Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Saraki breaks silence on Senate refusal to confirm Buhari’s nominees

EFCC reacts to Fayose’s victory, reveals next action

Nigerian Senate to clampdown on bitcoin, ponzi scheme operators

Nigerian Army embarks on road project in Sambisa forest

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said it had embarked on road construction project in the Sambisa Forest as part of the ongoing clearance operation to dislodge remnants of Boko Haram insurgents.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Kukasheka, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Maiduguri.

Kukasheka said that the army had begun construction of access road to open the forest and link  communities around.

He listed the projects as Gwoza-Yamtake-Bita-Tokumbere-Sambisa and Gwoza-Yamtake-Bita roads.

“In its efforts to make Sambisa forest habitable and also training ground, the Nigerian Army is following up the ongoing clearance operations with road construction into main heartland of the forest and adjoining communities.

“Already, work has commenced in earnest on Gwoza-Yamteke-Bitta road, as well as the reconstruction of the road from Gwoza-Yamteke-Bitta-Tokumbere, leading into Tokum forest”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the military authorities had set up a military training facility in Sambisa Forest after dislodging the insurgents’ tactical ground at Camp Zero.

Also, the Borno State Government on Monday restricted vehicular movement on three major roads in the state, to prevent fleeing insurgents from escaping military offensive from infiltrating into the communities.

Photos: Nigerian Student Abducted & Murdered In Cyprus

A 28-year-old Nigerian student was assaulted, abducted and murdered by 8 persons around Çanakkale Pond near Famagusta, Cyprus, Police investigation revealed.

Kennedy Toomwabwa Dede was reportedly assaulted by 8 people this week when he was kidnapped from his car and taken to the Çanakkale Pond, where he was eventually killed.

Three Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus citizens, have been arrested in connection with the case. The police are still investigating.

Leicester ask Man City to pay £90m for Mahrez

Leicester City have put a £90million fee on Riyad Mahrez, amid interest from Premier League leaders Manchester City.

City are ready to pull off a stunning deadline day move for Mahrez, with Leroy Sane ruled out for up to seven weeks with injury.

“I have interest in a lot of players,” Pep Guardiola said when pushed on his interest in the Algerian.

“The window is open until the 31st.

“I spoke many times with club to see what is best with the players we have. We have just three strikers, with Raheem, for next month or month and a half. We have to find solutions.”

Manchester City have already seen a £50million bid rejected, while Mahrez has handed in a transfer request according to Sky Sports, in a bid to force through the move.

Twitter Gist: The End Time Mom...

End time mother or the real MVP?

A baby's car seat catches fire due to sun reflection on the seat

A horrified mother has shared a panicked warning with other parents, after she said her daughter's car seat caught fire due to the sun's reflection on a mirror.
Amanda Kenny DeAngelis, from Texas, took to Facebook last week to explain that she was in the process of taking her baby daughter Mila out of her car seat when she noticed smoke rising from the contraption.
The mother said she has used mirrors along with car seats with all of her children and hasn't
Click To Read more »

SEC probe: Panel recommends Gwarzo’s dismissal

The Administrative Panel of Inquiry into allegations of violation of Public Service Rules by suspended Director-General (D-G) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, has recommended his dismissal from public service.

He is to be “dismissed from public service of the federal government for holding the position of a Director in private companies (Medusa Investment Limited and Outbound Investments Limited) while serving as the Director-General of SEC in breach of Public Service Rule (PSR) 030424, PSR, 030402 and Section 6 of the Investments and Securities Act, 2007,” it was recommended according to a presidency sources.

In addition, the panel headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Alh. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, recommended that Mr. Gwarzo should refund the N104, 851, 154.94 which he illegally collected as severance package from SEC.

Sources said that it was recommended that Mr. Gwarzo be referred to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for further investigation of the allegation of using his position as Director-General to influence the award of contracts to Outbound Investments Limited in view of provisions of Sections 57 (12) (b) and 58 (5) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

On the other senior staff:  Mrs. Anastasia Braimoh and Mr. Abdulsalam Naif, who ran into trouble along with Mr. Gwarzo, the panel recommended that they be referred to SEC for appropriate disciplinary actions, in line with the provisions of the Staff Manual of SEC.

Within a week of his appointment as D-G of SEC in May, 2015 Mr. Gwarzo requested that he be paid the sum of N104.8 million as severance package in respect of the end of his appointment as Executive Commissioner, a position he occupied for two years and four months.

The request, made via a memo dated May 26, 2015, was referred to Mrs. Chukwuogor Franca, then acting Head of Legal Department.

It was learnt that Mrs. Chukwuogor advised against honouring the request made by the then DG, as according to her, the D-G was still working in SEC.  In spite of the legal advice, Mr. Gwarzo had his way.

On his breach of PSR by holding his position as director in two private companies while working in SEC, the panel, as learnt obtained Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) documents which indicated that Mr. Gwarzo was still listed as a shareholder as at November 7, 2017.

It was learnt that the former D-G told the panel that he resigned his directorship of the said companies in 2012, contrary to CAC documents.

It was equally established that he was still a signatory to the bank account of Medusa Investment Limited with one of the new generation banks, as at the time the panel was sitting.

“When the panel confronted Mr. Gwarzo with copies of letters dates 24 July, 2015 (Request for Change of Account Officer) and that of 16th August 2016 (Request for Naira Credit Card for Directors of Medusa Investments Limited) he admitted to have authored and signed the said letters , but claimed that it was a regrettable action,” it was learnt.

The ruling is  coming after the feud between Oando Plc and one of the shareholders of the company, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal over shareholding structure has come to an end following the intervention of Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on the matter recently.

Meanwhile, at the public hearing on the conflict between Minister of Finance and the suspended Director General of SEC, organised by House of Representative Committee in Capital Markets and other Institutions, Adeosun told the Committee chaired by Rep Tajudeen Yusuf, PDP, Kogi that “Munir remains suspended and I’m sending my recommendations to Mr. President today (Tuesday).”

Gwarzo through his Counsel, GUK  Igwe, SAN, in his submission had also noted that the Minister does not have such a right to suspend the DG.

The Finance Minister explained that the Ministry approved the Commission’s recommendations on the technical suspension of the shares of Oando Plc, which was forwarded barely a week after the suspension was imposed on the oil firm.

While responding to Gwarzo’s allegations bothering on having shares in Oando Plc as levelled against her, Adeosun,  dismissed the report, saying that she has no shares nor  does any member of her family has single share in the oil company.

On his part, Christopher Gabriel, Head of Legal Services in Federal Ministry of Finance contended that Gwarzo’s interests contravened the Code of Conduct for Public Officers set out in the 5th Schedule of the Constitution, Section 311 of the Penal Code Act and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act.

He said contrary to the position of Gwarzo that the “Minister cannot suspend him, technically she can suspend SEC DG.

Speaking earlier, Munir Gwarzo, the suspended SEC Director General alleged that the Minister, who had earlier queried him over the proposed forensic audit of Oando Plc, eventually approved it.

Reacting to allegations bothering on  corrupt practices and other related offences , Gwarzo admitted being a director and shareholder in Outbound Investment Limited, Northwind Environmental Services and Micro-Technologies Nigeria Limited.

It was alleged that Gwarzo diverted to personal use vehicles belonging to SEC despite collecting N84.3 million as monetized allowances for four cars, an action that is in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers, Section 311 of the Penal Code Act and Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act.

Meanwhile, in  his opening remarks, Yusuf Tajudeen, chairman, House Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions noted that the lingering risks if left unchecked may impact negatively on the capital market, hence the prompt intervention of the House to promote mutual harmony and investment drive into the economy. He assured all parties that the Committee will be fair, firm and frank when and where necessary.

Group lambasts Obasanjo, asks Buhari to contest

The Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria, which claims to be a coalition of 200 groups, has lambasted former President Olusegun Obasanjo for asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to contest in 2019.

Addressing supporters during a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the National Coordinator of FONGON, Mr. Wole Badmus, asked the President to ignore Obasanjo, whom he described as an attention seeker.

Badmus said Obasanjo could have met Buhari to advise him in private but because he had a hidden agenda, he decided to make the issue public.

He said, “Obasanjo, with due respect, whether he has good intentions for the country or not, we cannot really say but we know if you want to identify the problems of Nigeria, 50 per cent can be attributed to Obasanjo.

“Letter writing is not new to the man either. In his book titled, ‘My Command’, you will see that Obasanjo blamed all the actors in the Civil War from Murtala Muhammed to Benjamin Adekunle. The only person he exonerated was himself.

“In ‘My Watch’, he claimed the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was not the leader of the Yoruba and even attacked him. He castigated his Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar.”

Badmus said Obasanjo should stop trying to impose his will on Nigerians, adding that the former President lacked the right to act as the conscience of the nation.

He said the former President, who attempted to perpetuate himself in power, lacked the moral right to tell another person not to contest for a second term.

Badmus said, “You spent eight years and attempted to get four more years. You don’t have the moral right to tell someone who has not spent up to four years not to spend an additional four years. It is not done, we will not allow that.”

The FONGON coordinator said Buhari must be re-elected for fighting corruption, increasing power generation, reducing imports, creating jobs, building quality infrastructure and getting the nation out of economic recession.

World Oldest Man Dies At 113

The world's oldest man has died just over a month after celebrating his 113th birthday.

Francisco Nunez Olivera, who was 10 years old when World War One broke out, died on Monday in the village of Bienvenida in southwestern Spain where he had lived throughout his life.

On Tuesday afternoon, he was set to be buried in Bienvenida.

Born on December 13, 1904, relatives credited his long life to a diet based on vegetables he grew on his own land and a daily glass of red wine.

Every morning for breakfast, he would have sponge cake made with olive oil and a glass of milk, they said.

Spain has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which doctors often attribute to the country's Mediterranean diet.

Ngige recants N1bn Ekwueme burial expenses claims

Stop playing God, there are alternatives to Buhari – Afenifere attacks El-Rufai

Shehu Sani reacts to Buhari’s emergence as AU’s anti-corruption champion

"Saraki and I have no reason to dump APC"

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, on Tuesday said the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, he and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State have no reason to return to the Peoples Democratic Party, which they left prior to the 2015 general elections.

Ahmed in a statement by his spokesperson,   Dr. Muyideen Akorede, said insinuation that they were to leave the APC was untrue.

According to him,  recent interview with a newspaper, did not suggest that he was planning to leave, rather, he was stating the conditions under which he and other political stakeholders in the state left the PDP.

The governor emphasised that he, Saraki and other governors left the PDP due to impunity, disregard for the rule of law and lack of inclusiveness in the party at the time following extensive consultations with stakeholders and supporters.

He, therefore, declared that he, Saraki, other stakeholders and supporters were committed to the APC. He added that they currently had no intention to return to the PDP.

The governor also urged those commenting on the matter to read the said interview properly, rather than relying on social media headlines and insinuations to draw uninformed conclusions.

He also advised disgruntled elements within the APC that were urging him and Saraki to hasten their exit from the party to educate themselves with that interview and be appropriately informed instead of making what he called, ‘misguided comments’ on issues they had no knowledge of.

He restated his full support for the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He commended Buhari for his strides in governing the country and for the unprecedented federal projects in Kwara State, which he added, were aided by the intervention of Saraki.

Meanwhile, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, has said that the Assembly has no intention to muzzle or gag the media.

He expressed commitment to freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution, adding that such expression and freedom of the media must be within the confines of the law.

He stated that a recent resolution of the Assembly  was not meant to and should not be misconstrued to mean a clamp down on the media or the opposition.

The Assembly following what it called a flagrant disregard of the Code of the National  Broadcasting Commission, had urged the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kamaldeen Ajibade  to make a strong representation to the hierarchy of the NBC on the need for broadcast stations in the state to comply with the Broadcasting Code or face sanction.

2019: INEC to announce results electronically

The Independent National Electoral Commission says apart from giving physical copies of results of the 2019 elections to party agents, it will also be announcing the results electronically.

INEC, therefore, called on telecoms service providers to assist the commission.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this when he visited the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the same mechanism would be used in the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections in July and September, respectively.

Yakubu said, “We are planning for full deployment (of electronic and manual transmission) this year in governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun. Thereafter we intend to deploy the system in the 2019 general elections.

“INEC has developed the hardware and software. However, we rely on the operators for the transmission of both the figures and scanned images of result sheets. We wish to assure Nigerians that while we transmit the raw figures from polling units, scanned images of the result sheets will also be transmitted electronically in addition to physical copies given to party agents at polling units.”

Yakubu appealed to the NCC as the regulator to facilitate a meeting between INEC and the telecommunications operators with the aim of assisting the electoral body in the conduct of the election.

The INEC boss added, “Similarly, we would like the NCC to facilitate discussions with operators on ways of enhancing their corporate social responsibility to Nigeria’s electoral process. An immediate area of interest to INEC is how the operators can help in voter education and publicity.

“Towards the 2019 general elections, we would like the operators in collaboration with INEC, to send bulk SMS and possibly voice messages as well on the imperative of peaceful elections, the collection of Permanent Voter Cards by registered voters and directional information on the location of polling units for easy access to voters.”

In his response, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC said his agency would try to help the electoral body to ensure that the 2019 elections are free, fair and credible.

Dabatta said the NCC would try to improve the security of the communications system before the 2019 election so that it would be effective for the dissemination of election results.

$195m contract: Reps give Amaechi 72 hours to produce documents

Former EFCC Chairman, Ribadu breaks silence on Buhari’s anti-corruption war

Buhari helped Fulani herdsmen ‘graduate’ from killing farmers to NNPC staff

Cameroonian Soldiers ‘Invade’ Nigerian Community

About 100 Cameroonian soldiers have allegedly crossed international borders, invading Danare community in Boki Local Government of Cross River State, The Nation learnt last night.

It was gathered that the soldiers claimed they were after Cameroonian militants, who took refuge in the community.

Over 3,000 refugees from Cameroon, who fled following unrest, are in the border community.

A group of Danare indigenes, led by a former councillor in Boki Council, Mr. Dauglas Ogar, told reporters in Calabar yesterday that the soldiers stormed their village about 2am on Monday, shooting
sporadically and forcing people to scamper for safety.

He said: “Our people did not sleep yesterday (Monday) because gendarmes from Cameroun invaded our community, claiming to look for Ambazonia militants. The militants, who have since taken refuge in the surrounding forests, also shot into the air. The community was in chaos and fear.

“It is important to recall the sad invasion of Danare community by Cameroonian soldiers on January 25, during which more than 80 well-armed soldiers crossed the international boundary at Danare-Daddi/Danare-Bodam and abducted five people.

“When leaving, they said their mission was to warn residents that they would return to carry out a military raid, which, according to them, is intended to rid Danare communities of Ambazonia refugees.

“The soldiers threatened to return to Danare to attack Southern Cameroonians taking refuge in the community, following crisis in Ambazonia, which resulted in influx of refugees from neighbouring Southern Cameroon villages to Danare and other Nigerian communities.

“This is a calculated offensive from Cameroonian military on Nigeria. They have shown defiance to supremacy of Nigerian territorial sovereignty and defied the consequences of crossing international boundary to carry out intimidation and harassment of people.

“The present situation shows how weak the Cameroon government sees Nigeria and its security consciousness. They have weighed the vulnerability of defenceless residents of Danare and concluded that they are capable of attacking the residents.”

I fear nobody, we’ll fix another date soon – Kwankwaso speaks on shelved Kano trip

Kenyan opposition leader swears himself in as ‘president’

Panel recommends Gwarzo’s dismissal, asks him to refund N104m severance package

Mark Salling, 'Glee' Actor, Dead At 35

Actor Mark Salling, best known for his role as Noah "Puck" Puckerman on Fox's musical comedy-drama "Glee," has died.

"I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning," attorney Michael Proctor said in a statement yesterday.

"Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment."

Los Angeles Police said they were called to investigate a report of a death in a wooded area near Tujunga at 8:50 am local time on Tuesday morning but could not confirm any further information.

Salling was indicted in May 2016 on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor and was scheduled for sentencing March 7.

As part of a plea agreement, Salling was expected to be sentenced to four years to seven years in federal prison, followed by a 20-year period of supervised release and registration as a sex offender.

Husband shames wife’s careless bathroom habits in a letter asking her to change her bathroom etiquette

A rather hygienic, organized mam who doesn't like his wife's bathroom habits and didn't know how to pass the message across without arguments,  has written a rather over-the-top letter to her in hopes she’ll change her bathroom etiquette. 

The letter, to his partner Rosie, was shared to Facebook by ABC Brisbane. The letter, entitled ‘RE: The Bathroom’, was left on the bathroom mirror for Rosie to find – It read: ‘To my darling Rosie,
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly signs for LA Galaxy

Manchester United striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is on the verge of joining LA Galaxy in the Major Soccer League.

According to L’Equipe, Ibrahimovic has already signed a contract with the California club.
The 36-year-old has never made any secret of his desire to play in the US and is now set to end his spell at Old Trafford.
The report claims the deal was signed three weeks ago, with an American source close to the club and the MLS divulging the information.
Ibrahimovic has entered the final six months of his United contract and Jose Mourinho stated at the beginning of this week that he would not stand in the player’s way should he ask to leave.
“Zlatan is in his last year of his contract. If that is true and Zlatan wants a future in another country then we are here to help and create conditions for that to happen, not to make his life difficult,” Mourinho said.

Strike: Nigerian government threatens to invoke ‘no work, no pay’ against SSANU, NASU, others

Stephanie Otobo Discredits Viral Online Video, Vows To To Mention Her Sponsors

Sule Lamido Visits Fayose, Solicits Support For Presidential Ambition

Buhari blows hot over killings, kidnappings in Nigeria

NPA gives Atiku, Tinubu’s Intels two weeks to pay $48m

Weah Vows To Change Liberia's Citizenship Laws

Liberia's President George Weah has called for the removal of a "racist" clause in the constitution which restricts citizenship to black people.

The clause was "unnecessary, racist and inappropriate", the ex-football star said in his first State of the Nation address since being elected president.

He also pledged to scrap the law that prohibits foreigners owning land.

Liberia was founded by freed US slaves in 1847 as "a refuge and a haven for freed men of colour".

Its constitution defines black people in the language of the time, as "persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent".

Other communities, like the estimated 4,000 Lebanese people who have lived in Liberia for generations, are barred from citizenship and, by extension, land ownership, this he says must change.

Black members of Congress attend the US State of the Union address wearing African Kente to protest Trump's vulgar comment (Photos)

 Black members of the United States Congress wore Ghanaian Kente material, during US president Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. Members of the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) wore brightly colored yellow, green, black and red kente cloths to President Trump's first State of the Union address, as a sign of defiance against his reported “sh*thole* comments about African and Caribbean countries. “The whole idea was to show solidarity with African and Carribbean countries. The members  sat stone-faced and unmoved. 
See more photos below...
Click To Read more »

Sunderland sign Ovie Ejaria

Sunderland land Nigerian descent Ovie Ejaria from Liverpool on loan till the end of the season.

Black Cats’ boss Chris Coleman is desperate to add to his squad as he hopes to keep his side in the Championship and he will be delighted if this deal gets over the line.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder is expected to sign a season-long loan agreement after Jurgen Klopp gave him the green light to leave Anfield in search of regular first-team football.

A former Arsenal trainee, Ejaria has made eight senior appearances for Liverpool but has not featured in the Premier League club’s first team this season.

Coleman wanted to take Ben Woodburn on loan too, but Klopp decided to keep the young Welshman around.

Apostle Suleman Pressured Me To Make False Confession - Stephanie Otobo (VIDEO)

A few days after Apostle Johnson Suleman released a video of Miss Stephanie Otobo apologising to him and saying she was hired by unnamed politicians to unhinge the preacher with a sex scandal, a newly released video has surfaced to show the confession was scripted by Apostle Suleman and his handlers.

The almost nine-minute video was recorded on  June 21, 2017, by Canada-based Worship Media. Introducing Miss Otobo in the video were two people Chidi, and Erica. They said they met Miss Otobo last year after the sex scandal broke between her and Apostle Suleiman had left her broken. She sought spiritual and moral support from them, which they offered.                                                             
Chidi and Erica said Miss Otobo told them that she was under pressure from Apostle Suleiman to apologize and lie that it was the Nigerian government that hired her to destroy him. In the video, Miss Otobo herself said she was phoned by Apostle Suleiman's agents in Canada, US and Nigeria, urging her to return to Nigeria and tell the lies that had been scripted by the preacher.           

When the pressure piled on unbearably and she decided to visit Nigeria follow up on her case slammed against her by the police working closely with Suleman, Miss Otobo met with Chidi and Erica and requested to have a video recorded, as she did not know what could happen to her in Nigeria. She urged them to release the video in case any untoward event happened on her visit to Nigeria.

Speaking, Miss Otobo thanked those who have supported her and stated that Apostle Suleman was pressuring her family and others to lie that the government was behind the scandal.                   

"This is what Suleman is asking me to do," she said.   

She stated that she didn't know how far the preacher was ready to go to extract a confession from her. She wondered why Apostle Suleman didn't see the scandal coming if he is a true man of God.                                           
Chidi, who introduced the video, said he received a text from a source apparently working with  Apostle Suleiman on Sunday, warning him against releasing any more video claiming that over time, Miss Otobo had confessed that he was also part of the plan to destroy the preacher. The "aide" also said the preacher's camp is ready to release videos showing Miss Otobo saying how Chidi was part of the plot. Chidi, however, said he had passed on the message to his lawyers.

Last week, and days after she appeared in a court hearing in Lagos and also filed an affidavit asking a Lagos high court to demand to have the priest manhood examined and compared to those she took from phone sex session, Ms. Otobo suddenly disappeared after meeting with her lawyers in Lagos. On Saturday morning she was shown on video "apologizing" to the controversial priest to the consternation of church members who apparently didn't know it was all scripted.

 Since appearing in Apostle Suleman's church for the confession, Ms. Otobo has not been heard of again, fuelling speculation that she might be in danger of being held against her will.


Video credit: Sahara TV

Obasanjo and the extent of presidential powers by Reuben Abati

VIDEO: Buhari will die before election if he campaigns for 2nd term - Prophet Akinbodunse

Kenyan opposition leader Odinga sworn in as ‘president’

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga had himself sworn in as an alternative president Tuesday in front of thousands of supporters, three months after an election he claims was stolen from him.

Authorities have repeatedly warned that such an inauguration was treasonous and that Odinga could face arrest.

However as the wording of the oath was different to that in the constitution, the consequences of this act of political theatre were unclear.

“I Raila Amolo Odinga, in full realisation of the high calling, assume the office of the People’s President of the Republic of Kenya,” he said in the brief and chaotic ceremony, prompting the sea of people to erupt with joy.

“We have accomplished our promise to Kenyans,” said Odinga before quickly departing, the packed venue emptying out in minutes.

The ceremony followed hours of uncertainty as supporters waited in the baking sun and commentators speculated over whether the 72-year-old would actually go through with the “inauguration” that was already delayed in December.

It also came as outrage hit the media fraternity after government allegedly warned broadcasters not to cover the event, and pulled major television network Citizen TV off the air mid-morning.

“President (Uhuru) Kenyatta expressly threatened to shut down and revoke the licences of any media house that would broadcast live,” the Editors’ Guild said in a statement, referring to a meeting that media bosses were summoned to last week.

“The guild is appalled by the details of the meeting which was held under an atmosphere of intimidation for the media representatives present.”

Police steer clear
Odinga, a veteran opposition leader, has refused to accept Kenyatta’s re-election, which came after a deeply divisive 2017 polls season in which rights activists say at least 92 people were killed.

First was an election on August 8, won by Kenyatta and then annulled in a historic decision by the Supreme Court, which ordered a re-run on October 26.

Claiming the poll would not be fair, Odinga boycotted the second vote and Kenyatta won with 98 percent.

Observers had said that the swearing-in would only further divide the nation and the crackdown on press freedom is likely to add to concerns about the state of Kenyan democracy.

While government and police had initially vowed to block the inauguration, officers kept their distance on the day.

“Let them have the park and carry on with their political activities as long as it is within the law,” a senior officer said.

“We are not interested in unnecessary confrontations.”

‘People’s assemblies’
At the Uhuru Park venue, a middle-aged businessman in a suit who did not want to give his name, told AFP the swearing-in was highly symbolic.

“There is a psychological benefit that people feel their voices are heard, but more important it will mark the real start of our resistance,” he said.

“The government has completely detached itself from the people, but what are the instruments of power without the people?”

Since boycotting the re-run poll, citing a lack of reform at the election commission, the National Super Alliance (NASA) strategy has been to challenge Kenyatta’s legitimacy by seeking to establish parallel government structures.

Opposition politicians have convened so-called “people’s assemblies” in some counties and the inauguration of Odinga as “people’s president” is seen as the culmination of this process.

The International Crisis Group warned in a statement that both Odinga and Kenyatta “are playing a high-stakes game of brinkmanship.”

“Given deep social polarisation and a history of violent clashes between protesters and police, the two leaders’ actions could result in significant bloodshed. They need to pull back.”

The group said Kenyatta — who has rejected all efforts to engage with his rival — should agree to an audit of the electoral authorities, while leaders should engage on reforms to lower the stakes of political competition.

President Buhari puts in place measures to tackle insecurity – Lai Muhammed

The entrenchment of national security has been identified as the the top priority of President Muhammadu Buhari’s adminstration, as he puts in place measures to ensure that threats to peace and security are dealt with, noting that socio-economic initiatives of his government could only be achieved through adequate security.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhamed made the disclosure in Ibadan Tuesday, at the opening of a two-day national conference on “Culture, Peace & National Security: The Role of Traditional Rulers,” held at the Prof. Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, UCH, Ibadan, organised by the National Institute of Cultural Orientation in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The minister, represented by the deputy director, External Cultural Relations, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mr. Richard Makam, who noted that it was a known fact that there could be no development in an environment devoid of peace and security, observed that until Nigerians were able to entrench the culture of peace and non-violence the country’s polity, all efforts geared towards development would only be a mirage.

He disclosed that: “The president has therefore put in measures in place that threats to peace and national security are promptly dealt with. Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, restiveness in the Niger Delta, incidences of kidnapping and armed robbery and recently conflicts between herdsmen and host communities are some of these threats to peace.”

“There is no gainsaying that the achievement of sustainable peace and security in Nigeria is the responsibility of all stakeholders and not just that of security agencies. Our esteemed royal fathers, who are the custodians of our culture and traditions, the media, civil society organisations, religious bodies and everyone else have important roles to play in the quest for peace and security in the country,” the minister emphasised.

Speaking in the same vein, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, who was the key-note speaker at the conference, pointed out that it was an open secret that the country was no doubt, at a point of dilemma in terms of national security, adding that, it was imperative for the royal fathers to be sensitised and effectively mobilised them to complement the efforts of the government in the quest of entrenching national security.

Ajimobi, represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr. “Gbade Ojo, argued that a number of security breaches across the country was not unconnected with failure of intelligence, thereby calling on the traditional rulers to work very closely with the government and also cooperate with security operatives in their domains.

The governor, while commending the security personnel in the country for their untiring efforts, also charged them traditional rulers to begin exposing miscreants in their domains, as he said, government could not do it alone.

“In pre-colonial Africa, our communities enjoyed relative peace. Why? Traditional leaders then were not only the custodian of our culture but security values. The process of cultural socialization is weakened now. We need to wake up and play our role as leaders, so that our children and generations yet unborn know what our societal norms and values are.

“In the past, criminals were exposed and ostracized from the community, but in our contemporary societies we unduly accommodate, shield and celebrate criminals.”

“Not only that, in terms of alternative conflict resolution, traditional rulers were very effective in the past. Today much of litigations in court end up with rancor and bad-blood,” Ajimobi added.

As a way of promoting cultural values, the governor posited that: “House of Assembly in each state may devote one or two days in a week to adoption of vernacular in the conduct of the business of the house. Not only that our mode of dressing too should be promoted.”

“Culture defines us as a being. Virtually everything we are is defined by our culture, language, custom, societal norms and values cum religion among others are dictated by our culture.”

He, however, charged the traditional rulers to wake up from their cultural slumber, just he said any human collectivity that fails to promote its culture and transmit same from generation-to-generation might eventually go into extinction.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the acting Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr.Louise Eriomala, added that the national conference was borne out of the fact peace and security of lives and property have been globally reorganized as a pre-condition for progress and development for any human society, hence the need for urgent steps to be taken to address the key issues that were capable of escalating conflicts, which he said, included poverty, ethno-religious conflicts, electoral violence, nepotism, inequality and marginalization.

He, however, called for the need for constitutional role of traditional rulers in the country in that regard.

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Governor Wike calls for the decentralisation of security services

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has reiterated his call for the decentralisation and depoliticization of security services as a way of resolving the deadly security challenges facing the country.

The governor noted that that the security services as presently constituted cannot address the security challenges facing the country, where lives are wasted regularly, while governors are helpless.
Speaking during the 9th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government has taken steps to improve her security through the setting up of a neighbourhood watch.

He said: “For us in Rivers State, our position on State and community policing is very clear. While we join our voices to other well-meaning Nigerians to strongly and emphatically demand for the decentralization and depoliticization of security services, we are also not resting on the back of helplessness to do nothing.

” Already, we have forwarded a bill to the State House of Assembly to establish the Neighbourhood Security Corps to cooperate, support and complement the efforts of the regular security agencies in policing our communities and advancing their security.”

The governor noted that: ” The reality before the nation is that centralized policing has flatly failed and is incapable of resolving the enormous security challenges of a vast and culturally diverse country like Nigeria

“And even as we may continue to live in denial, the recurring bloodbaths in Benue, Taraba and other States have once again exposed the weaknesses of our country’s centralized policing system as well as the frustrations and near complete helplessness of State Governors in their quest to provide adequate security for the communities and the people that they govern.

“We can only imagine the magnitude of the sufferings and pains ordinary Nigerians are going through when the daily pains of violence and insecurity are added to the unending pressure of poverty, unemployment and lack of development.”

Governor Wike said that at a time like this, it will be ungodly for good men to remain silent while the nation is dangerously wobbling. He urged all well-meaning persons to be counted among those who will work for the resolution of the security challenges facing the country.

He said that Rivers State is peaceful, working and brimming with ample economic opportunities for investors to take advantage of.

The governor said the traditional institution must wake up to their responsibilities by lending their strong and respected voices to the national agitations for true federalism, resource control, greater devolution of powers, as well as State and community policing and good governance in the country.

He said: “In all these, our traditional rulers have significant roles to play to protect and defend the nation’s unity and advance the rights of our people to democracy, good governance and development.”

Declaring the 9th General 9th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria open, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that his administration will take steps to promote security of lives and property.

He noted that security challenges seem to be deliberate and an attempt to undermine the nation’s territorial integrity.

Represented by the Minister of Interior, Lt General Abdulrahman Danbazzau, the President said that he is saddened by the wastage of human lives in different parts of the country.

He directed security agencies to identify and bring to book all those involved in deadly crime.

In a Keynote Address, Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris said that the police alone cannot tackle insecurity without the support of traditional rulers and their subjects.

In a paper titled: “Community Policing as a catalyst to crime prevention: the role of traditional rulers “, the Inspector General of Police said that community policing involves the engagement of the community in tackling security challenges.”

In his address, Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar requested governments at all levels to work towards enhancing security.

He urged the traditional rulers to take the camaraderie that exist in the forum to their respective communities for national peace.

Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Dandeson Jaja said Nigerians must rise above partisan consideration in the quest for peace.

Co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi urged Nigerians to keep politics aside, engage in peer review on ways to develop the country.

Odigie-Oyegun assures UK of Buhari’s commitment to 2015 campaign promises

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has assured the United Kingdom that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is committed to delivering on its 2015 campaign promises to Nigerians.

A statement by the party’s Media Office said the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, gave the assurance when receiving a delegation of the UK in Abuja on Tuesday.

Odigie-Oyegun highlighted the achievements recorded by the Buhari-led administration in the areas of economic diversification, infrastructure, anti-corruption and security, particularly in the North-East.

He commended the UK Government for its continued cooperation and support for the administration and Nigerians.

The chairman said that the meeting focused on the forthcoming 2019 general election and United Kingdom’s engagements in Nigeria.

Earlier, leader of the delegation, Mr Rob Dixon, had said that the UK would continue to support Nigeria in the development of democracy in the country.
Dixon, who is Head of West Africa Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, dwelt on common interests of both nations, especially the a peaceful general elections in 2019.

He said that London was interested on what the prospects for the campaign may be in the next 12 months.
The delegation included Deputy Head of Political Section, British High Commission, Mr Stuart Gardner and Senior Political Adviser of the Commission, Mr Osaro Odemwingie.

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President Buhari returns to Abuja after his inauguration as AU Anti-Corruption Champion

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday returned to Abuja after a successful outing at the 30th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was conferred as the anti-corruption Champion.

The theme of the 30th AU Summit was; “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.’’

The President’s aircraft landed at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi International Airport Abuja at about 2.20p.m.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, Inspector-General of Police Idris Ibrahim, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Musa Bello, Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ahmed Abubakar and other presidential aides were at the airport to welcome the President.

President Buhari had on Jan. 27 started his four-day engagement in Addis Ababa when he joined 14 other members of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union to discuss conflict and crisis situations across the continent.

PSC is a standing organ of the AU for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.

The meeting discussed the persistence of violent conflicts and crisis situations in some parts of the continent, the upsurge of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees, climate change and its consequences as well as the issue of the derailment of national development programmes.

The meeting also reviewed the situations in Somalia, South Sudan, Libya, Guinea Bissau, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

At the meeting, President Buhari had stressed the need to curb the flow of terrorism financing.

The President, who spoke under the theme, “Towards a Comprehensive Approach to Combat the Transnational Threat to Terrorism”, maintained that “concerted efforts must be made to dismantle the network between transnational organised crimes and terrorist organisations, and also to block the payment of ransom to terrorist groups.

Buhari expressed Nigeria’s grave concern over the increasing threats posed by transnational terrorism and the attendant humanitarian crisis.

The president also condemned in the strongest terms the continued activities of the terrorist groups in Africa, and around the world and called for more concerted action by the African body and the international community to address the global scourge.

According to him, in doing that, the conditions that are conducive to the spread of extremism, radicalisation and terrorism must first be addressed.

He added that collaborative measures must be taken to disrupt the recruitment of terrorists, their financing networks and the movement of foreign fighters.

Buhari disclosed that Nigeria had enacted domestic anti-terrorism laws that also deal with related issues such as kidnapping, drug peddling and gun-running.

He, however, noted  “terrorism cannot be defeated only through military force and law enforcement measures.

While formally launching the African Anti-Corruption Year 2018 during the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union on Sunday, Buhari described corruption as “one of the greatest evils of our time.’’

The President thanked his African colleagues for entrusting him with such a noble responsibility.

He pledged to do his best “to ensure that the anti-corruption agenda receive the attention it deserves and make the impact we all hope for, during 2018 and beyond.”

He said: “Corruption is indeed one of the greatest evils of our time. Corruption rewards those who do not play by the rules and also creates a system of distortion and diversion thereby destroying all efforts at constructive, just and fair governance.’’

The President, who noted that Africa had made some significant strides in enacting legal and policy frameworks such as the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) to address the vice, said the desired impact had been lacking.

“Fifteen (15) years after the adoption of the African Union Convention, 2018 provides a good starting point to take stock of progress made so far, assess what still needs to be done and devise new strategies to address new corruption challenges,” he said.

President Buhari and ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo had exchange pleasantries briefly before the opening ceremony of the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly.

Their contact marked the first time both men met since the controversial special letter released by Obasanjo criticizing Buhari’s administration and advising him not to seek re-election in 2019.

The latest reaction to Obasanjo’s letter came from a serving Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, who on Monday, advised the former president to allow Nigerians to determine Buhari’s eligibility or otherwise to re-contest the presidential election in 2019.

Shittu told State House correspondents in an interview that, “Obasanjo as a Nigerian has the right to hold an opinion.

According to him, if Obasanjo holds an opinion that Mr President has performed less than it should be, those of us who are in the position to know better has a right to also state the other side, which perhaps Obasanjo is ignorant of.

“You see, there are some people who enjoy engaging in sensationalism.

“With due respect to General Obasanjo, if you take his history over the last 30 years, there is hardly any regime other than his own that he did not criticize except Sani Abacha, who didn’t wait for Obasanjo to criticize him before he was sent to the gulag.

“So many Nigerians know that Obasanjo enjoys this type of sensationalisation’’.

President Buhari also attended the closing ceremony of the summit on Monday where the African Union inaugurated the Single African Air Transport Market.

BREAKING: Herdsmen attack NNPC officials working on petroleum pipelines in Benue state

Unknown armed men, suspected to be herdsmen have attacked and killed an official of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, while his group were busy working on the petroleum pipeline at Tse Torkula a border community between Nasarawa and Benue state in Guma local government area of the state.

It was gathered on Thursday that the NNPC officials were busy working on the pipeline from Nasarawa state when they came under heavy fire from the armed men which also left some of the officials injured and hospitalized.

Confirming the development, the Benue state Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Owosenyi said the attack could be regarded as the handiwork of bandits operating in the said area.

Ekwueme deserves more than N1bn burial - APGA

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Dr. Victor Oye, on Tuesday said the late Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, deserves more than N1bn burial budget from the Federal Government.

Oye’s reaction came following the assertion by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, that President Muhammadu Buhari had expended about N1bn on Ekwueme from the day the Federal Government took over his medical bills to date.

Ngige said the amount covered roads rehabilitation in Anambra State and neighbouring communities of Abia and Imo states, and sundry expenses.

Speaking with our correspondent at Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State on Tuesday, Oye described the late Ekwueme as a man of means who, on his own, achieved greatness.

He said, “What is N1bn to Ekwueme? He deserved more than that.

“Ekwueme is worth more than N100bn by his personal achievements. He was a rich man by every definition.

“If I were the Federal Government, I wouldn’t have pronounced the figure because Ekwueme deserved more than that. He deserved a befitting burial for what he did for this country.

“He was a detribalised Nigerian; wealthy but humble.”

Describing Ekwueme as the highest ranking Igbo man that ever existed since after the civil war of 1967-1970, Oye said, “Nigerians yet unborn would remember this great man because his contributions to national development were immense.”

The APGA leader suggested three ways the late VP could be immortalised: by naming a street at the capital territory, Abuja, after him; setting up a foundation in memory of him; and naming of a federal university after him.

He commended President Buhari and the Anambra State Governor,  Willie Obiano, for their efforts in ensuring that Ekwueme is given befitting burial on Friday.

BREAKING: EFCC hasn’t violated Patience Jonathan’s rights – Court

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, against the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of violating her various rights.

Patience had in her suit filed on June 30, 2017, accused the EFCC of harassing her over her political views she held in 2015.

She alleged that the anti-graft commission resorted to invasion of houses linked to her, and obtaining interim forfeiture orders against accounts‎ and houses belonging to her, her non-government organisation and her family members.

But, delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice John Tsoho, ruled that none of her complaints against the EFCC was sustainable.

The judge ruled that none of her rights, including rights to fair hearing,  own property, family life, dignity of human person, and freedom from discrimination, was violated by the actions of the EFCC in the agency’s handling of the investigations of bank accounts and properties linked to her and her relatives.

He held that the former First Lady having failed to prove her allegations against the commission, was not entitled to any of the six prayers, including N2bn damages, sought in the suit.

The judge noted that Patience’s case had been weakened by the fact that the EFCC had said its investigations were ongoing.

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BREAKING: Manchester City sign Aymeric Laporte

Manchester City have signed the central defender Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.

The Premier League leaders met the 23-year-old’s £57.2m release clause last week in a deal which makes him City’s record signing. They paid £55m for Kevin De Bruyne in 2015.

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Laporte has been with Athletic since 2012. He has played for various of France’s age-group teams and was called into the senior squad last year but did not get game time.

“I am very happy to be here,” said Laporte. “City are a club with a lot of ambition and they are one of the best teams in Europe. I am looking forward to working under Pep Guardiola and trying to help the club to achieve success. It means a lot that the club have shown faith in me and I am excited to get started.”

Laporte, who has agreed a deal to join City until 2023, becomes Pep Guardiola’s sixth signing of the season.

“We have assessed defensive options and he is a player we have admired for a long time,” said Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football. “With his quality and ability to play out from the back, we feel Aymeric will fit in perfectly with Pep Guardiola’s playing style.”

Court Strikes Out Jonathan’s Wife’s N2b Suit

A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out a N2billion rights enforcement suit filed by former First Lady Patience Jonathan against the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC).

Mrs Jonathan alleged that the freezing of accounts belonging to her and some of her relations, following interim forfeiture orders got by the EFCC, and the alleged raiding and searching of her properties, violated her fundamental rights.

She sought, among others, a restraining order against the EFCC and N2billion damages should the court find that her rights were violated.

In a judgment yesterday, Justice John Tsoho held that although the case was not an abuse of court process, as argued by the EFCC, Mrs. Jonathan was not entitled to all the reliefs she sought because she failed to prove her case.

Justice Tsoho resolved two of the three issues identified for resolution against her. The first issue was whether the suit was not an abuse of court process, with the judge holding that it was not.

On the second issue, which relates to whether the various acts of the respondent (EFCC) against the applicant referred to in the affidavit in support of the application violated any fundamental rights of the applicant, the court said the acts alleged did not violate her rights

On the third issue, which was whether the applicant was entitled to the reliefs sought in the application, Justice Tsoho said Mrs. Jonathan was not entitled to any of the reliefs sought because she failed to prove her case.

Justice Tsoho faulted Mrs. Jonathan’s claim that the alleged indiscriminate freezing of her accounts and those of her relations, on allegation of money laundering without any invitation and interrogation amounted to a violation of her fundamental right to own property and fair hearing.

The judge noted that although the applicant fervently denied her involvement in criminal activities, it was her words against that of the respondent. He added that, on that score, it could be said that the steps taken by the respondent are based on reasonable suspicion of the applicant having committed a criminal offence.

Justice Tsoho relied on the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Dangaba vs. Federal Republic of Nigeria 2012 LPELR 19172, particularly pages 23 to 24, to hold that the ex-parte order obtained by the EFCC to attach her assets, which are under investigation, did not violate her rights to fair hearing and to own property.

The judge added that the powers of the court under sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act to grant such ex-parte orders, “convers special jurisdiction and is a statutory power which is superior to the rules of court, and the order granted under such power operates until the determination of the civil rights and obligations of the parties with regards to the properties under consideration.

“I am therefore guided by Dangaba case (supra) to hold that the applicant’s rights to own properties and fair hearing have not been violated by the acts of the respondent.”

The judge said she also failed to establish her claim that the EFCC invaded, raided and unlawfully conducted searches on her properties having not provided evidence to counter EFCC’s denial of being involved in the activities alleged.

On her allegation of the violation of her fundamental right against discrimination her political views expressed during the 2015   general elections there is no verifiable evidence before this court to prove that point, and it stands defeated.

The judge said in the absence of any verifiable evidence before the court to prove the point that she was being victimised and discriminated against because of her political view, the point stood defeated.

The judge said: “Having held that the applicant’s case is not made out, I further hold that the applicant is not entitled to any of the reliefs sought in this application. The applicant’s suit is accordingly struck out.”

2019: INEC To Announce Results Electronically

The Independent National Electoral Commission says apart from giving physical copies of results of the 2019 elections to party agents, it will also be announcing the results electronically.

INEC, therefore, called on telecoms service providers to assist the commission.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this when he visited the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the same mechanism would be used in the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections in July and September, respectively.

Lassa Fever: WHO Confirms 3 Deaths In Taraba

The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday confirmed that three persons died of Lassa fever in Taraba State.

A WHO Surveillance Officer, Dr. Bello Ahmed, disclosed this at a sensitisation workshop on Lassa fever in Jalingo, the state capital. The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Health.

Represented by Dr. Zeto Philip, the officer said 12 cases had been reported, three confirmed dead and three positive cases placed under close monitoring.

Bello, who said six local governments –Bali, Ibi, Gassol, Gashaka, Jalingo and Ardo-Kola – had been placed under red alert, explained that two deaths were recorded in Jalingo and one in Ardo-Kola, putting the state at 25 per cent infection rate.

The WHO representative explained that the survey was conducted between January 1 and January 28, with 367 contacts identified across the country.

Police Arrest Onitsha ‘Beggars’ Who Make N25k Daily

The police in Anambra State on Tuesday arrested two suspects who allegedly used abducted children for alms begging in Onitsha.

The suspects, the police said, made N25,000 daily from the act.

The suspects were identified as Friday Edet and Ezekiel Ubong, both from Akwa Ibom State.

The suspects, who had since been detained at the Onitsha prisons, claimed to be members of a humanitarian group.

Punch Metro gathered that the group specialised in parading children with different kinds of ailment and using them for alms begging.

They were arrested by the Fegge division of the Nigeria Police Force.

The Fegge Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Rabiu Garba, who confirmed the incident, said the suspects were notorious for using abducted children for alms begging in locations different from their states after inflicting injuries and ailments on them to attract public sympathy.
Garba said six boys with hernia, as well as a three-year-old girl with cancer of the lips, who were abducted by the suspects, had been rescued and reunited with their families.

Nigerian US Based Auto Dealer, Obi Okeke Buys Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Bugatti

A Nigerian man, Obi Okeke, popularly referred to as Doctor Bugatti, has purchased Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Bugatti Veyron for $2.5m

According to TMZ, the Bugatti dealer has intentions to resell the vehicle.

The Bugatti Veyron 2015 model goes 0-60 mph in 2.5 secs and has only had about 1,000 miles on it.

Okeke was the one who sold a similar whip to heavyweight champion, Floyd Mayweather, and he seems to be on the lookout for a buyer for his new ride.

Lagos Assembly Passes N1.046tr Budget For 2018

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the state 2018 appropriation bill of N1,046 trillion into law.

The passage followed the adoption of the report and recommendations of the House Ad hoc Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, headed by Gbolahan Yishawu.

The House approved N347. 039 billion as total recurrent expenditure from the consolidated revenue fund.

It also approved N699. 082 billion as the total capital expenditure from the development revenue fund for the year ending December 31, 2018.

Benue Govt Closes 2,219 Substandard Schools

The Benue State Government says it has closed down 2,2i9 secondary schools over poor standards.

The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dannis Ityavyar, a professor, disclosed this on Tuesday in Makurdi, the state capital while fielding questions from members of the House of Assembly, who sought explanations over the dwindling standards of education.

Mr. Ityavyar also disclosed that 19 tertiary institutions were closed down for the same reason.

He said that the state government was working toward improving the quality of education, declaring that mushroom schools would not be allowed to operate.

NFF Unveil Super Falcons’ New Coach [Pictured]

Swedish Coach, Thomas Dennerby, has officially been unveiled as the new Head Coach of Nigeria’s senior women’s team, the Super Falcons. Dennerby, a former Coach of the Women’s National Team of Sweden, won 34 caps for Swedish junior teams between 1975 and 1981.

He coached the Swedish Women’s Senior Team between 2005 and 2012, during which the team played at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2007 and 2011 FIFA World Cup finals, winning bronze at the latter tournament.

In announcing Dennerby’s appointment, NFF 2nd Vice President/Chairman of Strategy, Shehu Dikko, said: “The NFF decided to go for a coach of the calibre of Thomas Dennerby for three reasons: to sustain and enhance the Super Falcons’ dominance on the African scene; to take the Falcons and the other women teams to the next level of challenging for laurels at global competitions like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup and; to generally lay the foundation for the real development of women’s football in our country.”

Olamide Loses Mom

Rapper Olamide is mourning at this moment.The singer on his instagram page broke the news of his mom's death with heartbroken emojis saying 'Orisa bi iya o si '. May he Lord console him at this very difficult time.

Olamide lost his father few years ago.

Commissioner Slumps At Inter-Ministerial Briefing

The Bayelsa Commissioner for Special Projects, Fred Obua, today slumped and was rushed out of the venue of the ongoing inter-ministerial briefing to mark six years of Governor Seriake Dickson in office.

The governor was sworn into office for the second term on Feb. 14, 2016.

Mr. Obua, who was due to make presentation suddenly slumped and was rushed out of the Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, venue of the event and taken to an undisclosed private clinic.

NAN reports that the Master of Ceremony (MC), Tari Oweifawari, who earlier announced that Mr. Obua would make presentation at the event, later informed the gathering that the commissioner was “indisposed.’’

“The commissioner, who was also supposed to make his presentation is having health challenges and that won’t permit him to present his score card,’’ Ms. Oweifawari said.

The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson told journalists that Obua could not wait due to his health challenge.

“What do you want me to say, the man was rushed out because he has health challenge; he cannot wait for the presentation.

“He was to make his presentation, but due to his health, he was rushed out,’’ he said.


Wike Writes House Of Assembly, Requests Sack Of State Electoral Commission Ahead Of Local Govt Poll

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has requested the immediate sack and replacement of some key officials of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RISIEC) to prepare the body for a smooth local government elections.

Mr. Wike made the request on Tuesday in Port Harcourt in a letter to the Rivers House of Assembly.

The letter, read by the Speaker, Ikuinyi Ibani, asked for the sack and outright replacement of the affected officials was informed by the partisan attitude observed in them.

The letter said that security reports had shown high level of distrust among the affected officials, hence the need to inject new brains that would uphold neutrality which the commission represented.

The letter read in part: “I hereby request the removal of the following members by the House, this move is in the public interest and in accordance to section 201, subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“They are Dr. Chimaroke Ngba, Engr. Kombo Johnson, Mr. Ugbana Martins, Dr. Robinson Olulu, Chief Kingsley Ogbudibo and Dr. Mrs. Juliet Berewari.’’

On his part, the Speaker said that during an oversight function carried out by the House Committee on Local Government in 2017, the commission was found to have performed below its constitutional capacity.

“When report shows that some high profile members of such a sensitive commission were found wanting, there is need for urgent action such as this.

“There is, therefore, the need to inject new blood into the system in the interest of democracy and to further protect the third tier of government,’’ Mr. Ibani said.