Queen Elizabeth To ‘Step Down’ From Royal Duties Dec 31

Queen Elizabeth II of England is to step down as patron of more than 20 national organisations at the end of this month, Buckingham Palace revealed yesterday.

The Queen, who celebrated her 90th birthday in April, will relinquish her association with the bodies – just as the Duke of Edinburgh broke formal ties with some of his patronages when he turned 90 in 2011.

The move is likely to be seen as a common-sense decision which acknowledges the Queen’s advancing years but Buckingham Palace stressed the monarch is still patron of more than 600 organisations.

The patronages will be taken on by members of the Royal Family and organisations involved include Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Barnardo’s, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Association.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “At the end of the Queen’s 90th birthday year, Her Majesty will step down as patron from a number of national organisations. The patronages will be passed on to other members of the Royal Family in the coming months.”

N1tn Abuja Land Scam: EFCC Seizes 12 Properties From Bala Mohammed, Son

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized at least 12 properties from a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, and his son, Shamsudeen Bala.

It was learnt on Tuesday that the seizures were part of investigations into a controversial land swap deal carried out by the minister to the tune of N1tn between 2010 and 2015.

“So far, we have seized about 12 properties from Bala Mohammed and his son, who he used in buying many properties. However, this is just a tip of the iceberg because we found out that there are still a lot of properties to be recovered’’, a source in the EFCC said on Tuesday.

“After investigations, we will arraign Bala (ex-minister) before an FCT High Court while his son will be arraigned before a Federal High Court anytime from now, the source added.”

Mohammed, who has been in EFCC custody for over six weeks, is alleged to have entered into some controversial land deals and allegedly gave some landed properties to his cronies for the construction of malls.

The source said, “We have evidence that the ex-minister diverted funds from Internally Generated Revenue. He also gave land arbitrarily to friends without following due process. Some of the land had even been allocated to other people but seized from them unjustly.”

Already, the commission has grilled a former Chairman of Skye Bank, Tunde Ayeni, who was also the Chairman of ASO Savings & Loans Plc over the purchase of the N7.5bn ASO Grove Estate at the Maitama area of Abuja by the bank through the ex-minister.

Read More: punchng

12 Children Rescued From Pastor’s Home

Twelve children were rescued by the Lagos State Government from the custody of a Pastor, Onoyngu Chibuike, the founder of Voice of Salvation Charitable Organisation, who had been operating an illegal orphanage in Ojo since 2010.
The hands of the law caught up with Chibuike last week when one of the children took ill and was taken to hospital for medical attention. Enquiries from the hospital about the medical history of the indisposed child revealed that Chibuike’s orphanage is not registered under the Lagos State Government.
A raid on the orphanage which took officials of the Lagos State Task Force and the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development some days led to the rescue of some children.
During interrogation by the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile Yussuf, at Alausa Secretariat Ikeja on Monday, the pastor claimed that he received a call from God to start the orphanage over six years ago to rescue helpless children from societal vices and misdemeanour and thus registered the orphanage with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 2010.
He said: “I am from Anambra State. I am called by God to render this service to humanity by helping the less privileged, such as widows, motherless children and homeless people. I provide adequate care for these children till their parents can take over their care. For those that were abandoned, I train them even up to university level.”
According to him, the children were acquired through different means.
“Some of these children here were brought to me by the police, some were brought by their biological mothers, who in some instances claimed they had the children out of wedlock and they cannot attend to the needs of the children or shoulder their responsibilities.
“Based on this, the person will put down his or her name and we will accept the child in order to assist the child. Our affection is on children because we know that if we reject any child, chances are that the children are exposed to the wrong sides of life and might die in the process. Based on this, we will accept the child and take care of the child,” he stated.
The Commissioner told the pastor that disciplinary actions would be taken against him after further investigations that would be carried out by the police. Ignorance is not an excuse under the law, she said.
She said: “When you operate an illegal orphanage in Lagos, it is a criminal offence. Your registration with CAC does not give you any licence to operate an orphanage in Lagos. Here we operate with the law that guides us. Orphanage is not a charitable organization you feel God has guided you to go and assist people.
“We are talking about children here and there is a law in place protecting the rights of these minors. The Lagos State Child’s Right Law of 2007 guides all the children that live in Lagos State. Whatever you need to do, you need to be well guided by the law. You don’t just operate at will, being led by the Holy Spirit to assist the less privileged is a good idea but you have to operate within the ambit of the law that guides your engagement”
Twelve of the 15 children in his custody have immediately been taken over by the State Government until suitable homes are secured for them. Two were still with the Voice of Salvation orphanage as at the time of the interrogation but would also be taken into proper care of the state government while the last one child who is still in the hospital would be monitored by officials of the ministry.
Chibuike was handed over to law enforcement agents for further investigation and disciplinary actions and was also ordered to provide the case file documentation on all the children in his orphanage.
He pleaded for mercy, adding that the work he is doing is a directive from God. He has been ordered to provide case files on all the children in his orphanage.


12 kids rescued from pastor’s home

Health Ministry Hires 50 Employees From One Family

The Supreme Court has promised an inquiry on Tuesday after a southern province was found to have employed almost 50 members of the same family in various health ministry jobs, many in the same hospital.

Corruption and nepotism is rampant in Pakistan when it comes to hiring government employees.
But the sheer number of the appointments — from vaccinators to security guards to lab technicians — has attracted the attention of the Supreme Court which will begin a hearing from Wednesday.

The matter surfaced when a man filed a petition complaining provincial health department had recruited some 48 cousins in the Ghotki district of Sindh province.

“Since 2008 till recently, more than four dozen members of Chadhar family have been appointed by the authorities,” complainant Farman Ali Pitafi, a health department employee, told AFP, adding they were all cousins.

He said many of the family members were appointed in subordinate grades but quickly promoted.
The provincial health minister, Sikandar Ali Mandhro, said he was unaware of the matter but would look into it.

Pakistan ranks 117th out of 168 on Transparency International’s list of global corruption, where a higher number denotes greater graft.

Credit: AFP

Trump Vows To ‘Remove’ Himself From His Business

Donald Trump promised Wednesday to ‘remove’ himself from his businesses and said he will announce details in two weeks about how he’ll avoid conflicts of interest when he is president.

Trump used his favorite method of communicating with the public — Twitter — to announce plans for a “major news conference” on Dec. 15 to discuss plans to leave the Trump Organization.

His adult children, whom he has said he will put in charge of the company, will be a part of the news conference.

Trump owns or has a position in more than 500 companies, according to a CNN analysis. That includes about 150 that have done business in at least 25 foreign countries, including Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

There have been growing questions about the potential conflicts of interest posed by Trump’s continued business interests and his role as president. A poll by CNN found that 6 in 10 Americans believe Trump is not doing enough to address conflicts of interest.

His tweets said he is not mandated to leave his business by law, but that “I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.”

Trump also said he is doing so “in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again.” Legal documents are being crafted which take him completely out of business operations, he claimed. “The Presidency is a far more important task!”

Read More: CNN

#PhotoNews: Images From Polling Stations Of The 2016 US Election

Eager voters crowded into polling stations to choose a new US president Tuesday after a wild and bitter contest between the billionaire populist Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Democrat seeking to become the first woman to win the White House.

Though the tone of the campaign leading to the election day was rather caustic, the election has been very orderly across America, according to media reports.

FG To Earn More Revenue From Aviation Sector– Amaechi

Nigeria’s new Transport Minister, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday said the Federal Government was expecting more revenue inflows from its various parastatals in the aviation industry given its massive investments in acquisition and deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in the industry.

Amaechi, who undertook a tour of the agencies based in Lagos Tuesday, commended the CEOs and managements of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Accident and Investigation Bureau (AIB) for staying steadfast and committed to the cause of boosting the infrastructure in the industry with allocations granted by the government and those generated internally.

He specifically commended the agencies for the installation of safety critical equipment in every airport across the country. The Minister said matched with the level of revenue or incomes, the state of infrastructure in the aviation industry was better than that of some of its counterparts in the maritime sector.

“With what I have seen here today, it shows that Nigerian aviation industry can be compared to any developed ones anywhere in the world.”

Amaechi said, “the government should be commended for what it has done recently. What we saw in NIMASA was nothing to write home about when you compare the money they earn and the facilities you see on ground,” he added.

Credit: Sun

Weapons Used In Paris Attacks Bought From German Dealer- Report

Four assault rifles used in the deadly Paris attacks were allegedly purchased from a trafficker in Germany, newspaper Bild reported Friday.

Quoting documents from the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office, the newspaper said two AK47s and two Zastava M70s were sold on November 7 by the arms dealer to a customer in Paris.

“French investigators believe that the weapons were allegedly used in the attacks in Paris,” said Bild.

The Stuttgart prosecutor was not immediately available for comment.

According to Bild, German police on November 16 arrested a 34-year-old man named Sascha W. from the southern city of Magstadt on suspicion of the illegal weapons trade.

The suspect is accused of having hawked the weapons on Darknet — a hidden network used for both licit and illicit ends — using the name “DW Guns”.

Four emails on his smartphone show that he sold “four Kalashnikovs assault rifles to an Arab in Paris”, added the newspaper.

During a raid at the suspect’s house, police also found 16 other firearms, Bild said.

Credit: Vanguard