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Ekiti Gov’s wife escapes, two feared killed as FUOYE students protest turns violent

The protest embarked upon by students of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, turned violent on Tuesday evening leaving in its trails vandalisation of properties.

Wife of the Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, who was on tour of council areas in the state, escaped being attacked by the protesters as they smashed all the vehicles in her convoy.

Sources at Oye Ekiti alleged that no fewer than two persons were feared killed in the course of the protest.

The students had got hint of the presence of the governor’s wife, as she was said to have been to two other council areas earlier.

Sources said the governor’s wife was “whisked away from the scene in a commando-like manner,” while others in her convoy scampered to safety.

However, some people, including journalists in the First Lady’s convoy, were injured in the attack.

The protesters, armed with sticks and stones, attacked unsuspecting commuters.

When the convoy of the governor’s wife arrived, they hurled stones at the vehicles.

Sources alleged that the protesters, which comprised students, hoodlums and commercial bike operators, torched a Police van and reportedly seized two rifles from policemen.

According to sources, hoodlums and commercial bike operators had joined the students in the protest over poor power situation in the two campuses of the university and the host communities.

Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr. Caleb Ikechukwu, who confirmed the attack on the governor’s wife, debunked reports that two persons were killed in the protest.

Ikechukwu said, “Nobody was killed. There was no loss of life.

“The students protested in the morning and blocked the Ifaki-Ikole-Omuo highway and prevented free flow of vehicles.

“The students did not allow vehicles to move freely and they vandalised the property of BEDC.

“When Police went there to speak with them, they resisted them. And the wife of the governor who went on local government tour ran into the barricade mounted on the road.

“The students were reported to have been violent, attacking cars and smashing the windscreens of vehicles.

“We want to warn that the command won’t tolerate hooliganism under any guise.

“We want to assure the public that the Police are on top of the situation and our people must go about their normal businesses.”

The students’ protest, which started as early as 6.30am, came on the heels of an earlier one four months ago over the same cause, with the placards-carrying students massed at the gates of their campuses to prevent entry.

They also disrupted smooth flow of traffic on the federal highway leading to Ilupeju, Ikole, Kogi and Abuja axis.

President of the Students’ Union Government, Oluwaseun Awodola, while addressing the students, had lamented poor power supply, which he said had heightened insecurity of lives and property on the two campuses and host communities.

Awodola said, “The generality of Oye Ekiti is suffering from poor power supply.

“Students are being molested in the night, we are attacked at night, and we are regularly robbed at the night because we don’t have light.

“Everywhere in FUOYE is dark. Students keep charging at petrol filling stations. This is risky.

“We don’t want mass death in FUOYE. What we want is stable power supply,” he said.

FUOYE Public Relations Officer, Mr. Godfrey Bakji, who said the university was not in control of power supply, described the protest as senseless.

He appealed to the students not to disrupt academic activities.

FG proposes N9.79 trillion budget for 2020

The Federal Government will propose to the National Assembly about N9.79 trillion as total expenditure in the 2020 budget, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

Mrs Ahmed announced this on Tuesday in Abuja at a public consultation forum with civil society groups and agencies on the draft 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

The amount represents an increase of 9.75 per cent over N8.916 trillion spending for 2019.

The projection includes a proposed revenue of about N7.64 trillion and a total proposed fiscal deficit component of about N2.142 trillion.

She said the key assumptions of the budget were based on an oil production capacity of 2.18 million barrels per day, crude oil price of $55 per barrel, against $60 per barrel last year, and exchanged rate of N305 to the dollar.

Also, she said inflation rate for the year is projected at an average of 10.81 per cent, with nominal consumption figure of about N122.75 trillion and nominal gross domestic product of N142.96 trillion. The GDP growth rate is put at about 2.93 per cent.

On the expenditure, the minister said debt service is projected to increase from N2.14 trillion in 2019 to about N2.45trillion; Statutory Transfer of N526.46 billion, from N502.1 billion in 2019; and sinking fund of N296 billion, from N110billion.

Also, recurrent non-debt appropriation was put at about N4.57trillion against N4.39 trillion in the 2019 .

 

A breakdown of the non-debt proposal, the minister said, includes Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) personnel cost of N2.675 trillion; Government-owned enterprises (GOEs) personnel costs (N218.8 billion; overheads for MDAs (N280.3 billion; overheads of GOEs (N146.14 billion).

Also, proposals for pensions, gratuity and retirement benefits will be about N536.72billion; transfers Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) for power sector reform programme (N59.44 billion; Service-wide votes (N418.7 billion), and Presidential Amnesty Programme (N65 billion).

Under Special Interventions (recurrent), the minister said about N350billion has been proposed for the year, while aggregate Capital expenditure has been reduced from N3.18 trillion in 2019 to about N2.05 trillion in 2020.

Details of the capital expenditure include capital supplementation (N234.2 billion); Statutory transfers for capital expenditure (N289.1 billion); capital allocation for special Intervention Programme (N150billion); MDAs Capital expenditure (N827.3 billion).

The minister said capital expenditure for 10 top GOEs have been put at about N188.23 billion; grants and donor-funded projects (N36.4 billion), and multilateral/bilateral project-tied (N328.13 billion).

On deficit financing, Mrs Ahmed said the government plans to mobilise additional financing from the sale of government property, proceeds from privatization, sale of non-oil assets, multi-lateral and bilateral project-tied loans and new foreign and domestic borrowings.

In her overview of the proposals, the minister said the draft MTEF showed the country was facing significant medium-term fiscal challenges, especially with respect to revenue generation and rapid growth in personnel costs.

To reverse the challenges, she said key reforms under the strategic revenue growth initiative will be implemented to boost revenue collection and expenditure management.

Besides, to further the objective of greater comprehensiveness and transparency in the budget process, she said the government has proposed to reflect the revenue and expenditure of government-owned enterprises and multi-lateral/bilateral project-ted loans and related expenditures in the 2020 budget.

Although the projected oil production volume is lower than the 2.3 million barrels per day in 2019, the government believes the 2.18 million barrels output projection is more realistic.

She said a lower benchmark crude oil price of $55 per barrel was adopted against $60 per barrel in 2019, because of the assumption of the expected oil glut from oversupply in 2020 as well as the need to establish a cushion against unexpected price shock.

On real GDP growth, the minister said the 2.93 per cent growth rate falls short of the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan projection of 3.1 per cent.

She blamed the rise in personnel cost (inclusive pensions costs) from N2.45 trillion in 2019 to N3 trillion on the recent decision of the government to create five new ministries.

To contain the rising personnel costs, Mrs Ahmed said the Federal Government has taken steps to block leakages in the system, including through an October 2019 deadline by President Muhammadu Buhari for all MDAs to implement the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS).

The minister warned that workers in MDAs that fail to move to the IPPIS platform risk losing payment of their salaries from October.

On Nigeria signing the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the minister said although she foresees tremendous opportunities for the country in the medium term, the agreement could become a huge nightmare if the right policies and actions are not implemented to boost Nigeria’s competitiveness

Why corruption thrives in Nigeria — Buhari

Corruption will continue to thrive in the country when accountability is ignored, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

The president was speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the 49th annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

Before declaring the conference open, the president said because of the damaging effects of corruption on the country’s economy, his administration was doing everything possible to curb the malaise.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, President Buhari said corruption and impunity grow when accountability is disregarded.

He also said “people get away with all manner of questionable things when accountants are unable to check them”.

Urging accountants to always see corruption as a gross violation of human right, he described his administration’s fight against graft as a “struggle for nation building for the future generation.”

“For the majority of our people, the millions that are in hardship, the sick, the helpless, corruption is the major reason why they cannot go to school, why we have few equipments and doctors in our hospitals,” he said.

“Corruption diverts public resources, thereby causing much suffering, deprivation and unnecessary deaths in the country.”

He said if his government does not slay corruption with the passion it deserves, the people will not get the result they need.

The president said government will continue to provide the desired leadership to the fight with the optimism that the glorious days will soon come.

“Corruption, our greatest enemy will certainly fight back. But, we must continue to fight to effect a change to our value system,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the initiative of ICAN would greatly assist government at all levels to be more transparent and accountable to the people.

Meanwhile, a former Director of the Kenyan anti-corruption agency, Patrick Lumumba, said “it appears corruption is thriving, because Nigerians are not yet tired of it.”

Mr Lumumba, who was the guest speaker at the occasion, said “the day Nigerians become tired of corrupt practices, the actions that would follow would put an end to graft in the country.”

He lamented that in a society where people celebrate those that fraudulently enrich themselves, corruption will continue to thrive.

“Corruption is a crime against humanity. Experiences have demonstrated that if a people in a country are sufficiently fed up, they will rise up.

“If we think the international community will solve our problems, then we have shown that we are incapable of solving them,” he said.

“The day Nigerians and many Africans are fed up with corruption, things will begin to change. But as long as we celebrate thieves and money, no matter how they are got, everybody don’t care about how it is got. The day we begin to get angry, the country will change within a month,” Mr Lumumba said.

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, denied allegations that the anti-graft agency “usually sweeps corruption cases involving members of ruling party under the carpet”.

He said the biggest conviction the agency secured under his leadership were those involving two former governors: Jolly Nyame of Taraba and Joshua Dariye of Plateau.

“We are (were) created to fight corruption. The biggest conviction we have is of two governors that have been convicted. You know their political affiliations and we don’t stop cases,” he said.

He called on ICAN to continue to support the fight against corruption adding that this would help stimulate economic development.

Buhari mourns staff, says ‘I have lost honest, wonderful caretaker’

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday expressed sadness over the death of his domestic staff, Buhari Nalado Sandamu, who worked him and his family for more than 30 years.

In a condolence message by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu in Abuja on Tuesday, described the late Sandamu popularly known as Commander, as a ‘good and honest caretaker.’

He prayed Allah to grant rest to his departed staff and strength to his family to bear the loss.

“I have lost a good and honest caretaker.

“I have lost a prudent and a wonderful custodian who did so well, taking care of my country home in Daura.

“May Allah bless his soul and give strength to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss, Ameen,’’ the President said.

According to Shehu, the President had sent a delegation to the family of Sandamu in Sandamu Local Government Area of Katsina state.

They include the Senior Special Assistant, Domestic and Household Matters, Sarki Abba, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu and State Chief of Protocol, Lawal Kazaure and the President’s Housekeeper, Saleh Yuguda.

Sandamu died at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano on Monday.

OOUTH doctors call off strike

Resident doctors with Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH, Sagamu, Ogun State, have called off their indefinite strike.

The doctors under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, had on September 2, embarked on an indefinite strike to register their displeasure with what they termed “serious decline in work force without replacement”.

A statement issued by the Secretary of the association in OOUTH, Dr Ajose Oluwafemi, in Abeokuta on Tuesday, said they reached the decision to suspend the strike at an emergency general meeting on Monday night.

According to the statement, the doctors decided to return to work as a mark of honour to the state governor, Dapo Abiodun who has approved the immediate employment of resident doctors and other health workers in the teaching hospital.

The doctors thanked the governor for his quick response and intervention.

The statement read: “The Congress of the ARD, OOUTH, Sagamu, appreciates the kind gesture of His Excellency, Gov. Dapo Abiodun, for his quick response and intervention in the issues affecting the teaching hospital and other healthcare facilities in the state.

“To this end, we have suspended our indefinite strike in honour of the governor.

“We appreciate also, the administrative panel set up by the governor to look into the issues affecting the growth of the teaching hospital.

“We want to assure the hospital management, the state government and members of the public that we shall not relent in the discharge of our duties and our agitation for an international standard health care system and delivery in Ogun state.’’

Whistleblower docked for allegedly giving false information to EFCC

A whistleblower, Umoh Edem, on Tuesday appeared at an Ikeja High Court for allegedly giving false information about a company for a N700 million pension and tax evasion fraud.

The EFCC charged Mr Edem with making false statement to a public officer.

Counsel of the EFCC, S.O. Daji, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on August 7 in Lagos.

Mr Daji said that the defendant provided false information to the EFCC about the involvement of a company, Starsonic/Sacvin Group of Nigeria, where he was an employee.

“The defendant, claimed that the management staff of the company was involved in a massive pension fraud, tax evasion and other fraudulent activities in the tune of N700 million,” he said.

He said that the defendant with an intent to embarrass the company gave information he knew was false to the EFCC and Patience Kalu, a public officer.

Mr Deji said that the offence contravened Section 96 (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The vacation judge, Hakeem Oshodi, ordered that the defendant be defendant be remanded in a correctional facility.

Mr Oshodi also ordered the EFCC to return the case file to the registry for reassignment.

 

 

Kano club buys player for N5,000

Super Stars, a division two football club in Kano state, has signed Ibrahim Iriyos, a player, for N5,000.

According to BBC Pidgin, Iriyos accepted the offer because Super Stars Club plays in a division that is higher than Aston Villa Gano, his former club.

The transfer is said to be the most expensive in the town.

Super Stars reportedly picked interest in Iriyos when he trained with them while Aston Villa Gano was on break.

The striker was said to have scored many goals.

Aston Villa Gano is a football club in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area for Kano State. The same town where the Super Stars club is located.

 

Jack Ma, China’s richest man, steps down from Alibaba

Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma will step down from the Chinese firm on Tuesday, leaving his handpicked successor a daunting task of steering the $460 billion juggernaut at a time when the market for its core ecommerce business has slowed sharply.

As Ma, who turns 55 on Tuesday, holds center stage at his farewell party in the 80,000-capacity Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center stadium to the accompaniment of music and celebrity performances, attendees will be hoping to get clues on how Alibaba will be run under his heir, Daniel Zhang.

An accountant by trade, soft-spoken Alibaba CEO Zhang marks a stark contrast to Ma, whose flamboyant style and charismatic leadership made him the most-recognized Chinese entrepreneur since the former English teacher founded the company 20 years ago in a small shared apartment in Hangzhou city in eastern China.

“He has the logic and critical thinking skills of a super computer, a commitment to his vision, the courage to wholeheartedly dare to take on innovative business models and industries of the future,” Ma said of Zhang in 2018 in a message announcing his appointment.

One of Zhang’s major challenges will be finding new areas of growth as China’s ecommerce sector matures, analysts said.

Last week, Alibaba announced investments of $2.7 billion in luxury goods retail platform Kaola and a music streaming firm in moves that partly demonstrated its flexibility in adopting new strategies.

“If Alibaba wants to find new innovations or trends this is going to be more difficult than before,” said Liu Yiming, an analyst at the research division of 36kr, a Chinese tech publishing group. “For Daniel Zhang, this will be a big challenge.”

China’s online retail sales grew just 17.8% in the first half of 2019, almost halving from the 32.4% growth of the prior year, according to the national statistics office.

The resignation plan announced by Ma last year was perceived as unusual, as it is rare for a founder of such a big and transformative tech firm to retire this early.

Under Ma’s leadership, Alibaba has grown to become Asia’s most valuable listed company, with a current market capitalization of $460 billion. It employs over 100,000 people, and has expanded into financial services, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

When Ma makes his farewell speech, investors would like to hear how he will be involved in management and whether he will continue to steer the company’s broad strategy. Ma has said that he will continue to mentor management.

After his resignation, Ma — China’s richest man with a net worth of $38.4 billion, according to Forbes — is set to spend more time on philanthropy and education. Yet he will remain a member of Alibaba’s partnership, a corporate governing group of 38 individuals that is separate from the board of directors.

Ashura Day: IMN loses 12 members during nationwide processions

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, otherwise known as Shi’ites, said at least 12 of its member were killed on Tuesday by policemen during the peaceful procession in celebration of Ashura Day.

The deaths were recorded in Bauchi, Gombe Kaduna, Sokoto and Katsina states.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the group, Ibrahim Musa, however said there were no incidents in Abuja, Jos, Kebbi, Minna, Lafia, Yola, Gusau, Zaria, Kano, Jalingo, Damaturu, Hadejia and Potiskum, where the procession also took place.

According to him, at least three persons were confirmed killed by the police in Kaduna and 10 others injured during the procession.

In Bauchi, he said six persons, three each in Bauchi and Azare were killed when the police attacked the mourners.

Another 3 persons, he alleged were killed by the police in Gombe, Gombe state.

“One person was reportedly killed by the police in Illela, during the Ashura procession there, and another person was killed in Goronyo all in Sokoto state.

“In Malumfashi, Katsina state also another person was killed.

“In Katsina town however, several people sustained bullet wounds when the police opened fire on the mourners, not only during the mourning procession, but afterwards as the well armed policemen attempted to forcibly make their way into the Islamic centre of the Movement,” he said.

He noted however that the casualty figures may rise as some members who sustained serious gunshot wounds may not survive.

Meanwhile, the police is yet to react to the shooting in Bauchi, Kaduna, Gombe and Sokoto.

According to Musa, this year’s Ashura procession was held in all the state capitals of the North and Abuja.

COZA: Dakolo slams Kemi Olunloyo, says I make N10m in a weekend

Musician, Timi Dakolo, has lambasted controversial blogger, Kemi Olunloyo, for mocking his wife, Busola Dakolo, who accused Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly of rape.

The musician said the N10m his wife demanded from Fatoyinbo as legal fees was nothing as he could make the sum in just one weekend of performing at shows.

Dakolo said this in an Instagram video on Tuesday.

He said, “Don’t mind stupid people. As I dey like this, na N10m be my problem? Nigerians please have sense before you comment. Before you tweet, ask questions. It will save you.

“How much is N10m? Do you know how much one weekend show is? Do you know how much it costs for me to use a studio? Somebody should please invite Kemi (Olunloyo) to join my life. Do I look like N10m is my problem?”

Dakolo’s wife was trending on Twitter on Monday following reports that she demanded that Fatoyinbo should pay N10m to cover her legal fees.

The photographer accused the COZA pastor of raping her 20 years ago.

However, Olunloyo has been one of the fiercest critics of the Dakolos.

The blogger has been accusing the Dakolos of extortion and telling lies against Fatoyinbo for several months.

Olunloyo, who is the daughter of a former Governor of the old Oyo State, has been known to attack several celebrities and important personalities.

Tribunal nullifies Adeyeye’s election, declares Olujimi winner in Ekiti

The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday nullified the election of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, of the All Progressives Congress in the February 23 election.

The three-member tribunal chaired by Justice Danladi Adeck, in a unanimous decision, declared the former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the election in the Ekiti South Senatorial District.

In the judgment, the tribunal nullified elections in some polling units which left Olujimi polling 54,894 votes to defeat Adeyeye, who scored 52,243 votes.

Justice Adeck predicated the tribunal’s verdict on nullification in some units and recount of the ballots by the contending forces as granted.

The judge said that the petitioner proved those cases of criminal allegations of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Acts and other corrupt practices raised in her petition beyond a reasonable doubt.

He said, “In Ikere, Gbonyin and Emure local governments, the petitioner was able to prove cases of over-voting and votes in those units were expunged from the ballots.

“It is not tenable to say that marked ballots were not properly deposited in the boxes because when this did not happen, then it will lead to over voting and will affect counting at every level of collation.

“To avoid this pitfall, those elections must be expunged in order not to vitiate the electoral process. Therefore, after those votes were deducted, PDP was left with 54,894 while the respondent polled 52,243.

“The petitioner having polled the highest number of lawful votes should be declared the winner of the election. We hereby declare the petitioner the winner and he is hereby returned elected. We hereby direct the INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return from the respondent and issue same to the petitioner”, the chairman said.

Supporters in tweet war ahead of judgment on Atiku vs Buhari Wednesday
Olujimi, dissatisfied with the verdict of the Independent National Electoral Commission which returned Adeyeye as the winner of the election, had approached the tribunal seeking to be declared as the winner of the election.

She had prayed the tribunal to, in the alternative, “nullify Adeyeye’s victory and order supplementary election accordingly in the district”.

The PDP candidate had said that she scored the highest number of valid votes in the election which she said was fraught with irregularities as she prayed the tribunal to cancel votes in areas “found to be incredibly mared with irregularities like over voting, multiple thump printing, ballot snatching, ballot stuffing and improper ballot counting to know the actual winner of the poll.”

Olujimi had also accused INEC of dereliction of duties, saying most of the documents used for the conduct of the election were not duly signed by agents.

But Adeyeye countered Olujimi’s submission, saying INEC did what was right and constitutional by declaring him winner having found to have got the highest number of lawful votes.

VP Osinbajo flags off National Livestock Transformation Plan

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area of Adamawa.

Inaugurating the project on Tuesday, Osinbajo said the plan is designed to run from 2019-2028 as part of Federal Government’s initiative in collaboration with States under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC).

He said the plan, targeted at supporting the development of Nigeria’s livestock sector, is to be implemented in seven pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara.

According to the vice president, the plan will be implemented as a collaboration project between the Federal and State governments, farmers, pastoralists and private investors.

“In this plan the State Government or private investors provide the land, the federal government does not and will not take any land from a State or local government.

“Any participating state will provide the land and its own contribution to the project. The federal government merely supports.

“It is a plan that hopes to birth tailor made ranches where cattle are bred, and meat and dairy products are produced using modern livestock breeding and dairy methods.

“This solves the problem of cattle grazing into and destroying farmlands. It ensures a practical response to the pressures on water and pasture by forces of climate change,” Osinbajo said.

He noted that the plan was designed to provide modern meat and dairy industry and in some cases integrated crop farming.

According to Osinbajo, the unique feature of the plan is that any participating state will determine its own model.

“I wish to emphasise that this is not RUGA. Because the idea of RUGA settlements launched by the Ministry of Agriculture created a problem when it was perceived as a plan to seize lands to create settlements for herders.

“RUGA was not the plan designed and approved by the governors and the President rightly suspended the implementation,” Osinbajo said.

He said that the NLTP was endorsed by all governors and could only be implemented with the full participation and consent of the governors and the people of the state.

He said no state could be forced to participate, adding that Adamawa had chosen to begin the implementation of the plan.

He noted Adamawa state experienced several crises on account of clashes between herders and farmers resulting in the destruction of lives and property.

He also observed that the introduction of the livestock transformation plan was a win-win for the state and its people, and would provide a basis for peaceful coexistence, jobs for many and a mechanism for resolving disputes.

Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa said that the flag-off of the plan was a robust all encompassing life-changing transformation programme in the livestock sub-sector.

Fintiri said the introduction of the plan was the solution desired for peaceful coexistence among diverse people of the state.

“The Plan will create job opportunities and solve lingering conflict between farmers and herders,” Fintiri said.

Audio reveals details of Khashoggi’s gruesome killing

Audio recordings between Jamal Khashoggi and the hit squad that killed him have been revealed.

Kashoggi, a Saudi dissident and journalist with Washington Post who was in exile in the US, was killed, with his body allegedly dismembered on October 2, 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Turkey where he had gone to get documents for his marriage.

In one of the recordings obtained by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) and made available by Turkish daily Sahbah, Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, the head of forensic evidence at the Saudi general security department and one of the 15 man hit squad was heard saying he listens to music when he cut cadavers.

Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, the number two man of the hit squad had asked Al-Tubaigy if it was possible to put Khashoggi’s body in a bag.

Responding, Al-Tubaigy said, “No. Too heavy, very tall too. Actually, I’ve always worked on cadavers. I know how to cut very well. I have never worked on a warm body though, but I’ll also manage that easily. I normally put on my earphones and listen to music when I cut cadavers. In the meantime, I sip on my coffee and smoke. After I dismember it, you will wrap the parts into plastic bags, put them in suitcases and take them out (of the building).”

The newspaper reported that Khashoggi, according to the recording, was greeted by a familiar face or someone he knows, gauging from his reaction when he arrived at the consulate.

He was then told that Mohammad al-Otaibi, the consul-general was present in the building. He was first politely invited into the consul’s office on the second floor, and when he started getting suspicious, he said, “let me go, what do you think you’re doing?”

Responding, Mutreb said, “please sit. We have to take you back [to Riyadh]. There is an order from Interpol. Interpol demanded you be returned. We are here to take you.”

This, Khashoggi also responded, asking if there were any lawsuits against him.

“My fiancée is waiting outside for me,” he said.

During the interrogation, the paper reported that another unidentified hit squad member, repeatedly, told Khashoggi to “cut it short.”

The journalist was asked to leave a message for his son that he was in Instabul, but he refused, asking how such a thing could take place at a consulate.

“I’m not writing anything,” he insisted.

He was later drugged, and the newspaper reported that his killers had already put on a plastic bag on his head, and he would eventually be suffocated to death.

Scuffling and struggling, reportedly, dominate the recordings, with occasional questions and directives from the hit squad heard in between.

Then the postmortem phase begins, which include sounds of dismembering Khashoggi’s body.

Mutreb and Al-Tubaigy are among the five suspects now facing death penalty in Saudi Arabia over the murder.

Khashoggi’s death had sparked international outrage with many pointing accusing finger at Mohammed bin Salam, Saudi’s crown prince.

Saudi authorities had earlier denied knowledge of his death, saying he might have been killed in a fistfight, but the authorities later announced that after an investigation, they found that the order to kill the journalist had come from one of the leaders of the Saudi team in Istanbul.

Don’t pay $1k for your flight, Air Peace chairman tells Nigerians leaving South Africa

Allen Onyeama, chairman of Air Peace, has warned Nigerians scheduled for repatriation from South Africa to refrain from paying $1,000 or any amount of money whatsoever for their flight.

In an interview with NAN, Onyeama said the arrangement for Nigerians willing to return had not changed.

Maintaining that the flight is still free, he urged those returning to the country to guard against unauthorised persons reportedly collecting $1,000 from them.

“We have not designated or recruited any agent in South Africa to collect money on behalf of Air Peace,” he said.

“So, nobody should pay money to anyone or group of persons posing as Air Peace agent or staff.

“Any Nigerian who has paid money for repatriation to Nigeria with Air Peace should request for a refund and report to appropriate authorities.”

Air Peace had, last week, volunteered to send an aircraft to evacuate, free of charge, Nigerians who wish to return home.

“Air Peace is willing to support the Nigerian Government’s efforts in this matter by deploying our B777 aircraft to evacuate Nigerians back home,” Onyema had said.

He said the airline was particularly concerned about the safety of Nigerians in South Africans following the attacks.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, had also pledged the federal government’s support to any Nigerian that wanted to return home.

Dabiri-Erewa said this after a closed door meeting with the senate committee on diaspora and non-governmental organisations in Abuja.

She said the returnees would be encouraged to enroll and participate in the various social intervention programmes of the government.

“We will encourage them to enroll in small scale entrepreneurial programmes with the Bank of Industry under the social investment programme. So, there are things that they can do,” she said.

Kidnapped Ondo varsity lecturer found dead

The kidnapped lecturer of the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa, Prof. Gideon Okedayo, has been found dead.

Okedayo, of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and Acting Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies in the university, was kidnapped on Sept. 5 on his way to his hometown in Igara, Edo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that Okedayo’s decomposing body was found on Sept. 9 in the bush, where his abductors held him.

The lecturer’s death is another sad tale in the recurring cases of kidnapping of travellers on major Nigerian highways in recent times.

On July 12, Mrs Funke Olakurin, daughter of the Chairman of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasorotin, was similarly, abducted and murdered by her kidnappers on the Ondo-Ore highway in Ondo State.

The Chairman of the OSUSTECH Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), Dr Dipo Akomolafe, confirmed Okedayo’s death in an interview with NAN on Tuesday in Okitipupa.

He said that ASSU and the university community had been thrown into disarray and were saddened by the development.

“His decomposing body was found in the bush. This is so sad to ASUU and his family members because the abductors never called anybody, whether ASUU or Okedayo’s family for ransom.

The spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, a Chief Superintendent of Police, did not pick several calls made to him on the development.

Okedayo was kidnapped by gunmen, described as herdsmen at Akoko Junction on the Igara-Auchi road, together with his driver on their way to Edo State.

The Edo State Police Command had earlier announced that it had recovered Okedayo’s official vehicle, a Toyota Corolla car with registration number, 06X47OD. (NAN)

Trump sacks national security adviser John Bolton

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he had asked John Bolton, his national security adviser, to resign, citing strong differences of opinion with his hawkish assistant.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration,” Trump tweeted.

“I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” the president said, adding that he was aiming to announce a replacement next week.

Bolton seemed to take a parting shot at his boss, immediately responding on Twitter: “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’”

Bolton also texted U.S. media outlets to say he resigned on his own.

The move came as a surprise, with the White House putting out an advisory just an hour before the Trump announcement saying that Bolton would be taking part in a media briefing along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Bolton also continued to post administration policy on social media right up until the Trump announcement.

However, Trump has previously hinted at his disagreements with Bolton on foreign policy, and observers had regularly noted that the two made an odd couple, with the president more isolationist and the national security adviser an interventionist.

“John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him, he’d take on the whole world at one time.

“But that doesn’t matter because I want both sides,” Trump told broadcaster NBC in June.

Bolton, Trump’s third national security adviser, appeared to be waging numerous battles within the White House, most recently over Afghanistan and North Korea, that seemed at odds with the president’s wishes.

Bolton was also behind the hard-line approach to countries such as Iran and Venezuela.

The national security advisor comes from the wing of the Republican Party more aligned with the policies of the George W Bush administration, in which he also served. He is often seen as a proponent and even an architect of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

When not in government, Bolton has worked for conservative think tanks.

While Trump himself has led recent policies on Iran, and to some extent Venezuela, he is more reluctant to deploy U.S. troops abroad and is actively seeking to reduce the military’s presence in places like Afghanistan and Syria.

U.S. media reported in recent weeks that Bolton and Trump were bitterly fighting over the approach to Afghanistan, as the president tried to work out a peace deal with the Taliban.

That process has since broken down, with Trump calling it “dead”.

Trump has also sought better relations with Russia, against the advice of establishment figures, though ties with Moscow are tense and the current administration has actually increased sanctions on the rival power.

Mira Ricardel, who served as a deputy to Bolton until late last year, was also sacked from her job after she got into a disagreement with first lady Melania Trump, in a highly unusual public spat between the wife of the president and a top-level security official.

The Trump administration’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is currently tied up in legal battles over lying to the FBI about contacts with Russian officials and is due to face sentencing in December.

Bolton is the latest figure to exit the White House amid disputes with the president.

Notably, Jim Mattis quit as defence secretary last year over disagreements on Syria, and Trump abruptly fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state as well as his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

The president is on his seventh communications chief and has also pushed out two chiefs of staff. The current chief of staff is only in an acting role.

Tribunal fixes Wednesday for judgement on Atiku’s petition against Buhari

The presidential election petition tribunal will deliver judgement on Atiku Abubakar’s petition, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday.

Sa’adatu Musa, spokesperson of the court of appeal, disclosed this in a notice on Tuesday.

“Please be informed notice has been given for judgment to be delivered tomorrow September 11, 2019. 9. 00 AM,” Musa said.

In his petition, Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate in the February election, had claimed he defeated Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.

Atiku based his claim on information he said was accessed from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to him, he polled 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, whom he claimed polled 16,741,430 votes.

He argued that the president was unqualified to vie for the highest office in the land because he did not possess the minimum qualification as required by the constitution.

“The 2nd respondent (Buhari) was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election. The election of the 2nd respondent is invalid by reason of corrupt practices. The election of the 2nd Respondent is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). The 2nd respondent was at the time of the election not qualified to contest the said election,” his petition read.

“The 2nd respondent submitted to the 1st Respondent an affidavit containing false information of a fundamental nature in aid of his qualification for the said election.”

In response to the petition, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said Abubakar is not qualified to be president because he is from Cameroon and not a citizen of Nigeria by birth.

The party asked the tribunal to declare the 11.1 million votes polled by Atiku and the PDP as wasted votes.

The tribunal will settle the scores on Wednesday.

Court orders final forfeiture of Diezani’s $40m jewellery

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture of $40 million worth of jewellery seized from the residence of Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources, to the federal government.

In his ruling on Tuesday, Nicholas Oweibo, the presiding judge, held that the former minister failed to show cause why the jewellery should not be permanently forfeited to the government.

On July 5, the court ordered the forfeiture of the assets following an ex parte application filed by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC valued the items at $40 million.

But Diezani, in an application filed by Awa Kalu, her counsel, asked the court to order a return of the seized assets.

She accused the EFCC of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.

Oyedepo, in his application, argued that the jewellery was suspected to have been acquired with “proceeds of unlawful activities”.

According to the schedule attached to the application, some of the pieces of jewellery categorised into 33 sets, are “419 bangles; 315 rings; 304 earrings; 267 necklaces; 189 wristwatches; 174 necklaces and earrings; 78 bracelets; 77 brooches; and 74 pendants”.

In an affidavit before the court, Rufai Zaki, an investigator with the anti-graft commission, said the jewellery was beyond Diezani’s “known and provable lawful income”.

Zaki added that findings by the EFCC showed that Diezani started acquiring the jewellery in 2012 after she was appointed a minister.

“The respondent did not utilise her salary or any part of her legitimate income to acquire the assets sought to be forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria,” he said.