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Daily Archives: April 6, 2019

Adeleke qualifies to be governor, says Appeal Court

The Akure division of the Court of Appeal on Saturday said the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the September governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke was eligible to contest the election.

With the ruling, the controversies surrounding the eligibility of the lawmaker to contest the election or hold the office as a governor might have ended.

The Appeal Court in its ruling dismissed an appeal against the judgment of an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo which had earlier confirmed the eligibility of Adeleke to contest the governorship election.

An Osun State High Court had earlier ruled that Adeleke was qualified to contest for the governorship election, having been educated up to secondary school level.

The petitioners however proceeded to appeal against the ruling, maintaining that the Senator was not qualified and therefore Dr Akin Ogunbiyi who is the second runner up at the governorship primary should be declared the winner of the primary election of the party.

The Appeal court sitting in Akure, the Ondo state capital in its ruling dismissed the appeal on three grounds, affirming the judgment of the lower court that confirmed the eligibility of Adeleke.

The first ground was that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the case.

The second was that the sponsored petitioner; one Kingsley Awosiyan from Ife Central  has no locus standi to file the case and third was that the matter was brought to court outside the stipulated 14 days after the conduct of the Governorship primary election.

Reacting to the judgment, counsel to Adeleke, Nathaniel Oke said the latest judgment has knocked out the judgment of an Abuja High Court and rendered its conclusion ineffective, null and void with no effect on the candidacy of the PDP candidate for the September 2018 gubernatorial election.

He said the Abuja High court judgment had contradicted the Osogbo High court verdict by rejecting testimonies of WAEC, an examination body which in a sworn affidavit confirmed that Ademola Adeleke sat for its examination with attached results.

 

Buhari lists causes of terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday in Dead Sea, Jordan, urged world leaders to work towards narrowing gaps in social and economic opportunities for citizens as panacea to rising conflicts across the globe, attributing the Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria to lack of inclusion.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Middle East and North Africa, the President, who honoured an invitation by King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, said rising opportunities of prosperity for some people while others struggle to survive trigger tensions and conflicts.

“It is at this point that we must ask ourselves how we, as a region, got to this point. The answer, at least in the case of Nigeria, is the lack of social and economic inclusion.

“As Nigeria celebrated being the largest economy in Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Nigerians were migrating in droves through harsh desert conditions and across treacherous seas to seek what they believe would be a better life in Europe.

President Buhari addressing the World leaders at the opening of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa taking place at the Dead Sea in Jordan. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I strongly believe that the lack of social and economic inclusion was the root cause of many challenges we are experiencing,’’ he said.

President Buhari said the changes taking place across the world in technology, population, migration, trade and geo-politics had been yielding both positive and negative results and called for more collaboration across borders to alter tides of frustrations that fuel conflicts.

“It is my view, that no region of the world has felt the full impact of these dramatic shifts and shocks like the Middle East and Africa – North and Sub-Sahara.

“On one hand, our region is blessed with a very young, vibrant, enterprising and dynamic population. We also have valuable natural resources that are the envy of many nations.

“These assets and endowments contributed to our region experiencing some of the highest economic growth rates in the world. On the other hand, however, we have also been hosts to some of the deadliest conflicts in recent history. The deaths, damages and destructions caused by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram over the last ten years will take decades to repair,’’ he added.

President Buhari said terrorism around the world, including Boko Haram, had been significantly degraded, stressing that the insurgents no longer control any territory in Nigeria, but the country had been left with the task of rebuilding.

“In this digital age where physical borders no longer exist to protect even the most secured nations, the only way to overcome predatory and divisionary forces is for all well-meaning nations to work together for the greater good of mankind.

“Simply put, cooperation amongst sovereign nations is no longer a choice. It is an absolute necessity,’’ the President said.

He told the gathering of leaders, entrepreneurs and economic experts that Nigeria’s population is one hundred and ninety million, and by 2050, estimated to hit three hundred and ninety million, making it the third most populous country in the world.

President Buhari said he spent the last four years tackling security issues in the country and implementing policies that make the economy more inclusive.

“We are extremely grateful to the many countries that have stood with Nigeria to confront this global scourge and in particular, the Kingdom of Jordan under the leadership of His Majesty, the King.

“Furthermore, our economic diversification and social inclusion policies are also yielding positive results. Our country has now returned to the path of growth. We are making gains in the ease of doing business indices.

The President said the agricultural sector in Nigeria is driving government’s efforts to diversify the economy, adding that “in the spirit of “Building New Platforms of Cooperation’, we partnered with the Kingdom of Morocco to domesticate fertilizer production in Nigeria and revive over two million tons of abandoned fertilizer blending plant capacity. The outcome is we created tens of thousands of jobs in agriculture, logistics, manufacturing and retail sectors.’’

He said Nigeria had achieved moderate and inclusive growth in four years.

President Buhari said Africa and the Middle East must focus on policies that deliver shared economic prosperity for all citizens, adding that more could be done on trade and investments.

“Opportunities exist in key job creating sectors such as Agriculture, Health, Tourism, ICT, Infrastructure as well as Textile and garmenting to mention a few. Our new, inclusive and diversified Nigeria is definitely open for business. Our population, resources, policies and programs make it the most attractive investment destination in Africa,’’ he said.

King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan said inclusive growth will be of benefit to the entire world, especially when it creates enabling environment for youths and women.

The king of Jordan said opportunities must be expanded fast, while noting that “the challenges we face are not only problems to be solved rather they are opportunities for collaboration.’’

UN Secretary General Secretary-General António Guterres said the world will be better off with stronger collaboration, commending Jordan for playing a historical role in restoring peace in the Middle East, especially between Israel and Palestine.

The founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, who congratulated President Buhari for his re-election for a second term, said discussions at the forum will focus on new ideas, entrepreneurship, innovation, environment, peace and reconciliation.

‘He was my only son’ — mother of slain LUTH doctor speaks

The mother of Stephen Urueye, a medical doctor stabbed to death in Lagos, says she experienced difficulty while giving birth to him.

The grieving woman simply identified as Aderonke had initially refused to open up on the tragedy that befell her family shortly after they were at the peak of celebration.

On Tuesday, Urueye lined up among the thousands of students who graduated from the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Less than 48 hours after, he was murdered by suspected robbers at a place called “canal” near the gate of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba.

His aggrieved mother told Punch that she was hoping he would get married while she would live with his family.

The widow described her only son as “gentle”, asking his killers “what I did to deserve this type of thing?”

“Stephen was a covenant child. I gave birth to him at an old age. I went through hell during his delivery. It was through a Caesarean Section,” Aderonke was quoted to have said.

“As my only son, I had hoped he would get married and live with me with his wife and children. Death should have taken me instead of my only son.

“My son was a gentle boy. Only a few people knew him on the street where we live because he was easy-going.

“I want to see the killers of my son and ask them what I did to deserve this type of thing from them”

Urueye’s death happened four days after that of Kolade Johnson, a football fan, who was killed in the Mangoro area of the state by a trigger-happy policeman.

Nigerians have taken to social media to decry the insecurity in the country, calling on the government to take swift actions in ensuring the safety of lives and property of the citizens.

Kolade Johnson’s killer remanded in Ikoyi prison

A magistrate’s court in Lagos has ordered that Olalekan Ogunyemi, the dismissed police officer who killed Kolade Johnson, be kept at Ikoyi prison.

AO Salawu, the magistrate, gave the order when Ogunyemi was arraigned before him on Friday.

He said the dismissed officer will remain in the prison, pending advice from the state director of public prosecutions (DPP).

Kehinde Olatunde, the prosecutor, had told the court that the defendant who lives  at 17, Alhaji Ede street, Igando, used his Ak-47 rifle to gun down Johnson.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 223 of the criminal law of Lagos state, 2015, adding that section 223 stipulates a death sentence if convicted.

He also informed the court that he had a remand application order by the police to remand the defendant for the next 30 days.

Sola Adeyemi, counsel to the defendant, however, urged the court to instead remand the defendant for the next 14 days as against the application of the prosecutor, but the plea was not taken by the court.

The magistrate granted the application of the prosecutor and ordered that Ogunyemi should be behind bars for 30 days.

He then adjourned the case till May 6.

A stray bullet had hit the deceased during a raid by the anti-cultism unit of the police command at Onipetesi, Lagos-Abeokuta road, on Sunday.

Following a nationwide outrage, the police identified Ogunyemi and Godwin Orji, a sergeant, as suspects who carried out the shooting.

Ogunyemi was found guilty after an orderly room trial that started on Monday, and he was eventually dismissed from the police force on Thursday.

I withdrew $10m just to look at it, says Dangote

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, says he withdrew $10 million just to look at it and convince himself that he is rich.

Speaking at the Mo Ibrahim governance weekend ongoing in Abidjan, Dangote said he knew he was rich on paper, but had to convince himself that he was indeed rich.

To do this, the multi-billionaire said he drove to a bank, withdrew $10 million, took it home, put it on his bed, looked at it, and returned it back to the bank the following day.

“The way it is that when you first start business, your target is to make your first million. Fine, I did that,” Dangote told Mo Ibrahim.

“After a year or so, I realised that I had much more, and I said ok, fine, all these numbers are just written numbers.

“One day I went to a bank, and at that time, there were no restrictions, and I wrote a cheque and cashed $10m from the bank and put it in the boot of my vehicle, and I went home and I opened it and I looked at $10m and I said ‘now I believe I have money’.”

Dangote added that he took it back to the bank the next day — after his mission was concluded.

The Nigerian businessman has been the richest man in Africa for nearly a decade, following the expansion of his cement business, and the change of model to focus on local manufacturing.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Dangote is the 74th richest man in the world as of April 6, and he is valued at $16.4 billion.

Onnoghen resigned because the cabal had sealed his fate – Ozekhome

Mike Ozekhome, human rights lawyer, says Walter Onnoghen resigned as chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) because he knew his fate had been pre-determined by the cabal.

Onnoghen turned in his resignation letter on Thursday, a day after the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended that he be compulsorily retired.

In a piece Ozekhome wrote on the travails of the former CJN, the senior lawyer said Onnoghen was a victim of politics.

“I knew it would come sooner than later. When Justice Walter Onnoghen’s travails started in January, I predicted that the cabal was out to rubbish him. They desired to bespatter him with the paintbrush of shame, odium and obloquy in such a way as to make him visibly unfit for the position of the CJN. They went after his jugular, using the CCB/CCT,” Ozekhome said.

“The CCT was unrelenting: it discarded its earlier precedents; ignored court rulings barring it from trying Onnoghen. It was the case of the falcon not hearing the falconer.

“The Court of Appeal became complicit. It refused to deliver judgments in Onnoghen’s cases argued before it over six weeks ago. Nigerians watched Onnoghen being mob-lynched. Onnoghen was tried in the media, criminalized, humiliated.

“So, Onnoghen, faced with the reality of the situation, knew that his faith had been pre-determined by the cabal, signed, sealed and delivered.”

Ozekhome also accused the NJC of jumping into conclusion over the case.

He said the council acted on unproven allegations and that any attempt to harass and humiliate the judiciary is setting a stage for bidding democracy farewell.

“Otherwise, how can NJC hold that it decided not to delve into the allegations, relating to assets declaration leveled against Onnoghen because they were subjudice, yet convicted him on the petitions written by EFCC and others, when the said petitions remained in the realm of mere unproven allegations?” he asked.

Mathematics lecturer commits suicide on UI campus

Mr. A. O. Subair, a lecturer in the mathematics department of the University of Ibadan, has taken his life.

A non-academic member of staff of the university said that the deceased was suspected to have committed suicide at senior staff quarters, Phillipson Road, inside the university.

“His room was the only part not engulfed in the fire… there were no fire burns on his body but there’s there’s a possibility that he might have poisoned himself,” the official, who did not want to be named, said.

Another source said he choked to death during a fire outbreak in his apartment.

He was said to have suffered from depression before his demise, fuelling speculations that he might have taken his own life.

The lecturer, described as the “most brilliant” in the department, was said to have been on his PhD for 22 years without confirmation.

He was said to have resigned from the department in 2018 but the head of department allegedly did not process his resignation.

“That led to psychological issues and he transferred it to his family and caused a separation between them,” a source said.

“Before then, he would lock himself inside his office and will not allow anybody to enter.

“Instead of them to seek help, they left him. The family members said it has been over a year they heard from him. They called him, sent messages and emails and he would not respond.”

Babachir Lawal: I can be president of Nigeria

Babachir Lawal, a former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), says he is qualified to lead Nigeria.

In an interview with The Sun, Lawal said the constitution did not limit the presidency to any part of the country.

He was speaking on the issue of zoning the 2023 presidency outside the north.

“Every part of Nigeria can produce a president, a competent one,” he said.

“I know so many. Being a cosmopolitan man, I know Igbos not less than ten that can successfully run this country; I know Yorubas that can do, I know Ijaws that can do, I know Hausas that can do, I know even Kilba.

“Hey myself, my friend, I can be president of this country. I consider myself quite competent to do so from a small tribe of 300,000 people. There are so many such tribes that can produce good, competent leaders all over Nigeria.

“Even if it is in the north, if we say the north-west has produced a presidential candidate, the south-west had produced one, I don’t see why the north-central can- not produce or the north-east cannot produce just as south-south, south-east, south-west and even north-west can still produce. The constitution doesn’t say it is prohibited. And as I said, I believe every zone, every state, has capable people that can run this country effectively.”

Lawal said the idea of deputies succeeding their principals is neither in the constitution of Nigeria nor that of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Also touching on the outcome of the governorship election in his state of Adamawa, Lawal blamed APC’s loss on Jibrilla Bindow , governor of the state.

He accused the governor of hijacking the party structure.

“Part of what led to this outcome was a historical position that the government of Bindow had on several occasions publicly declared that their government was a government of Atiku,” he said.

“It is on record that in so many fora, his supporters, his henchmen had said it in his presence and he didn’t take any step to deny it. I remember at one of their road launching somewhere in Adamawa State, the then-led Chief of Staff, made a long speech in which he insisted that Adamawa State Government was for Atiku. Now, we did also point out the fact that the governor himself had claimed that it was Atiku’s money that facilitated his victory at the polls.

“He had said that on several occasions. We have also had cause to protest that in Bindow’s government, there were about seven serving com- missioners who were very close to Atiku, including his own daughter. Without regard to their merit as qualified indigenes, but I mean, their political inclinations in normal politics will disqualify them from participating in an APC government. But the governor didn’t think so.”

Lawal was sacked as SGF in October 2017, after he was indicted in the over N544m grass-cutting scandal.

Some bankers launder funds for terrorists, says Magu

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says some “fraudsters in banks are laundering public funds for corrupt politicians and terrorists”.

Magu made the assertion during a meeting with compliance officers of different banks in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital on Friday.

According to him, apart from colluding with the corrupt politicians and “terrorists”, the banks also help internet fraudsters commit financial crimes using money transfer services.

“The banks also help the politically exposed persons to steal and launder public funds,” he said.

“Money is being laundered and money is being used to fund terrorism in the country.  There are more terrorist activities in this country. So, it is a good business for them.

“You will also agree with me that the banks give lifelines to internet fraudsters; the one we call Yahoo boys.

“They (banks) provide market for them through MoneyGram and Western Union that are readily available.

“They  throw confidentiality to the wind and subject people’s accounts to a lot of intimidation and extortion.

“So, this is the reason we say we must come here. We have to talk. Unfortunately, we have fraudsters working in the banks; working right inside the banks.”

The EFCC chairman said there are some bad elements within the commission who give the fraudsters cover.

“We want to put in our machinery to deal with such fraudulent activities of the bankers and some law enforcement agencies,” he said .

“There are bad eggs among us, even in the EFCC, there seems to be readily available partnership with some fraudulent elements within the bank to perpetrate certain fraudulent activities and money laundering. I think this is basically the reason we called this meeting.”

Magu said the commission would go after governors with outstanding corruption cases, but were covered by immunity.

“We will go after them.  We will not let anybody go,” he said.

FRSC to modify driver’s licence to meet international standards

Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps says the corps will commence the modification of the driver’s licence to meet international standards.

Oyeyemi disclosed this when the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, was at the FRSC headquarters in Abuja on Friday, to renew his driver’s licence.

He said the corps’ management would carry out a slight adjustment to the licence, to fully conform to international standards, with regards to the United Nations Conventions on Road Traffic and Safety.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had in October 2018 accented to five UN Conventions.

The conventions included the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic and 1958 Agreement Concerning the Adoption of Uniform Technical Prescriptions for Wheeled Vehicles, among others.

Oyeyemi noted that the corps had an obligation to the contents of the conventions, which he said must be complied with.

He said that with the granting of accent to the conventions, Nigeria’s driver’s licence was now recognised across the globe.

“Our national road traffic regulations must be amended in conformity; some issues that are left undone, we must now ensure the regulations to cover them.

“For our principal Act that is going through repeal and re-enactment at the National Assembly, we are going to forward an addendum to ensure that this is incorporated once and for all,” Oyeyemi said.

He said that overall, Nigeria, as a member-nation of the UN, was doing well globally, in terms of road safety.

“Only 10 countries globally have fully accented to the UN Conventions on Road Traffic and Safety and Nigeria is the only one in Africa.

The COAS commended the modern facilities at the FRSC headquarters, saying that they would enhance the functions of the corps in fulfilment of its mandate.

Buratai lauded the management of FRSC in curtailing the proliferation of fake licences by 99 per cent.

“I appreciate you for always making available your personnel to participate in our exercises.

“We will continue to request for your services in saving lives and ensuring smooth driving in the country,” he said.

(NAN)

UK takes EU off passport

British passports without the words “European Union” on the front cover have been issued despite the Brexit delay.

The burgundy passports were introduced from March 30th, the day after Britain was expected to leave the EU.

Some passports including the words “European Union” will continue to be issued while the remaining stock is used up.

But those applying for a new travel document will not be able to choose between the two.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Burgundy passports that no longer include the words European Union on the front cover were introduced from 30 March 2019.

“In order to use leftover stock and achieve best value to the taxpayer, passports that include the words European Union will continue to be issued for a short period after this date.

“There will be no difference for British citizens whether they are using a passport that includes the words European Union, or a passport that does not. Both designs will be equally valid for travel.”

The decision to remove the words was made in anticipation of Britain leaving the EU at the end of last month.

Dark blue passports are scheduled to be issued from the end of this year.

Ibadan chiefs petition EFCC, accuse Ajimobi on plundering LG funds

Some Ibadan mogajis claiming to represent heads of family compounds in the ancient city have filed a petition with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accusing Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state of plundering funds belonging to local governments in the state.

Is the petition dated April 2, 2019 signed by  Moshood Gbola Akere, Abass Oloko and Ademola Olasomi on behalf of others, the mogajis urged the EFCC to investigate the local government accounts, procurement processes for the LG and LG funds in excess of N34bn domiciled with Heritage Bank.

They claimed that Ajimobi and his cronies were creaming of the said LG funds even with just two months left to the expiration of the governor’s term in office.

Below is the full petition:

SAVE OYO STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDS FROM FURTHER PLUNDERING

2nd of April, 2019.

The Chairman,

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,

FCT Abuja.

We the undersigned are the traditional heads of various family compounds in the 25 local government/local council development areas of Ibadanland, which is 52% of the population of Oyo State. We are the grassroot leaders protesting the interests of our people.

1. The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has been using the Head of Service, Mrs. OlawumiOgunesan, who was until last year, the permanent Secretary of the Local Government Ministry to run the accounts of the Ministry without recourse to the Law.

2. There’s a portion of the Local Government Fund regarded as Excess Crude Oil Account, which is kept with Heritage Bank where the Governor’s Son-in-Law is a Senior Manager.

3. The excess Crude Oil Account is being run without recourse to due Process. There’s a high disregard for the Procurement Act. None of the 33 Councils where there are elected Chairmen and Councilors has passed any Appropriation Law to give the expenditure incurred on the Account any form of Legality. Governor Ajimobi has constituted himself into Law, spending the money through Mrs. Ogunesan and the HLAs with impunity.

4. In the past 6 months, about N9.9 Billion was taken from the Local Government Account without any legal authorization. The Governor and Mrs. Ogunesan using the Local Government Officials organized a kind of direct Labour in all the 33 Local Governments to undertake procurement contrary to the Procurement Law. It also amounted to misappropriation, because there was no appropriation law backing the Expenditure.

5. Recently, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Infrastructure, who is also the Head of the Public Works Department, Mr. Gbenga Akintola has been the one saddled with the responsibility of undertaking procurement for the 33 Local Governments and 35 local council development areas. This is against the Law and a further demonstration of the impunity with which the Governor has been spending Local government Funds.

6. The Governor using the Head of Service, Mrs. Olawumi Ogunesan has directed the Heads of Local Government Administration (HLA) in the 33 local governments to come up with proposals for spending money in the stabilization Accounts of the Local governments, even when it is known that the administration has less than 2 months in the Office.
7. Currently, there’s a sum of #34.6 billion in the Local Government Account domicile in Heritage Bank. The money has been kept in a fixed deposit account yielding interests to the Governor and Mrs. Ogunesan. As the Governor’s Party lost out in the Governorship Election conducted last Month, plans are underway to spend this money in the twilight of his administration.

8. It is sad that a huge sum of money to the tune of #34.6 billion could be kept in Heritage Bank, where the Governor and his Cronies are making money through accrued interests and also using the Local Government money to secure the Job of his Son-in-Law. If the moneyhad been judiciously and legally appropriated for the use of the local governments it would have stimulated the economy of the state in many beneficial ways. It further shows the wickedness Of the Governor and the extent of his selfishness.

OUR REQUEST

We pray that the EFCC kindly undertake the following:

I. ​EFCC should investigate the accounts of the Oyo State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters in the past one year.

II. ​The EFCC to investigate the procurement process of all the local governments and the local council development areas in the state.

III.​The EFCC should also investigate the operations of the Local Government Account with Heritage Bank.

IV.​The EFCC should freeze the Local Government Account with Heritage Bank or any other bank to prevent further dissipation of the funds by the out-going Governor and his agents and/or proxies. We count on your usual effectiveness in matters of this nature.

We remain Yours sincerely

Mogaji Moshood Gbola Akere

​​​​ Mogaji Abass Oloko

Mogaji Ademola Olasomi