Forbes Names Dangote, Putin, Others Most Powerful Persons In The World

Foremost entrepreneur and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, was at the weekend named along other world leaders including Russian President, Vladimir Putin, American President-elect, Donald Trump and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as the most powerful persons in the world.
These personalities were ranked along with 70 others, with Dangote ranked as the second most powerful on the African continent.
The Nigerian business mogul has constantly featured in the list since 2013, when he was listed as the only black African so rated by the U.S.-based Forbes magazine on the list of 100 most powerful persons in the world.
Listed as the 71st most powerful last year ahead of the American President-elect, Dangote, Africa’s richest man, moved up the ladder of influential people to come in as the 68th most powerful in the world at the weekend, after only Egyptian President, Abdel el-Sisi, who was adjudged the most powerful in Africa and ranked 44th in the world.
Forbes in the latest edition of its 74 World Most Powerful People ranking list, indicated that the 64-year-old Putin was the most powerful in the world, ahead of Trump who was second on the list.  
Ms. Merkel was ranked the third most powerful person in the world while outgoing U.S. President, Barack Obama placed 48th on the list.
The Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis was in fifth place; the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, come in seventh; Chinese President Xi Jinping came before the Pope in number four while the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was the 10th most powerful person in the world.
Forbes reported that there are nearly 7.4 billion people on planet earth but the listed men and women as the most powerful make the world turn.
The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including its list of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400) and rankings of the world’s top companies (the Forbes Global 2000).
Another well-known list by the magazine is the The World’s Billionaires list.
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Defection Speculation: Ayade Meets Kwankwaso, Okorocha, Others

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has met with bigwigs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the weekend.

The meeting, which started during the thanksgiving ceremony organised by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, in Calabar, was believed to have focused on the governor’s political future.

A former senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, a former minister of defence and presidential aspirant, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who graced the occasion, were said to have convinced Ayade to leave the PDP for the APC.

Later, Ayade drove with them and other top military brass that also graced the event in large numbers to an undisclosed location where Okorocha and other APC leaders were said to have got his firm commitment.

Speculations have been rife over Ayade’s secret ambition to cross over to the APC, having hobnobbed with key national leaders of the party few months after he was sworn in.

He has also been showering encomiums on President Muhammadu Buhari whom he had criticised before his victory in the last presidential election.

But in a swift reaction, Ayade’s media aide dismissed the insinuation that the governor was planning to move from the PDP.

Christian Ita, chief press secretary to Ayade, said the governor was just playing the role of a good host to the array of political, military and business leaders that thronged Calabar to honour a prominent son of the state.

“It is not true that the discussion our governor had with the APC leaders had anything to do with leaving the PDP for the APC,” said Ita.

Okorocha, who had visited the state and met Ayade previously over same issue, had commended the governor for having the blessing of God with the appointment of his “sons” into key national positions.

Remarking, Usani commended those who honoured his invitation and described them as his close friends. He stated that hatred for one another was the key reason for underdevelopment of Cross River State.

Credit: dailytrust

EFCC Arraigns Dasuki’s Aide, Col. Ashinze, Others For N36.8bn Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned the quartet of Colonel Nicholas Ashinze, a former special assistant to the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki; an Austrian, Wolfgang Reinl; Edidiong Idiong and Sagir D. Mohammed before Justice  Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja on a 13count charge of corruption and money laundering to the tune of N36.8billion.
Spokesperson of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren said Ashinze and his co-accused were arraigned alongside five companies accused of allegedly diverting huge sums from the office of the former NSA.
The companies are: Geonel Integrated Services Limited, Unity Continental Nigeria Limited, Helpline Organization, Vibrant Resource Limited and Sologic Integrated Services Limited.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them.
Ruling on the applications, Justice Kolawole held that the charges are all bailable adding that, “since each of the defendants has been on one administrative bail or the other, my sixth judicial sense informs me that I adopt the terms and conditions of the bail granted to the defendants by the EFCC and my learned brothers in the FCT High Courts.
The judge added that the case would be granted accelerated hearing and urged the prosecution to pick five days in the new year for trial.
Consequently, the case was adjourned to January 23, February 1 and14; and March 7 and 21, 2017.

Obama Gives His Final Presidential Medals Of Freedom To Diana Ross, Jordan, De Niro, Springsteen, Others

Basketball star, Michael Jordan, actor Robert De Niro and music legend, Bruce Springsteen, were among the 21 people honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by outing President Barack Obama.

During a ceremony at the White House, President Obama gave out the awards which is the nation’s highest civilian honour – for his last time to a diverse group of sports stars, scientists, artistes and philanthropists.

“Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful personal way,” Obama said. “It’s useful when you think about this incredible collection of people to realise that this is what makes us the greatest nation on earth.

“Not because of what we are, not because of our differences, but because in our differences we find something common to share.”

According to AFP, the star-studded group included actors Tom Hanks and Robert Redford, basketball great, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, cultural icon, Diana Ross and comedian and talk-show host, Ellen DeGeneres.

While speaking on the accomplishments of DeGeneres, Obama lauded the comedian’s courage for coming out as a gay.

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Trial Of Ex-Naval Chief, Others Continue Today

Justice A. S. Umar of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja yesterday adjourned to tomorrow for further hearing on a corruption case involving a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman O. Jibrin and two others: Rear Admiral Bala Mshelia (rtd) and Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu (rtd).

Shortly after the counsels have entered their appearances, Jibrin’s counsel, Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, drew the attention of the court to the fact that, the document used in the transaction of the property allegedly acquired by his client was not front-loaded in the proof of evidence by the prosecution.

He invited the court to order the prosecution to provide same as stipulated by law.

Maikyau, also prayed the court for the release of the international passport of his client to enable him travel abroad for medicals.

However, counsel to EFCC, Joseph O. Uzor, wanted the defence to indicate the time his client is embarking on the trip and how long his is staying, should the court is inclined to grant his application.

He also urged the court to enforce the return of the passport immediately the applicant returns from the trip.

In granting the application, Justice Umar ordered the defence counsel to indicate the time his client is staying and ensure the return of the passport to the court when he is back.

Jibrin and his co-accused are standing trial alongside Habour Bay International Limited, a company linked to the first defendant, on a 4-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The naval chiefs whilst in office allegedly bought a house worth N600million from the account of Naval Engineering Services without the said purchase contract being captured in the budget.

It was also alleged that, the documentation for transfer of ownership of the property was done such that a private company owned by the family of the first defendant (Jibrin) became the buyer.


Sultanate Council, Wamakko, Others Eulogise Late Dasuki

A Senior Counselor in the Sultanate Council of Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Danbaba, on Tuesday describes the late 18th Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, as a pious and committed leader.

Danbaba, who is also the Magajin Garin Sokoto, was reacting to the death of Dasuki on Monday night at an Abuja hospital at the age of 93 after a protracted illness.

According to Danbaba, “The late Dasuki was a peace lover and a peace maker in Nigeria and beyond.

“He had worked meritoriously to ensure national development and cohesion. His death is a great loss not only to his family, Sokoto State, but Nigeria as a whole.”

In his reaction, the former Governor of Sokoto State, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto), described Dasuki as, ”a gentleman who lived a life of total service to humanity.

“He was a man of God and a man of Peace,” Wamakko, who represents Sokoto Central Senatorial District, added.

Another Senior Counselor in the Sultanate and Galadiman Gari, Alhaji Aliyu Attahiru, said the death of Dasuki was a great loss to his family, the Muslim Ummah and the entire nation.

The Secretary of the Sultanate, Alhaji Umar Faruk, who confirmed the death of the former Sultan in a statement, said that, the remains of Dasuki would be buried in Sokoto after the afternoon prayer (Zuhr) on Tuesday.

Late Dasuki was deposed as Sultan in 1996 during the military regime of late Gen. Sani Abacha.

Prior to becoming Sultan, he held the traditional title of Baraden Sokoto and was the first Sultan from the Buhari lineage of the descendants of Sheik Usmanu Dan Fodio.

Dasuki, who was born on Dec. 31, 1923, was a close associate of the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello and a friend of the Late Islamic scholar, Malam Abubakar Gumi.

The late Sultan was influential in the founding of Jama’atul Nasril Islam.

Credit: NAN

Senate To Probe Aregbesola, Others Over Bailout

President Muhammadu Buhari, may have asked the Senate to probe Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola and other governors over how they spent the bailout disbursed to them by the Federal Government.

Subsequently, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has ordered the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration to proceed on a fact finding mission to Osun State to investigate how the Aregbesola administration applied the N34.988,900 given to it by the Central Bank of Nigeria as bailout to pay workers’ salaries.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on States and Local Government Administration, Senator Abdullahi  A. Gumel, in a letter dated  November 3rd and forwarded to Aregbesola informed the governor that the senate committee would visit the state on December 7 for the investigation.

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Alleged Plot To Rig Rivers Rerun As Wike Wants Buhari To Prosecute Dakuku, Others

Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari  to take action against the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over their alleged plot to rig the December 10, 2016 State and National Assemblies rerun polls in Rivers State.
The Governor, who briefed reporters in Government House, Port Harcourt, over the arrest of a syndicate that prints fake INEC result sheets in Port Harcourt, expressed disappointment that the Commissioner of Police said he was under pressure to free the suspects of the alleged crime.
He described electoral fraud as a corrupt practice that Mr. President would frown at, and said that individuals who wanted to deny the people of Rivers the right to vote for the candidates of their choice won’t escape the President’s hammer.
Wike alleged that the person who awarded the contract for the fake result sheets, Emmanuel Chinda, the former Commissioner of Agriculture in former Governor Rotimi Amaechi;s administration, is a top member of the APC, but has not been arrested due to pressures on the CP.
He noted that Buhari would act because when he complained to him that bail out refund was being deducted from the state’s account despite not collecting bail out fund in the first instance, the President prevailed and the deduction was stopped.
He said: “They want us to take the laws into our hands. But we won’t do that. I am sure that the President will not take lightly what has just happened. INEC and APC want to rig the rerun at all cost…
“Buhari will never support this if informed. We believe that this is part of the corruption that is being fought. We want the public to know that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP will resist any attempt to rig the election.
“It is unheard of for a party to collude with INEC and deny the people their votes. I am in support of the President’s fight against corruption. We stand for peace, and want the world to know what is going on here.”
He added: “Each time Rivers is mentioned, they cite violence. But they are the ones causing the violence through their actions. When you print fake result sheets and you think we won’t resist it.
“The police, INEC and APC are threatening the security of Rivers State. I have written more than 15 letters to the Inspector General of Police complaining of dubious postings. But the IG never listened to me..,
“But you cannot kill everybody at the same time. Everybody knows that the APC cannot win here. They are only giving themselves false hope.
“Let me see that INEC official that will come and rig the election. If you rig the election, you rig your life. If you like come with the American Marines, we will resist them. We said we want change, so the people must be allowed to vote.”


Gunmen Storm Ikorodu, Kill Pregnant Woman, Three Others

There was pandemonium in the Ikorodu area of Lagos as gunmen stormed the Ibeshi area of Ikorodu killing a pregnant woman, her two children and another man.

Witnesses said that the woman identified as Afusatu Kazeem, her two children and the other victim of the gun attack who was also identified as Sunday Roberts were rushed to the Ikorodu General Hospital were they were confirmed dead.

Many other persons were wounded in the gun attack, which cannot be explained, but the Police spokes person in Lagos, Dolapo Badmus confirmed that the woman  was killed in the attack but her two children and Mr. Roberts were receiving treatment at the hospital.

Preliminary investigation by Daily Sun indicate that four persons were killed including the woman.

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How Abba Moro, Others Cut Cost Causing NIS Recruitment Tragedy– Witness

Despite raking in about N1 billion from sale of forms, only N45 million was released for the conduct of the tragic 2014 immigration recruitment exercise, a witness told the court on Friday

Tabugn Sylvanus, a retired Director and Secretary of the Board of the National Immigration Service, NIS, said N201 million was actually required for a proper conduct of the exercise.

Mr. Sylvanus also told the Federal High Court that a last minute adjustment made to the recruitment exercise moved the number of expected participants at the Abuja test venue from 6,800 to over 66,000.

Mr. Sylvanus is the second persecution witness to testify in court during the ongoing trial of former Interior Minister, Abba Moro.

Mr. Moro, who was also the chairman of the board of the NIS, is accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of job seekers, who paid N1,000 each for the recruitment test.

Despite raising about a billion naira from the job seekers, the tests were poorly organised at different centres across the country, resulting in deadly stampedes with at least 18 deaths confirmed, majority from the Abuja stadium stampede.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said part of the proceeds of the recruitment fees was used to buy choice property in Abuja.

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How We Secured Ceasefire With Niger Delta Avengers, Others- Dialogue Team

The Niger Delta Dialogue Contact Group, NDDCG, headed by King Alfred Diete-Spiff says it will consolidate on the achievements made from meetings held with stakeholders.

A member of the group, Nkoyo Toyo, disclosed this at a press briefing at the end of its third working meeting in Port Harcourt.

She said the meeting reviewed the general security challenges in the Niger Delta and afforded participants opportunity to make valuable contributions on strategies toward attaining sustainable peace and development in the region.

Ms. Toyo, who said that the NDDCG had been able to host its working meetings in Akwa Ibom and Delta, added that the group was reaching out to other stakeholders for joint collaboration and partnership.

According to her, the activities of NDDCG have greatly contributed to creating a broad platform for effective engagement with government and other stakeholders on peace building in the Niger Delta.

“We have recorded active engagement with government, including meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs.

“We reached out to Pan Niger Delta Group (PNDG) led by Chief Edwin Clark, we sincerely commend them for their decision to partner and have close interaction with us.

“NDDCG also had active engagement with all aggrieved groups in the region and ensured team work with all other relevant parties leading to the declaration of 60-day ceasefire by Niger Delta Avengers (NDA),” she said.

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Alleged N2.3b Diversion: Orubebe, Others Get N50m Bail

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja has granted bail at N50million to former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe and two others arraigned before it Wednesday morning.

Godsday Orubebe, Oludare Lawrence Alaba an Assistant Director, Ministry of Niger Delta Affiars), Ephraim Tewolde Zeri (Director of Contracts in Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nigeria Limited) and the company were arraigned on a six-count charge marked: CR/265/2016.

They are, in the charge filed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), accused among others, of diverting about N2.3b meant for the compensation of property owners to be affected by the Federal Government’s dualisation project of Section IV of the East West Road.

Orubebe and others pleaded not guilty to the charge, following which Justice Kayode Adeniyi granted the ex-Minister bail at N10m and one surety, who must be a responsible Nigerian, resident in Abuja and must show evidence of regular tax payment.

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Alleged N2.3b diversion: Orubebe, others get N50m bail

Enugu Herdsmen’s Attack: Senator, Others Call For State Of Emergency

Angry voices have continued to rise over last Thursday’s attack, by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Ndiagu Attakwu community in Nkanu-West Local Government Area of Enugu State that left a seminarian and a woman dead, and three others critically wounded.
With the reported death of the second victim of the attack, the Councillors’ Forum, an association of former and current Councillor’s in the state has called for an immediate ban on grazing in the state.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after their visit of the community, leader of the Councillors Forum Hon. Chidiebere Oko, noted that the situation has become so serious that it should no longer be treated with kid gloves.
“Just as we condemn the act, we cannot continue to fold our arms not knowing what tomorrow has in stock. This is getting out of hand and it is time to act. We have, thus, decided as a body, to call for an immediate ban on any form of grazing across the length and breadth of Enugu State.” Oko said.
He called on the state House of Assembly to urgently make a legislation outlawing grazing in Enugu State “be it by Fulani people or any other person for that matter.”
Reacting to the attack, the Senate Committee Chairman on Communications, Gilbert Nnaji, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on activities of herders in the country, while others, including the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), and Igbo Ohanaeze Media Forum have called for various measures ranging from introduction of bills criminalising indiscriminate grazing to outright ban of buying and selling of cow meat by the Igbos.
The Senator, while condoling with families of the victims, warned that until governments at all levels recognise the menace as a national concern, all the public outcries would amount to nothing.
He added that apart from ensuring that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to book as a deterrent to further attacks, the Federal Government should come up with stringent measures to tackle the issue once and for all, in the interest of the country.
The senator had made a similar call while contributing to the motion, at the senate in April this year, on the massacre of the people of Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani LGA of Enugu.
Describing the killings as callous and provocative, the Civil Liberties Organisation, (CLO), South-East Zone, urged the governors of the states that make up the zone to sponsor bills in the state Houses of Assembly that would make it a criminal offence for herdsmen to engage in indiscriminate grazing within the zone.
A statement signed by the South-East zonal Chairman of the body, Comrade Aloysius Attah, described the incessant killings by herdsmen as an act of barbarism and terrorism against Igbo people.
In its own reaction, Ohanaeze Media Forum (OMF), the umbrella body said to be made of Igbo journalists called on Ndigbo in every part of the country to shun cow meat as a way of registering their displeasure over the incessant killing of their kits and kins by Fulani herdsmen.
In a communiqué issued at the end of their emergency meeting in Lagos and signed by Chidiadi Elendu and Ngozi Emedoluibe chairman and secretary respectively, the body called on traditional rulers in the South East to ban the use of cow meat in any festival activity in Igbo land.
“When everybody begins to shun cow meat the herdsmen would realize that they no longer have business in Igbo land and would leave,” it noted.

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Ex-Head Of State, Others Named In N1.09b Oil Deal

Some prominent Nigerians have been named as beneficiaries of the $1.092b Malabu oil deal. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) is investigating the scandal.

A businessman, who is being grilled by the EFCC over the deal, is believed to have named  a former Head of State, a former Senate President, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), some senators, and some serving and former members of the House of Representatives.

All the suspects may soon be invited for interrogation by the EFCC to determine their level of complicity.

Besides the businessman, the EFCC has grilled a former Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, and some chief executives of some International Oil Companies (IOCs). The suspects remain unnamed because of what a source described as the “sensitivity” of the matter.

The businessman may serve as a key witness because of his “deep insights”, the source said.

“The list is outside six former ministers who the EFCC was closing in on as at press time.

“We are looking into the accounts of some of those named in line with the timelines of the bribery,” an other source said, adding:

“Preliminary investigation has shown that the nation was shortchanged in the controversial $1.092bbillion Malabu Oil Block deal (OPL 245).

“At the appropriate time, we will begin interaction with all those connected with the Malabu Oil block deal.”

The EFCC is seeking the whereabouts of $1,092,040billion paid by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Nigeria Limited (SNEPCO) and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) into an escrow account.

By the terms of Block 245 Resolution Agreement, Shell agreed to the release of the outstanding Signature Bonus and to appoint an escrow agent for paying the Federal Government $1,092,040billion.

It was learnt that NAE contributed $982,040,000 to the settlement. SNEPCO contributed $110,000,000 to make up the required $1,092,040billion for the Federal Government to settle all claims over OPL 245 in accordance with the agreement.

There were fears that the $1,092,040billion in an escrow Account was “used for the settlement of the FGN-Malabu Oil Limited agreement on OPL 245.”

The EFCC is trying to find out whether or not the cash was paid to the government or if the appointed escrow agent managed the $1,092,040billion and shared the cash to some beneficiaries for the settlement of dispute between the government and Malabu Oil Limited.

A former Permanent Secretary, who was quizzed by the EFCC, has been quoted as saying: “I did not benefit from Malabu Oil in cash or kind. The memo I wrote was only in line of duty as a civil servant based on the directive of the supervising Minister. Some of us can beat our chest any day that we served this nation selflessly.

“Beyond the official memo, I had no contact with any person or group in whatsoever manner. Any action taken was in the best interest of this nation.

“The Minister also acted on a judgment by an international court in directing that a request for approval for payment to Malabu Oil Nigeria Limited be made to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.”

The controversy over OPL 245(Malabu Oil Block deal) started in April 1998 during the administration of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.

But it spread to the governments of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Ex-Head of State, others named in N1.09b oil deal

#Rio2016: Senate Probes Dalung, Others

Less than one week after the end of the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil, where Nigeria won only a Bronze Medal in male soccer game, the Senate has revealed plans to probe the roles of the of Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung and the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), over the poor performance of the country’s contingent to the global event.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Joe Obinna Ogba made the disclosure during an interview with journalists in Abuja yesterday.
Ogba, who was part of the official delegation to Brazil, said a lot of factors ranging from poor funding to logistics, contributed to Nigeria’s abysmal performance at the Olympics Games, saying that the Senate will look into the circumstances when it resumes from recess next month. “My committee intends to invite the NOC to come and brief us on the Olympics. Apart from the late arrival of our athletes’ kits, you can see even our national anthem at the opening ceremony was the wrong one. So, all these, we are going to find out what happened when we resume,” Ogba said.
On the donation of $390,000 to the Dream Team VI by a Japanese plastic surgeon and football enthusiast, Dr. Katsuya Takasu, the lawmaker said it was wrong of the team to receive the money because, its source was unknown.

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Aviation Workers Protest Privatisation Of MMIA, Others

Vehicular movements into the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, was difficult yesterday as airport workers staged a protest against the planned privatisation of four of the nation’s airports.
There was a severe gridlock on the road as vehicles coming into the airport from the Ikeja axis and the NAHCo end of the road were obstructed by the protesting workers even though there were  policemen from the Lagos Domestic Airport Police Station on ground to ensure free flow of traffic.
The protesting aviation unions include Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP).
Acting General Secretary of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye, and General Secretary, ATSSSAN, Francis Akinjolen, who addressed the protesting workers, said that the unions will resist any attempt by the Federal Government to concession the four major airports, disclosing that the unions were aware of the presence of some influential interests that had already been positioned to buy Nigerian four most economically viable airports.
They argued that the unions cannot fold their arms and watch the retrenchment of over 6,000 workers of FAAN by a few selfish businessmen and women in the name of concession of four airports.
They further contended that the uncontrolled employment and improper placement of certain category of staff without recourse to Federal Character and Public Service Rules in recent months was a ploy to render FAAN insolvent for them to acquire.
Meanwhile, in Lagos, all gates leading to FAAN offices were shut down to ensure that all workers complied  with the directive to join the protest organised by the unions.
Some of the workers who would not have participated in the protest were seen trekking along with the union members, a situation that further confirmed that the gates to their offices were locked by the unions.
The protest came few days after the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, assured Nigerians that their interest would not be jeopardised in the resolve to concession some of the nation’s airports.

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PDP Holds Convention, Extends Makarfi, Others’ Tenure

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday defied attempts by the police and the Department of State Service (DSS) to scuttle its national convention, as delegates relocated to the state secretariat of the party in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to hold the convention.
The police had sealed off the Sharks Stadium venue of the convention and barred delegates from gaining access to the venue.

But at the state secretariat of the party at Aba Road, the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, declared the convention open.
The convention approved the extension of the tenure of the caretaker committee led by Makarfi by 12 months and also increased its membership from seven to 13 through a motion moved by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and seconded by a former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina.

The Chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, pushed for the extension of the caretaker committee, which was unanimously approved.
The convention had earlier adopted a motion moved by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, and seconded by the Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory chapter of the PDP, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, to amend the agenda of the convention and step down the issue of election.

Markarfi, addressing the convention after the extension of his committee’s tenure, assured the delegates that his committee would effectively position the party for 2019 and would organise another convention within the period.
Markarfi had earlier inaugurated the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
Performing the inauguration at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Makarfi said the NEC included the PDP governors, National Assembly Caucus, Board of Trustees (BoT), National Caucus, the 36 state PDP chairmen and national officers of the party.

He said in the absence of the elected national officers, the National Caretaker Committee members would be part of NEC, adding that his committee members would cease to be NEC members once national officers are elected.
At the meeting were the PDP governors, National Assembly Caucus, members of the PDP BoT, National Caucus, 36 state PDP chairmen and National Caretaker Committee members of the party.

Read More: thisdaylive

JAMB Withdraws 2016 Admission Lists Sent To Varsities, Others

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has withdrawn the list of recommended candidates for admission earlier sent to the tertiary institutions, the Board said in a statement on Sunday.

“This is to ensure that the University Senate perform its statutory responsibility of conducting the selection of candidates and refer it to JAMB for confirmation in line with the admission criteria of merit, catchment and educationally disadvantaged states as directed by the Minister of Education at the policy committee meeting,” Fabian Benjamin, the organisation’s head of media, said in a statement.

“The earlier list was sent to help fast track the process of admission so as to allow other tiers of institutions also conduct their admission.

“Candidates should not panic because this is part of the process of the 2016 admission exercise. JAMB regrets any inconvenience this decision would have caused the tertiary institutions

“The Board regrets any inconvenience it’s proactive step would have caused the tertiary institutions.”

Credit: Sun

Reps Say No Need For External Probe Of Dogara, Others

Members of the House of Reps Committee on Appropriation said yesterday that there was no breach whatsoever in the 2016 budget process that would warrant the probe of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy Yussuf Suleimon Lasun, chief whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa and minority leader, Leo Ogor. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, deputy chairman of the committee, Rep Chris Emeka Azubogu (PDP, Anambra), who was accompanied by eight other members of the committee, said the allegations levelled against the quartet by the former chairman of the committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, were all lies.
A new group in the House known as ‘Transparency Group’ comprising of over 100 members, had on Wednesday called for an external probe into the matter and that anybody found wanting should be punished. But the appropriation committee members insisted that there was no need for that.

Jibrin had following his sack last week alleged that Dogara and the other three leaders tried to force him to insert projects worth N40 billion for them in the budget, among other weighty allegations.
However, the lawmakers said they were dismayed and disappointed by Jibrin’s conduct and allegations since his removal, saying he was the one who perpetrated all the irregularities in the budget. They also alleged that Jibrin “hijacked” the budget process and single-handedly ran away from them only to return after weeks with a report on the budget. “We wish to state that we totally disassociate ourselves from all the calculated plot to pull down the integrity of the leadership and members of the 8th House of Representatives.”
They said following Jibrin’s action of “hijacking” the budget, they approached the Speaker with complaints and demanded the former chairman’s sack.
While calling on Jibrin to tow the path of honour and conduct himself in a manner befitting of a lawmaker, the legislators said they were “solidly in support of Mr Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of the House of Reps.”
Credit: DailyTrust

Budget Padding Scandal: Why We Can’t Probe Dogara, Others– House Ethics Committee

The House of Representatives Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions says it is awaiting a petition from a former chairman of House Appropriations Committee chairman, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who has accused the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and other members of massive corruption.

The chairman of the ethics committee, Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta), sais by phone on Friday that it would need a petition to investigate weighty allegations of budget fraud against Mr. Dogara; deputy, Yusuf Lasun; deputy majority leader, Ahassan Doguwa; and minority leader, Leo Ogor.

He however said it was wrong for Mr. Jibrin to claim that lawmakers “padded” the 2016 budget. He said the budget was merely “amended”.

Mr. Jibrin, who was removed from his position last week, said the speaker, Mr. Dogara, and the other three principal officers, inserted layers of fictitious projects worth N40 billion into the budget for fraudulent reasons.

He has called for their resignation.

“In legislature, you don’t talk about padding,” Mr. Ossai said. “Budget is an appropriation bill and is like other bills that you amend. You know in bills you talk about clauses. Every head in the budget is a clause. So legislators have power to amend it.”

He said lawmakers were allowed to introduce constituency projects as “effective representatives” of the people.

Pressed on Mr. Jibrin’s claim that besides constituency projects, chairmen of 10 committees “padded” over N284 billion through 2000 projects, into the budget, Mr. Ossai said he could not comment because “that is part of investigations”.

“We are waiting for petition and I know pages of newspapers are not petitions,” said Mr. Ossai. ”The ethics committee looks forward to receiving petition. No petition has been brought before the committee; the committee must receive petition before it dabbles into any issue.”

Asked whether his committee could not act proactively given the seriousness of the allegations, Mr. Ossai said a petition would still be better.

“Petition formalises everything. Without recourse to letter that comes from the House (after it received petition), the ethics committee can move into and investigate the matter but it is better empowered if a petition is forwarded to it,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

N22.8bn Alleged Fraud: Amosun, Others Opt For Plea Bargain

Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosun (rtd) and two senior serving Air Force officers have opted for plea bargain in their ongoing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged corruption

Amosun and the two serving senior air force officers, Air Vice Marshal Adigun, Commodore Olugbenga and some companies were charged before the court on June 29, for the alleged offences.

 The companies were Delfina Oil and Gas Limited, McAllan Oil and Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezitrs Bureau De Change ((BDC), Fonds and Pricey Limited, Deegee Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited, and Solomon Health Care Limited.

 The accused persons were alleged to have committed the offences between March 5, 2014, and May 4, 2015.

 The offences according to the EFCC are contrary to sections 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

 They all pleaded not guilty to the charge.

At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that the defendants had commenced a move to enter into a plea bargain with the federal government.

He tendered a draft copy of the terms of the plea bargain to the court, which he said he had served on the defendants.

But the defence counsel, comprising Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN), Mr. Kemi Balogun (SAN), Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and Mr. A. Etuokwu, informed the court that the business of the day was for report of compliance with the order of the court regarding the verification of the defendants’ bail conditions.

Quakers argued that though the defendants were the ones who broached the idea of a plea bargain, they needed to be out of the EFCC custody first before they would be able to negotiate properly with the prosecution.

“When a man is in a custodian environment, anything you want him to say, he’d say; anything you want him to do, he will do. We should not be stampeded or boxed into a corner,” Quakers said.

Noting that the draft copy of the plea bargain was only just served on the defence counsel on Friday (yesterday) morning, Quakers argued that defendants were entitled under Section 36(6) (b) of the 1999 Constitution to be given adequate time and facility to prepare their defence.

Also, Ayorinde and Etuokwu aligned with the argument and insisted that the order of the court on the bail of the defendants must first be complied with.

Opposing, EFCC lawyer insisted that the business of the day was for the trial to commence, noting that he had a witness ready in court.

Credit: Thisday

EFCC To Re-arraign Nyako, Son, Others Sept. 12

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) will re-arraign the former Governor of Adamawa, Murtala Nyako, and his son, Abdul-Aziz, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Sept. 12.

The EFCC had on Aug. 7, 2015, arraigned Nyako, along with his son, Abdul-Aziz, and Zulkifikk Abba, Abubakar Aliyu as well as five firms. They were arraigned on 37 counts of money laundering, involving alleged diversion of over N29 billion belonging to the Adamawa government. Nyako and his son, who is a serving senator, were arraigned before the late Justice Evoh Chukwu.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, then re-assigned the case to Abang following the death of Chukwu in June. The case was initially scheduled to commence afresh by way of re-arraignment on July 7.

However, the court could not sit due to the extension of the Eid-el-Fitri holiday announced by the Federal Government on July 5. When the matter was called, Abang asked counsel to pick an early date after the court’s vacation for re-arraignment.

The Prosecution, led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had called six witnesses before Chukwu’s demise. NAN reports that all the accused person pleaded not guilty to the 37 count charges.

Credit: Vanguard

Presidency Denies Secret Recruitments In CBN, FIRS, Others

The Presidency yesterday denied alleged secret recruitment of children and cronies of government functionaries at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other agencies and parastatals of government, describing such reports as “inaccurate”.
This is even as it gave reasons behind the exclusion of the private sector in the current Economic Management Team (EMT) headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, saying the President Muhammadu Buhari administration considers managing the economy its responsibility.
Recent media reports had alleged that cronies of officials of the present government including President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, are being secretly employed in government agencies described as lucrative.
But the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, told State House correspondents that there was no iota of truth in the reports. According to him, the government was rather sanitising the recruitment process and the public service systems to make them more transparent. “These reports are inaccurate. What we heard is that government is working to ensure that we develop, going forward, a more transparent process. We are committed in going forward to ensure that some of these procedures are refined, fine-tuned and made to become more transparent,” he said.
On the national economic management team, Akande said that it was government’s responsibility to take on the economy.
He said, ”we have to understand that the attitude of this Presidency is to consider the management of the economy as a government responsibility. It is not something that this government believes should be done by bringing in some of the private interests into the economic team to take a decision that they will be directly involved with. So our stand is that the management of the economy is a government responsibility,” he said.
Akande, however, added that the private sector was not totally excluded as other stakeholders such as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), have also been engaged by the government.
“For instance, we have started meeting on constant basis with MAN and there have been meetings with arms of the economic sector of the country. There have been meetings with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and some other economic interests with companies making presentations.
“But generally, this thing is a government team and the team has been able to set out before the budget trying to figure out what the budget ought to focus on. After the budget was presented and eventually signed, there was also the publication of the strategic implementation plan, which was produced in a reader friendly format.
“All of these are the outcomes of what EMT does and it is also in the team that you have the heap of the whole physical and monetary policy and don’t forget that the monetary policy is always the duty and responsibility of the central bank, which is an economic arm of government,” he said.

Credit: Sun

80 Special Prosecutors To Try Saraki’s Forgery Case, Others

The Federal Government has set up 20 teams of prosecutors, comprising 80 lawyers, who will handle a number of high profile criminal cases investigated by law enforcement agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

It was learnt that each of the teams had four lawyers with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as the leader.

The identities of the lawyers, who were said to have been specially trained for the tasks ahead, have not been made known.

It was learnt that the Prof. Itse Sagay-led Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption was involved in the training of the special prosecutors.

Sources in the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja confirmed on Thursday that one of the teams of prosecutors had been assigned the forgery case recently instituted against Senate President Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, and two others.

The new prosecuting team will fully take over the forgery case from the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Diri, when the trial resumes on Monday, a source confirmed.

The Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, had, on June 10, preferred against Saraki, Ekweremadu and others, two counts of criminal conspiracy and forgery of Senate Standing Rules used for the leadership election of the presiding officers of the 8th Senate on June 4, 2015.

The two other co-accused persons are a former Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and his then deputy, Benedict Efeturi.

The Federal Government stated that the offence of conspiracy is punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Act and offence of forgery with “fraudulent intent” punishable under Section 364 of the same law.

On June 27, the four accused persons were arraigned and they pleaded not guilty to the charges before Justice Yusuf Halilu of a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Jabi, Abuja.

Credit: Punch

Reps Ask EFCC, ICPC To Probe Bala, Others Over Land Swap

The House of Representatives yesterday asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, to examine the likely abuse of financial regulations in the land swap policy he introduced while in office.
Also to be probed alongside Bala are the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Engr Adamu Ismaila and the coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Center (AIIC), Mr Faruk Sani, to ascertain their culpability or otherwise in the abuse of financial regulations, due process and other regulations regarding the land swap program.

The House took the decision after adopting the report of its committee on the FCT chaired by Rep Herman Hembe (APC, Benue).
The committee, which investigated the matter earlier this month, laid its report on Tuesday, containing 10 recommendations.
The House also asked relevant security and law enforcement agencies to investigate and track all monies expended outside the laid down financial guidelines for the program, particularly, monies paid to the FCTA Land Swap Programme Account with the FCMB Plc, and the private personal account of Mustafa Usman Kaoje, the Accountant of AIIC and any other official of FCTA and AIIC.
Credit: Dailytrust

How Oronsaye, Others Diverted N14bn Pension Fund– Witness

First prosecution witness, Rouqayya Ibrahim, on Tuesday narrated to a Federal High Court in Abuja, how a former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, and some officials allegedly siphoned N14bn pension fund using about 66 illegal bank accounts.

Ibrahim, an investigator and an operative with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told Justice Gabriel Kolawole that the fraud was discovered in 2010.

Oronsaye was Head of Service of the Federation between June 2009 and November 2010.

Ibrahim said the methods used for perpetrating the fraud included payments to “ghost” pensioners and disbursements of funds for non-existing contracts.

She also said the scam in which about N14bn pension fund was siphoned was perpetrated through payments of non-existing allowances to fake members of staff and to the National Union of Pensioners and Association of Federal Civil Service Retirees.

The EFCC is prosecuting Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and three other firms on 35 counts, including illegal acts of “conducting procurement fraud by means of fraudulent and corrupt act on the contract of biometric enrolment”.

Credit: Punch

Ezekwelli Celebrates Rescue Of Chibok Girl, Prays For Others


A former Minister of Education and leader of the Bring Back Our Girls Group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has reacted to news of the rescue of one of the abducted Chibok girls by giving thanks to God.

Earlier in the day, the Nigerian Army confirmed the rescue of Amina Ali who was abducted along with over 200 other girls from school in 2014 by Boko Haram.

In reaction to the news, the former minister who has been one of the arrowheads in the campaign for the rescue of the girls, gave thanks to God while praising the Nigerian Army and the Civilian Joint Task Force in Borno.

Credit: Punch

EFCC Arrests Suspended Pension DG, Others For N2.5bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the suspended Director-General, of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Nelly Mayshak, and three others, Yoab Youssoufou, Patricia Iyogun, and Ruth Imonikhe for a N2.5bn fraud.

PTAD is an independent pension agency established in August 2013 to oversee the management of pensions under the Defined Benefit Scheme for pensioners not transiting to the defined contributory scheme.

It will be recalled that Mayshak was last month placed on an indefinite suspension and investigated after it was discovered that she allegedly received N50m monthly in salary and allowances.

According to sources at the EFCC, investigations into the alleged fraud revealed that Mayshak allegedly misappropriated about N2bn that was left in the pensions’ account of the Head of the Civil Service, Nigeria Immigrations Service, Nigeria Customs Service, and Nigeria Prisons Service.

She also allegedly embezzled about N500m meant as the take-off grant for PTAD.

The alleged scam, which borders on procurement fraud, was committed during her three-year tenure.

A detective at the anti-graft agency told our correspondent that Mayshak allegedly awarded several fictitious contracts to her cronies at PTAD, one of whom was her sister-in-law.

A source at the EFCC said, “In one instance, Mayshak allegedly approved N25,410,000 for the supply of 121,000,000 litres of fuel in one day when in fact there was no corresponding storage capacity, as PTAD only has a storage capacity of about 11,000 litres, which lasts for about a month.

“Mayshak is alleged to have awarded several phony contracts to cronies and members of staff of PTAD, through which she used to enrich herself as they only served as fronts for her.

“Between December 8 and 30, 2014 she awarded multiple contracts to one company , Interactive Wide Nigeria Limited  to the tune of N29,377,993.26. Contracts for the supply of office materials, air conditioners, and conference materials to the tune of N375, 704,287 were awarded to Belzacode, Hosley Nigeria Limited, and Pabak Nigeria Limited.”

Investigations revealed that one of the suspects, Yousoufou, who is the Team Leader, ICT Department, owned Belzacode; while Imonihke, Team Leader, DG’s Office, owned Hosley Nigeria Limited. Iyogun, who is Team Leader, Customs, Immigration, Prisons, Pensions Department, and also a sister-in-law to Mayshak, owned Pabak Nigeria Limited.

The anti-graft agency, however, said the three suspects were merely fronts for the prime suspect, Mayshak.

The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

The latest arrest of Mayshak is one of many pension scams in recent times.

Credit: Punch

Baby, Nine Others Dead, 12 Injured In Lagos Crash

A baby and nine other passengers were on Monday night burnt to death in an accident that occurred at Iyana Yafin along the Badagry Expressway in Lagos State, while 12 others were rescued alive although they sustained varying degrees of injuries.

The fatal accident occurred after two vehicles, an 18- seater commercial bus fully loaded with passengers, and a Mazda saloon car had a head-on collision.

It was gathered that at the impact of the collision, the two cars exploded and fire engulfed them and their respective passengers.

Although men of the state fire service rescued 12 of the passengers from the flames, 10 others were not so lucky as they were burnt to death.

The commercial bus with registration number KJA 654 XF, which was said to have been coming from the Seme end of the Badagry Expressway, had driven against traffic from the Gbaji bridge.

It was gathered that the driver of the bus switched off the bus lights in an attempt to evade the road blocks mounted by security agents along the expressway and, in the process, had a head-on collision with an oncoming Mazda car .

Credit: Thisday

Saraki, Dogara, Others Meet To Decide On Budget

The leadership of the National Assembly held a crucial meeting on Monday night to take a final stance on the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold his assent to the controversial 2016 budget.

Investigation showed that the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, would chair the meeting to be held at his Abuja residence.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yussuff Lasun, and other principal officers of the Senate and the House would attend the meeting.

The budget of N6.06tn had been passed by the National Assembly on March 23.

With just days to April 23, a date the budget would have been with Buhari for 30 days, it was still unclear last night if the President had returned it to the legislature stating reasons why he would not sign it as provided under Section 59 of the 1999 Constitution.

But some legislative officials said that the aim of the meeting was for the leadership of both chambers to take a position in anticipation that Buhari would return the document with explanatory notes on the “grey areas.”

“The meeting may not necessarily be about overriding the President’s veto. There isn’t a veto per se because Buhari has not said so officially.

“It is to look at the areas where the executive has already complained of distortions in the budget so that both houses will agree on what to do when a formal letter comes from the Presidency,” one of the officials said at 7.55pm.

Findings indicated that the meeting was billed to start around 9pm.

Credit: Punch

Navy Declares Fake Captain, Others Accused Of Bribery Wanted

The Nigerian Navy has declared an impostor who collected bribe from unsuspecting members of the public as a senior naval officer wanted for impersonation.

The Director of Information (DINFO), Commodore Christian Ezekobe, made this clarification on Monday following a report that one “Captain Olugboyega Olubiyi Ayokunle” who claims to be a senior officer of the Nigerian Navy collected the sum of N100,000.00 from Mr Olugbemiga Ayeni as mobilization fee for investigation into alleged fraudulent dealings involving another naval officer, whose name is given as Prince Aderemi, Aderemi’s wife and one Mr Olugbenga Ayeni.

Ezekobe said that in view of the report and a formal complaint forwarded to the Naval Headquarters by Mr Olugbemiga Ayeni on the behavior of the said “Captain Olugboyega Olubiyi Ayokunle”, the Nigerian Navy carried out a thorough investigation on the identity of the names mentioned and discovered that the men who are parading as officers of the Nigerian Navy are impostors.

“To this end, the Nigerian Navy wishes to state categorically that the said Prince Aderemi is not a naval rating as alleged. Also Captain Olugboyega Olubiyi Ayokunle whose photograph is hereby attached to this disclaimer is not a Nigerian Navy officer. The naval uniform insignia worn by the suspect is fake as such not that of the Nigerian Navy,” he stated.

“Therefore he cannot be serving in the Western Naval Command of the Niigerian Navy as alleged in the news report,” he added.

The DINFO declare that the said “Captain OA Olugboyega is a wanted Person by the Nigerian Navy for offences ranging from impersonation and illegal possession of fire arms as shown in the attached pictures”.

To this end, he said, the general public is advised to henceforth desist from dealing with the imposters who claim to be in the Service of the Nigerian Navy, as the Service will not be responsible for their fraudulent activities.

He however, urged that “when and wherever sighted, they should be apprehended and handed over to the nearest Naval or military formation for prompt action”.

Credit: Thisday

Buhari Scores Low On Economy, Others, See Poll Rating

President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval rating has slipped further from 32.8% in February to 31.2% in March, amid worsening economic crisis and crippling fuel scarcity, according to a new poll.

The monthly poll by Governance Advancement Initiative for Nigeria, GAIN, says more Nigerians again scored Mr. Buhari low on his administration’s handling of the economy, power and fuel shortage.

It is the second time the president’s rating dropped since GAIN in December started monthly tracking of performance of governments at all levels in Nigeria.

In earlier months, the poll found that majority of respondents did not blame President Buhari for Nigeria’s economic troubles. They blamed former President Goodluck Jonathan instead.

In January, the president’s approval rating stood at 63.4%.

The trend however shifted significantly in February as the nation’s economic crisis bit harder.

In March, which is the latest result, the poll said more Nigerians continued to blame Mr. Buhari— not Mr. Jonathan— for the nation’s economic woes.

The falling rating was primarily due to petroleum scarcity, bad economy, power outage, and broken campaign promises, said the poll.

“A crippling fuel scarcity continued to affect individuals and business across the country, and had a concomitant effect on transportation and business costs,” said Malcolm Fabiyi, one of the poll’s coordinators, who previously served as a visiting professor at the Lagos Business School.

The president scored low on economy, power, and rule of law.

Credit: PremiumTimes

FG To Restrict Business Class Travels To Ministers, Others

The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) has accepted the recommendations of the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance to restrict Business Class travel to Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen of Federal Government Committees, as well as Chairmen and Chief Executives of Parastatals and Agencies.

The Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance is collaborating with OSGF and the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), to review the provisions of some extant government Circulars on Overhead Expenses one of which is on Travels.

Efficiency Unit is the initiative of the current Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and was set up to engender transparency and reduce government’s large expenditure through procurement in the various ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

The restriction of Business Class travel to Ministers and others was made known in a press statement by the SA Media to Minister of Finance, Festus Akanbi.

According to the statement, the Efficiency Unit, aside from its negotiation for discounts with local and international airlines also recommended other measures for reducing the government’s large expenditure on travels to the OSGF.

The statement read: “These include the need to restrict Business Class travel to Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen of Federal Government Committees, as well as Chairmen and Chief Executives of Parastatals and Agencies.  In the past, some government officials who should have been on Business Class usually travelled First Class, while many others travelled Business Class instead of Economy.

“The second recommendation bordered on the need to reduce the frequency of travels by ensuring that Board and Committee events such as meetings, workshops and conferences in Nigeria are held in locations where the institutions or persons participating in the event are domiciled.  Furthermore, such events should for the most part be held in Nigeria but where this is not possible, the prior approval of the Secretary to the Federal Government should be secured.”

It further stated that, “in line with the present administration’s commitment to reform public expenditure, the OSGF accepted the recommendations in full and has accordingly issued a Circular recently to effect the changes.  The buy-in and prompt reaction of the OSGF is an attestation of the common resolve by government to its change mantra and the spirit of collaboration among government institutions and officials.

“It is estimated that Travel Expenditure will drop by about 20% if the provisions of the new Circular issued by the OSGF are fully implemented.  A 20% reduction in Air Travel Expenditure, using the figure of N69.417 billion incurred on Travels in 2014 will result in a cost-cutting of N13.88 billion.  Such large savings from Travel, which should ordinarily not be a major expense item for the government, will become available for investment in capital projects such as roads, power, railways and public health facilities.”

“The savings are expected to be even larger when discounts secured from Airlines are added. Already, 11 Airlines have offered discounts on local and international routes for travel by MDAs while negotiations are on-going with others.  The discounts received so far vary across routes and airlines and range from 7% to 50%. The Efficiency Unit expects the implementation of the price discounts secured from Airlines to start in May 2016 when the Agreements would have been signed with the Airlines and MDA staff would have been trained and equipped for effective administration of the new process.”

“Other Overhead Expenditure items reviewed by the Efficiency Unit are those relating to Refreshments and Meals, Honorarium and Sitting Allowance as well as Advertising and Publicity.  Measures that will standardise spending on these items, cut costs and promote transparency on these items have been recommended to the OSGF and the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, from which further cost-cutting on Overhead Expenditure is to be achieved.”

Credit: DailyTimes

Benue Leaders Flay Buhari, Army, Police, Gov, Others Over Agatu

A joint meeting of all Benue socio-cultural groups and religious leaders has flayed President Muhammadu Buhari, Army, Police chiefs, and the state governor for failing to visit Agatu and other besieged Benue communities after the mass attacks and killings in the communities by suspected Fulani militia.

They contended that the action smacked of insensitivity and care free attitude on the part of the leaders to the plight of the people of the state. A communique issued in Makurdi at the end of a combined meeting of the Mdzough U Tiv, the Idoma National Forum and the Omi Ny’Igede, on the killings and wanton destruction of property of Benue indigenes by Fulani herdsmen, they expressed worry at the delay in setting up of the Presidential Investigative Panel as promised by President Buhari. Among others, the meeting had in attendance, the Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Williams Avenya that of Katsina-Ala Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Adobo.

Part of the communique read, “the inability of the President, the nation’s Army and Police Chiefs, and the Governor of Benue State to visit the worst affected communities of Agatu and other areas where recent mass murder attacks were carried out for on the spot assessment of the level of devastation indicates lack of seriousness deserving of the crisis. The delay in setting up the Presidential Investigation Panel promised by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is also becoming worrisome.

“The proposed Town Hall Meeting by the Federal Government is not only diversionary, but a deliberate ploy to downplay the degree of attention and seriousness that should be accorded the invasion of our land.

“We reject the Federal Government’s proposal at this time, but insist on Judicial Commission of Enquiry to unravel the root cause(s) of the massacre of our people. We advise that all relevant government agencies saddled with the responsibilities of home land security begin the process of disarming Fulani herdsmen across the country to avoid a counter arms buildup by helpless communities in self defence.”

Credit: Vanguard

PDP Commences Committal Proceedings Against Amaechi, Army Chiefs, Others

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has asked a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt to commit the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin, and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai, to prison for deploying soldiers during the March 19 rerun elections in defiance of a court order.

Others included in the committal proceedings are the Commander of the 2 Army Brigade, Port Harcourt, Brigadier General Stephenson Olabanji, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak.

Reacting to the development, Amaechi, who said last night that he was unaware of the matter in court, as he had not been served the process, however, described the move by the PDP as “frivolous, ridiculous and laughable”, promising to meet the party in court.

The ruling party in the state and its chairman, Mr. Felix Obuah, sought for the relief in a motion of notice filed by their solicitor, Kingsley Chuku, before the state High Court registry on March 22.

The motion was bought pursuant to Order XIV of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure), Rules 2009 under the jurisdiction of the state High Court.

The Rivers PDP and its chairman had earlier in a Suit No PHC/601/2016, filed before the state High Court by Mr. Chuku, secured a court injunction restraining Amaechi, the army and the federal government from deploying soldiers during the rerun elections.

Joined as respondents in the suit then were Amaechi (1st), Chief of Defence Staff (2nd), Chief of Army Staff (3rd), Brigadier General Steve Olabanji, Brigade Commander, 2nd Amphibious Brigade, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt (4th), INEC (5th), REC, Rivers State (6th), the Governor of Rivers State (7th) and the Government of Nigeria (8th).

Justice George Omereji of High Court 13 subsequently, in a judgment on March 16, granted an interim injunction restraining the respondents from deploying soldiers for the exercise, in line with the fundamental rights of the applicants.

Credit: Thisday

Amaechi, Fayemi, Others Want Youths In Politics

Nigerian youths have been tasked to participate more in the political system of Nigeria in order to witness a developmental growth under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal government. Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who gave the admonition at the weekend in Akure, the Ondo State capital, said the importance of youths to Nigeria democratic system cannot be shunned.

Amaechi, who was also represented by the Senator representing Ondo Central Senatorial district, Ajayi Borroffice, noted that the youths would not be neglected in the present government of the APC. The Minister spoke at a youth programme tagged: “The Roles of the Youth as Progressive Change Agents” organised by All Progessives Congress (APC) Youth League, Southwest Zone of the country. He said that more participation of the youths in the politics would help enhance them to map out strategies and ideas that could fast-track the change mantra of the All progressives Congress led government. “We need more youths in all legislative houses both at state level and federal level because they are agents of progressive change”

Amaechi said. He added that over 70 per cent of Nigerians were youths who have various potentials and could contribute to the development of the country but expressed dismay that most of them were unemployed. The Transport Minister, however, noted that the incumbent All Progressives Congress at the federal level was fully determined to make amendment and provide more jobs for the youths in the country. “If we do not start to build on youths now for future, then Nigeria will be in danger and it is left for our leaders to use youths in driving development and goals.

“There are characteristics of youths that must be employed to make the future brighter,” he said. Earlier, Minister of Mine and Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said that the youths should constitute themselves into opinion groups that would shape the country for better. Fayemi, who was represented by Mr Abiodun Omoleye, added that they should prepare for leadership role and not be used as political thugs, saying that they should stand up for their right because leadership starts now.

The Southwest coordinator of APC Youth League, Adeoye Aribasoye, stated that youths should not be used and dumped by politicians after election but be engaged in profitable business that could promote enhance their potentials.

Credit: DailyTimes

Police Arrest Kwankwaso’s Chief of Staff, Others

Police in Kano Saturday arrested Dr. Yunusa Adamu Dangwani, the Chief of Staff to former governor of Kano State, Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.
Dangwani, who also served as Commissioner for Water Resources under Kwankwaso, was said to have been arrested with other political associates of Kwankwaso over an alleged plan to hold a political rally in the state. They stayed overnight at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police command.

But the former Commissioner for State Affairs, Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam, said Dangwani’s arrest was in connection with the current political impasse between his principal and the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
“We are right now at the police command trying to secure Dangwani’s bail. His arrest has nothing to do with any political rally,” he said. He dispelled rumours that Kwankwaos’s aides were planning a political rally.
Another source close to Dangwani said Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had intervened and ordered their release yesterday.
It was learnt that the said rally was organized in solidarity with Senator Kwankwaso over the ongoing political feud between him and his Governor Ganduje.

Police spokesman, DSP Magaji Musa Majia confirmed the arrest of some politicians but did not mention their names.
In a jingle being aired by some radio stations in the state, the police warned politicians to either drop their plan to hold mass rally or face the wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, Sharu Garba Gwammaja, a former media aide to ex-governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has accused Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of persecuting Kwankwaso’s allies for exposing an alleged approval of N688m for members of the state House of Assembly as a reward for renouncing the red cap.
Speaking on telephone yesterday, Gwammaja alleged that he and other Kwankwassiya members fell into trouble with the state government after going on air to expose the alleged deal.
“Last Tuesday, the lawmakers visited the governor and on Wednesday, a proposal to purchase vehicles for the legislators to the tune of N688m was tabled and approved at the State Executive Council meeting for them to purchase vehicles.
“This approval is a way of rewarding the assembly members for discarding their red caps. In the deal, each lawmaker will get N17.2 million as payment for his red cap,” he alleged.
When pressed on the veracity of his claim, he said he didn’t have any document to prove it but stood by his claim.

Credit: DailyTrust

Fani- Kayode, Falae, Others Named In Alleged N3.145bn Fraud

Investigators at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said Monday they have uncovered evidence showing how prominent politicians, mostly from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, allegedly shared N3.145billion in the build up to the last presidential election.
Named in the alleged bazaar are a former aviation minister and director of media for the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign organization, Femi Fani-kayode; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and leader of the Social Democratic Party, Olu Falae; a former finance minister, Nenadi Usman; a former Imo state governor, Achike Udenwa; former minister of state for foreign affairs, Viola Onwuliri and politician Okey Ezenwa
A source at the anti-graft agency, who pleaded not to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the money was paid by the Central Bank Nigeria into the account of the Ministry of External Affairs Library, from where it was moved into the account of a private firm, Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited.
“It was from the Joint Dimension’s account with Zenith Bank that the money was shared to various individuals and organizations for purposes that are not stated,” the source said.
The sources described Mr. Fani-Kayode was the chief beneficiary of the disbursement as he allegedly received a whooping N840million, paid in three tranches into his Zenith Bank, Maitama branch, with number 1004735721.
The first tranche of payment involving N350million allegedly hit the account on February 19, 2015.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Doctors Blame Health Sector Crises On Judiciary, Ministry, Others

Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday blamed industrial disharmony and other crises in the nation’s health sector on judiciary, health ministry, hospitals’ managements, and health workers in the country. The doctors specifically identified interpretations of health-related laws by judges in the country, alleged weaknesses of past and present governments to tackle issues headlong and deliberate attempts by non-doctors to hijack their roles in hospitals as fundamental reasons crises in the sector have worsened and lingered. The group repeatedly affirmed its leadership of the nation’s health sector, including all hospitals, and vowed never to concede it to any health worker other than doctors. The NMA urged Nigerians to prevail on the federal and other tiers of government to ensure all employees work according to their rules of engagement and discipline. The group however warned that the sector could witness “disaster and collapse” if the alleged trends were not addressed. A statement signed by president and General-Secretary of the group, Kayode Obembe and Adewunmi Alayaki respectively, called on the National Assembly to urgently hold a joint session to probe alleged anomalies in the sector. It also seeks the implementation of report of the Yayale Ahmed-led Presidential Committee on Harmony in the sector.

The association lamented that non-medical practitioners and doctors, who once worked in health facilities to save patients, now live like rats in hospitals. Condemning judicial pronouncement which favoured non-doctors, the association said: “The Nigerian Medical Association is highly appalled by the state of affairs in the healthcare delivery system which has been reinforced by the recent ruling of National Industrial Court. An ill-informed ruling as a result of a poor understanding of the meaning of medicine, its ramifications and appendages, the role and rights of practitioners of medicine and their relationship with allied healthcare professionals for the purpose of maintaining members of the public in a state of health.” Consequent upon hatred caused by crises in the sector, the doctors argued that “deep-rooted enmity of a lifetime and for future generations has been created among a group of people who work and live together as a team because of these interpretations that pacified only the crying baby without asking for the reason for the lamentation.” The group said it was furious over alleged attempts by non-doctors to usurp their functions through various tactics including being “aided by the acquiescence or collusion of some persons entrusted with power and authority to perform certain roles in the system, to foist a state of frozen conflict on the healthcare delivery system of Nigeria to the detriment of the public.”

It added that health workers have used a combination of “contrived” misapplication of government policy and establishment circulars and misused legislations to cause unimaginable divisions, segmentation, indiscipline and other vices in the healthcare system with attendant but avoidable injuries and deaths to unsuspecting members of the public.

Credit: NationalMirror

Sen. Binta Garba, Hon. Ngunan Adingi, Others #PledgeForParity

In commemoration with the annual International Women’s Day, “Talk Your Own” of the BBC Media Action organized a symposium, gathering women of different ages and classes to rub minds on the issue of Gender Parity.

The discussion was triggered by a research from the World Economic Forum in 2014, which predicts that gender equality can only be a reality in the year 2095 but then further stated in 2015 that the pace of closing the gap of gender inequality is slower than they had predicted. The new research provides that gender equality will be realized in  year 20133.

Senator Binta Garba made a clear notion of the fact that gender parity does not in any way mean setting the woman above the man but atleast standing side by said with the man to achieve a common goal. She further stated the importance of girl child education and said she pledged as a child to be an ambassador that will advocate for girls that are being deprived of formal education.

Hon. Ngunan Adingi also shared her experience as a woman politician who was robbed off her ticket as her party flag bearer and was almost denied the chance to contest the seat for her constituency; until she took the fight to court and eventually won. By that she encouraged other women not to run without a fight for what is rightfully theirs.

Another woman politician, Dr. Bilkisu Magoro, founder of Bilmor Foundation, on the state of gender parity said regardless of efforts made in Nigeria to close the gender inequality gap, equity needs to be put in place in various sectors to enable the woman to be fully involved in the society. She also adds that with the recent elections outcome with less women in political platforms, more opportunities should be made available for more representation of women in Nigerian politics.

More women shared their plights and experiences of inequality as engineers, road side sellers, cab drivers, musicians, etc. Of more concern is the fact that most girls are not encouraged to be ambitious with education because the norm expects them to marry and settle as housewives, rather than pursue their careers.

NIMASA Fraud: Court Admits More Exhibits Against Akpobolokemi, Others

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has admitted more exhibits against a former Director- General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, presented one of the three witnesses he earlier brought before the court.

The witness, Olamide Ogunsanya, an Assistant Director in NIMASA disclosed to the court, how the sum of 795,200,000 Naira was paid into the International Shipping and Port Safety (ISPS), account and how the same amount was disbursed.

The witness told the court that approval for the disbursement of the money came from the office of Mr Akpobolokemi.

The document conveying the presidential approval through the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), was identified by the witness and same was admitted as exhibit P22.

On the document, Mrs Ogunsanya identified the endorsement of the first accused person, Akpobolokemi.

Also tendered through the witness, are letters from NIMASA to the Accountant General of Federation and approval from the Accountant General’s office.

The documents were eventually admitted as exhibits P24 and P25 respectively.

The witness also identified the third accused person, Ekene Nwakuche as the first beneficiary in the disbursement of the 795,200,000 Naira.

She told the court that between September 16, 2014 and November 6, 2014, Nwakuche received 3,000,000 Naira each, on eight occasions, from the ISPS account totalling 28,000,000 Naira.

Other beneficiaries are Avant Guard Securities, 94,000,000 Naira; Extreme Vertex Limited, 318,000,000 Naira ; Suco Global, 15,000,000 Naira; O2 Services Limited, 21,200,000 Naira and 16,000,000 Naira; and Aroward Consulting, 70,000,000 Naira.

The witness said that there was a balance of 198, 635 Naira (left in the account).

Credit: ChannelsTv

Osinbajo, Tinubu, Atiku, Saraki, Others In Close Door Meeting

Senior leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, are currently meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The meeting is taking place at the presidential villa.

Those in attendance include Senate President Bukola Saraki, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun; Senate Leader, Ali Ndume; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and a former interim chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, among others.

The meeting is behind closed doors, and its agenda was not immediately clear.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Kogi Gets New SSG , Accountant-General, 20 Special Advisers, Others

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has appointed Mrs Folashade Ayoade as the new Secretary to the State Government ( SSG).

In a statement issued in Lokoja on Tuesday, signed on his behalf by his Chief of Satff, Mr David Onoja, the governor also named Alhaji Momoh Jubril as the new Accountant-General of the state.

The list of appointees included 20 new Special Advisers and three Senior Special Assistants on print media, electronic and new media.

The new Senior Special Assistant on print media is Mr Ademu Idako who was until the appointment , the Correspondent of the Newswatch Daily and Chairman of Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists in Kogi

Mrs Petra Akinti Onyebule and Mr Gbenga Olorunpomi are the new Senior Special Assistants on Electronic Media and New Media.

Also appointed are Brig-Gen. Olusola Okutimo as the Security Adviser to the governor, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, Legal Adviser and Mr Abdulkareem Mohammed as the Director-General, Protocol.

The governor also approved the appointment of five special assistants for the Deputy-Governor.

Credit: Leadership

EFCC Arrests Ex-Minister, Abba Moro, Others Over 2014 Immigration Recruitment Scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arrested a former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, over the Nigerian Immigration recruitment scam in which no fewer than 20 job seekers died.

Also arrested by the anti-graft agency were former Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Anaesthesia Nwaobia, and a deputy director who allegedly facilitated the scam.

A source at the commission, who cannot be named because she is not authorised to speak on the matter, said the three suspects were picked up in the evening.

“They were brought into the commission’s headquarters today and will be arraigned on a 12-count charge in the Federal High Court Abuja on Tuesday,” the source said.

Some of the charges against Mr. Moro and his colleagues include obtaining by false pretence, procurement offences, corrupt practices and money laundering.

At least nine job seekers died on March 15, 2014 at the Abuja National Stadium while scrambling to secure seats for a recruitment test into the Nigerian Immigration Service.
The stampede ensued after the over 200,000 job seekers scrambled through a poorly organized barricade at the stadium.

In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, four applicants died from the stampede while 12 others sustained injuries and were rushed to Rivers government-owned Braithwaite Memorial Hospital.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Bello Sacks Kogi Accountant General, Perm Secs, Others

Kogi State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello yesterday sacked the Accountant General of the state, Mr Ibrahim Idakwo and all permanent secretaries except the Permanent Secretary in charge of Government House.
A statement issued in Lokoja by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, said the governor also directed all Heads of Administration to proceed on compulsory leave immediately.

The statement said the Accountant General had been relieved of his post while his deputy should proceed on the compulsory 30-day leave.
“At the local government level, the Directors of Local Government Administration, treasurers, education secretaries and cashiers are also to proceed on compulsory leave. The decision is geared towards ensuring a more efficient and productive civil service. The directive takes effect from tomorrow (today)”, the statement said.
The latest development according to our correspondent means that over 100 top government officials in the state might as well be on the verge of losing their jobs.
There are 21 local government areas in the state, implying that 21 directors of local government administration, 21 treasurers and 21 education secretaries got the hammer. The directive also affects 37 permanent secretaries.
Bello had on assumption of duty dissolved all government boards and parastatals except the Judicial Service Commission, State Independent Electoral Commission and Civil Service Commission.


Fake Madman Arrested With 22 ATM Cards, Phones, Others

Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of Lagos State Police Command have arrested a suspected madman with 22 Automatic Teller Machine, ATM, cards, two mobile phones and power bank in Victoria Island.

The man, who identified himself as Lanrewaju Jaiyeola, 39, was intercepted by the police after the suspicious manner he carried a backpack along Ozumba Mbadiwe Road.

A reliable police source said 22 assorted credit cards, one Nokia phone, a blackberry, a power bank, several bank tellers of recent bank transactions and lots of invoices, amidst numerous pieces of papers, were found on him. He added that they discovered that eight of the credit cards were still valid. Out of these, three would expire in 2018, another three would expire in 2017, while two would expire in 2016. All the credit cards bore different names and of various banks. Confirming the arrest, RRS Commander, ACP Olatunji Disu, added that upon arrival at the RRS Headquarters in Alausa, the suspect made “statements suggestive of somebody disguising as a mad man to perpetrate crime around that axis.” He said: “Initially, we noticed that he was mentally balanced because he was answering the questions posted to him ade-quately. But all of a sudden, he started sounding incoherent and illogical. “He threatened the investigative Police officer, saying ‘I will make life unbearable for you if you don’t let me go’.

Credit: vanguardngr

EFCC Seizes N5bn Houses Of Ex-NAF Chief, Amosu, Others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized houses and other properties belonging to the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd.), and other senior military officers worth N5bn.

 senior EFCC official, who did not want his name in print, told our correspondent that the suspects and others were cooperating fully with the anti-graft agency.

The source in Abuja, said, “We have sealed a block of 12 luxury flats, located on Agodogba Street, Park View Estate, Ikoyi, belonging to Adigun. It is worth over N1.7bn. The same Adigun also owns another block of luxury flats on Sinari Daranijo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. It is worth N1.8bn

“A parcel of land, located on Bourdillon Drive, Ikoyi, worth N908m, belonging to Adigun has also been seized by the EFCC operatives.”

The source added that six other properties had been traced to Adigun, including a set of four terrace houses on Agede Street, off Aminu Kano in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja.

Credit: Punch

Alleged Recruiter Of Terrorists For ISIS, Others, Arrested In Nigeria

The State Security Service on Tuesday announced the arrest of one Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa alleged to a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In a statement, the SSS through a statement by one of its officials, Tony Okpuiyo, said Mr. Yunusa was arrested in Kano on January 17 after he “completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ISIS.”

Read the SSS’ full statement below.

DSS Arrests ISIS Recruiter and Other Terrorists
… Planned Terrorists Attacks in States Aborted

In line with the Service statutory mandate  to decisively and continually provide actionable intelligence as well as act to degrade persons and groups that threaten  internal security in the Country, the Service initiated series of tactical operations, involving raids and enforcement actions against identified criminal and extremist kingpins and syndicates across the country.

These recent operations have significantly degraded the key extremist groups and kidnapping gangs, terrorizing innocent citizens in the Country, particularly in the South-West, North-West and Middle-Belt regions of the Federation.

On 17th January, 2016, one Abdussalam Enesi YUNUSA, a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was arrested in Kano. His arrest was sequel to available intelligence which indicated his terrorist antecedents and covert drive to indoctrinate and recruit susceptible youths in the country.

Prior to his arrest, YUNUSA had completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ‘Islamic State’. These recruits include the trio of one Muhammed RABI’U, Yahaya Momoh JIMOH and Zainab SUNDAY (f). YUNUSA is a 400 level undergraduate student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, where he was studying for a degree in Information and Media Technology.

He was subsequently radicalized and became a member of an extremist cell, comprising of one IBRAHIM (fnu) and Abubakar LIGALI, whom he revealed are currently undergoing terrorist training in Libya. He listed one AMINU (fnu) and Ibrahim JIHADI (Nigeriene), as other ISIS agents operating in Nigeria and the West African sub-region. The cell was being funded by one Abu-sa’ad Al Sudani, a media expert with the extremist group using Western Union money transfers to fund the terrorist cell agenda.

On 17th January, 2016, in Daura township of Daura LGA, Katsina State, another budding extremist cell affiliated to ISIS, was intercepted by the Service. One Ibrahim Mohammed DAURA, Zaharadeen SALISU and five other elements of the proscribed extremist group, Ansaru, were arrested by the Service. This group was discovered in an active stage, as its members were already co-ordinating themselves for attacks in Katsina and Kano States.

In the same vein, on 22nd January, 2016, one Obansa SALAMI, Ejide TIJANI aka Abu Uwaise II, Mohammed RABIU aka Ubida II, Zainab MOHAMMED and Abdulqadir Salisu AHMAD were arrested in Kano by this Service, while  migrating to Libya, with their immediate families including infants, in a bid to join ISIS. This group was apprehended after painstaking monitoring of its network and plans.

On 29th January, 2016, the Service arrested Mohammed Aliyu NDAKO in Kwara State. NDAKO is a seventeen (17) year old undergraduate student of a tertiary institution in the State. He was arrested sequel to credible intelligence on his plans with one Abdulkadir Salisu AHMAD a.k.a Daddy Tall, another student in Kano State, to carry out coordinated lone-wolf attacks on selected populated targets in Nigeria preferably worship centres or recreation venues. Suspect had hitherto been communicating with foreign extremist elements, while sourcing online terrorist training and support.

Within the window of these tactical operations, between the month of December 2015 and February 2016, the Service,  busted the  network of syndicated kidnap gangs spanning different regions in the country, especially Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Nasarawa, FCT, Oyo and Osun States. Foremost in this line, was the arrest of a gang of five (5) kidnappers, Abubakar HASSAN, Usman MUSA, Usman ADAMU and Idrisa Babangida AHMADU at Ife junction, Osun State, on 3rd  February, 2016.

On 5th February, 2016, the fifth member of the gang, Saidu ISYAKU was arrested at Ojo area, Oyo State. These kidnappers, Six (6) AK 47 rifles, five (5) magazines and about one thousand rounds of ammunition were recovered. This gang has been active in the South West axis of the country and were at advanced stages of kidnapping high value targets for huge ransom, before they were intercepted.

Another breakthrough in the fight against kidnapping was the killing of Abubakar MOHAMMED (aka BUBA), and an unidentified member of his group, on 8th February, 2016 close to Jebba Medical Centre, Jebba, Kwara State by security operatives as they tried to escape during a shootout with security operatives. MOHAMMED was a notorious kidnap kingpin known for his brutality and various acts of lawlessness. It is disheartening that this criminal and his men had terrorized, to no end, residents of the South West zone.  He was also linked to the kidnap of the elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, in Ondo State.

In the wake of deliberate  vandalism of oil pipelines  by criminal elements in the South-South region, the Service arrested one Nengi Samuel IKIBA aka Kockman Abula, a notorious pipeline vandal on 27th January, 2016, in Bayelsa State. IKIBA confessed to vandalizing several pipelines in the State, including the 24” Agoda/Brass Oil pipeline at Idema community in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.

The modest success of the Service in its support to the Federal Government to achieve its desired economic objectives and stability may also be noted. To this effect, the DSS have arrested a group of fraudsters who had concluded plans to hack the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) domiciled in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in order to steal Four Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N4.5b) from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

The gang was led by one Sunny OKOH, a hacker who  worked in collaboration with the trio of Uwem Udo EKPO, a Chief Program Analyst in the OAGF, Maxwell EKENE, a retired security operative and Dozie EGWU, based in Malaysia and who is now at large. The suspected fraudsters intended to use a software they had sourced and codes released to them by EKPO to hack Government accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and defraud the Government of this huge sum.

It is instructive to note that a credibility problem would have arisen over the TSA policy if these hackers had succeeded in their plan and thus lend credence to the critics of the policy that it ought not to have been introduced and implemented. For the avoidance of doubt, the suspects have been handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and prosecution.

It is pertinent to state that these successes were recorded as a result of proactive and credible intelligence offered by members of the public, sister security agencies and other stakeholders. This Service wish to state that it will continue to deploy every means necessary within its statutory mandate, and armbit of the law to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding residents and citizens wherever they reside.

It is also germane to urge all and sundry to be extra-vigilant, as well as report any suspicious persons/groups or activities to relevant security agencies, for the sustenance of relative peace in the country

Thank You.
Department of State Service
8th February, 2016

Credit: PremiumTimes

N29bn Fraud: Court Admits Exhibits Against Nyako, Others

The trial of the former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba, who are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 37-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29 billion continued yesterday.

They are alleged to have at various times between 2011 and 2013, used five companies – Blue Opal Nigeria limited, Serore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Towers Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited to commit the fraud.

Their trial before Justice E. Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had commenced on January 29, 2016 with the EFCC presenting its first witness, Mahmud Wambai, a staff of Zenith Bank in court.

At the resumed hearing, the EFCC presented three more witnesses – Yawale Auwalu, Philip Olukayode, both staff of Ecobank Nigeria Plc and Caroline Osaha, a staff of First Bank Nigeria Plc.

Auwalu, the 2nd prosecution witness and an account officer, being led in evidence by Adebisi Adeniyi, counsel to the EFCC, told the court that in August 2014 the agency requested bank documents relating to Amdak Investments Limited and Amdak Road Construction Limited.

“We furnished the EFCC with the certificate of identification, copies of account opening documents and the statement of accounts as requested by the commission,” he said.

Credit: Leadership

Alleged N1trn Rail Contracts Scam: Reps Invite Amaechi, NRC MD, Others

Members of the adhoc committee of the House of Representatives on failed rail contracts have summoned the Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi; Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, Seyi Sijuwade; former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Mohammed Bello Haliru; and former Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, to explain their roles in the alleged N1 trillion rail contracts scam.

The adhoc committee is headed by Ehoizuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, PDP, Ikpoba/Oha Federal Constituency. They are expected to appear before the committee tomorrow  during the investigative hearing.

Chairman of the adhoc committee, Agbonayinma, confirmed that all the stakeholders had been duly informed and were expected to show up unfailingly tomorrow.

Asked why the Minister of Transport was invited, despite the fact that he is barely three months old in office, Agbonayinma said:  “The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, was also invited to tell us all he knows, though he just assumed office but you know government is a continuum.

“This 8th House is 100 per cent in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s crusade against any form of corruption.

“We are not out to witch-hunt anybody but anyone found wanting in the course of this investigative hearing will be adequately exposed although as you are aware, not until it is proven by a competent court that such persons are guilty you can’t say they are guilty.”

Credit: Vanguard

$2.1bn Arms Deal: Falana Drags Dasuki, Others To ICC

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the allegation of diversion of the $2.1bn arms funds by a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and some military and public officials.

Falana also called on the ICC to bring to justice those who diverted the funds meant for the empowerment of the country’s security forces.

In a petition dated January 19, 2016, and sent to the Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, Falana asked the ICC to invite the Federal Government to provide written or oral testimonies at the seat of the court on the stolen funds.

He alleged that the sum of $322m and £5.5m from the money stolen and stashed abroad by the late Gen. Sani Abacha, allegedly transferred to Dasuki by a former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to prosecute the war on terror, had been illegally diverted.

He said it was unfortunate that part of the stolen funds was used to fund the re-election campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general elections.

Falana maintained that those who engaged in the criminal diversion of the security funds should be held liable for the death of about 25,000 people, who were killed by the Boko Haram sect and the over 2,000,000 people, who were displaced by the terrorists.

According to him, the Federal Government needs to fulfil its obligations by cooperating with the ICC to arrest suspected perpetrators of the stolen funds and provide other support to the ICC.

Credit: Punch

Special Forces Command Created To Fight Boko Haram, Others- Nigerian Air Force

The Nigerian Air Force has established a Special Forces command to bolster its operations in the North-East and other internal security operations across the country.

The Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this on Thursday while delivering a lecture titled: “Nigerian Air Force: Challenges and Future Perspectives”, at the National Defence College, Abuja.

Although Mr. Abubakar, an Air Marshal, did not give details of the establishment of the new command, he said it was part of the planned restructuring of NAF’s operational command to conform with contemporary demands on national security.

“The Air Force is not only fighting in the air, and therefore, whatever it is that we need to have to fulfill our mandate in the face of the present challenges is what we are working toward putting on the ground.

“We are establishing a new command known as the Special Forces Command as part of ongoing restructuring of our operations.

“The establishment of the Special Forces Command would facilitate the development of NAF’s response capability in both internal and external security operations, as well as increase Nigeria’s self-reliance in strategic security operations,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Reps To Summon Bala Mohammed Over Land Swap, Others

A House of Representatives panel has concluded plans to summon former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Bala Mohammed over the issue of land swap policy. The committee on FCT chaired by Rep Herman Hembe (APC, Benue) said yesterday that Mohammed would be summoned to explain his role in the land swap policy as head of the ministry of FCT.

The House had on December 15 mandated the committee to examine the land swap policy following a motion on the matter. Hembe told journalists in Abuja yesterday that the committee would determine the effectiveness and otherwise of the policy, level of infrastructural development in the designated districts as well as its benefits. The committee is also set to determine the status of allotted but undeveloped plots within Abuja city centre as well as abandoned capital projects within the territory and make appropriate recommendations to the House. Asked if their action would not be misinterpreted to mean witch-hunt of the past administration, Hembe said: “I was in the last House and I was also a member of PDP. But the bottom line is that what is wrong is wrong. We’re looking at what had been done wrongly.”  

 Credit: DailyTrust

Name Ex Gov Thieves, Others, In N1.34tr Fraud; Fayose Tasks Lai Mohammed

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State has challenged the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to make public names of the 15 former governor and 55 Nigerians that he claimed stole N1.34 trillion between 2006 and 2013 or keep his mouth shut permanently.

The governor, who also described as ‘disgraceful, bringing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh to court in handcuff’, said; “Even the masterminds of Mandala and Nyanya bomb blasts, Kabiru Sokoto and Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche were not handcuffed when they were arraigned in court.”

He continued, “The reality is that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government has destroyed the economy within eight months in power and rather than look for solutions to the problems facing Nigeria, Lai Mohammed and his cohorts are branding bogus figures about stolen money just to cover up their lack of solution to the country’s economic problems.”

The governor’s message was contained in a release issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka.

Governor Fayose also said it was funny that close to one year after it won the presidential election, the President Mohammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) federal government was still operating as if it was campaigning for votes.

The governor continued, “They are turning governance to Nollywood, such that when one movie is about to end, they release another one. As it appears that the $2.1 billion arms deal movie is getting to an end, Lai Mohammed introduced another movie titled; N1.34 trillion loot.

“Unfortunately for them this time around, Nigerians have become tired of watching the Federal Government movies, they now want reality. Nigerians are now aware of the scam in the $2.1 billion arms deal movie having seen that the amount those already charged to court were charged with is not more than N10 billion and $2.1 billion is over N600 billion.

“Therefore, Lai Mohammed must either tell Nigerians details of the 15 former governors and 55 people that he claimed stole N1.34 trillion, where the stolen money is kept and bring back the money or apologise to Nigerians for lying.”

Credit: DailyTimes

IPOB Leader Kanu, Others In Court For Treason

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and founder of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, been produced in court for his arraignment on treason charges and other offences bordering on his agitation for the secession of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria.

?He is being arraigned along with two others – Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi – before Justice James Tsoho.

?Earlier on December 23, 2015, when Kanu and the two co-accused were produced in court for arraignment, the IPOB leader refused to take his plea due to what he called his lack of confidence in the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

Justice Mohammed had then returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court who thereafter re-assigned the case t?o Justice Tsoho.

Credit: Punch

Buhari Orders Customs To Distribute Seized Rice, Others To Displaced Persons

President Muhammudu Buhari has directed the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to transfer relief items in various customs warehouses to designated officials for onward distribution to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The Service Public Relations Officer, Wale Adeniyi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday.

According to Adeniyi, the Comptroller General has set up a national committee that would coordinate and manage the movement and the transfer of seized relief items to give effect to the president’s directive.
He said the relief items currently in government warehouses for distribution to the IDPs included goods that had been forfeited to the federal government.

“It is important to stress that these items are only those that have been condemned properly in the competent court of law and have been forfeited to the federal government.
“They include food items like rice, vegetable oil, spaghetti and essential items like soap, used clothing materials, mosquito nets, beddings and others,’’ he said.

Credit: Thisday

Nigeria, Ghana, Others To Benefit From EU’s 10m Euro African Connect Project

Nigeria, Ghana and other African countries are to benefit from a 10 million euro African Connect Project that is aimed at supporting universities and tertiary institutions for the purposes of improving education in their respective countries.

The prospects of Nigerian universities to connect with other universities of the world which would strengthen Nigerian educational system, including Ghana, Togo, Senegal and other countries from West Africa and Central Africa, are to benefit from the European Union 10 million Euro African Connect 2 Project.

To this end, Nigeria is expected to make? a 2.5 million Euro contribution to the project to be able to take full advantage of the African Connect 2 Project which will enable benefiting countries to be on the same research and education networks (RENs).
Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie stated this in Abuja while inaugurating the Board of Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN).

According Okojie,  the project would also improve the nation’s webometric ranking of universities as well as share research results and other academic contents.

Credit: ThisDay

Arms Deal: EFCC To Invite Okonjo-Iweala, Others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed that it will invite top officials in the Goodluck Jonathan administration that had a hand in the disbursement of funds related to the arms purchase.

According to Vanguard Newspapers, a top EFCC source said top on the list is the former Minister of Finance & Coordinating Minister of the Economy in the last Administration, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

This is coming on the heels of the anti-graft agency’s resolve to re-open the case of the former Rivers state Governor, Dr. Peter Odili.

Reports say Odili allegedly received N100m from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The former Governor has since debunked saying he collected N100m from the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, Dr Adamu Muazu and not Dasuki.

Okonjo-Iweala. was accused of illegally disbursing funds to the former National Security Adviser.

Credit: Leadership

El-Rufai Bans Shi’ites, Others From Blocking Roads; To Set Up Commission Of Inquiry

The Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, says he will set up a judicial commission of inquiry into last weekend’s deadly clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Shi’ia Islamic Movement, which left more than 60 people dead.

The army said troops used force after members of the group barricaded a road in Zaria and attempted to kill the chief of army, Tukur Buratai.

The exact number of casualties is still unclear, but majority of the victims are believed to be members of the Shi’ia sect.

Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the sect’s leader, was arrested by the military, after his wife and son were killed in the violence, the group said.

The killings have sparked international condemnation, with calls for a transparent investigation.

In a broadcast Thursday, Mr. El-Rufai announced a ban on processions — in all parts of the state — that could result in roads being barricaded.

He also said a judicial commission of inquiry would be set up by the state government to look into the incident in Zaria.

The governor said the composition and terms of reference of the commission would be announced within two weeks.

He assured the people of the state that the government was committed to securing the state and upholding the rights of every citizen.

“We have witnessed sad events in Zaria,” the governor said. “There have been tragic consequences and needless loss of lives, and we extend our condolences to the families that have been affected.”

“In this sombre moment, the government has directed that steps be taken to address the humanitarian fallouts of the security operations,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

How Ekweremadu Others Withdrew N8 Billion In Failed Constitution Amendment- Report

Fresh details have emerged on how members of the National Assembly Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution withdrew N7.75 billion purportedly to amend Nigerian constitution.

A report by Premium Times had last week exposed how the federal lawmakers collected the money in tranches to purportedly alter the document between 2011 and 2015, but which former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign into law.

While the 49-member Senate Committee on Constitution Review led by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, withdrew a total N4,500,000.00 for the exercise, the 53-member House of Representatives Committee headed by the former Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, spent N3,250,000,000.00.

The documents, exclusively obtained, also showed that the Committee withdrew money from its account few days before the 2015 general elections. The presidential and National Assembly elections held on March 28.

While on March 2, it withdrew N83.33m, it withdrew the same amount 21 days later, precisely on March 23. Yet, on April 13, two days after the governorship election, it withdrew another N83.33m.

The fresh documents exclusively obtained which exposed bank transactions showed that the two committees transferred various sums of money from two National Assembly accounts – 321/212/606/1/1/0 and 321/212/606/1/1/3 domiciled in Guarantee Trust Bank to their own accounts in different banks.

While the House Committee transferred funds to its account in Zenith Bank, its counterpart in the Senate transferred monies to its three accounts domiciled in Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank), Oceanic Bank (now EcoBank) and United Bank for Africa.

According to the documents, the House Committee transferred to its Zenith Bank account N500m on December 16, 2011; N500m on May 17, 2012; N250m on August 6, 2013; and N250m on November 11, 2013; N250m on February 20, 2014; N250m on May 27, 2014; N250m on August 21, 2014; N166.5m on a date not specified; N83.5m on December 5, 2014; and N83.33 on March 2, 2015.

The committee, on different occasions, also withdrew huge amounts in cash, serially violating Nigerian money laundering law.

Part 1, Subsection 1 of the Money Laundering Act 2011 provides that “No person or body corporate shall, except in a transaction through a financial institution, make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding- (a) N5,000,000.00 or its equivalent, in the case of an individual; or (b)N10,000,000.00 or its equivalent in the case of a body corporate.”

It withdrew N250m on October 29, 2012; N250m on May 8, 2013; N83.33m on March 23, 2015 and another N83.33m on April 13, 2015.

The Senate Committee, the documents revealed, transferred the sum of N125m on April 21, 2010 to Bank PHB; N250m on June 10, 2010 to Oceanic Bank; N125m on a date not specified; to Oceanic Bank and N250m on October 13, 2010 to Bank PHB. The transactions were made before the Committee was inaugurated in the 7th Assembly in 2011

It also transferred N250m on a date not specified to Oceanic Bank; N250m on February 9, 2011to Bank PHB; N500m on December 16, 2011 to Bank PHB; N250m on May 17, 2012 to Bank PHB; N250m on July 23, 2013 to Keystone Bank, N250m on November 5, 2013 to Keystone Bank; N250m on February 5, 2014 to Keystone; N250m on May 22, 2014 to Keystone; N250m on August 18, 2014 to Keystone; N166.6m on November 25, 2014 to Keystone; N83.4 on December 5, 2014 to Keystone; and N83.33m on February 27, 2015 to Keystone.

It further withdrew N250m on April 20, 2012; N250m on February 27, 2013; N250m on May 8, 2013; N83.33m on March 17, 2015; and N83.33 on a date not specified, in cash.

This again was a clear violation of Nigeria’s money laundering law.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Total Sum Of What Dasuki, Others Allegedly Stole According To Court Papers

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has accused a former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, a former minister of state for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, and a former director of finance at the office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, of stealing N5.05 billion between April 14, 2014 and May 7, 2015.

The anti-graft agency also accused Mr. Yuguda, alongside a former governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir Bafarawa, and their company, Dalhatu Investment Limited, of receiving stolen property amounting to N4.633 billion from the office of the National Security Adviser.

The accused persons, who were arraigned before Justice Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital territory Abuja on Tuesday, all pleaded not guilty to a 22-count charge of fraud.

The charges are different from those raised against Mr. Dasuki and his alleged accomplices on Monday, involving the alleged misuse of N13.6 billion state funds.

Court paper obtained provide details of new charges against the former NSA. They contain supporting affidavits by a legal officer of the EFCC, Andrew Akoja.

Details of the 22-count charge against the suspects showed that Messrs. Dasuki and Salisu, between April 14, 2014 and May 7, 2015, transferred N3.350 billion from the account of the NSA with Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to the account of “Dalhatu Investment Limited with United Bank for Africa Plc, purporting same to be payment for the supply of security equipment”.

Mr. Bafarawa and his son, Sagir, as well as their company, Dalhatu Investment were also charged with collecting N3.350 billion from the former NSA “knowing the said sum to be stolen property but purporting same to be payment for the supply of security equipment”.

Messrs. Dasuki and Salisu are also accused of transferring another N500 million from the account of the NSA with Skye Bank to the account of Dalhatu Investment Limited with UBA on December, 20 2014 “purporting same to be payment for the supply of security equipment”.

Dalhatu Investment and the Bafarawas are also accused of receiving the same N500 Million even after “knowing same to be stolen property”.

The Bafawaras and their company are also accused of receiving another N100 million from a company, Jabbama Ada Global, on the instruction of former minister Yuguda, purportedly for the presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party in Sokoto State, and knowing that the sum belonged to the Nigerian government.

Mr. Bafarawa, his son, Sagir, and their company Dalhatu Investment are also accused of “dishonestly receiving” N783 million between June 25 and August 20, 2014 into their account with UBA from the account of SAS Imprest Main Account with the CBN on the instruction of Mr. Dasuki.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Monies Collected From Dasuki By Dokpesi, Bafarawa, Others, Not For Arms Purchase– Agency

PRNigeria, an agency which distributes press statements for organisations and individuals in Nigeria, has said that contrary to public perception, not all funds disbursed from the office of the National Securty Adviser, ONSA are meant for arms procurement.

The firm in a statement Thursday denied that former NSA, Sambo Dasuki implicated some past governors and officials of the Peoples Democratic Party.

It also said “not all funds in Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) are related to arm procurement as being alleged.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, is presently investigating how over $2.2 billion meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition for Nigerian armed forces were allegedly diverted for political and other purposes.

The investigation is the outcome of a presidential investigation committee, which has now indicted a lot of officials within and outside the ONSA.

President Muhammadu had on receipt of the interim report of the committee directed that all those indicted in the report be arrested.

EFCC so far have in detention the former NSA, Dasuki, and former Minister of state for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, owner of AIT/Raypower, Raymond Dokpesi as well as a former governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa.

Others in detention include the son of Mr. Bafarawa, Sagir Bafarawa, and that of a former Minister of Defence, Bello Mohammed, Abba Mohammed.

Credit: PremiumTimes

EFCC Probes Special Forces’ Training In Belarus, Others

It was gathered that the current probe of the EFCC focused not only on the amount of money spent on the procurement of arms for the military but also on personnel training outside the country.

A security source said on Monday that the EFCC Task Force was probing the training of Special Forces in some Eastern European countries.

It was learnt that the operatives were probing how funds, earmarked for the training of 750 Special Forces in Belarus and other Eastern European countries, were spent.

The security operatives, who were trained specifically to raise an elite force against the Boko Haram menace, were drawn from the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Army, the Air Force and the Navy.

The Special Forces, who went for the training in September 2014, arrived in the country in December, 2014 and were immediately deployed in the operational areas of the North-East in March, 2015.

It was gathered that the select security personnel were trained in counter- terrorism, counter-insurgency, handling of rocket propelled grenades, machine guns and other weapons.

The source said one of the officials of the ONSA under the former NSA, was among some personnel of the office being interrogated in relation to the ongoing probe into arms procurement under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

It was learnt that the EFCC Task Force sent out letters to the affected personnel and commenced arresting them penultimate week.

The source said some of the suspects had been in detention of the EFCC for nine days.

Credit: Punch

Army Promotes 18 Major-Generals, 117 Brig-Generals, Others

The Nigerian Army has announced the promotion of 17 Brigadier-Generals to the rank of Major-Generals. Also promoted were 117 Colonels to the rank of Brigadier-Generals and 95 Lieutenant-Colonels to the rank of Colonels.

Among the newly promoted Major-Generals are J.A. Orokpo, and I. Attahiru, who were one time directors, Army public relations.  Others are J.S. Malu, commander, Army Headquarters Garison, R.C. Duru, A.O. Shodunke, P.J.O. Bogie, A.M. Sabo, I.R. Nicholas, E.G.Ode, E.B.Oyefeso, O. Ejemai, E.O. Udoh,  Mohammed C.T. Olukoju, I.O. Rabiu, and A.M. Dikko.

Two other officers who are now deceased, namely J.T. Abubakar, and S.E.U. Ekanem, were promoted post humously.

The newly promoted Brigadier-Generals include the former director, Defense Information, M.M. Yerima, U.M. Miri, C.V. Ezeh, K.O. Aligbe, J.A.Ataguba, A.B. Ibrahim, B.A. Muhammed, J.G. Mohammed, E.C. Ekwesi, E.G. Onumajuru, C.A. Bossman, among others, while the newly promoted Colonels include S.S. Tilawan, one time Public Relations Officer,  Guards Brigade, O. Idoniboye-Obu, A. Rabiu, O.J. Akande, P.A. Izang, S.M.Uba, R.E. Hedima, and O.A. Ochagwuba.

In a related development, the Nigerian Air Force, has released the promotion of 14 new Air Vice Marshals(AVMs), 26 Air Commodores, 22 Group Captains and 91 Wing Commanders.  A statement by the Director of  Information and Public Relations, Commodore Dele Alonge, gave the names of the newly promoted AVMs to include Onyemaechi Osahor, Shehu Adamu, Mohammed Usman, Muhammad Abdul-Wahab, Isiaka Amao, John Baba;   Okechukwu Ntukogu Humphrey Okpala, Yekeen Ishola, Christian Dii, Sambo Usman, Auwal Muhammad, Charles Otegbade, and Isyaka Bukar.

Credit: Sun

Why EFCC Arrested Yuguda, Bafarawa, Ex-PDP Chairman’s Sons, Others Over $2billion Arms Deal

Former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at about 4pm Monday and was still being questioned as at 9PM alongside other suspects over the controversial arms procurement scandal surrounding former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki

Sources familiar with the ongoing investigation said the former minister allegedly received suspicious payments from the office of Mr. Dasuki, who is being investigated over a $2billion arms deal.

Mr. Yuguda allegedly received N1.5billion from the former NSA’s office through an unnamed company, for unstated purpose.

He also alleged received N1.275billion from Stallion Group during the campaign for the last general election.

Another N775million was also allegedly paid to him from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation for unstated purpose.

All the monies were paid to him between Dec 2014 and May, 2015, our sources said.

Also in custody over the same matter are the sons of Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of Sokoto State and Haliru Bello Mohamed, former minister of defence and ex-national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Sagir Bafarawa, allegedly acting as front for his father, received N4.6billion from the NSA’s office.

Attahiru Bafarawa had recently escaped arrest but the EFCC says the former governor remains on its radar.

The ex-PDP chairman’s son, Abbah Mohammed, on his part got N600milion in the name of Bam Properties Limited.

Also in the custody of the anti-graft agency is Shuaibu Salisu, a former director of finance and administration in the former NSA’s office.

Mr. Salisu, a staff of the National Intelligence Agency, was a joint signatory with Mr. Dasuki to the NSA’s office account and EFCC operatives are accusing him of “supervising some dubious payments”.

Credit: PremiumTimes

EFCC Arrests Former Minister, Others Over Alleged $2billion Arms Deal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, and a number of top officials from the office of the National Security Adviser over the controversial arms procurement scandal surrounding former NSA, Sambo Dasuki.

Multiple sources at the EFCC said Mr. Yuguda was arrested Monday afternoon and was currently being quizzed by detectives.

Our sources said a huge amount of money; “running into billions” was allegedly traced to the former minister from funds meant for arms procurement.

“The funds were directly transferred to him from the NSA office and he has been unable to explain the rationale for the transfer,” a source said.

“The transfers were made to his account between December 2014 and May 2015.”

Also arrested over the same matter, according to our sources, are some senior officials at the NSA office, including the director of finance.

“The suspects are being grilled by crack detectives and may not be allowed to go home soon,” one source said.

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said he was yet to be briefed on the arrests.

“I’m aware that our detectives are looking into the case but I’m not sure who and who has been taken in,” Mr. Uwujaren said on telephone.

He promised to revert as soon details become available.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Senate Directs NNPC, Others To Harmonise Subsidy Claims

The Senate on Monday directed the Ministry of Petroleum, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other relevant stakeholders to harmonise subsidy claims for October to December 2015.

Sen. Danjuma Goje, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, gave the directive during public hearing to consider the request of President Muhammadu Buhari for N465 billion supplementary budget.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that out of the N465 billion, N413 billion is for payment of subsidy from January to September 2015.

Goje also asked the NNPC to furnish the committee with the breakdown of the amount to be paid to each of the independent marketers.

He queried why the supplementary budget did not include funds for payment of subsidy for the last quarter of 2015.

He said that the nation could not risk another scarcity of petroleum products due to non-payment for the months.

The chairman expressed displeasure at the seeming lack of synergy between the relevant stakeholders and directed them to go back and harmonise their figures and submit same not later than 3p.m. on Monday.

Credit: NAN

Lagos High Court Arraigns TB Joshua, Others Today

The trustees of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, will today be arraigned before a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja over the collapse of a six-storey building in the church on September 12, 2014, which led to the death of 116 persons.

Senior Pastor of the church, Prophet T. B. Joshua is one of the trustees.

The trustees will be arraigned before Justice Lawal Akapo alongside the engineers that constructed the collapsed building.

A statement by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Bola Akingbade, confirmed the scheduled arraignment.

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos had dismissed the fundamental human rights enforcement suits filed by the engineers who constructed the collapsed six-storey building to stop their planned trial.

The engineers— Mr. Oladele Ogundeji and Mr. Akinbela Fatiregun—had filed two separate suits before Justice Buba seeking an order restraining the police from inviting, arresting or prosecuting them over the victims’ death.

Credit: Vanguard

Okorocha Denies Accusing Tinubu, Others For Killing Audu

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday denied having a quarrel with Senator Bola Tinubu, saying the envisaged rift only exists in the imaginations of those who have chosen the path of dishonour.

Governor Okorocha, who was reacting to a report published in a social media on Sunday, claiming that he accused Senator Tinubu and other APC members of being responsible for the death of the APC governorship candidate in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, described such claim as “ungodly blackmail.”

The governor said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuameodo, that the envisaged rift between Senator Tinubu and himself “only exists in the imaginations of those who have chosen the path of dishonor, because only dishonourable people could have authored such an inglorious write-up. Decent people do not do such thing.”

The governor said he never accused the former governor of Lagos State and one of the key pillars of the APC in the country, Senator Tinubu, of being responsible for the death of the APC governorship candidate in Kogi State, Prince Audu.

Credit: NationalMirror

Police Boss Deploys DIG, Others For Kogi Election

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, has deployed the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Department of Operations at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, DIG Sotonye Leroy Wakama, to supervise security arrangements in Kogi State.

This is part of measures aimed at ensuring a proper coordination of security operations to guarantee a hitch-free election and credible electioneering process in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election.

The IGP made the development known on Thursday in a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, ACP Olabisi Kolawole.

According the Police boss, DIG Wakama “will be assisted by three Commissioners of Police and three Assistant Commissioners of Police during the election”.

“For the sake of the election, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, has been redeployed to Force Headquarters, Abuja, pending the conclusion of the election.

“The three CPs deployed to Kogi State will be specifically saddled with the responsibility of supervising security arrangements in the three Senatorial Districts of the State. They are: CP Isaac Eke, CP Peter Ogunyanwo and CP Sam Okaula,” Arase said.

Credit: ChannelsTv

How ISIS Punishes Residents For Drinking Beer, Talking To Women, Others Offenses

A lengthy article in The Daily Beast tells us that ISIS will enact severe punishments on its citizens/prisoners for committing any number of sins, including drinking beer or talking to single women. Essentially, it’s like living in a country run by a homicidal and sadistic version of Dean Wormer from Animal House.

Here’s a quick rundown of punishments we found in The Daily Beast’s report:

  • Getting caught drinking will get you 80 lashes in a public square
  • If you’re an unmarried man caught talking with an unmarried woman, you’ll spend three days inside a cage out in public
  • If you’re caught smoking, you’ll spend a day or two in the cage
  • Being suspected of working for foreign intelligence agencies is a really big no-no and will result in a beheading

Interestingly, even though ISIS punishes smokers, it also depends on cigarette smugglers for revenue, as it hits them with heavy fines if it catches them.

At any rate, the entire piece is a chilling but fascinating read.

Credit: BGR

APC Plotting To Kill Ekweremadu, Akpabio, Secondus, Others- PDP

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the governing All Progressives Congress of trying to assassinate the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.

Reacting to the assassination attempt claim, the spokesperson for the PDP, Olisa Metuh told reporters Wednesday the alleged attempt on Mr. Ekweremadu’s life was an indication the era of political assassination had returned to Nigeria.

He said the PDP had earlier alerted the nation about threats to the lives of key and outspoken opposition leaders by the APC and its federal government.

“The PDP does not mince words in holding the APC responsible for the Tuesday attempt on the life of the Deputy Senate President,” he said.

Mr. Metuh also said APC leaders had not hidden their bitterness and resentment towards Mr. Ekweremadu, whose offence, he said “is the privilege of being elected as Deputy Senate President, in line with the Standing Rules of the Senate and provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

The PDP spokesperson also recalled that the party had informed Nigerians that key PDP leaders were being trailed and that the government should be held responsible should any of them suddenly become victim of ‘terror attacks’, unexplained accidents, kidnapped or suddenly killed by ‘armed robbers’.

Justifying his argument that the APC was responsible for the attempt on the life of the DSP, Mr. Metuh said it was shocking that “Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in furtherance of their plan to take over the office of the Deputy Senate President, went ahead at plenary today to occupy his seat and attempted to assume the duties associated with that office”.

Mr. Metuh said the PDP had information that beyond Mr. Ekweremadu, the APC had plans to assassinate other notable PDP leaders including the Acting BOT Chairman, Bello Haliru, Acting National Chairman, Uche Secondus National Secretary, Adewale Oladipo and members of the National Working Committee, as well as Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, House Minority leader, Leo Ogoh among others.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Buhari Orders Arrest Of Dasuki, Others

President Mohammdu Buhari Tueday night ordered for the arrest of the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki over the misappropriation of monies for the procurement of arms.

The arrest order was also extended to several others who were found culpable in the saga.

The development was sequel to the release of the interim report by the presidential committee investigating arms procurement.

Credit: Vanguard

DPR Seals Total’s Depot, Others for Hoarding 46m Litres Of Petrol

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Thursday closed down the depots of Total Nigeria Plc, Dee Jones Limited and Eterna Oil Plc in Ibafon area of Lagos for hoarding over 46 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol.

The agency has also debunked the claims by marketers that there was scarcity of petrol and blamed the tight supply situation on depot owners, who hoard products, thus causing panic buying.

While Total and Eterna Oil were hoarding 13.6 million litres each, when DPR’s surveillance monitoring team visited the depot of Dee Jones which was hoarding about 19.5 million litres.

However, the General Manager of Dee Jones, Mr. Willy Ikeora, denied that the company was hoarding the product in its depot, stressing that they were loading but not as fast as expected by DPR.

The regulatory authority also queried Ascon Oil and ordered the management of the company to appear at the agency’s head office by 3pm yesterday and explain why the company should not be sanctioned for its slow pace of loading tankers, despite the availability of eight million litres in its depot.

Integrated Oil and Gas Limited was also directed to speed up the loading process as the company had up to 10.2 million litres of petrol when the agency’s surveillance monitoring team paid an unscheduled visit to the facility.

Credit: ThisDay

Presidential Facebook Poll: Carson, Trump, Others, Find Out Who Won

Republican Presidential candidate, Ben Carson, has taken the leads against seemingly unstoppable Donald Trump on the Facebook fans polls. Mr. Carson has surged to over 4.5 million Facebook fans since declaring his candidacy in May–and his aggressive campaign strategy on the social networking site could provide a window into how next year’s presidential campaign battle might unfold.

Despite the popularity and support Mr. Trump has got from his various TV series including a broad profile from his real estate wealth and fame, Dr. Carson has surged ahead of him with over 4.5 million Facebook fans, sending Trump to $.1 million fans. The Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton has just 1.7 million fans on Facebook.

According to Erik Hawkins, group director of Facebook’s global marketing solutions team, Mr. Carson is “the most active candidate on Facebook in terms of paid and organic activity,” he said. “They’ve made it a core part of their strategy. Most of the candidates have only dipped their toes if anything.”

Confirming the polls, Mr. Ken Dawson who runs digital marketing for Mr. Carson, said the campaign has already run 240 different ads on Facebook alone–some nationally but mostly focused in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the states where the first four Republican primaries will be help in early 2016.

“Those ads have ranged from carrying messages designed to introduce the still-relatively-new candidate to voters, to those meant to encourage fundraising to straight up get-out-the-vote messages. As part of that effort, Mr. Carson is running many 10-to-15-second video ads on Facebook. Carson even regularly goes on Facebook himself and interacts with potential voters—a move Mrs. Clinton has also tried on a few occasions,” he said.

Credit: Vanguard

Again, IMF Urges CBN, Others To Weaken Currencies To Absorb Shocks

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other central banks in Africa to allow their currencies to depreciate in order to absorb shocks to their economies.

The multilateral donor agency pointed out that resisting currency pressure depletes foreign exchange reserves and results in weaker imports.

The IMF stated this in its 134-page Regional Economic Outlook for October 2015 posted on its website yesterday.

It said that central banks in a growing number of countries had started tightening monetary policies, concerned that these developments may affect inflation expectations where inflation rates are near or even surpass the highest point of established bands.

According to the IMF, in a few highly dollarized economies on the continent, the recent exchange rate depreciation could also increase financial sector vulnerabilities.

It also noted that the recent depreciation of some currencies on the continent would increase the value in local currency of dollar-denominated liabilities, and hence the debt service burden for unhedged borrowers.

This would potentially expose banks to losses—even though banks themselves generally have only limited currency, it stated further.

Credit: ThisDay

Presidency Opens Up About Senate’s Screening Of Amaechi , Others

The presidency yesterday expressed happiness that former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, was eventually screened by the Senate, after three postponements due to petitions written against his nomination by concerned petitioners.

Briefing Senate correspondents over the screening , the Senior Special Assistant   to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said that there was nothing wrong in the senate’s screening process on Amaechi.

Enang, a former member of the PDP, noted that the constitution allows the legislative arm of government to regulate its own proceedings at any given time and in whatever circumstances.

He said: “They (senators) are within their constitutional rights to regulate their own proceedings.

The constitution authorises the Senate and the House of Representatives, and every legislative   house to regulate its own proceedings, including managing matters that are brought before them.

“Therefore, what the Senate did on Amaechi’s screening last week, is domestic to the Senate, and I   am not in a position to speak about it; but they are within their constitutional rights. What they do is domestic to them and internal to them and it is within their powers. So, I am not in a   position to speak in one way or the other about it”.

Credit: Leadership

Police Arrest Bauchi Monarch, Others Over Villager’s Death

The Police in Bauchi State have arrested three persons, including a village head, Mohammed Bello, in connection with the killing of a 25-year-old man in the Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

Other suspects, Bature Abdul and Babangida Abdul, were arrested by police detectives attached to the Ningi Police Area Command of Bauchi State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, who said this in a statement on Wednesday, in Bauchi, recalled that in 2009, the deceased, Nasiru Audu, from Judo village in Ningi LGA, was declared missing and his whereabouts unknown.

He said since then, discreet investigation began and police detectives attached to the Ningi Police Area Command were dispatched to the village on a fact-finding mission to unravel the mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance of the deceased.

Mohammed, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said on October 17, 2015, at about 4.30pm, the police detectives discovered that the deceased was allegedly killed by Abdul, 35, of the same village over a minor misunderstanding.

He added that further investigations revealed that the suspect conspired with his elder brother, Babangida Abdul, and dumped the corpse of the deceased in a well.

Read More: punchng

Kidnapped ‘Chibok Girl’ Reportedly Flees Boko Haram, Says Others Alive

One of the hundreds of Christian schoolgirls kidnapped 18 months ago by Boko Haram reportedly made it out of the Nigerian terrorist group’s stronghold and told of her fellow captives’ ongoing misery, but a military official disputed the claim.

The April 14, 2014, kidnapping of 276 girls from the northern town of Chibok prompted international headlines and a social media campaign made prominent by First Lady Michelle Obama calling for authorities to “Bring back our girls.” While dozens fled in the initial months following capture, the unidentified girl would be the most recent victim to escape the infamous Islamic terror group’s clutches. According to local reports, she said dozens of girls are still alive, many pregnant from rape and riddled with disease.

“All of us were forced to become Muslims but kept in camps far from each other,” the girl reportedly told The Vanguard. “You can only see and recognize those in your camp as any of us who refused being Islamized was either beheaded or shot at point blank range.”

Read More: foxnews

Nigerian Workers Demand Amaechi, Fashola, Others Declare Their Assets Publicly

Nigerian workers on Thursday urged the National Assembly to ensure that all ministerial nominees declare their asset publicly before confirmation.

Among the 21 persons nominated as ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari are former Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola, ex-Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and spokesperson of the ruling APC, Lai Mohammed.

The workers, members of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, stated this in a joint statement by the union’s president, Boboi , and General Secretary, Musa Lawal.

The TUC said that the declaration would be in the public interest.

The labour union said the public declaration of asset was necessary following “worrisome” allegations of fraud against some ex-ministers and officials.

“There is need to verify the financial and material status of each nominee before they are allowed to assume such high offices,” the workers said.

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Senate Summons Ministry Of Health, NUC, Others

The senate yesterday issued sweeping summons to the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Universities (NUC) and other agencies to address lawmakers on the plight of new medical doctors awaiting residency.

The senate also urged the federal government acredited health institutions for the training of house officers to enforce the utilisation of the full quote.

Other agencies invited are the Provost of Colleges of Medicine, the Nigerian Medical Council (NMC) and the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) of federal and state medical institutions.

This was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa representing Abia North senatorial district.

Leading the debate ,he said the that malaria alone is responsible for 20 per cent of annual deaths in Nigeria with pregnant women and children as the worst affected.

He also said that Pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract diseases are responsible for 19 per cent of all deaths in Nigeria, while Nigeria is the second largest group of people living with HIV with a death rate of 3.1 per cent in 2015.

“Over 140 people everyday in Nigeria die from pregnancy and prenatal related consequences even after recovery.

“Our nation is not doing enough to improve the health statistics and the death rates in our country even by African standards. These can be relevant to how we have addressed the important conditions and timeliness of the training of new doctors who can begin to take new responsibilities.

“The result has been a frustrated class of locum doctors working as contract doctors under very harsh and tedious conditions that encourage quackery,” he said.

Read More: leadership

Workers, Students, Others Protest In Ekiti, Ondo, Osun

Protesters deplored the plight of students, workers and other suffering people in Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states yesterday.

At the federal level, reactions, mostly critical, have trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence anniversary speech with Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) frowning at his silence on agitation for the reform of the Nigeria Police Force.

The group, in a statement by its National Co-ordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko, particularly criticised the President’s failure to use the occasion to unveil his government’s programme on comprehensive police reform.

HURIWA said an occasion such as the 55th Independence anniversary should have provided the opportunity for the Nigerian government under the new dispensation to provide clear guidelines and evidence-based programme of police reform given that armed kidnapping has proven to be one of the greatest national security threats after terrorism.

Credit: ngrguardiannews

OBJ, Jonathan, Others Shun Independence Anniversary

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday led former leaders as well as leadership of the National Assembly and the judiciary to mark the 55th Independence anniversary inside the Presidential Villa.

However, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan were conspicuously absent at the event. Former military President, Ibrahim Babangida and ex-Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar also stayed away from the celebration.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Troops Nab Boko Haram Kingpin, Others; Liberate Women & Children (PHOTOS)

The Nigeria Army, Wednesday, said troops advancing toward the Banki axis of Borno state have arrested 43 suspected Boko Haram terrorists, including its kingpin in the area, Bulama Modu.

The Army said this in a statement issued by its acting spokesman, Sani Usman, that the troops also rescued 241 women and children in the operation.

“Please recall that yesterday advancing troops along Banki axis were making tremendous progress in which they cleared 2 Boko Haram terrorists camps at Jangurori and Bulatori villages.

“In addition to that, the troops have also arrested 43 suspected Boko Haram terrorists including one of the Boko Haram kingpins in the area, Bulama Modu, who is an ‘Amir’ of Bulakuri.

“To further confirm what was said earlier about the terrorists abandoning their commanders and burying weapons, one Mohammed Modu led troops to where he buried his AK-47 rifle at Jangurori village.

“Apart from arms and ammunition, bows and arrows recovered from Bulama Modu, the kingpin, a horse to enhance his deadly pursuits was also recovered.’’
Mr. Usman said troops operating around Wudla village also arrested one suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Aji Gambo.

He said the arrested kingpin revealed that the Boko Haram terrorists that attacked Kirawa and Kolofata in northern Cameroon were from Dara Jamel village in Nigeria.

IMG-20150923-WA0054Credit: premiumtimesng

NDLEA Nabs Bureau De Change Operator, Others Swallowing $156,000 In Hotel

Operatives of the of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, yesterday arrested a Bureau De Change operator and five other suspected money laundering syndicate for   swallowing $156,000  (N31, 083, 000.00) at Excel Oriental Hotel along Airport Road, Lagos.

The six suspects were arrested in the hotel while they were busy swallowing the large sums of money with the intention of exporting $156,000 to Brazil.

Speaking on the arrest, the chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, said  the six suspected members of the group, including a Bureau de Change operator, had been apprehended in connection with swallowing $156,000.

Alhaji Giade further pointed out that the agency would track down suspected drug  traffickers and currency launderers in a bid to rid the society of crimes.

According to him, operators of bureau de change who fail to work within the confines of the law establishing them shall be severely sanctioned.

Read More: vanguardngr

Children, Others Killed As Islamic School Building Collapses

A one-storey building belonging to Abu Naib Islamic School on Gero Road in the Bukuru area of Jos South Local Government area of Plateau State, last night collapsed on pupils, killing an unconfirmed number of children.

Although the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) no Sunday confirmed four dead and five injured, sources in the community said the death toll was higher and that the figure was likely to rise considering the degree of the injuries sustained by many of the students.

The pupils, believed to be between the ages of six and eight, were said to be receiving Islamic lectures in the evening when the building collapsed.

Alhaji Danlami Muhammad, who lives in the community, said: “I cannot give details of the casualties right now because we are still trying to rescue the children.”

He said about 40 children were inside the building when it collapsed, adding that “the number could have been higher but for the rainfall that prevented some of the children from attending their Koranic class”.

Read Morethisdaylive

B’Haram drug suppliers caught with cannabis, others

The troops of the Nigerian Army have intercepted some   suspected members of the Boko Haram sect believed to be suppliers of hard drugs and other stimulants to the deadly sect.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in a statement on Tuesday that the suspects were arrested at Depchi and Geidam in Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe State.

He said that the arrested terrorists were also involved in the supply of fuel aside from the hard drugs in their possession.


Usman listed the drugs to include cannabis, chlorophone substance known as Madaran suck and die, trampoline and others .

“Following Army Headquarters directive to troops in the North-East for a painstaking search of motorists and cargoes, troops of the 3 Division of the Nigerian Army have intercepted and arrested some kingpins and foot soldiers of suppliers of Boko Haram terrorists with hard drugs and other stimulants between Depchi and Geidam, Geidam Local Government Area in northern part of Yobe State today,” the statement read in part.

He recalled that most of the Boko Haram members captured by the troops could not read the Holy Quran.

Usman added that some of them could not even recite the first chapter of the Quran in spite of their claim that they had a desire to establish an Islamic state.

He said that troops carrying out raids on the hideouts of the insurgents had not found the Quran or other Islamic books with the insurgents.

The Acting Army spokesman said that the troops had only found “ammunition, local charms, condoms and all sort of drugs including sex enhancing ones in their enclave.”

Usman, who said that those arrested had made statements, promised that the Army would continue to work towards ensuring the security of the country.

“The Nigerian Army would continue to do its best in the fight against terrorism and insurgency in our country in order to make Nigeria safe and secure.

“This however, requires continuous support and cooperation of the public. We always welcome and appreciate information that could lead to the arrest and pre-empting the Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements in the society,” he added.


Pressure On Buhari, Others To Declare Liabilities

By declaring their assets, leaving out the liabilities, federal, state and local government officials might not have fulfilled all constitutional righteousness.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had, upon assumption of office, tendered the required documents containing information about their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for scrutiny and promised to make the contents public, as pledged during the 2015 presidential election campaigns.

However, an elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, and some legal practitioners are arguing that if the figures reeled out last week are representative of the contents of the documents the two leaders lodged with the CCB, they might have come short of fulfilling the provision of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Section 140, sub-section 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended states: “A person elected to the office of President shall not begin to perform the functions of that office until he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed in this Constitution and he has taken and subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of office prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.”

Read More: ngrguardiannews

Prosecute Jang, Others, Lalong Urges EFCC

Governor S?mon Lalong of Plateau State has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to expedite action on former Governor of the state, Jonah Jang, and others who he alleged looted the state’s fund during his administration. Lalong said the call has become necessary in order to recover the funds looted.

It would be recalled that the governor had while receiving report of the State’s Transition Committee in Jos recently, gave the former administration, his appointees and cronies two weeks to return funds taken illegally from the state’s treasury or risk prosecution.

Lalong, who spoke with journalists as part of the activities to mark his 100 days in office disclosed that he had already written to the antigraft agency with “enough evidence about the enormity of financial sleaze that occurred dur?ng Jang’s administration” “We have already briefed the anti-graft agency and we are calling on them to swing into action immediately.”

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Buhari withdraws diplomatic passports of ex-govs, ministers, others

The Nigerian Immigration Service has directed former Nigerian public office holders to immediately surrender official and diplomatic passports issued to them while they were in office.

The action, officials say, is based on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The categories of officials affected by the directive are former governors, former ministers, former senators, former members of the House of Representatives, and former members of state Houses of Assembly.

Others are former commissioners, for special advisers/special assistants, former chairmen/deputy chairmen of local government areas, all retired heads of parastatals and retired public servants.

“These categories of persons are hereby informed that these passports which were previously held by them have been revoked and should return them to the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters Sauka Abuja with immediate effect,” the Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service, Martin Abeshi, said in a statement Monday.

“Failure to comply with this directive will amount to an offence under the Immigration Act 2015. Such unauthorized possession will be impounded at our control posts on arrival or departure.”

The Federal Government had on August 24 directed the Immigration Service to retrieve all valid diplomatic and official passports from all persons not entitled to hold such documents.

“The attention of the Federal Government has been drawn to the fact that some Nigerians who are not entitled to hold diplomatic and official passports are in possession of these documents,” a statement by Yusuf Isiaka,the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Interior, said at the time.

According to the statement, the measure was intended to protect and promote Nigeria’s integrity in the comity of nations in addition to ensuring law and order.



Court Stops EFCC, Others From Inviting Oduah

Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the  Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to stay action in connection with the BMW bullet proof cars allegedly bought by Senator Stella Oduah, while serving  as minister of aviation.

The court restrained EFCC, and other agencies from taking action relating to the probe of Oduah on the controversial vehicles, pending the hearing and determination of fundamental rights suit filed before the court. The court’s order, dated August 26, 2015, was sequel to a motion ex-parte marked FHC/L/CS/1342/2014, filed before the court by  Oduah, the senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District, on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Joined in the fundamental rights suit are; the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and Inspector-General of the Federation, IGP, as first, third and fourth respondents. The court  also granted leave to Senator Oduah, who was the Minister of Aviation between 2011 and 2013, to serve the originating processes and all other processes meant for service in the suit to all the respondents outside Lagos State and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Oduah, in her  statement of claim, stated that there was a move by the respondents, doing the bidding of her political adversaries, to persecute, prosecute and humiliate her.

Read Moresunnewsonline

Finance Ministry, Others Summoned Over Budget

Members of the House of Representatives yesterday summoned Finance Ministry, Budget Office, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, National Planning Commission, Debt Management Office and Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to explain why the 2015 Appropriation Act is not being implemented.

Also, the ad-hoc committee set up by the 8th House of Assembly will today commence a public hearing over non-implementation of 2015 Budget. It was reliably gathered that officials of other agencies related to finance may also be summoned to appear before the ad-hoc committee headed by Rep. Ahmed Pategi, Kwara APC, at the public hearing.

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EFCC Arrests University VC, Others For Selling Govt. Owned N13m SUV As Scrap

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday arrested top officials of the Adamawa State University for selling a N13 million government-owned Toyota Land Cruiser as scrap.

The commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest in a telephone interview.

Mr. Uwujaren said the vice chancellor of the university, Shall David Joshua, and the bursar, K.E. Anjili, were among those arrested.

“Our operatives in Yola, Adamawa State today arrested top officials of the Adamawa State University for questioning over the sale of a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser jeep as scrap to the former FRSC boss, Haladu Hananiya,” the EFCC spokesperson said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Buhari Set To Swear In SGF, Others

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to swear in the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Engr. Babachir David Lawal.

The event which would be held at the presidential villa, Abuja any time soon will also include other newly appointed presidential aides.

President last week Thursday, appointed Babachir David Lawal as Chief of Staff to the President; Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) as new Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service; Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi, Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service; Senator Ita S.J. Enang as SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) and Hon. Suleiman A. Kawu as SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives).


Defence Chiefs From Nigeria, Cameroon, Others Meet in Chad Over Boko Haram

Nigeria’s defence chief of staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, is currently in Chad Republic to discuss the deployment of 8, 700 strong Multi National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, to confront Boko Haram.

The defence headquarters said in a statement that the Chiefs of Defence Staff from the Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries met in N’Djamena to discuss operational plans against the terrorist group.

The meeting, the defence headquarters said, is focused on finalising details of deployment of a joint force to fight Boko Haram which has sworn allegiance to ISIS and has killed hundreds of people through suicide bombings in the last three months.

“General Olonisakin has been working round the clock towards actualising the presidential directive to end Boko Haram terrorists activities within three months,” Rabe Abubakar, defence spokesperson said in the statement.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Ikorodu Robbery Suspects Drag IGP To Court

The four suspects paraded in connection with the recent bank robbery in Ikorodu, Lagos State, have dragged the Inspector General of Police before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, saying that their alleged confessional statements given out to journalists, was extracted from them behind their lawyer.

The suspects – Agbojule Bright, Promise Abiwa, Monday Omoboye and Monday Ikuesan, were on July 6, 2015, paraded by the police in connection with the robbery of the Ipakodo branches of First  and Zenith Banks in Ikorodu, where an 18-man gang, which they allegedly belonged to, made away with about N80 million on June 24, 2015.

In their fundamental rights enforcement suit filed before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, counsel, Akanbi, claimed that the police violated the right of the suspects to remain silent or to avoid answering any questions until consultation with a legal practitioner or any person of their choice as stipulated by Section 35(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

Akanbi in the suit said that the suspects “made confessional statements to newsmen under duress,” arguing that the police had no right to parade the suspects to be interviewed by the press “unless such a suspect wishes to give interview after the matter has been charged to a court of competent jurisdiction.”

Read More: vanguardngr

Fasheun, Adams, Dokubo Others Threaten To Sue NNPC Over Contract Termination

The pipeline security contractors have threatened to sue the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the termination of contracts signed during the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

In an open letter to President Muhamadu Buhari by the contractors, they stated that the NNPC must, immediately, settle its three months’ indebtedness having fulfilled their own part of the deal. Â The security companies are Dr Fredrick Faseun’s New Age Nigeria Limited; Otunba Gani Adams’ Donyx Global Concept Limited; Alhaji Asari Dokubo’s ATEF Nigeria Limited; Chief Bibo Pere Ajube’s Galery Security Services Limited; Chief Joshua Machiever’s Bajeros Nigeria Limited; Chief Omo’s Close Body Protection Limited and Izon Ibe’ Security Limited.

‘It should be known that the contractors had valid and duly signed contract agreements with the management of the NNPC to protect the pipelines for a period of three months’, the letter read in part, saying instead of NNPC fulfilling its own part of the deal, ‘the public perception of the NNPC Pipeline Security and Surveillance job was that former President Goodluck Jonathan gave the job to the contractors on the platter of politics’.


How I Spent N78 Million On Website, Mobile Apps, Others- Fashola

The immediate past governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, has finally responded to the allegation that he approved a contract worth N78 million for the upgrade of his personal website.

Last weekend, analytic firm, BudgIT, revealed that Mr. Fashola approved, before he left office, a contract of N78.3 million from the state treasury for an upgrade of his personal website.

The news caused outrage among Nigerians who accused the former governor of financial recklessness and the misappropriation of public fund.

In a statement he personally signed on Thursday, Mr. Fashola admitted that indeed a contract valued at that amount was awarded, but it involves the provision of other services beyond the upgrade of the website.

Mr. Fashola’s statement comes on the heels of the denial by the contractor, Info Access Plus, that it received N78 million. The company said though it quoted N12.5 million for the upgrade of the website,, it only received N10 million from the state government.

On Thursday, the former governor said only N12 million was actually awarded for the upgrade of the site while other services such as the handover countdown clock, mobile apps for Google, for iOS ipad, for Microsoft, and Blackberry and the annual maintenance cost for managing the site make up the total of N78 million.

He said due process was followed before the contract was awarded and that the procurement agency, PPA, did not raise any objection as at the time the contract was awarded.

“It was for these services that the contract was issued for N78 million, which the Lagos State procurement agency gave a No Objection based on the advice of the Ministry of Science and Technology, who are the government adviser on ICT matters.

“In publishing the contract award which was the government tradition under my watch, the procurement agency ‘s website summarized it as ‘upgrade’ only without detailing the other services and this has been distorted by the agents of hate as their suspected ‘smoking gun’”, he said.

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Probe Obasanjo, Atiku, Tinubu, Others, LP Urges Buhari

If any probe of those alleged to have looted the nation’s treasury is to have any meaning and not be seen as a selective witch-hunt, then President Muhammadu Buhari should start with all past civilian administrations beginning from 1999.

This was the position of the Chairman, Labour Party of Nigeria (LP), Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, who yesterday urged Buhari to be holistic by extending such probes to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, erstwhile Vice President Abubakar Atiku, Senate President Bukola Saraki and other former state governors.

Read Morengrguardiannews

Police Sprays Teargas At Peterside, Others At INEC Office

Security operatives yesterday tear-gassed Rivers State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11 election, Dakuku Peterside, and Senator Magnus Abe at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.

Peterside and Abe led a team of 48 candidates who contested in various elections in the state and reporters to submit a protest letter to INEC’s Acting Chairman, Hajia Amina Zakari, against the state Resident Electoral Commission (REC) for allegedly refusing to give them certified true copies (CTC) of the materials used in the elections.

The APC candidates, who arrived at the INEC headquarters at 11:15am, were prevented from getting close to the gate by a combined team of mobile police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The security agencies insisted that the team would not be allowed to go beyond the barricaded areas since it had no prior information of the visit.

Read Morethenationonlineng

EU Bans Nigeria From Exporting Beans, Dried Fish, Meat, Others

Some agricultural food exports from Nigeria have been suspended by the European Union (EU).

The food items banned from Europe till June 2016 are beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat, peanut chips and palm oil. The European Food Safety Authority had said that the rejected beans were found to contain between 0.03mg per kilogramme to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg.

Senator Joshua Lidani (PDP-Gombe South) who has raised alarm over the health implication of the consumption of foods containing a high concentration of pesticide among Nigerians with newsmen on Monday in Abuja  therefore, called on regulatory agencies in the country to rise up to the occasion and save Nigerians from the dangers of consuming foods containing unacceptable levels of chemicals.

“The EU ban should not have come as a surprise to us because they have very rigorous standards of checking food import especially with the shift towards organic foods. “Unfortunately we do not have similar standards in Nigeria especially as it affects the food we consume.

“We do not have standards of determining whether the foods we consume are noxious; whether they have chemicals that are harmful “NAFDAC and Standards Organisation of Nigeria are supposed to regulate but there is a limit to what they can do. “We are yet to realize the enormity of the problem; so unless we look into the effects of these harmful substances, we may end up having a population that is threatened by diseases such as cancer…”

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Aisha Buhari Donates To Expectant Mothers In Calabar

The President’s wife, Hajia Aisha Buhari, at the weekend donated nutritional supplement, the Frisomum Gold brand, to about 3,000 expectant and nursing mothers in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

Hajia Buhari said the supplement, which is also an alternative to breast milk, would ensure nourishment for babies.

The President’s wife, who was represented by Mrs Mary Ekpere, said beneficiaries were drawn randomly devoid of any political undertone.

She said: “What we have is for over 3,000 women. We left it open so that those who could make it here would benefit.

“I am impressed and happy that just by the snap of the fingers we were able to gather a good number of expectant mothers and children. The essence of this is to educate mothers about what is healthy for their children. The children are the future. So, they should be nourished and brought up well. This is a little token for the children.”

Read Morethenationonlineng

Court Refuses To Stop Probe Of Ekweremadu, Others

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to stop the police from continuing investigation of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and others over alleged forgery of the Senate 2015 Standing Rules.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole yesterday refused an ex-parte application filed by Senator Prince Gilbert Emeka Nnaji which sought to restrain the police from proceeding with the investigation and making public the report of the inquiry.

Nnaji requested interim orders to restrain the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) pending the determination of his substantive suit.

Nnaji’s main suit is challenging the constitutionality of the investigation by the police in the context of the doctrine of separation of powers.
But in his ruling, the judge said he could not grant the prayer sought by the applicant at ex-parte stage when his court has the power to conduct a judicial review of the action complained about in the substantive suit.

He consequently adjourned to August 4 for the IGP and AGF to show cause why they should not be restrained in the investigation.

Read Moredailytrust

President Buhari To Accomodate Investors From Japan, Others To Revitalize Economy

President Buhari said his government will welcome greater investment in-flows from Japan and other developed countries to revitalize the Nigeria’s economy and create more jobs.

Buhari said this yesterday while receiving the new Japanese ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke who was at the State House to present his letters of credence.

He said his government would take all necessary steps to significantly improve the operating environment for domestic and international companies in Nigeria.

The president said his government would particularly welcome more trade and economic cooperation with Japan in the areas of technology, manufacturing and agriculture.

“I was very impressed with the role your prime minister played at our talks with G-7 leaders in Germany. He had a deep understanding of the challenge in the North-East of Nigeria and how it is affecting our economy. We look forward to a stronger partnership with your country in many areas, especially in technology, which is now the major driver of job creation across the world today”, he told the Japanese envoy.

Credit: dailytrust 

APC Crisis: Buhari, Saraki, Dogara, Others To Assemble Today For NEC Meeting

The All Progressives Congress (APC) vowed yesterday to emerge strong from its first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting after its post-election crisis.

The crisis, which has split the party’s leaders, erupted after the June 9 election of principal officers at the National Assembly.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara emerged against the party’s wish.

The party endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate and Femi Gbajabiamila for Speaker.

“We are set for the meeting which will address some issues. We are expecting the President, our governors and leaders in the National Assembly. The NEC will properly constitute the Board of Trustees (BOT) of APC because we want all our organs to function effectively.

“We are in the process of reconciliation; we will definitely put our house in order and emerge stronger,” National Secretary Mai Buni said yesterday, adding:

“Politics is sometimes like that. You know our party is the first story of a successful merger of major parties in the country; we were also the first opposition party to dislodge a sitting government; and this is the first time an opposition party is having majority in the National Assembly. You should expect some teething problems but we will reconcile and reunite all.”

Buni said one of the key parts of the agenda is on “ensuring that everybody respects the party.”

There was anxiety last night that the meeting could make or break the APC in view of the “volatile nature” of the agenda.

The warring groups in the National Assembly engaged in marathon consultations and intensified the lobbying of NEC members.

Ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, however, set the tone for the meeting by pleading with APC leaders to “shift ground and move to the centre”.

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Merge Indebted Arik, Aero, Others To Form National Carrier; Joda Committee Tells Buhari

The Buhari administration may be considering merging all debtor airlines in the country into a national carrier, capable of serving the West and Central African regions, with Nigeria as the regional aviation hub.

That is part of the recommendations by the Ahmed Joda transition committee, which submitted its report to President Muhammadu Buhari about two weeks ago.

Six of Nigeria’s leading domestic airlines are currently bogged down by huge debts totalling almost N130 billion, forcing them to turn to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) for a lifeline.

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NDLEA Arraigns Drug Baron, Two Others In Court

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday arraigned a drug baron, Ikejiaku Sylvester Chukwunwe, before a Federal High Court in Awka.

Chukwunwe, who was described as the most wanted drug trafficker in Anambra, was arraigned on 13 count charges. Also dragged to court by the agency were Oluchi Nduaguba and John Atuenyi.

However, the trio pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them by the prosecutor.

Chukwunwe was charged for conspiracy to form and operate a drug trafficking organisation to process and export Methamphetamine; a drug similar to cocaine and heroine by using couriers and cargoes.

He was charged for unlawfully engaging in the organisation, management and financing of a drug trafficking organisation by the production and exportation of methamphetamine.

He was also charged to have conspired to convert the proceeds of illicit traffic in narcotic and psychotropic substances into legitimate enterprises between 2010 and 2015.

Prosecuting counsel Lambert Nor said the offences contravened Section 18(a) of Money Laundering Act, 2011, and punishable under Section 15(1) and (2).

Accordingly, he was charged for converting the proceeds directly from the illicit traffic in narcotic substances into real property and physical assets in different locations in Lagos and Anambra.

The other accused persons; Oluchukwu Nduaguba and John Atuenyi, were charged differently on six count charges on the same matter.

The defence counsels, Chief Benson Ndakara and Emmanuel Okenyi, made applications for their bail, but the prosecuting counsel opposed it.

After hearing from both the defence and prosecuting counsels, Justice Isa Gafai adjourned the ruling for their bail application to July 1.

Gafai, however, adjourned the case to November 3 and November 4 for hearing.

Credit: NAN

Pastor Gives Away 22 Cars, Millions Of Naira To Celebrate Birthday

The Senior Pastor of Champions Royal Assembly, Kubwa, Abuja, Joshua Iginla, on Sunday gave out 22 cars and millions of naira ranging from N50,000 to N500,000.

The pastor, who celebrated his birthday and that of his wife at the service, also unveiled 33 book titles written by him.

Presenting the cars, among which were 10 SUV cars to the beneficiaries, Iginla challenged the well-to-do in the society to assist the less-privileged.

The pastor, who said that he had tasted poverty and knew how it felt, said the less-privileged of today could become important personalities tomorrow.

“My birthday is all about giving to the needy. What I do here is just 10 per cent of what I do secretly.

“I don’t give to show up; I give to teach people and to provoke them to give.

“I have many people on scholarship, I have widows on my payroll, we have rescued prostitutes and empowered them with skills acquisition programmes, I have orphans I am taking care of.

“I have schools of the handicapped that we have been assisting and the physically-challenged students irrespective of their religions. Gospel is practical, not only spiritual,” he said.

Read More: vanguardngr

Ondo APC Wants Saraki, Others Sanctioned

The All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has called on the party’s national working committee to sanction the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and his colleagues for defying the party on the zoning of the leadership positions of the National Assembly.

The Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Omo’ba Adesanya, said on Tuesday that the conduct of Mr. Saraki and his colleagues leading to his emergence as Senate President was an anti-party conduct.

He said the act was in disregard to party directives and a violation of relevant sections of the party’s constitution.

“For deterrence and to prove that nobody is bigger than the Party, and that the Party is supreme to all members, no matter their status, Senator Bukola Saraki and his loyal APC Senators should be sanctioned according to the spirit and letters of the Party’s constitution,” the statement said.

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Police Storm Ministry To Arrest Perm Sec, Others Over Alleged N1.9b Fraud

THERE was a mild drama at the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja Wednesday as a Special Police Squad from the Office of the Inspector General of Police stormed the ministry in search of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Linus Awute.

Also on the list of the police were the Chief Executive Officer/National Coordinator of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Prof. Abdulsalam Nasidi; Director, Emergency Health Response, John Akintunde Kehinde; and Head of Nigerian Ebola Mission to Sierra Leone and Liberia, Dr. Joshua Obasanya.

The individuals, according to the Police were wanted in respect of an investigation in respect of a petition over alleged mismanagement of the N1.9 billion fund approved for Ebola intervention by the outgone government.

However, Prof. Nasidi told The Guardian on phone Wednesday that he was in Washington and was not aware that the police wanted him.

Reminded that the police claimed to have written him inviting him to present himself for questioning, he noted: “I have not received that correspondence. Maybe because I am in Washington.”

Awute and other officials wanted by the police could not be reached for comments.

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Chad, Cameroun, Others Adopt Buhari’s Proposal For Nigeria To Lead Boko Haram War

An extraordinary meeting of Heads and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin has approved that Nigeria retains the position of the force commander in the war against Boko Haram until the end of the mission.

It also approved that the slot of the deputy force commander and chief of staff be rotated between Cameroun and Chad every twelve months.

Their decision followed an earlier rejection of a rotational six-month tenure of the Multi-National Joint Task Force’s Commander, by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Buhari suggested instead that Nigeria heads the force for the period of the war against the insurgents since it was providing the bulk of troops.

Mr. Buhari had earlier argued that such a process will undermine the military’s capacity to sustain the push against the insurgents “who also have the uncanny ability to adapt and rejig their operational strategies”.

“This command will be to the effectiveness of military strategy, since Nigeria will be providing the bulk of the troops and the main theatre of the war is on Nigerian soil,” he said.

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NDLEA Arrests Nigerians Travelling To China, Turkey, Others, With Illicit Drugs

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a 38-year-old man, Godfrey Nwoye, at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, for concealing 1.283 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa inside garri on his way to Guangzhou, China.

Mr. Nwoye, who hails from Ukpommili Village in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, said he wanted to sell the cannabis in China and use the proceeds to buy goods.

Another suspect, Samuel Anele, a commercial tricycle rider aboard a flight to Bombay, India, was arrested with 4.892 kilogrammes of methamphetamine, the NDLEA said in a statement Wednesday.

Mr. Anele, 45, and other suspects were arrested for offences ranging from concealing illicit drugs in their luggage to ingesting the drugs, according to the NDLEA said.

The suspects were arrested on their way to Turkey, China, and Hong Kong with 8.876kg of various narcotic drugs.

“The suspects are helping our team of investigators,” said Nsikak-Abasi Udoh, NDLEA commander at the Enugu Airport.

Mr. Anele was caught with 4.892kg concealed in false bottom of his luggage aboard an Ethiopian Airline on the Enugu-Addis Ababa-Bombay route.

“Life is not fair to me. Every day it is one problem after another and the money I earn is not enough,” said Mr. Anele, from Ichi village, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.

“It was frustration that made me to smuggle drugs. They promised me that the drug has been properly hidden and that when I return they will pay me the sum of one million naira.

“At the airport, my bag was searched and the drug detected. Now I am now left alone to suffer.”

The other suspects, Emmanuel Chukwuebuka, was caught with 1.293kg of cocaine on his way to Istanbul, Turkey; and Eric Ukaeji was found with 1.408kg of cocaine on his way to Hong Kong.

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Atiku, Tambuwal, Owie, Others Hail Lawmakers

Mixed reactions, yesterday, trailed the emergence of the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly.

Reacting to the development, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State commended the lawmakers for exhibiting maturity and for the defence of legislative ethos in the choice of their leaders.

He said the outcome of the elections indicated that democracy had come of age in Nigeria, adding that the doctrine of the independence of the legislature was gradually taking firm root.

Tambuwal admonished those who were unsuccessful in the contests to regard their actions as positive contributions to democratic process and accept their defeat in good faith.

He urged Nigerians to rally round the new leadership for them to execute their mandates.

Similarly, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, congratulated the newly-elected leaders, admonishing them to see their elections beyond the interests of their respective political parties.

Atiku, in a statement, noted that with the elections of its presiding officers, the eight assembly should swing to work and put the overall national interest beyond the personal political interests of its members.

He said: “The Nigerian people look up to the new National Assembly to work with the executive arm in finding solutions to the problems of insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and joblessness in the country.

“Their election is indeed a call to duty, and it is a call for which they cannot afford to fail the nation.”

Credit:  vanguardngr

Nigeria’s Defence Chief, Badeh, To Meet Colleagues From Chad, Niger, Others

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, will be meeting with his colleagues from other member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to discuss operational process in the fight against Boko Haram.

The meeting, which will take place in Abuja on Tuesday is to enable the defence chiefs work out the processes for strategic combined operations, Chris Olukolade, Nigeria’s defence spokesperson has said.

Mr. Olukolade said this strategy will be a modified version of the Multi-National Joint Task Force in the campaign against terror in the region.

He said the meeting is also preparatory to the Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the LCBC member countries to advance multilateral discussion on counter terrorism operations in the sub region.

He said, “Military delegation led by the Chiefs of Defence Staff as well as intelligence and security of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad are to participate in the meeting along with Benin Republic”.

Mr. Olukolade added that the meeting will later brief the Ministers of Defence of the LCBC countries towards subsequent decisions on the immediate take off of the mission.

He noted that the development is sequel to the recent parleys and contacts between President Muhammadu Buhari and presidents of neighbouring countries in the move to step up the fight against insurgency.


Diezani, Others In Oil Block Sale Case

The House of Representatives yesterday rejected a move to clear the immediate past minister of petroleum resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, and others of any wrondoing in the allocation of seven Oil Mining Leases (OMLs).

The attempt to exonerate Allison-Madueke by an Ad hoc Committee of the House was sequel to investigation into alleged shady deals involving the former minister and other corporate entities namely the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, and Septa Energy Ltd, in respect to the farm-out or allocation of OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42.

The report of the investigation was submitted and laid before the House since February 13, 2015, by the chairman of the Ad hoc Committe, Hon Ajibola Muraina.

But a motion for the consideration of the said report moved by Muraina at plenary yesterday was rejected apparently due to a recommendation of the committee which sought a clean bill of health to all those involved in the allocation of the OMLs.

‘’That a clean bill of health be given to all the parties involved in this transaction as the entire transaction conformed to all the applicable laws,’’ the committee said in one of its recommendations.

It also suggested that operators in the oil industry should deliberately encourage transparency in their operations in order to avoid unnecessary suspicions.

Credit: Leadership

Buhari, APC Must Rescue Chibok Girls, Provide Uninterrupted Electricity, Others- Ekweremadu

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has tasked the Peoples Democratic Party National Assembly Members-elect on being a credible opposition. Mr. Ekweremadu said “being in opposition is not a life sentence for any party.”

He spoke at a retreat organised by the Forum of PDP National Assembly members-elect for its members in Port Harcourt on Monday. The retreat was themed, The Role of the Opposition in Facilitating Development and Good Governance.

In a press statement, Mr Ekweremadu said that being in opposition is an opportunity for soul-searching and self-reconstruction. “It is also for providing healthy, robust, vigilant, and responsible opposition, which is critical to democratic growth and good governance,” he said.

“The PDP lawmakers in the 8th National Assembly should not only hold the APC accountable in terms of their list of promises, but also in accordance with the timeline they gave in the course of the campaigns.

“They should be able to bring exchange rates down to one naira to one US dollar, bring back the Chibok Girls, eradicate terrorism and insurgency, stamp out corruption, create two million jobs every year, provide uninterrupted electricity supply, and fulfill other campaign promises or prepare to hand over power to the PDP in 2019…”


Plateau State’s Lalong Appoints SSG, Chief Of Staff, Others

Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, Monday, announced the appointment of Mr. Rufus Bature as the Secretary to the State Government, SSG. Mr. Bature was a former Minority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly.

The appointment was announced in a statement signed by Mr. Izam Azi, the Permanent Secretary, Policy and General Services, in the state civil service.

Also appointed were Mr. John Dafa’an as Chief of Staff, Government House, Mr. Yusuf Hawaja, Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House while Mr Silas Vem is to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Governor’s Office.

The statement also named Mr Emmanuel Nanle as Director of Press Affairs, Prof. John Wade, the pioneer Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University, Bokkos, as the new Director-General in charge of Research, Mr Cyril Tsenyil as the state Accountant-General while Mr Cletus Kangkum, former Director, Administration, Jos University Teaching Hospital, was named Principal Private Secretary to the Governor.


Senate Presidency: 40 APC Senators-Elect, Others Endorse Lawan

Senate Unity Forum, the group supporting Ahmed Lawan for Senate President and George Akume as deputy, said it had the support of 40 senators-elect of All Progressives Congress (APC).

Leader of the group, Sen. Barnabas Gemade (APC Benue North-East), stated this during an interaction with journalists attached to the National Assembly on Wednesday in Abuja.

Gemade also claimed that the group had the support of the majority of the 49 senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He said that the group had found Lawan and Akume most qualified for the jobs which was why the senators decided to support them.

Gemade said that their candidacy would ensure stability and improvement which had been enshrined in the conduct of activities at the Senate in the last eight years. “We are happy to unveil to you that this is the plan that the Unity Forum and the 8th Senate have, and by the Grace of God, we will actualise the plan.

“We have 40 APC senators-elect that have keyed into this project. Other PDP senators-elect have also keyed in to this project. We are not publishing the list of all the senators because we know that a lot is being done; a lot of claims are being made, so it is not proper to join anyone in making any claims. The day we will give you the list, all those concerned will be present and you will match the list with the faces that will be present,” he said.

Gemade acknowledged that there were a lot of issues to be tackled in the 8th assembly and stressed that that was why the leadership of the National Assembly must lead by example.

Reacting to a list presented by another contender for the position, he said that a list with signature does not proof anything. He explained that the people whose names were on the list should have been there to answer for themselves. He said that when the group would bring out its list, it would not just flash it to the journalists but would give copies to them.

In his remark, Sen. Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North) assured that the 8th Senate under his leadership would ensure independence of the legislature. “We have had eight years of stability and I will like to build on that. There is need for consensus in the 8th Senate which is unique in the history of Nigeria with 59 APC senators and 49 PDP senators. The gap is narrow hence the need for consensus between the two sides. The National Assembly must never be a rubber stamp to the executive,” he said.

Lawan also said that he would work to cut down on the cost of governance, fight corruption and partner with other arms of government as well as the legislature in the states.

Credit: NAN

Dokpesi, Others To Testify In Tinubu’s N150bn Libel Suit Against AIT

Hearing in the N150 billion libel suit filed against DAAR Communications by a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has been fixed for May 27.

Raymond Dokpesi, the Chairman of the broadcast outfit, is one of the witnesses to testify at the resumed hearing of the suit.

Others listed to testify against Mr. Tinubu are Namure Edoimioya, Medan Tenke, Ajibola Adewusi, Olumide Idowu, Stanley Odidi, Nwabueze and Stanley Bassey.

Mr. Tinubu had instituted the N150 billion suit against Daar Communications Plc, owners of AIT, over the documentary titled “Lion of Bourdilion’’.

He had alleged that the documentary which the station started airing on March 1, was libellous and aimed at tarnishing his image.

However, in a counter-claim filed by AIT on Tuesday, the defendant denied the allegations as contained in the claimant’s amended statement of claim.

Mr. Dokpesi, in his statement on oath, said that Mr. Tinubu’s claim was founded on a non- existent ground because the said documentary was not titled “The Lion of Bourdilon”, but “Unmasking the Real Tinubu”.

He also said that the documentary, in his honest opinion, was not false and was not aired out of malice to the person of the claimant.

Mr. Dokpesi said AIT, as a member of the fourth estate of the realm, was empowered by Section 22 of the Constitution to at all times, hold those in government accountable and responsible to the people of Nigeria.

He further averred that the contents of the documentary were facts which had been in the public domain for over two decades.

According to him, these were published independently prior to the broadcast and had remained unchallenged till date.

Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe of an Ikeja High Court has fixed hearing till May 27.

Credit: NAN

FCT Minister, Ribadu, Others Eye PDP Chairmanship Seat

Following the resignation of its former Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commenced the process of selecting a new Chairman. Five candidates have signified their intentions to occupy the exalted office.

They are Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed and former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu.

The others are the Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil; former Special Adviser (Political Matters) to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak and onetime PDP National Administrative Secretary, Habu Fari.

All the candidates are from the North East zone. The party is believed to have zoned the position to the zone, since the last two chairmen of the party were from there.

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