Please let’s try to keep our eye on the road…Don’t care who this happened to but it’s sad…
The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to immediately make public details of all appropriations and statutory transfers in the 2014 budget, in the public interest.
The order was issued by Justice Abubakar Abdu-Kafarati in his judgment on February 25, 2014, in the legal application No. FHC/ABJ/CS/301/3013 filed by the Centre for Social Justice against the minister.
Mr. Kafarati asked the minister to release to the group and the general public, details of releases in the budget to some key government agencies, specifically, the National Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; National Judicial Council, NJC; Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC; Universal Basic Education, UBE and National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
Under the amended Nigerian constitution, the listed offices are considered statutory bodies, whose funding are drawn directly from government treasury, to foster their independence. Their budget details have also not been made public since 2011.
The Executive Director of Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekwere, said the group approached the court to compel the minister to respect the law and release the information pursuant under the Freedom of Information and the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Mr. Onyekwere said that following observed acts of impunity and fiscal lawlessness by government, namely the expenditure of several billions of Naira in the budget without appropriation, fraud and illegal allocation of revenues under various questionable sub-heads, it became necessary that details of such allocations be revealed to the people, who are the owners of the budget under democracy.
But, he said in spite several requests since 2013, the Minister of Finance has continuously refused to comply, accusing her of shielding from sanctions officials in charge of ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs where ghost workers have shown up on their payrolls.
“Government has always claimed it has served billions of Naira from its efforts to rid ghost workers from the system. But, we have always asked, without any response, for details from each MDA prior to and post-verification, including the numbers and names of the accounting officers, in terms of Permanent Secretary, Head of Personnel and Accounts/Payroll officers,” Mr. Onyekwere said.
He said the Personnel Officers are those responsible for certifying that the payroll was consist of genuine workers, while the Accounts officers prepare the vouchers for the Permanent Secretary to signs off, before the authority to incur expenditure, AIE is raised for the final payment.
Citing the case of the Budget Office of the Federation, BOF, where it was found recently that prior to the verification, it had more than 1,000 staff on its payroll every month, only for the figure to crash to only 251 afterwards, he said the problem would be resolved if the Minister agreed to expose the perpetrators.
“All we have is a Minister of Finance who has refused to bring out the details of these scandalous findings. Yet, we talk about the commitment to fight corruption. Nigerians are entitled to know. We cannot continue to run a system where some people simply come to loot the treasury and they want everyone to clap for them to go on,” Mr. Onyekwere said.
He condemned the continued appropriation of funds in the budget under Service-wide votes, noting that any allocation for any MDA that cannot be included in its approved budget was subject to misappropriation or diversion.
Mr. Onyekwere said the provision of about N118 billion as personnel cost under service-wide vote in the budget was suspicious and questionable, as this no agency or department of government called “service-wide votes” that has workers that should be catered for separately.
Other questionable appropriations under the service-wide vote include about N21 billion to INEC for “elections logistics and support”, apart from about N45 billion already provided for it in the budget, as well as an additional N1.8 billion for pilgrimages.
Apart from the N150 billion appropriation for the National Assembly, he said the provision for another N100 billion under service-wide vote for constituency projects was fraudulent, as most of the projects neither follow set national vision nor government development agenda.
He frowned at the penchant for government officials to capitalize on the current insecurity in the country to manipulate the system to their selfish ends.
He drew attention to the inclusion of about N475 million and N600 million in the National Orientation Agency, NOA and the Office of the Minister of Finance, respectively, for security equipment.
Another N882.237 million is provided in the Finance Ministry’s budget for rehabilitation/repairs of residential buildings.
“In God’s name what has the NOA and Minister of Finance got to do with security? Does NOA need security equipment to enlighten the people on government programmes? Or does the Minister of Finance need security to prepare the budget or get it approved?
“With government monetization policy, where the perks of office of these high ranking officials should be converted to cash, whose residential buildings does the Ministry of Finance want to repair? Mr. Onyekwere said.
But, the spokesperson to the Minister, Paul Nwabuikwu, said he totally and completely disagrees with the mindset by government critics that it only engages in wastes and corruption.
Mr. Nwabuikwu did not comment on the court order on his boss. But he criticized critics of the budget for always seeing only the flaws, saying this might be as a result of ignorance or politics.
“Government is a human construct, as such can never be perfect. It can only improve. And since a budget is put together by human beings, it cannot be perfect. Let’s stop this culture of negativity and look at the big picture of the budget,” he said.
He said criticisms that do not include the achievements of the administration in the areas of railway rehabilitation, roads construction, privatization in the power sector, and job creations were totally incomplete.
A young man allegedly a bomber sent by Boko Haram to cause havoc at Synagogue Church Of All Nations confessed LIVE on Prophet TB Joshua’s Emmanuel TV today!
According to the man who identified himself as Mustapha from Adamawa State, he and 4 others had been sent to blow up the church. He said when 5 of them eventually got to the SCOAN junction, they tried to give
one mallam a bag to keep which was containing a metre bomb, but the mallam refused.
So they entered a restaurant wich was very close to church. They were eating and watching SCOAN when the man of God started praying for viewers. He said the prayers caused confusion. 4 of them took off but Mustapha was arrested by the power God and he came inside the church and started confessing.
He also mentioned how they get initiated into Boko Haram and how in a dream he had he saw TB Joshua, telling him to stop killing.
Family of Muntari Suleiman, who was detained for alleged connection to Boko Haram sect, have filed a suit against the Department of State Security (DSS) demanding his release or arraignment.
The family appealed Federal High Court in Abuja in order to “enforce the fundamental human rights of the accused”. Their interests were represented by the counsel, Barrister Ayuba Abdul, also joining the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Mohammed Adoke (SAN) as the defendant.
The uncle of the suspect, Mr Yakubu Akor, declared that he approached the court after several failed efforts to secure Muntari’s release. The young man was arrested in Ayingba, Kogi State in January and has been kept incommunicado since then.
According to the family, the 17-year-old school leaver, who was seeking admission into the Kogi State University, Ayingba, was arrested while in possession of a laptop only.
The counsel to the DSS, Godwin Agbadoa, explained the court that efforts were being made to produce the suspect from the SSS custody in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The suit has adjourned to March 19 for hearing.
Over 210 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were liquidated, minor and satellite camps destroyed in the past few days by security forces carrying out raid on Sambisa Forest. Multiple enclaves of the sect did not survive the raid as well.
The operation was described as a “major feat” by the military since the commencement of the state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States in May last year.
Both local sources and the military confirmed to Sunday Trust that the clampdown on the insurgents was in active phase, pointed out that it was yielding the desired results.
An unnamed security source revealed that huge resources and manpower have been mobilized to volatile areas in Bama, Gwoza and Damboa local governments of Borno State, as well as around Gulani and Gujba local governments in Yobe State.
All the areas listed above have routes which lead to the Sambisa Forest, one of the biggest hideouts of Boko Haram fighters.
Another source narrated about the operation in the northern parts of Borno State and the remote communities near Lake Chad and Cameroon and Niger borders.
“Two medium but dangerous camps have been cleared in Anagarno and Ajiri, while tiny enclaves spread across Kukawa/Baga, Abadam/Mallam Fatori, Gamboru Ngala, Dikwa and Mafa have been successfully uprooted with serious casualty on the side of the terrorists,” the source said.
The combined efforts of security agencies, Army led to death of over 210 terrorists in a couple of days, with many captured alive, while hundreds of them were wounded and fleeing.
The source said the “recent success” was as a result of recent reorganization, re-strategizing and synergy among various security agencies. Another root success is that more troops, with advanced warfare training and equipment, have been deployed to volatile areas.
Some locals in Damboa and Bama local government areas said some of the destroyed Boko Haram camps were becoming sites for tourist attraction.
“People are now visiting some of the destroyed camps near Sambisa. There are dead bodies, destroyed vehicles and personal effects of the terrorists all over,” Lawan Mato, a trader in Damboa said.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian security forces had come under serious criticisms over their alleged inability to contain the rampaging posture of the Boko Haram. The number of people killed in Boko Haram attacks in the North-East in this year alone exceeded 500
General Overseer of Tower of God Revival Ministry, Pastor Cletus Nzekwesiri Nwankwo and his wife are still recovering from the shock of being beaten almost to stupor by some other pastors in the Pentecostal church located at Akwakuma in Owerri West Council Area of Imo State.
Trouble started for the couple when two members of the church brought a goat and a cow as thanksgiving offering. At the end of the service, Nwankwo questioned one of the youth leaders who was untying the cow tethered to a post, asking him where he was taking it.
At that moment, he alleged, three other pastors of the church, whose names he gave as Elvis Nwachuckwu, Ikechukwu Nwogu and Victor Joseph arrived on the scene and challenged him on why he should question where the cow was being taken.
An argument ensued between the General Overseer and the trio over who had authority over affairs of the church. As tempers rose, the trio descended on Nwankwo and his wife and thoroughly beat them up.
Nwankwo alleged that his attackers wanted to eliminate him and to take over the church he laboured from 2002 to build in connivance with a relation of his late wife. Prior to the incident, Nwankwo said he had just returned from Ogun State where went to pray for spiritual renewal, noting that the thanksgiving service was the first time he would attend worship service in about a month. He said he had no inkling of the fate that befell him and his wife that fateful Sunday.
His words: “The obvious intent those people was simply to eliminate me so that they can take over the church I established in 2002 and employed them as pastors. I have been away from the church for about a month because I had gone to pray on the ‘mountain’ in Ogun State and just returned. I went to the church with my wife on that fateful February 19th and during the service two members of the church brought a goat and a cow for their thanksgiving but after the church service one of the youth leaders went to where the cow was tethered. As he was trying to untie it, I asked him where he wanted to take the cow to and who instructed him to untie it. But Elvis Nwachuckwu, Victor Joseph and Ikechukwu Nwogu and seven other members attacked me.”
Continuing, he alleged that it was Pastor Elvis who wanted to strangle him by pulling him by his tie while the others were raining blows on him before his wife raised the alarm.
He spoke further: “They beat me as if I was a criminal to the extent that I fainted. It was my wife’s scream for help that attracted the neighbours who came to rescue me by calling in the police. Otherwise I would have been killed because I had already fainted. I saw Ikechukwu holding a big stone which he wanted to use to smash my head, shouting that I must confess my sins before dying. My wife was also injured on her right leg when she was hit with a tile and up till now she has been at the Federal Medical Centre.
However, the embattled General Overseer revealed that the issue of the cow offering was not the main cause of the problem, staying that it was just a ploy by his co-workers in the vineyard of God to take over the church since the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Nzekwesiri Nwankwo, who, he said, was a co- founder of the church. He added that immediately he remarried, some of the people who attacked him vehemently refused to allow his new wife (Evangelist Helen Nzekwesiri) minister in the church, stressing that, “This trouble started after the death of my first wife, Elizabeth, because one of her relations had accused me of being responsible for her death, an accusation that baffles me till date.
Moreover, it was said that she was the real founder of the church and not me. I believed this relation of late wife connived with the three pastors. But real fact remains that it was I who ordained my late wife a pastor of the church just the same way I also employed the three pastors that attacked me. Today they are now claiming that I am not the General Overseer of the church and the question is, if I am not the General Overseer, who employed them? Of the three pastors only Victor Joseph’s appointment as a pastor of the church has been confirmed by me, while Ikechukwu Nwogu and Elvis Nwachuckwu are still on probation because they had no theological training and this was their anger because I had demanded that they should produce their certificate of ordination or theology certificate and that was my offence.”
Nwankwo also revealed to Sunday Sun that because of the lingering disagreement and the conspiracy against him, the three pastors and some relations of his late wife had hijacked all the offerings and tithes brought members of the church and that they have continued to deny him his due.
Meanwhile , one of the pastors alleged to have attacked Nwankwo, Elvis Nwachuckwu told the Sunday Sun that the General Overseer had been suspended from all church activities because of his teachings, which were allegedly inconsistent with the scriptures and that he had no business being in the church on that fateful Sunday. He said Nwankwo only became to collect the cow brought to church for thanksgiving by a member.
“He has been on suspension for the past seven months because of strange doctrines and teachings which are inconsistent with the holy scripture and the Elders Committee of the church had to suspend him. So his coming to the church on that Sunday was simply to collect the cow and nothing. We refused to allow him do it because he had no business being in the church and had been told to stay clear from the premises of the church until the issues are resolved,” Nwachukwu said.
The police in Enugu State have arrested six persons over their alleged involvement in the burning down of shrines in Umuaji, Ezeagu Local Government Area.
Vanguard reports that the suspects, members of the Indigenous Christians of Umuaji, carried out the act during their special crusade.The group reportedly claimed that the burnt shrines were responsible for the backwardness of their community and her indigenes, adding that they had the approval of the natives to destroy the shrines as part of spiritual cleansing of the area.
But while Christians in the area were celebrating the destruction of the shrines, the four priests in-charge of the burnt shrines reported the arson to the police which led to the arrest of Nnaeme and members of his group.
Police spokesman in the state, Ebere Amaraizu, stated that the police has commenced full scale investigations into the “incident of burning down of different sacred shrine houses in the community as well as damaging of other valuable items at Umuaji Aguobuowa in Ezeagu local Government Area of Enugu State. He said:
“On 7/1/14 in the early hours, a group known as Indigenous Christians of Umuaji led by one Joseph Nnaeme, alias 404 gathered themselves and went on rampage during their crusade in the community and during which different sacred shrines of the community were burnt down and other valuable items damaged. Six persons have been arrested in connection with the incident just as the state command has advised members of the community to remain calm and law abiding while the investigation lasts”.
Meanwhile, the four priests in charge of the affected shrines have described the act as sacrilegious
Full List Of Winners At The Africa Magic Movie Awards 2014 Winners (Full List & Names Of Nollywood Celebrities)
- Best Movie of 2013 — The Contract
- Best Actress in a Drama Award — Tope Tedela for A Mile From Home
- Best Actress in a Drama Award — Nse Ikpe-Etim for Journey To Self
- Pete Edochie won Industry Merit Award goes to Peter Edochie
- Best Movie Drama — Frank Rajah Arase for The Price
- Best actor in a comedy award — Elvis Chucks
- Rita Dominic won new era award for role in The Meeting movie
- Trailblazer ward — Michelle Bello
- Best supporting actor in a Drama — Desmond Elliot for Finding Mercy
- Best supporting actress in a Drama — Bikiya Graham-Douglas for Flower Girl
- Best Director — Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Contract
- Best Actor in a Comedy — Osita Iheme – The Hero
- Best Online Video — Amarachukwu Onoh – Mother Tongue
- Best Short Film award — Walter ‘Waltbanger’ Taylaur – The Wage
- Best Documentary award — Dr Gilbert Chigbo – The Deadwood
- Best Indigenous Language (Hausa): Abba Muko Yakassai
- Best indigenous language Yoruba award — Mercy Aigbe
- Best indigenous language Swahili award — Njoki Muhoho – Mama Duka
- Best Television Series (Comedy/Drama) award goes to: Fred Phiri – Love Games Episode 6
- Best video editor — Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Contract
- Best sound editor — Obi Emelonye and Luke Corradine – Last Flight to Abuja
- Best Cinematographer — Christian Almesberger – Nairobi Half Life
- Best Writer in a Comedy award –Jigi Bello – Flower Girl
- Best Lighting Designer — Mohamed Zain – Nairobi Half Life
- Best Writer in a Drama — Shirley Frimpong-Manso & Hertey Owusu – Contract
- Best Make-Up Artiste Award — Elayne Okaya – Nairobi Half Life
- Best Costume Designer award — Chiemela Nwagboso – The Kingdom
- Best Art Director award –Barbara Minishi – Nairobi Half Life
A six-year-old who was allegedly raped by a 42-year-old man has developed Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF), this is according to Kano State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr.Binta Tijanni Jibril.
The six-year-old girl who is now a VVF patient has gotten the support of Kano state governor, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and she is now on free medication due to her critical condition.
The commissioner who disclosed this during a press conference organised to commemorate the International Women’s Day, said the increasing rate of rape had become worrisome to the government, adding that the wicked act had become a global issue.
Speaking on the theme tagged” Equality for women is progress for all,” the commissioner said the state government had spent over N3 billion on women empowerment in an effort to liberate women from poverty.
“The celebration could not have come at a better time; indeed at a time when Kano state is experiencing change, and inspiring change world worldwide, as a result of the bold steps that Kwankwaso is taking towards improving the lives of its citizenry, particularly women and children,” she said.