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Buhari orders release of Jonathan`s unfulfilled N5bn pledge
Following the failure of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to redeem his pledge, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday ordered immediate release of N5 billion pledged by the Federal Government for the Victims Support Fund (VSF).
Jonathan had on August 2014 pledged, at the fund raise, the amount to assist victims of the various onslaughts in the North Eastern part of the country, but was not released up till he left office last May 29.
But Buhari, who was briefed on this development at the Presidential Villaby the VSF Presidential Committee headed by Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.),immediately directed the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, to facilitate the immediate release of the fund.
``General Danjuma had told the President that out of the N55.92 Billion pledged at the fund-raising dinner for the Fund in August last year, N33.54 Billion was still outstanding, including N5 Billion from the Federal Government,`` the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Mr. Femi Adesina said in a release.
He said that the VSF currently has N23.33 Billion in four bank accounts and that the Committee received approval from the immediate past administration to incorporate the fund into a Trust Fund, to “insulate it from political interference”.
General Danjuma had urged the President to use his office to persuade all organizations and individuals to honour their pledges to the Committee.
President Buhari urged the Committee to ensure proper coordination with other government agencies providing support and assistance to victims of terrorism.
The President assured General Danjuma and members of the VSF Committee that his administration was taking proactive steps to defeat terrorism in the country.
He said that despite the challenge of acquiring much needed strategic equipment and weapons to confront the terrorists, the Nigerian military has recently gained much ground in its effort to defeat and degrade Boko Haram.
He added that the full deployment of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), under the auspices of member-states of Lake Chad Basin Commission, will further boost ongoing military operations against the insurgents.
Buhari names Kari as Nigeria`s new insurance commissioner
Nigeria`s President Muhmmadu Buhari has appointed Alhaji Mohammed Kari as the new commissioner for insurance.
Kari, who started his career with Royal Exchange Assurance in 1979, going by the appointment, would also serve as the Chief Executive of the National Insurance Commission, the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Mr. Femi Adesina, said on Friday.
Adesina, who posted this on his Facebook, said the president also renewed the appointment of Mr. Joshua Okpo as the Rector of the Maritime Academy, Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
The rector who got Buhari`s nod for the second final term would be in the saddle in the next four years, the special adviser said.
Adesina said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Alhaji Mohammed Kari as the Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive of the National Insurance Commission.”
According to the spokesman for the president, Kari’s appointment, which is for a term of four years in the first instance, took effect from today.
Adesina said the commissioner had acquired experience over the years having worked with Yankari InsuranceCompany, where he left in 1989 to become the Executive Director of Niger Insurance Plc.
The special adviser said: “In January 1992, he was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation, a position he held until March 1993 when he was appointed Managing Director of NICON Insurance Corporation.”
Adesina also said that the NIC boss was in the saddle until January 2000 when he resigned, adding that he eventually returned to insurance management in 2007 as the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Unity Kapital Assurance Plc, where he served for four years.
Until his appointment, according to the special adviser, Kari, a Chartered Insurer and Professional IT Consultant, was the Deputy Commissioner (Technical) in the NIC.
Adeyemi vs Melaye: Court orders fresh hearing of petition
Hopes of reclaiming the Kogi West Senatorial District seat he lost in the last March 28 National Assembly elections brightened on Friday for Senator Smart Adeyemi.
Adeyemi, who contested on the platform of the People`s Democratic Party (PDP), lost to Senator Dino Melaye of the All Progressive Congress, who few days ago become the Chairman, Senate Adhoc Committee on Media and Publicity.
The PDP candidate had alleged discrepancies in the election and headed to the Kogi State Elections Petitions Tribunal, asking it to nullify the election that produced Melaye as the winner.
Adeyemi alleged irregularities in the conduct of the election and the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission last March 28.
But the tribunal last June 18 dismissed Adeyemi`s petition on technical grounds of not filling his response within the stipulated time as contained in the Electoral Act.
Not satisfied with the judgement, Adeyemi sought the upper court`s nod to rule in his favour, arguing that the tribunal erred in dismissing his petition.
While giving judgment in Abuja, however, the Court of Appeal, overruled the tribunal and ordered fresh hearing on Adeyemi`s petition.
According to the court, in order to serve the interest of justice, the petition should be retried and that it should be accorded accelerated hearing, within 180 days.
“From the available record, the petitioner was reportedly served with the response of the defendant within 26 minutes that the response was filed at the registry of the tribunal, but for all intent and purposes, it is practically impossible for the petitioner to have been served with the response within 26 minutes, more so when the contact address of the petitioner is outside the tribunal premises in Lokoja,” the Judge, Justice Mohammed Adume, said.
The judge went further: “It is against natural sequence of human events for a court process to have been served on recipient in just 26 minutes when the recipient is not within the court premises.``
The judge also said:“Findings of the tribunal that the service was effected within 26 minutes were not supported with affidavit by the tribunal bailiff.”
“The tribunal was wrong in its hasty conclusion and in striking out the petition on technicality,” Adume stressed.
Family embarks on prayer, fasting over missing ex-lawmaker
The family members of a missing former lawmaker in Ogun State have embarked on prayer and fasting sessions to enable him return home.
The ex-councillor, Mr. Kolawole Maliki Olonade, represented Ward 6 in Abeokuta North Local Government under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) between 2004 and 2007.
Elder sister to the legislator, Mrs. Adedoyin Olonade, said the family took the decision as the disappearance, about two months ago, was no longer bearable.
“But then, we are hoping and praying that Maliki is safe wherever he may be for now,” Olonade said, adding that the family took the steps as their contributions in knowing the whereabouts of the former councillor and his safe return.
According to her, the family believed that Kolawole, who was also a Liaison Officer to Abeokuta North Local Government, went into hiding due to political reasons.
She explained that the family came to that conclusion after the former councillor recently told them of his fears over political issues within the PDP.
“He told my brother about his fears over political matters within his party sometimes ago,” she said, just as she further stated that the disappearance was still a misery to the family in Abeokuta.
Olonade also said that her brother, who had indicted interest to contest Abeokuta North Constituency seat in the Ogun State House of Assembly in 2019, was a gentleman.
Her words: “We are indeed worried that we don’t know my brother’s whereabouts. I know Maliki (his Muslim name) has expressed fear sometimes ago about dispute over political issues among the elders of his party, PDP, and some fellow members, but we advised him to take it cool.”
She added: “In fact, I recall another family member, a brother, Taofiki Olonade, telling me that some thugs came to look for the councillor in his house, but fortunately he wasn’t there.”
“In fact, a friend of Maliki too said the same thing that his house was visited by the hoodlums,” Olonade said of her brother, who was a member of the Revenue Mobilisation Committee in the local government.
According to her, the fear expressed by the former lawmaker could have led to his bolting away into safety till the environment is conducive enough for him to return.
“My brother is a gentleman; though a politician, but you know the kind of politics we play in this country,” Olonade said, while stressing further: “You are aware that often when politicians are in contest for the same political offices or positions, they see themselves as enemies.”
She also said: “We are not folding our arms at all; we are doing all within our limits to know my brother’s whereabouts. And with Allah (God) on our side, we are hoping all shall be well.
“For now, I expect to see less tension in the political field as there are not much contests presently, but you can’t trust politicians in Nigeria with the way they see opposing aspirants who show interest in the same political offices they are also eyeing.”