The Coalition of Concerned Citizens (CCC) has called for a probe over a possible sponsored attack on a Lagos court and properties belonging to All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Tinubu during the EndSARS protest.
According to the group, it is likely that the ex-Lagos State governor may be behind the vandalism of the Igbosere High Court as well as his own investments.
Recall that Tinubu, Alpha Beta, and the current Managing Director of the firm, Akin Doherty had been dragged to court for money laundering by his business partner and former Managing Director, Dapo Apara.
It is alleged that Alpha Beta is being used for massive corruption purposes including tax evasion, bribery of government officials, diversion of funds and money laundering.
However, the case file marked LD/7330GCMW/2020 was burnt by hoodlums with Apara’s lawyer noting that a new court case will have to be filed at Ikeja High Court.
And according to the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, the attack appears to be a deliberate attempt to wipe away evidence and cover-up the APC chieftain’s top secrets.
The destruction of some of his business interests, the group reckoned could also be a calculated attempt to keep the ‘Jagaban’ political relevant in the buildup to the 2023 general elections.
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens, however, urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency unravel the circumstances behind the EndSARS protest and the arson committed in Lagos State.
It also expressed confidence that indeed a nexus exists between the protest and the arson committed in Lagos State.
Read the full statement below:
We welcome you all to this press conference convoked to demand a thorough probe of the arson that was committed in parts of Lagos State during the EndSARS protest. We wish to state that the circumstances that led to the escalation of violence in Lagos State are indeed suspect given the action of the hoodlums that touched some select properties, especially that of some private concerns including the business interest of the former governor of Lagos State, Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The leadership of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens feels compelled to inform the generality of Nigerians that indeed from the look of things, there appears to be something fishy when the inventory of the properties destroyed are taken into account.
It is our considered opinion that what happened in Lagos State leaves more to be imagined because it is too much of a coincidence for some select properties to be destroyed by suspected thugs.
The selectiveness of the hoodlums is indeed suspect and an indication that some individuals and groups might be trying to insult the intelligence of Nigerians through their despicable actions.
We are consequently constrained to ask critical questions as concerned citizens of Nigeria hence this call for the relevant authorities to carry out a detailed probe of how the hoodlums would selectively touch properties especially those linked to a particular individual, including a court of competent jurisdiction slated to hear a case of fraud against Alpha Beta, a company of the former governor of Lags State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Our curiosity aroused when the hoodlums burnt down the Igbosere High Court after scores of hoodlums carted away computers, printers, files, fans, air conditioners and other items. The question we beg to ask is why the Igbosere High Court was targeted and burnt down?
This is on the heels that the Mr Tade Ipadeola, the lawyer representing the former managing director of Alpha Beta, Dapo Apara alleged that the court papers filed against Bola Tinubu’s Alpha Beta were burnt in the process.
The lawyer stated that “Everything in Igbosere High Court got burnt including the registrar’s copy of our application.”
This is indeed a strange occurrence when it is realized that the Igbosere High Court was the only Court that was burnt by the suspected hoodlums.
We are also constrained to add that aside the burning of the Igbosere High Court, some select properties of Bola Tinubu was also burnt by the hoodlums. Could this be deliberate?
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens wishes to state that indeed Nigerians have a right to know what truly transpired and if indeed it was sponsored to destroy evidence and cover up some top secrets that might be detrimental to Bola Tinubu’s political relevance in the buildup to the 2023 general elections where it is speculated that he is nursing an ambition.
If indeed this is the case, it is unacceptable and must be thoroughly investigated as no individual or group should take Nigerians for a ride in this critical point of our existence as a country.
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens is using this medium to call on the federal government to as a matter of urgency unravel the circumstances behind the EndSARS protest and the arson committed in Lagos State.
We have no doubt whatsoever that indeed there is a nexus between the protest and the arson committed in Lagos State and why it is expedient for Nigerians to know the truth and bring to justice whoever is trying to cover his tracks.
We believe that indeed Nigerians are not gullible in this regard hence the need for a thorough investigation into the activities of the hoodlums that committed arson, which has every colouration of deliberate sponsorship by some highly placed individuals that claim to be democrats and working the interest of Nigeria.
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens believes that there is indeed a nexus between the protest and the arson that was committed in Lagos State and the relevant agencies in Nigeria must act in the overall interest of the country.
We also wish to state that there should be no sacred cows and the government must not be seen to be protecting the interest of a select few at the detriment of the destinies of over 180 million Nigerians.
The exigency of time requires that urgent and proactive steps are taken in our pursuit of the country of our dreams. The Coalition of Concerned Citizens is confident that at the end of the day, the truth shall prevail.
We also wish to state that our commitment to building the Nigeria of our dreams remains unwavering; hence this press conference which remains in the best interest of our dear country.
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens appreciates the government and other relevant stakeholders for their efforts in the restoration of law and order in the country.
While thanking you all present for your time and attention, please be assured that in the fullness of time Nigerians shall know the truth and those trying to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians shall be brought to face the full wrath of the law.
Thank you all, and God bless.
Fulani Will Always Revenge Injustice, Says El-Rufai
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says the Fulani tribe will always take revenge whenever they suffer injustice.
He, however, said they accept their fate whenever they are convicted of a crime. El-Rufai said this on Thursday during a webinar organised by the Africa Leadership Group.
The governor was asked to clarify his tweet in 2012 wherein he said, “Anyone, soldier or not, that kills the Fulani, takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.”El-Rufai had been asked why he made the comment and if the Igbo would be justified to take revenge on other Nigerians that killed them during the Biafran war.
In his response, the governor said, “If a Fulani man dies in war, it is different. If a Fulani man is arrested by the authorities and convicted, it is not an issue. What the Fulani never forgets is when he is innocently targeted and killed and the authorities do nothing. He will never forget and he will come back for revenge. This is it.
“So, it is better to understand the context given the context of what I tweeted which had to do with an issue in Plateau State in 2012. I hope you get the context. So, it is not that Fulani will never forget. Anyone that goes through pain and sorrow either forgets or doesn’t forget but when it is extrajudicial, when it is extra-official, the attitude is completely different.
“This is the context in which Fulani never forgets. It is not in every context. As I said, I lost relations during the war. It doesn’t mean I still hold a grudge. We’ve moved past that.”
Buhari Probes N165.32bn Unremitted Operating Surplus by NPA
The President, Muhammadu Buhari , is probing alleged non-remittance of about N165bn operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
There are indications that the development may not be unconnected to the recent suspension of the Managing Director of the agency, Hadiza Bala-Usman.
Documents sighted on Friday showed that the government figured out discrepancies in the remittance of operating surpluses by the NPA to the Consolidated Revenue Fund for two consecutive years under the leadership of Bala-Usman.
Findings indicated that a total of about N73.61bn (N56.3bn in 2017 and N17.31bn in 2018) realised within the two-year period was not remitted to the CRF as expected by the government, although the suspended NPA boss provided explanations to the contrary.
Also, the Federal Ministry of Transportation in a May 4, 2021 letter to the President claimed that the NPA failed to remit N165.32bn to the CRF from 2016 to 2020 and called for an investigation and audit of the financial accounts of the authority
But in a letter, with reference MD/17/MF/VOL-XX/541, dated May 5, 2021 and addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Bala-Usman said the NPA was aware of Buhari’s approval for the Federal Ministry of Transportation to conduct an audit of the accounts of the NPA and its remittances to the CRF.
The letter was entitled, “Re: Request for the record of remittance of operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Funds account by the Nigerian Ports Authority.”
In the letter, she explained that the audited financial statements of the NPA provided operating surpluses in 2017 and 2018 that were contrary to what were arrived at by the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
The letter read in part, “Audited financial statements of the authority for the period 2017 and 2018 provides operating surpluses of N76.782bn and N71.480bn for 2017 and 2018 respectively as contrary to the sums of N133.084bn and N88.79bn arrived at by your office from the budgetary submission.”
The letter stated that the presidential approval for the audit of the NPA accounts arose from a correspondence between the Budget Office of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Transportation where the budget office conveyed to the FMoT an observed shortfall of the authority’s remittances to the CFR.
Bala-Usman said, “We wish to state that the authority’s basis for arriving at the operating surplus on which basis the amount due for remittance to the CFR is guided by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 as amended.
“It is further based on the statutory mandate Part 1, S.3(1) (b) &(d) whereby the FRC issued a template for the computation of operating surplus for the purpose of calculating amount due for remittance to the CRF.
“Accordingly, the figures so provided by the Budget Office of the Federation as the operating surplus for the respective years on which basis they arrived at the shortfall are derived from submission of budgetary provision not the actual amounts derived following the statutory audit of the authority’s financial statements.”
She argued that in line with the template issued by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, the accessible operating surplus of the authority stood at N51.09bn and N42.51bn for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“This amount will give rise to a remittance due to the CFR in the sum of N40.873bn and N34.065bn representing 80 per cent of the surpluses for the year 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“Accordingly, the authority consequently made a remittance of N42.415bn and N33.969bn for the years 2017 and 2018 respectively for the full amount required as remittance for the period.”
On remittances for 2019 — 2020, the suspended MD said the audit of the 2019 financial statement had been completed and awaiting consideration of the authority’s board at which point the final figures for the 2019 operating surplus would be determined for consequent computation of the amount due for remittance to the CFR.
“But thus far, the authority has made a remittance of N31.683bn for the 2019 remittance. The sum of N51.049bn has also thus far been remitted for 2020, while awaiting the audited financial statement to determine the final amount required for both 2019 and 2020 at which point the authority will make the payment of the balance as required,” Bala-Usman noted.
She stated that based on the above, the authority wished to clarify that the computation of its remittances to the CFR were concluded from audited financial statements using the template forwarded to the authority from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and not budgetary provision.
“The authority has remitted the full amount due to it to CFR for the periods 2017 and 2018 arising from the operating surplus derived from the audited financial statement for the period totaling N76.384bn as evidenced in attached treasury receipts,” Bala-Usman said.
She added, “The authority has remitted a total of N 82.687bn for the periods 2019 and 2020 pending the audit of the financial statement at which point the amount so computed arising from the value of the operating surplus in the audited financial statement will be remitted to the CFR.”
She said the NPA wished to request the Chief of Staff and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation who were the statutorily custodian of status of payment to the CRF to provide clarification on the above so as to establish the true position of the authority’s remittances to the CFR.
Parents of Abducted Kaduna Students Protest at National Assembly
Parents of the abducted students of the College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka in Kaduna State have occupied the National Assembly complex, Abuja, in protest.
The protesters which include members of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the institution are lamenting over what they described as the negligence of the state and Federal Government in securing the release of the children.
They chanted songs of solidarity and displayed placards demanding prompt rescue of the students.
“Education is our right! Safety is our right! Freedom is our right!, Free Afaka 29! ” the parents and students chanted as they marched to the National Assembly.
The protesters joined by the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore and Deji Adeyanju had earlier gathered at the Unity Fountain before proceeding to the National Assembly complex.
The main entrance of the National Assembly was however manned by security agents who denied the protesters entrance.
On 11th March, 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State were abducted from their hostels by bandits dressed in military uniform.
Ten of the students were released in two batches of five each but 29 others have remained in captivity.
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