Monday , 15 July 2019
Latest
Home » 2019 » April » 16

Daily Archives: April 16, 2019

France’s richest families lead $700 million fundraising effort for Notre Dame

France’s three wealthiest families are coming to the rescue of a national icon, spearheading a fundraising drive to rebuild Notre Dame that has topped $700 million.

The billionaires behind luxury giants LVMH Group, Kering and L’Oreal on Tuesday pledged a combined €500 million ($565 million) after a massive fire ripped through the Paris cathedral.

LVMH and its CEO Bernard Arnault have promised €200 million ($226 million). The donation has been matched by the Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L’Oreal.

The Pinault family, which operates luxury conglomerate Kering has pledged €100 million ($113 million).

The three fashion dynasties have invoked patriotism and shared cultural identity in explaining their generosity following the devastating fire.

Other French companies have also written big checks: The oil and gas company Total has promised €100 million ($113 million), while tech and consulting firm Capgemini will give €1 million ($1.1 million).

Combined with other donations from companies including French bank Crédit Agricole, the total amount pledged by business and wealthy donors has reached $700 million.

Luxury giving

LVMH  which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, said in a statement that its donation showed “solidarity with this national tragedy” and that funds would be used to rebuild this “extraordinary cathedral.”

The fashion house went on to describe Notre Dame as a “symbol of French heritage and unity.” LVMH said it would make its creative and financial teams available to help with rebuilding and soliciting donations.

Arnault, its CEO, is the third richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth comes in at $90.4 billion, more than that of Warren Buffett or Mark Zuckerberg.

In addition to its fashion lines, LVMH controls high-end alcohol brands such as Dom Pérignon, Hennessy and Veuve Clicquot, as well as popular beauty retailer Sephora.

LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault pictured in 2018.LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault pictured in 2018.

Kering, which is the home for brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, was first out of the gate Tuesday with its donation.

“This tragedy is striking all the French people, and beyond that, all those attached to spiritual values,” François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, said in a statement.

“Faced with this tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back to this jewel of our heritage as soon as possible,” added Pinault, who is the son of the billionaire businessman François Pinault.

The Pinault family is worth an estimated $37.3 billion, per Bloomberg.

François-Henri Pinault, who manages the family’s businesses, is married to actress Salma Hayek. Kering also owns fashion brands such as Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.

The Bettencourt family owns a 33% stake in L’Oreal, which controls brands like Maybelline, Lancome, Garnier and Kiehl’s.

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the richest woman in the world, is worth $53.5 billion, according to Bloomberg.

She inherited the stake from her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, who died in 2017. Bettencourt Meyers is the granddaughter of the company’s founder, Eugene Schueller.

The rebuilding process

The blaze at Notre Dame on Monday devastated large parts of the 850-year-old church, including its iconic spire. The fire was extinguished after nine hours.

French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild the site, saying Monday that France will launch an international fundraising campaign to assist with the effort.

The process will be expensive and lengthy, and it could take time to begin in earnest. Immediate steps will need to be taken to prevent further damage, since the structure is now particularly vulnerable to water damage.

It’s tough to estimate the total time and cost of the restoration.

The Venice Opera House, which was gutted by a blaze in 1996, reportedly reopened eight years later after €60 million ($68 million) was spent.

When Windsor Castle, one of Britain’s royal residences, was severely damaged in a fire in 1992, it reopened nearly five years later at a cost of £36.5 million ($47.8 million).

CNN

Ajax stun Juventus, qualify for Champions League semis

Ajax stunned Juventus to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 1997 as Matthijs de Ligt’s thumping second-half header secured a 2-1 second-leg victory in the last eight in Turin on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, bidding for his sixth Champions League title, scored a 28th-minute header to put Juve ahead after a 1-1 first-leg draw, but Donny van de Beek levelled for Ajax before half-time.

Teenage centre-back De Ligt struck midway through the second period, though, to seal a 3-2 aggregate win and set up a last-four clash with either Manchester City or Tottenham.

The young Dutch side had already eliminated three-time defending champions Real Madrid en route to the quarters, overturning a 2-1 home defeat against the Spanish side with a memorable 4-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Juventus had been looking to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the third time in the past five seasons.

But Ronaldo, who scored an away goal last week with a diving header in Amsterdam, was Juve’s only weapon against the impressive Dutch side.

The 34-year-old was signed for 100 million euros ($117 million) last summer from Real Madrid in a bid to win the European trophy for the first time since 1996, when they beat Ajax in the final.

Massimiliano Allegri had been forced to reshuffle his side because of injuries, with Paulo Dybala returning in place of the injured Mario Mandzukic, while captain Giorgio Chiellini was also sidelined.

Ajax’s defence took a hit when Noussair Mazraoui, who had replaced the suspended Nicolas Tagliafico, limped off on 11 minutes with an ankle injury, with Daley Sinkgraven coming on.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana dived to keep out a scorching Dybala half-volley in the 20th minute.

– Ronaldo leaves Onana no chance –

But Ronaldo latched onto a Miralem Pjanic corner with a downward header that left Onana without no chance.

It was the Portugal star’s 126th Champions League goal and sixth of this campaign, having now scored in his past six European games against Ajax, netting nine goals in total.

But Van de Beek soon silenced the cheers of the home crowd when he controlled a wayward Hakim Ziyech shot six minutes later, rolling the ball past Szczesny to cancel out Juventus’ away goal and make it 2-2 on aggregate.

Teenage striker Moise Kean replaced Dybala after the break, but it was the Dutch who turned on the style, with only Szczesny’s reflexes keeping Juventus in the tie.

The Polish keeper denied Ziyech from close range with one hand, and minutes later tipped Van de Beek’s curling effort over the bar.

The Juventus back-line struggled with the pace of the Dutch team with Pjanic doing well to deny Ziyech a tap-in.

But Erik ten Hag’s side’s incessant pressure paid off with 19-year-old skipper De Ligt towering above Alex Sandro and Daniele Rugani to head home Lasse Schone’s corner on 67 minutes.

Ziyech looked as if he had fired a third past Szczesny, but his goal was ruled offside after a VAR check.

And the Dutch visitors held on, with Ronaldo unable to make a difference after his incredible hat-trick had pulled Juventus into the quarter-finals in the last-16 win over Atletico Madrid.

Four-time winners Ajax won their third consecutive title in 1973 at the expense of Juventus, and last lifted the trophy in 1995, with their last semi-final appearances ending in defeat by Juve 22 years ago.

AFP.

Three things we learned from Barcelona v Man Utd

Barcelona cruised into the Champions League semi-finals as their 3-0 win against Manchester United sealed a 4-0 aggregate success on Tuesday.

Here, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the quarter-final second-leg clash:

No Camp Nou repeat for Solskjaer

Barcelona’s Camp Nou will always hold a special place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s heart, but the Manchester United manager won’t regard the famous old arena with quite as much fondness after this frustrating loss.

It was the first time Solskjaer had played or managed at the Camp Nou since scoring the treble-clinching winner for United in the final seconds of the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Twenty years after the goal he has seen a “million times” since, lightning didn’t strike twice for the Norwegian.

“We are confident but humble enough to know it’s our hardest night of the season,” he said in a prescient comment just before kick-off.

United were aiming to overturn another first-leg deficit after their epic effort in recovering from 2-0 down to beat Paris Saint-Germain on away goals in the last 16.

But, crucially, Marcus Rashford hit the bar with a glorious chance to give United the lead inside 40 seconds and it wasn’t long before Lionel Messi put the tie beyond Solskjaer’s reach.

Messi feasts on English foes again

Lionel Messi extended his incredible record of tormenting Premier League clubs in the Champions League.

Messi has now scored 24 goals in 32 Champions League games against English opponents, more than any other player in the tournament.

Accelerating away from Fred, Messi was granted too much space by United defender Chris Smalling on the edge of the area and took full advantage with a superb low shot that flashed past David de Gea in the 16th minute.

It was a sweet moment of revenge for Messi, who suffered a facial injury in the first leg after a clash with Smalling.

Messi’s first Champions League quarter-final goal since April 2013 ended a run of 12 games at this stage without netting.

Just four minutes later, Messi effectively clinched Barca’s return to the semi-finals for the first time since 2015 with a helping hand from United keeper De Gea, whose woeful attempted save failed to stop the Argentine’s weak shot slip under his body.

Messi has 45 goals in 41 games in all competitions this season, with his 10 in the Champions League making him the tournament’s leading scorer in 2018-19.

With Messi on their side, it’s no wonder Barca are now unbeaten in 31 Champions League home games.

Liverpool remain the only Premier League club to win at the Camp Nou in 24 attempts dating back to February 2007.

Coutinho makes his point

Philippe Coutinho has endured a difficult time since moving to Barcelona for £142 million ($185 million) in January 2018, but the former Liverpool forward gave a timely reminder of his quality with a stunning strike to wrap up the victory.

Substituted during Barca’s recent win over Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou, Coutinho’s disappointing form reached a new low when he was whistled by a small section of his own fans.

But the Brazilian was handed a start against United as one of Barca’s front three instead of Ousmane Dembele, who has just recovered from a hamstring injury, and at last he showed a glimpse of the talent that made him such a favourite of United’s rivals at Anfield.

With Barca already well on the way to the last four by the 61st minute, Coutinho had nothing to lose when he unleased a majestic curling effort that raced into the top corner from 20 yards.

Coutinho seized the opportunity to emphasise that he won’t be affected by the doubters, celebrating the goal by sticking his fingers in both ears while staring at the crowd in a defiant gesture.

AFP.

Gowon: We won’t be depending on fuel imports if my plan to build five refineries had worked

General Yakubu Gowon, a former military head of state, says Nigeria would not be dependent on fuel imports if plans by his administration to build five refineries had succeeded.

Nigeria currently imports most of the refined petroleum products in circulation through crude oil swap deals and falls prey to scarcity of the products from time to time.

The government owns four refineries with a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) but have been operating well below capacity, hitting an all-time low in 2017.

But speaking at the second annual Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) international conference in Lagos on Monday, Gowon said three refineries designed for local consumption were built during his rule between 1966 and 1975.

Gowon said one of the export-oriented refineries would have been dedicated to the local market to meet rising demand.

“During our time, we planned to build five export-oriented refineries to be able to deal with exporting of crude oil for refined products,” he said.

“But then, we had the three refineries–Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna–for home consumption.

“Today our consumption has grown more than the three refineries can do, and what would have happened is that we would transfer one of the export-oriented refineries to feed the local market.

“That is the way that it would have been.”

The former head of state hoped that the modular refineries coming on stream will reduce the nation’s dependence on petrol imports and bring an end to subsidy.

“With the modular refineries coming up, I hope things will improve and there will be reduction of our dependence on export of our crude oil for refined petroleum products as this has created a lot of problem like subsidy and other challenges,” he said.

“I hope the modular refinery will solve the problem.”

Oil slips to $71, hit by talk of higher OPEC+ production

Brent oil slipped to around $71 a barrel on Tuesday, pressured by expectations of higher U.S. inventories and concern about Russia’s willingness to stick with OPEC-led supply cuts.

Analysts on average expect U.S. crude stockpiles to have risen by 1.9 million barrels last week, the fourth straight increase.

The first of this week’s stockpile reports is due at 2030 GMT from the American Petroleum Institute.

“We have already seen these inventories going higher in the last week’s print,” said Naeem Aslam, Chief Market Analyst at TF Global Markets in London.

“The rising inventory data has raised many questions for investors – no one wants to see the oil glut again.”

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 12 cents at $71.06 a barrel at 0801 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained six cents to $63.46.

While OPEC-led supply cuts have boosted Brent by more than 30 per cent this year, gains have been limited by worries that slowing economic growth could weaken demand for fuel.

Oil also fell on Monday after comments from Russia raised concern that the OPEC-led supply-cutting pact may not be renewed.

Russia and the producer group may decide to boost output to fight for market share with the U.S., TASS news agency сited Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries   and other producers including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, have been cutting output since January 1.

They will decide in June whether to continue the arrangement.

“There is a growing concern that Russia will not agree on extending production cuts and we could see them officially abandon it in the coming months,” said Edward Moya, Senior Market Analyst at OANDA.

Court orders DSS to produce Dasuki on May 24 for trial

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an FCT High Court Maitama, on Tuesday, issued a production warrant to the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS) to produce Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) in court to face his trial on May 24.

Dasuki,  a former National Security Adviser (NSA) to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since 2015.

On trial with him are Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director, and two firms – Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital.

They are arraigned on 32 counts of criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and dishonest release and receiving of various sums of money to the tune of N33.3 billion.

The judge, Baba-Yusuf ordered for a production warrant to be issued on the Director General of DSS to produce Dasuki in court for his trial at the next adjourned date.

Production warrant is issued when a defendant is in the custody of the state as is in Dasuki‘s case.

The judge also ordered the prosecution to liaise with the DSS to produce the defendant whenever his matter comes up.

‘Hence, I will issue a production warrant to the DG, DSS to produce the defendant for his trial on the next adjourned date.

He then adjourned until May 24 for trial.

Earlier, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolegbe, had expressed surprises when he found out that Dasuki was not in court.

Atolegbe told the court that it was the duty of the DSS to produce the dependant who was in their custody.
Dasuki‘s counsel, Mr Victor Okwudiri, told the court that it was the duty of the prosecution to produce the defendant in court and it is their duty also to explain his absence.

Counsel for the second defendant , Mr Solomon Umoh (SAN), told the court that it was now a common knowledge that the defendant was in the custody of the state.

He said much as the ACJA allows for trial on absentia, this is an occasion where the law did not contemplate, ‘ My Lord can use his inherent power in two ways’

‘One issuance of production warrant and secondly, issuance of bench warrant ‘ the prosecution should find a way of producing the defendant in court’
he said .

Counsel for the third and fourth, Mr A Rilman and A. Ayodele, aligned with the learned silk.

 

We’ll offer asylum to ex-Sudanese president if he asks —Uganda Govt

Uganda is willing to offer asylum to former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should he apply, a state minister for foreign affairs on Tuesday said.

Henry Oryem, Uganda’s minister of state for international affairs, told the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs that the ousted leader is a guarantor to the South Sudan peace process.

“If Bashir applies for asylum here that is something the government of Uganda can consider because Bashir is a guarantor to our peace talks,” said.

Oryem, while presenting the ministry’s budget requirements for financial year 2019 to 2020 said, Bashir and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni are the guarantors to the peace deal in the neighbouring South Sudan.

“We wish and urge that Sudan should remain intact whatever happens, no one should have aspiration or desire for Sudan to break.

“This is what Uganda is urging, privately and publicly. We don’t under estimate that what happens in Sudan has an effect on Uganda.”

The minister said the authorities in Kampala were closely monitoring the ongoing events in Khartoum, where street protests have continued after the military removed Bashir from power last week.

“We are watching Sudan very closely and we classify Sudan as our immediate neighbour.

“The transition is very volatile and as far as we are concerned we urge the government in Sudan to respect the will of the people,” said Oryem.

The Sudanese army ousted and detained Bashir on April 11 in response to four months of nationwide protests against his three-decade rule. (Xinhua/NAN)

Appeal Court affirms conviction of Congolese for $551,225 money laundering

The Court of Appeal in Lagos Tuesday affirmed the conviction of a Congolese, Kutumisana Blaise, and the forfeiture of $551,225 to the federal government.

In a unanimous judgment, three justices of the appellate court l – Mohammed Garba, Tom Yakubu and Jamilu Tukur – upheld the July 7, 2015 verdict of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The appellate court further concurred with the decision of the lower court over the forfeiture of the money, saying that the said amount was properly forfeited to the Federal Government.

On why the judgment of the lower court was affirmed, Justice Yakubu, who read the lead judgment, said, “I have myself perused the pieces of evidence proffered by the witnesses at the court below vis-a-vis the findings made by the learned trial judge which ultimately culminated in the conviction of the appellant (Blaise).

“I am satisfied that those findings are clearly borne out of the evidence placed before his lordship. The findings are, to my mind, unassailable. I have no reason whatsoever to tamper or interfere with them. I affirm them accordingly. In the end, I resolve the sole issue in this appeal against the appellant.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had arraigned the convict on April 21, 2015 before Justice Buba.

EFCC counsel Abba Muhammed urged Justice Buba to convict Mr. Blaise, following his failure to declare the said $551,225 in his possession to the men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the point of entry into Nigeria.

According to Mr. Abba, Blaise’s action is contrary to Section 2 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No 1 of 2012.

In his judgement on July 7, 2015, Justice Buba upheld the argument of the EFCC’s lawyer and sentenced Mr. Blaise accordingly

The judge further directed that the said $551,225, which Mr. Blaise failed to declare, be forfeited to the federal government.

Dissatisfied with the verdict of Justice Buba, the convict approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos, for intervention, asking the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.

Supreme Court to give verdict on Fayemi’s eligibility

The Supreme Court will on Wednesday deliver judgment in the appeal filed by former Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni challenging the eligibility of Governor Kayode Fayemi to stand as a candidate in the July 14, 2018, governorship poll.

Oni in the suit claimed that Fayemi was not eligible to run as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate having not resigned as Minister of Mines and Steel Development 30 days before the party’s primary election.

The ex-governor who came second in the APC governorship primary also claimed that Fayemi shouldn’t have contested on the strength of an indictment by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by former Governor Ayo Fayose.

The Panel’s White Paper which indicted Fayemi and banned him from office for 10 years has been quashed by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.

Oni’s cases before a Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti and the Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti were dismissed for lacking merit.

The judgment notice of the case marked SC 205/2019 which was seen by our reporter was signed by one Ibrahim Gold, Director/Head of Litigation, on behalf of the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court.

The notice reads: “Take notice that the judgment on the above appeal will be delivered at 9.00hrs before the Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting at Abuja on Wednesday the 17th day of April, 2019.

“And further take notice that this Notice is deemed sufficiently served on you if it is delivered on your legal e-mail or/and telephone via this number even if same is not acknowledged.

“This Notice Supersedes the earlier one.”

25,000 underage Nigerians kids use tobacco products daily – Group

No fewer than 25,000 underage Nigerians use tobacco products daily, Nigerian activists under the aegis of the Tobacco Free Nigeria campaign says.

Ms Ebiuwa Uwagboe, a campaign specialist at Gatefield, the public strategy group backing the campaign disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

Uwagboe called on government to enforce the law banning the sale of tobacco products to the underage to check such smokers in the country.

“Every day, a whooping 25,000 children in Nigeria between the ages of 10 and 14 years use tobacco products.

“This equates to 17 children smoking every one minute.

“This is a result of the relative ease of their access to cigarettes and other tobacco related products, which are sold to them by vendors,” she said.

Uwagboe added that smoking among teenagers had devastating consequences including health related ones such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as reduced mental development.

“Children must be protected as they lack capacity and are often unwitting targets of the tobacco industry,” she said.

She noted that a recent survey released by Gatefield discovered that one out of every four vendors sold cigarettes to kids in the country.

She added that the Nigerian Tobacco act of 2015 prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 but that the law was not being implemented or enforced.

“While it is important to have the right laws, it is not enough. We need to enforce them now and ensure that the National Assembly passes the tobacco control regulations.

“This is what our campaign aims to do,” she added.

She further said that the #DontWaitRegulate campaign also released two public service advertisements to create awareness about the existing law and pressure government to properly enforce it with the passage of the regulations by the national assembly.

She said that a campaign petition page http://www.regulate.tobaccofree.ng was created while the campaign was present on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @Tobaccofreeng,” she said.

She said the advertisement featured individuals including Fakhuus Hashim, #ArewaMeToo founder; Ogor Ben-Iweagwu, a public hospital doctor; Anna Usman, a mother and entrepreneur; and Providence Anaro, a teenage freshman at the University of Abuja.

Customs opens portal to recruit 3,200 officers

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Tuesday officially announced plans to recruit 3,200 officers into the service.

The Acting Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Human Resources Department, Umar Sanusi made this known at a news conference in Abuja.

Sanusi explained that 800 would be recruited to fill vacancies in the Support Staff for Superintendent Cadre Category, and 2,400 would fill that of Customs Inspector and Customs Assistant Cadre in the General Duty Categories.

He said that the service’s portal for the recruitment would be opened 12 midnight of Tuesday and would be closed after three weeks.

According to him, a web portal to receive and process all applications has been created as a  sub-domain of the NCS website; www.customs.gov.ng.

He said the portal “is a user-friendly one that prospective applicants from all parts of the country and even outside Nigeria can log in to submit applications and upload documents.

“The URL is vacancy.customs.gov.ng, the specific requirements established for the vacancies.

“Shortlisting of candidates will be done and such candidates short listed will be notified, invited for continuation of the recruitment process.

“Following the necessary approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC), NCS is now set to recruit officers and men to fill existing vacancies.

“Application for recruitment will be open to all eligible Nigerians, who meet the requirements irrespective of their tribe, religion, state, or any other consideration.

“In our bid to ensure equal and fair opportunity to all applicants, we are working every step of the recruitment process in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Character Commission.

“We are actively engaged with the commission to ensure that the process will earn a certificate of compliance on merit,” he said.

Sanusi said that customs would deploy help desk for applicants to handle complaints, and offer support service.

He said the help desk could be reached through the email address — helpdesk@customs.gov.ng, adding that a detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) was also populated on the application portal for further clarification.

The Deputy Comptroller-General disclosed that more details of the recruitment would be advertised on seven national newspapers on Wednesday, April 17.

“We are determined to conduct an exercise that is credible, fair and transparent and we will deploy all machinery within our powers to ensure that the integrity of the exercise is not compromised.

“We will like to emphasise that participation in this exercise is free for all eligible applicants, any demand for or solicitation for any payments to process, facilitate, or influence the process under any guise is illegal and should be reported to customs’ office.

“We are aware that some criminal elements may want to take advantage of this recruitment to scam desperate job applicants.

“Some of them are reported to be operating illegal sites and portals, collecting various sums of money from applicants.

“I want to reiterate that the portal for this exercise can only be accessed through the official service web site, where no fees will be demanded,” he said. (NAN)

 

Buhari condoles with Macron over Notre-Dame fire

President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with President Emmanuel Macron and all French citizens over the tragic fire incident that gutted parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The Nigerian leader extended his sympathy to Christians in Nigeria and all over the world following the partial destruction of the historical Cathedral, which houses different valuable items held dear by worshippers.

President Buhari and Nigerians joined the world in shock and disbelief as the highly revered and historic church building went up in flames on Monday, praying that God will provide resources and capacity for full restoration.

As one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, a central place of worship for Christians and symbol of France, the President called for joint faith in prayers for the country and its citizens.

Nnamdi Kanu offers to give Atiku legal advice over Cameroon citizenship debate

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has offered free legal advice to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Speaking during a broadcast on Radio Biafra, Kanu said Atiku’s defence in court regarding his citizenship is “weak and porous”.

The PDP candidate had gone to court to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.

But the APC in its defence, told the court Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth and as such, is not qualified to contest the election.

The issue of Atiku’s citizenship was first raised by Kanu in the build up to the 2019 elections.

In his latest broadcast, Kanu said he merely used the issue of “Atiku’s citizenship of Nigeria, via a referendum”, to buttress his point about the need for a referendum on Biafra.

“When I first raised this issue, which incidentally has been ignored by all arms of government including INEC whose duty it is to ensure that candidates meet all stipulated constitutional requirements, it was not to insinuate or imply that Atiku is not a Nigerian, but rather to highlight the very constitutionally critical point at the heart of IPOB agitation for Biafra independence; which is that asking for a referendum is never a crime in any law known to man,” he said.

“However, the weak and porous argument Atiku’s defence team is making in response to this line of attack by APC is to say that, ‘it is ludicrous to allege that a man who became Nigeria’s vice-president, who has lived, invested and paid tax in the country for years is not a citizen.

“This is a wholly unnecessary digression that failed to address the constitutional question of place of birth as key qualification for anybody seeking to become the president of Nigeria. That Atiku was the Vice President is not the issue at hand but rather his suitability as defined by the constitution of Nigeria.”

He said APC putting up the argument in court is a “vindication that everything I say on Radio Biafra is the truth.”

“It may appear outlandish and unbelievable at first, but eventually history always vindicate me. It is now over the Atiku’s team to unleash what they have against Jubril,” he said.

“I will offer free legal advice to Atiku live on air in the hope that they will use it because it is obvious Atiku won the election and APC are deploying all instruments of coercion at the disposal of the Nigerian state to deny him his mandate. Between Atiku and the man occupying Aso Rock, only Atiku is a Nigerian, the other is Sudanese.”

For the first time ever, a woman’s signature appears on the naira

For the very first time in Nigeria’s 59-year history, the signature of a woman, Priscilla Ekwere Eleje, has appeared on the naira note.

Eleje, who has been acting director of currency and operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been confirmed, substantive director of the apex bank.

She is the first female director of currency in the history of the bank, and her signature has been appended on the naira — breaking another glass ceiling.

Ladi Kwali, Nigeria’s foremost potter, is the only woman who’s image appears on the naira, taking a spot at the back of the N20 note.

Every naira note in the country’s history — save the N20 note — has had the face, name, and signature of a man, up until now.

Insiders at CBN said that the Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the bank, has been working to ensure more women come to the table at the bank.

It was also learnt that she was confirmed on August 30, 2018, and currencies printed afterwards would carry her signature.

Sarah Alade has been the closest woman to this feat, rising to become the deputy governor of the CBN after as she was appointed the head, fiscal analysis division of the CBN at the turn of the millenium.

Alade, who — though in acting capacity — became the very first female governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), retired on March 22, 2017, after leading at the bank in various capacities.

Aishah Ahmed was appointed to replace Alade in 2018.

Photo credit: Wimbiz

EFCC: Why we re-arrested Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it re-arrested Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a former judge of the federal high court, in order to file a fresh criminal charge against her.

Ofili-Ajumogobia was surrounded by operatives of the commission at the court premises on Tuesday after Hakeem Oshodi, judge of a Lagos high court, struck out corruption charges against her.

In his ruling, Oshodi struck out the 31-count charge bordering on an alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery filed by the EFCC against Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla, on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.

The judge also said the EFCC did not follow the procedures set by the National Judicial Council (NJC) in disciplining erring judicial officers

Oshodi ruled that based on the judicial precedent set by the case of Nganjiwa V. FRN, the high court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit as the EFCC “jumped the gun” in filing the first amended charge.

“As at Monday, December 11, 2017, the EFCC was aware of the decision reached by the court of appeal in Nganjiwa vs FRN,” the judge said.

“As at that date, the amended information was yet to be filed and the 12 prosecution witness was still giving evidence.”

However, in a statement on Tuesday, Tony Orilade, EFCC’s spokesperson, said in view of Oshodi’s ruling and having complied with the NJC procedure, the commission is set to prefer fresh criminal charges against the 59-year-old judge.

“The Commission re-arrested Ofili-Ajumogobia in line with the decision of the Appeal Court, Lagos Division, in a case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, where it said that a judge could not be prosecuted until he or she had either been dismissed or compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council, NJC,” the statement read.

“Consequent upon the fact that the Commission had presented Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia before the NJC for disciplinary action and that the NJC had taken a position, the Commission would now approach the court to prefer fresh charges her.”

In October 2018, the NJC recommendedOfili-Ajumogobia’s dismissal over misconduct and money-laundering.

Canada denies asking Nigeria for 1m immigrants

The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has tackled Dele Momodu, a prominent publisher, over an information he shared concerning allowing Nigerian immigrants into the country.

The embassy denied reports that Justin Trudeau, the country’s prime minister, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to allow one million Nigerians enter Canada under a new employment and migration programme.

The information which Momodu shared on this is currently trending on social media.

He had quoted a spokesman of the Canadian labour department as saying: “The programme’s website will be launched next week and all available jobs will be listed. Currently there are over 6 million vacancies and we are hoping that Buhari allows at least one million people from Nigeria.”

But the embassy, while replying to Momodu’s tweet, said the development as claimed by the publisher “is false”.

It also said: “Nigerians are welcome to apply to immigrate to Canada. For the real information on how to apply, go to https://t.co/nvOkvSQzt4”

Dele Momodu Ovation

@DeleMomodu

Canada’s Prime Minister begs Nigeria President for one million immigrants https://cbtvn.com/canadas-prime-minister-begs-nigeria-president-for-one-million-immigrants/  via @Latest News

Canada in Nigeria

@CanHCNigeria

This particular story is FALSE. Nigerians are welcome to apply to immigrate to Canada. For the real information on how to apply, go to http://www.cic.gc.ca 

70 people are talking about this

Also, while writing via its Twitter handle, the embassy also asked Nigerians to “shine their eyes” regarding any story on the issue.

It wrote: “If you see a story online about moving to Canada that seems too good to be true – shine your eyes well-well o!!!

“Over 4,200 Nigerians were approved for permanent residency in Canada in 2017, which is almost double the number from the year prior. Nigerians in Canada make important contributions to both countries.

“If you’ve seen this link on your social media timeline, don’t fall for it. This story is not true.”

Canada in Nigeria

@CanHCNigeria

If you’ve seen this link on your social media timeline, don’t fall for it. This story is not true. For REAL information about travelling to Canada, go to http://www.cic.gc.ca .

389 people are talking about this

Canada in Nigeria

@CanHCNigeria

If you’ve seen this link on your social media timeline, don’t fall for it. This story is not true. For REAL information about travelling to Canada, go to http://www.cic.gc.ca .

View image on Twitter

Canada in Nigeria

@CanHCNigeria

Over 4,200 Nigerians were approved for permanent residency in Canada in 2017, which is almost double the number from the year prior. Nigerians in Canada make important contributions to both countries.

Atiku releases ‘evidence’ of election result from INEC website

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has insisted the result from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shows he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election.

In his submission to the presidential election tribunal, the former vice president gave the “unique MAC address and Microsoft product ID of the INEC server” from where the results were obtained.

According to the result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Buhari polled 15,191,847, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But in his petition submitted at the tribunal, the PDP candidate claimed he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes.

INEC, in response, said the results being paraded by Atiku was fabricated and not from its website.

But in their response to the INEC’s submission, a copy of which was obtained by TheCable, Atiku and the PDP said address of the server from which the results were obtained is unique to INEC.

“The Servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the first Respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the first Respondent’s Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose Physical Address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-7000000000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the 15t Respondent’s Server,” they said.

“There is no conjecture in the votes and scores in the table pleaded by the Petitioners. The figures are factual. The Spokesperson for the 2nd Respondent’s Campaign Organization openly admitted that the data in question was in the first Respondent’s Server when he wrote and submitted a petition to the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) asking the Security agencies to investigate the 2nd Petitioner herein for allegedly hacking into the Server of the 1St Respondent and obtaining the data in question.

“Specifically, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, the Spokesperson of the 2nd Respondent claimed in the said petition that it was the first Petitioner who smuggled the data into the Server.”

Atiku and the PDP also alleged the INEC chairman “committed grave errors in the final collation exercise” for the election by “falsely crediting” some persons with political parties, including “Okotie Christopher, Reverend Dr. Onwubuya and Ojinika Jeff Chinze.”

“The grave errors referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 above were under the hands and signature of the first Respondent’s Chairman, (who was also the Returning Officer) in the conduct of the final collation of the results of the Presidential Election,” they added.

“The Petitioners state that the final results as declared by the first respondent are those that were transmitted online to the website of the first Respondent (www inecnigeria.org).”