The Lagos state Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has issued a warning to Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemi popularly known as Sunday Igboho, against staging any rally in the state.
Igboho had recently declared intentions to organize a rally in Lagos to sensitize residents of the state on the need to support the call for the actualization of the Yoruba nation. The planned rally was slated for Saturday, July 3, at the Gani Fawehimi Freedom Park, Ojota area and other parts of the state.
At a press briefing on Thursday, July 1, the police boss insisted that the command would not allow any rally to hold in order to avoid a repeat of a total breakdown of law and order as witnessed in the hijacked EndSARS protest, last year.
In his words
“ Lagos State cannot afford to experience any security lapses, breakdown of law and order and threat to public peace at the moment, considering the negative effects and reoccurring agonies of the October 2020 violent #Endsars crisis that led to massive destruction of public and private facilities, while some Police personnel paid the supreme price. This is in addition to many Police stations, barracks and officers’ personal properties that were set ablaze during this period.
The Command is still going through those harrowing experiences. It will not be cajoled by the so-called organizers that the rally will be peaceful. That was the same slogan adopted by the organizers of the #Endsars protest that eventually snowballed into crises with attendant massive destruction of lives and properties. The Police will not submit to their antics”.
According to the police boss, intelligence gathered by the police indicates that one Elewe-omo, a transport Union leader in Ibadan, Oyo State, had perfected a plan “to attack organizers of the rally as a reappraisal attack on the death of one of his followers allegedly killed by one Sunday Igboho’s group during a similar rally organized in Ibadan, Oyo State sometimes ago”. He mentioned that some disgruntled elements had perfected plans to infiltrate the ranks of the protesters to hijack the opportunity to attack and loot properties of Lagosians.
”The command still reaffirms that on no account will any actual or rumoured activities including the said planned mega rally be allowed to lock down the state or hinder normal daily activities of the good people of Lagos State. The effect of this, if allowed to come to fruition, is better known than imagined on the security, traffic and economic activities of a cosmopolitan state, like Lagos.
It has also come to the knowledge of the command that the rally arranged to take place at the Gani Fawehimi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, has been planned by some other yet-to-be-identified groups to simultaneously take place in LekKi Toll Gate, Ikoyi, Iyana-Ipaja, Ikeja, Surulere, Ikorodu and other areas.
This, if allowed, could be a fatal ground to anarchy. The cumulative effect of all these poses a threat to law and order in the State. The Command will not fold its hands and allow disgruntled elements to truncate the peace being enjoyed in the state”.
However, Igboho has since called off the rally in Lagos. He announced the decision after his Ibadan home was raided by DSS officials.
Five persons have been arrested over alleged attempt to kill officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Oyo.
Speaking on the arrest during a press briefing, on Thursday, July 1, the Oyo State Commandant, Michael Akintayo Adaralewa, said that the suspects, Abiodun Abraham, Abiodun Akinola, Gbenga Abraham, Ramoni Oyewole and Babatunde Temito, committed the offence, on Tuesday, at the Agugu area of Adaralewa disclosed that the civil defence officials had gone to the scene to arrest Abiodun Abraham in relation to a case of stealing when he started shouting and calling on people around the area to rescue him from kidnappers.
The Commandant stated that the false alarm prompted hoodlums to descend on the officers, hitting them with different weapons and tearing their clothes.
He added that they also hanged tyres on the necks of the officers and were about setting them ablaze when a team of Operation Burst operatives passing by noticed the commotion and drew near, before noticing that those being attacked were civil defence officers.
The commandant said further that the officers were quickly rescued while the Operation Burst operatives called for reinforcement.
The Commandant said that those arrested were suspected of being part of the attackers, as they followed the vehicle being used to convey the principal suspect from the scene.
Condemning the jungle justice being perpetrated by some residents without seeking verification of culpability or none by the targeted victims, the Commandant warned that the wrath of the law would be brought on the violators of the law.
In an interview with the Nigerian Tribune, one of the arrested suspects, Akinola, said that he was not one of those who attacked the civil defence officers but only followed the vehicle that took him away from the scene because the principal suspect was his boss during his vocation as a caterpillar engineer.
He confirmed the attack on the officers but said that he was able to save one of them from the hoodlums.
Also arrested was a Point of Sale (PoS) operator, Oluwatosin Gbadamosi, for allegedly giving fake Nigerian currency notes in N1,000 denominations to unsuspecting victims.
Gbadamosi claimed that a customer had deposited N120,000 notes with him, unknown to him that they were fake notes.
He said that he got into trouble when he spent the notes for another person who discovered that they were fake.
The Federal Government has projected to spend N900 billion on subsidy payout to oil marketers in 2022.
Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning made this disclosure on Thursday at presentation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2022-2024 in Abuja. She also disclosed the Federal Government will spend N13.98trillion in the 2022 fiscal year.
The Bill to amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for inclusion and protection of young persons and persons with disabilities (PWDs) passed the second reading in the House of Representatives on Thursday.
The bill defines young persons to mean Nigerians between the ages of 15 to 35 years.
The bill, among other amendments, seeks to make it mandatory for young persons and PWD to be included in appointments in government at various levels.
An amendment in Section 147, subsection 3 reads, “any appointment under Sub-section (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of subsection 14(3) of this constitution. Provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State and shall include young persons and persons with disabilities.”
The bill, sponsored by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, generated some debate on the floor, with the main opposition to it coming from Uzoma Abonta.
Abonta argued that the consideration for young persons and persons with disabilities should be a policy matter and not a constitutional one.
According to him making it a constitutional matter would be overkill.
The Speaker argued against this saying policies come and go depending on government but amending the constitution to accommodate the interests of young persons and persons with disabilities would provide a permanent solution.
The Senate on Thursday passed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with a provision that granted the use of 30 per cent of oil and gas profits of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited to fund oil exploration activities in frontier basins.
But this was not without drama at plenary on what percentage of operating expenditure of oil companies should constitute funds earmarked for host communities’ development in the Bill.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the passage of the historic bill marks a watershed for the 9th Assembly, saying: “PIB demons have been defeated.”
The passage of the Bill followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Downstream Petroleum Sector; Petroleum Resources (Upstream); and Gas on a “Bill for an Act to provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the development of Host Communities and for related matters, 2021,” popularly called the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The lead Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Sabo Mohammed Nakudu presented the report.
The Senate, after due consideration, approved that host communities would henceforth enjoy 3 per cent ($502.8million) of annual operating expenditure of oil firms to be contributed into the host community development trust fund.
However, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, in his contribution, pleaded with the Senate to increase the 5 per cent proposed for the development of host communities in the Bill.
Nakudu said: “The Joint Committee’s recommendation recognises the need for the country to urgently and aggressively explore and develop the country’s Frontier Basins to take advantage of the foreseeable threats to the funding of fossil fuel projects across the world due to speedy shift from fossil fuel-to other alternative energy sources.
To this end, the Committee recommends funding mechanism of thirty percent (30%) of NNPC Limited’s profit oil and profit gas as in the production sharing, profit sharing, and risk service contracts to fund exploration of frontier basins.”
On funding for host communities, the joint Committee had earmarked five per cent but the Senate slashed it to three per cent operating expenditure of oil firms.
Nakudu said: “This chapter highlights the effective and efficient administration of the Host Community Trust Fund which is to be anchored by the settlor, i.e. the oil and gas companies operating in the host communities.
“The various recommended provisions when passed into law, will ensure a peaceful operating environment that will have a positive direct impact on the cost of oil and gas production which has been the bane of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
After extensive engagements with various stakeholders and on-the-spot assessment visits to host communities across the country, the Joint Committee recommended strengthening measures and saddled the host communities with responsibilities with a view to reducing or completely eradicating interferences and tampering in the country’s oil and gas production assets.
“Furthermore, to ensure adequate development of the host communities and reduction in the cost of production, the Joint Committee recommends five per cent (5%) of the actual annual operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream petroleum operations affecting the host communities for funding of the Host Communities Trust Fund.”
Earlier, Omo-Agege said even though the 5 per cent provision for host community development in the Bill was arrived at after due consultation, he called for a slight increase to assuage the feelings and pains of oil bearing communities.
He noted that while the Niger Delta people want a deal, “a no deal is better than a bad deal.”
Omo-Agege said: “Today I speak not as the deputy Senate President but I speak as the senator representing Delta Central Senatoria District
For us in the Niger Delta there are three areas that are of much interest to us. I’m sure my other colleagues will speak to it.
“On the whole, the major thrust, the rationale for pushing for this Bill which has eluded this country for so many years is for us to get a law in place that will create an enabling environment for foreign investors coming with their money to invest in the sector before as we were told, our oil will go out of fashion.
“Some of us have this belief that no matter the thinking of the investment community, oil will always be relevant. Some of them have made the case that in the next 10 to 15 years, there will be no use for oil.
Mr. President, this may be acceptable to a lot of people in this country but in my Senatorial District and indeed in most of Niger Delta, they are prepared to let this oil remain on the ground until may be another 40 to 50 years when there may be need for oil again.
“What does that mean? Mr. President, they want a deal but they want a good deal. Sometimes Mr. President, no deal could be better than a bad deal.
“Mr. President, when we raise these issues, I want to thank you most especially. I want to thank the Senate Leader and the leadership for the leadership role you played in arranging for our colleagues to meet and engage and come with some sort of accommodation.
“And Mr. President, this Bill as originally conceived provided only 2.5 per cent contribution by sector companies to the host communities trust fund. This is not the first experiment or first attempt.
Mr. President, I will still make a case if possible that we go a little more than the five per cent already agreed.
“I understand we cannot meet the 10 per cent. But that is the clamour at home. I need to plead that if there is a chance we can go a little more than the five per cent, we will be grateful.”
Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, noted that the 5 per cent provided for host communities in the Bill connotes that property and equipment of oil companies will be secured by host communities or part of the trust fund would be used to remedy any damage or theft.
However, it was learnt that the Senate decided to reduce the five per cent earmarked for host community trust fund to three per cent following the closed door briefing of lawmakers by the Minister for State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari.
However, efforts by Omo-Agege, Senators George Sekibo and James Manager to get a better deal for the development of host communities failed.
During the clause by clause consideration of the Bill, Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita (Katsina North), proposed an amendment to the effect that if the contribution to host communities trust fund is pegged at three per cent, government will ensure security of oil firms’ equipment but if it is five per cent, communities would be responsible for securing production equipment in their domain. When it was put to voice vote, the 3 per cent sailed through.
Apparently, peeved by the development, Sekibo called for a division of the Senate citing order 73 of the Senate Standing Orders.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, prevailed on Sekibo to withdraw his motion in view of the “existing unity in the Senate.”
Sekibo withdrew his motion and pleaded that the three per cent be increased by retaking the vote on the amendment earlier proposed by Kaita.
Lawan thanked Sekibo for his statesmanship in withdrawing his motion but declined to call for a fresh vote on Kaita’s motion.
“We have already ruled and it is against the provisions of the Standing Orders of this chamber to revisit a matter already ruled upon by the Presiding Officer,” Lawan said.
Senator Manager in his remarks described the three per cent of operating expenditure of oil firms earmarked for the host communities’ development trust fund as a “bitter pill to swallow.”