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Buhari reappoints Segun Awolowo as NEPC CEO — despite controversies

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Olusegun Awolowo as the executive director/chief executive officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

According to a letter signed by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), the appointment lasts for four years.

A lawyer and scion of the Obafemi Awolowo family, former President Goodluck Jonathan first appointed him in November 2013.

At the expiration of his four-year tenure, which was characterised by controversies, Awolowo refused to hand over to Sidi-Aliyu Abdullahi, an acting director, despite the directive of the SGF.

In a memo dated December 4, 2017, Mustapha directed all heads of agencies to hand over as soon as their tenures expire.

After a report by TheCable , Awolowo
returned cars meant for official use at the executive director’s office but did not issue a handover note.

By bureaucratic tradition, Awolowo should have formally handed over notes to the acting director of the council.

Among the controversies of his first term were the allegations of allocating funds by himself which is against the financial rules, his alleged involvement in the lopsided allocations to a department.

In a letter of complaints written to the office of the minister of trade and investment, Awolowo, in May, 2015, allegedly allocated N10 million to the trade information department which is the biggest, whereas contingency got N20 million.

Under his watch, payments were allegedly made for phantom trips. For instance, the non-oil export trade hub visit to Togo in 2014, export warehouse meetings in Niger Republic in 2014, trade mission to Belgium in 2015 and AGOA forum in Gabon in 2015 were trips paid for but were not allegedly undertaken.

TheCable also gathered that despite the full payment to KPMG consultants, another N3 million was paid as out of pocket expenses.

Awolowo, using the directorate rate, also allegedly paid estacode to his personal staff who are not in the employ of the council.

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‘Tinubu’s Ex-Wife & Mother Of His First Son Is Dead’

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The National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has lost his ex-wife.

Though information about the death of the estranged wife of the political icon was shrouded in secrecy, make it exclusively gathered that the deceased died about three and a half weeks ago.

She was said to be the mother of Jide who died on November 1, 2017. Jide was said to be the first son of Tinubu.

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‘I don’t believe foreigners are involved in Nigeria killings’ – French envoy contradicts Buhari

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Denys Gauer, outgoing French ambassador to Nigeria, says he does not believe that foreigners are involved in the killings across the country.

The French’s envoy position contradicts that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had said that the killings are as a result of the influx of mercenaries from the Sahel region.

“It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region,” the president had said when Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, visited him in London back in April.

But speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Gauer said impunity is encouraging the killings in the country and those responsible must be punished.

The envoy spoke to journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day.

“The reason for the killings is demography; some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry,” he said.

“I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners are involved in the killings.

“The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen then, it cannot end.”

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INEC: Smartphones can be used at polling units but not inside voting cubicle

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has not banned the use of smartphones around polling unit areas.

The electoral body says the rule only comes into effect once a prospective voter enters the voting cubicle to cast his or her vote.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to INEC chairman, made the clarification in an interview with NAN on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said this while reacting to a statement issued by Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), condemning the decision of INEC to ban the use of smartphones at polling booths.

Secondus had alleged that the decision was to perfect a rigging formula for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

But Oyekanmi said the challenge of vote-buying and selling had prompted many stakeholders to call on INEC to devise innovative ways to tackle the problem.

He said: “In consultation with other stakeholders, the Commission came up with new measures to solve the problem, one of which is to disallow the use of smartphones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on election day.

“In other words, INEC is not banning phones around the polling unit area, but the ban takes effect from the moment a prospective voter collects his or her ballot paper and enters into voting cubicle to thumbprint and thereafter drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.

“After that, the voter can have access to his or her phone.”

Oyekanmi urged Nigerians to disregard any attempt by any individual or group to politicise what was purely a preventive measure.

NAN

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