President Bola Tinubu, on Friday, ordered immediate suspension of Mr Godwin Emefiele as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In a statement obtained by Push News 24 International, the CBN Governor was suspended following investigation into the affairs of the apex bank.
This was disclosed by Willie Bassey, a Director in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“This is sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.
“Mr Emefiele has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of investigation and the reforms,” the statement read.
Push News 24 International gathered that the DSS have laid ten allegations against the sacked CBN Governor this includes
1. Funding Unknown gunmen, ESN and IPOB with money he raised for his failed presidential bid last year and funds diverted from government coffers.
2. Mismanagement of Nigeria’s social investment program (NISRAL and the Anchor Borrowers Scheme)
3. Illegall economic crimes of National security dimension
4. Money Laundering
5. Unwholesome activities through proxies6. Round tripping
7. Conferment of financial benefits to self and others
8. Threat to National Security9. Criminal conspiracy to divert government resources
THE PRESIDENT MUST INTERVENE, DECISIVELY, ON THE CRISIS OF DISTRIBUTION OF PETROL AND CURRENCY NOTES
The people of this country have been compelled to live under excruciating pains occasioned, mainly, by the contrived crisis in the petroleum sector. Nigerians have been at the mercy of the unscrupulous elements in the distribution chain who have sustained the artificial scarcity of the product since late last year. The unsavoury sight of the past has not only resurfaced in all the major cities of the country. It is also eroding the goodwill enjoyed by the Federal Government for the stability achieved in the past seven years.
Nigerians have been living with scarcity of petroleum products for some time now. Fuel scarcity, a phenomenon which this current Administration had once confined to the dustbin in the chronicle of happenings in an inglorious past, has suddenly assumed a permanent feature of our daily existence and there appears to be no solution to the perennial crisis.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, through his Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who purports to act under the powers conferred on the institution by the CBN Act, has chosen this period, when the country prepares for general elections, to redesign the currency notes for sundry reasons, chief among which is the need for the bank to be in control of the currency notes in circulation and checkmate the unwholesome activities of terrorists and their enablers and election riggers.
The struggles and actual fights recorded in banking halls, ATM and POS points, and markets across the country are disquieting. The choice of this period for the implementation of a policy, which bears an instant negative impact with no discernible mitigation in sight, raises serious suspicion of partisanship on the part of the CBN. The ordinary people are the victims. Depositors can no longer access their monies even to feed their families. Hunger is not the anticipated result of a monetary policy.
While no reasonable person will contend with the decision of the CBN to discharge its statutory functions, the plight of the downtrodden must, however, be considered. Majority of Nigerians groan, at present, under the crushing weight of these crises. There is pervasive discontent in the land and unless some urgent redemptive steps are taken to ameliorate the debilitating effects of seeming desultory and nonchalant disruptions of their normal simple lives, a series of events with unpleasant consequences is inevitable.
There is palpable anger engendered by frustration in the land. The wave of discontent increases with unbelievable rapidity across the country. The current hardship being experienced by the ordinary people forebodes unpleasant consequences. These crises may set in motion a chain of events the end of which is better imagined.
The Federal Government must make a categorical pronouncement on the availability of petrol and its price since it is the general belief that the country still pays humongous amounts as subsidy. A situation which permits a few individuals to inflict pains on the populace, seemingly without check, is deplorable. The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, must come clean on the new monetary policy. Nigerians are practically buying the country’s currency to feed when we are not in a state of war.
The fact that the ruling party hopes to present candidates for election in the general elections in the coming weeks accentuates the level of suspicion as regards the possibility of having certain elements whose interests stand at variance with the general aspirations of the party and its committed members.
There is no better way to de-market a brand than this ruthless execution of a pernicious motive.
The Federal Government, through the President, must act now.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu, SAN, CON Governor, Ondo State.
AKINLOLA-HASSAN PRESENTS #1.7B 2023 BUDGET OF TRANSFORMATION TO ORIADE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
Hon Ramotalai Akinlola-Hassan, Executive Chairman of Oriade Local Council Development Area has presented the 2023 budget proposal to the legislature.
The Three billion, seven hundred and ten million two hundred and sixty thousand, eight hundred and eighty four naira,sisty three kobo(#3710,260,885.63k), tagged”Budget of Transformation’ was presented to the legislative arm on Monday,19th December,2022.
According to the breakdown given by the council chairman capital expenditure will take #1,466,156,177,26k – representing 40 percent of the total budget-,. while recurrent expenditure will gulp #2, 244 104, 707.37k, representing 60 percent of the total budget.
While addressing the lawmakers at their hallowed chamber,in the presence of the council’s Vice Chairman,Chief Moshood Badmus, the Secretary to the Local Council Alhaji Rasak Olojede, other members of Executive Committee and Management Staff,Hon Akinlola-Hassan submitted that the 2023 budget,if approved by the legislators, will enable her administration to complete all ongoing people oriented projects, such as the ultra modern town hall located in the riverine area of Ikare, primary health centre in Kirikiri,new legislative building and office complex located within the council secretariat. The council chairman also assured residents and other stakeholders of the council that her administration,in 2023 will give topmost attention to the development of primary education,improved health care system, Youth and Women empowerments, and more importantly, rehabilitation of local roads within the council’s jurisdiction.
While expressing her appreciation to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the ongoing construction of Mumuni Adio Badmus road and other roads,Hon Akinlola-Hassan solicited for the continued support of the elected councillors in 2023, to enable her administration provide more dividend of democracy to the people. She laid emphasis on the need for all stakeholders in the council, particularly the council’s revenue officials to work assiduously towards improving the internally generated revenue profile of the council in the new year and beyond. In his response, after receiving the budget proposal from the executive chairman, the leader of the legislature, councillor Jamiu Jimoh Shittu commended Hon Akinlola-Hassan for her determination and efforts towards the socio economic development of Oriade Local Council Development Area,as seen in her modest achievements in 2022. The lawmaker equally seized the opportunity of the budget presentation, to appeal to officials saddled with the responsibility of collecting revenue from the people,on behalf of the council, to be patriotic and selfless while performing their duties. Councillor Shittu assured the council chairman that the 2023 appropriation bill will be thoroughly examined by the legislators, with a view to giving it speedy consideration and approval.
AFTER 5 YEARS OF DELAYED JUSTICE PETER OBI DG GOES TO JAIL, TO SERVE 2 YEARS
The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, jailed Doyin Okupe, for two years with an option of fine.
The court jailed Mr Okupe, who is the director-general of Peter Obi’s Labour (LP) presidential campaign council, for money laundering offences.
He was also a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Delivering the judgment on Monday, the judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu, held that Mr Okupe was guilty of contravening sections 16(1) and (2) of the Money Laundering Act, for receiving cash payments without going through a bank, in excess of the threshold statutorily allowed.
Mr Okupe was found guilty on a total of 26 counts – from counts 34 to 59 of the charges.
The judge sentenced Mr Okupe to two years in prison on count 34 with an option of a fine of N500,000.
The court also sentenced him to two years imprisonment on counts 35 to 59 with an option of a fine of N500,000. The option of fine is to run consecutively on each count while the sentence is to run concurrently.
The judge refrained from making any custodial order but said the convict is the property of the state.
In January 2019, the EFCC arraigned Mr Okupe alongside two companies – Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd, over allegations of N702 fraud.
He was charged with 59 counts bordering on “money laundering and criminal diversion of funds” to the tune of N702 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), which was headed by Sambo Dasuki.
While closing its case, an EFCC witness, Shuaibu Salisu, a former director of Administration and Finance at the ONSA, said in 2012, he was directed to make a payment of N50 million to him.”
He further said he was also directed by the ONSA ”to be paying N10 million monthly to Okupe for over two years”, which he said was reduced to a monthly N5 million towards the end of 2014 due to paucity of funds.
Also, Mr Salisu recalled paying another N50 million in cash to Mr Okupe on the orders of Mr Dasuki, who equally faces charges at the Federal and FCT High Courts in Abuja.
Mr Salisu told the court that “sometime in 2012, Chief Okupe came to the Office of the National Security Adviser, and after their discussion, I was directed to make a payment of N50 million to him.”
According to him, “Okupe provided his account details, where I paid the amount into the bank account of Value Trust Investment.”
Push News 24 International reports and confirms that the National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is billed to speak on December 5th, 2022, 1pm – 2pm at the Chatham House on the topic , Nigeria’s 2023 elections: Security, economic and foreign policy imperatives
Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is an independent policy institute based in London. Our mission is to help build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.
Nigeria is scheduled to hold presidential and national assembly elections on 25 February 2023 as well as governorship and other subnational elections on 11 March 2023.
The elections will end President Muhammadu Buhari’s two terms in office since his election in 2015 and will mark the first time that he is not engaging in a presidential poll since Nigeria’s transition to civilian rule in 1999 – an important marker in Nigeria’s trajectory of democratic consolidation.
Nigeria’s recently enacted Electoral Act has contributed to improved hope around the election process, reflected in the addition of 12.29 million new voters in Nigeria’s voter registration exercise across the federation’s 36 states and 1,491 constituencies.
Yet Nigeria stands at a critical juncture, having suffered from two recessions in the past six years, unprecedented levels of food insecurity, persistent fuel scarcity and high levels of crude oil theft.
Civic fatigue also remains an important challenge and President Muhammadu Buhari’s three main policy pillars of security, economy and corruption continue to be defining issues for citizens.
At this event, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, presidential candidate for the All-Progressives Congress, discusses his vision and recently unveiled manifesto for ‘renewing hope’ in Nigeria including his policy proposals for economic reform and revival and how to deliver secure and inclusive job opportunities for Nigerian citizens.
Push News 24 International reports that this event is part of a series of events and outputs examining Nigeria’s 2023 elections and political developments.
Chatham House is a world-famous think tank whose ideas help answer the big questions that are shaping our world, addressing issues like climate change, fake news, and conflict. Students will be able to interact with world-leading experts on international affairs and gain an insight into careers within the charity and not-for-profit sector as a whole during their open day.
$6M EMAIL FRAUD – FBI LIST NIGERIAN BORN OGUNSAKIN ON WANTED LIST DECLARES HIM INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT RISK
Nigerian, Alex Afolabi Ogunsakin born on February 23, 1983 believed to currently living in Nigeria has been list by the FBI as one of the most wanted by the US government on allegations bordering around Business Email Compromise fraud schemes.
The United States Department of Justice, also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the United States government tasked with the enforcement of federal law and administration of justice in the United States.
Alex Afolabi Ogunshakin is wanted for his alleged involvement in a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme that defrauded over 70 different businesses in the United States resulting in combined losses of over $6,000,000 USD.
Ogunshakin allegedly provided bank accounts to Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh, and other co-conspirators Felix Osilama Okpoh, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode, and Nnamdi Orson Benson, that were used to receive fraudulent wire transfers. Ogunshakin allegedly also assisted in these schemes by sending spoofed emails to businesses used to solicit fraudulent wire transfers. Ogunshakin allegedly later conducted his own BEC schemes, learning from Uzuh and others. On August 21, 2019, Ogunshakin was indicted in the United States District Court, District of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska, on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. On August 22, 2019, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest.
Business email compromise (BEC)—also known as email account compromise (EAC)—is one of the most financially damaging online crimes. It exploits the fact that so many of us rely on email to conduct business—both personal and professional.
In a BEC scam, criminals send an email message that appears to come from a known source making a legitimate request.
US TO REDESIGN DOLLAR: IT’S THE HANDIWORK OF SOME LAZY YOUTHS – Push News Editorial Board
The Executive Director/ Chief Press Officer of Push News 24 International, Prince Olamilekan Ojo Martins has debunked as fake news the information circulating on various online platforms that the US government intends to redesign it’s currency with Africans as the primary target of such policy.
The Certified PR Practitioner described such malicious information as the handiwork of some lazy youths whose intensions are aimed at heating up the polity unnecessarily as Nigerians prepare for the general elections in 2023.
Drawing their strength from the recent announcement by CBN to redesign new notes for Nigeria, Martins believes information of these nature if not well managed can strain the existing relationships between Nigeria , its Afican counterparts and the USA.
He further proposed stricter regulations to curtail the circulation of fake news.
The post claims that the government of the US “has set date for restriction on an acceptable legal tender note of US Dollar which will commence on Jan. 31st 2023”.
The restriction implies that any US Dollar note below 2021 printed date will no longer be accepted or be a legal tender anywhere in the world… This effort is to curb billions of illegal monies in dollar bills warehoused around African continent emanating from drug-related, terrorism, kidnapping and money from corrupt politicians,” the post reads.
Push News 24 International checked the official website of the US department of the treasury, the national finance and treasury office of the federal government and found no such announcement.
Further checks also revealed that no reputable news media, both in the US and Nigeria, published reports on dollar redesign.
All US currency remains legal tender regardless of when it was issued.
The US Currency Education Programme which provides education, training, and information about federal reserve notes emphasises that “it is U.S. government policy that all designs of U.S currency remain legal tender, regardless of when they were issued”.
The claim that the US has redesigned dollar notes and will reject all old notes from January 2023 is false.
A federal appeals court has lifted an injunction against HB20, which has the potential to throw online moderation rules into chaos.
A federal appeals court in Texas has issued a ruling that effectively enables residents of Texas, or the Texas Attorney General’s Office, to sue Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other large social media networks for moderating content based on “the viewpoint of the user or another person.”
“Relating to censorship of or certain other interference with digital expression, including expression on social media platforms or through electronic mail messages,” says social media platforms with more than 50 million monthly active users “may not censor a user, a user’s expressions, or a user’s ability to receive the expression of another person,” based on a person’s point of view or geographic location. It was passed in September 2021 but blocked by a federal court a few months later, on the grounds that the law is likely to violate the First Amendment, which protects the rights of online platforms to editorial discretion.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed that injunction, however, meaning that the law can immediately go into effect. The hearing, according to a Protocol report, was a mess: One judge insisted that Twitter is not a website but an “internet provider,” while another was concerned that if Twitter and Facebook prevailed, phone companies would be able to disconnect telephone calls if they heard speech they don’t like.
There was also confusion about the difference between internet service providers and “interactive computer services,” a sort of catch-all term for companies including social media platforms that are broadly protected from legal responsibility for content posted by their users. They’re also explicitly allowed to moderate that content as they see fit.
Telephone companies, for the record, are defined as “common carriers” in the US, which means they’re essentially just pipelines carrying data, irrespective of content, and are legally not allowed to discriminate or restrict access based on the content of calls. Internet providers were briefly designated common carriers as well, until the FCC opted to kill net neutrality in 2017.)
“It is ordered that appellant’s opposed motion to stay preliminary injunction pending appeal is granted.” But with the injunction lifted and the law now in force, it’s unclear how social media platforms will proceed. As CNN explains, stripping out all algorithms is one approach, although even that could arguably be used to bring a suit against Facebook or Twitter by users who believe they’re being “silenced” because their posts are being buried under mountains of spam. Hate speech, porn, and disinformation will also almost certainly proliferate; according to the Knight First Amendment Institute, the purported anti-censorship law actually opens the door to significantly increased government intrusion into online speech. The litigation is ongoing and social media companies are expected to file an emergency appeal, but it’s possible the dispute won’t be resolved unless and until it ends up before the US Supreme Court. What would happen at that point is impossible to say, but as CNN notes, the apparent willingness to overturn Roe v Wade suggests that some aspects of the First Amendment, particularly with regard to online platforms, could be open to reinterpretation as well, with potentially far-reaching consequences.
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the focal points of the new law, but it applies to every social network with a monthly active user count in excess of 50 million, which includes more gamer-focused platforms like Twitch and Discord. I’ve reached out to both for comment and will update if I receive a reply.
Billionaire provocateur Elon Musk has sealed his acquisition of Twitter, leaving a major social media platform in the hands of the impulsive head of two other companies, SpaceX and Tesla.
Musk and his backers are paying $54.20 per share in cash. Once the deal closes, Twitter will become a privately held company. Wall Street appeared to initially hail the news, with Twitter shares up almost 6% heading toward the closing bell. They have risen almost 30% since Musk formally came on the scene.
Elon Musk has reached a deal to buy Twitter.
The news was announced on Monday following Musk’s offer to take over the social platform.
Twitter “has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company,” the company said in a news release.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
In a statement, Bret Taylor, Twitter’s Independent Board Chair, said that the company’s board “conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”
Added CEO Parag Agrawal, “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”
The transaction, which was unanimously approved by Twitter’s board, is expected to close in 2022.
In an SEC filing last week, Musk — who became Twitter’s largest shareholder in early April — offered to pay $54.20 per share for 100 percent ownership of Twitter, and said that he wants to take the company private.
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” the entrepreneur wrote in a letter to Twitter’s Chairman of the Board Bret Taylor.
The billionaire went on to note that this proposal is his “best and final offer.” Should it not be accepted, he said he would have to “reconsider my position as a shareholder.”
Although Twitter was initially expected to turn down Musk’s $43 billion offer to buy the social platform, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times all reported over the weekend that both sides were close to reaching a deal.
After Musk made his offer on Wednesday, Twitter put a so-called poison pill in place, which would prevent him from increasing his stake in the company beyond 15%, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Lagos Leads in Technology Start-Up, Development in West Africa, Says Sanwo-Olu
…As Governor Launches New Mainone/MDXI Data Centre
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday said the State is leading in technology start-up in West Africa and in technology development and e-commerce.
He said his administration would continue to support and design policies to help in creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Lagos State.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made the statement during the launch of Mainone/MDXI new data centre. The company, which is a subsidiary of Equinox Technology, is a cable and communication services company.
He noted that with job creation, knowledge and skills would be acquired by those employed in the facility and they would be trained so that they could compete with their counterparts on a global level all over the world.
“Lagos is the heartbeat and commercial nerve centre of the country, therefore, we will continue to support investors and create an enabling environment for their businesses to flourish.
“Lagos remains in the tech global market and in the map of the global space as a destination of choice where investors, tech experts see as a place to be. Therefore, for businesses to thrive, with international and local businesses to do well, we need to deliberately listen to their needs, know how government can help in terms of policies to make them thrive.
“This investment is putting Lagos on a global market and likewise providing jobs for the teeming youths,” the governor said.
Speaking further on his administration’s commitment to technology and innovation, Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that: “In recent years, Lagos has become the leading destination for technology start-up investments on the African continent. In addition to being the largest sub-national economy in Africa, Lagos is now also Africa’s Start-up Capital.
“We are home to three Fintech Unicorns – Paystack, Flutterwave and Interswitch, among many other very successful, globally recognized Start-ups. We are also a leading global city in e-commerce and retail technology, transportation technology and education technology, according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Index.
“On our part as Government, we are ensuring that our policies are designed to support private investment and create unending opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. We are also putting our skin in the game. We have reached advanced stages of the rollout of 3,000km of terrestrial fibre across the State. I’m aware that MainOne also has a similar network of over a thousand kilometers, part of which is in Lagos.
“We are developing a K.I.T.E Cluster/Campus in Yaba, Lagos, on 22,000 square meters of land, in partnership with the private sector. K stands for Knowledge, I for Innovation, T for Technology and E for Entrepreneurship. We have just established a new University, the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUTECH), focused on building capacity in science, technology, and innovation in Lagos State.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State is very proud of the Managing Director of Mainone/MDXI, Ms. Funke Opeke and what she has achieved with MainOne over the last 12 years, adding that “Entrepreneurs like Ms. Opeke are solid proof of what Nigeria and Nigerians can achieve when we set our minds to it and pursue business dreams that are ambitious and world changing.”
Speaking earlier, Opeke assured that with the presence of Mainone/MDXI facility in Lagos and Abuja, they planned to replicate and extend such to Port-Harcourt and other parts of the country.
She said the new facility is a hub of digital economy in West Africa, noting that Mainone/MDXI landed its first Marine cable in Lagos and opened its first data center also in Lagos and West Africa.
“The facility will further help in boosting development especially in areas of data gathering and content creation. All telecommunications companies are connected to the facility, lots of major institutions are providing critical services all over west Africa with this facility,” she said