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“Remove all abandoned ships or lose them”, NIMASA orders owners.

In a bid to ensure safe and secure shipping on the Nigerian territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has warned all owners of abandoned ships/vessels to urgently remove same from the Nigerian territorial waters on or before April 28 or risk sanctions ranging from forfeiture or removal by the agency at the owner’s expense.

The Director General of the Agency, Dakuku Peterside, who stated this recently in Lagos noted that it is instructive to ensure that our waters remain safe for navigation in order to advance our maritime interests.

He, therefore, warned that all abandoned ships would be declared as wrecks and the agency would ensure that nothing impedes safe navigation in Nigerian waters by removing them.

“In line with our mandate on the protection of the marine environment and safety of navigation within Nigerian waters and our powers as the receiver of wrecks; owners of all abandoned ships, vessels and derelicts are sternly warned to seek removal plan permits from the Agency and ensure the removal of these wrecks and derelicts from our waters on or before April 28th, 2017 failure of which would attract appropriate sanction,” Mr. Peterside said

He also reeled out the sanctions to include removal of such wrecks at the owners’ expense as well as forfeiture of the vessels stating that the agency is empowered to do so in line with the powers vested in it by the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 and other enabling Acts and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instruments.

It should be noted that Nigeria is party to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks (Nairobi Convention 2007). The Convention is a treaty of the IMO with the purpose of prompt and effective removal of shipwrecks located in the parties’ territorial waters including its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that may be hazardous to navigation or environment. The convention gives States’ Authority to remove wrecks and in Nigeria’s case NIMASA is the receiver of wrecks.

All abandoned vessels littering the waterways and the shoreline of the country are affected by this directive, the agency said.

The management of NIMASA has constantly expressed the agency’s commitment to ensuring a safer waterway for Nigerian maritime stakeholders to conduct their business.

 

Source: Premium Times

Buhari’s war on corruption won’t stop – Presidency

The Presidency has given assurances that the war against perfidy and corruption by the Muhammadu Buhari administration will not stop despite the strong resistance of the opposition and their actions to thwart the government’s efforts every day.

“Let me say one thing. Those whose illicit ways of accumulating money have been stopped will criticise this government but all that will not derail the unfaltering commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the war against corruption,” a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said in a radio program Hannu Da Yawa on FRCN Kaduna at the weekend.

Mr. Shehu argued that the president declared rooting out corruption as one of the cardinal policies of his election campaign.

“He is aware that this was one of the main reasons why Nigerians in their millions put their trust in him; the main reason they voted him into power in 2015.

“To keep that trust of ordinary Nigerians who voted him into the office, he has vowed to give corruption a good fight. He will not let them down.”

Mr. Shehu admitted that so far, the battle to uproot corruption from Nigeria has not been easy.

“Corruption has been fighting back vehemently, finding accomplices in various forms and guises. Nevertheless, the Buhari administration will not relent.”

He said in the program that the days when corruption reigned indiscriminately in Nigeria are over.

“Nothing will return our country to those sad, old days of wanton thievery that have plunged us into the economic mess from which Nigeria is currently recovering. The war against corruption in Nigeria is one of those clashes between good and evil, where good is determined to triumph.”

He dismissed rumours that members of the governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC were being spared, saying that all are equal before the law.

Highlighting the various measures introduced to promote transparency by the present administration, Mr. Shehu disclosed that upon directives by the president, the National Hajj Commission carried out an audit of accommodation agents in both Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia and as result, a saving of more than $16.7 million is being made by the paying pilgrims this year.

“Each Hajj pilgrim is being saved between 600 to 1,000 Saudi Riyals, which is about N60,000-N100,000 from accommodation, money that had lined the pockets of agents in the past. This year, houses are being rented directly from owners.”

He commended ordinary citizens for embracing the whistle-blower policy by “taking extraordinary risks to expose corruption.”

On the ongoing rehabilitation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and the relocation of flight services to Kaduna for the six-week period of the closure, the presidential aide said the government and people of Kaduna should think hard to devise ways by which the social and economic benefits brought to Kaduna in this period did not depart the city with the reopening of the airport in Abuja.

“‘The government of Nigeria has done a big thing for Kaduna. You must show appreciation to this by supporting the administration.”

Referring to the “massive cash releases for capital projects in excess of a record one trillion Naira under the 2016 budget,” Mr. Shehu credited the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, with the record of being the first ever minister to ride on all the federal roads across the nation.

He said in addition to the roads, three of the major projects very dear to the president which he is determined to execute are the Mambila power project, the Lagos-Kano, Lagos-Calabar and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway modernisation projects and the new Presidential Initiative on Fertilizer, which he said is already making an impact by cutting the price of fertiliser by about fifty per cent.

 

Source: Premium Times

Police lied, Unilag students protested peaceful and orderly – TVC

The management of Lagos-based television station, Television Continental (TVC), on Sunday disputed police claim that 13 students of the University of Lagos were remanded in Kirikiri prison over unlawful invasion of the television facility at the Ikosi neighbourhood of Lagos.

“The Management of Continental Broadcasting Service Limited (owners of TVC) refutes these stories and categorically states that TVC has no hand in the arrest of the students.

“TVC did not at any point report or lodge any complaint at the police station,” remarked Abisola Agbaje, the legal manager of TVC in a press release in Lagos.

Ms. Agbaje said, “Truly, the Students came into our premises on Friday the 31st of March, 2017 on or about3 p.m. to protest the “alleged rustication by UNILAG”.

“The protest was peaceful which we have on record and the students left our premises peacefully.”

She explained that the report of the protest was yet to be aired because as at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 2, Unilag authorities were yet to respond to the allegation, and that “as a responsible media organisation, reputed for fair and balance reportage we had to hold on until we get UNILAG authorities side of the story.”

Ms. Agbaje’s position was corroborated by the deputy chief executive of the station, Lemi Olalemi, who, non-plussed at police claims, said the students who came to the facility were “really well behaved and did not do anything untoward to warrant arrest in my opinion.”

He joined Ms. Agbaje to “call on the Nigerian Police to step forward and state when, and if TVC indeed lodged a formal complaint that led to the arrest of the students.”

PREMIUM TIMES learnt the students, protesting the rustication for two semesters of a visually-impaired student, Lawrence Success, were arrested on Friday and charged to a mobile court on Saturday for criticising the institution’s management.

The magistrate ordered their remand at Kirikiri Prison pending their bail application and adjourned the case to April 6, for determination of their bail.

The institution’s semester examination is scheduled to begin on Monday.

The police prosecuting counsel, Effiong Asuquo, the Officer in Charge, Legal, of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, had told the court that the accused committed the offence on March 31.

He said the accused engaged in “riotous invasion” of TVC, protesting the alleged rustication of one of their students.

According to him, the students also invaded the main campus of the University of Lagos, Akoka, and disrupted normal activities in the institution.

The prosecutor said the alleged invasion by the students was a ploy to stall commencement of exams.

He said the offence contravened Section 168 (1) (d), and Section 2 of the Criminal Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2015?.

City People Magazine’s Minister of the Year Award goes to Babatunde Raji Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing has won the Minister of the Year Award organised by City People Magazine.

The award ceremony was held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja on Sunday.

Read Mr. Fashola’s remarks at the ceremony, as sent to PREMIUM TIMES by his aides, below.

P R O T O C O L S

It is always very easy for members of the public to pick and choose from a Team, who they like more within a Team.

So in a football club, we tend to pick the best striker or midfielder or defender.

But in doing so, we sometimes forget that what is most important is the team and the work they do together; the Team work, that allows any striker, midfielder or defender to thrive.

There will be no good striker, midfielder and defender in a team that does not do well.

Therefore collective success must be, and is indeed, more important than individual recognition.

A Government is no different from a football club, to the extent that they comprise individuals of different talents, passions and experiences who must work together to deliver service to the public.

A successful team is led by a Great and resourceful manager, who often has a dependable assistant.

In our Government team, President Muhammadu Buhari has discharged that role effectively by picking a team of Ministers whose commitment to change is unquestionable and the Vice President has demonstrated his ability to complement this vision of change and his dedication to help midwife it.

On their behalf I accept this Award.

Every Goal scored by a striker is the result of co-ordinated team play, and interchange of passes.

In our team, every Minister has supported the other, and the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has benefitted from a well planned Budget, well timed cash backing, very massive support and contributions to our Council Memoranda and therefore on behalf of the Federal Executive Council members, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Cabinet Office and the Office of the Chief of Staff, I accept this award.

Of course, a good football team thrives on financing and shareholders support.

We have received a lot of cooperation from those who exercise the power of appropriation in the National Assembly; the Senators, House of Representatives members and all their Committee Chairmen, members and staff are the real owners of this Award.

I accept it on their behalf.

Some of our work will not have progressed without prompt and efficient determination of some court cases. Our progress would have been hindered. This Award also belongs to the Judiciary as members of the team of change. I accept it on their behalf.

No team is complete without the army of backroom staff who we never get to see, but who help the players enormously.

The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing is blessed with an army of hardworking civil servants, led by 2 (Two) Permanent Secretaries, Directors, the Heads of our parastatals, Deputy Directors, Controllers and other staff who have signed up for change and are daily working towards it. I accept this Award on their behalf.

As I said earlier, no individual recognition is worthy of note if the team is not delivering results.

My Brother, the Hon. Minister of State in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri and I accept this Award on behalf of Government as proof that our team is gaining momentum, and the results of Government policies, programmes and action are beginning to manifest.

Our party, the All Progressive Congress, the architects of Change, know that the work is not done; on the contrary, it is just beginning.

We the team members also know this. We know that it can be a lot better, we commit to do more and to make your lives better.

 

Source: Premium Times

NNPC reduces gas flaring by 26 per cent in ten years

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says it has succeeded in reducing gas flaring in the country by 26 per cent in the last ten years.

The corporation said the reduction, which has pushed Nigeria down from the second highest gas flaring nation to the seventh position, was from 36 per cent in 2006 to 10 per cent in 2016.

Explaining the gas flare reduction trend recently in Abuja, NNPC Chief Operating Officer, COO, Upstream, Bello Rabiu, noted that as at 2006 Nigeria was flaring 2.5 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas, while consuming only 300mscf of gas per day.

According to a statement released on Sunday by NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, Mr. Rabiu said the drastic reduction in gas flaring was achieved through aggressive gas commercialisation anchored on the Gas Master Plan. He also noted that as part of efforts to preserve the environment, technology had helped the industry to record a drastic reduction in gas flaring.

“The Gas Master Plan was geared towards addressing four key critical issues of gas availability, infrastructure, commercialisation framework and gas affordability,” Mr. Rabiu said.

He further explained that though the implementation of the plan was driven by NNPC, it was sponsored by all the oil and gas companies operating in the country and that it has helped in addressing some of the issues that were confronting the gas sector.

The COO also stated that in order to ensure gas affordability, the plan stipulates a lower price for gas to the power sector which is the most important segment while other sectors of industries and manufacturing get gas at a commercial rate.

This measure, according to him, was to ensure that gas producers get value for the gas they produce for sale.

On other actions by the federal government to end gas flaring in the country, Mr. Rabiu said government had designed a National Gas Policy which seeks, among other things, to end gas flaring by 2020.

He explained that the National Gas Policy had been circulated to all operators to guide them on the direction of the Federal Government with regard to how it wants the nation’s abundant gas resources deployed.

The statement also quoted Mr. Rabiu as saying that the federal government has provided a guarantee of payment to gas suppliers through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the World Bank three weeks ago as part of incentives to get the oil and gas companies to commercialise more of their gas.

“This is a very important step that the NNPC has been working on since 2008”, he said.

 

Source: Premium Times

ISIS’ deputy commander, Ayad al-Jumaili killed in air strike

Ayad al-Jumaili, believed to be a deputy of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in an air strike on Friday, an Iraqi intelligence spokesman said on Saturday.

The US-led anti-Islamic State coalition said it was unable at the moment to confirm the information that was reported earlier in the day by Iraqi state-run TV.

Jumaili was killed with other Islamic State commanders in a strike carried out by the Iraqi air force in the region of al-Qaim, near the border with Syria, a military intelligence spokesman told Reuters.

“The air force’s planes executed with accuracy a strike on the headquarters of Daesh in al-Qaim .. resulting in the killing of Daesh’s second-in-command…Ayad al-Jumaili, alias Abu Yahya, the war minister,” state TV said earlier, citing a statement from the directorate of military intelligence.

Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led coalition, have been battling since October to retake the city of Mosul, Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq and the city where Baghdadi declared a caliphate nearly three years ago.

Nearly 290,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, according to the United Nations.

US and Iraqi officials believe Baghdadi has left operational commanders with diehard followers to fight the battle of Mosul, and is now hiding out in the desert with senior commanders.

A separate battle is in preparation in Syria to drive Islamic State from its stronghold there, the city of Raqqa.

The Iraqi state TV report is the first by an official media to announce the death of Jumaili, who was an intelligence officer under Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi president toppled in the 2003 US-led invasion.

Jumaili led Islamic State’s top security agency in Iraq and Syria, known as Amniya, answers directly to Baghdadi, according to experts.

Although the loss of Mosul would effectively end Islamic State’s territorial rule in Iraq, US and Iraqi officials are preparing for the group to go underground and fight an insurgency like the one that followed the US-led invasion.

The last official report about Baghdadi was from the Iraqi military on February 13. Iraqi F-16s carried out a strike on a house where he was thought to be meeting other commanders, in western Iraq, near the Syrian border, they said in a statement.

More than 40 leading members of the group have been killed in coalition air strikes, according to experts. Baghdadi has not officially appointed a successor.

 

Source: The Cable

Three suicide bombers killed by their own bombs in failed Borno attacks

Three suicide bombers were on Sunday killed in unsuccessful attacks on Muna general area and Dusuma village.

The first bomber detonated his explosive at Muna garage near Gujeri fuel station, destroying 45,000 liters petrol tanker waiting to discharge fuel.

The second bomber also killed himself but injured an 80-year-old man who was providing security watch to Muslim worshippers at Dusuma village.

“The bomber attempt to gained entrance into the mosque but the old man approached and stopped him. He detonated himself and injured the 80-year-old man (name withheld). The man was rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital(UMTH),” a security source told TheCable.

The Borno police command through its spokesperson, Victor Isuku, has also confirmed the attack.

“At about 0438hrs, two male suicide bombers detonated Iprovised Explosive Divice strapped to their bodies by Alh Bukar Gujari Filling station in Muna Garage area, Maiduguri killing themselves alone,” said Isuku.

“A truck was partly damaged. Also at Dusuma village in Jere local government area, a suicide bomber detonated his IED strapped on him killing himself, while one person was injured.”

Muna has suffered not less than seven different Boko Haram suicide bomb attacks.

The town’s borders are porous and it also contends with the congestion of motorists and transporters loading confinement to Lake Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

 

Source: The Cable

CBN’s Emefiele vows to continue FOREX intervention

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Sunday reiterated its determination to sustain the provision of foreign exchange with a view to ensuring liquidity in the market and enhance accessibility and affordability for genuine end users.

Isaac Okorafor, acting director, corporate communications of CBN, in a statement said the bank wants to disabuse the notion by market speculators that it wouldn’t be able to sustain its forex intervention.

He said that the bank would again, early this week, inject more foreign exchange into the market, leading to a further weakening of the dollar.

“This is in addition to the further increase in the sale of dollars to the Bureau de change operators from 8,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars per week,” he said

Okorafor warned commercial banks and other dealers to desist from sabotaging the efforts aimed at making life easier for foreign exchange end users.

According to Okorafor, the CBN had received complaints from customers over frustrations in getting foreign exchange for invisible items like tuition fee, medicals, personal and basic travel allowance.

The apex bank urged the general public to report any bank that failed to meet customers’ needs after due documentation.

It once again reiterated its determination to deal with any official or institution found to be sabotaging the operations of foreign exchange market in whatever guise.

It would be recalled that the naira closed at N394 to a dollar on Friday, which translated to 10 per cent depreciation of what was recorded earlier in the week.

The depreciation was attributed to the alleged hoarding of forex by banks rather than selling to genuine customers.

Analyst believe that with the twice weekly sale to BDCs up to 20,000 dollars, the naira is likely to appreciate in the coming week.

 

Source: The Cable

New strain of Meningitis is deadlier than Ebola, says Sokoto health commissioner

Balarabe Kakale, Sokoto commissioner for health, says the type ‘C’ strain of meningitis, which has killed forty-one people in the state, is deadlier than Ebola virus disease.

Kakale, disclosed this to newsmen in Sokoto on Sunday when he gave an update on the state of high alert declared by the state government since March 20.

He said that the deaths were mostly recorded out of the nearly 600 clinically confirmed cases of meningitis in the eight worst-hit local governments.

They are Rabah, Kebbe, Tureta, Gada, Dange/Shuni, Wamakko, Kware and Bodinga.

“The epidemic was caused by the type “C’’ strain of meningitis and not the type “A’’ strain which the people of the state had hitherto developed immunity for,” Kakale said.

“This new strain of meningitis is deadlier than the dreaded Ebola disease as it kills within four to six hours of afflicting a patient.

“More than eighty percent of the victims also had not been immunised, hence, the aggravation of the epidemic.’’

He further stated that the state government has embarked on a state-wide, mass vaccination for the people of the state, against meningitis.

He explained that over 700,000 persons, aged one to thirty years, were being targeted across the 23 local governments of the state.

Kakale further stressed the need for people of the state to ensure that their children were fully immunised against child killer diseases like measles, whooping cough, yellow fever and diphtheria, among others.

He also warned against self-medication and attaching superstitious beliefs to the disease.

“They should also desist from self-medication as adequate drugs and medicament were provided by the state government for the free treatment of the patients.

“The people should also desist attaching traditional beliefs like witchcraft and report all suspected cases of meningitis, measles and other diseases to the nearest health facility.

“We will not rest on our oars until when the epidemic is fully mitigated, although the cases had drastically reduced,” he said.

 

Source: The Cable

We need UN assistance to demine Sambisa forest – General Buratai

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says Nigeria needs the assistance of United Nations (UN) to demine Sambisa forest in Borno state.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Buratai said the army is doing a “limited demining” of the forest to enable the troops move around for operations.

He said that this is in order to create safe routes for the troops to move from one place to another.

“The army is currently doing a limited demining of routes in the forest to enable troops to move around for operations,” Buratai said.

“Strictly speaking, we have not started demining the Sambisa forest. The areas we are concentrating on are where we are working, where our troops will have to move from one point to the other.

“These are the efforts we are making to create safe lanes for troops to pass from one point to the other. But, for our deliberate demining efforts, it will require much, much resources, much more effort, and we may even request for the civilian demining support in that regard.

“Demining is not restricted to the military only, there are several organisations that have been doing this, the UN is one and there are other NGOs that are involved which actually work under the umbrella of the UN.

“So, as comprehensive efforts, these bodies need to be invited to support what the military is doing right now in a limited capacity in that regard.”

The chief of army staff said there was need for the police to take over strategic areas so it would enable the army concentrate on the mop up of the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents.

“We need more policemen deployed even in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Bama, Damasak, Gubio, Monguno and Baga and other towns where people have returned, they – police need to really take over,” Buratai said.

“Apart from the regular police, the Mobile Police also are key, we need them to be there. There are concerns all over that at this stage we really need the civil authority to come and take up their responsibilities fully.”

He added that the army was guided by laws, including the 1999 constitution which specified its own rules of engagement and international law on armed conflict in its operations.

“We know what we are doing, definitely we will not infringe on individual rights. We have our own constitutional role; we have our own rules of engagement which are in tandem with our constitution, in tandem with even the international humanitarian law and the laws of armed conflict,” he said.

“If, in course of our duty, someone feels that something has gone wrong contrary to what they believe in and they go beyond to call for arms embargo and denial of certain weapons or equipment to the Nigerian military, I think the government will address that appropriately.”

 

Source: The Cable

DStv, GOtv to increase subscription tariff from 1st of May.

MultiChoice, owners of DStv and GOtv, has increased subscription rates by five percent, with effect from May 1, 2017.

This is coming less than two years after Nigerians threatened to boycott MultiChoice Nigeria over 20 percent subscription hike.

Back then, a court ordered the company not to increase the rates pending the determination of a suit filed against it by some lawyers, but MultiChoice waved aside the order.

Under the new price regime, the monthly subscription on DStv premium bouquet, which is N13,980 will be N14,700. Compact Plus DStv subscribers will pay N9,900 as against the current N9,420, while Compact subscribers will no longer pay N6,000 but N6,300.

Family bouquet subscribers will now be charged N3,800 as against the N3,600 they are paying at the moment, while Access bouquet would be N1,900 and not N1,800.

Commercial bouquet, which is currently N1,720, has been adjusted to N1,850.

The new rates for, GOtv Value and GOtv Lite bouquets, are N1,300 and N450, against the current rates of N1,200 and N400.

GOtv Plus subscribers will have to pay N1,900 instead of the current rate of N1,800.

MultiChoice has defended its action, saying the adjustment was made after careful consideration and a review of its business operations.

“We announced last year that we would do everything possible to hold the price barring any extreme factors,” John Ugbe, managing director of Multichoice Nigeria, said in a statement.

“However, all our content is purchased in dollars and although we have done everything possible to hold the prices even with the price of everything else going up, we are now left with no choice but to adjust our subscription prices from May 1.

“Our key priority is to put subscribers’ needs at the heart of everything we do and therefore, in determining the price adjustment, we took into account many factors including, the impact on the customer, current inflation which stands at 19 per cent, programming costs and efficiencies within the company. Please be assured that we have worked really hard to keep this year’s fees manageable.”

 

Source: The Cable

Nigerian Troops Arrest Two Boko Haram Spies

Two suspected Boko Haram terrorists carrying out surveillance on Kareto and Dangalti villages, were apprehended by Troops of 158 Task Force Battalion of 5 Brigade, Nigerian Army.

This was revealed in a statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman.

The statement adds that, “Preliminary investigation shows that the apprehended spies were on a mission to facilitate possible attack on the communities by Boko Haram terrorists.

“One of the Boko Haram terrorist belonging to Mamman Nur’s faction, Bulama Kailani Mohammed Metel, under the leadership of Abu Mustapha surrendered himself to troops of 145 task Force Battalion, 5 Brigade at Damasak”.

It has been confirmed that the surrendered suspect, Bulama Kailani Mohammed Metel, a high profile terrorist, had been on the Nigerian Army’s Wanted Boko Haram terrorists poster recently produced, with a serial number 253.

He is currently undergoing further interrogation.

 

Source: Channels TV

We need to speak out against child sexual abuse – Nkemakonam Ijeh

In spite of existing laws upholding the rights of the child in Nigeria, there is hardly a day a gone by without the news of a child being violated by persons they trust or meant to protect them.

A UNICEF report paints a dire picture of the situation. Six out of ten children in Nigeria experience emotional, physical or sexual abuse before the age of 18, with half experiencing physical violence, the reports said.

“Such report is an indictment on us as a people,” said Nkemakonam Ijeh, the founder of StopS-CAN Organization, a not-for-profit organisation which campaigns against child exploitation and abuse.

“It is important for us as a collective and as individuals to see to the protection of our children not only because they are our children but also because violating them in body and mind portends danger for their future and that of Nigeria,” Ijeh added.

“Section 24 of the The Child Rights Act provides for the punishment of the perpetrators of child sexual abuse but in the real sense of it, do these sections hold water,” she queried.

She said through StopS-CAN, she aimed to collaborate with different stakeholders to ensure homegrown solutions to the malaise are created.

Stop S-CAN, she said would be also focusing on the victims and survivors of child sexual abuse by providing them with a holistic care when going through their healing journey.

She noted that Stop S-Scan has programmes through which referrals are made to the appropriate agencies saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the law against perpetrators of child abuse as well as centres for the child’s healing process.

“Our vision is to create a world where no child suffers the damaging effects of child sexual abuse,” she said.
“Our mission is to curb child sexual abuse in Africa through campaigning, collaboration, and advocacy. Stop S-CAN, strongly believe that the future of every Nigerian Child matters. We want to give each child in Nigeria the opportunity to grow and nurture in a safe environment that is free from sexual abuse because of this, we believe, is the key to ensuring a great future ahead of them.

“We are creating a system that will inform and educate young people about child sexual abuse and ensure that they have a less turbulent transition into adulthood.

“For the victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, what our program aim to achieve is to turn their adversities into a springboard for success and nation-building as we encourage them to heal. We have a definitive monitoring system that will measure our programs impact on the society as accurately as possible.”

“Adults must take the primary responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse by addressing any concerning or questionable behaviour which may pose a risk to a child’s safety,” Ijeh said.

“Most sexual abusers know the child they abuse, and they may be family friends, neighbours or babysitters etc. About one-third of abusers are related to the child. If you think a child may have been abused, it’s important to report it.”

 

Source: The Guardian

From South Korean president to prisoner 503, Park Geun Hye goes to jail.

Ousted South Korean president Park Geun-Hye is now just prisoner 503, incarcerated in a spartan cell while prosecutors decide whether to indict her over a corruption scandal that precipitated her fall from grace.

The former head of state spent her first night in solitary confinement at Seoul Detention Centre after a court Friday ordered her to be held pending charges.

She had her mugshot taken and was given a prison kit including toiletries, a meal tray and a quilt, reports said.

After being processed like any other prisoner, Park, 65, was assigned a 10.6 square metre (114 square feet) solitary cell, larger than the average 6.5 square metre cell, Yonhap news agency said.

“After taking a bath, she changed into green-coloured winter-season prison garb” an official of the Justice Ministry was quoted as saying by the Joongang Ilbo daily.

The chest of Park’s uniform was emblazoned with her prison number — 503 — by which she will be known during her incarceration.

Park burst into tears as guards showed her to her cell, TV Chosun said, quoting unidentified sources.

Prosecutors have yet to specify the formal charges against her, but have previously said she is suspected of bribery, abuse of authority, coercion, and leaking government secrets.

They plan to resume questioning her early next week, most likely by visiting her in the prison instead of summoning her to their office, Yonhap said.

Prosecutors have until April 19 to question Park before they indict her.

Park secured the largest vote share of any candidate in the democratic era when she was elected in 2012.

But she was impeached by parliament in December, as the scandal combined with mounting economic and social frustrations to trigger huge candlelit demonstrations. The Constitutional Court later upheld the decision.

Park, the daughter of late dictator Park Chung-Hee, is the third former leader to be arrested over corruption in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, where politics and big business have long been closely tied.

If eventually found guilty, she would face at least 10 years in prison, legal experts said.

 

Source: The Guardian

JUST IN: Impending crisis as petrol tanker drivers plan strike from Monday

The Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD) arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says it will commence a nationwide strike on Monday.

NUPENG’s president, Igwe Achese, announced this in a signed communique on Friday in Lagos, at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting held at the union’s secretariat in Yaba.

The communique said the strike would draw the attention of the Federal Government to some unresolved issues bordering on the welfare of workers, such as bad roads, poor remuneration, insecurity and the alleged excesses of some security agencies.

“The CWC-in-Session considers inhumane, the refusal of the National Association of Transport Owners (NARTO) to commence negotiation with the union for the renewal of the expired Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on the working conditions of our Tanker Driver members in the PTD branch, after several appeals and even an ultimatum.

“The CWC-in-Session, therefore, resolves to give full backing to any industrial action the members in this sector might decide to take with effect from Monday, April 3, 2017.

“To avert the pains and discomfort the action might cause, the CWC-in-Session calls on the Federal Government to urgently intervene and apprehend the unfortunate situation, to enable NARTO meet its obligations to tanker drivers,’’ the communique said.

The communique also called on the National Assembly to urgently pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, in order to tackle all the issues of corruption plaguing the oil sector.

It also called for the commercialisation of the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as the turn-around-maintenance for the refineries, to increase local production and reduce the importation of petroleum products.

The communique commended the efforts of the federal government to encourage operators of illegal refineries to be integrated into the establishment of modular refineries.

The union also vowed to resist any attempt to increase the pump price of petrol.

It also commended efforts of the government to shore up the Naira against the Dollar and the decline in the inflationary rate to 17.5 per cent.

The communique, however, called on government to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment, hunger and the rising cost of goods and services.

It also appealed to government to adopt measures to restructure the economy, as well as address challenges confronting the power sector.

The association commended the federal government’s determined efforts at eliminating the Boko Haram sect from the Sambisa forest, but called for increased military intelligence gathering to stem the spate of suicide bombings in Maiduguri, Borno.

While commending the efforts of the Police in combating crime, the union also called for increased surveillance to tackle rising cases of kidnappings, rape and other crimes.

 

Source: NAN

Magu was not given fair hearing by DSS – Wole Olanipekun (SAN)

Wole Olanipekun, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was not given fair hearing before being “condemned” by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Ahead of Magu’s unsuccessful confirmation hearing at the senate, the DSS had provided the lawmakers with a report which questioned his integrity.

But the former pro-chancellor of the University of Ibadan and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) believes Magu should have been granted the opportunity to clear his name.

Olanipekun lamented that the culture of crucifying people without trial was a growing anomaly in Nigeria.

Speaking on Friday while delivering a lecture entitled: “Breaking the Jinx, the Cyclical Nature of Nigeria’s Problems,” at the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Olanipekun said: “We have to be very careful in the way and manner we pronounce and crucify people in this country, without trial, and without affording them the right to be heard.”

“The right to fair hearing is inalienable, given to man by God, right from the time of creation. God gave Adam and Eve the right to fair hearing before He passed judgement on them.

“The acting Chairman of the EFCC was quoted by several national dailies as saying that he was not given fair hearing by the DSS before he was condemned of wrongdoing by them. I sympathise with Mr. Ibrahim Magu and I agree entirely with him that he ought to have been given fair hearing.

“But I want to plead that every tier of Government in this country, including agencies of government, including also the EFCC and the DSS, should give Nigerians the right to fair hearing in obedience to the clear provisions of the Constitution, as well as the right bequeathed to man by God. Annexed to the right to fair hearing, is also our duty, whether as government or people, to obey court orders under the doctrine of the Rule of Law.

“We cannot also hide under the pretext that we are fighting corruption or any particular vice, in refusing to obey any court order, whether in civil or criminal cases, and also including others where courts have directed that citizens should be released on bail. The Supreme Court succinctly summarized the imperative of obedience to the rule of law.”

 

Source: The Cable

China bans long beards, veils in public places.

China is intensifying its crackdown against what it deems religious extremism in the far-west province of Xinjiang, which is home to 10 million Muslims.

To ensure this was achieved, authorities have ordered that people would no more wear long beards, no more wearing of veils in public places and there would be no home-schooling.

The latest measures outlined in a sweeping new anti-extremism legislation take effect Saturday and come on the heels of a series of steps to increase surveillance in the region that include the surrender of passports and mandatory GPS trackers in cars.

“They’re doubling down on security in Xinjiang,” said James Leibold, an associate professor at Australia’s Le Trobe University, whose research focuses on China’s Uyghur minority.

The new legislation, which was published on a regional news portal run by the provincial government, appears to standardise, and expand across the whole province, piecemeal rules and regulations that have been enacted in individual towns and cities.

Specifically, it prohibits, advocating or propagating extremist thoughts, wearing or forcing others to wear full-face coverings and hyping up religious fanaticism through growing beards or choosing names in an abnormal way

Others include not allowing children to receive state education, interfering with state education and deliberately interfering or harming the implementation of family planning policies.

Publishing, downloading or reading articles, publications and audio-video material containing extremist content as well as rejecting or refusing state products and services that include radio and television programming.

The law didn’t explain these measures in detail or define abnormal, but the English-language state-run China Daily did say that long beards would be banned “as they are deemed to promote extremism”.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Xinjiang in recent years; the government describes the perpetrators as terrorists inspired by religious extremism.

There has been a spate of high-profile attacks involving ethnic Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking minority, outside the province.

These include a 2014 attack outside a rail station in the southwestern city of Kunming that killed 31 people and an attack in Beijing in 2013 when a car drove into a crowd of tourists and killed five people.

 

Source: The Cable

I have not given up, I can still win a Grammy – 9ice

Singer Abolore ‘9ice’ Adigun says he hasn’t forgotten his promise to bring a Grammy award to Nigeria.

9ice had made the pledge on ‘Street Credibility‘, a track on his sophomore album – Tradition.

Speaking in a recent interview with PUNCH, the Gongo Aso singer said as long he’s still doing music, the dream of winning a Grammy award remains alive.

He said: “I am still working on bringing the Grammy to Nigeria. Abraham Lincoln tried several times before he became the president of the US while Buhari tried about four times before he became president.”

“As long as I am still doing music, I can still get the Grammy,” 9ice added.

The singer also said he maintains a cordial relationship with his former Coded Tunes label mates, Olamide and Reminisce.

“There is no issue between myself, Olamide and Reminisce. The reason I was not at one of Olamide’s concerts was because I was not in the country and that was the same reason I missed Reminisce album listening party,” he said.

“It is just that our schedules are tighter now. I was on Olamide’s first album and he was on my last album. I have so many songs with Olamide that are yet to be released. I also feature in about four songs with Reminisce that have not yet been released. I am on his recent album.

“It is just that I have a busy schedule now.”

9ice has released six studio albums in the 17 years he’s been active on the music scene.

 

Source: The Cable

WARNING: Militants, kidnappers now disguise as security guards – Lagos Police

The Lagos state police command has alerted residents of the new strategy deployed by militants and kidnappers.

According to Fatai Owoseni, commissioner of police in Lagos, kidnappers and militants have infiltrated private security companies, and use their jobs as security guards to spy on potential victims.

He advised estate managers and private guards to stop denying policemen and security agencies access to residential areas.

“Criminal elements and suspected militants/kidnappers have found themselves enlisted into services of private security companies where they choose the estates they want to go and work,” Owoseni said.

“It gives them platform to do monitoring and then give information to their cohorts outside. The command wants to advice Lagos residents on the need to profile domestic servants and drivers they employ.

“By doing that, they would be helping to secure themselves, protect valuables and assist the police in its quest to reduce crime to minimal level in Lagos.”

He said the police recently smashed a syndicate comprising of drivers who steal from their employers.

The police commissioner said four members of the syndicate have been arrested and they confessed that they have stolen five cars in that manner.

“They do so in connivance with guards in some of the houses they work as drivers. We got four members of the gang after a Hyundai jeep which was stolen from the owner’s home, was intercepted at Ondo state, en route Abuja,” he said.

“Through diligent investigation, kingpin James Jacob was arrested. During interrogation, three others were arrested. On a serial basis, they give out themselves as drivers. After working for the family for sometime, they steal the car or connive with guards.

“They have confessed that there are five other cars stolen in that manner. James Jacob has been paraded last year for a case of rape and stealing of vehicle. He raped his boss’ house help and stole the car. He was charged to court but unfortunately, he got bail and refused to learn his lessons.”

He said the gang also had government plate numbers which they use in selling stolen vehicles.

 

Source: The Cable

Kano police commissioner vows to discipline officers who collect money for bail

Rabiu Yusuf, commissioner of police in Kano state, has warned officers against demanding for money or any form of favour before granting bail to suspects.

Yusuf cautioned against illegal investigation of cases, unlawful detention of suspects and prolonged detention, saying that the officers should respect human rights in the course of all investigations.

The police chief spoke at a lecture/ parade with officers and men working at state criminal investigation and intelligence department, divisional crime officers and investigation police officers in the state.

Yusuf, according to a statement issued by the command’s spokesperson, Magaji Majiya, said that the era of bribery and corruption was over in the police circle.

“Nobody should accept or demand money or any form of favour for bail.

“Any senior police officer found to be engaged in corrupt practices will be queried and sent to the Force Headquarters for disciplinary action.

“Inspectors and rank and file found wanting will be sanctioned appropriately,” Yusuf said.

He urged them to exhibit professionalism and diligence during investigation by collating all relevant evidences and witnesses and forward the case files to the director of public prosecution for legal advice where applicable.

Yusuf urged the legal/prosecution department to ensure diligence and logical prosecution of cases in the court of Law and that cases should be judiciously followed up to gain conviction of criminals.

 

Source: The Cable

JAMB, banks trade accusations over delays in registration

With Benue candidates encountering more difficulties in their bids to register for the 2017/2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME), banks and the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) have continued to trade blames.

While JAMB has accused the banks of causing the delays, the banks have shot back, arguing that JAMB was solely responsible for generating the Personal Identification Number (PIN), which was the main cause of the delay

Simeon Isimishere, the Operations Manager of Zenith Bank, Makurdi branch, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Makurdi that the banks were not responsible for the delays experienced by applicants seeking to register the JAMB examinations.

Mr. Isimishere expressed surprise at the allegations by Samuel Umuru, Head of JAMB office in Makurdi, that the banks were responsible for the delays and confusion.

“How can JAMB blame the banks? Generating the PINs is the main headache and that is solely handled by JAMB. The banks only issue what has been generated and given to them, so how can one blame them?” he asked.

He said the banks only receive the payments and issue the PINs.

“The problem is that after getting the PINs, most applicants are unable to access the JAMB website,” he said.

He explained that the initial PINs that were generated by the board had issues and could not be activated.

The official, however, disclosed that the banks were working with the board to resolve the issues and announced that the problems had been “brought down to the barest minimum”.

A cross section of the applicants, who spoke with NAN, however said that they were no more experiencing the challenges.

An applicant, Adasu Emmanuel, said that he had difficulties activating the PIN that was given to him from the bank and made several trips, from the bank to the JAMB office, to rectify the problem.

“Already, the problem has been fixed. We fixed it this afternoon (Friday),” he said.

Another applicant, Gloria Asom, who was still on the queue in the bank, also agreed that there was much improvement because “the queue is moving fast and there is no much confusion again”.

She said that the lines were moving fast, but added that applicants were returning to the bank to complain of invalid PINs.

Reacting to the damage in the Makurdi JAMB office, Mr Moses Yamu, Public Relations Officer of the Benue Police Command, said that the protesters were dispersed before they could commit much havoc.

He said that no suspect was arrested, but disclosed that investigation was ongoing.

“Normalcy has been restored and officials of the examinations board have resumed their duties,” he said.

NAN recalls that applicants seeking to purchase the JAMB forms besieged the Makurdi JAMB office on Thursday, to protest the cumbersome registration process.

The angry applicants broke windows and destroyed the office signpost.

 

Source: NAN

Top Boko Haram member surrenders – Army

A high ranking member of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Bulama Kailani Mohammed Metele, has surrendered to 145 Task Force Battalion, 5 Brigade troops at Damasak.

Sani Usman, a brigadier general and army spokesman, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Maiduguri.

Mr. Usman said that Metele, from Tumbun Bera in Borno, belonged to Mamman Nur’s faction of the terrorists group under the leadership of Abu Mustapha.

He said Metele was of serial number 253 on the Nigerian Army’s wanted Boko Haram terrorists poster produced recently.

“He is currently undergoing further interrogation,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Usman said that two suspected Boko Haram terrorists carrying out surveillance on Kareto and Dangalti villages were arrested by troops of 158 Task Force Battalion of 5 Brigade based on information.

According to him, preliminary investigation shows that they are on reconnaissance mission to facilitate possible attack on the communities.

 

Source: NAN

Court orders 13 Unilag students’ incarceration in Kirikiri over riot

The police on Saturday charged 13 students of the University of Lagos before a Special Offences Mobile Court in Oshodi, Lagos, for “unlawful invasion” of TVC television.

The accused are: Femi Adeyeye, Toni Aina, Kodri Yaya, Asimi Oladime, Ismahim Olalekan, Segun Okesola, Abdulazeez Soneye, Idris Abogunloko, and Muyiwa Olaniyi.

Others are; Toheed Oladimeji, Joseph Akanni, Lukumon Olusegun, and Abiodun Agbeniyi.

They are standing trial before Chief Magistrate P.E Nwaka, on two counts of unlawful invasion and disruption of activities.

They were arraigned at about 10.20 a.m. on Saturday.

The students pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr. Adeyeye is currently serving a four-semester rustication, handed down by the university last year, over a Facebook post criticising the school’s management.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt the students were protesting the rustication for two semesters of a visually-impaired student, Lawrence Success, for criticising the institution’s management.

They were arrested on Friday and charged to a mobile court on Saturday.

The magistrate ordered their remand at Kirikiri Prison pending their bail application and adjourned the case to April 6, for determination of their bail.

The police prosecuting counsel, Effiong Asuquo, the Officer in Charge, Legal, of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, had told the court that the accused committed the offence on March 31.

He said the accused had engaged in a “riotous invasion” of TVC television station in Lagos, protesting the alleged rustication of one of their students.

According to him, the students also invaded the main campus of the University of Lagos, Akoka, and had disrupted normal activities in the institution.

The prosecutor said the institution’s semester examination is scheduled to begin on April 3 (Monday) adding that the invasion by the students, was simply a ploy to stall the commencement of exams.

He said that the offence contravened the provisions of section 168 (1) (d), and section 2 of the Criminal Law, Laws of Lagos State, 2015?.

 

Source: Premium Times

Stamford Bridge shakes as Chelsea suffer shock defeat to Crystal Palace

The fine run of Chelsea Football Club in the English Premier League was halted on Saturday as relegation battlers, Crystal Palace, handed them a shock 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

The development has seen the Blues’ lead at the top of the Premier League table cut to seven points as Crystal Palace masterfully halted their title charge

All of the goals in Saturday’s game came in the opening 11 minutes during an action-packed London derby, with Cesc Fabregas opening the scoring before Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke responded to quick goals in the 9th and 11th minute

The win also keeps Palace four points clear of the relegation zone having now won four consecutive matches for the first time since April 2015.

Elsewhere, Leicester City continued their perfect run under new manager, Craig Shakespeare; beating Stoke City 2-0 at the King Powers stadium.

Nigeria international, Wilfred Ndidi, scored his first Premier League goal in that encounter and it was a beauty to behold as he gave the Foxes a 1-0 lead by half time.

The points were effectively sealed for the defending champions when Jamie Vardy two minutes into the second half registered his name on the scorers’ sheet to give Leicester 2-0 lead and that was the final score.

In other centers, hopes of Sunderland escaping relegation got slimmer as they were beaten 1-0 by Sunderland at the Vicrage on Saturday.

Hull City on their part gave their survival chase a big boost; coming from behind to beat West Ham United 2-1.

There was no goals at Old Tafford as a stubborn West Brom side forced Manchester United to a goalless draw.

In the early kickoff, Liverpool again claimed the bragging rights in the Merseyside derby as they beat their fierce rivals Everton 3-1.

Liverpool 3 – 1 Everton

Burnley 0 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea 1 – 2 Crystal Palace

Hull City 2 – 1 West Ham United

Leicester City 2 – 0 Stoke City

Manchester United 0 – 0 West Bromwich Albion

Watford 1 – 0 Sunderland

 

Source: Premium Times

Illegal Niger Delta refineries to produce 1,000 barrels of oil daily — NNPC

The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has thrown some light on the modular refineries the Federal Government is planning for the Niger Delta.

Mr. Maikanti, at the 53rd International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) in Abuja, said the government would organise the youth now engaged in illegal refining of crude into consortia.

Each consortium will refine 1000 barrels of crude daily.

Mr. Baru also defended the Federal Government’s plan to transform illegal refineries in the Niger Delta into legal entities for proper integration of the youth in the region.

He argued that getting the youth to form consortia to set up 1000 barrels per day modular refineries would get them off criminality and create jobs.

He said the reform programme being executed by the NNPC is geared towards transforming it from an oil and gas company into an integrated energy outfit with interest in power generation and transmission.

In a paper entitled, “Challenges and Prospects for the Diversification of the Upstream, Downstream and Frontier Basin Exploration in the Oil and Gas Sector”, Mr. Baru said NNPC had identified opportunities in the power sector and was ready to take advantage of them to transform from being a gas supplier to the power sector, into a major player, in the sector.

He said the Corporation was already working on a project to generate four Megawatts (4000MW) of electricity while also exploring the possibility of investing in the transmission segment of the power sector.

The GMD explained that the Corporation’s decision to diversify into the power sector was hinged on the need to bridge the huge energy gap in the Nigerian market.

He said contrary to the impression that the poor power situation was caused by inadequate gas supply, the real problem was inadequate transmission capacity, adding that there was enough gas to generate eight gigawatts (8GW) of electricity but the transmission grid could not support such volume of power without complications.

In the upstream, he said his goal was to accelerate frontier exploration and grow crude oil reserve to 40 billion barrels from the current 37 billion.

He also challenged the geoscientists on the need to deploy more sophisticated technology and drill deeper than the current 13,000 to 15,000 feet in the Niger Delta to produce more oil.

“We have to look deeper with intensive 3D and 4D seismic surveys over the so-called matured Niger Delta. The older, the better,” he declared.

 

Source: Premium Times

Ignore the rumours, no fresh clash in Ife – Osun Government

Osun State Government has revealed that is no fresh clash in Ile-Ife.

Nigerians Love Their Fanta And Sprite + Other Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you a recap of top stories in the NEWS today 31st of March, 2017.

 

CNN Poll Reveals Nigerians Still Drinking Fanta, Sprite Despite Court Ruling

Despite being in the eye of the storm lately over the controversy surrounding benzoate preservatives, favourite beverage brands, Fanta and Sprite, appear to still enjoy the confidence and trust of Nigerian consumers, according to a CNN Poll.


No Legislative House Has The Power To Suspend A Member – Femi Falana

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has stated that no legislative House has the power to suspend a member even for a single day.


23 Nigerians deported from Britain arrive Lagos

The Government of the United Kingdom has deported 23 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences in the country. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA) Lagos at about 6.a.m on Friday.


President Buhari deploys newly approved ambassadors

President Muhammadu Buhari has deployed four of the newly approved ambassadors to some critical foreign missions.


‘Stop telling lies about roads construction ‘ – Governor Ortom blasts Governor Wike

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has dismissed claims by his Rivers State counterpart, Mr. Nyesom, to the effect that he was constructing the Aliade-Onu-Obarike-Ito-Otukpo and Makurdi-Naka-Adoka roads, describing it as a tissue of lies.


UNILORIN Prof’s ex-driver, Two Others to die by Hanging

A High Court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, presided over by Justice H. Saleeman on Thursday sentenced three persons to death by hanging for armed robbery and attempting to commit culpable homicide against a professor with the University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdullahi Onimisi.


CBN increases forex sales to BDCs after IMF commendation

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that it would increase the amount of forex apportioned to Bureau de Change operators (BDCs) to $10,000 weekly from $8,000.


Ghanaian Actor, John Dumelo Faces Prosecution For Stealing State Vehicle

Ghanaian Actor, John Dumolo is set to face prosecution for allegedly stealing state vehicle, local report says.


Sacked senator, Bassey Akpan loses stay of execution bid

The Federal High Court, Uyo, on Friday struck out the application for stay of execution filed by Bassey Akpan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, representing Akwa Ibom North.


Group gives senate 48 hours to rescind Ali Ndume’s suspension

Some constituents of Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, have protested against the decision of the upper legislative chamber to suspend him.


President Buhari will return to London for his medical check-ups – Garba Shehu

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, says President Muhammadu Buhari will return to London for his medical check-ups.


EFCC declares Johnson Olusegun Salako wanted over alleged fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a recent publication has declared a certain Johnson Olusegun Salako wanted over fraud allegations.


Indian police make sixth arrest over attack on Nigerians

Police have made a sixth arrest in connection with a brutal mob attack on Nigerian students in northern India that rights groups labelled a hate crime, an officer said Friday.


Fraudsters impersonate Tinubu, Saraki, dupe job seekers of N20m

Some suspected fraudsters, who specialised in cloning phone numbers of ministers, politicians and aides to President Muhammadu Buhari, have been apprehended by the police.


EFCC drags PDP lawmaker Nse Bassey Ekpenyong to court over certificate forgery

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a member of the House of Representatives, Nse Bassey Ekpenyong for alleged certificate forgery and alteration of his West African School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) result.


Fire guts accounts section of Ebonyi Government House

The accounts section of the Ebonyi Government House was on Friday gutted by fire which disrupted activities within the complex.


VIDEO: Abuja airport runway is 57.5% completed, says aviation minister Hadi Sirika

Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, says the rehabilitation of runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, is more than halfway completed.


MFM pastor defrauds widow of N850,000

The police have arrested a minister with the Mountain of Fire Ministries, Mr Franklin Chinedu for allegedly defrauding a widow of her husband’s gratuity.


Co-Creation Hub (CC-Hub) launches the re:learn Educators’ Network

Co-Creation Hub announces the launch of the re:learn Educators’ Network, a network of trained facilitators, capable of leveraging technology to enhance the learning experience in classrooms.

CNN Poll Reveals Nigerians Still Drinking Fanta, Sprite Despite Court Ruling.

Despite being in the eye of the storm lately over the controversy surrounding benzoate preservatives, favourite beverage brands, Fanta and Sprite, appear to still enjoy the confidence and trust of Nigerian consumers, according to a CNN Poll.

Conducted by CNNAfrica via its twitter handle @CNNAfrica, the poll had 61% of Nigerians saying they weren’t bothered by the court ruling and are still drinking Fanta and Sprite compared to 39% who would rather not for now. The poll which was open for a limit period had 1,108 respondents, 170 retweets, 36 likes and 42 replies.

Interestingly, the numbers are a sharp contrast to what critics and some media headlines are reporting, speculating that consumers are boycotting both drinks. The CNN News sites even had a report too suggesting this, shortly before the poll was conducted. Talk about the power of brands…!

Here are some of the comments from the voters. I promise they will leave you in stitches. (LoL)

FG halts disbursement of YouWin funds over alleged fraud

The Federal Government has stopped further disbursement of cash to beneficiaries under the YouWin programme following alleged massive fraud uncovered in its management.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said on Friday that the decision to stop further disbursement of funds was to allow government conclude its investigations to unravel alleged massive irregularities in the selection of the winners.

The Punch Newspaper had on Tuesday reported massive fraud uncovered in programme.

Mrs. Adeosun said another petition was received from an anonymous whistle-blower, which provided documentary evidence of irregularities in 10 cases out of the YouWin3 batch of beneficiaries to which about N611.8 million was disbursed.

The YouWin programme initiated by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, the minister said, had to be continued in view of some legally binding commitments of grants to 1,500 entrepreneurs selected in the first two batches of the programme designed to help young graduates gain employment.

The minister said it was the determination to honour the subsisting commitments with the beneficiaries that informed the present administration’s decision to organise the YouWin 3 batch of awardees.

However, Mrs. Adeosun said, following an internal investigation into the allegations, government confirmed some startling discoveries, including that one of the awardees was the child of a former director in the ministry. She did not disclose the identity of the former director.

She said the investigation also uncovered a number of cases where married couples each benefitted separately from the cash disbursements, raising concerns about the integrity of the original selection process since 2014 when it began.

“The position of the Ministry is that investigations are ongoing under the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) that will review each suspected case to determine whether any irregularity occurred.  In the interim, disbursements of this batch have been suspended,” the minister said.

Since its inception, the YouWin programme, one of the multiple intervention programmes by the government to create jobs for the teeming population of unemployed youth, has midwifed about 3,900 enterprises within four years.

To ensure its sustainability, the Buhari administration, which acknowledged the success of the original programme, undertook a review.

The exercise found, among other limitations, that awardees were overly focused on the grant aspect of the programme, with a few able to secure other forms of funding to grow their businesses despite each receiving up to N10 million in grants.

Consequently, the ministry redesigned the programme and relaunched it as YouWinConnect to focus more on continuous enterprise education, to help build the capacity of young entrepreneurs across a range of disciplines.

The YouWinConnect was expected to develop entrepreneurs who can attract funding from wide range of sources currently available with the funding taking the form of a Venture Fund which will take equity stakes in new and growing businesses.

 

Source: Premium Times

EFCC Boss Magu sues Sun Newspaper of libel, seeks N5 billion.

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has accused the Sun Newspaper of libel, and is demanding a N5 billion naira compensation.

Wilson Uwujaren, Head Media and Publicity, EFCC, said this on Thursday in a statement in Abuja.

He said Mr. Magu was seeking the compensation for “libellous imputations and statements” made against him in a story published in the March 25, 2017 edition of the Saturday Sun.

“The publication was captioned “Magu Under Fresh Probe over 2 Abuja Mansions”.

The spokesman said that Mr. Magu’s solicitor, Wahab Shittu, noted in a letter that the authors of the story “willfully and maliciously made false, destructive, and defamatory statements” against him.

He said that the paper quoted unidentified sources.

Mr. Uwujaren said the writers of the “offensive” report, had maliciously alleged that Mr. Magu owned “two mansions on different streets in highbrow Maitama area of Abuja”.

“This is a case which they could not substantiate, and which in fact was false, and nothing but the figments of their imaginations.

Mr. Magu denied owning a property in Maitama.

The Sun said it would inform its lawyers to examine the veracity of Mr. Magu’s case.

“There’s nothing I want to say about that other than that if there’s any letter from Mr. Magu the company will invite its lawyers who will look at the issue,” Femi Babafemi, editor of Saturday Sun whose title was responsible for the story, told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Friday afternoon.

When asked, specifically, if the newspaper stood by its report, Mr. Babafemi said, “I’ve just told you what I need to tell you.”

Co-Creation Hub (CC-Hub) launches the re:learn Educators’ Network

Co-Creation Hub announces the launch of the re:learn Educators’ Network, a network of trained facilitators, capable of leveraging technology to enhance the learning experience in classrooms.
re:learn is Co-Creation Hub’s Education Practice, focused on helping students and schools use technology in smart ways to enhance learning. At re:learn, the goal is to improve the quality of, and access to Education in Nigeria. By providing rich and engaging content for STEM subjects, re:learn seeks to enhance the experience of learning in the classroom.
Over the past 5 years, CcHUB’s  work in Education has spanned the southern and northern parts of Nigeria. In particular, the focus is on identifying innovative ways technology can improve learning outcomes for students across the country.
According to a 2015 report by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), in order to reach the 2030 Global Education goal of Education for All, countries around the world must recruit 69 million teachers, to provide every child with primary and secondary education. Of this number, 17 million are required by Sub-Saharan Africa, a majority of which will be required by Nigeria, due to her population size. This means an average of 1.2 million new teachers will be required to join the education workforce each year. This poses a challenge to not only bridge the gap in terms of quantity, but also quality of teachers.
re:learn seeks to address this through the Educators’ Network – a new wave of Educators capable of leveraging technology to educate the next generation. Recent graduates who are passionate about education and have an appreciation for technology are recruited and trained as full time educators. This is especially coming at a time when unemployment rates in recent times have been on the increase.
Through a thorough application and selection process, successful candidates are trained, and then deployed to schools. Benefits to Educators include a competitive salary, guaranteed placements in schools, regular personal training and a flexible teaching schedule.
The Educators’ Network will be launching in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Jigawa states. Applications are open to individuals between the ages of 21-35 years, and who are resident in any of the launch locations. To apply to the Educators’ Network, visit www.relearn.ng/network.

EFCC declares Johnson Olusegun Salako wanted over alleged fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a recent publication has declared a certain Johnson Olusegun Salako wanted over fraud allegations.

In an official statement obtained by Omojuwa.Com, the EFCC alleged that Johnson is a fraudster but did not give full details of the allegations.

Read the statement below;

The public is hereby notified that Mr. Johnson Olusegun Salako whose photographs appear above, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

50 year old Salako is wanted for ALLEGED FRAUD. He is dark in complexion, speaks Yoruba and English language fluently and his known address is No. 6 Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Anybody having useful information as to their whereabouts should contact the Commission in its Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Port Harcourt and Abuja offices or through these numbers 0809332644 (0809EFCCNIG), 08183322644 (0818EFCCNIG), 09-9044751, 09-9044752, 09-9044753; its e-mail address: info@efccnigeria.org or the nearest Police Station and other security agencies.

MTN Rewards Nhleko For Negotiating Reduced Fine With NCC

Africa’s largest telecommunication company, the MTN group, has rewarded its Executive Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, with 5.6 million dollars in pay and bonuses for negotiating a reduced fine with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Mr Nhleko also rejigged MTN group’s senior management team after taking over on short notice, following Former Chief, Sififo Dabengw’s resignation in November 2015.

The report also listed Mr Nhleko’s achievements to include the repatriation of funds from Iran and the review of corporate governance standards, among others.

The telecom giant was said to have allegedly transferred 13.92 billion dollars out of Nigeria through its bankers between 2006 and 2016.

The transaction was purportedly facilitated by four commercial banks in the country.

After much negotiation and renegotiation, MTN Nigeria agreed to pay a reduced fine of 330 billion Naira (about $1.67 billion) to the Federal Government in six installments over the next three years.

 

Source: Channels TV

Senate Has The Right To Summon Anyone – Mike Ozekhome

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Mike Ozekhome, has stated that the Senate has the right to summon it’s members to order at anytime.

“The Committee of the House or the House, can summon any person. it says any person, and it didn’t say some people.

“It didn’t say whether those elected or not elected. Any person; to bring papers, memos, come with evidence, and that if such a person is summoned to come and testify or to come and answer questions and he refuses to come, under Section 5, the Branch of the National Assembly can order the Police to arrest and bring such a person.”

 

He added that “the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives if satisfied that the person has entered into recognizance, they can release the person but if not satisfied, they can tell them to keep the person there.”

He made his position known while speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

Mr Ozekhome’s view was however in contrast to that of his colleague, Mr Femi Falana, who believes that the Senate has no power to suspend a member even for a single day.

The lawyers made the comments while addressing the Senate’s recent suspension of one of its members, Senator Ali Ndume, for allegedly bringing the House to disrepute, as well as the investigation and summoning of some of its members.

“In matters regarding some of the distinguished Senators, the court has made definitive judicial pronouncements. No legislative House in Nigeria, can suspend a member for one single day and we have a plethora of authorities on this,” Mr Falana stressed.

 

Source: Channels TV

Court Convicts Man For Three Years Over Theft

A Magistrate Court in Osogbo, Osun state, has sentenced a 60-year old man, Kazeem Adekitan, to three years imprisonment for stealing one Honda Accord car.

Adekitan was once arraigned by the Osun State Police Command before the court on December 1, 2016 for allegedly stealing a car.

The Police prosecutor, Mereti Wilson, briefed the court that the accused, on October 3, stole the car belonging to one Adigun Lukman around Ayetoro Osogbo.

He said that the offence is contrary to Section 383(1) and punishable under section 390(9)(10A) of Criminal Code Cap 34, Volume II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.

As at then, the accused person pleaded not guilty and was granted bail of 200,000 Naira with one surety in like sum.

He was however unable to perfect his bail and has been in prison custody since then.

Contrary to his earlier statement, the accused on Friday, pleaded guilty to the offence.

“My wife and child died in a road accident while coming to the court to perfect my bail and I have no other family except them. Please have mercy on me. I have been in prison all this while since there is nobody to perfect my bail”.

Subsequently, Magistrate Falilat Sodamade, in her judgment, sentenced him to three years imprisonment.

 

Source: Channels TV

US government accuses Iran of sponsoring terrorism

Iran is continuing to behave as an exporter of terrorism and still sponsors militant activity, U.S. Defence Secretary, James Mattis, said on Friday in London.

Asked about comments he made in 2012 that the three primary threats the U. S. faced were “Iran, Iran, Iran,” Mattis said that Iran’s behaviour had not changed in the years since.

“At the time when I spoke about Iran I was a commander of U.S. central command and that (Iran) was the primary exporter of terrorism.

“Frankly, it was the primary state sponsor of terrorism and it continues that kind of behaviour today,” Mr. Mattis said.

Mr. Mattis also said that North Korea was acting in a reckless manner and must be stopped.

“This is a threat of both rhetoric and growing capability, and we will be working with the international community to address this, we are doing so right now,” Mr. Mattis said in reply to a question about the potential threat to the U.S. from ballistic missiles.

“Right now, it appears to be going in a very reckless manner in what its conduct is portraying for the future and that’s got to be stopped,” Mr. Mattis said.

He also said that the U. S. was concerned about Russia’s presence in Afghanistan and its interactions with Taliban fighters.

“We have seen Russian activity vis-à-vis the Taliban,” Mr. Mattis said during a news conference in London.

“I’m not going to say at this point if that has manifested into weapons and that sort of thing, but certainly what they’re up to there in light of their other activities gives us concern.”

Mr. Mattis added that he had not yet decided whether to recommend an increase in U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan.

 

Source: Reuters/NAN

Sacked senator, Bassey Akpan loses stay of execution bid.

The Federal High Court, Uyo, on Friday struck out the application for stay of execution filed by Bassey Akpan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, representing Akwa Ibom North.

Mr. Akpan filed the suit for the court to stay execution of its February 27 judgment, which was in favour of Bassey Etim, also of the PDP.

The judge, Fatun Riman, said that since there was an appeal on his judgment of February 27, his court has no jurisdiction to entertain the same matter.

The judge, therefore, struck out the case and awarded N50,000 cost in favour of Mr. Etim, the defendant.

The court in the February 27 judgment had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to immediately issue certificate of return to Mr. Etim.

The court faulted the primary that produced Mr. Akpan as the flag bearer of the PDP.

Speaking to journalists after the judgment, counsel to the defendant, Taiwo Abe, described the judgment as excellent.

He said that the application was brought by the appellant, PDP and Mr. Akpan.

“The record shows that the appellant had already filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Calabar.

“His Lordship said that only the Court of Appeal can entertain stay of execution, since the case had been transmitted from the Federal High Court, Uyo, to Court of Appeal, Calabar, since March 10, 2017.’’

“I made the application that the court should strike out the case and award me a cost, the judge today has agreed with me and even granted cost of N50, 000.’’

Also speaking, counsel to Mr. Akpan, Godswill Umoh, said that he was satisfied with the judgment.

“Actually, that is the rule of practice, since we have filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal; the lower court cannot adjudicate on the same matter. “Earnestly, the rule of practice is we withdraw the case, which I did.”

Despite the court ruling, Mr. Akpan will remain a senator until the Court of Appeal, or eventually the Supreme Court, rules on the matter.

 

Source: NAN

Ghana gets new Central Bank Governor two days after incumbent’s exit

Three months after he was inaugurated, President Nana Akufo-Addo has appointed a new governor for Ghana’s Central Bank.

He is Ernest Addison, an Economist. He takes over from Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku, who tendered his resignation from the bank on March 29 about 11 months after being appointed.

According to a statement by Eugene Arhin, the Director of Communications in the Presidency, the president after receiving the outgoing governor’s letter decided to appoint a replacement.

The incoming governor had served as Director of Research in the bank between 2003 and 2011 and Chief Economist for the West Africa Monetary Institute from 2001 to 2002.

Until his appointment, he was a leading regional economist of the African Development Bank at its Southern Africa Resource Centre.

 

Source: Xinhua/NAN

BREAKING: Fire guts accounts section of Ebonyi Government House

The accounts section of the Ebonyi Government House was on Friday gutted by fire which disrupted activities within the complex.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no life was reported lost in the fire which started around 9 a.m.

Kenneth Ugbala, Senior Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Internal Security, told NAN that it took the combined efforts of workers and the State Fire Service to put out the fire.

“The fire outbreak was caused by a faulty electrical connection within the accounts section and the level of damage was minimal.

“An upholstery and curtains within the section were completely burnt and we would ascertain the true extent of damage when the fire service concludes its task,” he said.

A witness, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told NAN that the fire started with a thick fume emanating from the accounts section.

“The shouts for help attracted workers who used improvised items such as water and detergent to put out the fire before the arrival of firemen,” she said.

James Owoh, the state Chief Fire Officer, said that his officers promptly responded to the distress call from the Government House.

“We have always been responsive to distress calls and Government House officials acknowledged that the situation was promptly put under control,” Mr. Owoh said.

Source: NAN

Court grants Abba Moro permission to travel abroad for treatment

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday granted former Interior Minister, Abba Moro, permission to travel abroad for medical checkup.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Mr. Moro was granted similar permission on July 14, 2016 to travel for medical treatment.

The former minister is standing trial over alleged N676 million Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment scam.

When the matter was called up for hearing, counsel to Mr. Moro, Akinlolu Kehinde, told the court that the application for leave to travel again was to follow up on the earlier treatment.

“There is an urgent need for him to go for a follow up checkup on his health as he was given an appointment for April 26.”

Mr. Kehinde said to achieve this, his client was praying the court for an order permitting him to travel to Dubai for three weeks and an order directing the release of his international passport.

The lawyer said that he attached a 24- paragraph affidavit in support of his application.

He said that the last time the court granted his client leave to travel, he promptly returned to face his trial on completion of his treatment.

Although the prosecuting counsel, Steven Odiase, did not oppose the application, he urged the court to attach conditions since Mr. Moro was granted bail on own recognisance.

The judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, granted Mr. Moro the permission to travel, but ordered him to provide a letter of undertaken from a surety with landed property in Abuja.

Alternatively, the court asked his counsel to guarantee him that he would come back to face his trial.

“I am disposed to granting the application in favour of the applicant because the reason is a follow up to the earlier treatment.

“However, considering the concerns raised by the complainant, I will impose some conditions,” Mr. Dimgba said.

He adjourned the case till May 18 and 19 for resumption of trial.

Mr. Moro alongside two others are on trial over alleged N676 million Nigeria Immigration 2014 recruitment fraud.

 

Source: NAN

Soldier dismissed for stabbing lover to death

A Nigerian soldier, Sunday Umaru, has been dragged before a Barkin-Ladi High Court in Plateau, for allegedly killing his lover, Charity Thomas, over a phone call.

Mr. Umaru, a married man, was a private in the Nigerian Army and on posting at the Special Task Force (STF), sector 7, Barkin-Ladi, at the time of the incident, on January 23, 2016.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hearing, scheduled for March 30, could not hold due to the absence of Justice Samson Gang.

Mr. Umaru was first arraigned on July 14, 2016 on a one-count charge of culpable homicide.

He was accused of killing his lover Ms. Thomas by stabbing her with a knife in the stomach and slaughtering her thereafter. Mr. Umaru attacked the woman who had arrived from Kaduna to visit him.

According to the prosecutor, W.T Awe, of the Plateau State Ministry of Justice, the accused person committed the crime on January 23, 2016 in Barkin-Ladi.

Mr. Awe, during the arraignment, told the court that the Nigeria Army had court-martialed the accused, dismissed him after they found him guilty, and handed him over to the police for prosecution.

He said the accused person had told the police, in a confessional statement, that the deceased visited him sometime in January 2016, after which they had a misunderstanding which led to her death.

“In the statement, the accused alleged that the deceased used a kitchen knife to stab herself after which he (accused), removed the knife and `helped’ her to complete the act by slaughtering her,” Mr. Awe stated.

Mr. Awe further quoted the accused as saying that he was in the sitting room while Ms. Thomas was in the kitchen at about 7 p.m. when the woman’s phone rang and he picked the call.

The accused, in the statement, said that a man’s voice insisted on speaking with Ms. Thomas, but that he (accused) demanded to know who he (caller) was.

He claimed that instead of answering his inquiries, the voice rained insults on him.

Mr. Umaru, according to the statement, dropped the call, went to the kitchen and asked Ms. Thomas who the caller was, but the woman refused to provide answers to his questions, instead reminding Mr. Umaru that he was a married man.

The accused further claimed that Ms. Thomas, in a fit of anger, called off the relationship and declared that she was no more interested, especially since her parents had consistently warned her against the affair.

“Umaru said that he got angry and slapped her, which angered Charity, who quickly picked a knife and stabbed herself in the stomach,” Mr. Awe told the court.

The statement further indicated that Charity failed down thereafter, with the accused removing the knife from her stomach and slaughtering her “to complete the job she started”.

Mr. Umaru thereafter took her body outside, left it there and reported for duty at 8 p.m.

The prosecutor said the accused, from his duty point, went to see his family at the Maxwell Kobe Cantonment, Rukuba Barracks, after telling his boss that his wife wanted to see him over “a very pressing issue”.

“Charity’s lifeless body was found the next day by neighbours, while military men, who came to evacuate the body, trailed the blood marks to the accused person’s house.

“Friends of the accused also recognised the girl as Umaru’s lover, who was seen with him the previous day,” Mr. Awe told the court.

He said a team of military men, mobilised to go after the accused, arrested him at his home in the barracks, while in the company of his family.

According to Mr. Awe, the accused was court-martialed by the military and dismissed, after which he was handed over to the police for prosecution.

He said during investigation, police discovered several gory pictures and videos of the deceased that the accused took in his phone, immediately after the murder.

The accused has, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

NAN reports that at his first appearance in July 2016, Mr. Umaru’s counsel, David Adudu, prayed the court to grant his client bail, citing section 36(5) of the 1999 constitution which says that an accused is presumed innocent until otherwise proven.

Mr. Adudu had added that if the bail was granted, his client would neither jump bail nor interfere with police investigation.

Justice Samson Gang admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N200, 000 and two sureties in like sum.

Mr. Gang, who ordered that the sureties must reside within the jurisdiction of the court, said they must submit two copies of their recent passport photographs, copies of their national ID cards, GCE certificates and copies of their Rights of Occupancy.

He thereafter adjourned the matter to March 30, for hearing.

NAN reports that with the judge not available to hear the case, the matter was adjourned to May 25.

 

Source: NAN

BREAKING: President Buhari deploys newly approved ambassadors

President Muhammadu Buhari has deployed four of the newly approved ambassadors to some critical foreign missions.

The president announced the deployments through his twitter handle on Friday.

Mr. Buhari said Tijjani Bande from Kebbi State has been deployed as Ambassador/Representative to the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.

He also said Itegboje Samson from Edo State is the new Ambassador/Deputy Representative, at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN Headquarters in New York.

The President also deployed Kadiri Audu from Kwara State as Ambassador/Representative to the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr. Buhari equally announced the posting of Bankole Adeoye from Ogun State as Ambassador/Representative to the Embassy of Nigeria /Permanent Mission to Africa Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The announcement is coming hours after the nominated ambassadors concluded their induction training at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa Abuja.

The deployment is also coming after almost two years without substantive ambassadors in the various bodies.

 

Source: Premium Times

Ghanaian Actor, John Dumelo Faces Prosecution For Stealing State Vehicle

Ghanaian Actor, John Dumolo is set to face prosecution for allegedly stealing state vehicle, local report says.

Kwame Baffoe, Supervisor of the Task Force on the Retrieval of State Assets made this know that the popular artisite will be arrested, charged and prosecuted for stealing a state vehicle.

Dumelo, 33, had sent one of the cars, black V8 Toyota Land Cruiser with registration number GE 8118-16 to a workshop in Abelempke, Accra for total rebranding when National Security Operatives pounced on it.

But the Supervisor of the Task Force said Dumelo will be arraigned before court for attempting to rebrand the state vehicle.

Baffoe said “the officers involved, we have the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) [and] the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), they are building a docket on that and at the appropriate time, he will be arraigned before court. He should be charged for theft because this is a criminal offence.”

According to reports, one of the vehicles is a Toyota Land Cruiser V8. After the state officials cross-checked the chassis number (VIN number), the car was state-owned.

Dumelo confessed that the car was given to him by the former First Lady, Lordina Mahama.

MFM pastor defrauds widow of N850,000

The police have arrested a minister with the Mountain of Fire Ministries, Mr Franklin Chinedu for allegedly defrauding a widow of her husband’s gratuity.

According to P.M.EXPRESS  the widow,  Charity Onje Isaac, was deceived through a false prophecy and lost the N850,000 she was paid by her late husband’s employer, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.

Charity said Chinedu prophesied that he was divinely authorised and directed to collect the money from her and she obediently complied before she realised that she had been duped.

The incident happened at Biliaminu Close, at the Oke-Afa area of Isolo.

She went back to the pastor’s apartment only to discover that he had packed away from there.

The widow explained that she met Chinedu who told her about the death of her husband and the gratuity.

He also told the woman that serious prayer was needed to be done so that FAAN could release her husband’s money.

She said when the money was eventually released, Chinedu invited her and told her that God said she should give him the money.

Charity said she did not know what came over her as she handed the money over to him.

She said she realised what happened when she had no money to feed the family, and she started looking for the pastor and then reported what happened to the church.

The matter was reported to the police at Ejigbo division who arrested Chinedu and charged him to court for fraud.

Chinedu who hails from Iseke in Ideato in Imo State said he prayed for the woman and the money was paid and he borrowed the money from her but was unable to raise money to pay her back.

When Chinedu was arraigned, he pleaded not guilty.

The presiding Magistrate, Mr Akeem Fashola, granted him bail in the sum of N100,000 with two  sureties in like sum.

He was remanded in prison custody pending when he will perfect his bail.

The matter was adjourned till 26 April 2017.

NSCDC suspends two officers for alleged oil theft

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has suspended two of its officers for alleged involvement in oil theft in Bayelsa.

The corps sp?okesman, Emmanuel Okeh, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

Mr. Okeh said the management of the Corps condemned the alleged possession of illegal petroleum products suspected to be diesel (AGO) by two officers of the Corps who were recently arrested and presented to journalists by the police.

He said the? ?Commandant-General of the Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, had set up a panel of inquiry to investigate the matter for proper action to be taken in line with the public service rules.

According to him, the affected personnel, Assistant Superintendents of Corps (ASCI) Agah Utavie, and Angel Kilosomewo, ?had been suspended from the service until investigations were concluded.?

He said the Commandant-General of the Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, had therefore warned officers and men of the Corps to desist from such act or face the full wrath of the law.

NAN reports that the police had on March 23 presented to journalists two officers of the NSCDC for allegedly dealing in suspected illegally refined diesel in Otuasegha area of Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

The police? spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, had said that the suspects were arrested by the Inspector-General of Police (I-G’s) Special Task Force on March 7. ?

Mr. Moshood said their office had been informed and that the police investigating team was awaiting their response to conclude investigation into the case and arraign them in court.

 

Source: NAN

President Trump orders more air strikes in Somalia

Seventy days into his administration, President Donald Trump has issued his first order for military operation in Africa.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump approved a mission proposal from the Pentagon which will allow the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, to strike at any part of the country designated “area of active hostility.”

A one paragraph statement from Pentagon spokesperson, Jeff Davis, stated that “The president has approved a Department of Defense proposal to provide additional precision fires in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces operations to defeat al-Shabaab in Somalia.”

This change is an uptick from the Obama administration authorisation which only allowed strikes in self-defense and in defense of AMISOM.

News outlets in the U.S. reported earlier this month that the head of AFRICOM, Thomas Waldhauser, requested additional authority to give the command more flexibility and timeliness in terms of making decisions to prosecute targets. This is generally understood to mean that the Command wants authority to strike at will, to conduct operations without recourse to the White House for each mission. It is not clear if such authority will be limited to Somalia or cover all parts of the continent that AFRICOM focuses on including Libya and North-east Nigeria.

The statement from the Pentagon did not indicate that the administration has given AFRICOM the authority to strike at will.

However, the approval for additional strikes against al-Shabaab came a day after the administration relaxed preventive rules against rampant civilian casualties. Mr. Trump signed a directive on Wednesday, that designated part of Somalia “area of active hostilities,” thereby making war-zone rules which mean less protection for civilians to be imposed on such places. This is raising alarm given recent reports of civilian casualties in Mosul, Iraq.

In a testimony before the United States Senate on March 9, Mr. Waldhauser, a general, re-stated U.S. commitment to the fight against Boko Haram.

“In West Africa, our primary focus is containing and degrading Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa,” he said.

“With forces from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, we are working with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to enable regional cooperation and expand partner capacity to ensure Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa do not further destabilise the region.”

There is no likelihood of direct operation by AFRICOM in the Lake Chad Basin in the foreseeable future. Mr. Waldhauser declared at the Senate hearing that “the MNJTF has been successful in enabling multinational cooperation and coordinating multinational operations and has placed significant pressure on Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa.”

 

Source: Premium Times

Italian traffic cops’ new weapon: A 200 mph Lamborghini Huracan

Italy’s speed freaks have a new nemesis — a brand-new, police-modified Lamborghini Huracan.

The keys were delivered to Interior Minister Marco Minniti in a ceremony Thursday, and the vehicle will soon enter service on the roads of northern Italy.

The supercar will be used for special assignments such as the urgent transport of blood and organs, but when its not required for ultra-quick deliveries, it will patrol the highways surrounding the Italian city of Bologna, according to the manufacturer. Its specialty, unsurprisingly, will be chasing down speeders.

In addition to the as-standard all-wheel drive and aluminum-carbon fiber hybrid chassis, the Huracan comes equipped with crime-fighting gadgets, including an on-board police tablet computer. It’s also decked out in police decals and comes in the official color of the Italian police — police medium blue.
The car also features the standard cop-issue gun holster, portable extinguisher, VHF police radio and even hooks to hold the “paletta,” the traditional hand-held red-and-white “stop” sign, in place.
But it’s what’s under the hood that is truly impressive. It’s aspirated V10 engine, capable of 610 horsepower, has a 0-62 speed of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 201 mph (325 km/h).
It isn’t the first supercar pressed into the service of the law. Another Huracan has been operated by Rome’s traffic cops since 2015, and a Gallardo LP560-4, with its top speed of 230 mph (370 km/h), will be retired as the new vehicle comes into service.
And in Dubai, the capital of excess and glitz, the police force boasts a fleet of luxury cop cars, including a bespoke Aston Martin One-77, of which only 77 were ever built; a Bentley Continental GT; three hybrid Porsche Panameras and two BMW i8s.
But the jewel in the Dubai police department’s crown is undoubtedly its Bugatti Veyron, one of the fastest supercars on the planet, with a staggering top speed of 253 mph (407 km/h). Its 16-cylinder engine produces 1,000 horsepower, sending it from 0 to 60 mph in just two-and-a-half seconds.
Unlike Italy’s working Lamborghinis, however, Dubai police sportscars mostly cruise around the Dubai Mall area and Jumeirah Beach Residence in search of tourists and attention.

Oga Saraki, when does ambition go overboard? – By Richard Tayo

Senator Bukola Saraki, I greet you sir, I salute you. How is the senate fairing under your leadership? I was very happy when you became the senate President on the 9th of June 2015 no doubt. I argued with my cousin and some friends for almost a quarter of the day why I think you are the best man for the position of the number three man in Nigeria.

 

Back to my question sir; How is the senate fairing under your leadership? Ofcourse my question is a mere rhetoric because we all know how the senate is doing under your watch.

 

I do hope you don’t mind the truth because i’m going to say some very hard truth here. Can you imagine a fluffy whiff of cloud hanging between heaven and earth? That’s how our life is right now. We are just hung there without movement. Just because of one man and that is you.

 

The senate belongs to you just as Kwara state belong to your family. No one challenges you because you are simply unquestionable, unbeatable, untouchable and unstoppable.

 

Each time you are in the news sir it’s always for the wrong reasons and why is that? Talk of the one who was alleged to have mortgaged the future of Kwara state, Panama Papers & the swindlers, the one who decry public criticism and still got 330 million exotic car, the one whose case is with CCB for false declaration of assets. Haba na only you waka come?

 

I have often quoted that “Our fear of hypocrisy is forcing us to live in a world where gluttons are fine as long as they champion gluttony “That’s why your little lap dog ; my 3rd class senator and your wife’s bodyguard will always do your bidding.

 

We are in recession and our lives are spiraling out of control yet our NASS is malfunctioning, making mess of our lives. All that bothers you is wardrobe allowance, exotic cars, Magu’s removal, Hameed Ali’s uniform but no single legislation to help get our economy out of comatose. You and your fellow Senators seat most of the time for no discernible reasons, perhaps to appropriate sitting allowances.

 

You want to summon everyone to the senate but no one can summon you. Each time someone try as much as ask you questions as regard your stewardship in the past you raise a false alarm then use the paraphernalia of your office to subjugate the fellow. Meaning it’s no longer democracy when offenders are made to pay for their sins. Can’t you see now that the idea of democracy has been stripped of it moral imperatives and come to conote hollowness?

 

Some of you senators are just making the transpose from here to there like Johnny Walker but doing nothing. Our common patrimony have become bargaining chips and human shield. That was why you gave senator Kabir Garba Marafa a notable critic of yours, a juicy committee chairmanship just to buy his support and shut him up and it worked. Congratulations!  Your insatiable quest for power made you and your cronies suspend Senator Ndume and it’s making you want to ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to come grovel before you. When does ambition go overboard Mr Senate President?

 

The National Assembly that we all respect so much has become the house of jesters. Perhaps you don’t understand that the cost of maintaining you jesters has dug deep holes in our national treasury. You can imagine the percentage of our budget that goes into your upkeep. You all literally live at our expense only going through motions like somnambulist.

 

No one can put a hand to why we deserve the kind of treatment meted out to us by you and your fellow greedy law makers. You do these things just because you know that the cumbersome recall process which has never happened before is holding us bound.

 

Senator, when does ambition go overboard? Remember that everything that has a beginning must surely have an end. Meaning a time will come when your highness will be dethroned. You will look back and you won’t find those urging you on now. That includes my 3rd class graduate senator.

 

Go to @aminugamawa on Twitter and see the result of the poll that “Between the @officialEFCC under Magu and @NGRSenate under Saraki which one do you trust more?” and see how Nigerians feel about your leadership of the Senate.

 

Sir, you may want to arrest me, invite me for questioning on the floor of the senate or refer me to Ethics and privileges committee. I am not hard to find just tell me the kind of uniform to wear to appear before you.

 

My regards to Dino, tell him I said ” Ajekun iya ni o je, Eni ti ko represent wa daadaa ni Kogi west to fe contest ni 2019, Ajekun iya ni oje.

@RichardTayo

No Legislative House Has The Power To Suspend A Member – Femi Falana

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has stated that no legislative House has the power to suspend a member even for a single day.

He made the comment while addressing the Senate’s recent suspension of one of its members, Senator Ali Ndume, for allegedly bringing the House to disrepute, as well as the investigation and summoning of some of its members.

The Senate spokesman was quoted to have said that although the 1999 constitution does not exactly state that the Senate has the power to suspend a member, they have the power to do so based on the internal House rules.

In reaction to this, the senior lawyer stated that: “The Senate labours under the very erroneous impression that it can do anything, whether allowed by law or not; particularly when it purports to exercising its oversight functions.

“Allegations of crime, certificate forgery, allegations regarding under-payment of Customs duties, are criminal offences that can only be investigated by the appropriate authorities such as the Police.”

According to him, “Section 88, which the Senate always relies on, begins with the phrase: “subject to the provisions of this constitution”, which means the powers of the Police, the powers of the Auditor General of the Federation, the powers of the Attorney General of the Federation, the powers of the President, take presidence over the powers of the Senate to carry out an investigation.

“The Senate with profound respect, the House of Representatives with Profound respect, cannot investigate allegations of crime. That is within the constitutional province of the Police.

“In matters regarding some of the distinguished Senators, the court has made definitive judicial pronouncements. Take for instance, no legislative House in Nigeria, can suspend a member for one single day and we have a plethora of authorities on this,” he stressed.

Recalling a similar situation that occurred in 2010, Mr Falana said: “As a member of the House of Representatives, Senator Dino Melaye and 10 others, out of frustration, submitted a petition to the EFCC, alleging criminal diversion of funds by the Dimeji Bnakole-led leadership of the House.”

According to him, the Senators had claimed that the House had been terrorized and scandalized and despite the advice given by lawyers to allow the law take its course, as a petition had been sent to the appropriate agency of government, they still refused to take their hands off the case.

“Dino Melaye and 10 others were suspended indefinitely. I went to court for them and the court said: “Under your own rules, you cannot suspend a member for more than 14 days – Under what law did you suspend these 11 members of the House of Representatives for an indefinitely period of time?”

Mr Falana said subsequently, the court ordered an immediate reversal as well as the reinstatement of the senators.

He gave another instance involving the indefinite suspension of a member of the Bauchi House in 2012.

According to him, she was the only female and Christian in the House, consisting of 31 members and her suspension came as a result of a contribution she made, which the men considered as an ‘infra dignitatem’.

The case was however raised in court after a letter written to the House was ignored and the law was properly examined by the High court as well as the court of Appeal.

“Relevant constitutional provisions were now determined by the Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal ruled that no legislative House has the power to suspend a member even for a single day,” he stated.

 

Source: Channels TV

Buhari can leave Magu in acting capacity for as long as possible – Falana

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says President Muhammadu Buhari is empowered by the constitution to appoint Ibrahim Magu as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for as long as possible.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels TV programme, on Friday, Falana said it was incorrect to say that Ibrahim Magu could not remain as the acting chairman of the EFCC because he was rejected by the senate.

The lawyer said that according to section 171 of the constitution, the president does not need to ask for confirmation of some appointments.

He explained that the senate could only confirm ambassadors and heads of foreign mission as provided for in section 171 subsection 2 of the constitution.

The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the executive is not on the receiving end of sound legal counsel while adding that the 8th senate may expose the national assembly to “unfathomable ridicule”.

“To be honest with you, I sympathise with the senate because if care is not taken, these set of senators will have the end of the day expose the national assembly to such unfathomable ridicule,” Falana said.

“It will be unfortunate, a tragedy to the country, every public officer has his or her power defined by the constitution. The moment you go outside that you have engaged in impunity. Section 171 of the constitution has vested the power in the president to appoint any person to that office or act in that office and the duration is not specified.

“Of all the positions listed there, positions to be occupied by public officers without any reference to the senate – secretary to the government of the federation, permanent secretaries, head of service and heads of extra-ministerial departments like the EFCC and the ICPC.

“With profound respect, in sending the letter to the senate for confirmation, the president relied on section 2 subsection 3 of the EFCC Act but that section has to be read subject to the constitution.

“So if you do that, section 171 takes precedence over section 2 subsection 3 of the EFCC Act. So does the president need to ask for confirmation? No.

“Unfortunately, the executive is not exposed to sound legal advice on this matter, with profound respect. In that section 171, subsection 2, you also have position of ambassadors and heads of our foreign missions. But that subsection says they shall be confirmed by the senate.”

He said since the national assembly was already working on an alteration of the constitution, the senators could effect amendments to “the limitations of their powers under the constitution”.

Falana said after such amendments had been effected, the senators could then refuse to entertain a rejected nominee.

“But in the case of the others, there is no provision for confirmation. So assuming that interpretation is even wrong, once you refuse to confirm, that does not annul the acting capacity of an officer,” he said.

South Africa currency, Rand, falls after President Zuma sacks Finance Minister

After South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet, leading to the sack of his finance Minister, its currency, rand has dropped more than 5% overnight

Zuma fired his Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, alongside eight other ministers.

Mr Gordhan was seen by many as a bulwark against corruption in an administration that is facing growing criticism.

The president said in a statement that his midnight cabinet reshuffle was about a “radical socio-economic transformation”.

Malusi Gigaba, previously the Minister of Home Affairs, has replaced Mr Gordhan

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, Obla’s Trial Stalled.

The absence of the EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, on Thursday stalled the trial of a suspended Federal High Court Judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Godwin Obla.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, had to adjourn until April 10 for hearing of the pending applications.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and Mr Obla on a 30-count charge of conspiracy to pervert justice by allegedly giving and receiving a bribe of five million Naira.

The anti-graft agency had also alleged that about $793,800 passed through the judge’s domiciliary accounts between 2012 and 2015, and that she allegedly used the money to buy a house in London.

Five of the charges were centred on an alleged five million Naira bribe given to Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia by the senior advocate, while the remaining 26 charges were on the huge amounts that passed through her accounts and her alleged inability to explain her source of wealth.

The other charges filed against the judge border on forgery, lying, unlawful enrichment and other related offences.

Both have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

 

Source: Channels TV

Platini: Sepp Blatter is the most selfish person I have seen in my life

Former UEFA president, Michel Platini, has labelled disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, as “the most selfish person”.

Platini left office in December 2015, when he was banned from football for an initial eight years by FIFA ethics committee, over a £1.3million payment made to him on the instruction of Blatter, who suffered the same fate.

Both men have had their bans reduced to six years, but Platini’s was later cut to four.

And regarding his former friend Blatter, Platini told French newspaper Le Monde: “In the end, he tried to save his own skin.

“Blatter does not defend anyone else, he never defended me. He’s the most selfish person I have seen in my life.”

Platini says their relationship collapsed during the May 2015’s FIFA presidential election.

“He always said I would be his last scalp,” he added.

“I know he was fixated on me, to the end, ever since the ‘enough is enough’ comment on May 28, 2015, even without considering the jealousy he had for the footballer I was.”

Diego Maradona to lobby FIFA over Messi’s four-match ban

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has said that he will speak to FIFA president Gianni Infantino, to see if Lionel Messi‘s four-match ban can be reduced.

Messi was handed the punishment over a foul-mouthed rant at a match official.

The incident happened during the Albiceleste’s 1-0 win over Chile, in which Messi scored the winning goal from the penalty spot. The Barcelona superstar was adjudged to have used abusive language towards an assistant referee during the match.

Messi has been fined 10,000 Swiss francs (£8,100) and will miss World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru.

The next game he will be available for, is the final match against Ecuador.

“Messi’s ban is excessive and terrible,” Maradona told Buenos Aires-based radio station La Oral Deportiva.

“Very shortly I will meet with Infantino in Bahrain and as usual, I will tell him what I think.”

Messi in a letter to FIFA, claimed that he did not insult the official, but shouted “to the air”.

NNPC raises alert over adulterated petroleum products

he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Thursday alerted the public of adulterated petroleum products.

NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, said caution by consumers could forestall explosion, knockdown of engines, equipment or any such other ugly incidents leading to death or injuries.

“The call for caution becomes necessary following reports that products from vandalised pipelines, or adulterated products are being sold to unsuspecting members of the public”, he noted.

“This has led to untoward incidents involving consumers of petroleum products in parts of the country.

“When in doubt of the quality of a purchase, consumers are advised to seek assistance from any offices of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, NNPC depots or offices nationwide.

“Products from NNPC depots are subjected to strict quality control to ensure that they are fit for use,’’ he said.

Ughamadu urged motorists and other consumers of petroleum products to desist from panic buying.

“The NNPC has over 32-day sufficiency for petrol and adequate volumes of diesel and kerosene to meet their demand,’’ Ughamadu assured

I was one of Nigeria’s best Aviation Minister – Stella Oduah

Senator Stella Oduah, claims that she was one of the best aviation Minister Nigeria ever had.

In a recent interview with journalists, Oduah who is currently representing the Anambra North Senatorial District in the Nigerian Senate said, “I think with all sense of humility, I was one of the best ministers to ever serve in aviation. The evidence is there. I didn’t do it because I was just a minister. I coined the word “transformation”, and I wanted transformation to be personified. I wanted it to be on the record that indeed we can transform.

”All we need to do is to ensure that we do all we have to do and think outside the box. If you remember how Abuja, Lagos and Enugu airports used to be. We did a holistic transformation. Again, it is just to prove that transformation is doable. All it requires is hard work and good people to implement the strategy” she said.

 Source: pulse.ng

South Africa’s President Zuma ‘Sacks’ Finance Minister, 14 Others.

There are strong indications that 15 ministers of the South African cabinet might have been sacked.

This comes as part of the fall out of an urgent meeting of the African National Congress (ANC) convened on Thursday night by President Jacob Zuma.

According to report, no names have been released, although it is said that nine ministers and six deputies have been fired.

At an earlier news briefing, it was gathered that President Zuma had hinted on his intention to remove the Minister of Finance, based on an intelligence report which stated that the Minister had set up meetings with people who could push for a change in government.

Meanwhile, a party source said that the President is considering to step down in 2018, at least 12 months before his term ends as South African President.

Mr Zuma is due to be replaced as leader of the African National Congress (ANC) at a party conference in December, after serving his allocated two terms.

 

Source: Channels TV

Fraudsters impersonate Tinubu, Saraki, dupe job seekers of N20m

Some suspected fraudsters, who specialised in cloning phone numbers of ministers, politicians and aides to President Muhammadu Buhari, have been apprehended by the police.

The suspects were identified as Chief Ovie Ogogo, 47; Abdulazeez Eragbe, 40; Babatunde Oshamoto, 49; and 25-year-old Samuel Idah.

Fourteen phones with SIM cards allegedly registered with names of top government officials were reportedly recovered from the suspects.

Among those impersonated by the syndicate, according to the police, are Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Moguno; the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibeh Kachukwu; and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

They were also accused of impersonating a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.

It was also learnt that operatives of the Inspector-General of Police, led by ACP Abba Kyari, trailed the syndicate to a hotel in Kaduna State on Tuesday, after receiving complaints from some victims.

A police source disclosed to one of our correspondents that the suspects impersonated Moguno to collect N13m from a Ghanaian, who wanted to get an oil block in Nigeria, and posed as Lawal to swindle one Nnamdi Udo of N4m under false pretences of helping him to get a federal appointment.

“They also posed as the Chief of Staff to the President and collected N2.5m from one Mr. Bishop, who was looking for a contract, and another N700,000 from one Shehu Dan Yahaya, who was seeking a federal appointment.

“Ogogo, a native of Omoku Rivers State, impersonated prominent citizens from the South-South and South-East; Eragbe impersonated prominent persons from the North; Oshamoto posed as prominent citizens from the South-West and North-Central; while Idah supplied them SIM cards registered with the names of the top government officials.

“They were arrested in a luxury hotel in Kaduna and had confessed to impersonating several prominent citizens,” the source added.

Another senior police officer disclosed to newsmen that the suspects confessed to have realised N20m in six months from their criminal activities.

He added that the mastermind of the gang was based in the United Kingdom.

He said, “Ogogo is their leader; but they mentioned one Prince Maurice, based in the UK, as their gang leader.  Fourteen different phones, several registered SIM cards, and a diary containing phone numbers of several top government officials, were recovered from the suspects.

“Ogogo further confessed that they had made over N20m from their criminal activities within the last six months.”

Parading the suspects on Thursday in Abuja, the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said all the suspects confessed to the crime.

He said, “On March 23, 2017, the Intelligence Response Team arrested these notorious criminals who posed as top government functionaries.

“The four-man syndicate, led by one ‘High Chief’ Ovie Ogogo, was arrested in a hotel in Kaduna State. All the suspects confessed to the crime and admitted to have impersonated several prominent citizens and made over N20m within the last six months.”

The police said other suspects would soon be arrested, while those in custody would be arraigned in court at the conclusion of investigation.

Police arrest amputee, three others for supposedly impersonating Tinubu, Saraki.

Detectives attached to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested four persons for allegedly impersonating the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Ali Monguno.

The suspects, identified as High Chief Ovie Ogogo, 47; Abdulazeez Eragbe, 40; Babatunde Oshamoto 49; and Samuel Idah, on different occasions had also impersonated the Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Finance, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as well as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Force Police Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Moshood Jimoh, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspects are members of a notorious syndicate that specializes in impersonating prominent citizens.

He said their arrest is sequel to series of complaints, which the IGP Ibrahim Idris received from members of the public on the activities of the criminals. He said based on the strength of the complaints, the IGP directed Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Abba Kyari, to fish out members of the gang.

“After three days of unrelenting follow-up and intelligence, they were tracked down to a luxury hotel in Kaduna and arrested there. The suspects at different fora posed as Chief of Staff to President, NSA, Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Finance, Chief Bola Tinubu, and Senate president.”

The police spokesman said investigation revealed that Samuel Idah is the one who supplies the gang with SIM cards allegedly registered in the names of prominent Nigerians.
Fourteen different phones with SIM cards registered in the names of top government officials and a diary containing phone numbers of several top government officials and popular Nigerians were recovered from the suspects.

They further confessed to have made over N20 million from their criminal activities within the last six months, and mentioned one Prince Maurice based in United Kingdom as their gang leader.

“They admitted posing as the Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr. Babachir David to swindle one Nnamdi Udo of N4 million.” The Force PRO disclosed the said Nnamdi was allegedly looking for a federal appointment.

 

Source: The Guardian

2.6 million people to get free mosquito nets in Edo State

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has assured the Catholic Relief Services of Nigeria (CRSN) of a hitch-free exercise during the upcoming National Elimination Programme (NEP) where about 2.6 million people in Edo State will benefit in the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal nets (LLl)

He gave the assurance yesterday when he received a delegation of the CRSN, led by the country representative, Rebecca Bassey, in Benin City.Obaseki lauded the CRSN for the initiative, adding that Edo State government would assist in the area of publicity, security and other logistics.

He said the programme was timely, stressing that the people to be engaged in the state’s agribusiness initiative would enjoy a mosquito-free environment when the exercise fully commenced.

He added that a committee, which would work with the CRSN team, had been set up under the leadership of the Deputy Governor Comrade Philip Shaibu stressing that other members of the government’s committee include the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Akerele, Permanent Secretary of Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Ugbodaga and the governor’s Chief Security Officer.

Responding, the country representative and leader of the team, Rebecca Bassey disclosed that six states would benefit from the global fund worth N2 billion. She urged the state government to participate in the NEP exercise as well as to attend the flag off ceremony, just as she also sought the state government’s assistance in the provision of warehouse to keep the LLl bed nets when they finally arrived in the state.

 

Source: The Guardian

Watch Kendrick Lamar’s New Video For “Humble”

“Humble” is the latest release from Kendrick Lamar‘s upcoming album. Last week Lamar dropped “The Heart Part 4,” on which he warned other rappers that he had a new project coming out April 7. While a full project is expected next week, for now we have “Humble” which Lamar released on Thursday and was produced by Mike WiLL Made-It.

The video, directed by Dave Meyers and The Little Homies, features a series of stunning visuals including Lamar rapping in papal robes, recreating The Last Supper, and staring down the camera while his head is on fire.

On the track, Lamar commands the listener (or perhaps every other rapper) to “sit down, be humble” while also reminding us that “my left stroke just went viral.”

Watch the video for “Humble” Below.

 

EFCC drags PDP lawmaker Nse Bassey Ekpenyong to court over certificate forgery

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a member of the House of Representatives, Nse Bassey Ekpenyong for alleged certificate forgery and alteration of his West African School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) result.

His arraignment came a few days after the authorities of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria cleared Senator Dino Melaye of a similar allegation.The EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren said in a statement yesterday that Ekpenyong was arraigned before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State on a nine-count charge of forgery and altering of certificate.

Ekpenyong, who represents Oron Federal Constituency of Akwa-Ibom State was alleged to have forged an Abia State Polytechnic Ordinary National Diploma (OND) certificate and uttered a December 1999 WASSCE certificate and thereby committed perjury before an electoral tribunal where he claimed that the certificates were genuine,” the statement said.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.He was then granted bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety in like sum. The surety must depose to an affidavit of means, provide two recent passport photographs and three years tax clearance certificate.

The surety is expected to write an undertaking to produce the defendant throughout the trial and all the documents of the surety must be verified by the Registrar.Meanwhile, Ekpeyong would be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail. The case was adjourned till April 12 and 26 and May 3 and 4, 2017 for trial.

Indian police make sixth arrest over attack on Nigerians

Police have made a sixth arrest in connection with a brutal mob attack on Nigerian students in northern India that rights groups labelled a hate crime, an officer said Friday.

The students were thrashed with sticks and metal chairs in Greater Noida in a vicious assault that was captured on camera and shared widely on social media.

“He (the sixth suspect) was under tremendous pressure, so he came to the police station and surrendered himself,” Superintendent Sujata Singh told AFP, adding that police hoped to make four more arrests.

The students were set upon after the death of an Indian teenager from a suspected drug overdose, which locals blamed on the Nigerians.

Security has been beefed up in Greater Noida, with police assisting African students with their shopping runs and escorting them to class.

Police have identified roughly 60 people from footage of the attack who they plan to charge with rioting and unlawful assembly, she added.

Video footage showed a mob attacking a car, while in another clip dozens of men assaulted shoppers in a mall with metal chairs and garbage cans.

A Kenyan woman that reported a separate assault later retracted her story after it was proven false.

Hundreds of African students live in Greater Noida, where there are several popular universities, engineering colleges and other educational institutions.

Human Rights Watch said “hate-filled crimes against foreign students and vigilante attacks in India’s cities” were not new, and authorities should label this is a crime fuelled by race.

India’s foreign ministry assured Nigeria all steps were being taken to protect their citizens in India, as Abuja demanded “diligent prosecution” of the culprits.

 

Source: AFP

23 Nigerians deported from Britain arrive Lagos

The Government of the United Kingdom has deported 23 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences in the country. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA) Lagos at about 6.a.m on Friday.

The deportees,who are all males, were brought back in a chartered aircraft. DSP Joseph Alabi, the Spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development to NAN.

The deportees were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and the Police.

Also on ground to receive them were officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). NAN gathered that the deportees were profiled by immigration authorities and given stipends to facilitate their transportation to their respective states.The Italian Government on March 8, deported 37 Nigerians from the country for similar reasons.

 

Source: NAN

UNILORIN Prof’s ex-driver, Two Others to die by Hanging

A High Court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, presided over by Justice H. Saleeman on Thursday sentenced three persons to death by hanging for armed robbery and attempting to commit culpable homicide against a professor with the University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdullahi Onimisi.

The convicts, who are Onimisi’s former driver, Mr. Opeyemi Esan; one Mr. Benjamin Musa and Mr. Oluwasegun Ajiboye, were convicted of robbery, punishable under Section 1 (2) Robbery and Firearms Act, Cap R 11, LFN 2004.

The Kwara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kamalden Ajibade, who led the prosecution, had told the court that the professor disengaged the service of Esan due to his unruly behaviour.

Ajiade added that Esan was aggrieved with his dismissal and organised a robbery attack to retaliate the sack.

Esan, in his confession to the police, was said to have owned up that he recruited Musa and  Ajiboye  from Lagos State to deal with his former boss.

Ajibade said, “On September 10, 2016, at the Senior Staff Quarters, University of Ilorin, the accused, while armed with weapons, including guns and machetes, robbed Onimisi and his family of their property, including a car, handsets, jewellery, and other valuables.”

Magu slams N5bn suit on newspaper over alleged Abuja mansions

Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has asked publisher of the Sun Newspaper in Abuja to pay him N5 billion naira damages over a report concerning ownership of mansions in Abuja.

Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC Head of Media in a statement Thursday said Magu was seeking the compensation for libelous imputations and statements made against him in a story published on the March 25, 2017 edition of the Saturday Sun.

It said the publication was captioned “Magu Under Fresh Probe over 2 Abuja Mansions”.

Magu’s solicitor, Wahab Shittu, in the letter complained that the authors – Fred Itua, James Ojo and Lawrene Enyoghasu, “wilfully and maliciously made false, destructive, and defamatory statements”.

Magu said that the writers of the report maliciously alleged that Magu owned “two mansions on different streets in highbrow Maitama area of Abuja.

“This is a case which they could not substantiate, and which in fact was false, and nothing but the figments of their imaginations”.

Magu further reiterated that neither himself nor his wife owned any property in Maitama.

Magu, in addition to the demand for N5 billion compensation, wants the publishers to issue a public apology and immediate retraction in writing of these false libelous statements, within the next seven days.

Magu also demanded that it must be published on the front page of the newspaper.

”Failure of which, legal remedies including monetary damages, injunctive reliefs, and an order that you pay necessary costs including solicitor’s fees for your defamation will be taken”, the letter reads.

It added that the publishers were also to provide “written assurance within seven days, that they would cease and desist from further defamation” of Magu’s name, integrity, and reputation.

IMF forecasts 0.8 per cent economic growth for Nigeria

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given Nigeria’s economic recovery plan a pass mark, commending efforts made by government to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance resilience.

The Fund however, advised the Federal Government to lift remaining foreign exchange restrictions and scrap the multiple exchange rates system.The fund also forecast that the economy would grow 0.8 percent this year. The outlook came in the Washington-based fund’s Article IV consultation, which is a regular assessment of a country’s economy.

While recognising that the Nigerian economy has been negatively impacted by low oil prices and production, it noted that the management strategy, like increasing fuel prices, raising the monetary policy rate, and allowing the exchange rate to depreciate was in line.

According to the IMF, the country’s external current account, which turned into a surplus in 2016, was a result of import compression that has continued to offset falling exports, rather than expanding trade.

The recent Federal Government’s economic blueprint: Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), drew the attention of the multilateral institution even as it reiterated that without stronger policies the objectives may not be achieved.

IMF said priority should be given to increasing non-oil revenue- raising Value Added Tax and excise rates, strengthening compliance, and closing loopholes and exemptions.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria has unveiled plans to offer licensed Bureau De Change operators foreign exchange twice weekly, with effect from Monday.

Accordingly, BDC operators are required to fund their accounts with the CBN on Mondays and Wednesdays preceding delivery day of Tuesdays and Thursdays.The amount to each BDC has been increased to $10, 000 weekly from $8, 000.

By this development, BDC operators would now heave a sigh of relief following sharp appreciation of the Naira against major foreign currencies as a result of which speculators have been counting their losses.

In another development, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Idris Ahmed has issued a circular extending the tenure of the capital elements of the 2016 budget until May 5, 2017 or the passage of the 2017 budget, whichever is the earliest.

 

Source: The Guardian

Ex-South Korean president, Geun-hyePark arrested and jailed

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been arrested and jailed in connection with the corruption investigation that led to her ouster earlier this month.

Park was taken into custody at her home and taken to a detention centre — a scene that was covered on live South Korean television.

Officials said the disgraced former leader accepted bribes and abused her power during her administration.

Park’s arrest followed a lengthy court hearing in Seoul, the country’s capital, at which the judge decided there was enough evidence to warrant the arrest.

“Major allegations were explained and proved and there were concerns over evidence destruction,” Seoul’s Central District Court said in a text message.

Amid the corruption investigation, Park was impeached and removed from office on March 10.

She will now remain in jail while prosecutors seek a formal indictment, which they said should come within the next three weeks.

“I feel apologetic toward the nation’s citizens,” Park said last week. “I’ll cooperate in the questioning sincerely.”

South Korea will elect a new president in May, and experts say it’s likely that Park’s conservative ruling party will be defeated in the vote after nearly a decade in power.

Unpaid Salary: Local Government worker commits suicide in Bayelsa

A 42-year-old father of seven and local government worker, Gbemede Kitchen, was on Thursday morning found hanging in his apartment in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Mr. Kitchen, who until his death was a staff of Ekeremor Local Government Area, was speculated to have taken his own life out of frustration resulting from his unpaid salaries.

Local governments in Bayelsa reportedly owe their workers between six and 12 months’ arrears of salaries.

The body of Mr. Kitchen was reportedly discovered by his children hanging by a rope formed from a bed shit tied to the roof in the apartment he shared with his family at Imgbi Road, Amarata, Yenagoa.

Benjamin Samuel, caretaker of the house where the deceased was a tenant, described the development as shocking. He said the victim did not show any indication of anxiety before the incident.

“We charged mobile phones together in the night of the Wednesday; Mr. Kitchen’s children were around last night, but the wife was not around.

“Though, I saw him making calls before and after charging his phone in search of his wife before the night fall, the wife was nowhere to be found.

“I am their caretaker, it was a big surprise and shock to me; I never believed that my own neighbour could be a victim of suicide.

“I was sleeping before his children and other neighbours started shouting this morning; they woke me up and I rushed to his apartment.

“He died in a room that the children are not sleeping in; I was the one that untied and brought him down; I tried to see if he could breathe again, I pressed and poured him water but all to no avail,” the caretaker said.

Also speaking, a woman who only identified herself as elder sister to the deceased, said Mr. Kitchen had never disclosed any of his problems to family member.

She said the victim was a former councillor in their local government, stating that she was surprised to see her brother kill himself.

“He was a civil servant in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa, though the salary was not forthcoming. I guess he died out of frustration and hunger,” she said.

 

Source: Premium Times

Regulator threatens Nigerian airlines with sanctions for non-remittance of charges

The two-month deadline given to domestic airlines to automate the remittance of the statutory five per cent ticket sales/cargo sales charge ends on March 31, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, said on Thursday in Lagos.

Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Relations of NCAA, said at the expiration of the new ultimatum on Friday, the agency would not hesitate to deal with defaulting airlines.

The NCAA had on January 31 shifted the ultimatum to end of March at the instance of the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) at their earlier meeting with its Director-General, Muhtar Usman.

“Failure to comply will be viewed seriously as the authority will be forced to invoke the necessary provisions of the law against defaulting airline(s).

“The five per cent Ticket Sales Charge/Cargo Sales Charge, an internally generated revenue to NCAA and other agencies as enshrined in the Civil Aviation Act 2006, is not a tax or levy on the airlines.

“It is a charge paid by passengers for services rendered towards the development of the aviation industry in Nigeria,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

He said the introduction of the Aviation Revenue Automation Project (ARAP) for revenue collection was to aid data integrity, transparency, transaction accountability, controls and revenue assurance.

Mr. Adurogboye said the collection of the charges by the airlines was a unanimous decision at the 2001 Civil Policy Review.

 

Source: NAN

Police Arrest Vice-Principal for Raping, Impregnating Student

The Vice-Principal of Day Secondary School, Maitumbi in Minna, Niger State, Mohammed Mohammed, has been arrested by the police for allegedly raping and impregnating a 16-year-old JSS III student.

Mohammed, who was arrested on Wednesday, is also being investigated for having carnal knowledge of six other students of the school.

The vice-principal, according to a police source, had been allegedly having sex with the 16-year-old student in his office, adding that virtually on a daily basis Mohammed would invite the girl to his office on the pretext that he wanted to counsel her only to end up having sex with the girl after which he would give her either N100 or N200 for transport.

The Christian Fellowship Association (CFA) of the school blew the lid off the matter when it observed that one of its members was pregnant and subsequently reported the case to the state Child Rights Agency which in turn brought in the police, leading to the arrest of the randy vice-principal.

‘Stop telling lies about roads construction ‘ – Governor Ortom blasts Governor Wike

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has dismissed claims by his Rivers State counterpart, Mr. Nyesom, to the effect that he was constructing the Aliade-Onu-Obarike-Ito-Otukpo and Makurdi-Naka-Adoka roads, describing it as a tissue of lies.

Reacting to publications in some dailies, Ortom asked if the N4 billion Wike claimed he had spent on the road was captured in the 2017 budget of Rivers State. A statement by his Special Adviser, Media, and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, said there was no evidence that Wike did what he claimed to have done.

It read: “We read reports in a few national dailies on March 30, attributed to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, that there were plans to disrupt his road projects in Benue State. Nothing could be further from the truth. “Benue State does not lack road projects under the Ortom administration, which has mobilised contractors back to site on 11 roads abandoned by Governor Wike’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, regime in the state.

“In spite of the recession, Governor Ortom is also constructing two major highways and 17 rural roads across the state, while contracts have been awarded for six other highways. “Governor Wike’s claim was ridiculous because Benue State is not part of his state and even if he had constructed all his roads, he needed to have contacted stakeholders in Benue State, especially those from the benefitting communities. “There is no evidence that he did that.” Reacting to publications in some dailies, Ortom asked if the N4 billion Wike claimed he had spent on the road was captured in the 2017 budget of Rivers State.

A statement by his Special Adviser, Media, and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, said there was no evidence that Wike did what he claimed to have done. It read: “We read reports in a few national dailies on March 30, attributed to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, that there were plans to disrupt his road projects in Benue State. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Benue State does not lack road projects under the Ortom administration, which has mobilised contractors back to site on 11 roads abandoned by Governor Wike’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, regime in the state. “In spite of the recession, Governor Ortom is also constructing two major highways and 17 rural roads across the state, while contracts have been awarded for six other highways.

“Governor Wike’s claim was ridiculous because Benue State is not part of his state and even if he had constructed all his roads, he needed to have contacted stakeholders in Benue State, especially those from the benefitting communities. “There is no evidence that he did that.”

 

Source:

No going back on Computer Based Test – JAMB

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has faulted a report that it had dumped the Computer-Based Test (CBT) mode for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.

The board restated its determination to continue all its examinations using CBT mode.

A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by the spokesperson of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, said the clarification became necessary “following the misleading caption in the front page of Nation of Thursday March 30 2017. with the headline: “JAMB dumps CBT, adopts eight keys.”

He said, “The headline was not only misleading but capable of causing panic, distortion and confusion in the minds of Nigerians particularly the candidates planning to take the UTME of a well-conceived CBT examination which the Board was consolidating on the gains and feat recorded.”

JAMB registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, had on Wednesday issued a statement at Arewa House, Kaduna, at a strategic planning retreat on monitoring and supervision of 2017 UTME.

Mr. Oloyede disclosed the board’s decision to adopt the use of the eight keys instead of the mouse.

He said: “From the general feedback on the adoption of the Computer Based Test mode, we have noted the challenge of computer low level literacy of some candidates, especially with the phobia for the mouse.

“This has been responsible partly for the call by some people for reversal to the Paper and Pencil Test mode. In order to ensure equity and level playground for all candidates taking the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, the Board has designed a system that will allow candidates use only eight (8) keys without the use of the mouse.

“All the candidates need to do is to press the letters A, B, C, D for responses (answer) to questions and keys:

P = Previous question

N = Next question

S = Submit responses when candidate has finished examination

R = Reverse (do not intend to go further to submit again)”

However, both the eight keys and the mouse are components of the CBT mode but media reports misconstrued this, he said.

The JAMB spokesperson while chiding those media reports said, “In our attempt to make CBT friendly, JAMB introduced the use of 8 keys without a mouse. This we have explained to Nigerians and all stakeholders at the just concluded strategic planning Retreat on “Supervision and Evaluation of the conduct of the 2017 UTME in Kaduna, where we had the privilege of having over 100 distinguished scholars from the academia, civil society and other critical stakeholders.”

Mr. Benjamin pointed that nowhere was the issue of JAMB dumping the CBT contemplated during the retreat.

“We see this embarrassing caption as deliberate effort to thwart the Board’s noble intention. The question we are asking is on what platform will the 8 keys be?

The spokesperson asked Nigerians to disregard the report.

 

Source: Premium Times

55-year-old father defiles 7-month-old baby in Katsina

A 55-year-old man, Magaji Dansale, has allegedly defiled his seven months old step-daughter in Marmachi village of Musawa Local Government Area, Katsina State.

The baby’s mother, Zeenat Muntari, told newsmen that she separated from the baby’s father and married Dansale. According to her, she must have drunk some substances that made her to sleep for several hours, which paved way for her husband to commit the act.

According to her, when she woke up to breastfeed the baby, she noticed blood in her private part, adding “I informed my husband about the matter; he started weeping, saying that some people will start accusing him.

“In the morning, while I was washing the baby’s clothes, he also brought his trouser for me to wash and I noticed blood stains on it. “He later went to the bush and brought me some leaves to treat her, saying it is pile. The baby was later taken to Malumfashi General Hospital, where the doctor confirmed to us that she was defiled and informed the police. “I am suspecting him, because only he and I were in the house when the incident happened.”

The baby was later referred to Turai Yar’Adua Maternal and Child Hospital, Katsina. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isa, confirmed the incident and said that the police would brief the media today.

CBN increases forex sales to BDCs after IMF commendation

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that it would increase the amount of forex apportioned to Bureau de Change operators (BDCs) to $10,000 weekly from $8,000.

This action comes after directors from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised the apex bank for easing foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria.

“Directors underscored that external adjustment is necessary to protect foreign currency buffers and reduce vulnerabilities,” IMF said in a statement after its Article IV consultations in Nigeria.

They commended the recent easing of some exchange restrictions and urged the authorities to remove the remaining restrictions and multiple currency practices, thus unifying the foreign exchange market and helping regain investor confidence.

“Directors emphasized that these policies should be supported by tighter monetary policy and fiscal consolidation to anchor inflation expectations and to limit the risk of exchange rate overshooting, as well as structural reforms to improve competitiveness.”

In a statement signed by Isaac Okorafor, the apex bank said it would announce new rates on Monday, April 3.

“In continuation of its determination to sustain liquidity in the foreign exchange market, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wishes to inform market participants and the general public that it will commence twice weekly forex sales to Bureaux de Change(BDCs) from Monday, April 3, 2017.

“Licensed BDC operators are therefore required to fund their accounts with the CBN on Mondays and Wednesdays, while they receive their purchases on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively.

“The sale amount to BDCs is hereby increased to $10,000 weekly ($5,000 per bid) and a new rate will be announced on Monday, April 3, 2017.”

On Monday, March 27, CBN announced new rates for commercial banks, directing them to sell at 360 to a dollar as against previous rates of 375.

 

Source: The Cable

I’ll ensure harmony between Yoruba and Hausa In Ife – Ooni

Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has promised to ensure harmonious relationship between the Hausa and Yoruba in Ile-Ife.

The monarch spoke yesterday when he received the Judicial Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice Moshood Adekunle-Adeigbe in his palace.

He said he had met with the Chairman of the National Council for Traditional Rulers, Sa’ad Abubakar and Emir of Kano Lamido Sanusi to discuss on the crisis.

Oba Ogunwusi, who pleaded with the commission to be neutral, said: “My recent trip abroad afforded me the opportunity to meet with the two prominent Northern monarchs to discuss the way forward.”

Pointing out that the Yoruba are culturally oriented, the monarch noted that the tribe should be the light for peace and harmony in the country.

Justice Adekunle-Adeigbe assured that the panel would do justice to their findings and recommend appropriately.

He assured the monarch that members of the commission would not trade their integrity for anything.

The panel head also promised to bring perpetrators to book and ensure that all warring factions were appeased.

He said: “We are here to inform you of our mission. We are men of integrity and assure you that we will be totally neutral in our duty. We will do our job without fear or favour to anyone or group in the matter. We hope to have your support.”

While addressing the Hausa community at the scene of the crisis, the Commission Chairman advised them to continue with their businesses, asking for necessary information that can assist the panel in discharging its duties.

During the visit, members of the commission did a sight-seeing of some affected buildings and addressed Yoruba and Hausa leaders.

Peace Corps boss gets N10 million bail

Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday granted the Commandant of Peace Corps, Mr. Dickson Akor, bail in the sum of N10 million.

In his ruling, Justice Tsoho said Akor must produce “one surety in the sum of N20 million and must be resident within Abuja, with title document; must have title of land property and two passport photographs.

“The defendant must submit his international passport to the Deputy Chief Registrar.”

Justice Tsoho adjourned till May 23 for commencement of trial.

The Federal Government arraigned Akor and the Incorporated Trustees of the Corps on a 90-count criminal charges, bordering on alleged conversion of money directly derived from extortion to the tune of about N1.4 billion.

In the suit filed by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the defendants were also charged for wearing of uniforms and other identification marks, contrary to section 24 (1) of the Private Guard Companies Act Cap P30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Section 32 (1) of the Act.

The charges filed by the prosecution counsel, Aminu Alilu, accused the defendants of laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, contrary to Section 7(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other fraud related Offences Act, Cap A6 laws of the Federation, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.

The defendant pleaded not guilty.

Group gives senate 48 hours to rescind Ali Ndume’s suspension

Some constituents of Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, have protested against the decision of the upper legislative chamber to suspend him.

This is just as a group called the Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER) issued a 48-hour ultimatum to rescind the suspension or face legal action.

On Wednesday, the upper legislative asked Ndume to stay off the red chamber for six months to serve as a disciplinary measure for “embarrassing” Bukola Saraki, senate president, and Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west.

Ndume had moved the motion for the probe of Saraki, who was accused of importing a vehicle with fake customs documents and Melaye, alleged to have forged his first degree certificate from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

The senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions had cleared Saraki and Melaye.

On Thursday, youth in Biu local government area staged a solidarity protest, saying the country had been held to ransom by a few people.

Junaid Maiva, one of the protesters, challenge President Muhammadu Buhari to take charge and not allow people make him “look helpless”.

“I am still wondering how some few individuals would hold Nigeria to ransom and it seems the president is helpless,” Maiva said.

“Mr President must now interfere with the affair of the senate. His I don’t care attitude towards the affairs of the senate is what is responsible for this.”

Buba Ten-Ten, another youth, described Ndume’s suspension as the height of injustice.

He expressed worry that Melaye had not be suspended his actions on the floor of the senate.

“Nigeria and the world are watching this. These set of people holding Nigeria to ransom should know that they have only 17 months left,” he said.

“We are yet to know how Ndume went wrong. What is his crime? The senate ethics committee did not suspend Dino who harassed his co-colleague on the floor of the house. They did not also suspend him for calling our senator a Boko Haram sponsor.

“This is the height of injustice, we therefore call on President Buhari to stand up and defend our senator who has done nothing wrong. The north-east is suffering from the strangulating insurgency and our only hope who has stood firmly to defend his people is Senator Ndume. We say no to this madness.”

On his part, Muhammad Midala, said though he was not celebrating Ndume’s suspension, this development should serve as a lesson.

“I have always told him the truth but he feels we don’t know anything. In 2011, my life was threatened over my support for Ndume. They even offered me N15 million when I was his political associate but I refused,” he said

“After his election he made me to write a list of some physically-challenged persons from our constituency but he refused to help them. Now see what is happening to him. I am not celebrating, but this should serve as a lesson to him.”

 

Source: The Cable

President Buhari will return to London for his medical check-ups – Garba Shehu

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, says President Muhammadu Buhari will return to London for his medical check-ups.

Reacting to reports that Buhari had plans to fly his doctors into the country, Shehu told reporters in Abuja that the president will return to the country he spent his 49 days medical vacation.

“The last time the president spoke about this (medical trip), he said he would return to his doctors after some time,” Shehu said.

“We are not aware that this has changed. We are not aware of the reported advance movements.”

However, Shehu did not specify when Buhari will continue his medical vacation.

Speaking with members of his cabinet shortly after returning to the country on March 10, Buhari had revealed that he would be returning to Britain for follow-ups.

“There may be need to have further follow-ups within some weeks,” he had said.

 

Source: The Cable

Senate okays e-voting, card reader for elections

The use of electronic voting (e-Voting) system, electronic transmission of election results and the deployment of Electronic Card Reader (ECR) were some of the amendments to the Electoral Act, 2010, passed by the Senate yesterday.

With the amendments, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will, beginning from 2019 general elections, electronically transmit election results to collation centers.

The passage of the bill followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on a Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 and for other related matters (SB 231 and SB 234).

The bill has provision for the use of e-Voting by INEC during future elections, use of ECR and INEC power to modify the voting process if there is a challenge.

The Senate also approved a provision to enable INEC transmit the result of elections electronically in an encrypted and secured manner to prevent hacking.

To address the incident that happened in Kogi State, during the last governorship election, the amended Electoral Act provides that if a candidate dies before results of elections are declared, the results will not only remain valid but belong to the political party that lost its candidate.

It also added that in such a scenario, the INEC should suspend the elections for 21 days to allow the affected political party conduct fresh primaries to choose a new candidate.

The Bill also gives political parties power to adopt direct or indirect primaries in choosing their flag bearers, while qualification or disqualification of candidates for elections will be solely based on the Constitution.

In his comments after the adoption of the report, Senate President Bukola Saraki, thanked his colleagues for a job well done and expressed optimism that the Bill would further improve the nation’s electoral system and also contribute to good governance.

Saraki said: “Distinguished colleagues, let me thank all of you for this job well done. I want to particularly thank the members of the Committee on INEC and particularly the former chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Kyari, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and all the members of the committee who have worked very hard to ensure the passage of this very important bill which addresses our electoral process and goes on to strengthen our democracy.

“We have touched on new areas which I believe will improve the credibility of our elections and by so doing, definitely improve our democracy and good governance.

“Most importantly, I think, are some of the new sections we have added, in the area of technology, the smart card reader, and particularly the area of collation which has been an area of great concern.

“Collation of results after the polling units and some of the additions we put on the electronic way by which the compilation of results can be done, I think will go a long way to reduce some of the irregularities we have seen before.

“This is a great work you have been able to put together today and I want to commend everybody. I am also happy that we have passed the amendments very early. My concern has always been that if we don’t do it now, it will get more difficult as we get close to the 2019 elections.

“We hope that with this Bill that we have passed, very soon, we will sit together with the House of Representatives to be able to get the copy to the President for assent.

“I think when signed into law, it will enable INEC to have something to work early enough. I think what we have done today will really put our electoral law among the best that we have and it will go a long way in improving our electoral process,” Saraki said.

Africa to be represented by 9 countries at the FIFA 2026 world cup

Africa will be allotted nine automatic slots at the 2026 World Cup, as part of FIFA’s proposed expansion of the tournament.

This would be an increase from the five slots that the continent is currently entitled to.

A tenth African country will take part in a six-nation playoff tournament to decide the last two spots.

“The Bureau of the FIFA Council, comprised of the FIFA President and the president of each of the six confederations, agreed on (the) proposed allocation,” the FIFA statement said.

Europe will get 16 direct slots while the Asian Football Federation will get eight direct slots.

Oceania Football Confederation will get one slot while CONCACAF and South America’s CONMEBOL are each allotted six direct slots.

Meanwhile, the host country would automatically qualify for the World Cup. Its slot would be taken from the quota of its confederation.

In the event of co-hosting, the number of host countries to qualify automatically would be decided by the FIFA council.

FIFA members voted in January to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, starting with the 2026 edition.

Below is the proposed allocation of slots for the 2026 World Cup.

Asia:

8 direct slots – increased from 4.5 

Africa:

9 direct slots – increased from 5

North and Central America:

6 direct slots – increased from 3.5

South America:

6 direct slots – increased from 4.5

Oceania:

1 direct slot – increased from 0.5

Europe:

16 direct slots – increased from 13

Final two places in 2026 to be decided by six-team playoffs.

Corruption responsible for insurgency in northeast – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that corruption was responsible for the Boko Haram insurgency in the north or east. He also stated that the vice has caused untold humanitarian disasters, promoted the death of 20,000 while displacing 2 million persons.

Osinbajo made the revalations while speaking Thursday at the ongoing meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD’s Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum in Paris, France. The vice president also said that illicit financial flows from Africa to other parts of the world were on the increase and had cost the continent a capital flight of USD50billion annually.

He therefore called for a united against corruption and illicit follows especially from Africa. He said: “Mr. Secretary-General, Your Excellencies, there is now hardly any credible opposition to the notion that corruption and Illicit financial flows constitute perhaps the gravest challenge to development. And this is especially true of developing countries. “Besides, we have seen in Nigeria, in recent years, how corruption directly fueled the terrorist insurgency in the North-East.

And how in turn that has led to one of gravest humanitarian disasters in the world; 20,000 fatalities and 2 million people displaced. “Also the adverse implications for education, healthcare, social services, infrastructure and indeed quality of life no longer require making a case . “Corruption and illicit financial flows are different.

But they really must be twinned. This is because for practical purposes it is an eminently more sensible approach to treat most of the sources of illicit financial flows as corrupt activity, within a broader use of the term. “It is also clear that most economies ravaged by corruption, usually-both as a cause and consequence-do have institutions that are too weak to fight corruption and illicit financial flows. International collaboration is therefore the smartest and most effective approach to apprehend and deter perpetrators, and ensure restitution of stolen assets.

” Of particular note on the continental level is the ground breaking work of the of the Thabo Mbeki Panel on illicit financial flows from Africa. The initiative which was sponsored by a joint commission of the AU and the ECA, alarmed at the prospect that most African States despite earnings and official development assistance, would still not meet MGD targets in 2015, noted that Africa loses USD50billion annually, in illicit financial flows.

“The Panel’s far reaching conclusions and recommendations again underscore the overwhelming importance of global collaboration, especially to bridge the huge capacity gap between the large corporations and organized crime identified as the foremost perpetrators and facilitators of corrupt activity in and illicit flows from Africa. Yet more needs to be done.” Osinbajo noted that as a country committed to stamping out corruption, Nigeria has mapped out some measures to fight it.

Some of these measures, he said, included establishing a seven man Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, the Anti-Corruption and Criminal Justice Reform fund with the support of three international Development Partners; Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society West Africa, the Whistleblower initiative launched barely eight weeks ago and signing of several bilateral mutual legal assistance treaties on collaboration on financial crimes and corruption with numerous countries. Regretting however that no frantic international efforts were made to assist African countries where mostly the funds were being ferried abroad, the vice president said that the countries where stolen funds were being stashed away should be held responsible. “Secretary-General, We must work collaboratively to ensure transparency in financial transfers, and outlaw secrecy jurisdictions.

“There must be more rigorous enforcement of rules promoting transparency in the international banking and financial systems, especially more stringent KYC rules on customer identity, source of wealth, and even country of origin. “Countries hosting global financial centers, and other usually targeted destinations of illicit flows must be held more accountable to enforce mechanisms which ensure transparency of ownership, control, beneficial ownerships, trusts and other legal contrivances that may be used to camouflage financial or other assets. “Open contracting and information systems, are also crucial.

Responsible government authorities ought to have information about which companies won what contracts, and what they have paid as taxes to governments in host and home countries. This is especially important for the extractive industry. Nigeria is committed to these standards having joined the Open Government Partnership in 2016.

“Tracing, freezing and Return of stolen assets has proved in many cases to be exceptionally difficult for most African countries. We in Nigeria have seen just how difficult it is to get back stolen assets from the international financial system, such as banks that ought not have received those funds in the first place if even the most routine questions were asked. “A robust global framework on repatriation of stolen assets which ensures quick restitution to victim countries is long overdue.

“Your Excellencies, there is consensus that corruption and illicit financial flows out of Africa, inexorably delay the attainment of development goals, worsen practically all human development indices and trap the majority of her people especially the most vulnerable in a cycle of misery.

Only a united global action has the power to reverse this trend. We respectfully urge that this power be exercised more vigorously and without further delay”, Osinbajo said.

Something is definitely wrong with Buhari’s government – Jibrin

Abdulmumin Jibrin, suspended member of the house of representatives, is of the view that President Muhammadu Buhari has been living below expectation regarding some actions he ought to take.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Jibrin said history would be unkind to the nation’s number one citizen if he does not get his priority right.

Jibrin said the country had been moving “too slow coupled with uncertainty and crisis everywhere”.

“History will be kind to PMB for his intergrity, building opposition and ending insurgency but may never forgive him for his many inactions,” Jibrin tweeted.

“PMB’s inaction are so numerous that you are tempted to doubt if he is aware of his inactions and all the absordity presently going on.

“Is this the Muhammadu Buhari we know? the no nonsense general? Noooooo something is wrong! if not, we would have seen more decisive actions.

“Could it be PMB’s access to information and current happening is restricted in an attempt to reduce his worries and help him fully recover?

“Could it be some powerful people are aware of this situation PMB may be in and are taking advantage of it and/or taking things for granted?

“Well, things are not adding up! uncertainty and crisis everywhere, we are moving too slow when we can move faster. Is the C-in-C even aware?”

 

 

FIFA Reveal Qualifying Criteria For 48-Team World Cup

The Bureau of the FIFA Council has recommended UEFA receive 16 slots in the new 48-team World Cup format, which starts from 2026, while proposing a six-team play-off to decide the final two places.

The Bureau, which comprises FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the presidents of the six confederations, met in Zurich and agreed on the slot allocation for the expanded event. The decision will now be submitted to the FIFA Council for ratification in May.

Six direct slots each will be awarded to CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, eight to the AFC, nine to CAF and 16 to UEFA, while the OFC will receive one direct slot. The two remaining teams will be decided by a six nation play-off.

 

New UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has campaigned for 16 places at the game’s global showpiece, ideally with one team in each of the proposed 16 groups of three.

The proposed allocation includes automatic qualification for the host nation, with its slot taken from the quota of its confederation, while the play-off tournament for the two unallocated slots will feature one team per confederation – with the exception of UEFA.

One additional team from the confederation of the host country will qualify for the play-off, and of the six teams involved two will be seeded based on the FIFA World Ranking. The seeded teams will play the winners of knock-out matches between the four unseeded teams to determine who will reach the World Cup.

The play-off tournament will be held in the country hosting the main event with November 2025 suggested as the date for the first edition.

VIDEO: Abuja airport runway is 57.5% completed, says aviation minister Hadi Sirika

Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, says the rehabilitation of runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, is more than halfway completed.

The Abuja airport was temporarily closed on March 8 to give room for a six-week repair of its runway.

While briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the minister said: “Work is going on smoothly and everything is in order.”

Sirika also noted that the airport will be reopened for use on April 19.

“The contractor has mobilised fully and we have gone now about 57.5 per cent of the total work which is good and which shows that we are on time and that we are doing what we are supposed to do to ensure that the runway is opened come 19th of April,” he said.

“I am being asked what is imported for this purpose. There is a new technology where glass grid is put in the process of constructing the runway to re-enforce it, to give it extra strength and prevent cracks.

“This is the first time any Nigerian runway is being treated with such material and that material is a 50 tonner. We had to fly it in to Nigeria to ensure that it comes in time for this job and you have seen samples of it.

“The runway work is going according to plan and you could also see that we are working simultaneously. Whilst the surface work is being finished, the installation of lightings are going on at the same time. Channels are being cut for the laying of wires and also installing the lights at the same time. So, we are on course and this runway will be opened on April 19.”

“On Abuja runway rehabilitation site, work about 57.5% completed! Thank you all for the support,” Sirika had also tweeted.

While rehabilitation is ongoing, local and international flights have been diverted to Kaduna International Airport.

Abacha ‘saved’ Nigeria’s funds abroad to buy arms for peacekeeping – Bamaiyi

Ishaya Bamaiyi, a former chief of army staff, says Sani Abacha, former military head of state, transferred money to some European countries to enable Nigeria buy arms and ammunition for peacekeeping missions in the West African region.

According to ForeFront, Bamaiyi said this in his book ‘Vindication of a General’ which was launched on Thursday.

He said that the country at the time was abandoned by its western allies and there was need for Nigeria to keep playing its peacekeeping roles in the region.

The former chief of army staff explained that this informed the decision to transfer funds to “a bit friendly” countries so arms and ammunition could be bought.

“The subject of money supposedly looted by the late General Abacha is a key issue in Nigeria’s diplomatic relationship with many Western countries. I am not in a position to defend Abacha or suggest he did not tamper with the wealth of Nigeria, because I was not in a position to know how as a Head of State he handled Nigeria’s funds,” it read.

“I am however in a position to say what I know led to the transfer of funds to some countries in Europe and may be other countries outside Europe. It is a known fact that Nigeria was virtually abandoned by some of its traditional Western allies during the Abacha government and it became difficult for the country to purchase arms and ammunition to conduct operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone at that time, especially after the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa.

“In the light of the increasingly battered international image of Nigeria and even references to Nigeria in academic circle as a ‘rogue’ state, some decisions had to be taken if Nigeria was to continue to play its role as a stabiliser in the West African region, a role very much valued by the United Nations.

“A decision was therefore reached to keep money in some countries that were a bit friendly to Nigeria. This decision was taken at a meeting in which the then Minister of Finance, Chief Anthony Ani, was present. It was agreed that some funds be transferred to some selected countries to ensure that government was in a position to get vital imports as and when necessary.

“That informed the transfer of funds to some countries. I am glad that Chief Anthony Ani, the then finance minister, once tried to explain this in a newspaper interview publication.”

He said the importation of the said arms also put him in conflict with security operatives as they thought that he wanted to overthrow the Abacha regime.

“I was then out of Lagos and the contractors contacted me and told me what was happening. I told them not to worry and should not answer any question,” he said.

“I believe that the security operatives contacted General Abacha who must have told them that he approved the purchase of the ammunition. No one ever asked me or talked to me about this issue till I retired from service.”

 

Source: The Cable

Presidency’s reconciliatory move with Senate coming at the right time – Senator Abdullahi

Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC) representing Nasarawa West Senatorial district has said that President Buhari’s reconciliatory moves with the Nigerian Senate was timely.

Speaking in Abuja, the Senator explained that the committee headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo which was set up by the President himself would strengthen the relationship between the executive and the legislature, saying the development was good at this time.

He was optimistic that issues discussed at that level, particularly as it concerns responsibilities of both arms and their differences would be sorted out in the interest of Nigerian democracy.

“The committee which was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to settle with Nigerian Senate was timely and I want to say that the development is needed this time for smooth running of our democracy.”

Senator Adamu who is also Senate Committee Chairman on Agriculture and Rural Development added that herdsmen attacks across the country could end if government was allowed to create grazing policies.

He noted that herdsmen like other citizens, have the right to graze and live, noting that attempt to resist them and their livestock would always result to crises.

According to him, the high mobility of herdsmen to parts of the country to graze and market their livestock often create challenges, since they do not have right of way.

He strongly advocated for grazing bill, saying the Senate was committed to ensuring that steps were taken in such direction.

“I know that in our efforts, we have different versions of grazing bill, we will harmonise them before passing it into law,” Abdullahi maintained.

Our silence doesn’t mean we have forgotten your iniquities – APC reminds PDP

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says Nigerians will never forget the “iniquities” of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Bolaji Abdullahi, spokesman of the APC, said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.

Abdullahi accused the PDP of attacking the ruling party in order to seek relevance or gain the upper hand in its “internecine war”.

He was reacting to a statement, which the Ahmed Makarfi caretaker committee released on Wednesday.

The Makarfi group had criticised the federal government over the situation in the country.

But Abdullahi said if APC has not been talking about the “plethora of PDP iniquities”, it is not because it has forgotten, but it only chose to “pick up the pieces of the PDP wreckage and move the country forward”.

“The All Progressives Congress (APC) finds Wednesday’s statement attributed to Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, the purported spokesperson of a rump of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) quite regrettable,” Abdullahi said.

“As a party that was formerly in the opposition, the APC is aware of the role a thriving opposition can play in sustaining democracy. However, it appears that the marginal group that Adeyeye belongs believes that it is only by attacking the APC that it can find its relevance or gain the upper hand in the PDP’s internecine war.

“We need to remind Adeyeye’s group however that although Nigerians may have forgiven the PDP, two years after the party left the country in ruins, but we have not forgotten.

“Nigerians have not forgotten that it was under the PDP-led administration that the terrorist group, Boko Haram seized a sizable portion of Nigeria’s territory, created a Caliphate and hoisted its own flags.  It took the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari to reclaim our territory and pride.

“Today, Boko Haram insurgents are virtually defeated and are on the run, and no millimetre of Nigerian territory is currently held by the insurgents. We have forgiven, but we have not forgotten.”

Abdullahi taunted the former ruling party, recalling the famous line: “stealing is not corruption”.

“Under the PDP, a party that does not consider corruption to be stealing, corruption enjoyed an unprecedented prosperity,” he said.

“Nigeria recorded some of the most unimaginable, shocking and astounding cases of corruption ever experienced in our history, or in the history of any country.  Funds meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition required to fight the Boko Haram insurgency were stolen by agents of government and shared among themselves. It was a classic case of kleptocracy.

“The PDP-led administration was sending soldiers to battle without weapons and sharing the money. Worse still, when soldiers protested the lack of weaponry, the PDP-led administration added wickedness to weakness and court-martialled them, sentencing some of them to death, and others to long terms of imprisonment. If Nigerians have graciousness to forgive the PDP for the wanton corruption, we will not forget.

“Nigerians also remember that it was under the nose and watchful eyes of the PDP that over 250 Nigerian girls were abducted.  It took the party more than a month to even make a statement! PDP went about bandying conspiracy theories while innocent Nigerian girls were being held in captivity.

“Nigerians will not forget that under the PDP, over 20 Nigerian youths died and thousands were seriously injured while looking for jobs. the PDP-led administration organised a fraudulent Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise and lured young people desperate for jobs to various stadiums across the country after extorting them. In the end, the exercise ended in tears, sorrows and blood. None of those who survived got the job and, worse still; the officials responsible for the calamity were protected by the PDP. We cannot forget.

“Nigerians remember that under the PDP, whistle-blowing was a crime.  When a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor exposed the stealing of $20 billion from the national treasury, he was suspended and hounded out of the government. We have not forgotten.”

Senate Approves Electronic Voting + Other Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you a recap of top stories in the NEWS today 30th of March, 2017.

 

DSS arrests Capital Oil boss, Ifeanyi Uba

Ifeanyi Uba, the owner of Capital Oil, has been arrested and detained by Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS).


EFCC finds $86 million Paris Club refund in NGF’s account

More cash believed to be part of the London-Paris Club loan refund has been found by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


President Buhari cancels medical trip to London, invites physicians to Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday changed a plan by which he was due to return to London this weekend for another round of medical treatment, barely two weeks after his return from a hospital there.


Ambode honours Tinubu with statue, names bridge after him

Less than two weeks that Borno state governor, Ibrahim Shettima named an estate after Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in his state, the Lagos state counterpart has replicated the honour by naming a bridge after the revered All progressives Congress, APC, leader.


5 ‘Yahoo’ LAUTECH students handed over to EFCC in Ibadan

The Ibadan Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Monday, 20th March, 2017 took over five suspected internet fraudsters arrested by men of the Oyo State Joint Security Task Force, ‘Operation Burst’ for further investigation.


Pastor Storms Mortuary To Resurrect Wife, But Failed

A pastor and his followers spent the day at Embu mortuary praying with the hope that his wife will resurrect. Pastor Robinson Githumba, 40, of Eagle Prophetic Church camped at the Gakwegori funeral from 8 am for the mission.


Federal lawmaker Nse Ekpenyong arraigned for certificate forgery

A member of the House of Representatives, Nse Ekpenyong, was on Thursday arraigned at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for alleged forgery of a polytechnic diploma.


EFCC Release List of Wanted Suspects

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared not less than eighty-six suspects wanted for various crimes in the country.


I want to Play in a Team with A winning mentality – Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez has said that he wants to play in a “winning team with winning mentality”.


8 women docked in Lagos for allegedly soliciting sex in public

Eight women believed to be sex workers, who allegedly solicited sex at a public place, were on Thursday brought before a Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.


Senate’s suspension of Ndume illegal, says former NBA chairman

Mr Taidi Jonathan, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Minna Branch, on Thursday said that the Senate has gone beyond its authority on its decision to suspend Sen. Ali Ndume.


55 year old man allegedly rapes seven months old stepdaughter

A 55-year-old man, Magaji Dansale, has allegedly raped his seven months old step daughter in Marmachi village of Musawa Local Government Area, Katsina State.


President Trump Declares Somalia a War Zone

President Trump has relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties when the American military carries out counter-terrorism strikes in Somalia, laying the groundwork for an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa.


Activists prevent plane conveying Nigerian deportees from leaving UK

A dozen activists break through security at Stansted Airport in the UK and chain themselves together on runway to stop failed asylum seekers being deported.


Nigerians should prepare for more deadly heat from climate change – National Academy of Sciences

A new study has reported that deaths related to extreme heat are expected to keep rising, even if most nations are able to contain global warming at agreed-upon levels. The new study was published online March 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Senate does not have the powers to ‘summon’ Sagay — SERAP

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the leadership of the Senate to “immediately withdraw the unwarranted and unconstitutional ‘summon’” for Itse Sagay, chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption to appear before the Senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions for reportedly describing the body as “childish and irresponsible” and one “filled by people of questionable character”.


Nigerian Senate amends Electoral Act to allow for electronic voting

Nigeria now comes close to using electoral voting system in the conduct of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, after the country’s Senate amended the Electoral Act on Thursday.

Governor Umahi suspends Ebonyi attorney-general, solicitor-general

Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has ordered the immediate suspension of the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Augustine Nwankwagu, for non-commitment to duty.

The governor also indefinitely suspended the state Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary of the ministry of Justice, Mr Jonathan Okoronkwo for the same reason.

The governor announced the suspensions in Abakaliki in Abakiliki after the duo failed to turn-up for the swearing-in of the new auditor-general of the state and members of the state judicial service commission.

The officers also failed to witness the swearing-in ceremony of newly-appointed caretaker chairmen of some local government areas and development centre coordinators in the state.

According to the governor, the officers have been absent on such occasions thrice in the past as it caused serious embarrassment to the state government.

“This suspension will end the ceaseless embarrassment brought to the state by such absenteeism as the executive council members should convey the message to them, he said.

He subsequently appointed his Senior Special Assistant on Legal Matters, Mr Uwabunkonye Anwusi to act as the attorney general and supervise the affairs of the ministry.

Nwankwagu was the Speaker of the state House of Assembly from 2007 to 2011.

Ogun State Government Raises Alarm Over Impending Floods.

The Ogun State Government, has raised alarm over an impending flooding in various places in the state as predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in its 2017 seasonal rainfall prediction.

Briefing journalists in Abeokuta, the state capital, the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Bolaji Oyeleye said areas to be affected by the flood include Abeokuta, Ewekoro, Ijebu Igbo, Ijebu Ode, Ikenne, Ota among other towns in the state.

 

While asking residents to maintain a high level of personal hygiene, the Commissioner, however, warned them against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in canal, and water in the state.

“The 2017 seasonal rainfall prediction by the NIMET showed floods may occur in some states in the north and west even as a shorter length of rain is predicted in most part of the country, rainfall amount is predicted to be above normal in and around Sokota, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara, Ogun and Adamawa”, he said.

He further noted that, “NIMET predicts the earliest onset date to be February 25, over the coastal region of the Niger Delta, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Plateau, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ogun and Oyo states are predicted to record early onset dates by about, three to seven days range from their 30 years normal.

“NIMET also predicted that many Nigerians would likely experience “Above danger heat stress” this year, due to combination of heat and humidity, this impact is that exposure to excessive heat for too long could cause heat stress, which may in turn lead to severe illness collectively called “Hyperthermia”.

“We are appealing to residents not to block drainage channels, either natural or constructed, refrain from dumping waste into drainage channels and rivers or stream flow course” he concluded.

 

Source: Channels TV

Syrian National, Accomplice Arrested Over Illegal Mining In Ogun.

The Ogun state government says it has arrested a Syrian and a Nigerian for allegedly engaging in illegal mining activities along the industrial corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Bimbo Ashiru, who disclosed this while leading an enforcement team to the illegal mining site at Boun Village, Shimawa, behind Redemption Camp in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the State, said that the culprits would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

He stated that illicit activities of miners had wrecked serious havoc to lives and property as well degraded the environment, warning that the present administration in the state frowns at the unlawful acts of making profit at the detriment of residents of the State.

“It is good to sound this note of warning to unscrupulous elements that are in the illegal business of destroying the environment in the name of mining.

“As a government, we will do our best to curb illegal mining because the lives of residents are precious to us.

“Unfortunately, the people involved make money at the detriment of law abiding residents. I can assure you that we will take holistic approach to end these activities and whoever is caught engaging in it would face the full weight of the law. For instance, this Syrian and his accomplice will not go unpunished”. he said.

The commissioner noted that the monitoring activities would continue until illegal mining was nipped in the bud towards forestalling environmental hazards.

 

Source: Channels TV

Judge Extends Hold On Trump’s Travel Ban

U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban has suffered another setback as a Federal Judge in Hawaii has indefinitely extended the suspension of the new executive order.

Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling means Mr Trump will be barred from enforcing the ban on Muslim nations while it is contested in court.

In a lawsuit, the U.S. State said the ban would harm tourism and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.

But President Trump said his revised travel ban seeks to prevent terrorists from entering the United States.

President Trump’s executive order signed on March 6, would have placed a 90 day ban on people from Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and a 120 day ban on refugees.

BREAKING: Ex-Super Eagles coach, Paul Hamilton, is dead.

The death of a former Super Eagles Coach, Paul Hamilton, has been confirmed.

The 75-year-old coach died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, on Thursday.

The Nigeria Football Federation has paid glowing tributes to the former Nigeria player and coach, who died after a protracted illness.

Sanusi Mohammed, NFF General Secretary, said: “We are in terrible shock. ‘Wonderboy’ Hamilton was a perfect gentleman in the real sense of the word, despite being a former international player for Nigeria and a Chief Coach of the senior national team.

“He worked very hard and with his whole heart for Nigeria in all spheres, as a player, a coach and as an administrator. The Nigeria football family will miss him dearly.”

Mr. Hamilton, who played for the senior national team in the 1960s and early 1970s, including featuring in the football tournament at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, died in the early hours of Thursday.

He was said to have been diagnosed of heart and kidney related health issues some months ago, and had his right leg amputated earlier this year.

 

Source: Premium Times

Nigerian Senate amends Electoral Act to allow for electronic voting

Nigeria now comes close to using electoral voting system in the conduct of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, after the country’s Senate amended the Electoral Act on Thursday.

The amendment followed the adoption of the report of the alteration of the existing electoral law, Electoral Act 2010, by of the Senate committee on INEC, and subsequently, the passage of the amendment bill for third reading.

The report on the amendment was presented by Abubakar Kyari, APC-Borno, who stood in for the chairman of the INEC committee, Ali Ndume, APC-Borno, who is on a six-month suspension.

Mr. Kyari, now chairman of the defence committee, is the former chairman of the INEC committee who led most of the work on the amendment process before he was replaced by Mr. Ndume in February.

It took long deliberation before the report was adopted for third reading.

“We have introduced electronic voting through any technology INEC deems fit,” said Mr. Kyari, speaking after the bill scaled through.

The Senate also legalized the use smart card reader and “any technological device” for accreditation.

Card reader was deployed for 2015 general elections, but the Supreme Court, in its rulings on Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom State governorship elections, faulted the use.

Although INEC continued to use card readers to accredit voters in rerun elections that followed 2015 general polls as part of its guidelines, this is the first time the technology would be given legal backing.

The Senate also moved to give statutory backing to INEC’s newly unveiled electronic result and transmission system with the aim of eliminating manual collation of results in Nigeria’s electoral process.

55 year old man allegedly rapes seven months old stepdaughter

A 55-year-old man, Magaji Dansale, has allegedly raped his seven months old step daughter in Marmachi village of Musawa Local Government Area, Katsina State.

The mother of the baby, Zeenat Muntari, told jouralists that she separated with the father of the baby and married Dansale.

The mother said that she was suspecting that she drunk some substances that made her to sleep for several hours, the situation which paved way for her husband to allegedly commit the act.

According to her, when she woke up to breastfeed the baby, she noticed blood in her private part.

“I informed my husband about the matter; he started weeping saying that some people will start accusing him.

“In the morning, while I was washing the baby’s clothes, he also brought his trouser for me wash and I noticed blood stains on it.

“He later went to bush and brought me some leaves to treat her, saying that it is pile.

“The baby was later taken to Malumfashi General Hospital where the doctor confirmed to us that she was defiled and informed the police.

“I am suspecting him because it is only me and him in the house when the incident happened,” she said.

The baby was later referred to Turai Yar’adua Maternal and Child Hospital, Katsina.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Gambo Isa, confirmed the incident and said that the police would brief the media on Friday.

 

Source: NAN

Boko Haram fighter killed, soldier injured in ambush attack – Army

A Boko Haram gunman was killed Wednesday in a village in Borno State as troops shot their way out of an ambush attack that left one soldier injured, officials said.

The spokesman of the Nigeria army, Sani Usman, a brigadier general, said the attack was repelled by troops of 112 Task Force Battalion, 22 Brigade, Nigerian Army on Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

He said the attack occurred when the troops were carrying out a fighting patrol towards Boskoro, Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State where it was believed, a sleeper cell of Boko Haram terrorists was hibernating.

“While advancing, the troops came in contact with some elements of the terrorists suspected to be in staging area to lay ambush for troops along Ajiri-Dikwa road,” said Mr. Usman, who is the director, Army Public Relations.

“The patrol team engaged the terrorists and neutralized one of them and recovered an AK-47 rifle, 1 Magazine, 47 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition and belt links.

“Unfortunately one soldier sustained injury during the operation.

“The gallant soldier has been evacuated to military hospital and he is responding to treatment.”

 

Source: Premium Times

Kim Jong Nam’s body set to leave Malaysia by plane

The body of Kim Jong Nam, half-brother to North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, and the victim of a bizarre murder at Kuala Lumpur airport, is expected to leave by plane on Thursday, media reports and an aviation industry source said.

Kim’s body was believed to be on Malaysia Airlines flight MH360 to Beijing, en route to North Korea, that was currently preparing for take-off, media said.

The flight was behind its scheduled departure of 6 p.m. (1000 GMT)

“It is planned for…but not sure if (it’s) happening,” said the aviation industry source, when asked if the body would be flown out on Thursday.

The release of the body by Malaysia – which recently imposed a ban on North Korean nationals leaving the Southeast Asian country – was arranged to secure the return of nine Malaysians stranded in Pyongyang after North Korea imposed a travel ban on Malaysians leaving its borders.

Malaysian police say Kim was killed on February 13 by two women who smeared super toxic VX nerve agent on his face at the Kuala Lumpur budget terminal.

North Korea is demanding Kim’s body and three remaining suspects inside its embassy be returned to Pyongyang in exchange for an end to the travel ban on Malaysians, diplomatic sources have said.

Some media reports said the North Korean suspects were also leaving for Beijing on the same flight.

 

Source: Reuters/NAN

Akwa Ibom ready to meet ExxonMobil’s condition for relocation – Governor

The Akwa Ibom State government has responded to ExxonMobil’s explanation on why it cannot relocate its head office in Nigeria, from Lagos to Akwa Ibom where it drills oil.

The company had said in a correspondence exclusively published by PREMIUM TIMES that “Mobil has three businesses in Nigeria which are managed by one Lead Country Manager. It is essential that the headquarters of each of those businesses be consolidated in one office where support services can be shared.

“Lagos offers each of those businesses a convenient and well-suited hub from which all three businesses can be efficiently conducted and coordinated by that manager.”

The three affiliates of ExxonMobil operating in Nigeria are Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (upstream), Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd (upstream) and Mobil Oil Nigeria (downstream).

The argument over the years has been that Lagos, much more than any other state in Nigeria, has needed infrastructure to support the operations of large multinational oil companies like ExxonMobil, that have head offices there.

But critics slam the arrangement, saying it deprives oil-rich Niger Delta host states of huge tax revenue and job support for locals.

The governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, on Wednesday said he knew what ExxonMobil wanted to relocate to the state, and said his government was prepared to meet that condition.

“I know what you want to move your headquarters to the state. If you give me commitment of 24 months, I will provide it,” he said in Uyo at an oil and gas fair.

He said the state deserves fair treatment in oil and gas business.

“Let me say here, let our losses not be the gains of other areas who had never seen how crude oil look like, let our losses not be the gains of our neighbouring countries, let our losses not be the gains of the Western world but let our gains be shared among ourselves,” Mr. Emmanuel said.

“As an oil company operating in Akwa Ibom, if you need to hire a vessel, let it be that if Akwa Ibom person cannot provide the vessel, you can take it from a Niger Delta person and if somebody from Niger Delta cannot provide then you can hire it from any Nigerian. Let our people be given a chance.”

The demands for International Oil Companies, IOCs, in Nigeria to relocate their head offices from Lagos to the Niger Delta region resurfaced recently during the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s tour of the troubled region.

During his visit to Akwa Ibom, Mr. Osinbajo directed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, “to engage” with the IOCs “on the way forward” over the calls for their relocation.

The directive was seen as a major boost to campaigns by Niger Delta States to have oil companies relocate to their states of operation.

“Today, all those impediments ranging from lack of airport, road network, housing, and accommodation have been conquered. They don’t have any excuse not to move their headquarters to Akwa Ibom,” Nduese Essien, a former minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, had said of Mobil during the town hall meeting in Uyo with Mr. Osinbajo.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Charles Udoh, told PREMIUM TIMES that the state government was waiting for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to inform it of the next action after Mr. Osinbajo’s directive.

“It’s a directive that was given by the acting president of Nigeria, and so every company who does business in Nigeria is subjected to the laws, regulations and directives of the of the government of the day,” Mr. Udoh said.

“If the federal government is hell-bent on making it work in line with our demand, then I strongly believe that the federal government will sit down with them (IOCs) and make it work. I strongly believe there will be a compromise somewhere that will make all parties happy at the end of the day,” he said.

 

Source: Premium Times

Court lifts ban on Omoni Oboli’s Okafor’s Law.

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos has lifted the injunction imposed on Omoni Oboli’s movie, Okafor’s Law.

The order which was slammed last Friday was lifted today, clearing the way for the public screening of the film beginning from tomorrow as planned.

The injunction and a confiscation order that came with it had stopped the premiere of the film at IMAX Cinema in Lekki Lagos on 24 March, souring the party mood of the scores of guests at the three-legged event.

Omoni Oboli was sued by a Canada based Nigerian, Jude Idada, who claimed the movie was his intellectual property. Oboli said the idea and the movie was hers 100 per cent.

BREAKING: President Trump Declares Somalia a War Zone

Ondo Ambassadorial Nominee Demands Apology from DSS

One of the ambassadorial nominees rejected by the Senate, Dr. Jacob  Igbekele Daudu, on Thursday demanded an apology for a purported report by the Department of State Service describing him as deceitful and corrupt.

The report was said to be the basis for rejecting the nominee, who is from Ondo State.

Daudu, who spoke in Abuja, in the company with his lawyer, Mr. Babs Akinwumi, said he had not personally seen the said report, but learnt of it when the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs quoted from the report.

The report was said to have described him as deceitful and corrupt while serving as the Chairman of the Ondo State Agency for Road Maintenance and Construction.

But, he said he presented himself to the DSS for screening for the ambassadorial nomination in February 2017 without the officials of the agency raising any issue. He wondered why it would suddenly turn around to issue a damaging report against his person without hearing form him.

He said, although, he was surprised at the sudden turn of events, he suspected that his rejection and the last minute withdrawal of supports by Senators from his state were informed by a January 16, 2017 letter by his state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, raising objection to his nomination.

His lawyer, Akinwumi, noted that it was ironic that the Governor Akeredolu-led Government of Ondo State, in a March 26 letter, disparage his client from whom the governor had sought assistance.

The lawyer, in his protest letter to the Director General of DSS dated March 27, 2017, demanded among others, immediate withdrawal of the said damaging report and a public apology to be aired on electronic media and published in print media, failing which he will seek redress in court after 7 days.

A copy of the letter showing it was received by the DSS on March 28, read, in part, “Our client is a renowned Architect, former Council member of the Architect Registration Council of Nigeria  and had served as the elected Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Architects, Ondo State chapter. He co-ordinates the National Infrastructure Backbone for Nigeria, with the involvement of many multinational investors.

“Your report has no doubt impugned and damaged the character and reputation that our client has built in over 50 years of his existence. There is no doubt that you acted ultra vires of your mandate under any enabling law establishing the DSS to warrant your organisation to reach such conclusions about our client.

“It is ridiculous and interesting that the same DSS that interviewed, screened, cleared and approved the appointment of our client as a Commissioner in Ondo State after his tenure as the Chair of OSARMCO, could now backtrack and indict him over the same position.”

Copies of the letter were also sent to President Mohammad Buhari; the Senate President, Chairman,  Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Attorney General of the Federation and the  Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission.

 

Source:

http://punchng.com/corruption-allegation-ondo-ambassadorial-nominee-demands-apology-from-dss/

Senate does not have the powers to ‘summon’ Sagay — SERAP

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the leadership of the Senate to “immediately withdraw the unwarranted and unconstitutional ‘summon’” for Itse Sagay, chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption to appear before the Senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions for reportedly describing the body as “childish and irresponsible” and one “filled by people of questionable character”

SERAP in a statement Thursday signed by its executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said, “the Senate’s decision to summon Professor Sagay simply for exercising his right to freedom of expression is arbitrary, a travesty, mala-fide, and cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

The statement read in part: “The Senate is not immune from constitutional control simply because it’s a law-making body. In fact, the Senate has neither special immunity from the operation of the constitution nor special privilege to invade the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed right to freedom of expression of Professor Sagay or other citizens for that matter.”

“The framers of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) would never have contemplated a legislative power without responsibility, and the Senate can’t continue to carry on in a manner that implies its law-making and oversight powers are not open to question. Therefore, its powers under the constitution ought to be exercised reasonably and responsibly, consistent with the fundamental notions of peace, order, good governance and the public interest.”

“The human rights of Nigerians are secured against not only executive lawlessness but also legislative excesses. To trample on citizens’ freedom of expression is to thwart the ideals of representative democracy and the rule of law.”

Mr. Sagay’s comment was a reaction to the Senate’s refusal to proceed with confirmation of 27 persons President Muhammadu Buhari nominated as Resident Electoral Commissioners.

The lawmakers stopped the confirmation in protest against the refusal of the President to sack Ibrahim Magu as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite his repeated rejection by the Senate.

SERAP said, “The National Assembly is constitutionally empowered to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Nigeria but recent events in the Senate would seem to stir the public anger. It seems curious that the Senate will be giving a raw deal to the heads of the two leading anti-corruption bodies in the country—Ibrahim Magu of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Itse Sagay of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.”

“All public institutions and figures are legitimately subject to criticism and political opposition. The Senate in particular and the National Assembly as a whole would do well to respect the inherent rights of Nigerians that are so fundamental to our constitutional structure. Democracy, constitutional supremacy, and the rule of law require no less. Indeed, no principle is more basic to any proper system of law than the maintenance of the rule of law itself”.

 

Source: Premium Times

8 women docked in Lagos for allegedly soliciting sex in public

Eight women believed to be sex workers, who allegedly solicited sex at a public place, were on Thursday brought before a Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

They were, however, released on N400,000 bail.

The eight women — Jessita Nelson, 25; Chinyere Elon, 25; Cynthia Nwoke, 38; Taiwo Ali, 45; Abigal Moses, 29; Ifeanyi Okoro, 30; Chiwendu Anah, 40; and Ivie Osasa, 25? — are facing a charge of soliciting for immoral purpose.
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They all denied the charge.

The prosecutor, Christopher Okoliko told the court that Ms. Nelson and Ms. Elon committed the offence on March 27, at about 12.30 a.m. on Babs Animashaun Road, Surulere, while the six others committed the offence on March 27 at about 12.00 a.m. along Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere.

?According to him, the eight women have been sighted at the various spots for alleged solicitation of prostitution.

The offence contravened Section 142 (b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 (Revised).

The Chief Magistrate, A.A. Paul, granted the women N50,000 each with one surety in like sum.

He said surety must be gainfully employed and also provide evidence of tax payments to the government.

The case was adjourned until April 11for mention.

 

Source: NAN

EFCC Release List of Wanted Suspects

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared not less than eighty-six suspects wanted for various crimes in the country.

Here are the 10 most wanted.

1. Former governor of Jigawa state, Saminu Turaki is wanted by EFCC in connection with a case of criminal conspiracy, stealing, money laundering and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N36 Billion.

2. Government Tompolo, the Ex-Delta Militant leader, is wanted in a case of conspiracy, illegal diversion of the sum of N45.9 billion belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

3. Iliasu Olanrewaju Abdul-Rauf, the National Coordinator, Federal Civil Service Staff with Disabilities Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Abuja, allegedly collected the sum of N1.7Billion under the guise of awarding contracts for the establishment of rehabilitation centres across the 36 states of the federation.

4. Former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina, for offences bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence. Maina is allegedly complicit in the over N2 billion Pensions Biometric Scam in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

5. The Managing Director of Carlisle Properties and Investment Limited, Kennedy Izuagbe, is wanted in a case of Conspiracy and Money Laundering to the tune of over N3.6 billion. In the course of investigation, Izuagbe went underground and all efforts to reach him have proved abortive.

6. Abdullahi Usman Adamu alias Dan China is alleged to have received a part payment of $500,000 USD through his company Guroje Mining Company for the supply of 3000MT of Lead Ore to a Chinese Company, Shengjia International (HK) Limited. Three months later, Dan China has not supplied the goods and is presently at large.

7. Olabode Jacob O Obayomi, the owner of Standard Chartered Securities Limited of 116-118, Lagos House, Central Area, Garki, Abuja is wanted in connection with a case of Criminal Conspiracy, Diversion of Public Funds and Breach of trust involving the unauthorised sale of over N251 million worth of stock belonging to Ebonyi State Government.

8. Etim Ekpo Okima, managing director/ chief executive officer of Etisko BDC, 11, Abibu Oki Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a case of stealing and issuance of dud cheque.

9. Osita Emmanuel Okereke, DG National Taskforce to Combat Illegal Importation of Goods, Small Arms, Ammunitions and Light Weapon, (aka NATFORCE), is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a case of Criminal Conspiracy and Impersonation. Okereke who was arrested with several incriminating items, including, bulletproof vests has jumped bail.

10. Agbebi Samuel Adebanji of Hepa Global Energy Limited, 33, Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos, whose photograph appears above, is wanted b for conspiracy and illegal dealing in Petroleum Product. He was on board vessel MT Good Success carrying 1,459 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, instead of the 350 metric tons of Automotive Gas Oil, AGO, it was licensed to carry.

 

Source: www.nigerianeye.com

Nigerian Army to build Bailey bridge in Enugu State

The Enugu State Executive Council has approved that the contract for the reconstruction of a bailey bridge over Ivo River in Okpanku, Ani Nri Local Government Area, be awarded to the Nigerian Army’s works unit for N54 million.

Speaking to journalists on decisions taken by the council, the commissioner for information, Godwin Udeuhele, said the army got the contract award based on the engineering expertise it had garnered over the years.

The commissioner also announced a planned collaboration between the state’s ministry of education and the Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN) towards the implementation of Literacy Enhancement and Achievement Project (LEAMP) in three local government areas of Udenu, Oji River and Enugu South. He disclosed that the education ministry has as a result been directed to express the state’s interest to the World Bank towards attracting the project.

“The LEAMP project is a reliable one that has the potential to enhance the proficiency of secondary school teachers as well as the performance of students in core subjects like English language, mathematics, sciences, among others,” he said.

Mr. Udeuhele revealed that the council further approved a review of rural electrification projects in Igbo-Etiti and Igboeze North by ten per cent of the project sum valued at N80,506,545 and N75,589,686 respectively. This review was informed by the need to ensure speedy and efficient completion of the projects, he explained.

Equally approved was the recruitment of 10 social welfare workers for the state’s ministry of gender affairs and social development to boost the establishment’s child welfare department.

The commissioner noted that the council meeting also witnessed the presentation of the Best State Government Website of the Year award to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi by the Institute of Information Management of Africa’s Records and Information Management Awareness, RIMA, foundation, adding that the sum of N10 million was subsequently approved for the purchase of ICT equipment for the ministry of science and technology’s Computer Training Centre to help it meet its mandate on computer literacy.

 

Source: Premium Times

Nigeria’s economy bouncing back – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday disclosed that the nation’s economy was gradually recovering from the current economic recession.

Buhari made the disclosure when he received the outgoing Ambassador of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Fahad Bin Abdullah Sefyan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina and sent to newsmen said, “Noting that the last farming season was quite good, and the Nigerian economy was gradually reviving, President Buhari said the two countries would have more areas to collaborate in future.”

The President stated that the relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia is a mutually beneficial one, which should grow stronger in the years to come.

Insisting that both countries enjoy strong ties, Buhari noted that apart from visiting Mecca and Medina for religious reasons, a lot of Nigerians are in Saudi Arabian universities.

“I quite appreciate the relationship between the two countries,” the President said.

On his part, the outgoing Ambassador who spent 20 months on tour of duty, said he loved it in Nigeria and would have wanted to stay longer if not that he was now due for retirement.

Commending Buhari for visiting Saudi Arabia in February 2015, Sefyan said there should be reciprocal visits between the leaders of both countries.

Speaking on the issue of security in Nigeria, the outgoing Ambassador observed that the President is doing well.

“I think you are doing very well, Your Excellency. We know what you have done with Boko Haram, and we applaud you,” he said.

Meningitis: 282 deaths confirmed in five Nigerian states

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has confirmed the outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, CSM, in five states with at least 282 deaths related to the disease.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Chief Executive Officer of the centre, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr. Ihekweazu said that 1,966 suspected cases have been recorded while 109 have been confirmed and being treated since the outbreak of the disease in February in the country.

He said that the centre had deployed a response team to the affected states to vaccinate the residents and control further spread of CSM.

According to him, Zamfara has the highest number of confirmed cases of 44, followed by Katsina with 32, Sokoto 19, Kebbi 10 and Niger 4 confirmed cases.

He also said that there is an inter-agency response supporting the states to contain the outbreak through the primary mode of vaccination.

However, Mr. Ihekweazu explained that a new strand of meningitis called “stereotype C” has emerged in place of the previous known type “stereotype A”, which has disappeared.

He regretted that there was not yet commercially available vaccine for this new stereotype “C” meningitis.

“There is a vaccine available but it is not commercially available for the stereotype involved in this specific outbreak and we have to make application to the World Health Organisation for the vaccines.

“Thankfully the vaccines have arrived and we have started vaccination campaign in Zamfara. We are in the process of starting in Sokoto and Kebbi states.

“We continue to advocate for scientists and for the global community to really try and push to develop a vaccine for meningitis `C’, on the other hand all we can do is prevention,” he said.

Ihekweazu said that prevention and early detection was key to combating the disease, if detected early, it could be treated with antibiotics.

He said that the centre was working with the states by supporting and ensuring they have the supplies to combat the disease.

“Meningitis is a tough disease especially during this period and it is associated with over-crowding, understanding the living conditions in the country, people must keep their building ventilated,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to avoid sleeping in overcrowded condition and if a lot of people must sleep together in the same room, the windows and doors must be open to allow enough ventilation.

The chief executive officer assured that the centre would work with state governments in the North West and North Central, where most cases were recorded, to ensure better preparation and avert similar outbreak next year.

The Abuja authorities had earlier confirmed five deaths in the Nigerian capital.

The Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Primary Health Care Development Board on Thursday confirmed the death of yet another person due to cerebrospinal meningitis in the territory.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported on Wednesday that the board recorded four deaths on Tuesday in Durumi area of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC.

The Executive Secretary of the board, Rilwanu Mohammed, said in an interview in Abuja that another death from the disease occurred in Dakwa, a border village of Bwari Area Council and Niger State on Wednesday.

“The four suspected cases we have were all in Durumi I and II in AMAC while one confirmed case of a child that just happened yesterday (Wednesday) in Dakwa of Bwari area council.

“The four that died in Durumi showed all signs of meningitis but there was an autopsy carried out in the one at Dakwa and was confirmed to be meningitis at the University of Abuja Teaching hospital, Gwagwalada.

“We have so far immunised all residents of Durumi that are within the ages of one year and 29 years and we are going to condone off Dakwa area today (Thursday) for a similar vaccination,” he said.

According to him, the board had so far immunised 65,000 residents as against 70,000 targeted for vaccination against meningitis in FCT.

He said that since the disease broke out in Zamfara, Sokoto and Niger states, the board intensified effort to curtail its spread in the territory.

The secretary disclosed that the board focused on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and barracks for the vaccination exercise because of their vulnerability.

Mr. Mohammed advised residents to avoid crowded places and ensure crossed ventilation in their homes to prevent the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, Haruna Agwai, the Primary Health Care Coordinator of Kuje Area Council, says inadequate vaccines is hindering the progress of work at the ongoing immunisation of children against meningitis and polio in the area.

Mr. Agwai made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Kuje during the immunisation of children at the Primary Health Care Centre in the area.

“Inadequate vaccines, weather condition, inadequate funding, difficult terrain, vehicles and manpower are slowing down the process of immunisation in the area,’’ Mr. Agwai said.

He said that in spite the hindrance, “the health workers are vaccinating children on Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) from the ages 0 to 59 months and meningitis from 1 to 29 years.’’

The coordinator said the essence of the current exercise was to immunise children against the recent outbreak of meningitis in some parts of the country.

“We are vaccinating the children and taking precautions against the outbreak of meningitis in some parts of the country.’’

He said about 7,763 children had so far been immunised out of about 17,000 children, representing 40 per cent.

Mr. Agwai commended some parents for cooperating with health workers for the progress of the exercise.

According to him, Kuje Area Council Administration is determined to ensure that children in the area are healthy.

He also praised the council’s health personnel, traditional rulers and families for their support.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the council has 10 electoral wards while some of its communities lack adequate primary healthcare centres.

 

Source: NAN

Armed robbers kill two police officers in Kogi State

The Police Command in Kogi said on Thursday that two of its officers were killed during an invasion of a commercial bank by suspected armed robbers.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, William Aya, told journalists in Lokoja that the officers died while warding off the armed robbers that stormed a branch of UBA at Odo Ere in Yagba East Local Government Area of the state.

Mr. Aya, an assistant superintendent of police, said that the incident occurred on March 28, saying that the two slain officers were sergeants.

He said the Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, had set up a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations to investigate the incident.

He also said that reinforcement had been sent to the town to enhance security of lives and property, saying that the robbers would soon be arrested.

 

Source: NAN

University of Jos dissolves SUG over new tuition

The University of Jos has dissolved the institution’s Students Union Government (SUG).

This is contained in a statement issued in Jos on Wednesday by Abdullahi Abdullahi, the school’s Principal Assistant Registrar, Information.

According to the statement, the university has constituted a five-man Caretaker Committee in place of the SUG.

The statement quoted the UniJos Vice-Chancellor, Sebastian Maimako, as giving reasons for the dissolution to include protest by the SUG against the new school charges of N45, 000 as directed by the Federal Government.

Other reasons, the statement said, included the SUG’s decision to convene a meeting of students without due approval from the Directorate of Students Affairs, which resulted in a protest with the students carrying placards.

It added that the SUG officials had similarly mobilised students to attend a meeting where parents were shouted down.

“They externalised an internal issue, affecting the university without following the acceptable laid down procedures for conflict resolution in the university.

“They were also intimidating and issuing threats to law abiding students, including fresh students who were willing to comply with the payment of the new school charges.

“The SUG officials also maligned principal officers of the university, including the VC on various media platforms.

“Using the social media, they misinformed members of the public on the action taken by the university authorities in the process of implementing the new school charges,” the statement read in part.

According to the statement, management had on several occasions invited the SUG officials to dialogue on the matter of the harmonised school charges for federal universities, but they remained intransigent and refused to see reasons.

It added that the students, by all the actions taken by the dissolved SUG officials, clearly indicated their desire to disrupt the smooth running of the institution.

The vice chancellor, in the statement, therefore, directed the dissolved SUG officials to handover all properties belonging to the union in their possession with immediate effect.

Mr. Maimako, thereafter, announced the constitution of a five-man caretaker committee of the SUG with Wuyep Nansar as chairman.

It also announced Timdi Nkat as Secretary, Yilmazaka Gershinen, Idi Ishaku and Ekweozor Nzube as members.

According to the statement, the vice chancellor charged the committee to maintain the spirit of discipline and dedication in line with the university’s motto.

Mr. Nansar, on behalf of the other members of the committee, promised their readiness to put in their best to contribute to the peace and progress of the institution.

He said they would use their wealth of experience to work with the students, management and all for the benefit of the system.

 

Source: NAN

Senate cannot invade Sagay’s freedom of expression – SERAP

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has advised the senate leadership to shelve its plan to summon Itse Sagay, a professor, over a comment he made against the lawmakers.

The human rights advocacy organisation said the senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions, which is populated by “childish and irresponsible persons with questionable character”, lacked the moral right to summon Sagay.

SERAP, in a statement by its executive director, Adetokunbo Mummuni, said the proposed invitation of Sagay goes against the constitutional powers of the senate.

“The Senate is not immune from constitutional control simply because it’s a law-making body. In fact, the Senate has neither special immunity from the operation of the constitution nor special privilege to invade the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed right to freedom of expression of Prof. Sagay or other citizens for that matter,” he said.

“The framers of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) would never have contemplated a legislative power without responsibility, and the Senate can’t continue to carry on in a manner that implies its law-making and oversight powers are not open to question.

“Therefore, its powers under the constitution ought to be exercised reasonably and responsibly, consistent with the fundamental notions of peace, order, good governance and the public interest.

“The human rights of Nigerians are secured against not only executive lawlessness but also legislative excesses. To trample on citizens’ freedom of expression is to thwart the ideals of representative democracy and the rule of law.

“The National Assembly is constitutionally empowered to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Nigeria but recent events in the Senate would seem to stir the public anger. It seems curious that the Senate will be giving a raw deal to the heads of the two leading anti-corruption bodies in the country—Ibrahim Magu of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Itse Sagay of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.”

Sagay had earlier informed the senate that he has the constitutional right to air his views, adding that he does not belong to the category of government officials that can be summoned by the lawmakers.

Nigerian pilot, Ademilola Odujinrin, makes history as first African to fly the world solo

A Nigerian pilot who works for Air Djibouti has become the first African pilot in history to fly solo around the world.

Ademilola “Lola” Odujinrin completed the final leg of his historic journey Wednesday afternoon, landing safely at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The pilot has completed the entire circumnavigation in a Cirrus SR22, stopping in more than 15 countries on five continents, returning to Washington DC, where his journey began back in September.

The flight is part of Project Transcend, a foundation which aims to inspire young people to achieve their goals, regardless of their personal circumstances.

Ademilola says: “Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of one day flying around the world. We have a responsibility to lead by example and follow our dreams. I want African children to think: ‘I can do this too!’”

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Air Djibouti’s Chairman, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, and Cardiff Aviation’s Chairman, Bruce Dickinson, who have supported me throughout this journey. Without them, this would not have been possible.”

Both formed part of a high-level delegation to welcome the historic aviator on the tarmac at Dulles Airport, including: the Ambassador of Djibouti to the United States, His Excellency, Mr. Mohamed Siad Doualeh; Senior Director of Strategic Planning for Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority, Mr. Dawit Michael Gebre-ab; and Chief Operating Officer of Air Djibouti, Mr. Moussa Houssein.

Other distinguished guests included the CEO Africa World Press, which plans to publish a book on the journey.

Ademilola has logged over 4,000 hours as a commercial Boeing 737 pilot since earning his pilot licence six years ago.

The Chairman of Air Djibouti, Aboubaker Omar Hadi,  says: “By supporting initiatives like Lola’s flight around the world, Air Djibouti hopes to inspire a new generation of pilots in Africa and help to pave the way for the aviation industry to thrive in the region.

“The benefits will be felt within the region, as this will encourage more intra-African trade and sustainable economic development.

“With the commencement of the Single African Air Transport Market set for June 2017, air travel in the continent is positioned to grow rapidly and become a key contributor to the region’s economic and social development.”

Globally, the aviation industry represents a massive opportunity for African economies to play a larger role.

It is estimated that 2017 alone will see approximately four billion airline passengers worldwide, as well as over 50 million tonnes of cargo being transported by air.

BREAKING: Ghanaian Central Bank Governor Resigns

Governor of Ghana’s central bank, Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku has resigned, sources who asked to be anonymous have revealed.

According to sources within the central bank, the governor who officially started his four-year term around September last year tendered his resignation on Wednesday citing personal reasons.

Although the governors of the central bank have been insulated against political risk through an amended Bank of Ghana Act which assures them the security of tenure, speculations have been rife immediately after the December election that the current government would like the governor to leave office so they could appoint a replacement.

Issahaku was first appointed by former president John Mahama in April 2016 in an acting position when Henry Wampah tendered his resignation six months before the end of his tenure.

Mahama was defeated at the polls by current president, Nana Akufo-Addo who won the election by 53 per cent.

Sources within the central bank also named former head of the research department at the bank, Ernest Addison now with the African Development Bank as one of the front-runners to occupy the Bank of Ghana chair.

The outgoing governor held his last Monetary Policy Committee press briefing on Monday, where he announced a 200 basis point reduction in the bank’s benchmark policy rate from 25.5 per cent to 23.5 per cent.

 

Source: Xinhua/NAN

Federal lawmaker Nse Ekpenyong arraigned for certificate forgery

A member of the House of Representatives, Nse Ekpenyong, was on Thursday arraigned at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for alleged forgery of a polytechnic diploma.

Mr. Ekpenyong represents the Oron Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, which arraigned the federal lawmaker on nine count charges, accused him of forging a national diploma certificate of the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, Abia State.

“That you Nse Bassey Ekpenyong on or about 22 November 2012, at Uyo, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make a document to wit: Abia State Polytechnic National Diploma Certificate in Business Administration with No. 001181 dated 22nd November, 2012 with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (2) (C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M 17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under section 1 (2) of the same Act,” says one of the charges preferred against the lawmaker.

Mr. Ekpenyong pleaded not guilty to the charges. And from the accused box, he watched as his lawyer, Emmanuel Isangedoho, argued for his bail which was opposed by the EFCC.

The lawmaker wore a brown colour Niger Delta wear. He cut the image of a dejected and lonely man. He occasionally brought out a white handkerchief to wipe his face.

The presiding judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu, said the case would be treated speedily.

She granted the lawmaker bail in the sum of N10 million and adjourned the case to April 12.

The EFCC was represented by Ahmedu Arogha.

The case is coming amid a controversy over the genuineness of the university certificate of a Nigerian senator, Dino Melaye.

Mr. Melaye, a former member of the House of Representatives, from Kogi State, was accused of falsely claiming to have graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

On Tuesday, ABU vice chancellor told the Senate Mr. Melaye graduated from the school with a third class bachelors in geography.

A Senate committee cleared Mr. Melaye of wrongdoing, basing its decision on the VC’s testimony.

But the school’s position has been questioned, with some Nigerians demanding evidence beyond an oral testimony by the vice chancellor.

 

Source: Premium Times

IN PICTURES: Ambode honours Tinubu with statue, names bridge after him

Less than two weeks that Borno state governor, Ibrahim Shettima named an estate after Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in his state, the Lagos state counterpart has replicated the honour by naming a bridge after the revered All progressives Congress, APC, leader.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other dignitaries witnessed the commissioning of Aboru-Abesan link bridge, roads and a new Statue of the leader in Alimosho Local government area of the state.

See photos:

 

 

We’ve not dumped CBT, says JAMB

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on Thursday described as “misleading” reports in a national Newspapers, that it had dumped the Computer-Based Test mode in the forthcoming Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, four years after its introduction.

The organisation said contrary to the report, it would continue all its examinations using CBT mode.

A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by the spokesperson of JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said the clarification became necessary “following the misleading caption” that it had dumped CBT and adopts eight keys.

He said, “The headline was not only misleading but capable of causing panic, distortion and confusion in the minds of Nigerians particularly the candidates planning to take the UTME of a well-conceived CBT examination which the Board was consolidating on the gains and feat recorded.

“This report was mischievous because more than 10 other journalists were there at the retreat where the eight keys intended to make the navigation of the examination easy and friendly for first time user of a computer or any electronic device was restated.”

According to him, the misleading captions of the activities of JAMB by the Newspaper, even when its reporters were at such functions, was a clear demonstration of an orchestrated attempt to pull down JAMB and underrate her desire to improve the fortunes of the education sector as it concerns public examination.

Benjamin said, “In our attempt to make CBT friendly, JAMB introduced the use of 8 keys without a mouse. This, we have explained to Nigerians, and all stakeholders at the just-concluded strategic planning Retreat on “Supervision and Evaluation of the conduct of the 2017 UTME” in Kaduna, where we had the privilege of having over a 100 distinguished scholars from the academia, civil society and other critical stakeholders.

“At the meeting, the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, restated the determination of JAMB to continue to innovate on policies that will ease the phobia for CBT, one of which is the introduction of the use of 8 keys without a mouse and nowhere was the issue of dumping CBT contemplated.

“We see this embarrassing caption as deliberate effort to thwart the Board’s noble intention. The question we are asking is: on what platform will the 8 keys be?

“In view of this, we call on all Nigerians to disregard this misleading report and to appeal to the Newspapers to desist from this inglorious attitude of allowing its beautiful medium to be used for the subversion of developmental strides of JAMB.”

Local Government elections in Nigeria a mockery of democracy – Dogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has described the conduct of local government elections in Nigeria as a shame and mockery of democracy. Dogara, in a meeting with senior journalists in Abuja said the current system is not working. “If we keep sticking to it and expecting it to work someday, I don’t know who termed it as the very definition of foolishness.”

He said the local government elections have benefitted only those who constituted themselves into middlemen to grab the resources meant for the development of the grassroots.

The speaker accused the state electoral commissions of promoting a mockery of democracy by organizing elections where only one political party wins by sweeping all the votes.

He posited that as long as the resources appropriated to local government are mismanaged by a powerful few, so long would it remain the bane of development in Nigeria. If local governments are able to achieve autonomy, Dogara believes it will improve the pool of quality leadership that will manage the resources at that level more efficiently and at the end of the day, “we can have an oasis of prosperity in the desert of nothingness and instead of all our people migrating to the cities, they will be able to find some kind of prosperity at the local level that can sustain them.’’

He disclosed that repeated efforts to grant autonomy to local governments through constitutional reviews have remained a mirage because of vested interests. Reacting to the fresh constitutional effort to free the third tier government, he said, “If care is not taken, it will still not scale through. It will take a general resolve from Nigerians, the media, civil society organisations, local government staff to insist on their state assemblies that when the bill is submitted to them, they must pass it.”

He cited the example of value added tax (VAT), where the Federal Government benefits only 15 per cent while 85 per cent go to the states and local governments where the bulk of this fund is believed to be diverted and misappropriated.

Meanwhile, Dogara has assured pensioners that the House of Representatives will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to work out a definite plan to offset outstanding pension liabilities which currently stands at over N200 billion.

He also disclosed that the House will today consider a motion to invite key players in charge of pension matters to appear in plenary next week Thursday and speak on how they plan to clear the pension liabilities.

He spoke when he received a delegation from the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, led by its national president, Dr. Abel Afolayan. The Speaker emphasised that all pensions due to retired public service workers must be paid because it is a constitutionally provided right.

 

Source: The Guardian

BREAKING: Thugs attack office of Sheriff-led PDP faction in Ekiti

People suspected to be political thugs on Tuesday attacked the office of a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyal to Ali Modu Sheriff in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.

They vandalised the property and tore the flags erected at the premises, which is the office of a leader of the party, Chief Williams Ajayi at Nova road, Adebayo area in the city.

Speaking to journalists on the incident, the Deputy Chairman of the group, Olasunkanmi Ogunbiyi accused the Gboyega Oguntuase-led faction, allegedly loyal to Governor Ayodele Fayose and Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi as masterminding the attack.

The Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti in a judgement delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on January 24 this year declared Ajayi the authentic chairman before the Court of Appeal ordered a stay of execution of the ruling.According to Ogunbiyi: “The assailants scaled the fence and destroyed all the flags and shattered the windows of our office. We suspect that Oguntuase’s people are behind this and we need prompt action from the security agencies.”

Reacting to the allegation, the Publicity Secretary of Oguntuwase-led PDP in the state, Jackson Adebayo, said the claim was part of the plan to tarnish the image of the party in the state.

Meanwhile, the party has described the former governor of the state and Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi as a bad loser who is seeking power through the backdoor.

Reacting to a newspaper interview granted by Fayemi, where he described the 2014 election, which he lost as an “unfinished business”, the state chairman of the party, Gboyega Oguntuase in a statement advised the former governor to “bury the thought that he could achieve through the backdoor what the people of Ekiti denied him in a free, fair and credible election.”

“Fayemi and his cohorts went to court after the 2014 election and lost all the way from the tribunal through the Appeal Court to the Supreme Court. He is now boasting that he will cause the Supreme Court to reverse its judgment on the Ekiti election, but he will fail,” Oguntuase said.

Pastor Storms Mortuary To Resurrect Wife, But Failed.

A pastor and his followers spent the day at Embu mortuary praying with the hope that his wife will resurrect. Pastor Robinson Githumba, 40, of Eagle Prophetic Church camped at the Gakwegori funeral from 8 am for the mission.

Armed with bibles, they prayed enthusiastically, singing and shouting at the top of their voices expecting a miracle. They invoked God’s name to resurrect Polly Kagendo, 38, who died of TB on Sunday.

Githumba insisted that his wife was not dead but only resting and would resurrect on the fourth day like the biblical Lazarus. The pastor traveled from Rwika Village, Mbeere South sub-county with his followers.

He asked the mortuary attendants to remove his wife’s body and put it in an open place for the prayers. Drenched in sweat, they continued until 5pm when the attendants sought to return the body as they were ready to close for the day.

The pastor said his wife fell sick and was rushed to Mwea hospital where she passed way. He took along her clothes incase she rose. She was later transferred to the funeral home for preservation. Githumba said he believes his wife will rise again. “That is why we are praying for her resurrection.

We know God is the most powerful being. I know she will be visited after three days the way Jesus visited Lazarus and woke him up from the dead. I know this will also happen to my wife,” Githumba, a father of four, said. The woman was set to be buried on Saturday. But with the current development, the plan is likely to change.