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Senate unearths defunct PHCN N14.7bn proceeds starched in commercials banks 

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From Fred Itua, Abuja

A Senate panel has unearthed N14.7 billion proceeds of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) hidden in commercial banks by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).

The Senate Public Accounts Committee, relied on the report of 2017 Auditor-General’s report to unravel the hidden proceed in commercial banks as at December 31, 2016, whereas, the privatisation on PHCN had been concluded since 2013.

But, the BPE in its written submission said, “Two seperate Sums of N3.231,984.73 (allegedly held in Fidelity Bank PLC) and N18.199,520.87 (reporter as held in Stanbic Bank PLC) are unaudited bank balances that were actually no longer in existence as at the date of the audited financial statements or asked questions, the matter would have been clarified.

“With respect to the two other bank balances N4.4bn (Access Bank PLC) and N10.2bn in FCMB. The correct balance in Access Bank as at 31/12/16 was NIL as the bank had transferred a swelled balance of $34.1 million to the CBN domiciliary Account.

“The bank had initially been unable to make the transfer as at September 2015 as required under TSA policy, owing to the inexistence of designated USD Treasury Single Account for dollar balances

“The Balance in the FCMB Bank as at 31/12/2016 was only $36,053.55 following a transfer of $65,088,198.53.

“The residual balance remainded until 18/95/17 due to inability of the bank to remit as required under the TSA policy owing to initial unavailability of designated TSA for USD balances as required under the then newly introduced policy.”

The Query reads: “Audit verification and reconciliation revealed that the sum of ₦14,720,396,432.43 (Fourteen billion, seven hundred and twenty million, three hundred and ninety-six thousand, four hundred and thirty-two naira, forty-three kobo), being proceeds from the privatization exercise of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was reported in the Bureau’s Trial Balance to be in Commercial Bank Accounts as at 31st December 2016.

“Whereas, the privatization of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was concluded in 2013, the proceeds are yet to be remitted to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Privatization Proceeds Accounts.

“The issue has been communicated to the Bureau via letter reference No. OAuGF/RESAD/05/2016/07 dated 19th April, 2018 and no response has been received.

“Unauthorised funds kept in Commercial Banks may be diverted for other purposes, thereby leading to loss of Revenue available for Government programmes.

“The Director–General is required to recover the sum of ₦14,720,396,432.43 being proceeds of PHCN and remit same to CRF and forward evidence of remittance to my office for audit confirmation.”

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Sammie Okposo confesses to cheating on wife

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Sammie Okposo

Gospel artiste, Sammie Okposo, Tuesday confessed to cheating on his wife Ozioma, and tendered a public apology to her as well as his fans.

He revealed in an Instagram post that he was involved in a relationship with another woman during one of his trips to the United States in 2021.

Gospel singer Sammie Okposo confesses to cheating on wife, suspends self from ministry

Also Read: Lanre Gentry shades ex-wife, Mercy Aigbe, “At last the truth is out”

He wrote, “Dear Friends, I need to bring a very unfortunate incident to your attention; as I am not proud of it but know that this is the right thing to do.

“On my recent trip to the USA (Late 2021), I got intimately involved with a lady; knowing that this was not appropriate as a married man and a minister of the gospel. I am ashamed and regret my actions; as it has caused a lot of pain to my dear wife, Ozioma, my family and I.

“I want to take this moment and apologise to all fathers and mothers of the Faith; and ministers of the Gospel for my behavior and moral failure.

“I won’t be here if not for your investment and belief in what God has called me to do. I sincerely apologize for this embarrassing situation.

“To all that have been a part of my ministry; followed my ministry or know me personally, I am truly sorry for disappointing you.

“I regret any pain or disappointment that this news of my moral failure and poor judgement may cause you and I am truly sorry for disappointing you.

“I humbly ask that you continue to pray for me.”

Interestingly, American-based woman, identified as African Doll, had accused Okposo of impregnating her, barely 24 hours before his confession.

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Edo to switch to e-governance February 1 – Obaseki

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By Jethro Ibileke

Effective from February 1, 2022, Edo State government will switch over from analogue to e-governance, Governor Godwin Obaseki says on Tuesday.

Obaseki, gave the indication on Tuesday in Benin, at the swearing-in of 14 new permanent secretaries, which held at the Government House.

According to the Governor, switching to e-governance means that memos and mails on papers would be eliminated.

He said: “Effective February 1, 2022, I, the governor, would switch over to e-governance platform, which effectively means I will now approve memos and send mails to you via the e-platform.

“We have introduced the Edo State Civil/Public Service Transformation and Enhancement Programme (EdoSTEP), through which we are pursuing a deliberate programme to identify weak points in the civil service and strengthen them.

“That explains why we have had to bring people from outside to come in to help us strengthen the areas of weaknesses that we have seen in the civil and public service; we will continue to do so because we have seen that the civil service as it is today needs a lot of strengthening.

“So far, we are very glad with the accomplishments that we have made today in the EdoSTEP programme. Under this programme, we have found out that the number of vacancies in the civil service is quite enormous.

“First, we started with the hiring of 1,600 graduates into the service at the bottom level, but they don’t have the experience and skill to take us to where we want. We will now continue hiring from the top and also see how we can train the middle corps that we have in the civil service and give them the tools for effective delivery.”

Addressing the 14 newly-sworn-in permanent secretaries, Obaseki charged them on the delivery of efficient and quality services to Edo people, even as he admonished them not to seek popularity.

He said: “We are working extremely hard to bring back the civil and public service to those days when it was respected. To the new permanent secretaries, I will like to admonish you, you all have been appointed based on merit, not by any godfather.”

“Do not seek popularity; you are not politicians, leave that to us. Ensure you do things the way it ought to be done,” he charged.

Obaseki also warned the appointees to be weary of their conduct in service, noting that government officials are liable and culpable for their activities in service, even after retirement.

In his words, “You are the chief accounting officers of your ministries. The fact that you are in government for a while does not mean that your activities while in government will not be looked at; you have to be very cautious of the decisions you make.

“Most Nigerians don’t know that even after you retire, you are still liable and culpable for your activities during your time in office. I am pleased to inform you that you will be inheriting a vastly improved system of governance; we will continue to work on our systems so that you can deliver effectively to our people.

“We will continue to build human capacity, and train and retrain our civil and public servants. We are equipping and investing in the John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy to make it second to none in this part of the world.”

The newly sworn-in permanent secretaries are: Mr. Anelu Osemen, Mrs. Felicia Edwards, Mrs. Grace Aihie, Mr. Egwakhide Gilbert, Mr. Iserhienrhien Efe and Mr. Aikhuomobhogbe Uidia.

Others are Mr. Asibor Lucky, Mrs. Igbinobaro Joy, Mr. Washington Abbe, Mr. Asemota Uyi, Mr. Toritseju Onaiwu, Mrs. Ifueko Alufokhai, Mr. Osikhena Ojior and Mrs. Barbara Osobajo.

Mr. Anslem Osemen who responded on behalf of the new permanent secretaries, pledged to reciprocate the confidence reposed on them, contributing effectively to the progress and development of the state.

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Ondo: Police vow to prosecute man for allegedly killing Lagos-based girlfriend

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The Ondo State Police Command has said that it would prosecute one Olasunkami Oluwole for allegedly killing his lover in the Oke-Igbo community in the Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area.

Biola Soyinka, the deceased, reportedly travelled from Lagos to see her boyfriend before she was murdered.

Funmilayo Odunlami, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command, said the matter is being investigated at the command’s Criminal Investigation Department.

According to the PPRO, the suspect would be charged to court immediately after the completion of the investigation.

“The case is still at the state CID for further investigation, and after the investigation is completed, he will be charged in court,” Odunlami said.

Meanwhile, the elder brother to the deceased, Akeem Jinadu, said Oluwole had on January 16 called them in Lagos that Biola had died after he claimed that she became unconscious when she slumped at around 4:00 am .

“Oluwole said by the time he rushed her to the hospital, the doctors declared her dead. When we asked him to bring her corpse back to Lagos, he demanded that we send money for transportation.

“Contrary to what Oluwole said when the police arrested him, there were marks sustained from beating on her body when we went to identify the remains at the morgue.

“Her neck, face, and body had dark patches because she was a fair person,” Jinadu said.

“From the state of her corpse it is very obvious she didn’t die from falling, rather the marks on her body shows she was beaten and strangled to death.”

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