that can be resolved through dialogue, one then wonders if the motives are as selfless as they claim. How do you plunge a country’s commercial nerve center into darkness because of a few of your members who have been separated from the business for cogent reasons? It is really appalling. It’s an abuse of privilege to picket.” he said.

“Imagine that our employees in Alausa Injection Sub Station were chased out of the facility by the Union and they had to shut down 9 Feeders that supply power to Ikeja and its environs on safety grounds. This has resulted in an immediate blackout for at least 3000 customers”, Ofulue concluded.

He further apologized to customers for the disruption of service by NUEE and promised that they will continue to work with stakeholder to ensure that the company continues to improve and provide quality service to our customers.”

All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators allegedly gathered in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to finalize plan to impeach Senate President

No fewer than 30 All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators allegedly gathered in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to finalize plan to impeach Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu.

A source told DAILY POST that the alleged meeting was held around 12:30am in Abuja.

The lawmakers were said to have allegedly met with Lawal Daura, Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS).

The source added that as part of the plot, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) will be picked as Senate President while Hope Uzodinma (Imo West) will emerge as his deputy.

DAILY POST had reported that Saraki and Dogara fixed an emergency meeting for 12:00 noon on Tuesday at the National Assembly.

The development, it was gathered, seeks to counter clandestine strategy by lawmakers loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari to re-open both chambers of the legislature.

No fewer than 30 All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators allegedly gathered in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to finalize plan to impeach Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu.

A source told DAILY POST that the alleged meeting was held around 12:30am in Abuja.

The lawmakers were said to have allegedly met with Lawal Daura, Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS).

The source added that as part of the plot, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) will be picked as Senate President while Hope Uzodinma (Imo West) will emerge as his deputy.

DAILY POST had reported that Saraki and Dogara fixed an emergency meeting for 12:00 noon on Tuesday at the National Assembly.

The development, it was gathered, seeks to counter clandestine strategy by lawmakers loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari to re-open both chambers of the legislature.The announcement also came hours after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met Lawan at the presidential villa in Abuja.

Earlier, Senior Special Adviser to Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang urged legislature to cut-short its recess.

“We are appealing to Senate leadership and all caucuses of the national assembly to see this as a clarion call for the good of the nation.

“As the liaison officer between NASS and the federal government, I know it is not the intention of the lawmakers to make Nigerians suffer,” he had said.

Prof Itse Sagay, has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of having a hand in the crises rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Buhari’s aide, Sagay reveals politician behind Saraki’s defection

Prof Itse Sagay, has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of having a hand in the crises rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Prof Itse Sagay, has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of having a hand in the crises rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

He also said no power can cripple or frustrate the President Buhari-led government.

The Professor of Law noted that the defectors from the ruling APC to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, earlier made the ruling party sick.

He, however, he also stressed that the Buhari government was going to be stronger now despite the defection.

Speaking with Sun Newspaper, Sagay said: “There is nothing much. Everybody is truly going to where he belongs; there are too many odd fellows both in APC and the PDP; too many people who do not belong, who are ideologically different, whose social and moral obligations were different; those who do not care for the country, for the populace, but only care for their pockets and progress.

“They were all mixed up and that created a lot of tension and crises. Those who were indiscipline and totally uncontrollable were in a party headed by Buhari, who is a man of discipline and integrity. The whole thing was a mixture of odd fellows, which sparked off so many crises, so now that they have gone, there is going to be peace and progress and productivity.”

On the perception that the development might cripple the government, he said: “It is not possible to cripple or frustrate Buhari government. He was elected until May 29, 2019. Nothing on earth anybody can do about it; he will be in power until that day for certain. So, how are they going to cripple the government?

“When you have a mole; an internal enemy, who is gradually eating inside of your party out and making it sick, finally crawls out because some injection has been given to you, which destroys it or forces it out, I think it is a positive thing. In fact, Buhari’s government is going to be stronger now.”

Asked whether ex-Generals like Obasanjo, IBB, Danjuma, Gusau, were fuelling the ongoing crises from behind, Sagay stated, “I don’t know about all those people, but certainly Obasanjo has a hand, and open about it. He is not hiding it that his greatest objective now is to stop Buhari from being re-elected. He has not hidden it. So, he, I can confirm, but the other names, I have no evidence about them on this.”

Sins committed by Senate President, Bukola Saraki against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government APC

Presidency lists 22 sins Saraki committed against Buhari, APC

Sins committed by Senate President, Bukola Saraki against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government APCPresidency lists 22 sins Saraki committed against Buhari, APC

The Presidency on Saturday listed what it called sins committed by Senate President, Bukola Saraki against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) before his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Buhari’s aide on social media, Lauretta Onochie in a long post on her Facebook page, titled: ‘The Many Sins of Bukola Saraki Against APC and the APC-led government’, said Saraki was a clog in the wheel of progress of the development of Nigeria and the implementation of the policies of the administration.

The post read: ”APC is the most tolerant political party in the world. No other party would accommodate Saraki the way APC did till we could take no more. Here are a few of his sins. Just a few obvious ones that are in the public domain.”

1. Non-confirmation of EFCC Chairman sent in by the president impeding and threatening to derail the fight against corruption.

2. Giving preference to PDP members in committee appointments in the Senate.

3. Delay in the confirmation of the boards for AMCON, CBN, NERC, NSADA, ICPC, among others.

4. Giving the deputy Senate president to the opposition party.

5. Placing roadblocks to the actualization of government’s promises to Nigerians.

6. Constituting a clog in the wheel of progress of the development of the country and the implementation of the policies of the administration.

7. Joining forces with the opposition to ridicule President Buhari’s fight against corruption.

8. Stole money from the APC campaign during the presidential campaign in 2015 and starved the campaign council of funds.

9. Maintains a relationship with a gang of armed robbers who have been notorious for disturbing the peace of good people of Kwara state.

10. Rallied corrupt elements to buy his Senate Presidency seat against the wishes of the Party.

11. Currently inducing Senators with $100,000 each to suffocate PMB’s government in the Senate.

12. Delay of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 budgets and thus impeding the economic development of the country.

13. Budget padding and inserting 391 projects into budget of only two agencies.

14. Shutting down the National Assembly and personalizing the National Assembly affairs especially when he is required to answer questions at law enforcement authorities, we see the entire senate following him to the CCT and shutting down the Senate.

15. His refusal to entertain the virement for the funding of critical MDA’s which will ensure key agencies like INEC, NSA, NPF conduct their duties to ensure a free and fair elections.

16. Frustrating key laws in the fight against corruption and promoting laws that serve personal interest like the Bill on re-ordering the sequence of elections.

17. Fictitious insertions of amounts that are diverted in the name of constituency projects.

18. Lack of internal democracy where he, at will, suspends senators with different opinion from him.

19. Refusal to approve loans meant for infrastructural development of the country.

20. Using the Senate as an institution to fight personal vendetta.

21. Generally undermining the government for the past three years.

22. Permitting and tacitly endorsing frivolous motions to unjustly attack the President and the government.

Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, on Sunday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London.

Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, on Sunday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London.

The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, on Sunday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London. Earlier, two presidential aides confirmed on Saturday that the senator is defecting from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Bashir Ahmad, personal assistant to the president on online media, broke the news of the senator’s visit to the president Sunday morning.

Mr Ahmad posted on his official Twitter handle, photos of Mr Akpabio shaking hands and also posing with Mr Buhari.

Mr Buhari is on a 10-day vacation in London.

Mr Akpabio, who represents Akwa Ibom North West District in the Senate, is a former governor of Akwa Ibom.

Although disliked by some people because of his ruthless brand of politics, Mr Akpabio is widely respected as one of the most influential politicians in Akwa Ibom and Nigeria’s South-South region.

He handpicked Udom Emmanuel, a former executive director in Zenith Bank, appointed him Secretary to the State Government (SSG), groomed, and later installed him as governor of Akwa Ibom in 2015, despite opposition within his party, the PDP.

He is also responsible for the election and the appointment of several people in the state into public offices.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, who confirmed Mr Akpabio’s defection to the APC told PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday, “I believe his coming to the APC will change the fortunes of the APC in Akwa Ibom in particular, and the South-South in general.”

The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, are among PDP leaders said to be wooed by the APC to join the ruling party.

The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, are among PDP leaders said to be wooed by the APC to join the ruling party.

The opposition party, PDP, has criticised Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, for wooing its members.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP describes the move as “a failed antic of an apprehended and deflated felon.”

The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, are among PDP leaders said to be wooed by the APC to join the ruling party.

On Saturday, a presidential aide told PREMIUM TIMES arrangements had been concluded and Mr Akpabio would join the APC this week.

Scores of ex-APC members including Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, recently joined the PDP.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) mocks the presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as shameless, despicable and hypocritical, for attempting to woo PDP members into its now discredited and famished fold.

The PDP describes the move as a failed antic of an apprehended and deflated felon who, in his immoral proclivity, attempts futilely to pull off one last survival stunt before facing the gallows, or more so, a mortally wounded snake furtively seeking for one last bite before its inevitable painful death.

The PDP has nothing but pity for the APC, who, in its blind desperation, cannot see that the train has since left the station and that no body, no matter the lure, abandons a cruising liner, which the PDP now represents, to jump into a sinking ship with a disoriented captain which the APC has become.

Indeed, no one, no matter the enticement, runs into a collapsing building from where terrified, wounded and traumatized people are already taking flight for their dear lives.

Nigerians can now see the shameless hypocrisy of the APC, which is now going about, cap in hand, to beg the same persons it haunted as corrupt and evil, seeing that it has been overrun by the tides.

Having failed to cow such persons through threats, media trials, trumped up corruption charges and raw violence, the APC is now seeking to ensnare them with promises of political opportunities it no longer has control over.

The dilapidated APC, by now, ought to have known that no Nigerian will again fall for its gimmick of false promises and subject him or herself to the prison yard democracy, that it offers.

We therefore counsel the APC to leave our members alone and stop acting like that evil character who roams about seeking for whom to devour or drag along into the pit, knowing that his time is short.

The APC should quit its antics and find an abandoned cave of history to lick its wounds, having squandered the goodwill given to it by Nigerians in 2015.

The eclipsing APC must know that Nigerians have had enough of its lies, deception, propaganda, contrivances, beguilements and are now resolute in their iron-cast determination to rally on the platform of the repositioned PDP to rescue our nation from the curse which the APC has come to represent in the last three years.

The National leadership of the All Progressives Congress has lifted the suspension on Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani.

The National leadership of the All Progressives Congress has lifted the suspension on Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani.

The decision was communicated in a statement by Yekini Nabena, the Acting National Publicity Secretary of APC in Sunday.

“The National Secretariat has received the news of the suspension of Senator Shehu Sani by the Tudun Wada ward Chairman and wish to clarify that the purported suspension of Distinguished Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District is hereby lifted and (he) is confirmed as a bonafide Member and leader of our party.

“The Chairman Kaduna State Chapter has been directed to inform the relevant Ward and Local Government chapters appropriately, and also put the necessary mechanism towards complementing the efforts of the national leadership towards ensuring lasting peace and unity in the party.”

The statement praised the senator for ignoring calls to dump the party.

Mr Sani had earlier said he would remain in APC following intervention of the party leaders.

“It will be recalled that Senator Sani had shunned the idea of defecting to the PDP like other APC National Assembly members following the peace moves initiated by the National chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole,” the statement noted.

PDP senators reply colleague, vow Saraki won’t resign

The Senators representing Bauchi Central and Kwara South respectively, Isa Misau and Rafiu Ibrahim, have warned their counterpart from Katsina South, Abu Ibrahim, and others in the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to foment any trouble when the Senate resumes on September 25, as the Senate President, Abubakar Saraki, will never resign from the position.

Messrs Misau and Ibrahim, in a statement jointly signed by them in reaction to an interview granted by the Katsina Senator to the Cable online newspaper, stated that Mr Ibrahim and his colleagues will meet their match if they tried anything illegal even with all the deployment of security forces which they might have been assured of by the executive arm of government.

“It is obvious from the statements of Abu Ibrahim that he and his cohorts are not democrats. They do not believe in rule of law, the provisions of the constitution, the standing order of the Senate, parliamentary procedure and the due process,” they said.

“How will a supposed democrat be threatening disruption of peace in the parliament because his party lost members and lost its majority status? His statements showed why one of them led thugs to disrupt the proceeding of the Senate, steal the mace, the symbol of authority of the legislature, and yet there is no consequence. Both the mastermind and his thugs have been protected from being prosecuted. Now, Abu Ibrahim has given us an insight into what they are planning and we will be ready for them. He has also shown an indication of how he, as the chairman of the Police Affairs Committee, has been misusing the police against other Senators.

“APC should note that they are now the minority party. PDP have more members. When we resume, if they push us, we will move for a head count of members and change some of our principal officers to reflect party strength. Today, by the list paraded by APC themselves, they have only 48 Senators and PDP has 54, APGA has 2 and ADC has 2. There are two vacancies. That is the distribution in the Senate. Let them continue to deceive themselves.

“We will use our strength to defend the position of the present leadership of the Senate under Dr. Saraki and Senator Ike Ekweremadu. We will defend democracy and rule of law against the pretenders. We will show that every Senator represent different constituencies in our country.

“Our colleague from Katsina State has equally demonstrated that even though he has spent four terms in the legislature, he has not imbibed parliamentary ethos. Even his knowledge of the provisions of the law and the Senate rules is suspect. That is why he misrepresented the provisions of Rule 12 order 1, 2 and 3 of the Senate about the process of reconvening the Senate after it properly adjourned. By the provision, without all the leaders of the four parties initiating the reconvening of the Senate before the adjourned date, nothing can legally happen. Also without the consent of the Senate President, nothing can happen.

“We urge him and his colleagues to know that if they tried anything illegal and indecent, we will resist it through legal means. They saw an instance with the way our colleagues in the House of Representatives quickly gathered to foil their failed coup early this week.

“Abu Ibrahim and his cohorts have shown that they are desperate to win the 2019 elections at all cost by all means. We are surprised that this defection is making APC so uncomfortable that they are ready to bring the country down because some Senators left their party. We gave them all the opportunities to make amends from their destructive, non-inclusive and dictatorial ways. They did not take the chances and were behaving as if nobody matters. They are running a government by cabals, serving selfish interests and forgetting all the promises the party made to the people before being elected into office.

“The APC government has always demonstrated serious contempt for the legislature. That is why they have sent only a paltry 11 executive bills to the National Assembly in 38 months despite their promise of reform in various sectors of the country, The APC government came in 2015 and the first proposal they put forward was to have emergency powers in a democracy. Thank God we did not fall for their antics.”

Mr Misau is the chairman of Senate Committee on Navy while Rafiu Ibrahim is the chairman of Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions.

 

Aminu Tambuwal : Attempt to impeach Saraki will be resisted

Aminu Tambuwal : Attempt to impeach Saraki will be resisted

…Saraki, Ortom, Kwankwaso, others, attend PDP NEC Meeting …As NEC approves amendment of rules to accommodate Not-Too- Young-To-Run Act By Dirisu Yakubu ABUJA-Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal has warned against any illegal attempt to effect a change in the leadership of the National Assembly, warning those bent on impeaching Senate President, Bukola Saraki to perish the thought.

“Let them hear it very clear. If you try it (illegal impeachment), we will match out our forces in this country and jam you. Because we are talking about democracy. We cannot afford to allow anybody – no matter how highly placed – to toy with the future of about 200 million people in this country.

“Democracy is a process. It is not an end to itself. So, if the Senate President has decided as a matter of choice to shift base because of what is happening in the country, what is new about it? After all they have benefitted from it.

“The task is very great. We have no more time to waste. We must go round to convince Nigerians that this is not the government that we deserve. We must change the change and usher in a better democratic culture and good governance for this country,” Tambuwal stated

On his part, Saraki described his first day at the party’s national headquarters since his defection as “A great day for our country.” While stressing that a day for long speeches would come, the Senate President expressed gladness to be back to the party where his journey to political limelight began in 1999.

“I am happy to be back to the political party where I started my political career,” he added even as he called on party leaders to go the extra mile of returning the PDP back to power.

“Everybody is important and no sacrifice will be too much to make in our journey to the Promised Land.

“When we get back to our constituencies, let us open our arms and receive the numbers that will give us victory come February 2019 because it is for a better tomorrow for the Nigerian people,” Saraki said, saying he offers himself in the task of retrieving Nigeria back from the grip of the ruling party.

An elated national chairman of the PDP while welcoming the returnees which also included the lawmakers representing Kano Central Senatorial District, Musa Kwankwaso and Benue North-East, Barnabas Gemade, charged party faithful to remain resolute, adding that the ruling party will continue to assault democratic institutions in the country.

And with barely seven months to the elections, Secondus tasked security agents and the electoral umpire on the need for impartiality in the discharge of their constitutional duties.

“If the security agents and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) think they are now a parastatal or arm of government; we challenge them to wait and see,” he warned.

At the end of the meeting, NEC approved a review of party’s rules to look into the Not-Too-Young-To- Run Act. It also discussed a timetable for the primary elections, with the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan saying the party would make its position clear on the timetable “in the days ahead.”

Some of the dignitaries present at the well-attended meeting included the governors of Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Taraba States, Nyesom Wike, Ben Ayande, Udom Emmanuel and Darius Ishaku respectively.

Others included former governors of Benue, Adamawa, Kogi, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kano, Sokoto and Niger States-Gabriel Suswam, Boni Haruna, Ibrahim Idris, Ahmed Makarfi, Sule Lamido, Ibrahim Shekarau, Attahiru Bafarawa and Babangida Aliyu respectively among others.

PDP has accused the APC and Federal Government of shopping for what it described as a fraudulent interim court order to declare vacant

PDP has accused the APC and Federal Government of shopping for what it described as a fraudulent interim court order to declare vacant, the seat of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, following his defection from the APC to the PDP.

According to the statement, “Further intelligence available to us shows that once they are able to secure the injunction from a particular compromised judicial officer, they intend to arraign and detain the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on trumped up charges and ensure he is not granted bail so as to keep him out of circulation while their men would move in to effect an illegal leadership change in the Senate.

While we trust that the Chief Justice of Nigeria will protect the sanctity of our judiciary especially at this trying time in our national history, we call on the institution of the judiciary at all levels to immune itself from being used by enemies of our democracy as no house falls leaving its roof standing.

This desperation by despotic forces to forcefully and illegally take control of the Senate, the highest symbol of our Democratic Order, is nothing short of “civilianised coup” which must be resisted by all.

The judiciary must therefore ensure that it is not intimidated or ensnared to be party to a desperate bid to destabilize our nation.

The PDP holds that this newest devilish plot to destabilise our democracy lays credence to our earlier stand that President Buhari’s supposed London vacation is a ploy to absolve himself of responsibility for the political terror they have plotted to unleash on the opposition, especially the National Assembly.

Although they denied it as usual, Nigerians can bear witness to the fact that there is nothing the APC government denied that they did not eventually execute.

Indeed, there has never been any impunity they executed that they did not deny.

The recent rascally attempt to hold Saraki and Ekweremadu hostage in their homes on 24th July 2018 as well as the terrorisation of the Benue State House of Assembly after Governor Samuel Ortom’s defection bear sad testimony to this fact.

We, therefore, call on Nigerians and the international community to be on the alert as the conspirators plan to commence the execution of this evil plot from Tuesday next week.

Finally, the PDP cautions the APC and others in this evil ring to note that they are now running on a collision course with Nigerians as the citizens will definitely not fold their hands and watch them destroy our hard earned democracy and foist a fascism on our dear nation.”

Why EFCC postponed my interrogation — Ekweremadu

The deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, said on Friday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission agreed to delay his interrogation that began on Tuesday after he told investigators he was “not feeling well.”

Mr Ekweremadu was questioned by anti-graft detectives on allegations of conspiracy, illicit asset purchases and money laundering from Tuesday morning until late evening.

He was released on administrative bail and scheduled to return on Wednesday morning for continuous interrogation, PREMIUM TIMES reported based on details of his appearance provided by EFCC sources.

Although he returned to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday as directed, he quickly sought a leave to attend to his health which suddenly became fragile between Tuesday night when he concluded his first day of questioning and Wednesday morning, his spokesperson said in a Friday morning statement to PREMIUM TIMES.

Uche Anichukwu was responding to reports that his principal took ill after developing a high blood pressure under blistering interrogation by EFCC detectives on Wednesday.

“There was no interrogation whatsoever on Wednesday, let alone presentation of so-called additional “facts” that purportedly triggered his blood pressure,” Mr Anichukwu said.

He slammed the reports as an “orchestrated media trial”, adding that Mr Ekweremadu was able to convince EFCC doctors that he was too indisposed to be interrogated.

“It was agreed that a new date would be fixed for continuation of the interview,” Mr Anichukwu said.

A spokesperson for the EFCC did not immediately return requests for comments Friday morning.

Mr Ekweremadu, deputy senate president since 2007, has been accused by federal authorities of owning questionable properties in at least three foreign countries.

A presidential panel tracking illicit assets identified some of Mr Ekweremadu’s local and foreign assets for seizure earlier this year, a proceeding the top lawmaker condemned as a political witch-hunt for his criticism of the Buhari administration.

Date announced for Mali’s presidential run-off election.

Date announced for Mali’s presidential run-off election.

A run-off vote has been set for August 12 in Mali after neither incumbent Ibrahim Keita nor his arch-rival Soumaila Cisse managed to muster a majority in the first round of a tense but peaceful presidential poll.

Mr Keita took 41.4 per cent of the vote in the first round against 17.8 per cent, for Mr Cisse, the minister for territorial administration, Mohamed Erlaf, announced in the capital Bamako late Thursday.Many of the eight million eligible voters cast their ballots on July 29 in spite of a volatile security situation in the country’s north and centre, where various Islamist and separatist groups regularly stage attacks.

Isolated security incidents, however, prevented voting in 105 of the West African nation’s 23,000 polling stations, the ministry of territorial administration said.

Mr Keita’s popularity has plummeted since his election in 2013, but the 73-year-old has a good chance of winning a second five-year term in the run-off: No sitting president has ever lost an election in the former French colony.

Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa), has faulted the defection of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki

A senator, Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa), has faulted the defection of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Adamu, who made this known in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Friday, said “Saraki had stepped on banana peel and should be prepared to bear the consequences of his action.”

Messrs Adamu and Saraki, former political allies, have been antagonists since the former accused the senate president of working against the interest of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Saraki earlier in the week attacked Mr Adamu, saying he was a deceptive, manipulative and desperate liar.

“He feels the best way to play his self-survival game and ingratiate himself to the government in order to save his skin is for him to be seen to be fighting Saraki, even if that would require him to tell brazen lies and peddle mischief in his old age,” Me Saraki said of the Nasarawa senator who had repeatedly criticised him.

In his Friday statement on the senate president, Mr Adamu said, “If Saraki knows political intricacies and the political terrain or the path where the banana peel in political landscape is, he will be more cautious.

“The way he is going now, he has obviously stepped on banana peel and only God knows how far he will slip.

“I will not pretend. I think he made a mistake and he took a wrong decision. He will have stories to tell along the line.

“It is not the best he could have done. He had a duty to his father to keep the flag of the family flying but the way he is going, I do not think he is doing that.”

He then urged Mr Saraki to step down to avert consequences, adding that “he should honourably return the crown or be ready to bear the consequences.”

Mr Adamu, who heads a pro-Buhari Support Group in the Senate, vowed that with the defection, it would not be business as usual.

He explained that “the defection of Saraki and the other lawmakers is a game changer.

“We expect them to do it amicably and peacefully. They should make sure they do not run away with our crown.

“If they think they will go and nothing will happen and that it will be business as usual, then they need to think again.

“I will not say whether we will take steps or not take steps. We hope that between now and resumption of Senate plenary, more events will unfold. We do not want to be in a hurry to speculate.”

The lawmaker, however, said that if Mr Saraki insisted on leading a Senate with majority of lawmakers from the APC, there would be repercussions.

On the belief that Mr Saraki did not do anything constitutionally wrong by defecting, and that there was a precedence where former Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, defected but remained the Speaker, Mr Adamu said “it will not happen this time. We are more educated on the rules now.”

On gale of defections from the ruling party, Mr Adamu said he would not want any member to leave the party again, noting, however, that it was a free world and everyone was at liberty to join the party of his or her choice.

Apart from Mr Adamu, some other APC senators like Ali Ndume have also called for Mr Saraki’s resignation. The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has also made a similar call.

Mr Saraki, who Thursday attended a PDP executive council meeting in Abuja, has however insisted he would not resign. The APC would also face a herculean task to legally remove him from office based on the constitutional two-third requirement needed. Apart from enjoying the support of PDP senators, Mr Saraki also enjoys the support of many APC senators.

Ikeja Electric rewards performance, promotes 299 employees

Ikeja Electric rewards performance, promotes 299 employees

…employs over 500 new staff in last one year

In line with its commitment to reward productivity and also bolster efficiency within the organization, Ikeja Electric (IE), Nigeria’s leading electricity distribution company, has announced the promotion of 299 employees across various job grades in the business, while employing over 500 new staff in the last one year.

According to the statement released by the organization, the promotions cut across both junior and senior staff cadres in various departments of the company’s Head Office and its six Business Units.

A breakdown of the list showed in the senior cadre, 13 employees were promoted to the role of Senior Managers, while seven others got promoted as Managers and another 15 employees ascended the career ladder to become Assistant Managers.

In addition, 121 employees moved up to become Supervisors while one person rose to Grade Level 1 Officer

In the junior cadres, 38 Technicians were elevated to Junior Grade Level 4, another 86 persons across Technical, Commercial, Security, Internal Audit and HR & Admin Departments were promoted to Junior Grade Level 3 while 17 employees were elevated to Junior Grade Level 2.

Speaking on the significance of the promotion exercise, the Chief Human Resources & Administration Officer, Ibiene Okeleke, explained that Ikeja Electric places a high premium on human capital development as a vital component of driving its commitment to providing the best possible service to customers within its network, while noting that the company has employed over 500 new staff between August 2017 and now.

“At Ikeja Electric, we constantly recognize and motivate employees who are committed to delivering finest performance on the job, so this promotion exercise is part of the systems that we have put in place to motivate performance among our employees. It also attests to the fact that we value productivity and encourage career advancement for every employee across various departments”, she said.

She further noted that “it is also important to state that while some other sectors are experiencing huge job losses, we have employed over 500 new workers in our bid to create a more efficient workforce with the aim to ensure excellent service delivery. We strive to deliver the best and we are not relenting to do more, that is why we also emerged as one of the best 100 places to work in Nigeria, as indicated by the recent ranking released by Jobberman.”

According to Okeleke, other recognition and reward programs have been instituted to reward exceptional performances. One of them is the ‘Double R’ Awards, an internal initiative which was launched early this year, is designed to reward outstanding achievements made by employees on the field. The firms through various initiative also encourages creativity and work-life among its staff.

With a dedicated workforce numbering close to 3,000, Ikeja Electric occupies a key position for its privileged coverage of many industrial centres, providing services for customers spread across Alimosho, Ikorodu, Ikeja, Epe, Oshodi, Agege, Shomolu and Kosofe Local Government Areas. Parts of Yaba and Mushin are also included.

CBN injects fresh US$210m into forex market

CBN injects fresh US$210m into forex market: The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday made available the sum of US$210 million to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the foreign exchange market. (Source: Thisday)

Shell to consider FID on Bonga Southwest in 2019: Royal Dutch Shell and its partners will decide next year on whether to go ahead with the development of Nigeria’s Bonga Southwest offshore oilfield, a senior company official said yesterday. The project, one of the country’s largest with an estimated production of 180,000 barrels per day, is expected to generate profit at below US$50 a barrel. Shell is currently negotiating a production sharing contract with the Nigerian government, which will determine the viability of the project, he said. (Source: Punch)

Transcorp to begin exploration of oil from OPL 281 in 2019: Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has unveiled plans to convert its Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 281 asset (located in Delta state) to Oil Mining Lease (OML) for commercial production by 2019. The company has already engaged a new technical partner and is in the process of finalising arrangements for the pre-exploratory activities expected to kickoff by 2019. (Source: Guardian)