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Ndume alleges senators smuggled in Magu’s rejection

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The Majority Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume,  on Wednesday insisted that the lawmakers did not reject the nomination of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

In a text message sent to our correspondent, Ndume stated that the Senate, at the closed door session on Thursday, agreed to withhold Magu’s  confirmation pending the decision President Muhammadu Buhari would make on the security report by the Department of State Services that indicted the nominee.

According to him, the rejection of Magu was “brought in” after the collective decision of the lawmakers.
Ndume’s message read, “My position on Magu is clear and I stand by it. Magu has not been rejected.
“Check our Votes and Proceedings (of Thursday); it is clear and concise. The Senate President, (Dr. Bukola Saraki), while reporting the progress of the executive session, said, ‘following the security report on Magu, the Senate decided not to confirm Magu and communicate the same to Mr. President, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation.’
“That was our position and the Senate President aptly reported the progress of the executive session. So, I wonder how and where rejection was brought in. We have not rejected him because that cannot be done in a closed session and the confirmation processes have not taken place.”
A check through the Votes and Proceedings of the said date showed that the Senate resolved “not to confirm” Magu based on the DSS report.
The part relating to the confirmation of Magu’s appointment read, “The Senate President reported that the Senate in a closed door session deliberated on issues bordering on the workings of the Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general.
“The Senate also deliberated on the screening of the nominees for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as it relates to the security report on them.
“Following the security report on the EFCC Chairman, the Senate decided not to confirm the chairman and communicate the same to Mr. President.
“The Senate also decided to refer the other nominees to the anti-corruption committee for screening since there was no adverse security report on them.”
The statement read by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sabi Abdullahi, shortly after the closed door session, however, said Magu was “rejected” by the Senate.
The statement read, “This is an official statement from the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is the statement on the confirmation of the nomination of the chairman and members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to inform the general public that based on security reports available to the Senate, the Senate cannot proceed and confirm the nomination of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha as the Executive Chairman of the EFCC.
“Accordingly, the Senate hereby rejects the said nomination and has returned the said nomination to Mr.  President for further action.”
Ndume had told our correspondent in an exclusive interview on Sunday, before his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, that the Senate might consider Magu if Buhari could fault the DSS report.
He said, “The nomination was not rejected. We didn’t confirm him because we needed clarification. Rejection is a different thing. Do we reject somebody in a closed session? We have only stepped down or suspended it because certain clarifications are needed. That is different from rejection. Rejection is that we will write that the nominee has not been confirmed.”
When asked if that indicated the possibility that the Senate could confirm Magu, Ndume said, “He has not been rejected. The truth of the matter is that we were supposed to consider Magu on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, there is a letter from the DSS that we need to get clarification from Mr. President before we could go further.”
When asked if the Senate might go ahead with Magu’s confirmation if Buhari dismissed the DSS report, he replied, “Yes. He (the President) doesn’t have to say ‘I am re-presenting Magu.’ No.”
Ndume added, “Again, the letter (report) was not to the Senate; the letter was addressed to the Clerk (of the Senate) and nobody writes to the Senate except through the Senate President. It was the President who made the nomination and it is not the Senate that clears anybody.
“What is required of us is that when the President nominates someone, the nominee comes with their security clearance. That is where the confusion is.”
But Abdullahi, while briefing journalists on Tuesday, dismissed Ndume’s claim, stating that he (Abdullahi) remained the spokesman for the Senate and whatever he said remained the official statement of the chamber.

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Catholic Knights calls for support in Christian faith

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By Jessica Dogo

The Knights of the Order of Saint John International Catholic Church, Kubwa, has urged catholic knights in Nigeria on the need to continuously support and promote the christian faith in the country.

Speaking at the official inauguration and outing mass of the Saint Luke commandery 877 and ladies auxillary 781 on Sunday, The Abuja Grand President, Brig Gen. Ephraim Offiah tasked them on salvation and exemplary leadership.

Offiah, who was represented by Mr Steve Nwokeocha, said that the knights were soldiers of the church who do not fight with arms but with evangelism.

“Knight of saint John is an organisation that has three obligations. Religious because we are founded within the Catholic Church.

”We are also like the military because we defend the church not with arms but with our three Ts- time, talent and treasure.

Thirdly, we are social organisation as we care for our members, church, and humanity,” he said.

The Grand commander said that deepening the catholic faith should be the first obligation of the newly inaugurated knights.

He explained that the main essence of the brotherhood is to support the church in all aspects.

“We are expected to make the impact of the church felt not only in this parish but the entire archdiocese and beyond.

”As we said we are soldier of the church but we don’t fight with arms. We are to defend the faith, evangelize and to support the church, care for one another and also deepen the doctrine of the Catholic Church”, he said.

Offiah advised the knights to live their life consciously as the whole essence was to make heaven and gain salvation for the soul.

The president of the newly inaugurated, St. Luke Commandery, Captain Victor Onyeneke expressed his team’s readiness to impact positivey in the development of the church and pledged to portray the chuch in good image.

He said: “Having so presented, it is now left to us to do the needful.

”We are expected to be an integral part of the larger commandery and to represent them effectively in our zone of influence which is made up of many parishes.

“This place is our territory and we will support them in everything they are doing in the church starting from harvest and launching,” Onyeneke said

Rev. Thomas Edogbanya advised them to take the church as a priority.

According to him, all knights are under the umbrella of the church and whatever they do they must be subsumed under the authority of the church. (NAN)

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NUJ FCT: U.S embassy tasks Ogbeche on cooperation

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Emmanuel Ogbeche

Emmanuel Ogbeche

The United States Embassy in Nigeria has tasked the newly elected chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche, to strengthen the existing relationship between it and the union.

In a congratulatory letter signed by Glen Guimond, information officer, the embassy expressed optimism that Ogbeche having served as editor for several years was suited for the position.

“I wish to congratulate you on your election as chairman of the FCT council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. Having served as a journalist and newspaper Editor for several years, I believe you are well suited to the position,” Guimond said.

“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria has maintained an amicable and productive relationship with the NUJ and I do hope that it will continue and be strengthened during your tenure,” the letter further stated.

Ogbeche was overwhelmingly elected on December 1 by journalists in the FCT for a three year tenure.

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Ndigbo Muslims unite, align with Igbo agenda

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Ndigbo Muslims of Nigeria have agreed to speak in one voice through the South East Muslims Organization of Nigeria (SEMON) and to align themselves with Ndigbo agenda even while promoting the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.

They appreciate the efforts of Igbo leaders in defence of the Ndigbo cause and interest in the Nigerian project, but express concern over the Igbo Leaders of Thought and the Ohaneze Ndigbo who meet on behalf of the Igbo Nation without the inclusion and involvement of the Ndigbo Muslims’ representatives, a political strategy they describe as counterproductive for the development of Igboland and the nation towards the Southeast project of Nigerian Presidency in 2023.

In a communiqué issued at the end of their national summit in Enugu, on Saturday 15th December, 2018, signed by the national chairman, Muhammad Obiahu Ajah Jr., FCIA, national secretary Abdur-Rahman Nwabueze Urama, national public relations officer (PRO), Yahya Onyedikachi Abugu, and endorsed by state representatives and elders, Sheikh Adam Abdullah Idoko (Enugu State), Sheikh Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah (Ebonyi State), HRH, Dr. Abdulfattah Emetumah represented (Imo State), Alhaji (Hon.) Musa Iheakaram (Abia State) and Alhaji Sani Ejor (Anambra State), they resolved their readiness to meet with the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, each of the Governors of Southeast States, Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Jama’atul Nasiril-Islam (JNI), the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN), amongst others.

They reaffirmed their position to participate fully in the 2019 general elections and vote for candidates of individual choices especially those who will carry Igbo Muslims along with appointments into political offices of trust. It was agreed that Ndigbo Muslims contesting for positions in the forthcoming elections be massively supported for success. On this, Ndigbo Muslims should continue to strive for excellence in their private life pursuits and support governments of their respective States and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

They prayed for the peaceful conduct of the general elections, smooth handover to all the winners and urged Nigerians to work for the growth of Nigeria as one united indivisible nation. They warned against violent campaigns and admonished Nigerians especially the youths not to allow themselves to be misused as thugs and criminals by politicians for the elections.

They want to be known and addressed, henceforth, as Ndigbo Muslims and in full identification and promotion of Igbo culture, including Igbo dress and language. In connection to this, they plan the institution of leaderships of Ndigbo Muslims in each of the five states of Southeast and of Igboland. This is to have organized leaderships like the Emirs in the North and Obas in the West.

“For the progress of the Igbo Muslim Ummah, SEMON should continue to advocate for equity and fairness for Igbo Muslims. The organization should cooperate with governmental and non-governmental organizations that mean well for Igboland, for Nigeria and Igbo Muslims.

“SEMON plans to institute an Annual Lecture to commemorate the life and achievements of late Sheikh Ibrahim Okpani Nwagui who brought Islam to limelight in Igboland. SEMON also encourages intermarriages amongst themselves through adoption of the Sunnah, the practical life of Prophet Muhammad in all aspects of their lives.”

“While we appreciate the efforts of our Igbo Leaders in defence of the Ndigbo cause and interest in the Nigeria project, we appeal to the Igbo Leaders of Thought and the Ohaneze Ndigbo to note that their meetings on behalf of the Igbo Nation in this regards without the inclusion and involvement of the Ndigbo Muslims representatives is not a good political strategy. We cannot be decrying the scheming out of Igbos from strategic positions in Nigeria while we internally marginalize and exclude Ndigbo Muslims who have the same stake in the Nigerian project because of their choice of relationship with the Almighty. The tendencies are not good or productive for the development of Igboland and Nation towards the Southeast project of Nigerian Presidency in 2023.”

Present at the Summit were Igbo Muslim Leaders, Scholars, Academicians, Legal Luminaries, Traditional Rulers, Entrepreneurs and SEMON’s Representatives in the States of the Zone. Also present were the Federal Commissioner of the South East Geopolitical Zone on the Board of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Ibrahim Ezeani, Executive Secretary of Enugu State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board and Deputy National Secretary of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Sheikh Adam Adbullah Idoko, the 2019 Gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) in Ebonyi State, Dr. Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah, HRH, the Offor of Umuofor Kingdom and Chief Imam of Oguta of Imo State, Dr. Abdulfattah Emetumah represented, a senior lecturer of the Federal University, Lafia, Dr. Suleiman Ogah, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Executive Governor of Abia State, Alhaji (Hon.) Musa Iheakaram, the South East Director of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Arch. Zubayr Usman Ugwu and the Secretary General of Anambra State Muslim Council, Alhaji Sani Ejor.

Other prominent Igbo Muslims who graced the Summit were the Southeast coordinator of Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Hajiya Ruqayyah Ahmad Mika’il represented, Chairman of Imo State Muslim Council, Alhaji Yusuf Nwoha, the Guest Speaker, Alhaji Suleiman Afikpo, Phd, Director of Islamic Center, Uwani-Enugu, Alhaji Musa Ani, Director of Islamic Center Anofia, Ustaz Isa Christian Friday Okonkwo, Board Members of SEMON, legal team of SEMON led by Bar. Haroun Ezeh, amongst others.

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE NATIONAL SUMMIT OF IGBO MUSLIMS OF NIGERIA UNDER THE SOUTH EASTERN MUSLIMS ORGANIZATION OF NIGERIA (SEMON) AT THE ISLAMIC CENTER, UWANI ENUGU, ON SATURDAY 15TH DECEMBER, 2018

Igbo Muslim apex organization, the South Eastern Muslims Organization of Nigeria (SEMON) organized a National Summit for Muslims of Igbo extraction of Nigeria to brainstorm on its existence in Nigeria in relation to the problems faced by the Igbo Muslim Ummah and the opportunities available for its members in their respective States in the South East Geopolitical Zone and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Summit also thoroughly x-rayed the forthcoming 2019 general elections to weigh its pros and cons to the Igbo Ummah and the fulcrum upon which the Igbo Muslims should fully participate and choose candidates. The Summit held at the Islamic Center, Uwani-Enugu, Enugu State, on Saturday 15th December, 2018.

Present at the Summit were Igbo Muslim Leaders, Scholars, Academicians, Legal Luminaries, Traditional Rulers, Entrepreneurs and SEMON’s Representatives in the States of the Zone. Also present were the Federal Commissioner of the South East Geopolitical Zone on the Board of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Ibrahim Ezeani, Executive Secretary of Enugu State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board and Deputy National Secretary of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Sheikh Adam Adbullah Idoko, the 2019 Gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) in Ebonyi State, Dr. Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah, HRH, the Offor of Umuofor Kingdom and Chief Imam of Oguta of Imo State, Dr. Abdulfattah Emetumah represented, a senior lecturer of the Federal University, Lafia, Dr. Suleiman Ogah, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Executive Governor of Abia State, Alhaji (Hon.) Musa Iheakaram, the South East Director of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Arch. Zubayr Usman Ugwu and the Secretary General of Anambra State Muslim Council, Alhaji Sani Ejor.

Other prominent Igbo Muslims who graced the Summit were the Southeast coordinator of Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Hajiya Ruqayyah Ahmad Mika’il represented, Chairman of Imo State Muslim Council, Alhaji Yusuf Nwoha, the Guest Speaker, Alhaji Suleiman Afikpo, Phd, Director of Islamic Center, Uwani-Enugu, Alhaji Musa Ani, Director of Islamic Center Anofia, Ustaz Isa Christian Friday Okonkwo, Board Members of SEMON, legal team of SEMON led by Bar. Haroun Ezeh, amongst others.

After presentations, observations and submissions by various speakers and tough deliberations on matters of interest, the Summit reached resolutions as follows:

RESOLUTIONS OF THE SUMMIT

1. That Igbo Muslims participate fully in the 2019 general elections and vote for candidates of individual choices especially those who will carry Igbo Muslims along with appointments into political offices of trust.

2. That Igbo Muslims from now onwards speak in one voice through the South East Muslims Organization of Nigeria (SEMON) through the guidance of the elders and scholars.

3. That Igbo Muslims align with the Igbo Agenda. While we appreciate the efforts of our Igbo Leaders in defence of the Ndigbo cause and interest in the Nigeria project, we appeal to the Igbo Leaders of Thought and the Ohaneze Ndigbo to note that their meetings on behalf of the Igbo Nation in this regards without the inclusion and involvement of the Ndigbo Muslims representatives is not a good political strategy. We cannot be decrying the scheming out of Igbos from strategic positions in Nigeria while we internally marginalize and exclude Ndigbo Muslims who have the same stake in the Nigerian project because of their choice of relationship with the Almighty. The tendencies are not good or productive for the development of Igboland and Nation towards the Southeast project of Nigerian Presidency in 2023.

4. That they be proud of and promote Igbo dress, language and culture. They should not isolate themselves from the legitimate demand of the Igbo nation from the central government.

5. That Igbo Muslims who are contesting for positions in the forthcoming 2019 general elections be massively supported for success. Prayers should be held for them and for the peaceful conduct of the elections as well as smooth handover to the winners.

6. That there is the need to institute leaderships of Igbo Muslims in each of the five states of Southeast and of Igboland. This is to have organized leaderships like the Emirs in the North and Obas in the West.

7. That it is time to define how Igbo Muslims be addressed by other people. They should be known and addressed henceforth as Nd’igbo Muslims. While there are no such attached names as Hausa Muslim or Yoruba Muslim or even Ijaw Muslim, as well as no such popular names as Hausa Christians or Yoruba Christians, the name Igbo Muslim infers some senses of inferiority. Igbo Muslims are not inferiors in Islam which is a universal religion. And the yardstick of closeness to the Lord of Islam – Allah – is piety which any Muslim of any race, including the Igbo, can wear by the Grace of Allah.

8. That Igbo Muslims must continue to strive for excellence in their private life pursuits and support governments of their respective States and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

9. That for the progress of the Igbo Muslim Ummah, SEMON continues to advocate for equity and fairness for Igbo Muslims. The Organization should cooperate with governmental and non-governmental organizations that mean well for Nigeria and Igbo Muslims. In that connection, SEMON should follow up its request to meet with the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. SEMON should schedule meetings with each of the Governors of Southeast States, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) in Abuja and Jama’atul Nasiril-Islam (JNI) in Kaduna, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ohaneze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN), amongst others.

10. That SEMON institutes an Annual Lecture to commemorate the life and achievements of late Sheikh Ibrahim Okpani Nwagui who brought Islam to limelight in Igboland.

11. That Igbo Muslims must identify themselves as Nigerians and work for the growth of Nigeria as one united indivisible nation.

12. That Igbo Muslims encourage intermarriages amongst themselves and also adopt the Sunnah, the practical life of Prophet Muhammad in all aspects of their lives.

Signed by:

Muhammad Obiahu Ajah Jr., FCIA
National Chairman

Abdur-Rahman Nwabueze Urama
National Secretary

Yahya Onyedikachi Abugu
National PRO

ENDORSED BY STATE REPRESENTATIVES

1. Alhaji (Hon.) Musa Iheakaram (Abia State)

2. Alhaji Sani Ejor (Anambra State)

3. Sheikh Dr. Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah (Ebonyi State)

4. Sheikh Adam Abdullah Idoko (Enugu State)

5. HRH, Dr. Abdulfattah Emetumah (represented) (Imo State)

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