FEC Approves ₦14.88bn For Construction Of FIRS Office
The Federal Executive Council has approved a contract for the construction of a new office block and parking lot worth over N14.88 billion for the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, disclosed this on Wednesday after the Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House.
Ogba told State House Correspondents that the Construction of the 12 storey building would save FIRS N4 billion annual rent and decongest traffic along Awolowo Road.
The Council also approved the creation of a database of the National Capital Projects Information System of Government, to track the growing abandoned and uncompleted projects across the country, particularly in the last five years, which drains national funds.
The National Capital Projects and Information System, which involves key infrastructure ministries, is to be headed by the Finance Minister to prioritize and fund selected projects on a yearly basis and possibly privatize some of the projects, repurposed some for alternative use, and completely abandon others (depending on the outcome of investigations) treating them as a sunk cost.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture, Mohammad Abubakar, has stated that the government is working to decrease the inflation rate, primarily through subsidizing fertilizer, improving production, and preventing smuggling among other strategies.
He again debunked claims that the nation would experience a food shortage in 2023.
Ex-CGS Oladipo Diya Dies At 79
Lt. General Oladipo Diya, former Chief of General Staff under the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, is dead.
His death was announced in a statement by his son, Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, on Sunday morning.
It read, “On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; we announce the passing on to glory of our dear husband, father, grandfather, brother, Lt-General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni.
“Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023. Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.”
The former Chief of General Staff was born on April 3, 1944 at Odogbolu in Ogun State.
Diya joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.
He was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994. As Chief of the General Staff, he was second in command and the de facto vice president of Nigeria under Abacha from 1994.
Breaking: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ Trafficking In The U.K.
A former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, have been found guilty of organ trafficking in the United Kingdom.
The duo alongside a medical doctor, Dr. Obinna Obeta, were found guilty of facilitating the travel of a young man to Britain with a view to his exploitation after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey.
They criminally conspired to bring the 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney, the jury found on Thursday.
The judge, Justice Jeremy Johnson, will pass a sentence at a later date, The Guardian UK reports.
Ekweremadu, Beatrice, their daughter, Sonia, and Obeta had been standing trial at the Old Bailey for organ trafficking.
Their conviction on Thursday was the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.
Ekweremadu and his wife were last year arrested in the United Kingdom for allegedly trafficking a young man into the country to harvest his kidney.
The young man was said to have been falsely presented as Sonia’s cousin in a failed bid to persuade doctors to carry out an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The young man was said to have been offered an illegal reward to become a donor for Sonia after kidney disease forced her to drop out of a master’s degree in film at Newcastle University.
The prosecutor, Hugh Davies KC, told the court the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward”.
He said they entered an “emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the man, The Guardian UK report added.
The behaviour of Ekweremadu showed “entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy”, Davies told the jury.
He said Ekweremadu “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact”.
Davies added, “What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal. It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter. Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty.”
On March 14, it was reported that Beatrice denied involvement in the search for an organ donor for their ailing daughter, Sonia.
It was also reported that Ekweremadu claimed he involved the young man after he was advised by his doctor against seeking a kidney donor from among his family members.
Enugu Guber: INEC Suspends Nkanu East As Opposition Parties Cry Foul
The State Collation Officer for the governorship election in Enugu State, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, has suspended collation of results emanating from Nkanu East Council of the state, following allegation of non-usage of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the area during the election.
The Collation Officer for the council, Ogbene Nnaemeka, had presented the results of the area with the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Mbah, scoring 30,350 votes to beat his Labour Party (LP), counterpart, Chijioke Edeoga, who got 1,855 votes.
However, the LP agent, Dr. Eugene Edeoga, and that of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ndubuisi Enechionye, as well as others, drew the attention of the Collation Officer and the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu.Edeoga said: “We have serious and fundamental objections to results being announced. Nkanu East did not use BVAS.
“INEC officers claimed the BVAS did not work, and we know what the Electoral Act provides regarding non-usage of BVAS. So, we are bringing this to your notice for your action.”
The APGA agent also said: “In the Community Primary School, Owo, Nkanu East, where the PDP candidate comes from, accredited voters were 200. PDP won all the 200 votes. But that 200 were not enough for them, they changed it to 800 when registered voters are 700.
All efforts by agents of the PDP to get the result to be accepted, was unsuccessful as the Collation Officer, Prof. Iwe, suspended the result from the area. So far at press time, results from 12 councils out of 17 have been collated.