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Daily Archives: November 14, 2019

Two injured as fire guts building near Tejuosho Market

Two yet-to-be-identified men on Thursday sustained injuries when a storey building in the Tejuosho area of Lagos was gutted by fire.

It was gathered that the fire started from a power surge in one of the rooms in the building and escalated to other rooms in the building.

The fire which started around 3.00 p.m. was said to have destroyed properties worth millions of naira.

READ ALSO: Gov election: El-Rufai kneels before Kogi people, says ‘please forgive Yahaya Bello’

It was learnt that the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and other emergency responders like the Lagos State Fire Service and the Federal Fire Service responded to the fire.

Confirming the incident, the LASEMA Public Affairs Officer, Nosa Okunbor, noted that the fire which caused physical cracks on the building led to the collapse of the building, adding that the injured persons had been taken to the hospital

El-Rufai kneels before Kogi people, begs them to  forgive Yahaya Bello

 

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday knelt before the people of Kogi State, asking them to forgive Governor Yahaya Bello for any wrong he had done.

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, also knelt down next to el-Rufai. However, Bello did not join them in kneeling down.

El-Rufai, while addressing a crowd at the All Progressives Congress rally in Lokoja, noted that Bello was young when he became governor and had made many mistakes.

The Kaduna governor, however, said Bello had since retraced his steps.

He said, “Many people say Yahaya Bello is young; that he has fought many people. For every one that the governor has offended, I’m asking all of you to forgive him. He is young; he is supposed to make mistakes. When you are young, you make mistakes but you learn from them.

“On his behalf, I’m kneeling down, to beg all of you to forgive Yahaya Bello if he has offended you. He cares about the people of Kogi State. He cares about this state. He has brought progress to this state; he has brought young people and women into government.

“He has cleared salary arrears that he inherited from previous governments. You must all come out to support him. I beg you all. Let us make history. The Late Prince Audu did everything to bring progress to this state. Let us not dishonour his memory by allowing PDP to return to Lugard House.”

He said the Peoples Democratic Party did nothing in the state during its 13-year rule. He, therefore, declared the opposition party dead.

El-Rufai added, “In the last four years, the progress recorded by Governor Yahaya Bello in the last four years is more than what the PDP has tried to do in 13 years.”

Jack Ma: Why I flew 15 hours just to visit Nigeria

Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, Chinese e-commerce company, led a team of investors from his country to Nigeria on Thursday.

Speaking when he met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja, Ma said the essence of the visit is to understand Africa more.

One of the richest men in Aisa said he had been looking forward to visiting the country.

“I think our team today realised our dreams meeting you. We flew 15 hours into Nigeria and we are excited. This trip is to try to understand Africa more. We came to Africa four years ago and our plan is to visit four, five countries in every trip,” Ma said.

“My personal target is to try and visit every country in Africa in 10 years and support Africa. Nigeria is a great country with a large population, very strong economy, excellent young people with excellent innovations. And this is a country.”

Ma also shares some concepts that he feels could assist a developing nation like Nigeria.

“We also want help through four Es in Africa. The first, E list is E-infrastructure – support internet connections to everybody. We hope that every young person, every small business should have access to the internet to do business anywhere, anytime,” he said.

“The second E is support entrepreneurs, this is very important. We think we can make entrepreneurs as the heros of African continent. In China is the entrepreneurs that promote business development, government support entrepreneurs.

“The third is E-government, if government is on E, it will be very efficient, transparent, people will know government can help and government will know what the people want. The last and very important E is education.

“In the next few days we are going to have the all the internet prize, everyone in Africa can apply for award. I am happy to know that four Nigerian entrepreneurs are among the top 10. We will have the final competition in two days and I think Nigeria entrepreneurs will have great result.

“This is just the beginning. Our jobs is to support entrepreneurs. Everyone in the delegation, we are all founders of our own businesses in China. We think what we have experienced in China can help Africa entrepreneurs develop, support e-infrastructure, e-governance, e-entrepreneurs and e-education and this is what we came here for.

“We will love to have advise and know government’s direction so that we can do a better job.”

Osinbajo thanked Ma for “acknowledging Nigeria’s role in Africa and the world”.

“By leading a team of investors to Nigeria, I hope you see as we do, investment opportunities in Africa’s digital economy, infrastructure and her people,” Osinbajo said.

 

Buhari orders security agencies tp prevent ballot materials from being hijacked in Kogi, Bayelsa

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for peaceful elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

In a statement on Thursday, the president asked law enforcement agents to ensure that citizens are allowed to exercise their voting rights without intimidation.

He also said any attempt to steal ballots must be stopped with all legal means.

“All must carry out their functions with fairness and transparency; without let or hindrance and without fear or favour,” Buhari said in a statement Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, issued on his behalf.

“I call on voters in Bayelsa and Kogi States to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner and in line with the law in all situations.

” Law enforcement officials must ensure that citizens are allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation and any attempt to steal or hijack ballots must be stopped using all legal means.

“In all democratic elections, there are bound to be winners and losers and the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi will not be different.

“All candidates should be ready to accept the outcomes and wherever they are dissatisfied, they should follow the due process of the law in seeking redress. There must not be a resort to self-help.”

The president wished the people of the two states a safe and credible exercise as they vote “in these historic and suspenseful elections” .

Kogi election might be bloody, CDD warns

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) says the incidents of violence can affect voters turnout during the governorship election in Kogi state.

In a statement jointly signed by Adele Jinadu, CDD chairman, and Idayat Hassan, the director, the organisation said the language being used by politicians in the state can affect voter confidence and the credibility of the process.

The CDD urged security agencies to protect the lives of the electoral officials and ensure that violence is curbed during the election.

“Less than 48 hours to November 16, 2019, Kogi State Governorship election, political actors have failed to de-escalate the tension, which had been building up in the State. Unfortunately, this has set the stage for what could be a very bloody electoral process, if urgent action is not taken to address the situation,” the organisation said.

“It is disheartening that political gladiators across the partisan divide have shown no apparent signs of refraining from using vitriolic rhetoric capable of inflaming passions, which could result in dire consequences for voter confidence and turnout and the credibility of the entire process.

“At the CDD Elections Analysis Centre, we believe the credibility of an election does not rest exclusively with happenings on the polls or outcome of the elections. To us, equally crucial is the nature of the environment heading into the polls, and mainly how it contributes to the unfettered participation of all stakeholders, especially political contestants in the process.

“Our findings from the observation of the pre-election environment point to a very volatile political environment, characterised by fierce rhetoric, threats of violence and actual incidents of violence.

“At the last count also, the threats of violence and actual incidents of violent disturbances, including the condemnable arson on the party secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) could have the effect of making voters stay away from the polls.”

 

JUST IN: Appeal Court stays order banning APC from participating in Bayelsa governorship election

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has granted a stay of execution of a high court order which disqualified  the All Progressives Congress (APC) from  participating timg in Saturday’s Governorship Election in Bayelsa State.

This stay of execution granted by the Appeal Court on a November 12 was with respect to a High Court order disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship candidate.

At the Court of Appeal, the APC Deputy Governorship candidate was represented by D. D. Dodo SAN.

The Appeal Court granted and made the following orders:

1. That the status quo ante bellum which existed on or before the 19th September, 2019 when the suit was filed be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.*

2. An interim order for stay of judgment of the lower court delivered on 12th November, 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

3. The Motion on Notice to be heard on 20th November, 2019 and the Respondents to be served with the Motion on Notice and and copy of the Court Order.

‘They threatened to bury us alive’ — immigration official abducted in Rivers narrates ordeal

Samson Raphael, an official of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), has lauded the Nigerian Navy for rescuing him and three of his colleagues from kidnappers in Rivers state.

Raphael, a senior immigration inspector from the Rivers marine command of the service, was abducted alongside three others by suspected militants on Tuesday.

The other victims are: Peter Ofili, Asuquo Ededet and Hafiz Moyi.

The officer, who spoke with NAN in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said they were kidnapped while travelling on board a speed boat.

“We left Bonny Island on board a speed boat for an official assignment in Onne. On our way to Onne, we were apprehended by gunmen at about 8am on Tuesday,” he said.

“Immediately the kidnappers stopped our boat, they pointed their guns at us and threatened to shoot if we did not cooperate.

“Thereafter, they forcefully took us and sailed the sea for about 10 hours before we arrived their camp.”

He said they were kept in a hut after they arrived the kidnappers’ camp in a dense mangrove forest.

“Later, our abductors told us that they will contact our superiors to demand for our ransom. They threatened to bury us alive if NIS and our families failed to cooperate.

“Thankfully, they were unable to carry out their threats due to the timely intervention by troops of the Nigerian Navy that raided the camp on Wednesday.

“On the day of our rescue, we heard heavy gunshots and immediately laid flat on the floor. We suspected that such superior fire power could come only from security agencies.

“Afterwards, we saw naval operatives shooting and pursuing the fleeing captors. Later some navy personnel came to where we were held and rescued us.”.

Adegoke Ebo, executive officer, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, said the navy had immediately deployed gunboats after learning of the abduction.

Ebo handed over the victims to personnel of the police command in Rivers.

“After we learnt of the abductions and gathered available intelligence, we conducted a clearance operation on Nov. 13 at the suspected militant camp in Ikelekele, River,” he said.

“The operation, comprised of a combined officers and men of NNS Pathfinder and Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bonny, successfully rescued the NIS officers without any casualty.”

He said items recovered from the suspected militant camp included one Pump action rifle, a locally made gun, 7.62mm ammunition, hammers, cutters and several mobile phones.

“We were unable to make any arrest as the suspects escaped from the camp during the raid. However, we saw traces of blood that suggested that some of them sustained gunshot injuries,” he said.

“To this end, a search is currently ongoing with a view to locate and apprehend the hoodlums that fled the camp.

“We urge the public to report any suspicious person with gunshot wounds, particularly, those living in communities where the militant camp exist, to the nearest police station.”

APC rejects court ruling on Bayelsa gov candidate

The All Progressives Congress has rejected the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa which ruled that the party has no candidate in the Bayelsa State governorship election on Saturday.

The APC said at a press briefing on Thursday that it would appeal the judgement as its lawyers were already working on the processes to first secure a stay of execution.

Court fines Busola Dakolo N1m, dismisses case against Fatoyinbo

A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Bwari has dismissed a suit filed by photographer, Busola Dakolo, against the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The court also ordered Busola to pay N1m for wasting the court’s time.

In a suit, filed by Busola, wife of Musician, Timi Dakolo, in September, she had accused Fatoyinbo of rape, adding that the alleged action of the pastor, as well as his denial in a statement adversely, affected her marital sex life.

She, therefore, demanded “a personal letter of apology” from the cleric to show honest remorse for his misdeeds.

Fatoyinbo’s lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN), however, argued that the prayer could not be granted, describing it as a frivolous suit.

In his ruling, Justice Oathman Musa held that the matter amounts to injustice and an abuse of judicial process adding that the case is empty and purely sentimental. Justice Musa said that the case was aimed more at cruelty than obtaining justice.

The court also awarded costs of N1m against Busola Dakolo and held that the fine should have been 10 times more because the court’s time was wasted.

In her suit, which was filed on her behalf by her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi and Co of Law corridor, Mrs Dakolo asked the court to declare that Fatoyinbo’s denial of his alleged acts contained jointly and/or severally through a press statement he released on June 28, 2019, had caused her continuous emotional distress and amounted to intentional infliction of emotional distress on her.

Olajengbesi said, “The claimant avers that she was immediately terrified and in shock while the defendant pinned her down on the couch following which he caressed her body, fondled her breasts, pulled her pants, quickly half-pulled his trousers and ordered her to allow him to have his way with her.

Bayelsa/Kogi elections: Court to hear suit challenging Bello’s eligibility on Friday
“The claimant avers that the defendant in the process used his hand to cover her mouth, thereby muffling her screams. The claimant avers that the defendant made efforts to penetrate her vagina, whilst she struggled to fight him off; however, the defendant overpowered her and penetrated her vagina and had sexual intercourse with her.

“The claimant avers that while she was in shock of the incident which had rendered her befuddled and mortified, the defendant rushed out of the living room area of her family home and briefly returned with a bottle of soda (Krest) which he forced down her throat thereby making her breathing difficult.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force says the probe into the allegation of rape against Fatoyinbo is slow because the alleged crime took place 20 years ago.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said this during an interview with PUNCH.

Mba said the matter was being investigated but the police would not be pushed into filing charges for the fun of it.

He said once the police are done with the investigation, the public would be notified regarding the next step.

Fatoyinbo: I’ll appeal court judgement —Busola Dakolo

Celebrity photographer, Busola Dakolo, on Thursday said she would appeal the ruling of Justice O. A. Musa of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly over alleged rape.

Her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said this in a statement issued in reaction to the court verdict.

He said, “We have received several calls after the ruling of the high court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Bwari this morning seeking our view on the decision of the court, hence, this statement.

“The court ruled that the matter is statute-barred because the events that crystallised to the cause of action took place 16 years ago and that the claimant Mrs. Busola Dakolo has only six years within which to seek redress in court in line with the statute of limitation.

“We are mindful of the decision as delivered by the court, presided over by the Hon. Justice A.O Musa. We are equally observant of the fact that the Court omitted to address the cause of action, the subject matter of the suit in determining whether it has jurisdiction to entertain the said matter.

“While we acknowledge the time of the court, we know in accordance with the Nigerian judicial system that the Court’s decision is not final as it is glaringly contestable.

“For all intent and purposes, having seen several sponsored misleading news reports in the media, we are duty-bound to state that the court has not and did not exonerate Biodun Fatoyinbo. As it stands, the substance of the matter has not received any judicial attention.

“Biodun Fatoyinbo through his lawyers have only argued that the court should not allow the matter to proceed to trial because it is an event that occurred long ago and hence out of time.

“We shall therefore in this circumstance approach a superior court to intervene for a better appreciation, and take a more expansive view of the suit considering that the subject matter is one that is novel in our clime.”

Senate swears-in Olujimi as minority leader

 

The Senate on Thursday swore-in Senator Biodun Olujimi as Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District at the National Assembly.

Olujimi, garbed in a coffee brown attire, was sworn-in by the upper chamber, following an oath administered by the Clerk of Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, at exactly 10:40 immediately after the commencement of plenary.

The lawmaker who was the Minority Leader in the Eighth Senate, was last week declared winner of the 2019 Senatorial election by the Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal.

The Court which nullified the election of Spokesman of the Senate, Dayo Adeyeye, upheld the tribunal judgment which declared Olujimi and the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party as winner at the 2019 National Assembly elections to represent Ekiti South.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, after the lawmaker was sworn-in, called for unity among all members of the upper chamber.

He added that Olujimi’s victory brings the number of female Senators to eight in the upper chamber.

“Let me congratulate the Minority leader in the eighth Senate. With this, we now have eight very solid female Senators.

“We pray that this addition will bring additional productivity and stability to the Senate.

“I call for unity and of course, we should remain focused  and do those things that will make our country great”, Lawan said.

 

El-Rufai will never be president, says Anglican bishop

The Right Rev. Abiodun Ogunyemi, Bishop of Zaria diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, says Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, will never be president of Nigeria.

He said the governor is being groomed to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

The bishop said this in a statement shared on the website of the diocese while reacting to the aborted demolition of St George Cathedral in Zaria and the ”planned” demolition of another of the church’s property.

The Kaduna state government shelved the exercise in September. It had said it would not proceed with demolishing the 110-year-old cathedral because of its historical value.

Ogunyemi said any attempt to demolish any of the church’s property will be taken as an assault on Christians.

“Diocese of Zaria is not at war with the governor and we are not religious bigots. We are only fighting for our right. Nobody can stop us from fighting for our right,” he said.

“A letter was written by KASUPDA on the orders of the governor to us to quit the Cathedral premises within seven days, and we responded in the best possible ways together with CAN and other Christian organisations all over the world.

“Rather than apologising to the governor, the governor should apologise to the Church and the general public for embarrassing himself with the quit not

“The governor should stop embarrassing himself with demolition of churches in any part of Kaduna State.

“Any attempt to demolish our shops or our properties in Sabongari market is evil, callous and wicked and will be associated with the wrath of God.

“The whole of the Sabongari market is our land acquired in the early 1900s with genuine C of O, which we have submitted to the state government for re-certification.

“Any attempt by el-Rufai to demolish any of our properties in that market will be a direct assault on the Church in the whole of Nigeria.

“The governor is being prepared for 2023 elections. The governor should know that he will never be president of Nigeria. I speak prophetically as a servant of the living God.

“Let fake Christians and religious spies placed in our Church by a particular religion be aware of the consequences of their actions because heaven is watching.

“May the Lord expose these spies in our midst in Jesus Name. In fact, their actions now show very clearly that they are working for an interest against the Church. The Lord in His mercies will raise help to deliver His Church from fake Christians, fake converts and novices.”

The Kaduna state government is yet to respond to the comments.

JUST IN: Court rules APC has no candidate in Bayelsa gov election

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has disqualified David Lyon, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state.

In an order issued on Wednesday, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, nullified Lyon’s nomination as the party’s flag bearer in the forthcoming election over failure to field a qualified deputy governorship candidate in the election.

The court order, a copy of which was obtained by TheCable, also restricted the APC from fielding any other governorship or deputy governorship candidate for the poll.

A top INEC official, who did not want to be quoted, said that the commission has received the order, adding that the commission would soon inform the public on its next line of action.

The judge had earlier disqualified Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, the party’s deputy governorship candidate, over “false information” submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the November 16 election.

He had said Degi-Eremienyo gave false information in relation to his educational qualifications and went ahead to depose to an affidavit to correct the discrepancies.

This followed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking his disqualification.

In the fresh ruling, the court issued “an order setting aside or cancelling and annulling the nomination of the fourth defendant (Lyon) as governorship candidate of the first defendant in the Bayelsa state governorship election slated for November 16, 2019 or any other date thereabouts on the ground of failure of the first and fourth defendants (in) fielding a qualified or deputy governorship candidate of the first defendant in the said governorship candidate election of Bayelsa state.”

It also issued “an order restraining the first defendant from fielding any other governorship candidate or deputy governorship candidate upon the disqualification of the first and fourth defendants as prayed from sponsoring any other candidate and contesting in the forthcoming Bayelsa state governorship election slated for November 16, 2019, or any other date thereabouts.”

This is the third time in 2019 that APC will not field a governorship candidate in an election.

The party was disqualified from fielding candidates in Rivers and Zamfara states during the 2019 general election.