Dogara Vows To Amend SSS Law, Condemns Raid On ‘Corrupt’ Judges Homes

Speaker Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday said the invasion of the homes of senior judicial officers by the State Security Service was a disorganised and worrisome act.

The Speaker said the clampdown was a duplication of the function of other anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and promised sweeping reforms to prevent its recurrence.

Mr. Dogara made the observations when he inaugurated a House committee charged with investigating the clampdown and its aftermath.

“It is untidy, it seems, to have multiple agencies exercising similar functions. The EFCC already handles issues of corruption and economic crimes in Nigeria,” Mr. Dogara said. “Should the State Security Service also be charged with the same functions?”

Scores of SSS operatives swooped on the homes of judges in a coordinated raid across the country on October 7. The raid dragged until the next morning on October 8 before the news of the raid filtered to Nigerians.

Two judges of the Supreme Court, an appellate court judge and five high court judges were arrested in the operation.

The SSS also said it recovered a huge amount of money denominated in different currencies from the judicial officers’ homes and said it was the climax of a sting operation launched months before.

Some of the arrested judges are already being prosecuted for corruption while all of them have been granted bail.

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International Media Group Condemns Nigerian Military For Threatening Salkida

The Nigerian military should cease threatening freelance journalist Ahmad Salkida with prosecution for not acting as an informer, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

The military has said the journalist could face terrorism charges if he does not provide it with information he gained in the course of his reporting on the militant group Boko Haram.

In a statement carried by Nigerian news websites on August 14, military spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman declared Salkida and two civil-society workers – Aisha Wakil and Ahmed Bolori – “wanted for interrogation” regarding the location of over two hundred school girls Boko Haram abducted in April 2014.

In the statement, Col. Usman invoked the 2011 Terrorism Prevention Act, under which “Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or terrorists’ activities.” He said, “We are also liaising with other security agencies for their arrest if they [fail] to turn up.” Salkida has lived in the United Arab Emirates since August 2013.

“Journalists must sometimes rely on the trust of dangerous people. Coercing them to become informants risks putting all journalists under suspicion and in danger,” CPJ West Africa Representative Peter Nkanga said. “Nigeria’s military should not threaten Ahmad Salkida and instead ensure that he is free to work.”

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Hollande Condemns ‘Cowardly’ Terror Attack On French Police

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday called the killing of a policeman and his partner by a man claiming allegiance to Islamic State (IS) a “terrorist act” and warned France still faced a serious threat.

The attack is the first deadly strike in France since the coordinated attacks on Paris by an Islamic State cell in November in which 130 people were killed.

Hollande said the 42-year-old policeman and his partner, who were attacked at their home northwest of Paris overnight, were “murdered in cowardly fashion.”

“It’s unquestionably a terrorist act,” Hollande said, stressing that France, which is currently hosting the Euro 2016 football championships was still “facing a very significant terrorist threat.”

Sources close to the investigation identified the suspect, who was killed in a police raid, as Larossi Abballa and said he was convicted in 2013 over his role in a jihadist group with links to Pakistan.

The sources later confirmed that the 25-year-old assailant was also part of a more recent investigation into a network recruiting jihadists for the fight in Syria.

During failed negotiations with police that ended with elite RAID officers storming the house, the attacker claimed he was also acting on behalf of IS.

He repeatedly stabbed the policeman and then killed his partner, who was found with knife wounds to her neck.

The couple’s three-year-old son was found after the police operation, “in shock but unharmed,” a prosecutor added.

Credit: Guardian

Buhari Condemns Terrorist Attack On Grand Bassam Resort In Cote D’Ivoire

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned Sunday’s terrorist attack on the Grand Bassam Resort in Cote D’Ivoire.


This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president.


It stated that the President in a telephone call to President Alassane Ouattara after the attack, conveyed the sympathy of the Federal Government and people of Nigeria to the people of Cote D’Ivoire as they mourned their compatriots and foreign visitors who lost their lives in the attack.


According to the statement, Buhari assures his Ivorian counterpart of Nigeria’s full solidarity and support as his country grapples with the consequences of the heinous attack and strives to overcome the new security challenge posed by the terrorist incursion.


Buhari restated his call for greater international cooperation against terrorists and their sponsors as he remarked that “terrorism now transcends all national boundaries.

“They have attacked a hotel in Mali, leaving 21 people dead. They killed over 130 people in attacks on Paris and they murdered 28 persons in Burkina Faso.

“Terrorism does not respect territorial boundaries again.

“That is why the world has to come together, present a common front and deal with these merchants of evil.’’

Ouattara, according to the statement, thanked Buhari for Nigeria’s sympathy and solidarity.



Senate Condemns “Ultra-Wicked” Electricity Tariff Hike, Demands Reversal

The Nigerian Senate has asked the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, and electricity distribution companies to immediately suspend the new electricity tariffs that has seen charges raised by over 40 per cent.

The Senate gave the order Tuesday, following a motion sponsored by Suleiman Nafiz (APC-Bauchi North).

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, described the tariff raise as “ultra-wicked and unconscionable”.

Despite Nigeria’s dismal electricity output, the federal government implemented the new tariff regime on February 1, sparking widespread criticisms and nationwide street protests by the organised Labour.

But the Minister for Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the measure was a “bitter pill” Nigerians must swallow to enjoy optimal service delivery in the power sector.

Mr. Nafiz asked the Senate to probe how funds allocated to electricity companies were spent.

In his contribution, Dino Melaye, (APC-Kogi west) noted that the latest increase in electricity tariff was the fourth since the privatisation of power.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Amnesty International Condemns The Reinstatement Of Nigerian General Accused Of Possible War Crimes

Human Rights group, Amnesty International (AI), has condemned the reinstatement of a former commander of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ahmadu Mohammed, who the organization accused of possible war crimes following the alleged execution of suspected Boko Haram detainees in Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Borno State.

Amnesty implicated Mr. Mohammed, a Major General, alongside other serving and retired military chiefs for possible war crimes following the alleged torture and extra-judicial killings of more than 8,000 suspected Boko Haram detainees.

Mr. Mohammed was specifically accused of overseeing the killing of 640 detainees at Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Borno State on March 14, 2014 after the Barracks’s detention centre was attacked by Boko Haram.

Mr Mohammed was retired in 2014 after a mutiny by soldiers who accused him of knowingly leading them into a Boko Haram ambush around Chibok on May 12, 2014.

More than 70 soldiers were killed in the ambush. Mr Mohammed, whose vehicle was shot at by the angry soldiers during the mutiny, has been quietly reinstated after he allegedly wrote several letters to the army authorities asking to be recalled.

In a statement Monday, Amnesty International described the reinstatement of Mr Mohammed as a “monumental failure of the government to stamp out impunity for wars crimes at the highest level.”

“Major General Mohammed must be investigated for participating in, sanctioning or failing to prevent the deaths of hundreds of people,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

 “Young men and boys, rounded up by the military, were either shot, starved, suffocated or tortured to death and no one has yet been held to account. It is unthinkable that Major General Muhammed could resume command of troops before an investigation has even begun,” Mr. Shetty added.

Credit: PremiumTimes

PDP Governors Forum Condemns Gulak’s Declaration As Party’s National Chairman

The Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum has condemned the action of Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, for declaring himself as the National Chairman of PDP.

Gulak, the former Special Adviser to Jonathan on Political Matters, had earlier in the day at the PDP secretariat,said he had ced to assumed office as PDP national Chairman following a court ruling.

The governors’ position is contained in a Communique issued by the forum after its meeting held late on Wednesday in Abuja and signed by the Director General of the forum, Earl Osaro

“The invasion of the party headquarters on Wednesday by Ahmed Gulak, who reportedly assumed the Chairmanship of the PDP, is regrettable and condemnable.

“We take cognisance of the judgment by the court in Abuja which ordered the acting chairman to vacate office for any other person from the North-East zone of Nigeria.

“Our party constitution has enough provisions for that and the necessary process has been put in motion,” the Communique stated.

It stated that the appropriate organs of the party would meet soonest to elect a national chairman of the party from the appropriate zone.

Credit: Sun

Senate Condemns PDP For Calling For Buhari’s Impeachment

The Senate has condemned the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over calls for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari over the missing 2016 budget.

The Party described the call for Buhari’s impeachment as the biggest joke of the year.

Ali Ndume, the Senate leader, while reacting to the call, said the President should be applauded for putting the country on the right track.

He noted that the President is still trying to correct the mess left by the PDP during its 16 years’ reign as the ruling party.

The PDP leadership had at the peak of the controversy of the missing budget, last week, called for the impeachment of Buhari.

Credit: DailyTrust

PDP Condemns Dokpesi’s Arrest

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has condemned Tuesday’s arrest of television and radio proprietor, Raymond Dokpesi, and other opposition people by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The party also said that it had been made aware that more notable PDP leaders have similarly been listed for arrest over “unproven allegations” pursuant to the plot by the governing All Progressives Congress, APC to cow and silence opposition in the country.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Tuesday said the military style of pronouncement of guilt on Mr. Dokpesi before any fair hearing, betrays the fact that he is a victim of political persecution and mob trial by the APC government because of his association with the PDP.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Dogara Condemns Attacks In Jos, Zaria

As the country grapples with heightened terror attacks, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, has called on Nigerians to persevere in prayers for the country. While condemning the bomb attacks in Jos and Zaria which left scores dead, Dogara said recent happenings in the country can-not be solved through conventional human wisdom but divine intervention.

A statement issued yesterday by his special adviser on media and public affairs, Turaki Hassan, said the Speaker made the remarks at the commissioning of a church at Ubulu-Uku, built by Hon. J.O. Mrakpor who represents Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State.

“I will urge that we continue with prayers for Nigeria. If Nigeria will be exalted it will be on the account of righteousness,” the Speak-er said.

“As leaders, we need prayers from all Nigerians. When you con-tinue to pray for your leaders for righteousness to reign in the af-fairs of the nation, definitely, Nigeria will be exalted and it will re-flect on our citizens.

“These are very uncommon times and all we need to survive is prayers. That is why altars like this are necessary,” he added.


Saraki Condemns Recent Boko Haram Attacks, Expresses Sadness Over Lagos Boat Mishap

The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday condemned in strong terms what he described as renewed onslaught against innocent Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Mr. Saraki also expressed pain over the death of six school children in Lagos following a boat mishap that involved 14 school children who were being conveyed across Ojo to Irewe jetty.

A statement released by the senate president’s spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, quoted Mr. Saraki as saying that the military authorities would do everything necessary to prevent the unwarranted attacks by Boko Haram from escalating.

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Buhari Condemns Latest Boko Haram Attacks

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned in the strongest language the latest terrorist attacks on Borno and Yobe communities by the Boko Haram bandits.

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president said he was deeply touched by these mindless incidents of violence on innocent people during the month of Ramadan.

According to President Buhari, the terrorists are enemies of everybody, and enemies of humanity everywhere.

He explained that no sane people who believe in any god would be destroying the lives of innocent people in cold blood, adding that terrorists don’t represent any religion.

The President said the pattern of their indiscriminate violence against innocent people shows that they represent nothing else but anarchy and devilry.

In what appears to be one of his toughest expressions of outrage, President Buhari reminded the terrorists of his uncompromising resolve to tackle them with all the resources at the disposal of his government.

“Make no mistake about it: this government is ever determined to discharge its fundamental duty of protecting the lives of its citizens from physical threats from any groups bent on creating chaos, confusion, and on destroying social and economic life of the people”, he further warned.

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PDP Condemns House Drama, Accuses Buhari Of Bias

The Peoples Democratic Party has condemned what it described as a show of shame and national embarrassment, Thursday’s fracas in the House of Representatives.

It said the ugly development brings to question President Muhammadu Buhari and his party’s commitment to democracy, unity and the stability of the country.

The PDP said “the disgraceful act” was a direct consequence of President Buhari’s lack of democratic credentials to respect the independence and sanctity of the legislative arm of government, the very citadel of democracy, as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement in Ahuja on Thursday said “the barbaric attempt to physically assault a duly elected Speaker, seize the mace, the authority of the House, is a direct attack on the Nigerian parliament which embodies the supremacy of the people and our freedom as a democratic nation.”

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NANS Condemns Call For Withdrawal Of Okonjo-Iweala’s Yale Doctorate Degree

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned the call for the withdrawal of the Doctorate Degree conferred on the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, by Yale University in the United States.

A statement from NANS President, Tijani Usman, in Abuja on Saturday urged Yale University authorities to ignore the petition by one Sunday Iwalaiye requesting it to withdraw the award.

The statement said the request was politically motivated and ill-conceived. It said Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was well-deserving of the award, adding that the basis cited for the award perfectly described its understanding of what she had done for Nigeria.

“From our investigations, we have come to the conclusion that this is a politically sponsored campaign against one of our most outstanding and distinguished Nigerians.

“NANS totally and unequivocally condemn the said act, the initiator of the act and the vested political interests that are behind the act.

“It calls on the authorities of the Yale University to totally disregard the said petition.

“The position of Sunday Iwalaiye and his sponsors that is being promoted by a section of the media does not reflect the opinions of majority of Nigerians.

“We are aware that Okonjo-Iweala, as the Coordinating Minister for the Nigerian Economy, has been able to build strong institutions like the Development Bank of Nigeria, among others.

“We, the students, are aware that Okonjo-Iweala implemented an electronic personnel management system which has stopped corruption in the payment system of civil service by weeding out more than 60,000 ghost workers.

“This singular initiative has saved the country more than N200 billion. We know that this is significant because it means that the country has lost trillions over five decades.

It said that some “smart initiatives’’ of the minister such as YouWin and Graduate Internship Programmes had helped in reducing unemployment in the country.

Credit :NAN

South Africa Condemns Nigeria’s Recall Of High Commissioner, Jabs Jonathan On Chibok Girls

The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, has described the recall of Nigeria’s High Commissioner as an “unfortunate and regrettable” diplomatic step.

In a statement, Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, said the South African government was shocked that the Nigerian government would resort “to such an extraordinary diplomatic step to express outrage at actions or behaviour of another government”.

“We are not sure which actions or behaviour of the South African Government the Nigerian Government is protesting,” Mr. Monyela said.

“It is only Nigeria that has taken this unfortunate and regrettable step. If this action is based on the incidents of attacks on foreign nationals in some parts of our country, it would be curious for a sisterly country to want to exploit such a painful episode for whatever agenda.”

The. South African authority said despite the recall, the country remained committed to a strong bond of friendship and bilateral relations with Nigeria despite the death of 84 South Africans at a collapsed guest house of Synagogue Church of All Nations on September 12, 2014.

The country also took a jab at the outgoing administration of President Godluck Jonathan saying it would raise its concerns through diplomatic channels with the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration and referencing the failure of the current administration to rescue the kidnapped chibok girls and also end Boko Haram insurgency.

“We shall also continue to support and not blame the Nigerian Government as it battles to deal with Boko Haram that continues to kill many innocent civilians,” the statement said. “We hope that the more than 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram will someday be reunited with their families.”

South Africa and Nigeria have had a tense relationship since the former seized millions of dollars in cash illegally brought into its territory by Nigerian authorities.


Multichoice Condemns Xenophobic Attacks In SA

MultiChoice Africa, the continent’s premier pay-TV company, has described as appalling the violence being visited on foreigners in South Africa.

In a statement issued on April 16, MultiChoice Africa said those affected by the wave of anti-foreigner violence are brothers and sisters to their assailants.

This, the company said, is abominable and strongly condemnable.

It urged Africans to see themselves as one irrespective of differences in nationalities, traditions and religions because Africa’s potential is realisable only through unity.

“As a multicultural African organisation, we respect and embrace diversity, and all the different traditions and religions across the continent.

“This is demonstrated through our multinational staff complement, rich African programming and channels on both our DStv and GOtv platforms.

“Our condolences go to the families and friends of those who have been affected or lost their lives in these mindless and unforgivable acts of violence,” the statement said.

Pope Calls on Muslim Leaders Worldwide to Condemn Terrorism

Pope Francis on Sunday called on Muslim leaders to issue a global condemnation of terrorism, saying it would help to dispel the stereotype that equates Islam with terror.

Speaking to reporters aboard the plane as he returned from Turkey, where he condemned Islamic State insurgents several times, Francis said he made the suggestion in private talks on Friday with the country’s president, Tayyip Erdogan.

“I told the president that it would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this, because this would help the majority of Muslim people,” Francis said in answer to a reporter’s question.

“But this must come from the mouths of their leaders, from religious leaders, academic leaders, intellectuals and political leaders,” he said.

Catholic Church officials have urged Islamic leaders to speak out more forcefully against Islamic State, but the pope’s words on the plane were his most comprehensive so far.

He called for “a global condemnation (of terrorism), including from Muslims, who have their own identity and say ‘we are not that, the Koran is not that’,”.

He said he understood how Muslims were offended by the stereotype that equates Islam with terrorism.

“They say: ‘No, we are not this, the Koran is a book of peace, it is a prophetic book of peace. This is not Islam,’” he said.

Credit: Reuters