The Nigeria Police Force headed by Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has appointed Assistant Inspector General of Police, Frederick Taiwo Lakanu, as the new Force Secretary and member of the Nigeria Police Force Management Team.
In a statement released by the police and signed by the Force Police Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, the appointment takes immediate effect. The new Force Secretary takes over from AIG Abdul Bube, who retired from the Force on December 31, 2018, after 35 years in service.
The statement reads in part: “He (Lakanu) served in various capacities in the Force as AIG Federal Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Commissioner of Police in Imo and Ekiti States, Commissioner of Police Airport Command, Lagos, Principal Staff Officer to the IGP (Force Headquarters Annex, Lagos, among others.
“Until his recent appointment, he was the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7 Headquarters, Abuja comprising the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Niger and Kaduna States. He has since assumed duty as the Force Secretary, Nigeria Police Force.”
Meanwhile, AIG Godwin Nwobodo has assumed the office of the new head at the Zone 7 Command, comprising Kaduna, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory.
Until his new appointment, Nwobodo was in charge of the Nigeria Police Border Patrol Force.
Born on August 12, 1959, to the family of Mr. & Mrs. Samuel and Margret Nwobodo of Aninri Local Government Area, Enugu State, he completed his primary school education at Alafia Institute (Free Section) Mokola Ibadan, Oyo State in 1973 and obtained his WASC and HSC at Olivet Baptist High School, Olivet Heights Oyo in 1978 and 1980 respectively.
He earned a B.Sc (Honours) degree in Biochemistry in 1983 from UI and participated in NYSC scheme in 1984 in Ondo State and later joined the Nigerian Police Force with effect from 31 Dec 1984. AIG G. C Nwobodo also holds an LL.B, BL (Law), M. Sc in Legal Criminology and Security Psychology as well as MSS (Masters Strategic Studies) both from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK (Nigerian Branch), the Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Institute of Management, the Society for Peace Studies and Practice as well as a fellow of the prestigious National Defence College, Nigeria. He is a member of the Air Assault and Ikeja Golf Clubs.
AIG Nwobodo was the CP (Courses) at the Nigeria Police Academy, Kano, before his recent promotion to the rank of AIGP (Assistant Inspector-General of Police) and his initial deployment to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru near Jos. He had served earlier in a number of Commands and Departments of the Nigeria Police Force from 1986. He was equally in the Nigerian contingents to the United Nations Peace Missions in Kosovo and Haiti.
AIG Godwin Chijioke Nwobodo has attended several courses both within and outside Nigeria. Among them are Strategic Leadership and Command Course, and Advanced Detective Course both at the Nigeria Police Staff College, Jos, Unit Commanders Orientation Course and Training in Combat/Operations at Police Mobile Force Training College, Gwoza Borno State Nigeria, Police Administration and Management Course II, Nigerian Army School of Military Police, Basawa, Zaria Kaduna State and the Higher Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the National Defence College, Nigeria.
His M Sc. Strategic Studies dissertation on the “Nigeria Police Force in the Criminal Justice System and National Security” was recently approved leading to the award of the MSS degree of the prestigious University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
AIG Nwobodo is married and blessed with two children. He loves travelling, golfing and badminton.
The police have explained the reason Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, was relocated to another hospital.
TheCable had reported that Melaye was moved from the police hospital where he had been receiving treatment.
In a statement on Friday, Jimoh Moshood, police spokesman, said Melaye was moved to a health facility of the Department of State Services (DSS) following complaints by the lawmaker that he is not getting better.
“Senator Dino Melaye was taken for medical attention at the Police Clinic, Abuja, after he surrendered himself for arrest on 4th January, 2019,” Moshood said in the statement.
“The police medical team at the police hospital, Abuja certified that senator Dino Melaye is well and healthy to stand trial after treating him. However, due to the complaint from senator Dino Melaye that he is not well, the Police Investigation Team has taken him this afternoon to another government hospital, DSS medical facility in Abuja for further medical attention.
“The police investigation team obtained a 14 day remand warrant from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court on 9thJanuary, 2019, to keep senator Dino Melaye in police custody for investigation into the case of criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide against him till 23rd January, 2019.
“It is incorrect as reported in some sections of the media that senator Dino Melaye was moved by masked armed policemen to an undisclosed location and that his where about is unknown. The police officer, Sgt. Danjuma Saliu, is yet to recover from the gunshot injury he sustained during the attack and still under intensive medical care in the hospital.”
However, an associate of the senator accused the police of “dumping” Melaye at the DSS facility.
The senator surrendered to the police following a siege to his Abuja residence which lasted for about eight days.
The police have accused Melaye of culpable homicide and alleged that his supporters shot one Danjuma Saliu, a police officer, in Kogi state on July 19. (The Cable)
The Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation for the North East, Senator Saidu Umar Kumo, has dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress.
Kumo is from Gombe State.
This development was made known by the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New media, Bashir Ahmad, on his Twitter handle.
According to Ahmad: “Senator Saidu Umar Kumo from Gombe and North East DG Atiku/PDP Presidential Campaign Council has dumped PDP and joined the moving train to the #Next Level train.”
President Buhari is flying the flag of the APC for the February 16, 2019 presidential election.
An agency headed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s in-law has been caught in yet another massive procurement fraud, it has been reported.
It is the second time in less than a month that the agency has been exposed for procurement irregularity.
Being shortlisted presupposes that an applicant has satisfied all criteria contained in the procurement guidelines published by a government agency for the award of contracts.
But a fresh trove of procurement documents analysed by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that the bulk of the prequalified contractors for the 2018 intervention projects by lawmakers did not meet the most basic criteria spelt out in the invitation to tender advert released by the BDCA in August 2018.
The agency advertised nearly 400 self-enrichment projects of lawmakers for which funds were earmarked in the 2018 budget.
The Nigerian government’s anti-corruption posturing could be undermined if officials at the BDCA are allowed to go ahead with the flawed contracting process in brazen defiance of the country’s extant procurement regulations.
The value of the contracts ranges between N10 million and N200 million.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s son-in-law, Junaid Abdullahi, is the executive secretary of the federal interventionist agency established in 2003 to develop the country’s border communities.
The agency has the mandate to provide social and infrastructural amenities to international border communities in 21 states of the federation, spanning over 105 local government areas.
2018 Constituency Projects
A list by a technical evaluation team constituted by the BDCA to select qualified contractors for the award of the constituency projects contracts showed that 987 bids from various contracting firms were prequalified.
The list seen by PREMIUM TIMES contained names of companies shortlisted for over 390 contract lots for the procurement and supply of various goods, works and services in various locations across the country.
The BDCA had invited bids from prospective experienced and competent contractors/suppliers. They were asked to submit bids for the projects in line with the criteria laid out clearly in the invitation-to-tender advertisement published on July 29, 2018, for the execution of the projects between late July and early August.
Submission of bids by prospective contractors was to be accompanied with a three-year tax clearance certificate validated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), with a cumulative average annual turnover of a minimum of N50 million for the period 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Also, prospective bidders were requested to submit their current Industrial Training Fund (ITF) compliance certificate and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) compliance certificate, all valid till December 31, 2018.
The companies were required to produce evidence of registration on the National Database of Federal Contractors, Consultants and service providers by submitting the Interim Registration Report (IRR) expiring January 1, 2019, or valid certificate issued by the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).
Besides, submitted bids must be accompanied by the company’s audited accounts for 2015, 2016 and 2017, along with other documents attesting to their professional and technical competences.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported that BDCA procurement officials disregarded some key criteria for selection of prospective contractors, as well as some requirements for the award of contracts, in a potential violation of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007.
Section 23 (1) of the PPA (2007) does not allow federal agencies or their management to manipulate procurement guidelines to favour any party during a contracting process.
The law says: “Where a procuring entity has made a decision with respect to the minimum qualification of suppliers, contractors or service providers by requesting interested persons to submit applications to prequalify, it shall set out precise criteria upon which it seeks to give consideration to the applications and in reaching a decision as to which supplier, contractor or service provider qualifies, shall apply, only the criteria set out in the prequalification documents and no more.”
Therefore, the BDCA appeared to have violated Nigeria’s procurement law by disregarding its published guidelines for the selection of contract applications in favour of unqualified companies.
A further review of the procurement documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES exposed how only about 173 bids could be considered to have met the minimum threshold for the award of the contracts advertised, out of around 988 bids received from various contractors and prequalified by the BDCA technical evaluation team.
The 173 bids were the only applications accompanied with both evidence of current Pension Compliance Certificate (PCC) and the Company Incomes Tax Clearance Certificate validated by the FIRS, both valid till December 31, 2018.
Of these, about 13 that did not have company income tax clearance certificates were from companies that were already enjoying tax holiday incentives granted by the Nigerian government covering the three-year period.
Still, further analysis by this newspaper showed that about 815 of the prequalified or shortlisted bids (or over 83 percent) failed to meet at least one or the two key criteria that define the minimum threshold specified in the bid guidelines.
At least 94 of the bids were accompanied with neither the pension compliance certificate nor tax clearance certificate, the two key documents required to qualify to even enter a bid, our findings show.
Where the bids were accompanied with tax clearance certificates, the cumulative average turnover of the companies fell far below the specified benchmark of N50 million average annual turnover.
Biding without valid documents
For instance, Arcad Projects Limited (Lot 110) prequalified to bid for the N200 million contract for the rehabilitation of selected rural roads in Ekiti/Irepodun/Idi/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency was not qualified.
The company’s bid was accompanied with its PENCOM certificate only without the requisite tax clearance document.
Similarly, SMV Nigeria Limited and Young Stallion Group Nigeria Limited (Lot 83) submitted bids for the N150 million contract for the construction of a mini-stadium at Kashere in Gombe Central Senatorial District, but both were shortlisted despite not meeting the requirements on tax clearance certificates.
Aicon Residential Limited (Lot 84) also submitted a bid for the N150 million contract for the rehabilitation/maintenance of water infrastructure in Yobe East Senatorial District without submitting its tax clearance certificate.
ABG Synergy Limited was prequalified for the N50 million contract to supply tricycles, popularly called “Keke NAPEP” in Monguno/Marte/Nganzi Federal Constituency of Borno State despite not attaching any of the two vital documents to its bid.
Budmusdru Hill Nigeria Limited and Khamz Intercontinental Limited (Lot 386) shortlisted for a N100 million contract to train youth and community leaders in Niger North Senatorial District also did not meet the requirements.
De Poor Shall Rich Nigeria Limited and Dankole Global Services (Lot 281) were shortlisted to bid for the N60 million contract to supply motorcycles in Edo Central Senatorial District without their tax clearance certificates.
Yalele Farms Limited (Lot 315) was shortlisted for the N60 million Strategic Empowerment and Training of Women and Youth in Zaki Federal Constituency with absolutely no requisite documentation.
Equally, Al Nady Multi-Services Limited (Lot 23) bided for the Solar lights contract in Gada/Goronyo Federal Constituency; Nitux Engineering Services Limited (Lot 68) for the provision and installation of solar street lights in Abia Central Senatorial District, and AIAG Energy Limited (Lot 135) for the supply of Toyota Hilux pick-up vans at Kaga/Gubio/Magumeri Federal Constituency (each worth N50 million), without either pension or tax clearance certificates.
Yet there bids that met all the requirements but were deliberately excluded from the list of those prequalified or shortlisted by the agency.
A history of violation
PREMIUM TIMES had on December 14, 2018 revealed how BDCA) shortlisted 18 unqualified companies for constituency projects of federal lawmakers advertised between late July and early August.
About 33 companies were prequalified for eight zonal intervention projects worth over N1.3 billion that were reviewed by this medium at the time.
In shortlisting the firms, procurement officials at BDCA overlooked tax clearance certificate, one of the top two requirements which any interested firm must present to meet the basic requirement of contract award.
In its invitation to tender published on July 29, the BDCA had said all firms must have a minimum annual turnover of N50 million in taxes over three years — but officials prequalified at least 18 firms whose annual taxes were substantially below N50 million, according to tax documents obtained by this newspaper at the time.
Estivus Nigeria Limited, the last of the 33 companies reviewed, did not qualify for the contract because it obtained its tax clearance on August 16, 2018, three days after the bidding process closed on August 13, 2018. It remained unclear how the firm was smuggled into the list of companies whose bids were received as of deadline.
A BDCA official claimed that may have been an error which would could still be corrected before the final companies are announced.Fresh procurement documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES have revealed how the Border Communities Development Agency (BDCA) shortlisted unqualified companies for a slew of federal contracts across the country.
BDCA reacts, defends process
Regardless, the BDCA defended its handling of the bid process. The agency in a statement said its interventionist activities have always been carried out strictly, guided by the provisions of the BCDA Establishment Act.
“Our activities have given a sense of belonging to those living in border communities and boosted their confidence in the present administration,” the agency insisted in its statement.
However, it noted that not meeting the cumulative average turnover of N50 million over a three-year period does not disqualify any company for further considerations for the award of the contracts.
“Each requirement is assigned a weighted score and cumulative score of each contractor determines their prequalification or otherwise,” the agency said.
A group of anti-corruption campaigners has petitioned the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), demanding an urgent probe of ongoing procurement activities at the Border Community Development Agency (BDCA).
“We hereby request for the intervention of the BPP in the ongoing BCDA ZIP 2018 procurement process,” the group said in the letter to BPP. “Please assist in the fight against corruption.”
Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe has told the Court of Appeal in Abuja that his standing surety for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is illegal.
He therefore urged the court to relieve him of standing as as surety for the embattled IPOB leader.
Abaribe also asked the court to set aside the November 14, 2018 order of the Federal High Court in Abuja which gave him and two others a two-month ultimatum to, each pay N100m bond for their inability to produce the Biafran activist.
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, had in her November 14, 2018 ruling, held that Abaribe and the two other sureties owed the court the duty of producing Kanu, whose absence since 2017 has halted his trial on charges of treasonable felony.
But the senator, through his lawyer, Mr Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), had on January 3, 2018, filed an amended seven grounds notice of appeal and a brief of argument to challenge the Federal High Court’s decisions.
Relying on sections 55, 165(3), 167(3) and 488 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, and other provisions of the constitution, Ume argued that a public officer such as a senator was legally exempted from standing surety for a suspect.
He blamed the Federal High Court for making a senator to be part of the sureties Kanu must present in April 2017.
Ume said, “The honourable trial court failed and or refused to take judicial notice” of the relevant provisions of the ACJA and the Nigerian constitution.
“Thus the honourable trial court had not done the needful under the law, otherwise it would have found that by law, the appellant (a senator) is legally exempted, ab initio from giving security for the good conduct or behaviour of a suspect.
“We therefore can see that the involvement of Senator Abaribe in the whole bail and surety quagmire was invalid, ab initio.”
Kanu slipped out of Nigeria after soldiers deployed under the Operation ‘Python Dance II’ in the South-East to quell agitation for a Biafra republic, invaded his home in Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia in September 2017.
Abaribe and two others had stood as sureties for Kanu before he was granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on April 25, 2017.
They are now grappling with the burden to produce him to enable his trial to continue.
The three sureties’ inability to produce Kanu, made the judge, Justice Binta Nyako, to order them on November 14, 2018, to each pay into the court’s account the N100m bond within two months.
The two-month ultimatum lapses on January 14.
But before the ultimatum expires, Abaribe and the two other sureties – Emmanuel Shallom-Ben and Tochukwu Uchendu – had filed separate appeals against the November 14, 2018 order.
Abaribe canvassed among other grounds of appeal that the Federal High Court on its own made “an order of interim forfeiture without considering or evaluating” all the applications filed before it by the sureties.
He added that the trial court acted without jurisdiction when it suo moto (on its own) made an interlocutory order that in substance rendered nugatory the core issue in the substantive matter.
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court has fixed March 28 for the sureties to return for hearing.
The First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has handed over a hostel it renovated and equipped with modern facilities to the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind (FNSB) at its Vocational Training Centre (VTC) located at Oshodi, Lagos state.
The bank said the move was part of its commitment to continually empower and impact lives in all segments of the society,
In addition, an automated water system constructed by the bank was also donated to the training centre.
The gesture was part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, which focus on poverty alleviation, economic empowerment and environmental sustainability.
“It is aimed at effectively supporting the efforts of the FNSB towards enhancing the standard of teaching, as well as learning of the visually impaired students of the VTC. This is coming on the heels of FCMB’s donation of 15 Braille machines to the Society two and half years ago. The Braille machines (comparable to a typewriter) are designed to aid the visually impaired in reading and writing, with a view to ensuring they have unfettered access to sound education,” it explained in a statement.
Speaking at the commissioning and hand-over ceremony of the hostel and water system to the institute recently, the Group Head, Corporate Affairs of FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo, said that the bank recognises the importance of every segment of the society.
He added that: “As a corporate organisation, we believe that it is necessary to constantly extend the hand of fellowship, support and love to the physically challenged and other less privileged groups through CSR programmes of this nature. We will continue to champion and execute initiatives that will help and empower a wide spectrum of people, communities and other stakeholders to ensure the emergence of a sustainably progressive society.
“We will continue to do our best to help remove barriers, give new hope, provide resources and expand possibilities as well as opportunities, so that people with vision impairment and other challenges can achieve their full potential. Ultimately, our aim is to contribute to the further development of Nigeria. We therefore urge the students not to see physical challenge as an impediment to the attainment of their respective ambitions.”
In his response, the Vice Chairman of Council, FNSB, Engineer Gbola Sobande, expressed gratitude to FCMB for its outstanding support over the years to the Society and by extension students of the school.
According to him: “FCMB has been a very strong pillar of support to the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind and Vocational Training Centre. The latest projects undertaken by the Bank further confirm that it truly cares for this institution, the students and society. On our part, we will continue to ensure that the Centre produces more graduates that would be useful to themselves and the country.
“In addition, to contribute our quota in ensuring the sustainable operation of the centre, we are planning to establish business ventures to generate internal revenue. We already have a farm and our students also produce well-made handicrafts which we have been selling for a few years. We will build on these layers to ensure the continued existence of the centre.’’
The Canadian Parliament has announced plans to add more than one million new permanent residents in the next three years. That’s nearly one percent of the country’s population each year.
Canada welcomed more than 286,000 permanent residents in 2017 and projects that number could reach 350,000 this year. And 360,000 in 2020. And 370,000 in 2021. “Thanks in great part to the newcomers we have welcomed throughout our history, Canada has developed into the strong and vibrant country we all enjoy,” said Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s ministerof Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC).
Hussen, himself an immigrant from Somalia, said the influx will help offset Canada’s aging population and declining birth rate while growing its labor force. Canada’s friendly stance towards new residents comes as many other Western nations, including the United States, are adopting more restrictive immigration policies.
Multichoice, the digital satellite television operator announced on Friday that the company would not operate the “pay as you view’’ tariff system in Nigeria, in spite of demands for such.
The Chief Customer Officer of Multichoice, Martin Mabutho, made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Mabutho’s stance comes against the backdrop of persistent clamour by the company’s teeming subscribers for the introduction of a pay as you view tariff plan in Africa’s most populous nation.
“We are not going to introduce pay as you view system. Our contract with our suppliers is on month to month basis,’’ he stated.
South Africa’s Multichoice has dominated the satellite broadcast space in Nigeria since the past 25 and has remained adamant not to introduce the pay as you view system.
“The issue of not introducing pay as you view remains. Nothing will change it.
“What we do is to slash our prices in half to make our customers enjoy our services.’’
Mabutho said Multichoice would continue to give acquisition promos or loyalty promos to customers every quarter as incentives.
Customers pay on month to month basis to enjoy the services of the company whether channels are watched or not.
Customers on the premium dual-view platform pay N18, 000 monthly to watch various channels, while those on compact plus pay N10, 650 to have access to about 173 channels.
Similarly, those on Compact platform pay N6, 800 monthly, while customers on Family pay N4000 to have access to109 channels on the network.
Those on GOTV Max pay N3, 200 to watch 72 channels, while those on Plus pay N1, 900 monthly to have access to 64 channels, among other tariff plans.
Multichoice opened shop in Nigeria in 1994.
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission has said that nobody can hack into its database.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti yesterday while addressing stakeholders at the Independent National Electoral Commission’s office, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti State, Prof. Abduganiy Raji, said the commission’s Information and Communication Technology network was customised in a way that it could not be hacked into.
The REC said this would make those allegedly cloning permanent voter’s cards to be disappointed.
“Even our workers who are working in the ICT have limitations, there is a limit to which they can go. In clear terms, the cloned PVCs can’t work with our smart card readers.
“We heard people are selling their PVCs, this would not help anybody.
But how can people be selling their future? Even if you are given a sum of N20,000, would that be enough to take you throughout four years? So, our people must stop selling their future”, he advised.
Raji said 256,648 out of the 921, 027 total registered voters in the state were yet to collect their PVCs.
He said the commission was hiring the services of the police and the NDLEA “to test adhoc staff to be used are having criminal records or are those that are used to hard drugs. We can’t use criminals to conduct elections or drug abusers and be expecting good results”.
A new study published by the American Academy of Neurology has linked extra belly fat to shrinking in brain volume.
Measuring the body mass index (BMI) and the waist-to-hip ratios of its participants, the research found that those with higher ratios of both criteria had the lowest brain volume.
About 1000 participants with higher BMI and waist-to-hip ratio were marked with the lowest amount of grey matter in their brains.
Gray matter is component of the central nervous system that is responsible for processing information and controls emotion, memory, and intellect, all of which tell on the growth and development of the brain.
It is responsible for sensory perception, self-control and muscle movement.
“We also found links between obesity and shrinkage in specific regions of the brain,” said Mark Hamer, lead author of the study.
“This will need further research but it may be possible that someday, regularly measuring BMI and waist-to-hip ratio may help determine brain health.”
Mark, however, warned that it is still unclear whether the brain structure anomalies were responsible for obesity in the participants or that their obesity led to the brain changes. (The Cable Lifestyle)