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Daily Archives: August 9, 2019

JUST IN: Major power cut hits UK after National Grid failure

Victoria Station in London

Large parts of the UK are without electricity following a large scale power cut.

Blackouts have been reported in London and the South East, as well as the Midlands and the North East.

UK Power Networks, who control power lines for London and the South East, and Western Power Distribution in Midlands, the South West and Wales both confirmed widespread outages.

The company tweeted on Friday evening: “We’re aware of a power cut affecting large parts of London and South East.

“We believe this is due to a failure on National Grid’s network, which is affecting our customers.”

Northern Power Grid has posted a list of postcodes affected by the power cut. They said they are “aware of an unexpected issue affecting the above postcodes and are working hard to restore power by 1830”.

Kingsbridge Police wrote on Facebook: “There are significant power cuts in Kingsbridge and many surrounding villages. Western Power are aware. Please view their website for up to date information.”

The drop in power is also affecting traffic lights in the capital, Transport for London confirmed.

Radio Clyde News said that “at least 30 sets of traffic lights are out across Glasgow after a number of power spikes caused by the bad weather.”

The drop in power is affecting travel.

Train services in and out of London, including Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express are facing delays and cancellations.

 

Traffic lights in the capital are also experiencing some problems and the Victoria Line on the London Underground is suspended, Transport for London confirmed.

They tweeted on Friday evening warning people to be cautious when using the roads.

Thameslink confirmed that the power cut “train services running across the whole network may be cancelled or delayed”.

They added: “Trains are currently at a stand between Farringdon & Bedford. This is having a wider impact to services across the whole network.”

Meanwhile, photos on social media show the Victoria line in complete darkness with one user tweeting “love being stuck on the Victoria line during a power surge” while passengers on train services have been left at a standstill.

Wike declares ‘Bobrisky’ wanted, offers N30m bounty

Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, has declared one Bobrisky, a notorious criminal, wanted for inflicting terror on the people of Gokana LGA of the state.

Wike also promised to give N30 million to anyone with useful information that will lead to his arrest.

He made the pledge on Thursday while handing over 40 patrol vans equipped with communication devices to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and police anti-kidnapping unit in Port Harcourt.

According to him, the bounty also extends to anyone with useful information on the identity of the persons who murdered a director with the state government during the Choba community crisis.

Wike said the state government will establish a trust fund to cater for the families of policemen who lost their lives to the fight against crime as part of his administration’s commitment to supporting security agencies.

“Rivers State Government is fully prepared and will do everything required to protect lives and property. Without the protection of lives and property, there will be no governance and development,” he said.

He also declared that the state government had proscribed all youth groups operating in the state because they had been hijacked by cultists.

“Anybody operating under a youth body henceforth will be arrested by security agencies. Before you contest for any youth body’s leadership, you must send the names to the DSS and Police for screening. If they are cultists, we will not allow them to operate,” Wike said.

Bobrisky, the notorious criminal, also shares a familiar nickname with Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju, controversial internet personality and cross-dresser, who is usually referred to as “male Barbie doll,” by his numerous fans.

Oyedepo curses killers of Winners Chapel’s pastor in Kaduna

Bishop David Oyedepo, founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners Chapel, has placed curses on the killers of Jeremiah Omolewa, a resident pastor of the church in Romi New Extension, a suburb of Kaduna.

Omolewa (pictured) was travelling with his wife and son to Abuja on Sunday when he was shot dead.

While his son escaped, the gunmen took his widow into the forest while her abductors later contacted the family of the victim to demand a ransom of N50 million.

Reacting during one of the church sessions on Thursday, Oyedepo charged the congregation to pray against the killers just as he declared that their end had come.

“Just last Sunday night for those of us who may have heard the news, one of our pastors was hacked down by Fulani herdsmen from Abuja to Kaduna,” he said.

“I want you to know, that it’s the last they will do because I am going to lead you now to release the curse of God upon his assailants and all their backers.

“Except I am not sent, their end has come. This evil system will crash. And I am speaking as a prophet, not as a pastor, like somebody walking on the street. This evil system that has no value for life, this wicked system – Fulani demons: In the name of Jesus, their end has come.

“Cursed be these Fulani herdsmen, cursed be their generations, cursed be their sponsors in the name of Jesus. In the name of Jesus Christ, we have cursed.”

The bishop has always led his congregation to pray against insecurity in the country.

 

Kaduna CAN: We’ve paid over N300m ransom to kidnappers in past four years

The Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says the church has spent over N300 million to secure release of members who have been kidnapped in the last four years.

Joseph Hayab, chairman of CAN in the state, disclosed this in an interview on Friday.

He said over 500 members of CAN have been abducted in the state between 2015 and 2019, according to a report by The Cable.

Hayab said more than 20 churches, especially, those located in communities along Kaduna-Abuja road have been closed as people living in those areas have relocated as a result of the activities of kidnappers.

“In the past four years, Christians in Kaduna state have suffered a lot. Generally, people in Kaduna state have suffered a lot in paying kidnappers ransom to ensure the release of either their family member or church member or neighbour or someone they know,” he said.

“It is sad to know that the church alone, from our statistics -ECWA Church, Baptist Church, Anglican Church, Catholic Church and many other Churches in Kaduna whose members have been kidnapped, have had to cough out between N200,000 and N8 million to kidnappers to secure their release. In the last four years, the church in Kaduna has paid over N300 million to kidnappers.”

He said the most embarrassing of such ransoms is that of a pastor of Friendship Church Kudenda, a suburb of Kaduna, which the kidnappers insisted that the N600,000 ransom must be accompanied with cigarettes worth N10,000.

He said in Kachia, a reverend father was abducted and a ransom of N1.5 million was paid but he has not been released after three months, “an indication that he might have been killed”.

“In many of our villages along Abuja road, people have abandoned their homes and relocated to places like Buwaya, Gonin- Gora, Romi and other suburbs around Kaduna metropolis as a result of activities of kidnappers,’’ he said.

“These are farmers, they don’t have any work, they keep coming around looking for assistance from us to pay rent and buy food. They are really suffering because no effort is being made to tame or put kidnapping activities in Kaduna state in check.

“Three weeks ago, kidnappers went to Marraban Rido, broke into three houses and abducted three women. I can go on and on to tell you incidences of people being frequently kidnapped and we keep on looking for money to pay the kidnappers.

“We don’t collect our offerings to give kidnappers, our offerings are supposed to be used for evangelism and catering for the needy. Now the money we are supposed to use for evangelism so that evil in the society would be reduced is being spent on paying ransom to kidnappers.

“It has come to a stage that we will not allow this to continue anymore because we have cried enough and no action is being taken and we are even being accused for crying out.

“There cannot be peace when there is no justice, the kind of peace I preach is not the peace of compromise, it is not the peace of lies, and it is not the peace of cheating. It is a peace where you must respect your neighbour, your neighbour respects you and the two of you respects each other.”

Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna police command, was not available for comments as of the time this report was filed. He neither answered calls nor respond to a text message sent.

 

EFCC arrests Atiku’s lawyer, to charge him with ‘laundering $2m’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Uyi Giwa-Osagie, a legal adviser of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, over alleged money laundering.

Osagie was arrested after he honoured an invitation of the anti-graft agency in Lagos on Thursday.

The agency has filed charges over alleged money laundering to the tune of $2 million against Giwa-Osagie.

According to the charge sheet, Osagie made a payment of $2 million without going through any financial institution.

The EFCC said the amount which exceeded what is authorised by law, was meant for the 2019 general election.

Atiku contested the presidential election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Giwa-Osagie was arrested in the buildup to the 2019 elections.

Here are some of the counts levelled against the lawyer:

Count one

That you UYIEKPEN GlWA-OSAGIE and ERHUNSE GlWA-OSAGIE, sometimes in February, 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired to commit an offence to wit: making cash payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million United State Dollars) without going through financial institution which sum exceeded the ‘ amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

Count two

That you UYIEKPEN GIWA-OSAGIE on or before the 12th day of February,2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured ERHUNSE GIWA OSAGIE to make cash payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million United State Dollars) without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

10 things to know about Akintola Williams @100

As Africa marks the 100th birthday of its first chartered accountant, Pa Akintola Williams, here are 10 interesting things to know about the centenarian.

Akintola was born on August 9, 1919, exactly a day after the Governor-General of the young Nigeria, Lord Frederick Lugard, stepped aside and handed over power to Sir Hugh Clifford who went on to administer the young country for six years.

Williams, who was the continent’s first chartered accountant and first president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, also comes from a family of “many firsts.”

His younger brother, Rotimi Williams, was also the first Nigerian to be decorated with the title, ‘Senior Advocate of Nigeria;’ and he also set up the first indigenous Nigerian law firm in 1948 with Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode and Chief Bode Thomas.

The law firm was called Thomas, Williams and Kayode.

Akintola, as a youth, was among the founders of Yoruba socio-political group, Egbe Omo Oduduwa, along with the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and other notable politicians in the Western Region such as Chief Ayo Rosiji, who later became the Minister of Health.

Akintola’s firm, Akintola Williams & Co., is the first indigenous chartered accounting firm in Nigeria. Established in 1952, it had notable clients such as the defunct West African Pilot newspaper owned by the late President Nnamdi Azikiwe.

A lover of classical music, the centenarian is one of the brains behind the Music Society of Nigeria — operators of the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

The nation’s oldest accountant was also involved in establishing the Nigerian Stock Exchange and he is the only surviving signatory to the original Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Nigerian Stock Exchange at the founding of the NSE in September 15, 1960.

Akintola has headed many government panels both at the state and federal levels. He was chairman of the Federal Income Tax Appeal Commissioners (1958-68); chairman of the Lagos State Government Revenue Collection Panel (1973); and chairman of the Public Service Review Panel to correct the anomalies in the Udoji Salary Review Commission (1975).

He is the last surviving member of the Coker Commission of Enquiry set up by the late Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, to probe the finances of the Western Region.

He was, for over 60 years, married to Mabel Efuntiloye Williams until her death in 2009. They both had two children, Tokunbo and Seni.

The 100-year-old accountant has served on the boards of many notable companies.

They include: Shell Trustees (Nigeria) Limited, John Holt Investment Limited, British-American Tobacco Company, BEWAC Limited, Bentworth Finance Limited, G. Cappa Plc , Universe Re-Insurance Company Limited, Mandilas Limited and United Nigerian Textiles Plc.

The Punch

INEC fires Cross River REC after resigning to contest guber poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday sacked the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Cross River State, Dr. Frankland Briyai.

Briyai had announced his resignation on Thursday.

He said he wanted to contest the forthcoming Bayelsa governorship election scheduled for November 16. However, the commission claimed it had yet to receive his resignation letter.

A statement by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, frowned at the use of its premises or facilities for any political purpose.

He described the act as unlawful and contravened the Code of Conduct subscribed to by all INEC officials.

While announcing his sack, INEC directed its Administrative Secretary in Cross River State to oversee the office and take over the functions and duties of the REC until further notice.

The statement by Okoye reads: “The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Cross River State of INEC, Dr. Frankland Briyai yesterday (Thursday) addressed the media to the effect that he has resigned his position as REC with effect from August 8 2019 and joined a political party on whose platform he intends to contest the November 16, 2019 governorship Election in Bayelsa State.

“Although this was done at the commission’s Cross River State office in Calabar, the commission is yet to receive any communication on this from Briyai.

“Section 306(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that the resignation of such appointment takes effect on receipt of the letter of resignation by the appointing authority – in this case, the President.

“While it is the right of any Commissioner or official of the Commission to resign his or her appointment and join any political party of his/her choice and to aspire for any office or position, INEC frowns at the use of its premises or facilities for any political purpose as this is unlawful and contrary to the Code of Conduct subscribed to by all its officials.

“Following his declaration, the commission has relieved Briyai of his duties as a Resident Electoral Commissioner and withdrawn all powers delegated to him. Consequently, the Administrative Secretary of Cross River State has been directed to oversee the office and take over the functions and duties of the REC until further notice.”

 

Ambode denies involvement in N9.9bn fraud allegations

 

The immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has denied involvement in the N9.9bn fraud said to have been discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Ambode said none of his accounts contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the EFCC.
He said in the spirit of Sallah and having served Lagos State well, his record was clear.

In a statement on Friday by his media aide, Habib Aruna, Ambode said he did not intend to join issues with the anti-corruption agency as there had not been any communication between him and the commission on the issue.
He added that he, however, wanted to clear his name.
According to the former governor, the accounts frozen by the Federal High Court belong to the Lagos State Government and not him or any individual.

“Those accounts were opened in the course of normal operations by the Lagos State Government for its administrative purposes and not for the former governor’s personal transactions as was being wrongly insinuated and have been operated to ensure smooth operations of government activities by previous and present administrations. The former governor was not and will never be involved in any unauthorized use of government property and resources.

“We strongly believe that after four demanding years as Chief Executive of Lagos State, Mr. Ambode is entitled to some deserved rest with his family and loved ones without the unwarranted attacks on his well-earned reputation,” the statement said.

N1.23bn alleged fraud: Court imposes N1bn bail on Maurice Iwu

A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Maurice Iwu, who was charged with an alleged fraud of N1.23bn, has been admitted to bail in the sum of N1bn with two sureties in like sum.

Justice Chuka Obiozor said, in his ruling on Friday, that one the sureties must own a landed property in Lagos while the other must be a professor or a civil servant not below Grade Level 16.

The judge said both sureties must furnish the court with the statement of their bank accounts, showing a minimum balance of N1bn.

The sureties are also to submit their recent passport photographs.

In addition, Iwu was ordered to deposit his passport with the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court.

The judge ordered that he should be remanded in the prison custody pending the fulfillment of the bail conditions.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Thursday arraigned the ex-INEC chairman on four counts bordering on fraud before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Iwu committed the offence in the build-up to the 2015 general elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari defeated then-incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to the EFCC, Iwu, between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, “aided the concealment of N1.23bn in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited with number 1018603119, domiciled in the United Bank for Africa.”

The EFCC said Iwu “ought to have reasonably known that the N1.23bn formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”

The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the ex-INEC chairman acted contrary to sections 18(a) and 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering ((Prohibition) Act 2011 and was liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

But when the charges were read to him, Iwu pleaded not guilty.

While moving Iwu’s bail application on Friday, his lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), urged the judge to admit his client to bail in liberal terms but the EFCC vehemently opposed the bail application.

The EFCC counsel, Oyedepo, told the judge that Iwu might likely interfere with the witnesses assembled to testify in the case as they were INEC officials with whom he had worked closely.

Taraba killing: Where’s kidnap kingpin? Police ask Nigerian Army

The police have asked the Nigerian Army to explain the whereabouts of the Taraba kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume, allegedly set free by soldiers who reportedly attacked a police team conveying the suspect to Taraba State Police Command headquarters in Jalingo, on Tuesday.

The force also demanded explanations on why the suspect was released, insisting that he could not have escaped with handcuffs from his “military rescuers.”

The Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, had explained in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, that an Intelligence Response Team led by ASP Felix Adolije came under attack from soldiers while taking Wadume to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo.

During the attack, Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeants Usman Danzumi, Dahiru Musa and a civilian died as a result of gunshot injuries, while others sustained gunshot wounds.

The Army in its reaction said the policemen failed to identify themselves to soldiers at a checkpoint on Ibi – Jalingo Road, adding that they mistook the police team for kidnappers.

But Mba in a statement on Thursday, picked holes in the military’s defense, stressing that Wadume who was in restraints could not have escaped from the soldiers after his purported rescue.

He said, “In the best tradition of esprit de Corps, inter-agency harmony and national interest, the Nigeria Police Force would naturally have kept quiet, but it has become imperative to set the record straight by addressing the obvious distortion of facts inherent in the press release by the Nigerian Army.

“The most important question arising from the Nigerian Army statement is: Where is Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume? Wadume is a millionaire kidnapper arrested by the Police but paradoxically treated as a ‘kidnap victim’ by the soldiers and subsequently ‘rescued’ by them. Where is he? Where is the rescued kidnapper?”

The police wondered why Wadume was not taken to the Army Base for documentation and debriefing in line with NA’s standard operating procedure.

“Why were the Police operatives shot at close range even after they had identified themselves as Police Officers on legitimate duty as evident in the video now in circulation?,” the force further asked.

It said that the Army was silent on the source of the alleged distress report or identity of the complainant whose report it claimed informed their decision to engage in the purported chase and rescue operation.