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Oyo Rep denies inflating road project contract from N9bn to N54bn



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared that the old naira banknotes will retain their legal tender status. Earlier, in October 2022, the CBN had introduced redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations, with set deadlines for discontinuing the use of the old notes of these denominations.

However, on Tuesday, the CBN announced its intention to indefinitely extend the legal tender status deadline for the old design of N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations. The decision is in accordance with international best practices and aims to prevent the recurrence of previous issues. According to a statement by Isa AbdulMumin, the Director of Corporate Communications, all banknotes issued by the CBN, as per Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, will continue to be legal tender indefinitely, surpassing the initial December 31, 2023, deadline.

The CBN is actively working with relevant authorities to overturn an existing court ruling on the same matter. Consequently, all CBN branches nationwide will continue to issue and accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, both old and redesigned, to and from deposit money banks (DMBS).

The public is urged to accept all Naira banknotes, whether old or redesigned, for everyday transactions and to handle them with care to preserve their lifecycle. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to adopt alternative payment methods and electronic channels for their day-to-day transactions.

paraphrase: The member representing Oluyole Federal Constituency of Oyo State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, has denied reports that she inflated the contract sum of a road rehabilitation project in her constituency.

The lawmaker was reacting to reports in the media that she connived with officials of the Federal Ministry of Works to inflate a 45 kilometre road project from N9 billion to N54 billion.

The contractor handling the project, DC Engineering Limited, was quoted to have made the allegation at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja.

Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, Akande-Sadipe explained that the Olojuoro, Ijebu-Igbo, Ita Egba, Owonomwen road project in her constituency in Oyo State was awarded in 2018 with a two-year completion period, but after five years, one kilometer of the road has not been completed despite the contractor being mobilized substantially.

According to her, several petitions have been written by her constituents, prompting her to sponsor a motion calling for investigation as the road got deplorable with serious human casualties on daily basis due to accidents.

Her intervention, she said, was within the mandate of her office as a lawmaker in protecting the interest of her constituents, hence, she raised a motion expressing concerns over the deplorable state of the road and calling on the lower legislative chamber to investigate with documentary evidence of payments made to the contractor.

Her motion urged “the House to establish an Ad-Hoc Committee to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the consistent failure of the contractors to fulfill their contractual obligations”.

“The investigation should specifically focus on the construction and rehabilitation of the Olomi Olojuoro road, referred to as the Ijebu-Igbo Ita Egba-Owonowen Ibadan road, with the following contracts and budget allocations,” the motion added.

The lawmaker expressed disappointment that she was being blackmailed by the company, which she said failed to meet up with the terms of the contractual agreement to the benefit of the people of the Oluyole area.

A paper she presented at the public hearing on the road project partly read, “My attention has been drawn to a letter dated 29th August, 2023 written by the solicitors to DC Engineering Limited Co and Oba (King) Adesegun Alowonle, the Emure of Ijebu, the person believed to be the owner of the company.

“This letter accused me of total falsehood in an attempt to steer this hallowed committee away from, the true situation on ground with regards to Olojuoro, Ijebu-Igbo, Ita Egba, Owonowen road in Oluyole Federal Constituency.

“The letter did not address the substance of the several petitions and motions in anyway, including the most recent of 13th July, 2023, rather what they went into was to disparage my person and smear my name and engage in scandalous defamation of my character by alleging that my objective in intervening on behalf of Oluyole is to promote a particular contractor – Aereatech Nigeria Limited, to the Federal Ministry of Works.”

The lawmaker denied having any “direct or indirect relationship with the said contractor, and I am not in any way related to the said contractor. I have never introduced any such contractor and have never inflated any contract”.

She alleged that the competence of DC Engineering calls for investigation given that some parts of the road project were sub-let to other minor construction firms in contravention of the contractual terms.

Akande-Sadipe further recalled how she initiated an inspection visit to the site in 2021 with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Works, the Commissioner of Public Complaints Commission and representatives of DC Engineering Limited, only to discover that the company was accused of collecting money from communities to fix feeder road culverts which were removed in the course of the rehabilitation work.
The representative for Oluyole Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, has refuted claims that she inflated the contract amount for a road rehabilitation project in her constituency. Media reports suggested that she collaborated with Federal Ministry of Works officials to raise the cost of a 45-kilometer road project from N9 billion to N54 billion, an accusation made by the project’s contractor, DC Engineering Limited, during a public hearing organized by the House of Representatives in Abuja.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday, Akande-Sadipe clarified that the road project in Olojuoro, Ijebu-Igbo, Ita Egba, Owonomwen in her constituency was awarded in 2018 with a two-year completion period. However, after five years, only one kilometer of the road has been completed despite substantial mobilization of the contractor. She highlighted the numerous petitions from her constituents, leading her to sponsor a motion for an investigation due to the road’s deplorable condition causing frequent accidents and human casualties.

The motion she presented called for the establishment of an Ad-Hoc Committee to comprehensively investigate the contractors’ consistent failure to fulfill their obligations, specifically focusing on the Olomi Olojuoro road. Akande-Sadipe expressed disappointment at being blackmailed by the company, emphasizing that she was acting within her legislative mandate to protect her constituents’ interests.

During the public hearing, she presented a paper addressing the accusations, stating that the contractor’s letter accused her of falsehood to divert attention from the actual situation with the road project. She denied any connection with the contractor, Aereatech Nigeria Limited, and refuted allegations of contract inflation. Akande-Sadipe called for an investigation into the competence of DC Engineering, pointing out that some parts of the project were sub-contracted to other firms, violating the contractual terms. She also recalled a site inspection in 2021 that revealed the company collecting money from communities to fix culverts removed during rehabilitation work.

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Troops kill 52 terrorists, arrest ISWAP leader in Bauchi – DHQ



The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has reported that a joint operation involving Nigerian military troops and Department of State Services (DSS) operatives resulted in the elimination of 52 terrorists and the apprehension of a leader of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Bauchi State.

The ISWAP leader was captured in a sting operation at Tarum, a village outside Bauchi Metropolis, as disclosed by Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, the Director of Defence Media Operations, in a statement on Friday.

While the DHQ did not disclose the name of the arrested ISWAP leader, it revealed that the individual held a significant role in the North Central and North West zones.

The military high command emphasized that targeting terrorist leadership is crucial in ensuring the safety and security of citizens, with ongoing operations consistently diminishing the fighting force and capacity of these groups.

Maj.-Gen. Buba noted that Nigerian Air Force airstrikes played a key role in destroying terrorist leaders’ enclaves in the North West and North Central zones in the past week.

The week’s operations resulted in the neutralization of 52 terrorists, the arrest of 204 individuals associated with terrorism, and the rescue of 234 kidnapped hostages. Additionally, in the South-South zone, troops recovered stolen crude oil and illegal refined products, destroyed various equipment and sites used for illegal activities, and seized a substantial amount of weapons, ammunition, vehicles, and other items associated with criminal operations.

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‘Stop making police officers’ wives widows’ – Arase decries killing of cops in South East



Solomon Arase, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, has expressed distress regarding the escalating violence against security personnel, particularly police officers, in the South East region.

The former Inspector General of Police highlighted the growing number of police officers’ wives becoming widows due to attacks by gunmen in the area. In a statement by Ikechukwu Ani, Head of Press and Public Relations, Arase conveyed his apprehension during a courtesy visit by leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, in Abuja.

Arase emphasized that it’s essential to communicate to the assailants that the police are not their adversaries and have committed no wrongdoing. He lamented the loss of numerous serving officers in the South East, urging the perpetrators to recognize the police as friends and cease making widows out of officers’ wives, who are essentially their sisters.

Furthermore, Arase assured that the Commission has addressed the perceived marginalization of the South East in police representation nationwide.

Elder Onwu Arua, the leader of the Ohanaeze delegation, expressed concern about the lack of interest among people in the South East regarding the ongoing police recruitment exercise. He urged the Police Service Commission to devise strategies to address this issue.

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IPOB alleges pressure on Gov Mba to blackmail Supreme Court



On Friday, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) alleged that Governor Peter Mba was facing pressure from “Aso Rock” to discredit the Supreme Court ahead of the judgment on its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, scheduled for December 15. IPOB based this claim on Mba’s characterization of the group as a proscribed organization, a statement he made after visiting President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

IPOB cautioned the governor against making a “costly mistake” by using the group’s name to gain favor from Tinubu’s administration. In a statement by Powerful, a spokesperson for IPOB, it was emphasized that Mba’s comments were deemed reckless and unguarded. The statement alleged that Mba, under pressure from the federal government, accused IPOB of being responsible for the sit-at-home protest and insecurity in the Southeast.

The statement pointed out that Mba had previously condemned Simon Ekpa, who was associated with the enforcement of the Monday sit-at-home. IPOB expressed skepticism about the governor’s motives and suggested that his statements were influenced by the Tinubu administration.

IPOB urged the public to dismiss the governor’s remarks, describing him as a “cowardly governor” making unfounded accusations. The statement reminded Mba that IPOB is not easily intimidated and warned against attempting to use the group’s name for political advantage.

The statement concluded by calling on the Nigerian Supreme Court Justices not to succumb to blackmail, urging the release of Nnamdi Kanu, who was acquitted by the Court of Appeal. IPOB reiterated its commitment to the cause of self-determination and emphasized that the movement would not yield to blackmail or pressure.

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