FG Resumes Cash Payments To Niger Delta Ex-militants

The Federal Government has resumed cash payments to militants in the Niger Delta, officials said yesterday.
The media consultant to the Presidential Amnesty Office, Owei Lakemfa, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would directly pay into the bank accounts of beneficiaries. The Central Bank was not immediately available for comment.

The Amnesty Programme’s spokesman, Piriye Kiyaramo, initially said the payments, which include tuition for those studying abroad, had been made on Monday, but militants told the BBC that they had yet to receive the money.
Kiyaramo later told the BBC that the money would be paid by last night according to Reuters.
“We expect the amnesty to be paid tonight to 30,000 youths involved in the amnesty programme. The Central Bank has released the money,” he said yesterday.
Under the amnesty deal, each militant is entitled to N65,000 a month and job training.
The government stopped the payments in February, resulting in the militants accusing it of breaching a deal negotiated in 2009. But the government had said it was looking into aspects of the programme to see where it could be revisited. Local militants in the Niger Delta including the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed several attacks on critical oil and gas facilities in the area, especially since the beginning of this year, with the federal government accusing them of sabotaging the national economy.
The latest move is therefore seen as an attempt to curb the attacks which have severely affected oil production.
Lakemfa however said the proposed Maritime University in Okerenkeko, Delta State, which is one of the militants’ demands, is a project of the Ministry of Transport with the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC).
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) recently said it had commenced the third phase of sustainable reintegration of about 30,000 ex-militants in the region.
Amid attacks and plans by the militants to disrupt the peace and national assets in the region, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, had pleaded with the federal government to pay their outstanding allowances.
In a response, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, retired Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh, said the payments would be made in July, and reiterated the federal government’s commitment towards re-engineering the Amnesty Programme in their favour.
Boroh said the Amnesty Programme had been successful but added that vandalism in the region must be checked.
Several groups have emerged to interface with the federal government in the ongoing dialogue for cessation of hostilities in the Niger Delta, as a result of which sources said the government was gradually being discouraged from the dialogue option.
Besides the well-known Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) that seemed to have struck an accord with the government, there are indications that the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE-A) and the Adaka Boro Avengers (ADA) are presenting separate negotiating teams.
Credit: DailyTrust

Asset Declaration: Saraki’s Trial Resumes Tomorrow

The trial of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, will be conducted on a-day-to-day basis as from tomorrow, the chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr. Danladi Yakubu Umar, has ordered.
Saraki, a two-term former governor of Kwara State, is facing trial over alleged falsification of assets before the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

It was alleged that Saraki illegally acquired many properties while in office but failed to declare them in the CCB’s forms earlier filed and submitted to the relevant authorities.
It was also alleged that Saraki made anticipatory declaration of assets upon his assumption of office as governor.
It was further alleged that Saraki sent money abroad for the purchase of properties in London and maintained accounts outside Nigeria while serving as governor between 2003 and May 2011.
Based on these alleged violations of the Code of Conduct for public officers, the CCB initiated a criminal proceeding against Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal ( CCT ). However, Saraki has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Credit: DailyTrust

US Resumes Training Of Nigerian Troops For Anti-terror War

Fourteen months after a U.S. army-led combat training for Nigerian soldiers was aborted, American authorities have announced a resumption of the programme.

The American Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said, Tuesday, that the training would resume this February.

Speaking on U.S. strategy against Boko Haram at a meeting in Washington DC, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield said U.S. expects would “inaugurate the first round of training for an infantry battalion later this month.”

The resumed training program is part of a broad U.S. strategy against the terror group and, part of the new deal the Obama administration entered with President Muhammadu Buhari during his official trip to America last July.

“Our counter Boko Haram Strategy is an integrated, interagency effort to help Nigeria and its neighbors in their fight to degrade and ultimately to defeat Boko Haram”, said Ms. Thomas-Greenfield adding that the Obama administration engaged Mr. Buhari’s military leadership “to draw up a range of new and continued security assistance”.

“We have stepped up information-sharing efforts, we are jointly evaluating new efforts to counter improvised explosive devices, developing better tools to assess harm to civilians, and assess the potential for U.S. advisory assistance”, the Assistant Secretary of State said.

One of the reasons the Jonathan administration gave for terminating the previous U.S. training program in December 2014 was America’s reluctance to share real-time intelligence with the Nigerian military and refusal to sell Cobra helicopters to Nigeria.

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Lamorde’s Probe Resumes In Senate Today

Barring any unforeseen changes, the resumed probe of the former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, by the Senate, is expected to hold on Tuesday, November 17, 2015.

Mr Lamorde is scheduled to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to answer questions on the petition against him by Dr. George Uboh on allegations of diversion of funds.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who confirmed this, said that the committee’s schedule requires the former anti-graft agency boss to appear before it on Tuesday.

The former EFCC boss was to appear before the committee last week Tuesday, but the committee suspended it without explanation to its action.

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Saraki Shuts Senate As Trial Resumes Today At CCT

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki has again shutdown the sitting of the Senate as his case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) comes up today.

At the end of yesterday’s sitting, Saraki said the sitting has been adjourned to November 10.

In an interview, Senator Dino Melaye said the sitting was adjourned to enable adhoc committees work on their reports.

“The sitting was adjourned to Tuesday to enable four adhoc committees complete their reports and submit next week,” he said.

Saraki was alleged to have operated foreign accounts while being the Governor of Kwara State and transferred the sum of $73, 223.28 from his GTB domiciliary account to an American Express account.

Credit: DailyTrust

Senate Resumes Plenary Today

The Nigerian Senate will resume plenary today (Thursday) to continue the ministerial screening.

The Acting Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Oyewo, told reporters that the Senate had decided to reconvene on Thursday, October 22, cancelling the earlier date of Wednesday, hours after the plenary of Tuesday had ended.

The Senate  had screened two ministerial nominees from Oyo and Yobe States – Mr Adebayo Shittu and Mrs Khadija Abba Ibrahim, on Tuesday.

A ministerial nominee from Imo State, Professor Gozie ?Anwukah, on Wednesday appeared before the the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privilege on Wednesday ahead of the screening on Thursday.

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Akwa Ibom Election Tribunal Resumes Sitting Thursday

After two weeks of adjournment, the Akwa Ibom governorship tribunal sitting in Abuja resumes Thursday to adopt written addresses by parties in the matter.

Candidate for the All Progressives Congress in the election, Umana Umana, had approached the tribunal challenging the conduct of the poll and the declaration of Udom Emmanuel as winner.

At the last sitting, the Justice Sadiq Umar-led panel directed that the respondents should file and serve their final written addresses on the petitioners within seven days beginning from Monday, September 21, 2015, while the petitioners should file and serve their final written addresses on the respondents within four days.

In the sitting which lasted for about three months, the prosecution called over 60 witnesses.

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Kim Davis Resumes Work, Still Refuses To Authorize Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has been released from jail and has returned to work, but she wants her name and title removed from all marriage licenses. 

“Effective immediately, and until an accommodation is provided, by those with the authority to provide it, any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me,” Davis told a crowd gathered at the Rowan County Judicial Center on Monday.

“I love my deputy clerks and I hate that they have been caught in the middle. If any of them feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them,” Davis said. “Any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.” 


Kaduna Refinery To Resume Production In December- NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, disclosed yesterday that Kaduna Refinery will resume the production of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS (petrol), within the next three months.

This was even as NNPC stated that it had lifted the embargo earlier placed on 113 vessels, banning them from engaging in crude oil and gas loading activities in any of the terminals within Nigerian territorial waters.

In a statement by NNPC in Abuja, Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated that the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit, FCCU, and the fuel section of the refinery would be brought back to life within this period to ensure that Nigerians continue to enjoy uninterrupted supply of petroleum products.

Kachikwu, who stated this during a facility tour of the Kaduna Refining Petrochemical Company, KRPC, said the refinery will get a turn around that will make it commercially sustainable.

He said: “All the component units of the refinery, including the FCCU and the fuel section, will be fully rehabilitated for resumption of crude supply to the plant.

“You will soon have a different company; we must do all it takes to make this company a success.”

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RCCG Pastor Resumes As Osinbajo’s Spokesperson

Former North American Bureau Chief of The Guardian, Laolu Akande,  has resumed as the spokesman of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. Pastor Akande was in the Aso Villa on Monday as President Muhammadu Buhari and his V.P officially relocated to the seat of power.

As a journalist reporting for the leading Nigerian newspapers including The Guardian, Pastor Akande is regarded as the longest serving African correspondent at the United Nations, and the only Nigerian journalist so far to have interviewed a sitting American president in the White House when he interviewed former President George W. Bush. He has also exclusively interviewed American folk hero, General Colin Powell, billionaires like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Donald Trump and several African leaders and presidents.


NEMA Resumes Distribution Of Relief To Borno IDPs

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed drugs and other medical requirements to numerous camps housing people displaced by the Boko Harm insurgency in the Borno State.

The camps, 22 in total, are in Maidugiri, the capital city of the terror-riddled state situated in the northeast.

Information officer of the agency in the region, Mallam AbdulKadir Ibrahim, confirmed the distribution of the health material.

He said Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, was at Yerwa IDPs camp on Thursday to perform the handover ceremony for the drugs to the camp clinic.

Ibrahim said the agency was collaborating with the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (BOSEMA) and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the internally-displaced persons (IDPs) had all the basics they required at all times.

“The agency recently conducted a need assessment for the areas liberated by the military with a view of rehabilitating the communities before the return of the displaced persons back to their communities,” added Ibrahim.

The distribution of the material comes a few days after the agency entered into with the Borno State government, on behalf of the Federal Government, to share most of the responsibilities of providing required goods and amenities at the IDPs camps and also be involved in the management of camps.

Borno is the state worst hit by the insurgency the Islamic militant has been waging over the years in the country. More than 13 000 people have been killed and an estimated 2 million displaced.

Credit: CAJ News