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Okonjo-Iweala to Otti: Make Abia HQ of transparency in Nigeria



Henceforth, Abia must make itself the headquarters of transparency, by breaking away from the traditional ways of conducting government business, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), said on Friday.

The former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, who spoke from her base in Geneva, Switzerland to set an agenda for the incoming administration of Alex Otti, in her home Abia State, said that new things must start happening in the state from the first day of the new administration to underscore the enthusiasm of the people who voted for the renowned banker and administrator.

To underscore her interest in the state of her birth, Okonjo-Iweala, who is married to an indigene of Delta State, sent a clear message to a group of 100 egg-heads from the state, including Arumah Otteh, former Vice President of the World Bank, said Abia had now got the opportunity it had been craving to set itself apart from the rest of Nigeria, by tapping into the rich resources available within its domain.

To achieve this, the new administration, must engage in disruptive strategies, rather than the traditional way, attract international businesses into the state and raise the local supply chain, and ensure access to power by looking at how to leverage renewable energy to at least power households.

She also recommended the re-gigging of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), by expanding the revenue base of the state to make it depend less on the Federal Government, make itself the focal point of infrastructural development, upgrade its healthcare by not only investing heavily in production of pharmaceutical products, but also attracting companies, to reduce importation, currently standing at close to 90 per cent importation.

Okonjo-Iweala, whose address, delivered virtually, also told the audience on the type of government that must be run in the state from now on, saying: “There must be transparency in our finances. Let’s set an example in Abia for good governance and financial transparency.”

Below is the full list of the 100-member Transition Council:

  1. Victor Onyenkpa (Chairman)
  2. Ifueko Omogui Okauru (Co-Chairman)
  3. Arunma Oteh
  4. Professor Ndubuisi Ekekwe
  5. Mr Uche Orji.
  6. Victor Osondu Okoronkwo
  7. Chief Frank Nneji
  8. Ide John Udeagbala
  9. Prof Okey Oramah
  10. Chief Dr. David Ogba Onuoha, MFR, OON
  11. Chief Ume Kalu (SAN)
  12. Uche Eme Uche
  13. Chief Ndukwe Osogho-Ajala
  14. Chief O. J. Mbonu
  15. Elelenta Nwambuisi Elele
  16. Mr Uzoma Nwankwo
  17. Mr Anya Duruoha
  18. Uzoamaka Amah-Mbah
  19. Okey Anueyiagu
  20. Vincent Asor
  21. Prince Chris Igwe
  22. Cliff Agbaeze
  23. Lynda Saint Nwafor
  24. Herbert Mbagwu
  25. Johnson Chukwu
  26. Udochukwu Ogbonna
  27. Darlington Nwokocha
  28. Nwosu Kenechukwu Ugochukwu
  29. Bank Anthony Okoroafor
  30. Engr Obinna Odum
  31. Nnenna Ukeje-Elendu
  32. Obi Imemba
  33. George Chima
  34. Onwuka Oreh
  35. Eloka Umeh
  36. Kalu Nto
  37. Chief Enyinnaya Onokala
  38. Joshua Uzoma Ogbonna
  39. Ogbonnaya Okereke
  40. Paschal Kanu
  41. Nnaemeka Obiaraeri
  42. Mr Lloyd Onaghinon
  43. Azubuike Onyebuchi
  44. Pharm Chris Ukah
  45. Leo Ogba
  46. Stephen Omenka
  47. Kaycee Orji
  48. Ernie Onwumere
  49. Uche Ukeje
  50. Nnenna Nwakanma
  51. Victoria Osondu-Adefala
  52. Ken Ahia (SAN)
  53. Monday Onyekachi Ubani
  54. Dike Chukwumerije
  55. Mr Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu
  56. Chief Jonah Ike
  57. Caleb Ajagba
  58. Kingsley Anosike
  59. Fr. Christain Anokwuru
  60. Austin Uformba
  61. Kalu Ogburueke
  62. Ugo Okoroafor
  63. Eziuche Ubani
  64. Ifeoma Thomas
  65. DIG Azubuko Udah Rtd.
  66. Ndubuisi Ike
  67. Chief Chuku Wachuku
  68. David Anyaele
  69. Saleh Maitala
  70. Chijioke Uwaegbute
  71. Abimbola Owoeye
  72. Daniel Awe
  73. Chief Uzo Udemba
  74. Sam Nwosu
  75. Obioha Chimah
  76. Engr Bob Ibeneme
  77. Pius Chikezie
  78. Peter Okali
  79. Iheanyi Egbuta
  80. Okey Agbara
  81. Charles Nkata
  82. Chris Okoye
  83. Martins Emelogu
  84. Kenneth Kalu
  85. Echezona Etiaba (SAN)
  86. Mr . Mike Akpara
  87. Abraham Nwankwo
  88. Poly Emenike
  89. Sonny Allison
  90. Amobi Ogah
  91. Dozie Amuzie
  92. Hon. Hon. Stanley Ohajuruka
  93. Ranveer S. Chauhan
  94. Laz Ude Eze
  95. Mr Uzo Udemba
  96. Chimezie Ukaegbu
  97. Chinedu Onyeizu
  98. Dr Onye Goddy Achilihu
  99. Rumundaka Ifeanyi Wonodi
  100. Ugochukwu Opiegbe

Secretariat Staff:

  1. Chinedu Ekeke (Secretary)
  2. Chuka Ofili
  3. Uche Nwosu
  4. Ferdinand Ekeoma
  5. Kazie Uko
  6. Urenna Abazie
  7. Nonso Ndumanya
  8. Dodo Okafor
  9. Chukwuma Maduako
  10. Mr Adam Lamido Sanusi
  11. Prosper Apugo
  12. Matt Ekwuribe
  13. Adegoke Adejumo
  14. Ihedigbo Mbaukwu
  15. Daniel Kalu
  16. Bethel Samuel
  17. Nnanna Chidiebere
  18. Miss Nkechinyere Chijindu
  19. Uche Anaga
  20. Destiny Isiguzo
  21. Ifeatu Onwuasoanya
  22. Oluebube Chukwu.

A statement by Otii’s Spokesman, Ferdinand Ekeoma, said: “Dr. Alex Otti who was declared winner and returned as the duly elected governor of Abia state after a convincing victory at the 18th March governorship polls in Abia state, has made it clear that he would pay special attention to Aba by investing massively in infrastructure so as to rebuild the city and restore its lost glory in a manner it would become a choice destination for investors, business men and women and visitors alike.

“The renowned economist insists that Aba is very strategic in actualizing economic resurgence in Abia in particular, and in the South East as a whole, hence his promise to dedicate an entire Ministry to the city.

“Otti’s decision to host his Transition Council’s inauguration and deliberations in Aba is a strategic move geared towards drawing the necessary attention to the Enyimba City.”

Ekeoma disclosed that following the inauguration of the Transition Council, there would be “in-house plenary sessions commencing thereafter and continuing till Sunday, April 16, 2023, after which sessions will continue virtually.”


Panic! Gunmen storm Anambra Assembly, attempt to bundle away lawmaker



Panic-stricken members of the Anambra State House of Assembly, watched in utter horror on Thursday as one of their colleagues was bundled into a waiting vehicle, by four gun-wielding men, preparatory to being whisked away, before mother-luck came calling.

It took the quick reflexes of security guards at the entrance who locked the gate, to prevent the armed men, who later turned out to be operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) from completing the operation.

The target of the operatives was Onyekachukwu Ike, the House of Assembly-elect member for the Nnewi North constituency, who had joined in the valedictory session for outgoing members, though it is not known why the members of the agency were after him.

Eyewitness account, said the operatives arrived the Assembly complex in three vehicles in a commando version, grabbed the member-elect as he emerged from the venue validectory thanksgiving mass for the seventh Assembly and forced him into their waiting vehicle.

However, it took the eagle-eyed members of the security team of the assembly to truncate the attempt to drive the lawmaker away, because they quickly locked the exit gate, thus halting the operation, as it gave people the opportunity to intervene.

Reacting to the incident, Acting Clerk of the Assembly, Esther Aneto, who bemoaned the manner the operatives carried out the operation, said neither the authorities of the assembly, nor the police was informed about it.

It took the intervention of the Speaker, Uche Okafor, and the Deputy Governor, Onyeka Ibezim, who came to represent the Governor at the Valedictory session before the member-elect was released from the vice grips of the DSS operatives, who however, explained that they had a court order to arrest him.


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Judge orders Yahoo-Yahoo student to clean EFCC premises for two weeks



Justice Aliyu Shafa, of the Federal High Court, Gwagwalada, Abuja, on Thursday ordered a student, Istifanus Irmiya, to clean the premises of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for for two weeks, after he was convicted for internet fraud.

Irmiya, who was docked by the EFCC on a two-count charge, boarding on cheating and impersonation, was also ordered to pay a fine of N100,000, while the phone he used in committing the offence was to be destroyed and burnt.

This was after the culprit, pleaded guilty to the charges and begged the court for leniency, which the court accepted, but insisted that he must carry out the punishment of cleaning the EFCC premises from 9 a.m. to 12 noon daily for two weeks, to teach him a lesson.

Frowning at the rate internets fraud were being committed, Shafa, said: “I have carefully listened to the plea of allocutus made by the convict and the defence counsel. The rate of internet fraud through Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, among others in the society is so alarming.

“That he is a first time offender is not an excuse to go scot-free. The rate of Yahoo-Yahoo among youths is alarming. “Many who resort to crime always have ‘I want to get rich quick’ mindset. Sending him to prison might make him more hardened,” the judge ruled.

Irmiya, who pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, promising that he would not indulge in such acts again, said: “I want to beg the court for mercy. I’m deeply sorry for what I have done. I’m a changed person now knowing fully well the consequences of my offence.”

Chibuike Chima, his lawyer, who echoed his pleas, told the court that Irmiya had no previous conviction record and was also remorseful, saying: “Irmiya is the only son of the family and he is seeking admission into the university. He has spent one month in EFCC custody.
“The convict has shown remorse and genuinely repented over the crime he has committed by way of expressing genuine repentance, he has restituted the proceeds of crime which is the sum of 250 Euros. The convict is a first-time offender. He has not be convicted for any other crime of whatever kind. We urge my lord to tamper justice with mercy. We assure this court that going forward, the convict will be of good behaviour.”

The EFCC Counsel, Taiwo Aromolaran, who told the court that Irmiya had sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of the court cheated by personation, said that the convict deceived his victim while pretending to be one mistress Clara a female Caucasian.

She said that the convict carried out an illegal act, making one Alex Lexis, a German, to send him the sum of 250 Euros which he received via PayPal and Nosh Apps before transferring the money to his own account domiciled with Polaris Bank.

She said that the convict sometime in 2022, also had in his possession documents containing false-pretence, where he represented himself as a German on his Facebook and KK accounts, created by him with the intent to induce Alex Lexis to deliver money to him.

She said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 321 of the Penal Code Act of the Federation (Abuja), 1990 and punishable under Section 324 of the same Act, adding that Section 6 in conjunction with Section 8 of the advance-fee fraud and other related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

Pleading with the court that the cell phone being the instrument used for the crime should be forfeited, Aromolaran urged the court to take into consideration the increase in the menace of internet frauds in Nigeria.

Bewailing the menace fraudsters had caused to the image of the country and to their victims, she told the court that Irmiya and his group, operated as syndicates, saying: “They believe that merely coming to court and pleading guilty is enough to attract the sympathy of the court.”


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BREAKING: Tinubu, hosts G-5 govs at Villa *Intensifies moves to break PDP



It is becoming obvious that President Bola Tinubu, may be working hard to break the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as he is currently hosting the five former Governors of the party who former the G-5 Integrity Group, a very powerful bloc in the main opposition party that fought against the ticket of the party.

Nyesom Wike, former Governor of Rivers State, who was the arrowhead of the G-5, comprising Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Seyi Makinde of Oyo, was seen leading the other members to the Presidential Villa, for a meeting with Tinubu, on Thursday afternoon.

The group had vehemently opposed the ticket of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election and refused to join the campaigns on the ground that the former Vice President did not support the ouster of Iyorchia Ayu, then National Chairman of the party on the ground that he came from the same North as him.

Incidentally, the meeting is coming few hours after Caleb Mutfwang Governor of Plateau State and Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, both PDP governors at the same State House Abuja, in what observers are already interpreting as an attempt to woo the top echelon of the opposition party.

The meeting with the G-5 governors, shortly after that of Tinubu with the two PDP governors, is coming as the party and Atiku Abubakar, are trying to prove before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), sitting in Abuja that Tinubu did not win the 2023 presidential election.

Details later…

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