Order killing of death row inmates now, Judge tells Nigerian governors

A judge has urged state governors to sign the death warrant of over 1,600 inmates on death sentence in order to decongest the prisons.

The Chief Judge of Delta State, Marshal Umukoro, spoke on Wednesday in Ibadan during the 2017 Aquinas’ Day colloquium of Dominican Institute.

At the lecture titled “The Judiciary and Criminal Justice System: Odds and Ends,” Mr. Umukoro said that recent statistics from the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, indicated that no fewer than 1,612 inmates are on death sentence in Nigeria prisons.

The chief judge said that signing the death warrant would reduce prison congestion, and served as deterrent to others.

Local and international organisations such have Amnesty international have repeatedly called for the abolition of the death penalty. Death penalty is however still legal in Nigeria where it can used to punish people convicted of crimes like murder and armed robbery.

Last week, a court in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, sentenced a man to death for stealing a motorcycle, phone, and some money from a victim who he also inflected serious body injuries on.

Before executions can be carried out, however, the death sentence but be approved by the state governor where the judgement was issued. Some state governors, however, use their prerogative to commute the death sentences to prison terms.

On Wednesday, the Delta State chief judge also called for synergy between the police, prisons and the courts in order to boost justice administration.

“Some criminal cases have been hanging without progress for over a year in some courts due to transfer of Investigative Police Officer (IPO) or as a result of IPO going on short course.

“Some courts too do not cooperate with the police and the prison to expeditiously dispose of criminal cases.

“This does not only lead to unnecessary waste of time, but also greatly affects the disposition of the accused person and the witnesses who look forward to seeing the end of the case,’’ the chief judge said.

Mr. Umukoro said that more fora should be organised from time to time with the aim of sensitising various relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice sector on the need for mutual co-operation.


Source: Premium Times

Indonesia’s Christian governor goes on trial for ‘blasphemy’

The Christian governor of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, went on trial on Tuesday to face charges of blasphemy over remarks perceived as insulting to Muslims.

The trial of the governor, Basuki Purnama, followed a wave of protests by conservative Muslims demanding his prosecution.

According to the indictment read out by prosecutors, Mr. Purnama is accused of “publicly expressing hostility to, abusing and disparaging’’ a religion, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Security was tight for the trial at the North Jakarta district court and hundreds of conservative Muslims dressed in white gathered outside to demand Mr. Purnama be jailed.

Mr. Purnama said “I understand the charges but I don’t understand why I’m being accused of blasphemy,’’ after prosecutors read out the indictment.

Mr. Purnama said as a Christian politician running for office in a Muslim-majority country, he had been unfairly attacked by political opponents because of his faith.

Mr. Purnama said in tears “They abuse holy verses to achieve their political goals, because they can’t compete in terms of programmes and personal integrity’’.

Under Indonesian law, a defendant does not have to enter a plea at the start of a trial.

The blasphemy allegations stem from remarks made by Mr. Purnama in September, when he said his opponents had used a verse from the Koran to deceive voters.

At a gathering with residents, he said they did not have to vote for him in the upcoming February 15 gubernatorial election if they were afraid of going to hell because they “have been lied to using Surah Al-Maidah verse 51’’.

Some Muslims interpret the Koranic text in question as prohibiting them from electing non-Muslims as their leaders, although other Muslims disagree that Purnama’s remarks were blasphemous.

Mr. Purnama has repeatedly apologised, saying his comments meant that politicians misinterpreted the Koranic verse.

Tensions have risen in Jakarta after more than 100,000 Muslims rallied on November 4 demanding the prosecution of Mr. Purnama, who is a member of the ethnic Chinese minority.

A second anti-Purnama rally on December 2 was attended by more than 200,000.

Mr. Purnama became Jakarta’s first Christian governor in 50 years when he took over from Joko Widodo, now Indonesia’s president, in 2014.

Mr. Widodo, an ally of Mr. Purnama, has accused “political actors’’ of exploiting anger over Mr. Purnama’s remarks to undermine his government.

Mr. Purnama’s ascension to the top job in the city teeming with 10 million people had been hailed as an example of Indonesia’s embrace of democracy and diversity.

Hard line groups such as the Islamic Defenders’ Front have always been critical of Mr. Purnama, but their past protests against the governor failed to gain strong support, until his remarks on the Koran hit a nerve with many Muslims.

Mr. Purnama is known for his strong stance against corruption and being an effective administrator in a bureaucracy that has long been plagued by corruption and incompetence.

Before the blasphemy case, polls consistently showed him leading in the race for the governorship.

However, more recent polls showed his numbers had dropped significantly, putting him second in a three-way race.

Mr. Purnama has also made enemies along the way, including officials and members of the city council who he criticised publicly, suggesting that they are incompetent and corrupt.

As part of his urban renewal programmes, he forcefully evicted squatters and slum dwellers, and relocated them to apartments where they have to pay rent and are far from their livelihoods.

Yuletide: Governor To Pay Ebonyi Workers13th Month Salary Bonus

The Ebonyi state governor, Chief David Umahi at the weekend promised to pay extra one month salary bonus otherwise called 13th month to workers under the state employ in the spirit of Christmas celebration.

The state governor, Chief Umahi, who made the promise at a one-day official visit to the state owned University permanent site, Ezzamgbo noted that the State House of Assembly had already given approval to that effect. It would be recalled that Gov Umahi had recently announced five percent salary increment to all the workers on October this year.

He explained that junior workers would receive 100 percent bonus whereas senior ones would be payed 50 percent of whatever they receive monthly, boasting that his administration was neither owing workers salaries nor pensions.

He further disclosed his administration’s plan to begin immediate payment of gratuity arrears owed by both local and state governments since 1993 amounting to eight billion naira (N8bn).

The governor who expressed dismay that civil servants found it difficult to pay their retired colleagues their pensions but would

want to be paid when they retired, said the payment would begin payment of gratuities this December with the families of retirees who had already died.

He said,”We are not owing anybody pension in Ebonyi state. Gratuity is owed since 1993 and gratuity for both local and state governments

is over N8bn but the funny thing is that when you seat as a civil servants, you refuse to pay others their gratuities and when you now leave, you start insisting, we should pay gratuity.

“So, for those we have owed gratuity for a very long time;we are expecting a miracle. What we want to do for our brothers and sisters that were not paid gratuities and they are dead, we intend to look at them and see how we can pay off their gratuities through their families and we hope to do it this December.

“We also want to pay everyone that has retired 10 percent of whatever we owe him/her in the name of pension and other allowances”.



Yobe governor sends commissioner caught snoring during budget presentation home

Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State on Thursday directed a sleeping commissioner at the presentation of the 2017 budget to the State House of Assembly to go home for more sleep.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor had barely commenced reading the budget speech when the cabinet member started snoring.

Mr. Gaidam warned that any public officer henceforth caught sleeping stood sacked.

“As from today, any commissioner or special adviser caught sleeping stands sacked and will immediately be replaced.

“We will borrow a leaf from the North Korea experience to make government affairs a serious business,” he said.

Mr. Gaidam while reviewing the budget performance of the outgoing year paused and directed the sleeping commissioner to go home.

“I am referring to the commissioner who is sleeping, you can go back home to sleep since you cannot endure the session,” he said.

Although the governor did not mention the name of the sleeping commissioner, he pointed to the row of the commissioners to issue the directive.

NAN reports that the bewildered commissioners looked at each other in embarrassment and sat up to avoid dozing and being victims of the governor’s sledge hammer.

Adamu Dala-Dogo, speaker of the assembly, however, advised public officers to take beverages that would keep them awake during public functions.

Reps Moves To Bar Acting President, Governor From Second Term

A Bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution and limit the tenure of an acting president or governor to a single term, passed second reading at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The amendment bill is sponsored by the deputy speaker and chairman, Special House Ad hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Yussuff Lasun.

The bill provides that no person who had held office of president or governor of a state, or acted as president or governor of a state for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected president or governor, shall be elected to the office of president or governor of a state more than once.

The aim of the bill? is to give constitutional protection to the two term tradition as contemplated by virtue of the combined provisions of sections 137(1)(b) and 182(1)(b) of the Constitution.

These sections provide that the president and governor of a state shall serve in those capacities for a maximum period of eight years.

“However, the Constitution equally envisaged circumstances where a person can be chosen to act as president or state governor, such as when the president or a governor resigns, dies or is impeached,” Mr. Lasun said.

If passed, an acting president or acting governor who served for more than two years in a four-year term, shall only be eligible to contest election to the same office only once.

Such law would have prevented former president Goodluck Jonathan from seeking a second term in 2015.

Mr. Jonathan took over as acting president in 2010 after serving as Vice President since 2007.

This proposed amendment, the deputy speaker said, was inspired by the 22nd amendment to the constitution of the United States of America.

It provides that “no person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice.

“And no person who has held the office of president or acted as president for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected president shall be elected to the office of president more than once,” Mr. Lasun added.

Credit: NAN

“Sue your governor if your rights are violated” – Fashola tells LGAs

Former Lagos State Governor and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babtunde Raji Fashola, has advised local government chairmen and their executive committee members who may feel dissatisfied with the existing relationships between their councils and the state government, especially in terms of fiscal and political autonomy, should approach competent law courts for sound adjudication.


Fashola said the abuse of local government autonomy by state governments in connection with their allocations and dissolution of elected council administrations by governors was an abuse of existing laws and should be fought in law courts without calls for autonomy.


He made the remarks yesterday while delivering his keynote address in Lagos at the public presentation of two law books authored by a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo.


The books are entitled; Modern Administrative Law and Practice in Nigeria, and Local Government Law: Cases and Materials.


According to Fashola, local governments were too important to be abused. He said that the challenge with the third tier of government was that its governance had been left in the hands of “those we regard as local people and so when their rights were trampled upon, they do not protest because they do not know.”


He said: “It is unfortunate that we do not value our local government systems as the third tier of government. Maybe, because of the word ‘local’, we all believe it is too local to enjoy our participation, forgetting the fact that it is at that level that solid foundation for national development is laid.


“Here we have Prof. Osipitan with his knowledge, experience and exposure. Can he volunteer to be a local government chairman? Many of us will not because it is too ‘local’ to us. But we have forgotten that the local governments are in charge of our arrival to the world and departure from the world.”

Tens Of Thousands Of Indonesian Muslims Protest Against Christian Governor

Tens of thousands of hardline Muslim protesters in Indonesia rallied outside the presidential palace on Friday to demand the resignation of the governor of the capital, Jakarta, who they said had insulted the Koran.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country, where many people follow a moderate form of Islam. While hardliners have launched occasional agitation in the past, protests on such a large scale have been rare.

The atmosphere in Jakarta was tense and some companies asked employees to work from home, access to business districts was restricted and embassies urged caution.

Truck loads of soldiers and police, some equipped with rifles, were on patrol and others secured shopping malls. A total of about 18,000 security personnel are expected to be deployed in the sprawling city of 10 million, police said.

The protesters, led by a group called the Islamic Defenders Front, are calling for Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahja Purnama, a Christian and the first ethnic Chinese in the job, to be jailed for blasphemy.

They say he insulted the Koran by dismissing a political attack by his opponents who urged Muslims not to vote for Purnama, who is popularly known as Ahok, by citing a verse from the Koran.

“He is not Muslim but he humiliated the Koran,” protester Muhammad Said told Reuters.

“Don’t refer to anything in the Koran, especially interpreting it incorrectly … I call on God to jail him.”

Protesters chanted “Hang Ahok!” and “God is greatest”, waved placards and sang the national anthem.

Some threw water bottles at police guarding the palace but apart from that there was no violence.

Purnama was not available for comment. His spokeswoman said he went to check construction of a sidewalk in north Jakarta.

Purnama served as deputy to President Joko Widodo when Widodo was city governor from 2012 to 2014, and has long been seen as an ally of the president.

On Friday, Widodo visited a rail construction project at the capital’s airport, the presidential palace said in a statement.

Read More: reuters

Photos Of The Kidnappers Of CBN Governor’s Wife & The Recovered N15M

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Today, parades the suspected kidnappers of CBN governors wife at an ongoing press briefing in Abuja.

Earlier on the wife of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Margaret Emefiele was recently kidnapped along the Benin-Asaba highway.

We gathered that Mrs. Emefiele was waylaid by the gunmen around Ugoneki town along the Benin-Asaba expressway in Edo State.

She and other persons taken were later released following a massive police operation in the area.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Godwin Emefiele expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and security agencies for the rescue of his wife, Mrs Margaret Emefiele.



EFCC Detains Former Imo Governor Achike Udenwa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) rearrested former Imo State Governor Achike Udenwa on Wednesday in connection with an alleged campaign scandal committed during the 2015 presidential election.


Mr. Udenwa, as a State coordinator for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign organization in Imo State, was said to have collected the sum of N3.5m from the former senator representing Kaduna South and Director of Finance for the PDP presidential campaign organization, Nenadi Usman.


The suspect, in his statement to the commission, admitted receiving the money via Diamond Bank with account numbers 0058805692 and 005950791 on January 14 and 28, 2015, respectively, in three separate installments. He added that the money came from a company named Joint Trust Dimension Limited.


This same company was charged alongside Mrs. Nenadi Usman and the media director of the PDP presidential campaign organization, Femi Fani-Kayode, before a Federal High Court in Lagos on a similar allegation.


An investigation, however, revealed that Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Minister for Education, who was his deputy at the presidential campaign organization, were the two signatories to the Diamond Bank account that received the money.


Upon his arrest, Mr. Udenwa was immediately granted administrative bail by the commission on the condition that he reports himself to the commission at an appointed time. But while enjoying his administrative bail, Mr. Udenwa chose to deliberately skip reporting, thereby compelling the EFCC to revoke his administrative bail pending his arraignment soon.


Achike Udenwa was a governor of Imo State under the flagship of the PDP between 1999 and 2007 and became Minister of Commerce and Industry between 2008 and 2010 under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

#Edo2016: The Comrade Governor Is Leaving, Who’s Next? By Patrick Omoregie

The election that saw President Muhammad Buhari emerge as the president of Nigeria could be described as the most inclusive presidential election, after the all-out 1993 general election, which General Babangida annulled; it was recorded to have been the most peaceful election Nigeria ever had. You will agree with me that people are seeing things from the root now, and not from the flamboyant and fragrant flowers anymore. Nigerians don’t want to be deceived any longer, they don’t want looters for leaders any more, they don’t want to rest their hands on their cheeks to wait for years to pass, they now want leaders of repute.
The heartbeat of Nigeria will in some days witness the transition of power from the Comrade Governor to the hands of another leader. Edo state which was created on the 27th August, 1991 was in no shape some ten years back, as all the inland state in the southern Nigeria had was a government of failed promises. Then came in the change maker, Governor Adams Oshiomole, who rescued the drowning ship of Edo state. The former Nigeria Labour Congress President was determined to change the spate of things, and he has been changing things for the better. His administration undertook one of the greatest revolutions in Education in Nigeria, by reconstructing and rebuilding over 50% of primary school infrastructures and over 30% of secondary schools within the space of seven and half years. This progressive leader also constructed state-wide roads, and is still on the storm water project, among many other achievements.
If the transition within few years can put smile on the faces of the people, what then could be more desirable than continuity?  When a drummer is drumming, and people are enjoying him, they fail to give credit to the drum producing the interesting sound, all that comes out of their mouth is, that drummer is the best. It would be interesting to note that Godwin Obaseki has been the drum sounding unnoticed; he has indeed played numerous and countless roles in the achievements of the Comrade Governor. If he can do that under the capacities he held, he would definitely make a good Governor.
Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki was born into the famous and illustrious family of Obaseki of Benin city. He didn’t try ignorance, and as a result, had his early education in St. Matthews Anglican Primary School Benin City, from where he proceeded to Eghosa Anglican Grammer School, also in Benin City. He graduated from Premier University, University of Ibadan, obtaining BA in classics. Godwin didn’t just stop there; he proceeded to study abroad where he bagged different degrees. He is a professional in what he has chosen for himself, as he is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers.
People are graduating away from celebrating mediocrity; everybody wants to work with intellectuals. Godwin began his career 30 years ago and has established track records in Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading and the Public Sector both internationally and in Nigeria. Godwin Obaseki has got all it takes to steer the boat of the state for the next four years. It would interest you to know that, he is currently the Chairman of the Edo Sate Government’s Economic and Strategy Team, a position he has held for years. He was responsible for the documentation of the State’s Economic Development Frame work through Sector’s Strategic Planning; he was also the brain behind the Introduction and Enculturation of Retreats as a platform to ensure all parties engagement.
Godwin was also the Chairman of the Tax Assessment Review Committee for Edo state Internal Revenue service, just as he was an active member of the Committee on Contributory Pension Scheme, just to mention a few. The mark of difference has been drawn, brilliant initiatives have also been transformed into what Edo state is today, the success story will not only end well for Governor Oshiomole, but the good times will continue for the good people of Edo State if Godwin Obaseki is elected as the Governor of Edo state.
When the right things are in place, continuity should be the ultimate request of the people.

Sampson Ogah Enroute To Umuahia To Be Sworn In As Abia State Governor

Sampson Ogah, the man who was declared Abia governor by the Federal High Court and issued a certificate of return by INEC on Thursday, has insisted on being sworn in as governor of the state despite an injunction by the Abia State High Court forbidding the exercise.

He also said he was on his way to Umuahia, the Abia State capital, to be sworn in as governor.

Mr. Ogah said through his Media Adviser, Monday Ubani, that the injunction obtained by Mr. Ikpeazu could not invalidate the certificate of return as it came from a subordinate court to the Federal High Court that ordered his swearing in.

He maintained that the State High Court which granted the injunction lacked the locus to do so adding that only an Appeal Court could grant such injunction.

He also said the appeal filed by Mr. Ikpeazu at the Court of Appeal could not be considered a stay over the judgment of Justice Okon Abang.

Mr. Ogah urged the chief judge and all concerned to respect the ruling and allow him to immediately take over the reigns of leadership so as to move the state forward.

The statement reads: “The Federal high court of Abuja presided over by Justice Okon Abang ordered Dr Okezie Ikpeazu to vacate his seat for Dr Uche Ogah OON as the rightful person for the seat. INEC was ordered to issue the said Ogah with a certificate of return which that body has complied with”.

“The next order that was issued by the federal high court was for the Chief Judge of Abia to swear in Dr Uche Ogah, the rightful person to occupy the governor’s seat. That order is yet to be complied with”.

“I understand that a high court in Osisioma Ngwa the axis where the governor hails from has issued an interim order restraining the Chief Judge from swearing in Dr Uche Ogah as the governor of the State. The point must be made that this order cannot stand as it is invalid in law”.

“The order did not emanate from a higher court but from a court of coordinate jurisdiction and does not in any vitiate or invalidate the earlier judgement of the Federal High Court in which the Chief Judge of Abia State was ordered to swear in Dr Uche Sampson Ogah. Only a higher court, in this case Court of Appeal has the jurisdiction to reverse the judgement of the Federal High Court”.

“Note also that appeal of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu before the Court of Appeal does not operate as a stay over the judgement of Justice Okon Abang. In the absence of any express order of the high court or the court of appeal ordering stay of execution, the judgement of the Federal High Court delivered on the 27th of June, 2016 should be obeyed by all the parties.”

Speaking through another aide, Peter Agba Kalu, Mr. Ogah said he was on his way to Umuahia, the Abia State capital for swearing in.

He said, “We are entroute to Umuahia for the swearing in from Imo Airpot.

“We don’t believe there is an injunction like that. The injunction is baseless and against the rules of the judiciary”.

“Is the injunction saying that the Certificate of return issued to Uche Ogah is not legal. Is it saying that Abia should not have a Governor because the Certificate of return nollifies that issued to Ikpeazu”.

“We also have a directive by the CJN that he should be sworn in immediately. So that injunction to the best of our knowledge does not exist and where it exist is null and void because it has already been overtaken by events.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Gunmen Invade Governor Ambode’s Mother’s Home

Heavily armed gunmen on Friday evening invaded the residence of Christianah Ambode, the mother of Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, disarming the octogenarian’s police detail in an apparent attempt to abduct her, sources said.

The incident occurred at 24 Oguntona Crescent, Gbagada Estate I, Lagos at approximately 7:30 p.m., neighbours said.

The police officers manning Mrs. Ambode’s home were “overpowered and dispossessed of their rifles,” sources said.

Mrs. Ambode was, however, fortunate, as a swift reinforcement by the state’s police command thwarted the ploy of the assailants, who fled the scene. The back-up team arrived at 8:10 p.m., the sources said.

Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus, said she could not immediately confirm the attack.

A senior Lagos State Government official close to Mr. Ambode said a commotion occurred near Mrs. Ambode’s home. He, however, denied that it was a case of attempted kidnap.

The source said a man went to invite military personnel attached to Operation Mesa to beat Mrs. Ambode’s police detail after he was ordered not to park his vehicle outside the building.

“We heard from the governor’s security that the matter was not about kidnapping,” the source said. “What happened was that a man parked his vehicle outside the home of the governor’s mother and the policemen there asked him to take his vehicle away.”

“He then went to call men of Operation Mesa to deal with the policemen, that was what caused the disturbance.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Kwara Denies Saraki Received Salary After Leaving Office As Governor

The Kwara State Government has risen in defence of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, against claims he received salary for four years after he served as governor of the state.

On Wednesday, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission testified before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, saying Mr. Saraki kept drawing salary from Kwara Government after he left office in 2011 and had been elected senator.

But Kwara, in a statement by the Secretary to State Government, Isiaka Gold, on Wednesday, denied the EFCC claims, saying it has only been paying Mr. Saraki’s pension since he left office.

The state government said the last amount it paid Mr. Saraki as salary was N291,474.00 meant for May, 2011 – his last month in office.

According to the statement, “From June 2011, former Governor Saraki started receiving his pension which was N578,188.00 as other past governors in the country.”

The statement added that “after the review of pensions of former political office holders by the State Pension Board, the former governor’s pension increased to N1,239,493.94 monthly from October 2014 to date.

“Kwara State Government, therefore, dismissed as false and misleading the allegation that former Governor Saraki was receiving salaries after the expiration of his two-term tenure as governor of the state.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

I Criticize Buhari As Most Senior Governor In Nigeria- Fayose

Describing himself as the most senior governor in Nigeria, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State yesterday said his attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari flowed from his sense of responsibility and not related to any 2019 presidential aspiration as alleged by critics.

Speaking at an interactive forum in Lagos, Fayose said tying him with Senator Ali Sheriff, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the 2019 presidential ticket was an attempt to discredit him, even as he urged those canvassing for a second term for Buhari to have a rethink. He said by 2019, the president, who he claimed is presently bogged down by age would have become too old to govern.

The governor at the interactive session also called on President Buhari to urgently devalue the naira to lessen the pains on Nigerians. In dismissing assertions of a 2019 presidential aspiration, he said: “Anybody flying the kite of Sheriff and Fayose is the deceit of the highest order. Again, even if it is the Senate, I am not going to contest.

Nobody contests the office of the Vice President you can only become the Vice President of Nigeria if God wants you to be. May I make it expressly clear that if Ali Modu Sheriff wants to contest as president of Nigeria in 2019, I will not support him, I am a man known for my words of honour. We must operate based on principle if our country is to move forward.” Besides, he faulted the move, saying

“This is cheap blackmail orchestrated to give people the impression that I have ambition that is why I am doing all these. I am the most senior governor in Nigeria and if I were to be in a party like the APC, they will be celebrating me everyday. They (APC) know I am critical of the bad policies of the APC administration.”

Frowning at efforts to project President Buhari for a second term in 2019, he said: “those ppromoting Buhari for 2019 should stop. I have told Nigerians that Buhari does not have the capacity now to govern Nigeria. What capacity will he display in seven years time? Currently as it stands, the President is challenged by age.”

Credit: Vanguard

Mustapha Saddiq: ‘Half A Billion For The Upgrade of Old Government House? Governor Masari, No Please’!

It was quite long since I wrote on my beloved state -Katsina, since before the 2015 general elections. Of course that is not because I have nothing to write about or no opinion to express as many things happened (both good and bad) since the inception of H.E. Governor Aminu Masari’s administration. But as many optimists are quick to sing (or rather cry or wail) anytime an issue of incompetence or ineptitude is raised about this government -not withstanding wherether it is born out of genuine patriotism and the desire for the governor himself to step up or in some cases initiate or stop certain policies that are believed to bring positive change to the common man or otherwise – that ‘it is too early to judge’. So I decided to keep calm and just observe as things unfold.

Today, I will like to voice (or penned) my opinion on the recent contract for the upgrade and renovation of the old government house to the tune of a whooping sum of N496million awarded last week at the weekly state executive council meeting.
To the common man, N496million may appear like just figures but we’re talking about almost half a billion Naira.

To set the record straight, I was a critic to the last administration on many of her unnecessary projects like fencing the Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic even as the student wanted more of hostels and classes that is why I felt oblique not to keep mute on this too.

Upto the time of writing this, I still believe that this is not true because if what went viral on this issue is really true then to say the least, this is a typical project of misplaced priority. Not only because the said money is too much but also because the said structure is irrelevant and unnecessary even as it is useless to the life of a common man in Dankama or Damari.

With all heppening around, this is coming when His Excellency says almost on daily basis and at the slightest opportunity to speak publicly that Katsina State don’t have money or that the state don’t get half of what it use to get from the federal government or that the previous administration has stolen and squandered the state resources.

H.E. May have forgotten but many of us noticed that during his electioneering campaigns, he openly criticized the previous administration for opting to built new government house rather than investing such monies to Education or Health sector. Now if building a new government house was a waste then (when the state gets more of federal allocation than now), I wonder what rehabilitation of old government house to the tune of half a billion is.
Is it not now that we should be more prudent in spending our scarce resources?

Fellow Katsinawa! Hear me out, N496million approved for this project is over 0.4% of the total 2016 budget presented by the governor. Again, the said amount for this upgrade (or whatever) is more than the money budgeted for the capital projects in the 2016 budget for the Science and Technical Education Board, Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic and Bala Usman College of Legal Studies which constitute to 0.2%, 0.24% and 0.22% respectively. If this is not wrong, then I wonder what else would be.

It doesn’t matter who you voted for or which party you supported, this is about morality, this is about what is right and wrong. This is about our future and that of our children. I believe this whole issue is fraud and deceit of the highest order and I urge the governor to reconsider this unpopular move.

Mustapha Saddiq
Email: mustaphasaddiq@gmail.com
Twitter: @mustysaddiq
Mustpha Saddiq

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Protest In Kebbi As Government Removes Monarch For Abusing Governor

The village head of Babban Dutsi in Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area of Kebbi State, Alhaji Umau Marafa, was yesterday removed for abusing Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, of the state, NewTelegragh reports. His removal was sequel to his involvement in active politics and for accusing Governor Bagudu of incapable of providing the right leadership in the state.

The village head was removed on the directive of the Deputy Governor, Ismail Yombe, who instructed the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs that the monarch should be removed.

Reacting to the sack of the monarch, supporters of the deposed village head and the villagers resorted to violent demonstration in protest against the decision which led to the burning of over 12 houses and a thatched food store.

But reacting to the allegation leveled against him while briefing newsmen yesterday, the deposed village head, Alhaji Umar Marafa, denied the allegation, saying that he neither abused Governor Bagudu nor was he involved in politics.

He said before the governor was elected, he was one of his ardent supporters. “I never abused Governor Bagudu, even when he was a senator; I supported him, talk less of now. I also don’t engage myself in politics.

My deposition was hatched by some politicians, but as you can see, my people love me,” he added.

News Alert: Supreme Court Affirms Wike As Governor Of Rivers

News reaching us says Supreme Court has affirmed Nyesom Wike as governor of Rivers State.

Our source who just left the Supreme Court not long ago, reports that the final verdict was read after an intensed court session in the court auditorium.

Our source adds that there was jubilation everywhere after the final verdict was read, affirming Nyesom Wike as the governor of Rivers State.

Kidnappers Abduct Governor Dickson’s Sister In Yenagoa

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted Nancy Dickson, a younger sister to the Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, the police have said.

Asinim Butswat, an Assistant Superintendent of Police and spokesperson for the Bayelsa Police Command, confirmed the development in a statement on Sunday.

According to Mr. Butswat, Nancy, 26, was kidnapped at her shop, located in Okaka Road, Yenagoa, the state capital, on Saturday..

It was gathered that the gunmen drove in an ash colour Lexus SUV, trailed Nancy to her shop and whisked her away to an unknown destination at about 2:50pm.

The police said shortly after the incident was reported, they mounted stop-and-search operations on vehicles at different parts of the city.

Nancy is however yet to be found.

Insecurity is a huge problem in the Bayelsa capital, with several kidnap incidents reported weekly despite the presence of the state’s security outfit, christened, Operation Door Akpo, at strategic spots in Yenagoa.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Yemen’s Aden Governor Killed In Bomb Blast, As ISIL Says They Are Responsible

The governor of Yemen’s city of Aden, Major General Jaafar Mohammed Saad, and five of his bodyguards have been killed in a car bomb attack claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. The incident happened on Sunday in Aden’s Tawahi district in the country’s south.

ISIL, in a statement posted on a messaging service, said it detonated a car laden with explosives as Saad’s convoy passed by.

The group promised more operations against what it called “the heads of apostasy in Yemen”.

ISIL also posted what it said were photos of the booby-trapped vehicle as a white van carrying Saad drove past, then two other photos of a huge ball of fire which it said were taken as the bomb exploded. How sad.

Governor Reportedly Orders Suspension Of Prayers In Schools

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has given a directive that henceforth no public or private primary and secondary school in the state should hold morning or afternoon prayers.

The governor also directed that all teachers with effect from next year must be in suits during official hours. A letter signed by the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education, Mrs Anne O. Odey, dated October 21, said the suspension of prayers will subsist till further notice.

The directive which was sent to all zonal heads in the state said, “the ministry hereby directs all public and private primary and secondary schools across the state to suspend all assemblies (morning and afternoon) till further notice.”

All school heads were directed to comply strictly or risk sanctions.

Credit: DailyTrust

Tribunal Upholds El-Rufai’s Victory As Kaduna State Governor

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna State has upheld the election of Nasir El-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the elected Governor of the state.

The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the April 11 Governorship election, Polycarp Gankon, had on May 28, 2015 approached the tribunal, asking it to set aside the election because of non-compliance of the Electoral Act, exclusion of his party from form EC8 in several polling units and wards in seven Local Government Councils of the state.

The petitioner also alleged that there was massive ballot box stuffing and exaggerated results by the APC during the election, thereby asking the three-man tribunal to nullify the election in the affected local councils.

But in an unanimous judgement that lasted for six hours, Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Adebayo Adebara, held that the petitioner had not mustered enough evidence to prove his allegations of electoral malpractice and irregularity.

Read More: channelstv

Yobe Governor Orders Free Treatment For Bomb Blast Victims

Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has directed the free treatment of all victims of Wednesday’s suicide blasts in Damaturu.

The governor in a statement issued by his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego, also sent his condolences to the victims’ families.

The statement reads:  “His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has expressed his deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of victims of the suicide bombing attacks in Damaturu today in which 17 people lost their lives and 11 others injured.

“While praying for the repose of the souls of those killed, the Governor has ordered immediate and free medical care for those who sustained injuries in the attack.”

Gaidam also condemned the attack, describing it as “cowardly and barbaric.”

Credit: thenationonlineng

I’ll Work In Niger General Hospital – Gov’s Wife

Wife of the Niger State Governor, Dr. Amina Bello, on Thursday said she would work as a medical practitioner at the State General Hospital, Minna.

The governor’s wife, who visited the female and pediatric wards at the General Hospital, Minna, said as a consultant gynaecologist, she would want to contribute to the treatment of women in the hospital.

She said, “My visit is to see how I can contribute to the society. That is what I do. I see pregnant women, I see women with problems, I operate on women on caesarian section; that is what I intend to do as my own contribution. The hospital should expect better services.”

“I would like to contribute my own quota, visit some of these women, spend time with them, helping with their surgeries and deliveries.

“I also need to see how the premises, where I will render my services, looks like. And I am very happy because the environment is so clean despite the old structures.”

She however lamented inadequate space in the hospital.

“It is too small. In a place where you have 600 deliveries, you have only 20 beds? It is not encouraging,” she added.

The Permanent Secretary of the Hospital Management Board, Dr. Makusidi Muhammad, commended the governor’s wife for her input and readiness to contribute her own quota.

He told journalists that the rate of infant and maternal mortality in Niger State has reduced.

Kidnapped Wife Of Former Bayelsa Acting Governor Regains Freedom

The kidnapped wife of the former acting governor of Bayelsa State, Madam Martha Nestor Binabo, has been released.

According to a family source, the 48-year- old woman was handed over to a negotiator at Buguma area of Rivers State in the early hours of Sunday.

According to the source, the family adhered to the strict instructions by the kidnappers not to involve the police. She was released with a transport fare of N18,000 and a big fish with directive that she should prepare pepper soup for her husband.

While some family members denied knowledge of a ransom payment, others claimed the sum of N8.2million was paid to secure her freedom.

The source said: “She was well taken care of by the kidnappers. They gave her N18,000 as transport and a big fresh fish to prepare pepper soup for the husband.”

The spokesman of the State Police Command, Astimin Butswat, confirmed the development but said the command was yet to get full details on her release.

Meanwhile, the former governor of Bayelsa State,Chief Timipre Sylva, has visited the Chief Binabo over the abduction of his wife.

Sylva expressed happiness over the bold spirit of the former acting governor in spite of the abduction of his wife.

According to Chief Sylva, he decided to visit Binabo along with party faithful, to show solidarity and encourage others on the mission of the APC.

“I am happy that Binabo was upbeat despite the kidnap of his wife. This is the hallmark of a leader. It meant for us to be prepared for any eventuality that comes our way. Let me urge all to be steadfast as there would soon be a change in governance in the state.”

Sylva, who said he was his back in full force to participate in the politics of the state, added that he had deliberately ignored Governor Seriake Dickson all this while because he had a national objective of ensuring that his party, the APC, wins in the last national election, but “now that that objective has been realised, I can now face the government in the state.”

Kenya’s Central Bank Governor Nominee Grilled For Being Single At 54

When you get to a certain age and not married, people start to wonder. But when you’re 54, very successful and never been married…Kenyan lawmakers grill you mercilessly…lol. That’s what happened to the man nominated to head the country’s Central Bank. The lawmakers wondered, if you can’t find a woman, keep a woman and make a home, how can you keep our money? Lol.

54 year old University of Nairobi and Yale-educated economist Patrick Njoroge, who works as an adviser at the International Monetary Fund, is single. Never been married, doesn’t have children and when he appeared in front of Kenya’s parliament last week, telling them how he can move their economy forward as head of their Central Bank, they were like, really? lol. He was so grilled about his marital status that it caused debate online in Kenya with quite a few condemning the lawmakers

The lawmakers asked him about economic policy, why he doesn’t have assets in the country and why he isn’t married.

“I am single by choice and I am comfortable that way,” he told the lawmakers. “There is nothing sinister with that and I am sure this committee has done its due diligence on what sort of a person I am”. Kenya’s Daily Nation quoted him as saying

Why so much interest in his marital status? In Kenya and in most parts of Africa, it’s unusual to find a man over 40 who has never been married, so his status will definitely raise eyebrow in the country because the average age of first marriage in Kenya for men is about 30 years old.

Many condemned the line of questioning on twitter though, saying that Njoroge’s competence, rather than his personal life, that he should be tested by.

Jos North Made Me Governor, Lalong Lauds Electorate

The governor-elect of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, has said that the votes of Hausa/Fulani community in Jos North made him win the April 11 governorship election in the state.

Lalong, who stated this when the Hausa/Fulani leadership  in Jos paid him a visit at Green House Presidential Lodge in Jos, said  though his victory was from God, he appreciated the contribution of the Hausa/Fulani community in Jos.

He said: “My victory is from the Almighty God and is for all the people of the state, but I must appreciate and thank the Hausa community of Jos for the love, fellowship and support for my candidature. My little daughter had consistently asked me what is Jos North, as many people who come to my house come from Jos North, but I have tried to explain to her and, at the end, I told her that people of Jos North are the ones that made me the governor of Plateau State.”

“During our campaign, the Jasawa promised to vote for APC and you have fulfilled your promise, it is now our turn to fulfil our pledges and, God’s willing, we will fulfil ours by doing justice to all the people of the state. I want to assure you that I will not discriminate against any community in Plateau State.

 “I want to thank the people of the state for their confidence and trust in me to lead them. Under my leadership, our government will carry all the people along and we will be just and fair to all, irrespective of ethnic or religious background. Peace had been restored in Jos. Jos is now peaceful, my appeal to you is to preach peace and work to consolidate the peace process.”

In his remark at the event, President of Jasawa Community Development Association (JCDA) Shehu Masalla, called on Lalong to reconstruct the Jos Main Market and pursue policies that would enhance business in the state.
He advised the governor-elect to create a new district in Jos for administrative convenience.


Governor, Senator Flex Muscles Over Missing PDP Campaign Funds

Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and former minister in the Second Republic, Senator Bello Maitama Yusuf, are currently flexing muscles over N15 million campaign funds allegedly diverted by the latter.

Consequently, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which reportedly released the money to the Senator, is seeking to arrest him, with a view to recovering the money disbursed for purposes of electioneering. It was alleged that he defected to All Progressives Congress, APC, after taking the money.

While Governor Lamido asked Senator Yusuf to refund the money or face arrest, the Senator dared the governor to arrest him. Vanguard authoritatively gathered that Governor Lamido approved the release of N15 million to Yusuf for onward disbursement to the electorate in his Gwaram constituency during the governorship, state assembly and House of Representatives elections.

Senator Yusuf, in a swift reaction, denied ever taking campaign funds from PDP for disbursement to electorate in his constituency, adding that his defection to All Progressives Congress, APC, was the reason the story was concocted to malign him. Yusuf said: “I am just a victim of circumstance; because I defected to APC.

“It is unbelievable. I do not have business with campaign funds. I spend my own money for the development of my people and the party.”

Read More: vanguardngr

Ritual Killers Behead Daughter Of Gov Al-Makura’s Aide

Some suspected ritual killers have beheaded 20-year-old Memuna Galadima, the daughter of Mustapha Galadima, the Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to Governor Umaru Al-Makura.

Mustapha, who confirmed her daughter’s murder to Punch Metro, said Memuna, before her untimely death, was in the Department of Entrepreneur, Faculty of Administration at the Pianku campus of the Nasarawa State University, where she was studying for a National Diploma.

Galadima said,

“It was on Thursday, February 26, 2015. My daughter left home for school to sit for a test at the Pianku campus along Nasarawa Road along with three of her friends.”

The Special Adviser said the test was for 10am and he expected his daughter home a few hours later.

He added that he became worried when Memuna did not come home on the day. He said he never saw his daughter alive again until her decomposing body was found along Agwan Ozoro, in the Karshi development area of Nasarawa State.He said,

 “Upon hearing the news, I mobilised people to go there and check if it were her remains that were found. On reaching there, the search team told me that the body had decomposed beyond recognition.

“They added that the body was found inside a deep well, saying several attempts made to remove the corpse from the well were unsuccessful.
“It was when the police brought her picture that we were able to identify her through her legs and there was nothing we could do but to bury her there according to Muslim injunctions.

“She had been in Keffi for the past three years with her mother, who is also an undergraduate at the department of accountancy of the same institution.”

Investigation by PUNCH Metro showed that Memuna was found without a head as it was suspected that her assailants might have decapitated her before throwing her remains inside the well.It was also said the people responsible were ritual killers.

Some passersby, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they sighted the victim on a motorcycle at about 12pm.

Mustapha, who described his daughter as peace loving and humble, said he never saw her keeping any bad company.

“Those that did this dastardly act will not go scot-free.
“Her death is still a mystery to us, but, however, as a Muslim, we have consolation in God.”

The mother of the deceased, Hajiya Hassana Galadima, said her daughter left home for her lecture with her friend, Aisha.She said,

“The duo usually went to school together and used to return home at about 5pm every day. I even have a photocopy of her timetable in order to monitor her movement.”

It will be recalled that some unidentified gunmen, also suspected to be ritual killers, recently beheaded Mrs. Amina Suleiman, the daughter of Director General of Governor Umaru Tanko Al – Makura’s Campaign Organisation, Mr. Musa Illu.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State command, ASP Umaru Ismaila, who confirmed the incident to PUNCH Metro on the telephone, said, “Investigation into the incident is ongoing.”