On Tuesday, November 10 stories related to the sack of Ibrahim Lamorde as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); crisis brewing in the House of Representatives, the exit of MTN CEO, the role played by the military during the elections in Ekiti, Osun and Akwa Ibom.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday November 9, relieved Lamorde of his duties few weeks to the expiration of his four-year tenure in February 2016.
Lamorde reportedly met behind closed-doors with Buhari shortly after the president inaugurated the new National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and five INEC national commissioners.
Shedding light on the decision of the president, Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity said Lamorde would proceed on terminal leave ahead of the expiration of his tenure.
Adesina revealed that the president has however approved the appointment of Ibrahim Mustafa Magu as the acting chairman of the commission.
‘‘ Magu, who is an assistant commissioner of police, is to take over from Ibrahim Lamorde who is proceeding on terminal leave ahead of the formal expiration of his tenure in February next year,” a statement released by Adesina reads.
By this development, the senate’s committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions was compelled on Monday to reschedule Lamorde’s probe initially slated for Tuesday (today).
”You will be duly informed when the meeting is rescheduled, please. The committee regrets any inconveniences the postponement would have caused you,’‘ Freedom Osolo, the clerk to the committee said.
The Nation’s version of the report indicates that the acting EFCC Boss served as head of the EFCC’s Economic Governance Unit (EGU) during Nuhu Ribadu’s tenure.
Magu was the head of the agency’s investigation unit during the tenure of pioneer chairman Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
The acting chairman is describes as a crack detective; a member of the panel probing the $2billion military arms deal during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He is also a trained financial crimes investigator with background in forensic accounting. He also trained at the FBI institute and the London Metropolitan Police Institute.
”Magu was said to have made several enemies because of his fearless attitude to official work.”
”An informed source in the anti-graft agency also described Magu as the brain behind high profile investigations of indicted former Nigerian governors, and was one of the early recruits into the EFCC by Mr. Ribadu. He is seen by many of his colleagues as an ‘’incorruptible and courageous’’ officer.” This Day report states.
Meanwhile, the group chief executive officer of MTN, Sifiso Dabengwa, yesterday resigned his appointment.
Guardian reports that his resignation is compelled by the company’s continued poor performance on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and in response to the $5.2 billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers as directed by the regulator.
Dabengwa, a 57-year-old electrical engineer became the MTN Group CEO in March 2011.
As NCC insists the Nigeria subsidiary of the telecom operator must pay the N1.04 trillion fines, the company may be heading for a big crisis as Nigerian banks contacted are reluctant to fund the penalty.
According to Renaissance Capital, a South African-based investment advisory company, MTN is already exposed to the tune of $1.7 billion, coupled with Nigeria’s regulatory obligor limits.
Given the net debt position, therefore, consideration must be given to raising external financing to pay the fine through commercial bank loans, debt instrument and equity raise, which would raise the company’s net debt by 1,606 per cent to $5.6 billion.
”Given the data we have, we think a fine reduction by less than 70 per cent probably exposes MTN Nigeria to more significant funding risks with little available support from Nigerian banks given single obligor limits, capital and liquidity constraints.”
”In our view, the ability of any bank to further lend to MTN Nigeria would be dependent on the bank’s capital and liquidity constraints, scale of its extant lending exposure to the company and internal exposure limits.”
‘”Therefore, we think the amount that MTN Nigeria can additionally raise from the Nigerian banking system is probably smaller (32 per cent of the fine) than what it is already owing, considering that it has already borrowed significantly from the larger well capitalised banks today,” Head of Research, Nigeria, Renaissance Capital, Adesoji Solanke, said.
Also, another crisis brews in the House of Representative as the house leader, Femi Gbajabiamila boycotted the inauguration of the 96 new standing committees of the house held yesterday (November 9).
Gbajabiamila’s loyalists accused Dogara of mortgaging the interest of the party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and of being in cahoots with the opposition party to derail the change mantra that brought the APC to power.
They are not impressed at Dogara’s decision to split the leadership of the committees with the opposition PDP,
But Dogara’s loyalists denied the claim and revealed their intent to officially dismiss the insinuations today.
The inauguration of the committees was attended by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former principal and presiding officers, Head of Service, service chiefs, Civil Society Organisations as well as traditional rulers.
”The decision to formally inaugurate all the Committees at once is borne out of the need for them to hit the ground running. It is also informed by the need to save cost and reduce legislative time that may be spent in inaugurating each Committee independently.’” Dogara said.
Vanguard also reports that a committee of generals has been mandated to probe the role of Army in Ekiti, Osun, Rivers, Akwa Ibom during the elections.
Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff constituted a five-man board of inquiry to investigate alleged partisanship of members of the Nigeria Army during the 2015 general election.
The board has Maj. Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade General Officer Commanding, GOC, 1 Division of the Nigeria Army as its chairman.
Other members of the board are Brig. Gen. Sunday Araoye, Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Kabuk, Brig. Gen. Baba Ibrahim and Col. Danladi Salihu who will serve as its secretary.
”These allegations are weighty and Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Buratai is determined to get to the root of the matter. The COAS insists on maintaining a professionally responsive Nigerian Army determined on discharging its constitutional roles, and as such instituted this Board of Inquiry.”
”Politics, we strongly believe should be left entirely to politicians. The role of the military must strictly be in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.”
”All petitions/memorandum are to be forwarded not later than Fri 20 Nov 2015. The panel shall commence its sitting from 9am – 5pm daily except Sundays starting from today Monday 9, 2015,” Maj. Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade said.
Another top news for today is the arraignment of the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja over alleged N70million bribe.
Orubebe pleaded not guilty to the four-count criminal charge and was allowed to go home while his lawyer, Larry Selekeowei, SAN, told the Justice Danladi Umar-led tribunal that he was ready for trial, even as he dared the government to go ahead and open its case against him.