Finally, UK Begins Exit Process From European Union.

The United Kingdom has formally begun the country’s departure from the European Union.

The country’s permanent representative to the European Union, Sir Tim Barrow has handed a letter triggering Article 50 to the European Council President Donald Tusk.

This follows a June referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May, an initial opponent of Brexit, who won the top job in the political turmoil that followed the referendum vote, now has two years to settle the terms of the exit before it comes into effect in late March 2019.


Source: Channels TV

Seven suspects arrested over UK terror attack

Seven people have been arrested including in London and Birmingham over the terror attack at the British parliament, the police said on Thursday, revising down the number of victims to three.

“We have searched six addresses and made seven arrests,” Britain’s top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley, who had earlier said there were four victims in Wednesday’s attack, told reporters in London.

The arrests were made following police “activity in London, Birmingham and elsewhere in the country,” Rowley added.

The new death toll included two members of the public — a woman in her mid-40s, a man in his mid-50s — and the 48 year-old police officer stabbed outside Parliament, named last night as PC Keith Palmer.

The attacker also died after being shot by an armed officer.

“It is still our belief… that this attacker acted alone yesterday and was inspired by international terrorism,” he said.

The police have said they believe they know the identity of the attacker but will not reveal it “at such a sensitive stage in our investigation”.

Rowley also said that 29 people were treated in hospital. The police had said on Wednesday that around 40 people were injured.

“Sadly seven of them are in a critical condition,” Rowley said


Source: PUNCH

President Buhari speaks on his medical vacation, hints on further check ups.

President Muhammadu Buhari has released the following statement, explaining his London medical vacation, and indicating that he would make more travels to the British capital for further medical checks in the weeks ahead.

Read full statement below.

“I am deeply grateful to all Nigerians – Muslims and Christians alike who have prayed and are continuing to pray for my good health. This is a testimony that in spite of the hardship being experienced, Nigerians support the Government in its effort to tackle our country’s challenges.

“The best way for me to repay you all is to re-dedicate myself to serving you, protecting your interests and keeping your trust. I thank you very much.

“I am feeling much better now, there may, however, be need to have further follow-ups within some weeks. Rather than sending delegation upon delegation to Abuja to welcome me, may I appeal to all Nigerians to continue to pray for our country’s unity, progress and prosperity.

“I thank you very much and may God bless our Country!”

Muhammadu Buhari
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

President Buhari returns home after medical leave in the UK

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has returned home after weeks of medical leave in the UK and speculation over his condition.

The 74-year-old landed at an air force base in the northern city of Kaduna and is expected to travel to the capital, Abuja.

The former military ruler left Nigeria on 19 January and has been on medical leave in London.

Details of his condition have not been disclosed.

An official statement on Thursday said President Buhari had left Nigeria for a “vacation, during which he had medical check-ups”.

“The holiday was extended based on doctors’ recommendation for further tests and rest.”

The main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has called for more transparency about the president’s condition.

The country is currently suffering from its worst economic crisis in years, following a sharp fall in the price of oil, its major export.

It is the second time in less than a year that Mr Buhari, who came to power in 2015, has sought medical assistance overseas. Last June, he spent nearly two weeks, again in London, for treatment for an ear infection.

Little information has been made public about his latest stay in the UK capital, but he was pictured on Thursday meeting the most senior cleric of the world Anglican congregation, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

UK, U.S. Partner Nigerian Police Force On Human Rights Protection

Respect and protection of the rights of citizens has been described as the cornerstone of effective community policing.

The Director of U.S. International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in Nigeria, Ms. Roselyn Wiesse, stated this at an advanced human rights training for officers of the Nigeria Police.

She said protecting the rights of citizens was the best way to gain the trust of communities in Nigeria, and to show the people that the Police was capable of protecting them from prevailing security threats.

Ms. Wiesse added that for Police to perform its functions creditably, it must prioritise the respect of citizens’ rights in the course of discharging its constitutional duties.

Elsewhere, the Nigerian Security and Justice Adviser at the British High Commission, Katrina Laird, also advised the Police to be conscious of the citizens while performing its duty.

Ms. Laird spoke at an event organised by the Commission to train Police officers in Nigeria’s northeast on how to perform effectively in a vulnerable environment without infringing on the rights of citizens.

She stressed the need for the Force to make room for trust on the parts of citizens in the performance of their duties.

On his part, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahm Idris, described the training as apt, considering the sensitive and vulnerable nature of Police operations in the northeast.

Other participants at the event urged participating officers to ensure the lessons learnt at these training reflect on their skills in their various operations.


Source: Channels TV

President Buhari May Be Staying In The UK Longer Than Expected – Presidency

Don’t expect President Muhammadu Buhari from the United Kingdom anytime soon, this is according to the Presidency.

In an update on President Buhari’s health, the Presidency wrote to Nigerians in a press statement, that the President says he may be staying longer than expected.

“President Buhari wishes to reassure Nigerians that there is no cause for worry.

“During his normal annual checkup, tests showed he needed a longer period of rest, necessitating that the President stays longer than originally planned.”

He however “Thanks millions of Nigerians who have been sending good wishes and praying for his health and well-being in mosques and Churches throughout the country.

“The President is immensely grateful for the prayers, show of love and concern”.

The president left the country in January 2017, on a annual leave and a medical vacation which he wrote to the National Assembly of his intentions to extend.

Its now about 32 days since he left Nigeria.


Source: Channels TV

No definite time for Buhari’s return to Nigeria – Spokesperson

Despite increasing agitations over President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence since January 19, 2017, when he left the country on a medical vacation to the United Kingdom (UK), there is no definite answer from the presidency on when he is expected back

President Buhari was expected back on the February 6, 2017 after an initial 10-day medical vacation, but that was not to be.

His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had in a statement at the expiration of the 10 days confirmed ?that the President would be extending his stay in the UK to “complete the test circle before returning.”

Recall that President Buhari was expected to resume from his vacation on Monday, February 6, 2017.

However, he wrote to the National Assembly informing the parliament of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.

With the Presidency failing to come up with a categorical statement on when President Buhari would return to the country, the development has continued to fuel agitations, with many Nigerians demanding hourly bulletin on President Buhari’s status, as was the case when former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was indisposed.

Brexit is not inevitable and people have a right to change their mind, Tony Blair says.

Tony Blair urged opponents of Brexit to “rise up” and fight to change the British people’s minds about leaving the European Union, in a speech that aimed to show U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that she won’t get everything her own way.

“People voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit,” the former Labour prime minister said in a speech in London on Friday. “As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so.”

Blair, who ran the country from 1997 to 2007, explicitly set himself against May’s Conservative government, accusing it of being a “government for Brexit, of Brexit and dominated by Brexit.” As the most formidable election-winner in Labour’s history, his intervention isn’t to be dismissed, but opponents are likely to argue that his campaigning strength is diminished by his support for the Iraq War.

Blair set out his stall in a speech at Bloomberg LP’s European headquarters in London, the same place where, in January 2013, former Prime Minister David Cameron announced his plan to call a referendum on EU membership, unwittingly setting Britain on course to leave.

Now May plans to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin exit talks next month, with a view to completing them within two years.

She is steering the U.K. toward a so-called hard Brexit, saying she wants to withdraw not just from the 28-nation EU, but also its single market and customs union, both of which can accommodate countries that aren’t in the bloc. That’s riled opponents of Brexit, who argue it ignores the wishes of the 48 percent of voters who opted for Remain in last year’s referendum.

Blair said May and her Cabinet are in thrall to those in her party who want complete separation from the EU. “They’re not driving this bus,” he said of ministers. “They’re being driven. We will trigger Article 50 not because we know our destination, but because the politics of not doing so would alienate those driving the bus.”

‘Brexit At any Cost’

“Those driving this always wanted a hard Brexit,” Blair argued. “Indeed even the term hard Brexit requires amendment. The policy is now Brexit at any cost.”

With the Labour Party now deeply divided and unsure of how to respond to the Brexit vote, the government has had a relatively easy ride from Brexit opponents in parliament.

“The debilitation of the Labour Party is the facilitator of Brexit,” Blair said. Last week, May won a series of votes on the legislation to allow her to begin departure talks. Blair’s aim is to rally those who want to stay inside the EU and get them to work together to change the terms of the debate.

“Our challenge is to expose relentlessly the actual cost, to show how this decision was based on imperfect knowledge, which will now become informed knowledge,” Blair said. “I don’t know if we can succeed. But I do know we will suffer a rancorous verdict from future generations if we do not try.”

Blair acknowledged there is little room in the public debate for talk of staying inside the EU. He said he wanted to reframe the questions before it was too late.

“The ideologues know that they have to get Brexit first, then tell us this is the only future which works,” he said. “We need to strengthen the hand of the members of Parliament who are with us and let those who are against know they have serious opposition to Brexit at any cost.’


He explicitly rejected May’s argument that her opponents are “citizens of nowhere.”

“How hideously, in this debate, is the mantle of patriotism abused,” Blair said. “We do not argue for Britain in Europe because we are citizens of nowhere. We argue for it precisely because we are proud citizens of our country who believe that in the 21st century, we should maintain our partnership with the biggest political union and largest commercial market right on our doorstep.”

Blair agreed with May that support for Brexit is driven by immigration, but argued that leaving the EU won’t deal with the immigration that concerns people.

“For many people, the core of the immigration question — and one which I fully accept is a substantial issue — is immigration from non-European countries,” he said. Nevertheless, the debate has changed in just a few months “to the primacy of one consideration — namely controlling immigration from the EU — without any real discussion as to why, and when Brexit doesn’t affect the immigration people most care about.”

Blair also questioned May’s claim that she wants Britain to be a bridge to the U.S. “How to begin this worthy undertaking?” he asked. “To get out of Europe, thus leaving us with no locus on the terrain where this bridge must be constructed.”

He said the break-up of the U.K. “is now back on the table, but this time with a context much more credible for the independence case.”

And he warned that May’s administration will be unable to focus on anything beyond EU matters. “This government has bandwidth for only one thing: Brexit,” he said. “It is the waking thought, the daily grind, the meditation before sleep and the stuff of its dreams — or nightmares.”

“President Buhari Is Healthy And In Good Spirit”, Says Saraki. [Pictures]

Senate President Bukola Saraki has said that President Muhammadu Buhari, who is still on vacation in London is healthy and good spirit.

Saraki, in a statement personally signed by him stated this after a meeting with the president at the Abuja House in London.

He visited the president in company of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and other members of the leadership of the National Assembly including Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan.

“Delighted to see that President Buhari is doing well, was cheerful and in good spirits”, Saraki said.

“The president I saw today is healthy, witty and himself.”

“The president’s absence and imminent return shows that there is no vacuum in government and our system of democracy is working with all organs of government fulfilling their mandate. And let me use the time tested cliché, there is no cause for alarm!”, Saraki added.


President Buhari MAY return to Nigeria on Saturday – Presidency Official

Emerging reports suggest that, if all things go as planned, then President Muhammadu Buhari would return to Nigeria from his vacation to the United Kingdom this Saturday, February 11.

According to Leadership, a source disclosed on Wednesday, February 8, that except there would be any last minute change, all is set for President Buhari’s return.

The source, a senior official in the presidency, who spoke in confidence with newsmen, simply said: “Barring any last minute change, we are expecting the president back this weekend, probably on Saturday.”

It was also gathered that the president had on Tuesday this week cancelled an interview with a foreign media organisation, but may possibly grant an interview in London before the weekend.

Another source in the presidency also said that President Buhari “had already packed his bags to leave on Sunday but was advised by his doctors to wait and get results of some tests he conducted before leaving that country.”

“I can confidently tell you that Mr. President might still be there (in London) because he has to succumb to the superior knowledge of physicians who conducted medical checks on him, but his mind is in Nigeria,” he added.

On rumours that he is incapacitated, the source who preferred not to be named in print because he is not in a position to officially speak on the matter said, “What else do you expect from people? If it were to be other past presidents who go on vacation or medical checkup without official notification, there wouldn’t have been room for such rumour.

“But this is a president who is determined to remain transparent in whatever he does in office. Don’t forget that this is not the first time His Excellency is embarking on a vacation outside the shores of the country.”

Source: NAIJ

BREAKING: Former Delta State Governor, James Ibori arrives Nigeria from UK.

One of Nigeria’s most powerful men, who was jailed in Britain for money laundering and fraud in a landmark anti-corruption case, has returned home, his aides told AFP on Saturday.

“Chief James Ibori has arrived. He landed in Abuja in the early hours,” said Ighoyota Amori, a political adviser to Ibori, who was governor of the oil-rich Delta state between 1999 and 2007.

He said Ibori, who was released in London in December after serving just over four years of a 13-year jail term, would later fly to the southern port city of Warri in Delta state.

“A chartered private plane will fly him to Warri and he will land at Osubi airfield operated by Shell,” he added.

The former politician would be received at the airstrip by supporters and sympathisers who have lined up to welcome him back, he added.

“For now, it is going to be a quiet ceremony. An elaborate reception will be organised later for him at Oghara, his hometown,” he said.

Ibori’s media aide, Tony Eluemunor, also confirmed his arrival, saying only: “He is in town. I will keep you posted later.”

Ibori was jailed in April 2012 for fraud amounting to nearly 50 million pounds (at the time $78.5 million/62 million euros) following a drawn-out extradition procedure and his evasion of arrest and prosecution in Nigeria.

He had fled to Dubai in 2010, from where he was extradited to Britain.

– Rare blow against graft –

Anti-corruption campaigners say billions of pounds of ill-gotten wealth is moved each year through Britain, its overseas territories and dependencies and Ibori’s conviction was a rare success against global graft.

Ibori, 57, has vowed to appeal the conviction, claiming that at least one police officer involved in the investigation against him had been compromised by taking bribes.

London’s Metropolitan Police has said it has investigated the claim but no charges were brought.

Transparency International on Friday called Ibori’s intent to appeal “an affront to justice”.

“Ibori claims that the police who investigated him were themselves corrupt.

“All allegations of corruption against the police force must be taken with the utmost seriousness and independently investigated, and those found guilty should be held accountable,” it said.

“But this should have no bearing on the guilt of an individual who amassed an astonishing personal fortune, whilst his notional official salary as a state governor would typically have been no more than $25,000 annually,” it said.

“Attempts to mask his own corrupt dealings by highlighting corruption elsewhere must not be allowed to prevail.”

Opinions are divided in Nigeria itself about whether Ibori should face a fresh trial on his return given the strong anti-corruption stance of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ibori is said to have partially funded the election of Umaru Yar’Adua in his successful bid to become president in 2007.

Even during his time in prison, he is said to have influenced the election of the current Delta state governor and other politicians.

 Source: AFP

BREAKING: 41 UK deportees arrive Lagos airport.

Forty-one Nigerians, comprising 33 males and eight females, arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Wednesday morning.


They landed at the cargo terminal of the airport.


Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the south-west, said some of them are prisoners who have not completed their sentence.


He said arrangements would be made to transfer such persons to Nigerian prisons.


Below are two pictures of some of the deportees:




One Million UK Citizens Sign Petition To Stop Donald Trump From Visiting UK.

A petition to stop US President Donald Trump’s UK state visit has gathered more than a million signatures.

Numbers of signatories have been rising rapidly since a US clampdown on immigration came into effect over the weekend, causing anger worldwide.

PM Theresa May announced the visit during her recent US trip. Downing Street has rejected calls for it to be cancelled as a “populist gesture”.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn urged the PM to postpone the visit.

Graham Guest, a solicitor from Leeds who began the petition, said he wanted it to “put the spotlight” on Mr Trump.

On Sunday, he told the Press Association news agency: “A state visit legitimises his presidency, and he will use the photo opportunities and being seen with the Queen to get re-elected.”

On Friday Mr Trump signed an executive order halting the US refugee programme for 120 days, indefinitely banning all Syrian refugees and suspending the entry of all nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Moves to implement the measure triggered anger and protest across the world.

On Saturday afternoon the petition had just 60 signatures but reached 100,000 needed to be considered for debate by Parliament just after midday on Sunday.

MPs will discuss the debate on Tuesday.

Protests in response to Mr Trump’s executive order are expected to take place after 18:00 in London, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Swansea.

Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the row.

The Downing Street source told the BBC an invitation had been “issued and accepted” and scrapping it would “undo everything” following Mrs May’s visit.

“America is a huge important ally. We have to think long term,” the source added. No date has been set for the state visit.

But Shadow Attorney-General Shami Chakrabarti said the government’s position “sounds like appeasement”.

Mr Corbyn, who is supporting the petition, tweeted: “@Theresa_May would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit & condemn Trump’s actions in the clearest terms.”

“@realDonaldTrump should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with shameful #MuslimBan & attacks on refugees & women,” he added.

Alex Salmond, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman, said he thought the state visit was “a very bad idea”.

And Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the visit should not happen while the executive order was in place.

Governor Ajimobi denies governors’ emergency meeting over Buhari.

Amid rife speculation over the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state yesterday refuted reports that governors were summoned for an emergency meeting in Abuja to discuss the issue.

“There is no iota of truth in the rumour making the round that governors were summoned to Abuja for an emergency meeting to discuss the health status of our dear President. We should desist from circulating callous insinuations aimed at denting the image of prominent citizens.

“Instead of peddling unfounded rumours, I will advise Nigerians to continue to pray for the President and other leaders, including governors, because their well-being is tied to the well-being of the people.

The governor, who spoke yesterday in Ibadan, clarified that his trip to Abuja was for a scheduled meeting with World Bank officials. He went on: “It is pertinent to state here that the President only went for a break and to use the opportunity to undergo routine medical check-up. To the best of my knowledge, he was not even admitted into any hospital for any ailment.

“There is nothing wrong with the President taking some time off to rest and meet with some people abroad unofficially. I am reaffirming the fact that our President is hale and hearty.”

Recalling the negative online comments that had trailed his recent interaction with the protesting students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAIUTECH), Ogbomoso, Ajimobi said it was high time the medium was regulated to check abuses.

Acknowledging the importance of the new media for social mobilisation and creation of awareness on developmental issues, policies and other positive intents, he admitted that the medium was also being abused by some individuals.


Source: Guardian

Death rumor: Buhari should speak to Nigerians – NLC

Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to speak to Nigerians.

NLC, in reaction to a comment by presidential adviser on media, Femi Adesina, that no one can force Buhari to speak, noted that public appearance by the country’s leader would put to rest rumors of his death.?

General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said that “In the social media, stories circulate without confirmation; I think that the easiest way is to talk publicly to the nation because the citizens are concerned about their leaders’ whereabouts.

“If there are those who orchestrated rumours and they are not true, the easiest way is for him to reach out to Nigerians through a public appearance and a statement.

“Nigerians have a right to be certain about the health situation of their President and the people who orchestrate rumours and unsubstantiated reports, one would wish for him to call their bluff by publicly addressing the citizens.”

In his reaction, Executive Secretary, Anti-corruption Network, Ebenezer Oyetakin, faulted the call for Buhari to address the nation.

He said, “I do not subscribe to that. It smacks of mischief from such people. We are Africans. We have cultural discipline on some issues.

“He has done the appropriate thing by handing over to the VP as Acting President. Let us be patient and maintain a sense of decorum and respect to the institution of governance.’’

Never Again To The Bomb That Missed Our Backyard – By Azu Ishiekwene

In a week when Africa riveted on former President Yahya Jammeh’s tantrums, an event that could have shaken the continent to its core slipped below the radar.

Or maybe we didn’t think it was sufficiently important. It emerged early in the week that the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, had knowingly concealed information about a failed missile test when she appeared in Parliament to ask for 40 billion pounds to replace the Trident, the UK’s flagship missile defence system.

The Guardian UK, which published the story, mentioned “West Africa,” the test target, by accident in its more than 800-word copy.

Opposition parliamentarians were not necessarily mad that the prime minister had taken them for a ride, although that was part of the problem. They couldn’t understand how this secret had been concealed from them since June and why they had to find out through the backdoor that the missile, which was tested in Florida, US, backfired.

For Africa, the problem was different. If the UK had actually fired the missile at West Africa, it could have landed in Accra, Abuja or Abidjan.

It’s convenient to argue that the missile was unarmed, that it carried only a dummy. But if UK parliamentarians can be outraged by the concealment and the potentially “catastrophic consequences” of the test, I’m bereft that not a whimper of objection has come from Africa, the target.

It was not even reported or mentioned in passing online or offline.

Compare the deafening silence in Africa to the huffing and puffing in Washington and London following any real or rumoured attempt by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to test his missiles, which are potentially far less deadly or dependable.

The unarmed UK missile that backfired in June has a range of 12,000km, which means it could land in any West African country from Florida where it was fired. And with a nuclear payload of 1900 kilotons, which is nearly 95 times the destructive capacity of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Trident missile could leave swathes of the region, including Nigeria, in ruins.

But the continent’s leaders were too preoccupied to notice. Jammeh was busy negotiating a safe passage for his men and asking for an oil block in Nigeria as condition for stepping down; President Muhammadu Buhari was away on a medical holiday abroad while the military authorities were hunting down journalists over spurious charges of criminal libel. And in South Africa, after surviving an internal rebellion, President Jacob Zuma was busy devising a system for ANC members to spy on one another.

Who is looking after the shop?

Of course, we can’t even complain that Africa is not being treated with respect when its leaders are absent.

And it’s not the first time in a decade. Did former President George Bush consult with Africa before setting up AFRICOM in 2007? Or did France discuss with the AU before deploying 3,000 troops to secure its interests in the region one year later?

The point is that contempt tends to feed on itself, breeding even more contempt. If the UK, which obviously still treats the continent as its footstool, sees nothing wrong in aiming a dummy missile at us, there should be at least one leader apart from Robert Mugabe with enough mojo left to ask Whitehall to point its payload elsewhere.

“What’s the point?” some would ask. Aren’t our leaders committing more devastation than the 12 nuclear warheads of the Trident combined?

See what the continent went through to get rid of Jammeh; consider the nonsense still going on in Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo’s Equatorial Guinea and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe; the fading hopes in South Africa; the rising crisis of expectation in Nigeria, and the millions of people across the continent broken and bruised by years of corruption and incompetent leadership.

Could the Trident do worse, really?

That is an unfair question. It paints the continent with the same brush of prejudice, completely ignoring the energy and innovative spirit of the vast populations of the young and the stories from bright spots like Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.

Let’s be clear. We may have our problems – compounded by bad leaders and complicit followers – but nothing justifies turning the continent into a playground for nukes, with or without a payload.

The continent’s silence was shameful and a quiet approval to the world to do even worse.

We have endured toxic waste, blood diamonds, poaching and cheap substandard goods, not to mention apartheid, slavery and racism, from countries that claim to love the continent more than it loves itself.

To let the UK – or any other country – make the continent the new testing field for missiles is a luxury we cannot afford. It has to be said loud and clear: the backfired nuke test in Florida should be the last.


Ishiekwene is the MD/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview and member of the board of the Paris-based Global Editors Network.

President Buhari’s UK trip, a total blunder – By Niran Adedokun

It now seems obvious that those who sold the idea of change to President Muhammadu Buhari did not reach what lawyers call ad idem with him from the outset.

Ad idem refers to a meeting of minds of parties involved in a contract on the very essence of that agreement. It is a critical ingredient whose absence is able to vitiate any contract subjected to the test of law.

Over the past 20 months, it has become increasingly discernable that those who hawked Buhari to Nigerians as the agent of transformation only successfully communicated half of the elements of Buhari’s agency to him.

This half, from what one perceives, ends with the urgent need for a change in leadership. That critical part wherein the desire to reform a country is followed through by a series of policies and actions was either not conveyed at all or got lost at some point during the conversation.

This is why it is impossible to reconcile the President’s avowed commitment to revolutionalise the way Nigerians think and conduct themselves with some of his actions. All of this makes you wonder whether Nigerians and members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) had the same understanding of change as they worked towards the definitive 2015 elections.

And please, no one should raise that already overstretched argument about change being a tedious, long process which an impatient nature makes Nigerians misunderstand.

That suggestions by itself, it a reprehensible slight on the resilient determination of millions of Nigerians who defied all odds to vote in Buhari about 21 months. What those who market this idea should realise is that even the long process of instilling effective transformation should be signposted by incontrovertible evidences of a deep, research-based understanding of the problem, a theoretical and practicable framework for the reversal of the problem, a palpable determination of the leader to solve the problem without fear and favour as well as an undisguised ability of custodians of the people’s mandate to lead by example!

Subjected to any objective evaluation, it is doubtful that the Buhari administration will exceed the very base of assessments on most of these fronts. The administration has, to say the least, wallowed in uninspiring ineptitude that should currently worry every Nigerian conversant with the urgency with which this country should get of the gallows of underdevelopment.

For example, Buhari and his party men have regaled us with tales of how we found ourselves in the current economic deep pit because past leaders of Nigeria allowed the importation of everything and anything to the detriment of production at home. They have gone further to promise to redress the situation and set Nigeria on the path of irreversible development.

Part of their design to achieve this is weaning the nation off its dependence on oil through relentless diversification and the encouragement of local manufacturing. Clear way to go, everyone would agree.

Towards the achievement of the latter in particular, this government has almost since inception imposed capital controls which has seen to the restriction of the importation of a number of items and the ability of many hardworking Nigerians to transact legitimate business, attend to their healthcare need or send their children to school regardless of the import of the latter to the country’s future.
The President coverts the collaboration and sacrifice of all Nigerians on these but he and some of his close aides are not exactly inclined to subjecting themselves to the very demands they make of their compatriots.

He would show total disregard for the sensibilities of Nigerians when he made that comment about being able to send his daughter to school abroad because he could afford it while insisting that those who can no longer afford it, even if through no fault of theirs, would get no help from government. A veiled suggestion that they should withdraw their children from schools abroad. Yet he indulges in this venture that costs Nigerians a whooping N1.5tr annually. What about bringing your children back home as a sign of your commitment to improving standards at home?

It is this same rationale that would make the President for the jump on a plane to seek medical attention in the United Kingdom, a second time in his less than two years in office,
And here one must acknowledge the clarification by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, to the effect that his principal’s primary mission to the UK is a vacation and that the medical checkup is a mere adjunct. He went on in his usual manner to denigrate Nigerians for trying to reverse the President’s scale of priority.

But the joke here is on Adesina and the government he serves. The bitter truth is that there could never be any acceptable reason for Buhari to embark on any of these missions out of the country at this time. I will explain.
Why should a President who desires to bestow a variegated economy on his country think of a holiday abroad? In his administration research into ways in which Nigerians “waste” billions of dollars on unproductive ventures annually, did it not encounter foreign travels for holidays? Doesn’t this administration understand how much could accrue as well as how much it could save from a thriving tourism industry? What better way exists for a President to encourage his people to holiday in-country than for him to lead by that example? After all, the late Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua once did that in 2009!

And for the subsidiary purpose admitted by Adesina, this administration is gradually becoming a most pathetic failure at living to the reality of the expectations that it raised.
In two years and in spite of humongous budgetary allocations to the Aso Rock Villa Clinic, it has been unable to produce a world class hospital that could treat the president and his staff and save us occasions of rushed transfers in air ambulances as was recently reported concerning his chief of staff, Mr Abba Kyari!

A country in economic dire straits and bogged down by an epochal scarcity of foreign exchange should think of nothing but a conservation of its resources. It should work assiduously towards being able to treat its people and developing the capacity for medical tourism.

Rather than go out of the country to consult with medical doctors who emigrated out of the frustrations of a comatose system, the President should lead the mobilisation for the return of close to 10, 000 Nigerian medical experts in western and Middle East countries. Even if we do not have the vision to become a medical tourism hub, we could at least conserve monies in the excess of $1bn spent on this cause by our compatriots in 2013.
It is not clear whether the president’s decision to seek medical attention abroad came out of distrust of the Nigerian medical system, or the age long honest error of seeing everything foreign as better, but it is certainly not a project that the leader of a country of Nigeria’s current travails, size and resources should invest resources, even if they were personal, in.

I do not think Buhari has left anyone in doubt about his desire to lead a turnaround in the fortunes of the country, but then this is not one of those things that you wish into reality.
The president must realise that transformational leadership isn’t just about the title; it is more about the judicious use of the opportunity to show positive action and examples.

Before Buhari can hope to fix Nigeria, he must first fix himself and then show the way to go. He must continually improve himself in areas that he plans to improve the country before hoping to achieve success.

Anything less would place him on the same row with every other past leader that he always gleefully disparages. It is an prospect that the president should avoid like plague.


Follow me on twitter @niranadedokun

No Parliamentary Approval, No Brexit- Supreme Court Rules

It was a massive victory for Gina Miller as the Supreme Court has given a ruling giving the Parliament the right to approve the start of Brexit.

Addressing journalists outside court after the judgment, Gina Miller thanked her supporters for the steadfastness.

“In Britain, we are lucky – we are fortunate to have the ability to voice legitimate concerns and views as part of a shared society” she said.

“I have therefore been shocked at the levels of personal abuse that I have received from many quarters over the last seven months for simply bringing and asking a legitimate question.”

“I sincerely hope that going forward people who stand in positions of power and profile are much quicker in condemning those who cross the lines of common decency and mutual respect.”

The UK Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May must get parliament’s nod  before the commencement of Britain’s formal exit from the European Union based on Gina Miller’s stance. In doing so, she became a target for nationalists who claimed it was intended to stop Brexit.

“There is no doubt that Brexit is the most divisive issue of a generation, but this case was about the legal process, not politics” Miller said Tuesday.

She said the ruling went “to the very heart of our constitution”, confirming that “only parliament can grant rights to the British people and only parliament can take them away”.

The government is now expected to bring forward emergency legislation authorising it to trigger Article 50–the EU mechanism starting Brexit negotiations–by the end of March.



UK gets evidence against Diezani, as EFCC set to proceed with interrogation.

The United Kingdom (UK) is now in possession of a pile of evidence against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, courtesy of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission


A team of EFCC detectives was on standby yesterday to proceed to London to interrogate the ex-minister.

Sources familiar with her investigation by the EFCC told The Nation that all the evidence gathered by the anti-graft agency on Diezani had been handed over to UK investigators. The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu accompanied by some detectives took the evidence to the National Crime Agency in the UK. “The evidence includes an inventory of more than 15 choice properties at home and abroad, her account status, documents and vital video clips,” the source said. “The evidence was taken to London in preparation for her trial.

In fact, one or two persons indicted in the fuel subsidy scandal are already in detention in the UK ahead of her trial.

Responding to a question, the source added: “We are also sending some EFCC detectives to the UK to interrogate Diezani on some issues. We need to obtain her statement too on certain allegations against her in Nigeria.

“We learnt that she has substantially ‘recovered’ and we want our team to interview her in London.

“When the trial begins, Nigerians will have a full insight into our findings against the ex-minister.”

Continuing, the EFCC source said: “We have placed some of these properties under temporary asset forfeiture. We are still investigating some properties allegedly bought by the ex-minister through some proxies.

“But we have submitted a documentary on all these assets to investigators in the UK. We also discovered a box which was full of jewelry and expensive wrist watches in one of the properties with price tags.

“Some detectives who visited Nigeria from the UK inspected this box which we may transfer to the UK.

“On the $115million poll bribery scandal, we have video clips of how electoral officials and politicians were hauling cash from banking halls.

EFCC does not engage in a personal vendetta. Nigerians will know the truth at the end of the trial either in Nigeria or in the UK.”

Donald Trump says Brexit to be a great thing, wants deal with UK

The United States President-elect Donald Trump said on Monday that Brexit would turn out to be a great thing and other countries would follow Britain out of the European Union.

He promised to strike a swift bilateral trade deal with the United Kingdom.

Speaking in an interview five days before his inauguration, Mr. Trump described himself as a big fan of Britain and endorsed last year’s vote to leave the European Union.

“I think Brexit is going to end up being a great thing.

“I’ll tell you, the fact that your pound sterling has gone down, great, because business is unbelievable in a lot of parts in the UK,” he said.

The June 23 vote took many investors and chief executives by surprise.

It has triggered the deepest political and financial turmoil in Britain since World War Two and the biggest ever one-day fall in sterling against the dollar.

Sterling has since fallen further against the U.S. dollar.

However, traders, businesses and investors fret about the type of relationship Britain will have with its biggest single trading partner after it leaves the bloc.

Trump’s election campaign seized on the Brexit vote as an example of disillusioned voters rising against the political establishment.

He forged a friendship with leading Brexit campaigner, Nigel Farage, a fierce critic of Prime Minister Theresa May.


Source: Reuters

UK demands £18m from Ibori before he can return to Nigeria

James Onanefe Ibori, former Delta state governor, who was released from a UK prison yesterday, is still facing two obstacles before he can return to Nigeria.

He must face a deportation hearing and then also pay £18 million to the UK government as the “proceeds of crime.”

The unresolved issues almost elongated Ibori’s incarceration, until a high court judge gave an order he should be released and that attempts to detain him were “quite extraordinary.”

Ordering Ibori to be immediately freed from prison, Mrs Justice May said: “You don’t hold someone just because it is convenient to do so and without plans to deport them.”

A Home Office application that Ibori be electronically tagged and subjected to strict curfew conditions was also rejected.

The judge accepted arguments that the home secretary was attempting to misuse her immigration and deportation powers.

Ibori, a former London store cashier, was jailed for fraud totalling nearly £50 million in April 2012.

He evaded capture in Nigeria after a mob of supporters attacked police but was arrested in Dubai in 2010 and extradited to the UK, where he was prosecuted based on evidence from the Metropolitan Police.

On Wednesday, the Home Office’s barrister said the government was concerned that Ibori might “frustrate confiscation proceedings” and wanted him kept in jail or subjected to strict controls on his movement.

But it emerged in court that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is pursuing the confiscation proceedings, was “neutral” about Ibori’s release and possible deportation.

Ian MacDonald, QC, representing Ibori, said: “The Secretary of State has taken it upon herself. There is no objection from (the CPS) for release.

“This is extraordinary”, Mrs Justice May said. They (the CPS) don’t care.

“Why doesn’t the Secretary of State just send him back?” she asked. “He wants to go. She wants him to go.”

The conviction of James Ibori followed a government anti-corruption campaign led by the Department for International Development (DfID) 10 years ago.

In court on Wednesday, Ibori’s barrister, Ivan Krolic, explained how another defendant in the fraud case had appealed against conviction on the grounds that “police officers in the investigations had been corrupt.”

“The Court of Appeal rejected that after counsel for the Crown indicated that there was nothing to support the allegation”, Mr Krolic explained.

Ordering Ibori’s release, Justice May said: “The Secretary of State appears to have taken it upon herself that Ibori does remain in this country, in apparent contradiction of the order served earlier this year to deport him.

“The position of the Secretary of State, as very candidly set out by Birdling (representing the home secretary), is that she accepts that there is an argument that she has no power to detain him.

“I have decided that the balance of convenience falls heavily in favour of his immediate release. I am not prepared to impose conditions involving tagging or curfews.”

The judge said the matter of Ibori’s deportation should be heard before the end of January.

Meanwhile, in Ibori’s hometown of Oghara, in Delta state, residents were eager to receive him back home.

Rivers Poll: UK, US, Germany, France Call For Probe Of Killings

The United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright and his United States, France, Germany and the European Union counterparts, Messrs Stuart Symington, Denys Guaer, Bernhard Schlagheck and Micheal Arrion respectively, yesterday called on the federal government to conduct a transparent investigation into the killings of innocent Nigerians during the just concluded Rivers re-run election.

Also yesterday, The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) vowed that it would get to the root of incidences of malfeasance involving its staff, politicians and some security agents during the just concluded re-run elections in Rivers State.

This was contained in a statement, signed by the Deputy Press and Public Relations Officer of the British High Commission, Jamila Fagge, on behalf of the five envoys resident in Abuja.

The envoys also alleged wide rigging of the December 10, parliamentary re-run election in the state.

The countries who claimed to have been following proceedings before and during the election indicted some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as personnel of security agencies.

They however did not mention any politician or political party as a beneficiary of the rigging.

The envoys called for a full scale investigation of the allegations as well as the death of some civilians and police officials with a view to bringing them to book and serve as deterrent to others in future elections.

Read More: thisdaylive

Rivers Rerun: U.S., UK, French, EU envoys express concern over rising tension

The Ambassadors of the United States, United Kingdom, France and European Union on Friday expressed concern over the rising tension in the run up to the re-run national and state assemblies’ elections in Rivers State on Saturday.

The Ambassadors in a Joint statement urged politicians and the various political parties to give peace a chance.

“We note with concern the rising tension in Rivers State ahead of elections on 10 December. We call on the leadership of all political parties and their supporters in Rivers state to allow elections to go ahead peacefully.

“We encourage INEC and the security forces to perform their duties responsibly and impartially. We urge all parties to respect the electoral process and raise any grievances peacefully and through official channels.

“We stress that the leaders of all parties are accountable for the actions of their members and we encourage them to urge their supporters not to use or incite violence”, the envoys said in the statement.

The statement was signed by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright; United States Ambassador to Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington; French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Guaer, and the EU Head of Delegation to Nigeria, Michel Arrion.

The various seats available are expected to be straight battles between the ruling PDP in Rivers and Nigeria’s ruling APC.

UK Supreme Court to hear historic Brexit case

The government of Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday seek to overturn a ruling that it must obtain parliamentary approval before triggering Brexit, in a highly-charged case in Britain’s highest court.

For the first time ever, all 11 Supreme Court judges will convene for the four-day hearing which threatens to upset May’s timetable for leaving the European Union.

The High Court ruled last month that the government did not have the executive power alone to invoke Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, formally starting the exit negotiation process.

The decision enraged Brexit supporters and some newspapers who accused judges of thwarting the will of the 52 percent who voted “Leave” in a June 23 referendum.

A parliamentary vote on Article 50 could open the door to pro-Europe lawmakers delaying or softening Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.

May’s government will set out its case Monday in an appeal of the High Court decision, with a verdict expected in January.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright, the government’s chief legal advisor, will argue that the government has constitutional authority over foreign affairs, including the right to withdraw from treaties, under so-called “royal prerogative powers”.

– Referendum a ‘footnote’ –

In papers submitted to the Supreme Court ahead of the hearing, Wright said High Court judges were “wrong to relegate, almost to a footnote, the outcome of the referendum”.

Claimants in the case, led by investment fund manager Gina Miller, argue that triggering Article 50 would strip British citizens of certain rights established under European law — which they say only parliament has the power to do.

Britain’s foreign minister, Boris Johnson, voiced confidence in the government’s case Sunday, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “There is no history in any EU negotiations or any EU treaty talks of the House of Commons doing anything to fetter the discretion of the government.”

However, legal expert Michael Zander, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), said the government had little chance of winning, describing the original ruling as “unanimous and very strong”.

“In my view, the government could be looking at losing 11-0,” he wrote in legal magazine Counsel.

– Timetable at risk –

If it does lose, the government is expected to introduce a short bill — reportedly comprising just three lines of text — which it will seek to push rapidly through parliament to authorise the triggering of Article 50.

May has insisted a parliamentary vote on the legislation would not disrupt her plans to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

However, the opposition Labour Party delivered a blow to the government Saturday when it announced it would seek to amend any bill, potentially delaying the process.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the amendment would ensure that Britain retains access to the European single market and protect workers’ and environmental rights.

“When the Article 50 debate comes up, we will put forward an amendment to it, which will be on the issues of market access and protections. We want those to be part of the negotiation,” Corbyn told Sky News.

He denied that the party was seeking to prevent the government invoking Article 50 altogether, adding: “We are respecting the result of the referendum. It might not be the one we wanted but it’s the one we’ve got.”

A spokesman for May’s Conservative Party accused Labour of attempting to “frustrate the will of the British people by slowing down the process… and trying to tie the government’s hands” in Brexit negotiations.

May faces a further potential complication at this week’s hearing from representatives of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who will argue that Article 50 also needs to be approved by the devolved parliaments.

Such a ruling could further derail the prime minister’s timetable and set up a stand-off between the nations.

Nigerian Becomes First Female To Win VSO Award In UK

Oluwatosin Folarin has won the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) National Youth Volunteer Award for 2016 and is the first Nigerian to win this award.  The 23-year-old graduate was posted to Ilesa in Osun state with fifteen other volunteers for three months. VSO, an International Development Charity works to address poverty under which their volunteers were sent to work in rural communities in order to secure Livelihoods.

At the ceremony which took place in the United Kingdom, Julia Lalla-Mahharagh, Chief Executive of the Orchid project, and judge for the award outlined that while assessing nominees, they had been impressed by her (Folarin) “Ability to go above and beyond.”  She said, “What wowed us as judges was the fact that Tosin went beyond her brief which was extensively to look at livelihoods. But so much more that what she seemed to do was meet the community exactly where they were at. Everything she did, she did with such passion.”

Folarin, who received her award by video was elated and described the experience as a “challenge which has made me become a better person, focused on achieving greater success.”  According to her, “Our project was themed ‘Securing Livelihood’ and we effected coherently with some of the United Nation’s seventeen developmental goals.  With respect to the first, second and eight goals which are end poverty, end hunger and decent work for all we carried out various projects  like farming in the model farm, training  farmers and enlightening them on various approaches to cocoa and cocoa value chain as well as encouraging them to explore on farming.  We also taught them couples of skills in order for them secure a living.

“Additionally, the third goal which is “wellbeing” we organized different programmes on health in which free medical check was conducted and trained practitioners were invited to speak to the community members.”

She described that, “Volunteering is a good way of making impact in your society and country at large. A little act of service goes a long way to make a positive change. This is why for the fourth goal which is “quality education”, volunteers had series of mentoring with pupils, and taught them some of their academic work.”

On Gender equality, she detailed that the fifth SDG goal was meritoriously looked into where women in the communities were able to understand that “they are not the weaker vessels.” “They understood that they also have equal rights and strength as their male counterparts,” She added.


Lawyers petition US, UN, UK, Germany over IMN’s threat to peace in Nigeria.

A group of legal practitioners in the country under the aegis of Lawyers Initiative For Civil Rights Advancement in Nigeria have petitioned the United States Embassy in Nigeria alerting it of the imminent security threat posed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

The letter, which was addressed to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, said the threat posed by the “radical Shiite movement” has several security implications not just for Nigeria, but other West African countries.

The petition was equally copied to the British High Commissioner, German Ambassador and the UN mission in Nigeria.

The letter, which was signed by the LICRAN Director of Research and Advocacy, Unande Tersagh, and made available to journalists, described the IMN as an Iranian-backed rebel group.

Tersagh, who described LICRAN as an umbrella body of pro-democracy lawyers dedicated to the advancement of civil rights, justice, equality and rule of law in Nigeria, said it is within public domain that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been harassing Nigeria using members of the IMN.

He said buoyed by Iran’s backing, IMN members in October and early November unleashed violence across several Nigerian cities in the North under the cover of the Ashura procession.

According to him, this led to several deaths in Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna and Katsina States.

Tersagh said Nigerians were surprised that IMN propaganda machine used the widespread mayhem as an excuse to allege clampdown on Shiism in Nigeria contrary to the fact on ground.

He said it is on record that members of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps have in previous years been named in illegal shipment of weapons that were deliberately mislabeled as other goods into Nigeria.

He stated further: “There have also been reports that the IMN members visit Iran under the cover of academic scholarships to be trained as terrorists by the same Revolutionary Guards Corps. This will be consistent with recent revelations by Salar Abnoush, Deputy Commander of Iran’s Khatam-al-Anbia Garrison, a branch of the Revolutionary Guards Corps that his country is sending out sleeper cell assets to infiltrate other nations.”

Tersagh urged the ambassador to prevail on the US Government to declare the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as a terror organization bearing in mind that their modus operandi is strikingly similar to that of Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and ISIS.

The group added: “In the light of foregoing, we passionately appeal for peace and justice by calling on your good offices in collaboration with those of other members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to swiftly lend support to the Nigeria government in her bid to shut the door against all emerging and potential terrorist groups so as to strengthen the fragile peace that we are enjoying at the moment.”

Aurier to m=Miss PSG’s Clash against Arsenal After Being Banned from Entering UK

Serge Aurier will miss PSG’s Champions League clash with Arsenal after British authorities banned the right-back from entering the country.

The Ivory Coast international was sentenced to two months in prison in September for elbowing a police officer, though the punishment was suspended and Aurier has launched an appeal.

PSG have issued a strongly-worded statement regarding the matter, insisting that they are “stunned by the incomprehensible situation”, having claimed that British authorities initially granted Aurier an entry visa in October.

However, they claim that the authorities have performed a sudden U-turn, citing his conviction, which PSG insist they declared.

The French club have claimed that the ruling shows a “flagrant lack of respect for the club” as they prepare for a crunch European encounter.

The statement reads: “Due to a sudden about-face by the British authorities, Serge Aurier has not been allowed to travel with Unai Emery’s squad for the clash away to Arsenal. Paris Saint-Germain is stunned by this incomprehensible situation that attacks the very integrity of the UEFA Champions League.

“After an initial application on 18 October, complete with all the necessary documents, the British authorities had originally granted Paris Saint-Germain’s Côte d’Ivoire international an entry visa to the UK on 21 October. However, on 16 November, his visa was finally revoked by the British Ministry of the Interior, who justified their about-face by citing Aurier’s conviction on 30 September, 2016. Paris Saint-Germain had, in all transparency, informed the British authorities of this conviction, as well as Aurier’s appeal against this decision (and the legal suspension of the ruling) from the outset.

“The club has argued several times that since the player has launched a legal appeal against the criminal ruling, he is therefore entitled to the presumption of innocence, as any other person exercising their right to appeal.

“Paris Saint-Germain strongly regrets that the presumption of innocence has not influenced Britain’s decision. On several occasions, UEFA has also transmitted its total support of Paris Saint-Germain to the British authorities regarding this case, in order to preserve the integrity of its competitions.

“The club also deplores that the final decision of the British authorities was only communicated at 14:00 CET on Tuesday, despite the club working for the last six days to find a solution to enable our player to travel with his teammates to London. Paris Saint-Germain considers this extremely tardive response as a flagrant lack of respect for the club, given that its player could have been training with the team just hours later at Emirates Stadium.

“In the face of this decision, albeit difficult to understand in respect to European law, Paris Saint-Germain, who had planned to travel to London with its strongest possible squad, invites its fans to be more united than ever, in support of their club.”

Arsenal and PSG have both taken 10 points from four Champions League games thus far this season, and the winner of Wednesday’s fixture may well decide the winners of Group A.

Donald Trump set to meet the Queen on state visit.

The Queen is reportedly set to invite Donald Trump to Windsor Castle on an official state visit to the UK.

According to several newspapers, senior government officials are said to be drawing up plans for the visit as early as next year, as they ponder how to cement the “special relationship”.

The President-elect reportedly told Prime Minister Theresa May during a phone call last week that his late Scottish mother was a “big fan” of the Queen, according to the Sunday Times.

Mrs May could use the state visit to curry his favour, the newspaper added.

The move would also allow Mrs May to swat away claims that UKIP acting leader Nigel Farage has closer links to the tycoon, which have been dismissed by Downing Street.

A spokeswoman for No 10 said: “No visit has been organised but the Prime Minister is looking forward to welcoming the president-elect to the UK when he chooses to visit.”

Mrs May has been invited to visit Mr Trump at the earliest possible opportunity and she is expected to travel to the US after he is inaugurated on 20 January.

But a state visit by Mr Trump to the UK would allow her to roll out the red carpet and offer a meeting with the Queen.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “State visits and other meetings with overseas heads of state are organised on the advice of the Government.”

The reports came as Mrs May faced fresh calls to deliver what will be seen as a “hard Brexit” from a group of 60 Conservative MPs including prominent former cabinet ministers.

Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, John Whittingdale and Theresa Villiers urged the PM to pull Britain out of the European single market and the customs union.

They claimed getting out of the single market free trade zone was crucial for the UK to become free of Brussels regulations.

Eleven Labour, DUP and UKIP MPs also reportedly backed the call.

A Government spokeswoman insisted there were “no binary choices” in the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU and that the Government would pursue a bespoke deal rather than an “off the shelf” solution.

She added: “That’s why the Government is painstakingly analysing the challenges and opportunities for all the different sectors of our economy.

“The Prime Minister has been clear that she wants UK companies to have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate in the single market – and to let European businesses do the same here.”

UK investors offer to invest $1.5bn in Nigerian League.

Just as the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) continues to shop for sponsors, a consortium of investors based in the United Kingdom are reportedly ready to invest as much as $1,5bn in the Nigerian domestic league.

Revealing this during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Youth & Sport Development, Solomon Dalung, the CEO/president of sport promotion company, Arabella 21st Century, Otunba Femmy Carrena, said the deal was as good as done, with a few conditions.

“Yes, they want to bring in about $1.5bn into Nigerian football, but there is a caveat to it. They are not going to tamper with the constitution, statutes or football article. It is the same thing they did in China and Japan. The league board will operate with the NFF and the Ministry will be involved. They want to set up a Football Development Company that will be quoted on the stock exchange, with the same applying to all the football clubs in Nigeria. “

LEADERSHIP Sports recalls that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the League Management Company (LMC) have called out to the domestic clubs to register with the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

However, according to Carrena, the investors would love to make some profit from their investment.

“They want to come to Nigeria and manage our league for the next 20 years. After a meeting with the ministry and other stakeholders, they’ll set up the company but their Nigerian counterparts are expected to invest 30 per cent of the $1.5bn. They’re ready to put their own money into the stock exchange, but they’ll have the controlling share,” Carrena said.

If the deal falls through, Carrena disclosed, there would be a football conference in the country to let the various clubs know what to expect. “They will restructure the league, get the television rights but not before a conference which will explain to everyone how it will work. They will be coming with technical experts from the premiership who will be operating in the development company that they will set up, which will include representatives of the ministry, the LMC and the NFF.

Carrena, who said that talks are already in progress with the Confederation of African Football, CAF, pointed out that the national teams would benefit in terms of training and subventions.

Dalung, in his response, revealed that the ministry would no longer invest in elite sports development, as it would be private-sector driven from henceforth

“It will now be stake holder- defined . You must put your money in it. The days of government’s huge budgetary allocations for people who have no single contributions are over.

“Given the kind of stagnated sports architecture we have now – where the stakeholders are undefined and cannot figure out any single interest or investment they have in sports – we are only going to be preoccupied, as government, in investing in grassroots sports development and policies,” he sternly assured.

Nigerian Emerges UK’s Most Powerful Black Person

A Nigerian, Tom Ilube, has emerged the United Kingdom’s most powerful black man.

Ilube, who’s also a British citizen, was unveiled as the most powerful black man in the country by Powerlist, a publication which selects 100 of the most powerful people of African and African Caribbean heritage.

Powerlist explained that competitors were judged on their “ability to change lives and alter events, as demonstrated over a protracted period of time and in a positive manner.”

An independent panel of judges led by Dame Linda Dobbs, a former high court judge, and Michael Eboda, a publisher, recommended him, after which he was announced.

Ilube, 53, who was born in Isleworth, west London, to a Nigerian father, schooled at the University of Benin, Edo State, where he bagged a B.Sc Physics. He later obtained an MBA at Cass Business School in London.

After graduation, several efforts to get a job all ended in frustration. He applied and was rejected for a graduate trainee scheme at McDonald’s “for not being good enough”.

But he didn’t give up. He sent applications to every company starting with the letter A and was turned down again and again, so he started working through the Bs and ended up working for British Airways as a programmer. He later worked at the London Stock Exchange in the 1980s, where he was one of few black professionals. He was able to work his way to the top.

Ilube is renowned for his outstanding work in education. He founded Hammersmith Academy, which opened in September 2011 and has gone on to become one of the UK’s most innovative technology schools.

A philanthropist, he set up African Gifted Foundation, to help transform the lives of hundreds of children on the continent.

Earlier this year, he opened the African Science Academy (ASA), Africa’s first girls-only science and technology school, based in Ghana, with young women scientists attending from Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Though a fee-paying school, ASA provides scholarships for students with financial needs.

The academy which is driving Africa’s development by inspiring and unleashing the next generation of gifted scientists and engineers, aims to admit over 200 students a year.

Commenting on the institution, he said: “I am convinced that we have brilliant young women in African who have the potential to be tomorrow’s world class scientists and engineers.

“Launching the African Science Academy is the highlight of all my work in education over the past decade. I am convinced that we have brilliant young women in African who have the potential to be tomorrow’s world class scientists and engineers.”

Ilube, who has established several successful technology companies, has a vast experience. He served as the chief executive officer of Crossword Cybersecurity Plc and served as its chairman of the board until September 1, 2016.

He was the managing director at Callcredit Limited and Consumer Markets at Callcredit Information Group Limited. He also founded Garlik Ltd. and served as its chief executive officer. Ilube co-founded Lost Wax in 1996 and served as its chief executive officer, where he took an active role in the business development. He served as chief information officer of Egg plc. Ilube has over 25 years of commercial systems delivery experience with a range of blue chip organizations, including Goldman Sachs, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, London Stock Exchange, British Airways and Cap Gemini. He served as Overall programme manager for the initial launch of Egg financial services. He is a highly regarded board level adviser and inspirational speaker on e-commerce issues and technology trends. He currently serves as a director of Crossword Cybersecurity Plc and Callcredit Limited.

On his latest recognition, he said: “I’m incredibly proud of all of our Powerlistees this year and over the past 10 years in which we’ve published the magazine. Tom isn’t a household name, but quietly behind the scenes, he has had an incredible effect on the lives of so many people across the world.”


VFS: US, UK Are Most Travelled Destinations By Nigerians

Mr Jiten Vyas, the Chief Operating Officer of VFS Global in Africa, a visa processing company, has said that the United States of America and the United Kingdom are the most travelled destinations by Nigerians.

Vyas said in Lagos yesterday that data from his organisation had also revealed a rise in the number of Nigerians travelling to Europe, South Africa, Dubia and India, reported the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“There has been a significant rise in travel by Nigerians, be it student travel, leisure or business, largely due to the improvement in income levels in the last few years.

“Several multinational companies have also set up base here and more Nigerian residents are becoming increasingly keen to travel or study abroad.

“The U.S. and UK remain popular travel destinations amongst Nigerians today; they also travel to Europe, Dubai, India and South Africa,” he said.

Vyas said that more countries had in the last decade taken advantage of outsourcing their visa application services to his organisation.

The VFS boss said that Nigeria had always been one of the top priorities of his organisation in the sub-Saharan region.

Vyas explained that his organisation was currently providing visa application services to 13 client governments in Nigeria, adding that the company was currently working on a project for the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Services to provide Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for Nigerian account holders abroad.

“This initiative by the Central bank of Nigeria is aimed at providing a more secure banking platform for boosting Nigeria’s conventional security.

“Over the last decade more governments are seeing the advantages of having an outsourced visa services model,” he said.

Vyas also disclosed that VFS Global was currently in touch with Nigerian government departments to introduce technology, citizen services, immigration, foreigners and national identity registrations to them.

Credit: thisdaylive

Top Military Expert Warns That Britain is ‘Totally ill-Equipped’ to Deal with Russian Nuclear Threat and Could be ‘Wiped Out’

A top military expert has warned that the UK is ill equipped and not prepared for a nuclear war if Russia decides to engage them, hence the region will be wiped out if Putin decides at any point in time to go on the offensive against them…

Britain and Russia don’t have the best of International relationships right now and reports indicate that Russia’s military have the capacity and strength to walk over NATO’s forces in the event of an agression.
 Dr Andrew Foxall, director of Russian studies at influential think-tank The Henry Jackson Society told Daily Star Online: “As things stand, the UK is ill-equipped to deal with Russia.



“There is an urgent need to strengthen not only the UK’s defences, but those of NATO members as a whole.
“The alliance simply isn’t doing enough to build up the range of capabilities necessary to deter an aggressive and resurgent Russia.”
Dr Foxall believes that the West’s shift to focus on terrorism and conflicts in the Middle East over recent years has meant our traditional military capabilities have suffered.
He added: “For almost two decades, the UK, with its NATO partners, has focused on counterinsurgency warfare.
“The military has been up against lightly armed insurgent forces, rather than conventional state-on-state warfare.
“This very different form of war has introduced logistics systems, training, exercises, equipment, and priorities quite different from those required to respond to a Russian threat.”
Russian forays in Georgia, Ukraine and now Syria have proved that they could decide to provocate UK by foraying into British territory too, Dr Foxall says.
“Russia’s Air Force bombers are frequently intercepted by RAF jets in close proximity of UK airspace.
“Russia’s warships often sail near British waters.
“And Russia’s submarines have attempted to record the ‘acoustic signature’ made by the Vanguard submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles.”
“More alarmingly, in 2008, a Russian Tu-160 “Blackjack” bomber carried out a dummy nuclear attack on northern England”, he said.
“Flying towards Hull, the bomber came within 20 miles of British airspace before turning away.

“While the chances of war between Russia and the UK seem rather low, it remains a possibility Russia will prepare for it – and Moscow has been doing so for some time.”

UK Launches 24-hour Visa Service In Nigeria

The UK has launched the Super Priority Visa Service in Nigeria to allow prospective visitors to Britain to process their applications within 24 hours.

The British High Commission, on its website, said the new service was targeted at meeting the needs of those who require urgent service to travel.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the High Commission quoted the British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright, as welcoming the introduction of the Super Priority Visa service in Nigeria.

“I am pleased to see the Super Priority Visa service being launched in Nigeria.

“This comes with an additional cost but is designed to give greater flexibility to our customers and underlines our strong commitment to make improvements to the visa services we offer.

“We expect this new service to be particularly useful for business. We understand that business opportunities and urgent requirements can arise at very short notice.

“We recognise this and want to facilitate such travel to the UK with this new super-fast service,” Arkwright said.

Read More: Thisday

Nigerians In UK, Europe Express Disappointment With Referendum Result

A cross section of Nigerians in Europe on Friday expressed disappointment over the decision of the UK in a referendum to leave the European Union.

Results released early on Friday by UK authorities indicated that 17, 410,742 Britons voted to leave EU, while 16,141,241 others voted to remain.

The Leave campaigners won by 52 per cent to 48 per cent with England and Wales voting strongly for Brexit, while London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed staying in the EU.

In telephone interviews with the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria some Nigerians described the outcome of the referendum as a catastrophe for ethnic minorities in Europe.

Mr Raymond Aste, a lawyer and political analyst in London, said those who voted in favour of Brexit (Britain Exit) did so emotionally in line with their individual opinion on what a Leave EU vote meant.

Aste said, “I can understand concerns by the white supremacist to stem the flow of immigrants into their country.

“But for the immigrant communities, it beats me as to how they considered voting to leave the EU.

“This has a long implication economically, legally and many others.”

Similarly, Dr John Duniya, who resides in Scotland, said the Leave EU outcome meant ethnic minorities would not have protection of EU laws, especially on human rights issues.

“Being under the EU meant we had some kind of protection under certain laws but with this development the UK will be in full control of its system without interference from the EU.

“Secondly, the argument put forward by the Leave campaigners on immigration control and better welfare for commonwealth citizens is just a deceit.

“I bet you, their idea of commonwealth means Australia and Canada, not Nigeria, Ghana , India and Pakistan.

In the same vein, Mrs Yetunde Olivier, a member of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, France, said “this is bad for Europe.

“Britain should have pushed for renegotiation in areas it is not comfortable with rather than seek for exit.

“This is not only about immigration, it is about trade, currency, law and, above all, supremacy.

“I hope at the long run Nigerians and others would not be kicked out of the UK,” she stressed.

Some Nigerians, who spoke to NAN from Switzerland, stressed the need for Nigerians in diaspora to start considering going back home.

Mr Uche Obiano, a systems analyst, said “all this fear about uncertainty in the UK can be addressed if we start considering going back to our fatherland.

Obiano said, “If Europeans developed Europe themselves we can also go back home and contribute to nation building.

“The so-called opportunities ethnic minorities in the UK think they will benefit from after Brexit are not jobs their people want.

“Britons do not do cleaning, care-giving or security jobs, these can be very tasking and degrading but at the same time immigrants are seeking these jobs for survival.

“My opinion is that if you find life tough abroad then go back home and hustle.”

Similarly, politicians from France, Germany, Belgium, among others have expressed concern over the EU’s economy and future without Britain.

Some anti- immigration politicians in Europe have lauded the move and recommended the same step for their countries.

Credit: Punch

UK, Australia Deport 40 Nigerians For Various Offences

The United Kingdom and Australia on Wednesday jointly deported 40 Nigerians alleged to have committed various offences in both countries.

The deportees comprising 33 males and 7 females arrived at the Hajj Camp area of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at 7:25 a.m. with two chartered aircraft.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 36 of the deportees were flown into the country in a chartered aircraft with registration number ZTA -4741.

The other four were repatriated through an Air Seychelles aircraft with registration number SND-1.

A reliable source at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) told NAN that apart from the Nigerians, some unspecified Africans from Ghana, Liberia and Egypt, were also deported.

The source said they were deported from their host countries for overstaying their visas and other immigration offences.

According to the source, they were received by various agencies such as the Police, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Agency for Protection and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

NAN, however, gathered that some of the deportees refused to allow the immigration officers to capture their biometrics for record purposes and forced their way out of the airport.

The Public Relations Officer, NIS, Mr Ekpedeme King, confirmed the development to aviation correspondents on phone, but could not provide further details.

It would be recalled that 50 Nigerians were deported from the United Kingdom on Nov. 25, 2015 for similar reasons.

The deportees, made of 44 males and six females, were flown into the country at about 6.30 a.m. in a chattered B767 belonging to PITAN Airways, with registration number ETA.



I Stumbled On Dariye’s Money Laundering – EFCC Witness

All properties bought  with suspected stolen money by Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau state  have been confiscated by the United Kingdom government.

Also confiscated was over a million pounds sterling recovered from him and accomplices.

And on top of that, the former governor is still wanted in the country to face money laundering charge and the criminal charge of jumping bail.

Mr Peter Clarke, a former London Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner and EFCC’s key witness  made all these disclosures during his testimony  in the money laundering charge against  Dariye  on Monday  in Abuja, before Justice Adebukola Banjoko.

Mr Peter Clark, EFCC’s key witness in the money laundering charge against ex-Gov. Joshua Dariye of Plateau on Monday told an FCT High Court that he stumbled on the matter while investigating a credit card fraud in London in 2004.

Clark made the disclosure in Abuja at the resumed hearing in the trial of the former governor in the court presided over by Justice Adebukola Banjoko

Dariye had been standing trial in a 23-count charge relating to money laundering and diversion of N1.64 billion state ecological fund, among other charges.

Clark, a retired financial investigator with London Metropolitan Police, said this during cross-examination by Mr Garba Pwul (SAN), the defense counsel.
The witness said he was investigating a credit card fraud that led him to 28 Regent Plaza, Dariye’s residence in London.
He told the court that one Christopher Mekwunya was found in the house with 11, 560 pound sterling in a brief case, which Mekwunya claimed, belonged to Dariye.
Mekwunya, who was sponsored to study in London by Dariye, was prosecuted but later acquitted on money laundering charges since the money was not his.
Though Clark agreed that that there was no official complain about Dariye prior to his arrest in London, the Prosecution led by Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), produced pieces of evidence in respect of this to the court.
The documents included payment transfer instructions, and photograph of money seized from the ex-governor, which the defense counsel dismissed as `just pictures of pounds and dollars.’
“They have no bearing to the case and have no foundation whatsoever’’, he said.
Other evidence included cheques and bank drafts from Barclays Bank. Clarke told the court that Dariye maintained an account with Barclays Bank since 2005, but that there was less activity in the account until 1999 when he became governor.
He named one Joyce Oyebanjo as the person who operated Dariye’s account in London, paying bills and taking care of Dariye’s children’s private education. He said that over one million pound sterling was found in her account for which she was later prosecuted and sentenced to three and a half years in jail.

A lady, Christabel Bentu was confirmed as being Dariye’s Personal Assistant who was in possession of Dariye’s passbooks and flight tickets.
He said she was also found with 50,000 pound sterling in cash, which she claimed that out of the amount, 10,000 pound sterling belonged to her while the remaining 40,000 pounds belonged to Dariye.
He said that upon arrest, Dariye and Christabel were detained separately in the police station.
Clark said that during Dariye’s arrest, 11,995 pound sterling was found in his apartment which was also seized.
He also testified that various sums of money which the ex-governor used to purchase properties were traced to other account names.
He said that the properties were later confiscated.
The defense Counsel, Pwul tried to establish the reason why Joyce Oyebanjo was convicted of money laundering charges while Mekwunya was discharged.
He argued that since both of them claimed that the monies found on them belonged to Dariye; both were supposed to be convicted.
In answer to this, Clarke said that million pounds was greater than the 11, 560 pounds found on Mekwunya.
The case was adjourned to June 6 by Justice Banjoko for continuation of trial.



Babatunde Fashola Lists His Take Away From President Buhari’s Foreign Trips

In making this public intervention, I seek to highlight the benefit of global relationships and cooperation in a world that is changing daily as a result of globalisation and transborder economics, social and even criminal activities where no one is safe, except all are safe, and to leave the dispassionate observer his opinion after deep reflection on the value, or lack of it, of President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign trips.
This way I hope every Nigerian who cares about our country will have some information about what their president is doing about the things that concern them.

First I will start with context.

Barely two decades ago (between 1994 and 1998), we would not have quarrelled with the description that we were a pariah nation. We were ostracised from global events because of bad governance. We
had lost the respect accorded nations like ours were they well-led and well-run. I recall that not a few Nigerians complained that the green passport was becoming, if it had not already become, a burden. That was at the height of the dictatorial government that broke the rules of international relations.
It was from there that we started to heal. Investors entered our country. Many brands that we sought after abroad started coming to set up shop in our country. The tourist footfalls in our country increased slowly but surely, but again we began to slide. That was when Buhari declared at a meeting in Lagos during his campaign in 2015, that if elected, he would make us proud about our country again. Proud to be Nigerian again.
That is the context in which I view his foreign trips and the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Foreign Relations which promised to:
:: Make the Nigerian national interest the overriding factor in its foreign policy and international relations.
::Work to reform global governance in multilateral institutions and agencies.
::Work to strengthen the African Union (AU) to become a more effective organisation on global affairs.
::Engage the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) on the basis of equality.
::Play a leadership role to develop a MINT (Mexico, India, Nigeria, and Turkey) as a counterforce to BRICS.
I will limit my takeaways to four trips that I attended with the president namely: the G7 Summit in Germany, the Oil and Gas Summit in Iran, the Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi and the state visit and Business Forum in China; and two trips that I did not attend, but whose deliberations I followed, namely: Paris for the COP 21 and USA for the Nuclear Energy Summit.
G7 in Germany

This is a club of eight of the most industrialised, economic and technologically advanced nations. For the benefit of those who do not follow international politics, it was originally the G8 comprising the USA, Britain, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, and Russia, who were later suspended and had sanctions imposed on them to make it G7 as a result. It was formed in 1975 as a club of six before Canada and Russia were admitted. They look after each other, and the rest of the world to put it simply. They have gone to war together if you remember Iraq and Libya in recent memory and they are all largely collaborating to fight terror. (Most recently the FBI was rendering assistance to Belgium in the aftermath of the terror attacks in that country).

Why G7 one might then ask?
Answer: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as host, invited President Buhari on his inauguration to be their guest along with some three or four other African countries. Their agenda was global security, global economy and global health in the aftermath of Ebola, which was still raging in some African countries. Apart from the personal aides of the president, Governor Shettima of Borno, General Abdulrahman Dambazau and myself were the only ones who accompanied the president.

I recall that upon our arrival in Germany, they expressed surprise that our delegation was small and asked if others were still coming. In the pre-departure briefing, in addition to highlighting how the security and economic agenda of the G7 coincided with two of his campaign promises, security, (corruption) economy, President Buhari stated the reasons three of us were invited.
Governor Shettima was in the front line of terrorists and criminal activities in the North-east; General Dambazau was a former Chief of Army Staff, and also a faculty associate of Harvard University Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs; I had run the single biggest economy of a state within Nigeria for eight years and was in the frontline of Ebola. Without ministers, one week after taking office, he felt we were the ones best suited to assist, if he needed it, on the issues of security, economy and health on the G7 agenda. In the event, he did not need us. He held his ground admirably. He was the first person called upon to speak at a Summit in which Nigeria was not a member. I was proud to be a Nigerian.

At global summits, we usually got to speak when others had spoken and the hall has emptied. President Barack Obama was the first G7 member to speak after President Buhari and he said that Nigeria has elected a president that brings a reputation of scrupulous integrity to the table. I was proud to be a Nigerian.

The opening session was robust and welcoming, we saw some of the world’s most powerful men and women take off their jackets, call each other by their first names in a club-like setting while addressing the world’s most serious problems. Problems that affect you and I daily. I was proud that my president was in a room where decisions concerning my planet were being deliberated upon.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor Merkel and others also spoke in similar vein about our president’s reputation and our nation’s strategic position in Africa and the world. They pledged support for Nigeria on terror and the economy.
Importantly, I learned that their scientists were worried about increasing resistance of strains of infections to antibiotics; and that they were committing enormous resources into finding out why and what to do. They highlighted the difficulty of time and resources that it will take to develop new antibiotics and the risk to global health.

If we all appreciate how vulnerable we can be without effective antibiotics, especially our children, and if we remember how low life expectancy was and how poor global health was before the discovery of Penicillin after the World War, we will appreciate the seriousness of the platform to which Nigeria was invited. I was proud that our president was there. If the seven most powerful nations stand with you, who can stand against you? I need not say more except that I can attest that President Buhari has been following up on these matters, and the progress on security is visible, while results on the economic front will manifest soon enough.
Iran Oil and Gas Summit

For those who are not aware, one of the reasons why oil prices went up, and from which we benefited in the past, was that Iran, the world’s 7th largest producer of oil, was facing global sanctions from which she was due to emerge in 2016. Because Iran was soon to be selling oil, the likelihood of a further crash of oil prices that had drastically fallen was a threat to Nigeria’s economy if oil prices crashed further. (Our 2016 budget proposals had just been formulated on a $38 per barrel assumption).
I was witness to President Buhari’s persuasion to Iran to come to the market slowly instead of pushing out large volumes which will raise supply and crash prices, even though Iran also needed the cash. You can’t do that type of diplomacy by letter or by phone, in my view, not when the major players were all there in person. I witnessed the meeting with the Venezuelan prime minister, who was leading the South American producers to sell more and get cash even if the prices were lower.

President Buhari’s logic was different. Hold your volumes, steady the price, and don’t let us hurt one another. Recorders of history will recall that the Venezuelan government suffered a major political defeat in Parliament, while President Buhari’s logic has at least steadied oil prices. It might interest you to know that all European nations sent their oil ministers, except Russia, where Vladimir Putin came in person, because having been suspended from the G8 and facing sanctions, this was the meeting where his country’s interests were best served.
For the record, Russia pledged a $5 billion state support to Iran, and if the purpose of this is lost on anyone, I interpret it to mean, “Take cash, don’t pump out your oil. It will hurt me.”

This is the reality of international politics.
Finally on Iran, President Buhari told us, how when he flew to Iran in his days as Petroleum Minister, he noticed how much gas they were flaring and now he returned as president, all the flares were gone. We found out that all the gas had been harvested and piped to every home for heating, cooking etc.
His mandate: “If they can do it, we must do it.” I am proud to be led by a president who sees good things outside and seeks to bring them to his people.

Abu Dhabi Renewable Energy
This is reputed to be the richest of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Apart from seeking cooperation to recover Nigeria’s stolen wealth stored in the UAE (his anti-corruption commitment pursued in person), President Buhari addressed a renewable energy summit where we learned about initiatives to bring solar power price down to five US cents per kilowatt hour, (approximately N10) as against the price of 17 US cents (N34) per KW/h tariff in Nigeria fixed at privatisation by the last government.
President Buhari’s mandate was for us to explore collaboration for the manufacture of solar panels in Nigeria to bring down the price and deploy it to the sunlit areas of Nigeria, especially the North that is most prolific for irradiation. We are currently working on the Energy Mix for Nigeria which is the implementation process of the energy policy that will take us there. Hopefully, we will soon be signing the first set of solar deployment agreements for Nigeria.

In this way, more solar and hydro will be used in the North, more coal and hydro in the Middle Belt, and more gas in the South; so that we take power generation closest to the most prolific source of fuel to bring down the cost and make it more affordable. On the trip to China (which I will comment on) we met a few Chinese solar manufacturers (who recognised us from Abu Dhabi) who want to set up business of manufacturing solar panels in Nigeria.

China Investment Forum and State Visit
This is the visit that provoked this write up, because I had bottled what I knew. But it was time, I believe, to share some of it. China is the second largest economy in the world with a per capita income of $8,000 which they are planning to raise to $12,000 by 2020. By her own assessment, according to President Xi Jinping, they are still a developing nation seeking to achieve what he described as “initial prosperity” by 2020.

If you look at the back of your phone, your TV, your watch, your I-Pad, your mobile charger, many other accessories that you use, you are likely to find these three words “Made in China” printed somewhere. For such a nation, (with trillions of dollars in reserves, that plans to spend $2 trillion on imports in the next five years and earn $100 billion annually) who still sees itself as a developing nation, such modesty in the face of success, assiduous hard work and productivity is a destination to seek cooperation in the pursuit of economic development.
This is where President Buhari led an array of Nigerian investors including Erisco Foods, (who now makes our tomato paste at home and employs people locally including farmers who supply the tomatoes), power operators (DisCos and GenCos), and the Dangote Group, to meet with and address their Chinese partners.

During the meeting with the Chinese President, six collaboration agreements were signed including for agriculture and food production improvement techniques, rail and power infrastructure development, for funding the Dangote Group to continue to expand and create jobs at home and keeping some of our reserves in the currency of the richest nation in the world. This last mentioned agreement was a legitimate coup by President Buhari because the intelligence was that some West African countries were going to sign before us. President Buhari seized the moment.

Of course he had to apologise for our previous failures on our agreement made to part-fund four airport projects in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt and Abuja-Kaduna rail project.
The Chinese had provided their agreed part of 85 per cent but the remaining 15 per cent Nigeria did not honour during the last administration.
Some of the recent revelations about financial scandals estimated at $2.1 billion in the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) alone during the last administration suggest how impactful such funds would have been in delivering these critical infrastructure; but we all know what happened.

This is why President Buhari is travelling. To repair our reputation severely damaged by the last government, and to assure our partners that Nigeria has CHANGED. And from there to re-negotiate an existing funding agreement to complete critical transport infrastructure. Because of his reputation, President Xi Jinping believed him, and to quote him, he said: “It is better late than never.”
Through him China literally opened the door to Nigeria in areas of infrastructure (power, railways and roads), agriculture, education and manufacturing especially in our Free Trade Zones. To paraphrase the Chinese President, “ask us for whatever support or partnership and we will be happy to respond.”
“We wish to see you take your rightful place and we are happy that you are the first African president visiting China, after my visit to Africa last year to pledge a $60 billion support for the development of the continent.”
If this was not initiative I doubt what is?

As for the trips to Paris, COP 21 and the USA, Nuclear Security Summit, I will only say this:

a) The threat of climate change, global warming, desertification in the north of Nigeria and coastal erosion in the Atlantic (Bar beach in Lagos) and in the south, affecting Rivers, Bayelsa and other coastal states, the clear scientific evidence lays the blame at the door of the world’s most industrialised nation for their pollution.
b) Since the Kyoto protocol they have paid lip service to remedying the situation, which unfortunately affects developing nations more adversely.
c) COP 21 was the first serious commitment that these leaders made to ensure that global temperatures do not rise above 2°C and indeed are reduced to 1.5°C. I am proud that Nigeria was not missing at this historic moment. When the planet is saved, the next and future generations of Nigerians will recall that President Buhari was present, when all of the world leaders were present to save the planet.
d) In the aftermath of COP 21, the commitment of these nations is to increase production and technology for renewable energy and to reduce the use of carbon fuels. One way they plan to achieve this is increased deployment of nuclear energy.
e) These nations are at the cusp of sharing safe nuclear technology for peaceful uses with developing nations for power generation. This for me was reason enough and a good one at that for President Buhari to be in the USA because Nigeria has been pursuing a nuclear power programme for about 17 years, not as an alternative to gas or Hydro, but as additions to them.

The world leaders must trust you for you to partake. At that summit, in the group photograph, President Buhari stood on the second row along side Britain and Turkey. In the past, we used to be on the last row. This is CHANGE. As he meets with world leaders outside Africa, he has not forgotten the home front. He is regularly visiting and receiving his sister and brother presidents on the African continent.
President Buhari has earned their trust for all of us and I am proud to carry my green passport. Yes, some results are not yet manifest, and may take a little while to do so, but a solid foundation for a sustainable, respectable and prosperous future is being laid, block by block. This is how to build a solid “home” from whence we can project respect abroad with confidence. How many of us will do business with total strangers without a reference or a good reputation in this age of due diligence?

President Buhari is building affiliations everywhere that if well-managed in future, will develop into a global network of friendships, trust and respect for Nigeria and Nigerians. I once heard that the role of a leader, like that of the head of a family, is that of an aggregator, opening doors and opportunities, breaking down barriers and forging alliances. I agree.
This is my Takeaway on these trips.

– Mr. Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, writes from Abuja

US, UK Knew Whereabouts of Chibok Girls – Ex-British Envoy

The US and British governments knew where at least 80 of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram were but failed to launch a rescue mission, it has been revealed.


The Boko Haram terrorists stormed a secondary boarding school in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northern Nigeria in April 2014, and seized 276 girls who were preparing for end-of-year exams. Although 57 of the girls managed to escape the rest have remained missing and have not been heard from or seen since apart from in May that year, when 130 of them appeared in a Boko Haram video wearing hijabs and reciting the Quran.


Dr Andrew Pocock, the former British high commissioner to Nigeria, has now revealed that a large group of the missing girls were spotted by British and American surveillance officials shortly after their disappearance, but experts felt nothing could be done.


He told The Sunday Times of London that Western governments felt ‘powerless’ to help as any rescue attempt would have been too high risk – with Boko Haram terrorists using the girls as human shields. Dr Pocock said: ‘A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment.’ According to the report of Pocock’s interview with Sunday Times, as published in the Daily Mail on Sunday, the former envoy said the girls were there for at least four weeks but authorities were ‘powerless’ to intervene – and the Nigerian government did not ask for help anyway.

He said: ‘A land-based attack would have been seen coming miles away and the girls killed, an air-based rescue, such as flying in helicopters or Hercules, would have required large numbers and meant a significant risk to the rescuers and even more so to the girls.’ He added: ‘You might have rescued a few but many would have been killed. My personal fear was always about the girls not in that encampment — 80 were there, but 250 were taken, so the bulk were not there. What would have happened to them? You were damned if you do and damned if you don’t.’ In an investigation by Christina Lamb for the Sunday Times Magazine, Dr Pocock said the information was passed to the Nigerians but they made no request for help. According to the report in Daily Mail, the Sunday Times Magazine has also seen brutal rape videos which show schoolgirls are being used as sex slaves by the terrorists.


Ms Lamb reports: ‘They film schoolgirls being raped over and over again until their scream become silent Os.’ Some of the girls who managed to escape told Ms Lamb they were kept in ‘women’s prisons’ where they were taught about Islam. Boko Haram fighters would visit and pick their wives.


The girls were powerless to resist as even then the men would be heavily armed. They were shown videos of people being raped, tortured and killed as a threat of what would happen to them if they tried to run away.


Dr Stephen Davis, a former canon at Coventy Cathedral who has spent several years attempting to negotiate with the terror group said Boko Haram ‘make Isis look like playtime’ and said it is ‘beyond belief’ that the authorities both in Nigeria and the West do not know where the schoolgirls are.


He insists the locations of the camps where the girls are being kept are well known and can even be seen on Google maps. He added: ‘How many girls have to be raped and abducted before the West will do anything?’ Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau previously claimed that all the girls, some of whom were Christian, had converted to Islam and been ‘married off’.


The mass abduction brought the brutality of the Islamist insurgency to worldwide attention and prompted the viral social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls which was supported by everyone from Michelle Obama to Malala Yousafzai.


Boko Haram violence has left at least 17,000 dead and forced more than 2.6 million from their homes since 2009. The Global Terrorism Index ranks the group as the word’s deadliest terror organisation.


Credit : Daily Mail UK

UK Donates £6.7m To Support Boko Haram Victims

The British government has donated the sum of 6.7 million Pounds in support of humanitarian assistance for the 2.2 million victims that were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents in northeast Nigeria.

The donation is coming on the heels of the visit of the British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Anelay, who arrived Nigeria on Tuesday.

The Press and Public Affairs Officer of the British High Commission in Nigeria, Mr Joseph Abuku, said in a statement that the Minister would hold high level discussions with government officials on how to ensure the protection of civilians in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.

He added that Anelay, who is also the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI), would meet with various civil society activists and NGOs to discuss the importance of preventing sexual violence in such conflicts.

According to Abuku, “The Minister will discuss additional humanitarian support that the UK is providing in helping those affected by the fight against Boko Haram.

“This includes £6.7 million to enable the government of Nigeria, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), UN agencies and the Red Cross to deliver food assistance, education, sanitation and safe water, shelter material (as well as) other basic necessities.”

Credit: ChannelsTv

Corruption: ‘Nigeria’s Most Wanted Suspect Lives In UK’ – Buhari

In far away London, United Kingdom, and despite reports that he is on a five-day vacation, President Muhammadu Buhari told Daily Telegraph that one of the biggest suspects in the ongoing probe of corruption in Nigeria lives in their midst.

Buhari, who refused to mention any name, said this in an interview with the United Kingdom-based newspaper, Daily Telegraph .
He also spoke about Boko Haram, saying that his administration was ready to discuss with them on the missing Chibok girls.

“One of the biggest corruption suspects is in Britain, although, I am not going to name that person.
But, Britain has earned our respect in the way it deals with these matters.

“Our only problem is that it seems to be too thorough and it takes too much time. If there are obvious cases, like bank accounts, infrastructure, houses and hotels, I would hope they could do it quicker, so that we can claim these things back promptly.”

On Boko Haram, the president said: “As long as we can estsblish the bonafides of the leadership of Boko Haram, we are prepared as a government to discuss with them on how to get the girls back. But, we have not established any evidence of a credible leadership.
Asked if Abubakar Shekau was still the leader of the sect, Buhari said: “ I receive conflicting information about the status of Shekau. Some say he has been removed and replaced by a less charismatic terrorist” I think he must be on the run, because out of the 14 local governments that Boko Haram used to call their Caliphate, they do not control any now. They are scattered around the Sambisa forest and they have resorted to attacking soft targets, people in churches, mosques and market places, using improvised explosives devices.” Responding to a question on whether he asked the west for military assistance during the last G7 meeting, the president answered: “Yes. I did, but I don’t want to give details of that in public, at present. As you know, we already have foreign military help in terms of training missions”. While expressing disappointment that his predecessor in office
resorted to mercenaries, he also lamented the recent revelations of how military allocations were also misappropriated. Buhari asked rhetorically: “How is it that Nigeria’s military, which has a good record across West Africa, cannot claim back to 14 out of 774 local local governments from Boko Haram. They have to ask for mercenaries from South Africa?. How the mighty has fallen!”

On the threat of terrorism across West and North Africa, Buhari said: “I think we should be very worried because with technology, Boko Haram and other terrorists have become very mobile in all continents, not only in Africa, but also in Europe, America and Asia.

“For Africa and the Sahel, the demise of (Muamar) Ghaddafi’s regime led to a lot of armed and trained people, especially those from the Sahel, being dispersed. Fighting is the only thing they know and they are available at a fee. The danger is there and I am pleased that Europe has
realised it too”.

The president said he has not seen confirmed reports that Nigerians have been fighting for Isil in the Libya city of Sirte. On whether Nigerian in diaspora in the UK were being involved in Boko Haram, he replied:” No, but if I do, I will immediately raise the issue. “A number of Nigerianss use the migrant routes to come to the UK to claim asylum, saying their lices are at risk from Boko Haram. Is it legitimate for them to do so?”

Corruption: Most Wanted Suspects Live In The UK- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari told Daily Telegraph that one of the biggest suspects in the ongoing probe of corruption in Nigeria live in their midst.

Buhari, who refused to mention any name, said this  in an interview with the United Kingdom-based newspaper, Daily Telegraph.

He also spoke about  Boko Haram, saying that his administration was ready to discuss with them on the missing Chibok girls.

“One of the biggest corruption suspects  is in Britain, although, I am not going to name that person. But, Britain has earned our respect in the way it deals with these matters.

“Our only problem is that it seems to be too thorough and it takes too much time. If there are obvious cases, like bank accounts, infrastructure, houses and hotels, I would hope they could do it quicker, so that we can claim these things back promptly.”

On  Boko Haram, the president said: “As long as we can estsblish the bonafides of the leadership of Boko Haram, we are prepared as a government to discuss with them on how to get the girls back. But, we have not established any evidence of a credible leadership.

Credit: Sun

Buhari Laments Delay In Extraditing Indicted Nigerians In UK

Buhari, in an interview with Britain’s The Telegraph also expressed regrets that the Jonathan administration had to mobilise South African mercenaries to fight the Boko Haram insurgents instead of properly equipping the armed forces. Full details of the interview first revealed last week also saw Buhari confirm that Nigerians Islamic radicals were increasingly taking sides in the conflicts in Libya and Syria. Buhari in the interview nevertheless welcomed the assistance of Britain and some other western countries in restoring normalcy to the country’s troubled Northeast which he said had been almost eradicated of insurgency.

Noting his frustration in bringing those indicted of corruption to justice, he said: “One of the biggest suspects is in Britain now, although I am not going to name that person. But Britain has earned our respect in the way it deals with these matters. “Our only problem is that it seems to be too thorough and it takes too much time. If there are obvious cases, like bank accounts, infrastructure houses and hotels, I would hope they could do it quicker, so that we can claim these things back promptly.”

As military head of state 31 years ago, Buhari brought himself to international reckoning when his government allegedly employed Israeli agents to help smuggle the wanted official of the preceding regime, Umaru Dikko out of Britain. Also expressing his disapproval of the use of mercenaries against Boko Haram by the Jonathan administration, Buhari said: “I personally was very disappointed that the previous government resorted to mercenaries. I was also disappointed by the recent revelations of how military allocations were also misappropriated. How is it that Nigeria’s military, which has a good record across West Africa, cannot claim back to 14 out of 774 local governorates from Boko Haram? They have to ask for mercenaries from South Africa? How the mighty has fallen!”


UK Scientists Win Permission To Genetically Modify Human Embryos For The First Time

UK scientists have been given the go-ahead by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos. The research will take place at the Francis Crick Institute in London and aims to provide a deeper understanding of the earliest moments of human life.

The experiments will take place on embryos in the first seven days after fertilisation and could explain what goes wrong in miscarriage, the real reason they want to modify one, but it will be illegal for them to implant the embryos into a woman.

Biafran Passport Not Valid Or Recognised – US, UK

The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have said they do not recognise the passports being issued by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.


The National Director of Information, MASSOB, Sunny Okereafor, had said two weeks ago that the passport was valid worldwide, adding that the travel document costs N5,000 while its renewal costs N2,000.


He had said, “I assure you that the Biafran passport is valid. Except Nigeria, other countries of the world accept Biafran passport and allow our citizens to travel with it. In Europe, North and South America, Biafran passport is accepted. Nigeria is the only country that seizes Biafran passport. Go to neighbouring Ghana here, they will stamp the passport for you. Don’t be confused by the propaganda of the Nigerian government that there is nothing like Biafra passport.


“MASSOB appeals to Biafran citizens to procure their passport and use it to travel. If you doubt me, get a Nigerian passport while I have my Biafran passport; when we get to Europe, you will see who they will welcome than the other. Many people with the Nigerian passport have been repatriated, but have you heard of anybody with Biafran passport receiving such ill-treatment?”



However, our correspondent sent an email to the American consulate in Lagos to inquire from the US regarding the claim of MASSOB.



In his response, the Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the consulate, Frank Sellin, said, “The United States does not consider passports purporting to be from a Biafra entity to be a valid legal document for purposes of visa issuance.”



A similar response from the British Government was sent to The PUNCH via email.



The UK recalled that it did not support the disintegration of Nigeria during the 1967 Biafran War and had not changed its stance 49 years after.



A statement by the Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission, Abuja, Mr. Joe Abuku, read in part, “The answer is unequivocally ‘no’. The UK does not recognise the so-called Biafran passport.



“The position of the UK Government during the Biafran War is a matter of historical record. The UK Government’s position, which reflected the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity, was to recognise the borders laid down at independence.



“The Biafran War caused great suffering and the UK supported the reconciliation work that followed the conflict. The UK supports the territorial integrity of Nigeria and the Nigerian Government’s commitment to work for a secure and prosperous Nigeria for all Nigerians.”



Credit : Punch

“Muslim Women Must Learn English Or Be Deported” – British Prime Minister

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has declared that Muslim women who fail to learn English to a reasonable standard may face deportation from Britain.

This came as his centre-right Conservatives launched a £20 million ($28.5 million, 26 million euro) language fund for women in isolated communities as part of a drive to build community integration.

In an announcement on BBC radio on Monday, Cameron also suggested that poor English skills can leave people more susceptible to the messages of groups like Islamic State (IS).

He said, “Immigration rules already force spouses to speak English before they come to Britain to
live with their partners. Notwithstanding, they would also face further tests after two and a half years in the country to make sure their language skills were improving.

“You can’t guarantee you will be able to stay if you are not improving your language. People coming to our country, they have responsibilities too.”

Investigations have reportedly revealed that Cameron’s government estimates that around 190,000 Muslim women in England, about 22 percent speak little or no English.

Cameron said that lack of language skills could make Muslims in Britain more vulnerable to the message of extremist groups.

“I am not saying there is some sort of causal connection between not speaking English and becoming an extremist, of course not,” he told BBC radio.

“But if you are not able to speak English, not able to integrate, you may find therefore you have challenges understanding what your identity is and therefore you could be more susceptible to the extremist message.”

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s comments which drew criticism from Muslim groups and opposition parties, Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said, “David Cameron and his Conservative government are once again using British Muslims as a political football to score cheap points to appear tough.

Shafiq accused Cameron of ‘disgraceful stereotyping.’

Also, Andy Burnham, home affairs spokesman for the main opposition Labour party, accused Cameron of a ‘clumsy and simplistic approach’ which was ‘unfairly stigmatising a whole community.


UK To Deploy Military Personnel To Train Nigerian Army

More than 35 personnel from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment are set to be deployed to Nigeria by the British Government, to deliver infantry training to Nigerian military.

This is part of the British government’s assistance in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents in the disturbed northern region.

The UK military training team will join over 100 personnel deployed to Nigeria in 2015 to train local forces, with several batches expected in the course of the year to get the number up to 300, as promised in December 2015 by the UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, in Nigeria.

Areas of concentration for the incoming battalion are specialized assistance in countering improvised explosive devices, medical training and advice and advanced training of the Nigerian Air Force in airfield defence and counter insurgency.

Up to 1,000 Nigerian military personnel are said to have benefited from training provided by the advance team in 2015 in preparation for counter-insurgency operations in north east Nigeria.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Revealed: The Only Country ISIS Fear..

ISIS militants only truly fear one of the nations that opposes it, according to a journalist who spent time living among them., Islamic State fighters told Jürgen Todenhöfer, 75, that Israel is the one nation they are wary of.

Mr Todenhöfer, who spent 10 days in Syria in 2014, told Jewish News:

“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies.”But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.”They are not scared of the British and the Americans, they are scared of the Israelis and told me the Israeli army is the real danger.”

Donald Trump Comes For British Politicians, Says UK Should Thank Him

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Thursday he should be thanked for investing in Scotland, after the country ditched him as a business ambassador and a university revoked his honorary degree. The Republican frontrunner said British politicians were “pandering to political correctness” after they queued up to denounce him over his latest outspoken remarks.

Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States after the mass shooting in California by a Muslim couple said to have been radicalized. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revoked his membership of the GlobalScot business network, saying he was no longer fit to act as a business ambassador for Scotland.

Meanwhile Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, on the northeast Scottish coast, revoked the doctorate of business administration he was awarded in 2010. Trump, whose mother was a Scot, owns two golf courses in Scotland — one outside Aberdeen and Trump Turnberry on the southwest coast.

The tycoon told The Press and Journal, a Scottish regional newspaper, that he should be thanked instead of being castigated. “I have done so much for Scotland, including building Trump International Golf Links, which has received the highest accolades, and is what many believe to be one of the greatest golf courses anywhere in the world,” the 69-year-old said.

“Additionally, I have made a significant investment in the redevelopment of the iconic Turnberry resort. “If they — Nicola Sturgeon and RGU — were going to do this, they should have informed me prior to my major investment in this £200 million ($300 million, 275 million euro) development, which will totally revitalize that vast region of Scotland.

“The UK politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness.” Meanwhile a petition seeking to ban Trump from Britain — started before his latest outburst — has topped 430,000 signatures in the wake of his views on halting Muslim immigration.

Credit: Vanguard

Britain Is Next On ISIS Hit-List With Paris Terrorist Style Attack Imminent

Great Britain is next on Terrorist group ISIS next-to-attack country according to a CNN senior terrorist expert who was told about the threat by a senior European terror official.

CNN Analyst Paul Cruickshank said the insider told him “there’s intelligence that has been obtained by European security agencies that ISIS in Syria and Iraq is aiming to hit the United Kingdom next”.

He said: “The intelligence suggesting that British ISIS operatives in Syria and Iraq have been tasked to return to the United Kingdom to launch an attack against the UK. “These concerns have been compounded by that vote yesterday in the British House of Commons authorising British airstrikes for the first time against ISIS in Syria.” He added:
“So real concern now about the threat to the United Kingdom. ”Concern in Europe, particularly in the UK now that what we saw in Paris, an attack like that, could play out again, perhaps in the United Kingdom, in the weeks ahead.”

The terrifying claims came just weeks after Aine Davis – an associate of Jihadi John – was arrested in Turkey last month. He was allegedly carrying specific plans to carry out a terror attack in Europe handed to him by ISIS – also known as Daesh. Fears of an attack on home soil comes after MPs voted in favour of airstrikes in Syria this week..

He also warned Britain is under threat from homegrown jihadists capable of committing similar atrocities of the Paris attacks – which left 130 people dead. There are now fears the threat of terrorism is spreading from the Middle East to Europe, with MI5 maintaining the severe terror alert threat in the UK.

UK Indicates Interest In Kogi, Bayelsa Elections

The United Kingdom has told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it is very much interested in how events playing out in Kogi State’s inconclusive governorship election finally unfold.

British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright, who dropped the hint when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the electoral commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, further expressed happiness over conduct of credible elections in Nigeria.

Charging the INEC boss to surpass the 75 per cent name recognition of his immediate predecessor, Professor Attahiru Jega, the UK Government equally promised to help Nigeria in improving on visible deficiencies noticeable in computerised electoral system in the country.

His words: “We are here to see how we can work with you in future in alliance with your commissioners. We want to see how we can continue our relationship with you. We also came to congratulate you on your appointment as the commission’s chairman .

“I heard that you did a very good job during the confirmatory hearing  and you showed huge amount of confidence in the structure. I want to also congratulate the new commissioners. It is really wonderful to know that you have some outstanding individuals among the commissioners with rich international backgrounds.

“I appreciate all you said and hope that in the future you will live up to expectations as the commission’s chairman. I was told that your predecessor, who did very well on the job, has 75 per cent name recognition in the entire country. That was a very impressive statistic and it will be nice if you have the same or above such record.

“I want to equally tell you that we are interested in your plans concerning Kogi elections. The death of the APC candidate for that election was a very sad news. We are equally happy about the plans for the Bayelsa election. We appreciate the professionalisation of your elections,” he assured.

Credit: Sun

Reps Angry Over 29, 000 Nigerian Deportees By UK

The House of Representatives on Thursday expressed displeasure over the case of 29, 000 Nigerians tagged for deportation by the United Kingdom and has therefore mandated its committee on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to wade into the issue.

The House also mandated its committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the legality and propriety of contractual transactions and other related matters carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the last five years.

The resolution of the House regarding the 29, 000 Nigerians tagged for deportation by the UK followed a motion of matter of urgent public importance sponsored by Rep. Rita Orji.

She said in her motion that the deportation faced by these Nigerians was a result of a migration crisis created by troubled regions of the globe, adding that most of the Nigerians set for deportation have spent a minimum of 30 years in Britain and have lost touch with Nigeria.

“Deporting these Nigerians without appropriately ascertaining their identity, economic situation, health and family status will constitute a problem to themselves, Nigeria and Nigerians.

“The UK government did not disclose whether those facing deportation have legal rights to stay in the UK or not and why these huge number of Nigerians needed to face deportation all at once, “the lawmaker said.

Credit: DailyTimes

UK Offers To Assist Nigeria Tackle Boko Haram

The United Kingdom has offered to further assist Nigeria in its quest to end the violent activities of the Boko Haram sect by December.

The British Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Nicholas Houghton, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Thursday shortly after a closed-door meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Houghton said he was sent by his government because the United Kingdom shares an interesting security situation with Nigeria.

He said he was in the country to see how the UK could give the necessary support to the government and the President to ensure that the country optimises whatever support it could give Nigeria.

He said, “My concern is in the security situation, in particular the war being waged by Boko Haram.

“I think that Nigerian armed forces have made some remarkable progress in the last few months in pushing Boko Haram back.

“But as it comes to the end of the rainy season, I know the President has got a very strong ambitions  to what he can achieve by Christmas, it shows because the UK has a strong support for your troops training just to make sure we optimise our support and that is the best way we can.”

Read More: punchng

Court Stops Diezani From Leaving UK Till Next April

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke will not be able to leave the United Kingdom (UK) until April, next year.

That is when the investigations into allegations against her are expected to have been concluded, Judiciary sources said.

She is expected to be arraigned before the magistrate for alleged money laundering and bribery,

Mrs Alison-Madueke was arrested last week along with four others by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA).She was granted bail. Her international passport was, however, seized.

Read More: thenationonlineng

UK Formally Asks Nigeria For Legal Assistance On Alison-Madueke

The British Government has formally asked the Nigerian Government to assist it with its investigations into the activities of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke when she held sway over the oil and gas sector between 2010 and 2015 and have requested details of transactions relating to the investigations in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the National Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC).

The former minister was arrested by the British National Crime Agency (NCA) alongside four other people in London last Friday, but was granted bail after over five hours of questioning on Friday and Monday. It emerged yesterday that most of the investigations so far centre around gifts-in-kind  allegedly received by the former minister especially in the payments for rental  accommodation in a London Flat in St John’s Wood area of London said to be occupied by the former minister, and several payments  said to be for luxury cars while the then minister was in London by a number of oil traders who had contracts with Nigerian petroleum entities under her watch.
NCA said investigations on the former minister were commenced in 2013 by the British authorities under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and transferred to it earlier this year.

Read Morethisdaylive

Activists, Social Critics Slam NANS For Naming Kashumu ‘Golden Man of the Year’

Social critics and activists have slammed the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) for naming troubled Senator , Senator Buruji Kashamu representing Ogun-East senatorial district, for naming him the ‘Golden Man of the Year’.

Tijani Usman, NANS National President had presented the award to Kashamu last week for his ‘untiring, exemplary and compassionate leadership style’.

While presenting the award to Kashamu in Ogun State, Tijani said, “We decided to honour Senator Kashamu because we know that he is neither the richest businessman nor politician in Nigeria, yet we constantly hear of his philanthropic gestures to Nigerians of all shades and colours, especially the less-privileged.”

“We are fascinated at his large-heartedness even in the face of needless distractions. We reckon that if all wealthy Nigerians are like Senator Kashamu, the country will be a better place for us all. That is why we decided to encourage him by giving him this award.”

The award has however been condemned saying it will help other politicians in Kashamu’s shoes feel they are on the right track which is bad for the country. Some also said the students association has been destroyed through corruption and it is heartbreaking.

Alleged Bribery: UK Informs Buhari Of Diezani’s Arrest

President Muhammadu Buhari  has been told of former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke’s arrest in Britain.

The Presidency also confirmed last night that the Department of State Service (DSS) was collaborating with the National Crime Agency (NCA) in Britain to get to the root of the bribery and money laundering allegations against the former Minister and four others, who are yet to be named.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in an exclusive chat last night, said:  “Nigeria is aware of the arrest of the ex- Minister; the government has been informed.

“The arms of government  dealing with investigation, particularly the Department of State Service (DSS), are actively collaborating with the relevant agencies in the UK.”

Asked to expatiate on the matter, Shehu said: “Nobody wants to say anything as a Mark of respect for the agencies carrying out the investigation. We also want to show that we are serious about this anti-corruption war.”

Read More: thenationonlineng

UK Detectives Find A Fleet Of 29 Stolen British Vehicles In Uganda!

Detectives tracing a Lexus stolen from London have ended up tracking it to Uganda – where it was found alongside a fleet of British cars worth more than £1 million. The National Crime Agency was able to use a smartphone app to trace the journey of the stolen RX450h (top left) 6,000 miles to the Uganda capital Kampala, where they were stunned to find it alongside 28 other luxury cars which had been stolen from the UK by the car-smuggling gang. Luxury right-hand-drive cars are in great demand in land-locked Uganda. Locals still drive on the left as part of the British colonial legacy though. More photos below…

Nigerian Gets Life Sentence In UK For Murder

Nigerian fugitive, Abdul Adewale Kekere-Ekun, was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment in the UK for murdering 18-year old Marcus Hall in 2001, following a brawl outside Luton’s Atmosphere Nightclub.

A statement issued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said that the 39-year-old Kekere-Ekun, had initially pleaded guilty to the murder charge before the Luton Crown Court before he later fled to Nigeria

According to the statement signed by Mr Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media and Publicity of the commission, Kekere-Ekun goes by several aliases like Adebayo Dalvin, James Ekun, Adeba Yo Kekere-Ekun, Adeba Yo Muta Lito Kekere-Ekun, James Dalvin and many others.

It said that investigation revealed that Kekere-Ekun, who was arrested by EFCC on February 12, 2015, for identity theft-related offences was on the wanted list of the UK Police.

Read More: NAN

Photo Credit: PremiumTimes

UK To Jail Illegal Migrants’ Landlords

Britain has announced new measures to tackle illegal migrants by forcing landlords to evict them, as a growing number of migrants in Calais continued their attempts to enter the UK via the undersea cross-channel Eurotunnel.

Under the measures announced on Monday, British landlords who do not remove illegal migrants, or who do not check their immigration status before renting them a property, could be jailed for up to five years.

The move, announced by Greg Clark, Britain’s communities secretary, is set to be included in a new immigration bill to be debated by the British parliament in coming months.

Britain also announced that another 100 guards would be placed on duty at the tunnel’s terminal in Calais, while UK border officials were to begin working inside the control room of the tunnel.

The migrants continued their attempts to cross the English channel via a freight train to Britain on Monday night.

Another 1,700 attempts were made by migrants in Calais to cross via the tunnel overnight on Sunday, according to French police sources. The number of people making the attempt was a major increase on the past few nights when there were only a few hundred.

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from the Eurotunnel’s reinforced fence in Calais, said the attempts continued “despite quite a heavy police presence”.

“Migrants at night try and hop over this fence and literally try to grab hold of a train as it goes by in some instances. That’s why we’ve seen so many deaths in recent months,” our correspondent said.

“The French authorities have put in extra lighting, we just heard a helicopter going over and there are police scattered around this area.”

Nigerian Students In The UK To Be Banned From Working And Forced To Leave When Their Course Ends

Foreign students are to be banned from working in Britain under a fresh crackdown on immigration ordered by Home Secretary Theresa May. When their courses finish, they will have to leave the country before reapplying to return for a job.

Ministers say the new rules, which will apply to all those from outside the European Union, will stop colleges being used as a ‘back door to a British work visa’.

Official figures show that 121,000 non-EU students entered the UK in the 12 months to June last
year, but only 51,000 left – a net influx of 70,000. The government also estimates that the number of foreign students coming to the UK will rise by more than 6 per cent a year up to 2020. Home Secretary Theresa May has taken action against 870 bogus colleges, banning them from taking foreign students.

They want to stop student visas being used as an easy way to enter the UK before getting a job and claiming benefits. Under the new rules, non-EU students will be denied the right to work while in the UK and will not be able to apply for a visa extension when their course finishes.
Students will have to leave the country before applying to return under a work visa.

The length of stay is also expected to be cut to two years when the plans are unveiled this week.

But universities have warned that any clampdown could damage the sector and business leaders are also wary of the move, warning it could rob Britain of vital skills. DailyMailUk reports that Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skills at the Institute of Directors, said:

‘The Business Secretary’s proposals to eject foreign students after graduation are misguided and would damage the British education system, our economy and global influence.

Britain already makes it difficult and artificially expensive for international students to enter and stay, and now these proposals would eject them ignominiously when their studies are finished.

Restricting talented workers from staying on in the UK would damage business and lead to a loss of important skills. Shutting the door to highly-trained international graduates at a time when our economy needs them most would be hugely damaging for UK businesses.

In the interests our education sector, our businesses, and our international standing, the Business Secretary should reconsider this proposal.’

Serena Williams Stuns In Cream Dress At Wimbledon Champions’ Dinner

Wimbledon women’s 2015 winner, Serena Williams dazzle in a show-stopping gown at the Champions’ Dinner tonight with jewels embellished across her front, the gown hung tightly showing off her incredible figure, as she walked the red carpet at the Guidlhall in London.

The tennis ace took the 2015 title with a straight-sets win over Garbine Muguruza.

British-Nigerian Woman Wins Six-Figure Payout Against Her Employer

48 year old British-Nigerian woman, Ibukun Adebayo, who is a  director at one of Princess Diana’s favourite charities, Turning Point has been awarded a six-figure payout after her boss nicknamed her ‘Looney Tunes’ and sent an obscene email.
According to UK Daily Mail, Mrs Adebayo won her religious and racial bias claim against Turning Point, a drugs, alcohol and mental health charity at East London Tribunal Service. She claimed she was unfairly sacked from her £84,000 position as IT director at the charity by its chief executive Lord Victor Adebowale.

The hearing was told that her boss David Hoare referred to her a ‘Looney Tunes’ in one email to Lord
Adebowale and sent another work email about a sex act. He was given a warning by Lord Adebowale, but Mrs Adebayo a mother-of-five from Bexley was dismissed from her job after she complained about Mr Hoare’s gross misconduct.
Now she is seeking £466,815 in compensation for lost earnings and hurt feelings but says that most of all she would like her job back. Turning Point adopted Princess Diana as patron in 1985. She worked for the charity until her death and was proud of the way it helped vulnerable people deal with drug and alcohol misuse.
Mrs Adebayo joined the charity in June 2004 and managed over 20 IT workers and a £1million-a-year budget at its central London office.
In 2011, Mr Hoare sent director of strategic projects Beverley Priest an email about Mrs Adebayo and also wrote about a sex act.
In October 2012, Mr Adebowale emailed Mr Hoare about Mrs Adebayo asking ‘What have we unleashed…?!’ Mr Hoare replied: ‘Looney tunes…’
Later that year, he sent emails poking fun at Mrs Adebayo’s Christian beliefs behind her back, saying she was praying ‘in the wilderness’.
And he said a request for an interview with Mrs Adebayo should be ‘killed’ as they no longer wanted her as the face of the charity.
Mrs Adebayo was devastated to discover all these emails in April 2013 and complained about Mr Hoare. Mr Hoare received only a formal warning for his gross misconduct.
But Lord Adebowale, 52, sacked Mrs Adebayo in August 2013 for ‘hacking into staff emails’.
The tribunal ruled that any reasonable employer would have ‘given genuine and serious consideration’ to firing Mr Hoare for gross misconduct.
UK Daily Mail

London’s Heathrow Airport To Be Expanded, 800 Houses To Go

Heathrow airport is said to undergo a £19b expansion plan. This is needed for a 3rd runway at one of the busiest airports in Europe, a total of about 800 homes would also be demolished . the runway is the first new runway to be built in the South-East of England since the 1940s.

Notable ministers have concluded that the expansion is needed to keep London in connection to the rest of the world and keep Britain in competition with other global markets.

The airport authorities have earmarked about £1b as compensation to affected communities and individuals. There are also plans to reduce noise pollutions as the airport currently accommodates about 220,000 flights a year. At the completion of the runway they would have generated an additional 77,000 jobs.

Fred Amata’s Son, Oreva Amata Graduates With First Class From UK University Of Kent

Oreva Amata is veteran Nollywood actor, Fred Amata’s son with ex-wife Agatha. And the young brilliant man has just graduated with a First Class in Economics from the University of Kent, Canterbury in the United Kingdom. Big congrats to him.

His celebrity parents had ended their marriage way back in 2005. A union that also produced a daughter named Stephanie.

Nigeria Police Confirms Kashamu Was Arrested, Tried In UK

The Police, on Thursday, said the British High Commission in Nigeria confirmed that Buruji Kashamu (Senator-elect), was arrested and tried in a United Kingdom criminal court.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, in Abuja. It said there was enquiry concerning the status of Kashamu’s legal battles in the United Kingdom and United States. “The police, thereafter, sought relevant clarifications from the British High Commission.
“The commission confirmed that Kashamu was indeed arrested and tried in the United Kingdom criminal court. But the court was not satisfied that Kashamu had a case to answer.’’
The statement stressed that the commission’s clarification did not derogate from extradition request by United States’ relevant departments, and agencies of government in Nigeria”, the statement said.

The statement was also issued in connection to the extradition battles of Kashamu with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

Credit: NAN

Girl Who Was Told To ‘Stop Googling’ Cancer That Eventually Killed Her Left Heartbreaking Messages, Begging Doctors To Take Her Seriously

19 year old Bronte Doyne begged doctors to take her seriously in a series of desperate messages written shortly before she died of a rare cancer that doctors told her she didn’t have and should stop googling about. A frustrated Bronte said she was ‘fed up of trusting’ medics who refused to accept she was dying. She eventually died in March 2013, 16 months after she developed fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer which only affects 200 people a year worldwide.

Full report From UK Daily Mail:
The teenager had an operation in September 2011 to remove the cancer and was told she would make a full recovery, but online research in America told her that FBC often returns.
But ‘aloof and evasive’ doctors at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) treated her with ‘woeful lack of care and empathy’ and refused to accept this and told her to ‘stop Googling’.
In a text weeks before she died she said: ‘Need answers. Want to know what’s going on. Something’s not right. I’m sick of this’.
And days before she died she wrote: ‘Can’t begin to tell you how it feels to have to tell an oncologist they are wrong. I had to, I’m fed up of trusting them’.
Today Bronte’s mother Lorraine Doyne (pictured right)  has made the messages public to reveal her daughter’s plight.
She said: ‘Bronte was denied pain relief, referrals were hugely delayed and efforts by her family to gather information and understand Bronte’s prognosis were handled in an evasive and aloof manner

HHer fears that her symptoms over the preceding months before she died were cancer-related were proved right.
‘The messages from Bronte are all her own words and I believe that’s more powerful for people to understand what she went through.
She added: ‘I want to see changes and action now.’
She and her daughter were forced to do their own research online, but doctors dismissed their fears.
Mrs Doyne said: ‘We had no information forthcoming and the only sources we found were through our own research.
‘We found a website for the Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation, which is based in the United States, and it included an international forum.
‘It’s not just some pathetic website on Google, it’s been endorsed by the White House in publications, and was the only contact we had to get some awareness about this disease. But that information was dismissed here. I told the clinician that I knew what was happening to my daughter and something needed to be done but I was just told to “stop Googling”. 

Bronte was first admitted to hospital in September 2011 with suspected appendicitis, and was told she had fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma shortly after turning 18.
Over a 16-month period, she was told by doctors that she would survive the disease and had nothing to worry about after having an operation to remove a section of her liver in December.
But Bronte and her family knew through their own online research that there was a high chance the cancer would return and eventually claim her life, which it did on March 23, 2013.
The NHS trust who treated her has now promised to embrace the ‘internet age’ – and accept patients use the internet to research their illnesses –  and admitted: ‘We did not listen with sufficient attention’.
Bronte’s tweets, text messages and personal diary entries reveal her fears about death because doctors were not taking her condition seriously.
These were all passed to the hospital as part of a complaint after her death.
In a diary entry less than a month before her death : ‘Mum tried to talk to my consultant but he didn’t give her much help. She even had to ask him when I was going to get my appointment for the oncologist. Really don’t think he likes my mum asking questions.’
She also wrote she was advised by her GP to go to hospital as an emergency case when her symptoms worsened about six weeks before her death, but was told she could not been seen.
She wrote: ‘I got so angry because the doctor was so rude and just shrugged his shoulders.
‘He gave me a sarcastic comment like you can sleep here if you want but they won’t do anything. So I just have to wait for another hospital appointment.’
In a tweet before her death she also warned: ‘My body does not feel very good #helpme.’
After she was diagnosed, Bronte wrote in her diary: ‘I have cancer. I’m scared. Mum rang keyworker. Need to know what this is. He doesn’t know much. Help me.’
She underwent liver resection surgery in December 2011.
Seven months later, after doctors had told her she was fine, she tweeted: ‘My body does not feel very good #helpme.’
Then, in November 2012, Bronte wrote in her diary: ‘Feeling sick for months now. Tired of this feeling c***. Hospital not worried so trying to get on with it.’
The teenager texted friends saying that doctors referred to how she ‘had’ cancer in the past and advised her not to relate symptoms to the disease.
Her fears about feeling like ‘something’s not right’ were ignored, as she said a doctor claimed her weight loss was a result of her being ‘part of a skinny family’.
Bronte was eventually referred to the Hogarth Ward, a Teenage Cancer Trust unit, where she stayed for 10 days before she died – after 16 months of being told she would be fine.
Source: UK Daily Mail

British Woman Starts Online Petition To Stop Her Nigerian Husband From Being Deported From The UK

According to a report by UK Mirror, a heavily pregnant British woman named Robyn Daodu has started an online petition to stop her Nigerian Olympic boxer husband from being deported from the UK after he was turned down by the British Army.

Adedayo Victor Daodu came to the UK for the London 2012 Games as a member of the Nigerian boxing squad and decided to stay. The 25-year-old was locked up last week at Dungavel immigration removal centre in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, and told he faces being returned to Lagos.

Before the 2012 Olympics, Victor signed up for the British Army. After returning to his homeland, he was sent a letter inviting him to return to the UK for recruitment.

After claiming to have passed written and physical tests, he applied to extend his visa so he could stay in Britain before enlisting. The couple moved to Salford in July 2013.

But Victor was soon told that due to new guidelines, his application to join the Army had been refused.

Robyn and Victor applied for asylum in a bid to stay together and claim they were told by the Home Office they could get married pending the application.
They assumed Victor’s UK residency would not be a problem.

After marrying in April last year, his asylum claim was refused in three months later.
The couple say the Home Office, in a letter to their solicitors, have told them they should move to Nigeria.
Robyn says they have spent £4,000 in legal fees after a number of failed appeals. Victor was most recently refused leave to stay in March.
In April, he spent two weeks in the immigration centre, but was released after an appeal.

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams, was able to help get Victor released from the centre last Thursday.
The couple are now awaiting a reply to another appeal.
Immigration rules mean that anyone applying for a visa as the spouse of a British citizen had to have the legal right to be here for at least the next six months when they got married.
They also have to be able to prove they can support themselves financially.
Robyn, 27, who lives with Victor in Oldham, said: “It took the army a year to tell him he couldn’t join.
“The Home Office should have told him he couldn’t stay a long time ago if that’s what was always going to happen.
“I don’t understand why they’ve only started detaining him now after we’ve set up a life, got married and I’ve become pregnant.
“The communication just hasn’t been there.
“The stress is unbearable. None of this would have happened if not for the army’s slowness in letting Victor know about the change in the acceptance rules.
“I need him and his unborn child needs him.”
Victor said: “I just want to stay here and do what’s right for my baby and Robyn.”
The Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases.

Source: UK Mirror 

President Buhari Seeks Europe, U.S. Support For Nigeria’s Development

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he will seek the support of Europe, America and Nigeria’s neighbours in tackling the unemployment and security problems confronting the country.

Buhari gave the indication on Friday in his remarks at the inauguration Gala Night held at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa.

He said that his administration would focus on agriculture and mining to engage the unemployed youths who form more than 60 per cent of the population.

“I ask Nigerians to please bear with us; a lot of damage has been done,’’ he said.

He said that he had lost elections in the past three times and gone to the tribunal with the help of Nigerians, but that he was happy that the will of Nigerians made his victory possible this time around.

He said that Nigeria, being a populous country, if things went wrong in the country, they would go wrong in Africa because the continent could not manage any refugee crisis from Nigeria.

He said that when he consulted the foreign partners and confronted them with the refugee scenario, it pricked their consciences and they assisted with technology to enable a successful vote count in the last elections.

Buhari insisted that previous election results were written in private homes and announced on the radio and that getting the courts to reverse them was difficult.

He said that Nigeria’s friends in Europe and U.S. had spoken to him personally and had identified security as the major challenge facing the country.

“Nigeria has to be well secured and efficiently managed; this is what the APC is all about.

“This was why the legacy parties made the sacrifice of jettisoning their personal ambitions, tried to come together and took the bull by the horn and therefore brought it down and slaughtered it literally.’’

He said the party in power had realised its problems and made the sacrifice.

Buhari said: “Nigerians pray a lot; we need to even pray the more for luck so that expectations our people have, especially the youths would be met.”

He said the unemployment level was the “keg of gunpowder we are sitting on’’ and the administration had resolved to secure Nigeria as soon as possible.

He thanked Nigeria’s neighbours for helping the country to fight insurgency.

He added that his administration would articulate the nation’s requirements after studying the handover notes from the past administration then consult the immediate neighbours, Europe and U.S. for possible assistance.

In his remark, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar described the inauguration of Buhari as historic for the nation and indeed Africa.

He said the transition from one party to another was a big achievement for the country.

“Democracy is the winner and Nigeria is the winner.

“I congratulate all those who made the election possible. I also congratulate former president Goodluck Jonathan for deepening democracy,’’ he said.

He said the path of honour Jonathan took would not be forgotten and added that the new administration would need time to take stock and take decisions that would push the nation forward.

He urged the new president to recognise the diversity of the country and accommodate all since the nation’s diversity remained its strength.

APC chieftain, Sen. Bola Tinubu, said that a new era had dawned in Nigeria.

He said that a commitment to build a new Nigeria had been consecrated adding that“ Buhari is principled, passionate and determined to develop the country.’’

He said the time was ripe for Nigeria to maintain its lead in Africa and the African renaissance must begin with the new President.

“The Challenge is yours. We that are looking up to you will continue to do so with great commitment and perseverance.

`Nigeria must lead,’’ Tinubu added. (NAN)

Buhari Returns From UK

President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom, few hours to his inauguration as President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria on Friday, May 29. Buhari arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, in the early hours of Thursday.

He arrived via a British Airways flight from Heathrow Airport. Buhari during his trip to the UK held a meeting with British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Buhari departed the country early hours of last Friday in the company of two of his close aides.

Read MoreNewMail

Group Urges Nigeria To Learn From UK Election

A pressure group, the Informed Youth Political Forum (IYPF) has called on Nigeria to learn some lessons from the last general elections in the United Kingdom.

National Coordinator of IYPF, Mr. Tokunbo Olateru Olagbegi, who made the call yesterday while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, stated that one good lesson from the election was the power of the people to choose their leaders.

Olagbegi, who was an international observer during the UK elections, said another lesson to be learnt was to conduct credible elections.

He said, ‘’Credible election, from what i observed in the UK, is not necessarily gotten from the electoral commission, but rather from the people. As a people, we should conduct ourselves in orderly manner to ensure credible, free and fair elections.’’

Olagbegi stated that on election day in the UK, he observed that there were no security at the polling stations as people came and cast their ballots and went home.

The IYPF coordinator said, ‘’What i observed was very simple and basic. The power of a credible election is in the people. In the UK , they trust that the people will do the right thing. Go to your polling station, identify yourself and go about your normal business.’’

He stated that the UK process can be done in Nigeria through civic education for the people and politicians to do the right thing, adding that in the UK polls, politicians did not use do or die approach in the conduct of the elections and that the will of the people prevailed throughout the election.

The coordinator said that Nigeria should use civic education approach to prepare for the 2019 election and ensure that the will of the people prevailed at all times.

Olagbegi, who disclosed that in the UK, they used the biro and paper to choose their candidates and still produced credible elections, said sincere and painstaking civic education could be applied in Nigeria to ensure that the people’s votes counted on election day.

He said, ‘’Nigerians hold the key to a successful election and it is possible to achieve this. As a people, Nigerians can learn some lessons from the UK elections. I think that slowly and surely, we will get there and Nigerians have the key to this success through civic education.’’

UK Election Results- Report

British Prime Minister David Cameron appeared poised to remain in power Friday, with early British election results and exit polls indicating his Conservatives had won a resounding victory and will return to 10 Downing Street in a stronger position than before.

Cameron’s office said he would go later Friday to Buckingham Palace, where he is expected to tell Queen Elizabeth II that he has enough support to form a government.

That would bring the election to a much-quicker-than-expected conclusion. Polls ahead of Election Day showed Conservatives locked in a tight race with the opposition Labour Party, raising the possibility of days or weeks of negotiations to form a government.

Labour took a beating, mostly from energized Scottish nationalists who pulled off a landslide in Scotland.

With Cameron’s Conservatives on the cusp of winning a majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, the election result looked to be far better for him than even his own party had foreseen. With 625 constituencies counted, the Conservatives had 310 seats to Labour’s 228.

The prime minister beamed early Friday as he was announced the winner of his Witney constituency in southern England.

“I want my party, and I hope a government that I would like to lead, to reclaim a mantle that we should never have lost — the mantle of one nation, one United Kingdom,” Cameron said, vowing to counter the rise of Scottish nationalism with more powers for Scotland and Wales.

Labour, led by Ed Miliband, was routed in Scotland by the Scottish National Party, which took almost all of the 59 seats in Scotland.

“What we’re seeing tonight is Scotland voting to put its trust in the SNP to make Scotland’s voice heard, a clear voice for an end to austerity, better public services and more progressive politics at Westminster,” party leader Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC.

“The Scottish lion has roared this morning across the country,” said former SNP leader Alex Salmond, who was elected in the seat of Gordon.

“This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labour Party,” Miliband said.

Miliband, who faced calls from within Labour to step down, said that whoever is prime minister would face the challenge of uniting the country after a divisive campaign.

Cameron’s coalition partner, the Liberal Democrat party, faced electoral disaster, losing most of its seats as punishment for supporting a Conservative-led agenda since 2010.

Leader Nick Clegg did hold on to his seat and said he would discuss his future with colleagues later Friday.

But an exit poll released as polls closed projected that the Conservatives would be well ahead, with around 316 seats — they would need 326 for a majority.

The chief exit pollster, John Curtice of Strathclyde University, said it looked as if Conservative and Labour gains had canceled each other out across England and Wales, and that Labour had lost much of its support in Scotland to the SNP.

The survey was conducted by pollsters GfK and Ipsos MORI for Britain’s broadcasters.

The pound surged as much as 2 percent after the exit poll, as investors took that as reassurance that the country will not see days or weeks of uncertainty over the formation of a new government. The currency held onto most of those gains on Friday, trading at $1.5440. Stocks also surged, with the main FTSE 100 up 1.6 percent.

Votes in each constituency were counted by hand and the results followed a familiar ritual. Candidates — each wearing a bright rosette in the color of their party — line up onstage like boxers as a returning officer reads out the results.

But if the form was familiar, the results were often shocking.

Among the early Scottish National Party winners was 20-year-old student Mhairi Black, who defeated Douglas Alexander, Labour’s 47-year-old foreign policy spokesman and one of its most senior figures. Black is the youngest U.K. lawmaker since 13-year-old Christopher Monck entered Parliament in 1667.

The UK Independence Party ran third in opinion polls, but by early Friday had won only one seat because its support isn’t concentrated in specific areas. Leader Nigel Farage lost his seat to the Conservatives, and could resign later.

British voters reacted with surprise as they awoke to the news. Polls have been showing a virtual dead heat in the race, and many expected weeks of wrangling over who would be in power.

“I thought it would be closer,” said account manager Nicky Kelly-Lord, 38, who was among those startled by the result.

But some, like project manager Jonathan Heeley, 42, thought it inevitable that a country struggling to rebuild in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis would be anxious to keep the economic recovery going.

“The country’s rebuilding itself and people want to stay with that,” he said.


UK Repatriates Three Nigerian Prisoners

The United Kingdom has repatriated three Nigerians in UK prisons under the prisoners exchange agreement signed by the two countries.

The convicts, who were brought into the country earlier this year, had been remanded in an undisclosed prison facility in the country.

The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, who said this while responding to questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday, stated that more Nigerians in the UK prisons would be transferred to local prisons in Nigeria before the end of the year.

“The prisoners exchange agreement is in place and the United Kingdom has repatriated three Nigerians in UK prisons since January this year and more prisons would also be transferred. The programme would continue after the exit of this administration. There is a committee in place to ensure the sustenance of the programme,” he explained.

Responding to allegations of manipulation of the ongoing recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service by some applicants, Moro stated that his ministry had no hand in the exercise, noting that the recruitment was being handled by a committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to him, those accusing the Interior Ministry of manipulating the recruitment exercise were not being fair, stressing that the presidential committee was solely responsible for the process.

Moro regretted the loss of lives during the failed NIS recruitment exercise, describing it as “the lowest point for the ministry which has cast some clouds over the level of achievements by the ministry.”

He however insisted that if given another opportunity to handle the recruitment exercise, “I will do the same thing in a different manner,” adding that the ministry adopted a strategy to ensure a transparent recruitment process, but regretted that unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

He said, “The idea was to rid the exercise of corruption against the backdrop of corruption, job-for-money and money-for-job that was pervading everywhere. I plead with Nigerians and the families of the victims for understanding.”


With This Passport I Thee Wed, UK Marriage Brokers Increase

Immigration to the United Kingdom has been steadily rising over the past 20 years. Although the numbers fluctuate, hundreds of thousands more people now enter the UK every year than leave it, attracted by its (perceived) economic opportunities and political and personal freedoms.

Most Britons seem prepared to welcome them, providing they have entered legally and make an effort to integrate and contribute to society, which of course the vast majority do, but some are becoming less tolerant of the influx. Consequently, in the run up to this year’s UK parliamentary elections (voting takes places on May 7) immigration has become a matter of great contention.

Fearful of appearing weak on the issue, political parties on right and left have clashed repeatedly about which of their respective administrations has set the toughest rules and the highest barriers to entry over the last two decades, with the current Conservative-led coalition government pointing at the barrage of regulations it has introduced in recent years – even though, of course, it has no legal powers to stop the movement of peoples from within the European Union (of which the UK is a member).

Yet as the rules get tougher, it means that people from outside the EU have to try that much harder to get in – and marriage to a partner already entitled to live in Britain is the easiest way.

Every year, over a quarter of a million weddings take place in the UK, mostly between couples with no other motive than a desire to seal a genuine commitment to each other. But among them are thousands of fakes – people who undertake a sham marriage that has been arranged simply because it makes it easier for one of the participants to stay in the country.

Read More: aljazeera

Pastor Adeboye Prays For David Cameron Ahead Of UK’s General Election (SEE PHOTOS)

General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG) Pastor E.A Adeboye, prayed for UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and the congregation at the ‘Festival of Life’ programme holding in London.

Cameron will lead the Conservative Party to participate in the UK general election holding on 7th May 2015, to elect the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom. Pastor Adeboye shared some of the pictures on his verified Facebook page, Pastor E. A. Adeboye.

1 2 3 4 5


Diezani Flees To London For “Medical Attention”- Report

Reports gathered say following Diezani Alison-Madueke’s failure to get President Jonathan and ex-Head of state, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar to secure a soft landing deal for her from Gen Buhari last weekend, controversial Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke has fled the country to the United Kingdom.
It was gathered that Diezani has left the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Monday aboard a British Airways flight. A reliable source in the presidential villa told that “madam had to take off far ahead of the inauguration of the government of Gen Buhari because she is scared he may turn his searchlight on the oil sector.”
When contacted to confirm the Minister’s whereabout, one of her aides who pleaded for anonymity confirmed Mrs Alison-Madueke indeed left the country on Monday morning but gave a different reason for the trip. According to the minister’s aide “it is true the Hon. Minister traveled but she went to take care of her health because she has been down medically and she needs proper medical attention.”
Read More: newsposts247

Former Minister, Kuforiji-Olubi Jailed In The UK

Nigeria’s first female chartered accountant and former Minister of Commerce and Tourism, Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, is currently in a United Kingdom prison where she is serving out a one-month jail term for contempt.

According to reports, Kuforiji-Olubi was convicted on February 18 by Justice Michael Burton of the Commercial Division of the High Court of Justice Queens Branch Division for disobeying the orders of the court.

The former minister, who was ordered to be remanded at Her Majesty Prison Holloway, got herself into jail when she attempted to repeat the levity with which high profile individuals usually treat court orders in Nigeria in London.

Read More: newmail

Three UK Judges Sacked For Watching Porn With Court Computers

District Judge Timothy Bowles, Immigration Judge Warren Grant  and Deputy District Judge and Recorder, Peter Bullock have been dismissed for viewing pornographic materials with the judicial IT equipment in their offices according to UK Judicial Conduct Investigation’s office.

Their conduct has been termed as wholly unacceptable by the Judicial Conduct Investigations office.

The materials the dismissed judges watched didnot include images of children or other illegal contents.

A fourth judge, Recorder Andrew Maw was found to have also watched pornographic materials with his office computers but he resigned before investigations into their conducts were concluded.

The cases happened at different times and different places.

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

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

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

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

Read More: Vanguard

How Attractive Jihadists Lure UK Girls to ISIS

“Attractive” jihadist fighters can be “eye candy” to lure in British Muslim girls, a former extremist has said.

Ayesha – a false name to protect her identity – told BBC Newsnight she was taught to see the UK as “our enemy”.

She now rejects that ideology, but said her ex-allies would regard the militant known as “Jihadi John” as an “idol”.

Three schoolgirls recently left the UK, apparently to join militants in Syria – leading to questions over why British girls would make that choice.

Ayesha, from the Midlands, is now in her early 20s and said she was first contacted by extremists when she was a student aged 16 or 17.

She said a man sent her a Facebook message saying she was “very attractive” and telling her: “Now’s the time to cover that beauty because you’re so precious.”

Ayesha said the message was “bordering on harassment” but it was the “best way I could have been targeted” because it played on her religious beliefs and told her she would “end up in hell” if she did not obey.


Missing UK ISIS Bound Schoolgirls Caught on CCTV

New pictures have emerged showing three ISIS-bound UK teenagers at a bus station in Istanbul.

Shamima Begum and Amira Abbas, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16 are the schoolgirls believed to be en route to join the ISIL in Syria after flying from London to Istanbul on 17 February.

The CCTV footage shows the three teenagers waiting at the Bayrampasa bus station later that same day and the following morning, the state-run BBC said.

The images were taken between 18:27 GMT on 17 February and 11:22 GMT on 18 February.

The girls reportedly waited at the bus station for around 18 hours before taking a bus to Urfa near the border with Syria.

The three friends all went to the Bethnal Green Academy school and are described as “straight-A students” and are good friends with another 15-year-old girl who fled to Syria in December.

Read Morepresstv

Buhari Flown to UK for Medical Check Up?

APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, left Abuja on Thursday for a short working visit to the UK.

This is contained in a statement released to newsmen by the Director of Media and Publicity at the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, Malam Garba Shehu.

According to the statement, Buhari is expected to hold meetings with key members of the British political establishment and interact with some global institutions with stakeholder interest in the affairs of Nigeria.

“He would give a talk at the prestigious foreign policy hub, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatam House London”, the statement said.

Credit: NAN

Thousands Of Troops Could Return To UK To Fight Copycat Attacks After Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Thousands of troops stationed overseas could be sent home to help police cope with a Paris copycat attack amid fears they are not prepared for a large-scale bloodbath.

Ministers are examining plans to have ‘high-readiness’ battalions stationed across the country to respond to a terror attack within minutes.

The infantry units would provide back-up support to armed police and would be especially vital if there is more than one attack at any given time.

Currently there are hundreds of troops on standby for an onslaught by Islamic State fanatics. But there are concerns there are not enough armed police outside London, especially in villages.

If there was to be an attack outside the capital, it could be more than half an hour before the police have back-up from the Army

As a result, it is understood various government departments are now looking at having more soldiers stationed in places such as Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland.

A senior Whitehall source told the Mail: ‘The country has a force of more than 80,000 troops and they need to be deployed where the threat is. Homeland security needs to be stepped up and as part of that we are looking at where there are gaps. We are looking at bringing back soldiers from overseas.’

The Ministry of Defence last night denied that troops are to be brought home, but senior Whitehall sources insisted the plans were under discussion. Details are not yet clear but it is understood thousands of soldiers could be re-deployed across the UK from overseas.

The Army is stationed in more than 80 countries. There are thousands of troops in Germany – a legacy from the Second World War – as well as hundreds in Cyprus and hundreds in the Falkland

Source – Daily mail

4 Million Naira Puppy Still Missing As Police Intensify Search

Police are still searching for a rare bulldog puppy worth £16,000 (over N4,000,000) which was snatched from its breeder’s home.

A man interested in buying the pup ran away with the eight-week-old rare lilac bulldog from a property in Tadworth, Surrey, in October, assaulting a relative of the breeder in the process.

Five men have been arrested in connection with the theft but have been released on bail. Police say they are still looking for the puppy and urged citizens to be at alert in case they notice their neighbour has a new pet.

CIA Report: UK ‘Did Not Request Torture Claim Report Edits

A Guantanamo Bay detainee being walked along by two guards, with more guards looking onMany US detainees after 9/11 were held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba

None of the information the UK asked to have blacked out of a report on CIA interrogation related to claims of British involvement in prisoner mistreatment, Downing Street has said.

No 10 confirmed UK intelligence agencies spoke to US counterparts to request some redactions before the US Senate report was published.

But officials said requests were only made on national security grounds, not to erase “torture or rendition” claims.

Senators found “brutal” CIA tactics.

The report, which looked at treatment of detainees in the years after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, is a 525-page summary of a 6,000-page document produced by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The full document remains classified.

The published report contains no reference to UK agencies.

Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate committee, said CIA tactics – which included repeated waterboarding, slapping, stress positions and sleep deprivation – amounted to torture.

‘Protect sources’

A version of the report was finished in 2012, but there were disagreements about what should be published. Part of this process was a “classification review” by the CIA into what information should remain classified.

Downing Street said UK requests for redactions were made “agency to agency” – by British intelligence service MI6 to the CIA.

The requests were made to protect sources and for other national security reasons, No 10 added.

On Wednesday, Downing Street said no requests for redactions had been made.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said a Whitehall official “pointed out” it would make no sense for the CIA to redact allegations of UK abuse while allowing its own name to be “dragged through the mud” in the Senate report.


US report’s key findings:

File photograph of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, left, and Abd al-Rashim al-Nashiri, rightKhalid Sheikh Mohammed, left, and Abd al-Rashim al-Nashiri, were among those held by the CIA

  • none of 20 cases of counterterrorism “successes” led to unique or otherwise unavailable intelligence
  • CIA misled politicians and public
  • at least 26 of 119 known detainees in custody during the programme wrongfully held
  • methods included sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, often standing or in painful positions
  • Saudi al-Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah was kept confined in a coffin-sized box for hours on end
  • waterboarding and “rectal hydration” were physically harmful to prisoners


As well as meetings between UK and US intelligence agencies, information obtained by human rights charity Reprieve in August suggested UK government officials had met members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on 24 occasions over the previous five years.

The charity did not request details of the subjects discussed, though William Hague – then foreign secretary – said in July: “The UK government has not sought to influence the content of the Senate report.

“We have made representations to seek assurance that ordinary procedures for clearance of UK material will be followed in the event that UK material provided to the Senate committee were to be disclosed.”

One of the UK officials to meet the Senate committee was Home Secretary Theresa May in 2011.

Downing Street said Mrs May “discussed a range of issues” at that meeting. She is expected to be questioned on the matter when she appears before Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee on Monday.

Government ministers and UK security and intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 have always said torture would never be used by Britain to extract information.

Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee is currently examining the question of whether the UK was complicit in the US mistreatment of suspects.

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he would be open to a full judicial inquiry if the committee failed to answer key questions

Source – BBC UK

6 Weeks Old Baby Suffocates To Death While Sleeping In Between His Parents

A 6-week-old baby named Noah Pearson (pictured above), suffocated to death in his sleep after being deprived of oxygen while sleeping in between his parent in bed at their home in Bradford, in West Yorkshire.

According to the UK Telegraph, Noah’s parents, Paul Pearson 24 and Emily Lambert 22, had left him with his grandmother while they went out with friends for drinks for the first time in a year. They returned at about 3.30am the following day drunk but still took their baby from the grandmother…

Noah’s father took him into their room to sleep in his Moses basket which was placed by his side of their bed. But when Noah started to cry around 5am, his father took him from the Moses basket and brought him into the bed he shared with his partner and placed him between them.

When the couple woke up at about 8.50am, they found blood coming out from Noah’s nostrils. He was immediately taken to the Bradford Royal hospital where test showed he died from Sudden Infant Death syndrome after being deprived of oxygen.

At an inquest, a doctor warned of the dangers of parents sleeping with their babies as a coroner said a contributary factor in Noah’s death on May 31 was “co-sleeping and parental alcohol consumption”.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Eduardo Moya told the hearing that the parents’ decision to co-sleep with their baby and having consumed alcohol that night may have contributed to their baby’s death. He said baby Noah was found to have a minor rhino virus, akin to a nose cold.

Dr Moya said:

“The not deliberate and unfortunate set of circumstances is well-documented – bed sharing with parents combined with alcohol consumption. Furthermore one or both of the parents did smoke and that could be a contributory factor as that baby had a rhino viral infection. There are a series of risk factors that increase the likelihood of having SIDS. One reason bed sharing is considered dangerous is that one parents could roll on to the infant in the middle of the night.”

“This was a tragedy and there is nobody as fault but I believe it is important to know the etymology of SIDS. These are contributory factors because we don’t know the ultimate cause of SIDS. I pass my condolences on to the family. It was clear to me when I went to see them that nobody did anything wrong or deliberate. It was an unfortunate tragedy.”

Source: UK Telegraph

10 Things You Need To Know This Morning #NewsBits

Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know this morning:

1. The Police yesterday disrupted a peaceful protest against incessant Boko Haram killings in the north. The protest was staged by a coalition of youth group under the umbrella of Arewa Liberation Movement in Kaduna. Some journalists covering the protest were assaulted by the anti-riot policemen mobilized to the scene. The march started at about 8:30am at the popular Lugard Hall Roundabout.

2.Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has compared President Goodluck Jonathan’s reign with that of the biblical king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, describing Jonathan as a President that patronizes impunity. Soyinka in paper presentation in Lagos discussed Jonathan’s government and the current events in the country, using the title; “King Nebuchadnezzar – The Reign of Impunity.”

3. Crisis ensued at the Ebute Meta area of Lagos on Tuesday at the end of a primary election conducted for two candidates of the All Progressives Congress ? Oladele Adekanye (Lado) and Bashiru Oloto who are aspiring to grab the APC ticket to represent the Lagos Mainland Constituency 1 in the 2015 elections. Four youths were shot dead, while several others were wounded, as 20 vehicles were also vandalised in the ensuing violence.

4. The senators agitating for the impeachment of President Goodluck Jonathan have agreed to begin the impeachment process on December 16. One of the Senators spearheading the move in the Senate, Senator Alkali Jajere, disclosed the latest plan on Tuesday in Abuja. He said that the Senators have agreed to commence the process on the said date.

5. The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has alleged that some prison officials must have collaborated with the gunmen that invaded the Ado Ekiti federal prison, asking the Federal Government to investigate the Monday attack on the prison.

6. The All Progressives Congress on Tuesday cried out that the Department of State Service, SSS embarked on a second raid on the party’s data centre in Ikeja on Monday night. In a statement by the party through its Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, it said the action of the SSS was the height of lawlessness.

7. The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, on Tuesday faulted media reports that she was imposing governorship candidates in some states ahead of the 2015 general elections. In her denial, Mrs Jonathan said she could not have performed such a role because she was not an elected official of the state nor a PDP official.

8. About £315 million Abacha loot would soon be returned to Nigeria by the State of Jersey, the biggest territory in the Channels Island. This was disclosed by Mr Michael Birt, the Bailiff of Jersey durig a dinner in honour of Dr Dalhatu Tafida, Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK during a state visit to the Island.

9. Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, yesterday, warned the Federal Government to desist from retrenching workers under the guise of austerity measures. The President of the Association and its General Secretary, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Alade Bashir Lawal, in a statement said any attempt by government to sack workers or reduce their salaries would be resisted.

10. A man and his wife were knocked down and killed by a drunken driver in Ode Irele, Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State on Tuesday. Report says three of their grandchildren equally sustained various degrees of injuries as the car ran into them while they were in front of their house at Gbaleju area. The driver of the car, identified as Abisoye Wobo, was allegedly drunk and was returning from a burial ceremony.

Source – Daily Post NG

UK Woman Jailed for Sending Cash to Jihadist Husband in Syria


A British woman who tried to send 20,000 euros ($25,000) to her husband fighting with Islamic State (IS) group in Syria was on Thursday jailed for 28 months and seven days.

 Amal El-Wahabi, 28, became the first person in Britain to be convicted of funding the jihadists following a trial in August, which heard how she persuaded a friend to smuggle the cash in her underwear.

The friend, Nawal Msaad, was found not guilty. She had been stopped in January at London’s Heathrow Airport, where she was trying to board a flight to Istanbul, with the bank notes concealed in a condom.

Sentencing El-Wahabi at England’s Old Bailey central criminal court in London, judge Nicholas Hilliard said her drug dealer husband Aine Davis had clearly gone to Syria to fight with IS.

“I am also satisfied that you knew he was engaged in violence with guns for extremist religious and ideological reasons and knew the money you were sending was destined for that purpose,” he said.

He said Davis had posted a profile picture on his WhatsApp social media account showing him brandishing an automatic weapon, and also sent El-Wahabi other similar photos.

The judge accepted that the jihadist had the idea to transfer the cash and El-Wahabi had agreed because she was “infatuated” with her husband, with whom she has two children under five. But he rejected calls to give her a suspended sentence.

“You even contemplated taking your children to Turkey to be nearer their father, when it should have been obvious to you it was in their interests they should be as far away from him as possible,” the judge said.

“He had no true regard for you. Any interest he had in you was only engaged when there was some advantage to him.”

Royal Baby 2 Due April 2015

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge‘s second baby is due in April, Britain’s royal family announced Monday.

While the public now know when Prince George will have a sibling, the gender of Prince William and Catherine’s second baby remains a secret.

“Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2015,” a statement on the website of the Prince of Wales said.

As during her first pregnancy, Catherine continues to suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, the palace said. The condition involves nausea and vomiting more severe than the typical morning sickness many women suffer during early pregnancy.


Ebola Drug Trials to Begin in West Africa by UK Scientists

Scientists in London on Tuesday unveiled plans to push ahead with clinical trials of prototype Ebola treatments in West Africa for the first time, possibly from November.

Wellcome Trust, a British biomedical research charity, which is funding the effort with a £3.2 million grant ($5.2 million, 4.1 million euros) said, “Ebola treatments are to be tested in West Africa for the first time.”

The charity said there had been some experiments with treatments already “but none has yet been tested for efficacy and safety in humans with Ebola” and scientists underlined that months of cautious work lay ahead.

David Heymann, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine suggested that plasmapheresis, where serum is taken from survivors and their antibodies given to patients, could be a valuable tool in the battle to contain the epidemic.

“This would be a sustainable method of providing support to patients if it were effective, but unfortunately it has never been tested in a clinical setting, even though it has been used ad hoc many times,” he said at a press conference at Wellcome’s headquarters in London.

Heymann said that they hoped to collect enough serum for trials to begin once suitable sites had been identified.

Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said that William Pooley, the British nurse who recovered after contracting the disease in Sierra Leone, had volunteered his blood plasma.

Pooley was treated with ZMapp, and clinical tests of this experimental drug, along with anti-viral drugs, will also begin once possible sites for the trials in the affected countries have been established.

Health workers must also set up infrastructure and recruit personnel, pending WHO recommendations on which products to test first.

The first tests could take place “by November”, according to Peter Horby, Senior Clinical Research Fellow at Oxford University.

Wellcome added that the initiative, whose partners include the World Health Organisation (WHO), would aim to “fast-track trials of the most promising drugs”, but warned that it would take several months before any treatments bore fruit, and that they would only succeed as part of a wide raft of initiatives to combat the disease.

Several pharmaceutical companies are taking part in the tests, and will provide key data on safety and production abilities.

UK envoy: No final decision on visa bond for Nigerians

The British High Commissioner in Nigeria has thrown more light on the controversial 3000 pounds bond being proposed as a condition for the granting of visitor visas to Nigerians, saying no final decision has been taken yet on the issue.

High Commissioner Andrew Pocock, in a statement after a meeting in Abuja today with Nigeria’s foreign minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru said “the details of a pilot scheme are still being worked out. No final decision has been made”.

Pocock added that what the the British Government has in the pipeline is ” a very small scale trial of the use of financial bonds as a way of tackling abuse in the immigration system, which occurs when some people overstay their visa terms”.

“If the pilot were to go ahead in Nigeria it would affect only a very small number of the highest risk visitors. The vast majority would not be required to pay a bond. Those paying bonds would receive the bond back, if they abided by the terms of their visa,”, he said.

According to the high commissioner, over 180,000 Nigerians apply to visit the UK each year.

” About 70% or around 125,000, of those applicants are successful. Travel between our two countries is a key part of our strong cultural and business relationship. Financial bonds would be focussed on only a tiny minority of potential abusers. It would NOT be a “£3000 visa charge” as some media reporting has alleged.”

Pocock promised Ambassador Ashiru to furnish the Nigerian government “more details of the policy”, when decided “in the spirit of our long standing friendship, and our wish to help bona fide Nigerian visitors to work, study or do business in the United Kingdom.”

The statement was signed by Rob Fitzpatrick, Head of Press and Public Affairs Section of the British High Commission in Abuja.

Earlier reports by the UK’s Sunday Times said the visa bond will come on stream from November this year and will affect ‘high risk’ visa applicants from Nigeria, India and Ghana, Pakistan, Bangladesh and sri Lanka.

Visitors aged 18 and over would be forced to hand over £3,000 ($4,600, 3,500 euros) from November for a six-month visit visa.

They will forfeit the money if they overstay in Britain after their visa has expired.

Ambassador Ashiru at the meeting with Pocock blasted the visa policy as “discriminatory”.

The minister described the policy “as not only discriminatory but also capable of undermining the spirit of the Commonwealth family.”

Ashiru told the British diplomat that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, “has a responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect the interest of Nigerians who may be affected by the proposed policy, if finally introduced,” the statement said.

Source: PM News