By Gistflash News
July 8, 2021
A News Analysis by Kayode Adebiyi, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
In what is being referred to as historic, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday vindicated former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, ruling that she was ineligible for national service.
Adeosun, through her lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had in March 2021 filed a suit for constitutional interpretation of her eligibility for NYSC.
The court, presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ruled that the ministerial appointment of Adeosun was not illegal, neither was it unconstitutional, even without presenting the NYSC certificate.
The court said since the 1979 Constitution, which was in force at the time, did not recognise dual citizenship, Adeosun could not have served because she was a British citizen as at the time she graduated.
Adeosun graduated from the University of East London in 1989 at the age of 22 and as such, the court ruled that she was not a Nigerian citizen either at the time of her graduation or when she turned 30.
Accordingly, the court granted all reliefs sought by Adeosun’s counsel, including the plaintiff being under no constitutional disability, disadvantage, prohibition, inhibition or disqualification to hold any public office.
Adeosun’s lawyers described the ruling as a victory for not just their client, but others in similar conditions.
“The court has made it clear that at the time she presented for public service starting from 2011 up till 2015, she was not required to perform the NYSC.
“It is, however, not only a personal victory; it’s also a victory for many Nigerians in diaspora under similar conditions who are desirous to serve their country,” they said.
Adeosun had succumbed to pressure and resigned her position as minister of finance on Sept. 14, 2018 on allegations that her NYSC exemption certificate was forged.
However, her vindication has been questioned in some quarters, thereby fuelling strong suspicions that, in the first instance, her ordeal was premeditated by powerful forces.
Those said antagonists wondered why the court did not rule on the allegation of forgery.
However, legal experts have countered this position, stating that the attorney-general, who was the defendant in the suit, had not investigated and prosecuted Adeosun for any offence.
“There are legal processes and procedures that the public should be aware of. In this case, it was the former minister who went to court to seek interpretation.
“The issue of forgery was not brought before the court and can only be taken to court by the attorney-general of the federation following thorough investigation.
“There has neither been investigation nor any charge brought against her,” an Abuja-based legal expert, Tayo Awoyefa, said.
The court documents of the suit also indicated that the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation did not challenge the averments of Adeosun’s counsel.
This has also been questioned by critics of the ruling, saying the decision was in favour of the plaintiff.
However, the AGF’s counter-affidavit did not challenge the averment of the plaintiff because the Federal Government simply did not withdraw the appointment of Adeosun or ask her to resign.
She resigned on her own volition and, according to the presiding judge, “denying the plaintiff of the reliefs sought is not going to be doing justice to the matter.
Adeosun, a former Ogun State finance commissioner, has always maintained her innocence on the issues surrounding her travail.
In her resignation letter, Adeosun said she wrote to NYSC requesting “documentary evidence of my status” and that she had no reason to doubt the validity of the certificate released by NYSC, through the Ogun State government.
“Upon my enquiry as to my status relating to NYSC, I was informed that due to my residency history and having exceeded the age (30), I was exempted from the requirement to serve.
“On the basis of that advice and with guidance and assistance of those I thought were trusted associates, NYSC were approached for documentary proof of status,” she said.
If indeed Adeosun sought documentary evidence of her status from NYSC, what was the corps’ response? Wasn’t it the responsibility of NYSC to state what exactly Adeosun required?
Who were the supposed “trusted associates” who handled her situation and what was their role in the 69 days leading to her resignation?
With this ruling, has the matter been put to rest? Not certain, because Adeosun’s counsel said she was exploring other remedies.
“Our client wishes to state, without equivocation, that in light of all that happened, she is exploring other remedies within the law and will take the appropriate steps at the right time.
“The 69 days of her travail and the years following that have taken a great toll on our client’s reputation and caused client’s family deep grief and misery.”
Public affairs analysts have pointed out this case as a classic example of what could go wrong when government failed to conduct thorough investigation and take prompt action when allegations were made against public officers.
“Shortly after the allegation was made public, a committee led by SGF Boss Mustapha was set up to investigate the matter and make recommendations.
“What was the outcome of that investigation? What did the committee recommend, in the light that Adeosun resigned voluntarily?” an analyst asked.
During Adeosun’s time as minister, she was credited for her vigorous efforts at cutting waste in government spending, advocating financial responsibility and using technology to enhance fiscal accountability.
Her protagonists believe that she may have been targeted for clipping the wings of powerful forces while trying to implement fiscal responsibility.
For instance, she was said to have prevented any withdrawal from the Excess Crude Account in spite of pressure from governors, insisting that a rainy day fund was critical.
The judgment in favour of Adeosun has functionally solved the issue of whether or not diaspora Nigerians of certain age with dual citizenship require NYSC to work in Nigeria.(NAN)
***If used please credit the writer and the News Agency of Nigeria.
CBN Sells Polaris Bank To SCIL
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the completion of the sale of shares in Polaris Bank to Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL), a new core investor.
In a statement signed by its Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN said that SCIL has paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion to acquire 100% of the equity of Polaris Bank and has accepted the terms of the agreement, including the full repayment of the sum of N1.305 trillion, being the value of the bonds, which as part of its intervention, in 2018, to revoke the licence of the former Skye Bank Plc. and establish Polaris Bank to assume its assets and certain liabilities, the banking industry regulator injected into Polaris through the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and is to be repaid over a 25-year period.
The statement reads: “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) are pleased to announce the completion of a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the acquisition of 100% of the equity in Polaris Bank by Strategic Capital Investment Limited (‘SCIL’).
“Polaris has been operating as a bridge bank since 2018 when the Central Bank of Nigeria intervened to revoke the licence of the former Skye Bank Plc. and established Polaris Bank to assume its assets and certain liabilities. As part of the CBN intervention, consideration bonds with a face value of N898 billion (future value of N1.305 trillion) was injected into the bridge bank through AMCON, to be repaid over a 25-year period.
“These actions were taken to prevent the imminent collapse of the bank, enable its stabilisation and recovery, protect depositors’ fund, prevent job losses and preserve systemic financial stability. SCIL has paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion to acquire 100% of the equity of Polaris Bank and has accepted the terms of the agreement which include the full repayment of the sum of N1.305 trillion, being the consideration bonds injected.
“The CBN thus received an immediate return for the value it has created in Polaris Bank during the stabilisation period, as well as ensuring that all funds originally provided to support the intervention are recovered. The sale was coordinated by a Divestment Committee comprising representatives of the CBN and AMCON, and advised by legal and financial consultants. The Committee conducted a sale process by ‘private treaty’, as provided in Section 34(5) of the AMCON Act to avoid negative speculations, retain value and preserve financial system stability.
“In the process, parties who had formally expressed an interest in acquiring Polaris Bank, subsequent to the CBN intervention in 2018, were invited to submit financial and technical proposals. Invitations to submit proposals were sent to 25 pre-qualified interested parties, out of which three parties eventually submitted final purchase proposals following technical evaluation. All submissions were subject to a rigorous transaction process from which SCIL emerged as the preferred bidder having presented the most comprehensive technical/financial purchase proposal as well as the highest rated growth plans for Polaris Bank.”
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, was quoted in the statement as saying that: “This sale marks the completion of a landmark intervention in a strategic institution in the Nigerian banking sector by the CBN and AMCON. We commend the outgoing board and management for their vital role since the bridge bank was established; in stabilising the Bank’s operations, its balance sheet and implementing strong governance structures to address the issues that led to the intervention.
“This process has provided the CBN with an unprecedented opportunity to recover its intervention funds in full and promote financial stability and inclusive growth. We wish SCIL well as they implement growth plans to build the bank from the strong foundations that have been established.”
Media Intelligence agency Marks Six years of Operation in Nigeria
Media Intelligence agency Marks Six years of Operation in Nigeria.
P+ Measurement Services, Nigeria’s foremost Independent Public Relations measurement and evaluation agency, celebrates its sixth year of effective operation with qualitative offerings for its numerous clients, as it rebrands with a new business logo, website, and office to deepen penetration.
The leading company has in the past six years engendered the needed growth for its clients, and the rebranding is part of efforts aimed at sustaining its leading position in the sector, having worked with over 47 brands and 17 Public Relations agencies in Africa’s largest economy.
The logo with new colors depicts the innovation and creativity of the brand, as also shown on its new website with the agency service rate, to enable brands and agencies to make faster decisions in budgeting.
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As the only AMEC Member in Nigeria, P+ has strong partnerships with the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Reelforge Media Monitoring, the biggest media monitoring agency in the East African region, covering more than five countries.
Speaking on the company’s new development, the Chief Insights Officer, Philip Odiakose, said P+ is strongly positioned to effectively deliver on its offerings, with state-of-the-art structure, process and highly skilled media analysts in an exceptional and value-driven business model in line with global best practices.
“Our Measurement and Evaluation report is in-depth, robust, and flexible to accommodate valid metrics that brands desire to see reflected in their customized reports, and also based on the AMEC Standard in accordance with the Barcelona Principle 3.0. We deploy the P+MCA (media content analysis) methodology for media evaluation and analysis based on qualitative and quantitative metrics in analyzing media exposure,” Odiakose affirmed.
He said the new office would serve as a hub in the country and the West Africa sub-region, where the company will provide media monitoring, measurement, evaluation, and performance audit services for brands, media agencies, government agencies and NGOs.
Also as part of its efficient services, the measurement and evaluation company introduced “Get-Reports,” a novel product that allows the purchase of PR performance audit reports in key sectors.
The “Get-Reports” product spans across different industries which includes the 22 Commercial Nigerian Banks PR Performance Audit Report, Top Nigerian Insurance PR Performance Audit Report, Top Nigerian Digital Banks PR Performance Audit Report, and Top Online Streaming Services PR Performance Audit Report.
It’s not too late for NASS to revisit e-transmission of election results – SAN
By Gistflash News
Sept 26, 2021
The clause 52(2) of the bill gives the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the discretion to determine when, where and how voting and transmission of results will be done.
The Senate had ruled out the possibility of having results transmitted electronically when it voted that the NCC, with the National Assembly’s approval, would determine whether INEC could transmit results electronically or not.
Similarly, the House of Representatives, on July 16, passed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, maintaining the controversial Clause 52(2) as presented amidst protests, especially by members of the minority caucus.
After the passage of the bill, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, criticised the proposed electronic transmission of election results, saying it was not feasible in the country for now.
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