Kogi West Senator in the National Assembly, Otunba Dino Melaye, has defended his recent visit to the Headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), when wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, honoured the invitation by the anti-graft agency.
The chairman, Senate Ad hoc Committee on Media and Publicity also challenged anybody who will controvert the truth that he has never done any government contract, either at the Local Government, State or Federal levels, to come forward with evidence.
Melaye in a statement entitled: “Stand up for what you believe in regardless of the popularity or acceptance of your belief”, and issued on Fridayin Abuja, said he has I made sacrifices to the extent of escaping assignations.
He said, “I chose to react to the attacks I have received.
“I was arrested 14 times in one year by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan because I desire a country where my grandchildren (that I may never know) will dwell in a nation where life is already structured for them.
I cannot throw away my sacrifice of being beaten and my clothes torn on the floor of the House of Representatives because of fighting against corruption. I have come too far to compromise my stand on corruption and corrupt persons.
“I make bold here to challenge anybody who will controvert the truth that I have never done any government contract, either at the Local Government, State or Federal levels. It is not criminal to do so, but he who must come to equity must come with clean hands.
I have made sacrifices to the extent of escaping assignations. Will my fellow citizens forget all these too quickly on the altar of loyalty to friends, family and loved ones? My loyalty to friends is not only when the going is good. I will be there even when the roads are rough.
“The invitation of Mrs. Toyin Saraki by the EFCC, however, is not a criminal indictment. I will not abandon my friend because of mere EFCC invitation.
I also went there as a private investigator and an anti-corruption crusader to find out the extent of culpability of my sister and friend since she was not told the content of the petition against her before her appearance before the EFCC.
“My definition for friendship is he or she who walks in when others are working out. If my father is invited by the EFCC, I will go there; if a prima face case is established against him,
I will shout for his prosecution. So my great people, I have no regret following my friend and sister to the EFCC. If you are my friend, you are my friend.
I cannot control what my friends will do, but they remain my friends. I am not fighting corruption out of passion only, but because it is the Godly thing to do.
“Finally, Winston Churchill said, “I may not believe in what you have to say, but I will defend to death, your right to say it.” No change of values, in the next few months ahead, Nigerians will those who want President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed.
I promise to be with the people at all times, within the constitutional milieu. I thank you for taking your time. Be a change agent! God bless you and bless Nigeria.”
Reps Committees probes identities of contractors involved in N18.9b bush clearing contracts
The Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives, PAC on Wednesday, resolved to unmask the real identities of the owners of the companies which took contracts valued the sum of N18.9 billion from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for clearing of bushes, land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others during the last COVID-19 lockdown of the country.
The resolution followed the appearance of representatives of two of the 20 affected companies at the resumed investigative hearing of the Committee on queries to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the federal government by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation.
The affected companies are: Easy Construction Company LTD and NUKAAG VENTURES LTD respectively while the remaining 18 companies failed to show up.
The Committee being chaired by Hon Wole Oke (PDP-OSUN) said that the two representatives of the Companies (Johnson Philip and Taiwo Idowu), were of the Managerial cadre and as such not competent to appear before the Committee going by the Rules of the House.
Responding to a question posed by the Chairman of the Committee on whether they were familiar with the submission submitted to the Committee on the award and execution of the contractors so as not to mislead it, they both said no.
Consequently, the Committee directed the duo to leave immediately and directed that the Managing Directors or Chairmen of the companies should personally appear before it and speak to the submission before the Committee.
In addition, Hon Oke directed the Clerk of the Committee to write to the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC to furnish the Committee, the detailed information of the affected 20 companies, including year of incorporation, Corporate offices, names of the owners, shareholders amongst others.
According to him, “we are not concerned about who won the contracts, what we are after is to deter value for money paid out and the sites of the projects, and we will carry that mission to the latter.
“The Clerk should also write the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, to furnish the Committee about the financial status of the companies.
Hon Oke assured that the Committee would carry out a diligent investigation into the matter as it was interested in finding out the location of the projects and the significance of such projects to the country.
Blackout looms as IKEDC stops operations
The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEC) has announced a shutdown of operations following the issues between the National Union of Electricity Employees and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TUC).
In a statement on Wednesday via its verified Twitter handle, @IkejaElectric, the Disco announced the shutdown of operations.
The statement read partly, “Due to the ongoing nationwide picketing of Transmission Stations by the NUEE, we are currently experiencing disruption of power supply as most stations within our network have been shut down.
“Kindly bear with us as we await an amicable resolution by the relevant stakeholders.”
Organised labour had on Tuesday directed workers in the power sector to shutdown and commence an indefinite strike over pending issues with the TCN.
The aggrieved workers under the aegis of the NUEE were at the Abuja national headquarters of the TCN Tuesday as a prelude to the proposed strike.
The union noted that the strike was in protest of a directive by the TCN Board mandating all PMs in acting capacity going to the Annual General Meeting to appear for promotional interviews.
In a circular titled, ‘Call to Action,’ which was addressed to senior assistant general secretaries and zonal organising secretaries, dated August 15, 2022, the General Secretary of the NUEE, Joe Ajaero, directed electricity workers to ensure total compliance, vowing to paralyse operations of the TCN nationwide over anti-masses activities.
Electricity workers’ strike throws South-East into blackout
Power distribution has been halted completely in the entire South-East States.
This follows the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) power stations.
The development threw the five South-East States into a total blackout, Wednesday afternoon.
Emeka Ezeh, Head Corporate Communications, EEDC, confirmed that that operations across the franchise area of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) have been disrupted.
He said, “as a result of this development all our feeders are out of supply and this has affected supply to our esteemed customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.
“Consultations are ongoing among critical stakeholders in the power sector to address this issue and possibly restore supply.
“The Management of EEDC hereby encourage customers and neighbourhood associations to be vigilant and protect the electrical installations within their environment against elements who might take advantage of this outage to vandalise these installations.”
“We, therefore, appeal for continued patience and understanding while this is resolved,” he noted.
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