news Buhari appoints Adeyeye as new NAFDAC DG Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja P resident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Prof. Moji Adeyeye, as the Director- General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. The appointment was contained in a statement on Tuesday by Assistant Director (Press), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mohammed Nakorji. According to the statement, Adeyeye’s appointment, which takes effect from November 3, is for an initial term of five years. The statement read, “The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the appointment of Prof. Moji Christianah Adeyeye, as the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. “Moji Christiana Adeyeye is a seasoned pharmacist with a proven track record of accomplishments in Nigeria and abroad. “She is also a professor of Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing Science and Drug Product Evaluation, College of Pharmacy, Roosevelt University, USA amongst others. “The appointment, which takes effect from 3rd November, 2017, is for the initial term of five years.” WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2017 Maina: Again, Senate meets Malami, Dambazau behind closed doors Leke Baiyewu, Abuja M embers of the Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate the controversial reinstatement of a former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdul-Rasheed Maina, into the service of the Federal Government, on Tuesday met with Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau. The meeting was however held behind closed doors. The Senate panel sent journalists out of the venue for its meeting with the officials of the Federal Civil Service Commission last Wednesday. Malami arrived at the initial venue for the investigative hearing, Room 224, at 12pm, the time scheduled to start the meeting but the timing for Malami’s appearance coincided with the day’s plenary, making Malami to wait for the arrival of the members of the panel. An official of the National Assembly ushered the minister out of the empty room at about 12.15pm, while the venue was later locked. The venue changed to Room 231, where the meeting was held some minutes after. Dambazau later appeared at the new venue. The Chairman of the committee, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, before the meeting began, announced that it would be held in camera to allow both sides to freely express themselves. Last week, the committee invited members of the Senate Press Corps to the investigative hearing through a letter from the Clerk, Mrs. Edith Ajah, dated November 8, 2017. Paulker, however, asked journalists to leave the venue after officials of the FCSC and the Ministry of Interior had introduced each other. The Acting Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, Joseph Oluremi Akande; and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior Abubakar Magaji, led the two teams. Paulker decried that while the AGF officially informed the panel of his unavailability, Dambazau failed to appear before the lawmakers. The Senate on October 24 set up an ad hoc committee to investigate Maina’s return to the country after he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over a N2bn pension fund scandal. The chamber is also probing into his reinstatement into the civil service and promotion after returning from self-exile. The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, set up the panel made up of chairmen and vice-chairmen of Senate Committees on Public T he Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday froze the sum of N350m found in the Stanbic IBTC Bank account of a company, AM- PM Global Network Limited, said to have links with the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience. Justice Hadizat Shagari froze the company’s account following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The EFCC, in the ex parte application, claimed that its investigation revealed that the N350m was part of a sum of N1, 206,950,000, being proceeds of Patience’s unlawful enrichment kept in the company’s Diamond Bank account. T •L-R: Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, President Muhammadu Buhari; Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; and Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, during the President’s stopover at Akanu Ibiam Airport on his way to Ebonyi State ...on Tuesday. Photo: NAN Senate okays Buhari’s $5.5bn loan request Leke Baiyewu, Abuja T he Senate at plenary on Thursday approved the request by President Muhammadu Buhari to approve Federal Government’s plan to secure two external loans totalling $5.5bn. The approval followed the adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts. The lawmakers however warned the Federal Government against the nation’s rising debt profile and dwindling external reserve. Buhari had in a letter to both chambers of the National Assembly dated October 4, 2017, said the external borrowings had been captured in the 2017 Appropriation Act, which has a deficit of N2.356tn and provision for new borrowings of N2.321tn. The letter read in part, “Accordingly, the Senate is requested to kindly approve the following external borrowings — Issuance of $2.5bn in International Capital Market through Eurobonds or a combination of Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds for the financing of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s 2017 Appropriation Act and capital expenditure projects in the Act. “Issuance of Eurobond in the ICM and/or loans syndication by the banks in the sum of $3bn for refinancing of maturing domestic debts obligations of the Federal Government of Nigeria, while looking forward to the timely approval of the National Assembly to enable Nigerians to take advantage of these opportunities for funding.” In the report, which was presented by the Chairman of the committee, Senator Shehu Sani, the panel recommended approval for the issuance of $2.5bn to finance the M am bi l l a Hy d r o p o w e r Project, construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, counterpart funding for rail projects and construction of the Bode-Bonny Road, with a bridge across the Opobo Channel in the 2017 Appropriation Act. The committee also Service and Establishment; Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption; and Internal Affairs. Saraki said, “Honestly, we are all very disturbed and I will like the committee to work very hard and bring the report back to us on this matter that really borders on security, fight against corruption and how we manage our public service.” The decision by the Senate followed the adoption of a motion moved by Senator Isa Misau, on Maina’s matter. Court freezes N350m in account linked Oladimeji Ramon with Patience Jonathan Realnews lecture he Realnews Magazine and Publications Limited will hold its 5th Anniversary Lecture on Thursday, November 16, 2017. The lecture titled, “African Leadership in a Turbulent Era,” will be delivered by a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, by 10am. The Editor/Publisher of the media outlet, Maureen Chigbo, in a statement, said the lecture would be chaired by the Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, Prof. Akpan Ekpu. The statement read in part, “Immediately after the lecture, a panel of discussants will leverage on the topic to speak on how leadership crisis is affecting different sectors in Nigeria and the way forward. The panellists are Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru; Executive Director, Bank of Industry, BOI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, and Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru.” 3 recommended that the Senate approved the $3bn for refinancing of the nation’s domestic debt, while further recommending that “the Senate should emphasise effective oversight of the proposed projects.” In his remarks on the report, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, urged the Federal Government to monitor the country’s debt profile. He said, “Let me state clearly that this Senate will continue to partner the Federal Government on matters that concern the ordinary people of Nigeria. The implementation of the 2017 budget is key because any appropriation act that is not implemented is worthless. And since this is tied to the implementation of the 2017 budget, I believe that that had informed the support that this request is now generating. “In addition to the caution earlier presented by most of those who have intervened (spoken), let me also say that we need to urge the Debt Manageme nt Office to ensure that our debt profile is monitored so that we will always ensure that it is still within the acceptable limit.” The anti-graft agency stated that it was in its desperate bid to dissipate the money that AM-PM Global Network Limited transferred N350m out the N1.2bn into an account it opened at the Walter Carrington, Victoria Island branch of Stanbic IBTC. An operative of the EFCC, Musbau Yahaya, who deposed to a nine-paragraph affidavit in support of the ex parte application, averred that, “I know as a fact and I verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following facts: (a) That between the 20th day of June, 2012 and the 15th day of November, 2013, the respondent (AM- PM Global Network Limited) fraudulently received a total sum of N1,206,950,000 into its Diamond Bank account No. 0026718889, being proceeds of unlawful enrichment derived by Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan, who was a permanent secretary appointed by the Bayelsa State Government. “(b) That in a bid to dissipate the funds, the respondent opened account No. 0016971559 with Stanbic IBTC. “(c) That out of the alleged proceeds of unlawful enrichment of Mrs. Dame Patience Jonathan, the respondent transferred the total sum of N350,000,000 from its account in Diamond Bank to the account sought to be attached in a desperate move to dissipate the funds. “(d) That we have traced the said N350,000,000 to the respondent’s account sought to be attached and the order of this honourable court is needed to instruct the bank to attach the account to prevent the dissipation of the funds.” Moving the ex parte application on Tuesday, counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, begged Justice Shagari to order the freezing of the account in the interest of justice. Justice Shagari granted same. N1.1bn subsidy scam: Court adjourns Arisekola’s son, others’ trial Oladimeji Ramon T he Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has adjourned further proceedings till November 28 in the case of Mr. Abdullahi Alao — a son of the late Ibadan business mogul, Arisekola — who is being tried for alleged fuel subsidy scam of N1, 110,049,444.35. Alao and his company, Axenergy Ltd., are standing trial alongside Majope Investment Ltd. and one Olarenwaju Olalusi. The owner of Majope Inve stme nt Ltd., M rs. Opeyemi Ajuyah, who was standing trial with Alao and others, passed on in January this year, leading to the striking out of her name from the charge sheet. At the Tuesday’s proceedings in the case before Justice Lateefa Okunnu, the legal adviser to Majope Investment Ltd., Mr. Benson Osifo, appeared as a witness for the company. Osifo, who was led in evidence by counsel for Majope Investment Ltd., Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, told the court how Majope, in 2010, received the approval of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency to import 15,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit.