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Monthly Archives: September 2019

‘We’re allies in fight against terrorism’ — Trump congratulates Nigeria at independence

President Donald Trump has congratulated the Nigerian government on the nation’s 59th independence anniversary.

In a statement issued on Monday, Trump said Nigeria is one of its strongest partners and wished the country success in its endeavours.

Trump said the US and Nigeria are allies in the fight against terrorism and expressed his wish to see Boko Haram and other insurgent groups dismantled in Nigeria.

“On behalf of the American people, I extend our warmest greetings and congratulate you on the 59th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence,” the statement read.

“Nigeria is among our strongest partners in Africa. We share common goals of expanding trade and growing our economic relationship.

“We are allies in the global battle against terrorism, and we want to see Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa driven out of the region and other insurgencies like them dismantled.

“The United States welcomes efforts by your administration to diversify opportunities for your talented, creative, and hardworking people to the benefit of both our countries, Africa and the world.

“I am pleased that following our meeting last year, our Vice Presidents are also building on our longstanding history of cooperation.

“I wish the people of Nigeria continued success as you mark another year of independence.”

 

We’ve failed to take Nigeria to enviable position —Taraba Gov

Taraba State Governor, Mr. Darius Ishaku, on Monday said Nigeria as a country is not yet mature after 59 years of Independence.

Decrying the nation’s situation, the governor lamented, “We’ve failed to take Nigeria to enviable position.”

He called for a drastic change in attitude and approach to governance.

Ishaku spoke while answering questions from journalists in Jalingo shortly after he arrived the state from Abuja.

Ishaku said, “Yes, we are 59 years old, but I don’t think we are 59 years mature — it is sweet and ugly.

“It is sweet because we have independence, but ugly because we have not been able to utilise the 59 years to take the country to an enviable position.

“It’s a shame that Nigeria as a giant of Africa is still lagging behind.

“I was in Rwanda and I was amazed at their development in the healthcare sector alone.

“Here we are being called the giant of Africa, but are just sitting giant.

“A lot still needs to be done. We need to transform our thinking, work hard in education, health and power, among others.

“If we can improve on power alone, the multiplier effects will be tremendous,” he said.

Governor Ishaku, who won his election case at the tribunal in Abuja, said he will consolidate on his achievements in agriculture, education, and healthcare, among others, for the good of the people of Taraba State.

EFCC re-arraigns Suswam for N3.1bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday re-arraigned a former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, and the then Commissioner for Finance in his administration, Omadachi Oklobi, on N3.1bn money laundering charges.

Suswam, who is now the Senator representing Benue North East, and his co-defendant, pleaded not guilty when the nine counts were read to them again before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

They were initially arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed in the same Abuja division of the court in November 2015.

But Justice Mohammed withdrew from the case in July this year following a SaharaReporter’s story accusing him of unethical practices in respect of the case.

The case was subsequently re-assigned to Justice Abang.

Before the arraignment on Monday, Justice Abang dismissed an objection raised by the defendants against the transfer of the case.

Suswam, through his counsel, Chinelo Ogbozor, had urged the judge to return the case file to Justice Mohammed.

Ruling Justice Abang sustained the arguments put forward by the prosecuting counsel lawyer, Leke Atolagbe, who urged the judge to assume jurisdiction and order the defendants to be arraigned.

The judge said Justice Mohammed had in a letter of July 5, 2019, detailed the reasons he withdrew from the case, adding that he could not reverse the administrative decision of the Chief Judge, who re-assigned the case to him.

The defendants were originally arraigned before Justice Mohammed in November 2015.

The prosecution had called four witnesses before the recent withdrawal of the judge from the case.

Justice Abang, on Monday, adjourned till October 29 for the commencement of trial.

Army organises spiritual warfare against Boko Haram

The Nigerian Army, on Monday, took the battle against insurgency to a spiritual realm.

A seminar themed: “Countering Insurgency and Violent Extremism in Nigeria through Spiritual Warfare”, was organised at the Nigeria Army Resource Centre in Abuja.

The seminar was organised by the army’s directorate of chaplain services Roman Catholic, Protestant and directorate of Islamic affairs.

Tukur Buratai, army’s chief of staff, who was represented by Mohammed Yusuf, chief of administration, declared the seminar open.

Buratai said the need to defeat the ideologies of the insurgents was based on the awareness that it was their ideologies that had enhanced their resources and how to recruit new fighters to their folds.

Spiritual controls the physical

According to him, terrorism will wither and die if the ideology is killed.

“By its nature, ideologies have the power to manipulate what people think, inform their opinion and direct their attitude. It is a well known fact that terrorism and terrorist groups will not be totally eliminated by mainly military actions,” he said.

“This means focusing our effort on the under laying narratives through ideologies that are employed by these terrorist groups to lure innocent citizens into their fold.

“Communities and the states need to be joined with the common purpose of rejecting the ideology of this group and those who exposed them. This can be better achieved through the provision of appropriate counter narratives targeted at the ideology of the terrorist group.”

Rivers govt acquires Shell’s 45 percent interest in OML 11

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Monday said that the state government had acquired the 45 per cent interest of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in Oil Mining Lease 11 located in Ejama Ebubu community, Eleme Local Government Area and other communities in Ogoni.

Wike, who disclosed this during a state broadcast at the Government House in Port Harcourt, added that the decision was in the best interest of the state.

The governor stated that the background for the acquisition of OML 11 was based on court judgements, which had already been recorded in the United Kingdom and Nigeria for enforcement.

Mob sets three suspected ‘one chance’ robbers ablaze in Abuja

A mob on Monday lynched three men who allegedly robbed a lady in a car at Dutse Alhaji, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The suspected robbers were killed with stones after which their bodies were set ablaze with disused tyres.

Their operational vehicle was also torched.

Posing as passengers in the vehicle, the suspected robbers were said to have dispossessed their victim of her belongings after which they reportedly pushed her out of the car.

An eyewitness said, “The one chance robbers, after taking their victim’s money, phone and other belongings, pushed her out of their vehicle, but some Okada riders saw them and gave them a hot chase.

“They caught up with the robbers under the Dutse Alhaji bridge. They burnt two of them inside their vehicle while the third one who attempted to escape into Dutse Alhaji market was also caught and stoned to death. His body was then set ablaze with old tyres and fuel.”

It was gathered that the police could not save the deceased as they were overwhelmed by the people who insisted on meting out jungle justice on them.

The remains of the robbers were said to have been evacuated by the police.

Our correspondent observed the heavy rocks at the scene with the bloodstains of one of the suspects.

The FCT police spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, could not be reached for comment as calls to his phone rang out.

Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro laptop banned from Nigerian flights

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says Apple MacBook Pro laptops (Mid 2015, 15-inch Retina model) will no longer be allowed on flights.

In a memo issued by Abdullahi Sidi, NCAA’s director of operations and training, flight operators and service providers were directed to treat the matter as urgent and “carry out a procedure to ensure compliance”.

“This is to inform all operators and service providers that the carriage of MacBook Pro (Model: Retina, 15 MID-2015) with immediate effect is hereby barred on all flights,” the memo read.

“This product has been recalled by the manufacturer due to battery problems, this presents a risk to aviation safety due to overheating.

“You are all expected to treat this matter with the urgency it deserves.”

In a notice on its website, Apple had announced a recall of the laptops and advised customers to stop using the device.

“Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk,” the manufacturer said.

“Affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and product eligibility is determined by the product serial number.

“Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority, and we have voluntarily decided to replace affected batteries, free of charge.”

Owners of mid-2015 MacBook Pros were asked to visit a page on Apple’s website to submit their device’s serial number in order to find out if their notebooks are eligible for replacement.

Onumah: DSS asked why I wasn’t carrying a Biafran passport

Chido Onumah, coordinator of African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), says the Department of State Services (DSS) queried him on why he was carrying a Nigerian passport despite being a “Biafran.”

Onumah said this while narrating his encounter with the DSS operatives.

DSS operatives had detained the journalist at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Abuja, Abuja, upon his arrival from Europe.

He spent at least four hours in their custody before he was freed around 10pm.

In a statement issued on Monday, Onumah said the operatives accosted him for wearing a “Biafra” T-shirt.

He said: “A DSS officer said they had intel (likely from people who were with me on the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Abuja) that I had come into the country to join some people planning to cause disaffection.

“That since I am a Biafran, why should I carry a Nigerian passport. I told them I am a Nigerian and that’s why I have a Nigerian passport; that there is no country called Biafra, therefore, I couldn’t possibly hold a Biafran passport.

“He replied: ‘But that is not what is written on your T-shirt.’ When I replied that the inscription is the title of a book, (and that the book was available on Amazon and bookshops in the country) another officer said “there is a difference between the book and the T-shirt’.”

He added that the DSS operatives requested for his T-shirt and “a “commitment” that I won’t do anything that would cause ethic, religious or political tension in the country.”

Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman, had earlier confirmed Onumah’s shirt got the service’ attention.

Sowore: DSS denied me telephone access but granted same to Boko Haram commanders

Omoyele Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, says while arrested Boko Haram commanders in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) are allowed to make calls, he has been denied access to telephone.

According to SaharaReporters, Sowore said this on Monday at the federal high court in Abuja where he is currently being arraigned for “conspiracy to commit treason and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari”.

The activist said he was yet to know what charge was brought against him as he had not spoken with his lawyers.

“I am not allowed to see sunshine. I’ve not been outside except today. I am happy people are staying strong,” he said.

“I have no doubt this will come to an end in favour of the Nigerian people. Whether you like it or not, the revolution will happen. It is only a matter of time. They gave me no access to telephone. No TV. No newspapers.

“What is interesting is that Boko Haram commanders who are engaged in high level terrorism have access to telephone, TV and even cable in their cells. So you wonder which one is better: a freedom fighter or a terrorist.”

He also said he has a bad shoulder following the way he was rough handled when arrested.

Sowore, who was presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 elections, was arrested in Lagos on August 3 ahead of a planned nationwide #RevolutionNow protest.

The protest, the government said, was aimed at removing the president during his term of office otherwise than by constitutional means.

The court had earlier granted the DSS request to keep Sowore for 45 days but he was later granted bail.

The agency refused to release him despite fulfilling his bail condition.

Court sends Sowore back to DSS custody

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has remanded Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement, in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The activist has been in detention since August 3 when he was arrested in Lagos.

A court had earlier granted him bail but the secret police refused to release him.

On Monday, he was arraigned on a 7-count charge of felony brought against him and Olawale Bakare, his co-defendant, by the federal government.

The duo pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Olumide Fusika, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Sowore’s counsel, had asked the court to allow his client enjoy the bail earlier granted to him.

But Ijeoma Ojukwu, the presiding judge, refused, ordering that Sowore and Bakare should return to DSS custody pending Friday when she would hear their application for bail.

Bayelsa speaker removed as gunshots rock assembly

Tonye Isenah, Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, has been removed.

Isenah was removed shortly after gunshots rocked the assembly over the crisis that broke out as a result of the refusal of Isenah to step down.

Isenah had been under pressure to resign following the emergence of Douye Diri as gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16 election.

Isenah and Diri are from his Kolokuma-Opokuma local government area of the state, a development which some political pundits say could work against the PDP candidate in the election.

Trouble started on Monday after Isenah, who had told reporters on Friday that he would relinquish his position, adjourned plenary indefinitely.

Suspected thugs were said to have invaded the chamber after which the mace was forcefully taken away.

Some lawmakers later reconvened and took the decision on replacing Monday Obolo, the former majority leader of the house.

Obolo represents southern Ijaw constituency 2.

But Ranami Afagha, spokesman of Isenah, said the impeachment would not stand as it was done against the standing rules of the house.

Afagha said the mace of the house was “violently taken away by thugs”, adding that since the symbol of authority was not in the house, activities of those who removed Isenah were illegal and unconstitutional.

‘My abductors said they kept coming back because my son is rich’ … Siasia’s mother

With her eyes swollen in tears, Beauty Uguoere Siasia, the mother of a former Super Eagles skipper and coach, Samson Siasia broke down and cried.

“I dont know why they keep kidnapping me. Only God knows,” the 80-year-old woman sobbed as tears dripped down her wrinkled face.

Mama, as she is fondly called, lamented that she had been kidnapped twice saying that her abductors on the two occasions told her that her son, Siasia is a millionaire.

She said after whisking her away to an unknown place, her assailants fed her with garri and bought drugs for her.

Saying that they took care of her, the traumatised woman said there was no time they beat her, adding that sometimes the abductors prepared soup for everybody in their camp.

Narrating the latest incident, she said: I was at my house when they came to kidnap me. They took me to the place. They took care of me.

“I was sick and they bought the drugs. They cooked and gave to me.

“They didn’t beat me. There were days that there was no food. Those days they drank garri and gave me garri to drink too.

“Sometimes, they cooked soup, prepare garri and we ate.

“But on Sunday, they told me we had stayed for too long and they were tired of our problem.

“They carried us on a flying boat and dropped us in a village. I dont know the name of the village.

“The carried us to their chairman place. I don’t even know the man. They called Seifa and Seifa came.

“As I am talking to you, I am not well. Before they took me I was not well. I want to go to the hospital.

“They built small house and use tarpaulin to cover the top. That was where they kept us”.

When she was told that she won’t be kidnapped again, Siasia’s mother quickly said Amen.

But she added: “They keep worrying me because they said my son, Siasia is rich and a millionaire”.

Also one of the victims, who was abducted when he took some undisclosed amount of money to the kidnappers, said on getting to where they directed him, the gunmen surrounded his boat, blindfolded him and took him away.

Relieving his ordeal, he said: “Where they kept us was very bad. I didn’t see anything there and I didn’t recognise anybody because before I got to the place, they blindfolded me.

“But the place was rough. We slept on benches. There was no foam. At times, they fed us with garri and beans.

“We used oil to eat garri. Sometimes, they cooked yellow soup and any how they cooked it you will eat because you want to live.

“I was in a critical condition. They were fond of beating me maybe because I am a man.

‘They would beat me morning, afternoon and night. They would tie me before I sleep.

“Even if mosquitoes were biting me, I couldn’t chase them away. They kept four people to guide me. I suffered a lot”.

Police uncover ‘baby factory’ in Lagos, rescue 19 pregnant girls

The police in Lagos on Sunday said they have uncovered a suspected baby factory and rescued 19 pregnant girls.

The police stated that they acted on an intelligence report and swooped on the operators at their base on 14 Adisa Street, Ayanwale area of Ikotun.

The police spokesman, Bala Elkana, said two suspects had been arrested.

However, the principal suspect, identified as Madam Oluchi, a mother of five, from Mbano, Imo State, was said to have escaped.

According to the police spokesman, the suspects bring the girls from the South-East to Lagos where they are impregnated.

He said the babies were sold based on their sex; while male babies were sold for N500,000, the girls were sold for N300,000.

Elkana said, “On September 19,2019, at 4pm, while acting on the strength of information from a reliable source, detectives from the Isheri Osun Police Station, led by the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Chike Ibe, stormed a building at 14 Adisa Street, Ayanwale area, Ikotun, Lagos, suspected to be used for child trafficking.

“Nineteen pregnant girls, aged 15 and 28, were rescued. Four kids were also rescued. They were recovered from four different locations.

“They include: 32 Owosho Street, Governor Road, Ikotun; 29 Olugbeyohun Street, Olakunle Bus Stop Abaranja; 4/6 Anomo Street, Abaranja and the address mentioned above. The pregnant women were brought from Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Abia and Imo states.

“Two suspects, namely Happiness Ukwuoma ‘f’ 40 years old, and Sherifat Ipeya ‘f’ 54 years old, were arrested in connection with the case.

“The suspects did not receive formal medical training but operate as nurses. The suspects are natives of Imo and Epe, Lagos states, respectively. The young women were mostly abducted by the suspects for the purpose of getting them pregnant and selling the babies to potential buyers.

“The girls were tricked with employment as domestic staff in Lagos.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu, has visited the scene and ordered the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department to take over the case.”

Elkana said the command was working with other agencies and stakeholders in rehabilitating and resettling the pregnant girls and the babies.

He noted that investigation was ongoing and the suspects would be charged to court.

Falana: DSS not petitioning NJC over judge who granted Sowore bail

Femi Falana, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says there is no plan by the Department of State Services (DSS) to report a federal high court judge to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for granting Omoyele Sowore bail.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Falana said the report on the secret service petitioning the NJC against Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, who granted bail to Sowore, is false.

He said it was designed to blackmail and intimidate judges in the case of the activist.

“However, in a desperate bid to divert public attention from the contemptuous conduct of the SSS the federal government has hurriedly pressurised the federal high court to assign the case for the arraignment of Mr. Sowore,” he said.

“I wish to state without any fear of contradiction, that the federal high court is competent to admit a person charged with a capital offence to bail by virtue of section 161 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. But in this case, Mr. Sowore has not been charged with a capital offence.

“Treasonable felony is not a capital offence under section 41 of the Criminal Code. Even under the most brutal dictatorial regimes in Nigeria our courts did not hesitate to uphold the fundamental right of the victims of repression to personal liberty including those who were charged with treasonable felony.

“Having regards to the facts and circumstances of this case, the SSS cannot complain against the handling of the case by Justice Taiwo who did not even entertain our application to quash the order for Mr. Sowore’s detention for 45 days. We had wanted to show that Mr. Sowore did not engage in any terrorist activity to warrant his incarceration.

“In urging Nigerians to disregard the dubious report it ought to be pointed out that Justice Taiwo has not been accused of any act of judicial misconduct in ordering the conditional release of Mr. Sowore from unlawful custody. After all, it was the SSS counsel, Mr. Godwin Agbadua who withdrew his fresh motion ex parte motion for an order to further detain him for 20 days.

“To that extent, the National Judicial Council has no power to sanction a judicial officer for exercising his/her discretion judicially and judicially in an application for the bail of a citizen. In other words, since the NJC is not an appellate court it cannot review the order for the conditional release of Mr. Sowore from illegal custody.”

Taiwo had ordered the secret service to release the publisher of Sahara Reporters immediately to his lawyer.

The judge held there was no subsisting order to keep him in detention.

But the DSS is yet to comply with the court’s decision.

BREAKING: SSS arrests Nigerian activist Chido Onumah

Nigeria’s State Security Service, SSS, has arrested an activist, Chido Onumah.

Mr Onumah, a journalist and author, was arrested at the Abuja airport on Sunday evening, an associate told Premium Times

The journalist returned to Nigeria from Spain where he recently bagged a doctorate in communication studies.

He arrived via a Lufthansa airline and was waiting for his luggage at about 5:00 p.m. when SSS officials accosted him, the associate who was at the airport to receive Mr Onumah said.

It is believed that Mr Onumah, at about 5:00 p.m., was taken to the SSS headquarters in Abuja.

Samson Siasia’s mother released after 75 days in captivity

The mother of former Super Eagle skipper and coach, Samson Siasia, Mrs Beauty Ogere Siasia, has been set free by her kidnappers after 75 days.

The 80-year-old matriarch was kidnapped on July 15 by heavily armed gunmen who invaded her Odoni country home in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Madam Siasia travails which lasted 75 days, is the second time in four years she has been abducted by unknown abductors from her country home.

It is unclear if any ransom was paid to secure her release.

Mothers of freed kids back Kaduna slave school’s harsh methods, torture

In a move that could be described as startling, some parents of the freed 300 male children allegedly chained, tortured and sexually assaulted at an Islamic school in Kaduna have protested against the police for putting their children in protective custody.

The protesters, mostly women and who openly backed the operators of the school and their methods, asked the police to release their children immediately.

They insisted the allegation by the police that the children were being sexually abused at the Islamic school was false.

Some of the mothers said there was nothing wrong with the Islamic school, wondering why the police decided to raid it.

The Kaduna State Command of the Police had on Thursday raided the Islamic school located in Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area of the state, freeing 300 male children in the process.

The police said some of the victims were from Burkina Faso, Mali and other African countries, adding that the students confessed to have been abused homosexually.

Some other victims were said to have been subjected to daily recitation of the Holy Quran and prayers with torture.

“The man who is operating this home claimed that parents brought their children here for rehabilitation. But, from the look of things, this is not a rehabilitation centre. No reasonable parent will bring their children to this place,” the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga, had said during the raid.

Some of the boys and men were said to have been held captive for years inside what could be described as a ‘building of horrors’, which was advertised as an Islamic school.

Some of the victims, as young as five years old, said they were tortured, sexually abused and starved and while being prevented from escaping.

Many of them had metal chains around their ankles and visible injuries.

One of those who were saved by the police alleged that some victims had died.

The police arrested seven teachers of the Islamic centre, including its proprietor, Mallam Ismaila Abubakar, who insisted all they did at the centre was the teaching of Islam.

“All those allegations of torture, dehumanisation and homosexuality are false and mere allegations. We do nothing here other than teaching people Islam,” he said.

However, on Friday, some mothers of the freed children protested against the police, saying they wanted their children reunited with them.

One of them, Maryam Fatika, whose four children attended the centre, said there was nothing wrong with the school, wondering why the police decided to raid it.

According to her, none of her children had ever complained of any form of maltreatment.

Fatika said, “We are aware that they (children) are being punished whenever they do wrong because they are dangerous and stubborn children.

“There is nothing wrong with the school because we took our children there by ourselves. So, we don’t know why the police raided the place.”

Another woman, who identified herself as Mama Jibril, said her son had spent six years at the centre.

According to her, there is nothing wrong with the centre.

She said she sent her son to the centre because “Jibril was becoming a threat to the family.”

She said, “We took him to the Islamiyya school for rehabilitation and to God be the glory, he has changed.

“I visited him and I have never seen anything wrong going on in the school.

“We don’t even know where they (police) took our children. We are appealing to the government and police to return our children to us and we are also okay with the way the children are being handled by the Islamiyya authorities.”

Shafa’atu Zakari, who said she had six children in the school, said the children were drug addicts and uncontrollable.

She said, “That’s why we took them to the school to acquire Quranic knowledge.

“We took the children to the school because we didn’t know what to do with them. Presently, four of my children are among the students taken away by the police.

“We demand their release because the founder of the school, Mallam Ismail, is doing everything possible within Islamic teachings to rehabilitate them for us.”

Some residents of the area where the centre is located also claimed some of the students were drug addicts.

Ahmed Balarabe, who lives close to the school, denied the children were being sexually abused.

He said, “I share a fence with the school and my two sons attended the school and they never told me anything about being sexually abused.

“Being a neighbour that always enters the school, if such thing was happening, I should have known.”

Police taking freed children’s details –Spokesperson

Speaking on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in Kaduna State, Mr Gambo Isa, said the command was still taking the details of the children rescued from the facility, adding that the owner of the school and six teachers were still being held.

He said, “Investigation is still on. We are trying to compile the list of the children. The facility is like a school and it has been operating for some time. From the information we got, the children were kept there; they (the suspects) operated it like a school.

“We got intelligence and went there. Seven suspects – the owner of the place, Ismaila Abubakar, and six others who act as teacher – have been arrested. Chaining them is what we are saying is illegal. You cannot chain human beings just because you want to punish them.”

Meanwhile, one of the Islamic centre’s directors, Mohammed El’Zubair, has denied the allegations by the police.

“No responsible father would take his child to where he would be molested sexually.

“We expected the police to investigate us well before invading the school.

“So, we are seeking justice from the authorities concerned and we leave everything to God who knows what we are doing,” he said.

El’Zubair listed public figures who had visited the centre in the past to include a former Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Abdurrahman Ahmad; Islamic scholar and preacher, Dr Ahmad Gumi; the Chief Imam of Sultan, Bello Mosque; and ex-Lagos State governor, Gen Buba Marwa.

Islamic schools, known as Almajiris, are common in the Muslim-dominated north and have for years been dogged by allegations of abuse, including of children being forced to beg on the streets.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the year said its administration planned to eventually ban the schools.

Kashamu replies ICPC: Shame on you for ‘recovering’ evidence of a crime you investigated

Buruji Kashamu, a former senator who represented Ogun-east, says it is shameful that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) claims to have recovered constituency project items from him.

The agency had said it recovered three ambulances and a 500KVA transformer meant for constituency projects from the ex-lawmaker.

In a statement on Friday, Austin Oniyokor, Kashamu’s media aide, described the agency’s claim as mischievous.

He said the items were handed over to ICPC officials as against the agency’s claim that it recovered it.

“The items were delivered to the Constituency office in Ijebu-Igbo by the contractors late in 2017,” he said.

Oniyokor said Kashamu could not execute the constituency project because of the corrupt act of Onadeko Onamusi, one of his aides at the time.

He said the act was reported to the ICPC and the aide was arrested and charged to court on the grounds of violating sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

“However, as the distribution of the items and execution of the various projects were ongoing, Senator Kashamu discovered that his former Senior Legislative aide (SLA), Onadeko Onamusi, abused his position and influenced the award of 18 out of the 21 constituency projects to two of his (the SLA’s) companies – Stanton Nigeria Limited and Haines & Baines Nigeria Limited,” he said.

“Alarmed at the discovery, Senator Kashamu issued a query to Onamusi and terminated his appointment. Thereafter, the matter was reported to the ICPC.

“The ICPC investigated the matter, arrested and charged Onamusi to court.”

Oniyokor said the distribution of the project items was stalled as the items became evidence which could not be tampered with.

He said it is shameful that the ICPC could lay recovery claim on such items which it is aware of.

“So, for any objective mind, it should not be difficult to understand that there was no way the distribution of the items could have continued since they had become a subject of litigation and could be used as evidence. It is even more so when part of the senator’s complaint was that the contractor supplied Volvo hearse instead of supplying ambulances,” he said.

“This was the situation until Senator Kashamu served out his term of office in June 2019.

“It is shameful that the same agency that got Onamusi arrested, investigated and charged to court over the same items could turn round to claim recovery of the items that had been reported to it on the basis of some unfounded intelligence”.

 

 

Fatoyinbo’s ex-spiritual father speaks on rape scandal

Emmanuel Oset, presiding pastor of Champions’ Church, Ilorin, has likened Biodun Fatoyinbo to the biblical Judas who despite being loved betrayed Jesus.

Fatoyinbo, senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), was in June accused of rape by Busola Dakolo, a celebrity photographer.

In an interview aired by Arise TV on Thursday, Oset, who used to be a spiritual father to Fatoyinbo, said there was nothing the church could do for someone who is not ready to be helped.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ knew that Judas had become a thief but it wasn’t Jesus who said so, it was John who said so. Not because Jesus was weak, but because Jesus was hoping that this man would change,” he said.

“You always find in the scripture, the purposes of God are redemptive. Before God comes with judgement in any case, you will see that he would have tried to get through to the person. It is when His love has been rebuffed and rebuffed again that He comes with judgement. That is God’s procedure.

“God does not rule by force, he rules by love.

“People have spoken. People spoke in 2013, but you can only help somebody who wants to be helped. If somebody doesn’t want to be helped, even God will not be able to help him, His hands will be tight in that regard.”

In August 2013, Ese Walter, a former COZA member alleged that Fatoyinbo had a sexual relationship with her while she attended and worked in the church.

When the news broke, Oset said he tried many times to reach Fatoyinbo, and when he refused to come forth, he stopped being his spiritual father.

“When in August 2013, news broke out online concerning him and his ministry, as somebody he was close to as an elder I thought it was my responsibility to get across to him,” he said.

“I was preparing to go to the United States for ministry, and after some efforts because it wasn’t easy to get through to him, his pastor in Ilorin here, I told him, get through to your boss and I want to share a thing or two with him. Eventually he succeeded, and he called me from Abuja. And I told him this news is all over the place and I want to hear from you and I want to also give you some counsel if need be. And he said he would get in touch. I said okay, I’m on my way to the US, while I’m there if I want to get through to you how do I do it? I thought he would just say sir you can get through to me using my email. Then he said his fear that time was that he was being bugged.

“When I came back from the United States, I still tried to get across to him, because my desire is always to please God. I am not saying this to impress anybody, I wasn’t part of those already making comments on the issue. I just wanted to see how I could be useful in terms of helping him, but he didn’t show up.

“I waited for about… from August 2013 to April 2014. When he didn’t show up, and he was coming to town, having meetings I was seeing his billboards in town, well, my wife and I said to ourselves we’ve done our bit. It was then I wrote him a letter and I said consider that we no longer have anything to do with you and your ministry. I didn’t post it, it was hand delivered by his own pastor.”

Oset said he knew Fatoyinbo got his letter but the letter but was yet to be replied years after. He said the letter ended their relationship.

When asked if he had tried to reach him again in the wake of Dakolo’s case, Oset said Fatoyinbo is the one who now owes him that contact and not the other way round.

He explained that when Fatoyinbo started COZA in Ilorin, he was looking for credible spiritual guidance and when he and his wife came to him, he made a number of findings and could not see any reason to reject him.

CAN defends Osinbajo on N90bn allegation

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says the church will defend for Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in the N90 billion allegation levelled against him.

Supo Ayokunle, CAN national president, made this known on Friday when he led a delegate of the association to visit Osinbajo.

Timi Frank, a former deputy spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had alleged that Osinbajo mismanaged N90 billion allegedly made available by the FIRS for 2019 election campaign purposes.

The FIRS had denied the claim, saying it doesn’t have such funds.

Speaking at the Christian Ecumenical Centre in Abuja, Ayokunle told journalists that the N90billion corruption allegation is not true.

He said proponents of the claim should tender evidence or desist from tarnishing the image of the vice president.

“He has cleared the air that the allegation is baseless and there is no truth in it and that some people are plotting against him and he was ready to provide himself to be cleared,” he said.

“If there is an allegation there must be evidence and that it can never happen and will never happen. The church and the entire country will fight for him.”

Meanwhile, Osinbajo had said he would waive his constitutional immunity to be investigated.

He also said he has commenced legal action against two individuals, “one Timi Frank and another Katch Ononuju, who have put their names to these odious falsehoods.”