Thursday, March 9

INEC announces dates for the 2019 elections, Ambode has called me only once since I handed over to him – Fashola and other major headline stories you missed today!

Dear KFBers, we have got loads of interesting stories in tonight's #MajorHeadlinesYouMissedToday feature...enjoy!

 INEC announces dates for the 2019 elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday, February 16th, 2019 for the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections. While the Governorship/State Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council Elections will hold on Saturday 2nd March 2019.

‘Enough is enough, stop making derogatory remarks about me’ – Sheriff warns Fayose

The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali Modu has cautioned governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, and other members of the party against making derogatory remarks about him.
He gave the warning at a news conference organized by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in Abuja.

Sheriff noted that while political party was a voluntary association people joined by choice, it should not provide room for trampling on the rights of others.
He said that Fayose had already made it a point of duty to insult his personality on daily basis, but said: “I want to tell him that enough is enough.

“Yes, you may have a right, but your right should not trample on another person’s right; political party is a voluntary association.

“If you are a leader of a political party, you have to allow people to have their choice of leadership. But, belonging to political party is by choice.”

The chairman, who further said he had no personal rift with Fayose or any party member, maintained that that all he was doing was to make PDP attractive to everybody.

“We want to reposition the party so that it can win elections,” he stated.

He also disclosed that as part of efforts to reunite the party members, he had contacted all the states governors of the party, including Mr Ayodele Fayose.

Sheriff, however, said the only governors he was yet to reach was Nyesom Wike of Rivers, who was said to be out of the country.

Ambode has called me only once since I handed over to him – Fashola 

Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has denied allegations that he is frustrating his successor as Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Ambode had claimed that his attempt to take over the Presidential Lodge in Lagos has been stalled by Fashola’s ministry, despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval.

He also said the state’s application to reconstruct the international airport road from Oshodi, has also not been responded to.

In a statement issued on Thursday by Fashola’s media aide, Hakeem Bello, the former Governor denied all the allegations and said he only spoke with Ambode over the phone for the first time since May 29, 2015, last week.


The attention of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has been drawn to certain statements credited to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode claiming that the “Federal Ministry of Works has been frustrating the efforts of his administration to carry out a “total reconstruction of the International Airport Road from Oshodi.”

The Governor also reportedly accused the “Federal Ministry of Works and Housing” and Security Services of denying the State Government access to the Presidential Lodge in Lagos six months after President Muhammadu Buhari approved it off for the State.

This response is to ensure that members of the public are not misled by deliberate or inadvertent mis-statements.

The allegations of lack of cooperation from the Ministry and frustration of Lagos State Government development initiatives are simply not true and the facts do not bear them out.

In 2016, the Hon Minister for Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, approved the use of the Federal Ministry of works yard at Oworonsoki for Lagos State Government to create a lay-by to ease traffic.

The Hon Minister also approved that Lagos State be granted the Rights to manage the Street Lighting on the 3rd Mainland Bridge to support the security initiatives of the State, a request which the previous Federal Government administration had denied Lagos State for years.

During the same year the Hon Minister also supported the approval of the World Bank Loan of $200m to Lagos State, again a request the previous administration had denied Lagos State.

As far as International Airport Road which is currently the ground for alleged “frustration” is concerned, the correct position is that the Lagos State Government presented a request for FOUR roads that it would wish to take over.

This is consistent with the position being canvassed by the Hon Minister for States who are interested to apply to take over Roads that are within their States.

The Ministry has presented the Memorandum conveying the request of the Lagos State Government to the Federal Executive Council as was done with a similar request by the Kaduna State Government in 2016.

Due to the fact that TWO of the roads also connect Ogun State, the Federal Executive Council could not reach an immediate decision on them because it requested the input of the other State Government affected.

The Kaduna State Government requested the Federal Government to transfer two roads within Kaduna Metropolis to the State in November 2015. Due process was followed and the request of the State Government was approved in August 2016, a period of ten months.

Federal Executive Council Memorandum are debated and commented upon by all members and in cases of roads, surveys, maps and other material have to be provided to assist members understand the location and connectivity of the roads, (in this case Four roads), in order to assist how they vote on the Memorandum.

As far as the Presidential Lodge is concerned, it is under the management of the Presidency and not the Ministry.

After the approval by Mr President that the Presidential Lodge be handed over to the State Government, there was a directive to the Ministry to work out the modalities for handing over.

The Ministry has prepared a vesting instrument to convey the transfer and all that is needed is a survey plan.

The Presidential Lodge is a high security location and officials of the Ministry also require security clearance to enter in order to do any works.

Access to the lodge is not under the control of the Ministry.

The motive behind this public accusations must therefore be scrutinized coming barely a week after the Governor spoke with the Honorable Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN on the outstanding requests of the State for several minutes and the Minister took time to explain the situation of things to the Governor. (The first telephone conversation the Governor has had with the Minister since May 29, 2015).

If there is any lack of co-operation it is on the part of the State Government that has refused to acknowledge not to talk of approving the Ministry’s request for Land of the National Housing Programme in Lagos.

The Ministry is not frustrated by this lack of response and remains optimistic that a response will come from Lagos State.

The Ministry remains committed to serving the Government and Good People of Lagos and will treat all their requests on Merit and in accordance with necessary due process as will be done to other States.

As far as the refund of N51Billion is concerned this is not a new item. Almost all if not all states have these claims and the Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing has verified these claims.

What is left is the process of raising the finance to pay the Debt owed to the States.

Those who are familiar with the workings of Government will attest to the fact that it is an intricate sequence of processses, consultation and collaboration.

Equating processes to a lack of co-operation is therefore akin to creating a storm in a tea cup.

Court sentences man to death by hanging for robbery in Delta

The Delta State High Court of Justice sitting in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area today sentenced one Trust Abraham to death by hanging over alleged armed robbery.

The court presided over by Justice Eboiwe Tobi sentenced Trust Abraham on seven count charge bordering on conspiracy and armed robbery punishable under Section (2) (a) of the robbery and firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap R11 Vol.14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010.

He was specifically sentenced to death by hanging, having found guilty of four counts out of the seven count charges i.e,( 1,2,6 and 7.).

” I hereby sentence you, Trust Abraham, having found you guilty for the offence of armed robbery in counts 1,2,6 and 7 to death by hanging. The sentence is to run concurrently. Trust Abraham, you are hereby sentenced to death by hanging and may the good Lord have mercy on your soul.”

Abraham was alleged to have conspired with others now at largeto rob six persons including, Rebecca Emavwodua, Dedekuma Jeffery, Juliet Tony, Imorehi Simon Mudiaga, Elohor Emavwodua and Solomon Theophilus of their personal belongings and monies with knife and dangerous weapons in Okito Junction, Jakpa Road, Effurun within Effurun Judicial Division on 13/5/2015.

Abraham was arrested by a team of Police led by ASP Okey Nweke on routine patrol along Jakpa road when they saw a tricycle speeding off with the driver and two others at the back.

Despite being flagged down by the police, they refused to stop and were given a hot chase wherein Abraham was arrested as the other two escaped.

After a thorough search of the tricycle, phones, knives and daggers were recovered from him while those he had allegedly robbed surfaced, identified him as the suspected thief who allegedly dispossessed them of their phones, money and others.

Osinbajo can save Naira by adopting Jonathan’s crude oil swap – Okupe 

Former aide of ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, has said Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo can save the Naira, by adopting a crude-oil-swap arrangement.

The arrangement, which was adopted during the Jonathan regime, saw government exchanging crude oil for refined petroleum products, through third party traders.

It has been replaced with a direct-sale-direct-purchase of crude oil initiative, which has removed middlemen, in the Buhari government.

In an open letter addressed to Osinbajo on Thursday, Okupe urged the government to return to the crude-swap arrangement.

“Nigeria is nearly totally an import dependent economy, we earned about N4.6 trillion from export of crude oil in 2015, while our total import bill was in the region of about N6 trillion; 30 percent of which was dedicated to the import of petroleum products. Actual figure was about N1.8 trillion or $5bn,” he wrote.

“It is obvious that if we can remove or substantially decrease this demand of $5bn from our forex pull, the value of naira will significantly appreciate further.

“Your Excellency, I want to submit that this is achievable through a responsibly and transparently organised crude swap scheme.

“I am not unaware that this administration has undertaken a limited crude oil swap arrangement, but this will not suffice. We need to carry it to the level at which we will not commit any significant amount of forex to import of petroleum products anymore.

“No doubt this option was also tried and to a large extent poorly executed and abused by the previous NNPC leadership. The errors in its manner of implementation can be corrected to give a major relief to the demand for dollar in our economy.

“The statutory allocation of 450,000 barrels of crude oil daily for domestic consumption which has been on for several decades needs to be readdressed for better productivity.

“In this dispensation, the government can start by committing the seven oil majors to the new scheme and after a period of about one year of successful implementation, qualified indigenous companies can be brought in, to join and participate.”

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