Connect with us


Timi Frank Condemns $15bn Illegal Railway MoU by NDDC’s MD, Urges EFCC, ICPC to Wade in



Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Sunday, strongly condemned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a $15billion Trans-Niger Delta Railway Project entered into by the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Samuel Ogbuku, with Atlantic Global Resources Inc.

Frank in a statement in Abuja described the action of the NDDC’s MD as illegal and a Yahoo Yahoo abracadabra, that is fraudulently laced with decitful intentions aimed at siphoning the resources of the commission.

He called on any of the anti-graft agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, to urgently wade in, arrest, investigate and prosecute Ogbuku and his co-conspirators for attempted fraud and misappropriation.

He noted that only the Chairman of the Governing Board of the NDDC is vested with powers to enter into contracts with other firms by the Act establishing the agency.

He said: “It is worthy to note, that as part of the responsibility of the Governing Board of the NDDC, as empowered by its establishment Act No 6, 2000, only the Chairman is vested with the sole power to sign contracts or MoUs with any firm or organization.

“It is curious therefore, as to how only the Managing Director and a selected few in conievance with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs would proceed to sign an MoU without the prior knowledge of the Chairman, but rather justifying an ultra vires action.

“The position of the NDDC management in its reaction affirming that the $15billion Railway MoU was signed for the preliminary process for a railway network and not an award of contract, suggests that ongoing talks with this company is another calculated attempt to defraud the Niger Delta people in the guise of ‘Preliminary Studies’ for a Trans-Niger Delta Railway.

“This shady MoU without due consultation with the board, carried out by the MD of NDDC, Samuel Ogbuku, with Atlantic Global Resources Inc, to build a railway network connecting the nine Niger Delta states can only be described as crass carelessness and outrightly insensitive at this time.

“Mr Ogbuku must be reminded that the struggle for the attainment of a better Niger Delta was a battle fought by many and thus as stakeholders in this struggle, we’re mandated to serve the people relentlessly rather than engaging in the same setbacks of the past.”

He added: “In the light of the above therefore, it is clear that the MD and his partners are clearly toeing the same path as the pre-forensic audit of the commission.

“Besides, in pursuit of a better Niger Delta, we’re poised to applaud laudable projects and disapprove of white elephant projects in this regard.

“It is sad that whilst we continue to hope for overall growth and development of the region, we’re still confronted with weighty and dubious setbacks detrimental to the positive advancement of the zone.

“It will be foolhardy to jump on a Trans-Niger Delta Railway network’s feasibility, when the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had only recently in 2021 awarded a $11.7 Railway contract that would connect states in the entire region from Lagos.

“It is therefore shocking that an agency of government will seek to overide the prior approval of FEC and initiate another MoU on behalf of the NDDC and the Federal Government for the same project in 2023 without due process nor approval by FEC in the twilight of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“The FEC must make its position clear as regards this recent MoU duplicating the project even as the completion of the East/West Road has since become a mirage with little or nothing done all these years.”

He called on the National Assembly, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the nine Niger Delta States’ Governors (Advisory Board of NDDC), and all other stakeholders to outrightly reject the flawed MoU as it is of no immediate significance save for personal aggrandizement.

He said: “Any form of support in aiding the commission to secure loans for the purpose of this purported ‘Preliminary Studies’ for the railway construction must be rejected and resisted.

“The Niger Delta people are desirous of more sustainable programmes that positively
affect daily living rather than any phantom project.

“The NDDC must focus on the implementation of its original masterplan, which no board has achieved since inception and concentrate more on Human Resource Development programmes, including training of youths, provision of better healthcare, education, etc., and cease from being used as a conduit in impoverishing the people.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Tinubu Announces Akume As SGF, Gbajabiamila As Chief of Staff




The President, Bola Tinubu, on Friday, appointed the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as his new Chief of Staff.

He also appointed a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia, as Deputy Chief of Staff and Former Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

This was revealed in a statement signed on Friday by the State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, titled ‘President Tinubu appoints Gbajabiamila COS, Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia, DCOS, George Akume, SGF.’

“In a meeting with Progressives Governors Forum, the President also named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” the statement read.

Continue Reading


Police Dismiss Sergeant for N98,000 Extortion




The Lagos State Police Command on Wednesday announced the dismissal of Sgt. Ekpo Shimuyere, who was attached to the Sogunle Division, for extorting a young man of N98,000.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, told journalists that the command’s Provost Department had already disrobed the dismissed sergeant.

According to him, the dismissed sergeant collected the phone of his victim and used a Point of Sale operator to transfer N98,000 out of the N100,000 in the young man’s bank account.

Hundeyin said the policeman’s action was contrary to the ethics of the profession.

He said, “The police command got the complaint from the victim and the officer denied the crime when he was contacted. The command placed him under detention so that he will not tamper with the evidence.

“We wrote to his bank and obtained his statement of account. We were able to trace the money to where the POS operator transferred it before transferring the money to the officer’s account.

“We followed due process to get his account. The victim was invited in the course of the investigation and he testified.

“The POS operator was also invited, and he said the officer requested him to transfer the money from the victim’s account to another one.”

The PPRO said the Sergeant was consequently subjected to an orderly room trial in line with extant laws.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, Mr Idowu Owohunwa, has reviewed the orderly room procedure of the officer with Force No. 461654, attached to the Sogunle Police Division and has approved the punishment of dismissal from the force,” he said.

Continue Reading


PDP Can Suspend, Expel Wike According to Law, Court Rules




The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, told the former governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the right to suspend or expel him if the action is done under the law.

Justice James Omotosho stated this in a judgment on a suit filed by Mr Wike before the 2023 general elections to seek a court order to stop PDP from taking action against him without a fair hearing.

Mr Omotosho said the court had considered the processes filed by parties and arguments of counsel.

He held that suspending or expelling the applicant without affording him the right to defend himself would breach his fundamental rights as enshrined in the party’s and Nigeria’s constitutions.

He said though the party had the right to suspend or expel its members, it must comply with its law.

The judge said that though section 46(1) of the law vested jurisdiction on the court if one’s rights had been breached, he said the court would not dabble into the internal affairs of any political party, except where the party had violated the right of a member without recourse to its laws.

“Where this right ought to be enforced, the court will do everything within its reach to ensure this.

“However, as fundamental and sacrosanct these rights are, they are not absolute,” he said.

The judge, therefore, agreed that any member of a political party who appeared before a disciplinary committee should be allowed to defend himself.

“And if not, any decision taken shall be null and void,” he said.

He said, “This court is convinced that the applicant is entitled to a fair hearing and that the respondent also has the right to discipline its members in accordance with the law.”

The judge further said Mr Wike had the right to associate and that the threat to dismiss him without inviting him to defend himself contravened Article 57 (1)(2) of the party.

He said the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and his agents were bound to promote constitutional democracy.

The ex-governor had sued the PDP, its National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) as first to third respondents.

Mr Wike, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023, dated and filed February 2 by his lawyer, Joshua Musa, SAN, also joined Mr Ayu; national secretary of PDP, Samuel Anyanwu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission as fourth to sixth respondents respectively.

He had prayed for an order directing all parties to maintain the status quo and stay all actions relating to the threat to suspend or expel him by the first to fifth respondents, pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.

He asked the court to enforce his fundamental right to freedom of association which was allegedly about to be breached by the respondents.

But the PDP, through its lawyer, Johnson Usman, SAN, disagreed with Mr Wike’s submission.

He argued that the case was only based on speculation as Mr Wike had failed to provide evidence to substantiate that the respondents intended to suspend or expel him from the party.

He said the party had not contemplated suspending or expelling members of the G5 governors or the Integrity Group, despite engaging in anti-party activities.

He said Mr Wike and four other governors engaged in anti-party activities by forming the Integrity Group and campaigning for another presidential candidate in the February 25 election.


Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: