Fidel Castro’s Ashes Return To Cradle Of Revolution

 The convoy carrying the ashes of Cuba’s late communist leader Fidel Castro ends an island-wide journey on Saturday in the cradle of his revolution for a big ceremony before his burial.

The flag-draped cedar urn left Havana on Wednesday, passing roads lined with people chanting “I am Fidel!” and making daily stops on the way to Santiago de Cuba in the eastern end of the country.

President Raul Castro, who took over when his brother fell ill in 2006, will deliver a much-awaited speech during a massive tribute with foreign dignitaries on Saturday evening.

Capping a nine-day mourning period, the remains will be interred during a private ceremony on Sunday at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, where 19th century independence hero Jose Marti is buried.

Fidel Castro’s death on November 25 at age 90 has fueled discussions about his divisive legacy and the direction that the country may take without the omnipresent leader who ruled for almost half a century.

Tearful supporters have cheered Fidel Castro for the free education and health care he spread in the island, while detractors call him a brutal dictator who imprisoned dissidents and ran the economy to the ground.

Read More: punchng

N4.7b: Obanikoro Returns N134m To EFCC, Says He Will Repay N450m Next Year

A former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, on Monday returned N30m to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. This brings the total amount of money he has returned to the EFCC to N134m.


A source at the EFCC said, “Obanikoro came on Monday and presented a draft of about N30m. Initially we did not want to collect it because it is small compared to what he is supposed to have given us. However, the legal department advised us to collect it.”


Obanikoro had in October returned N104m to the commission. The ex-minister, who returned to Nigeria last month after spending about 15 months in the United States, was accused of receiving N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).


Obanikoro had said in his statement of oath at the EFCC that after receiving the money in 2014, he gave N1.219bn to the then governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, while N1.3bn was given to the PDP candidate in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore.


He also confessed to giving Fayose a separate $5.377m at Spotless Hotel in Ekiti State in the presence of party leaders including the then PDP Secretary, Mr. Tope Aluko.


Obanikoro was said to have kept about N785m for himself, which he allegedly spent while campaigning ahead of the PDP governorship primary in Lagos State. Mr. Jimi Agbaje won the primary.


However, the EFCC asked Obanikoro to return about N584m out of which he had already returned N134m.


At the EFCC office on Monday, Obanikoro promised the detectives that he would return the remaining N450m in 2017.


The source said, “About N450m is remaining and Obanikoro has promised to pay the rest in 2017. He will also be reporting at our office every two weeks.”


At the Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba last week, Mr. Alade Sunday, a manager at Zenith Bank, narrated how Obanikoro delivered about N1.219bn to Fayose’s aide, Abiodun Agbele, for onward transmission to his boss.


He had also said it took the cashiers about 10 days to count the money.


Sunday had said Obanikoro flew with the cash to Akure Airport and the money was loaded into bullion vans.


He had said, “When we got to the airport, we waited for some minutes before the aircraft arrived. When the aircraft offloaded its passengers, one of them appeared to me to be Senator Musliu Obanikoro and the other one appeared to be his ADC, Adewale.


“Agbele walked up to them and had a discussion with them. Thereafter, he signalled me to bring the van. Bags loaded with cash were loaded into the van and Obanikoro’s ADC, Agbele and I drove back to the bank.”


Meanwhile, it was learnt Omisore had appealed to the EFCC to return his passport to him to enable him to travel out of the country.


A source at the commission said, “We cannot return his passport to him now because he has not yet returned half of the money. He has returned only N350m out of N1.3bn. When he returns half, then the EFCC can consider returning the passport to him.”

Insurance company boss returns stolen N66m.

An Insurance Company Chairman (name withheld) has returned N66 million stolen fund from an insurance firm through the intervention of the apex Insurance regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).


In an interview, Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of NAICOM, Mr. Mohammed Kari, also stated that there were some Non-Executive Directors (NED) who have left an insurance company and dipped their hands in the firm’s treasury to help themselves.


“I can confirm to you that one Chairman returned sixty-six Million Naira (N66 million). These are information we don’t go out brandishing. And we have identified quite a few cases like that. We always stood our ground for refund because these are shareholders money been pilfered,” Kari said.


He noted that the regulatory agency carried out a lot of activities on several insurance companies under regulatory Orders or under intervention, as their actions in no small measure had crippled the operations of most insurance firms leading to near bankruptcy.


He further revealed that some insurance directors acquired equities without actually paying for them, stressing that it was a bad development.


“We have found out that some directors acquired shares without paying for them and we have taken them to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). We also believe that what they have done is criminal. We are trying to get them to cough out what they have taken illegally. And those refunds we believe will go a long way in easing the financial constraints of these companies.


He observed that the development is a confidence booster because some of these people (insurance directors) believe there is no control at all, pointing out that the insurance industry is the only growth area left in the financial sector and this is a fact.


He opined that while the companies are rebranding themselves, we are watching how they behave, because if they clean the ‘frontage’ and the ‘back office’ is left dirty, that will not be good. “If you see a company complaining, know definitely that somebody is squeezing them. And we have never them complaining as they are doing now” due to increased momentum of the insurance regulator on the regulated.


Meanwhile, NAICOM has released the roadmap for Risk-based supervision and that could also have its own effects in the operations of the companies in the coming year, adding that there are components in the risk-based supervision that may require financial expenditure, or capital review, or structural reviews which will affect the fortune of the companies.


On the outlook for 2017, Kari said “as long as it is still futuristic, we can only say we have a lot in store for us in 2017. Again a lot of things could even happen this year, because of some of the pronouncements from the code of governance of the FRC which was released recently.”

Police Ask Married Katsina Minor To Return Home

The Katsina State Police Command has asked Habiba Isa, the 14-year-old girl who was allegedly coverted to Islam and forced into marriage, to return to her parents’ house.The command maintained that at her age, she was too young to take any decision on marriage and religion.

The state police commissioner, Usman Abdullahi, gave the advice at a press conference in Katsina on Monday, while explainig the police’s position on the development.

The commissioner also said the command was not aware of any marriage between Isa and her alleged abductor, Jamilu Lawal.

Abdullahi said the police became aware of the matter last month (September) after a petition was submitted at the command headquarters by a legal chamber, Bawa, Bawa &Partners, which accused Lawal of abduction and forced marriage.

The petition was said to have been written by the chamber on behalf of Isa’s parents.

The Commissioner of Police said the command thereafter invited Lawal, adding that investigation into the case absolved him of any criminal act.

He added that the command had no choice, but to release him on bail.

Abdullahi said,  “It was gathered that the girl was neither “kidnapped, abducted nor procured,” as she was the one who willingly left her parents’ house to the house of the Chairman of Hisbah, who took her to their village head and later to the district head of Kankara, where she explained that she had converted to Islam.

“This was contained in the statement she gave willingly to the police. It was on this note that the suspect (Lawal) was released since the case of alleged kidnapping and abduction could not be established against him.”

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INEC Issues Certificate Of Return To Obaseki

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issue a Certificate of Return to the Edo State Governor-elect, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who won the September 28 governorship election in the state.

In his address, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Edo State, Mr. Sam Olumekun, described the election as historic in the history of the commission and Edo people, noting that an inconclusive election would have violated the constitution, which was the reason why the election was postponed.

Olumekun said: “It is a historic day not only in the lives of our new leaders but also in the lives of the people of Edo State. It is the dawn of a new era.

“An inconclusive election would have pushed us to an electoral crisis with barely two weeks to the 30 days before handover, Edo people will appreciate why we had the election on September 28. That is why the commission left no stone unturned in conducting the September 28 election which was conclusive.

He also thanked INEC officials, security agencies and other stakeholders who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful outcome, noting that “of course you are aware that we did not lose any lives.”
He added that the job of “conducting an election is the joint duty of all stakeholders who play their part in ensuring a peaceful and credible election takes place, urging Obaseki to “kindly remember that the people’s interest and welfare is paramount.”

Read More: thisdaylive

Jibrin Gives Lawmakers 3 Days To Return Illegal Allowances

Suspended lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Thursday gave his colleagues in the House of Representatives three days to return all questionable allowances they paid themselves.

Mr. Jibrin said any lawmaker who fails to heed his call should be prepared for the backlash that would follow when he publishes details of how such official perpetrated the fraud.

Mr. Jibrin’s statement came a day after he was suspended by the House for 180 legislative days —approximately a full calendar year as the House sits three times a week— after being found guilty of violating House ethics and lawmakers’ privileges.

It also came a month after Mr. Jibrin accused his colleagues of raking in millions in illegal allowances, and after he indicted himself as having received N650 million illegally.

To return their loot, Mr. Jibrin advised his colleagues to individually approach the appropriate authority and make arrangement on how to pay everything back into the federal purse.

“I have written to the Clerk of the National Assembly to stand by in anticipation,” Mr. Jibrin said.  “In the face of the revenue challenges and biting hardship the country is currently facing, there is no better time the country needs such money than now.”

Mr. Jibrin said he resolved to take this action after receiving numerous enquiries from different corners on the need for him to back his allegations against the House leadership and other lawmakers with evidence.

“I have come under intense public scrutiny and pressure to prove that there exists systemic corruption in the House,” Mr. Jibrin said.

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Return My Late Son for Burial, Father Tells Stella Oduah

The former husband of Senator Stella Oduah, Lt.-Col. Satchie Emmanuel Etoromi (rtd), wednesday pleaded with the ex-Aviation Minister to return their late son, Mr. Maxwell Chinedu Toritseju Etoromi, for burial in Warri, Delta State.

The former couple’s son reportedly died suddenly at an Abuja hospital from brain haemorrhage last Friday.
Chief Etoromi, who spoke to reporters in Warri shortly after sending a powerful delegation to his royal majesty, Igwe D. O. Oduah, the Igwe of Akili Ozizor, Ogbaru in Anambra State, who is also the senator’s father, expressed deep sorrow over the death of his son.

In his letter to the traditional ruler titled, “Appeal to Intercede to Ensure Senator Stella Adaeze Oduah Brings My Son, Maxwell Chinedu Obiechina Wereyesigha Toritseju Etoromi to Me in Warri for Burial”, the bereaved father said he read about the death of their 28-year-old son in the newspapers without being informed by his ex-wife.
“His Royal Highness, Igwe Oduah I, betrothed Stella Oduah to me on the 18th November 1984 in Akili Ozizor. We married on the 16th of December 1984 in His Highness’s Palace in Akili Ozizor.

“After the payment of dowry and exchange of gifts, we were taken to Nde-Mili where we performed the final rites.
“I am surprised to see in the internet stories that my son Maxwell Omabuwa Temisanre Obiechina Wereyesigha Toritseju Chinedu Etoromi, who Stella delivered for us on 14th March 1988 at 05.00 hour in St Mary’s Hospital Ugboroke, Warri, is dead,” the bereaved father said in the letter.

He alleged that up till now, his estranged wife had not contacted him on the death of their son, but had commenced preparations to bury him last Friday in her hometown.

“Up till now, Stella has not told me my son died in her custody. There is a rumour that my son will be buried in Akili Ozizor. That is not acceptable at all. My son must be brought to me in Warri for internment,” he said.

In the letter, which was copied to Most Reverend Valerian Okeke, the Arch-Bishop of Onitsha, and the parish priest, Father Donald Uzoh of the Sacred Heart Parish, the bereaved father insisted that his late son must be returned for proper burial in his father’s place.

Read More: thisdaylive

Osinbajo Urges Public Officers To Return To Farm

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged public officers to return to the farm for the nation to be liberated from the periodic cycle of boom inter-laced with busts and meltdowns.
He made the call in Abuja at the public presentation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s agricultural promotion policy, ‘The Green Alternative’ on Monday.

Osinbajo noted that farming was the only conventional activity which the constitution allows a public officer to participate in.
“This agricultural revolution calls us all to farm, even small vegetable farms. The only conventional activity that our constitution allows a public officer is farming. So, we have no excuse,” he said.
He described President Buhari and the Agriculture minister Chief Audu Ogbeh as farmers who practice what they preach, and the “rest of us are being slowly converted!”
“It is an urgent call for the nation to embrace the truth that an oil-dependent economy would never provide enough for 170 million people and still grow in leaps and bounds,” he added.
Commending Buhari for his renewed vision of an agriculture-led economy as an alternative proposition to an oil dependent growth, Osinbajo said the government knew it had to put the economy on the path to inclusive growth with job opportunities for the nation’s huge population.
“One of the most critical components of that plan is to position agriculture as the arrow-head of the economic recovery effort. There is no question at all that if we get agriculture right, we’ll get our economy right. The road map we’re about to present, identifies two key challenges. The first is the inability to meet domestic food requirements: this is a productivity challenge driven by an input system and farming model that is likely inefficient, the lack of good seeds, fertilisers, irrigation, crop protection, etc.
“And two: the inability to export at the level required for marketing which is typified by an inefficient system for setting and enforcing food quality, poor knowledge of target markets, a weak inspectorate system and poor coordination amongst relevant agencies. With great clarity, ‘The Green Alternative’ sets out strategies for resolving these challenges. I’m personally impressed that The road map does not dismiss the Agricultural policies of the past. Indeed, the policy says that it is “building on the successes of the agricultural transformation agenda, closing the gap,” he said.
Read More: Dailytrust

FG Opens Talks With Chad, Niger On Return Of Boko Haram Refugees

The Federal Government has opened discussion with Chad and Niger authorities on the date Boko Haram refuges residing in the two countries would return to Nigeria.
This comes as the government  deployed 3000 policemen and 2,000 civil defence personnel in towns and villages reclaimed from the Boko Haram sect in Borno and Yobo states.
“We have made some deployments of police and civil defence; 3,000 policemen and 2,000 civil defence men are in towns and communities in the North East”, a source at the presidency and Ministry of Defence.
He lamented that the deployment of security personnel followed what he called some negative developments in the freed areas.
According to him, it was discovered that Boko Haram members were returning to communities liberated by the military, explaining that the government had to act swiftly to check the ugly development.
“We have met with Chad and Niger on the return of refugees that reside there,” the source said.
Meanwhile, major reforms are underway for police and other paramilitary agencies to help refocus and reenergise the parastatals, Daily Sun   gathered.  The reforms, currently  being worked out by a government committee centre mainly on the mode of appointment and selection of new  Inspector General of Police, Comptroller General of Immigration and Prisons.
According to sources,  when the new reforms are concluded, no police, immigration or prisons services officers would be considered for the position of IGP or Comptroller General if he or her has less than a year and six months left to retire from service.
“The new recommendation is that a new IG or Comptroller General of Immigration or Prisons must have up to 18 months before his or her retirement,” one of the sources disclosed.
“The reason for this reform is to ensure that somebody who is being appointed would have enough time to carry out policies and impact on the agency he is heading.
“It is not good that somebody who has less than a year is appointed to the position of IG or Comptroller and thenyou hear the person is pulling out or retiring. His impact would not be felt by his Organisation.”
The source disclosed that a high powered committee set up by the leadership of the Ministry of Interior is working on the new arrangement.
“A committee was set up to work out other details and the committee is doing its job”, he said.
As part of the reform , another source revealed that a bill that that will seek the operation of police academy under a law will be sent to the National Assembly in the next few weeks.
He explained that the move was informed by the realization that there is no law backing the operation of  police academy at the moment.
“Government wants to legalize the operation of police academy. As at today Police Academy is not operating under any law . And that is shameful”, he said.
He said the reforming of the Police, Immigration and Prisons would place emphasis on training of staff and provision of facilities that would help the staff to discharge their duties.
He said “We will have to develop career pattern in our ministry. We have to train Prisons and Immigration staff . There are some staff who have spent 15 to 25 years without undergoing any training. That is absurd.”
On the issue of herdsmen and what the federal government is doing to end the controversies that have trailed their activities in different parts of the country, the source said the  government will soon hold a town-hall meeting on the matter.
According to him, he said that everything effort must be made to ensure that herdsmen do not bear arms and do not engage in fatal confrontation with other Nigerians.

Credit: Sun

British PM Rules Out Return Of Hard Border In North Ireland

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday promised a “practical solution” on the Irish border after Britain leaves the European Union in a bid to allay fears about a return to tough checks.

She spoke on her first visit since taking office to Northern Ireland, which has what would become the United Kingdom’s only border with the EU after Brexit.

“Nobody wants a return to the borders of the past,” May said in Belfast, where she met Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

“What we do want is to find a way through this that is going to work and deliver a practical solution for everybody,” May said in televised comments.

Cross-border relations with the Republic of Ireland are a prime concern for Northern Ireland in negotiations on Britain’s departure from the European Union, and May said Belfast would be involved in the talks.

Britain and Ireland share an open-border Common Travel Area (CTA) that dates back to the 1920s, continuing arrangements from before Irish independence.

Credit: Guardian

Nigeria Ranks 4th On Return On Investment

Nigeria’s ranking on return on investment received a big boost recently when it edged to 4th position with 35 per cent.?The Acting Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Mr. Waheed Olagunju, stated this at the weekend at a media parley organised by the bank in Lagos, with the theme, “Sustaining Nigeria’s Industrial Sector Growth through Impactful Partnership.”
He said the rating was based on BoI’s performance on stand alone as a development finance institution, noting that several countries are in competition for investment resources.
According to Olagunju, the return on investment is much higher in Nigeria than other countries. “Industrialisation is a multi-faceted process and no single agency can capsulate industrialisation of any country, and so all hands must be on desk,” he added.
He noted that return on investment should not be taken for granted, as “we try to de-risk our environment, improve on climate and continue to take measures by increasing our ranking in doing business.
“In terms of investment returns, we are ranked number four with 35 per cent. Nigerians might go to other countries where they have 15 per cent return on investment where the risks are not as high as Nigeria.
“So we have to put all those things into consideration by ensuring that we promote industrialisation and transform the Nigerian economy within the shortest time possible,’’ Olagunju said. He explained that if those things were not done, Nigeria may not be able to harmonise the challenges in the country, particularly that of unemployment.
Olagunju said the country’s population was growing, therefore, hence the need to take quick decisions to remedy the challenges.
“We have lost many arms of development in our country; all hands must be on deck for us to achieve our desired economy and developmental goals,” he maintained. Olagunju, said that community-based industrialisation should be developed for the growth of the nation’s economy, stressing that the country was naturally endowed with several commodities that could boost its competitiveness as a country.
Each state has at least one mineral or crop where it has comparative advantage, which should be explored.
The BoI boss said such could also help reduce the level of unemployment in the country, noting the urgent need to boost financial inclusion to achieve an inclusive growth.
He also noted that in achieving an inclusive growth, the grassroots have to be captured to boost products in the 774 local governments through the Nigerian Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP).
He said, “Nigeria is the only OPEC country that still exports crude oil, and some  non crude oil products. “There is an urgent need for us to go back to the roots instead of running about and looking for jobs. This is why we need the support of state governors to encourage their youths to embrace entrepreneurship, and also fulfil their part by creating an enabling environment for business to thrive in their states.
“The current government has made a promise to utilise the NEDEP and Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), which are the keys to economic growth, food security and foreign exchange earnings that we need for economic diversification.
“We appeal that there should be at least one industrial cluster in each senatorial district to harness the current economic realities. Industrialists can still manage to share resources like electricity, factory space, knowledge and even taxes.”

Credit: Sun

162 ‘Stranded’ Nigerians Return From Libya

162 Nigerians who were said to have been stranded in Libya have returned to Nigeria, it was learnt.
The returnees made up of 132 men, 27 women and three children arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja Lagos yesterday aboard a Chadames Air aircraft marked 5A WAT.

Sources said they arrived the country through the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.
Officials say this would be the second time IOM would aid Nigerians’ return home from the North American country while another set of returnees is expected any moment from now.
Forty-one Nigerians were recently deported from the same country for immigration related offences.
The returnees were received at the airport by officials from the Port Health Services, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
Three of the returnees were ill, with two brought in a stretcher and ferried into a waiting ambulance provided by NEMA.
IOM’s Operations Assistant, Mr. Juma Ben Hassan disclosed that one of the male returnees had a motor accident while the one was a victim of fire disaster.
NEMA officials took the returnees for profiling before sending them to their respective states to reunite with their families.

Credit: DailyTimes

Metuh Wrote EFCC, Ready To Return N400m – Counsel

The immediate past National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh’s lead defence counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), has said his client has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that he is willing to return the N400m he allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November, 2014.

Metuh is currently being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly receiving the money, which the prosecution alleged was collected from the $2.1bn arms funds allegedly diverted by the former NSA’s office to other purposes aside from buying arms to fight insurgency.

The money was said to have been released to him to launder the alleged bad image of former President Goodluck Jonathan a few months to the 2015 presidential election which Jonathan eventually lost.

Metuh lost his bid at the FCT High Court to secure his passport to enable him to travel abroad for a check-up.

Ikpeazu, in a telephone interview on Thursday, said Metuh had always indicated to the EFCC that he was willing to return the money right from when the anti-graft agency invited him for questioning before charges were filed against him.

The lawyer said he advised Metuh after his trial began before a Federal High Court in Abuja to write a letter to the EFCC, indicating his intention to return the N400m, which he stated the former PDP spokesperson heeded.

He insisted that Metuh initially thought the money came from former President Goodluck Jonathan but readily indicated to return the money as soon as the EFCC made him to realise the money was from the ONSA.

Credit: Punch

Borno Emirs Return Home Two Years After Fleeing Boko Haram Insurgency

Two out of the five Borno emirs forced to flee their domain by Boko Haram terrorists, have returned to their palaces.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the emirs fled to Maiduguri two years ago when the insurgents took control of their domain in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of the state. The insurgents took control of the area in August 2015 and announced establishment of Caliphate rule, forcing residents including the emirs to flee. The insurgents were however mauled down by the military who took total control of the area and restored normalcy.

The two emirs, Alhaji Muhammadu Askirama of Askira, and Alhaji Ismaila Mamza of Uba, returned to their respective palaces on Tuesday in company of Borno Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mamman Durkuwa.


Speaking at a short ceremony at their palaces, the emirs commended the Nigerian military for their gallantry in routing the Boko Haram terrorists. They expressed optimism that terrorism would end soon in the country, going by the successes being recorded by the military. Also speaking,

Also speaking, Durkuwa assured the emirs that the government would undertake projects to restore life back to the area. The deputy governor urged residents to be law abiding and report any sign of security threat to relevant agencies.


Three other emirs yet to return to their domain include the Emir of Bama, Alhaji Kyari El-Kanemi, Emir of Dikwa, Muhammad Ibn Masta, and Chief of Gwoza Alhaji Muhammad Timta. The three are still residing in Maiduguri, the state capital.




Return Luxury Cars Or Face The Wrath Of Nigerians, NLC To Senators

The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on senators who benefited from a recent purchase of 108 brand new Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles by the Senate to immediately return same or face the wrath of the Nigerian people.

The union described the purchase, coming at a time the country is enduring excruciating financial crisis, as a crime against the people.

Reports said senators have started taking delivery of the new Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs, since last week at the rate of N35.1 million per unit.

In a statement by the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, on Monday, Labour said it was “morally despicable and shameful” that the lawmakers embarked on such acquisition when they were supposed to occupy themselves with issues that would benefit the people.

“We consider appalling, insensitive and greedy the decision of the Senate to acquire 108 Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps (one for each member less the Senate President) after collecting car “loans” in August last year for the same purpose,” Mr. Wabba said.

“It is equally morally despicable and shameful that they are doing this after publicly admitting that the standing committees of the Senate are unable to perform their statutory functions due to paucity of funds.”

Mr. Wabba said the prices of the vehicles were grossly inflated and demanded that the lawmakers explain where they sourced the funds since the 2016 Appropriation Bill had not been signed into law.

Credit: PremiumTimes

How PDP Will Return To Power In 2019- Mark

Former Senate President David Mark said yesterday that imposition of candidates against the wish of the people was responsible for the electoral misfortunes recorded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
The PDP had jettisoned its zoning arrangement to favour former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who was defeated by the President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.

Mark also lost his position as the Senate president, a position he occupied for eight years.
Addressing PDP members in his country home in Otukpo, Benue State, Mark canvassed for the repositioning of the party to win elections in 2019.
“We must come to terms with reality that PDP lost the last general election because of over bearing tendencies of some leaders, who imposed candidates on the people.
“It’s inevitable that we must change from the old ways and allow the will of the people to prevail. Unfolding events clearly show that the PDP is the party for the people. But, we must not take them for granted by forcing unpopular candidates on them.
“The coast is clear that the PDP has the road map for peace, unity and development of Nigeria. Nigerians now know the difference,” Mark said, in a statement issued by his media aide, Paul Mumeh.
He said popular candidates must be put forward to drive the ship of the PDP ahead of the next general elections, saying the party has brighter chance of returning to power if all party faithfuls agree to work together in one accord.

Credit: DailyTrust

Zuma Promises To Return Confiscated Funds To Nigeria

South African President, Jacob Zuma, says his government will do everything possible to ensure that the monies confiscated by South Africa during Goodluck Jonathan’s regime are returned to Nigeria.

Mr Zuma made the promise while addressing reporters after bilateral talks with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the Nigerian and South African governments were working on the matter and that the relevant structures were already recovering some of the loots.

Th South African leader also told reporters that investigations were ongoing to ensure that anything that was illegally taken to South Africa would be returned.

On the issue of xenophobia, the South African President described it as unfortunate, promising to address it ones and for all.

“Africans should realise that they are the same and should avoid conflicts and attacks on each other,” he stressed.

The Nigerian leader also addressed reporters, touching different issues.

Credit: ChannelsTv

#Dasukigate: Kalu, The Sun Return N9m

As Nigeria’s anticorruption war gathers momentum, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it wanted to interrogate some beneficiaries of the N120m compensation paid to some newspaper outfits even as the Sun Newspaper recently announced that they have returned the N9million it received from the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), which was given to them from the office of the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Managing Director/Editor- in- Chief of The Sun, Mr. Eric Osagie, in a statement said it took the decision to return the money following the controversies it has generated and also as a means to come.

Credit: NationalMirror

I Won’t Return N100 Million- Chief Falae

NATIONAL Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae, Monday, said he would not refund the N100 million he collected from Chief Tony Anenih, which has been alleged to have come from the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.

Chief Falae, explained that the amount was given to him for onward delivery to his party, to assist sell ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid, saying it was not paid through the office of the former NSA.

To this end, he has asked the government to hold Anenih, former Board of Trustees of the PDP, the source of the money rather than either himself or his party.

Speaking at a press conference, in Abuja, through the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Abdul Ahmed Isaiq, Falae insisted that his party would not return any money to the government coffers, since the money it got was neither from Col. Dasuki nor Office of the National Security Adviser.

He explained that the money was as a result of electoral alliance his party entered with the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, to deliver the then President Goodluck Jonathan in his re-election quest.

He said those who were returning money to the government were those who got money directly from the Office of the former NSA, saying he cannot be part, since he did not get the money from Dasuki or the office he was occupying.

“In terms of refund of money, I want to say here that those people who are refunding money are those who got their money directly from the arms deal fund.

“Our fund did not come from the arms deal, our fund came from an electoral alliance with the PDP and we knew that the PDP had a fund raising committee that gathered billions of naira and PDP had been in government for 16 years.

” So, with that, we knew that the PDP had the capacity to fund the alliance that was formed with them by the SDP, he explained.

“You don’t postulate what you don’t have on the ground, you can’t build on a non foundation.

“We, as a political party knew that the PDP was a capable hand in the electoral alliance which we entered with them. And we equally knew that the PDP had a fund raising, where it generated over N20 billion down.

“So, whether the money came from Col. Sambo Dasuki or his office, is what we don’t know and it is left for them to ask Chief Tony Anenih to explain, “he added.

He emphasized:” “We knew that the PDP had been ruling Nigeria for 16 years. So, this was the basis of our electoral alliance with them.

“We can’t refund any money to anybody because the money we got as a party came because of the alliance we had with the PDP and we have the agreement note from this alliance.

“If it is possible that the money Chief Anenih gave us was from the arms deal, it is left for them to ask Chief Anenih to clarify. As far as we knew, we did not have any dealing with Dasuki.

” Our office did not ever have anything to do with the office or person of the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki. ”


IDPs Will Return To Their Homes Early Next Year– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari declared yesterday in Abuja that the return of persons displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency to their home communities will begin early next year.

Speaking when he hosted a delegation from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) led by former British foreign minister, Mr David Miliband, President Buhari said that his administration would do all within its powers to facilitate the quick return and resettlement of over two million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in their towns and villages.

According to a statement issued by his senior special assistant, Media, Malam Garba Shehu, the president told Mr Miliband and his delegation that the federal government would welcome the support of the IRC and other local and international non-governmental organisations in the rehabilitation of IDPs.

“In 2016, the return of the IDPs will start in earnest. They will return to their communities to meet destroyed schools and other infrastructure which have to be rebuilt.

“With agriculture being moribund in the region in the last two years without cropping, hunger is already manifest. We will welcome all the help we can get to assist the returnees, “ President Buhari said.

Credit: Leadership

No Stone Will Be Left Unturned For Safe Return Of Chibok Girls– FG

The Federal government on Tuesday lamented that the massive looting of public funds perpetrated by some officials of government under the immediate past administration is seriously affecting the operations of government, just as it assured that no stone will be left unturned in ensuring the safe return of the Chibok girls. Consequently, the government has vowed that nobody, among those who contributed to the present mess that Nigeria currently finds herself, will go unpunished.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this on Tuesday at a press conference in Abuja. The Minister equally said that the government is seriously concerned about the safe return of the over 200 secondary school girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State over 600 days ago. Alhaji Mohammed thus assured that no stone will be left unturned by the soldiers in the North Eastern part of the country to ensure that the kidnapped girls are rescued and returned safely to their people. According to him, “the military is leaving no stone unturned to get them (the Chibok girls).

The government is very concerned about the safe return of the Chibok girls. There are so many things that the soldiers are doing underground that cannot be exposed to the public. For security reason, we can not disclose certain information. On the issue of the ongoing agitation for Biafra Republic by some people in the South Eastern part of the country, Alhaji Mohammed pointed out that the Federal government was doing everything to tame the agitation. The Minister added however that such agitation has to be subtle.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Return Toll Gates, Senate Urges Buhari

The Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reverse the toll gate policy by ensuring that every federal road has a toll gate.

The Obasanjo administration had scrapped toll gates across the country.

However, the Senate? adopted the recommendation on the reversal of the toll gate policy contained in the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Works, which investigated the total collapse of federal roads in Nigeria.

The Senate also mandated its Committee on Works to meet with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission to look for new methods of funding federal road projects.

In his presentation, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade, recommended the rebuilding and constant maintenance of existing road infrastructure as well as introduction of weigh bridges to protect roads.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Lamorde Urges Western Nations To Reject & Return Stolen Funds

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, has asked countries keeping Nigeria’s stolen wealth to quickly reject and return the funds so as to prove their rejection of corruption.

Lamorde threw the challenge Monday when he hosted the leadership of Amnesty International, an international human rights advocacy, who met with him in Abuja.

The chairman claimed that the funds being stolen and stashed abroad by corruption officials in Nigeria, was preventing the country from providing basic services to the people thereby adding to the poverty level in the land.

He described corruption and impunity as the worst form of human rights abuse, which AI must help to end to move society forward.

Lamorde said: ‘‘Western countries must end the impoverisation of developing countries. They must reject and return stolen funds, so that respective governments of the affected developing countries could use the money to better the lives of the poor in their countries.

“It is the common wealth of the people that has been diverted for private use. So, it is the worst form of human rights abuse. When corruption and impunity become the order of the day, human rights abuses flourish.

‘‘When you consider the cause of water-borne diseases suffered by people in rural areas, it is because someone has diverted the funds meant for pipe borne water in those areas.

“Also, when you consider the fact that our hospitals lack the basic amenities, it is because some people have kept the funds allocated to the hospitals to themselves…”

Read More: vanguardngr

Group Urges PMB To Grant Amnesty For Public Officials Who Return Stolen Funds

A Non-Governmental Organization known as Initiative for Mass Action Against Corruption (IMEAC), has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led  Federal Government to consider granting of amnesty to corrupt public officers who willingly return stolen public funds in their possession.

According to the group, the federal government should pardon officials who willingly confess past misdeeds and volunteer to return any illegal gains from such acts, in order to earn the confidence of those who may be scared of confessing such crimes  due to fear of prosecution.

Read More: channelstv

15 Ex Ministers Yet To Return Govt. Vehicles

Some ministers in the last administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan have not returned their official vehicles. Such vehicles include pilot cars with which they get easy passage on the highway and cars attached to their families.

The Federal Government has, however, written some of the ex-ministers to return  the official vehicles to the ministries. Some of the former ministers claimed they had not returned their official vehicles because of outstanding salaries, claims and severance package.

Fifteen former ministers are yet to surrender the vehicles assigned to their former  offices. The government is believed to have asked permanent secretaries in the ministries to write the former ministers. The government threatened to compel the ex-ministers to handover the vehicles or face sanctions.

A Presidency source said: “Some of the ex-ministers are yet to return their official vehicles, especially the Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), which they were using. It is amazing that some of them are still using pilot vehicles for passage.

“While some of them claimed they are still entitled to such perks for about three months after leaving office, a negligible few handed over their vehicles before May 29. Some of them said they had not fully disengaged because they had outstanding eight-month salaries, allowances, claims and severance package to collect from the government.

“We have about 15 of them who have not fully complied with the directive to hand over their official vehicles. The government has no choice but to write the affected ex-ministers. Or else, we may be forced to buy new vehicles for the incoming ministers.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “Some former ministers assumed that they were entitled to some of these vehicles because of the monetization policy of the government.

Read More: thenationonlineng

Buhari May Free Looters Who Return Stolen Funds

The loot recovery efforts of the Federal Government may soon take a new dimension as there are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari may grant amnesty to treasury looters to encourage them return stolen billions kept abroad and in Nigeria.

A credible source said in Kaduna that Buhari might opt for amnesty option to fast track the recovery of looted national treasury to enable him fulfill his campaign promises, which will involve trillions of naira.

Reports gathered say that the amnesty option would serve as the soft side of the loot recovery strategy otherwise referred to as a “carrot and stick approach.”

While the carrot approach will be for soft looters, who may be willing to return their looted share to the federal government treasury without arrest and charges, the stick stance would be for hardened ones who, may head to court to protect their ill-gotten wealth.

Read Morenationalmirroronline

Senators Will Return From Break To Screen Ministers On One Condition- Saraki

President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, on Tuesda, has promised that senators presently on break would rush back from their homes to screen ministers any time President Muhammadu Buhari sends his ministerial list to the upper Legislative chambers.

According to him, the 8th Senate was prepared to support President Buhari to effect the positive change expected from his administration by Nigerians, just as he also pledged the cooperation of the National Assembly with the executive arm of government in accomplishing the programmes of the administration.


PDP Will Return To Power In 2019- Mimiko

The newly-elected Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, Gov. Olusegun Mimiko on Ondo State has said the party will regain power at the centre in 2019.

Mimiko, who spoke on Thursday during a mini reception organized to celebrate his election as the Chairman of the PDP governors, said the process of regaining power by the PDP had commenced. He said the PDP governors were determined to give the party a new face as the opposition party.

He stated that they have resolved to collectively work assiduously and excel in governance with a view to re-branding the party and selling it to all Nigerians.

Read MoreTheSun

Airport Remodelling: FG Orders Contractors To Return N17.6bn

The federal government yesterday ordered contractors handling the remodelling of airports across the country, who failed to deliver their various remodelling projects, to return the funds they collected to government’s purse.

Aviation minister, Chief Osita Chidoka, who gave the directive, also offered reasons why the planned re-establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria had not seen the light of day since the liquidation of Nigeria Airways in 2003.

LEADERSHIP learnt that at the commencement of the exercise, the minister had taken $88 million from the Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA), deposited in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as one of the signatories to the account.

A former supervising minister in the sector, Chief Samuel Ortom, had declared that former aviation minister, Princess Stella Oduah, left behind N174 billion debts from the remodelling exercise, an allegation Oduah had not debunked.

Read More: leadership

PDP Plots To Return Mark As Senate President

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is allegedly plotting a sensational return of David Mark as the Senate President in the Eight Assembly.

The party is seriously mobilizing its members in the Senate to ensure Mark is re-elected for the third consecutive time.

The party’s calculation is that senators from the All Progressives Congress (APC) may split along ethnic lines in their choice of who becomes the Senate President.

The party hopes to win to its side some APC senators to vote for Mark along with the PDP senators. The APC has 60 elected senators while the PDP has 49.

Read MoreDailyTrust

Return Stolen Funds & Get Pardon, Buhari To Corrupt Officials

Nigeria’s President elect may likely grant amnesty to corrupt politicians but they will have to first return any stolen money in their possession. This was made known by  former governor of Ekiti state and Head of Policy, Research & Strategy, Buhari Campaign, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
According to the ex-governor, Buhari’s promise to extend hands of friendship to everybody  does not mean that he would not prosecute corrupt government officials who served in the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. Kayode was speaking during a programme on BBC titled, HardTalk were he said the APC government would use all means to ensure that justice and fairness were established.
“Corruption is not going to be dealt with by punishment alone. It is also going to be dealt with by incentives to those who are prepared to have a conversion. If you come voluntarily and say, look, I have stolen some money and I am prepared to return the money, Gen. Buhari would not say no to that.”
“Returning the funds is a form of justice to Nigeria because those funds will now be available for the teeming population. There would be a range of options for dealing with corruption but that does not mean that justice will not take its full course.
“Buhari said he would not interfere with the judicial process and that if anyone is found guilty of malfeasance or corruption then that the law would take its course. Buhari didn’t mention any individual but anyone who is found guilty or who behaved badly in terms of corruption would be brought to face the law.”

Wike Receives Certificate Of Return From INEC

Rivers State governor-elect, Nyesom Wike has received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The certificate was presented to Wike on Monday by INEC’s Supervisory National Commissioner in Charge of Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States, Mrs Thelma Iremiren at the Independent National Electoral Commission headquarters, Aba Road, Port Harcourt.

Iremiren also presented Certificates of Return to all the newly elected members of the Senate and House of Representatives from the state.

Read MoreVanguard

PDP Silenced As Buhari Returns From London

General Muhammadu Buhari  on Friday returned to the country from London, after weeks of absence. Buhari’s return has finally put to rest the controversy generated by his absence.
General Buhari whose absence in the country two weeks ago sparked off controversy  with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its supporters alleging that Buhari was hospitalised  in London for cancer treatment. It would be recalled that the  APC presidential candidate had  on February 19, 2015  left the country to address the Royal institute Academy  London otherwise known as Chatham House.
Fielding questions from journalists who kept vigil at the airport, Buhari who arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe  International Airport at exactly 5.45 am amidst fanfare and jubilation by supporters, Buhari said he was alive and mentally alright describing his outing abroad as a normal human exercise. Buhari said “I went to rest that is all I did and I am here  alive , hail and hearty.”

Are You Seeing A Sick Man?… I Went To Rest- Buhari

Arriving Nigeria at about 5:40 am aboard British Airways, Buhari who was claded in a black flowing gown with a flash of white shirt on the collar was ushered into the hands of waiting Journalists who had been keeping vigil at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Asked whether he went abroad to seek medical attention, Buhari said he took some time off the campaigns to get some rest. “I just went off for a couple of weeks to rest. That’s all I did”, he said.

Pressed further by Journalists on whether he ever visited any hospital while holidaying in UK, he said “What is wrong for me to go the hospital? Am I not here now? Aren’t you seeing me? Are you seeing a sick man?

Read More: Vanguard

Buhari Set To Return Friday

After 10 days in London on a campaign break, the presidential candidate of the All progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari will  return to Nigeria on Friday.

Buhari travelled to UK to rest and consult with his supporters in that country after the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) postponed the elections, which were initially scheduled for February 14.

A high point of Buhari’s UK visit was the lecture he delivered at Chatham House. Buhari’s visit has generated a lot of controversy with many speculating that he travelled on health grounds. The APC is undecided  on what form Buhari’s return might take on Friday.

Read More: Sahara Reporters