N10bn Libel Suit: Ortom, Oshiomhole head for out-of-court settlement

Governor Samuel Ortom on Wednesday expressed his willingness to forgive the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in the N10billion libel suit he instituted against the former Edo state governor.

The Governor Ortom slammed the suit on Oshiomhole after he, in an APC sponsored press conference held on July 27, 2018, accused the governor among others, of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom Community, Gwer East local government area of Benue State on the grounds that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against him (the Governor).

At the commencement of definite hearing on Tuesday, counsel to Governor Ortom, Mr Samuel Irabor told the Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Augustine Ityonyiman that he was ready to call his witnesses but that Oshiomhole’s counsel had informed him earlier that they had considered putting up a retraction of the offensive publication.

“In such a circumstance we are applying for another date to take a look at the terms of the settlement canvassed by defendants,” he said.

Responding, Mr Titus Akuhwa who held the brief for Oshiomhole’s lead counsel, Festus Jumbo, confirmed the submission of Governor Ortom’s lawyer saying “that is the true position of the matter. We have met and we are drawing out the terms of the settlement.”

Ruling, Justice Ityonyiman, after listening to both parties, adjourned the case to October 29, 2020, for the report on the out-of-court settlement.

Responding to the development shortly after he flagged off the distribution of 46 Hilux vans and cars to all Local Government Council Chairmen and House Leaders in Makurdi, Governor Ortom said, “I am a Christian and the Bible says forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

“So if your brother offends you and comes back to apologize, you will forgive. Moreover, the conditions are there, and I know that I was innocent even when he made all those allegations.

“If he comes back now to tender an apology to me and also go back to the same news medium that he used to scandalized and vilified me to have the apology published and also meet the condition set by my lawyers I will certainly forgive him.

“I know I also offend others, my looks can offend people and I keep saying that they should forgive me. That is life, for us to live together we must learn to forgive one another and move on.

“The problems of this country today are beyond those trivial things. We have major security, social, political and economic problems all over the place. So we must come together, these issues are beyond political party differences.

“The situation requires every one of us to reason together on how we can survive as a country. Even if we are not concerned about this country, we should be concerned about our children because we have children. So we should be concerned with how we can make this country better than where it is today.”

Insecurity: Northern groups plan mass protests in 19 states Thursday

The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has said it would begin non-stop protests against the wave of insecurity in the Northern region on Thursday.

The plan, according to the group, aimed at drawing the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and the 19 northern states governors to the plight of the region.

CNG said the ineptitude and an apparent failure of elected and appointed leaders from the North to either protect the lives and property of northerners or address the myriad distresses the region faced had pushed them to the wall.

Explaining that the government has failed woefully in many fronts, the group argued that the authorities appear bent on sustaining the hikes in electricity tariffs.

According to the CNG, it also appears President Buhari and the governors are not keen on resolving the lingering dispute with the university lecturers.

The CNG noted that it was no longer an exaggeration that the security situation in the country and in particular in the North had deteriorated, while the authorities did not deem it fit to extend the swift spirit deployed against FSARS into security the North.

The group told the President point blank that he has abandoned hundreds of thousands of people in northern communities exposed to insurgents and bandits’ attack.

It, therefore, urged the citizens (northerners), who would participate in the peaceful protest to conduct themselves peacefully, while urging the government to respect their rights to protest.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, the spokesman of CNG, Abdulazeez Suleiman, said, “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has followed developments around the bold and necessary steps taken by Nigerian citizens to call attention to Police brutality, the deteriorating national security and other pressing concerns.

“The CNG notes the appreciative progression of the citizens’ action that climaxed with government’s swift response to one of the concerns raised with the scrapping of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police, and its immediate replacement with Special Weapon And Tactics Team (SWAT).


“In the unfolding scenario, the CNG hereby inevitably arrives at the following observations and inferences:

“That while the southern elected and appointed leaders and representatives are quick to identify with their people at the time of need, their counterparts from the North, including the President, the Senate President, Senators, Rep members, governors, state legislators and other government appointees would rather abandon the hundreds of thousands of people in northern communities exposed to crime, lawlessness and insecurity in the hands of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers, rapists rustlers, and other violent criminals without any form of protection.

“That it is contradictory that despite several protests and pleas northerners have made, the authorities never deemed it fit to extend the swift spirit deployed against FSARS into securing the North, or addressing the myriad distresses faced by northerners.

“That the authorities appear bent on sustainig the harsh, unacceptable regime of exploitative hikes in electricity tariffs for which the North shall bear the brunt more than other parts of the country.

“That the federal government appears not keen on resolving the lingering dispute with the Academic Staff Union to enable the recommencement of university education.”


“In the light of the foregone observations, the CNG has no other option but to direct the extension of the protests to all northern states, commencing from Thursday, October 15, 2020.

“By this, all CNG state chapters and student wings are mandated to resume the mobilization of responsible sections of the civil society, NGOs, women groups, professional associations, artisans and concerned parents in their respective states for the continuation of our protests started in Katsina state in June.”


CNG will lead the protest to: “Demand the federal government to immediately declare a state of emergency on security and take practical steps to end all manifestations of insecurity in northern Nigeria and other parts of the country.

“Demand thorough reorientation of the entire police force and its empowerment by way of additional personnel, modern training and adequate equiptment to be able to reclaim its universal internal security function. .

“Mount pressure on leaders to show real commitment to protecting lives of citizens, ending the prolonged closure of our universities, reconsidering hiked commodity prices, reducing youth unemployment, and checking the rise in poverty level.

“Publicly condemn and pass a vote of no confidence on those office holders and elected leaders who have abandoned the bulk of northerners to the mercy of a vicious insurgency, destructive banditry, rape and sexual assaults, violent communal clashes amidst mounting poverty and entrenched fear of widespread kidnappings for ransom.

“To declare the agreement reached by labour with the government on new electricity tariff unacceptable and demand the immediate, unconditional reversal to the old rates.”

Suleiman noted that while CNG welcomed the creation of the SWAT to replace SARS, it urged the government to expedite action in improving the professionalism of the personnel drafted into SWAT.

​How PEFMB Under Bobboi Is Advancing, Stabilizing Nigeria’s Gas Industry


Since it was established by Decree No. 9 of 1975 (as amended by Decree No. 32 of 1989) the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board (PEFMB)  has lived up to its billing and even if recent, surpassed expectations.

On establishment, the board was charged with the primary responsibility of reimbursing petroleum marketing companies for any losses suffered by them, solely and exclusive, as a result of sale of petroleum products at uniform prices throughout the nation.

In view of that, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board (PEFMB) has advanced progressively in pursuing and implementing programmes that align with the focus of the Oil and Gas industry, a development that has been further consolidated on since present Executive Secretary, Ahmed Bobboi came on board.

Keying into the legislative Charter of the Board as provided by Decree No9 of 1975 as amended by Decree No. 32 of 1989 (now Chapter 352 of the Laws of the federation 1990), it is also expected to ensure that the Uniform Pricing Mechanism works effectively throughout the country. 

To apply the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as they affect the Uniform Pricing System, vis-a-vis degree No. 9 of 1975 (as amended by Decree No. 32 of 1989), establishing the Fund and the Board, in ensuring that each existing marketing company complies with the laws regarding the management of the transportation equalisation process, the board has evolved pragmatic approaches that have ensured stability throughout the country. 
Such strategies include  equalising the transportation differentials.

The areas that pertain to the downstream  sector include the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) and the 

deepening of domestic gas utilisation & consumption and overall monetization of the 

gas resource.
Achievements of the board led by its present Executive Secretary, Ahmed Bobboi so far.

1. Improved Collection and Remittance of Outstanding Bridging and Other Allowances: 

uninterrupted payment of Marketers Claims to ensure efficient distribution and 

availability of petroleum products; and support of Marketers’ business operations. 

PEFMB operations have remained uninterrupted during the ongoing COVID-19  pandemic, with sustained payments to Marketers’ to ensure availability of petroleum 

products nationwide, price stability and support micro-economic activities.

2. In alignment with the HMoS’s initiative for deepening gas penetration, domestication, utilisation and consumption, PEFMB proactively commenced 

evaluation of the provision of administrative support for infrastructural development 

in the downstream sector. 
The organisation is also exploring and establishing  programmes that will support the FG’s drive for job creation, establishment of small 

and medium scale businesses. 

The PEFMB is also a member of the National Gas  Expansion Programme Committee.

3. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval for implementation of the Downstream  Automated Fuel Management System (DAFMIS) is ongoing. DAFMIS is a solution  that will enhance delivery, monitoring and management of the downstream  petroleum products, serve as a data repository and credible source of information 

for national planning and economic development.

 In partnership with the Nigeria  Customs Service and identified Stakeholders, the DAFMIS technology has been  successfully tested and was able to track live position of petroleum products from a  Lagos loading depot to a retail outlet in Daura, Katsina state. Despite the pandemic  and associated delays, the various workstream have continued to function, albeit  virtually.

4. In support of the FG and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PEFMB  presented palliatives to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster  Management and Social Development to provide succor to the less vulnerable in the society. Donations were also made to the First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari’s Future  Assured initiative, for distribution to the less privileged.

5. The PEFMB has commenced the exploration of the provision of railway, and riverine  & mountainous equalisation.

6. Recognition of the PEFMB as Fund Managers by the National Council for  Hydrocarbon.

7. Capacity Building: With the aim of instituting a world class service delivery  organisation and the grooming of a crop of highly skilled, competent, committed and disciplined leadership, PEFMB has made considerable investment in the development  of staff with highly tailored, good quality training opportunities. 
This is also in  alignment with the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), in preparation for  future responsibilities. 
The organisation also promotes and encourages self development through the provision of an online training platform.

PEFMB aims to consolidate as well as seek new and better ways of creating value  and claiming values with a vision of covering the field, from white products to  stimulating economic activities in the Downstream Hydrocarbon sector in a sustainable way.

The legislative Charter of the Board as provided by Decree No9 of 1975 as amended by Decree No. 32 of 1989 (now Chapter 352 of the Laws of the federation 1990) are:-
To ensure that the Uniform Pricing Mechanism works effectively throughout the country. To apply the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as they affect the Uniform Pricing System, vis-a-vis degree No. 9 of 1975 (as amended by Decree No. 32 of 1989), establishing the Fund and the Board, in ensuring that each existing marketing company complies with the laws regarding the management of the transportation equalisation process. 
A flash back into why the board was established would make one recall that available records show that  between 1974 and 1975, most petrol service stations nationwide were characterized by long queues due to frequent severe shortages of petroleum products. 

The problem was compounded by the haphazard way marketers priced the product on the basis of transportation cost incurred by them. 

In an effort to solve the problem, the Federal Government set up an inter-ministerial committee comprising of the then Ministries of Mines and Power, and Transport, the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the Petroleum Products’ Marketers to examine the situation and make appropriate recommendations.
The committee observed that the only variable element in the provision and the sale of petroleum products at uniform price nationwide was the transportation cost. 

It therefore, blamed the limited local refining capacity and inadequate distribution facilities for the problem. In line with the recommendation of the committee, Government introduced the Uniform Pricing System. 

In cognizance of the inequality in the transportation cost of distributing products throughout the country, the Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board was established. 
So far, Nigerians are better off for it as the pump price in Bayelsa and Borno and all over the country remain the same.

Senate Chamber will soon have 50% of Women Representation — Lawan

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said on Tuesday that very soon, the Senate Chamber will be made up fifty percent of female representation.

Lawan has underscored the need for the Federal Government to ensure the protection and empowerment of the girl-child in Nigeria, adding that efforts must be made by the government at all levels to prioritize the protection of the girl-child from violence, rape, and all forms of discrimination.

Speaking at Plenary as part of moves to commemorate the 2020 International Day of the Girl Child which was celebrated on Sunday, 12th October 2020, the President of the Senate said, “one day, very soon, this chamber will have fifty percent of female.”

Lawan who stressed the need for gender empowerment said that girls should be educated to enable them to be leaders of tomorrow and for a better Nigeria.

According to him, the girl- child needs to be protected from violence considering the several cases of rape happening in the Country.

Lawan said, “the country is doing very poorly in gender equality. Young girls should be educated to enable them be leaders of tomorrow.”

Lawan who noted that the girl-child has for long being deprived of equal opportunities like their male counterpart, needed to propel them to leadership positions in the country, said, “We are in a situation where our girls need to be protected from violence.

“Our country and society must continue to support the girls in the area of educating and empowering them, and giving them all the available opportunities for them to actualize their potentials like the boys are given.

“Today, we have only seven female senators. This kind of situation can be corrected right from the early stages when the girl-child is given all the opportunities.

“We hope that one day, this chamber should have fifty percent of Senators being female.

“We need to improve on this as a country by giving our girls the needed empowerment and skills that will propel them to become leaders in the future, and the country will be better for it.”

INSECURITY: Enough is enough, FG roars, begins stakeholders engagement

THE Federal Government has expressed its commitment to ending the wave of insecurity in the country, declaring that enough was enough and that security agencies must rise to the occasion of securing the nation from criminal elements.

Consequently, it has begun a nationwide stakeholders’ engagement on internal security and conflict resolution to bring an end to security challenges across the country.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who stated this, yesterday, in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital, called on Nigerians and the people of Borno State, in particular, to support the President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to end insurgency.

In his speech titled: “The People as the Cornerstone of Security,” Aregbesola said the summit was called to tap from the wealth of experience of the Kanem Borno Empire that made it to stand for 1, 200 years, more than the Byzantine Empire or the Roman Empire.

Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mohamed Manga, in a statement said President Buhari and members of the cabinet are greatly pained over the hardship Nigerians are going through on account of the security challenges in some parts of the country and are determined to do whatever is necessary to bring an end to the activities of the marauders.

He said: “Enough is enough. Some nations have faced them before and have come out victorious. We are going to do the same and nothing is going to stop us. But to be able to win, we need the support of the people. We must understand that the defence and security architectural complex is a pyramid. Sitting on the top is the military, followed by the police, next are the other security agencies and at the base, carrying and supporting the complex, are the people who are the security-agency-at-large.”

The minister, who commended the security agencies for their doggedness in the fight against crime and criminality in the country, called on them to see the people as important to achieving successes. He said that people are the essence of a nation and not just a territorial space, and thus, constitutes the singular most important basis of all the institutions of state.

“Any security agency operating within a national space that disregards the support of the people is simply doomed in its mission of defence and security. I am of the firm opinion that if the security agencies have the trust and support of the people, the terrorists and those constituting threat to life and property in any part of the country, would not be anonymous. They would have been handed over by now. The insurgents and other criminals who are disturbing us, are not ghosts but humans, nevertheless they are a tiny minority. They can never withstand a united and determined people who take their security seriously,” he reiterated.

Aregbesola acknowledged that formidable military might and cutting-edge technology are necessary in the fight against crime and criminality, observing that without the support of the people, they may be ineffective.

“The government needs the support of the people in confronting a mobile, flexible and fluid insurgents that hide among the people,” he emphasised.

Also speaking, Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, assured that the Government and people of Borno would continue to support the efforts of the Federal Government to restore peace and security in the state.

He thanked the President Buhari-led administration for liberating a substantial part of the state and the North-East from the grip of the insurgents, adding that some time ago, 23 of the 27 local government areas of Borno State were under the firm control of the insurgents. He said the concerted efforts of the Federal Government in calling for military intervention, the situation had been reversed.

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garba, pledged the support of the traditional rulers to the Federal Government in its efforts towards finding lasting peace and security in all parts of the country.

The stakeholders’ engagement was also attended Ministers of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, retd; Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi; Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Chairman Senate Committee on Interior and his counterpart in the House of Representatives; IGP, Mohammed Adamu; Controller-General, Nigeria Correctional Service, NCoS, Ahmed Ja’faru; Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Mohammad Babandede; Controller-General, Federal Fire Service, FFS, Dr. Liman Ibrahim; Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Muhammadu Gana Abdullahi; and traditional rulers among other vant stakeholders on matters of internal security.

#Endsars: Nigerian Comedienne, Lizzy Jay Set To Campaign Against Yahoo Boys

Lizzy Jay, a popular female comedienne has revealed her plans to kick start a campaign condemning cybercrime perpertrated by Internet fraudsters aka Yahoo boys in the society.

The actress made the revelation on her social media page where she reminded internet fraudsters that the EndSARS protests are not designed in their favours, and as soon as the protests end the campaign against cybercrime will start.

Lizzy Jay wrote:

“Dear Yahoo boys and Girls, I hope you know that this fight is not for you, I hope you know that this fight is not to support crime but a fight against injustice, I hope you know we are not shouting END SARS just so you can do your Yahoo freely… I hope you know that we did not lose so many lives just so you can grow more in Cybercrime.

Once we are done fighting against injustice, we will also fight against Cybercrime!

iamlizzyjay I heard some Yahoo people jubilating!…Just so you know, we are reforming the whole System!

If you are into Kidnapping, Cybercrime, rituals and you are out there holding #endsars placard, please repent now,… We are fighting to end SARS cos they have become dangerous to the citizens, remember that your acts too are dangerous to others… It all starts with you and me!

So day before yesterday, after the IGP announced that SARS has been disband, I saw a comment under a post which says “thank God our Yahoo boyfriends can live their lives freely I repeat, if you think we lost a lot of lives in this protest just so you can do your crime freely… The bloods of the ones that was killed before and during this protest will haunt you…

Get yourself educated and know why we are protesting! Y’all coming to my DM to threaten me and curse, may the curse be unto you and your generation.. Amen