Seun Onigbinde resigns his appointment As Technical Adviser

Seun Onigbinde, co-founder of BudgIT, has resigned his appointment as technical adviser at the ministry of budget and national planning.

Onigbinde’s appointment sparked off wild reactions from Nigerians on social media. A known critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, the tech expert was flayed for accepting to serve in an administration he once described as a failure.

On Sunday, the Buhari media Organisation (BMO) issued a statement, condemning the appointment of Onigbinde whom they said lacks honour and integrity for accepting to serve in a government he criticised.

But in a statement on his Medium page on Monday, Onigbinde announced he was quitting the job over the outrage.

”Kindly recall that I sent out a note recently on my interest to seek new experiences and that I would be working as a Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning for a short period,” he said.

”It is clear that recent media reports about my appointment have created a complex narrative, which I believe would engender an atmosphere of mistrust, as I planned to proceed.

”Upon further reflections on the furore that has been generated by my new role as the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, I humbly resign the appointment.”

Onigbinde said his interest is to see a Nigeria that grows and optimises resources for the benefits of all Nigerians.

He said his loyalty to the good cause of the country compelled him to accept the call to provide technical skills, adding that his recent experience has more than strengthened it.

”I also want to wish the Nigerian Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, well. I will always be of help to the federal government in my capacity as the Director of BudgIT, a critical fiscal transparency group, as I have been to several agencies. I would also work to ensure that BudgIT continues to build civic awareness on the right of every Nigerian to know how public resources are managed,” he said.

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Tribunal Dismisses Suit Seeking Atiku’s Disqualification on the grounds of Citizenship

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the argument by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar was not a Nigerian by birth.

In its ruling on Wednesday, the tribunal said its power does not include determining the qualification of a petitioner in an election dispute.

The court held that the respondents ought to file a cross-petition against the qualification of Atiku for the February 23 poll and not to use it as a defence.

Buhari earlier in his reply to Atiku’s petition seeking his disqualification for not possession prerequisite academic qualifications for the office of President had urged the court to disqualify Atiku on grounds that he was not a Nigerian.

According to Buhari and APC, Jada, the birthplace of Atiku in 1946 belonged to Cameroon and not part of Northern Nigeria.

Source: Channels TV

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To free 20 hostages, Katsina releases six suspected bandits.

The Kastina state government has released six suspected bandits detained by security agencies in exchange for 20 kidnap victims.

This is said to be part of a peace deal between bandits and the state government.

Eight local government areas in the state comprising Dandume, Sabuwa, Faskari, Kankara, Safana, Danmusa, Batsari and Jibiya have come under frequent attacks by bandits.

The situation was said to have prompted the state government to engage leaders of the bandits in a dialogue, during which agreements were reached to release some of their members held by security agencies.

During the handover of the bandits, Aminu Masari, governor of the state, said he and the security chiefs has been visiting the local government areas that shared borders with Rugu forests, which served as a hideout for the bandits.

Masari said part of the agreement was the handover of bandits in detention who had not been prosecuted.

According to him, the bandits would, in return, handover to government the people they kidnapped and were in their custody.

He said the process started on Monday, with the release of five people; two females and three males, while 20 more will be released before the end of September 10.

He added that many more kidnap victims would be released as part of the peace deal.

Source: TheCable

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BREAKING: Tribunal dismisses INEC’s Petition against Atiku/PDP

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, has dismissed a preliminary objection by the Independent National Electoral Commission, seeking the striking out of the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the declaration of Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the February 23, presidential election.

INEC’s motion dated May 15, was filed by its counsel, Yunus Usman SAN.
Specifically, INEC contended that the non-joining of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as a party in the petition rendered the case incompetent and therefore liable to be dismissed.

But in a lead judgment, Chairman of the 5-man PEPT, Justice Mohammed Garba held that the non-joinder of Osinbajo could not render the petition incompetent.

Justice Garba stated that the VP is only an interested party and not a necessary party because he was chosen by the 2nd respondent, President Buhari and the APC (3rd respondent) as a running mate.
In a unanimous ruling, the tribunal held that “the motion of the 1st respondent is not well-grounded in law, it lacks merit and is hereby refused”.

Source: The Nation

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BREAKING: court orders seizure of Diezani’s $40m jewellery, iPhone

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the permanent forfeiture of the 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40m, recovered from the Abuja home of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

In a ruling on Tuesday, Justice Nicholas Nicholas Oweibo held that Diezani, through her lawyer, Awa Kalu (SAN), failed to show cause why the items should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had told the judge that the jewellery and iPhone were reasonably suspected to be acquired with fraud proceeds.

The anti-graft agency said the items were beyond Diezani’s legitimate earnings.

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Administrator-General to manage transition when incumbent loses election -new House of Reps. Bill.

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has proposed a bill seeking to allow a President-Elect and his Vice move into the Presidential Villa before their swearing-in.

The bill first introduced in 2016 and jettisoned afterwards is entitled “Presidential (Transition) BL 2016”.

Specifically, the Bill seeks to make provision for the smooth and orderly transfer of power from one Government to another.

Copies of the reintroduced Bill was made available to reporters in Abuja on Sunday

The general principle of the bill states that the upon the declaration of the winner of a presidential election as the President-Elect, he shall after two weeks move into the presidential Villa especially where he did not succeed himself.

In the case where the incumbent President dies not succeed himself, he shall within the period make accommodation available for the President-elect, his vice and 10 others aides.

Below is the synopsis of the bill which shall come under debate when enlisted for second reading in the House.

General Purpose of the Bill

“Section 1 (1). When at any general election for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the incumbent President is not re-elected, the President shall within 2 weeks of the declaration of the President-elect as the winner of the election provide space for not more than 10 persons designated by the President-elect to begin a review and analysis of budgeted expenditures during the tenure of the current President, review all other necessary documents as may be requested by the President-elect’s transition team and to acquire a working knowledge of the various offices, departments, commissions, boards and other agencies of the executive arm of the Federal Government with a view to promote the orderly transition of the executive power in connection with the expiration of the term of office of a President and the inauguration of a new President.

“(2) The President shall also constitute his transition team who must cooperate with the President-elect and the staff he so designated and provide any assistance that may be reasonably requested.

“(3) The provisions of this section shall apply at all times after each general elections whether or not the power change is within the same party or from one party to another.

“(4) For the purpose of this act, the President shall include the Vice President and the President-elect shall include the Vice President-elect.

“Section 2 (1). The President shall provide for the President-elect in connection with the preparation for his assumption of office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the following facilities:

“(a). Office space well-furnished and equipped with all relevant machines and electronics within the Presidential Villa to enhance smooth working relationship with the President’s team; such equipment shall include but not limited to computers/laptops, printers, binding machines, papers, communication services to aid the transition team in achieving the objectives of this Act.

“(b) Payment of allowances for members of the President-elect’s team at such rate as may be determined by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to cater for the team and such rate must not exceed what is obtainable in the civil service.
PROVIDED that any employee of any agency or department of government may be drafted to be part of the transition team of either of the President or President-elect and he shall continue to be entitled to such compensation provided by law for his regular employment and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges associated with his regular employment without any interruption.
AND PROVIDED that in appointing the Transition Team, the President-elect shall consider key areas requiring professional/expert input to the extent that extra funds shall not be provided by the state to hire the services of Professionals outside the Transition team.

(c ) payment of travel expenses and subsistence allowances

Appointment of Administrator-General

“Section 4 (1). There shall be appointed an Administrator-General who shall oversee the Transition process after each general election.

“(2). The Administrator-general shall be appointed by the President subject to ratification by the Senate.

Functions of the Administrator-General

“Section 5 (1). The Administrator-general shall:
(a) be the Head of the government estates and shall take and keep an inventory of all assets and properties of the Government which assets and properties not vested in the Governor of the states as provided by the Land Use Act 1978.

“(b) Ensure that all assets and properties of government are maintained and are in good condition.

“(c) Ensure that were relevant, such assets and properties are transferred from the incumbent government to the new government in good condition.

“(d) Make recommendations to the President for budgetary allocation required in a transition for passing the reins of power from one government to another.

“(e) Ensure that all budgetary documents and all other relevant documents requested for by the President-elect are provided without any delay and to ensure that the facilities required to be provided by the Transition Team of the President-elect are provided.

“(f) Immediately after the new President is sworn in initiate/commence the prosecution of any person who breaches any provision of this Act.

“Section 5 (2). The Administrator-General shall be removed by the President on the ground of gross misconduct subject to ratification by the Senate.

Authorization of Appropriations

“Section 6 (1). It is hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator-general such funds as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act not exceeding the sum of N100,000,000 (One Hundred Million Naira) only for anyone Presidential transition for the fiscal year in which the transition occurs.

“(2) The President shall include in the budget transmitted to the National Assembly for each fiscal year in which his term of office expires a proposed appropriation for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

PROVIDED that in the event that the incumbent President is re-elected, the funds so appropriated shall not be disbursed.

Criminal Liability

“Section 7 (1). Any person who violates any provision of this Act by failing to provide the necessary facilities required to be provided under this Act or fails to provide any required documents thereby frustrating the efforts of the transition team shall upon conviction be liable to a fine of M10,000,000 or a term of imprisonment of not less than 6 months or to both fine and imprisonment as the case may be.

Source: Dailypost.ng

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BREAKING: Nigeria recalls Ambassador to South Africa, pulls out of WES

Nigeria has recalled its Ambassador to South Africa, Ambassador Kabiru Bala as well as pulled out of the World Economic Summit to hold in South Africa.

It also demanded full compensation, the News Agency of Nigeria has reported, quoting a “presidential source.”Our Correspondent also reported that the move was meant to register serious displeasure with the South African authorities over the ongoing xenophobic attacks on Nigerians resident in South Africa.

The decision was taken at a morning meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday in Abuja, our Correspondent added.The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, also attended the meeting at the Presidential Villa.The source further stated that Nigeria would pull out of the World Economic Forum on Africa, scheduled to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from September 4 to 6.By this action, Nigeria will follow the examples of Congo, Rwanda and Malawi, who have since pulled out of the Forum.

Source: Punch Newspaper

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MTN suspends Nigeria operations until further notice.

The Nigeria division of South African telecoms company, MTN, has announced that it is closing shop until further notice, following reprisal attacks targeting its offices and facilities in Nigeria by irate and opportunistic locals.

The retaliatory attacks on a host of South African businesses in Nigeria arrive on the heels of persistent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa.

The latest attacks in South Africa led to the torching and looting of over 50 shops–most of whom belonged to Nigerians.

“Over the last day, our facilities, customers and some of our stakeholders have been the subject of attacks in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobia situation in South Africa. We have confirmed reports of attacks in Lagos, Ibadan and Uyo.

“While we remain committed to providing uninterrupted services, the safety and security of our customers, staff and partners is our primary concern. All MTN stores and service centres will therefore be closed as a precaution until further notice.

“MTN condemns any acts of violence, prejudice and xenophobia and remains absolutely committed to ensuring a peaceful, harmonious and respectful relationship with all communities in Nigeria and across Africa.

“We are engaging all relevant authorities in this regard and urge them to act swiftly to reduce tensions both in South Africa and Nigeria. We will provide further updates as and when possible”, the statement from the telecom company read.

Violence in the land

Shops belonging to the South African chain, Shoprite, have also been looted in the past 48hours by Nigerians. 

There are about 120 South African businesses in Nigeria, with a market worth of about N6trillion.

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with 58 million users in 2018.

President Ramaphosa and President Buhari held talks in Yokohama, Japan shortly before the latest xenophobic attack (Presidency)

President Ramaphosa and President Buhari held talks in Yokohama, Japan shortly before the latest xenophobic attack (Presidency)

MTN Nigeria also accounts for a third of the core profit of the parent South African firm. 

Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria have issued statements to say they are working hard to end the crisis. 

Source: PulseNG

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Gunmen disrupt Kogi PDP primary election (VIDEO)

The governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi state came to a halt on Wednesday morning as gunmen invaded the venue of the exercise shooting sporadically.

The gunmen were said to have stormed the Lokoja Confluence Stadium after delegates had voted on Tuesday, and during vote-counting in the early hours of Wednesday.

Eight out of the 10 ballot boxes used in the exercise were said to have been sorted out and counted before the attack.

Aspirants and delegates scampered for safety as the invaders shot in different directions.

Ahmad Fintiri, Adamawa state governor, chairman of the electoral committee, was said to have been whisked away to safety by his security detail.

The governor, however, did not continue overseeing the process as he was driven out of the venue a few hours later.

Earlier, Fintiri said 2,388 delegates were accredited out of a total of 2,511 from 21 local government areas of the state.

The aspirants cleared for the primary election are Wada Idris, former governor of the state; Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west; Erico Ameh, Aminu Suleiman, Grace Adejoh, Abubakar Ibrahim, Kabiru Haruna, Musa Wada, Saliu Atawodi, Mohammed Adah, Victor Adoji, Baye Averehi, and Emmanuel Omebije.

Source: TheCable

Watch video:

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How South African president may have inspired the latest attacks (video)

The statement made in March by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South African would probably have emboldened attackers and inspired the latest spate of attacks on foreigners and their businesses. 

As with most politicians, Ramaphosa made a campaign issue out of what some South Africans were believed to be saying about foreign nationals who come to take their jobs and businesses. 

“Everybody just arrives in our townships and rural areas, and set up businesses without licences and payments” began the president while addressing thousands of supporters. 

“We are going to bring this to an end, and those who are operating illegally, wherever they come from must now know.”

Of course, there were pockets of violence targeted at foreigners shortly after this statement and, expectedly, Ramaphosa was quick to condemn this ‘in strong terms.’ 

“It is not acceptable that anyone of us as South Africans can go out and attack people from other countries because they come from other countries,” he returned to say two weeks after. 

Too late? Daniel Dunia, secretary-general of Africa Solidarity Network, would explain that those who spoke with him “said they were acting on the instruction of President Cyril Ramaphosa who they say called for a clampdown on foreign-owned businesses and those without correct documentation.”

Indeed, there have been reports of xenophobic attacks over the years in South Africa, the recent attacks, however, seemed to have triggered a reprisal, especially with Nigerians. 

On Tuesday, aggrieved Nigerians stormed outlets of Shoprite in Lagos with songs of violence. 

Around the Shoprite in Lekki area, one person was killed as many cars were damaged, including a van belonging to the police. 

This development has prompted Shoprite, MTN and DStv, three big South Africa businesses in Nigeria, to close some of their outlets.

While the Nigerian government had summoned Bobby Moroe, South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria, Ramaphosa had again reiterated that there’s no justification for attacks on foreign nationals. 

Following the recent attacks, President Muhammadu Buhari’s planned trip to South Africa is now uncertain. 

Source: TheCable

Watch video below:

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We lose 22 million barrels of crude in six months – Obaseki

Godwin Obaseki, the Governor of Edo State, who is the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee of the National Economic Council on Crude Oil Theft, Prevention and Control, has called on stakeholders to join forces and work towards eradicating the menace of crude oil theft that is currently on increasing in Nigeria.

Obaseki made the call at a meeting of stakeholders which at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Abuja, according to a statement from the oil firm.

The governor painted a dire picture of the oil theft menace and stated that in the first six months of 2019, the nation lost about 22 million barrels of its crude oil production to oil theft.

Obaseki noted that if nothing was done to curtail the ugly trend, the figure could double by the end of the year.

He said the twin menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism were beginning to pose a threat to the national economy.

NNPC said it was excited that the menace of oil theft and its twin-evil of pipeline vandalism were receiving attention at the highest level of governance in the country.

The meeting had in attendance the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, and representatives of the governors of Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.

Also in attendance were representatives of the Police, Navy, Army, Civil Defence, International Oil Companies and some indigenous operators.

In its June 2019 Monthly Financial and Operations Report released recently, NNPC announced a staggering 77 per cent rise in the cases of oil pipeline vandalism across its network of pipeline infrastructure.

The report stated that 106 pipeline points were breached, which was an increase from the 60 points vandalised in May 2019.

Source: Punch

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“Gov. Bello fought to get other aspirants disqualified” – APC aspirants allege

Some of the aspirants for Thursday’s governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi state have accused the state governor, Yahaha Bello of haven fought to have aspirants disqualified for the primary election.

Sources close to some of the aspirants told The Nation that they have information that the governor was working with some unnamed officials at the national Secretariat to alter the delegates list because of fears that some of them may not vote for him.

According to the APC electoral guidelines for the conduct of indirect primaries, only officials of the party from the ward, local government and state constitute delegates for the primary election scheduled to hold in Lokoja on Thursday.

Aside the party officials who constitute delegates, there are also statutory delegates made up of members of the state and National Assembly as well as national officials from the state.

The source showed The Nation a document they obtained from INEC which was supposedly transmitted to the commission on July 24, containing names of the delegates for the primary.

The source said “Bello is afraid that more aspirants have been cleared to contest against him. He is no longer comfortable and so he is doing everything he can to manipulate the list of delegates and import names into the list.

“He was the one produced these officials from the ward to the state level down to the ward. But, right now, he is not comfortable with them and is afraid that they will vote against him because he abandoned them since they came into office.

“He fought to have indirect primary approved for him by the party and also fought to get other aspirants disqualified. Now that more people have been cleared, he is not comfortable with the entire process and because he is desperate to come back, he is working with some officials at the national Secretariat to manipulate the list

“Last week, he invited the ward and local government officials to Lokoja and was abusing some of them. He is no longer comfortable with the party officials as well as the indirect primary he canvassed for.”

The source ask the national leadership of the party to allow a level playing ground for all aspirants band allowed the people of the state to nominate a person of their choice as the party flag bearer.

There are 239 wards within the 21 local government areas of Kogi state and executive members of the parry in these wards and local government and state officials are delegates to the primary

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Osinbajo presides over first EMT meeting 3 months after inauguration

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, presided over the first Economic Management Team meeting three months after President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office.

According to his media aide, Laolu Akande, via his verified Twitter handle, Osinbajo is presiding of the meeting themed, “Next Level Agenda: Budget issues.”

The meeting opened with a review of the 2019 budget implementation.

Present at the meeting include the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Works and Housing, Tunde Fashola, Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clement Ike, and Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

Also present were Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari; Federal Inland Revenue Service chairman, Tunde Fowler;  Directors General from the Budget Office, Debt Management Office, National Bureau of Statistics and Special Advisers on Economic Matters, among others.

See tweet:

Laolu Akande@akandeoj

VP Osinbajo presiding over the first Economic Mgt Team meeting of President Buhari’s 2nd term, themed Next Level. Agenda: Budget issues. In attendance are Ministers: Finance, B&NP; Industry, Trade& Investment; Info; Works & Housing; B&NP State & Petroleum State. There’s also…21312:28 PM – Aug 28, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy

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You can’t call for Congress “without consulting party stakeholders” – Abe to Amechi

The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state took a new turn over the weekend as Magnus Abe, former senator representing Rivers south-east, questioned the minister’s power to announce a congress “without consulting party stakeholders”.

The misunderstanding between the duo took a toll on the Rivers chapter of the APC in the last elections as it could not field candidates, losing 50 positions.

Amaechi’s refusal to support Abe’s governorship bid had split the party into two factions. The factions held parallel primaries and congresses that were annulled by the courts.

The warring factions could not resolve the dispute and organise a valid primary before the deadline the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) set for submission of candidates for the elections.

Last week, Amaechi had announced that Rivers APC would hold a fresh congress but Abe kicked against it, asking the minister what gave him the power to announce a congress “without consulting party stakeholders”.

Abe explained that the origin of the crisis in the party started with the congress, asking why Amaechi chose to “reopen the sourest point in the heart of members of the party”.

“Look at the state of our party here today in Rivers State, yet the Minister of Transportation, on assumption of office as Minister of Transportation, the first thing he did was to announce Congresses in Rivers State and I ask myself, this was the same kind of behaviour that led the party to where it is,” Abe said in a statement.

“Everybody in Nigeria knows that the origin of the crisis in Rivers APC was from the Congress and how the Congress was handled and there are extant Judicial pronouncements on the last Congress which the party was misled to ignore and we have all kept quiet in the hope that by keeping quiet we will create room for resolution of some of these challenges so the party can move forward.

“Instead, you become more brazen in your challenge to the rights, feelings and interest of others within the same political party. How do we do that and expect to make progress?

“What kind of Congress, is he the Chairman of the party? Is he the National Working Committee? Is he the Court? What gives him the power to come and announce Congress on the day he was inaugurated as Minister?

“Rather than address the issues of the country and the issues of his Ministry, the first thing he could do was to reopen the sourest point in the heart of members of the party.”

Alleging that Amaechi is determined to “prove to the world that he is a conqueror”, Abe vowed to resist the moves of the minister.

“As I said before, nobody can conquer Rivers people. If you want the support of Rivers people ask for it, work for it and you will get it. Nobody is against anybody. We all left our homes to serve, improve our society and improve ourselves and to do that we need to work with other people,” he said.

“If we work with others and respect the views and sensibilities of others, it will help in creating an avenue for this party to move forward.

“Any other way by force or by fire is nothing but a pathway to self-immolation for the APC in Rivers State and we will not allow anybody to set the party on fire and destroy it.”

Source: TheCable

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Complete List: New NDDC Board

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Pius Odubu (pictured), a former deputy governor of Edo state, as chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Odubu served as the deputy of Adams Oshiomhole when the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the governor of Edo state.

Olusegun Adekunle, permanent secretary in the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), announced the appointment in a statement.

He said it is sequel to the confirmation of the senate.

Adekune said the interim management headed by Nelson Brambaifa had been directed to hand over to the most senior director in the commission.

He said the chairman and members of the newly composed governing board would visit the secretary to the government of the federation’s office on September 2 for proper documentation and briefing.

Here are names of the new appointees on the NDDC board:

  • Bernard O. Okumagba, managing director
  • Otobong Ndem, executive director projects
  • Maxwell Okoh, executive director finance & admin
  • Jones Erue
  • Victor Ekhatar
  • Joy Yimebe Nunieh
  • Nwogu Nwogu
  • Theodore A. Allison
  • Victor Antai
  • Maurice Effiwatt
  • Olugbenga Elema Ondo
  • Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian
  • Aisha Murtala Muhammed
  • Ardo Zubairu Adamawa
  • Badmus Mutalib
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Nigeria needs a Sovereign National Conference – Afe Babalola

The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, on Tuesday, held that Nigeria’s problems can be solved by conveying a Sovereign National Conference.

He made this known during the ceremony, where he was conferred with the African Role Model and the African Union Agenda 2063 Ambassador awards by the African Union Economic  Socio-Cultural Council.

He said, “The 1999 Constitution is, in large measure, responsible for the problems we have in Nigeria today.  The constitution has discouraged and crippled development in the states. Consequently, Nigeria remains a poor country like most African countries.

“What Nigeria needs is a bill sponsored by the government, asking the Senate to pass a law for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference that the membership will be elected on zero party system.

“It is only through a true federal constitution that transformational leaders can emerge and a true Nigeria nation can emerge from over the 300 nations in the country. Africa needs leaders who can transform the continent. The renaissance has started in ABUAD. We have succeeded in nine years to transform education in the country.”

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We’ll hear Shi’ites’ case challenging proscription on September 11 – Court

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, fixed September 11 to hear a motion filed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly called Shi’ites, asking the court to vacate the ex parte order it gave on July 26 proscribing its activities in the country.

Justice Nkeonye Maha of Court adjourned the case after hearing the two counsels.

The Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr Ayo Apata, SAN, had applied for more time.

Counsel to the IMN, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, did not oppose the request either.

The court had, upon an ex-parte motion by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation also declared the group a terrorist organisation.

The IMN, in a notice of motion filed, on August 2, by its lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, particularly sought the court to vacate the “ex-parte order made on July 26, in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019 between: AGF vs. IMN proscribing the existence and activities of the group in Nigeria under whatever form, either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called or referred to.”

The group also asked the court to set aside the order “restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the IMN, under any other name or platform howsoever called or described in any part of Nigeria.”

The IMN stated that the reasons for its requests include that “the ex-parte order made on July 26, was made without jurisdiction, as the order was made against a non-juristic body.

“This honourable court on July 26, pursuant to an ex parte application brought by the IMN made an order, inter alia, proscribing the existence and activities of the group in any part of Nigeria under whatever form, either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called or referred to without affording the Respondent/Applicant the right of fair hearing.

“The said order of the honourable court breached the fundamental right of all members of the IMN in Nigeria to fair hearing guaranteed by Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation, 2004 in that no fair hearing was granted the applicant/respondent before the order was made.

“The order ex parte granted by this honourable court has violated the fundamental right of members of the Respondent to freedom of thought, conscience and religion guaranteed by Section 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

“The order ex parte granted by this honourable court has breached the fundamental right of the members of the respondent to freedom of assembly and association guaranteed by Section of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

“The honourable court did not grant the declaration ‘that the activities of the IMN in any part of Nigeria amounts(sic) to acts of terrorism and illegality,”’ the group said.

According to IMN, there was no urgency warranting the granting of the order ex parte.

“No motion-on-notice was filed together with the motion ex-parte.

“The ex-parte order made by the honourable court has determined the fundamental right of the respondent/applicant without affording it fair hearing.

“No undertaking was made as to damages. The order ex-parte was anchored on misrepresentation of material facts and based on suppression of material facts.

“The order ex parte constitutes a gross abuse of the process of this honourable court,” the group stated.

The Federal Government had, July 29, published the order in its official gazette as directed by the court.

It was described in the gazette as ”Government Notice No. 79,” titled: ”Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice, 2019.”

Particularly, pages B597 to 602 of the document spelt out details of the enrolled order of the Federal High Court and the Federal Government’s warning against participating in any of the activities of IMN.

It reads, “Notice is hereby given that by the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in suit No. FHC/ABJ/Cs/876/2019 dated July 26, 2019 as per the schedule to this notice, the activities of IMN in Nigeria are declared to be terrorism and illegal in any part of Nigeria, as proscribed, pursuant to Sections 1 and 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 (as amended).

”Consequently, the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of the said group will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 (as amended) and liable to prosecution”.

PUNCH/(NAN)

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JUST IN: Court Refuses To Hear Sowore’s Application Challenging Detention By DSS

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declined hearing the application challenging the detention of the convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore.

The application was filed by Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN).

Ruling on the application on Wednesday, Justice Evelyn Maha said proceeding with the hearing of the application amounts to reviewing the order of a court of coordinate jurisdiction.

Justice Maha insisted that the matter is already before Justice Taiwo Taiwo who granted the initial exparte order empowering the department of state services to detain Mister Sowore for 45 days and subject to review.

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From January 2020, banks will charge VAT on online transactions – FIRS

Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, has said that the agency will begin to impose value-added tax on Internet transactions both domestic and international with effect from January 2020.

Fowler, made the revelation on Monday at the African Tax Administration Forum in Abuja.

He said, “We have thrown it out to Nigerians. Effective from January 2020, we will ask banks to charge VAT on online transactions, both domestic and international.

“VAT remains the cash cow in most African countries, with an average VAT-to-total tax revenue rate of 31 per cent.

“This is higher than the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s average of 20 per cent.

“This statistics, therefore, is a validation of the need for us to streamline the administration of this tax with the full knowledge of its potential contributions to national budgets.

“It is, however, also bearing in mind the rights of our taxpayers.”

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Heavy rain destroys property in Daura

No fewer than one hundred houses were reportedly damaged in various parts of Daura during a downpour on Sunday, which lasted the whole day.

Areas that witnessed serious destruction in the aftermath of the downpour included Rahamawa, Kalgo, Lungun Kofar Baru, Sarkin Yara ‘A’ ward and Unguwar Kaura.

It was learnt that many of the houses had their roofs blown off by the wind that accompanied the rain while parts of some buildings collapsed.

Sources said no life was lost in the downpour.

It was learnt that due to the downpour which lasted hours, many people whose houses were damaged could not salvage their personal effects including clothing, electronics and foodstuff.

A pensioner, Ahidjo Lawan said the downpour damaged at least fifty houses at Kalgo community.

He disclosed this on Monday.

He said, “We are still salvaging our property from the debris of the damaged houses in my area here at Kalgo. The heavy downpour could not allow us to do much as it rained throughout the day.”

When contacted, Spokesman for the state Emergency management agency, Ukasha Umar said although he heard about the incident, the agency was yet to be formally briefed about it.

Umar said “We might be there tomorrow (Tuesday) to verify things by ourselves. But our agency has not been officially briefed about it.”

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BREAKING: We’ll use your deposit in other banks to settle your loan when you default – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks in the country have agreed that loan defaults will be settled using deposits made in other banks.

Addressing journalists after the Bankers Committee meeting on Monday, Aishah Ahmad,  CBN’s deputy governor, financial services system, said the directive is to encourage banks to increase lending.

More to follow…

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APC: Court okays indirect primary for Kogi gov poll

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday dismissed a suit challenging the decision of the All Progressives Congress to adopt indirect primary for nominating its candidate for the forthcoming November 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi State.

The judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, upheld the preliminary objections filed by the APC to challenge the suit, in ruling that the suit had been caught by the statute of limitation.

He said it was needless to go into the proprietary of the party’s choice of indirect primary since the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case on merit, having been statute-barred.

He held that the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2019, was a pre-election matter which ought to have been heard and determined within 180 days as provided by Section 285(10) of the Nigerian Constitution.

According to the judge, although the suit was filed only on July 18, 2019, it was clearly premised on another one marked FHC/ABJ/CS/833/2019 which, instead of being determined within 180 days, was only ruled upon on Monday.

The judge, on the grounds of statute limitation, in the earlier judgment on Monday, dismissed the said foundational suit which was instituted by the Chairman and Secretary of a parallel executive committee of the APC in Kogi State, Haddy Ametuo and Tam Adejoh, respectively.

The said foundational suit was instituted against the APC, and Abdullahi Bello, who is the Chairman of the Governor Yahaya Bello-backed faction of the party in the state.

The Bello-led faction of the APC in the state is recognised by the national bodies of the party.

The APC, which opposed the two suits ruled upon by the court on Monday, was represented by Mr. Paul Daudu.

Delivering judgment on the suit challenging the APC’s adopted mode of primary election in the state, Justice Taiwo held, “I do not intend to waste judicial time on this suit FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2019 in view of the ruling on the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/581/2018 read a few minutes ago, dismissing the suit for being caught by statute of limitation as provided under Section 285(10) of the Constitution.”

He ruled that “it will be pointless to consider the proprietary of this suit” when its foundational suit had been dismissed.

“The court, not being an academic institution, does not engage in academic exercise,” the judge ruled.

He added, “This suit has been spent and its resolution has become unnecessary in view of my earlier judgment.

“Answering the questions will bear no consequence on the dispute between the parties.

“I therefore have no choice other than to dismiss the suit in its entirety and I accordingly dismiss it.”

The suit was instituted by Destiny Aromeh, Isah Abubakar, Noah Aku and Joy Onu, who are members of a parallel executive committee of the APC in Kogi State.

It was instituted against the APC as the sole defendant.

The plaintiffs represented by Mr. Oluwole Aladedoye, had urged the court to order the party not to adopt indirect primary to pave the way for a direct primary which would allow all card-carrying members of the party to vote.

He said if the National Working Committee of the party was not stopped, the party would go ahead to adopt indirect primary and his clients, not being the faction recognised by the national leadership of the party, would be “shut out” and not allowed to vote as delegates at the primary.

Aladedoye noted that the National Working Committee of the party adopted the indirect primary for Kogi State election in disregard to a pending suit on the disputed leadership of the party in the state.

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BREAKING: Kaduna to pay new minimum wage from Sept.

The Kaduna State Executive Council has on Monday approved the payment of the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustments to civil servants should begin from September 1, 2019.

“Kaduna State will implement the new national minimum wage from September 2019,” the state government had tweeted via its verified Twitter handle @GovKaduna.

A Press release signed by Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication), reads in part:

“Guided by the twin principles of ability to pay and sustainability, the government considered several scenarios, bearing in mind the trend of internally generated revenues and allocations from the federation account.

“Several salary scenarios were considered, and one option was identified as most prudent. A final decision was suspended as negotiations for a new national minimum wage appeared to gather momentum. It was reactivated after the Federal Government announced the new national minimum wage in April 2019.

“Paying the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustments will increase the wage bill of the Kaduna State Government by 33%. Gross monthly salary outlay will rise to N3.759bn from the current N2.827bn.

“This almost N1bn monthly increase in the wage bill means that salary and pension commitments will take the lion’s share of state government expenditure. Meeting these salary obligations while meeting development objectives for citizens will further raise the pressure to expand and deepen revenue sources and collections.

“According to the new wage structure, the lowest-paid workers in the civil service enjoyed increments of as much as 67%. Middle-ranking officers from Grade 10 to 14 were awarded increments of 60%.”

See the tweet:

View image on Twitter
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BREAKING: Joe Igbokwe makes Sanwo-Olu’s new cabinet list

Joe Igbokwe, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Lagos, has made the list of the new commissioner and special adviser designates of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

Also on the list is a former Commissioner for Women Affairs in Lagos State, Mrs Lola Akande.

Sanwo-Olu, according to a statement, transmitted the final list of his nominees to the state House of Assembly on Tuesday.

This is coming four weeks after the governor sent the first batch of the list to the lawmakers for screening.

Thirteen commissioner- and special adviser-designates made the second list, which had already been transmitted to the legislature.

The statement, signed by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the second list had names of accomplished politicians and technocrats who “understand the current need of Lagos” and the development agenda of the Governor.

Below are names in the second batch of nominees:

  1. Mr. Oladele Ajayi
  2. Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka
  3. Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke
  4. Mr. Olanrewaju Sanusi
  5. Mr. Joe Igbokwe
  6. Mr. Bonu Solomon Saanu
  7. Arc. Kabiru Ahmed
  8. Mrs. Lola Akande
  9. Prince Anofi Olanrewaju Elegushi
  10. Mrs. Solape Hammond
  11. Mr. Moruf Akinderu Fatai
  12.   Mrs. Shulamite Olufunke Adebolu
  13.   Mr. Tokunbo Wahab
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Burna Boy breaks African record in the UK

‘African Giant’, Burna Boy’s latest album, has become the highest-ranking African album ever.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the globally acclaimed album debuted at number 16 on the UK albums chart.

The debut was announced by Official charts through their official Twitter account.

They wrote @officialcharts, “Check out this week’s Official Albums Chart, featuring the Top 40 debut of @BurnaBoy with African Giant.”

The Official Charts, which are compiled by the Official Charts Company, tabulate the relative weekly popularity of songs and albums in the UK, separating them into the ‘Official Singles Chart’ and the ‘Official Albums Chart’.

In February, the Afro-fusion star, scored his first entry into the UK charts, through his feature on Dave’s ‘Location’.

‘African Giant’ also debuted at number 104 on ‘Billboard’s 200’ chart, solidifying his global recognition.

NAN reports that Burna Boy performed at Coachella in April alongside Mr Eazi and subsequently named his album ‘African Giant’.

Asides winning the most awards at the 2019 Soundcity awards, Burna Boy also won the BET ‘Best International Act’ award in June.

(NAN)

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Breaking: Ex-INEC boss Iwu arrives court on N1.2bn alleged fraud

Prof. Maurice Iwu, a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, has arrived the Federal High Court in Lagos for his arraignment.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it would arraign Iwu for alleged N1.2bn fraud.

He faces four counts bordering on money laundering, EFCC said.

Iwu was alleged to have, between December 2014 and March 2015, concealed N1.2bn in the bank account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited domiciled in the United Bank for Africa Plc.

The money was believed to be part of the N23.29bn slush fund allegedly shared by former petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

Iwu was fingered as one of the beneficiaries of the fund, including some INEC officials who are facing trial.

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Breaking: You can detain Sowore for 45 Days – Court tells DSS

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted the Department of State Service (DSS) an application to detain the convener of #RevolutionNow Protest, Omoyele Sowore in their custody.

In his ruling, Justice Taiwo Taiwo said he will grant the application only for a period of 45 days.

The Judge added that the 45 days will start to count from today.

The DSS had earlier on Tuesday approached the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, seeking leave to detain Sowore, for 90 days to enable it to carry out further investigation.

More to follow…

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Chinese firm to pay N100m illegal importation

A Kano High court sitting at Audu Bako Secretariat has ordered a Chinese firm, Changyi Yuanxiang, to pay N100 million as compensation for indulging in illegal importation of 19 containers with impersonated trade mark.

The court presided over by Justice Ibrahim Musa Muhammad Karaye in a judgment delivered on 31th July, 2019 held that the Chinese firm indulged in unlawful use of the name of Rab textiles limited for the importation of the containers exposing Rab textile limited to tax liability.

The plaintiff, Rab textiles limited represented by Rabiu Abdullahi Ibrahim, told the court that the Chinese firm had abusively use the name for the importation of the goods without the written consent of the plaintiff.

He urged the court to restrain the defendant from further importation of goods using the company’s name without consent.

In his judgment, Justice Ibrahim Musa Muhammad Karaye ordered Changyi Yuanxiang to pay N100m as compensation to the plaintiff, for the unlawful and unauthorised use of the name Rab textiles limited.

The court also ordered the sum of N10 million should be paid to the plaintiff for the physiological trauma suffered by the plaintiff.

Justice Karaye asked the defendant to forfeit the sum of N10million for the upset of solicitors fees, it further ordered the compensatory payment of 10 percent interest rate from the date of the delivery of judgment.

Further, the court instructed Changyi Yuanxiang to refrain from engaging in any business transactions using the name Rab textiles limited.

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Sowore is a loser – Oshiomhole

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said that every Nigerian has the right to protest but must properly articulate their grievances.

He spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He however condemned the revolution protest by the convener of the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy, Omoyele Sowore.

According to him, Sowore who was the Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC and the Sahara Reporters publisher, decided to lead the protest after failing to win the 23rd February, 2019 presidential election.

Details shortly…

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Ihedioha on Rochas: We are not witch-hunting anybody

Jasper Ndubuaku, chairman of the committee on the recovery of stolen movable assets belonging to the Imo state government, says the committee has recovered 70 vehicles and properties worth N1 billion.

After his inauguration, Emeka Ihedioha, governor of the state, had set up the committee to recover government assets.

Ndubuaku told PUNCH that the committee also recovered two asphalt plants.

He said some of the recovered properties were from aides, appointees and family members of Rochas Okorocha, immediate past governor of the state.

“We are not witch-hunting anybody. The facts are there. We have recovered over 70 vehicles. We equally recovered two asphalt plants. The estimate of things we have recovered is about N1bn. More are to come. We have all the records,” he said.

Ndubuaku said that Okorocha “damaged” the state by allegedly governing the state wrongly.

He had earlier alleged that 67 vehicles were taken away from the state government house in Owerri while “all past commissioners in the state went away with the vehicles in their various ministries.”

Meanwhile, Okorocha had accused Ihedioha of setting out to destroy his legacies, an accusation Ndubuaku described as false.

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All Zamfara LG secretaries sacked by Governor

Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, on Wednesday, sacked all the 14 local government secretaries in the state and approved their replacements.

NAN reports that the governor also approved the appointment of the rector of the state polytechnic and provost of the college of education.

In a statement issued by Yusuf Idris, the governor’s director-general of press affairs, Matawalle directed the sacked council secretaries to submit their handover notes at the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs.

He, however, did not give reasons for the sack.

The new local government secretaries include Abubakar Bakura, Bakura local government; Rabiu Pamo for Anka LG; Abdulkadir Gora for Birnin-Magaji; Lawali Zugu for Bukkuyum LG; Sani Mainasara for Bungudu LG, Rabiu Hussaini for Gummi LG and Nura Musa for Gusau.

Other are Bashir Bello for Kaura-Namoda LG;  Ahmadu Mani for Maradun, Salisu Yakubu for Maru LG, Abba Atiku for Shinkafi LG; Ibrahim Garba for Talata-Mafara; Aliyu Lawali for Tsafe LG and Bala Dauran for Zurmi LG.

The statement added that Sha’ayau Mafara was appointed by the governor as the rector of Abdu-Gusau Polytechnic, Talata-Mafara, while Muhammad Maradun was appointed as registrar.

Mafara was a staff of Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, before his appointment and holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Liverpool University, UK.

The governor also appointed Ibrahim Gusau as the new provost of the Zamfara College of Education, Maru.

Gusau has an MSc degree in mathematics.

The governor directed the outgoing rector and registrar, as well as the outgoing provost to submit their handover notes at his office.

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Breaking: Kogi assembly to impeach deputy governor

The Kogi State House of Assembly is starting the process of impeachment against Simon Achuba, deputy governor of the state.

On Wednesday, Abdullahi Bello, majority leader of the house, read a petition against Achuba at plenary.

He said signatures of 21 of the 25 lawmakers have been collected for the impeachment.

The member who represents Ajaokuta constituency, cited section 188 of 1999 constitution and thereafter prayed the house to commence investigation ahead of the impeachment of the deputy governor.

Kolawole Matthew, speaker of the house of assembly, agreed to the prayers in the petition and asked that impeachment notice be served on the deputy governor.

Matthew gave Achuba 14 days to respond to the allegations levelled against him.

Achuba had accused Yahaya Bello, governor of the state, of not paying his allowances in the last two years.

He said he is being owed N819 million in salaries and allowances. Achuba also said the governor was after his life, an allegation which Bello denied.

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Release Sowore to ensure peace – Third Force Forum urges DSS

A coalition of former 2019 presidential aspirants and candidates, under the aegis of Third Force Forum, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the Department of State Services to release Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore was abducted on Saturday by operatives of the DSS for organizing a protest, RevolutionNow, against bad governance in Nigeria.

The former presidential aspirants and candidates described the arrest of Sowore as unlawful, positing that he acted within his rights as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

In a letter to Buhari, a copy of which was obtained by SaharaReporters, the Third Force Forum also urged the president to respect human rights and adhere to international treaties the country subscribed to.

The group said, “We must also remind you, Mr. President, that in addition to the Nigerian Constitution, Nigeria also subscribes to other international treaties, which prohibit violation of human rights of its citizens.

“To refrain from adhering to these national and international rights is to invite anarchy onto the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“As you are fully aware, Mr. President, every democratic government that subscribes to the rule of law, has time-tested methods of containing any breach of the peace during peaceful protests; without clamping down on our fundamental rights of ‘Freedom of Expression’ and to peaceably assemble, in order to address grievances by the government; even when those views expressed are contrary to the views of the current government.”

The forum stated further: “We implore you to immediately order the applicable agencies of the state to immediately release Mr. Omoyele Sowore unconditionally, in order to maintain peace in our country, and to deter further national and international repercussions on this matter.”

The letter to the president was signed by five presidential aspirants and two presidential candidates at the last general election.

They are Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, 2019 presidential aspirant, All Progressives Congress (APC); Hon. Tope Fasua, 2019 presidential candidate, Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP); Hon. Okey Samuel Mbonu, 2019 presidential aspirant, Labour Party (LP); Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikhubese, 2019 presidential aspirant, Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN); Dr. Emmanuel Etim, 2019 presidential candidate, Change Nigeria Party (CNP); Dr. Ayodele O. Favour, 2019 presidential aspirant, Young Progressives Party (YPP); and Hon. Clement Jimbo, 2019 presidential aspirant, Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Sahara Reporters

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Boko Haram Has Been “Substantially Degraded” – Chief Of Air Staff

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, says the Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially degraded.

Abubakar, who appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s NewsNight on Monday, said the terrorists have been caged to the Lake Chad region.

“The situation (insurgency fight) today is far better than it was some four or five years back. Boko Haram has now been more or less caged to a particular area, mainly the Lake Chad area.

“In 2015, when we saw them coming to Abuja, Nyanya was bombed twice. Madalla, the United Nations headquarters was equally bombed. We also had an explosion in the Bannex Plaza area.

“So if we put the picture of where we are coming from and where we are today, I think it will be very safe to say that Boko Haram has been substantially degraded,” he said.

Although the Air chief admitted that the nation has not totally war the insurgency war, the military operations carried out since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari has recorded much gain.

According to him, the achievements gathered so far is as a result of the Federal Government’s continued support to the Armed Forces and the troops battling the terrorists.

Speaking on the manpower of the nation’s Air Force, Air Marshall Abubabar recalled that the personnel as at 2015 were “grossly inadequate” in view of the security challenges.

But four years down the lane, he said that the nation has recruited about 7,500 servicemen into the system.

“Certainly, the manpower disposition of the service in 2015, in my opinion, was grossly inadequate (4:45) looking at the kind of challenges we are facing.

“And from 2015 to now, I think we have got about 7,500 recruits and we have also enlisted 400 Direct Short Service Commissioned officers apart from the ones coming from the Nigerian Defence Academy,” he said.

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Youth to drive herdsmen out of south-east forests

The youth wing of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Saturday said it would drive out killer herdsmen from the forests in all the 95 local government areas in the South-East.

The President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said the decision  was necessitated by the killing of a Catholic priest, Rev Fr Paul Offu, by suspected herdsmen along the Ihe-Agbudu Road in Agwu Local Government Area of Enugu State on August 1.

He alleged that there were plans to kill more church leaders in the South-East, urging that steps should be taken to avert the impending situation.

Isiguzoro urged Igbo youths, all Biafra agitators and volunteer security groups to enter the forests to drive out killer herdsmen from the South-East.

He said, “We were shocked to read about the murder of a Catholic priest, Rev Fr Paul Offu, who was shot dead by hoodlums suspected to be the notorious and murderous criminal herdsmen along Ihe-Agbudu Road in Agwu Local Government Area on August 1, 2019.

“This is a calculated but provocative action with evil intent aimed at rubbishing the proposed establishment of forest guards and Community Neighbourhood Watch by the South-East governors.

“With the rising tension in the southern Nigeria, it is time for us to drive out all the remnants of killer herdsmen hiding in all the forest reserve areas across the 95 local government areas of the South-East. This is a clarion call to Igbo youths, all Biafra agitators and volunteer groups to do the needful across the bushes and forests in search of the killer herdsmen in the South-East to drive them out.

“These volunteer youths will serve as temporary forestry guardsmen until we pressurise the South-East governors to fund them. Their mandate will be to take decisive actions against any armed herdsmen found, and they should be handed over to security agents.”

The Ohanaeze youths also called on the Federal government, especially the office of the Vice President, to protect Christians all over the country.

Punch Newspaper

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Breaking: EFCC to freeze Bauchi State govt account

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, granted the EFCC’s prayer to freeze the FCMB Operational Account number: 0998552074 of the Bauchi State government.

The judge, who adjourned the matter to September 3, urged the commission to put the party concerned on notice of the order within 21 days.

Details later…

NAN

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Release Sowore – Gani Adams appeals to Buhari

The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams has appealed to the Federal Government to release the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore.

Adams said that such arrest portends grave danger for Nigeria’s democracy.

The publisher of SaharaReporters and convener Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria was arrested by the operatives from the Department of State Services over a planned revolutionary protest scheduled for Monday, August 5.

The Police had accused the activist of a plot to force a regime change in the country.

Reacting in a statement, Adams said the arrest was an abuse of human right to freedom, stating that the planned revolutionary protest could not be said to be treasonable since it was yet to be implemented before he was arrested by the DSS.

Adams, who faulted the rationale behind the arrest, said it was unfortunate that Nigerians usually forgot events and memories of the past.

He said that Nigeria’s problems emanated from the military’s dictatorship and tendency to gag the press and prevent freedom of speech and expression.

Aare Onakakanfo however, said with the information at his disposal, the convener did not consult many of the civil society groups.

The planned protest, he admitted, would have presented to Nigerians, the needed opportunity to express their feelings to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Adams said that Nigerians were entitled to express their feelings, provided the protest was peaceful and violent-free and it also represented the feelings of Nigerians.

“Not everybody can have access to the presidency in Abuja. This is democracy, not militarism, where people are cowed and jailed over issues relating to their welfare.

“Sowore is an activist, and he was part of the struggle for this democracy. Therefore, he is entitled to express his feelings and that of Nigerians in a democratic setting.

“I think the Federal Government should consider his freedom as a panacea for peace. For instance, I wonder how a peaceful protest by harmless citizens will now turn to a treasonable felony.

“It is unfortunate that many of the people in the corridors of power today were part of the protests against former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, but today the situation has changed.

(NAN) / Punch Newspaper

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#RevolutionNow: Activists approach human rights agency

DEfiling the heavy rainfall in Abuja, #RevolutionNow activists on Monday stormed the National Human Rights Commission, Maitama, to protest against the poor security situation and other social issues in the country.

The protesters had planned to hold the rally at the Unity Fountain, but our correspondent gathered that they were forced to change the venue following the lockdown of the park by armed policemen.

The protesters delivered a letter to the NHRC in which they expressed their displeasure over what they called the continued silence of the Commission over the undemocratic incidences in the country.

Coordinator of the protest, Dare-Atoye Ariyo said, “The ever-growing proclivity of the President Buhari-led regime for human rights abuses are indicative of a complete departure from all democratic tenets, norms and practices.”

He pointed to the arrest of the #RevolutionNow protest convener, Omoyele Sowore, by the Department of State Services, describing it as undemocratic and disgraceful.

Atoye stated, “We believe that these events are not only undemocratic but they are also disgraceful for a country like Nigeria that practices constitutional democracy.

“However, we are completely dissatisfied by the eerie silence of the National Human Rights Commission in the face of these undemocratic developments.

“Our dissatisfaction is further aggravated by the fact that the role of the NHRC in defending the constitutionally guaranteed rights of Nigerians is well-revered and dearly treasured by Nigerians.”

Source: Punch Newspaper

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I’m committed to peace and equitable prosperity – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday restated the commitment of his administration to peace and equitable prosperity.

He gave the reassurance during an audience with Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He said: “In the last four years, this government prioritised Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure development. Our focus in these areas was to create jobs today and ensure peace and equitable prosperity for future generations.”

According to a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), the President added that it was simply impossible to continue to import food with the nation’s population. “On agriculture, it was simple; a country with a population of close to 200 million has to be able to feed itself. We cannot rely on importing food.”

President Buhari also told the ILO chief that his government had “attacked head-on the big deficit in Power, Roads, Bridges, Rails and Housing … in order to ensure adequate housing is available today and for many years to come.”

He attributed some of the achievements of his government so far to consultations before taking critical decisions affecting the labour force:  “Our achievements to date were as a result of strategic fiscal and monetary policy decisions. In some instances, we partnered with stakeholders such as the labour unions.

“A good example was during the African Continental Free Trade Agreement review and the National Minimum Wage negotiations. This consultative approach aligns with the vision of the ILO to keep communications open, create jobs, ensure social justice and eliminate worker exploitation.”

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“in a short time, Chief Great Ogboru will emerge governor of Delta State” – Omo-Agege

The Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege has urged All Progressive Party (APC) supporters in Delta State to remain calm as Chief Great Ogboru will soon emerge Governor of the State.

Omo-Agege made the assertion while addressing a mammoth crowd at his country home in Orogun, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State during his first visit after emerging the Deputy Senate President in the 9th National Assembly.

Omo-Agege, codemixing his speech with pidgin, said he was in Delta in respect of the final burial of APC chieftain, Adolor Okotiebor.

He urged Deltans in Delta North and South to vote APC in the next senatorial election, hinting that “in a short time, Chief Great Ogboru will emerge governor of Delta State.”

The senator, who spoke after goodwill speeches from some leaders of APC from across the State, vowed not to let down the people in the provision of democratic dividends.

“I won’t let you down. I’ll fulfil all the promises. Continue to pray for me Buhari and APC governors.

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“Don’t pray for PDP governors” – Omo-Agege

Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, on Thursday, admonished the people of Delta State not to pray for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Omo-Agege made the assertion while addressing a mammoth crowd at his country home in Orogun, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State during his first visit after emerging the Deputy Senate President in the 9th National Assembly.

He also urged Deltans to pray for himself,  Buhari, all APC governors with the exclusion of governors of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

“All I ask for; the biggest tribute you can ever pay to me is to say thank you to President Buhari.

“I have always told him that silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I will give to him.

“In my position and in my capacity as the Deputy Senate President, working with the Senate President, the least we owe Mr President is to create an enabling environment to ensure the content of the Next Level Agenda will be brought to reality.

“So that those days when they turned the Senate to a burial ground to anything Buhari, all of that is over now.

“And when he was being threatened with impeachment, they were even praying that he should die. All that is over now because he has Ahmed Lawan and your son as SP and DSP.

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Election Petition: adoption of final addresses fixed for August 21

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has fixed August 21 for the adoption of final addresses by parties in the petition by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The court’s presiding justice, Justice Mohammed Garba announced the date at the conclusion of proceedings on Thursday.

The court adjourned for adoption of final written addresses after lead lawyers to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Lateef Fagbemi -announced that the 2nd and 3rd respondents (Buhari and APC) were closing their defence in the case.

Buhari called seven witnesses and tendered documents between Tuesday and Wednesday.

He was expected to resume his defence today when his lawyer told the court that, having reviewed their case and evidence led so far, they were satisfied that they had done enough.

Fagbemi, who spoke later, also spoke in similar vein with Olanipekun and said the 3rd respondent has also decided to close its case.

Details shortly.

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Tiv-Jukun tension rises with more casualties

THE crisis between Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups in Wukari local government area of Taraba State has taken a different dimension.

Two students and a non-academic staff of the Federal University Wukari were abducted and killed on Thursday.

Taraba State Police spokesman David Misal, an ASP, confirmed the abduction of the trio.

“They were abducted at Kasuwan Shanu, near Chonku,” he said.  The authorities of the university has closed down the institution following the incident.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abubakar Kundiri, told reporters that the slain students and staff, being Tiv, sparked off protest by Tiv students, which was joined by other students.

Kundiri said the abductors had used the mobile phone of the non-academic staff to demand for ransom from the university’s management.

The protesting students demanded for the bodies of the slain persons and relocation of the university. Tension was high, it was learnt.

A Committee of Deans and Directors, on behalf of the university Senate, approved the suspension of lectures and closure of the institution till further notice. The committee asked the students to vacate the premises of university.

The vice chancellor said security has been beefed up by the army and police to ensure the safe exit of students and staff from Wukari.

Jukun and Tiv ethnic group have been at war for more than five months.

The killings have increased tension between the two states as Benue State government yesterday evacuated over 812 students from the university.

A witness, Jerry Lorgaen, told The Nation on phone that the students went out to buy provision before they were ambushed and killed by suspected Jukun militia group.

The President of the National Association of Benue State Students, Tyonor Smith, identified those killed as Msughter Vihior Andura (a Micro Biology, 100 level student) and Mark Tsav (a non-academic staff).

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BREAKING: Buhari, APC in early closure of defence in presidential election dispute

President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) just closed defence in the petition by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Presidential Erection Petition Court (PEPC).

Barr. Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Buhari’s lead lawyer and lead lawyer to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi announced that the 2nd and 3rd respondents (Buhari and APC respectively) were closing their defence in the case.

Recall that Buhari called six witnesses and tendered documents between Tuesday and Wednesday.

The defence was supposed to continue today but his lawyer told the court that, having reviewed their case and evidence led so far, they were satisfied that they had done enough to earn victory.

Fagbemi, who spoke later, also spoke in similar vein with Olanipekun and said the 3rd respondent has also decided to close its case.

Details shortly…

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Boko Haram using drones to monitor soldiers – Borno Governor

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has raised the alarm that Boko Haram insurgents have higher expertise and better technological weapons than the military.

He said this yesterday in Maiduguri while welcoming the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and his entourage who were in Borno to assess the situation of the IDPs in terms of their population and their transition from camp to resettlement.

The governor said the insurgents were now using drones to monitor military operations. This, according to him, shows that the sect possesses higher technological warfare and expertise than the government’s joint military task force.

According to him, “The capacity of the military has to be re-examined in terms of technological warfare. Otherwise this thing (insurgency war) will never end.”

“Boko Haram now uses drones to monitor the operations of the military. Without providing proper and up-to-date technological capacity to the military, this thing will never end,” he cautioned.

He urged the Federal Government to increase the “numeral strength” of the security and paramilitary personnel fighting the insurgency war as well as support the civilian JTF to meet the emerging challenges posed by “higher expertise on the part of Boko Haram.”

“Sustained military operations in the Chad Basin cannot be overemphasized in the face of the scaled-up operations of ISWAP in the region”, he said, noting that Borno shared borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Zulum said although all local government areas in the state had been liberated from Boko Haram, “only 10 villages now stand out of the about 500 that used to exist in Northern Borno, only about 20 now stand out of the about 1000 villages that used to exist in Central Borno before 2015.”

Responding, Gbajabiamila said the insurgency continued for “a bit too long and we have to put it behind us.”

Gbajabiamila said the federal legislature had now resolved to collaborate with the executive on the Boko Haram war because “it is not yet Uhuru; we are not there yet and the government can’t do it alone.”

Source: Daily Trust

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“It is not a document from WAEC” – WAEC official tells Tribunal on Buhari’s Certificate

Mr. Osidehinde Adewunmi, a West African Examination Council (WAEC) official, on Wednesday, disowned the Cambridge University’s Moderated International Examination credentials produced by President Muhammadu Buhari and tendered as exhibits before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.

The two documents earlier admitted as Exhibits 19 and 21 were Buhari’s statement of results and the broadsheet for the results of the 18 candidates who sat for the examinations in 1961.

The Deputy Registrar, School Examinations in Nigeria, of WAEC, who appeared before the tribunal on a subpoena, testified before the five-man tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba, as Buhari’s fourth defence witness on Wednesday.

He appeared in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging Buhari’s victory at the February 23, 2019 poll.

Part of the grounds of the petition was that Buhari lacked the educational qualification to contest the election.

When cross-examined by the counsel for the All Progressives Congress, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Adewunmi said he, as a WAEC official, certified one of the documents bearing the name of the University of Cambridge Moderated Examination earlier tendered as Exhibit marked R21.

The witness, who said he had been working with WAEC for about 30 years, told the tribunal that the examination was conducted by Cambridge University in conjunction with WAEC.

He confirmed that 18 persons sat for the examinations in 1961, adding that Buhari was listed as number two on the list of candidates for the examination.

He confirmed that Buhari sat for eight subjects and had five credits in the examination – Oral English, C5; History, A3; Geography, C6; Hausa, C5; and Health Science, C6.

“He came out with aggregate of 32 and he was awarded Grade 2,” he confirmed.

When asked, he confirmed that “whoever has this (the R21 exhibit) has secondary education”.

Under cross-examination by the petitioners’ lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), Adewunmi was asked if Exhibit R19 was a certificate, he said, “I cannot say whether it is a certificate because my signature is not on the certificate. It is not bearing my name or the name of my organisation”.

Asked again, the witness said, “This document is bearing the name of Cambridge University Assessment International Education”.

Asked if the document was issued by WAEC, he said,  “It is not a document from the West Africa Examination Council”.

Asked about Exhibit R21, he said, “This is the foundation, the primary foundation for issuance of a certificate.”

The witness was also asked if the document was a certificate.

“This is not a certificate,” the witness answered.

When asked, he also said, “I have never worked with the University of Cambridge”.

In his bid to point out out contradictions in the two documents, the petitioners’ lawyers asked the witness to compare the number of subjects listed against Buhari in them.

The witness confirmed that in R21, “The number of subjects listed against the 2nd respondent (Buhari) is eight”, and in R19 “six subjects”.

He also confirmed that the first name on the two documents was “Mohamed” and as against the President’s “Muhammad”.

He also confirmed that WAEC registrar, Dr. Iyi Uwadae, issued a WAEC attestation certificate to Buhari on November 2, 2018.

He disagreed with the petitioners’ lawyer that issuance of an attestation certificate was not limited to cases of loss or misplacement.

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U.K Prime Minister appoints British-Nigerian as minister

Boris Johnson, British Prime minister, has named Kemi Badenoch, a UK-born Nigerian, a minister in his cabinet. 

Badenoch was appointed a minister of children. 

Born in London to Nigerian parents, the 39-year-old spent part of her childhood in Lagos. 

She was elected to parliament in 2017, having previously served for the conservatives in the London assembly.

At the parliament, Badenoch talked about her experiences of poverty in Nigeria, including living without electricity or functioning water supply.

She also narrated how she had to do her homework using candles.

Returning to the UK at 16, she studied systems engineering at Sussex University, she also later got a degree in law, and has worked in the IT and banking sectors. 

In a tweet, she said her appointment is a huge privilege to make a positive difference. 

“I’m humbled to have been appointed a junior minister at the DfE.  A huge privilege to be able to serve and make a positive difference on a number of issues close to my heart. I look forward to working with the ministerial team and everyone at @educationgovuk,” she tweeted. 

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Lawan names 69 Senate committees

The Senate has announced the release of 69 standing committees’ chairmen and their deputies.

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan made the announcement at the plenary on Tuesday.

Sen. Jubril Barau (APC-Kano) is the Chairman, Appropriation Committee, Sen. Adeola Olamilekan (APC-Lagos); Finance Committee and Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti); Judiciary Committee.

Details later:

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APC Rep. loses seat for not participating in NYSC

Nigeria’s Supreme Court has sacked Abdulra’uf Abdulkadir Modibbo of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Modibbo is representing Yola South/Yola North and Girei federal constituency, Adamawa state in the national assembly

In a unanimous judgment on Tuesday, a five-man Justices of the apex court, held, in the appeal marked: SC/790/2019 that Modibo was not qualified to stand for an election, having not properly participated in the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), scheme.

The judgement affirmed the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which held that the lawmaker had beside presenting doubtful credentials, he also did not participate in the NYSC scheme.

Justice John Okoro, who read the unanimous judgement, ‎ordered that Jafar Suleiman Ribadu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who came second in the polls be issued a certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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Shi’ites activities are banned nationwide – FG

The federal government has officially proscribed activities of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) led by Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, announced this at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

Accusing IMN of pledging allegiance to a foreign country, Adamu said anyone who associates with the group will be treated as “an enemy of state”.

A federal high court in Abuja had declared the group a terrorist organisation, following an ex parte application filed by the federal government.

“The activities of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria led by Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky has over time evolved to constitute a grave threat to national security, law and order, socio-religious harmony, peace, good governance and the sovereign integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

“The members of the IMN have engaged in extreme radicalism, series of terror-related activities, violence and other unlawful activities which are inimical to the national security interest, good governance, and the corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Some of these nefarious activities include the following:

“Pledging allegiance to foreign countries from where they are enjoying political, financial and training support with the aim of advancing their destabilizing intents within Nigeria.

“Unauthorized blocking of public highways, engagement in illegal road blocks, imposition of illegal curfews and checkpoints, raids on security assets, prevention of arrest of their members, invasion of court premises to abort legal proceedings involving IMN members, refusal to submit to ordinary security checks and attacks on security agents which led to the death of several Nigerians.

“Setting up of a para-military guard known as ‘HURRAS’ through which IMN has been terrorizing local residents. They have also instituted unregistered security outfits and performed paramilitary ceremonies, hoisting of flags, combat exercises, parades and inspection by the IMN leader reminiscent of a State authority.”

He said over the years, IMN manifested its “penchant for launching attacks on Nigerians and the symbols of state authority.

Adamu cited numerous protests by the group, including the one which led to the deaths of Usman Umar, a deputy commissioner of police, and Precious Owolabi, a Channels TV reporter.

“Let me affirm that in relation to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, in view of their increasing engagement of terror tactics and other violent and subversive activities which contravene the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013, as amended, and vide the judicial pronouncement of the Federal High Court, Abuja on 26th July, 2019, the federal government has classified them as a terrorist group and has accordingly, proscribed the El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria,” he said.

“In consequence, henceforth, any person engaged or associating, in any manner that could advance the activities of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, shall be treated as a terrorist, enemy of the State, and a subversive element and shall be brought to justice within the context of the Terrorism Act. The import of this is that all forms of procession or protest by IMN is now illegal and thus banned.”

However, Adamu made it clear that the Shiites were free to carry on with their faith.

“For purpose of clarification, Nigeria is a secular state with constitution provisions guaranteeing the freedom to practice our faith. This, however, must be exercised in a manner that will not threaten our national security,” he said.

“Hence, it is to be emphasised that while all adherents of the Shiite sect in Nigeria remain free to continue to practice their faith and shall be guaranteed adequate security to so do as the judicial order does not stop them, the El-Zakzaky-led Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria which does not recognise nor accept the constitution and government of the federation is the sole organisation that has been classified as a terrorist organisation and proscribed.”

The IGP also discussed strategies of the police in checking insecurity, giving update on the number of suspects arrested across the nation for alleged involvement in criminality.

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Makinde to Ajimobi: It is illegal to take away official cars

The tango between the incumbent and immediate past government on the issue of cars carted away continued on Sunday with the Governor Seyi Makinde’s government chiding the former governor Abiola Ajimobi government for defending its taking away some government vehicles.

Apparently making reference to a press conference by aides of Ajimobi last Friday, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, in a statement on Sunday, decried Ajimobi’s aides’ attempt to defend “propensity to loot government property” as one that debases the true Omoluabi culture.

In the statement, Makinde said the Ajimobi’s aides should not confuse the boarded vehicles with illegally taken cars, adding that also to be questioned is whether the appropriate amount was paid for the vehicles that were boarded.

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BREAKING: Ambode, Yari, Ajimobi miss Buhari’s new ministerial list

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday unveiled the list of 43 ministerial nominees sent to the upper chamber by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Amongst the names announced were Sunday Dare, Rauf Aregbesola, Godswill Akpabio, Lai Mohammed and Senator Gbemisola Saraki, from Oyo. Osun, Akwa Ibom and Kwara states, respectively.

The Ministerial List

1. Ikechukwu Ogar (Abia)
2. Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa)
3. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom)
4. Chris Ngige (Anambra)
5. Sharon Ikpeazu (Anambra)
6. Adamu Adamu (Bauchi)
7. Maryam Katagun (Bauchi)
8. Timipre Sylver (Bayelsa)
9. George Akume (Benue)
10. Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno)
11. Bodi Agba (Cross River)
12. Festus Keyamo (Delta)
13. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi)
14. Clement. Ike Agba (Edo)
15. Osagie Enanieri (Edo)
16. Richard Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti)
17. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu)
18. Ali Pantami (Gombe)
19. Emeka Nwajuba (Imo)
20. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa)
21. Zainab Ahamed (Kaduna)
22. Muhammad Mahmud (Kaduna)
23. Sabo Sanono (Kano)
24. Bashir Sani (Kano)
25. Hadi Sirika (Katsina)
26. Abubakar Malami (Kebbi)
27. Rahmatu Tijjani (Kogi)
28. Lai Mohammed (Kwara)
29. Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara)
30. Adeleke Mamora (Lagos)
31. Babatunde Fashola (Lagos)
32. Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Nasarawa)
33. Zubair Dada (Niger)
34. Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun)
35. Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo)
36. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun)
37. Sunday Dare (Oyo)
38. Paulen Talen (Plateau)
39. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers)
40. Muhammadu Ngiadi (Sokoto)
41. Sale Mamman (Taraba)
42. Abubakar Aliyu (Yobe)
43. Sadiya Umar Faru (Zamfara)

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BREAKING: Boris Johnson is U.K Prime Minister

Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and controversial former foreign secretary, has been elected as the leader of the UK Conservative Party and will assume the role of prime minister.

The former journalist has received the full support of outgoing prime minister Theresa May, whom he once served as a member of her cabinet.

“Many congratulations to @BorisJohnson on being elected leader of @Conservatives – we now need to work together to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole UK and to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of government. You will have my full support from the back benches,” May tweeted.

He has been the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015, and was the MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008.

He was Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, and from 2016 to 2018 he served as foreign secretary until he resigned following plans to whittle down his power in British politics.

Johnson, a pro-brexit politician, defeated Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs since 2018.

Hunt is seen as May’s preferred candidate.

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Video: How the CJN failed to “impressive” the Senate on his Technicalities response.

The social media is abuzz as a result of Ibrahim Muhammad’s, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), screening at the senate on Thursday.

The CJN was in the Senate for confirmed on Thursday.

While responding to a question asked by senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, Minority Leader and member Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Abia state, Muhammad veered off track.

The lawmaker had asked Muhammad to clarify the philosophy of the court regarding judgements given by technicalities.

“My Lord, in 2018, Akeredolu vs Abraham, I can quote the supreme court if you permit me. The supreme court said, ‘technicality in the administration of justice, shuts out justice. it is, therefore, better to have a case heard or determined on its merit than to leave the court with the shield of victory obtained on a mere technicality,” he had said.

“But my lord, just a few weeks ago, the supreme court also said and I quote, ‘The correct order to make is to declare the judgement of the trial tribunal a nullity as a result of one of the panelists not sitting on a day when proceedings were held’. And Nigerians are really worried, we would like to know where this supreme court will be situated under you?”

Responding, Muhammad defined technicality, saying there are technicalities in Nigerian laws because the laws were inherited were from the British.

He said he could not “drive a plane” because of the technicalities involved, adding that: “If something which is technical comes before the court, what we do in trial courts is to ask people who are experts in that field to come and testify. We rely on their testimony because they are experts in that field.”

Social media users have been circulating the video, making different comments.

Watch the video below:

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You are only competent at looting treasury – Adelek to Oyetola

Ademola Adeleke, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2018 governorship election in Osun, has accused Gov. Oyetola of beeing a treasury looter.

He said this in response to a statement credited to Gboyega Oyetola, governor of the state, who had said he felt ridiculed contesting against Adeleke in the gubernatorial election.

The former PDP candidate alleged that Oyetola’s administration is geared at “covering up their evil tracks” of the tenure of Rauf Aregbesola, former governor of the state.

“Osun people know that I am not the facilitator and prime partaker in the looting of Osun state’s treasury. For more than eight years, Gboyega Oyetola was the chief enabler of the most corrupt, inept and anti-people administration in the history of Osun state,” he said.

“I dare Oyetola to walk the streets of Osun alongside me and see who will get mobbed and stoned by the embittered citizens of our dear state. The people had voted the honest dancer and rejected the false progressives who had ruined the fortunes of Osun state and sentenced generations unborn to excruciating debt burden.”

He claimed credit for dousing the tension in the state following the loss of the PDP at the supreme court.

“It is shameful for Oyetola to be gloating over daylight electoral robbery which is being roundly condemned as rape of justice across all sectors of Nigerian society and indeed internationally,” he continued.

“Osun people will remember that immediately after the apex court ruling, I issued a press statement congratulating Oyetola and restraining our members and supporters from violence and anti-peace actions. I claim credit for restoring normalcy, peace and stability to Osun state after the protracted governorship battle.

“At a time Oyetola and his band of usurpers were at a loss on how to manage the usurpation and its resultant tension in the land, I deployed diplomacy, putting the safety of our people above all considerations despite the blatant robbery you now call electoral loss.

“Let me remind Oyetola that his records as Chief of Staff to Rauf Aregbesola clearly confirmed his incompetence as an administrator but shows his competence at treasury looting and hardship imposition.

“Osun people fully know his records. They are aware this his stolen tenure is going to be devoted to covering up their evil tracks of the last eight years.”

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A “whistleblower” released INEC’s server results – INEC Ofiicial tells Tribunal

Petitioners’ Witness 59, David Njoga, called by the petitioners as an expert witness, told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Friday that the server results presented by the petitioners as the authentic results of the February 23, 2019 election were released by a “whistleblower” official of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Njoga called by the petitioners -the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar – told the Justice Mohammed Garba-led tribunal of five judges that he never knew the unknown INEC employee.

He described the unknown person as a whistleblower.

The petitioners are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress at the poll.

Njoga was earlier called to the witness box by the petitioners’ lawyer, Chief Chris Uche (SAN).

Under cross-examination by INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman, he said he analysed the results of the election obtained from INEC’s server and published on a website, www.factsdontlie.com.

According to the witness, the website was created on March 12, 2019.

Fielding more questions, he said, “The site does not belong to INEC but the data it contains is from INEC server.”

He confirmed that he had “never worked with INEC before”.

He added, “Normally, websites are designed for different purposes. The information on the website is from an INEC official.”

Asked, the witness said, “The results on the website are from INEC server.

“The name of the INEC official is anonymous. He is a whistleblower.”
Asked if he knew the whistle-blower he said “No”.

Asked if the whistleblower was a robot, he said, “My lords, robots do not create websites.”

Source: Punch Newspapers

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Tribunal: PDP presents over 1,300 results sheets as evidence

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tendered over 1,300 result sheets as evidence at the presidential election petitions tribunal.

During the sitting of the tribunal on Friday, Chris Uche, counsel to the petitioners, explained that the results sheets comprised of EC8As and EC8Bs from 11 states.

Form EC8B is the final result at the ward level while Form EC8A is the final result for a polling unit,

The PDP counsel said the EC8As are 1,266 and the EC8Bs are 87 in number.

“We have EC8As and Bs. The EC8As are 1,266 and the EC8Bs are 87 in number,” he said.

“We have 38 receipts as payments for the documents.”

However, Yunus Usman, counsel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) objected to admission of the documents as evidence.

Usman said reasons for objecting to the admission of the result sheets would be contained in their final written address.

“We object to the admissibility of these documents. [Reasons] will be in our final address,” he said.

Lateef Fagbemi, counsel of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also objected to the admission of the documents.

“We object and reason for our objection will be till the end of time in this case,” he said.

The tribunal led by Mohammed Garba admitted the documents as evidence.

Source: TheCable

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Minimum wage: Labour prepares for strike

The organised Labour is preparing for a nationwide strike in the event that the negotiation on the adjustment from the new national minimum wage breaks down.

The Trade Union side of the Joint National Public Service Negotiation Council (JNPSNC) after her meeting also reviewed downward her demands from 66.66 percent to 30 percent for officers on grade levels 07-14 and 25 percent for officers on grade levels 15-17.

On its part, the government side is insisting on 9.5 percent salary adjustment for officers on grade levels 07-14 and 5 percent for those on grade levels 15-17.

The workers expressed concern that rather than presenting the two positions to technical subcommittee as agreed, but “Surprisingly, when the Technical Sub-Committee reconvened, the Government Side introduced a strange clause to the discussion insisting that the Term of Reference of the Committee was to work out the consequential adjustment of salaries of Public Servants based on the subhead provided for salaries in the 2019 Budget.”

“All efforts by the Trade Union Side to persuade the Government Side to return to the right track of negotiation and agree on a realistic percentage increase proved abortive.” “Thus, the Government Side deliberately created a stalemate and thereafter adjoined the meeting of the Technical Committee sine die.”

According to a communiqué, a copy of which was issued to newsmen, the workers said the downward review by labour was due to a promise by government to undertake a general salary review in no distance time.

The communiqué was jointly signed by the acting chairman and Secretary, Comrades Anchaver Simon and Alade Bashir Lawal.

The communiqué reads in part, “The Trade Union Side of JNPSNC has now resolved that the Federal Government should reconvene the meeting of the Technical Committee on Consequential Adjustment immediately so that it can conclude its deliberations and ensure that all Public Service Employees benefit adequately from the N30,000 new monthly National Minimum Wage signed into Law by Mr. President since April, 2019.”

Source: Daily Trust

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PDP, Atiku plead with tribunal for more time

The Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Friday asked for more time from the five-man Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, to conclude their case.

Friday is the last of the ten days allocated to them to make their case.

They are by their petition challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at February 23, 2019 election.

The petitioners, who only on Thursday received from the Independent National Electoral Commission a heap of documents to be tendered as an exhibit, gave the hint that they would not be able to conclude their case on Friday through their lawyer Chief Chris Uche (SAN).

The documents received from INEC rose from 55 cartons as of when the tribunal closed proceedings on Thursday to 75 as of Friday morning.

Uche couched his request for more time as “a modification of the pre-hearing report” in which 10 days period was allocated to the petitioners to present their case and six days for each of the respondents to present their defence.

He said, “Today may appear to be our last day. But my lords, we are seeking a modification of the pre-hearing report.

“Today should not be construed as our last day.

“We asking if my lords can give us tomorrow, Monday or Tuesday for us to conclude.”

Earlier, Justice Mohammed Garba who heads the five-man tribunal, had said the court would not have the afternoon session of the Friday’s proceedings for undisclosed reasons.

Reacting, Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), insisted that should the court grant the “extension of time” it should be across the board for all the three respondents – INEC, Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.

Olanipekun also suggested that the court could only compensate the petitioners’ time that would be lost since the court would not sit in the afternoon by being allowed to conclude their case in the morning session of the next sitting day.

But the tribunal said that the petitioners had not asked for an extension of time but for a modification of the pre-hearing session.

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Medical trip: court postpones decision on El-Zakzaky’s request

The presiding judge of the Kaduna state high court, Darius Khobo, on Thursday, adjourned hearing on the motion for a request by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky for medical attention in India.

The Judge adjourned the hearing till July 29 following a request by the prosecution counsel to be given time to study the defence counsel’s response to the application.

Recall that El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi’ites, is facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace, among others.

The Shi’ite leader has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since December 2015.

Femi Falana, El-Zakzaky’s counsel, informed the court that the IMN leader’s health condition was deteriorating and he needed urgent medical treatment abroad.

He said El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, had not received adequate medical attention in detention.

Dari Bayero, the state director of public prosecution, however, objected to the application.

“The state prosecutors responded to the bail application only yesterday (Wednesday) and we responded today (Thursday) and they were served, but they insisted that they need to study our response and that is the basis for the adjournment of the case to next week Thursday, July 29, by His Lordship Justice Darius Khobo,” Maxwell Kyon, one of the counsels to El-Zakzaky, told TheCable.

El-Zakaky’s followers have been demanding his release, staging massive protests, some times resulting in violence clashes with the police.

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NASS has no power to shut Edo assembly – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the National Assembly (NASS) has no power to shut down the Edo state assembly.

The house of representatives had asked Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, to seal up the Edo parliament, pending the time the crisis among the state lawmakers is resolved.

A “cold war” between Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, had split the legislators into two factions.

On June 17, nine lawmakers loyal to Obaseki had elected principal officers and took the oath of office secretly but the 15 lawmakers loyal to Oshiomhole had kicked against it, calling for intervention.

Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, the demand of the lower legislative chamber of the national assembly as “provocative”, saying it has no place in a democratic dispensation.

The party cautioned the leadership of the house of representatives to desist from actions that could “trigger a constitutional crisis in Edo and the nation at large”.

It noted the “inability of the leadership of the APC to manage the avarice and internal strife playing out in Edo”.

“The PDP states that no section of the 1999 constitution confers the house of representatives with the powers to issue orders to a state governor or direct the shutdown of a sitting state house of assembly,” he said in a statement.

“Whether in language or action, such is only obtainable in a military system. The PDP hereby invites Nigerians to note that section 11 of the 1999 constitution, upon which the house of representatives anchored its decision, does not in any way empower the house of representatives to shutdown a functioning state legislature.’’

The PDP also cautioned the federal legislature to note that such “imperial stance” against a legislative house; a symbol of the sovereignty of the people was “self-destruct”.

It added that such act opens the fundamentals of the nation’s democracy to unwarranted attacks.

“The PDP, therefore, counsels against any arm of government overreaching itself to take actions that undermine our constitution,” the party said.

“It encourages dictatorial tendencies against our institutions of democracy and the essentials of personal freedom and rights of citizens in our nation.”

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We don’t hate herdsmen, only their killings – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has told the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) that it has nothing against herdsmen but the killings.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports during the president of CAN, Samson Ayokunle’s press conference in Abuja on Thursday.

He said herdsmen cannot regain the trust and respect of Nigerians until they stop being violent.

He said violent herdsmen created enemies for themselves, saying people had been coexisting peacefully with them for many years in various communities.

Ayokunle explained that nobody hated the Fulani until they began to act “violently”, killing “innocent people”.

“If there was any enemy from any Fulani man, the Fulani man created the enemy for himself, they have been living peacefully for many years in our various communities, till the killing issues started,” he said.

“In those days, our children married them, they married our children, but when they became too violent and started carrying AK-47, killing people, what type of play is that? That’s a dangerous play.

“We can no longer think we are friends with that type of play; it’s too dangerous. So let them call their people to order and ensure that they remove the enmity they have created around an average Fulani person.”

Ayokunle charged the government to step up its security system across the country with a view to stopping the unending killings.

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We will sit during annual vacation – Supreme Court promises

The Supreme Court on Thursday set up two panels to sit during the annual vacation, beginning on July 22.

Dr Akande Festus, Director of Press and Information, in a statement, said: ”The panels of the Supreme Court, comprising of five Justices each will be sitting during the annual vacation which marks the end of 2018/2019 legal year.

“This development arose from the numerous appeals on election-related matters that have been streaming to the Court since the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

“The annual vacation will begin on Monday, July 22. And the panels will sit during the holiday period in order to see that all election-related matters are dealt with’’.

He said that in view of this development, all parties with matters before the court would be contacted through hearing notices.

(NAN)

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APC insists, Abdulkadir, North West Vice Chairman, remain expelled

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) insists the North-West zonal Vice Chairman, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir remains expelled for anti-party activities.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa Onilu said in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja that the National Working Committee decided to uphold the disciplinary action imposed on Abdulkadir by his ward.

He said that the decision will, however, be conveyed to the National Executive Committee of the party which constitutionally have final decision on the expulsion of officers of the party for further action.

The statement reads: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has upheld the disciplinary actions of Magajin Gari “A” Ward, Sokoto North Local Government, and the Party’s Sokoto State Executive Committee on the Party’s National Vice Chairman (North West), Inuwa Abdulkadir over anti-party activities.

”The party organs in Sokoto State have earlier expelled Inuwa Abdulkadir and passed on their recommendation to the NWC for ratification.

“The decision to uphold the actions of the Sokoto APC organs was taken at a meeting of the NWC held at the Party’s National Secretariat on Thursday.

“Abdulkadir failed to utilise the opportunity to defend himself before the disciplinary committee set up by the NWC to look into the various petitions received against certain members of our party.

“Following the suspension of Abdulkadir, the NWC will subsequently forward the decision of the Sokoto State organs to the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for further actions.”

Source: The Nation

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Reports of N25 billion corruption trail are “inaccurate and untrue”- Sen. Goje

Sen. Danjuma Goje, the senator representing Gombe Central at the National Assembly has said that at no time did he faced corruption charge totaling N25 billion.

Goje disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The statement signed by Mr Paul Erokoro, lawyer to the senator said the claim was “inaccurate and untrue.”

Erokoro was reacting to recent reports in the media that corruption charge being faced by the senator were withdrawn following his decision to step down from the Senate president race in June.

He insisted that the actual amount mentioned in the charge was N9 billion.

“The so-called “N25b fraud” that has been bandied about in the media, never featured in the case.

“The sum total of all the monies mentioned in the charge was about N8b.

“Of that total, N5billion was a loan taken from Access Bank for completion of infrastructural projects such as the Gombe airport, waterworks, numerous roads, Gombe Jewel Hotels, schools, hospitals and rural electrification.

“The bank testified in Court that the money was properly utilised for the projects. The EFCC investigators also confirmed to the Court that the projects were all completed.”

On the N1 billion agricultural loan, he said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had testified in court that the loan was utilised in full compliance with the bank’s loan conditions.

“Other witnesses told the court that the governor never awarded any contract for the supply of food to Government House and Government Guest Houses during his tenure for the N1 billion alleged in the charge or for any other sum.

“On the N1.6 billion for the supply of English Dictionaries for primary and secondary schools, the Court was told that Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) gave its approval and that the contract was advertised in two newspapers and that reputable book publishers and suppliers tendered and that State Universal Basic Education Board awarded the contract to the lowest bidder.”

He said all the 19 counts of the charge around the above monetary issues collapsed during the trial.

He said because the prosecution witnesses completely exonerated the defendants was why the 19 counts were all dismissed by the court, on the the ground of No Case submission.

He added that the star witness of the Prosecution, a senior EFCC operative who headed the investigation, told the court that throughout their investigation, no money belonging to the Gombe State Government was traced to the Governor, his family members or associates.

He because of their embarrassing nature, the two counts of the charge were withdrawn by the Attorney-General of the Federation and not on political negotiation as being speculated.

(NAN)

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INEC provides Atiku with demanded evidence

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has provided the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) cartons of documents demanded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar.

The documents included 45 cartons, brought to the court’s sitting venue on Thursday, were received by lawyer to the PDP and Atiku (petitioners), Chris Uche (SAN).

Recall that the court had, on Wednesday, compelled the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Zamfara State to honour the request for the production of the documents listed in the subpoenas served on them by the court’s registry, upon an application by the petitioners.

Uche told journalists, after the court’s proceedings, that the petitioners will formally tender the documents on Friday, when they are expected to close their case.

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Let peace reign: Delta APC congratulates Omo-Agege on victory

After over a month after the National Assembly(NASS) leadership elections, The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Delta State Chapter, Prophet Jones Ode Erue has congratulated Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege on his resounding victory in the suit challenging his victory as senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

Prophet Erue in a statement said “he is particularly proud of the sterling leadership qualities of distinguished Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who he referred to as a” political tactician”.

He commended Omo-Agege for bringing hopes to the minds of the average party man and woman.

He said, “Erue commended The Distinguished Senator Omo-Agege for his victory over reactionary forces of darkness who were bent on snatching away the victory freely given to him by the good people of Delta Central Senatorial district and the subsequent mandate entrusted to him by the entire 107 senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The state APC Chairman also thanked Party faithful for their steadfastness and believing in his purposeful leadership as State Chairman of the APC.

Erue promised to be Chairman for all genuine members of the APC family who believes in the next level vision of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Supreme Court dismisses suit challenging Wike’s illegibility to contest poll

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a suit seeking the disqualification of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State from contesting in the last governorship election.

The acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, led the five-man panel of the apex court which unanimously held on Monday that the notice of appeal filed before the Court of Appeal by the plaintiff, Elvis Chinda, who initiated the suit before the Federal High Court,  was incompetent.

The plaintiff’s prayer that Wike be disqualified was anchored on an allegation that the governor forged the statutory declaration of age he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2019 governorship election.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had in its March 8, 2019 judgment held that Chinda not only failed to prove the allegation, but the suit had become statute-barred because it was filed outside the time stipulated by law.

Chinda had subsequently filed an appeal against the judgment but was said to have wrongly addressed it to the ‘Federal High Court’ instead of the ‘Court of Appeal.’

He later applied to the Court of Appeal for amendment of the notice of appeal to reflect the name of the Court of Appeal.

But Wike, dissatisfied with the development, appealed to the Supreme Court contending that the amendment granted by the Court of Appeal was illegal as he contended that it violated Paragraph 14(2) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

In the lead judgment of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola,  who prepared the lead judgments on the two appeals, the apex court upheld Wike’s case and ruled that the amendment of the notice of appeal by the Court of Appeal was illegal.

The judgment was read on his behalf by another member of the panel, Justice Paul Galinje.

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Buhari shows video clip on INEC Chair’s uncertainty about the use of server

President Muhammadu Buhari’s legal team has played a video clip at the Tuesday’s hearing of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal showing the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, expressing fear about the possibility of deploying electronic transmission of results for the 2019 general elections.

The INEC Chairman was seen in the clip in a”one-on-one interview with INEC Chairman” shown on Channels Television on February 6, 2019, pointing to the problems of communication, poor coverage of 2G, 3G, 4G networks in the country, let alone 5G that was yet to be available in Nigeria, and the issues of cybersecurity, as militating against the possibility of deployment of electronic transmission of results during the election.

In the clip, INEC chairman was seen as saying that discussion with network providers was in progress, he then added, “We still need to do a lot more before we can use the technology of transmitting the results of election”.

Under cross-examination by Buhari’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), the petitioners’ 40th witness, Segun Showunmi, through whom the petitioners tendered 48 VCDs, on Monday, confirmed that Channels TV‘s logo appeared on the three-minute-long clip.

He also confirmed that the person interviewed “looked like the INEC Chairman”.

He confirmed that he knew the interviewer, Seun Okinbaloye.

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PFMDAILY#11: We are in major debt crises.

In virtually all states of the federation, outgone governors left incredible debt profiles with little or nothing to show as the investment of the proceeds of the debts.

It has become imperative for new governors to vet these debts and investments to determine the true position.

It should not be a political exercise but one that involves the Securities and Exchange Commission, Debt Management Office, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Professional groups and credible civil society organisations.

Where there is evidence of mismanagement, proceedings for recovery of such sums should be vigorously pursued. Most state debt profiles are simply insane.

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“There are too many of us. f you run, I will resign”- Philippine President tells son seeking Office

Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine President on Monday warned he would resign if his eldest son bids for the speakership of the House of Representatives, having won a seat in the lower chamber of parliament in elections earlier this month.

The leader who is 74 has asked his son, Paolo, to let him know three days in advance of announcing his bid for the speakership of the House so he can tender his resignation.

“If you run, I will resign.

“There are too many of us. Your sister is mayor of the Southern city of Davao, then the vice mayor is my youngest son.

“If you’re speaker and I’m president, it doesn’t look good,’’ he said in a speech at the presidential palace, addressing Paolo.

Duterte noted that his son usually does not listen to him.

“If he insists on running, go ahead. Let me know three days in advance before you make the announcement and I will tender my resignation,’’ he said.

Paolo Duterte, a former vice mayor of Davao City, was elected congressional representative for the municipality’s first district.

His sister, Sara, won another term as mayor, while his youngest brother Sebastian was elected vice mayor.

Duterte previously warned his daughter against running for president in 2022, amid talk that she was a strong contender for the top post.

“Inday, I’m publicly warning you. The presidency will not educate you, it will just destroy you,’’ Duterte told newsmen, calling his daughter by her nickname.

(dpa/NAN)

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The symbol behind the Sudanese struggle, Alaa Salah, says she’s not backing down yet.

A woman who has come to symbolise protests in Sudan after being photographed chanting atop a car during protests against President Omar al-Bashir said on Thursday she has gotten death threats since her image went viral.

Clad in white, Alaa Salah can be seen poised above the crowds in Khartoum, where demonstrators gathered to demand the military hand over power to civilians.

The ouster on Thursday of Bashir, 75, followed months of protests against his rule.

“I wanted to get on the car and speak to the people,” Salah, 22, an engineering and architecture student at Sudan International University, said on Twitter.

“We need international support, for people to be aware of what’s happening and to understand our demands.”

She praised the role of Sudanese women, many of whom have taken to the streets in protest.

“You cannot have a revolution without women. You cannot have democracy without women,” she tweeted. “We believed we could, so we did.”

Calling herself “very proud to take part in this revolution,” she said her life has been threatened since her picture and video went viral on social media.

“I will not bow down. My voice can not be suppressed,” she tweeted, adding that she would hold Bashir responsible “if anything happens to me.”

Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and faces an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003 and led to the death of an estimated 300 000 people.

He denies the allegations.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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FG to reduce prison congestion with technology

The Federal Executive Council (FEC)recently gave a go ahead for a N2.8 billion contract to instal digital integrated system to reduce prison congestion across the country.

Responding to reporters at the end of the meeting, Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) said the web-based system will improve the justice system in the country.

According to him, the system will assist stakeholders in the office of the AGF, Nigeria Prisons Service, Nigeria Police, including selected courts to monitor real-time progress of pending cases and movement of suspects between the courts and prisons.

He added that it will also track those who have overstayed their prison terms as well as those wrongly imprisoned.

Malami said the new system will replace the practice of setting up government committees that usually visit prisons to attend to individual cases and identify inmates that deserve pardon or prerogative of mercy as part of efforts to decongest the prisons.

“The system would be operated by retrained staff of the Nigeria Prisons Service, while there would be systemic checks to substantiate the input or data of suspects put into the system to avoid compromise and other forms of corruption,” Malami said.

Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national planning,  said FEC approved two contracts for the N-Power Build programme of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).

He said this is to impart skills in young non-graduates.

Udoma explained that the N-Power Build programme is a non-graduate programme that seeks to deliver accelerated training and certificated skills to 75,000 Nigerians between ages of 18 years and 35 years.

“It aims to build a high crop of highly competent and skilled workforce of technicians, artisans and service professionals, who will be trained and tooled and transitioned annually to take up jobs as electrical installation technicians, plumbing and pipe fitting installers, masons, carpentry and gentry experts, welders, fabricators, professional painters, building technicians and so on,” he said.

“The focus has so far been zone by zone. Today, the contract for the Southeast zone of Nigeria was awarded to Hitech Investment Ltd at the sum of N122.8 million. It covers all the states in the south-east.

“The one for the north-west zone was awarded to Noble Ventures Limited in the sum of N145.1 million and it covers all the states in the north-west.”

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Kajuru killings: “I am saddened by the situation,” el-Rufai says

Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has cautioned all communities in the state to desist from the practice of reprisal attacks in resolving their differences.

This statement was made while the governor toured internally displaced persons (IDPs)’s camp in Maraban Kajuru in Kajuru local government area of the state on Wednesday.

He advised communities with grievances over killings or attacks to work with security agencies and allow the government to take up the administration of justice.

“I am saddened by the situation,” said el-Rufai in a statement issued by Samuel Aruwan, his spokesman.

“What we saw is unfortunate, but we must speak out and tell our people the right thing to be done. An eye for an eye is not a solution to the vicious cycles of killings and will complicate and undermine collective efforts.

“Our admonition is simple. If Fulani or Adara communities have complaints of killings or attacks, they should report and allow security agencies and government to take up the administration of justice. If these communities resort to taking the laws into their own hands, it will not work. That is not the solution.

“As a government, we will continue to collaborate with security agencies, traditional and religious institutions in peace building, but we will be frank to our communities. They have lived peacefully before this mistrust and they can rekindle the glorious past by simply not taking the laws into their own hands and doing away with jungle justice.

“On our own part, we will do our very best in protecting lives and property.  We will also not shy away from applying the law to anyone found complicit in the violent communal conflicts, irrespective of their status, religion, ethnicity or political persuasions. Let us cherish all lives. No life is more precious than another life.”

Twenty-one persons were recently reported by the state police command to have been killedby gunmen in Banono and Anguwan Aku communities in Kufana district of Kajuru LGA.

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President Omar of Sudan, bows to pressure, resigns after 30 years in power.

President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan has stepped down after 30 years in power, following mounting pressures by citizens in recent times.

His resignation followed a series of protests in Khartoum, capital of the country demanding his resignation as president.

Some news earlier indicated that there are reports that Al-Bashir and some of his aides were arrested in a military coup.

Al-Arabiya TV had reported that the army will soon announce the formation of a transitional council to be headed by Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, the first vice-president and defense minister of Sudan.

The Sudanese Professionals Association(SPA), the body mobilizing for the protests, have insisted that they will only accept the handover of power to a civilian transitional government.

Protesters gathered in front of the military headquarters as military vehicles were deployed on key roads and bridges in Khartoum.

They were reportedly shouting “It has fallen, we won,” according to Reuters.

The crisis took a new dimension last weekend with thousands of demonstrators camping outside the defence ministry compound in central Khartoum, where Bashir’s residence is located.

Series of clashes sparked off on Tuesday between soldiers trying to protect the protesters and intelligence and security personnel trying to disperse them.

Opposition figures have called for the military to help negotiate an end to Bashir’s nearly three decades in power and a transition to democracy.

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Anambra passes a bill to curtail spending on burials

The Anambra house of assembly has passed a bill, seeking to reduce burial expenses in the state.

In a move to curb what has become a culture of excessive spending on burials in Anambra state and other parts of Nigeria, the Anambra State House of Assembly prescribes far-reaching regulations on the way and manner burial ceremonies are to be undertaken in Anambra state henceforth.

The sponsor of the bill, Charles Ezeani, member representing Aniocha 11 constituency and sponsor of the bill, pointed out that the legislation provides that burial ceremonies will be held in one day, amongst others.

He went further to add that a provision in the bill is to the effect that no individual would be able to deposit a corpse in any mortuary in the state beyond two months.

He said if the legislation is assented to by the Governor, nobody will be subjected to a mourning period of more than one week from the date of the burial ceremony.

Specifically, he added that those in the habit of blocking roads and streets during burial ceremonies would be sanctioned.

An implementation committee that would monitor the implementation of the provisions of the legislation when signed into law, has been provided for in the bill, he said.

The bill scalled through after Rita Maduagwu, the speaker, put to a voice vote.

Maduagwu commended Ezeani for sponsoring the bill which she said “will moderate burial expenses” in Anambra.

The passage of the bill followed the outcry of Paulinus Ezeokafor, Catholic bishop of Awka diocese.

Ezeokafor had lamented that burial expenses have been on the rise in the state.

“All of us should strive to do good and be prepared for death as it comes like a thief.There is no repentance in the grave so everybody should work had to achieve heaven. We spend a lot in burial, we should bury the dead but not to the extent of spending that much”, the bishop had said during a sermon.

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