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George-Ikoli: New way to a new Bayelsa State

At the run off to the 2015 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State and the mass exodus of Peoples Democratic Party members into APC, it appeared that the PDP was empty. However, one man, in spite of being family with Mr. Timpre Sylva and had served in his government, Anthony George-Ikoli, SAN was one of the very few senior members of the party who stayed back to salvage the rubbles the party became.

Many were even surprised he stood behind Mr. Seriake Dickson, an opponent of his former principal and kinsman Timipre Sylva. For the pioneer SAN of Bayelsa origin, the issue of who to support was not chaperoned by emotions. It was rather a question of loyalty and belief, in the party, based on his conviction that PDP still has the capacity to deliver the goods not only to Bayelsans but indeed all Nigerians.

According to him, his membership of the PDP preceded coming to serve as Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in Bayelsa State. The major reasons behind his joining the party was based on belief his in PDP’s stated principles of equity, fairness, and good governance.

Though the All Progressive Congress had achieved national spread, then he believed that PDP was the only party that truly promoted the belief of egalitarianism right from its inception.

If anything, the erudite lawyer’s attitude in 2015 gave him out as an honourable, loyal and disciplined party man who demonstrated his unflinching commitment to PDP. This presented him as a man of character who would rather stay to salvage the sinking PDP ship than jumping out at the least turbulence.

He even had a reason to jump out due to a controversial Senatorial Primaries choreographed against him, his pedigree of a lion could not have made him act like a cowardly rabbit.

The heroic and patriotic legacies of his forebear, which he has dedicated his life to protecting would not make him abandon the troubled party. Unlike many others who lost out in the PDP primary contest, George-Ikoli chose not to defect from the PDP pledging to follow the principles carved out by his grandfather, Ernest Ikoli, the journalism icon and political activist who hailed from Brass. The legacy of his grandfather Ernest Sisei Ikoli has been a constant inspiration to him right from childhood.

With his support and those of other PDP faithful, Seriake Dickson of PDP emerged victorious in what could be regarded as the most keenly contested poll in the history of the state.

Though, he has spent most of his life in Lagos, Anthony George-Ikoli’s attachment to his root is deep. He believes Bayelsa needs a new way that will take care of everyone and promote a sustainable development. He agreed that the current government of Seriake Dickson has done his beat by sheer single commitment to the good of all.

George-Ikoli believes Bayelsa can make even faster pace of development if he has the opportunity to pilot the ship of the state. His discovery of a new way which he plans to share and implement as Governor of the state is not a fluke. In him is the DNA of a legend, would not but agree with the PDP aspirant who now seeks the mandate of his party to fly its flag in the November 16 election.

Those who knew that his assurance is strengthened by the idea of hard work that his legendary grandfather had readily agreed that Bayelsa is in for a real deal if he presides over the affair of the state as Governor.

As Commissioner of Justice in Bayelsa state his leadership set the Ministry apart from others and placed it on high scale of professionalism, welfare and achievements.

He was the first to invest in quality library for the ministry. He also introduced a Moot Court where lawyers practice before going to court. This incidentally was the first of its kind in the country.

He also ensured that the Law School was established in Yenagoa. He still nurses regret that the quality of facility at the school is not as intended. He is however gratified that the school remains one of his numerous legacies of his leadership of the ministry.

He believes that his grandfather established himself as an icon of political ambition at that time to an extent that surpassed the expectations of his socio- political background. The iconic Ijaw man proved that by dint of hard work and erudition, an individual can overcome the most daunting obstacles in life. This is the lesson that made George Ikoli seek excellence in everything he does.

If we seek a governor that has pedigree, foresight, experience, hard work, loyalty and the commitment to the ideal of high service for the good of all, Anthony George-Ikoli, SAN is the sure best to the Promised Land. We cannot afford trials and errors again; PDP must hand over its flag to him. Bayelsa are already to follow is new way.

Born in Akassa in , in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Admitted to the Nigerian Bar 1981;
Elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria S.A.N September 2006; Appointed Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Bayelsa State of Nigeria July 2007.

Barrister Alaiowei practices law in Port Harcourt, Rivers State

 

Bayelsa 2019: Six out of 24 aspirants sign peace treaty

Six out of about 24 aspirants that have purchased nomination forms for the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State, yesterday, in Yenagoa, the state capital, signed a non-violence agreement as part of their commitment to achieving a free and credible poll. Out of the 22 aspriants from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), only five were in attendance. One also came from the APC.

The signing and affirmation of the peace agreement took place at a stakeholders’ conference organized by the Ijaw Elders’ Forum, Lagos State Chapter in Yenagoa, to sensitize the people on the need for a violence-free election.

The signatories to the agreement include former Attorney General of the state and the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) from the state, Chief Anthony George-Ikoli, the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (retd), Dr. F. Erepamo Osaisai, Kemela Okara, Mrs Diseye Nsirim Poweigha , Ambassador Godknows Bolade Igali, and Eneyi Zidougha. The only woman amongst the aspirants, Mrs Poweigha, a retired Commissioner of Police is from the ruling All Progressives Congress. The rest are from the mainstream party in the state, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Aspirants and members of Ijaw Elders Forum

Those conspicuously absent include Sen. Heneiken Lokpobiri of (APC), Timi Alaibe (PDP), Arch Reuben Okoya, Mr Joshua Maciver, Keniebi Okoko, Sen. Emmanuel Paulker, Benson Aghadagha, David Allagoa, Dr Nimiofa Ayaowei, and several others.

The Chairman of the event, King B. Dakolo, traditional ruler of Ebenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, in his opening address, urged all aspirants to eschew violence during and after the election, adding that anyone found to instigate violence would be ex-communicated. He warned that the Ijaw people have taken notice of those who did not attend the peace treaty initiative and that the person knows who to hold responsible if violence breaks out before, during, and after the elections. “An election is about brain and not about gun. Let the game be a peaceful one,” he said.

In his comments, Chief George-Ikoli, while signing the peace treaty enjoined all aspirants to caution their followers and also urged both parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a conduct of credible and fair elections.

All the candidates, particularly, the Speaker, lamented the role of the judiciary in election petitions. He said that the fact that people can no longer rely on the judiciary to be fair in its adjudication of electoral matters is a major cause of violence during elections. He therefore called on the judiciary to always do justice, no matter whose ox is gored, in election petitions.

The deputy governor, who commended the organizers of the event, said: “This present drive is a testimony that you are true sons of Ijaw.” He charged the traditional rulers to ensure that the message of peace is taken to the grassroots. He also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be fair to all. “Where an election is not free and fair, there will always be a reaction and you cannot predict the reaction,” he noted.

Tariffs: China hits back, halts purchase of U.S. produce

China has asked its companies to stop purchasing U.S. farm products in response to Washington’s latest round of tariffs on its exports.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce made this known in a statement.

The ministry added that Beijing would not rule out hiking imports duties on farm products dating back to August 3.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday announced he would hike tariffs on 300 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese goods to 10 per cent from Sept. 1.

The tariffs are to come on top of the 25-per-cent levies already imposed over the past year on 250 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese products.

When they take effect, all Chinese goods coming into the U.S. will be subject to punitive tariffs.

The Chinese ministry called the latest tariffs a “serious violation” in the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

6th AFRIMA: 8,157 entries sets new submission record

The 6th edition of All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, AUC, has received 8,157 songs/videos on its online portal as entry submission closed at 1159 hours (WAT) on Friday, August 2, 2019.

This year’s submission continues in the record-setting precedent of previous editions amassing the highest number of entries from African artistes, music producers, songwriters, Disc Jockeys (DJs), and video directors among others, since the inception of the biggest music event in Africa.

The 2019 submissions which opened worldwide on May 15 exceeded the 2018 submissions by 148 entries. Of the 8,157 entries submitted this year, Western Africa leads the pack with 38% of the total entries followed by Southern Africa with 24%. Eastern Africa, Central Africa and Northern Africa have 20 per cent, 14 per cent and four per cent  respectively.

Meanwhile, following the end of the 6th AFRIMA entry submission, the 13-man International Jury of AFRIMA will arrive Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 for the week-long adjudication process from Wednesday, August 7 to Tuesday, August 13. The AFRIMA Jury’s responsibility involves screening, categorising, assessing, grading and selecting into the 36 different Regional and Continental awarding categories nominees who will vie for the 23.9 carat gold-plated AFRIMA trophy.

AFRIMA hospitality partner, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, will provide a secure venue for the eminent International Jury members who represent the five regions of Africa, the Diaspora (Europe and North America) and the African Union Commission.

Guided by transparency and fairness, each of the Jury members will bring their span of experience and professionalism to play and utilize their boundless knowledge of African music, culture, and entertainment, to collectively arrive at artistes and/or recordings on the 6th AFRIMA Nominees’ List that reflect the creative energy and output of African music talents between the music review period of August 1, 2018 to August 2, 2019. After this process is concluded, the 6th AFRIMA Nominees’ List would be unveiled during a World Media Conference scheduled for Wednesday, August 14 at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The AFRIMA Jury member occupying one of the slots for Eastern Africa is Tanzania’s Joett, a veteran vocal coach and artiste development manager whose song writing skills earned him registered membership of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Another is Tabu Osusa from Kenya. The veteran music professional has spent more than three decades in music production and promotion. He has chaired several musical projects within and outside Kenya.

Representing Central Africa from Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, is Charles Tabu, a music executive, with wide experience in artiste management and promotion. Charles has worked with major record labels across the continent including Sony, Universal and Warner.

The second jury member for Central Africa is Bob Ekukole, a renowned Cameroonian media and music professional with 29 years of experience in media and broadcasting. He is currently the Director, TV Programmes and Production, Cameroon Radio and Television, CRTV.

Northern Africa is represented by Omar Essaidi, a Moroccan music programmer and artistic director. He brings to bear his practical experience as judge/juror for several musical contests in Northern Africa.

Zimbabwean radio DJ and lawyer, Delani Makhalima, takes up one of the two slots for Southern Africa. The entertainment and media executive has also honed his professional experience in song writing and music composition in the region. Filling the other slot is South Africa’s music professional and concert promoter, Chris Syren who is the co-founder and director of Making Music Productions (MMP), a music production company that has played a vital role in music promotion in South Africa.

Western Africa representatives include Olisa Adibua, prolific broadcaster, music executive and talent manager from Nigeria and David Tayorault, a

Côte d’Ivoire music legend, whose work in the music industry has influenced the jazz, blues, soul, zouk and Brazilian samba genre in Western Africa countries.

Representing the Diaspora-Europe is Rita Ray, a UK-based BBC Radio 3 presenter, International Music Curator and popular Club DeeJay. Her counterpart representing Diaspora-North America is Hadja Kobélé Keita, a music executive whose career spans experience in Artiste and Repertoire management and Public Relations with Universal Music Africa/Island Africa.

The African Union Commission is represented by Angela Martins, the Head, of the Culture Division of the AUC. Mrs. Martins, who is a citizen of Mozambique, is a professional African Culture Analyst and an African music enthusiast.

Speaking on the 2019 entry submission and adjudication process: Mrs. Angela Martins said: “AFRIMA, the Pan-African initiative and music platform is gaining greater momentum, continental visibility and recognition. This can be verified by the increased number of entries received for its 6th Edition, to be held in November 2019.

The African Union Commission congratulations the international Committee of AFRIMA for this achievement for the promotion and development of the continent’s Creative Economy. The Commission would like to once again express its strong support to AFRIMA as it plays a key role in recognising and awarding myriad of music talents on the continent.

In the same vein the AU Commission welcomes and salutes members of the AFRIMA jury who will start the important Adjudication Process on the 7th of August in Lagos, Nigeria. The role of the AFRIMA Jury is Crucial to ensure fairness and transparency of the continental prestigious awards”.

Also reacting to the entries received for the 6th AFRIMA, Central Africa Jury member, Charles Tabu, expressed excitement that more artistes within and outside Africa we getting more involved in AFRIMA submissions.

“Once again, we have proof that the talents coming from the Diaspora and from the continent have taken over AFRIMA. It is their platform, their awards and AFRIMA is all about rewarding Africa. As an AFRIMA jury member and an African music professional, I am so proud and amazed to see the number of entries in 2019 surpasses what we had in 2018. This a huge improvement from the 2,025 entries received in the first edition of the awards in 2014. I am waiting to see the quality, creativity and surprise talents we will discover during the adjudication in Lagos”.

In partnership with the African Union, the awards recognising and rewarding musical creativity and talents of Africans is scheduled to hold in November 2019 during a four-day fiesta of music, glamour, Afrocentricism and entertainment in the official awards Host City.

The four-day AFRIMA event commences with the Welcome Soiree followed by the AFRIMA Music Village, the Host City Tour, the Africa Music Business Summit, the exclusive Nominees Party and concludes with the live Awards Ceremony. Fans of African music globally can follow along and take part in the AFRIMA 2019 events on social media, live stream on the AFRIMA website, the AFRIMA App and by tuning to over 84 television stations which are AFRIMA partners.

JUST IN: Robbers raid Wema Bank Akure, kill two

Two people were killed after armed robbers raided Wema in Iju, Akure North local government area of Ondo state on Tuesday.

It was gathered that the robbers shot sporadically into the air to scare people.

A bank staff and a customer were killed but police spokesman Femi Joseph says he has not confirmed the incident.

Police arrest popular artiste Tekno over Lekki nude dancing girls

For breaching public decency by conveying half naked girls in traffic, the Lagos State Police Command has arrested popular musician, Augustine Kelechi, aka Tekno.

It was gathered that he was arrested on Tuesday and he is undergoing questioning at the state Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba.

Tekno had something last week conveyed half clad girls, who were dancing seductively, in a transparent glass box on a truck around the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge.

In the truck, the musician was seen spraying the scantily dressed girls with money as they danced.

Following the public outcry it generated, the state government reacted swiftly and condemned the move.

In his defence, Tekno said he merely used the truck to convey his crew to a location for a shoot, which was not intended to breach public decency.

Confirming the arrest, the state Police Spokesman, Bala Elkana, a deputy superintendent of police, said he was invited for questioning.

He said: “The command has arrested Tekno and the two girls for conveying half naked girls at the Lekki area of Lagos.

“He is presently undergoing questioning at the state Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti.

The police said such acts of public indecency is against the criminal code and if after investigation those involved are found guilty, they would be charged to court.

Already, the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency has suspended the advertising firm, Pro-Vision Media Systems Limited.

FG probes Lekki naked dance in Lagos

The Federal Government on Tuesday condemned the public naked dance in Lekki area of Lagos State describing it as “strange entertainment from the pit of hell.”

While throwing its weight behind the decision of the Lagos State government to fish out the masterminds of the act, the government said it had commenced an investigation of the allegation against the TV company involved in the act.

The government, therefore, warned that such immorality “must not be allowed to turn Nigeria to a destination for sex and illegal drugs tourism.”

A statement issued in Abuja by Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, expressed government’s commitment to repositioning the true gains and pictures of the diverse cultural history of Nigeria.

He said, “The Lekki public show negates the beauty of Nigerian culture and way of life. It is unacceptable, Jezebelistic and a sin against Nigerian culture which must be condemned, ridiculed and rejected by Nigerians from all works of life.

“The Lekki debacle must be used as an example to officially clamp down on promoters and influencers of strange entertainment from the pit of hell. Nigeria will never succumb to an imported cultural pastime or to blackmail, tailored to destroy centuries-old and rich Nigerian culture.

“This dizzying madness cannot and would not be allowed to turn Nigeria to a destination for sex and illegal drugs tourism. Enough is enough, and for God sake, where is this coming from?”

Runsewe who also doubles as African President of World Craft Council said NCAC “is investigating the allegation against the TV company.”

According to him, NCAC would work with other relevant government agencies to find lasting solutions to any foreign cultural infractions and subtle attempts to colonize the minds of young persons in Nigeria.

He called on traditional rulers to join hands with the government to check the open rage and rape against Nigerian culture with possible consequences of the unimaginable.

“In Nigeria, we love and respect our mothers and sisters, women in general and therefore will not condone deliberate acts or actions that would betray the values of our culture and make our heroes past to turn angrily in their graves”, Runsewe explained.

He also sent a strong message to state governors to create and empower agencies and departments of culture to arrest the organised assault against an established and respected Nigerian way of life.

“We must be proudly Nigerian and resist vigorously attempts to insult the Nigerian women,” Runsewe stressed.

Court freezes Lagos govt accounts over alleged N9.9bn fraud

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the freezing of three bank accounts said to belong to the Lagos State Government over an alleged fraud of N9.9bn.

The three bank accounts, domiciled in First City Monument Bank, Access Bank, and Zenith Bank, are numbered 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254, respectively.

Justice Chuka Obiozor ordered the “suspension” of the bank accounts following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The EFCC had prayed the judge to freeze the accounts pending the conclusion of the investigation and possible prosecution of the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Lagos State, Adewale Adesanya, for money laundering.

In an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, a member of the EFCC investigating team, Kungmi Daniel, said the commission discovered “a huge inflow of N9,927,714,443.29” from the state accounts into an FCMB bank account opened on September 17, 2018 during the administration of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode and operated by Adesanya.

Daniel said the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Adesanya and the other signatories to the account made fraudulent transfers from the accounts of the Lagos State Government and dissipated the funds housed in the said accounts.

“The trend in the account is that the account always witnessed huge inflow from Lagos State Government in the above-scheduled accounts managed by the respondent (Adesanya),” the investigator said.

He said upon the receipt of intelligence, the EFCC analysed it and found it worthy of investigation.

The EFCC prayed the court to grant it an order to temporarily attach and take over the accounts to enable it to conclude its investigations.

“There have been concerted efforts and attempts to dissipate the contents of the accounts listed in the schedule to this application.

“Without freezing the nominated accounts and temporarily forfeiting the money to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there is no way the fraud being perpetrated using the scheduled accounts can be stopped,” the EFCC said.

After listening to submission by the EFCC lawyer, Mohammed Abbas, Justice Obiozor granted the prayers.

He adjourned further proceedings in the matter till August 9, 2019.

Buhari swears in ministers designate, August 21

President Muhammadu Buhari will swear in ministers on August 21, 2019, following the conclusion of the nominees’ screening by the Senate.

Five months after he was sworn in for a second term in office, the President forwarded the ministerial list to the National Assembly on July 23, 2019.

The list contained 43 named with 14 of them being former ministers in his first term in office.

A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babatunde Lawal, said the ceremony would hold at the Federal Executive Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja by 11 am.

Zuckerberg, Arnault, 8 other billionaires lose $23bn in one day as stock market falls

Monday was the worst day in 2019 for stock markets, and some of the world’s richest people took the biggest hit.

Eighteen billionaires saw their net worth drop by $1 billion or more on Monday. Stocks plummeted as China devalued its currency reportedly to its lowest level against the dollar since 2008. The change followed President Donald Trump’s announcement on Thursday that he would continue to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

The day’s biggest loser was LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault of France, whose net worth fell by $4 billion, to $91.7 billion. The weakened Chinese currency will make foreign goods, like LVMH’s luxury handbags and perfumes, more expensive to Chinese consumers.

LVMH has otherwise enjoyed a positive year. Shares are up 11% in the last 12 months, in part because Chinese markets have boosted sales at several of its brands, including Givenchy cosmetics and Berluti menswear, according to the company’s half-yearly report. In July, Arnault briefly became the world’s second-richest person, before Bill Gates reclaimed the position.

Other big losers Monday include Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison, whose net worths dropped $2.7 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively.

Even Chinese billionaires are affected, as investors are anxious about an impending trade war. Tencent chairman Ma Huateng’s net worth dropped $1.6 billion in the past day; his conglomerate owns WeChat, the social messaging app used by more than 1 billion people. Meanwhile, Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma saw his net worth drop by $966 million.

Below are some of the billionaires whose net worth plunged the most on Monday:

Bernard Arnault

Source: LVMH

Down: $4 billion

New net worth: $91.7 billion

Mark Zuckerberg

Source: Facebook

Down: $2.7 billion

Net worth: $67.6 billion

Larry Ellison

Source: software

Down: $2.5 billion

Net worth: $65.4 billion

Warren Buffett

Source: Berkshire Hathaway

Down: $2.1 billion

Net worth: $78.3 billion

Larry Page

Source: Google

Down: $1.7 billion

Net worth: $53 billion

Sergey Brin

Source: Google

Down: $1.6 billion

Net worth: $51.9 billion

Ma Huateng

Source: internet media

Down: $1.6 billion

Net worth: $38.3 billion

Mukesh Ambani

Source: petrochemicals, oil & gas

Down: $1.6 billion

Net worth: $46.2 billion

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers & family

Source: L’Oreal

Down: $1.5 billion

Net worth: $50.7 billion

Bill Gates

Source: Microsoft

Down: $1.4 billion

Net worth: $102 billion

 

Bayelsa spends N6bn yearly on political appointees

Seriake Dickson, Bayelsa governor, says the state spends about N6 billion annually to service 1,500 political service holders.

NAN quoted the governor as saying this on a radio programme.

An analysis of the oil-rich state’s 2019 budget by TheCable shows that the budget for the entire health sector is N6 billion.

According to Dickson, the huge “political capital” investment is responsible for the high number of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants in the state.

Dickson, who has been governing Bayelsa on the mantle of the PDP since 2012, explained that the opposition party had invested the money to sustain its loyalists appointed to serve in his administration.

He said 21 aspirants had collected and returned the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms at N21 million each.

The party’s primary election is scheduled to hold on September 2, ahead of the November 16 governorship election in the state.

“The party leadership decided to make the contest open and all-embracing and as a consensus builder, I believe that every aspiration is legitimate, it is a right that they have to test their popularity at the primaries,” Dickson said.

“The large number of aspirants is an indication that the party is a platform of choice for any politician to actualize his governorship ambition and looking at the rival party, they don’t have up to two aspirants.

“Nothing is happening there, the PDP is taking the shine and it is all happening because of the political capital we invested in building the party, if I lost my re-election in 2015, the party would have been dead by now in Bayelsa.”

In March 2019, Dickson signed N299bn for the fiscal year.

Presenting the appropriation bill in December 2018 to the state house of assembly, the governor had said that about N23 billion was earmarked for education while N6 billion was proposed for the health sector.

ABTU shut after flood kills four students

The management of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi has announced the closure of the varsity in honour of the students who died as a result of a heavy downpour.

Four students were killed while many others injured on Monday night after a pedestrian bridge collapsed at the Gubi campus.

It was gathered that the deceased students were returning to the hostel when the bridge connecting one of the hostels to another building containing lecture rooms collapsed. They were returning from a night class to their hostels after the heavy downpour.

According to reports, there were 20 students on the bridge when the tragedy struck. Eight of them who got caught in the frenzy were said to have sustained injuries while others are missing.

Gbemi Dennis™@GbemiDennis

It’s a pathetic news coming from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University ATBU, Gubi Campus, Bauchi where the pedestrian bridge linking the hostel to the campus collapsed at midnight after a heavy rain downpour, many students were injured, missing & unconfirmed numbers of death.

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Following the tragedy, some irate students had taken to the school premises on Tuesday to protest the death of their colleagues. They also faulted the bridge collapse on negligence by the school authorities.

In reaction to the incident, the school authorities announced the shut down of the varsity till August 19, 2019.

Prof Muhammad Abdullazeez, the vice-chancellor, on Tuesday, said that the closure was in honour of the students who died as a result of the flood.

“I regret to announce the death of four of our students on August 5th, 2019. The unfortunate incident that led to the demise of the students occurred late last night (Monday), at the Gubi Campus of the University,” he said.

“While full details of the occurrence are being awaited, the University Senate, at an emergency meeting this morning, (August 6th, 2019) has decided to close the University in honour of the students. We closed down the school because we are mourning. The reopening date has been fixed for Tuesday, August 19th, 2019.”

Appeal Court orders election tribunal to hear petition against Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja, Nigeria, was on Tuesday (today) directed to commence hearing into the petitions questioning the victory of the incumbent governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 9, 2019 gubernatorial election which took place in the state.
The Lagos division of the Court of Appeal, presided over by Justice Hussein Mukthar, in a unanimous decision, allowed the two appeals initiated by the ‘defeated’ governorship candidates of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Lagos State, Chief Owolabi Salis, and his Labour Party counterpart, Ifagbemi Awamaridi.
Other members of the panel were Justice O. O. Daniel Kalio, Justice O. F. Ogbuinya, Justice Stephen Adah and Justice B. B. Aliyu.
Specifically, the Court of Appeal in two similar judgments, upturned the June 17, 2019 decision of the Tribunal which had thrown out Salis and Awamaridi’s petitions on the reason that both petitioners failed to file applications for pre-hearing conference within seven days as prescribed by the law.
The Appellate Court further declared that the Tribunal erred when it ruled that the appellants had abandoned their petitions.
The upper court also stated that the Tribunal failed to check its own record of proceedings before determining that Salis and Awamaridi filed out of time.
“From the record, it is clear that the tribunal was wrong to have declared the petition as an abandoned petition.
“The case is to be remitted to the lower court for expeditious hearing of the matter,” says Justice Daniel-Kalio, who read the lead judgment on Salis’ appeal.
The other justices concurred.
The ruling of the court on appeal filed by Awamaridi, read by Justice Ogbuinya and approved by the other members of the panel, was similar.
Joined as respondents in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Sanwo-Olu, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner.
Other respondents are the Returning Officer for The Lagos State Governorship Election, the Commissioner of Police and the Army.
It would be recalled that on June 17, 2019, the Tribunal led by its chairman, Justice T.T. Asua, dismissed the AD and LP’s petitions.
The three-man Tribunal particularly insisted that timely application for a pre-hearing conference was a condition to the hearing of the petitions.
The Tribunal had also ruled that without the application for pre-hearing conferences, the petition cannot begin or get to the stage of judgment.
The panel also held that Section 285(4) of the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution was inapplicable because of the timely application for a pre-hearing conference was a precondition in election petition matters.

Why we attack, kidnap people – Repentant Fulani bandits

Some repentant bandits in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State, on Monday, explained why they took up arms against the people of the area.

The ex-bandits said at a peace meeting in Tsafe that they were harassed and intimidated by the police and vigilantes, locally known as ”Yan Sakai, into becoming bandits and kidnappers.

During the meeting held at the palace of the Emir of Tsafe, Alhaji Muhammadu Bawa, one of the bandits’ commanders, Hassan Dantawaye, said they were unjustly treated by the government and society.

“We were forced into this because apart from cattle rustling incidents we faced some years back, we also faced serious harassment and intimidation from security personnel and ”Yansakai.

“We cannot go to markets, our children cannot go to school, whenever they see our children or wives in town they killed them.

“If security personnel arrest us, we have to spend a lot of money before we are released, sometimes security agencies launch attacks on our homes and kill us without any offence.

“With this ugly trend, we have no option than to embark on kidnapping, attacks, and other crimes,” Dantawaye said.

Alhaji Madele, a Fulani leader, however, thanked the state government for the dialogue and urged the security agencies to protect them from ”Yansakai and some security personnel who attack them unjustly in markets and towns.

Madele said, “we have agreed to embrace peace and dialogue, we commend the commissioner of police for inviting us for this meeting”.

The repentant bandits’ commanders also promised to release all captives in their custody.

Nobody will be attacked anymore, they pledged, adding that farmers in the area were free to go to their farms without any fear.

The Chairman of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in the area, Alhaji Yahaya Ahmad, assured everyone of total support to the peace initiative.

“As from today, no vigilante group or CJTF member would attack any Fulani herder, we will abide by the state government’s directive in this regard.

“Fulani herders are now free to come to Tsafe town and all major towns in this area. They can go to markets and anywhere else they so wish.

“I am giving them the assurance that our members would not attack them anymore,” he said.

The state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Usman Nagoggo, who chaired the meeting, described the security situation faced by the state in the past as unfortunate.

Nagoggo said, “I remember the day I arrived this state as commissioner of police, over 30 persons were killed in Shinkafi local government area.

“After identifying the measures to tackle the problem, the state government came up with the peace and dialogue initiative with the warring parties as part of measures to provide a lasting solution to the problem.

“We embarked on consultation with Fulani leaders, Civilian JTF, and Vigilante Groups which led to the successes we are recording today.

“From the inception of this dialogue to date we have rescued over 300 kidnapped victims from the bandits without payment of ransom,” he said.

He added: “As I always say, most of the extrajudicial killings and illegal attacks on communities were as a result of the actions of the outlawed vigilante group of “Yansakai, who were taking the law into their hands.

“Our aim is to have sustainable peace and development in the state, therefore, all stakeholders should cooperate with us in this task.

“I am also reissuing this warning that all activities of “Yansakai are suspended and nobody should take the law into their hands.

“Anybody found violating these directives would face the full wrath of the law”, the Police boss added.

The Emir of Tsafe, Alhaji Muhammadu Bawa thanked the warring parties for attending the meeting and accepting peace.

Bawa said the emirate would continue to support the state government to ensure that the dialogue succeeds.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the state governor, Alhaji Bello Matawalle initated the peace dialogue as part of measures to end banditry, kidnapping and other crimes in the state.

The meeting in Tsafe was attended by repentant bandits’ commanders, members of the CJTF, officials of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and members of the outlawed ”Yansakai local vigilantes.

(NAN)

We visited Sowore in detention —Deji Adeyanju

Deji Adeyanju, an associate of the publisher of the online medium, Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, says members of the ‘Take it Back’ movement visited the incarcerated activist on Monday.

“He’s in high spirit and unmoved,” Adeyanju said.

The post was accompanied by an aerial shot of Sowore giving a revolutionary salute. A Google search revealed that the photograph first surfaced online on February 12, 2019.

Omoyele, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February election, was arrested in the early hours of Saturday and taken to Abuja by operatives of the Department of State Services.

The DSS has since confirmed his arrest and detention.

Sowore had expressed the intention to spearhead nationwide protests against the Federal Government, tagged ‘#RevolutionNow Days of Rage,’ scheduled for Monday, August 5, 2019.

The protests held in some states of the federation, during which security agents clashed with protesters, arresting and tear-gassing some.

Some journalists were also arrested and detained in the course of covering the protests.

Taking to his Facebook wall, Adeyanju had posted, “‪UNBOWED AND UNBROKEN: Take it Back Members visit defiant Sowore in DSS Detention.” ‬

He said the group visited Sowore on Monday evening and was allowed to see him at 6pm.

He had written, “At 6pm today, 5th August, 2019, members of the Take it Back Movement were allowed to visit Sowore, for the first time since his armed abduction He’s in high spirit & unmoved.”‬

Putin warns Trump: We’ll develop new nuclear missiles if you do

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday warned that Moscow would be forced to start developing short and intermediate-range land-based nuclear missiles if the U.S. started doing so after the demise of a landmark arms control treaty.

The U.S. formally left the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty and had already deployed at least one banned type of missile, an accusation the Kremlin denies.

The pact banned land-based missiles with a range of between 310 miles and 3,400 miles (500-5,500 km), reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike on short notice.

Putin on Monday held a meeting with his Security Council after which he ordered the defence and foreign ministries and Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service to closely monitor any steps the U.S. took to develop, produce or deploy missiles banned under the defunct treaty.

“If Russia obtains reliable information that the U.S. has finished developing these systems and started to produce them Russia will have no option other than to engage in a full-scale effort to develop similar missiles,” Putin said in a statement.

In the meantime, he said Russia’s arsenal of air and sea-launched missiles combined with its work on developing hypersonic missiles meant it was well placed to offset any threat emanating from the U.S.

It was now essential, he added, for Moscow and Washington to resume arms control talks to prevent what he described as an “unfettered” arms race breaking out.

“In order to avoid chaos with no rules, restrictions or laws, we need to once more weigh up all the dangerous consequences and launch a serious and meaningful dialogue free from any ambiguity,” Putin said.

Naira closes at N362.57 per dollar at investors window

The naira on Monday traded at N362.57 to the dollar at the parallel market in Lagos.
Turnover at the window stood at $293.60 million.

The currency was N359 to dollar at the parallel market in Lagos, while it was exchanged at N445 and N397 to the pound sterling and Euro, respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the naira closed at N359 to the dollar, while it was N445 and N397 to the pound sterling and Euro, respectively.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the naira had remained stable at the parallel market in Lagos due largely to the interventions of the CBN.

Meanwhile, turnover at the investors window at the end of July rose from $2.9 billion in June to $4.12 billion in July.

Magu appoints Hamalai Commandant EFCC Academy

The Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has appointed Prof. Ladi Hamalai, Commandant, EFCC Academy, Karu, Abuja.
Hamalai took over from David Tukura who recently resigned his appointment.

EFCC spokesman Tony Orilade in a statement in Abuja on Monday said that the appointment was with immediate effect.

Until her appointment, Hamalai was the Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

According to the spokesman, Tukura said that he resigned to enable him to take up a new assignment as the paramount ruler of his community in Nasarawa.

“I realised that being a paramount ruler of my homeland will not conform to my assignment here as the Commandant of the EFCC Academy.

“And because my people have offered me the highest honour of my custom as their King I resign my appointment with the Commission.”

Tukura who was first appointed Director of EFCC Academy, formerly known as the Training and Research Institute of the EFCC in May, 2006 was highly extolled and celebrated by the staff for his exceptional services to the Commission in several capacities.

“He was Director of Policy Planning and Statistics (DPPS) 2012, and reappointed the Commandant of the Academy in 2017, where he served until his voluntary retirement.”

Adeyemo, Nigerian who helped US fight recession, appointed president of Obama Foundation

Adewale Adeyemo, a Nigerian-American economic expert, has been appointed president of the Obama Foundation.

Adeyemo had served in the administration of former president Obama as deputy national security adviser (NSA) for international economics and he is reputed to have helped the US combat the global economic recession of 2008.

According to the foundation, Adeyemo will lead ‘’the implementation of the organisation’s strategic plan and managing its organisational structures and functions’’.

“Wally is the ideal person to help lead the foundation team as we continue to grow the impact of our global civic engagement programs and advance the Obama Presidential Centre,” Martin Nesbitt, chairman of the foundation’s board, said in a statement.

“Given his executive experience in both the public and private sectors and previous service with President Obama, Wally is well positioned to help us continue to translate our sky-high ambitions into operational reality through daily leadership of our talented staff.”

Adeyemo helped in the establishment of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and he was described as the ”point person” on a range of international economic issues, including negotiations on strong currency agreements around the trans-pacific partnership, by Obama.

The 39-year-old graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s of arts, before moving to Yale Law School, where he bagged his Juris Doctor (JD) for further studies in specialised law. While at Yale, he was the co-director, project on law and education for the university.

Adeyemo is the first-ever president of the foundation.

Kylie Jenner hires $250m Super- Yacht’ for 22nd birthday

American model and TV reality star, Kylie Jenner has hired a Super-Yatch worth 250 million dollars for her 22nd birthday party.

According to TMZ, the ‘self-made’ billionaire and mother of one spent the fortune hiring the luxury yacht consisting jacuzzi, helicopter pad, swimming pool and beach club for the birthday coming up on August 10.

The 300-ft vessel boasts of rooms for 22 guests including a master suite and three VIP staterooms, a spa and a beauty salon.

It also has a cinema, a gym, a deck-pool, an outdoor bar, its own helipad and is serviced by a 29-strong crew.

Kylie Jenner, a Make-up mogul, media personality and socialite, starred in the popular E! Reality television series ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ since 2007 and is the founder and owner of cosmetic company Kylie Cosmetics.

She is one of the most followed people on Instagram, with over 129 million followers.

In 2017, Jenner was placed on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, making her the youngest person to be featured on the list.

According to Forbes magazine, her net worth is estimated at One billion US Dollars, making her, at age 21, the world’s youngest billionaire as of March 2019