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Oyo Rep denies inflating road project contract from N9bn to N54bn

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared that the old naira banknotes will retain their legal tender status. Earlier, in October 2022, the CBN had introduced redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations, with set deadlines for discontinuing the use of the old notes of these denominations.

However, on Tuesday, the CBN announced its intention to indefinitely extend the legal tender status deadline for the old design of N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations. The decision is in accordance with international best practices and aims to prevent the recurrence of previous issues. According to a statement by Isa AbdulMumin, the Director of Corporate Communications, all banknotes issued by the CBN, as per Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, will continue to be legal tender indefinitely, surpassing the initial December 31, 2023, deadline.

The CBN is actively working with relevant authorities to overturn an existing court ruling on the same matter. Consequently, all CBN branches nationwide will continue to issue and accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, both old and redesigned, to and from deposit money banks (DMBS).

The public is urged to accept all Naira banknotes, whether old or redesigned, for everyday transactions and to handle them with care to preserve their lifecycle. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to adopt alternative payment methods and electronic channels for their day-to-day transactions.

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paraphrase: The member representing Oluyole Federal Constituency of Oyo State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, has denied reports that she inflated the contract sum of a road rehabilitation project in her constituency.

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The lawmaker was reacting to reports in the media that she connived with officials of the Federal Ministry of Works to inflate a 45 kilometre road project from N9 billion to N54 billion.

The contractor handling the project, DC Engineering Limited, was quoted to have made the allegation at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja.

Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, Akande-Sadipe explained that the Olojuoro, Ijebu-Igbo, Ita Egba, Owonomwen road project in her constituency in Oyo State was awarded in 2018 with a two-year completion period, but after five years, one kilometer of the road has not been completed despite the contractor being mobilized substantially.

According to her, several petitions have been written by her constituents, prompting her to sponsor a motion calling for investigation as the road got deplorable with serious human casualties on daily basis due to accidents.

Her intervention, she said, was within the mandate of her office as a lawmaker in protecting the interest of her constituents, hence, she raised a motion expressing concerns over the deplorable state of the road and calling on the lower legislative chamber to investigate with documentary evidence of payments made to the contractor.

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Her motion urged “the House to establish an Ad-Hoc Committee to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the consistent failure of the contractors to fulfill their contractual obligations”.

“The investigation should specifically focus on the construction and rehabilitation of the Olomi Olojuoro road, referred to as the Ijebu-Igbo Ita Egba-Owonowen Ibadan road, with the following contracts and budget allocations,” the motion added.

The lawmaker expressed disappointment that she was being blackmailed by the company, which she said failed to meet up with the terms of the contractual agreement to the benefit of the people of the Oluyole area.

A paper she presented at the public hearing on the road project partly read, “My attention has been drawn to a letter dated 29th August, 2023 written by the solicitors to DC Engineering Limited Co and Oba (King) Adesegun Alowonle, the Emure of Ijebu, the person believed to be the owner of the company.

“This letter accused me of total falsehood in an attempt to steer this hallowed committee away from, the true situation on ground with regards to Olojuoro, Ijebu-Igbo, Ita Egba, Owonowen road in Oluyole Federal Constituency.

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“The letter did not address the substance of the several petitions and motions in anyway, including the most recent of 13th July, 2023, rather what they went into was to disparage my person and smear my name and engage in scandalous defamation of my character by alleging that my objective in intervening on behalf of Oluyole is to promote a particular contractor – Aereatech Nigeria Limited, to the Federal Ministry of Works.”

The lawmaker denied having any “direct or indirect relationship with the said contractor, and I am not in any way related to the said contractor. I have never introduced any such contractor and have never inflated any contract”.

She alleged that the competence of DC Engineering calls for investigation given that some parts of the road project were sub-let to other minor construction firms in contravention of the contractual terms.

Akande-Sadipe further recalled how she initiated an inspection visit to the site in 2021 with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Works, the Commissioner of Public Complaints Commission and representatives of DC Engineering Limited, only to discover that the company was accused of collecting money from communities to fix feeder road culverts which were removed in the course of the rehabilitation work.
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The representative for Oluyole Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, has refuted claims that she inflated the contract amount for a road rehabilitation project in her constituency. Media reports suggested that she collaborated with Federal Ministry of Works officials to raise the cost of a 45-kilometer road project from N9 billion to N54 billion, an accusation made by the project’s contractor, DC Engineering Limited, during a public hearing organized by the House of Representatives in Abuja.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday, Akande-Sadipe clarified that the road project in Olojuoro, Ijebu-Igbo, Ita Egba, Owonomwen in her constituency was awarded in 2018 with a two-year completion period. However, after five years, only one kilometer of the road has been completed despite substantial mobilization of the contractor. She highlighted the numerous petitions from her constituents, leading her to sponsor a motion for an investigation due to the road’s deplorable condition causing frequent accidents and human casualties.

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The motion she presented called for the establishment of an Ad-Hoc Committee to comprehensively investigate the contractors’ consistent failure to fulfill their obligations, specifically focusing on the Olomi Olojuoro road. Akande-Sadipe expressed disappointment at being blackmailed by the company, emphasizing that she was acting within her legislative mandate to protect her constituents’ interests.

During the public hearing, she presented a paper addressing the accusations, stating that the contractor’s letter accused her of falsehood to divert attention from the actual situation with the road project. She denied any connection with the contractor, Aereatech Nigeria Limited, and refuted allegations of contract inflation. Akande-Sadipe called for an investigation into the competence of DC Engineering, pointing out that some parts of the project were sub-contracted to other firms, violating the contractual terms. She also recalled a site inspection in 2021 that revealed the company collecting money from communities to fix culverts removed during rehabilitation work.

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Why I may not hesitate to support Peter Obi in 2027 – Atiku Abubakar

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has suggested he might support Peter Obi, his Labour Party counterpart from the last election, in 2027.

The former Vice President, currently in merger talks with stakeholders from various opposition political parties, indicated he would back Obi if the Labour Party nominates him for the next election.

According to The Sun, Atiku made this statement during an interview with BBC Hausa Service.

It was recently reported by DAILY POST that Obi and Atiku had a closed-door meeting, sparking rumors about a potential merger of opposition parties ahead of the 2027 general elections.

Atiku confirmed the efforts of opposition parties to align in order to challenge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2027 election, saying, “We can merge to achieve a common goal. So, it’s possible and nothing can stop it if we so wish to achieve that.”

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Atiku added that if the new party decides it’s the turn of the South-East and chooses Peter Obi, he would not hesitate to support him.

“I have said repeatedly, and even before the 2023 general elections, that if the PDP decides to zone the presidential ticket to the South or South-East specifically, I won’t contest it.

“But I contested the 2023 presidential ticket because it was open to all members of the party,” Atiku explained.

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I once struggled with pornography – Bishop Oyedepo’s son, Isaac

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Isaac Oyedepo, son of Bishop David Oyedepo, founder of Living Faith Church, has admitted to having struggled with pornography at one point in his life.

Isaac revealed that he became involved with pornography during a trip to a European country.

Speaking on the podcast “Confession Box,” Isaac shared that he overcame this challenge with God’s help.

He explained: “My confessions are positive and meant to help others. I struggled with pornography before.

“I remember how it began; we traveled to a country, and I was alone in my room. I turned on the TV, and that’s how it started.

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“But God helped me overcome it quickly. Many people still struggle with it, and I think if someone who had previously struggled with it had approached me and showed me how to break free, I would have overcome it sooner.

“Some topics are often avoided, but today, many pastors and church members still struggle with this issue.

“You might be anointed and performing signs and wonders, but that doesn’t mean you are living right.

“There’s an old saying that if it works, it means you’re standing right, but I found out that’s not always true. There were times I realized I wasn’t right, but grace and mercy found me.

“For the sake of someone genuine in the congregation, God can bypass you to reach that person; this is my confession.”

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Alleged Corruption: Rights lawyer petitions Minister, seeks suspension of NSCDC CG, Audi

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Former Special Prosecutor for the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Properties, Tosin Ojaomo, has petitioned the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, regarding an ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into corruption allegations against Ahmed Audi, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Ojaomo recommended Audi’s immediate suspension to ensure public safety and protect the integrity of the investigation from possible interference.

The petition, dated May 15 and made available to DAILY POST, was addressed to Tunji-Ojo and copied to President Bola Tinubu, Attorney General Lateef Fagbemi, and EFCC Chairman Olanipekun Olukoyede.

Ojaomo highlighted that the EFCC has been investigating the NSCDC for alleged financial mismanagement, making significant progress. He also mentioned a pending allegation against Audi regarding unexplained property acquisition filed with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CBB).

Ojaomo’s request is based on Section 8 of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Act, 2003 (as amended), and Section 11 of the Interpretation Act, 2004, which allow the minister to recommend the appointment and removal of the NSCDC Commandant General.

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The petition stated, “We are compelled to make this request as the investigation of the agency cannot be thoroughly and discreetly conducted if the current Commandant General of the NSCDC is allowed to continue in office while the investigation continues because most of the financial activities of the agency which form the subject matter of the investigation are conducted under the current CG’s watch.”

He further emphasized that the suspension would safeguard the investigation process and prevent possible interference. Ojaomo cited allegations linking Audi to a company, Keltes Security and Consultancy Limited, which allegedly received contracts from Tantita Security Limited, a company under the NSCDC’s supervision.

He concluded, “In view of these facts, it will be in the interest of public safety and to protect the integrity of the office to suspend Dr. Abubakar Audi, the current Commandant General of NSCDC, so that the EFCC can conduct a thorough and discreet investigation into the matter.”

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