Boko Haram: US Donates Fresh $92m To Displaced Persons

The United States has announced a donation of nearly $92m as additional humanitarian assistance to people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and severe food insecurity in the North-East and the Lake Chad Basin region.

With this donation, the US said it had provided more than $291m in humanitarian assistance in the 2016 fiscal year to people affected by Boko Haram-related conflicts.

The US continued to be the single largest humanitarian donor to the region, a statement on Wednesday in Abuja from the Information Office of the US Embassy stated.

“This new funding to United Nations and Non-Governmental Organisation partners will help tens of thousands of people receive critically needed humanitarian assistance, including food, water, shelter, and services to address acute hygiene, protection and nutritional needs,” the statement added.

The statement hinted that the insurgency had left more than 6.4m people in need of emergency food assistance and displaced 2.6m people in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.

It said that the United Nations estimated an additional $1bn was needed to meet the humanitarian needs of people in 2017.

The US called on other donors to contribute additional humanitarian assistance for the millions of people in the region whose lives had been affected by Boko Haram.

Credit: punchng

5000 Fresh Ghost Workers Uncovered In Fed. Civil Service- FG

Vice President Yemi Osibajo has disclosed that an additional 5,000 ghost workers have been uncovered in the on-going daily audit of workers in the Federal civil service.

This is apart from the about 35,000 ghost workers earlier unearthed following the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy by the federal government.

Osibajo who disclosed this at the 80th Tabieorar festival of the Church of the Lord Prayer Fellowship worldwide held at Mount Tabieorar Ground , Ogere Remo along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway lamented that salaries collected by ghost workers on a monthly basis ran into billions of Naira that could have been profitably used for the public good.The Vice President who was represented at the event by Aso Rock Chaplain, Seyi Malomo said despite inheriting a badly damaged economy, the present administration has begun moves to tackle the challenges and return the country to a glorious path.

Osibajo said what the presidency has done is re-laying the foundation to take Nigeria back to glory.

Besides, he disclosed that government has diversified the economy focusing more on agriculture.

This initiative according to the Vice President would address the unemployment situation among the teeming youths.

He said, “we are gradually diversifying the economy by exploring alternative revenue options particularly in the solid and natural mineral sector of the economy . Recently, we untied the legal knot that had kept a major economic sector comatose for years. As a result, we should see results from resuscitation of Nigerian Iron Mining Company , Itakpe, and the Ajaokuta Steel , Kogi “, he said.

He further appealed to Nigerians to endure the current challenges assuring that there would be full restoration soon.

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FG Places States, LGAs On Red Alert Over Fresh Polio Outbreak

The federal government has put states and local governments on red alert over the fresh cases of wild polio virus (WPV) in Borno State. Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole in a statement yesterday called on states and local governments to redouble their efforts in safeguarding their territories from importation of the virus. He said they can also do so by providing the required leadership and ensuring accountability among healthcare workers and other stakeholders.
The minister who confirmed the outbreak of the disease said that itaffected two children from Gwoza and Jere local government areas of the state.

Adewole said the discovery and confirmation of the outbreak was as a result of strengthened surveillance due to improved accessibility which has been made possible by the recent military action in liberating more communities in the North-eastern part of the country.
He said the detection of children paralysed by polio was also a reminder that the country needs to remain vigilant and immunise all eligible children with polio vaccine until the disease is completely eradicated worldwide.
The minister also directed the deployment of a national emergency response team, comprising government and partners to Borno State for immediate polio vaccination campaign, targeting eligible children to prevent the spread of the virus locally and internationally.
As an immediate response, about one million children are to be immunised in four local government areas of Borno. Children in adjoining states of Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe will also be immunised bringing the number to about five million in the four states.

Credit: dailytrust

FG Confirms 2 Fresh Polio Cases In Borno

The Minister of Health, Prof.Isaac Adewole, yesterday, confirmed an outbreak of wild polio virus, WPV, in Borno State. This is coming after Nigeria celebrated two years without a case of polio.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has directed the deployment of a national emergency response team, comprising government and partners to Borno State for immediate and robust polio vaccination campaign targeting vulnerable children to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the minister, the outbreak affected two children from Gwoza and Jere Local Government areas of the state. He attributed the discovery and confirmation of the outbreak to the country’s strengthened surveillance due to improved accessibility made possible by the recent military action in liberating more communities in the North-Eastern part of the country.

The Minister said: “The detection of children paralyzed by polio shows that surveillance has increased with more access but it is a reminder that the country needs to remain vigilant and immunize all eligible children with oral polio vaccine until polio is completely eradicated worldwide.

“Our overriding priority right now is to rapidly boost immunity in the affected areas to ensure that no more children are affected by this terrible disease,” he added.

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Buhari Approves Fresh Probe Of Missing Chibok Schoolgirls

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally  approved the list of committee members to carry out  fresh investigation into the abduction of  over 200 girls  from Government Girls School, Chibok, Borno State on the 14th of April 2014, by  the terrorist sect, Boko Haram.
The President had in January this year during a meeting with the BringBackOurGirls campaign group directed the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), to set up a committee that will carry out a fresh investigation into the abduction of the girls from their dormitories.
A top government source said the committee is set to commence it’s work as the President has recently approved the list of members submitted to him.
According to the source, the President had instructed that the members should be contacted for consent before their names will be made public.
The source who pleaded anonymity said that the President  wants to get to the root of the matter and know what exactly  happened , adding that  findings from the investigation  will  facilitate the release of the girls.
According to the source, the committee’s  terms of reference  include amongst other things, to carry out fresh investigations on the abduction and the circumstances  surrounding it.
Recall that while some of the girls managed to escape from their captors, the whereabouts of most of them is still in doubt, though the President had in different fora said his priority was to see to the safe return of the girls. He had also said government had no credible intelligence on their specific location.
While President Buhari had on several occasions declared that his government had no concrete evidence on the whereabout of the girls, the Nigerian military had in April this year given the parents of the girls some hope, saying most of the girls were still alive and held in Sambisa Forest,  close to the Chad-Niger border.
Immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan had in the wake of the abduction set up a 26-member fact-finding committee led by Ibrahim Sabo to investigate the abduction as well as ascertain the exact number of students missing.
The former government it appeared had also been in doubt as to whether the abduction actually took place. Submitting his report, Sabo had confirmed the abduction stating that “as most Nigerians already know, there were some persons who doubted whether any student was abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok. On the other hand, for those who believed that there was an abduction, there were lingering doubts as to how such a number of kidnap victims were conveyed, considering also that information was sparse as to how the raiding insurgents evacuated the victims.”
Sabo’s committee had confirmed the abduction of 276 girls adding that 57 of the girls managed  to escape from their captors.
The rescue of Amina Ali in May this year, one of the girls who had given birth to a daughter during the period she was in captivity, had rekindled hope of the girls being found.
President Buhari who met Amina alongside her mother and brother, had said her rescue has opened a new window of hope and an opportunity towards getting vital information to help the process of getting the other girls.

Credit: Sun

Fresh Militants’ Attack In Ikorodu Communities

Gunmen suspected to be militants were said to have invaded Igbolomu and Ishawo areas in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State.

According to eyewitnesses who escaped from one of the invaded areas, said the gunmen from the Niger Delta came through water channel since yesterday and started shooting sporadically.

Credit: Vanguard

N3.9bn NAF Loot: EFCC’s Fresh Proof Of Evidence Stalls Badeh’s Trial

The trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, was on Monday stalled at the Federal High Court, Abuja, following the inclusion of additional proof-of-evidence by the prosecution.

Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the prosecutor, had filed additional proof to beef up evidence against Badeh.

Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), who replaced Mr Samuel Zibiri (SAN), as the defence counsel, however, filed an application seeking an adjournment to study the case file.

Olujimi also said the defence team needed time to study the additional evidence filed by the prosecution.

But the prosecuting counsel opposed the application, leaving the Judge, Justice Okon Abang with no option than to rule on it.

Delivering the ruling, Abang held that the right of defence was a personal right of the applicant that could not be denied.

He said the applicant had the option of defending himself personally or to enlist a private counsel to act on his behalf.

“The applicant has since March 7 when he was arraigned been represented by a counsel, so he cannot in the attempt to hire another counsel halt the trial.

“Today is reserved for commencement of trial and the court will not allow any flimsy motion to stop that.

“However, on the issue of late service of the addition proof of evidence filed by the prosecution, the applicant may have a point there and so the application has succeeded in parts,’’ Abang.

The judge then held that “in the circumstance, the application succeeds in parts to enable counsel to the applicant study the new proof of evidence before the commencement of trial.’’

“The matter is hereby adjourned till March 16 for day-to-day trial,’’ Abang said.

Badeh is standing trial for alleged misappropriation of N3.9 billion belonging to the Nigerian Air Force while serving as the Chief of Air Staff.

Credit: NAN

FG Uncovers Fresh 11,000 Ghost Workers

The Federal Government is currently working to expose another 11,000 ghost workers on its payroll in its second batch of staff audit.

This is coming shortly after the government deleted 23,000 ghost workers from its payroll and saving the nation N2.29bn per month.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

She was joined at the post-FEC briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal.

The minister said her ministry was using what she called computer techniques to investigate the 11,000 affected cases.

She said as soon as the cases were resolved, Nigerians would be informed of the amount saved and the number of names removed again from the payroll.

Adeosun said, “On the issue of the ghost workers, of the 23,000 that we had removed, our payroll has reduced by N2.29bn per month.

“The update on that is that we are now investigating another potential 11,000.

“Again, we are using computer techniques to identify those who we need to investigate.

“So we are now looking at the second batch and as we resolve those cases, we will inform you of the amount saved and the number of people removed.”

The minister added that the FEC had approved what he called the presidential initiative on continuous audit of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Adeosun said the initiative would allow government to extend the work beyond payroll to other areas of expenditure.

Credit: Punch

Herdsmen Kill 14 In Fresh Plateau Attack

Suspected Fulani herdsmen , Sunday night,  invaded the Kwata, Zawan area of Jos South local government killing about 14 people, all of them women and children.

The Spokesman of Operation Safe Haven, Op SH, Captain Ikedichi Iweha who confirmed the incident on phone said, “12 women and children were killed in the attack and we are still investigating the incident.”

Vanguard gathered that the attackers stormed the village which is few kilometers away from the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS at about8.30pm, holding villagers hostage and shooting sporadically.

But the Op SH spokesman stated, “What happened at Kwata was a reprisal attack. Two Fulani men were killed at Wereng village in Riyom local government area of Friday. We are looking for the village head of the community for questioning.

“12 people who are women and children were killed at Kwata, we got a call at about 8:30pm, our troop got to the scene at about 8:43 but the attackers had already fled but we are investigating the incident.”

Credit: Vanguard

Saraki’s Case: CJN To Set Up Fresh Supreme Court Panel

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, is set to set up a fresh panel that will hear the appeal filed by Senate President Bukola Saraki, challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the charges by the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false asset declaration preferred against him.

It was learnt on Wednesday that the CJNwas set to disband the Justice John Fabiyi-led five-member panel which on November 12, 2015, granted an order of a stay of proceedings in the Senate President’s trial before the CCT.

Credit: Punch

Army Foils Fresh Boko Haram Attack On Maiduguri

The Nigerian Army has said that it has foiled a planned Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri, using powerful assault rifles and home-made bombs.

Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman, stated this in a statement made available yesterday.

He said, “Nine terrorists sneaked into Maiduguri armed with AK-47 assault rifles and (a) Hilux vehicle laden with 20 improvised explosive devices”.

According to him, the IEDs were “meant to be detonated at some selected targets in the city”.

But Usman did not elaborate in the statement about potential targets and refused to comment further when contacted by AFP to ask whether the nine suspects had been arrested.

But he added: “We will let you know at the conclusion (of a preliminary investigation) what exactly they wanted to do.”

Credit: Leadership

Tribunal Nullifies Reps’ Election, Orders Fresh Polls

The Elections Petitions Tribunal siting in Akure, Ondo State, has nullified the election of Victor Akinjo as member representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency of Ondo State.

The tribunal nullified the election and ordered fresh polls on the grounds that Mr. Akinjo was not a bona fide member of the Peoples Democratic Party at the time the election was held.

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Fresh Kashamu Suit, NDLEA Rejects Judge

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has asked Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos to withdraw himself from a fresh suit filed by Senator Buruji Kashamu.

Kashamu, in the new suit, is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the NDLEA and the Attorney General of the Federation from seizing his property.

The new suit came after the failed effort by the NDLEA to extradite Kashamu to the United States of America, where he is said to be wanted for alleged drug-trafficking offences.

Justice Buba had on June 23, 2015 reaffirmed a May 27, 2015 order of Justice Okon Abang of the same court restraining the NDLEA and others from extraditing Kashamu.

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Ex-Gov Sylva Faces Fresh Corruption Charges

The case involving a former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a fresh 50-count charge bordering on stealing and money laundering, came up for mention Thursday, June 25, 2015 before Justice A. F. Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Mr. Sylva is charged alongside Francis Okokuro, Gbenga Balogun, and Samuel Ogbuku.

They allegedly used three companies – Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited to move over N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012.

Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court had on June 10 dismissed the 42-count charge of stealing earlier brought against Sylva and his co-accused by the EFCC, with the excuse that the prosecution’s application to consolidate the charges before him, against the defendants, amounted to an abuse of court process.

The Commission however, faulted the ruling on the grounds that it was premature as the accused persons had not even taken any plea before the court, and subsequently filed the fresh 50 count charge at the Federal High Court.

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Dozens Feared Killed In Fresh Plateau Violence

Several persons were Sunday night killed in Bat Village of Barkin lad?i? Local Government Area in Plateau state.

A witness, Ngovou Dusu, who claimed all her younger brothers and her sister were killed in the attack, told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday that fighting was still ongoing as at 10 a.m. Monday morning.

According to Mrs. Ngovou, who escaped to Jos, several people were killed and properties destroyed.

“As I speak with you, the attackers are still killing people,” she said. “Three of my brothers and my kid sister were killed. My mother survived because she was awa?y?. Several of my neighbors were killed. Security operatives who came to intervene are compounding the situation. They are not allowing our people leave the villages. Even our neighboring villages that the incident has not affected, no one is allowed to leave.”

The spokesperson for the Plateau state Police Command, ?Emmanule ?Abuh , confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.

He, however, said he could not ascertain the casualty rate but security officials were deployed to rescue the situation.

Mr. Abuh also confirmed the killing of several people in Wase Local Government Area of southern Plateau state.

He said the incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday, but could also not give casualty figure in the Wase attack.

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