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DOCUMENTS: Nigerian Aviation Authority Set To Demolish Globacom Masts Nationwide Over N5.9billion Debts

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Globacom Limited

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has concluded plans to start dismantling some telecommunication masts belonging to Globacom Ltd, a Global Sattelite Mobile (GSM) telecommunications provider, in various locations across the country over failure to pay N5.9billion renewal fees for height clearance to the agency.

The development followed a directive from the Nigerian government to some of its agencies and parastatals to go after debtors and defaulters and recover all the outstanding for the government. 

SaharaReporters learnt that the matter came to a head following exchange of correspondence between Globacom and NCAA and scheduled meetings designed to ensure payment of the said accumulated fees by the telecommunication network which failed.

In a letter dated October 4, 2021, titled: “Re: Illegal Erection of High Structures and Refusal to Renew Expired Aviation Height Clearance Certificates by Globacom Limited” and addressed to the Managing Director, Globacom, obtained by SaharaReporters, it was affirmed that following the failure by Globacom to pay the the required fees amounting to N5.9 billion, the regulatory agency had no choice but to commence the dismantling of the its masts across the country.

“In the circumstance, having exhausted all avenues for a resolution of this matter, we are now left without choice but to apply the relevant sanctions, including the dismantling of all your non-compliant masts nationwide. And this shall be without further notice to you”, it said.

The letter signed by Legal Adviser/Head, Compliance and Enforcement, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, recalled that, “The meeting to discuss the above subject-matter, was fixed for September 23, 2021, at your instance.

“You may wish to recall that you had on August, 25, 2021, requested that the meeting, earlier rescheduled, at your instance, from Monday, July 26, 2021 to Thursday, August 26, 2021, be further rescheduled to Thursday, September 23, 2021, to enable your Chief Operating Officer/COO to attend.




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“It is unfortunate that despite our concurrence to a further rescheduling of the meeting to the requested date, and so informing you through our letter of 13th September, 2021, you failed to turn up for the meeting”, it said.

The letter noted that the Director-General of the NCAA had to abort an official assignment in Europe and return to Nigeria in order to be able to attend the meeting.

“Globacom only wrote the letter under reference three days after, asking that the meeting be rescheduled, without any explanation for the failure of any management staff to show up.

“I am directed to inform you that the NCAA is not disposed to granting this latest (fourth) request to reschedule the meeting, particularly, as no reason was given for your non-attendance on the last date.

“In the circumstance, having exhausted all avenues for a resolution of this matter, we are now left without choice but to apply the relevant sanctions including the dismantling of all your non-compliant masts nationwide. And this shall be without further notice to you”, it said.

In an earlier communication with Globacom, NCAA listed the indebtedness of globacom to include application fee for 2006 to 2007 at N100,000 per mast, totalling N689,800,000, annual renewal fee for 2007-2022 (15years), N50,000 per mast amounting to N6,898 and inspection fee covering N6,898 masts across the nation all totalling N6,064,230,000.

SaharaReporters learnt that Globacom paid the sum of N100million on July 31, 2019 and had not made any further payment.

An earlier letter from NCCA to Global said total application fee for the period under review stood at N604,800,000 while cost of inspection amounted to N190,930,000.

The letter also stated the position of NCAA in law with regards to regulation of masts.

“Please be reminded that Section 30(3)() of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 empowers the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) by law to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure (including telecommunication mast), which by virtue of its ‘height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation,” it said.

This is coming two years after the agency asked Globacom and other Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators to remove their over 7, 000 masts or risk seeing them demolished.

NCAA had claimed the masts, erected at different locations within the country close to the nation’s airports, are obstructing flight safety and could cause accidents if not removed.

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N13billion Fraud: Anti-graft Agency, EFCC Files Charges Against Ex-Army Chief, Minimah, Two Generals

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A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah (retd), has been charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly diverting N13billion earmarked to acquire arms.

Others listed as defendants in the charge filed by the anti-graft agency lodged before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, are a one-time Chief of Accounts and Budget of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. A. O. Adetayo, as well as the former Director, Finance and Accounts of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier Gen. R. I. Odi.

According to the Vanguard, EFCC, in its processes filed in court, stated it had on August 15, 2016, received a report by the Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces (CADEP) from 2007- 2015, chaired by AVM Jon Ode (rtd).

It disclosed in the report, alleged that between 2010 and 2015, “several billions of Naira were received by the Nigerian Army from the Federal Government for procurement of Military hard-wares and were discovered to have been misappropriated by Senior Army Officers.”

The anti-graft agency told the court that during the investigation conducted, “it was revealed that the sum of N13,798,619,309 was misappropriated by the following persons: Lt. Gen. KTJ Minimah (rtd), the former Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. A.O Adetayo, one-time Chief of Accounts and Budget, Nigerian Army and then Colonel R.I Odi, former Director, Finance and Accounts, Nigerian Army.

“The sums were transferred from various accounts belonging to the Nigerian Army and moved to company accounts of entities that had no business relations with the Nigerian Army.

“This caused huge loss to the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the unlawful gains made by the aforementioned Officers who converted the monies for their personal use.

“The legal advice on the investigation opined that a prima facie case has been sustained against the officers,” EFCC added.

Consequently, EFCC, said it wrote the Nigerian Army, requesting the three officers to make themselves available for the arraignment it said should have taken place since September 15, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Abuja fixed December 9, to hear a suit the three defendants filed to challenge the legal propriety of the charge against them.

The defendants, through their team of lawyers led by Mr. Mahmud Magaji, SAN, are praying the court to determine;

“Whether in view of Sections 6(3), (5) (a), 240 and 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Sections 113, 114 (1), (2) 8(3), 123, 124, 126(1), (2) 8. (4) and 270 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Plaintiffs are not subject to be charged arraigned and /or prosecuted only by a Court Martial as a Court of first instance, to the exclusion of any other trial Court, viz: the Federal High Court, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, and High Court of States, in respect of any offence committed by them.

“Whether in view of Section 270 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (the 2nd Defendant) or any other prosecuting agency can Iawfully investigate, charge, arraign and/or prosecute the Plaintiffs.

“Whether by virtue of Sections 123, 124(1) 8(3) and 126(1), (2) 8. (4) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Plaintiffs are not to be reported in the form of a charge to their commanding officer after the investigation of any allegation against them.” 

Cited as Defendants in the suit are; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the EFCC.

Meantime, the court gave all the parties 21 days to file their pleadings, even as it okayed the matter for hearing.

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Two people die in Anambra road accident

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra State said an accident involving two vehicles at Ogbunike Hill, Onitsha-Awka Expressway, claimed the lives of two male adults.

Adeoye Irelewuyi, the corps sector commander, confirmed the accident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Tuesday.

Mr Irelewuyi said the accident, which occurred at about 7 a.m., Tuesday, could be attributed to road obstruction and excessive speed.

“The fatal crash involved a red Tipper with no registration number and an Ash Toyota Corolla with registration number HTE 365 CU.

“An eyewitness report indicates that the Tipper vehicle developed a fault and parked, causing an obstruction on the road and the driver of the Toyota vehicle rammed into the Tipper from the rear and crashed.

“Four male adults are involved in the crash. The bodies of the victims, including the driver and a passenger in the Toyota vehicle, have been taken away by their families.

Mr Irelewuyi said while the FRSC rescue team on ground were trying to control the traffic in the area after the accident, some aggressive crowds were attempting to set the truck ablaze.

The sector commander condoled with the families of the dead and urged motorists to obey traffic rules by maintaining safe speed limits as well as ensuring their vehicles were in good condition before hitting the road.

(NAN)

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Jeff Zucker tells CNN staff Chris Cuomo will NOT be paid severance

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CNN President Jeff Zucker reportedly told staffers during a virtual town hall on Tuesday that the network won’t pay severance to Chris Cuomo following his firing.  

Zucker, who has been the president of the network since 2013, said in hindsight he wishes he had fired the disgraced anchor, who was paid $6 million-a-year, sooner but that it was ‘easy to criticize CNN.’ 

‘Yes, in hindsight he may have taken action sooner but [the] result, [Zucker’s] comfortable with,’ a source told Fox News. 

A source told FOX there was ‘universal relief’ among CNN staff when Cuomo was finally dismissed.

‘That’s separate from liking Chris or not liking Chris – it’s people feeling that there was a right thing to do, and it was done,’ the insider said.  

During a question-and-answer session on Tuesday, Zucker said he reprimanded Cuomo in May and warned him against advising his brother.

Zucker reportedly said during the town hall that the network has not decided on a prime-time host replacement but options are being considered.  Jake Tapper is widely-considered the favorite for the flagship 9pm slot, although workers at the network are said to be pushing for a more diverse hire. 

Jeff Zucker, who has been the president of the network since 2012, said in hindsight he wishes he had fired the disgraced anchor sooner but that it was ‘easy to criticize CNN’

Zucker’s remarks come days after CNN fired Cuomo, 51, for advising his brother ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo in his sex pest scandal, crafting statements for him and using his journalistic sources to investigate some of his accusers. 

After the latest claims against Cuomo’s alleged meddling were shared by New York Attorney General Letitia James. That saw Cuomo suspended, with a former ABC colleague subsequently coming forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.

That unidentified woman’s allegations, which haven’t been detailed, are said to have finally prompted his firing. 

‘Chris had gone further than he had told me and told other members of our senior executive team,’ another source told The Wall Street Journal Zucker, 56, had said. 

Chris Cuomo is now threatening to sue the network for $18million, which he says remains on his contract, claiming Zucker was well aware of his involvement in defending his brother. 

Chris Cuomo is now threatening to sue the network for $18million, which he says remains on his contract, claiming Zucker was well aware of his involvement in defending his brother

Chris Cuomo is now threatening to sue the network for $18million, which he says remains on his contract, claiming Zucker was well aware of his involvement in defending his brother

Cuomo claimed Zucker was completely clued in on his role in his brother’s strategy to fight the sexual harassment claims, and that he is not being hung out to dry.  

‘He has made a number of accusations that are patently false,’ the network said in a statement. ‘This reinforces why he was terminated for violating our standards and practices, as well as his lack of candor.’ 

Unnamed sources yesterday told The New York Post that the network has ‘no intention’ of paying Cuomo out of his settlement because they claim he violated the terms of his contract. 

CNN dragged its heels in disciplining Cuomo, despite a swell of public outcry, before eventually firing him on Saturday.   

Meanwhile, Cuomo is preparing to sue his former employer for $18 million left on his contract, claiming that CNN President Jeff Zucker knew about his involvement in his brother’s sex pest probe.

The network fired Cuomo on Saturday citing the journalist’s role in defending his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, against multiple sexual harassment allegations.

Cuomo says CNN President Jeff Zucker knew about his help with his brother’s defense against the sex claims, which the network called ‘patently false.’  

He has now hired lawyers and is preparing to file a suit against CNN if it does not honor the remainder of the four year contract he signed last year, under which he receives $6 million a year, according to the New York Post.

CNN announced on Saturday that it was firing Cuomo because after the true extent of his involvement in his brother's sex pest scandal strategy was revealed

CNN announced on Saturday that it was firing Cuomo because after the true extent of his involvement in his brother’s sex pest scandal strategy was revealed 

Chris Cuomo's book, Deep Denial, that was due to be published in just over a month, has been dropped by HarperCollins

Chris Cuomo’s book, Deep Denial, that was due to be published in just over a month, has been dropped by HarperCollins

But unnamed sources told ... that the network has ‘no intention of paying Cuomo a penny,’ noting that ‘if he gets a settlement, there would be an uproar.’  

CNN disagreed with their former star’s characterization of events. 

A CNN insider on Monday also called Cuomo’s claims ‘absurd’ and ‘patently untrue,’ noting: ‘If Jeff had known all along, Chris would have been fired earlier, not suspended.’  

Cuomo’s book, Deep Denial, has also been dropped by publisher Harper Collins following his firing from CNN.  

The book was due to be published in January. It promised to ‘analyze the harsh truths’ that were exposed by ‘the pandemic and the Trump years’ and work out how America could fix itself.  Cuomo has also resigned from his Sirius XM radio show. 

Harper Collins confirmed on Tuesday that it would no longer be publishing the book, which was expected next year. It’s unclear if Cuomo was given an advance, or how much their deal together was worth.  

Cuomo, 51, had claimed on-air that he was not intrinsically involved in his brother Andrew’s scandal.   

Chris and Andrew Cuomo. Andrew Cuomo was forced out of the Governor's office by the scandal. He denies any wrongdoing

Chris and Andrew Cuomo. Andrew Cuomo was forced out of the Governor’s office by the scandal. He denies any wrongdoing

Cuomo was fired from his position on Saturday after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a trove of documents revealing that he had called his ‘sources’ about planned news reports regarding his brother as he tried to dig up dirt on at least one of the former governor’s accusers.

Lawyers from the firm Cravath, Swaine and Moore reportedly told CNN officials that the documents gave the network legal grounds to fire the Cuomo Prime Time Star.

But it appears likely that accusations that he sexually harassed a former co-worker at ABC was the final straw that led to his firing – a move which would appear to slightly ease the pressure on Zucker. 

The network was set to investigate an unspecified allegation dating back to Cuomo’s time at ABC before he was fired, ... report.

His firing came just days after prominent attorney Debra S. Katz, a prominent attorney who also represents one of Andrew Cuomo’s accusers, Charlotte Bennet,  told CNN about a client with an allegation of sexual harassment against the younger Cuomo, according to the New York Times. 

The allegation is ‘unrelated to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo matter,’ Katz said in a statement.

Chris Cuomo’s spokesman has insisted: ‘These apparently anonymous allegations are not true.’

But the former CNN star had also previously been accused of sexually harassing his female superior at ABC back in 2005.  

In an op-ed for the Times in September, producer Shelley Ross wrote that Cuomo walked up to her, hugged her and firmly grasped her buttocks as her husband sat behind her.

‘I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’ he said, according to Ross.

Karen Agnifilo, a lawyer and former chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan, told Fox News that Cuomo is likely to use the same defense as his brother.

‘I think [Gov. Cuomo’s] brother should do the Cuomo playbook: “We hugged, we kissed, we’re affectionate. It’s how we were raised,’” Agnifilo said, adding that any case would have to proceed in public court.

‘CNN will have to turn over things like emails and employee files and other discovery-related documents. And then people will have to sit for depositions and interrogatories, and depending on what comes out in all that will depend on whether they had knowledge or didn’t have knowledge,’ Agnifilo said. 

‘All that stuff comes out in the course of civil litigation, or they settle and it never comes out.’   

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