DSS Takes Away Sensitive Documents from EFCC Headquarters

Sensitive documents have been taken away by the Department of State Services (DSS) during a raid on the headquarters do of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria.

The raid, conducted by officials of the secret police, occurred on Friday night and continued until early Saturday morning.

The operation was carried out covertly during the night to keep the public unaware of the action.

EFCC staff were instructed not to disclose any information about the raid to the public.

According to an insider, DSS’ motives are driven by a specific interest that holds great importance to the president, going beyond what the public is led to believe.

However, another source suggested that the raid could be connected to the recent closure of the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos by the DSS.

“I heard the raid and partisanship of the DSS was the reason why they raised an alarm yesterday (Saturday) that some of their disgruntled officers are planning to shame the agency and embarrass the leadership,” the source said.

[6/19, 4:59 AM] Adesoji Tyt Staff: Akpabio, Abbas: Lawmakers assure Tinubu of support

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the weekend got pledges of support from federal lawmakers and a pat on the back from eminent Nigerians on his actions in the last 22 days.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio at two different events reaffirmed his position that senators would support the President with legislation to enable him to deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

Similarly, House of Representatives Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, promised the House’s collaboration with the executive in the interest of Nigerians.

Akpabio spoke at the receptions for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume in Abuja and former Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt.

Former governors, Peter Odili (Rivers) and James Ibori (Delta) said President Tinubu has started well, adding that he deserved the cooperation of Nigerians.

First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu, who reflected on the weight of responsibilities on Tinubu’s shoulders, said she and her husband were in Abuja to work for Nigerians.

‘Why Senate will partner Tinubu’

Speaking in Abuja, Akpabio said: “I believe strongly that Nigerians are in for the best of times under this administration.

“Members of the National Assembly will enjoy a lot of cooperation and support from the executive because, for the first time, we are going to have a very serious accord between the executive and the legislature. I see good things coming for Nigerians.”

Akpabio said that in less than 20 days in office of the present administration, the stock market has gone up.

He stressed: “The world is already applauding Nigeria. I believe strongly that Senator Akume has a hand in most of the policies that are coming out and you are just starting.

“You can imagine the celebrations that would come again, in the first 100 days of this administration in office. You are indeed a square peg in a square hole.”

The Senate President described Akume as a man of excellence and humility.

He said: “We are celebrating two things tonight: excellence and humility. You are a man of excellence.

“You leave your mark in everything you do and I have no doubt you are going to leave your mark in the present administration of Tinubu. Your humility disarms all.”

Akpabio said the 10th Senate would work seamlessly with Senator Akume as the SGF to develop policies that will transform the economy.

Abbas said: “Senator Akume has a proven track record in coordinating government activities and stringing government.”

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, described Akume as “a welfarist who puts the needs of others first”.

His appointment, he noted, is evidence of efficient representation of the North-Central in the Tinubu administration.”

Akume thanked the dignitaries for their goodwill messages, assuring them that he will not disappoint President Tinubu and the ruling party.

In Port Harcourt yesterday, Akpabio maintained that within 20 days of Tinubu’s Presidency, the Stock Exchange had shown that the right person is in charge of the country.

Akpabio, who was joined at the podium by other senators in his entourage, commended Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

He said the National Assembly would cooperate with President Tinubu to take the country to greater heights.

Akpabio added: “Thank the President for us for a seamless transition in the National Assembly. Being our first major outing together, we say that we should use this platform to thank President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Vice-President, Senator Kashim Shettima, for recognising the need to put the National Assembly in order before commencing the business of governance.

“In less than 20 days in office, even the stock exchange has shown that yes, indeed, the right person is in the saddle.

“We want to wish him well and we assure you that we will cooperate with him to ensure that Nigerians get the benefits of the democracy they have been yearning for, for so many years.”

Turning to Odili, Akpabio said though he was the President the country never had, his prayer of having one of the Class of 1999 Governors at the centre had been answered by Tinubu’s emergence.

He appealed to Odili to relocate to Abuja and help Tinubu to succeed as the President.

He said: “Thank God that the Class of 99 that you belong to have today produced a president, which was always your desire.

“It is time for you to come to Abuja and join your brother, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, advise him to do those things that you would have loved to do because we all thought you would have been the President from Southerners Nigeria.”

Akpabio clarified that the money he used in supporting Wike’s governorship ambition in 2015 came from his savings from the telecom sector, where he was a managing director and not from the Akwa Ibom Government House.

He said: “Governor Nyesom Wike represents different things to different people. To us in the 10th Senate, he represents a pillar, a shoulder we can lean on. We are very proud of you and we are delighted to have you as an honorary member of the 10th Senate.

“You said in the church that the then Governor Akpabio assisted you with some money when you were running for office. That money came from my savings in the telecom industry where I was a managing director. It was not from the government of Akwa Ibom State.”

Akpabio thanked Wike and the G-5 for their efforts in promoting justice, fairness and equity during the last elections.

He said: “I want to thank you for all your efforts to bring justice to Nigeria. I want to thank the G-5 Governors. We are delighted to have you.

“Ensure that in 2027, another G-5 emerges so that the APC will continue to do well. It shows that you are a nationalist. You are a freedom fighter.”

Tinubu has made right decisions, says Odili

Odili lauded Tinubu, saying that he has so far taken the right decisions to put the country on the right path.

Odili and Ibori spoke at the reception organised by the Wike family at his Rumuepirikom’s country home Obio-Akpor.

Odili, who chaired the occasion, said they were very happy that the efforts of Wike and his group led to the emergence of Tinubu, who belongs to their class of 1999 governors, as the President.

He urged the other arms of the government to work together with the President to move Nigeria forward.

While observing that a good dance begins with the first step, Odili said Tinubu had “taken very correct steps”.

He said: “We need each other to keep Nigeria united. I want to congratulate the members of the other party that worked with them to produce what I am praying will be the best or at least, one of the best two Presidents Nigeria will have so far.

“Our President was a member of Class 99. My brother, James, is here. We have no doubts that the President that all of you have collectively voted for and who is in charge today as the Commander-in-Chief, Bola Tinubu, is going to change the narratives in Nigeria.

“So, Mr. President of the Senate, when you get back to Abuja as you begin the task of governance, recognise and put it into action the fact that no country has two governments. There’s only one Federal Government with three arms.

“Those three arms must work together for Nigeria to move forward. We want to use this opportunity to appeal to you and your colleagues to work with the President so that the dividends he has in mind can be delivered.

“A good dance begins with the first step. His first steps are very correct steps and the dance has started. We pray that the Almighty God will sustain your collective efforts to take Nigeria to where Nigeria should have been years ago. God’s time is always the best.”

Odili, who described Wike as an indomitable, irrepressible and courageous lion of the Niger Delta, said they had run out of words to qualify the former governor.

He said: “We have run out of words to describe this man. In 2015, he was called Mr. dynamic, hurricane. Today, he stands out in Nigeria as a household name. Mention the name Wike anywhere, heads will turn, the temperature will change and the atmosphere will be altered.

“Look at the rainbow nature of this gathering and you will appreciate the points being made. He is thanking God because for eight years, the Almighty God gave him the opportunity to govern Rivers State and he grabbed the opportunity with two hands and the Almighty God showed him the way.

“Wike stands in the history of Nigeria and in the history of democratic governance as the best governor that Nigeria has produced so far.

Ibori expressed confidence that Tinubu would do well for the country as the President.

He said: “We believe that President Tinubu will do what is good for Nigeria. We know he is courageous and daring and we know he can take risks. We need all of those combined to do what is right.”

No room for play, says Senator Tinubu

Senator Oluremi Tinubu said President Tinubu is not out to play, but to build and unite the country.

The First Lady spoke when the Speaker led his deputy, Benjamin Kalu, and some members of the Joint Task group of the 10th Assembly on a ‘thank you’ visit to her.

While congratulating them on their victory, Senator Tinubu said with the calibre of leadership and membership of the 10th Assembly, Nigeria would be great again.

She said: “We didn’t come out to play. We came out to build and unite the path that generations will take. Nigeria deserves all that we can do to put it back on its feet. We have a great nation.

“Your victory, it’s God that did it because without God, even if we put all our strengths, it won’t happen. By the grace of God, we will work.”

Abbas assured that the 10th House would work for Nigerians and support Tinubu to succeed.

He said the overwhelming mandate given to him by his colleagues would spur him to work assiduously with every member to achieve a greater Nigeria.

Abbas said the current administration would have a smooth sail as the President, the Vice President, the First Lady, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation were members of the National Assembly.

Abbas said: “We’ll collaborate and partner, particularly in one area that you requested last time, which is to carry the women along.”

He said the 10th House would ensure that gender-based bills being passed by the Ninth Assembly, but not signed into law were reconsidered and passed by the 10th House.

Kalu said the president and his wife inspired them before, during and after the contest for Speaker, noting that President Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) made the right choice by endorsing the current leadership of the National Assembly.

He added: “We want to pledge again. We won’t fail you. What happened means stability had been given to this government. He has encouraged people who believe in his mission and vision.”

Chairman of the Joint Task of the 10th Assembly, Usman Bello, said: “We are here to say thank you to you for being supportive of your husband. Your Excellency, you are unique. The country is lucky to have you as the mother of the nation.

“You’re coming from the point of knowledge because you were with him when he was governor, you were in the National Assembly, and now you’re the mother of the nation.

“You have given us a lot of support for Tajudeen and Kalu to emerge. We also want you to thank our father, the father of the nation, for what he did for us.

“We want to reiterate our unflinching loyalty to the President and the country. We know you’d advise him from the point of knowledge to make the country better.”

‘Nigeria on path of recovery’

The Peace Development and Conflict Resolution Centre (PDCRC) has hailed President Tinubu for his achievements in office.

The group said with the steps taken by the President, Nigeria was on the path of recovery.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Sulaiman Idris, the group said there is hope for Nigeria.

The group, however, appealed to Tinubu to allow heads of some agencies that were appointed during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari to complete their tenure.

The statement reads: “It is clear that the president is on the path of making new appointments of heads of agencies and other parastatals by replacing those that served under President Buhari.

“We are aware that these steps are being taken by the president with very good intentions to save Nigeria from collapse and set it on the path of developmental progress.

“However, we wish to draw the attention of the presidency that there are some appointments made towards the end of the last administration that have hardly lasted seven months and whose removal will be detrimental to the nascent peace being enjoyed in the country.

“We wish to draw the attention of the presidency to the appointment of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).

“It would be recalled that following a debate on the leadership of the commission, a compromise was reached where the position would be rotated within the nine oil-produci get states in alphabetical order of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.

“More so, a quota system is adopted in all the states to ensure that the position circulates across all the constituencies.

“Being that the current leadership has not completed the tenure for which it was appointed, it is the humble opinion of this organisation that it be allowed to complete his tenure as a way of sustaining peace among the affected constituencies.

“Our organisation, though based in the North, is saddled with the responsibility of promoting peace and resolving conflicts for the purpose of development of Nigeria as a whole.”

Source: The Nation

[6/19, 5:03 AM] Adesoji Tyt Staff: Court Hearing on $4.2m Suit Against ExxonMobil

Justice Rabiu Gwandu of the National Industrial Court, Lagos, has scheduled a definite hearing for July 7, 2023, regarding a $4.2 million lawsuit brought against multinational oil company, ExxonMobil Corporation and its parent company, Mobil Producing Nigeria Limited.

The lawsuit was filed by a former employee, James Nwagbogwu Ebede, who had alleged forceful retirement.

The lawsuit also includes Mr. Ronald W. Romere, the Vice-President and overall executive officer of ExxonMobil Iraq Limited from February 15, 2017 to December 2017, as co-defendants.

The hearing of the case was supposed to resume on the previous Friday, but the defense lead counsel, Paul Usoro, was absent.

He sent a letter to the court, explaining that he couldn’t attend due to his involvement in election petition matters at the election petition tribunal, which had time constraints.

Usoro requested an adjournment.

However, James Ebede’s counsel, Chucks Nguru, objected to an adjournment, arguing that the case had already been on-going since 2018 and that his client had been denied access to his property, which had been locked up.

Nguru urged the court to allow his client to be cross-examined or for the defense to forfeit their right to cross-examination.

He also accused the defendants of being in contempt of court for not complying with the order to deposit $4.2 million in an interest-yielding account.

Nguru mentioned that Paul Usoro has a large law firm with numerous lawyers who could adequately represent him.

Regarding the contempt proceeding, the lawyer representing ExxonMobil, M. A. Sowumi, informed the court that they had filed an appeal against the court’s ruling and had requested a stay of execution of the order.

However, Nguru argued that the contempt proceeding was a separate case, stating that nothing had been done since the order was issued.

The court had ordered Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, the second defendant, to open an account with sufficient funds to satisfy the judgment if the plaintiff’s claims were successful.

However, the company had failed to comply with the court order and as a result, Form 48, which signifies consequences for disobedience to a court order, was issued against six company officials: Richard Lang, Alexander Savva, Mr. Olusegun Banwo, Dozie Adesuwa, Aliyu Bala, and Adelabu Adedoyin.

In a statement filed before the National Industrial Court, James Ebede, the former ExxonMobil employee, outlined his work history with the company from December 2001 to 2018 as an engineer.

He claimed that he was forcefully retired after refusing to engage in dishonest actions that he was being compelled to perform by his manager during his assignment in the United Arab Emirates and Iran.

Ebede listed various punitive actions taken against him upon his return to Nigeria to include attempts to make him hire unqualified engineers and pressure him to sign off on incomplete and poorly executed projects. As a result, Ebede is seeking $4.2 million in general damages for the emotional distress he endured, N114,992,096 as 32 months’ equivalent salary for his forced retirement, and a published public apology in two daily newspapers and two international newspapers.

The defendants, in their preliminary objection submitted to the court, argued that the Nigerian court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case because ExxonMobil is incorporated under U.S. law.

They claimed that the company operates in Nigeria through subsidiaries.