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NEC hires KPMG, PWC to audit NNPC, CBN, NIMASA, others

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The Committee raised by the National Economic Council rose from its meeting on Thursday, announcing the appointment of two world-class firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, to commence a fresh forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Also, the firms are to look into the account books of all the revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.

This was disclosed by the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who spoke with State House correspondents on Thursday.

NEC had after its meeting of June 29 constituted a four-man panel to unravel N3.8 trillion unremitted funds to the Federation Account by the NNPC between 2012 and May 2015 as well as $2.1 billion said to have been deducted from the Excess Crude Account without approval.

Members of the Committee are Governors Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe),‎ while Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) was later co-opted.

Oshiomole said the two firms are appointed to ensure a thorough and professional job is done, adding that they have so far received briefings from several agencies, including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Central Bank of Nigeria, Department of Petroleum Resources, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria Customs Service, the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

His words: “This is about making Nigeria work for the benefit of other Nigerians and we have to bear in mind that governments are not run on the basis of collection of crude oil but government regardless of colour or political affiliation is run on tax and so if you have tax generating agencies that are not remitting taxes government cannot run like that.

“So in the long run Nigeria has to live on taxes.”
It would be recalled that the Federal Government under the administration of former President Goodluck

Jonathan had engaged the services of PwC to carry out forensic audit of the accounts of the NNPC over allegations of missing $20 billion oil revenues.
After the forensic audit, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, the upstream sector of the NNPC, was asked to refund about $1.48 billion to the Federation Account for various unreconciled transactions.

According to Oshiomole, the previous audit by PwC was limited to the NNPC alone, which the firm also complained to the NEC committee that it was restricted and constrained by non-compliance by few government agencies, including the CBN.

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Nigerian government amends charges against Nnamdi Kanu ahead of bail application hearing

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Kanu Sues Nigerian Government Over ‘Unconstitutional Extradition, Torture’, Demands N25billion

The Federal Government has amended the treasonable felony charges against Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Aloy Ejimakor, Kanu’s Special Counsel, said one of the seven-count charges was removed.

Speaking on Wednesday, Ejimakor said: “The Federal Government just amended the charges against Nnamdi Kanu now, they removed one, you know it was seven, but they removed one, and now it’s six.

“We are in court waiting for the judge’s arrival, and Kanu himself is yet to arrive.”

Trial Justice Binta Nyako had, on April 8, struck out eight out of the 15-count treasonable felony charge FG preferred against Kanu.

A few weeks ago, Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja Federal High Court had struck out eight of the 15 count charges against Kanu.

Justice Nyako struck out counts 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12,13 and 14 of the charges.

She, however, allowed counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 15.

The IPOB leader would appear before Justice Nyako today for a hearing regarding his bail application.

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Finland and Sweden submit applications to join NATO

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says that Finland and Sweden have officially applied to join the world’s biggest military alliance, a move driven by security concerns over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners,” Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday after receiving their application letters from the two Nordic countries’ ambassadors.

“This is a historic moment, which we must seize,” Stoltenberg said at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Neutral throughout the Cold War, the two countries’ decision to join the alliance is one of the most significant changes in Europe’s security architecture in decades.

The applications must now be weighed by the 30 member countries. That process is expected to take about two weeks, although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed reservations about Finland and Sweden joining.

If his objections are overcome, and accession talks go as well as expected, the two could become members within a few months. The process usually takes eight to 12 months, but NATO wants to move quickly given the threat from Russia hanging over the Nordic countries’ heads.

Canada, for example, says that it expects to ratify their accession protocol in just a few days.

Several NATO allies, most notably the United Kingdom, have offered security assurances to Finland and Sweden during the application period before they are covered by the alliance’s mutual defence pact.

Finland and Sweden submit applications to join NATO

“Over the past few days, we have seen numerous statements by allies committing to Finland and Sweden’s security. NATO is already vigilant in the Baltic Sea region and NATO and allies’ forces will continue to adapt as necessary,” Stoltenberg said.

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 Nigerian government puts Facebook under watch over IPOB

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Facebook and other social media platforms have been cautioned against yielding their platforms to the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to incite violence and instigate ethnic hatred in Nigeria.

The Federal Government gave the instruction through Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed at a meeting with a team from Facebook.

In a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, the minister said since IPOB had been proscribed and classified as a terrorist organisation, Facebook has no justification to continue allowing its platform to be used by the organisation to further its campaign of hate and destabilisation of the country.

Mohammed was quoted as saying: “I have called this meeting to enable us to discuss the increasing use of Facebook by separatists and anarchists, especially those of them based outside the country, to instigate violence and ethnic hatred in Nigeria.

“For whatever reason, they seem to have now chosen Facebook as their platform of choice. And their tools include disinformation, incendiary statements and hate speech.

“They use Facebook broadcasts to reach their followers, who are in thousands. They tag those opposed to their violent ways as ‘saboteurs’ who must be attacked, maimed and killed. They use both English and their local language as it suits them.”

He said the actions of the outlawed group have real-life implications, adding: “By purveying hate and inciting violence, people are getting killed while private and public property are being attacked and destroyed. Security agencies and other symbols of government are their choice targets.”

The minister said that despite the numerous complaints to Facebook on the activities of IPOB, nothing has been done by the company to curtail the group’s excesses on the social media platform.

He said: “Our social media people have been monitoring these separatists, anarchists and purveyors of hate, and have been reporting their atrocious actions to Facebook, but all they get are default responses that their complaints have been received and are being looked into.

“Most often than not, nothing has been done about such complaints… The truth is that whatever Facebook is doing to check these people is mere tokenism and is totally ineffective.”

Mohammed said the government would be monitoring Facebook and other platforms closely in the days ahead to ensure compliance with the demand, as it steps up the campaign for the responsible use of social media.

He said: “We have always advocated a responsible use of social media, and consistently called on all stakeholders to join us in achieving this. Some have tagged our efforts as an attempt to stifle social media.

“They are wrong, because we have no intention of preventing Nigerians from using social media responsibly. All we have been advocating is a responsible use of social media,” the minister said.

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