Buhari sends Osinbajo to France for Anti-corruption, Integrity Forum

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday left Abuja for Paris to attend the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum.

According to a statement issued by the Vice President’s Spokesman, Laolu Akande in Abuja, Osinbajo is one of the speakers to feature at the global conference.

The Vice President left for the forum after attending the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

The forum is scheduled to hold from March 30 to March 31.

The OECD forum brings together global leaders, ministers, business leaders and civil society representatives to discuss issues of governance.

Such issues include “the cost of corruption to society, the use of political donations to buy influence, developments in corporate liability for graft and the role of export controls to counter bribery”.

During the conference, Osinbajo would hold bilateral talks with the Secretary-General of the organisation Angel Gurria.

The talk would review and explore relationship between Nigeria and the body, including how to further strengthen mutual cooperation in areas of good governance, integrity and anti-corruption efforts.

While in Paris, the Vice President would also hold a number of meetings with the French Minister Mr Bernard Cazeneuve.

Founded in 1961, OECD’s mission includes the attainment of global economic development through supporting sustainable economic growth, boosting employment and raising living standards.

The mission includes contributing to the growth of world trade and maintaining financial stability among other objectives.

Osinbajo is expected back in Abuja at the weekend.

 

Source:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/03/osinbajo-off-france-oecd-anti-corruption/

Boko Haram faction seeks grassroots support in Nigeria

A Boko Haram faction led by the son of the group’s founder is trying to win over civilians by shunning the indiscriminate violence of its longtime figurehead that has alienated locals.

Eyewitnesses to a spate of recent raids attributed to Islamist fighters loyal to Abu Musab Al-Barnawi in northeast Nigeria have said they repeatedly told villagers they would not be harmed.

Others say mass violence has been reduced in parts of the northern Borno state around Lake Chad now controlled by Barnawi and Mamman Nur, his right-hand man who is seen by some as the real leader.

Herdsman Jabbi Sambo said jihadists loyal to the elusive Boko Haram chief, Abubakar Shekau, repeatedly stole or killed their prized cattle, abducted women and children, and razed their homes.

“Things changed dramatically” when Nur took over control of the Lake Chad area, Sambo, from the town of Shuwaram, he told AFP.

“The raids and the killings stopped and we were free to move with our herds for grazing.”

Nur, the alleged mastermind behind the 2011 bombing of a UN building in Abuja that killed 24, told them in person that he “wanted to build trust and confidence between his group and people in the area”.

The only proviso was that they did not cooperate with the military, he added.

– Developing networks –
Balaraba Abdullahi was abducted from Baga in January 2014 and was held for three years by the group, whose insurgency has killed at least 20,000 people and made more than 2.6 million homeless.

She said conditions were “extreme” in the bush, with a lack of food and widespread disease, while “executions and amputations” for crimes such as adultery, spying or theft were commonplace.

“A little offence would attract death. All of these happened under Shekau but things changed under Mamman Nur,” said the 20-year-old, who was eventually released.

Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in March 2015, but in August last year it announced that Barnawi was in charge of its “West Africa province”.

Barnawi, whose father Mohammed Yusuf founded Boko Haram in 2002 with Shekau as his deputy, has criticised the latter’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians and fellow Muslims.

Instead of suicide bombings causing mass casualties, his faction has vowed to concentrate on fighting “Christian crusaders” in Africa, as well as the government and military.

Yan St-Pierre, from the Modern Security Consulting Group in Berlin, said the Barnawi faction was “keeping a low profile and is looking for support in local communities”.

“It’s patiently developing networks around Lake Chad to set itself up for the long term, a bit like Daesh is doing in Iraq and Syria,” he added, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

Omar Mahmood, a researcher with the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, said Barnawi’s men were seeking to gain ground and build up their capacity to attack.

The idea was to create a “sustainable safe haven” after being forced out of captured towns and villages by a regional military counter-offensive that began in early 2015.

– ‘Skin-deep’ –
Despite the reassurances of Barnawi fighters, recent events demonstrate the group is still willing to kill civilians.

Last week, three men from Kalari Abdiye in the Konduga area were killed after being accused of providing information to the military. A fourth was mutilated.

Abubakar Gamandi, the head of the Borno fishermen’s union, said his members had warned people that the apparently conciliatory approach was only “skin-deep”.

“They may not be as vicious as Shekau and his men but the Mamman Nur faction cannot be trusted. They are only projecting a humane face because it suits their agenda,” he said.

“If they have to kill to achieve their goal they will be as bad as Shekau or worse. It is all about interest.”

Gamandi said Barnawi’s men slaughtered a cattle driver’s 100 cows “as punishment for selling herds to ‘infidels’” and whipped a fisherman who wanted to sell his catch back home rather than to the group.

Food is looted from civilians who rely on hand-outs from aid agencies, he said.
In effect they were “killing slowly through hunger”, Gamandi said.

Marc-Antoine Perouse de Montclos, from the French Institute of Geopolitics in Paris, said the tactics showed how both factions of Boko Haram were still locally focused.

There appeared to be no financing or even foreign fighters from IS, he said, adding: “The only concrete link… is they have helped Boko Haram’s publicity by relaying it around the world.”

Edo govt. registers 63,000 unemployed persons

The Edo state government has registered over 63,000 employed persons into its database since it started the registration of unemployed persons.

The Managing Director ICT Lambert Ugorji, who disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television in Benin City, said the idea behind the registration was to have a clear picture of the skills set in Edo state to enable the government determine who requires training and those who don’t.

According to him, the move is in efforts towards actualising the campaign promise of the Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to create 200,000 jobs in four years.

Explaining further on the initiatve, Mr Ugorji said: “He could come out tomorrow and say, we created half a million jobs; it would be hear say. He wanted to specifically prove to people how he is going to do it.

“What is the best way? It is to hold himself accountable, creating a data base.”

He expressed optimism that the governor would reach the said goal within the slated time frame, as the data base presents various opportunities for individuals to be hired.

 

Source:

Edo Govt. Registers 63,000 Unemployed Persons

Senate’s suspension of Ndume illegal, says former NBA chairman

Mr Taidi Jonathan, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Minna Branch, on Thursday said that the Senate has gone beyond its authority on its decision to suspend Sen. Ali Ndume.

Jonathan told the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna that the resolution was clearly an abuse of the Constitution.

“The suspension of Sen. Ali Ndume is ultra vires under the powers of the legislature in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” he contended.

According to him, Section 6 (6) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution vests powers to impose any sanction or punishment in the Judiciary and to be exercised by courts of competent jurisdiction.

“Therefore, any provision in the Senate rules of procedure which imposes any punishment to be exercised by it ultra vires the judicial powers.”

He also said that the suspension was a fundamental denial of the rights of Ndume’s constituents to representation in the National Assembly.

He urged the lawmakers to always put the interest of the country ahead of any personal consideration, so as to ensure peace, progress and political development of the nation.

Jonathan called for understanding and cordial working relationship among the three arms of government to enable Nigerians enjoy good governance.

Robbery kingpin killed in gun duel with Police in Enugu

The Enugu state police command has confirmed the death of a notorious armed robbery suspect, Chukwuemeka Ugwu, who operated in Enugu and Abakaliki, after a gun duel.

Ebere Amaraizu, the command’s spokesperson, confirmed the death via a statement issued on Thursday in Enugu.

Amaraizu said that the unrepentant armed robbery suspect had served years of imprisonment in Enugu and Abakaliki prisons in recent time.

“In the morning of March 28 and through intelligence information, the armed robbery kingpin, Chukwuemeka Ugwu, alias Akpuike, was trailed by police anti-robbery squad to his criminal hideout at Aguowa axis of Trans-Ekulu in Enugu,” he said.

Amaraizu explained that a gun duel ensued between the suspect, his boys and the police anti-robbery squad when he sighted the police operatives.

The spokesperson said the suspect was overpowered by the superior fire power of the police, who had laid siege for him in a carefully coordinated operation.

“The superior fire power of the police operatives resulted to the armed robbery kingpin sustaining serious injuries.

“The suspect was promptly rushed to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozala for medical attention,” he said.

Amaraizu said that the doctor on duty later confirmed him dead.

 

Source: The Cable

NSCDC arrests fake soldier in Borno

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Borno Command, said on Thursday it has arrested a man, Ahmed Alibe, 21, posing as a soldier and molesting members of the public.

The Corps Commandant, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said Alibe was arrested on Wednesday at the Nasara Computer Centre in the state capital.

Abdullahi said the suspect, who was in military uniform, was seen harassing and intimidating candidates preparing for the forthcoming Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) organised Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

“We were told that a soldier in uniform was molesting and beating young boys and girls who were registering for the JAMB,” Abdullahi said.

“We noticed that his action was questionable so we sent our men to go and monitor him. On arrival they discovered he was not a soldier but just wearing the uniform to molest innocent people.

“When we interrogated him here at the command, he said the uniform belonged to his brother’s friend.

“We are waiting to see his brother’s friend; if not we will assume that he killed an army officer and took his uniform.

“The culprit could have perpetrated any crime and many might think he was an army officer. This is a crime on its own and he must be punished.

“He will be handed over to the military for proper interrogation and prosecution.”

FG summons Indian high commissioner over attack on Nigerians

The federal government has asked the Indian government to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of those responsible for attacks on Nigerian students in India.

Olushola Enikanolaiye, permanent secretary, ministry of foreign affairs, made the call in Abuja at a meeting with Nagabushana Reddy, Indian high commissioner to Nigeria, on Wednesday.

Four Nigerian students were attacked by a mob during a candle-light march for a teenager, who died of suspected drug overdose.

Enikanolaiye said the call for the prosecution of culprits was necessary to serve as a deterrent to others and to forestall future occurrences.

He said that the high commissioner was invited to register the federal government’s concern over the incident.

“It is therefore, a concern to us that Nigerian students in that place were harassed, beaten up and many of them were seriously injured,” he said.

“We think this should not have happened considering the excellent relationship between two of us — the two countries have things in common and have been great friends.”

According to him, the concern of the ministry is that such a matter should not be allowed to affect the relationship between the two countries.

He expressed concern that the incident was not the first of its kind.

“This is not the first time this would happen; Nigerians have suffered similar attack in the past; so, what we will like to see on this occasion is that the perpetrator should be arrested.

“And we want to see diligent prosecution so that it would serve as a deterrent to those who think they can take laws into their hands and harass students who are going about their studies.

“That is why we felt we should register our concern to you on this occasion, and to please ask your government to take effective measures that this does not occur again.”

I want to Play in a Team with A winning mentality – Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez has said that he wants to play in a “winning team with winning mentality”.

The Chile international’s future is uncertain, with his current deal with Arsenal entering into its final year.

The Gunners crashed out of the Champions League after a 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich and face a uphill task to qualify for next season’s competition.

Alexis, who has a £50 million price tag on his head, says he may be willing to stay if the mentality in the team improves.

“I’d like to stay in the city, but for a team that is winning, that has a winning mentality,” he is quoted by El Grafico as having said.

“I am happy in London and I hope to finish my contract with Arsenal. Hopefully, Arsenal can push to win the big titles.

“I’m 28, I still have a lot ahead of me. I am a player that takes great care of myself.”Alexis Sanchez has said that he wants to play in a “winning team with winning mentality”.

I’m not surprised workers want Buhari to sack me – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that he is not surprised that workers in his ministry are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack him.

He, however, insisted that due to inadequate resources, there was a limit the federal government could do on workers’ welfare.

Lai spoke on Wednesday in a response to the protest by unions in his ministry demanding his removal for allegedly not addressing issues bordering on their welfare.

He told State House correspondents that it was impossible for the government to meet the workers’ demands owing to paucity of funds.

“It is not unusual for unions to call for the removal of ministers. Any minister should expect that.

“They are complaining about welfare, but there is a limit to what government can do within the available resources.

“As much as we sympathise with them on the situation, the economy is simply not healthy enough to accommodate what it is used to accommodate in the past.

“If anybody is concerned and worried about expenditures in my ministry, they should go and check because it is open.

“We have appealed to them several times, but we met a culture that we cannot sustain”, he said.

The workers had on Tuesday demostrated against what they described as the ministry’s negligence of staff welfare and gross misappropriation of public funds.

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to probe activities of the ministry over non-payment of allowances, refusal to train staff, among others.

The protesters, who chanted songs and blocked the gate of the ministry, said they were subjected to work under poor conditions, delay of promotion arrears, non-payment of repatriation allowances and selective training of staff.

Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servants, Information Chapter, Adam Ogwola, led the protest.

APC must mediate to end face-off between Senate and Presidency – Don

A Professor of Political Science, Femi Otubanjo, said on Thursday that the All Progressives Congress (APC) must mediate in the current face-off between the Senate and the Presidency.

Otubanjo, who works with the National Open University of Nigeria, made the call in an interview in Lagos on Thursday.

According to him, APC, being the ruling party has a role to play in ensuring that the process of governance in the country is not thwarted by the face-off.

The don was reacting to decision of the Senate to suspend legislative approval for 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, the Senate at its sitting presided by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, suspend consideration of the request by two weeks pending when the President removes Ibrahim Magu, as Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Otubanjo said that the APC should not allow the face-off to adversely affect governance.

”There is a ruling political party and fortunately, the majority of the people in the National Assembly are APC members including the President, and the Federal Government is APC government too.

”There ought to be a platform for discussing and reconciling whatever proposal or nomination the executive is bringing to the legislature for approval.

”We saw President Trump when he was trying to repeal the Obamacare, he called his party members in the parliament to a breakfast table to discuss his proposal, though, it did not work, but that is how things are done.

”The party leaders have a role to play to ensure smooth working relationship between the Senate and the Presidency.

”The party leaders should initiate mediation by calling their members in the Senate and the Presidency to a round table to talk and settle their disagreement.

”By doing so, they will be able to succeed and smoothly deliver their campaign promises to the people,” he said.

38-year-old woman commits suicide in Anambra

A 38-year-old petty trader, Mrs. Lovina Odo, has been found hanging on a rope tied to a ceiling fan at No. 1, Ukpaka lane, Umusiome village, Nkpor-agu near Onitsha in Anambra State.

She is thought to have killed herself.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the incident occurred on March 28 at about 5 p.m.

The husband of the deceased, Mr. Okechukwu Odo, said he and Lovina had been married for over eight years without a child.

Odo, a car washer, said he returned home from work at about 6:30pm and met sympathisers around his one-room apartment.

“I left home for work that morning after taking my breakfast; she had asked me to buy a tuber of yam for dinner on my way from work.

“When I returned, I saw people gathered around my apartment, only to be told that my wife had committed suicide,” he said.

Odo stressed that he and the deceased had no misunderstanding that could have led her to commit suicide.

The Divisional Police Officer of Ogidi, CSP Hassan Musa, confirmed the story, and said that the corpse of Lovina had been removed and deposited at the Mortuary of Iyienu Mission Hospital.

“No suicide note was seen around, her but preliminary investigation reveals that she might have committed suicide because she had no child,” Musa said.

This season is over for Santi Cazorla – Arsene Wenger

Santi Cazorla will not play again this season, with the Spaniard failing to recover from an injury sustained last October.

The Spanish midfielder has been a long-term absence as Arsenal have struggled this year, but had been expected to return in the early part of 2017.

But on Thursday Arsene Wenger confirmed ‘the season is over for him’.

Santi Cazorla has not played since October, when he was injured against Ludogorets

Santi Cazorla has not played since October, when he was injured against Ludogorets

The injury first occurred in Arsenal’s Champions League match against Ludogorets, with manager Arsene Wenger optimistic Cazorla would miss no more than a couple of matches.

The Spaniard took a kick to his right ankle during that game, aggravating a existing Achilles problem in the process.

Arsenal at first tried to treat the injury without surgery, but Cazorla eventually had an operation in December, at which point he was expected to return this month.

However, further set-backs mean the diminutive Spaniard will not be able to play again before May, with Wenger confirming there is no chance of a return this season.

Cazorla has been an instrumental part of Arsenal’s play when fit, but this injury is the second time in two years he has missed large chunks of the season.

Last year he was a crucial player for the Gunners until late November, at which point injury ruled him out for the majority of the campaign, with Cazorla returning only for the final fixture of the season.

5 ‘Yahoo’ LAUTECH students handed over to EFCC in Ibadan

The Ibadan Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Monday, 20th March, 2017 took over five suspected internet fraudsters arrested by men of the Oyo State Joint Security Task Force, ‘Operation Burst’ for further investigation.

The suspects, which includes Oyewole Oyeleye Olatunji (28), Adeniran Adeyinka Yusuf (29), Samuel Olumide Adeola (29), Israel Adeola (24) and Olorunyemi Savior Imonah (24) were arrested March 13, 2017 during a routine surveillance at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomosho.

They were thereafter interrogated at the Operation Burst headquarters, Agodi where they confessed to have defrauded some American women through various romance scam using different dating sites. They also confessed to have obtained different sums from their victims.

At the point of arrest, four HP Laptops, three Nokia phones, four I phones, one Infinix Hot Note Phone, a Flash Drive and four Military camouflage T-shirts were recovered from them.

Investigations have also revealed that the suspects have various incriminating documents in their Laptops and Phones. They were posing on the dating sites as American Soldiers and using different identities to defraud unsuspecting American Ladies.

Oyewole confessed to have been posing as Billy Philip, Johnson Moron and Montegro respectively.
According to him, he collected itune cards from one Stephanie and has been using the card to chat with Holly Donis, Dona Rissmiller and Mona Venziano among others who were also Americans.

Adeniran also posed as Cheryl Ann and Cindy Grant on Facebook and engaged unsuspecting ladies in dating. He had also used the medium to defraud and obtain Dollars from one Cherly Chambers.

Samuel has been posing as Gome, Rundell, and Klaus. He confessed to have collected itune card and different sums of dollars from Linda and Patricia on a dating site.

Israel had online affairs with Jeannie Mae Sherman and obtained different sums running into several thousands of dollars and itune cards from her and another One Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty One Dollars itune cards from Lritz Ortiz. While Olorunyemi using the names Terry Elizabeth and Bunt Janice Muriel had also swindled unsuspecting victims to the tune of Two Hundred Dollars and Three Hundred Dollars itune cards.

The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.

I am totally against mid-season friendly match – Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he is “totally against” international friendlies following injuries to key central defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones on England duty.

Mourinho expects to be without five first-team players against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, including the injured Paul Pogba and suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“I am totally against the friendly matches,” Mourinho told Sky Sports, after Jones had to withdraw from the England squad with a toe injury suffered in a training ground clash with Smalling, who pulled out after sustaining a leg injury in the Germany friendly.

Both defenders missed England’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Lithuania, leading Mourinho to question the need for friendlies during the season.

“I think friendly matches for the national team only make sense before the final phases,” he said.

“A couple of weeks before the Euros or a couple of weeks before the World Cup makes sense. But mid-season friendly matches mixed with qualification matches, I don’t think that makes sense.

“On top of that the matches are not really big matches so I am not a big fan. But I think one day I will be there so I cannot be very critical.”

Mourinho, who had 13 players away on international duty, believes his side will be at a disadvantage when they resume Premier League action at Old Trafford this weekend.

“If you compare our situation with our opponents, West Brom, only one player on international duty,” Mourinho told this week’s Soccer Saturday programme, underestimating the number of Baggies players who joined up with their national teams in the past fortnight.

“They had time to work, time to rest and prepare. It’s going to be hard.”

Schweinsteiger ready for Chicago Fire debut after first practice

Bastian Schweinsteiger has revealed that he did not get the chance to properly say goodbye to his Manchester United teammates before signing for Chicago Fire, after being introduced by the team on Wednesday and taking part in his first training.

The German’s move to the Major League Soccer club was officially confirmed by United on Wednesday afternoon after the formality of his visa had been resolved.

Schweinsteiger’s stay at Old Trafford ended last week after he agreed to join Chicago Fire on a one-year contract for a reported salary of US dollars $4.5million (£3.6m).

But so rushed was the deal, he revealed he did not have the opportunity to bid farewell to the United players, who were busy preparing for their Premier League game away at Middlesbrough.

Speaking to the press on his unveiling, Schweinsteiger said: “It was not so easy because the decision was a bit late so I couldn’t say a proper goodbye to the team.

“Also they had a match away against — I can’t remember — but they had a match on Sunday so I couldn’t really tell them because I didn’t want the focus on me, I wanted to have the focus on the team and the game. So I was very happy that they won.

“I had a great time there, especially with the teammates and the staff there, it was a good time and I enjoyed it there.”

Schweinsteiger could make his debut for Chicago Fire, who finished last in the Eastern Conference last season, winning just seven of their 34 matches, this weekend when they face Montreal Impact at Toyota Park.

The 32-year-old said: “I am ready. I was preparing before I came here and, of course, I need some days more training but I feel I am ready whenever the coach needs me.

“I need more training sessions to have the right rhythm, where I want to see myself, but my head is more than 100 percent and I feel quite comfortable. The training session was pretty intense today and I could do it, so that was good.”

Cassava thieves, not herdsmen killed DELSU staff – Police

Delta State Police Command, yesterday, said that preliminary investigations showed that the 50-year-old staff of Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, Sunday Idama, murdered at his cassava farm, last Friday, in Ovre-Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state, was not killed by Fulani herdsmen.

Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Delta Command, Mr Andrew Aniamaka, said: “The finding by our homicide detectives is that the man was killed by thieves encroaching on his farm to steal yams, cassava and other crops.”

He also said that the Police were at a loss over the order of a Delta State High Court, sitting in Sapele, which ordered it to exhume the remains of a kidnap suspect, Samson Efe, who died, last year, while in detention, saying that the remains were never buried, but kept in the morgue since then by the police.

Aniamaka said: “The Ovre-Abraka killing has nothing to do with herdsmen. We assured the media that we were going to do a thorough investigation and find out who is responsible, no matter his status in the society. I can tell you that the people themselves told the Police that the man was killed by the thieves that went to steal his cassava, yams and other crops.

“He was not killed by herdsmen. There was no sign that herdsmen killed him. If it were herdsmen, there would have been traces of cow movement and others in the farm.”

President of Urhuoka-Abraka community, Mr. John Avwenaghegha, who reacted to the Police report, yesterday, said: “If they say it is thieves that went to steal his cassava that killed him, I will not contest that. I also know that the children of the late Idama, the eldest son in particular, said in his statement that it was the people that stole his father’s cassava that killed him.

“But what we know is that the kind of injuries inflicted on him were the same pattern of machete cuts that Fulani herdsmen have used on all the people they have killed so far in the community. It is also sacrosanct that Fulani people are the ones feeding their cows on cassava in the farm lands of our people.”

Kwara Community Requests Relocation Of Prison

Residents of Oke Kura Community on the outskirts of Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, have called for the immediate relocation of the prison located in their midst.

This is amid several complaints that the correctional facility is unhygienic and has become a source of friction between them and military personnel attached to it.

Speaking to Channels Television, a member of the community narrated the case of an attempted jail break which resulted in a heavy gun fire; an incident that shook the entire community.

The National President of the Ilorin Descendant Progressive Union, Abdulahi Ade, also supported the call of the residents, saying that the story would have been different if the stray bullet hit a passer by.

“The security situation in that place is not sound, it is not secured – They should relocate it”.

The agitation and call for the relocation got to the floor of the House of Representatives as the man representing the area, in company of the Committee on Army visited the community to assess the true situation of things.

The senator said that the Committee had been asked to investigate the case and caution the military so that they could interface with the community properly in the discharge of their duties.

He also charged the committee to look into the possibility of de-congesting the prisons.

 

Source: Channels TV

NNPC plans to generate, trasmit electricity

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday said its ongoing reform was geared towards transforming it from an oil and gas company into an integrated energy outfit with interest in power generation and transmission.

It also stated that the country’s power transmission capacity was inadequate, adding that this was the major reason for the poor supply of electricity nationwide.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this at the 53rd International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society in Abuja.

He said the corporation had identified opportunities in the power sector and was ready to take advantage of them to transform from being a gas supplier to the power sector into a major player in the industry.

In a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the NNPC boss stated that the corporation was already working on a project to generate four megawatts of electricity, while also exploring the possibility of investing in the transmission segment of the power sector.

Baru explained that the corporation’s decision to diversify into the power sector was hinged on the need to bridge the huge energy gap in the Nigerian market.

He said that contrary to the impression that the poor power situation was caused by inadequate gas supply, the real problem was insufficient transmission capacity.

The GMD said there was enough gas to generate 8,000MW of electricity but the transmission grid could not support such quantum of power without complications.

Baru also defended the Federal Government’s plan to transform illegal refineries in the Niger Delta into legal entities for proper integration of the youth in the region.

He argued that getting the youth to form consortia to set up 1,000 barrels per day modular refineries would get them off criminality and create jobs.

In the upstream sub-sector, he said his goal was to accelerate frontier exploration and grow the crude oil reserve to 40 billion barrels from the current 37 billion.

In another development, the corporation has raised the alarm about the existence of some dubious syndicates who specialise in extorting money from unsuspecting people under the pretext of a purported recruitment exercise and promise of phantom job placements in the oil firm.

According to Ughamadu, the NNPC currently does not conduct any recruitment exercise and the corporation will advertise vacant positions whenever it has need to embark on a recruitment.

Edo State Government Registers 63,000 Unemployed Persons.

The Edo state government has registered over 63,000 employed persons into its data base since it started the registration of unemployed persons.

The Managing Director ICT Lambert Ugorji, who disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television in Benin City, said the idea behind the registration was to have a clear picture of the skills set in Edo state to enable the government determine who requires training and those who don’t.

According to him, the move is in efforts towards actualising the campaign promise of the Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to create 200,000 jobs in four years.

Explaining further on the initiatve, Mr Ugorji said: “He could come out tomorrow and say, we created half a million jobs; it would be hear say. He wanted to specifically prove to people how he is going to do it.

“What is the best way? It is to hold himself accountable, creating a data base.”

He expressed optimism that the governor would reach the said goal within the slated time frame, as the data base presents various opportunities for individuals to be hired.

 

Source: Channels TV

Physically Challenged Persons In Nigera Call For Socio-Economic Inclusion

Issues of disability rights and social inclusiveness have brought together a group of physically challenged persons who staged a protest at the National Assembly.

The disabled persons used the opportunity to demand the passage of the “Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Bill.”

They explained that if Nigeria must become a truly global force in the comity of nations, it must respect and protect the rights of its physically challenged population.

On arriving at the National Assembly, a letter of legislative inputs was submitted to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki by proxy.

One of the members of the group, stated the need for access to infrastructures and according to her, “inclusive education, special education would be discouraged, inclusive transport, inclusive mobility, inclusive health as well as inclusive employment”.

Two senators who met the group on behalf of the Senate President, thanked them for not allowing their disability stand in their way.

Senator John Eno then gave the assurance that the Federal Government would assent to legislation once passed.

 

Source: Channels TV

FG sets up committee to resolve faceoff with senate

The federal government has set up a committee to resolve the issues between it and the senate.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, disclosed this on Wednesday.

Mohammed said the executive was concerned that the relationship between the two arms of government is not as smooth as it should be.

The minister said the issue was discussed at the federal executive council (FEC) meeting and the executive.

“The executive is also quite worried and quite concerned that the relationship between the two arms of government is not as smooth as it is supposed to be,” Mohammed said.

“In any democracy, it is a continuous struggle for balancing between the executive and the legislature because each of them is creatures of the law. We must strive at all times to ensure that there is that balance, amity and smooth relationship.

“Just today at the federal executive council meeting, this matter was discussed and a committee is already working on ensuring that we resolve all these outstanding issues.

The committee was set up after the senate rejected Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the suspension of the resident electoral commissioner (RECs) nominees forwarded to the senate for confirmation.

 

Source: http://www.nigerianeye.com/2017/03/fg-sets-up-committee-to-resolve-faceoff.html

DSS arrests Capital Oil boss, Ifeanyi Uba

Ifeanyi Uba, the owner of Capital Oil, has been arrested and detained by Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS).

The arrest may be unconnected to his fraud saga with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
He was accused of embezzling funds from an illegal sale of crude oil saved in his facility.

One of his staff confirmed the arrest to newsmen on Thursday.

More to come…

 

Source:

DSS arrests Ifeanyi Uba, Capital Oil boss

Activists prevent plane conveying Nigerian deportees from leaving UK

A dozen activists break through security at Stansted Airport in the UK and chain themselves together on runway to stop failed asylum seekers being deported.

The left-wing activists were trying to stop a flight taking up to 100 immigrants back to Nigeria and Ghana.

According to Mailonine, the runway was closed around 10pm, resulting in eight flights being diverted to other London airports, but by 11.30pm was running as normal

The protesters were part of three groups called End Deportations, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and Plane Stupid

They were heard chanting: “No borders, no nations, stop deportations.”

One of the activists blocking the runway, Emma Hughes, said she was trying to prevent families from being separated.

She told Huck Magazine: “We’ve taken this action because many people on this flight are being placed in serious danger by being callously deported back to Nigeria and Ghana.

“There’s been a lot of attention recently on Trump’s racist Muslim ban, but what’s happening in the UK is equally repellant.

“People are being rounded up in the middle of the night based on their perceived nationality, forced on to planes in undisclosed locations and strapped down in their seats with no one witnessing the violence they’re facing.

“Do we really want to live in the sort of society where these violent and secretive mass deportations are being normalised?”

It costs the UK taxpayer at least an average of £12,000 per year to house someone seeking asylum.

A home office spokesman said he could not comment on operational activity but added: “We respect everyone’s right to peaceful protest but we are clear that removal is an essential element of an effective immigration system.

“We expect those with no legal basis to remain in the UK to leave voluntarily but if they do not, we will seek to enforce their departure.”

 

Source: www.thecable.ng

Nigerians should prepare for more deadly heat from climate change – National Academy of Sciences

A new study has reported that deaths related to extreme heat are expected to keep rising, even if most nations are able to contain global warming at agreed-upon levels. The new study was published online March 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nigerians should prepare for more deadly heat from climate change, which could lead to rise in cases of illness and death. Already, meningitis which is heat-related has killed 211 persons and affected 1,407 others within three months.

The researchers warned that by 2050, more than 350 million people living in ‘megacities’ would be hit with deadly heat waves every year – regardless if nations reach climate change targets.

Lead researcher and an applied climatologist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, Tom Matthews, said: “As the climate warms, the number and intensity of heat waves increases. Research has shown this to be the case for the global warming experienced to date, and our research is the latest to show that we can expect even larger increases as the climate continues to warm.”

Even if global warming is halted at Paris goals, the megacities of Karachi (Pakistan) and Kolkata (India) could face annual conditions similar to the deadly heat waves that gripped those regions in 2015.During the 2015 heat waves in those areas, about 1,200 people died in Pakistan and more than 2,000 died in India.

To examine the impact of global warming on human heat stress, the researchers used climate models and looked at how global temperature change could affect heat stress projections in the world’s largest cities.

The investigators concluded that it is likely there will be more land surface area exposed to dangerous heat stress. They also noted that areas already experiencing heat stress would have more frequent and longer heat waves.

The researchers at Climate Central explain that when temperatures reach those experienced on ‘danger days’ – when the ‘feels like temperature exceeds 104 °F (40 °C) – it becomes difficult for the body to cool itself. This can lead to dehydration, exhaustion, dizziness, and other problems in the body – and often, even death.

During danger days, people are at risk of sunstroke and heat exhaustion, and physical activity or extended time outdoors could even lead to heat stroke. The combination of high heat and humidity poses serious risks to many people, especially infants and young children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions.

The Paris Agreement was passed with no objections in 2015 by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, bringing to an end four years of discussions and debates.

Nearly 200 nations adopted the global pact, calling on the world to collectively cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution – but imposing no sanctions on countries that don’t.

Countries that signed the 31-page document will be expected to work towards limiting global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2C) above pre-industrial levels.

 

Source: The Guardian

EFCC finds $86 million Paris Club refund in NGF’s account

More cash believed to be part of the London-Paris Club loan refund has been found by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The US$86,546,526.65 was remitted into the account of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

The account is said to have been depleted to about $17million as at the time the probe started.

The EFCC is probing how the cash got into the account, who remitted it and for what purpose.

“The cash was paid into the forum’s domiciliary account in GTB tagged: 0023577047 with sort code 058083215,” the source said, adding that the payment followed a November 21, 2016 memo on the remittance into the NGF’s account which was titled “Consultants fee”.

The cash was described as consultancy and legal fees as the case with the N19 billion which was allegedly diverted from the refund.

“This development has justified the earlier peg of our investigation that the part of the London-Paris Club loan refunds was paid into two accounts of the NGF” the source said, pleading not to be named because he has no authority to talk to the media.

“Operatives are tracking how the $86.5m was used and for what purpose. We want to know whether the affected financial and legal consultants exist or not.”

It can be recalledthat the Presidency was uncomfortable with how some governors managed the refund.

The Federal Government released N522.74 billion to 35 states as refund of over-deductions on London-Paris Club loans.

President Muhammadu Buhari directed the release of the refund to enable states to pay salaries and pensions.

But more than N19billion of the refund has been enmeshed in controversy over payment of consultancy fees. Some consultants were yet to be paid as at press time.

Some of the infractions noticeable in the management of the first tranche of the London-Paris Club loan refund are:

  • computation of state records done at a private home in Maitama, Abuja;
  • accounts initially opened in the names of two lead consultants but the details of who to be paid were later changed;
  • N19b remitted into two NGF accounts;
  • commission to consultants cut from 10% to 2% but 5% was on paper as paid;
  • the CBN paid directly to each state without the knowledge of the Accountant-General of the Federation; and
  • part of the N19b commission was traced to a governor’s account and some individuals, including some members of the National Assembly.
  • It was also discovered that besides the central consultants, governors hired other consultants, with some conceding about 10-20% commission to them.

In some states, governors served as consultants through proxies.

Some consultants are yet to be paid because the NGF changed the commission formula as soon as the first tranche was remitted.

Besides, some governors deviated from using 25 per cent to 50 per cent for payment of outstanding salaries and pension as agreed with President Buhari.

 

Source: saharareporters.com

Benue revenue service seals off federal agriculture varsity over N2.3b debt

Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) has sealed off the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, over non-remittance of Personal Income Tax running into N2.3 billion.

The Chairman of the board, Mrs. Mimi Adzape-Orubibi, who led the enforcement agent to the university, sealed off the offices of the vice chancellor, registrar and the bursar.

She said the BIRS had to make the move after the university failed to respond to several letters written to it to pay up the outstanding Personal Income Tax from 2007 to 2011.

The acting Chairman of ASUU, Mr. Bemgba Anjembe, insisted that PAYE was deducted monthly from members of staff salaries and alleged that there was suspected connivance between BIRS and the university authorities not to remit taxes already deducted from members of staff, thus denying them access to tax clearance certificates.

Meanwhile, the students of the university have besieged the BIRS office located on Gboko Road, Makurdi, to protest the closure of their institution and called for dialogue between the BIRS and the university authorities.

The university’s management, through its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Joseph Fanafa, said it was maintaining a dignified silence on the matter until the outcome of a meeting with BIRS scheduled for tomorrow.

President Buhari cancels medical trip to London, invites physicians to Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday changed a plan by which he was due to return to London this weekend for another round of medical treatment, barely two weeks after his return from a hospital there.

Instead, his doctors will be arriving on Friday to carry out further medical examination on him.

Sources at the Presidency informed SaharaReporters that the president’s advance party had already left Abuja earlier in the day by Ethiopian Airlines before they were recalled to Abuja.

Our sources say the hawks within the presidency advised against taking the president abroad so soon after his seven weeks away, as that would begin to feed the rumor mill all over again about his ailment.

In a short televised address upon his return, Buhari had hinted about returning to the hospital shortly, saying there might be a need “for further follow-up within weeks.”  Given the topsy-turvy political climate in the country, however, his advisers felt it was unwise to allow him to stay away for too long.

The president has traveled to London several times since coming to power for a medical reason before traveling earlier this year for a prolonged medical treatment.  He had also traveled there in June 2016, reportedly consulting with an ear, nose and throat specialist after he contracted an ear infection.

The latest developments come as pressure is mounting on the presidency to disclose how much was spent on his 49-day “medical vacation” in the United Kingdom, with Nigerians saying they have a right to know.

Activists, including well-known lawyer Femi Falana, and civil society groups such as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, and the Campaign for Democracy, among others, argue that the medical bill is of public interest because Buhari touted transparency and change in public affairs when he ran for the presidency.

 

Source: www.nigerianeye.com

“Put an end to the impunity in NASS”, Femi Falana tells President Buhari.

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has called on the executive arm of government to terminate the “rein of impunity” in the national assembly.

Falana said this in a statement on Wednesday, while reacting to the controversies that have trailed the senate of late.

He said the upper legislative chamber’s refusal to consider the appointment of 27 resident electoral commissioners (RECs) because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s reluctance to sack Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was an act of impunity.

The senate had rejected the appointment of Magu as EFCC chairman, citing a Department of State Services (DSS) report as the reason for its decision.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on it under section 3 (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004 the senate has refused to confirm the appointment of Mr Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the (EFCC),” he said.

“However, President Buhari has decided to allow Mr Magu to continue to head the EFCC in an acting capacity. The decision of the president cannot be faulted by virtue of section 171 (1) (d) of the constitution which provides that the president is vested with the power to appoint the head of any extra ministerial department to hold office in an acting capacity. Such appointment does not require the confirmation of the senate.

“Completely aggrieved by the decision of the president to exercise his constitutional powers in the circumstance the senate has decided not to confirm the 27 newly appointed resident electoral commissioners until Mr Magu has been removed from office.

“In asking for the removal of Mr Magu the senate said that the anti-graft czar has been terrorising the senate. Should the senate resort to such cheap blackmail because the embattled EFCC helmsman has refused to compromise the  prosecution and investigation of about 15 senators alleged to have been involved in serious economic and financial crimes? Why should the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki not be terrorised for the criminal diversion of N3.5 billion from the London/Paris Club loan refund?

“Before now, sharp disagreements between the national assembly and the executive had been submitted to the courts for judicial resolution in line with the rule of law… In view of the settled state of the law on summoning of critics by the national assembly and suspension of legislators the senate is advised to reverse its illegal decisions and quickly return to the path of constitutionalism in the interest of lasting democracy in the country.

“However, if the senate remains intransigent the executive branch of the government should adopt decisive measures to terminate the unending rein of impunity in the national assembly.”

Falana also criticised the senate for summoning Itse Sagay, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), for allegedly making critical remarks about it.

He said the senate had no power to summon Sagay.

“In the atmosphere of impunity which has enveloped the senate the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay has been ordered to appear before the senate for having the temerity to criticise the senators,” he said.

“In the case of El Rufai v House of Representatives (2003) 46 WRN 12 the court of appeal held that the respondent lacked the power to summon the appellant over a defamatory statement made by him as the power of investigation conferred on legislators is not for personal aggrandisement.”

The rights lawyer also said the senate’s suspension of Ali Ndume’s was illegal.

The senate suspended Ndume, a senator from Borno state, for allegedly bringing the chamber to disrepute.

“The purported suspension of Senator Ali Ndume is the height of the serial illegality in the senate. In Hon Dino Melaye & Ors  v House of Representatives (unreported) the federal high court declared the indefinite suspension of the plaintiffs illegal and unconstitutional on the ground that a legislator could not be suspended for more than 14 days,” Falana said.

“But in House of Assembly v Hon Danna the Court of Appeal held that a legislative house in Nigeria is not competent to suspend a member even for a single day as it is a violation of the democratic rights of members of his/her constituency.”

 

Source: The Cable

African students in India are living in fear – Amnesty International

Amnesty International has called on Uttar Pradesh authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks against African students, saying the blacks in India are living in fear.

This was contained in a statement issued by the group on Wednesday.

On Monday, at least four Nigerians sustained injuries in the attacks, which began following the death of a 15-year-old who was alleged to have consumed drugs given to him by Nigerians.

Makepeace Sitlhou, campaigner at Amnesty International, India, decried the attacks which he referred to as hate crimes.

“The recent attacks in Uttar Pradesh show how black people in India – particularly African students – continue to face racist discrimination and violence,” Sitlhou said.

“Many of those injured were targeted merely because of the colour of their skin. These are hate crimes, and authorities need to ensure that those responsible are punished.

“Living in India must not become a life-threatening issue for black people. The police must not overlook the discriminatory elements of these attacks.

“Racism can end only if authorities first acknowledge and document its existence. The Uttar Pradesh government and other state governments must thoroughly investigate all reports of hate crimes, and protect the rights of black students.

Sitlhou said a Kenyan woman was also attacked on Wednesday.

“Several black African students have been attacked in a series of hate crimes in Greater Noida over the last three days. On Wednesday, a Kenyan woman was pulled out of a taxicab and beaten in Greater Noida,” Sitlhou said.

“Video footage posted online by the Association of African Students in India shows two other Nigerian students being beaten – including with metal chairs and dustbins – by a mob inside a mall in Greater Noida on 27 March.

“We kept crying for help, but no one came, not even the security marshals. I was running but they followed me and attacked me,” a student identified as Enduranca Amalawa, told journalists.

The police in Noida have registered a first information report against nine people on charges including attempt to murder in relation to the attack at the protest.

Sujata Singh, superintendent of police, Greater Noida, told Amnesty International India, “We have increased patrolling and we will be deploying 400 more police personnel to ensure the safety of students from the African community.”

However, black students in the area told Amnesty International India, that they continue to live in fear.

Samuel Jack, the president of association of African students in India, said, “We are all scared to leave our homes.

“We have issued an advisory telling all students from the African community to remain in their homes. We can’t attend our classes because we are scared that we will be beaten up.”

 

Source: The Cable

Why Buhari’s medical bill in UK can’t be released – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information Lai Mohammed yesterday explained that releasing how much President Muhammadu Buhari spent on his medical vacation in the United Kingdom (UK) may jeopardise national security.

The President, who returned to Nigeria on March 10, spent about 50 days in the UK, where he carried out some medical tests.

He had also last June embarked on medical trip abroad.

The minister, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, was reacting to the calls for the President to tell Nigerians the amount spent on his medical treatment abroad.

He was with Minister of Interior Abdulraman Danbazzau and the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun

According to Mohammed, it was too sensitive to disclose the amount spent on the President’s health.

He said: “This matter has come several times and our position on the matter is quite straight forward. What are the President’s conditions of service? What are his entitlements in terms of his wellbeing and health care? The state is supposed to take responsibility for these.

“We believe that asking for how much has been spent on the health of the President is an issue that we should weigh very well both for national security and also for moral issues.

“I don’t know why we must divulge such very sensitive information. I might be wrong, but I don’t have experience elsewhere that the President of any country will be ill and be forced to disclose how much the state has spent on his health.

“Yes, there is Freedom of Information Act, but it is also carved in such a way that when such information is likely to endanger national security, I think it is an area that is not covered.”

On the protest by unions in his ministry, Mohammed said it was not unusual for unions to call for the removal of ministers.

He said: “They are complaining about welfare, but there is a limit to what government can do within the available resources.

“As much as we sympathise with them on the situation, the economy is simply not healthy enough to accommodate what it used to accommodate in the past.

“If anybody is concerned and worried about expenditures in my ministry, they should go and check because it is open.

“We have appealed to them several times but we met a culture that we cannot sustain,” he said

The minister promised that the ministry would look into some of the grievances that are genuine when the economy improves.

“We listen to them; they always meet with the Permanent secretary and directors. But once the resources are not there, there is little we can do. We will just continue to plead with them to be patient with us,” he added.

Dambazzau said the Council approved the procurement of some water carrying vehicles for the Federal Fire Service.

He said:“Today, FEC approved what is remaining of the 2016 budget, the procurement of 15 water tankers that have the capacity to be used as fighting trucks. This is costing the government N403 million out of the budget that was appropriated in 2016.

“The total budget is about N5.5 billion for the procurement of firefighting equipment and we have already procured a lot from that,” he said.

Argentine senate votes to legalise Marijuana

Argentina’s senate has voted unanimously to legalise medical marijuana, joining the lower house and setting the country on course to become the latest to relax its laws on pot.

President Mauricio Macri is all but certain to sign the bill, which garnered an unusual level of cross-party support and was applauded by patients and their families.

A group of mothers with sick children burst into tearful applause in the senate as lawmakers voted 58-0 to pass the bill.

“This is a dream fulfilled, an immense happiness because it will bring solace to patients,” said Maria Laura Alasi, whose four-year-old daughter Josefina suffers from West syndrome, a form of epilepsy that causes her to have dozens of seizures a day.

The new law lifts a ban on importing cannabis oil and allows Argentines to buy it with a prescription.

It stops short of allowing home-grown marijuana, something young patients’ families had demanded.

“I have faith the senators will find a way around that,” said Alasi. “A lot of mothers are already growing their own.”

Latin America has seen a major political shift on pot in recent years.

In 2013, Argentina’s neighbor Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalise marijuana at every stage of production, sale and consumption — though users must be registered.

Colombia, Chile and Mexico have all legalised the cultivation and use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes.

 

Source: The Cable

Nigeria’s largest power plant threatens shutdown over N110 Billion debt

The management of Egbin Power Plc, Nigeria’s largest power plant, has threatened to shut down operation owing to non-payment of N110billion debt. This may throw a huge segment of the population into blackout.

The plant has 1320megawatts (Mw) capacity.

Its Managing Director, Mr. Dallas Peavey, yesterday in Lagos lamented that the huge debt has caused serious liquidity problem to the firm coupled with gas supply and transmission challenges. The problems, according to him, have stretched the company to its limit, adding that by next week, the firm may close shop, which will push the country into another round of blackout.

Peavey told reporters that the plant was being gradually forced to shut down due to debt and adverse effect of grid instability that endangers its turbines. He identified inadequate gas supply to generate at optimal capacity as another challenge.

According to him, the planned shutdown of the plant may cause Nigeria’s electricity supply, which recently witnessed improvement to get worse in the coming weeks.

Peavey said: “Egbin power plant is one of the biggest single power generating stations in Africa with an installed capacity of 1320 Mw consisting of six units of 220Mw each.

“Following the conclusion of the government’s privatisation exercise in November 2013, the consortium formed by the partnership between New Electricity Distribution Company and the Korean Electric Power Corporation (NEDC/KEPCO) acquired Egbin Power.” He added that the effect of the debt has become worse for the company.

He said: “We owe the gas companies and have others like our technical partners (KEPCO) to pay, and importantly our lenders, the banks. We have made massive investments in making the plant available to generate electricity sustainably but unfortunately, we can’t break even due to the gross inefficiency in the value chain.

“The government guarantees to pay us for every megawatt we generate and sell to NBET but they have not done that. We just got paid for the month of December 2016, three months later and we were only paid a paltry 28 per cent out of the total 100 per cent of the verified and accepted invoice for that month.”

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, appointed Presidential Special Assistant

President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, has announced that she would take up an appointment in her father’s administration.

Ivanka, in a statement on Wednesday, said she will be a Special Assistant to the President but will not take a salary. This came as her unofficial role has grown in recent weeks, and she was granted security clearance and an office at the White House, according to reports. “I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules.

“And I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House Office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees. “Throughout this process, I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House Counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role,” Ivanka said. Ivanka’s role as ‘First Daughter’ in support of the President is unprecedented. Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, has recently been confirmed a Senior Adviser to the President. The White House also released a statement about the new role to be played by Ivanka, saying that it is “pleased” by the move.

“Ivanka’s service as an unpaid employee furthers our commitment to ethics, transparency, and compliance. “And it affords her increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy benefits for the American public that would not have been available to her previously,” the White House statement read. When her increased security clearance and White House office were announced, Ivanka acknowledged that “there is no modern precedent for an adult child of the president”.

The official title made Ivanka existing role more formalized but she had been present for family events like the various inauguration celebrations as well as closed-door meetings and sit-downs with foreign leaders. In February, she met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House, as part of a roundtable discussion on female entrepreneurs. She also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visited the White House in February. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House earlier this month, Ivanka was seated right beside her.

When Trump held a listening session about domestic and international human trafficking on Feb. 23, he started his remarks by thanking Ivanka for her role. Ivanka involvement in business roundtable discussions has been attributed to her business background at her personal fashion label and her father’s real estate empire

OPINION: There’s a drop of Dino in all of us – By Niran Adedokun

Psychologists talk about a condition known as narcissism. I understand it could have varying degrees of effect on people but pathological narcissists are said to be in love with an idealised self-image, which they project in order to avoid feeling and being perceived for their real, sometimes internally wounded self.

Narcissists are usually identified as haughty, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They also generally dwell on grandiose fantasies about their own successes, beauty or intelligence in addition to living with an obsessive sense of entitlement.

Experts say that in sustaining the attempt to pull one over people, narcissists are willing and able to tell lies and exaggerate to no end. All in a bid to gain the respect of people and remain on that high horse which they have set for themselves.

So, it is not out of place for such people to claim to have attained degrees that they have not attempted, journeys they never embarked on and possessions they never owned. And when they have indeed attained these milestones, they flaunt their accomplishments without consideration for the feelings of others!

Thoughts about this have nagged since allegations began making the rounds about Senator Dino Melaye’s certificates. While I had indications that the senator indeed graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University pretty early into the controversy, I found Melaye’s boast about being on his seventh degree consistent with tendencies to seek unnecessary attention and feel superior to others. Then, consider the unsolicited display of flashy automobiles and houses and Tuesday’s infantile adornment of an academic gown to the National Assembly!

But I then wonder whether Melaye is different from a lot of other Nigerians in any substantial detail. Here is a country where a vast number of the people are drunk on the pursuit of self and selfish interests. Good enough, psychology attests to the fact that there is a measure of the narcissistic in virtually every human being. In other words, as our world gets increasingly individualistic and goal driven, levels of narcissism, ranging from mild to severe are becoming more widespread.  It is doubtful that any Nigerian would want to dispute this, given that we see so much vainglory and covetousness around; it is sickening!

In the less than two decades of return to democracy, four instances of false certificate claims have reverberated nationally. The first scandal was blown open by The News magazine in 1999. It involved a young man with the name Salisu Buhari, who had just been elected speaker of the house of representatives. The News reported that Buhari did not attend the University of Toronto as he had claimed and that he falsified his age. After a series of denials and the magazine’s insistence on its scoop, Buhari admitted that he indeed forged documents and perjured himself.

Not long after, Tell magazine went to town with the alleged fraudulent educational claims by the then Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In some sense, the claims against Tinubu were a tad more grievous than Buhari’s. He was alleged to have lied about information regarding his primary, secondary and tertiary education.

There was also the accusation that a former minister of aviation, Stella Oduah, might have lied about her qualifications. According to the report, officials of St. Paul’s College Lawrenceville, Virginia, United States, where Oduah claimed to have gained a master’s in Business Administration, told an online news platform that no such programme ever existed in the institution. The report further insinuated that the woman might not even have obtained her first degree from the institution.

After we “ooed” and “aaed” for a couple of weeks, these allegations died natural deaths with each of those alleged to have infracted moving on with their lives. In fact, the only one of these allegations that the nation had the tenacity to resolve was the case of self-confessed Buhari, who later got a “go and sin no more” presidential pardon, and an appointment on the governing council of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to boot.

Tinubu has gone on to be one of the heroes of Nigeria’s democratic growth and the seeming poster boy for what is the most progressive of our politics.  Of course, queries about the school certificate of President Muhammadu Buhari have met their untimely death given the inability of the people to agree on the morality behind giving Nigerians closure by proving the availability or otherwise of the certificate. But that is just by the way. Only God knows the number of our compatriots in and out of high office who walk the corridors of power and corporate offices armed with bogus educational achievements.

Why the theory of the possible prevalence of the narcissistic personality disorder is appealing, especially amongst seekers of public office in Nigeria is the fact that no one, including the President, needs more than a secondary school certificate, which they do not even need to pass to attain to any office. This is according to section 131 (d) of the 1999 constitution (as amended). So why do people lie about higher certificates which they did not acquire when the same is not a prerequisite?

This says a lot about our values as a people. In this same world in which three of the most influential people in the last century voluntarily dropped out of universities, Nigerians are cooking up stories about degrees that they neither attempted nor got.

For most of the past decade, the founder of Microsoft and one of the most benevolent givers to Nigeria, Bill Gates, has remained on top of the list of the wealthiest people in the world. Strikingly, Gates voluntarily dropped out of Harvard University.

Steve Jobs,  late founder of Apple, was quoted by his biographer, Walter Isaacson, as saying in an address at Stanford that: “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay.” Even in death, he remains one of the most talked-about personalities from the United States of America.

And then the much younger Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to devote his time to his startup social networking site, facebook.com, in 2005. Ten years later, the company was worth $12.5bn with 1.5 billion active users monthly. Yet, Nigerians are falling over each other to acquire certificates which literarily have no meaning to their lives.

A corollary to the diminished value of our paper qualification is the premium that we suddenly began to place on the class of degrees that people earn. Companies, even those without any iota of academic objective, started to insist on employing candidates with first class or a minimum of second class upper degrees.

To beat them at their game, some dumb blonde, whose only aptitude is a pretty face, would succumb to the devices of a randy lecturer, settle herself and curiously come up at the top of her class. Not to be left in the cold, the young man who is not so endowed would bring out some money (usually nothing enough to prosper anyone), and buy any class of degree that he wants ready for sucker companies that value certificate over the quality of the personality that they intend to employ. No wonder so many companies end up employing incompetent impostors who cannot help themselves when confronted with the reality of the task at hand.

This is the tragedy of a nation without class. A nation which stifles the ability of its people to attain their best potential would most definitely breed manipulators, some of who will falsify things just to survive or for an ego trip, a desire to lord it over others. We are a people who build houses that we don’t need, drive cars way out of league and send our children to schools we cannot afford, all just to “belong” or make some people envious.

The only thing that is worse than our vain disposition is our enthusiastic dishonesty, the inability to own up to our malady and redress.  The way it is in Nigeria now, we are all holier than the Pope until we are caught in the same malfeasance for which we condemn others. Reminds me of something a musician once said to the effect that: “we all steal, but it is the thief that is caught red-handed that we join the mob to lynch” But until Nigerians sit down as a people and reassess our values, those wrong-headed values that drive the leader and the led in Nigeria will continue to clog our progress.

128 Nigerians, Other Migrants Drown in Mediterranean Sea

International Organisation on Migration (IOM), said 128 migrants, comprising Nigerians and other West Africans, died while crossing Mediterranean Sea to Europe between March 6 and 26, 2017.

The UN agency in a statement by its spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo, stated that the number made it 649 deaths recorded in the first 86 days of 2017.

The IOM spokesperson said other nationals included Gambians, Ivorians, Ghanaians, Malians, Senegalese and Guineans (both Guinea-Bissau and Conakry).

Di Giacomo explained that 521 deaths were recorded in the first 65 days of 2017.

He said the number of deaths recorded in the first 86 days of 2017 was higher compared with 566 deaths recorded in the same period on March 26, 2016.

He said 26,589 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through March 26, with over 80 per cent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece.

Di Giacomo said the number was, however, lower compared with 163,895 recorded through the first 86 days of 2016.

The spokesperson explained that 2,320 migrants were brought to land between March 23 and 24 in 2017.

He added that another set of 1,160 migrants which did not include the number above were brought to land on March 25 and 26.

He stated that one corpse was found on a dinghy, which was carrying 138 migrants.

Di Giacomo said Proactiva OpenArms, an NGO, retrieved the remains of five migrants from a capsized dinghy in addition to a sixth victim it retrieved near the original site of the shipwreck.

According to him IOM believes the dinghy found by OpenArms is the same one that IOM Libya reported was rescued by Libyan fishermen who saved 54 people on 21 March.

He said that the 54 survivors brought to Libya said that approximately 120 migrants were on board including six dead.

Di Giacomo said 66 victims remained unaccounted for in that tragedy.

He further explained that a vessel “Iuventa” of the German CSO “Jugend Rettet” claimed it spotted another ship sinking six miles off the position of the “Golfo Azzurro.”

The spokesperson stated that IOM had no further information about sinking vessel, adding that The Jugend Rettet was the vessel that retrieved the remains of the sixth victim.

“We are trying to understand whether the ship found by OpenArms is the same one that was rescued earlier this month by Libyan fishermen.

“This may considerably change the number of missing migrants. For the moment, it is only possible to confirm that there are 66 victims,” Di Giacomo quoted Federico Soda, Director for IOM’s Mediterranean operations as saying.

According to him, this tragic event reminds us all of the massive loss of lives in the tragedies occurring on the central Mediterranean route where over 590 migrants died in 2017 alone.

“That is 418 more than last year on this route during the same period.

“In this context, the presence of many rescue ships at sea is crucial; without them, the number of fatalities would be inevitably higher”, he said.

Di Giacomo said IOM had received information about the remains of a 15-year old African girl retrieved from the shores of Sabratah by the Libyan Red Crescent.

He said that puts the total confirmed dead found on Libyan beaches in 2017 at 164, of which 20 were retrieved in March.

He added that the number rescued in 2017 by the Libyan Coast Guard and others were 3,457.

 

Source:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/03/128-nigerians-migrants-drown-mediterranean-sea-21-days-says-un-agency/

Conflict is Necessary in a Democracy – Dogara

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has said the current face-off between the executive and the legislature is normal in the democracy.

Dogara, who spoke to Senior Editors in Abuja on Wednesday, said the nation stands to benefit from it.

According to him, conflicts are a natural part of human beings and can be found even within the family unit.

“There will always be fractions. Where you have human and individual factors, even in a family, there is bound to be conflicts.

“In the relationship between the Legislature and the Executive, there will always be conflict. The only problem is that sometimes we cast conflicts as intricately bad,” he said.

Dogara said sometimes conflicts were necessary for a nation, adding that where you had a collection of conformists, chances were that they would never make progress.

“For you to have innovation and progress, people must be free to disagree, and it is only in disagreeing that progress is made.’’

He said that the most important issue was that leaders of all arms of government interpret the issues so that they could lead to the nation’s progress.

He said current political leaders must realise that Nigerians made a lot of sacrifices to ensure the enthronement of the current government, thus all sides of the government must close ranks and deliver on the promises that the people had sacrificed so much.

“Conflicts yes, we may have conflicts, but it shouldn’t endure to the level that it offsets the friendly relationship with the Executive which is necessary to deliver on the goals of governance, that is key.”

He said the House had always been supportive of the executive and always overcome party differences to ensure passage of key legislations in the interest of the country.

Dogara said the APC government had not disappointed Nigerians as it had strived to meet their expectations, especially in restoring security in the North East.

“This government, through various interventions has been able to ensure that the terrorists are not holding unto any spot of land. I believe this is one major thing that has given some hope to Nigerians.

“For the very first time, we are in a position to overcome this problem, and it is critical, even if it’s nothing else that our citizens in the Northeast down to Abuja can move around more freely than before.’’

The Speaker also said the current government had made tremendous progress in tackling corruption as government officials now think twice before engaging in any corrupt act.

Balarabe Musa Tackles judge in court

There was a mild drama at an Akure High Court yesterday when former Kaduna State Governor Balarabe Musa tackled Justice S.A Sidiq for imposing a lawyer on his Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

Musa, who is PRP national chairman, was in Akure, the Ondo State capital, to witness a suit filed by the party against its exclusion in the local government election conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) last April.

When the case came up for hearing, Musa was stunned when a lawyer, Segun Ogodo, who was not hired by the party, announced appearance for the party.

The former governor, who was in court with the state chairman, Tunde Ali, said they did not brief Ogodo to represent them and that the party had briefed Femi Borisade as its lawyer.

The duo said since Aborisade was not in court, they had briefed another lawyer, Udofot Ekereke, to stand in for him.

Musa expressed dismay that a lawyer who was not retained by the party could go to court without the litigants’ knowledge and representing the party without authorisation.

But Justice Sidiq said since Ogodo had been representing the party, he should go ahead with the case.

This led to a shouting match as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) council chairmen and councillors accused the judge of predetermined judgment.

Security agents, led by an assistant commissioner of Police, later calmed frayed nerves.

Justice Sidiq adjourned till March 31 for further hearing.

Addressing reporters after proceedings, Musa said: “I was surprised that a lawyer can go to court to represent PRP without being briefed.

“The second surprise is that I wanted to tell the judge that I do not know the lawyer who pretended to represent me.

“I wanted to tell him that Femi Borisade is the one I briefed as the national chairman of PRP in this case, but I was surprised the judge did not allow me.”

The PRP filed a suit alleging that its logo was missing in the ballot papers for the April 16, 2016 local government election.

The suit, which was filed by Borisade, has ODIEC, PDP and the government as defendants.

Since the election, which had the party’s logo on the ballot papers and result sheets, the party had abandoned the suit.

Musa said since the party’s grievances had been addressed by ODIEC, the suit had become unnecessary, wondering who authorised Ogodo to resuscitate the suit on behalf of the party.

‘It’s time to end Senate’s impunity’ – Falana

Citing constitutional provisions, Lagos lawyer Femi Falana said the Red Chamber erred for demanding Magu’s sack by the President.

He said the Senate, relying on the powers conferred on it under Section 3 (2) of the EFCC Act, 2004, refused to confirm Magu’s appointment as the agency’s substantive chairman.

According to Falana, the time to end impunity in the Senate was now, referring to Ndume’s suspension and Sagay’s invitation.

His words: “The decision of the President cannot be faulted by virtue of section 171 (1) (d) of the Constitution which provides that the President is vested with the power to appoint the head of any extra ministerial department to hold office in an acting capacity. Such appointment does not require the confirmation of the Senate.

“Completely aggrieved by the decision of the President to exercise his constitutional powers in the circumstance the Senate has decided not to confirm the 27 newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners until Mr. Magu has been removed from office as EFCC Chairman. In asking for the removal of Mr. Magu the Senate said that the anti graft czar has been terrorising the Senate. Should the Senate resort to such cheap blackmail because the embattled EFCC helmsman has tefused to compromise the prosecution and investigation of about 15 senators alleged to have been involved in serious economic and financial crimes? Why should the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki not be terrorised for the criminal diversion of N3.5 billion from the London/Paris Club loan refund?

“Before now, sharp disagreements between the National Assembly and the executive had been submitted to the courts for judicial resolution in line with the rule of law. At the twilight of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, the Attorney-General of the Federation challenged the purported amendment of the Constitution at the Supreme Court. Based on the interlocutory injunction granted by the Supreme Court, the National Assembly suspended further deliberations on the amendment of the Constitution. Instead of following the path of rule of law and constitutionalism, the Senate has completely thrown caution to the winds.

“In the atmosphere of impunity which has enveloped the Senate, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay, has been ordered to appear before the Senate for having the temerity to criticise the senators. In El Rufai v House of Representatives (2003) 46 WRN 12, the Court of Appeal held that the respondent lacked the power to summon the appellant over a defamatory statement made by him.

“The purported suspension of Senator Ali Ndume is the height of the serial illegality. In Hon. Dino Melaye v House of Representatives (unreported), the Federal High Court declared the indefinite suspension illegal and unconstitutional on the ground that a legislator could not be suspended for more than 14 days. But in the House of Assembly v Hon Danna, the Court of Appeal held that a legislative house is not competent to suspend a member even for a single day as it is a violation of the democratic rights of members of his/her constituency.

“In view of the settled state of the law as expantiated upon in the aforementioned cases, the Senate is advised to reverse its illegal decisions and quickly return to the path of constitutionalism in the interest of lasting democracy in the country. However, if the Senate remains intransigent, the Executive branch of the government should adopt decisive measures to terminate the rein of impunity in the National Assembly. ”

My husband rapes me in presence of our children, woman tells court

A 40-year-old trader, Bolanle AbdulKareem, has begged the court to dissolve her 17-year marriage because her husband always rapes her in the presence of their children.

She made this plea at an Igando Customary Court, Lagos, on Wednesday.

Bolanle said her husband, Olasunkanmi, with whom she had three children, always molested her whenever he got drunk.

She said, “My husband rapes me in the presence of our children.

“Whenever my husband comes home drunk, he will want to make love to me by fire by force and I will caution him not to do it in the presence of our children.”

“He will beat me and make love to me by force while the children watch us.

“There was a day I came back from work and I met my children, one on top of another, doing what they always see their father do to me,’’ she further told the court.

The petitioner also said her husband always threatened to kill her.

“My husband derives pleasure in beating me. There was a day he beat me and broke my leg.

“One day, he threatened to kill me, so I ran to one of my relation’s house.

“My husband came there, he met my sister’s husband ironing his clothes; he snatched the iron from him and started chasing me with it.

“Seeing his desperation, I ran into the street and my husband still chased me with the pressing iron.

“Anytime I report him at the Police station, the Police always tell me that it is a family matter and they refused to caution him.”

She described her husband as an “irresponsible husband and father who did not care about the welfare and education of the children.”

According to her, Olasunkanmi neither cares for her nor the children, adding that she is the one paying the school fees of the children.

“He has a tricycle that he is using for business but he always uses the proceeds to drink himself to a stupor and usually loses self control.”

She begged the court to dissolve their marriage, adding that she was no longer in love with the husband.

However, Olasunkanmi, who did not deny the allegation of raping his wife, begged the court not to dissolve the union.

“Please, do not dissolve our marriage, I still love my wife. I know I have made a mistake; I will make amends,’’ he said.

The 42-year-old commercial tricycle operator admitted that he used to beat his wife, whenever she flouted his orders.

“I don’t derive pleasure in beating her but I only beat her whenever she disobeys my instruction.

“The day I snatched the pressing iron from my in-law, I only wanted to use the iron wire to beat her and not to burn her.”

He said that he was not a drunk but that he drank moderately.

The President of the court, Mr. Adegboyega Omilola, ordered the couple to come along with three members of their families for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Omilola adjourned the case till May 9, 2017 for further hearing.

IRS seals off Federal University of agric Makurdi over N2.3bn debt

Benue State Internal Revenue Service has sealed off the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, over non-remittance of Personal Income Tax running into N2.3bn.

The Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Mimi Adzape-Orubibi, led the enforcement agents to the university located at north bank area of the state, where they sealed off the offices of the vice-chancellor, registrar and the bursar.

The institution’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has described the move as a fraudulent attempt to commence another round of illegal deductions from the salaries of its members, a situation ASUU said might instigate crisis in the university.

Mrs. Adzape-Orubibi while speaking shortly after the exercise, said the BIRS had to make the move after the university failed to respond to several letters written to it to pay up the outstanding Personal Income Tax from 2007 to 2011.

”The BIRS got an interim order to restrain FUAM because it failed to deduct PAYE tax in some cases or deducted less in other cases. The institution would now have to pay almost N3bn, inclusive of penalties and interest,” she stated.

According to her, Benue State Government is very passionate about education, stressing that the decision to picket the institution became necessary owing to its continued evasion of tax.

But in a swift reaction, acting Chairman of ASUU, Mr. Bemgba Anjembe, insisted that PAYE was deducted monthly from staff salary and alleged that there is suspected connivance between BIRS and the university authority not to remit taxes already deducted from staff, thus denying them access to tax clearance certificate.

Anjembe said: “On August 27, 2014, BIRS wrote a letter to the VC in which it informed that the university was owing BIRS tax liability due to the failure to deduct PAYE tax to the tune of over N2bn.

“That was their claim, but we don’t agree with that figure. How did BIRS arrive at that value? The university is not a business outfit but a social service. This is fraud.”

The students of the university however besieged the BIRS office located on Gboko Road, Makurdi, to protest the closure of their institution and called for dialogue between the BIRS and the university authority.

When contacted, the university’s management which spoke through its Public Relations Officer, Joseph Fanafa, said it was maintaining a dignified silence on the matter until the outcome of a meeting with BIRS scheduled for Friday.

 

Source:

http://punchng.com/breaking-irs-seals-off-federal-varsity-of-agric-makurdi-over-n2-3bn-debt/

BREAKING: CBN licences Development Bank of Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigerian has licensed the Development Bank of Nigeria, owned by the Ministry of Finance, a ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday

The DBN was conceived in 2014, but its take-off had been fraught with delays.

The DBN is a wholesale financial institution which aims to increase access to finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through eligible financial intermediaries (participating financial institutions).

Details later…

“You have no powers to summon me”, Itse Sagay fires back at Senate.

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Itse Sagay, has fired blistering remarks at Nigerian Senators after they summoned him for reportedly describing the Senate as ‘childish and irresponsible’ and one ‘filled by people of questionable character’.

Mr. Sagay spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, after the Senate resolved to summon him to appear before its committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions over comments credited to him by Punch Newspaper.

“They have no power or authority to summon me,” Mr. Sagay, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and law professor, said. “I am not in the category of persons they can summon.”

Mr. Sagay’s comment in the Punch was a reaction to the Senate’s refusal to proceed with confirmation of 27 persons President Muhammadu Buhari nominated as Resident Electoral Commissioners. The lawmakers stopped the confirmation in protest against the refusal of the President to sack Ibrahim Magu as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite his repeated rejection by the Senate

The Senate, Tuesday, suspended the confirmation process for two weeks within which they demanded Mr. Magu’s sack.

But Mr. Sagay was reported by Punch on Wednesday to have said: “That action is childish and irresponsible. Do they think Buhari is a man that can easily be threatened? My God! How can people of such character occupy the highest legislative office in the country? Nigeria is finished.

“It is a great mistake and they will regret it.”

The Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Na’Allah, on Wednesday read Mr. Sagay’s comment to his colleagues who subsequently resolved to summon the senior lawyer to appear before the committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions to explain his statement.

In reaction to the Senate’s decision to summon him, Mr. Sagay told PREMIUM TIMES the resolution was unconstitutional.

“They ought to know that I do not come within the category of persons they can summon,” said Mr. Sagay.

“I would advise them to tell their lawyers to check the Sections 89 and 89 of the Constitution. Through that, they will know I don’t come within that category.”

“They don’t have authority to summon me. I am outside the group of persons they can summon. I am not a civil servant, I don’t belong to any commission or any…”

The parts of the Constitution cited by Mr. Sagay empowers the Senate or House of Representatives to direct investigation into the conduct of affairs of ‘any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for executing or administering laws enacted by the National Assembly.’

Then, the law further provides that such shall only be exercised by the National Assembly for the purpose of making laws ‘within its legislative competence’; amending laws; and exposing “corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated for it.”

Then, Section 89 establishes ways by which the National Assembly can enforce Section 88 paraphrased above.

Asked if his work as the chairman of the presidential anti-graft committee does not fall within the category mentioned in the Section 88 of the Constitution, Mr. Sagay said, “That’s why I said they should look at the Constitution. My work comes totally outside of their power.

“I’m not going to give those details now; but if they are foolish enough to insist on my coming, at the appropriate time and at appropriate venue, all the details will come out

“But now let just make general statement: they have no power or authority to summon me. Period!”

 

Source: Premium Times

Peace Corps commandant granted bail

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Wednesday granted a N10 million bail to Dickson Akoh, the commandant of the Nigerian Peace Corps.

Mr. Akoh, 43, was arrested by the police on March 19, after turning himself in.

He faces a 90-count charge of recruitment scam, money laundering and impersonation to the tune of N1.4 billion on him.

The presiding judge, John Tsoho, granted him bail in the sum of N10 million after A.K. Aliyu, a prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney-General, read out the charges.

Mr. Akoh pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Police parade ex-soldier, 23 others for various crimes in Ebonyi.

The Ebonyi State Police Command on Wednesday paraded a former soldier and 23 other suspects for alleged kidnap, robbery and cultism in the state.

Ten of the suspects, including a 29-year-old ex-soldier from Lokpanta Abia state, Mathew Ogbudike, were alleged to have kidnapped, killed and buried a 59-year-old woman in Ishiagu, Ivo local government area of the state, Catherine Okorie, in a shallow grave.

The nine others are Chibuike Okereke, Ezenwa Nnazor, Kelechukwu Azubuike, Obichi Uzoigwe, John Nwankwo, Egu Chimezie, Chigozie Enyinaya and Umeore Udochukwu.

The suspects hail from Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra states.

Parading the suspects before journalists at the police headquarters, Abakaliki, the state Commissioner of Police, Titus Lamorde, said the suspects were trailed and arrested in different locations in the country.

According to him, Chigozie Enyinnaya and Umeore Udochukwu who supplied arms to the kidnap gang, have already confessed to the crime.

“The suspects also confessed to the kidnapping of one Uchenna Emeblu at Ishiagu along Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway on 30/01/2017 and collected the sum of N400,000 as ransom, robbed one Emeka John on 25/12/2016 and shot him in the eye”, he said.

Mr. Lamorde disclosed that on February 27, Ignatus Edeh of Ofenakpa Inyimagu in Ikwo Local Government Area of the state was arrested for defrauding one Nweke Joseph of N1.2 million and was about to defraud a catholic priest of one million naira when he was arrested.

 

Source: Premium Times

Court adjourns reverend father’s rape case to May 25

A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama on Wednesday adjourned until May 25 to commence hearing in a case of rape of a minor brought against a reverend father, Anthony Ochigbo.

The case which is being tried by Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf was adjourned after the prosecuting counsel, John Ijagbemi, wrote the court asking for adjournment.

Mr. Ijagbemi said he was attending another court for a different case.

The court had sometime in November 2016 adopted the bail condition given to Mr. Ochigbo earlier in another court.

The counsel told the court that Mr. Ochigbo, 44, of Catholic Church of Assumption, Asokoro, Abuja, on August 15, 2016 allegedly abused a 10-year-old girl sexually.

He said Mr. Ochigbo had an unlawful sexual intercourse with her in the church which contravened Sections 31 (1) and 32(2) of the Child Rights Act, 2003.

Mr. Ochigbo was earlier arraigned before Justice Olukayode Adeniyi on August 30, 2016 during courts’ vacation.

Mr. Adeniyi granted him a N2 million bail with two sureties, who must be civil servants not below Grade Level 14.

In addition, he said the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction.

 

Source: NAN

Police arrest ex-SSS official who ‘stole’ N310 million allegedly belonging to Saraki

The police have arrested a former operative of the State Security Service who was dismissed from the service over his alleged robbery of a bureau de change operator.

Abdulrasheed Maigari, 35, was arrested in Abuja by police anti-kidnap squad in a surveillance operation conducted between March 26 and 28.

Mr. Maigari, a native of Taraba State, was arrested alongside 10 other suspected criminals for allegedly kidnapping Issa Salami, a former General Manager of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria.

The other suspects as identified in a statement released by police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, are: Kelvin Emeka, 28, from Owgu LGA in Enugu State; Ndubusi Prince Ozor, 31, from Nsukwato LGA Abia State; Sunday Travnor, 33, from Ovi LGA in Nasarawa State and Zayor Alfred 23, from Obi LGA of Nasarawa State

The remaining suspects are: Avah Joseph, 25, from Ogbadibo LGA in Benue State; Gabriel Friday, 33, from Ogbadibo LGA Benue State; Rajab Baba Ishiaka, 22, from Wukari LGA Taraba State; Ali Sani, 27, from Takum LGA Taraba State; Nuhu Sule, 20, from Takum LGA Taraba State and Mohammed Abubakar, 21, Mokwa LGA of Niger State.

The police said the suspects were identified by their victims.

“They also confessed to the crime admitting to the various roles they played in the commission of various kidnappings, armed robberies and other violent crimes linked to them,” Mr. Moshood, a chief superintendent of police, said.

In December 2015, the State Security Service announced the arrest of its personnel, including Mr. Maigari, who allegedly robbed a bureau de change operator in Abuja of N310 million.

But the secret police was silent on the identity of the victim.

Sahara Reporters later identified Mr. Saraki as the owner of the huge sum and detailed how the Senate President allegedly engaged the service of a money changer, Abubakar Dantani, to help move the money to his house.

Mr. Maigari and his colleagues in the SSS allegedly robbed a van bearing the N310 million cash as it was about driving into Mr. Saraki’s residence in Abuja.

But Mr. Saraki denied ownership of the fund at the time.

The police said the robbery case was still pending in court, but Mr. Maigari was granted bail.

He allegedly joined another gang that had terrorised people in Abuja metropolis within the last few months until he was arrested this week in connection with Mr. Salami’s kidnap.

The police said the following arms and ammunition were recovered from the suspects: One AK 47 rifle, three AK 47 magazines, ninety rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, two pistols, fourteen rounds of 9mm live ammunition.

Two bedroom apartments used by the suspects at different locations in Suleija, near Abuja, were also recovered and will be used as exhibit, the police said.

Mr. Moshood said Mr. Maigari and other suspects will be charged to court upon completion of investigation.

 

Source: Premium Times

After suspending Ali Ndume, Senate moves to investigate Professor Itse Sagay.

The Nigerian Senate has directed its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate remarks allegedly made by the chairman Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay.

Raising a point of order on the floor, Deputy Senate leader, Bala Ibn’Allah, drew the attention of lawmakers to a report in a newspaper publication, where Professor Sagay was allegedly quoted as saying that the Senate is filled with people of questionable character.

Senator Ibn’Nallah maintained that Senators do not have questionable characters and therefore asked the Senate to summon Professor Sagay to name those who he feels have questionable characters in the Senate.

The Senate consequently referred the matter to its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate and report back to the Upper Chamber.

 

Source: Channels TV

BREAKING: Ivory Coast’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo acquitted of war crimes

An Ivory Coast court has found former first lady Simone Gbagbo not guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity after a trial on her alleged role in postelection abuses that led to the deaths of thousands.

Judge Kouadio Bouatchi with the country’s highest criminal court said a jury unanimously voted on Tuesday to free Gbagbo.

The prosecution had asked for a life sentence, saying she participated on a committee that organised attacks against supporters of her husband’s opponent after the 2010 election.

Once dubbed Ivory Coast’s “Iron Lady,” Gbagbo, who was not in court on Tuesday, must still serve 20 years in prison after being found guilty in 2015 of offenses against the state.

The prosecution had called on the jury to find the 67-year-old wife of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo “guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentence her to life imprisonment,” said prosecutor Aly Yeo.

“After her spouse came to power, she started to impose herself as the real head of Ivory Coast, the army, the police and gendarmerie,” Yeo said.

Laurent Gbagbo is on trial for crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and persecution, having been handed over in November 2011 to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The ICC also wanted to prosecute his wife and issued a warrant for her arrest, but Ivorian authorities refused to hand her over, insisting she would receive a fair trial at home.

Ivory Coast descended into civil war in 2011 after Gbagbo’s refusal to accept defeat to Alassane Ouattara in a presidential runoff election. About 3,000 people were killed in the conflict.

“We regret this decision when we think of the many victims,” Soungaola Coulibaly, lawyer for the victims, told Reuters.

“If Simone Gbagbo is declared not guilty of these acts then who was? … The victims do not understand this decision.”

Human Rights Watch said the judgement left “unanswered serious questions about her alleged role in brutal crimes”.

“The acquittal … reflects the many irregularities in the process against her,” Param-Preet Singh, associate director in Human Rights Watch’s International Justice programme, said.

“The poor quality of the investigation and weak evidence presented in her trial underscore the importance of the ICC’s outstanding case against her for similar crimes.”

 

Source: AlJazeera

My Call to Bar certificate fell inside water —Fake lawyer

A man who had practised as a lawyer for five years in Anambra State, Mr. Richard Ikenna Udeozo, was on Wednesday remanded in prison custody by the magistrate, S. K Kadurumba, in charge of magistrate court 11 in the state high court in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

He has been accused of fraudulently parading himself as a lawyer, whereas he is not.

In his defence, Udeozo said the original of his Call to Bar certificate fell inside water, hence his inability to present it.

The suspect was arraigned by the Police, in conjuction with the Owerri Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, for impersonation and forgery, among other charges preferred against him.

Some of the charges preferred against him were that, on March 23, 2017, in the office of the chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Owerri branch, Udeozo presented a forged certificate of Call to the Bar as a lawyer dated November 20, 2012, as a proof of his Call to Bar and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 467 of the criminal code.

The certificate reportedly bears the name of one Richard Ikenna Amanoh.

The prosecution said, “That you, Richard Ikenna Udeozo, on the same date and place in the aforesaid magistrate district, did present a forged qualifying certificate from Council of Legal Education of November 20, 2012, which bears Richard Ikenna Amanoh, and presented it to the chairman Nigeria Bar Association, Owerri branch as proof of having attended the Nigerian Law School and qualified to be called to and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 467 of the Criminal Code.”

The accused was also said to have presented a forged change of name which was published in the Vanguard newspaper of September 24, 2012, to the chairman of NBA, Owerri branch, as a document changing his name from Richard Ikenna Udeozo to Richard Ikenna Amanoh.

The document was said to have also been forged by him.

The Owerri branch NBA chairman, Lawrence Nwakaeti, who announced his appearance for the NBA, told the court that the accused was a serial bail jumper who had jumped bail in Anambra State on the same matter.

Nwakaeti said, “In the interest of our legal professional which is going down everyday, my lord, I Implore you to refuse the accused bail.

“He had jumped bail in the past in Anambra State. He was exposed there some years ago, but he ran to Imo and continued  his criminal activities of parading himself as a lawyer when he is none.”

The Police prosecutor, S. N Onwuchekwa, urged the court to exercise restraint in granting the accused bail because allowing him to walk out as a free person would put the lives of those who will testify in the court in jeopardy, saying that the accused fake lawyer had been threatening to deal with them.

The accused, who defended himself because no lawyer agreed to stand in for him, told the court that his certificate of Call to Bar fell inside water, pleading not guilty.

The presiding magistrate, Kadurumba, while ruling on the matter, ordered that the accused fake lawyer be remanded in prison custody until May 10, 2017 when the matter would come up for hearing.

Nwakaeti, told our correspondent that he lured the accused to his office into the waiting hands of Police when investigations proved that he was not a genuine lawyer.

Our correspondent learnt that Udeozo had jumped bail in Uli, Anambra State years back and ran to Imo State, where he had been practising in the chambers of Ifeanyi Udeagwu & Co. in Owerri Town, until he was apprehended on March 23, 2017.

UPDATE: Senate suspends Senator Ali Ndume for 6 months.

Senator Ali Ndume has just been suspended for 6 months by the Senate over Senator Dino Melaye’s certificate & Senate President Saraki’s SUV allegations

The Committee made the recommendation after its investigation on the certificate scandal of Senator Dino Melaye and the bulletproof scandal of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

It said Ndume did not perform due diligence when he raised the allegations on the floor of the Senate last week.

The committee gave the following recommendations:

1. Suspend Senator Ali Ndume and notes that dilligence should be the watchword.

2. The Suspension starts today, 29th Match, 2017 to last for 191 Legislative days.

3. The signed report is laid before the DSP.

NASS collecting more than N100 billion annually to produce comedy, scandals – Oby Ezekwesili

A former Minister of Education and pioneer, Bring Back Our Girls, Obi Ezekwesili, has lamented the extravagant lifestyle of members of the National Assembly while calling on Nigerian youths to rise up and take their future in their hands.

Ezekwesili questioned the amount being spent by the Senate and the House of Representatives on importation of assorted cars for members.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the former Minister blamed Nigerian youths for folding their hands, watching the lawmakers eat away their future.

She wrote, “Be there laughing while tragi-comedians that cost more than 100 billion carry out on at the @nassnigeria. Better fight for your FUTURE.

“The 8 NGRSenate and HouseNGR have done nothing for the citizens except pay themselves fat allowances. Engage in scandals and produce comedies.

“You are a young Nigerian and you are not seeing the wicked hand you are being dealt? You ‘entertained’ by NGRSenate and HouseNGR. I Kuku sorry for you.

“Balance there and be laughing, tweeting and swaggering while the folks at NGRSenate and HouseNGR joke daily with your future. Na you sabi.

“By the way, how much did NGRSenate say it paid for that famous Range Rover it bought for the Senate President, @BukolaSaraki? In this poverty?

Why Super Eagles won’t play friendlies in London again – Rohr

Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has said that London will not be a choice of venue for their next international friendly.

The German was speaking after their second game in this FIFA window against Burkina Faso was cancelled.

The match was called off, after some Burkina Faso players failed to get British visas. Four days before, Nigeria held Senegal to a 1-1 draw at The Hive Stadium in London.

“Getting UK visas is too complicated, you know,” Rohr told newsmen.

“I think it’s better to stay in Schengen, in Europe than go to London where the people have problems. Even some players in our team couldn’t come, you know. They didn’t get the visa in time.

“We tried to find another team but it was too late.

“We had one very good game against a Senegal team that was so strong, so powerful, we learned a lot. Now we look forwards to our next games.

“The second game, between us, I could see everybody.

“Some players need to play because they don’t play all the time at their clubs. It was an opportunity for them.”

BREAKING: Senate To Suspend Senator Ali Ndume Over Saraki, Dino Allegations.

The Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges on Wednesday recommended the suspension of a former Senate Leader for 181 legislative days.

This is contained in the Committee’s report laid before the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

The Committee made the recommendation after its investigation on the certificate scandal of Senator Dino Melaye and the bulletproof scandal of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki. It said Ndume did not perform due diligence when he raised the allegations on the floor of the Senate last week.

 

Source: YNaija

Amnesty can’t leave Nigeria, say CSOs as they stage solidarity march

A coalition of about 40 civil society organisations (CSOs) on Wednesday staged a solidarity march of support for Amnesty International.

The march is sequel to a protest by a group who attacked Amnesty’s office and demanded the forceful ejection of the organisation from Nigeria.

But speaking at a rally on Wednesday, Abdul Mahmoud, a human rights lawyer and one of the leaders of coalition, said Amnesty could not leave the country because it has worked hard to protect the rights of Nigerians.

He also said when he was arrested in 1991 as president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Amnesty came to his aid by organising massive campaigns nationally and internationally to ensure his release and that of other students.

“We are all beneficiaries of the campaign of Amnesty International and I give you an example. In 1991 when I was the president of the NANS I was arrested by the Ibrahim Babangida administration under decree number II,”

“Decree II was a military piece of legislation and we were detained by the then chief of military staff. Amnesty along with other human rights groups – alongside CLO held national and International campaign for my release and other students who detained across Nigeria.

“We are also aware an intensive campaign for those who were described as our brothers, who used to have their home of worship in Nigeria, who were suffering their rights of worship were murdered by men of the Nigerian army. Amnesty International did an intensive campaign on its behalf, for the IPOB group, Niger Delta group

“We woke up almost a fortnight ago to read in our papers that sponsored an hired thugs stormed the office of Amnesty International here in Abuja to demand their repatriation from Nigeria and their forcible removal from Nigeria. Not acceptable.”

Jude Ndukwe, a co-convener of the coalition, said it was sad that youths would be “rented” to protest and attack the office of Amnesty.

“Amnesty International is here to stay and it is going no where,” Ndukwe said.

Fiscal federalism true solution to Nigeria’s problems – Attah

A former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Chief Victor Attah, says the practice of fiscal federalism is the panacea to the myriad of problems plaguing Nigeria.

Attah told newsmen in Uyo that if the government accepted fiscal federalism, most of Nigeria’s problems would be solved.

He said, “If the government just accepts the principle of fiscal federalism, the states should control what they have and pay certain percentages to the centre.

“Believe me, I can say categorically that at least 90 per cent if not 100 percent of issues confronting Nigeria today will be solved.’’

According to him, if fiscal federalism is practised, the demand for separation and talk of the disintegration of the country will stop and the country will develop drastically.

He said, “You cannot tell a governor to diversify. What do you mean by diversify? A governor knows that whether or not he diversifies, at the end of the month he collects money from Federal Allocation.

“If a governor knows that he will have no money to run the state because he has not developed agriculture, he will certainly diversify into agriculture and same with solid minerals and others.’’

Attah explained that fiscal federalism, when practised, would make the 36 states of the federation to be viable.

He said, “People say that 36 states are not viable; I say no; it is not true; the 36 states are eminently viable if we just cut our coat according to our cloth and if we accept the fact that the states were created purely on the basis of viability.’’

He noted that the practice of fiscal federalism would not disintegrate the country, urging stakeholders and governors to adhere to true democratic principles in order to save the country.

Jumia reacts to murder of delivery agent in Port Harcourt

E-commerce giants Jumia, has reacted to the death of a delivery man for the company, who was murdered in Port-Harcourt while on duty.

Recall that the Jumia agent was allegedly killed after delivering two iPhones to the suspects – Sodienye Mbatumukeke, Excel Naabe and Joy Eluwa at the Ada-George area of Port Harcourt.

Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Zaki Ahmed, described the situation as unfortunate.

In a statement report signed by the company’s CEO, Juliet Anammah, the company expressed shocked over the death of the delivery officer and the police will investigate the matter.

The statement reads:

“It is with saddened hearts that we announce the ongoing police investigation on the disappearance of a delivery associate of one of our partners which has been possibly linked to the recovery of a deceased body by police investigators.

The associate was employed by our third-party logistics partner in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Jumia Nigeria’s regional management is working full time with the partner, the local police and the family of the associate to investigate the case.

“While the full facts are yet to be known, the delivery associate was reported to have been last seen on Saturday during his delivery runs. We thus await the results of police investigation on the matter.

“While we continue to hope for the best possible outcome, we ask that the general public joins us in upholding the family and the logistics partner with prayers and support during this sensitive and difficult time.

“Delivery associates and logistic partners are an integral part of our e-commerce business. They are a hardworking force of dedicated men and women who go through rain, sun and tough terrain to deliver to our customers’ expectations. We condemn and stand against all forms of verbal or physical assault against them and regard security on the job of the utmost importance.

“We acknowledge and appreciate the public support that has been shown to the family, our partner and Jumia. We ask that continued support and prayers be offered on behalf of the associates’ family during the ongoing investigation, even as we also respect their privacy at this time.”

British PM Signs Brexit Letter

Prime Minister Theresa May has signed the letter that will formally begin the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

Giving official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be delivered to European Council president, Donald Tusk later.

In a statement in the Commons, the prime minister will then tell MPs this marks “the moment for the country to come together.”

It follows June’s referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the EU.

The BBC reports that Mrs. May’s letter will be delivered at 12:20 BST on Wednesday by the British ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow.

The prime minister, who chaired an hour long cabinet meeting earlier, is set to make a statement to MPs confirming the countdown to the UK’s departure from the EU is under way.

She will promise to “represent every person in the whole United Kingdom” during the negotiations – including EU nationals, whose status after Brexit has yet to be settled.

“It is my fierce determination to get the right deal for every single person in this country,” she will say.

“For, as we face the opportunities ahead of us on this momentous journey, our shared values, interests and ambitions can – and must – bring us together.”

 

Source: www.rte.ie

It will be difficult to beat Nigeria to 2018 World Cup ticket – Algeria’s Sofiane Feghouli

Algeria and West Ham midfielder, Sofiane Feghouli, has admitted that it will be difficult for his country, to beat Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup ticket.

The Desert Foxes are currently bottom of African qualifying Group B with one point, five behind leaders, the Super Eagles.

Reigning African champions, Cameroon is second with two points, while Zambia is third with just one point.

“I think the World Cup is the very best competition in terms of the feelings and emotions that it generates,” Feghouli told West Ham official website on Tuesday.

“If you haven’t played in it, you can’t know exactly what it means. I was lucky enough to play in it in 2014 and Algeria played very well. It was a dream come true for millions of Algerians and we made history by reaching the last 16 for the first time.

“We played a historic tie against Germany in which we were on the verge of knocking them out. I was very happy and proud to take part in that incredible adventure.

“I’d like to play in it again in 2018, although it will be very difficult to qualify.”

New Players Eager To Compete For Shirts With Super Eagles Regulars – Rohr

Super Eagles Technical Adviser,  Gernot Rohr, has expressed his optimism that the new players he saw in the Super Eagles training sessions in London on Monday were almost ready to break into the main team.

Some Nigerian kids who have been capped at junior cadre by England joined the Super Eagles training in London on Monday after the cancellation of the scheduled match with Burkina Faso, and Rohr said the new lads were not far away from realising their dream of playing for Nigeria.

“I was impressed with what I saw, especially the new players. It gives me the belief that we are on course to go all the way to the World Cup in Russia next year, as well as the AFCON in Cameroon in 2019. These boys are fantastic and hungry and this is good for us,” Rohr remarked.

“What the emergence of these new players mean is that there will be competition for almost every position in the Eagles. The established stars know they have to work harder in order to retain their positions in the starting lineup. It is becoming very interesting, and I am happy.”

The Nigeria coach however expressed his disappointment over the cancellation of the scheduled match with Burkina Faso, adding that he had planned the use that game to test some new players he had invited.

APC has performed well governing Nigeria – Dogara

the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress administration has performed creditably despite its challenges.

Mr. Dogara stated this at an interactive session with newspaper editors in Abuja on Tuesday.
The speaker said Nigerians who criticise the government’s performance should put into context what the administration met when it assumed office in 2015.

“What was it that we met on ground?” he said. “A lot has been achieved.”

He mentioned two major areas where he said the government has succeeded to be in the fight against Boko Haram and anti-corruption efforts.
“This government has ensured that the terrorists are not holding any measure of land” Mr. Dogara said.
The taming of Boko Haram has been repeatedly mentioned as one of the successes of the Buhari administration so far. The insurgents had by 2014 controlled large swaths of land in north-eastern Nigeria, particularly Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe State. President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday vowed that the Boko Haram or any terror group will not control any part of Nigeria while he is in office.
Despite losing most of the territory they controlled, the insurgents still carry out random attacks on civilians and security officials. The latest of such attack led to the kidnap of 10 people in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.

Read more: www.nigerianeye.com

Man bags 6 months imprisonment for displaying Cannabis in public

A Magistrate Court in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, has convicted a 41-years-old man identified as Waidi Adelabu, for displaying cannabis publicly.

The accused was charged for possession and public display of cannabis popularly known as “weed” on two count charge.

The Prosecutor, Mr Elisha Olusegun said Adelabu committed the offence on January 9, 2017, at about 2:00 pm at Oke-Baale area, Osogbo.

He said: “Without lawful authority he had in his possession two wraps of weed suspected to be Indian Hemp otherwise known as cannabis sativa”.

The Prosecutor added that the offence contravenes Section 430 (1) and 249(D) of the criminal code cap 34 vol. II laws of Osun-State of Nigeria 2002.

The accused on the other hand, pleaded guilty to the two count charge preferred against him.

Mr Elisha tendered the statement of the accused person which was admitted by the court as exhibit ‘A’ and two wraps of weeds which was also admitted as exhibit ‘B’.

Before the Magistrate handed down the sentence, the defendant, Mr Badmus Kazim, giving allocutus plea, said the accused person saved the time of the court and showed remorse in conducting himself in good manner and doesn’t have any record of previous conviction.

He said: “I plead with the court to make use of section 430 by providing an option of fine to the convict”.

subsequently, the Chief Magistrate, Mr Olushola Aluko, in his ruling, sentenced Waidi Adelabu to six month imprisonment or pay a fine of 10,000 Naira.

 

Source: Channels TV

Businessman sent to prison for alleged rape of 11-year-old twins

A Kano Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday remanded in prison a 30-year-old businessman, Lawan Zubairu, over alleged rape of 11-year-old set of twins.

Zubairu, who lives at Hotoron Fulani Quarters, Kano, is facing a charge of rape to which he pleaded not guilty.

Chief Magistrate Muhammad Jibril, who gave the order, said the accused should remain behind the bars pending advice from the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The prosecutor, ASP Rufa’I Inusa told the court that the complainant, Ibrahim Musa, of Hotoron Fulani Quarters reported the case on March 18.

Inusa alleged that the accused lured the complainant’s daughters into his room and defiled them.

The offence contravened Section 283 of the Penal Code, Laws of the Federation.

The case was adjourned to April 27 .

Finally, UK Begins Exit Process From European Union.

The United Kingdom has formally begun the country’s departure from the European Union.

The country’s permanent representative to the European Union, Sir Tim Barrow has handed a letter triggering Article 50 to the European Council President Donald Tusk.

This follows a June referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May, an initial opponent of Brexit, who won the top job in the political turmoil that followed the referendum vote, now has two years to settle the terms of the exit before it comes into effect in late March 2019.

 

Source: Channels TV

Missing Indonesian farmer found dead inside python’s belly

A missing farmer has been found dead inside the stomach of a four-metre long python in Indonesia’s West Sulawesi province, media reports said Wednesday.

Residents in Karossa district caught the snake on Monday while they were looking for Akbar, who had failed to return home after leaving his home to pick palm oil fruit in a nearby plantation the previous day, the Kompas daily reported.

When they cut the python open, the found the fully-clothed body of Akbar, 25, in its belly, the report said.

“His harvest scattered,” a resident, Satriawan was quoted as saying by Tribunnews website.

“Maybe he was attacked from behind.”

Presidency speaks on Senate’s demand for Magu’s removal as EFCC boss

The Nigerian Senate is an arm of government that must be respected in any decision it takes in the course of exercising its powers as an independent institution, the presidency said Tuesday.

The comment came in reaction to the decision of the upper legislative chamber to suspend consideration of his nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners in protest against Ibrahim Magu’s continued stay in office as the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The senators had declined to confirm Mr. Magu as substantive chairman of the anti-graft office after two requests by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president sent a list of 27 nominees to the Senate last week.
The senators also protested alleged disrespect of the National Assembly by appointees of the president.

The Senate has been locked in prolonged supremacy battle with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali.

Mr. Lawal and Mr. Ali declined separate summons of the Senate last week, over issues bordering on alleged corruption and non-compliance official dress code, respectively.

But speaking in response to the lawmakers, President Buhari’s Senate liaison officer, Ita Enang, said the administration will respect the decision of the lawmakers and pursue dialogue with them.

“We will not question the power of the senators to take decision on how they want to conduct nomination hearings,” Mr. Enang told newsmen by telephone Tuesday afternoon. “We will not go fighting with them”.

Instead, “we will listen to their grievances and reason along with them,” Mr. Enang said shortly after the Senate took the decision to protest Mr. Magu’s continued stay in office.
He declined to say if the president will now ask Mr. Magu to step aside, saying he will “not go into specifics.”

Shortly after rejecting Mr. Magu penultimate Wednesday, the senators urged the president to relieve the EFCC chief of his job and name a temporary replacement pending fresh nomination of a substantive chairman.

Today’s development marked the second time in recent months that the Senate would move to force the hands of the executive on national issues.

In November 2016, the senators threatened to boycott plenary to protest a prolonged delay in conducting re-run elections in Rivers State.

The Independent National Electoral Commission swiftly announced dates for the elections, which held the following month.

Nigerian Army commence hunt for “the real Abubakar Shekau”

Security agencies have begun a manhunt for “the real Abubakar Shekau,” the fugitive Boko Haram leader, following the military’s destruction of the Islamic sect’s spiritual base hitherto located in camp Zairo in the Sambisa forest, Borno State.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, who gave the indication after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa yesterday, vowed that the military would soon close in on “the real Shekau” who, he said, has continued to evade arrest with the aid of masks and other forms of disguise.

Shekau has been reportedly killed or fatally wounded no fewer than three times by Nigerian security forces but he always manages to ‘resurrect’, days or months later in video or audio recordings, claiming to be alive and well.

“There could have been so many Shekaus but we are looking for the real one. He has been using mask to portray Shekau in one incident or the other to give an impression that he has been killed so that we will relax, but we will not relax. We are on him,” the minister said.

The minister said the military has in the bid to effect the arrest, already captured Sambisa forest and currently “dominated the whole stronghold where they used to be.”

He said the military was acting on a presidential directive to ensure that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other Nigerians in the area return to their homes and farms, experience peace and tranquility as well as go about their normal businesses.

Meanwhile, the Borno State commandant of Nigeria Security Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Ibrahim Abdullahi, said that two Boko Haram spies and a supplier were arrested along with eight other suspected vandals and merchants for allegedly re-reselling food supplies meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

Parading the suspects yesterday in Maiduguri, Abdullahi said that Ali Mustapha was sent on a mission by a Boko Haram Commander to spy on Maiduguri metropolis and report back to their base in Abadam of the Lake Chad region.

Also, Mustapha, a 17-year-old Boko Haram suspect claimed to have been forced to kill 13 people in Chikingudu Forest in Kukawa Local Government area of Borno State, when he was held captive for three years by insurgents.

He also confessed that he was sent by Boko Haram terrorists to assess the situations in the metropolis on Baga Road, Maiduguri Monday Market (MMM) and the Custom area.

Men of the command arrested the suspect near the Bakassi IDPs camp, Maiduguri. His parents were also identified as IDPs taking refuge at the camp.

 

Source: The Guardian

FG seeks $150m loan from World Bank to revive ailing mining industry

The Federal Government yesterday said it had begun negotiation for a $150 million loan from the World Bank to commence the Mindiver Project aimed at resuscitating the ailing mining industry.

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this at the 53rd Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) conference in Abuja, said the bank’s board was about to consider the concessional loan.

He noted that the government is building technical and managerial skills and capabilities locally to ensure supply of steady talent required by the sector in the future, as well as invest in infrastructure, gender equity and improve access to finance.

He said: “We anticipate contribution to mining gross domestic product to exceed $25 billion by 2026 as industries are better to use the output of the sector to substitute for imports and create environment to support enterprise.

“We need to ensure that our industrial and energy minerals strategy prioritises domestic utilisation of our assets, including getting our steel sector to provide a solid backbone for manufacturing and industrial economy.”

The minister, however, maintained that analysis conducted by major stakeholders in the sector has showed that “we can generate at least N5 trillion yearly from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits in the country.”

President of NMGS, Prof. Olugbenga Okunlola, said an investor-friendly environment is very necessary for success.

 

Source: The Guardian

Saraki, Dogara give 2017 budget panels tomorrow deadline.

Senate President Bukola Saraki has given the committees deliberating on the 2017 budget proposal a final deadline of tomorrow (Thursday) to submit their reports.

Also at the House of Representatives, Speaker Yakubu Dogara announced Thursday March 30, 2017 as deadline for committees in the House to turn in their reports of 2017 budget to the Committee on Appropriation.

Saraki, who handed down the deadline after a closed-door session of about two hours yesterday, expressed disappointment that over 20 committees are yet to submit report to the Danjuma Goje-led Appropriation Committee.

Making the announcement on the floor of the House, Dogara said there was the need to urgently consider and pass the 2017 Appropriation bill.

He urged committees yet to conclude the scrutiny of the various budgetary sums of the government organs they supervise, to quickly do so and turn in their reports to the committee.

Meanwhile, four members of the House of Representatives: Ahmed Babba Kaita, Karimi Sunday, Eucharia Azodo and Aishatu Jibril Dukku sponsored four separate but related bills aimed at amending the Electoral Act 2010.

The proposed amendment to the Electoral Act to provide for death of a presidential or gubernatorial candidate during an on-going election.”

The bills further seek to provide a time line for the submission of lists of candidates, criteria for substitution of candidates and to empower the commission to uphold party primaries where there is a change in the results and for other related matters.

Sunday (Kogi: Yagba: PDP), whose bill is aimed at averting the Kogi electoral debacle wanted the inclusion of a new sub-section 2 to Section 33 of the Electoral Act by removing the ambiguity or lacuna that may arise as a result of the death of a presidential or gubernatorial candidate after commencement of poll but before conclusion of the said election.

Also, the House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion to stop the commercialization of some key maritime services of the Nigeria Navy (NN).

Adopting a motion moved by Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma at the plenary presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the House urged the Ministry of Defence to ensure the directive is carried out with immediate effect.

The lawmakers further resolved to set up an Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate the arrangement for a business model between the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Navy and Shorefac Consortium Ltd and others on the commercialization of the Nigerian Navy .

The Senate yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to provide funds to redeem all Federal Government pension indebtedness of about N174billion.

This followed a motion, titled “The untold hardship of pensioners occasioned by government’s failure to contribute its statutory share of 5 per cent to the Pension Redemption Fund,” sponsored by Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP Bayelsa Central).

Source: The Guardian

Body found floating in Lokoja-based hotel’s swimming pool

Tragedy yesterday occurred in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, when the body of a young man identified as Mohammed Suberu, was found floating in the swimming pool of Idrinana Hotel, located in Phase Two area of Lokongoma.

The deceased was said to have gone to the hotel to swim on Monday morning, only for his lifeless body to be found later floating in the pool.

He was later taken to the state Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, where he was confirmed dead.

A similar event happened in Idrinana last year, when a middle-aged man drowned in the hotel’s swimming pool, leading to attack of its workers and destruction of property by irate youths.

When contacted, the General Manager of the hotel, Audu Alhassan, said he could not speak on the incident until he got clearance from the chairman, a former member of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

 

Source: The Guardian

Arsenal star Chuba Akpom set to dump England for Nigeria

Just like his clubmate Alex Iwobi, Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom is set to join the growing ranks of English-born footballers ready to play for Nigeria.

Though Akpom, who is currently on loan at Brighton, is yet to make a categorical statement on his international commitment, he, however, joined the Super Eagles’ Barnet training camp in England this week.

The 21-year old has played for England’s U-16 and U-21 sides.

The players were invited to join the Nigerian squad for a training match on Monday, for assessment by the technical crew.

 

Source: The Guardian

EFCC arrests internet fraudster for defrauding American national

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 27, 2017, arraigned one Gbenga Yusuf John, a suspected Internet fraudsters, before Justice A. M. Nicol-Clay of the State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and forgery.

The accused person, while posing as an American working in Nigeria, conned a U.S lady whom he met on a dating site by claiming that he owns a number of rental properties in Southwest Florida, USA.

Upon their meeting, the accused person allegedly told the victim that he was currently in Africa to give aid to victims of Ebola disease and sought her assistance in managing his rental deposit while he was away.

Consequently, the victim allegedly processed the rental deposits and received thousands of dollars in postal money order mailed directly to her by the accused person.

The unsuspecting victim allegedly deposited all the cheques, acquired cash and then transferred the funds through Western Union to Yusuf.

One of the counts reads: “Gbenga Yusuf John on or about the 26th day of February, 2006 in Lagos within the Lagos Judicial Division, had in your possession a document dated Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in which you represented yourself as James Carter, born and raised in the United State of America but presently reside in Nigeria where you are doing electronic business which representation you knew or ought to have known to be false having regard to the circumstances of this case.”

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, M.Aliyu, asked the court for a trial date and prayed that the accused person be remanded in prison custody

However, counsel to the accused, S.O. Obaje, who did object to the submissions of the prosecution, pleaded with the court for a short date to file his application for bail.

After listening to both parties, Justice Nicol-Clay remanded the accused person in prison custody and adjourned the matter to June 20, 2017 for hearing of the bail application and the continuation of trial.

Imo State Police Command has dismissed officer for killing teenager

For allegedly killing of a 16-year-old boy, Obinna Iwuoha, last week Thursday at a police checkpoint in Ugwu Omiri, Okohia community of Isiala Mbano Local Council, Imo State, the Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, has dismissed the trigger-happy sergeant, Wilson Ufere, from the force.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, disclosed this to The Guardian on Monday in Owerri. He added that after preliminary investigations into the killing, the CP ordered for Ufere’s prosecution in the court as soon as possible.

Obinna, who was a secondary school one student, died instantly, while three others, Tochukwu Uzoukwu, 25, Chukwuebuka Donatus, 24, and Chigozie Iwuala, 28, were severely injured leading to their being in a coma for days.

Enwerem said: “The CP has directed that the officer be dismissed and he has been dismissed. After the departmental trial, he will be charged to court soon. There was an attempt to burn down the police station in Isiala Mbano by the angry mob, but the police prevented them.”

Ufere was said to be infuriated by the response and immediately released some bullets into Iwuoha’s body, killing him instantly.

 

Source: The Guardian

Indian Police tighten security around city after mob attack on Nigerian students

Police stepped up security Wednesday in a northern Indian city where a mob attacked African students following the death of a local teenager from a suspected drug overdose.

Five people were arrested over the assault in Greater Noida in which the students were beaten with sticks and metal chairs, with police examining CCTV footage to identify other attackers.

“We are increasing security checkpoints and police presence around Greater Noida,” Superintendent Sujata Singh told AFP, referring to the satellite city outside India’s capital New Delhi.

Police have also identified around 40 others after scanning security tapes and footage shot by onlookers and broadcast by the media, Singh said.

They would be charged with rioting and unlawful assembly for involvement in the mob, he added.

Hundreds of African students live in Greater Noida, where there are several popular universities, engineering colleges and other educational institutions.

The latest attack followed the death of a local 16-year-old from an apparent drug overdose.

Police detained five Nigerian students in connection with the case after a group of local people went to their home and accused them of murder.

The students were later released after police failed to find any evidence against them.

But a crowd that had assembled for a candlelit vigil to demand justice for the teenager turned violent after spotting a group of Nigerians leaving a mall.

India’s foreign ministry condemned the incident as “deplorable” and assured the Nigerian high commissioner (ambassador) that all steps were being taken to protect their citizens in India.

 

Source: AFP

Afenifere accuses Police of foul play in its handling of Ile-Ife communal clash

The pan-Yoruba socio political group, Afenifere, has accused the leadership of the police of being sectional in its approach to the crisis that erupted in Ile Ife, Osun State, between the Yoruba and Hausa Fulani ethnic group.

The group at the end of its monthly meeting in Akure, Ondo State capital, yesterday condemned the action of the police, especially the arrest of 20 Yoruba people. The group accused police of bias in the way they handled the matter.

It stressed that those arrested by the police over the crisis have been ridiculed, harassed and coerced while there was no single Hausa Fulani among those arrested and paraded at Abuja.

“We condemn unequivocally the attempts being made by the police high command to intimidate, harass, coerce, ridicule and dehumanize Yoruba elements in Ile Ife, who have been called suspects and who were arrested at Ile Ife.’’

But the group maintained that, “Those that have been criminalised by the police have not committed any treasonable felony or accused of any financial crime to warrant the Federal Government taking over the case and possible trial and eventual arraignment before the Federal High Court.

The group called on the police authorities to desist from adding ethnic colouration to the crisis.

 

Source: The Guardian

I am not a Nigerian – By Anifowoshe Titilope

I must confess choosing to write a topic like this, is one of the greatest challenge I have ever encountered in the whole of my existence. I had sleepless nights thinking about the title to use for this work.

I am well abreast of the fact that choosing a topic like this will generate a lot of questions and controversies in the minds of my readers but I thought it would be wise of me to shed some light on the issue of my origin and nationality, I wrote this piece not only because its a part of the compilation of my ghetto script but to also huff-puff my mind and correct some misconceptions of people regarding their perception of me.

It is with deep sense of utmost necessity that. I’m writing to let people (those whom I have met and those whom I’m yet to meet) know that I AM NOT A NIGERIAN, even though some irreversible circumstances make people identify me as a NIGERIAN which I will discuss in the preceding paragraphs but before I explain the irreversible circumstances, I will like to talk about the two types of slaves that I know.

First, is the natural slaves (natural slaves are slaves who had been enslaved mentally and look up to other people for help). Second, is the artificial slaves (artificial slaves are those slaves who are captured in war or bought in the market as a commodity).

Let us go down memory lane here, before the Europeans first came in contact with Africans in the 15th century and for much of the 18th and 19th century, there was nothing like a place called Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, Republic of Benin, Ghana and what have you.

All we had then in the African traditional society where so much emphasis was placed on respect for elders and culture and where Africans had been developing quantitatively and qualitatively was a kingdom or an empire like the OYO empire, ASHANTI kingdom, KANURI kingdom, DAHOMEY kingdom and many more. But when the European great powers came to Africa through exploration and trade, they abolished most of the African system and way of life in other to advance their Agenda to improve their society at the expense of Africans.

The idea of colonialism was to explore all around the world and gain access to territories where there was little or no military power in other to exploit their resources, enslaved their people and compel them with force to be subjected to the way of life of their colonial masters.

To forestall this, several congresses were held and treatises were signed among the European great powers. After all said and done, the great powers came into Africa with their heavy military resources and as such used their military power to force, enslaved and colonised Africans.

It was after this that many African states were shared among the European great powers like the Britain, France, Portugal and spain. During this time, some part of west Africa were shared among the French and British government. Nigeria in particular, was granted to the British government which colonised, enslaved and exploit their (African) resources at the expense of the people. While Togo, Mali, Republic of Benin and the likes were granted to the French government.

The Name Nigeria was coined from River Niger flowing through her territory. A name given by flora shaw in 1898, a wife of the British Administrator in the region as at that time. A colonial name or more or less like a slave name given to all the inhabitant of the Land.

During this colonial period, the colonial masters succeeded in dividing and sharing Africa and Africans among themselves, exploiting the resources of Africa to advance and improve their society at the expense of Africans through trade and their imperialist style (imperialism is a system whereby the rich and powerful nations control the less powerful nation.

It describes colonial and territorial policies, it also explains economic and or military influence. It is sometimes used to describe the indirect political and economic influence of the weak states by powerful ones. I. E if the dominant country is felt in social and cultural circle.

For example, if the latest style of fashion in Britain, America and France is also in vogue in Lagos, Accra, kinshasha and lome that’s imperialism. Or a gentleman dancing on the street of Lagos, Lome, Abidjan, Accra and Nairobi to the latest music in paris, london and new york, that’s another example of imperialism).

Till today, this slavery ideology still persist even after the abolishment of slave trade and colonialism. Little wonder, Africa is categorized by the United Nations as an underdeveloped nation while those who exploit the resources of Africa to advance their societies were categorized by the United nations as developed nations.

Africa must be underdeveloped since the great powers in the United Nations security council had successfully divided Africa among themselves so that Africans can look up to their country for help.

Saddening ! Any diagnosis of underdevelopment in Africa will reveal not just low per-capital income and protein deficiencies as stipulated by the united nations, but also the young man dancing on the street of Lagos, Accra, Lome, kinshasha and Abidjan when music is played in Paris, London and New york OR A foreign investor who establish companies in Lagos, Accra, Lome, Abidjan etc and exploit the resources of Africa to advance its country. Just like, J. E Casely- Hayford, An African(gold coast) nationalist once said in 1922 “before even the British came into relation with our people, we were a developed people, having our own institutions, having our own ideas of government”

I was born into this world about two decades ago among the black race (Africa), where the heat is like a second skin in the Yoruba land. I was never born Nigerian (Nigerians are those natural slaves discussed earlier, who had been enslaved mentally by the great powers and look up to them for help. No wonder! Nigerians are smelling and packaging people. Little wonder, everyday Nigerians live in destitute, despair, pain, sorrow and poverty), I was born black and free(African) in the western part of Africa which is today known as “Nigeria”(an artificial state created by the colonial masters in the 19th century).

While I was growing up in this part of the world, I knew I will be a voice in this world, I speak my mind without fear or favor, so I deserve to be heard. I also knew I am a light in this world and I’m going to shine till the end. That was why I have embarked on my historic journey from ghetto to globe.

I met diverse kind of people from different tribes, background and origins, many of whom perceived me as been radical, some of them think I am arrogant, friendly, humorous, dull, calm, smart and industrious while majority of them perceived me as a human right activist. Often times, I got confused about these people’s perception of me even though I pay leap ears to most of their perceptions.

Like every other African child, I received an education which the contents and pattern of the curriculum is cantered and structured in the colonial style. I remember while in the elementary school, speaking my mother tongue(vernacular) in class is prohibited and attracts fine while speaking English(the colonial masters’ language) is the only generally accepted mode of communication in class.

I was given an alien name(Tawakkaltu -arabic name). All this experiences never made me see myself as an African coupled with the fact that I was confused in choosing between the religion of my ancestral forefathers and that of my some far away Arabians even though I love the holy prophet SAW of ISLAM but often times the I am confused. These confusion led me to many rational thoughts which made me rethink the past. My inquiry into the past made me realize that under normal circumstances I am truly not a NIGERIAN.

I will end this piece by sharing this little information with my fellow Africans, those who always wonder if Africa will rise again. Yes! Africa will surely rise again, if only Africans are ready to revolutionized their social instinct, if only Africans are ready to emancipate their mental slavery, if only Africans are ready to detach themselves from the so called great powers whose puppets are in the helms of affair in almost all Africa countries and if only Africans can come together to live as one and develop themselves with the abundant resources in the Continent.

 

LegalEagle is a student at Nigerian Law School Abuja.

She can be reached via titilopeanny@gmail.com

23,000 ghost enrolees removed from the National Health Insurance Scheme

About 23,000 ghost enrolees have been removed from the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, the scheme said on Tuesday.

The removal of the enrolees, who have been enjoying the benefits of the insurance scheme, created disagreement between the NHIS and other health management organisations.

The Executive Secretary, NHIS, Usman Yusuf, made this known in Abuja at the award of ISO/IEC 20000 standard certification to Galaxy Backbone Plc.

The NHIS boss said he worked in collaboration with three other government agencies to remove ghost enrolees who had been enjoying the benefits of the insurance scheme illegally.

He listed the agencies as Galaxy Backbone Plc, Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited and the National Identity Management Commission.

Mr. Yusuf, however, said the exercise has brought a friction between the NHIS and Health Management Organisations in the country.

The NHIS boss said, “I have a crack ICT team and the members have worked with Galaxy Backbone, the NIMC and NigComSat to remove the ghost enrolees.

“For this, the HMOs are fighting me, but we have to make sure that the right people get the money.”

On his part, the Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, said Information Technology had a critical role to play in the delivery of government services to the citizens.

In his contribution, the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, urged ICT professionals to deploy the use of technology to tackle poverty and youth unemployment.

He noted that youth unemployment, if not addressed, was a time bomb waiting to explode.

Mr. Dalung also challenged ICT experts to come up with innovations that would take Nigeria out of recession.

The ISO 20000, an international standard, helps organisations to demonstrate excellence and best practices in IT service management.

The standard ensures that companies can achieve evidence-based benchmarks to continuously improve their delivery of IT services, towards the growth of the society.

Missing farmer found dead inside a Python

A missing farmer has been found dead inside the stomach of a four-metre long python in Indonesia’s West Sulawesi province, media reports said Wednesday.

Residents in Karossa district caught the snake on Monday while they were looking for Akbar, who had failed to return home after leaving his home to pick palm oil fruit in a nearby plantation the previous day, the Kompas daily reported.

When they cut the python open, the found the fully-clothed body of Akbar, 25, in its belly, the report said.

“His harvest scattered,” a resident, Satriawan was quoted as saying by Tribunnews website.

“Maybe he was attacked from behind.”

 

Source: dpa/NAN

Joseph Nwobike’s bribe to judges was for library upgrade – Witness

A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Joseph Nwobike, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, on Tuesday told an Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court that the funds transferred by the lawyer into the bank account of a serving federal judge were meant for purposes which included a library upgrade.

Daniel Danladi, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said during cross examination that the money was not meant to pervert the course of justice.

Mr. Nwobike is facing trial before the court for allegedly offering gratification to judges.

The judges’ names include Mohammed Yinusa, H.A Ngajiwa, and Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court; and James Agbadu-Fishim of the National Industrial Court.

“The N300,000 given to Justice Ngajiwa by the defendant was for the update of his library and I don’t know if the defendant had any matter before the justice,” Mr. Danladi said, while also noting that “there was no evidence of payment or transfer from Justice Ngajiwa to Justice Yunusa in the sum of N300,000 on the instance of the defendant.”

Mr. Danladi had earlier stated in his statement that one “Mrs. Helen Ogunleye, a registrar of Justice Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court Ikoyi, had admitted to the EFCC of receiving N250,000 from the defendant.” He also revealed that “the communication between the defendant and Helen was for her to prevail on Justice Kurya to pervert the course of justice. This was contained in the text sent from Mr. Nwobike to Helen which read ‘let Oga discharge that order.’”

Asked by the defence lawyer, Olawale Akoni, if he found out during the course of the Commission’s investigation the order that Justice Kurya was asked to discharge, the prosecution witness said, “No my lord, I did not find out the order that Justice Kurya was said to discharge.”

Mr. Danladi said the defendant confirmed to the EFCC that the N750,000 was for the treatment of Justice Yunusa’s mother and the Justice also confirmed same to the commission.”

During further examination, the witness revealed that the EFCC had “filed the charges against Mr. Nwobike before completion of their investigation.” He also revealed that “I was not present when Mr. Nwobike’s statement was taken by the Crimes Commission, hence my inability to know the questions asked the defendant.”

The witness also said a total of 14,000 text messages were recovered from Mr. Nwobike’s phone and that some of them, in which some judges’ names were mentioned, were related to the case.

Earlier, Mr. Danladi had revealed that the content of a brown envelope received by Justice Yunusa from Mr. Nwobike was $2,500 ad that the federal judge received the envelope on September 29, 2015, as contained in a text sent by Mr. Nwobike to a lady named Debby.

The text message which was read by the witness stated, “I have given him an envelope containing $2,500. My regards.”

The witness also told the court that “the defendant on the 19th day of March 2015 had his bank account debited of N750,000 in favour of honourable Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court.” He further said that “the defendant had cases pending before the judge prior to and even after the payment of this money. He was also at the time of this payment still serving as the honourable judge of the Federal High Court.”

The witness also stated that on September 28, 2015, “there was a deposit, a credit of N300,000 coming from the law firm of the defendant to the company Awaja Nigeria limited and Justice H. A. Ngajiwa was the beneficiary of the funds which he received while serving as a justice of the Federal High Court.”

Justice Raliatu Akinbiyi adjourned the matter to May 5 and 18, 2017 for continuation of trial.

 

Source: Premium Times

Governor Ben Ayade Locks SSG, Government House Staff Out For Lateness.

Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade on Wednesday locked the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Tina Agbor and other staff in governors office out of the government house over lateness to work.

The Governor who was said to have arrived office at about 7Am was angry when he noticed that only his spokesman, Christian Ita was in the office.

Infuriated by the situation, Ayade ordered security agents to lock all entrances to the government house warning that nobody should be allowed in.

It would be recalled that in June 2015, Ayade locked out staff that came after 8AM which is the official resumption time for civil servants.

The Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu who arrived at about 8AM was however allowed in without hesitation.

Although the gates were eventually opened at 9AM for some senior staff and top government officials, at the time of filing this report, some Civil servants, security aides and other appointees were still kept out by stern looking security operatives in the Governor’s convoy.

A staff in the Governor’s office who spoke in confidence slammed the over what he described as “overzealousness” by the governor.

The worker said that “According to civil and public service laws, work resumes officially by 8Am. We don’t understand why the governor decided to come to office earlier than usual today and locked all of us out.

“Personally, I was not late. I arrived herefew minutes before 8Am. That is even before the deputy governor came. Seriously, I think Ayade is just being unnecessarily overzealous with his ‘show-body’. The position has entered his head too much that he does things at times without thinking of what others feel”.

Asked whether there was any circular that workers should resume work before time on Wednesday, he said that “There was no information to that effect. May be the governor derives pleasure in embarrassing people. He should know that most people have been here and are familiar with how things works”.

Couple who allegedly burnt teenager’s penis arrested by NSCDC officials

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Sokoto State said it has arrested a couple for allegedly burning the male organ of a 17-year old teenager, name withheld, over rape allegation.

The Commandant of the Corps, Babangida Abdullahi, confirmed the arrest in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Sokoto on Wednesday.

Mr. Abdullahi said that the couple were arrested on Tuesday, at their Sama residence, Sokoto.

He said: “They alleged that the teenager, a Senior Secondary School three student, raped their four-year old daughter.

“So, they sponsored some boys who seized him on March 24, took him to the suspects’ house, the suspects severely tortured him and burnt his manhood.

“They also locked him up in a toilet up to the following day, March 25.

“The victim was later taken to the Specialist Hospital, Sokoto, where he is responding to treatment.”

Mr. Abdullahi said that the couple was arrested on March 28, for allegedly taking the law into their hands.

The commandant further said that the suspects would soon be arraigned in court upon the conclusion of thorough investigations.

The father of the victim, Abdullahi Ibrahim, a teacher at Sultan Bello Secondary School, Sokoto, appealed to the state government to assist the family in seeking justice for his son.

He also made similar appeal to the Sultanate Council of Sokoto, local and international human rights groups, among others.

Mr. Ibrahim said one of the suspects had threatened to kill him in the event that he made attempt to take any action.

The suspects, however, denied the allegations in an interview with NAN.

 

Source: NAN

Hameed Ali’s uniform controversy is a mere distraction, not the main issue – Dogara

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday described the face-off between the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, and the Senate as a “mere distraction.”

Mr. Dogara, who stated this when he hosted newspaper editors in his office in Abuja, said the uniform is not supposed to be the main issue.

“The main issue is delivery,” he said, suggesting that Mr. Ali’s performance in office should be the focus.

The senate last week called for the resignation of Mr. Ali, saying he was unfit to hold any public office.

The senate’s decision followed Mr. Ali’s refusal to appear before the lawmakers in full customs uniform. A week before then, the lawmakers had turned Mr. Ali back after he appeared before them, but without the Customs uniform.

Mr. Ali’s problem with the senate started with a controversial customs policy on retroactive payment of duties on imported cars. Following the senate’s condemnation of the policy, the customs reversed it. But the lawmakers insisted Mr. Ali, a retired army colonel, appear before them.

The customs chief refused saying the matter was in court – filed by a private citizen – and there was a directive by the attorney general that both parties maintain the current status.

In its resolution last week, the Senate said it would ask the House of Representatives to concur with its decision.

On Tuesday, Mr. Dogara said the decision of the House of Representatives on the matter can only be decided at the plenary.

“I can’t speak for the House; the House will have to speak for itself through a resolution of the House.

“I cannot pre-judge what the outcome of the debate will be,” he said.

Mr. Dogara, however, said the Senate and House work closely as is necessary in a bicameral legislature.

He said Nigerians and the media should focus more on what the law states on the uniform controversy rather than on the stance of the Senate or Mr. Ali.

 

Source: Premium Times

Bola Tinubu has earned his place in Nigeria’s history – Osun APC

All Progressives Congress in the state of Osun has congratulated its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the chain of remarkable achievements he has had since he became involved in Nigeria’s politics.

According to the party, “whether you like or hate Tinubu, or you are his ardent admirer or critic, nobody can remove from the fact that in the last 17 years ( and counting), the national leader of the APC has earned a place in history as one of the most spectacular politicians who effected monumental democratic change in the country’s political evolution.”

This statement of endorsement was contained in a release from the party’s directorate of publicity signed by its director, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi and made available to the media in Osogbo yesterday.

The statement continued; “In the last two decades, your (Tinubu’s) deft political strategies have not only warded off political crimes against the Yoruba nation by those who sought and still seek to humiliate and subjugate us, you have also steered the course of events in Nigeria to make what was thought impossible happen.

“You piloted the APC into an epic electoral battle, which, for the first time in Nigeria’s political history, led to the defeat of a government in power at the federal establishment.

“That by itself is a signature achievement – the first of its kind in Nigeria – and a milestone in our democratic as well as electoral evolution. It is an uncommon feat”, the party claimed.

‘At 65, Asiwaju is comparatively still young and our prayer is that Allah should grant the Leader good health to continue in his good work, most of which is impacting positively on people’s lives.

“May Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s days, months and years bring further progress, stronger and greater democracy to Nigeria in general and Yoruba land in particular.

‘The APC and the people of Osun stand firmly behind the Leader and support his lieutenant and governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola who like the Jagaban of Borgu, has distinguished himself as the greatest achiever, Osun has ever had since the state was created over 25 years ago”, the statement said.

‘May Asiwaju’s star shine ever more brightly. Happy Birthday!” the APC saluted

Southern Kaduna: Nigerian Army denies killing 17 herdsmen

Nigerian Army has refuted social media reports on the alleged killing of 17 herdsmen by soldiers in southern Kaduna.

Kingsley Umoh, deputy director, army public relations of 1 division, dismissed the report as unfounded and irresponsible.

In a statement, he said that the mandate of the army in the area was to restore peace and ensure mutual coexistence among the people, and warned those spreading the false reports to desist.

He said that personnel deployed to the area have developed robust relationship with traditional rulers, community leaders, the Miyetti Allah and other stakeholders.

“We appeal to citizens, community leaders and other stakeholders to always speak and act in the interest of peace,” he said.

“It serves no useful purposes to continue to fabricate stories about the already delicate security situation in southern Kaduna.”

Umoh said that the army remained committed to the return of peace to the entire area.

According to him, soldiers deployed to the area have been conducting cordon and search operations and have tracked down suspects believed to be involved in some recent security breaches in the area.

“In total, two miscreants were killed and two are in custody in Southern Kaduna within the period of March 19 to March 22 , 2017.”

The spokesperson said troops have also maintained day and night patrols along Gidan Waya-Jagindi-Asso road and environs.

 

Source: The Cable

OOTC: The high standards to which we must hold our leaders – By Chude Jideonwo

I have heard this bit of nonsense constantly – seen it sometimes on social media, in comment boxes or random commentary: that because I actively, enthusiastically and unrepentantly threw personal and professional weight behind the election of a political office holder, I have somehow lost the moral right to speak out against him.

 

Nonsense.

 

As long as a president or a governor or a senator, or a representative is a public servant, paid for and employed by the Nigerian people (tax paying or not), no one loses the right to question him, to declaim him, to demand from him.

 

Wherever we learnt this nonsense from, as a matter of national urgency, we need to go back to that particular spot, and unlearn it, and while we are at it, get our basic self-worth back.

 

This is cognitive dissonance. And it is one that we have to begin to address, if we are to have a nation worth having, and if we are to stop getting the types of governments that we currently richly deserve.

 

Let’s use the current and immediate past presidents of Nigeria to understand this trend.

 

When you look critically at much of the online conversation, one thing quickly strikes you about the young elite supporters (and by elite I mean university educated, technology enabled, conversation starters) of Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari – the latter is quick to admit the failings of the man they voted, while the former insists incongruously, ridiculously that their man was not just good, but one of Nigeria’s best leaders.

 

The argument isn’t that he was a good man. But that he was a good leader.

 

Wait a minute, am I living in an alternative reality?

 

Even a series of governors and ministers who supported Jonathan actively for their own narrow reasons, businessmen who contributed to his incumbency, and random people who worked in the villa, when you sit down with them outside of the cameras, they routinely confess without hesitation: “Jonathan was a weak leader”, “He wasn’t prepared to be president”, and “He always listened to the last person in the room who spoke to him, and had no mind of his own.”

 

What are we even talking about? While he was president and many people worked with him, I routinely met his own appointees, his own employees, people benefiting from his government, who would not hesitate to confess that the man was a disappointment and an ongoing letdown as a democratic leader.

 

This was a man without a political philosophy, without a governing ideal, without an economic blueprint, without the basic apparent capacity for formulating ideas, principles and directions, without the presence of mind to engage complex problems in the public domain, without the integrity of consistent positions, without the pretense to an operating ideology, without the benefit of vision or hindsight and apparently no capacity for self-reflection.

 

Under him, we lost last swaths of Nigerian territory, lost lives and families to domestic terrorists, lost the respect of the international community, lost the ability to cooperate with nations in and outside Africa, were held hostage by corrupt politicians in cahoots with devil-may-care businessmen, and experienced widening income inequality while he celebrated the personal expansion of wealth of one citizen, and the obscene accumulation of questionable private jets. Under him, militants walked around with the swagger of validation, and soldiers lost morale, and foreign reserves took a beating. Our foreign reserves were depleted, and our oil politics polluted.

 

Yes, he had admirable qualities. Of course, he had admirable qualities. Yes, he took young people seriously. He loved the creative industries and respected civil society (even though some would tell you that, it was in fact his cerebral aides who loved both the creative industries and civil society and simply nudged him to follow their lead), he allowed his ministers a free hand (more out of cluelessness than deliberate strategy, but let’s even allow it), and he made giant strides in infrastructure (that in turn made available abundant sums for misdirection, but again, let’s allow it).

 

But what are we even talking about? Every leader has the capacity to do some good. Was it not Sani Abacha that delivered the Petroleum Trust Fund? Was it not Ibrahim Babangida that supervised our freest and fairest election? Was it not Umaru Yar’Adua that re-established federal respect for the rule of law?

 

The question for leaders is not: Was he a good man? It is not: Did he have good intentions? It is certainly not, did he do some good things? It is a more detailed question: Considering the resources that he had, and the opportunities that existed, did he achieve a basic minimum that we should be entitled to as citizens?

 

This is even more urgent in a democracy, because in a democracy, mentally competent people voluntarily decide to run for an office based on the promise that they know what they are doing, and they can do the job.

 

Getting into office and complaining that ‘you didn’t know how bad it was’, ‘the forces in the country are frustrating you’, ‘the country is very complex’ is beneath contempt.

 

What are you even talking about? You didn’t know the country was bad when you started running for elections? You didn’t know that principalities exist around our politics and governance? You did not know that running a country or a state, or even a N100 million business is hard? You didn’t know that you must expect the worst and be prepared only for the best?

 

No one votes a governor or a president, or a local chairman to ‘do their best’. Or, at least, no one should. You are not voted to do ‘your best’. You are not supposed to limit us to the extent of your capacity. You are supposed to rise to the occasion. You are supposed to meet the moment. You are supposed to get the job done, period.

 

That is the standard to which we must hold our governments. That is the standard to which we must past governments. And that is a standard to which we must hold Muhammadu Buhari.

 

You should not reduce those standards to make yourself feel better. You should not reduce the standard because you don’t want to accept that your choice did not meet the occasion. You should not reduce the standards so you can win an argument on social media. You should not reduce the standard because the other person’s candidate was worse. This is not a video game. This is not a social experiment. This is the business of making people’s lives better.

 

If Olusegun Obasanjo failed, then he failed. If Yar’adua failed, then he did. If Jonathan failed, then he failed. Assess his failure on its merits, irrespective of whether you think his successor is doing worse. If Buhari is disappointing, then he is disappointing, irrespective of whether Jonathan was a worse disappointment.

 

All of them were hired by all of us to do a job, and each is to be judged on its own merit. They are not to be defended and protected simply because you like the one and you dislike the other; they are to assessed independently based on the job they were given to do, and how they did that job.

 

That is what we deserve. No less.

 

You are a citizen. You deserve a government that works. And you deserve a government that works optimally.

 

Whether you like these guys or not, whether you supported these guys or not, whether you feel cheated by one part of the country or not, whether you violently disagree on an issue or not, there should be a basic, common sense agreement on this: we deserve, as a people, the very best that any government has to offer. We deserve leaders worthy of the positions that they are given.

 

When they fall below that basic minimum; regardless of party affiliation, economic interest, ethnic positioning, or simply to win an argument on Twitter, we should be able to say no, hell no, and demand better, and keep demanding better, until we get better.

 

If you can’t speak up, at least shut up, and let those who are able to find their voices use it for the benefit of all of us.

 

Enough of this tomfoolery, please.

 

*This series takes a break in the month of April. It will be concluded in the May, the month of Nigeria’s annual Democracy Day.

President Buhari picks new ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent names of two new ministerial nominees to the senate for confirmation.

Quoting a source, NAN said the letter which contained the names of the nominees from Kogi and Gombe states  arrived the senate late Tuesday.

The Kogi nominee will be replacing James Ocholi, the late minister of state for labour, while the one from Gombe would replace Amina Mohammed, former minister for environment, who is the current United Nations deputy secretary- general.

Buhari sent the list at a time when the senate is unhappy with the executive.

The upper legislative chamber halted the screening of resident electoral commissioners (RECs) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as requested by Buhari.

The senate shifted the exercise by two weeks, citing what it termed disregard for its proceedings as reason.

The lawmakers berated the president for appearing to be doing nothing about their rejection of Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC.

 

Source: NAN

Nigeria’s economic recovery template copied from Lagos – Adeosun

Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, has said the economic template being used to foster the growth of Nigeria’s economy was copied from Lagos state.

Making the admission on Tuesday at the colloquium organised to celebrate the 65th birthday of Bola Tinubu in Lagos, the minister said she was not ashamed to admit that Lagos’ successful model was being replicated at the federal level.

Adeosun lauded the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for his foresight and sense of direction.

“The economic template we copied from you is now being implemented for the economic recovery of the country and we are not ashamed to say it,” she said.

“The impact of that template is that many of the states are now copying it, especially in the area of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”

Adeosun noted that Lagos was working because it had in place, an effective tax mechanism.

She said the federal government will continue to insist on the collection of its rightful tax from evasive rich citizens and corporate organisations.

The minister said Nigeria needed multiple streams of revenue, adding that the country can have steady economic growth if “we consume what we make”.

“We need to support the economy with the infrastructure needed to create jobs for our young people. We will change Nigeria by consuming what we make for Nigeria to survive,” she added.

Critics failed in their bid to create enmity between Buhari, Osinbajo – Tinubu

Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday, said critics failed in their bid to drive a wedge between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Speaking at a colloquium held to mark his 65th birthday, the former governor said the president and his deputy exemplified teamwork and the true meaning of unity of purpose.

He said Osinbajo performed admirably when Buhari was out of country.

Osinbajo was acting president for 49 days when Buhari was in the UK on medical vacation.

“Before we go further, I give special thanks to Vice-President Osinbajo,” Tinubu said.

“Leading a group of fellow commissioners who worked together during my time as governor of Lagos, Yemi and this creative group have turned this event into an annual reality.

“Each year, they assemble creative minds to address the issues that stand in the way of our national greatness. As result, the colloquium gets better by the year.

“In this and so much else, the VP has proven himself a true servant of the Nigerian people. While our dear president had to be away, the VP performed admirably as his loyal subordinate.

“I applaud President Buhari. He meticulously followed our constitution in temporarily transferring the helm to the VP.  As such, these two excellent men exemplified teamwork and the true meaning of unity of purpose.

“Try as critics might, they could not create any space between the president and his deputy. This is how things are when people are united in vision and purpose. As President Buhari and his VP have been, we all must become.”

He described Buhari as a selfless leader who “set the stage by giving strategic policy direction”.

Tinubu also said Osinbajo showed himself to be selfless too, “for he worked as the faithful arm of the president”.

“Showing himself equally selfless, our VP, as acting president, worked as the faithful arm of the president, diligently putting in action what President Buhari had directed him to do,” Tinubu said.

“Two men of different backgrounds, faiths and professional experiences forged themselves into a team managing complex matters of governance in a seamless, smooth manner.”

Herdsmen are raping our wives, children, Anambra communities lament

About 15 communities in Orumba-South Local Government of Anambra State on Tuesday raised the alarm over the menace of herdsmen in their area.

They alleged that herdsmen were raping their wives and children.

The spokesperson for the communities, Mr Chukwudi Ugochukwu, stated this at Orumba-South Local Government Council secretariat in Umunze during a stakeholders’ meeting of the people of the area.

He added that the herdsmen allowed their cows to graze on farms, thereby destroying people’s livelihoods.

Ugochukwu said some women and girls had been raped on their way to their farms.

He said no fewer than 20 of such cases had being recorded, adding that he would not go beyond for fear of stigmatising the victims.

He said, “We live along the boundary with Imo State by Arondizuogu. All the farmlands there have been devastated by the herdsmen. Some of our women have been raped on the farmlands but they refused to talk so that they will not be stigmatised. The entire Umunze is under threat.”

‘We charge N300 to change expiry dates on tyres’ – Arrested Traders

Lagos State Police Command has arrested two traders at the popular Ladipo Market in Mushin, who specialised in changing expiry dates on vehicle tyres. The suspects,Samuel Obi, 19, and Izuchuckwu Iwueze, 25, were arrested on Monday in a shop at the market, while on the verge of changing dates on some tyres. Recovered from them was a machine used to delete manufacturers’ stipulated expiry dates.

The machine, as gathered, could also change chassis and engines numbers on vehicles. Iwueze, who admitted to the crime, disclosed that he usually collected N300 to change expiry dates on a tyre, and that it takes about 20 minutes to work on each.

According to him, “I started this job five months ago. A friend taught me how to delete manufactures’ dates and replaced them with ours. Motorists, motorcyclists, tricycles operators, including truck pushers, patronise us. “Some customers come to us with expired tyres and asked us to change the dates by extending them.

They do this because of disturbance by Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, officials. “For instance, we can change expiration dates from 2014 to 2016. It takes just between 10 to 20 minutes to do the change. Truck pushers also bring tyres for change of expiry dates. “We collect N300 for each tyre and work on at least 15 tyres daily.

I work for my boss, who pays me at least N2,000 or more daily, depending on the numbers of tyres worked on.” On his part, Obi denied having anything to do with the altercation of expiry dates on tyres, claiming he was arrested after one of his apprentices, whom he sent to collect N1,000 from Iwueze was apprehended.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, in-charge of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Yaba, Mr. Bolaji Salami, who confirmed the arrest, said the arrest followed a tip-off, adding that they would soon be charged to court.

Suspected Boko Haram members abduct 10 in Borno

The Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Borno State, Mr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, yesterday, said suspected Boko Haram members had invaded Konduga Local Government Area and abducted four women and six youths.

Abdullahi, who spoke in Maiduguri, noted that the insurgents also invaded Mittiri, Akalli and Arribbari villages in the same local government. He said: “Intelligence report indicated that the insurgents are now operating in Dalla Fatimiri on 10 motorcycles.

“Our men, on Friday, reported the kidnapping of four youths in Kalari village in Konduga Local Government area.”

‘Shekau will soon be arrested’- Minister of Defence

Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali is optimistic that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau who is on the run, will soon be arrested.

He spoke yesterday with State House correspondents after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said Boko Haram insurgents were defeated after their spiritual base and headquarters was captured by Nigerian troops.

On moves to capture Shekau, he said: “I believe it’s just a matter of time. It took America about seven to 10 years to get Osama bin Laden. So, we will get Shekau as soon as possible.

“I told you before now, the spiritual headquarters has been ransacked and vandalised. He (Shekau) is on the run. So, he may be hiding in one of the enclaves of Sambisa forest, which we are dominating.

“We have opened up the place. We are using the place as a training area, whereby army engineers will open roads. We shall be patrolling and ransacking that forest for Shekau.”

Reminded that several reports had claimed that Shekau had been killed, he said: “Let me tell you categorically. These insurgents, they have a way of putting masks. There could be so many, but we are looking for the real one.

“He has been using masks to portray Shekau in one incident or the other to give an impression that he has been killed so that we will relax, but we will not relax; we are on his trail.”

Rev Kukah denies collecting money from Jonathan

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah, has debunked the perception that he was close to former President Goodluck Jonathan for what he could get.

“Despite my friendship with Jonathan over this long period of time, we never discussed a penny, we never discussed one dollar; we never exchanged a penny, and we never exchanged a dollar,” Rev Kukah said.

In an interview in the current edition of The Interview, Kukah said those who thought they could smear him by warming up to President Muhammadu Buhari were responsible for fantasising his relationship with Jonathan.

“Suddenly, journalists whom I knew were writing, hoping they would be given positions (by Buhari) and all those who were abusing me have gone full cycle,” he said.

He went on: “Those who should be ashamed of themselves are those who took money from Jonathan, tonnes of it, and have decided to lie, buried under the table; they have decided to change course in the middle of the race. Those are the guys who you should be talking about.”

In a statement, The Interview Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief, Azu Ishiekweme, said:“This is Kukah with his gloves off, anti-Kukahs of every stripe have their match in this issue.”

The clergyman revealed that “certain people in the PDP” have been telling him that Jonathan should have had a long-drawn-out exit, like the disgraced Gambian President Yahaya Jammeh.

He spoke about the continuing detention of the Shiite leader, El-Zakzakky, and the bill for a Christian court, expressing concern that “we are going back, we’re not getting better.”

The edition also explores the love language of public figures, including advertising icon, Lolu Akinwunmi; journalist Funke Treasure-Durodola; the director of Leventis Food, Tasos Amanatidis; and author and celebrity, Teju Babyface.

I’m happy at Manchester City – Iheanacho

Super Eagles’ striker Kelechi Iheanacho has ruled out any possibility of leaving English clubside Manchester City “any time soon’’, saying he was happy to be part of the team.

Newsmen report that in spite of some impressive outings, City manager Pep Guardiola has given Iheanacho only few playing opportunities. However, the striker on Tuesday vowed to stay on and fight for his place in the face of competition from Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. Iheanacho, who has scored seven goals from 24 appearances this season, said: “I’m very happy and very grateful to be in this team.

“I keep working hard every day and when I get my chance I have to prove to everyone I need to be in the squad. “It’s a great squad with great players. Everyone is working really hard. So, everyone should be happy being in this team. “It’s a great team. The supporters give us everything.

So, we need to keep fighting for the team and the fans. “I am improving every day. I keep learning and improving and that will help me in the future. I love it here,” he was quoted on the club’s website as saying.

Governor Umahi replaces deceased aide with son

Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has replaced his late aide, Mr Emmanuel Anaga, who died in a fatal motor accident last Friday, with his son, Emmanuel (Jnr). Anaga, who was the governor’s Technical Adviser on Agriculture, hailed from Ezzamgbo, Ohaukwu Local government Area of the state.

The deceased’s Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) collided with a commercial bus at about 8.30 p.m., leaving him and three other persons dead. Confirming the governor’s pronouncement to in Abakaliki on Tuesday, Chief Clement Nweke, the Governor’s Principal Secretary, said it was a way of appreciating his efforts in the development of the state.

“The governor earlier announced that he will be made the Vice Chairman of the Local Government but we opted for a position that will be more continuous, to create the desired impact in the family,” he said.

Mr Mark Onu, Chairman, Forum of Technical Advisers to the governor, also confirmed the pronouncement, noting that the forum appreciated the governor for the action. “Anaga, popularly called Chico, was energetic and resourceful while alive and above all, lived a life worthy of emulation.

“He was humble to a fault and this endeared him to political stakeholders in the council, state and even the governor.” Onu remarked that the governor’s action showed that he was responsive to peoples’ needs, especially those at the grassroots. “The forum of technical advisers will appreciate this gesture by re-dedicating ourselves to the service of the state and support the governor in delivering dividends of democracy to the people.” He remarked that the forum would continue to support Anaga’s family and ensure that his son was duly integrated into the fold in the execution of its activities.

“I urge my colleagues to live exemplary lives worthy of emulation as Anaga’s life on earth made political stakeholders in the state extol his virtue and identify with his family in this moment of grief,” he said.

Chief Clement Odaa, Caretaker Chairman of Ohaukwu local government, commended the governor for the action and described Anaga as `a political icon’. “His legacies will remain indelible in the minds of people. We will participate actively in his burial programmes and support his family tremendously to assuage their pains,” he said.

5 teenage girls drown in Kebbi

Five teenage girls at Unguwar Kaye of Tarasa in Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area of Kebbi State have been reported drawn on Tuesday in the Tafkin Madobiya, popularly known as Indian water.

The girls are out of 10 girls resident in the area that decided to go for a swim after collecting vegetables for their meals at River Rima banks.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Samaila Yombe, led top government officials to attend the funeral prayers and commiserate with the families of the deceased. Two of the deceased girls were from the same family.

The deceased were aged between 10 and 15 years.Some residents of the area expressed shock at the death of the teenage girls and prayed that no more lives would be lost in the river.

Woodgate named new Middlesbrough coach

Former Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate has rejoined the Premier League club as first-team coach, the northeast side announced Tuesday. Boro parted company with former manager Aitor Karanka earlier this month, with his assistant Steve Agnew promoted as they try to avoid relegation from English football’s lucrative top flight.

Woodgate joins a new-look backroom staff that also includes former Scotland striker Joe Jordan. “Jonathan is someone who we know very well, and who in turn knows this club inside and out,” Agnew told Middlesbrough’s website.

“He brings a wealth of experience from the highest level of the game, and he’s a fantastic character. “We’re delighted to have him on board.” Woodgate, an ex-England international, had two spells at boyhood club Boro in a career that also saw him play for Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid and Tottenham during a distinguished playing career. Woodgate, 37, announced his retirement shortly after Middlesbrough won promotion to the Premier League in May 2016.

He has returned to the club before their key clash against relegation rivals Swansea on Sunday, which will be Agnew’s second match in charge.

Boro are currently five points from safety, but do have a game in hand on Swansea, with the Welsh club in the 17th place that is immediately above the relegation zone.

2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying draw in full

Group A

Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Madagascar

Group B

Cameroon, Morocco, Malawi, Comoros

Group C

Mali, Gabon, Burundi, South Sudan

Group D

Algeria, Togo, Benin, Gambia

Group E

Nigeria, South Africa, Libya, Seychelles

Group F

Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone

Group G

Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Zimbabwe, Liberia

Group H

Ivory Coast, Guinea, Central African Republic, Rwanda

Group I

Burkina Faso, Angola, Botswana, Mauritania

Group J

Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Swaziland

Group K

Zambia, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia

Group L

Cape Verde, Uganda, Tanzania, Lesotho

Matchdays

2017: June 5-13

2018: Mar 19-27, Sept 3-11 (two), Oct 8-16, Nov 5-13

Notes

— Group winners and best three runners-up qualify for finals with hosts Cameroon

— Cameroon will compete to gain match practice and be awarded points. If Cameroon win group, the runners-up will qualify; if they finish runners-up, the winners will qualify; if they finish third or fourth, the winners will qualify and the runners-up will compete for one of the three additional places

2019: We will beg Buhari to run – APC

The All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday said nothing has changed its earlier resolve to return President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 general elections despite his recent health challenges.

The national Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said this in a chat with newsmen

He noted that his earlier statement that the party leadership will plead with Buhari to contest the 2019 election irrespective of his health situation has not changed.

Oyegun said if the president accepts to contest “that will be the greatest sacrifice he will be making for the progress, growth and stability of this country and Nigerians will be the ultimate beneficiary of that decision.”

Recall that President Buhari recently returned to the country after over 40 days in the United Kingdom where he was treated for an ailment.

Upon his return, the president during a meeting he had with government officials said he had never been that sick in his life.

He had said, “I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a young man, including in the military with its ups and downs.”

Odigie-Oyegun, however, added that while he and other patriotic Nigerians will persuade the president to run, “the decision on whether to seek re-election or not is ultimately his.”

He noted that as a retired military officer, President Buhari is not afraid to sacrifice his health for Nigerians, saying that is the orientation he has had all his life even as a military officer.

He said, “The President Buhari I know is not afraid to sacrifice his health for the progress of this country. On my part and other progressive-minded Nigerians who mean well for this country, we will beg him to run again in 2019 because there is still a lot of work to be done.

“Four years, even eight years is not enough to redress the damages that have been done over the years. However, the ultimate decision is his but Nigerians will be the greatest beneficiaries if he accepts the challenge.”

US Secret Service detains man with suspicious package outside White House

The US Secret Service detained a male suspect carrying a package and making “suspicious comments” near the White House Tuesday, according to an official who said he was taken into custody and explosives experts were deployed.

A Secret Service official said the man had approached uniformed officers near 15th and Pennsylvania at around 10:15 am, a block from the White House.

The man was separated from the package and detained in a police vehicle, a security perimeter was established and “the package is now in Secret Service custody,” the official said, asking not to be named.

My dad never wanted me to play football – Wilfred Ndidi

Ndidi has been compared to N’Golo Kante due to their defensive abilities and massive work rate, but Ndidi isn’t perturbed by the comparison saying he plays his own game.

“No, I have never put myself in Kante’s shoes,” Ndidi told Goal. “I didn’t look to play like him when I arrived. I just came here to play my own game. I just feel like a different player to him.

“He is a good player, he has proved that he’s great this season. With the support of others, you can do anything you want and you can do it here.”

Talking about former manager, Claudio Ranieri, the manager who bought him and brought him to England, Ndidi told Goal.

“For Ranieri, I felt bad,” he said. “I don’t really talk about managers though. I am just here to play my football. It was sad that he left, though, because he brought me here but I just need to focus on my game. I am still playing.

“It is just football, everything became good. Everything started to come together. I never experienced any problems in the dressing room with any players.

“We were always happy in the dressing room and looking forward to games. Optimistic. We were focused on trying to win. When we lost, everyone was down, but I didn’t notice anything personally. I didn’t see anything strange.”

Talking about his move to Leicester from Belgium, where he played with Genk, Ndidi said:
“I have this mind to adapt quickly,” . “I didn’t find it very difficult. It is easy because everybody speaks English. I have a team-mate Ahmed Musa from Nigeria, which helps also.

Dino Goes To NASS In Academic Gown + Other Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you a recap of top stories in the NEWS today 28th of March, 2017.

 

President Buhari sacks five directors over illegal recruitment

Following reports of illegal recruitment exercise into the federal civil service, the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has given the nod to the dismissal of five directors at the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).


Dino Melaye attends plenary at the National Assembly wearing an academic gown

It was a dramatic but funny turn of events at the plenary of the Nigerian Senate when embattled senator, Dino Melaye showed up in the National Assembly complex dressed in an academic gown.


CBN activates new rate, pumps another $185m into FX market

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has activated the new foreign exchange rate for invisibles by pumping a total of $185 million into the foreign exchange market.


Probe uncovers massive fraud in YouWin programme

An ongoing probe, ordered by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has uncovered a massive fraud in the Federal Government Youth Enterprise With Innovation In Nigeria programme.


SARS Police arrests suspected killers of Jumia deliveryman In Rivers

Men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Rivers State on Monday arrested three suspects including a young woman for allegedly conspiring and killing a delivery agent of a popular online marketing company.


Customs seals residence of Kano senator, seizes 13 vehicles

The comptroller-general of customs (CGC) compliance task force has sealed off the residence of a senator from Kano state after seizing 13 vehicles allegedly hidden there.


Senate halts confirmation of REC nominees over Buhari’s inaction on Magu

The Nigeria’s Senate has stood down the confirmation of nominees for positions of Resident Electoral Commissioners, after expressing misgivings about President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sack Ibrahim Magu as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite his repeated rejection by the lawmakers.


Another Lagos lagoon suicide attempt averted by Police

The alarming spike in the rate of attempted suicides along the Lagos lagoon in the last few days has left residents as well as other concerned bodies a cause for worry.


Oil firm returns N62 billion to NNPC after controversial crude swap deal under Jonathan

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said on Monday it had reached a final settlement with AITEO Group over an outstanding $202.4 million (about N62 billion) debt in respect of under-delivery of petroleum products under the crude swap contract between 2012 and 2014.


Court stops launch of Nollywood movie “Okafor’s Law”, orders seizure of copies

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos has issued an Anton Piller order, directing the seizure of a film titled “Okafor’s Law” directed by Nollywood Producer, Omoni Oboli.


Messi slapped With Four-Game Ban

The Barcelona forward will miss the match in La Paz on Tuesday evening and three more World Cup qualifiers after that after abusiThe Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and Julius Berger, the contractor handling the repair of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway, have said the work is 40 per cent completed.ng an official.


FAAN, Julius Berger releases progress report on Abuja airport repairs

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and Julius Berger, the contractor handling the repair of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway, have said the work is 40 per cent completed.


Convicted Bala Ngilari used fraudulent prison letter to secure bail – Official

The letter used by the convicted former Adamawa governor, Bala Ngilari, to secure bail is fraudulent, an official has said.


17-year-old Boko Haram fighter captured, confesses to have killed 18 people

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) on Tuesday paraded a 17-year-old Boko Haram suspect, who admitted killing 18 people since he joined the group three years ago.


Senate admits buying bulletproof SUV but not at N298 Million

The Senate on Tuesday admitted that it bought a bulletproof Range Rover sports utility vehicle (SUV) as had been reported in the media.


Several people injured as bloody gang clash erupts in Mushin area of Lagos

Residents of Alamutu and Alaka end of Mushin were thrown into confusion after rival gangs from the area engaged in a free for all clash that left many injured.


Yakubu, Ex-NNPC boss, withdraws N1bn suit against EFCC, AGF

The erstwhile Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, has withdrwan his suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


Indian government orders probe into mob attack on African students

Indian authorities on Tuesday ordered an investigation into a mob attack on several African students near New Delhi, a crime for which seven people have been arrested.


Fire razes INEC headquarters in Abuja

There was an outbreak of fire at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday.


Magu is terrorising us because we rejected him – Senator Francis Alimikhena

Francis Alimikhena, senator representing Edo north, has accused Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of “terrorising” senators because they rejected his nomination.


Senator Dino Melaye petitions DSS against Omoyele Sowore

Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi west, has petitioned the Department of State Services (DSS) against Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, alleging “cyberstalking”.


Those who took money from Jonathan turned against him – Bishop Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah, has criticised the perception that he was close to former President Goodluck Jonathan for what he could get.

We’ve Had No Record Of Polio Outbreak In Seven Years – Oyo Government

The Oyo State Government has revealed that efforts towards the eradication of polio in the state has yielded positive results and is still yielding fruits, adding that the state has not recorded any polio outbreak for the past seven years.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan made this known over the weekend, during the flag off of the first round of the 2017 National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs), held at the secretariat of Oyo west local Government, Ojongbodu, Oyo town.

Dr. Adeduntan stated that the State Government would scale up the collaboration between the state and local governments to ensure that immunization services reach every child in the state, stressing that the government is set to make immunization services the right of every child and not a privilege.

The Commissioner explained that the NIPDs campaign was not only on eradication of polio but on all vaccine preventable diseases, noting that children are most susceptible to infections during the early childhood years.

According to him, the National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs), is a supplemental immunization campaign geared to ensure herd immunity among children under five years against poliomyelitis and towards the eradication of the disease in Nigeria.

Dr. Adeduntan urged mothers to make their children from ages 0-5 years available for the first round of immunization between March 25 and 28, 2017, explaining that it has been scientifically proven that immunization does not kill or affect children negatively against the backdrop of some cultural belief.

He called on all mothers to make sure they complete all stipulated immunization from birth for their children so that the efforts of the State government will not be fruitless.

“The intervention and target age group includes women of child bearing ages against tetanus and health promotion, children of 0-59 months for oral polio and all missed routine antigens and children of 0-11 months for due and missed routine antigens”, Dr. Adeduntan stressed.

 

Source: Channels TV

Niger Government Approves 2.06 Billion Naira To Pay Pensioners

The Niger state government has approved the release of 2.06billion Naira for pensioners under the old pension scheme.

Niger state Head of Service, Mr. Yabagi Sule and the Director General Niger state Pension Board, Hon. Usman Muhammad, made the disclosure in separate addresses at the opening of a two day workshop for management and staff of the State Pension Board.

The Head of Service who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Human Resources, Mr. Yahaya Abubakar, said the 8billion Naira was domiciled with the National Pension Commission.

He described the contributory pension scheme as very germane in the whole pension business because it touches the lives of retirees.

He added that the misconceptions about the CPS is as a result of lack of training which he said the workshop was designed to arrest.

Mr. Abubakar, however, hinted that a new pension law that would ensure regular payment of pension and gratuities but did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, Hon. Mohammad made it known that over 1000 retirees had been paid over 1billion Naira while another batch of 569 retirees would be paid any moment from now.

He noted that the state and local government pensioners have been receiving their monthly pensions promptly because the governor has instructed that it should be a first line charge.

He assured that all matters “standing against the CPS will be dealt with very soon, we will have a clearer picture of it not too long from now”.

 

Source: Channels TV

One Dead, 16 Others Severely Burnt In Calabar Kerosene Explosion.

One person has died while 16 others are being treated for severe burns  in Calabar the Cross River state capital.

The death and injuries occurred following an explosion linked to kerosene adulteration.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Asibong Inyang, who visited the victims at the hospital said the government is investigating the incident to find the root cause of the explosions.

She said the Ministry of Health would also educate residents on the dangers of using adulterated products, and promised to donate medical accessories to the ward in support of their treatment.

Also, while speaking to journalists, the State Commissioner for Petroleum, Itaya Asuquo Nyong, gave the assurance that his ministry would investigate those behind the adulteration and bring the culprits to book.

kero-explosion
Other victims admitted to the hospital – (All females and one male)

“We will set up an investigative panel cos we want to get to the root cause of the matter and find out where this product is bought and I intend to involve the services of the operative agencies in this operation, because we intend to ensure that adequate punishment is given. We should never experience such in the state”.

Some of the victims who spoke to Journalists, expressed that they were in deep pains as a result of the burns from the explosion.

 

Source: Channels TV

House of Reps to investigate fuel subsidy from 2012.

The House of Representatives yesterday announced that it would begin a fresh investigation into the petroleum subsidy regime from 2012 to May 2016.The Chairman, House ad hoc committee on the review of petroleum pump price, Nnana Igbokwe, said the decision was necessitated by the conflicting documents submitted by various oil marketers.

He said the marketers were those involved in the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Direct Purchase Direct Sale (DSDP)’s arrangements with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The oil marketers had alleged that the Federal Government owed them N300 billion, being the payment of subsidy to bridge the differential in the cost of importation and pump price.

Igbokwe, who decried the level of impunity in the oil industry, specifically queried the NNPC over the allegation of endless reconciliation of petroleum products’ imports worth over $1 billion.

The committee resolved that the activities surrounding forex allocation and Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) should be put on hold for further enquiry.The lawmakers summoned the Managing Director of Ramaniyah Oil Company over alleged withholding of 6.741 million litres of PMS since January 2013, as well as the lifting of crude, which could not be traced by the committee.

They also directed the Managing Director of Lubcon Nigeria Limited to appear in person to explain what the $2,337,500 he collected through Ecobank under the special intervention fund was used for.

Igbokwe promised to conduct a forensic audit on the documents submitted by the oil companies and recommend appropriate sanction against any one found culpable.Also, the House Committee on Public Accounts yesterday raised an ad hoc panel to investigate allegation of financial impropriety leveled against the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.

The office of the Auditor General of the Federation, in a query to the lower legislative chamber, had alleged that 86 different types of drugs that expired in 2011 were not destroyed.

The query also included the controversial waiver of medical bills of over N638, 380 at the hospital.At an investigative hearing by the committee on the two allegations, the Chairman of the committee, Kingsley Chinda, said there was the need to inquire into the allegations against the hospital’s authorities, beyond the oral and written evidence that had been given.

But, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Olurotimi Odunubi, confirmed that the expired drugs had already been destroyed.He said: “All expired drugs from 2007 to 2012 were boarded and buried in February 2013. These included the drugs under reference and the due process for boarding was also followed.”

On the bills for patients, Odunubi said medical bills for certain patients were actually written off as ‘bad debts.’He said beneficiaries of the decision were indigent patients and those without relatives who were brought by the police, as well as those abandoned in the hospital.

Odunubi further stated that before the action was extended to the patients, efforts were made to locate their relatives or those that could assist in paying their bills.

The next hearing was fixed for April, 18, 2017.

 

Source: The Guardian

BREAKING: Senate admits buying bulletproof SUV but not at N298 Million

The Senate on Tuesday admitted that it bought a bulletproof Range Rover sports utility vehicle (SUV) as had been reported in the media.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi told newsmen in Abuja that indeed the senate procured the said vehicle but not at the price that was being reported.

Sabi said that the vehicle cost was procured at $298,000 (N49.1 million) and not N298, million as was being reported in the media.

“Our attention has been drawn to the various false and mischievous reports in the media about the price of the vehicle which the Senate was said to have bought as part of its convoy but was later abandoned when it got impounded by the Customs over the controversy surrounding import duty payment.

“The correct price of the vehicle when it was imported in 2015 is $298,000 which at the prevailing rate of N165 to a dollar is about N49, 170.

“The Senate paid N62.5m for the vehicle in November 2015. This is contrary to the mischief by those who decided to turn the $298,000 to N298 million as the price of the vehicle.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the price the Senate paid for that vehicle is N62.5m and not N298 million.

“The Senate will appreciate it if all reports relating to the legislative institution, particularly on this vehicle matter, are reported with accuracy and all facts put in proper perspective.

“We urge journalists to avoid sensationalism. The Senate is a responsible institution and those who believe that when they have issues to explain before it, the next thing to do is to resort to falsehood, blackmail, muck-raking and mud-slinging, should know that they are just overheating the polity and undermining our democratic institution.

“Finally, the Senate wish to reiterate our total commitment to upholding the rule of law and to work for Nigerians, in accordance with our constitution,” he said.

The Senate had been in the eye of the storm over its probe of the activities of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) with media reports alleging that the upper legislative chamber was on a revenge mission.

Media reports alleged that attention of the Senate on the NSC was due to the fact that the service impounded an SUV allegedly procured by the President of the Senate Bukola Saraki.

The report said that the service refused to bulge in spite of the intervention of the Senate to release the SUV.

Meanwhile, at an investigative hearing by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, the importer of the vehicle absolved Saraki of any complicity in the importation.

The President of the Senate who also appeared before the committee stressed that he did not import any vehicle and does not own the vehicle that was purportedly seized.

He urged that the Senate as an institution must be strengthened so as to save the nation’s democracy.

 

Source: NAN

Prosecutors demand life sentence for Ivory Coast’s ex-first lady, Simone Gbagbo.

Prosecutors on Tuesday demanded a life jail term for Ivory Coast’s former first lady, Simone Gbagbo, who is on trial for alleged crimes against humanity.

“Gentlemen of the jury, you will declare Madame Gbagbo guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentence her to life imprisonment,” prosecutor Aly Yeo urged in his summing up at the country’s top criminal court.

He described her as a shadowy figure who orchestrated attacks on her husband’s opponents.

Gbagbo, the 67-year-old wife of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, was not in court as the jury retired to consider a verdict expected later Tuesday.

Once dubbed Ivory Coast’s “Iron Lady,” Simone Gbagbo is already serving a 20-year sentence for “endangering state security.”

Laurent Gbagbo is on trial for crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and persecution, having been handed over in November 2011 to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The ICC also wanted to prosecute his wife and issued a warrant for her arrest, but Ivorian authorities refused to hand her over, insisting she would receive a fair trial at home.

Some 3,000 people died in five months of unrest in the cocoa-rich west African republic after Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept the result of presidential elections in 2010.

Yeo said Simone Gbagbo headed a crisis cell — “a genuine decision-making body” that allegedly coordinated attacks by armed forces and pro-Gbagbo militias.

The evidence came from documents found in at the home of the presidential couple when the pair were arrested on September 11, 2011, he said.

“She replied to correspondence from arms dealers offering weapons and combat helicopters,” said Yeo.

She is accused of distributing arms to militias backing her husband following his election defeat.

In one case, she allegedly played an indirect role in the shelling of a market in Abobo, a Ouattara stronghold in the capital Abidjan, in November 2010.

 

Source: AFP

Super Eagles could shun London after visa hassle – Gernot Rohr

Nigeria could avoid playing friendlies in London from now on because of problems obtaining visas for staff and players, coach Gernot Rohr has said.

The Super Eagles played Senegal at non-league Barnet’s ground in north London last Friday, drawing 1-1, but a second scheduled match against Burkina Faso on Monday had to be called off.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said seven Burkinabe players failed to secure British entry visas.

The German coach said he will now suggest that friendlies and training camps be arranged on mainland Europe to avoid further difficulties as it was “too complicated to get visas” in Britain.

“I think it’s better to stay in Schengen, in Europe, than go to London where the people have problems. Even some players in our team couldn’t come, you know. They didn’t get the visa in time.”

Britain is not part of the Schengen zone, where there are no border controls between signatory countries and where international travellers require only a single visa for travel.

Currently, 26 European countries are part of the area.

Rohr told reporters in London on Monday night that Nigeria tried to find a last-minute replacement when it became clear the match would not go ahead against Burkina Faso.

Officials from Burkina Faso were reportedly told the application would be completed in Morocco, where the team was playing on Friday, as there was no British mission in Ouagadougou.

But the applications were still pending when the mission closed for the weekend.

Rohr, who has previously managed national sides Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso, has worked mainly with players based in mainland Europe since he took charge of Nigeria last year.

The former Bordeaux player and coach, who has also managed several European domestic sides, including Ajaccio, has said it costs less to do so and the facilities are better than in Nigeria.

Nigeria plan to set up a training camp in France in May and play a friendly against Corsica as part of preparations for a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in June.

 

Source: AFP

JUST IN: Indian police arrest five over attack on Nigerians

Police arrested five men Tuesday after hundreds of angry residents of a north Indian city attacked Africans with sticks and metal chairs following the death of a local teenager from a suspected drug overdose.

Around a dozen people were wounded in the violence late Monday in Greater Noida, a satellite city of New Delhi where hundreds of African students are based.

“Rumours were being spread that Africans are behind the youth’s death and racist comments were made on social media. It looks racially motivated,” senior police officer Sujata Singh told AFP.

India’s foreign ministry condemned the incident as “deplorable” and said it had assured the Nigerian high commissioner (ambassador) that all steps were being taken to protect the country’s nationals.

Many Nigerians were targeted in the violence, which was apparently triggered by the release without charge of five Nigerian students detained over the teenager’s death.

“The government is committed to ensuring safety and security of all foreigners in India. People from Africa, including students and youth, remain our valued partners,” said a ministry statement.

Singh said around 500 people had assembled for a candle-lit vigil in Noida to demand justice for the teenager, and became violent after spotting a group of Nigerians.

One television station showed an angry mob hitting a car with sticks, while another showed dozens of attackers hitting shoppers in a mall with metal chairs.

Endurance Amalawa, one of the attacked students, said he was outside the mall with his brother when they saw an angry mob running towards them.

“We kept crying for help, but no one came, not even the security marshals. I was running but they followed me and attacked me,” he said on NDTV television.

“Some people were hitting us, pushing us out… they dragged my brother outside and start hitting him.”

Africans living in India frequently face discrimination and even violence, and are often accused of involvement in the illegal drug trade.

The issue was thrown into the spotlight after a Congolese national was stoned to death last year in a dispute over an auto-rickshaw.

After that, African ambassadors in New Delhi threatened to advise students from their countries to avoid schools in the capital for their own safety.

“The locals look at us like cannibals,” said Presidoe Okujuna, spokesman for the Association of African Students in India, which is advising students to avoid classes for their own safety.

“People are scared. They don’t want to come out. They want security for their lives.”

The latest attack stemmed from the death of a local 16-year-old from an apparent drug overdose.

Police detained five Nigerian students in connection with the case after a group of local people went to their home and accused them of murder.

The students were later released after police failed to find any evidence against them.

 

Source: AFP

Fire guts the stadium of Shanghai Shenhua, the club of Obafemi Martins.

A fire outbreak has damaged the stadium of Shanghai Shenhua, the club of Nigerian football star, Obafemi Martins.

The fire which started at 8:30am destroyed a large portion of the 33,000-seater stadium.

Nobody was hurt in the fire incident which was successfully contained.

Authorities in Shanghai’s Hongkou District are investigating the cause of the fire.

Shanghai Shenhua, managed by Gus Poyet, may have to relocate for their next home fixture.

Hongkou Stadium was China’s first professional football stadium when it was opened in March 1999.

Martins signed for the team on February 18, 2016.

On May 15, 2016, he scored his first goal for the Chinese Super League side in a 5-1 win over Guangzou.

Since his move, the Nigerian striker has scored nine goals in 29 games.

Senator Dino Melaye petitions DSS against Omoyele Sowore.

Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi west, has petitioned the Department of State Services (DSS) against Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, alleging “cyberstalking”.

According to the Cybercrimes Act, 2015, any person found guilty of cyberstalking is liable to pay a fine of not more than N7 million or imprisonment for a term of not more than three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Sahara Reporters had run a series of reports in which it alleged that Melaye did not graduate from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.

But on Monday, Ibrahim Garba, vice-chancellor (VC) of the university, told the senate committee on ethics and privileges, which is investigating the allegation, that the lawmaker graduated from the institution.

“From the records, distinguished senator Dino Melaye graduated as Daniel Jonah Melaye during the 3rd semester with a 3rd class degree,” he had said.

But even after the testimony of the VC, Sowore insisted that the lawmaker did not graduate.

“We knew and tweeted since last week that the VC rushed to the Geography Department to ask for records, and when he was told that the full records of the Department could not sustain a public claim that Melaye graduated, he cherry picked the 400 Level “3rd Semester” results,” Sowore had said.

“In that results (record), Dino (formerly known as Daniel Jonah Melaye) and his former HOD David Okoro Ogbonna connived to get him graduated (discharged) after “clearing” carry overs courses he never wrote. Those were Mr. VC’s “available records” to make his declaration before the Nigerian Senate today.

“However, the authentic records in our possession shows that Melaye couldn’t have graduated, he did not fulfill some core course requirements of which, for example, “Geog 307 (Long Field Trip)” handled by one Dr. Bello had to be met. I studied Geography and Planning at UNILAG, it was a compulsory course, and my colleagues and I did ours in Benue State.

“Daniel Jonah Melaye never fulfilled this core requirement, and further, several other carryovers were directly fixed for him by Ogbonna and some unscrupulous lecturers.”

Melaye had also filed a N5bn libel suit against Sahara Reporters and its publisher at a federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Abuja.

In the petition dated 24 March, Melaye accused Sahara Reporters of libel.

“Sometime this month (March 2017), the above listed individuals and organisations caused certain false and vexatious information to be sent by means of electronic communications, computer systems and network against my person that I did not graduate from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria,” he alleged.

 

Source: The Cable

Magu is terrorising us because we rejected him – Senator Francis Alimikhena

Francis Alimikhena, senator representing Edo north, has accused Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of “terrorising” senators because they rejected his nomination.

Alimikhena said this on the floor of the senate on Tuesday while contributing to a debate where the senate agreed to suspend the confirmation of resident electoral commissioners (RECs) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He expressed supported for the idea of not screening the REC nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari until the executive explained its reason for retaining Magu.

“When doing something, do it well. What if we refuse one the nominees? That is the question the distinguished senators are asking the executive,” he said.

“There is no need for us not to confirm one, and when he goes back, they say, ‘you can continue to act’. So, if we disqualify a candidate and the person continues to act, why did they send the names here in the first place? Let’s not act on these names until the explains what happened to Magu.

“We disqualified Magu and he is still acting, and they are bringing nominees to confirm… The EFCC chairman that we disqualified in this chamber is behind all the problems in the paper today. He is behind all manner of allegations against us in the media. Magu is terrorising us because we disqualified him.”

When told to react to the allegation of the senator, Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the EFCC, said he had nothing to say.

“Report what you heard in the senate,” he told TheCable on telephone before ending the conversation abruptly.

On March 15, the senate rejected the nomination of Magu for the second time in three months.

The upper legislative chamber had cited an indictment on the anti-graft czar by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The DSS had accused Magu of being unfit to head the commission.

“Magu has failed integrity test and will constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of the current administration,” the agency had said in a report submitted to the senate.

The presidency is yet to react publicly to the issue of Magu’s rejection by the senate.

The lawmakers shifted the confirmation of 27 RECs by two weeks based on the disagreement with the presidency.

 

Source: The Cable

Those who took money from Jonathan turned against him – Bishop Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah, has criticised the perception that he was close to former President Goodluck Jonathan for what he could get.

“Despite my friendship with Jonathan over this long period of time, we never discussed a penny, we never discussed one dollar; we never exchanged a penny, and we never exchanged a dollar,” Kukah said.

In an interview in the current edition of The Interview, Kukah said those who thought they could smear him by warming up to President Muhammadu Buhari were responsible for fantasizing his relationship with Jonathan.

“Suddenly, journalists whom I knew were writing, hoping they would be given positions (by Buhari) and all those who were abusing me have gone full cycle,” he said.

He continued: “Those who should be ashamed of themselves are those who took money from Jonathan, tons of it, and have decided to lie, buried under the table; they have decided to change course in the middle of the race. Those are the guys who you should be talking about.”

In a statement, the MD/Editor-In-Chief, Azu Ishiekwene, said, “This is Kukah with his gloves off. Anti-Kukahs of every stripe have their match in this issue.”

The clergyman revealed that “certain people in the PDP” have been telling him that Jonathan should have had a long-drawn-out exit, like the disgraced Gambian President Yahaya Jammeh.

He spoke about the continuing detention of the Shiite leader, El-Zakzakky, and the bill for a Christian court, expressing concern that, “We are going back, we’re not getting better.”

The edition also explores the love language of public figures, including advertising icon, Lolu Akinwunmi; journalist Funke Treasure-Durodola; the director of Leventis Food, Tasos Amanatidis; and author and celebrity, Teju Babyface.

Boko Haram leader, Shekau is still alive – FG admits

Nigeria’s Federal Government has admitted that the leader of the dreaded terrorist sect, Boko Haram, Shekau is still alive, and not dead as claimed in the past.

This was made known by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Tuesday, shortly after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari of his ministry’s activities at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Dan-Ali said it has been difficult arresting the sect leader because the insurgents normally wear masks to conceal their identities and divert attention.
He said anybody who has the opportunity of visiting Sambisa Forest would know that Boko Haram has been defeated.

He said the nation’s security forces have dominated the sect’s stronghold including Camp Zero that served as their spiritual headquarters and communication base.

The minister said, “I believe it is just a matter of time. It took America about seven to ten years to get Bin Laden. So. we will get Shekau as soon as possible.

“The sect’s spiritual headquarters has been ransacked and vandalised. He (Shekau) is on the run.

“He may be hiding in one of the enclaves of Sambisa Forest which we are dominating.

“We have opened up the place. We are using the place as a training area. The Army engineers will open up roads and we shall be patrolling and be ransacking that forest for the whereabouts of Shekau.”

When confronted with the fact that the government had at different times in the past claimed that Shekau had been killed, Dan-Ali said, “These insurgents have a way of putting on mask. There could be so many but we are looking for the real one. They have been using mask to portray Shekau in one incidents or the other to give an impression that he has been killed so that we will relax. But we will not relax, we are on him.”

The minister said he briefed the President about the security situation across the country and he (the President) was impressed with the performance of the armed forces.

He said although it could be difficult to achieve 100 percent, the government is working hard to ensure that there is peace in all parts of the country.

Dan-Ali said while Buhari had directed the security forces to do more, they have also requested for more equipment.

 

Source: www.naij.com

BREAKING: Another Lagos lagoon suicide attempt averted by Police.

The alarming spike in the rate of attempted suicides along the Lagos lagoon in the last few days has left residents as well as other concerned bodies a cause for worry.

Few days ago, a textile dealer, Mz. Taiwo Momoh was prevented from committing suicide by the gallant officers of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) who stopped her from jumping into the lagoon.

This was shortly after Mrs. Abigael Ogunyinka was rescued by fishermen early Friday morning while attempting to plummet into the lagoon.

Shockingly, an unidentified man was prevented from plunging into the lagoon by the Nigeria Police yesterday, Sunday, March 26, 2017.

According to a source from the Police, Malik Nasir, who shared the information on social media, the man was rescued before he could plummet into the lagoon.

The officer shared the photo of the man with the caption “Yet Another Suicide Attempt At the Lagos Lagoon today. He was rescued before he could take the plunge. An Ifa Priest has said in a national daily that “the Lagoon is Angry. How do we appease the Lagoon Please.”

You would recall that late Dr. Allwell Orji became national topic after he ordered his driver to pull over before plunging into the lagoon from the Adekunle-Adeniji end of the Third Mainland Bridge.

Similarly, another woman attempted to take her own life at the Maza-Maza end of Mile 2, Lagos, when she dived into the lagoon. Luckily, she was rescued by fishermen and other residents who were close by.

 

Source: Inside Mainland

Several people injured as bloody gang clash erupts in Mushin area of Lagos.

Residents of Alamutu and Alaka end of Mushin were thrown into confusion after rival gangs from the area engaged in a free for all clash that left many injured.

It was learnt that the clash between the rival gangs started late Sunday night when scores of hoodlums stormed the axis wielding dangerous weapons and looting shops in the process.

Gunshots as well as a coordinated gang theft dominated the axis before operatives of the Nigerian Police stormed the area to restore normalcy.

The clash between the gang broke out after the Alamutu group embarked on a candlelight procession for a bus conductor who belonged to their gang. The conductor we gathered died after he fell off a moving vehicle and he was buried accordingly.

The candlelight procession was however organized to honour his passing before an argument ensued between the rival gangs on territorial supremacy. The fight escalated into a big one late Sunday and continued till the early hours of Monday morning before the Nigerian Police mobilized officers to the scene.

It was gathered that during the heavy shooting, some residents were hit by stray bullet fired by the gang members. This however led to confusion as residents scampered for safety to avoid being caught in the fracas.

A resident who craved anonymity said “rival gangs’ clashing in Mushin is not a new thing. They would fight now and in the next minute, everything returns to normal. Only those who are not familiar with the area get entangled in the fracas most times.”

“The fight started due to an argument between the Alaka and Alamutu boys. They laid siege around Idi-Oro market in Mushin burning tyres and shelling broken bottles. This led to a massive struggle among residents to avoid being hurt,” he added.

An unidentified truck driver suffered machete wounds on his head during the fracas. He was however rushed to a nearby hospital for urgent care.

Presently, parts of Idi-Oro market is littered with broken bottles while a RRS van is stationed close to the market to forestall another breakout of crime.

Commenting on the incident, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Olarinde Famous- Cole, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) disclosed the Police responded to a distress call of a clash between two gangs of area boys and that normalcy has returned to the area.

 

 

Source: Inside Mainland

Messi slapped With Four-Game Ban

The Barcelona forward will miss the match in La Paz on Tuesday evening and three more World Cup qualifiers after that after abusing an official

Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia after being slapped with a four-game ban for a foul-mouthed rant at a match official.

The decision was communicated to the Argentine Football Association (AFA) just hours before their match in La Paz on Tuesday evening.

 

It followed an incident towards the end of the Albiceleste’s 1-0 victory over Chile last week, when the Barcelona star scored the only goal from the penalty spot.

Lionel Messi Alexis Sanchez Argentina Chile Eliminatorias Sudamericanas 2018

The 29-year-old was penalised for a foul and proceeded to wave his arms and shout insults at the referee’s assistant Marcelo van Gasse, with whom he refused to shake hands at the final whistle.

It was not initially recorded in referee Sandro Ricci’s report but was followed up by FIFA after video footage of Messi’s insult emerged. Both the officials and the AFA were subsequently asked for their observations.

Messi has been fined 10,000 Swiss francs (£8,100) and will also miss World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru before returning for the final match against Ecuador.

“This decision reflects the consistent case law that the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has applied in previous and similar cases,” a FIFA statement reads.

Four South American teams are guaranteed a place at the finals and a fifth can also progress by winning an intercontinental play-off tie against a team from Oceania.

Argentina currently sit third in the regional table but are only two points ahead of Chile, who are the first team out of the qualifying spots in sixth.

Messi is one of five players suspended for the visit to Bolivia after Nicolas Otamendi, Javier Mascherano, Lucas Biglia and Gonzalo Higuain picked up yellow cards against Chile.

 

To compound coach Edgardo Bauza’s selection headache, Gabriel Mercado and Emmanuel Mas both suffered injuries in that match.

More encouraging for Argentina, however, is the fact that Bolivia have lost 10 of their 13 qualifiers so far despite their well-documented altitude advantage at Estadio Hernando Siles, which is one of the highest stadiums in the world at 3,637 metres above sea level.

Dino Melaye’s academic gown, a juvenile way to prove he attended ABU – Dean

Academics have said that Dino Melaye’s donning of academic gown to the Senate plenary session on Tuesday is a “juvenile attempt” at proving that he attended the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Senator Melaye had stormed the National Assembly Plenary Session on Tuesday (today) in what academics described as “ceremonial” gown, rather than an academic robe.

The senator representing Kogi West has been under fire in the past week, as critics allege that he did not earn an academic degree from the ABU as claimed.

In his defence, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, had deposed before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on Monday that Melaye earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from ABU, with a Third Class.

Speaking to The PUNCH online, Professor of History and a former Dean of Faculty of Arts at the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, Abolade Adeniji, said if Melaye felt that his appearing in what he thought was an academic gown would confirm his claim that he attended ABU, it is “juvenile.”

Adeniji said, “This is a juvenile attempt at justifying his claims that he attended ABU. He has only made a fool of himself.

“What the senator has done is unusual, and this should be a source of concerns to his fellow senators.

“The senatorial position is an exalted one that should not be trivialised the way Senator Melaye is doing.

“The appearance he assumed today is not for an adult, much less a senator. He looks so cheap. It’s a political drama that was meant to prove that he has a degree.”

Another academic, the Dean of Arts Faculty and Associate Professor of English Language at LASU, Dr. Adeleke Fakoya, said the gown that Senator Dino Melaye wore “is a ceremonial one.”

“This is a ceremonial gown and not an academic robe. It is a ceremonial uniform usually worn during formal ceremonies in any Ivory Tower.

“Even then, you can only wear such ceremonial robes if you are a part of the procession in the academic environment; never in the context in which Senator Melaye wore it today.

“The type of gown that the senator wore in that photograph is usually worn by vice-chancellors, registrars, deans, etc.

“If Melaye intended it to prove that he graduated from ABU, then he missed it big time because the type of gown he is wearing is not for someone being conferred with a first degree, to start with.

“It is a ceremonial costume that should not be worn in frivolous manner as this senator has done. It’s either hired or stolen.”

On the implications of Senator Melaye’s action, Fakoya said it wouldn’t change anything.

He said it’s like the case of a church leader who chooses to wear a Pope’s gown.

“It won’t make that person a Pope, because we know the processes involved towards becoming a Pope.

“Ditto for academics. You must earn what you claim to possess, academically or by way of honorary bestowal.

“The onus is on anyone to justify his claims to any degree, instead of treating sacred objects with frivolity as we have here.”

Yakubu, Ex-NNPC boss, withdraws N1bn suit against EFCC, AGF

The erstwhile Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, has withdrwan his suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Yakubu, had asked a Federal High Court sitting in Kano to order the Federal Government to return to him, over N3billion that was found in his home in Kaduna.

Mr.Yakubu dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, demanding public apology and N1billion as damages for his continued detention. Yakubu, in a motion on notice with suit number FHC/ICN/CS/24/2017, filed by his lead counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN, asked the court to set aside the forfeiture order that granted FG ownership of the money which was discovered by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on February 9.