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Restructure HYPREP For Speedy Ogoniland, Others Cleanup, Group Tells Buhari

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The executive director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, (ERA/FoEN), Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, Wednesday, August 5th called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, restructure the Hydrocarbon, Pollution, Remediation Project, (HYPREP) for effective service delivery to the people of the oil producing regions, especially the Ogoni land.

The Executive Director made the call in Benin while speaking on the topic ‘A Litany of Failure and a Season of Discontent’ occasioned by HYPREP on the people of Ogoni land.

He said if such is not done, the rate at which things are at the moment, it will take more than 100 years for HYPREP to complete the more complex polluted sites in Ogoni land which they have not even started to address.

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Ojo said it was exactly nine years after the United Nations Environment Program, (UNEP) submitted a groundbreaking report to the Nigerian state detailing its findings, conclusions and recommendations on the environmental assessment of Ogoni land but without any tangible results to show for it.

“It has been nine years of motion without movement, nine years of unfilled promises, nine years of high-level manipulations by Shell and the Nigerian states as well as nine years of opaqueness and unaccountable operations by HYPREP. It has been nine years cluttered with a litany of failures and continuous discontent throughout Ogoni”, he said.

According to Ojo, the reason HYPREP has not lived up to its billings is because it’s not designed nor structured to implement a project as complex and sizeable as the Ogoni cleanup, stressing that it therefore needs restructuring to position it for a more effective cleanup.

READ ALSO: Opinion: The Need For Free, Credible And Violence-free Election In Edo

The Environmental Activist alleged that work had stopped at 11 of the 17 cleanup sites researchers visited, and that many of these sites stopped work in late 2019 while the two sites had not even commenced work at the time of their except for the information board displayed outside their area of operation.

The Environmentalist also alleged that HYPREP is bogged down by the Nigerian government bureaucracy and Shell bureaucratic bottlenecks which has seen the programme unable to make progress to open the bid process for the more complex sites and there appears to be no disclosed strategy on how to move forward with the aspect of the project.

The Environmentalist recommended that strong legislations by governments in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands mandating companies to respect human rights and apply the same environmental standards across global operations.

READ ALSO: Cracks In Ondo PDP As Five Governors Back Ajayi’s ZLP Move

The Executive Director also recommended the immediate implementation of all emergency measures recommended by the UNEP especially the provision of portable water, the conduct of a health audit setting up of a health register in impacted communities.

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Obaseki Warns Against Open Grazing, Solicits Stakeholders’ Support

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said the ban on open grazing in the state still remains, warning that anyone found wanting will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The governor said this while addressing stakeholders during an interactive session on the Edo State Regional Development and Benin City Master Plan, held at Iguobazuwa, Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the State.

Obaseki who reassured the government’s commitment to the safety and security of residents, called for the collaboration and support of all stakeholders to ensure a peaceful, secure and prosperous Edo State.

He said, “Any herdsman in our bush without permission is working against the law of our State, and anything that happens, they can’t blame anyone.

READ ALSO: Edo Police Parade 21 Suspects Over Alleged Murder, Cultism, Pipeline Vandalism

“Let us be sure that nobody gives that person the permission to enter our forest and if permission will be granted, let us know the type of permission given to them to come into our bushes or forest to graze with their cattle.

“Open grazing is banned in Edo State. If they are in your forest, let us know where they are because we have police and vigilantes who will help us get them out through a number we will give you to call.”

Obaseki added, “Anybody that wants to do ranching business should contact you, the community people and you will decide on the land to use and method of feeding their cattle. They should do the business with you and not invade our forest indiscriminately as if there are no owners. The forest and bushes belong us.”

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Nigeria Air: EFCC Arrests Ex-Buhari’s Minister Over N8bn Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arrested Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over an ongoing N8 billion money laundering probe of Nigeria Air.

Vanguard gathered that Sirika arrived at the Federal Capital Territory Command of the EFCC at about 1:00 pm on Tuesday.

Sirika is currently being quizzed by the EFCC investigators over alleged fraudulent contracts awarded by him to a company known as Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by his younger sibling, Abubakar Sirika.

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Recall that, in February, EFCC investigated the activities of the Aviation Ministry under Sirika for conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, and contract inflation.

Others are criminal breaches of trust and money laundering amounting to N8,069,176,864.00 during Sirika’s tenure in office.

Apart from being listed as the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar is said to be the sole signatory to the company’s two accounts, domiciled in Zenith and Union Banksy.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: EFCC Chair Vows To Follow Yahaya Bello’s Prosecution To Conclusion

It was gathered that the ex-minister’s younger brother, Abubakar Sirika, has been arrested and detained by the commission in connection with N3,212,258,930.18 paid to his company, Engirios Nigerian Limited’s, bank account by the former minister.

It was noted that there is no trace of work done on any of the contract items to date.

Sirika was arrested Sunday February 4 to assist the commission in its probe of the Aviation Ministry’s financial expenditures during his tenure.

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BREAKING: EFCC Freezes Over 300 Accounts Over Suspicious FX Flows

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, says the anti-graft agency has discovered another worse scheme other than crypto trading platform Binance and its system.

He said the agency has frozen about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: EFCC Chair Vows To Follow Yahaya Bello’s Prosecution To Conclusion

The scheme popularly called the “P to P” peer- peer financial trading scheme has operated outside the official banking and financial corridors and there was a looming disaster that could further crashed the Naira value that has continued to gain.

“There are people in this country doing worse than Binance,” he said, adding that over $15bn passed through one of the platforms in the last one year, outside the financial regulations.

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