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Daily Archives: August 7, 2019

Soldiers kill three policemen, released kidnap kingpin —Force spokesman

The Nigeria Police Force has accused some unidentified soldiers of shooting to death three police officers and a civilian along Ibi-Jalingo Road, Taraba State.

Several other officers were also injured during the attack.

The Police operatives led by ASP Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team reportedly came under sudden attack while taking a kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu, to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo.

The Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, explained in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday that one Police Inspector, two Sergeants and a civilian died as a result of gunshot injuries sustained in the attack.

He noted that the errant soldiers shot the policemen despite sufficient proof that they were on legitimate duty. They subsequently released the suspect who is now on the run.

Hamisu, described as a notorious kidnap kingpin, had been on the police wanted list for his complicity in several high profile kidnap cases including the recent abduction of an oil mogul in Taraba State where a ransom of about N100 million was paid.

Mba stated, “The police operatives, led by ASP Felix Adolije of the IRT reportedly came under sudden serious shooting by soldiers of the Nigerian Army along Ibi – Jalingo Road, Taraba State.

“The police operatives who were taking the arrested suspect, Alhaji Hamisu to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, were shot at several times by the soldiers despite sufficient proof that they are police personnel on legitimate duty.

“Three policemen comprising one Inspector and two Sergeants and one civilian died as a result of gunshot injuries while others sustained serious gunshot wounds.

“The soldiers thereafter released the handcuffed suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, who is now on the run.”

The statement disclosed that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had ordered the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Medicals to proceed to Jalingo to ensure the treatment of the injured officers, adding that the remains of the deceased had been deposited in the morgue.

Meanwhile, the Force has commenced full investigation into the incident.

Lagos Deputy Governor says Nigeria’s future depends on growing MSMEs

The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, says the future of Nigeria and the youth depends on the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Hamzat made the assertio while delivering a keynote address at the Fidelity Bank SME Funding Connect-Lagos on Wednesday.

He said that MSMEs played a big role in the vitalisation and development of national economy.

The deputy governor said that MSMEs provided huge employment opportunities and that the state government under Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu would be aggressive at providing enabling environment.

“It is important to understand the role of SMEs. My understanding is that we have about 1,500 or thereabout SMEs that can connect or interact with investors.

“A lot of people rely on SMEs directly or indirectly because entrepreneurs no matter how small or big, will play roles to contribute to labour, poverty alleviating and revenue generation.

“So, SMEs around the world play big roles in the vitalisation and development of national economy. By creating jobs, they promote stability and develop regional economies.

“We know that many good ideas have died because they lack funding. So, access to capital or more importantly, lack of access to capital is the biggest threat to entrepreneurs around the world,” he said.

Hamzat said that Lagos State was setting aside N25 billion for Small and Medium businesses so that at least it would encourage them to do their businesses.

“The future of our country, the future of our young people depends on us growing SMEs. It is extremely important.”

Hamzat, who said that entrepreneurs needed a clear path to succeed, added that the government was poised about making them achieve their dreams, become employers of labour and exporters of goods.

According to him, SMEs that try to export their products do better than those that try to serve their local economy, while urging stakeholders to identify SMEs that can be exporting products to diversify the nation’s economy.

“Globally, SMEs or entrepreneurs are the engines of social and economic transformation, including industrialisation; they provide vital platform to enhance technological and entrepreneurial capacity among various segments of people.

“The critical importance of this sector warrants that much more attention should be given to it by all stakeholders,” he added.

Hamzat said that world frontline economies came as a result of solid SMEs.

He said that the state government’s commitment to grow businesses was encapsulated in its THEME programme which are: Transportation and Traffic Management; Health and Environment.

Others are: Education and Technology, Making Lagos 21 Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism, and Security.

He said that since transport was critical to business, the government had revived three Asphalt plants in the state for the production of asphalt for road repair and maintenance.

Hamzat said that since 1999, the state government had been focusing on innovative programmes to grow SMEs and Sanwo-Olu-led government would redouble efforts to deepen its growth.

According to him, the state’s IBILE Micro Finance Bank, Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and others had helped a lot of people with genuine business ideas.

He said the government would continue to invest in infrastructure to aid growth of SMEs to reduce unemployment, noting that in the last four years, LSETF had funded 10, 656 SMEs.

Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nigeria, said that MSMEs had contributed its fair share to the development of Nigeria.

Okonkwo said that it had employed over 80 per cent of the country’s total 90.5 million labour force and contributed 48 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event had in attendance a lot of young entrepreneurs, business chiefs among others.

My husband raped me several times, divorce seeking wife tells court

Mrs Charity John, a businesswoman, on Wednesday, prayed a Customary Court sitting in Jikwoyi, to dissolve the marriage between her and her husband, Abel, ‘because he often rapes her.”

In a divorce petition, Charity said:” My husband is fond of raping me. I have endured this for a long time.,”

She also alleged that Abel was a womaniser.

Responding, Abel, a businessman, who was present in court, in his defence, denied all the allegations.

“All that she said are false. I can’t rape my wife. I am not a womaniser, rather it is my wife that has cheated.

“In May 2017 while she was in the bathroom, I saw a text message on her phone. She has been discussing with a man in China.

“They have agreed to marry. She told the man that she is not married. That the man she is leaving with is her brother.

“When I confronted her, she collected the phone from me and smashed it on the floor. I am tired of the marriage,” he said.

Abel consented to the dissolution of the marriage and also said he will accept custody of the two children of the marriage since his wife has rejected the same.

The Presiding Judge, Jemilu Jega, adjourned the case until Aug. 26, for judgment.

Nigeria is complex, difficult to govern – IBB

Former military president Ibrahim Babangida says Nigeria is difficult to govern due to its diversities.

Babangida made this statement on Tuesday when the members of the house of representatives minority caucus, led by Ndudi Elumelu visited him at his residence in Minna, Niger state.

“The country is complex and difficult because, there are as many opinions as there are the number of people in the country,” he said.

“Nigeria is a very vibrant society and what is important is the determination, you have to remain very resilient in everything you do for the benefit of the country.”

The former military president commended the leadership of the house of representatives and urged the lawmakers to put in more efforts for the development of the country.

“I am passionate about observing what is going on in the country; I develop lots of interest in the ongoings across the country and I think the leadership of the House of Representatives, the Speaker, the opposition leadership and everyone. I think you are all doing well,” he said.

“You represent the people and it is what the people wish that you take up. I want to commend you for doing your job honourably and urge you not to give up.

“It is time to settle down to do a lot of good work for your constituency and for the country.”

In his remark, Elumelu said the visit was to seek advice on ways to tackle the security challenges in the country.

EFCC forced me to indict former Plateau governor – Witness

Yusuf Pam, a former cashier of the Plateau government, says his statements indicting Jonah Jang, former governor of the state, were made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under duress.

Pam made this claim on Tuesday while testifying under cross-examination at a Jos high court.

When asked if he truly admitted to being the that paid monies into Jang’s Zenith Bank account, he said: “that information was not true”.

“I never hid money for Governor Jang throughout his eight-year tenure. On January 16, 2017, l was threatened to either cooperate by writing whatever they asked me to write else I wouldn’t be given food or allowed to take my drugs because l am hypertensive and diabetic.

“At that point, l had to play along because they also threatened to dump me in their detention cell, where I spent the night the very first day l reported at the EFCC office, Abuja.

“When they later allowed me to go back to Jos, l was asked to report every two weeks for a year and four months.

“They later changed it to once a month and on two occasions, l escaped two ghastly motor accidents.

“My Lord, I was not answerable to the Governor directly. I never hid money for him when he was Governor because I was answerable to a Permanent Secretary, Cabinet and Special Services who is the Accounting Officer in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government.

“I tried to explain this to the EFCC official, Mr Sunday Musa, who interrogated and obtained my statements.

“During the interrogation, Musa gave me a slap and forced me to make statements the way he wanted it.

“My Lord, all the statements I made to the EFCC in writing was dictated to me.”

NAN reports that Pam and Jang are standing trial in a 12-count brought against them by the EFCC bordering on alleged N6.3 billion money laundering.

After listening to Pam’s testimonies, Daniel Longji, the presiding judge, adjourned the case to August 7 for the continuation of hearing.

Kogi assembly moves to impeach deputy governor

The Kogi state house of assembly has commenced impeachment proceedings against Simon Achuba, deputy governor of the state.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kaduna government sues Odinkalu, accuses him of ‘inciting disturbance’

The Kaduna state government has filed a suit against Chidi Odinkalu, a former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

In the suit dated March 18, 2019, the government accused the human rights lawyer of inciting disturbance and furnishing false information which is punishable under the state’s penal codes.

In February, Odinkalu had accused Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, of lying about the number of casualties and the timing of the attacks on Kajuru local government area of the state where the governor had pegged casualties at 66.

The governor had described the killings as deliberate and designed to attract reprisals and destabilise the local government during the election.

Odinkalu negated the claim saying he contacted many sources in the state including residents, traditional and religious rulers and he could confirm that casualties were about 11.

The government, in the suit filed at the chief magistrate’s court of Kaduna state, said Odinkalu committed an offence with his comments.

The government further asked that a cause of criminal summons be issued against Odinkalu for “inciting disturbance, injurious falsehood, public nuisance, and furnishing false information punishable under section 77, 373, 104, and 150 respectively of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna state, 2017”.

Following another application filed by the government, the court, on March 22, gave an order for the Kaduna state command of the Nigeria Police Force to carry out an investigation on Odinkalu.

In a letter dated March 28, the Kaduna state judiciary wrote the deputy commissioner of police in charge of criminal investigation and intelligence department to effect the investigation.

When contacted, Yakubu Sabo, police spokesperson in Kaduna, said he would need time to check with the development on the matter as it is an investigative one.

“I will find out,” he told TheCable in a telephone interview.

“Since it’s something that has to do with the investigation, I will have to verify from the CID.”

Responding to a message seeking his reaction, Odinkalu said he had been invited previously by the police and he was treated politely.

“The police have statutory powers to investigate allegations of crime,” he said.

“It is a responsible organisation. When they do their work, we have a duty to cooperate with them. They have invited me previously. They treated me courteously. I have made a statement. In the end, truth, like pregnancy, can’t be hidden. Hopefully, the police will get to the truth in this matter.”

He added that he was yet to be served any summons.

In 2017, Audu Maikori, Chocolate City boss, was arrested by the police on charges of incitement based on a petition by the Kaduna state government attributed to his tweet on killings in a town in southern Kaduna.

Maikori later retracted and apologised saying the information was false.