Buratai Warns Against Delay In Payment Of Troops’ Salaries

Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, yesterday, warned against delay in payment of salaries and allowances of troops engaged in the fight against insurgency in the North East.

Buratai, who spoke while declaring open, a seminar on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, for army personnel, in Abuja, insisted that prompt and accelerated payment of salaries and allowances to the fighting troops was one of the ways of boosting their moral.

He admitted that the objectives of the IPPIS were to ensure transparency, accountability and improve the effectiveness of payroll administration in all government ministries and agencies, adding that the development would present new challenges in the management of troops’ salaries and allowances.

He said: “I approve this seminar and know that the implementation of IPPIS in the military will present new challenges in the management of troops’ salaries and allowances. “I am hereby charging the finance corps to ensure that the nuances of transition are well understood so as to continue to boost the morale of the fighting troops.

“We understand that seamless, timely and regular payment of personnel salaries and allowances are an essential ingredient for the sustenance of morale of the troops.

“This is especially important towards the current ongoing efforts at consolidating on the counter-terrorism efforts in the north eastern part of the country and indeed all other operations around the country.”



Obama Vows Action Against Russia Over Election Hacks

US President Barack Obama has vowed to take action against Russia for its alleged interference in the US presidential election campaign.

“We need to take action and we will,” he told US radio station NPR.

Russia stands accused by the US of hacking the emails of the Democratic Party and a key Hillary Clinton aide, which the Kremlin strongly denies.

Republican president-elect Donald Trump has also dismissed the claim as “ridiculous” and politically motivated.

The intelligence agencies say they have overwhelming evidence that Russian hackers linked to the Kremlin were behind the hacks.

And on Thursday, a White House spokesman said President Vladimir Putin was involved in the cyber-attacks.

Hours later, Mr Obama said: “I think there’s no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact on the integrity of our elections, that we need to take action and we will, at a time and a place of our own choosing.

“Some of it may be explicit and publicised. Some of it may not be.

“Mr Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”

Read More: BBC

EFCC Withdraws Charge Against Former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), yesterday withdrew the five-count charge brought against former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed.

The charges marked CR/43/2016 were earlier  filed before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Gudu.

When the case came up yesterday for his arraignment before Justice Abubakar Talba, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Larry Peters applied to withdraw the charge on the grounds that the Commission wants to put it’s house in order.

His application was not opposed to by counsel to the former minister, Chief Chris Uche (SAN).

Consequently, the charge was accordingly struck out by Justice Talba.

The former minister had also filed a motion for bail through his lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, before the said court.

The former minister who was last week released on bail upon order of court after weeks in custody, was in court with many relations, well-wishers and sympathisers.

He was arrested and detained since October 24, 2016, when he went to honour an invitation by the Commission.



Aisha Buhari, Magu To Kick-off Women Against Corruption Campaign

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will tomorrow,  flag off the Nigerian Women Against Corruption, WAC, project, at the International Conference Center, Abuja with the aim of engaging women across the country in a nationwide sustainable fight against corruption.

According to the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, the epoch-making event, which is in collaboration with the office of the wife of the President would be flagged off by Her Excellency Hajia Aisha Muhammadu Buhari beginning at nine o’clock in the morning.

“The choice of women is strategic, because we believe that they are torch-bearers in the anti-corruption crusade, and it is because of the important role they play in making the society a better place”, Magu said.

He further added that: “The WAC project is aimed at galvanizing Nigerian women to buy into the corruption fight and also to raise the consciousness of the consequences of corruption in the minds of their households.”

The WAC programme, which is coming up two days before the 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day celebration, has Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar (retd), Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice of Nigeria as the guest speaker.

The project will further be taken to the grassroots through the states and local governments across the country.



Pakistan, Russia Fighter Jets Set To Join War Against Boko Haram- NAF

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) will take delivery of war -planes and helicopters from Pakistan and Russia to boost its fleet ahead of the final push against Boko Haram insurgents, it was learnt yesterday.

Nigeria has failed to procure fighter jets from the United States and Brazil.

Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who broke the news in Abuja, said  Air Force personnel were undergoing training in many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Egypt and China.

The news came as Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai ordered his men to end the insurgency this month.

Air Marshal Abubakar said: “We have been enjoying support from other countries. Sometimes arms procurement is shrouded in a lot of politics. Unfortunately, I’m not a politician, so I cannot say much on that. But what I can tell you is that right now we are expecting the Pakistani Chief of Air Staff in Nigeria soon. Pakistan has accepted to sell 10 trainer airplanes. And that is why the Pakistan Chief of Air Staff is coming for the induction ceremony in Kaduna.”

The Chief of Air Staff said the Air Force was assisting the Army and the Navy in the North and South fighting terrorism and militancy through operational strategy, air interdictions strategy and soft-core strategy.

He said the objective was to create an enabling environment for the ground and surface forces to operate with little or no hindrance.

He said the Service was carrying out massive reactivation of redundant aircraft and many of them are already involved in the fight against Boko Haram.

“Another sub -strategy is the reactivation of airplanes. We have embarked on the reactivation of airplanes and today we are on the 13th aircraft. What I mean by reactivation is that aircraft that were not involved in any fight before the coming of this Federal Government; they were parked before but are today part of the fight.

“The 13th aircraft as I speak to you is being worked upon in Yola and we are hoping that before the end of this month that airplane will be flying. When you train, you must reactivate the platform to be used in flying.”

He praised the competence of NAF pilots, saying:  “In the last 18 months, we have flown almost 3000 hours with no incident. The pilots are among the most competent. Because the training curriculum is very clear. And that is why now in the Air Force you look at the wings, pilots wear wings. We have categorised the wings according to their skill levels.

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Pakistan, Russia fighter jets set to join Boko Haram war

Naira Further Weakens Against Dollars

As a result of a crackdown in the parallel market, currency traders and the persistent scarcity of the greenback, naira is further weakening against the United States dollar, Reuters has reported.

The local currency fell 2.08 per cent week-on-week on Thursday to 480 to the dollar on the parallel market against 470 a dollar last week, while it was quoted by commercial lenders at 314.80 a dollar on the interbank market.

According to the reports, the foreign exchange demand by small businesses was set to surge ahead of holiday season sales.

The naira has, however, consistently closed around 305.5 a dollar level since August via the official window.

“The consistent clampdown on black market operators by security agents has driven some currency retailers underground, putting more pressure on available hard currency,” one dealer said.

But the Kenyan shilling could strengthen against the dollar in the coming week due to subdued importer demand and increased inflows from overseas remittances, traders said.

At 0742 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 101.80/102.00 to the dollar, the same as last Thursday’s close.

“From the data we’ve seen in the past, we normally tend to see an uptick in the Diaspora inflows during this month of December,” said a trader at a commercial bank.

Credit: dailytrust

Ribadu Reveals Names Of Nigerians Who ‘Frustrated’ Fight Against Corruption

Years after leaving office as the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu has named some Nigerians he said tried their best to frustrate the nation’s fight against corruption.

Mr. Ribadu spoke on Thursday when he presented the lead paper at the 2016 Annual Lecture organised by the Law Chambers of Joe Kyari Gadzama in Abuja.

Speaking under the theme “Corruption and the Nigerian Economy: Lawyers as Change Agents”, Mr. Ribadu named foremost lawyer, Ben Nwabueze, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, and his successor at the EFCC, Farida Waziri, as people who undermined the country’s efforts to fight against the cancer of corruption.

“I still recall with amazement and shock how some very senior lawyers made it a duty upon themselves to bring down the EFCC and stop the work we were doing. Many of them, like Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, teamed up with politicians to wage a very serious propaganda to discredit the work we were doing,” he said.

He also said Mr. Nwabueze personally went to court on many occasions to challenge the powers of the EFCC to fight corruption.

“One thing that also did a serious damage to the war against corruption was the active connivance of some senior lawyers who represented the governors we charged to courts after the 2007 election,” he said.

“It is on record that we charged the former governors of Jigawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Enugu, Ekiti, Delta, Abia and Edo states as the first set of ex-governors to face prosecution. However, almost 10 years after most of the cases have not gone anywhere because of deliberate action by lawyers to frustrate the trials,” he said.

Mr. Ribadu, a lawyer and former police officer, also said he was shocked that some lawyers who found themselves in government also worked against the fight against corruption.

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FG Hires Top International Criminal Court Prosecutor Against Indicted Supreme Court Chiefs- Report

Some of the indicted officials of the Supreme Court fingered to have collected money through fraudulent means are in serious trouble as the Federal Government hires a top international criminal prosecutor. The Federal Government has hired a former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Charles Adeogun-Philips, to lead its team of lawyers to prosecute the Supreme Court Registrar and others for alleged N2.2b fraud.
 The arraignment of the three senior officials of the apex court was stalled by Justice Abba Mohammed of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi, Abuja because one of the Supreme Court officials, Muhammed Sharif, was absent.
The Federal Government on November 3 filed a nine-count charge against Chief Registrar Ahmed Saleh, Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal (who are both officials of the court’s Account Department).
The officials were charged with conspiracy and criminal breach of trust for allegedly diverting N2.2billion belonging to the apex court and receiving gratification as public officers. The three officials are also accused of receiving N74.4m gratification from Willysdave Ltd., Welcon Nig. Ltd., Dean Musa Nig. Ltd., Ababia Ventures Ltd. and MBR Computers Ltd. between 2009 and 2016.
On November 8, Justice Mohammed granted a request by prosecution lawyer Hajara Yusuf for time to produce the three defendants in court for arraignment, following which the court adjourned till November 17 for arraignment.
Saleh and Lawal were in court. Sharif was absent. Garba Tetengi (SAN), who announced appearance for Sharif, said he was ill and was on admission at the hospital. He sought an adjournment, which other defence lawyers – Abdulhakeem Mustapha – SAN – (for Saleh) and I.K Sanusi – SAN (for Lawal) did not object.
The Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation (DPPF), Mohammed Umar, who led the prosecution team, later yielded proceedings to Adeogun-Philips, who spoke for the prosecution.
Umar said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had in exercising his powers under Section 174(1) of the Constitution, elected to engage an international lawyer to conduct prosecution in the case.
Adeogun-Philips said he was unhappy that Tetengi could not provide any document to show that Sharif was on admission in the hospital. Justice Mohammed rescheduled the arraignment for December 15.

Merkel, With Nod To Trump, Warns Against Protectionism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for globalization to be framed in multilateral agreements rather than see countries adopt protectionist measures, in a thinly veiled warning to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

In his campaign, Trump argued that international trade agreements had hurt U.S. workers and the country’s competitiveness. He has promised to “get tough” with China and withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which is still not finalized.

Merkel, having last week offered to work with Trump on the basis of democratic values, used a speech to set out the case for strengthening international cooperation in the field of trade and avoiding a slide into protectionism.

“We are at the moment in a situation in the European Union, in our country and worldwide where there is an argument about how we want to shape globalization,” Merkel told a meeting of Germany’s BDA employers association.

“Globalization is happening. We can arrange it such that we strengthen multilateral instruments … or such that we seal ourselves off and become protectionist.”

“I am pleased that you, like me, are convinced that we must fashion globalization in a multilateral way,” added Merkel.

She said she would make globalization a theme for debate during Germany’s presidency of the G20 next year.

Merkel was the driving force in Europe behind the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an ambitious trade deal between the European Union and United States).

That agreement, still in the negotiation phase, seems sure to die under Trump, whose protectionist promises, should they become reality, would hit few countries harder than Germany, whose economic strength depends heavily on the openness of the global trading system.

Read More: reuters

PDP Faction, Aggrieved APC Members To Form New Party Against 2019 Election

Amidst the unresolved intra-party crisis within its fold, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have decided to chart a new course by setting in motion a process that would eventually lead to the formation of a new political alliance ahead of the 2019 general election.
In this regard, the main opposition party under the leadership of the National Caretaker Committee chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, will today inaugurate a committee known as the Strategy Review and Inter-Party Affairs Committee under the chairmanship of Professor Jerry Gana.
The new committee, which is made up of 85 prominent leaders of the PDP, also has the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Austin Opara, as its secretary.
PDP’s move is a reflection of the new thinking among its key leaders who having been frustrated at resolving the differences with the factional national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and are now looking for an alternative platform.
According to sources at the secretariat of the Makarfi-led PDP in Abuja, the inauguration of the committee will formally open up the process of dialogue and consultations with other political parties, including former members of the PDP who left to join the All Progressives Congress (APC), with a view to building a formidable platform.
Although the terms of reference for the committee were not published along with the membership of the committee in the newspaper advertisement published last week, it was gathered that the list of prominent politicians that make up the committee was indicative that the party was looking towards a re-alignment ahead of the 2019 elections.
Some of the members of the committee include Senators Adolphus Wabara, Ibrahim Mantu, Sam Egwu, Ibrahim Kazaure, Stella Omu, Iyiola Omisore, Adamu Gumba, Emmanuel Bwacha, Saidu Kumo, Ayo Adeseun, Tunde Ogbeha, Ibrahim Ida and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
Others are former Governors Attahiru Bafarawa, Peter Obi, Liyel Imoke, Gbenga Daniel, Abdulkadir Kure, Sule Lamido, Idris Wada, Boni Haruna, Babangida Aliyu, Jonah David Jang and Mukhtar Yero.
Others include Mukhtar Shagari, Salimot Makanjuola Badru, Chief Tom Ikimi, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu and Chief Dubem Onyia.
The move to form a new political alliance is coming just as more facts have emerged on why the recent peace initiative in PDP collapsed.
It was gathered from reliable sources in the factions of the party led by Senators Makarfi and Sheriff that both sides disagreed on the composition of the reconciliation committee and who will chair it.
It was learnt that soon after Makarfi and Sheriff accepted to forge peace and settle their differences, the feuding sides accepted that one of the founding fathers of the party and the former National Security Adviser, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, should be the one to mediate on the crisis.
Both Sheriff and Makarfi attended several peace meetings in the residence of Gusau where ideas were canvassed on how to go about setting up the reconciliation committee.
The party leaders had initially settled for 12 nominees on both sides to the committee, but had to review it to 15 at the request of Makarfi.
A source said Makarfi later changed his mind and suggested that the committee be slashed to just three representatives each from both sides of the divide, which Sheriff accepted.
According to another source from the Sheriff camp, the disagreement arose when the issue of who would chair the reconciliation committee was to be decided.
He noted that while Sheriff proposed that he and Makarfi should both step down to allow members of the reconciliation committee to choose a chairman from among themselves to pilot the affairs of the party till the next convention, Makarfi was reluctant to give up his position and objected to the idea.
“It was at this stage that Sheriff then proposed that the reconciliation committee should be headed by former President Goodluck Jonathan, but Makarfi also rejected the idea, leading to a stalemate,” the source revealed.
The source, who claimed to have monitored the proceedings closely, spoke of how Makarfi kept most of the stakeholders of the party on his side in the dark about the true picture of things regarding his talks with Sheriff.
For instance, the source alleged that Makarfi failed to relay to the leaders of the National Assembly Caucus of the party the offers made by Sheriff to step down if Makarfi was ready to do likewise.
According to the source, it got to a point where the former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu arrived from his South African trip and enquired to know the progress on the peace talks, only to discover from Gusau that Sheriff had indeed been forthcoming with offers on how to end the lingering dispute in the party.
However on his part, Makarfi blamed Sheriff for reneging on the agreements they reached.
He had told journalists in an interview in Kaduna at the weekend that the key area where they had a problem was the issue of the terms of reference for the reconciliation committee.
He said: “What we agreed was that the other side (Sheriff’s faction) will join the caretaker committee (Makarfi’s committee). And that was the basic agreement that was reached.
“We should set up an equal number of party men and women that would sit down and look at the modality for integrating the two sides into a new caretaker committee and also draw the modality for the withdrawal of all court cases or consensual settlement of the cases.
“We agreed that in withdrawing all cases, let it be something that we all consent to so as to prevent future litigation.
“Later, I was the one that sent a message that we needed to expand it to 15 because instead of two governors we wanted to include three governors in order to carry everybody along.
“So, that was how we hit the figure 15 on each side. And the issue now became who will chair that committee and the terms of reference. On who to chair the committee, there were names that were mentioned.
“In my opinion, I thought of the person who was able to convene us without dispute should be able to chair the committee. In suggesting any other name you don’t know how it would be received by other people.
“On the choice of former President Goodluck Jonathan to chair the reconciliation committee, Makarfi said the advice against it was that the former president should not be dragged into the crisis at the moment but that he can continue to play an advisory role.”

NLC Warns Against Another Fuel Price Increase

The Nigeria Labour Congress has warned the Federal Government against any further increase in the pump price of petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol.

The warning is coming as the retail stations of the Nigerian Petroleum Corporations in the Federal Capital Territory and its environs have increased the pump price of the PMS to N145 from the initial N141.

Similarly, some private marketers of petroleum products are now selling petrol in their outlets at N150 per litre.

It was reported that some filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states had refrained from selling the product.

For instance, the Oando filling stations at Alapere and Berger as well as the Mobil filling station opposite the Magodo Estate gate did not dispense the product to members of the public since Friday.

Similarly, the Ascon and NNPC stations between Arepo and Magboro, off the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State, did not sell the product on Sunday, raising fears of another round of fuel scarcity.

The General Secretary, NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said on the telephone on Sunday that it would be insensitive on the part of the government to increase fuel price in view of the current hardship in the land.

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Tens Of Thousands Of Indonesian Muslims Protest Against Christian Governor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More: reuters

IG Warns Officers Against Lobbying For Promotion

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has warned officers to desist from lobbying for promotion or face prosecution. Idris gave the warning yesterday in Abuja at the IGP conference with senior officers after decorating the newly promoted Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs).

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police has denied reports that the recent postings carried out by his administration are lopsided.
A media report on Monday said the recent posting of police officers across the country was intended to punish some of those affected.

A statement yesterday in Abuja by the Force Public Relations Officer Don Awunah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) said: “It is suffice to state that transfers and postings in the Nigeria Police Force are administrative and routine aimed at enhancing utmost efficiency of the officers and men for better and effective service delivery.”

The new AIGs are Abubakar Adamu, Kayode Aderanti, Mohammed Usman, Abdul Danwawu, Felix Ogundeji, Ezekiel Zang and Pius Imue.He told the officers that promotion was based on merit as a result of hard work and dedication and not favoritism.

According to him: “Posting in the service is based on exigencies and not on lobbying. Do not lobby. It is based strictly on seniority and vacancy. We have a management that assesses people based on these established criteria. We don’t want people lobbying here and there. I want my colleagues to please observe some of these issues, they are very important.”

Idris said the police had recorded successes against kidnapers, adding that more needed to be done to eradicate the crime. “I want to thank you for ensuring that the crime rate has reduced. The issue of discipline is however very important, your uniform is for the service of Nigerians. So in whatever capacity you find yourself, it is for service,” he said.

Credit: dailytimes

Court Dismisses Saraki’s Appeal Against CCT

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has again affirmed the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on charges bordering on assets declaration breaches before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Delivering judgment in the appeal filed by Saraki, the Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel of the appeal court on Thursday affirmed the CCT’s jurisdiction after dismissing the appeal filed by Saraki challenging his trial before the tribunal.

All the four other members of the panel unanimously agreed with the lead judgment delivered by Justice Aboki? who resolved all the eight issues formulated for determination against Saraki.

In affirming the earlier ruling of the Danladi Umar-led CCT that affirmed the tribunal’s jurisdiction, Justice Aboki held among others that contrary to Saraki’s contention, the Attorney-General of the Federation had the power to institute charges against him before the CCT.

The appeal court also held that under the Constitution, the Code of Conduct wa?s not under any obligation to invite the appellant to enable him to make written admission of breaches in his asset declaration forms before charges could be initiated against him.

It held that the tribunal had rightly departed from its earlier decision exonerating a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu? on account that he was not invited by the CCB to confront him with the allegations levelled against him.

The court also held that the fact that the charges were initiated 13? years after the offences were allegedly committed was immaterial.

Justice Aboki described the contention as sentimental which the court had been enjoined not to delve into.

This was the second time the appeal court would be delivering judgment on the same subject matter of jurisdiction of the CCT to try the Senate President.

The Court of Appeal had last year ruled against Saraki on the jurisdiction of the CCT and asked him to proceed to face the 16 counts preferred against him.

The judgment of the appeal court was validated by the Supreme Court in February.



Court To Hear Patience Jonathan’s Suit Against EFCC In December

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday fixed Dec. 7 to hear a suit by ex-First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, against the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, seeking to unfreeze her account.

Other respondents in the suit are Skye Bank and a former Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripama-Owei Dudafa.

Also joined in the suit are Pluto Property and Investment company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd, Transocean Property and Investment Company Ltd and Globus Integrarted Service Ltd.

The ex-first lady is demanding the sum of $200 million from the commission as damages for infringing on her rights.

She is also urging the court to issue an order discharging the freezing order and restrain the EFCC and its agent from further placing a freezing order on the said accounts.

When the case was called on Wednesday, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, announced appearance for the EFCC, while Mr. Granville Abibo (SAN) appeared for Jonathan.

Addressing the court, Oyedepo informed the judge that the case was coming up for the first time, adding that some of the respondents had yet to be served with the court’s processes.

He said the case was not yet “ripe for hearing”, having been served with the processes on Oct. 19 and is yet to file a response.

His submission was, however, not contested by counsel to the plaintiff.

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Muslim Cleric Warns Against New Gender Equality Bill

A prominent Muslim cleric in Nigeria has warned Muslim lawmakers that they will be condemned as “unbelievers” if they back a new gender equality bill.

The bill proposes that men and women inherit an equal share, violating the Koran, Sheikh Isyaka Rabiu said.

Gender activists have been pushing for the bill to end discrimination against women in a country with roughly the same number of Christians and Muslims.

Lawmakers say that public hearings will be held before the bill is passed.

Reverend Musa Asake, the secretary of the West African state’s main Christian group, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told the BBC’s Hausa service that he did not find anything wrong with the bill because in “Christianity inheritance is shared equally between male and female”.

The senate has already rejected an earlier version of the bill, saying in March that it was incompatible with Nigerian culture and religious beliefs.

The BBC’s Muhammad Kabir Muhammad in the capital, Abuja, says the new bill has been sponsored by a female senator, and is a watered-down version of the rejected Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill.

Nevertheless, it is still facing strong resistance from Muslim groups, including the influential Tijjaniya Brotherhood of which Sheikh Rabiu is a leader, our correspondent says.

Read More: bbc

ECOWAS Court To Rule On Dasuki’s Case Against Nigerian Govt

The West African regional court is to deliver judgment on a suit filed by a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, against the Nigeria government.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice will rule on Mr. Dasuki’s petition that his rights had been violated by the Nigerian government.

Mr. Dasuki has been held by the government since December 2015, despite being granted bail by three courts.

Mr. Dasuki asked the ECOWAS Court to award him N500 million in damages for the alleged violation of his fundamental human rights.

Justice Friday Nwoke postponed the judgement originally scheduled for June 29 as judges went on vacation.

Proceedings in the case ended with the conclusion of oral evidence by two officials of the State Security Service, SSS.

Lawyers who represented the federal government, Williams Obiora and Alu Agbi, told the court that Mr. Dasuki was detained for his own protection.

Mr. Agbe said Mr. Dasuki’s release from detention would constitute a threat to national security.

They told the Court that considering that national security superseded individual security, the law permitted the SSS to restrict the movement of any citizen when his life was in danger.

They also argued that Mr. Dasuki was illegally in possession of firearms.

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Pope Slams Transgender Teachings, Says It’s Against Nature

Pope Francis reaffirmed his disagreement with teaching gender identity in schools on Sunday, after earlier calling it a “war against marriage.”

On a return flight to Rome at the end of a three-day trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan, the Pope recounted a meeting with a French father whose young son wanted to be a girl after reading about it in a textbook.
“This is against nature,” he said. “It is one thing when someone has this tendency … and it is another matter to teach this in school.”
“To change the mentality — I call this ideological colonization,” the Pope said.
The Pope said he still spends time with transgender people, leading them closer to God.
In August, the Pope called the teaching of gender identity theory “terrible.”
“Today, in schools they are teaching this to children — to children! — that everyone can choose their gender,” Pope Francis said.
New Ways Ministry, a Catholic LGBT advocacy group, criticized those remarks.
“The pontiff’s remarks are further evidence that church officials need desperately to educate themselves about the lives and experiences of LGBT people,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry.
“Nobody chooses a gender identity. They discover it.”
Read More: cnn

UNICEF Commends Plateau For Working To End Violence Against Children

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Plateau Government for inaugurating an action plan to end violence against children in the state.

The UNICEF Communication Officer in Bauchi, Mr Samuel Kaalu, announced this in a statement issued in Jos on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Plateau became the fourth state in Nigeria to inaugurate such campaign on Sept. 29.Inaugurations of similar action plan across the country are responses to a report of a survey conducted in 2014 by the National Population Commission (NPC) with support from UNICEF and other agencies.

The survey revealed high prevalence of violence against children in Nigeria, which necessitated the inauguration of the National Action Plan on violence against children in September 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kaalu said the UNICEF would also render all the needed support to the Plateau government to reduce violence against children both in the state and the entire country.

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ECOWAS Parliament Advises Against Panic Measures To Address Recession

The ECOWAS Parliament has advised Nigeria to avoid using “panic measures” to address the country’s current economic situation.
The call was made at the presentation of Nigeria’s Report at the ongoing second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja yesterday.

Members of parliament raised concerns over Nigeria’s current economic situation and advised that the country use a more inclusive approach to address the recession.
They commended efforts taken by the federal government to tackle the situation but raised concerns that it was not doing enough. Mr Dominic Azumah, representing Ghana, said Nigeria needed to include its citizens in the process of resolving the country’s economic situation.
“Using panic measures is not necessary; Nigeria needs to be calm, move with and consult the people on the way out of the economic recession.
Mr Alfred Agbeshie, also representing Ghana, raised, concerns about the vandalism of oil pipelines in the country.
“Is the release of money by the government going to solve the Nigerian economic situation?” he asked.
Ms Aïssata Daffe, representing Guinea, noted that despite the measures Nigeria had taken to contain corruption and improve the economy “the naira continues to depreciate”.
In her response, Mrs Lynda Ikpeazu, representing Nigeria, agreed that Nigeria was not doing enough to address the recession, but stressed that efforts were being made to revive the economy.
Ikpeazu reiterated that the federal government was engaging perpetrators of oil pipeline vandalism, which she said, had contributed to the current economic situation.
She also said the government would look into complaints made by some representatives on citizens of member countries facing difficulties in obtaining Right of Residence permits to live and work in the country.
Read More: dailytrust

#ChangeBeginsWithMe: Buhari Launches Fight Against Reckless Behaviour

Today, President Muhammadu Buhari is asking for people to change the way they behave. The president launched the campaign in the capital, Abuja.

 In a speech he said:

It is safe to say today that honesty, hard work and godliness have given way to all kinds of manifestations of lawlessness and degeneration in our national life.”

The government is using #ChangeBegiunsWithMe on Twitter to get its message out. Read tweets below:


Brazil’s Rousseff Appeals Against Losing Presidency

Impeached Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff filed a Supreme Court challenge Thursday to her removal from office in an early blow to new President Michel Temer’s bid to stabilize the country.

The appeal, filed by Rousseff’s lawyer Jose Eduardo Cardozo and seen by AFP, demands “the immediate suspension of the effects of the Senate decision.”

The Senate voted Wednesday to convict Rousseff on charges of having illegally manipulated government accounts, stripping her of her office and replacing her with Temer, her bitter enemy and former vice president.

Cardozo’s appeal asks for “a new trial” during which Temer — who was sworn in as president up until the end of 2018 — would be downgraded to interim president.

Temer is now in China, attending a G20 summit, while Rousseff remains in the Alvorada presidential palace in Brasilia. She is expected to leave shortly for her personal apartment in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

Rousseff was convicted by a two-thirds Senate majority of taking illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014, masking the country’s problems as it slid into economic disarray.

Senators voting for her removal said she had contributed to Brazil’s economic crisis and acted with criminal irresponsibility.

Rousseff, from the leftist Workers’ Party, denied doing anything illegal and claimed to be the victim of a right-wing coup d’etat.

In a surprise move, a Senate vote on barring Rousseff from public office for eight years failed, meaning she is free to reenter political life. The ban had been considered by many to be a standard consequence of removal in an impeachment trial.

Read More:


Half-naked Women Protest Against Killings In Kaduna

Half-naked women on Tuesday protested over alleged night attacks by herdsmen on Ninte village in Godogodo Chiefdom of Jema’a Local Government, Kaduna State.

The women from Ninte and surrounding villages staged the protest at the palace of the Chief of Godogodo.

The women demanded government intervention to stop the alleged increasing cases of night killings, rape, burning of houses by some assailants in the area.

Spokesperson of the protesters, Mrs. Deborah Reuben, accused the government of insensitivity to their plight since the incident started in May.

“The situation is unhealthy as it is no longer safe.

“The government we voted into power has left us at the mercy of armed herdsmen, farms cannot be cultivated in the face of high level of impunity,” she lamented.

Responding, the Chief of Godogodo, Malam Iliya Ajiya appealed to the protesting women to remain calm as everything possible was being done to bring the situation under control.

When contacted, the Interim Chairman of Jema’a local council, Dr. Bege Katukah confirmed to NAN in a telephone interview that security men had been mobilised to the affected community.

NAN learnt that residents of the affected villages have been relocating to Godogodo, Antang and Gidan Waya, for their safety.

Credit: NAN

Kaduna Indigenes Declare War Against Religious Extremism

Kaduna indigenes under the aegis of Kaduna State Citizens for Peace (KSCP), Tuesday, held a mass rally in the state metropolis, condemning religious extremism in the country.

This came as constitutional lawyer, Mr Femi Falana had last week, written the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to arraign military personnel involved in the clash with Shi’ites, last year.

According to them, any attempt to persecute Nigerian soldiers when the same Shi’ite members are still roaming the streets is to confirm insinuations in some quarters that the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has succeeded in instituting a government in Nigeria.

In a statement by its National President, Richard Augustine, the KSCP said the activities of the Shi’ites members in the state has not been friendly adding that very soon, their “Armies” might freely carry out actions on Nigerians unhindered. According to Augustine, the Shi’ite group embarked on a protest to the state government House but security operatives succeeded in blocking them along the Kashim Ibrahim House an indication that they are building up again, accusing outsiders of empowering them.

“In fact security operatives are stopping them from going to the government house for a protest but the leaders are discussing with a detachment of both Police and Civil Defence Operatives along the Kashim Ibrahim house,” the group said. He said the sufferings of previous religious crises are still being borne by the citizens of Kaduna, adding,

“We still suffer today even several years after fanatics destroyed our state. Whenever Kaduna is about to recover, they will again spill blood. Each time the population starts uniting, they will find division. Whenever we want to return to living as one, they find problems for us. We have to end this and that is what must happen”. Augustine noted with emphasis that it was planned that the Shi’ite problem in Zaria comes to other parts of Kaduna state.

Credit: Vanguard

Tinubu Doles Out N75m For Protest Against Me- Melaye

Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Sen. Dino Melaye has posted on his Facebook page, an allegation accusing Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who represents Lagos Central Senatorial District, of doling out N75 million to women activists to protest against him tomorrow (Wednesday), in Abuja.

Recall that Senator Tinubu, yesterday, wrote to the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, seeking protection from attack by Melaye, following a raging war of words between both Senators, since last week.

In the Facebook post titled: ‘Tinubu plans anti-Melaye protests in Abuja, splashes N75m on Kemi Nelson, others,’ Melaye quoted one Professor Taibat Majekodunmi, National President of the Committee for the Defence of Women’s Rights (CDWR) as saying:

“We have it on good authority that N75 million has been released by Senator Oluremi Tinubu to Kemi Nelson through Tinubu’s sister called Funlola. The money is to organise a protest in Abuja on Wednesday against the chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dino Melaye, with 1,000 protesters from Lagos.

“The protesters have booked for 300 rooms in some in hotels in Abuja. Why did she not organise a protest against the hardship of Nigerian women and widows. As we speak, Alade market in Ogba area of Lagos has been destroyed and all the women rendered shopless. Oluremi Tinubu did not organise protest about that.

“Against the provisions of the constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kemi Nelson doubles at the State APC Women leader in Lagos and also the zonal women leader of APC in the South West. This will show her greediness and why the Tinubu dynasty has taken over Lagos.

“Women were killed in Kano and Abuja and Mrs. Tinubu is the chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs. She did not organise protest over these killings. Mrs. Tinubu has not protested against the skyrocketed price of tomatoes in the market. In the same vein, kerosene is now over N200 per litre and she didn’t organised any protest to that effect.

“Instead, she has taken advantage of the prevailing poverty in the land to hire hungry women in the land to partake in an unproductive protest against Dino Melaye. Women like Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Hajiya Gambosa Sawaba, Sarah Jubril, fought for woman race without attacking any man. Oluremi Tinubu should emulate the likes of Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandhi, Benazir Bhutto and our own dear Dora Akunyili.

“You can imagine what N75 million will do in the lives of widows and hungry Nigerian women. We dare Mrs. Tinubu to go ahead with her planned N75 million protest in Abuja. We will also mobilise Nigerian women against this ostentatious display of wealth while the average Nigerian women wallow in abject poverty.”

“The protesters have already stormed Abuja and have booked for 300 rooms in many hotels,” alleges the statement.

Credit: Vanguard

Charges Against Us Are ‘Trumped Up’- Saraki

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has described the charges of criminal conspiracy and the forgery of the Senate Standing Rules document brought against him and his deputy,  Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as ‘trumped up.’

“It is farcical to allege that a criminal act occurred during Senate procedural actions and the mere suggestion demonstrates a desperate overreach by the office of the Attorney General,” Saraki said in a statement on Monday after appearing before a Federal High Court in Abuja along with Ekweremadu, former clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr. Benedict Efeturi.

“These trumped up charges is only another phase in the relentless persecution of the leadership of the Senate.”Saraki said he believed a set of a people within the government were out to persecute him.

“However, what has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who have seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.”

The senate president said the charges brought against him and his deputy by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) did not serve a national interest and were capable of undermining the working relationship between the Senate and the Executive. The charges were also a clear violation of Separation of Powers, he said.

“This latest onslaught on the Legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve. The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.

“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost Legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy”.

“I will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without a doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate. This is a cross I am prepared to carry.

“If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent on undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal government to satisfy their selfish interests is the alternative to losing my personal freedom, let the doors of jails be thrown open and I shall be a happy guest.”

Credit: Guardian

Illegal Detention: Senator Nyako Wins N12.5m Damages Against EFCC

In what could be seen as a move to entrench the rule of law in the country, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pay the sum of N12.5 million as exemplary damages in favour of Senator Abdulaziz Nyako for unlawful frozen of his account and illegal detention.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole made the order while delivering judgment in the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Nyako against the EFCC.

In the ruling, Kolawole held that the applicant, Senator Nyako, son of former Governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako, was detained in the custody of the Commission in excess of the period prescribed by law.

He berated the anti-graft agency for what he described as “reckless tampering with the rights of citizens in the name of discharging its statutory duties.”

The court further held that by declaring the applicant wanted without evidence of crime amounted to a breach to his fundamental human rights.

Justice Kolawole accused the Commission of embarking on a judicial fiat which is unpardonable exhibition of ignorance of the law as the National Assembly never intended to give it the powers of an accuser and a judge.

Credit: Thisday

Jang, Rep Kick Against Grazing Reserve In Plateau

Immediate past governor of Plateau State and senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Jonah Jang, has described the issue of grazing reserve as irrelevant and one that portends grave danger to people of the state.
He therefore asked the Governor Simon Lalong to do away with the policy in the interest of people of the state.
Lalong had earlier endorsed the policy and had already concluded plans to introduce grazing reserves for herdsmen in some designated areas in the state. But in a statement issued yesterday in Jos by his aide, Comrade Clinton Garba, Jang noted that the issue has generated a lot of controversy amongst Plateau people because the government of the day had decided to play politics with issues that affect the very fabric that defines the people’s heritage, culture and their land.
He urged Plateau people to rise against any subtle attempt or otherwise, to cede their land for the purpose of satisfying the selfish and egotistical whims of a few who are hell bent on disturbing the peace.
The former governor, who berated the All Progressive Congress, APC led administration in the state for non-performance, wondered how a government which he said had not shown any interest in developing agriculture in the state in the last one year, had suddenly awoken to support a policy that is neither in the interest of Plateau people nor to the public good, except for “the outrageous contract to supply fertiliser which farmers are yet to receive.”
Jang added: “For the Federal Government which owns no cattle, to connive with willing state governors to impose a grazing reserve policy on hapless citizens who have suffered the brunt of rampaging herdsmen in the no distant past, is not only abuse of their rights but an assault on their already battered psyche.
This must be vehemently resisted.” Jang said his position on grazing reserve policy remains the same both on the floor of the senate and at any other forum that Plateau people have not land to cede the federal government or any group for grazing.
“As a people, who have experienced the atrocities of those who seek to take over their land by whatever means, Plateau people must be resilient in rejecting any law or request that seeks to tamper with their heritage, not even the involvement of the government of the day should deter them,” he warned.
He therefore called on the people to “rise up against any subtle attempt or otherwise to cede their land for the purpose of satisfying the selfish and egotistical whims of a few who are hell bent on disturbing the peace of the state.”
Also, member representing Barki Ladi/Riyom federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Istifanus Gyang in a statement signed by his media aide, Mr Chuwang Dungs, cautioned Lalong against taking actions that would be regretted in the long run, noting that its aftermath could plunge the state into crisis.
He warned that no portion of lands within his constituency should be gazetted for such grazing plan because his people vehemently disagree with it.

Credit: NationalMirror

PDP Against Igbo Presidency– APC Group

The Buhari South East Youth Movement [BSEYM] has accused the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] of working against the emergence of President of Igbo extraction. According to the group, by its recent zoning, PDP has automatically ruled out the possibility an Igbo man becoming the President of Nigeria, saying that singular act has shown that the party does not regard Ndigbo.

BSEYM, in a statement therefore called on Ndigbo, especially the youths and women, to reject PDP, which it alleged “has greatly improvised the zone in their 16 years of misrule”.

The group urged South members of the party to withdraw their membership of the party in totality, claiming that the party has nothing good for them. In the statement jointly signed by BSEYM’s director-general Engr. Nwabueze Onwuneme and the publicity secretary, Comrade Igwe Samuel Obinna, it said PDP’s zoning of the Presidency to the North ahead of 2019 “goes to show the disdain the PDP has for the people of the zone”.

The statement further said that the zoning “seriously goes against the spirit of justice, fairness and equity in the rotation of power between the North and South”. According to the group, “peradventure the PDP succeeds, it will extend the Igbo Presidency project to year 2027 from the earlier year 2023 been projected for the emergence of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, which would now leave the North there for twelve years as against eight years been projected by the APC”.

Urging Ndigbo to reject PDP, the group noted that “by the end of President Muhammad Buhari’s second tenure it will then be ripe for the Igbos as the only ethnic nationality in southern Nigeria yet to produce an elected President after both the South-west and south-south have all had their shots on the Presidency of the nation”.

Credit: Vanguard


Ijaw Youths Warn EFCC Against Alleged Plan To Arrest Jonathan

As the four-day burial programme for the late former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, ended yesterday with a thanksgiving service in Ammasoma, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) cautioned against an alleged plot by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the anti-graft agency to shelve any such plan to persecute the former president, insisting that such a move would spell doom for the country and the government.

At a press conference to mark the end of the burial programme , the IYC President, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, said almost everybody that had close relationship with the former president had been arrested by the EFCC.

The IYC president particularly condemned the recent arrest and detention of Jonathan’s cousin, Mr. Robert Azibola , a contractor over an alleged $40million financial fraud.

Eradiri said Ijaw youths would not allow Azibola, Jonathan or any rising Ijaw leader to be persecuted by the EFCC the way the Federal Government dealt with the late Alamieyeseigha.

He said: “They have arrested almost all our people. Azibola was arrested by the EFCC and we are calling on the EFCC to stop persecuting him further and charge him to court if there are issues.
“They detained him for a long time forcing him to make statements to indict former President Jonathan. Azibola was a businessman, contractor and has the right like every Nigerian to get contracts. Why will the Niger Delta case be a different one?”

He added: “We noticed that the same way they persecuted Alamieyeseigha has continued. After Goodluck Jonathan, our people who contributed in that administration are being persecuted by this government.

“The recent one is the ploy to arrest Goodluck Jonathan which is unfolding everyday. This must stop. President Goodluck Jonathan is the most performing president that Nigeria has ever had. We are proud of him. Everyday there is a calculated attempt to whittle down the achievements of President Jonathan. We call on Nigerians to mount pressure on the government to focus on leading Nigeria aright rather than looking for ways to bring down the achievements of Jonathan.
“Buhari should please focus on governance rather than persecution of people who have added value. We are not happy about it and today we use Alamieyeseigha’s death as a point of contact. The world has seen that from Alamieyeseigha it has trickled down to all the Niger Delta people.”

Credit: ngrguardian

Nigeria Joins Islamic Coalition Against Terror, Buhari Admits

President  Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that Nigeria has joined the Islamic Coalition against Terrorism put together by Saudi Arabia.

He made the disclosure during an interview broadcast at the weekend on international satellite news channel, Aljazeera.

He had been asked whether Nigeria was part of it and he answered: “We are part of it because we’ve got terrorists in Nigeria that everybody knows which claim that they are Islamic.

“So, if there’s an Islamic coalition to fight terrorism, Nigeria will be part of it because we are casualties of Islamic terrorism.”

Asked whether he had suggested Nigeria’s membership of the coalition during his meeting with King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz during their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia recently, Buhari said: “Yes.”

Asked to explain how such coalition would work for Nigeria, he said he could not disclose the details to the media.

He added: ‘‘Well, that we mentioned under Lake Chad Basin Commission, our regional grouping compromising Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Benin and we dedicated a certain number of troops to be deployed in our own sub-region and I don’t think we have to tell the press the details of that.”

When his interviewer pointed out that since Nigeria was roughly evenly divided among Christians and Muslims and that some Christians were complaining that he was giving Islamic identity to Nigeria, the president wondered why such Christians had not gone to fight Boko Haram in the North or militants sabotaging installations in the South.

“Why can’t those Christians that complained go and fight terrorism in Nigeria or fight the militancy in the South. It’s Nigeria that matters, not the opinion of some religious bigots,” he stated.

The president’s admission came a under two weeks after an official presidency statement seemed to suggest that Buhari had turned down the invitation to be part of the coalition.

Credit: Leadership

NIMASA Fraud: Court Admits More Exhibits Against Akpobolokemi, Others

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: ChannelsTv

Army Inducts Combat Motorbike Battalion Into Fight Against Boko Haram

The Army has inducted a combat motorbike battalion at the Headquarters of 25 Task Force Brigade, Damboa, Borno State.

It also launched the second set of 100 wanted suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai, while inducting the unit stated that the essence of the battalion is to open and secure motorways from various towns to and fro Maiduguri and other parts of Yobe State.

Prior to the induction and launching ceremony, the Chief of Army Staff addressed troops located at Delwa and Bulabulin before arriving Damboa where he inspected a Quarter guard at the Brigade’s headquarters.

Thereafter, he was briefed by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Lawrence Adeleke Araba, who showed him some weapons, vehicles and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) making machines and equipment the formation recovered when they cleared Boko Haram terrorists camps at Talala and Ajingin.

The Commander, 7 Division Garrison, Colonel Solomon Babatunde Kumapayi, also showed the COAS vehicles, weapons and Improvised Explosives Making Devices (IEDs) his formation recovered from the terrorists at Kotokuma on Friday.

Inducting the combat motorbike unit, the Chief of Army Staff said the battalion will serve as a force multiplier in the clearance operations of remnants of Boko Haram terrorists. He said with the induction of the unit, troops presence will be available along the roads thus keeping the roads open and safe.

Credit: Nation

Buhari Turns Down Invitation To Join Coalition Of Islamic States Against Terror

President Muhammadu Buhari has tactically rejected the invitation by Saudi Arabia to join the coalition of Islamic States against terror.

Buhari, who is on a week-long visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar told his host and ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, that rather than joining, Nigeria would support the coalition.

A statement by the president’s spokesman Mr. Garba Shehu said Buhari turned down the invitation Tuesday at a bilateral meeting between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.

It added that the two leaders engaged in extensive discussions on regional and global issues, and agreed that terrorism posed a common threat to their states and would require close cooperation to prevail over the threat.

Buhari, who was making his first pronouncement on the invitation to join the coalition of Islamic states against terror spearheaded by the Saudis, congratulated King Salman on its formation, adding however that rather than joining the coalition, Nigeria would support it.
“Even if we are not a part of it, we support you.  I must thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the recent creation of a coalition to address the menace of international terrorism.

“Nigeria will support your efforts in keeping peace and stopping the spread of terror in your region.  This is in consonance with our own commitment and ongoing efforts in seeking to stamp out Boko Haram terrorists from the West African sub-region and Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC),” the president said.

Speaking on global terror, Buhari said that “international terrorism made a statement by attacking one of the advanced countries by carrying out an attack on Paris in which 130 were killed. Now we have to come together to find a common solution to the problem of terrorism”.

He thanked the Saudi government for its continuing support to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.

Credit: Thisday

NNPC Warns Public Against Fake Recruitment

NNPC has warned the public to disregard any invitation on recruitment exercise. In a statement made available to journalists by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe, the corporation called on members of the public to be wary of fraudsters sending letters to unsuspecting individuals inviting them for “the second process of recruitment” billed to hold on February 29, saying it is currently not recruiting. “The scam invitation letters, which directed recipients to pay the sum of N21,500 into a certain account number with Zenith Bank purportedly for ‘onshore and offshore/training kits/materials’ should be disregarded as they were not sent by the corporation,” the NNPC warned. It further warned that “anyone who entertains such invitations or deals with peddlers of such invitations does so at his or her own risk.”

The corporation urged anyone contacted for the purpose of the purported recruitment by the corporation to report such persons to relevant law enforcement agencies. Meanwhile, the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, has assured of ample products supply in the Lagos area following a hitch in the products supply system in the Lagos environs. The PPMC, a subsidiary of the NNPC, says it has intervened in the crisis which is arising from the leadership tussle between the Mobil branch and national office of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union. The PPMC stated that it has intervened in the dispute, assuring that normalcy will soon be restored. It further assured that there was sufficient stock of products in Lagos and across the country while advising motorists not to resort to panic buying, stressing that the situation was under control. The corporation further reiterated its commitment to uninterrupted product supply to the general public in keeping with its mandate of ensuring products sufficiency across the country. However, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, while insisting that the supply to Lagos is inadequate, has called on NNPC to step up import of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol to avert another round of scarcity.

Credit: NationalMirror

EFCC Amends Charges Against Olisa Metuh

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has brought an amendment charge against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, one week after closing its case.

According to the Prosecuting Counsel, Mister Sylvester Tahir, the new charges will have no material effect on the earlier charges brought against Mr Metuh.

He says it’s an opportunity to effectively prosecute the case and asked the court to compel him to take his plea afresh.

Counsel to Mr. Metuh, Onyechi Ikpeazu did not object to the new charges and when it was time to take his plea, Mr. Metuh pleaded not guilty and also entered a no case submission.

The case has been adjourned to the February 25, 2016 to allow Mr. Metuh defend his no case submission through a written address which will be adopted on that day.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Alleged Bribe: Otedola To Testify Against Farouk Lawan

Billionaire businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola, has been scheduled to appear as a prosecution witness before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Lugbe, Abuja, in the ongoing trial of a former Chairman, House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Mr. Farouk Lawan, for alleged bribery.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission is prosecuting Lawan for allegedly “corruptly” collecting $500,000 out of the $3m bribe he requested from Otedola in exchange for the removal of the businessman’s company’s name from the list of firms indicted by the House committee for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.

The presiding judge, Justice Angela Otakula, on Tuesday adjourned the case till March 7 and 8 to enable the first prosecution witness, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, who was then secretary to the Lawan-led committee, to conclude his evidence.

Otedola, the chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, is expected to appear in court as the second prosecution witness on either of the two days, depending on how soon Emenalo concludes his own part.

Otedola was initially scheduled to testify against Lawan on February 2, but the businessman, who was somewhere within the court premises during the proceedings, was said to have taken his leave when it was clear that Emenalo was going to stay much longer in the witness box.

Credit: Punch

Tinubu Withdraws Suit Against AIT After Apology For Embarrassing Documentary

The African Independent Television has apologized to Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, for a documentary it aired before last year’s general election.

In a letter of apology tendered before a Lagos High Court on Friday, Daar Communications, the owners of the TV station, said they hold Mr. Tinubu in high esteem.

“Daar Communications Plc acknowledges that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an outstanding political leader of unblemished character and integrity, as well as a leading public figure and opinion-moulder, who has made and continues to make immense contributions to the progress and development of the nation in general and Lagos State in particular,” read the letter.

“Daar Communications Plc admits that in airing the said documentary, it had no intention, whatsoever, to embarrass or diminish the high reputation of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which it respects and attests to.”

The apology came amid an ongoing Economic and Financial Crimes Commission investigation of alleged illegal receipt of N2.1 billion by Raymond Dokpesi, the owner of AIT.

The TV station had begun airing a documentary on March 1st last year titled, “Unmasking the Real Tinubu: The Lion of Bourdillon, showcasing various properties and companies across Lagos purportedly owned by Mr. Tinubu, described as “Nigeria’s biggest landlord”.

The documentary also claimed that Mr. Tinubu was “charged with narcotics” in 1993 in the United States.

Credit: PremiumTimes

N29bn Fraud: Court Admits Exhibits Against Nyako, Others

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: Leadership

Supreme Court Dismisses Saraki’s Appeal Against CCT

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, against the judgment of the Appeal Court on his trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on charges of false asset declaration.

A seven-man bench, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, gave the judgment that the CCT was properly constituted to exercise jurisdiction over Saraki’s trial and has jurisdiction to try criminal matters.

The apex court had adjourned till February 5, 2016 to determine the appeal seeking to quash charges against the Senate President, after it entertained arguments from both Dr. Saraki and the Federal Government in December 2015.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on October 30, 2015, affirmed the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him and the competence of the charges of false asset declaration preferred against him by the Federal Government.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Filed Against Delta, Yobe, Oyo Governors

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has dismissed appeal filed against the election of the Governors of Delta, Yobe and Oyo States.

Giving the ruling on Tuesday, the Court held that the appeal filed by Emerhor Otega of the All Progressives Congress and great Ogboru of the Labour Party against Governor Okowa of Delta State lacked merit.

Similarly the Court dismissed appeal filed by Rashidi Ladoja of the Accord Party against Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State as abuse of court process.

All the judgments were unanimous and the court has fixed February 15 to give reasons for the judgement.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Falana’s Petition Against Dasuki, Okonjo-Iweala Arrives International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague has confirmed that it is considering petition submitted to it by human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN over alleged crimes against humanity committed in the context of the arms procurement scandal.

The ICC revealed this in a letter dated 1 February 2016 with reference: OTP-CR-32/16 and signed by Mark P. Dillon, Head of Information & Evidence Unit of the ICC.

The letter reads in part: “The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents/letter. This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

Mr. Falana had in a petition dated 19 January 2016 requested the ICC to “investigate allegations of crimes against humanity committed against the Nigerian people by some former and serving military as well public officials and private persons who engaged in the criminal diversion of $8 billion earmarked to procure equipment for the armed forces to fight insurgency”.

Credit: PremiumTimes

CAN Plans Spiritual Offensive Against Kidnappers

Delta State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned kidnappers in the state to repent from the nefarious actions or be ready to face intense spiritual offensive from the ‘soldiers of Christ’.

The Christian body insisted that if the unholy act of kidnapping persists in the state, it will not hesitate to mobilize Christians for appropriate massive actions against herdsmen suspected to be perpetrators of the act.

CAN was specifically reacting to the recent kidnap and subsequent brutal murder of the Obi of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom in Aniocha South Local Government Area, HRM Akaeze Ofolue III, as well as last weekend kidnap of the traditional ruler of Olomoro Kingdom in Isoko South Local Government Area, HRM Josiah Aghaza I.

In a statement signed by the state chairman of CAN, Rev. Gideon Oyibo and secretary, Rev. Ole Akokotu, the body said it was worried by the rising spate of kidnapping and condemned the dastard act in strong terms.

The statement also implored calling security agencies in the state to be alive to their responsibilities in nipping the re-occurring but ugly incident in the bud.

While condoling with the entire people of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom on the bizarre kidnapping and gruesome murder of Obi Ofolue III, the association declared intensive prayers for the quick release of the kidnapped traditional ruler of Olomoro Kingdom, Aghaza I.

Besides, the association called on all Christians and church leaders in the state to pray and fast regularly for the peace, security and safety of all traditional rulers, medical doctors, government officials, politicians, gospel ministers and all residents in Delta State.

The statement further enjoined youths in the state to continue to monitor activities of herdsmen in their respective domains and report suspicious and atrocious movements to the relevant authorities.

Credit: Sun

Why I’m Against Naira Devaluation- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he is yet to be convinced that Nigeria and its people will derive any tangible benefit from an official devaluation of the naira.

Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as saying this in Nairobi late Wednesday night at an interactive meeting with Nigerians living in Kenya.

Buhari noted that while export-driven economies could benefit from devaluation of their currencies, devaluation would only lead to further inflation and hardship for the poor and middle classes in Nigeria’s import-dependent economy.

The president maintained that he had no intention of bringing further hardship on the nation’s poor who, according to him,  have already suffered enough

Likening devaluing the Naira to having it “killed”, Buhari said proponents of devaluation would have to work much harder to convince him that ordinary Nigerians would gain anything from it.

Buhari also rejected suggestions that the Central Bank of Nigeria should resume the sale of foreign exchange to Bureaux de Change (BDCs), saying that the Bureau de Change business had become a scam and a drain on the nation’s economy.

“We had just 74 of the bureaux in 2005, now they have grown to about 2,800,” President Buhari was quoted to have noted.

Buhari was also said to have alleged that some bank and government officials used surrogates to run the BDCs and prosper at public expense by obtaining foreign exchange from government at official rates and selling it at much higher rates.

“We will use our foreign exchange for industry, spare parts and the development of needed infrastructure. We don’t have the Dollars to give to the BDCs. Let them go and get it from wherever they can, other than the Central Bank”, Buhari was quoted as telling the gathering.

The president also reaffirmed his conviction that about a third of petroleum subsidy payments under the previous administration was bogus, saying “They just stamped papers and collected our foreign exchange”.

He was said to have appealed to Nigerians studying abroad to bear with his administration as it strived to address the challenges they were facing as a result of new foreign exchange measures.

The president said he was optimistic that the Nigerian economy would stabilize soon with the efficient implementation of measures and policies introduced by his government.

Credit: dailytrust

Fight Against Boko Haram, ISIS At Decisive Stage- INTERPOL

The International Police, INTERPOL,on Tuesday said that its fight against Boko Haram, ISIS and other terrorist organizations is at a decisive stage.

INTERPOL’s Secretary General, Mr.Jürgen Stock, who said this while addressing the Foreign Terrorist Fighters(FTF) working groups of the Global Counter-terrorism Forum in The Hague, added that combination of shifts in travel patterns, attacks far from conflict zones, online communications and fraudulent travel documents have led to a ‘decisive stage’ in the fight against terrorism globally.

In his speech, INTERPOL’s Secretary General Stock said the continued resolve of the international community would be required to address the evolution of the terrorist threat.

He pressed further that with Da’esh drawing allegiance from around the globe, the need for coordinated action was essential, not just in identifying and interdicting individuals, but in stopping the funding for their terrorist activities as underlined in the recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2253.

His words:  “Access to information from abroad is essential if we are to strengthen the security net to prevent the terrorists from moving freely and constrict their support networks.

“Ensuring direct access to INTERPOL’s global databases means that instant checks can be conducted against nearly 55 million travel documents, some 200,000 nominal identifiers and more than 40,000 notices of suspected and wanted criminals and terrorists.

“As a global, neutral platform, INTERPOL is ideally placed to share data from our 190 member countries to support them in ensuring this information is where it needs to be,”

He pressed further that among the documents in INTERPOL’s unique global SLTD database are nearly 30,000 Syrian passports, of which some 4,000 were reported stolen as blank.

Credit: Leadership

We Have Met December Deadline Against Boko Haram- Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said on Wednesday that the Nigerian military had met the December deadline to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists.

The minister said this during his maiden meeting with editorial heads of media houses in Lagos.
President Mohammadu Buhari had, upon assuming office, issued a December 31 deadline to the military to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists.

“Today, I can report that the war against Boko Haram is largely won. I can confidently say this because just recently, I led a group of 33 journalists from both the local and international media to the hotbed of the insurgency, that is, Maiduguri, Kondugua, Kaoure and Bama.

“Today, I can report to you that the entire 70 plus kilometres stretch from Maiduguri to Bama and all the way to Banki which leads to Cameroun and the Central African Republic are in the hands of our gallant troops.”

He said the military presence could be felt ”every few metres along the road; at a point along that road we were just a kilometre to Sambisa forest. They have so degraded the capacity of Boko Haram that the terrorists can no longer hold on to any territory just as they can no longer carry out any spectacular attack.”

Mr. Mohammed, however, said that although there were still cases of suicide bombings, it was pertinent to note that such was the nature of insurgency globally.Unlike a war between two armies, an insurgency never ends with arms victory. Even in countries like Colombia where insurgency was supposed to have ended decades ago, attacks like this still happen.”

He said that the insurgents had adopted a new style of attacking soft targets like motor parks, schools, entertainment centres, religious centres, killing innocent people mostly women and children.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to support the military in the fight against terrorism in the country, saying that the military had availed itself creditably.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Nigerian Military Appoints New Commander To Lead War Against Boko Haram

The Defence Headquarters has restructured the Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East to reposition it for more efficiency, effectiveness and combat readiness in the discharge of its assigned tasks of crushing the remnant of terrorists.

Consequently, a new Theatre Commander has been appointed, the military’s Director of Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar, has said. He is Hassan Umoru.

Until his appointment, Mr. Umoru, a Major General, was the General Officer Commanding, 3 Division Nigerian Army.

Mr. Umoru is succeeding Yusha’u Mahmood Abubakar, a Major General, who was appointed four months ago. The Defence Headquarters did not say why he was removed.

Also appointed is the Deputy Theatre Commander who is Major General Lucky Irabor.

According to Mr. Abubakar, a Brigadier General, “The changes are part of the reorganisation by the Defence Headquarters in line with the force restructuring of its operations to attain the overall objectives of the Chief of Defence Staff.

“The aim of this new development is to restrategise and inject new tactics to the existing operational procedures with the aim of finally knocking out the terrorists who now devised means of hitting soft targets through suicide bombings and isolated attacks on remote villages.

“Operation Lafiya Dole will continue to be responsive until all elements of terrorists are finally crushed.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

NUPENG Decries Lingering Fuel Crisis, Kicks Against Subsidy Removal

NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has reaffirmed its aversion to oil subsidy removal, insisting that such a move can only be carried out when government has fully effected the complete turn around maintenance of four refineries to enable them produce optimally.

While vowing that the union would resist anti-people policies from the Federal Government, President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, said, the refineries when put in use would cushion the hardship subsidy removal would have on the people.

In a related development, oil workers have alleged that the revised Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) due for presentation to the National Assembly contains anti-labour provisions.

President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Francis Johnson, who stated this yesterday at the union’s 4th triennial delegates’ conference, explained that oil workers will resist any provision that promotes job losses.

In a 10-point communique issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC), meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NUPENG attributed the cause of the perennial fuel scarcity to the manner the Federal Government managed the subsidy, stressing that the union was watching how the policies were implemented.

He said: “The union condemned in its entirety the perennial and persistent fuel scarcity in the country and the hardship imposed on the masses, especially at this festive period.

In the circumstance, the NEC in session calls on the Federal Government and NNPC to flood the market with petroleum products to arrest the current prevalent fuel scarcity in the country.
“The current way and manner the subsidy issue is being managed is responsible for the fuel scarcity experienced across the country”, he added.

Credit: Guardian

Buhari, President Of Benin Republic Discuss Fight Against Boko Haram

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and the President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi, met on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to discuss the fight against Boko Haram terrorist group.

At the meeting, President Yayi pledged to deploy 800 military men to help fight insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east.

Acknowledging President Yayi’s contribution to the war on terror, President Buhari said securing a healthy relationship with neighbouring countries was key to security and economic development.

President Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to maintaining the existing bilateral relationship with Benin Republic and other countries within West Africa.

He said: “Such partnerships are essential for good neighbourliness and development”.

The Nigerian leader further expressed Nigeria’s readiness to host an Economic Community for West African States’  summit in about nine days where vital issues bothering on security and the economy would be discussed.

Credit: ChannelsTV

ICPC Cautions VIOs Against Extortion, Bribery

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission has advised Vehicle Inspection Officers in Kaduna State to avoid extortion and other forms of corrupt practices.

The ICPC North-West Zonal Commissioner, Mr. Olusegun Adigun, gave the advice on Thursday at a two-day workshop for VIOs in the state to enlighten them on the need for integrity and transparency.

The workshop with the theme, “Combating Corruption in Vehicle Inspection System: The Role of ICPC”, was organised by the ICPC in collaboration with the Kaduna State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport.

Adigun said the level of extortion and bribery by VIOs had continued to deny the state government huge revenue, adding that such practices must be stopped.

He said, “Corruption simply occurs when a person in a position of trust and responsibility suppresses the rules in order to advance his or her personal interest at the expense of the public.

Credit: NAN

Court Dismisses Corruption Charges Against Timipre Sylva

A Federal High Court, Abuja,on Thursday dismissed a 50-count charge bordering on alleged corruption against former Bayelsa governor, Timipre Sylva and six others.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in a ruling, held that the charges as filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission constituted an abuse of court process and the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

He further held that the charges were “frivolous and lacking in merit’’.

Specifically, Justice Ademola held that the same charges had been determined by two other justices of the federal high court, Justices Evoh Chukwu and Ahmed Mohammed.

He said Justices Chukwu and Mohammed had struck out the charges on June 1 and June 10 respectively.

“It is the view of the court that the case constitutes an abuse of court process.

“The charges and witnesses in this case are all the same with the cases earlier struck out by the two courts.

“The court has inherent power to prevent the abuse of its process,’’ he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

FG Moves To Amend Charges Against Orubebe

The scheduled commencement of trial in the case against former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe was stalled Thursday by the Federal Government’s decision to amend an earlier charge of four counts filed against Orubebe.

Orubebe is charged with false asset declaration and acceptance of bribe totaling N70 million.

The prosecution, led by Peter Danladi had on November 9, 2015 sought an adjournment for two weeks to enable it prepare its witnesses for trial.

The tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar granted the prosecution’s prayer and adjourned to November 26 for the prosecution to open trial.

Thursday, everyone had expected the prosecution to call it witnesses only for Danladi to announce plans by the prosecution to amend the charge.

Credit: Nation

DSS Seeks Withdrawal Of Case Against Nnamdi Kanu

The Department of State Service (DSS), has filed an application before a Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja seeking to withdraw the case of criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation preferred against the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the prosecutor told the court that the DSS had uncovered fresh facts against the accused person who is also being tried for unlawfully belonging to an illegal society.

He added that the ?facts against the accused person requires further investigation.

Lawyer to the accused person, however, opposed the application on the ground that the State Service had refused to comply with the order of the court granting the accused person bail since October 19, 2015.

He further prayed the court to order the DSS to transfer the accused person to prison custody for easy access by his lawyers.

Credit: ChannelsTV

We Are Building Evidence Against Looters– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said his administration was diligently building up its case against those accused of stealing government funds.

According to him, government was getting necessary evidence and facts before formal charges are brought against them.

The President reaffirmed that his administration would give full regard to due process and rule of law in the prosecution of its war against corruption.

A statement issued by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari spoke at an audience with a delegation from the Foursquare Gospel Church at the Presidential Villa.

He restated his commitment to recovering stolen funds, but stressed that the present administration’s efforts in this regard would be fully within the ambit of the law.

Credit: NationalMirror

All Eyes And Ears Must Be On Ground Against Boko Haram- Buhari

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is calling for civilian “foot soldiers” in the fight against Boko Haram, appealing to traditional hierarchies and centuries-old methods to weed out Islamist plotters.

Eyes and ears on the ground were vital, he said, as concern mounts over suicide and bomb attacks in the northeast, particularly in mosques.

“The ward head, the village head and the local police knew every new entrant into the community,” Buhari said late last month.

“They kept tabs on them and detected traits of criminality before evil-doers got the chance to act against (the) common interest. We must go back to those rudimentary acts of local policing…

“In this new phase of war, all of us are generals, all of us are foot soldiers, and all of us are intelligence officers.”

Buhari has ordered his military commanders to end the violence by the end of the year, after at least 17,000 deaths and more than 2.5 million made homeless in six years of conflict.

Human intelligence is crucial to any counter-insurgency. But claims of military abuses against civilians in Nigeria, have eroded co-operation and trust.

Credit: Vanguard

Police Warn Biafran Group Against Planned Protest

The Nigeria Police Force has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against carrying out its planned protest across some South Eastern states.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Force spokesperson, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Olabisi Kolawole, on Friday in Abuja.

” Information available to the Nigeria Police indicates plans by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to embark on ill-advised protest using dangerous weapons across some South Eastern States,”it said.

Credit: Leadership

CBN Rejects FRC’s Request To Take Action Against Stanbic IBTC

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rejected the request by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) that it takes disciplinary action against Stanbic IBTC Holding Company Plc (SIBTCH), saying that the council failed to follow due process in the matter.

To this end, the central bank has said it does not see any reason to advise/compel SIBTCH to comply with the sanctions meted to it by FRCN.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, stated this in a five-page letter, dated November 2, 2015, which was addressed to the Executive Secretary, FRCN, Mr. Jim Obazee.

He also pointed out that as the banking sector regulator, the FRCN failed to consult with the central bank throughout the process of its investigation. According to Emefiele, the announcement by the FRCN on SIBTCH was not only capable of eroding investor confidence, but inimical to financial system stability.

FRCN had sanctioned the bank over its audited accounts for 2013 and 2014 and suspended the Financial Reporting Numbers of the bank’s chairman, Mr. Atedo Peterside, and its chief executive, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, and also barred them forthwith from vouching for the integrity of any financial statements in Nigeria.

Credit: ThisDay

Kaduna Govt. Warns Residents Against Making Inciting Statements

The Kaduna State government has cautioned residents of the state to desist from making statements that are capable of breaching the peace and unity of the state.

The warning was contained in a statement issued by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, at the end of the Kaduna State Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

The council vowed to punish anyone found fabricating allegations of religious blasphemy, either to seek sympathy or for any other reason, maintaining that such person would be prosecuted as prescribed in the Penal Code of the state and the Nigerian Constitution.

While reiterating the government’s commitment to protecting lives and property in the state, the council warned that appropriate sanction would be given any individual found inciting religious, ethnic or political violence or any form of civil disturbance in the state no matter his or her public standing.

It also reiterated that the law banning commercial motorcycles in the state was still in force, disclosing that law enforcement agencies had been directed to ensure compliance and prosecution of any offender.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Fight Against Corruption Is Priority Of Incoming Ministers- Presidency

The office of the Sec­retary to the Gov­ernment of the Federation, SGF, is set to work harmoniously with the incoming ministers to advance the fight against corruption in line with the desire of President Mu­hammadu Buhari to rid the country of the menace.

Gideon Sammani, Se­nior Special Adviser, SSA, on political matters to the SGF, Engineer Babachir Lawal said this in Abuja weekend, stating that the incoming cabinet members are already aware of Bu­hari’s strong desire to re­vive the national economy, first with the fight against corruption, while they will all enlist in the fight.

Speaking with newsmen during a special reception and thanks giving service orgainsed in honour of the SGF at the International Conference Center, Abuja on Saturday, Sammani said the SGF had already indi­cated resolve to lead in the fight against corruption and hence will mobilise the cabinet members to be anti-corruption crusaders.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

UN Hails Nigeria Over Fight Against Boko Haram

The United Nations (UN) has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari administration for its fight against Boko Haram.

Mr. Weixiong Chen of the UN Counter Terrorism Centre said this when he led a delegation to Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS’) Controller-General, Dr. Peter Ekpendu.

Chen praised the government and the NPS management for being able to contain insurgency, particularly the de-radicalisation of those in prison custody.

NPS spokesman Francis Enobore  quoted the leader of the delegation as noting with delight the “appreciable success that has been recorded in the counter-terrorism, reformation and rehabilitation drive of the prisons service through the support of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), European Union and other development partners”.

He stated that violent extremism, which he described as a relatively new phenomenon in Africa, remained a global challenge and a common enemy to mankind.

Read More: thenationonlineng

We Can Win War Against Boko Haram- Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said Nigeria can win the war against Boko Haram, stressing that the military was already having upper hand in the security measures taken so far.

Obasanjo spoke with State House Correspondents after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the mission of his delegation to Colombia to study its 50-year experience in the fight against rebels.

The former president, who led a delegation of a foundation headed by him to the Presidential Villa, explained that Columbia’s experience was important because the experience of the long period Columbia government has been fighting rebels would assist in tackling the present security challenge in the country.

According to him, the foundation produced a book from its findings, which prompted him to bring members of the foundation to meet with President Buhari to discuss their experiences, which could assist in defeating the Boko Haram.

He noted that the ultimatum given by Buhari to the military to end Boko Haram insurgency in three months was realistic, saying if the nation could win the civil war, it was possible to defeat Boko Haram.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

DHQ Warns Against Circulation Of Fake National ID Cards

The Nigerian military authorities have issued a red alert against the prevailing incidences of unauthorised reproduction of the national identity cards by some unscrupulous elements in society.

A statement signed by the Acting Director of Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar said, “In view of the prevailing racketeering, the Defence Headquarters hereby warns members of the public to be mindful of getting their national identification from sources other than the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).”

It expressed concern “that such acts of illegal reproduction of the national ID cards could engender a serious security breach in the ongoing counter-insurgency operation in the northeast.

“The public is also warned that the approved national ID card, which is a chip-based card, has over eighteen security features some of which are not visible to the naked eyes distinguishing it from any of its kind and can only be issued by the NIMC.

Read More: dailytimes

We Are Not Recruiting, FRSC Warns

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has warned intending job seekers not to fall prey to fraudsters, as the commission insists that is not conducting any recruitment for now.

This was disclosed in a statement made available yesterday by the FRSC’s spokesperson, Mr Imoh Etuk.

The statement reads in part, “The management of the FRSC wishes to discountenance itself from this criminal act and advice the general public especially, job seekers to disregard such unauthorised and mischievous antics as the corps is not presently embarking on any recruitment exercise.”

Read More: leadership

Stephanie Linus Named Ambassador On Campaign Against Women Violence In Election

The heavily pregnant gorgeous beauty and ace actress, Stephanie Linus, shares photos of herself and acting INEC Boss, Hajiya Amina Zakari, among others as she was named the ambassador of Stop-VAWIE (Stop Violence Against Women In Election).

She has fast began her responsibility by urging women to participate in the forth coming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa. See Instagram photos below:




Information Ministry Workers Protest Against Staff Negligence, Fund Misappropriation

Workers of the Ministry of Information have staged a protest against what they described as the ministry’s negligence of staff welfare and gross misappropriation of public funds.

The protesters who gathered at the Radio House in Abuja, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to probe activities of the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, who they accused of mismanagement of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds, non-payment of allowances, refusal to train staff, among others.

Read More: channelstv

Two Soldiers Lost As Troops Intensify Offensive Against Boko Haram

Soldiers engaged in Operation Lafiya Dole on Friday sustained its ground and aerial offensive against the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in parts of the North-east, clearing land mines, destroying their camps and killing many in the process.
Unfortunately, they also lost two gallant soldiers with two others injured through landmines explosives planted by the retreating terrorists that have increasingly adopted guerilla tactics.

The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman in a statement yesterday confirmed that the troops have also liberated some towns and villages in Borno State.

As part of the continued offensive against the Boko Haram terrorists, Usman said troops of 7 Brigade have as at yesterday entered and cleared Gudumbali town in Guzamala Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State.

“During the operation, quite a number of the terrorists were killed; their weapons and equipment were destroyed. The troops are currently doing clearance operations in the general area,” he said.

Read Morewww.thisdaylive.com

PDP Asks Tribunal To Dismiss Petition Against Akpabio

The Peoples Democratic Party has asked the Akwa Ibom State Elections Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abuja to nullify its earlier proceedings on the petition challenging the election of former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, as the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District in the 8th Senate.
Akpabio has since been appointed the Minority Leader in the Senate. But the petition challenging his election was filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the March 28, 2015 National Assembly elections, Chief Inibehe Okori.
The motion by the PDP asking for the nullification of  the tribunal’s proceedings and the dismissal of the petition was filed after the petitioners had called many witnesses in proving their case.
PDP, which is the third respondent to the petition, predicated its fresh motion on the grounds that the petitioners failed to properly apply for the commencement of the pre-hearing session as required by law, before going into the hearing of the petition.
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SE, SS Group Warns Buhari Against Alienation Of Zones

The South-East South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which claimed to be “engaged in promoting good governance and rapid, sustainable and inclusive development” in the two geo-political zones of the country, has expressed concern about allegations that the new All Progressive Congress (APC) Federal Government, may be out to “alienate” the zones from general development in Nigeria.

In a letter addressed to Buhari and signed by its president, Emeka Ugwu-Oju and Secretary, Dagogo Karibi-Whyte, the group, which described the two zones as “major enablers of the Nigerian economy”, highlighted some recent events that fuelled its fears that the areas may indeed be on the road to alienation.

In the letter dated July 29, 2015, the SESSPN drew the attention of President Buhari to some “extant issues” which included the speech of the President during a visit to the United States of America, alleged lopsidedness in key appointments by the Federal Government and the threats against Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s emergence as the Deputy Senate President.

The letter, which was copied to many political leaders of the two zones across political divides, however expressed the readiness of the people of the zones to work with the rest of the country to achieve the change dream that the APC government desires.

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Mugabe Rages Against Killing Of Cecil The Lion

President Robert Mugabe on Monday criticized the killing of Cecil the Lion, saying the animal was a key part of the country’s heritage.

“Our wildlife, all our animals, belong to us. They should not be shot with a gun or with an arrow,” Mugabe told thousands who gathered at a shrine on the outskirts of the capital Harare to commemorate Heroes’ Day.

“Even Cecil the lion is yours. He is dead. He was yours to protect and he [was] there to protect you,” said the ageing president, who is often the target of condemnation over the country’s human rights record.

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Tribunal Throws Out Four Petitions Against Wike’s Election

The Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has struck out four out of the five petitions filed to challenge the election of Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of the state.

The only surviving petition challenging the declaration of Wike as the winner of the April 11 election is the one filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside.

Three of the petitions, which were filed by the Social Democratic Party, Labour Party and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) were dismissed on technical grounds.

The fourth petition was voluntarily withdrawn by the petitioner, Kemka Elenwo, who was KOWA Party’s governorship candidate in the election.

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Pwajok Wins Round One Against Lalong At Tribunal

The Plateau State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, on Wednesday dismissed attempts by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to block the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from tendering vital documents to defend its case.

The petition is that of the PDP governorship candidate, Senator Gyang Pwajok, who is challenging the victory of Mr Simon Bako Lalong of the APC at the polls because he alleged foul plays in the election.

In one of the tribunal’s sittings, counsel to the petitioner had pleaded with the tribunal to tender documents for inspection by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to buttress the case. But this was vehemently objected to by the respondent’s (APC) counsel who sensed that allowing the documents to be tendered would jeopardise their case.

The two parties argued their cases citing many legal authorities to drive home their points.
Having listened to all the arguments, the tribunal chairman, Justice Johnson Candide, ruled in favour of the PDP, saying that the tribunal was not convinced by the submissions and argument of the respondent (APC) and accordingly dismissed the objection in favour of the petitioner (PDP).

Read More: thisdaylive

Cameroon Expels Thousands Of Nigerians As Part Of Fight Against Boko Haram

Cameroon officials say they have expelled more than 3,000 Nigerians as part of the fight against the Nigerian-born Islamic extremist group which has launched attacks across borders.

Midjiyawa Bakary, governor of Cameroon’s Far North region, says authorities have also arrested hundreds of Cameroonians and Nigerians accused of collaborating with Boko Haram. He said they deported Nigerians who said they were refugees but were not staying at refugee camps and did not have identification papers.

Bakary said Tuesday that women, children and men were taken to Nigeria’s Sahuda village in Mubi, along the border.

In Nigeria, many said they were forced to flee quickly over the weekend. Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency chairman Haruna Hamman Furo said 800 people have been registered. He said 12,000 Nigerians may eventually be sent back.


Benin Republic Heats Up Fight Against Boko Haram, Pledges 800 Troops

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said a new task force involved in the fight against terror group Boko Haram will defeat the insurgents by December.

The leader made the comment as he was visiting Benin, one of the countries involved in the offensive. Buhari previously visited Niger, Chad and Cameroon to strengthen the antiterrorism cooperation.

The five countries were already involved in a regional offensive against the terrorists which scored some goals since it was created in February. However, the Nigerian army announced that a new task force, expected to be more efficient, is ready to take over the fight.

The task force comprises some 8,700 soldiers from the five African nations and is headed by Major General Iliya Abbah, who previously conducted military operations in the Niger Delta.

Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi announced the country would send 800 troops to join the new force and “permanently combat these outlaws”, AFP reported. The announcement follows Cameroon’s decision to send some 2,000 military reinforcements to the north of the country, near the border with Nigeria, to help fight the terrorists.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Committee Threatens Sanctions Against Violent House Of Reps Members

As members of the House of Representatives resume plenary on Tuesday, the Adhoc Committee on Code of Conduct has warned returning members to behave orderly.

Plenary was cut short the last time the House sat on June 25 when some members attempted to seize the mace leading to a free-for-all fight between members loyal to Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila.

After the fracas, Mr. Dogara postponed plenary to July 28.

The ad hoc committee on code of conduct on Monday told returning members that it has been saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the functions of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

The committee, in a notice signed by Aminu Shagari, called on members to conduct themselves in an orderly manner on Tuesday.

“The Committee will no longer tolerate any unruly behaviour by any member of the House no matter how highly placed,” he said.

Mr. Shagari also advised members who have grievances to explore peaceful avenues of seeking redress instead of resorting to violence on the floor of the House, or the precincts of the National Assembly.

“There are adequate sanctions in place to penalise any member who may want to disrupt the peace during plenary, Committee meetings or other legislative functions of the House.

“The House will deal decisively with any member who violates the rules, disrupts plenary, or is found wanting of misconduct and other sundry offences.

“Members are admonished to demonstrate high standards of ethics consistent with the important role of Lawmaking and the 8th Assembly Legislative Agenda which places emphasis on the wellbeing of the Nigerian people,” the statement read.


Osun Judge Ready To Testify Against Aregbesola- Speaker

The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Mr. Najeem Salaam, said on Thursday that Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, who wrote a petition calling for the impeachment of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, has expressed her readiness to defend her allegations against the governor.

The Speaker said this in a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo through his media aide, Mr. Goke Butika.

The Speaker, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress just like the governor stated that the Assembly had written to Aregbesola demanding his response to the allegations leveled against him by the petitioner.

He said, “The onus of proof lies on the petitioner who has expressed her readiness to defend her allegations before the parliamentarians, while Gov. Aregbesola’s response would also be awaited for the sake of fair hearing…”

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FG Probes Amnesty International’s Allegation Against Military

The Federal Government has constituted an investigation into the allegations leveled against the Nigerian military by the Amnesty International. This is contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Bulus Lolo and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja. Lolo, in the statement, described the allegations leveled against the military as “serious”.

“Due to the magnitude of the allegations, the President Buhari-led government is looking into the report with a view to establishing the fact of the matter. “The government has, therefore, instituted an investigation and assures that there will be no cover-up,” he said.

The permanent secretary also said that the military, conscious of its constitutional mandate, had undertaken an ongoing investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing by its personnel.

Read More: vanguardngr

Naira Depreciates Against Major Currencies

The Naira on Friday at the parallel market depreciated against three international currencies at the close of trading for the week. A on Friday in Lagos showed that the Naira depreciated by N1 or 0.45 per cent against the dollar due to high demand. It sold for N221 against the dollar from the N220 it sold on Monday, June 15.

The Naira also lost N27 to sell at N352 to the pound, representing 8.31 per cent depreciation from the N325 it traded on June 15.Besides, the Naira against the euro went for N245 compared with the N238 it sold on June 15, representing N7 or 2.97 per cent drop. The Naira against the dollar at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official rate remained at N196.90, the rate since June 11.

But it fell by N7.96 or 2.61 per cent to the pound, selling for N313.31 from the N305.31 it sold on June 15. The currency also depreciated against the euro to sell for N224.58 compared with the N220.74 it traded on Monday.

A bureau de change operator, Mr Harrison Owoh said that the depreciation in all segments was due to a shortfall between demand and the foreign exchange available for sale. Owoh, who is the Managing Director of HJ Trust Investment Ltd., Lagos, said that a further shortfall in forex supply may lead to further depreciation.

Credit: Vanguard

Chad Airstrikes Against Boko Haram Not On Our Territory- Nigerian Military

Nigeria has denied claims that Chad conducted air strikes on Nigerian soil, against jihadist sect, Boko Haram. The Defence Headquarters on Thursday said the report was incorrect.

The denial followed a statement by Chad’s military that it carried out a series of air strikes against Boko Haram bases in Nigeria in retaliation for twin suicide bombings on Tuesday in its capital, N’Djamena.

The attack killed at least 34 people, Reuters news agency reported. Chad said the strikes had caused heavy human and material damage to six of the Islamist militants’ bases, according to Reuters.

But the Nigerian military said in a statement by the Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, that the Nigerian Air force surveillance mission identified targets tagged, Camp 6, around Bosso town which is not within Nigerian territory, “and alerted the partners, accordingly”.

Mr. Olukolade said the places reported to have been struck by the Chadians were therefore most likely to be in Niger Republic and not Nigeria as widely reported in the international media.

“Although the terms of the multilateral and bilateral understanding with partners in the war against terror allow some degree of hot pursuit against the terrorists, the territory of Nigeria has not been violated as insinuated in the reports circulated in some foreign media,” he said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Dogara Cautions Politicians Against Early Campaigns For 2019

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Wednesday urged politicians to avoid early campaign for positions in 2019. Rather, he advised that they should cooperate with the Buahri administration to move the country forward.

Dogara gave the advice when the Presidential Primaries Convention Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), visited him in Abuja. “We have to rally round with all the tools we can get, to make this government a success.

“We cannot fail our people and that is why I fault those who are already having their eyes on 2019,” Dogara said.

He stressed that the preoccupation of the lawmakers and the party members should be the wellbeing of the country.

The Speaker reiterated his commitment to collaborate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to ensure the implementation of programmes that would affect the lives of Nigerians positively.

Earlier, the leader of the committee, Dr Alex Ideh, urged the speaker to carry every member of the House along in the business of the House. “Please reach out to Representative Femi Gbajabiamila and the party in the true spirit of humility and sportsmanship,” Ideh advised.

He said a strong cooperation between the National Assembly and the Presidency would speed up development in the country.

Credit: NAN

EFCC Kicks Against Dismissal Of Sylva’s N19.2bn Fraud Case, Says Judge Erred In Law

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday condemned the decision by a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss the case of alleged N19.2 billion fraud levelled against a former Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva.

The EFCC in a statement by the head, media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the trial judge, A. R. Mohammed erred in law as the accused persons had not taken any plea.

Uwujaren said no proof of evidence was placed before the court and trial had also not commenced, adding that “the dismissal of the charge by Justice Mohammed, following the application of the Commission to consolidate the charges against the former governor and his accomplices, does not amount to a discharge or an acquittal, and it does not preclude the power of the agency to bring fresh charges against the defendants.”

The Court had dismissed the case Wednesday, accusing the EFCC of abusing the court process. The court’s decision came more than a week after the anti-graft agency withdrew part of the charges – a N2 billion fraud case – against the former governor.

The EFCC said it withdrew a six-count charge of fraud against Sylva as a prelude to the consolidation of all the charges against him. The commission had two cases against the former governor pending before two Federal High Courts in Abuja, and needed to consolidate them, the EFCC had said. Sylva was arraigned along three others – Francis Okokwo, Gbenga Balogun, and Samuel Ogbuku – by the EFCC.

They were accused of using three companies – Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited to move about N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012, under false of using the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government workers.


Regional Force HQs Base Against Boko Haram To Cost $30mn

The base of a multi-national military offensive against Boko Haram will cost some $30 million over the next year, the head of a regional security grouping said Wednesday in Nigeria, appealing for help.

His comments came as defence ministers and military chiefs from Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin — which will contribute military personnel, police and civilians to the so-called Multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF) — met in Abuja to thrash out plans to take on the militants.

Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari has made stopping Boko Haram’s bloody, six-year insurgency a top priority, and on Thursday he will meet with his regional counterparts in a high-level summit on the issue in the Nigerian capital.

“The total amount required to set up and sustain the MNJTF headquarters for the next 12 months is about $30 million (27 million euros),” said Sanusi Imran Abdullahi, head of the Lake Chad Basin Commission security grouping that includes Nigeria and nearby countries.

“The troop-contributing countries are responsible for equipping and sustenance of their battalion.” The long-awaited task force, which has its headquarters in Chad’s capital N’Djamena under a senior Nigerian officer, was originally due to have been operational in November. In the meantime, troops from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon have been fighting Boko Haram insurgents in northeast Nigeria for several months and have claimed a series of successes.


APC In Kwara, Lagos Clash Over Call For Sanctions Against Saraki, Dogara

The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kwara State has cautioned the Lagos State chapter of the party to halt making uninformed and unguarded comments on the emergence of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

The party said the call by Lagos APC on the leadership of APC to punish the newly elected Senate President and the Speaker of House of Representatives ?is uninformed and unfortunate.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Publicity Secretary of APC in Kwara State, Sulyman Buhari, the party dismissed the statement by Lagos APC as unfortunate.

“It is quite unfortunate that Lagos APC recommended disciplinary actions against the Senate President and the Honourable Speaker without citing a provision of the APC constitution that has been contravened by these distinguished Nigerians and committed party leaders.

“?We advise the spokesman of Lagos APC to allow his comments to be guided by the Law and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria rather than by emotions and sentiments.

“?And for the information of Nigerians, the spokesman of Lagos APC is on his own as we can authoritatively confirm that his sentiments and vituperation are not reflective of the position of Lagos APC on the inauguration of 8th National Assembly.

“The good news is that in Nigeria today, the Senate President and the Speaker of House of Representatives are members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.

“It is expected that all leaders and members of our party support the duo of Senate President Saraki and Speaker Dogara to foster cordial relationship between the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and National Assembly, rather than an inordinate attempt to cause crises and instability.

“Meanwhile, ?it is a misrepresentation of fact and truth that the ascension of Senator Saraki as the Senate President was a PDP affair. The few Nigerians who have been portraying the emergence of the new Senate President as a PDP affair should be cautious. The actual fact, which nobody or propaganda can hide, is that Senator Saraki emerged Senate President with the support of Senators across political parties.”, the statement read.


Suit Against Buhari’s Inauguration Fails

The suit seeking to stop the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed from swearing-in the President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari yesterday suffered a set back as the plaintiff in the matter failed to show up in court.

The plaintiff in the matter, a civil society organization, the Incorporated Trustees of Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative had approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to grant its reliefs. But when the case came up yesterday, their lawyer, Mr Philip Ekpo, was absent in court.

Also yesterday, an appeal was filed to stop the inauguration of the governor elect of Cross Rivers State, Professor Ben Ayade.
In the suit filed at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, through Mr Okey Uzoho, the appellants, Dr. Michael Ogar, who contested the gubernatorial election in 2011 under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigerian now All Progressive Congress (APC) and 34 other political parties are asking the apex court to stop or suspend any swearing-in of the governor-elect until the determination of the case.

According to them, there is no vacancy in the government house of Cross Rivers State until after February 25, 2016.

He further argued that the governorship election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on April 11, 2015 in the state is null and void and in violation of Section 180(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

The election that brought the incumbent governor of the state, Governor Liyel Imoke, into office was nullified by the Supreme Court in January 2012 and a fresh election was ordered.

After the Supreme Court judgement, a fresh election was conducted on February 25, 2015, which saw INEC also declaring Imoke as the winner.

Following his victory in the 2012 election, he was sworn into office on March 1, 2012.

In the appeal, the appellants are contending that having taken another oath of office in 2012, his tenure in office should subsists until after February 25, 2016.

The appellants asked the court to make the following order, “An order setting aside and nullifying any certificate of return issued by the 1st respondent (INEC) to any person or persons on account of the purported gubernatorial election conducted on 11-04-2015 in Cross Rivers State of Nigeria.

“An order halting, stopping. Or suspending any swearing-in of any person on 29th May, 2015, or any other date, into the offices of Governor and Deputy Governor of Cross Rivers State of Nigeria on account of the gubernatorial election conducted on 11-04-2015 in the state pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice and substantive appeal”.


Malawi Protests Against Attacks On Immigrants In SA

A diplomat at the South African High Commission in Malawi said hundreds of people protested outside the commission in the capital, Lilongwe, against anti-immigrant attacks in South Africa.

The commission’s Welcome Simelane said on Tuesday that it was a peaceful protest and demonstrators handed over a petition to High Commissioner Cassandra Mbuyane-Mokone. Malawi’s information minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said nearly 400 Malawians arrived home on Monday, travelling overnight by bus from South Africa.

Police said there was no new violence reported in Johannesburg and surrounding areas.

Credit: AP

DSTV Implements 20% Subscription Hike Against Court Order

Nigerians are at the losing end again after MultiChoice Nigeria, a South African satellite TV company implemented its 20 percent subscription hike despite court order stopping it from taking such action pending the determination of a suit filed against it by some lawyers.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos state had ordered DSTV to revert to its old subscription fee. The order followed a suit filed by two lawyers challenging what they termed an arbitrary increment in subscription rates imposed by MultiChoice Nigeria, operators of DStv and GOtv pay-TV platforms, on their subscribers.

Justice C.J. Aneke, in an interim order asked MultiChoice to revert to its old subscription rates pending the determination of the suit on the legality of its new tariffs.

Read More: dailypost

How Okorocha Is Campaigning Against Buhari

Word on the streets of Owerri, the Imo State capital, is that Governor Rochas Okorocha has depleted the state’s finances in his failed bid to emerge presidential candidate of the All Progressives Party (APC) and subsequent financial contributions to the party’s eventual candidate, Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign. Here is an analysis how it is possible that Okorocha could, albeit unintentionally, be campaigning against Buhari.

Hitherto hugely popular in the state, Governor Rochas Okorocha, who rode on the wings of this trend to defeat the then incumbent, Ikedi Ohakim, in 2011, is fast losing the love of his people as a result of recent happenings.

On February 26, hundreds of contractors in the state protested alleged non-payment of over N180 billion owed them by the state government. The jobs being owed for, according to the protesters, who formed an association known as Unpaid Imo Contractors, ranged from road construction to supplies of road construction materials.

Led by their chairman, Ugodadi Ononiwu, and Vice Chairman, Uche Madu, the contractors alleged that Governor Okorocha has failed to pay for several approved projects since 2011. Mr Ononiwu claimed that his firm is being owed N58 million, which was contentiously reduced to N45 million; adding that 19 of their members have died as a result of illness associated with the pains of the situation.

A similar situation is currently playing out in public schools across the state, as thousands of teachers engaged under the government’s ‘Youth Must Work’ initiative allege that they were last paid salaries in November 2014.

It is so unfortunate because my wife and I relocated to the state from Port-Harcourt to take up these jobs,” said Caleb Egwu, one of the teachers. “Now, we are all stranded. How can Rochas use our money for elections? This is so unfair.

Read More: naij.com

10 Registered Political Parties That Kicked Against Election Postponement

A group of ten registered political parties has kicked against the postponement of the general elections. The parties alleged that characters that scuttled the June 12, 1993 general election have coalesced again and are about to do the same thing for their selfish ends.
The political parties are the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), KOWA Party, the HDP, Accord Party, Mega Progressive Peoples Party, Social Democratic Party, United Peoples Party and the Democratic Peoples Party.

Speaking on behalf of the other parties, National Chairman of PDM,  Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, said the call for the postponement of the general elections has nothing to do with the challenge of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the election or the pace of distribution and collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVCs).

He accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of orchestrating the call for the postponement out of fear of losing power for the first time since 1999.

Read More: New Telegraph