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Daily Archives: October 10, 2019

Social media agog with ‘news’ of Buhari’s imminent marriage to serving minister

Multiple blogs, social media websites and news sources have been reporting that President Muhammadu Buhari is about to marry another wife – the current Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadia Umar Farouq on Friday.

Pictures of the duo which suggest a close relationship have surface online, especially on WhatsApp chat forums, but the Presidency is yet to confirm or deny the rumours.

Indeed, the low key ‘wedding’ is scheduled to hold at 2p.m. on Friday at the Abuja Cental Mosque.

The rumours are being fuelled by the apparent absence of First Lady, Aisha Buhari in public in recent weeks.

The rumoured union,  unprecedented in Nigeria’s recent history, is an “arrangement” by the so-called Aso Rock cabal to neutralise to perceived influence of the First Lady on the President to serve certain political ends.

Presidency sources have so far refused to comment, something seen as unusual despite multiple posts of pictures and the “story” …some which suggest a close relationship between Buhari and Farouq, who once served as Treasurer of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the presidents political platform that merged with others to rout Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections.

 

Desert Herald reported that Farouq had been the mastermind behind all the delicious meals Buhari and the Cabal members have been eating especially during political gatherings such as rallies and campaigns.

According to the report, when Aisha Buhari discovered President Buhari’s relationship with Sadia Farouq, she kicked heavily against it. She allegedly made confrontations with her husband and pleaded with him to stop.

“Unfortunately, her plea fell on deaf ears as an alleged member of the cabal, Mamma Daura who is Buhari’s Uncle told Aisha to accept her fate as Sadia was there to stay.

“The pressure to marry Sadia had begun to mount on Buhari when he first won the Presidential Elections in 2015. The alleged Head of the cabal, Mamman Daura had insisted on the idea which was later dropped after several considerations.

“Sadia received her first Ministerial nomination then but she was not considered because of her lack of relevant experience. Instead, she was given an appointment as Head of the Refugee Commission.

“First Lady Aisha Buhari saw a red flag when she got wind of information that Sadia was being nominated a second time after Buhari won the 2019 Presidential

“This led to another confrontation with President Buhari during the Hajj in Mecca. But her confrontation was in vain as President Buhari’s mind was already made up to marry a second wife. This explains why she traveled to London and has remained incommunicado ever since.

According to unnamed sources, the Cabal felt Aisha Buhari could not be trusted, being a native of Adamawa, which is not a core Muslim state. Sadia on the other hand is from Zamfara state.

None of these reports have been confirmed, even while the rumours gained traction in the past 48 hours.

Thenewsmatrics reports that it is not unusual for Muslim men to marry more than one wife as Islam allows four,  based on certain conditions,  but Buhari has remained monogamous since he divorced his first wife…now late…and.married Aisha.

Efforts to confirm the rumoured wedding remained unsuccessful as at the time of filing this report.

 

Kidnappers storm Kaduna school, abduct principal

Kaduna State Police Command has confirmed the kidnapping of Mr Francis Maji, the Principal, Government Technical College Kajuru, in Kaduna State.

The Command’s Deputy Public Relations Officer, ASP Suleiman Abubakar, confirmed the incident in a statement on Thursday in Kaduna.

Abubakar said the command received information through Divisional Police Officer of Kajuru, on Thursday about the invasion of the boarding school by a group of armed men.

He explained that the armed men shot sporadically and in the process abducted Maji.

“The Police timely intervention helped in preventing the hoodlums from gaining access to the students’ hostel.

“The Command has also fortified security within the general area.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Ali Janga assures the public that the Command is working round the clock to tame the recent change of tactics by enemies of peace who now resort to soft targets.

“The CP called on the general public and particularly parents not to be deterred by the recent attacks by hoodlums on schools, as the Command is making relentless efforts to prevent future occurrence of the unfortunate incident.

“The Command is further assuring the good people of the state that it remained resolute in its commitment to safety of all citizens, as that is, its onerous responsibility,” he added.

Charly Boy’s mother dies at 101

Mrs Margaret Ntianu Oputa, the mother of Charles Oputa (Charly Boy), is dead.
Charly Boy announced the death of his 101-year-old mother on his Facebook handle on Thursday.

He said: “I wish to announce the death of our Mother, Mrs Margaret Ntianu Oputa (nee Onumonu) which occurred Tuesday, the 8th of October, 2019. My dearest Mother, You couldn’t just wait for me to come back before you sneaked away to the great beyond.

“Now all I have are beautiful loving Kodak memories of our times together. You tried for me, for us and many of the people who were privileged to encounter your kindness and your love.

“Thank you for allowing me take care of you. Thank you for being That Great Woman who gave birth to the Icon, CharlyBoy. Thank you for teaching me how to care, to love, to live a simple and humble Life. Thank you for constantly reminding me of my pedigree and my very Rich Heritage.

“I wish you would have waited just one more day, but I guess you didn’t want me to see you go, because as usual I would have talked you out of it, I know we both hate goodbyes. Greet Papa when you see him, tell him I have been holding forth. Gallant as ever. Love you my Darling Mother”.

Sanwo-Olu to revive Adiyan water project

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revived a 70 million-gallon waterworks project sites in Adiyan, the Northwestern part of the State.

The Governor, on Thursday, led members of the State’s Executive Council to the project site on an inspection tour, following the re-mobilisation of the contractor handling the construction back on site.

The Adiyan II Waterworks project started in 2013 during the administration of the former Governor Babatunde Fashola to provide safe drinking water to more than five million Lagos residents. The project was in 70 per cent completion before it was abandoned.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration decided to complete the abandoned water project because of its strategic importance to the wellbeing of the people. He said the revival of the project would help his government to address the causes of poverty and fight diseases.

He said: “When this water works project is fully completed, it will be the biggest of its type anywhere around Nigeria and we will be raising the capacity of our potable water supply by 330,000 cubic metric tons per day, which is more than 70 million gallons.

“The commitment from our side is for us to see how we are going to finish this project on time and as much as possible within the budget. The contractor has said it is committed to see how the project will be completed in the next 18 months. Our government will work with the contractor and the project consultant to deliver this project on agreed time.

“If we achieve this within the next two years, we would be achieving one of the key items of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is also a strategic pillar of our development agenda in the area of provision of safe drinking water to over five million citizens of Lagos.”

Sanwo-Olu said his administration would be awarding contract for the commencement of the second and third phases of the water project, which are reticulation works and construction of 8-kilometre water intake conduits from Akute to Adiyan.

The Governor added that some of the impediments encountered in the project, including compensations and right of way, would be addressed to allow the contractor finish the project on record time.

He said: “We will award contracts for the second phase of this project, which is reticulation that will take the water to parts of the State, which include Ikeja, Alimosho, Surulere and to as far as Yaba.

“The third part of the project is construction of an intake mechanism, which is about 8 kilometres from Akute Water Intake site. Some parts of the construction work were suspended because of issues around the right of way with the residents and the Ogun State. We are also going to finalise on that. We would pay all the compensation to ensure that they can lay the pipes.”

The Adiyan II Water Works is sited on 210 hectares of land in a borderline community between Lagos and Ogun states.

Dr. Piero Capitanio, Managing Director of Salini Nigeria Limited, the contractor handling the project, assured the Governor that the waterworks would be delivered in 18 months.

Sanwo-Olu also inspected the Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC) infrastructure in Iju-Akute axis, with the objective to rejig operations and turnaround output of the state-owned water facilities.

The Governor assessed the distribution facilities of Iju Water Works built in 1914, after which he led members of his team to inspect water intake machinery and power station built to serve the of Lagos water stations on the axis.

Speaking to reporters after the inspection, Sanwo-Olu expressed worry over the state of the inspected facilities, but promised to source for private funding to revamp the infrastructure.

He said: “We have gone around the major water plants in Lagos and we’ve seen the issues for ourselves. Part of the things we noticed is that we need to try and raise money, get new investment to be able to improve the input of these important facilities.

On the power plant, we also need to scale up and get another ready one ready for Adiyan II Water Works, which will be ready in 18 months. So it’s a total eco-chain we are looking at. We have to start the planning from now to ensure that the new water works we are building has power to make it functional.”

Jonathan refuses to address reporters after meeting Buhari

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan did not entertain questions from state house correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.

The meeting, which lasted 15 minutes held at the president’s office. Jonathan arrived at the forecourt of Aso Rock at 2:58pm.

At the end of the meeting, Lawal Kazaure, chief of protocol at the presidential villa, escorted Jonathan to his car.

This is Jonathan’s first visit to Buhari during the second term of his successor.

Under Buhari’s first term, Jonathan paid two private visits to Nigeria’s seat of power.

This is the first public appearance of the former president after the reports of the allegation against him by David Cameron, former British prime minister, went viral.

Cameron had said Jonathan prevented UK troops from rescuing some of the 276 schoolgirls Boko Haram abducted from Chibok, Borno state but the Nigerian leader denied this, saying Cameron was against him because he signed the anti-same sex marriage bill into law.

 

Davido’s unborn child hits endorsement deal

Nigerian International music superstar, David Adeleke, better known as Davido, has announced securing an endorsement deal from a Nigerian diaper- brand for his unborn child.

Davido took to his Instagram page to make the announcement and also disclosed the child sex, saying his ‘son’ is coming into the world ‘Super Rich.’

He wrote: “I’m super excited my unborn son, OBO Jnr, already getting big bags. Dude coming into the world super-rich, Mario & Juliet Baby Diapers & Wipes.”

Davido recently shared photographs and a video from his proposal to his pregnant fiancée, Chioma Avril.

The proposal came shortly after their family introduction on Sept. 2, as announced by the singer on Instagram.

Davido is reported to have met Chioma, 24, at Babcock University, with Davido dedicating his 2018 song, ‘Assurance’ to Chioma.

In a recent interview, Davido revealed that their wedding would take place in 2020, adding that Chris Brown, US singer, has indicated interest to be on his groomsmen train.

Buhari vows to cut Nigeria’s huge cost of governance

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday hosted members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) at State House, Abuja, promising to beam the searchlight on cost of governance, and weed out possible corruption that exists anywhere.

The President appreciated members of the committee for the “major sacrifice “they’ve made in accepting the assignment to serve the country,” noting, “Some of the elite won’t trust you, and you will be alienated, no matter how close you are to them.”

Recalling experience of the past, in which assets were seized from officials who couldn’t explain how they got them, “only for those assets to be returned to them when government was changed,” President Buhari vowed that such would not recur, as he had given instructions that all forfeited assets be sold, “and the money put in the Treasury Single Account.”

“Let’s see who will now take back the money from the treasury, and give back to those people, as was done in the past,” the President added.

The Chairman of PACAC, Itse Sagay, who led the delegation, said Nigeria was lucky more than ever to have a person of President Buhari’s credentials as leader of government.

“We congratulate you for being a star of the anti-corruption struggle in Africa. You attach a lot of importance to the fight against corruption, and we have tried to achieve the aims you had in mind when you established PACAC,” Mr Sagay, a professor, added.

He said the committee trains, builds capacity of anti-corruption agencies, and has helped to develop a programme of non-conviction assets recovery, which is recording great successes.

PACAC made some recommendations to the President in order to move the anti-corruption war many steps forward.

They include the reestablishment of the jury system for criminal cases in the country; setting up of a judicial commission on corruption in the judiciary, to be headed by retired judges under the auspices of National Judicial Council (NJC); passage of Proceeds of Crime Act by the National Assembly; the setting up of a Presidential Truth and Restitution Task Force; and a closer look at the cost of governance to weed out all vestiges of corruption.

President Buhari pledged that his government would take a dispassionate look into all the requests, a statement by Femi Adesina, special adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), said.

$9.6bn judgment: FG pays £250,000 cost to P&ID

The Federal Government has paid £250,000 to Process and Industrial Developments Limited as ordered by Justice Christopher Butcher of the Commercial Court in London on Thursday, September 26, according to a report by The Punch.

The money was ordered to be paid to P&ID as its running cost at the September 26 hearing of the London court.

The government, it was further learnt on Wednesday, appealed against the order of the same court which asked that a $200m security payment be made into its account within 60 days as a condition for a stay of execution of the $9.6bn judgment earlier given in favour of P&ID.

Justice Butcher had at the September 26 proceedings granted Nigeria leave to appeal against the $9.6bn awarded in favour of P&ID over an alleged breach of a gas supply contract tagged Gas Supply Processing Agreement.

In granting the leave, the court had ordered Nigeria to pay the £250,000 cost to P&ID within 14 days.

The paper said that Nigeria was able to beat the 14-day ultimatum which elapsed on Thursday (today).

It was gathered that the payment was made through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), confirmed the development to our correspondent in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Malami said although the government had appealed the order to pay $200m into the court’s account and applied for stay of execution, it paid the £250,000 cost out of respect for the court.

The minister said, “You know that there are two sets of money involved. There is the $200m security payment and there is also the £250,000 cost.

“The $200m security payment has not been paid. We have appealed against the order and we have also applied for stay of execution of the order.

“But we have paid the cost, which is £250,000, to P&ID. The Nigerian government paid that cost out of respect for the court.”

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last Wednesday said the government had directed its lawyers to seek the leave of the Court of Appeal to appeal against the ruling of Justice Butcher.

Apart from the $200m, the minister said the government would be able to seek a refund of the £250,000 it was asked to pay to P&ID when the appeal succeeded.

Mohammed argued that contrary to claims by P&ID and “its cohorts”, the government delegation’s trip to London was a successful one.

Describing the delegation’s mission as a huge victory, the minister said the firm had every reason to be worried that the $9.6bn arbitration awarded to it could be overturned.

He said, “The Federal Government has a good chance of being successful in its impending appeal, otherwise the commercial court would not have allowed the appeal.

“Please note that Nigeria will be able to demand a refund of the £250,000 to P&ID when the government wins the appeal. This fact is being hidden by those who have been spinning the London judgment in their own favour.

“On the $200m payment as a condition for the granting of the stay of execution, Nigeria has instructed its lawyers to seek the leave of the Court of Appeal to appeal against that payment.

“Nigerians should be assured that the Federal Government is taking all necessary steps to strongly avail itself of all defences customarily afforded to sovereign states under the United Kingdom Sovereign Immunity Act to fight and upturn any enforcement of the award.

“In the words of Mr President at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York last week, we are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars.”

The $9.6bn award arose from a dispute concerning the 20-year GSPA between P&ID and Nigeria, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Under the agreement signed in 2010, P&ID was to build in the Niger Delta region a gas processing plant for the refining of natural gas, also known as “wet gas” into “lean gas” which would be used by Nigeria to generate electricity.

READ ALSO: PTDF disclaims petroleum development fund

The two parties subsequently approached an arbitration tribunal in London which on January 31, 2017 issued a final award of $6.56bn damages with accumulated interests jacking up the worth of the award to US$9.6bn in favour of P&ID.

P&ID subsequently approached the London court to enforce the final award as a judgment or order of the court.

Nigerian-born professor resigns after spending $243k research grant on strip clubs, iTunes in US

Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, a professor of Nigerian origin, has resigned after it was discovered that he spent $242,390 research funds in strip clubs and iTunes purchases.

According to a statement released by the eastern district of Pennsylvania attorney’s office, Nwankpa repaid $53,328 and resigned in place of termination after he was discovered.

The professor was also said to have paid for goods and services offered by Cheerleaders, Club Risque, and Tacony Club.

Nwankpa, who was head of the electrical and computer engineering department at Drexel University, made the purchases between 2007 and 2017.

He has also been debarred from federal government contracting for a period of six months.

Nwankpa

William M. McSwain, a US attorney, announced that the university has agreed to pay the United States $189,062 to resolve potential liability under the False Claims act.

“This is an example of flagrant and audacious fraud and a shameful misuse of public funds,” McSwain said.

“The agencies providing these grant funds expect them to be used towards advancements in energy and naval technology for public benefit, not for personal entertainment.

“We appreciate Drexel’s self-disclosure and cooperation in this matter. At the same time, we are disappointed that Dr Nwankpa’s conduct went unnoticed for so long, but Drexel’s strengthening of its charge approval process is certainly a step in the right direction.”

Am investigation into Nwankpa’s activities began in 2017 after the university voluntarily disclosed improper charges to eight federal grants for energy and naval technology-related research that it received from the Navy, the department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.

 

Arrested suspect describes how he murdered female naval officer

Bernard Simon, suspected killer of Oluyemisi Ogundana, commandant of Command Secondary School at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, Kaduna, has disclosed how he killed her.

Simon, who was among the 50 suspects paraded by Ali Janga Kaduna state police commissioner,  on Wednesday, said he alone killed Ogundana.

While parading the suspect, the police commissioner said Simon raped the naval officer to death.

However, Simon denied raping the deceased before killing her.

Some of the suspects paraded by the police

He said he sneaked into her house at the Jaji military cantonment and hit her on the head with an iron rod.

Asked why he killed her, Simon, 36, said: “I killed her because she was cheating us in the school. I am a teacher in the school and she was cheating us as staff under her. I killed her to set the whole staff of the school free from her cheats.

“There are some financial benefit she deprived us of. She denied me in particular of over N100,000. That is why I killed her to set myself and other staff free from her.”

Simon, who confessed to throwing the mutilated body of Ogundana into the a shallow well, said he regretted his action.

Ogundana was killed about three weeks ago while her dismembered body was packed inside a sack and dumped in shallow well at a village close to the cantonment.