The Ogun State House of Assembly Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, is to be arraigned in Lagos on Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged financial crimes, an impeccable source within the anti-graft agency confirmed to our correspondent Saturday night.
The source, who pleaded anonymity, noted that the agency was leaving no stone unturned in its bid to arraign the Chief lawmaker, adding that some political actors had been making efforts to stall the arraignment.
He said, “We’re leaving no stone unturned concerning this Oluomo’s matter. He will be arraigned in court in Lagos State on Monday or later in the week, as we’re currently preparing charges against him.
“We’re arraigning him in Lagos because it’s a jurisdictional matter. Some highly placed personality are doing everything to frustrate his arraignment, but he’s expected to go explain or defend himself in court on Monday.”
The Speaker was arrested by officials of the EFCC at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Thursday morning and secretly flown to Abuja, and was still in the custody of the anti-graft agency, Saturday night.
He was said to have been on the wanted list of the commission following his failure to honour the EFCC’s invitation several times.
Oluomo and others (yet to be named) were accused of forging signatures and financial documents belonging to the state Assembly.
The EFCC National and South-West spokespersons, Mr Wilson Uwujaren and Mr Dele Oyewale, did not respond to their calls nor responded to WhatsApp and text messages from our correspondent, Saturday night.
A member of the Ogun State House of Assembly representing the ruling All Progressives Congress, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, however, confirmed the situation.
He said, “The information you got is correct. Our speaker was arrested by officials of the EFCC earlier this morning. From what I gathered, he was alleged to have been involved in misappropriation and embezzlement of funds.”
It was further gathered that the absence of the Speaker prevented the House from observing its last Thursday sitting.
Our correspondent learnt that the Deputy Speaker, Akeem Balogun, who is statutorily saddled with the responsibility of conducting the businesses of the Assembly, also could not convene the sitting of the House.
When our correspondent visited the Assembly complex on Thursday, staff members of the Assembly were seen gathering in groups and discussing in a hushed tone.
A source at the Assembly confided in our correspondent that the Speaker’s refusal to honour the EFCC’s invitation was premised on the existing litigation instituted by the Assembly earlier in January this year at the Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, against the agency.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Yussuf Adejojo, said the Speaker’s arrest might have prevented the lawmakers from observing its sitting.
Lalong Appoints Ten New Permanent Secretaries
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has approved the appointment of 10 new Permanent Secretaries.
The governor made the announcement in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, on Monday in Jos.
According to the statement, the new officials are to fill the vacancies created following the retirement/resignations of some Permanent Secretaries in the service of the state government.
“The new Permanent Secretaries are expected to be sworn in on Tuesday 24th January 2023.
“The new Permanent Secretaries are: Keziah Dung (Barkin Ladi); Yusuf Ayuba Gimba ( Bassa); Gongden Micah Sunday (Mangu); Lamu Michael Dennis (Mangu).
“ Peter Wuyep (Kanke); Bapman Naankin Emmanuel (Mikang); Boniface Gwotbit Bankshuet (Mikang); Gotan Benjamin James (Pankshin); Salamatu Ritmwa Parlong (Pankshin); and Wuyep Zitta (Langtang South)”.
Enugu2023: My Government Will Explore The Opportunities Of Coal, Gas And Solar Energy To Meet Power Needs Of Enugu State – Frank Nweke Jr
Frank Nweke Jr, the Enugu State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), on Sunday night, said that his government would explore the opportunities of resources like coal and natural gas (CNG) which the state has, as well as solar technology to meet the power needs of the citizens.
Nweke who spoke during a virtual town hall meeting with the Enugu Association, Canada, noted that Enugu has one of the highest electricity tariffs in Nigeria, an issue he would work closely with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) as Governor to understand and resolve.
“Electric power is critical for domestic use and economic progress. While working with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to improve supply and reduce tariffs, we have some opportunities available to us as alternatives to power from the mains.
“The use of coal has been stalled due to agreements induced by Western powers on the basis of managing climate change. What we have now are illegal miners and private companies who have expanses of coal deposits concessioned to them.
“As a government, we will work to retrieve these concessions by making deals with the people concerned or by making a strong representation to the government at the centre who hold the rights to mineral resources on the exclusive list under section 39 of the constitution.”
He also noted that the developed economies that had opposed large scale mining for reasons of climate change had fallen back to the use of coal due to the effects of the Russian-Ukraine war. He declared that he had the political will to ensure that all resources and opportunities available to the State would be explored.
On the use of natural gas (CNG), Nweke referred to Lagos and Abia where communities are sequestered, and clean energy provided to them. He revealed his team have had conversations with licensed operators who are willing to do the necessary due diligence checks and explore that opportunity whenever his government is ready.
Nweke further stated that as Governor he will also explore the opportunity of solar technology. He noted that Enugu already had young companies assembling inverters and looking to extend their production to solar panels.
“We will work with these local companies and with some established international companies from Japan, Turkey and other parts of the world to establish a ‘Partnership in Technology Program” to set up plants for assembling solar panels and training our people to do the same in Enugu State.
“Our intention is to put in place a policy that will mandate developers of new estates to deploy structures for renewable energy, taking sections of the State off-grid by providing power from natural gas or solar technology.” He concluded.
Cross River Declares Work-Free Days For PVC Collection
The Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has declared Thursday, 26 and Friday, 27 January, 2023 as work-free days in the state to enable civil and public servants across the state to collect their Permanent Voters Cards.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Eric Anderson, said in a statement on Friday that the collection of PVCs was “in readiness for their full participation in the 2023 general election scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2023 for Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as Saturday, March 11, 2023 for Governorship and State Houses of Assembly Elections.
“Government wishes to make it abundantly clear, especially for the benefit of members of the general public, to note that these work-free days are not Public Holidays and should NOT be seen as one.
“Civil and public servants in the state are hereby advised to take advantage of the work-free days to get their PVCs in readiness to make their votes count in these elections. Your PVC is the pathway to achieving credible elections.”