FG Moves To Seize BVN-less Accounts 

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja has granted a request by Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for a temporary forfeiture of all funds held in bank accounts not linked to BVNs. 

Also to be forfeited are funds in accounts whose ownership could not be identified. The latter are accounts without sufficient know-your-customer credentials, premium times has reported.

The order followed an originating motion of notice filed by Mr. Malami on behalf of the Nigerian government on September 28. 

Justice Dimgba granted all the nine reliefs sought by Mr. Malami, represented by a lawyer, Usman Dakas on October 17. The court ordered all the 19 deposit money banks, DMBs, operating in the country to release to Nigerian government names of accounts not yet connected to BVN; Account Numbers; their outstanding balances; Domiciling Locations; and Domiciliary Accounts without BVN and where they are domiciled. 

Nigeria deposit money banks that were listed as respondents in the ex-parte suit are: Access Bank, Citi Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank and First City Monument Bank. Others are: Guaranty Trust Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank and United Bank for Africa

The remaining three are: Unity, Bank Wema Bank and Zenith Bank. The court also ordered all of them to disclose any investments made with funds and to withhold authorisation for any outward inflow of funds from the accounts.

All the details are to be submitted to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBSS, and the CBN for authentication. The banks were also directed to publish all bank accounts not linked to BVN in national newspapers with a 14-day notice for individuals with interest in such accounts to come forward and justify why their funds should not be forfeited to the Nigerian government. 

Mr. Dimgba also ordered the CBN, which was joined as 20th respondent alongside the 19 DMBs, to appoint an official who will examine all the details submitted to the apex bank for compliance. 

The government argued the matter under Section 3 of the Money Laundering Act, 2011. The section said banks must “ensure that documents, data or information collected under the customer due diligence process is kept up-to-date and relevant by undertaking reviews of existing records, particularly for higher risk categories of customers or business relationships.” 

The Bank Verification Number is a unique identification number that can be verified and used to transact business across all the banking platforms in Nigeria. 

The CBN imposed the policy to capture customers’ data for financial transactions and check fraud in the banking system. Registration for BVNs commenced on February 14, 2014, across the country. The CBN said over 20.8 million customers enrolled 40 million bank accounts before the October 31, 2015, final deadline for customers residing within the country. The CBN extended the deadline for Nigerians in the diaspora to December 2016 to sign up for the BVN system. But hundreds of thousands home and abroad are still believed to be left behind.

Withdraw Directives To Unfreeze Patience Jonathan’s Accounts, SERAP Tells Saraki, Dogara

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr Yakubu Dogara to “Urgently withdraw the patently unconstitutional directives to some banks to unfreeze former First Lady Mrs Patience Jonathan’s accounts.”

The organization said that, “the directives to banks to unfreeze Mrs Jonathan’s accounts amount to mingling of the executive and judicial powers in the National Assembly. Checks and balances should ideally help contribute to the rule of law and strengthening our democratic dispensation but if one branch of government grows too strong and overreaching the country might be in trouble.” 

In a statement signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale the organization said that, “It’s an affront to our constitutional democracy for the National Assembly to turn itself into a tool for checkmating the country’s justice system, especially the prosecution of grand corruption. Rather than helping Mrs Jonathan’s desire to achieve justice for what she may consider to be violations of her human rights, such directives are doing exactly the opposite and politicising the criminal justice process.” 

The Senate had last week decided that Mrs Jonathan’s accounts should be unfrozen, saying that some of the accounts including with Stanbic IBTC, First Bank, Union Bank, Diamond Bank, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank and Bank Zenith Bank were frozen based on some administrative lapses.

It claimed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) used the banks to close the accounts without due process of law. 

The House of Representatives in September gave a similar directive to the banks to free the former first lady’s blocked accounts. 

But SERAP said that, “Nigerians are concerned about their lawmakers’ thirst for power, and about the National Assembly aggrandizing its legislative powers without sufficient checks and constitutional scrutiny and validity. The National Assembly ought to focus the exercise of its legislative powers solely on making laws for the peace, order and good government of our country, addressing only matters of prime national concern, and when necessary, checking the excesses of the executive branch.” 

The statement reads in part: “The directives purportedly unfreezing the accounts of Mrs Jonathan will not give the public the confidence that the National Assembly will change its ways and embrace the rule of law.” 

“The National Assembly should not show itself as incapable and unwilling to address the concerns of Nigerians about its operations and apparent lack of transparency. These kinds of interventions by the National Assembly could portray our lawmakers in the eyes of Nigerians as forgetting what they are in Abuja to do.” 

“The Senate and House of Representatives should advise Mrs Jonathan to seek appropriate judicial remedies if she feels the criminal justice mechanisms have violated her human rights. That’s the essence of the rule of law, separation of powers and checks and balances. The supposed directives to banks have unfortunately again put the reputation of the National Assembly at stake.” 

“What Nigerians want and deserve is a balanced sharing of constitutional powers for the sake of the public good, and not ‘Imperial National Assembly’, a National Assembly that sits on its throne in Abuja and treats Nigerians as serfs in their fiefdoms.” 

“If the body that makes law also controls its execution, implementation and interpretation, it can effectively tailor the laws to help itself and its friends and hurt its perceived enemies. It can thwart the virtue of impartial general law-making by rendering it a tool for singling out.”

Are Ona Kakanfo’s Origin, Myth And Power By Prof. Banji Akintoye

Professor Banji Akintoye, a second republic senator and historian, is a repertoire of knowledge when it comes to narrating historical events. 

Akintoye spoke to Vanguard on the myth surrounding the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land title and how the holder, in the pre-colonial period, wielded so much power and influence.

The title of Are Ona Kakanfo was created to check the excesses and frequent incursions of Ibaribas into Yoruba territories. During that time, Ibaribas were terrorising the Yoruba nation and, when the then Alaafin realised the gargantuan nature of the problem, he created the title of the Are Ona Kakanfo.

His duty was to watch over the homeland with the help of assistant commanders who had a special army. The criteria for the selection of title holder To be the Are Ona Kakanfo, you must be a great warrior and very courageous. The creation of the title stopped the invasion of Yoruba land by external aggressors. 

The Are Ona Kakanfo was so powerful and invincible that he would fight several wars at the same time. He never lost any battle. Due to his power, the Alaafin would not allow him to live in the same town with him. The Aare Ona Kakanfo normally lives in a commercial city.

His installation is always a very big ceremony. All important people in Yoruba land including the Oyomesi (kingmakers) would be in attendance. 

Myth of violent death That is not true. Those who suffered such death were few. I will mention one of them. Afonja betrayed the Alaafin, that’s why he died a violent death. He gathered foreigners around him to revolt against the Alaafin and the Oyo people stood in defence of their king, came together and killed Afonja. There were Are Ona Kakanfos who lived long. For example, one of the holders of the title who lived long was Oyabi from Ajase. He was very loyal to Alaafin and the Oyo Empire. So, there is no foundation to the claim that the Are Ona Kakanfo usually lives a short and uneventful life.

I think Gani Adams is an excellent man and a good choice for the title. He was nobody but he developed himself and became what he is today. 

We have a lot of people who developed themselves. I was a lecturer for many years in the university and I had students who rose from nothing to become great scholars. I appreciate people like that. And Adams belongs to that category. He started from nothing and without anybody but today he is a university degree holder.

Those who say all sorts of things against the Oodua Peoples Congress are not fair to the group. Have they forgotten what the OPC did for us in Yoruba land?

There are some things you cannot compare. Chief Moshood Abiola and Chief Ladoke Akintola became the Are Ona Kakanfo at different times. 

MKO and Akintola did tremendously well for the Yoruba and the Alaafin had no problem choosing them as Are Ona Kakanfo. And Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has taken time to explain the qualities he considered before he made the choice.

The monarch said Gani Adams is very courageous and that he has the interest of Yoruba at heart. Gani Adams was a very young man when some Yoruba leaders decided to establish OPC. As a result of his courage, he was chosen as the leader of the group and he has held the position creditably well. There was a time when the OPC was protecting Yoruba land from attacks. We should know that for somebody to have done that, he deserves our respect and recognition. Gani Adams deserves the title of the Are Ona Kakanfo the Alaafin has conferred on him.
Source: Vanguard

​Isabella Unveils Indescribable & A New Beginning Album Cover

Award winning Gospel Artist, Isabella finally release the official Album cover for her 7th & 8th Albums (Indescribable and A New Beginning) respectively. 

The albums are set to drop on the 3rd of November 2017.

The 7th Album (Indescribable) comprises of 13 original worship songs all produced by Music Magnate, which are:

1. Our Great God Reign

2. Omnipotent God

3. All Glory

4. Indescribable

5. In Jesus Name

6. Great Jehovah

7. King Of Kings

8. In You I Find Myself

9. Draw Me Close

10. Desperate For You

11. Revival Fire Fall

12. You Are My God

13. Nara Ekele

The 8th Album (A New Beginning) comprises of 10 original worship songs all produced by Niyi P, which are:

1. You’re A Wonder

2. Lord Be Glorified

3. Sweet Jesus

4. Hallel

5. Miracle

6. Call On Jesus

7. King Of My Heart

8. Worthy Is The Lamb

9. Mekwanu Ya Ozo

10. Imaranma

We are expecting this to be loud….

Musical Video: You’re A Wonder – Isabella

YOU’RE A WONDER is the second single to be released off Isabella‘s 8th studio album, A NEW BEGINNING, which is due for release 3rd of November 2017.

Shot by veteran music video director, Fred Williams, at Icon Towers studios in Basildon, United Kingdom.

YOU’RE A WONDER is purposely designed to be a simple, classy, stripped down monochrome video which focuses on the profundity/intensity of the worship moments, to avoid distracting the audience or detracting from the essence & message of the song.
A captivating intimate worship song which builds in crescendo to reach an exhilarating worship climax, it is sure to draw the listener/viewer into an atmosphere of deep worship. Audio produced by Niyi P

Resident Doctors Give 10-Day Strike Notice To UCH Management

Barely one month after their nationwide strike, the resident doctors at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, on Friday, gave the hospital management another 10-day strike notice to protest unpaid salaries.

Segun Olaopa, the President of the UCH branch of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), disclosed this development at a news briefing.

Mr. Olaopa said the association’s dialogue with the hospital management on many occasions had yet to yield any positive result.

It has become imperative to draw the attention of the press to the brewing issues in UCH. These issues if not addressed, may impact negatively on the existing industrial harmony at the hospital.

“These issues include: non-payment of our September salary, 28 per cent shortfall in August salary, 2016 shortfalls of 11 months till date and work overload due to management’s refusal to employ new residents.

“Presently, the number of residents stands at 525; this has reduced to 454, as some of them have completed their residency. By this October, 40 among us will also finish the residency.

“The implication of this is that the remaining few residents are given work overload and this should not be; management should employ more residents to make the workload easy and to achieve maximum productivity.

“Resident doctors’ accommodations need to be rehabilitated. The conditions of those flats are nothing to write home about.

“We implore management to do the needful in order to avert another strike,” he said.

The association went on a 10-day national industrial strike, which was suspended on Sept. 14.

Part of the outcome of the dialogue, which led to the suspension of the strike was that government would release money to pay the doctors’ backlog of salaries.

Source: NAN

​Nigerian Film Corporation Partners Morocco On Content

The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), says it was partnering with the Government of Morocco for content sales, students and Film practitioners annual exchange programme.
Dr Chidia Maduekwe, the Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) said this in a statement on Friday, in Jos.

He said the partnership under the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries, was part of efforts toward developing the creative industry in Nigeria.

The statement signed by Mr Brian Etuk, Head, Public Affairs of the Corporation stated that discussions were on going to facilitate access of Morocco’s film institutes’ online library for students and lecturers of the National Film Institute (NFI) Jos.

Maduekwe said the collaboration would facilitate scholarship for NFI Students to study in Morocco; motion picture co-production between the two countries on joint film production including documentaries and capacity building for film makers amongst others.

The Collaboration would include capacity building for film and television professionals; broadcast stations, festival skills development and access to research findings to be adopted by Nigeria.

“When we sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), our creative industry would experience a remarkable leap in its growth.

“This is through in flow of knowledge and investment opportunities which would have a multiplier effects on our economy through their agency,’’ he said.

He listed the agencies to include, Institut Supervieur Des Matiers de L’audiovisual Et Du Cinema (ISMAC) and Cinemotographique Morocain(CCM).

He said further that the CCM would assist the NFC in the digitisation of archival materials, a 20 per cent tax rebate incentive for all movies shot in Quarzazate, a city in Morocco and assist in setting up the National Film Institute Community Television Station.

Maduekwe said the collaboration would benefit export of Nigerian films, content sale for independent Nigerian Film producers and other audio visual products.