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Kano govt transmits fresh bill on creation of four new emirates

The Kano State executive council has transmitted to the state house of assembly, a bill for the creation of four additional emirates.

In a statement on Monday, Muhammad Garba, commissioner for information, said the bill endorsed the establishment of Rano, Gaya, Bichi and Karaye emirates.

He said the council had forwarded the bill to the state assembly for “necessary action”.

A high court in the state had earlier sacked the four new emirs appointed by Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor. They are: Aminu Ado Bayero (Bichi), Ibrahim Gaya (Gaya), Tafida Ila (Rano), and Ibrahim Abukakar (Karaye).

Usman Na’Abba, the presiding judge, held that the creation of four new emirates did not follow due process. He said the state assembly violated the provision of section 101 of the 1999 constitution while creating the emirates.

But Garba said the bill was amended in public interest following the court judgment. He added that the emirates pre-dated Kano in ancient times, while the effort to revive them during the second republic was short-lived.

He said while the council has discussed the “age-long clamour” for the establishment of additional emirates in the state with a view to bringing more development to the people of the new emirates.
Garba said the exercise was also informed by the need to bring the traditional institution closer to the people in addition to facilitating speedy socio-economic development and security in the state.

The council called on the state assembly to expedite action on the passage of the bill.
Garba had earlier said Ganduje administration would continue treating those sacked as first-class monarchs.
The creation of the emirates was believed to have been targetted at Muhammadu Sanusi, emir of Kano, for reportedly opposing the reelection of Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor.

PSC loses out as court upholds IGP’s power to recruit

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the Police Service Commission (PSC), challenging the power of Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, to recruit 10,000 police officers.

In his ruling on Monday, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, held that the suit lacked merit.

The PSC had taken the police to court over the recruitment of 10,000 constables. Joined as defendants in the suit were the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), minister of police affairs and Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation (AGF).

The IGP and the commission have been at loggerheads over the recruitment of 10,000 constables into the force.

The crisis festered as the two parties could not agree on who has the mandate to carry out the exercise.

The commission prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from “appointing, recruiting or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office by the NPF pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

PSC had submitted that none of the respondents is authorised by law to play any role “in the appointment, promotion, dismissal or exercise of disciplinary measures over persons holding or aspiring to hold offices in the Nigeria Police Force”.

Kanu Agabi, counsel representing PSC, in his argument, said there was no distinction between recruitment and appointment as claimed by the AGF’s counsel.

He added that there is no constitutional backing that empowers the IGP to recruit police officers.

Anthony Joshua floors sparring partners, sends them home

Ahead of his clash with Andy Ruiz, Anthony Joshua has reportedly floored his sparring partners and sent them home early.

Daily Mail reports that American heavyweight boxer, Timothy Moten, who has been in camp with Joshua for the past three months said this.

Moten is one of Joshua’s chief sparring partners ahead of the weekend’s showdown.

He said, “There have been guys here, I don’t want to say any names, but I’ve seen guys come into camp, get blown away and get sent home that same week.

“He’s dropped a few of his sparring partners and he’s rocked a lot.

“Joshua is by far the hardest hitter I’ve been in the ring with.”

Moten also believes that losing to Ruiz has woken up the ‘monster’ in Joshua.

“I think he may have needed that wake-up call. He needed to get that hunger back and I’m telling you, it’s there again,” the American says.

AJ, as he is popularly called has been in training as he bids to reclaim the WBA, WBO and IBF belts he lost to Ruiz back in June at Madison Square Garden, New York.

Anthony Joshua will face Andy Ruiz in the ring on Saturday, December 7.

Inmates electrocuted at Ikoyi Prison

Some inmates at Ikoyi Prison, now known as Ikoyi Custodial Centre, have been electrocuted.

TheCable understands that the incident took place on Monday morning. It is unclear the number of inmates who were affected but there are reports that while five inmates lost their lives, 10 sustained injuries in the incident.

Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, has ordered a probe of the incident.

In a statement issued by ‪Jane Osuji, press secretary to the minister, Aregbesola said update on the development would be shared “in a few hours”.

“The attention of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has been drawn to an electrocution incident at the Ikoyi Medium Security Prison in Lagos,” the statement read.

“The Minister has directed a quick investigation into the root cause and the ministry will in the next few hours share a comprehensive update on the incidence.

“While we commiserate with the victims of the incidence, the minister has ordered immediate medical attention for those affected.”

South African police officer jailed 30 years for killing Nigerian

Austin Luciano Reynold, a South African police constable who was found guilty of the murder of Ebuka Okoli, a Nigerian, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The court sentenced Reynold on Monday, three days after he was pronounced guilty of all four charges preferred against him — one charge of murder and three charges of robbery.

Twenty-four-year-old Reynold was accused of killing Okoli, a native of Anambra state, in Durban, a coastal city in Kwa Zulu-Natal province in South Africa, in 2018.

The officer shot Okoli at close range and robbed him during an unauthorised raid on the community where Okoli resided.

Reynold’s accomplice in the raid, Brinley Pallo testified against him while giving his testimony before Shyam Gyanda, the presiding judge, on Friday.

Reacting to the news of the conviction earlier, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), expressed relief, saying justice has been served.

“We are glad that justice has been done,” she said.

“We had always stated that there have to be consequences for actions. We are glad that this case finally came to an end and South Africa has demonstrated the political will to deal with xenophobia.”

She asked Nigerians in South Africa to adhere to President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition to be on their best behaviour where ever they are.

She also said Nigeria and South Africa will work towards a united Africa and bring to justice perpetrators of violence irrespective of their nationality.

Dino: Adeyemi remains my political wife — Smart: Melaye is my political houseboy

Dino Melaye and Smart Adeyemi have launched into a war of words after the Kogi west senatorial election rerun.

Adeyemi defeated Melaye on Saturday after a court-ordered rerun, unseating Melaye who had previously been declared winner in the general election.

Melaye, via his twitter handle, remarked: “The reaction of men and women of goodwill all over Nigeria especially the wonderful people of Kogi west who truly voted for me is a testimony that God is with me and with us all. I won the election and Adeyemi remain my political wife,” he said.

Senator Dino Melaye. (SDM)@dino_melaye

The reaction of men and women of goodwill all over Nigeria especially the wonderful people of Kogi west who truly voted for me is a testimony that God is with me and with us all. I won the election and Adeyemi remain my political wife. Thank you Nigerians. Victory is certain- SDM

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Adeyemi, in an interview with journalists, described Melaye as his “political houseboy”.

“When a servant steals the garment of his master, the garment will be too big for the servant… the joy of having his master’s garment will cause the servant to misbehave to people he ordinarily could have respected. The over-sized garment made Melaye to misbehave while in the senate,” he added.

Melaye, meanwhile, also said he has survived five assassination attempts.

“I want to specially thank God almighty that he preserved my life after five attempted assassination, combined forces of security agencies, INEC, federal, state and LG powers,” he said.

“I was fought on land, in the air and spiritually. It was not about election but my life. God I thank you. The forces against me are not beyound God. People should not worry about me, i am fine and will always be. I just thank God that the plan to kill me did not succeed. A living Dog is better than a dead Lion. I thank God for life. My name is Daniel i can not fall or fail.”

Melaye, who was of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015, had defeated Adeyemi, then of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Both men swapped parties in 2019, with Adeyemi losing but getting the result annulled by the tribunal which ordered a rerun.

The rerun was conducted on November 16 but declared inconclusive and INEC conducted a supplementary election.

Adeyemi got 88,373 votes to defeat Melaye who polled 62,133.

Melaye, however, has vowed to contest Adeyemi’s victory at the tribunal.

“I will challenge the temporal and evaporative victory of Adeyemi at the Tribunal. Victory attained by violence and fraud is tantamount to defeat, for it is momentary. It is not about Dino Melaye, it is about Nigeria and our electoral system. I stay the course. Not over yet,” he tweeted.

EFCC quizzes Air Peace boss Onyema over alleged $44.9m wire deals

As part of the ongoing probe of alleged $44.9 million wire deals, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Ifechukwu Onyema.

Also, there were strong indications last night that the EFCC may watch-list a former Special Adviser/Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme Office.

It was learnt that the ex-Special Adviser might be placed on INTERPOL red alert list.

Investigation revealed that Onyema, who was quizzed on Wednesday, has been placed on administrative bail.

It was, however, learnt that his activities are under the anti-graft commission’s surveillance.

A reliable source said the invitation of Onyema was part of the ongoing collaboration with the FBI and other security networks working on the alleged $44.9 million wire deals in which Onyema, his Finance Officer Ejiroghene Eghagha and two banks were implicated.

“Our team of detectives on Wednesday interacted with Onyema in our Lagos office on the wire deals, especially on issues involving money laundering.

“The questioning was part of our ongoing collaboration with the FBI and other agencies in line with the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between Nigeria and the United States.

“We decided to release Onyema on administrative bail in deference to his constitutional right of innocence until proven guilty.

“But Onyema is on surveillance by the EFCC pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.”

Asked why the EFCC opted to interrogate Onyema after charges have been preferred against him and Ejiroghene Eghagha in the United States, the source added: “There are vital Nigerian components of the indictment and demands of the US Government.

“For instance, the US is seeking the forfeiture of over $13 million left in some accounts linked with the suspect in the United States and Canada. The funds are $4,017,852.51 in JP Morgan Chase Bank in the US and $4,593,842.05 and $5,634,842.04 in the Bank of Montreal, Canada.

“We cannot rule out some of the money in some accounts in Nigeria. And our investigation may reveal the identities of other accomplices. Also, two Nigerian banks have been mentioned in the wire deals, especially transactions on purchase of aircraft.

“If there are assets to be seized in Nigeria, we have to collaborate with the US Government on the forfeiture process.”

As at press time, it was learnt that the EFCC was on the trail of a former Special Adviser/ Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme Office.

Another source said: “The suspect has gone underground. We may have no choice but to watch-list the ex-Special Adviser. We will eventually place him on INTERPOL red alert.

“Preliminary findings revealed a nexus between Amnesty Office and the activities of Onyema’s firms/groups/ NGOs as applicable.

“These groups include the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Centre for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited and Every Child Limited.

“Our detectives discovered that the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN) handled the training and transformation of some former Niger Delta militants for both the Amnesty Programme Office and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).”

Responding to a question, the source said: “We are probing allegation of money laundering which led to the buying of exotic vehicles by Onyema.

“He blew about N170,100,000 ($472,500) on three vehicles with cash transferred into his BOA 8086 account from Nigerian and other foreign bank accounts. We want him to explain the sources of the cash.”

According to the unsealed indictment, Onyema bought the luxury vehicles as follows: armoured Lexus LX570 ($204,000); Rolls Royce ($180,000); and Mercedez Benz($88,500).

The indictment reads in part: “Between April 2010 and January 2016, Onyema transferred millions of dollars into his BOA 8086 account from Nigerian and other foreign bank accounts, including hundreds of thousands of dollars transferred directly from accounts for Foundation for Ethnic Harmony, International Center for Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited, and Every Child Limited.

“Onyema used the funds in his BOA 8086 account to pay for personal living expenses, among other purchases. For example, Onyema purchased an armored Lexus LX570 ($204,000.00), using, in part, funds from BOA 8086.

“In or about January 2016, Bank of America closed BOA 8086 and issued a cashier’s cheque in the amount of $4,000,396.43 made payable to Onyema and his wife.

“On or about March 1, 2016, Onyema opened a checking account ending in 3417 (“WF 3417”) and a savings account ending in 8020 (“WF 8020”) at a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Atlanta, Georgia. Both WF 3417 and WF 8020 were opened in the name of Allen I. Onyema, and Onyema was the sole authorised signatory on both accounts.

“Between on or about March 2, 2016, and May 10, 2016, Wells 8020 received numerous wire transfers totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his bank accounts domiciled in Nigeria, including but not limited to the bank account for All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited and Foundation for Ethnic Harmony.

“From March through May 2016, Onyema made numerous cash withdrawals from WF 8020 totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. WF 3417 was used to pay for personal expenses, including purchases at Atlanta, Georgia locations of Prada, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Louis Vuitton, the Apple Store, and various airlines.

“In March 2016, Onyema also used WF 8020 to purchase luxury cars, including a Roll Royce for $180,000 and a Mercedes for $88,500, among others.

“On or about November 14, 2017, Onyema opened a business savings account ending in 2151 (JPMC 2151) at a JP Morgan Chase Bank branch in Atlanta, Georgia. Both JPMC 5512 and JPMC 2151 were opened in the same name of Springfield Aviation Company, LLC, and Onyema was the sole authorized signatory on both accounts.

“In total, from 2010 through 2018, wire deposits amounting to over $44.9 million transferred from foreign accounts into Onyema’s Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase accounts.”

Aisha Buhari indicted the entire political elite — Governors

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says Aisha Buhari, First Lady, did not only indict governors when she lamented that things were getting out of hand in the country.

The First Lady said at a meeting in Abuja on Friday that citizens do not have access to portable water in some states, yet they have governors there.

The forum said the entire political elite are indicted by the statement.

In a statement signed by Abdulrazaque Barkindo, spokesman of the NGF, the forum also said governors are working to lift millions of citizens out of poverty.

“Governors are doing their best to lift Nigerians out of misery and Nigerians are beginning to witness an improvement in their standards of living because of the conscious efforts of state governors throughout the country,” the statement read.

“Public schools in Kaduna state have receive a serious boost, aged women in Ekiti state are receiving stipends from government to keep their bodies and souls together, food security has taken the front burner in Ebonyi, Lagos and Kebbi states, unqualified Permanent Secretaries have been uprooted in Adamawa State and youth empowerment has taken centre stage in Ogun.

“That the nation’s religious leaders have to be told by none other than the first lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, that things are getting out of hand, is an indictment not just of governors, as the reporters would like the general public to believe, but of the nation’s entire political elite.”

“Unfortunately, the haste to paint state governors with one brush or the race to hit the front pages in this case, destroyed the message that the first lady seeks to convey. Mrs Buhari was sermonising on anyone in a position of power or authority to fear Allah in whatever they do because, according to her, as it is said in the scriptures, everybody would eventually account for his deeds before the Almighty God.

“To insinuate, therefore, that the first lady was referring to governors when she said, ‘People cannot afford potable water in this country while we have governors,’ erroneously suggests that only state governors would meet God on the day of judgment.

“It was in the same breath that she said, “We should either fasten our seat belt (meaning tighten our belts) or do the needful or we will all regret it very soon because, at the rate things are going, things are getting completely out of hand. The VP (Yemi Osinbajo) is here, some ministers are here, they are supposed to do justice to the situation.”

Northern youth group insists EFCC withdrew charges against Diezani, Lawal, others

A Northern civil society group, Northern Youths in Defence of Democracy and Justice, has challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over its claims that money laundering charges preferred againat former petroleum minister,  Deizani Alison Madueke and some senior bank executives have not been withdrawn.

In a statement issued on Sunday, signed on its behalf by Abba Yahaya Suleiman, the group maintained that EFCC’s position amounted to a distortion of facts as to what transpired in open court.

It accused the EFCC of attempting to mislead the public about its actions despite being an organisation funded by taxpayer funds and must be held accountable for it’s actions by Nigerians.

The statement said the EFCC on its own accord withdrew the charges, which were filed in 2018 and filed an amended charge which retained only the name of Mr. Lawal contrary to it’s claims.

Below is the full statement:

PRESS STATEMENT: EFCC’S REFUTAL OF ALLEGED WITHDRAWAL OF CASE AGAINST DIEZANI, OTHERS, LAUGHABLE

We have keenly followed the developments in various criminal charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against prominent Nigerians in the last four years including the charge of money laundering maintained by the commission against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke and four others.

The four others named in this particular charge are former Executive Director of First Bank, Mr. Dauda Lawal, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, the former Executive Director of Sterling Bank, Lanre Adesanya and the former Group Executive Director of NNPC, Stanley Lawson.

We are aware that this case has lingered since 2016 when Mr. Lawal was first arrested and detained by the EFCC for allegedly facilitating the transfer of funds on behalf of the ex-minister, now at large, which he collected from Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank and handed over to Lanre Adesanya, former Executive Director, Sterling Bank through a normal banking operation.

We are also aware that the funds were at all times handled in the normal course of banking operations and transferred within the two banks.
Although EFCC has filed a 14-count charge against the former Minister, Diezani Madueke and the four others since 2018, they are yet to be arraigned in court.

We recall that at the last sitting of the court and without any prompting from defence counsel, the EFCC, on its own, withdrew charges against all the principal accused persons and filed amended charges against only Mr. Lawal. The details of the proceedings which held on November 5 leading to the withdrawal of the original charge against Diezani Madueke and four others and the filing of a four-count amended charge against Dauda Lawal is already a public knowledge by virtue of media reports last month.

But we were shocked to read, last week, in the media, a rebuttal from the EFCC hours after fresh reports on the withdrawal of the charge against Diezani and others hit the public space, denying that at no time was the charge withdrawn against Diezani and other defendants in the case but that it merely took a prosecutorial decision to split the charge.

Following the controversy trailing the present status of the case in question, we are constrained to issue this public statement as patriotic Nigerians committed to the Nigerian project, who believe that institutions like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which are funded by taxpayers and are supposed to be answerable to Nigerian citizens, need to be transparent and honest about their actions.

From our findings, we make bold to say that the rebuttal by the EFCC is a deliberate effort to distort the facts and mislead Nigerians as to the event that happened in open court and which was widely reported by several news media.

For instance, in the rebuttal, the EFCC laboured to explain that it never withdrew charges against all the accused persons but that it took a prosecutorial decision to split the charges. Whereas, the truth is that the EFCC withdrew the charge containing all the original names of the defendants and filed an amended charge retaining only the name of Dauda Lawal.

It is elementary that you cannot file an amended charge in court without withdrawing the old charge. It is also elementary that as soon as the court is seized of the amended charge, the old charge becomes non-existent in the face of the law. If EFCC still claims that the charges against Diezani, Okonkwo, Lawson, Adesanya and Mr. Otti are still in place, we ask them to show us the charge sheet.

Again, in its statement, the EFCC claimed that its decision to withdraw against all the other co-accused and retain only Mr. Lawal on the amended charge sheet, was a prosecutorial decision taken in open court, following a spate of adjournments occasioned by non-appearance of one or two of the defendants each time the matter came up which prevented arraignment of the defendants more than one year after the case was listed.

However, we wish to note that contrary to the Agency’s claim, all the accused persons including the discharged persons were in Court on the last two Court dates of 24th May, 2019 and 5th November, 2019, yet no pleas were taken from them, rather, the agency, suo moto, withdraw the charge and substituted it with an amended charge against Lawal.

From the foregoing, we state that the claim by the EFCC that in more than four occasions that the matter was called for arraignment, it was either Lanre Adesanya was sick, bedridden in a London Hospital or Nnamdi Okonkwo was hypertensive and on admission or Stanley Lawson had had domestic accident and could not appear in court is a story for new-born babies.

From all indications, we make bold to say that the history and all developments in this case from inception to date, have shown that EFCC ab initio never had the intention to charge any of the discharged accused persons to Court, rather its sole intention from the start was to harass Mr. Dauda Lawal, bring his name into disrepute and seize his hard earned assets from over 30 years work in the public and private sector (reaching the rank of Executive Director, in Nigeria’s largest bank) for reasons best known to them.

We are therefore demanding that EFCC should retrace its steps and go back to the spirit of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, where the organization was envisaged to be one that will be run devoid of sentiments and personal considerations in fighting financial crime. It is our humble advice that witch-hunting, selective prosecution, cherry picking accused persons and preferential treatment of suspects, will only further confirm the widely held view that EFCC has derailed from its initial mandate.

As for Mr. Dauda Lawal, he is a model and mentor for Northern youths and Nigerian youths at large and we are confident that he is innocent of the charges brought against him and that in no time he will be vindicated. For the general public, we wish to state that we will continue to monitor developments in this case and put out the correct information at all times. May God continue to bless Nigeria.

Signed

Abba Yahaya Suleiman
For: Northern Youths in Defence of Democracy and Justice

Woman kills husband by squeezing his manhood

Men of the Edo State Police Command have arrested a middle-aged woman identified as Eki Ekhator for allegedly killing her husband by squeezing his manhood.

The incident was said to have happened at Ukhiri community in Ikpoba-Okha local government area.

Sources said the woman had a quarrel with her late husband after accusing him of infidelity.

She was said to have always had fracas with her husband any time he returned home late.

On that fateful day, the source said the deceased slapped his wife after a fracas and the woman went for his trousers and held onto his manhood in a violent manner.

The man was said to have collapsed and later confirmed dead at the hospital.

It was learnt that men of the Homicide department in the Edo state police command are currently investigating the murder.

Sources at the police headquarters said the suspect has blamed the incident on the devil.

Police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached for comments.

Military releases 983 suspected Boko Haram members

The military authorities on Wednesday released 983 suspected Boko Haram members cleared of complicity with the terror group.

The head of the military counter-insurgency operation in the North–East (Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi handed the men to Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Umara at the Giwa Barrack, Maiduguri.

Presenting the men to the governor, Adeniyi said they were alleged to have links with the terror group.

The Army appealed to the Borno State Government to empower them by training them in various trades and vocations.

READ ALSO: Gunmen abduct monarch in Abuja

He told the insurgents still in the trenches that those that voluntarily surrender will be welcomed back to the society.

He, however, called on those freed to go and sin no more. He asked Boko Haram members willing to surrender to submit themselves to any army formation, police stations or any security agency office.

He said then the process of reintegrating them into the society will commence without intimidation.

In his address, Borno Governor said the state government will take the men to the rehabilitation centre to be trained in various vocations.

He noted that the government has always been taking such cases to the rehabilitation centre through Operation Safe Corridor.

Monarch abducted in Abuja

Some yet to be identified gunmen have kidnapped Alhaji Ibrahim Pada, a third class traditional ruler of Rubochi in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Rubochi, SP Michael Ada, who confirmed the incident on Wednesday, said the traditional ruler was abducted at his residence on Tuesday.

“We received information that gunmen at midnight stormed the residence of the chief of Rubochi and took him to an unknown destination,” he said.

He said on receiving the information, the command immediately formed a search-and-rescue team which is now working to rescue the traditional ruler unhurt.

He added that the command would update members of the public on developments on the issue.

Mr Madaki Dogara, a resident of the community, who also confirmed the incident, said it happened around 1.30 a.m.

He alleged that the gunmen, who wore army camouflage in their numbers and carried sophisticated weapons, shot sporadically in the air before whisking away the chief.

According to him, two children belonging to the traditional ruler were seriously injured in the ensued confusion.

IPPIS: No retreat, no surrender, says ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says there is no going back on its stand concerning its refusal to be included in Federal Government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, National President of the union, said on Wednesday in Lagos that there is nowhere in the world where such a development is obtained.

The Federal Government had recently directed that public sector workers, including universities must be captured on the payroll system to save cost and fight corruption by blocking leakages in its salary payment structure.

The move had since been resisted by university lecturers.

“ASUU has not changed its position and ASUU believes that whoever chooses to go for the IPPIS should also remember that a time will come when they will regret it.

“Our stand against it is not for selfish reasons but we expect that things must be done right at all times.

“ASUU once said that the policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Nigeria will make the people poorer, increase misery, want as well as compound our economic crisis. This was disclosed about 30 years ago.

“Today, we have seen the manifestation of these crisis and, therefore, IPPIS is an aberration. It does not apply to universities because there is no university anywhere in the world where IPPIS is applied.

“Even in Ghana where they have something similar to the IPPIS, they went ahead to exclude the universities and that is why we are saying our own cannot be different,’’ he said.

According to him, the world over, people keep advocating for internalisation so as to bring in experts from around the globe to work in a system, whether on a long or short term basis and such persons are normally subjected to the rules of the civil service.

He insisted that IPPIS is designed for civil servants and not for the universities, noting that universities were meant to be governed according to their laws, which explains what is called autonomy.

The ASUU boss added that rejecting the IPPIS did not mean there was anything to hide on the part of the universities.

According to him, it is cheap blackmail for persons to come up with allegations that the stand of the union on IPPIS is as a result of fear of the unknown.

“If there is any such thing, it should be with government because for over 30 years now, we have been calling on government to conduct visitations to universities.

“We have done petitions against some of the Vice-Chancellors that government will need to look into their management of funds on our campuses but government failed to do anything; so, how can people now turn around and accuse us of hiding cases of corruption?

“It is a misnomer, it does not apply to us,’’ he said.

Ogunyemi also said there was the need for government to intensify efforts in ensuring a total blockage of sources of financial leakages through corruption in the system.

“For instance, one could see what the country is losing through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as other agencies of government.

“We all know that there are several sources through which we can recoup monies to successfully fund key sectors of the economy such as education in this country.

“It is no longer news that we still have political office holders with stupendous salaries and wages they are paying to themselves.

“A situation for instance, whereby a former governor will be demanding as much as N10 million to be paid to him by his successor as maintenance allowance leaves much to be desired.

“Such things must be condemned and rather such monies should be channeled into profitable things that will turn around the lives of the people and take the country to its desired place,’’ he said.

The unionist added that there was the need for government to prioritise, noting that it was not as if the country did not have the capacity to fund education adequately but rather did not see it as a priority.

He noted that the union had proposed some alternative sources to ensuring adequate funding of education in the country.

Ogunyemi said that one major alternative was that of the proposed stamp duty.

According to him, a lot of money is coming through stamp duty most of which the country cannot account for, adding that Nigeria could generate trillions of Naira through this source to fund education.

He said that the union before now, had also suggested to government the need to turn over most of its abandoned properties in various parts of the country like Lagos to the universities.

“We had an agreement on this with government as far back as 1992. The same goes with consultancy on our campuses.

“It may shock you to discover that government will go ahead to get people to be doing consultancy on our campuses. This is unacceptable.

“There is no area of expertise that we cannot attract experts on our campuses. It is indeed like we are obsessed with anything foreign in this country and this mentality must stop,’’ he said.

UK would be ‘outgunned’ in Russia conflict, says think-tank

British ground forces would be “comprehensively outgunned” in a conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe, according to a defence think-tank.

Research by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) found that the Army, as well as Nato allies, has a “critical shortage” of artillery and ammunition.

It concluded that it could not maintain a credible defence position.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the UK works closely with Nato and is “well equipped to take on a leading role”.

The research comes ahead of a meeting of Nato leaders in London next week to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance.

The UK, along with other Nato members, has positioned military forces in Eastern Europe to deter any potential Russian aggression in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Around 800 British troops are currently stationed in Estonia . The first were sent in 2017.

But the study by Rusi found that the UK armed forces lack critical firepower compared to Russia’s military.

It analysed military capabilities in the “unlikely” context of “a high-intensity conflict between Nato and Russia, in which the UK has promised to deliver a warfighting division”.

“At present, there is a risk that the UK – unable to credibly fight – can be dominated lower down the escalation ladder by powers threatening escalation,” the report said.

It said Britain is “comprehensively outgunned and outranged”, leaving enemy artillery free to defeat UK units.

Russian artillery and rocket batteries have already proved to be potent, destroying two Ukrainian battalions in 2014 within minutes.

UK and other Nato forces not only have a limited number of artillery pieces, but also a shortage of munitions stockpiles and transportation.

The report said the “rejuvenation and modernisation” of Britain’s ground-based artillery is an “urgent and critical priority”.

In response, the MoD said: “The UK does not stand alone but alongside its Nato Allies, who work closely together across air, sea, land, nuclear and cyber to deter threats and respond to crises.”

It added: “As the largest Nato defence spender in Europe, the UK’s armed forces are well equipped to take a leading role in countering threats and ensuring the safety and security of British people at home and abroad.”

The statement comes less than three weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron described Nato as “brain dead” – stressing what he sees as waning commitment to the transatlantic alliance by its main guarantor, the US.

MoD figures released in August found that the size of Britain’s armed forces had fallen for a ninth consecutive year.

The finding came just six months after the Commons spending watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee, claimed the MoD had a funding black hole of at least £7bn in its 10-year plan to equip the UK’s armed forces.

Number of full-time trained personnel. . .
A delegation of Russian military personnel visited Scotland last year to observe one of Europe’s largest Nato exercises.

The visit was in line with the UK’s obligations to the Vienna Document which aims to promote mutual trust and transparency among states signed to it.

It came as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres claimed the Cold War was “back with a vengeance” as he warned abut the dangers of escalating tensions over Syria.

Pastors, choirs attend conference On ‘Witchcraft’ amidst protests by Christian groups

The International Conference on Witchcraft on Tuesday kicked off at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka as scheduled, despite opposition to the conference from the Christian bodies.

Our Correspondent reports that the opening prayer for the conference was conducted by a Catholic priest, while the moderator was a cleric.

Music was also provided by the UNN Christ Chapel choir.

The conference, organised by Prof. B.I.C Ijomah Centre for Policy Studies and Research, UNN, met stiff opposition and criticisms, but organisers rebuffed the calls to cancel the conference, and instead changed the initial theme: “Witchcraft, meanings, factors and practices,” to ”Dimensions of human behaviours.”

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UNN management had directed the organisers to drop the initial theme of the conference on account of outcries from various Christian bodies.

However, speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference holding at Nsukka main campus of UNN, the Director of the centre, Prof. Egodi Uchendu, regretted how ordinary academic conference was twisted to cause confusion by social media and other media platforms.

“The casualty of this confusion went beyond being asked by UNN management to change title but also the withdrawal of our keynote speaker, Prof. David Ker.

“I am delighted that social media hyper on the conference didn’t deter participants and organisers from attending the conference, which is completely academic,” she said.

Prof. Damian Opata, in his paper titled “The wealthy are no witches: Towards an Epistemology and Ideology of Witchcraft among the Igbo of Nigeria,” explained that the way witchcraft was propagated and believed by some Nigerians had continued to kill the development of knowledge on the issue.

“Some people have killed the initiative for creative indigenous thinking because of mere belief in witchcraft.

“Pastors, prophets, seers in the foreign religions and charismatic priests of variegated persuasions very frequently use perceived attacks by witches and wizards to put fear in the minds and hearts of their various congregations.”

Continuing, he said, “The truth is, for those who believe that witches and wizards exist, it exists for them; and those who believe it does not exist, it doesn’t exist.

“What we are doing today is completely an academic conference; it’s unfortunate that some people tried on social media to give it different interpretations.”

Head of Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the UNN, Prof. Peter-Jazzy Eze, who spoke on what he titled, “Which witch? What Anthropology knows of the Adult Bugbear,” explained that witchcraft did not exist but only existed in the mind of the people who believed in it.

“Science and technology have overtaken the superstitious belief of witchcraft, which has no practical proof.”

Eze said it was time Africa dropped the belief in witchcraft and embraced robust knowledge in science and technology, “the application of which is very practical and verifiable.”

“If Africans can fully embrace science and technology, in the next 50 years, there will be nothing like superstitious belief in witchcraft, ” he said.

Matawalle: Yari paid himself over N300m as severance just before leaving office

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has said that he will use savings from the state’s repealed pensions law for youth empowerment and development of infrastructure in the state.

Matawalle gave the assurance on Wednesday while assenting to the repealed law in which former governors, deputy governors, speakers of the state House of Assembly were supposed to collect about a billion Naira annually as upkeep allowance from the state government.

He noted that “the repealed law which was hurriedly passed by the immediate past administration of the state did not take into account the social and economic realities of the state”.

According to him, former Governor Abdulaziz Yari paid himself over N300 million as severance just before he left office.

He promised that his administration would only pay allowances as provided by the Revenue and Fiscal Mobilization Commission.

“I was shocked when I received a letter from former Governor Yari for the payment of the money that the failure of which I learned, the former governor threatened my administration with a court case.

“I called a meeting with my deputy as well as the speaker of the House of Assembly and we all agreed that we do not have any interest in such retirement allowance,” the governor said.

“Although the immediate past administration in the state left behind pensions liabilities of local government workers, primary school teachers and state civil servants amounting to about N10 billion.

“Apart from other liabilities such as promotion benefits, workers annual increment and the rest which have put the state in a terrible financial quagmire.

“The immediate past governor Yari is requesting the state government to pay him a whooping amount of N120 million annually, made up of a monthly upkeep allowance of N10 million.

“The ex-governor who recently wrote to the state government in this regard, was also under the repealed law supposed to be collecting the exact amount he was collecting as his monthly salary while as governor which should continue for him for life as his pension.

“In addition to these, he is supposed to get two vehicles to be bought by the State Government and replaceable after every four years; Free medical treatment for former Governor and his immediate families and vacation within Nigeria and outside.

“Thirty days vacation within Nigeria or outside Nigeria and a 5-bedroom house in any location of the choice of the former Governor within the country,” he said.

The governor further noted that the law also extended similar largesse to former Deputy Governors, former Speakers of the State Assembly, and former Deputy Speakers.

“If allowed thus, it will overstretch the lean resources of the state at a time when the same people who were supposed to pay the meagre amount as pensions to retired civil servants refused to do so and handed them over as liabilities to the present administration,” Mutawalle observed.

He said his administration was trying to put the state on a sound footing through the stoppage of armed banditry and other security challenges by attracting direct local and foreign investors to the state to gainfully engage its teeming unemployed youths towards rebuilding the state to the envy of others.

The governor, who tasked the past leaders to be selfless while charting a new course for the state, stressed that his administration will continue to focus more on matters of state development and the wellbeing of its citizens

Matawalle assents law banning payment of jumbo allowances to Zamfara ex-governors, deputies, others

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Muhammad Matawalle, on Wednesday signed into law a bill banning the payment of jumbo allowances to former governors, their Deputies, ex-Speakers and other past political office holders in the state.

Daily Trust reports that the Zamfara State House of Assembly had yesterday outrightly repealed the law that allows jumbo payment of pension and other allowances to former governors, their deputies, Speakers and their deputies in the state.

The abolishment of the law came barely 72 hours after a letter written by a former governor, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, to Zamfara State Government demanding for the payment of his upkeep allowances running into millions of Naira leaked into the public.

The letter generated heated debates within and outside the state.

According to the letter, the monthly upkeep allowances for an ex-governor in the state is N10million and backed by law which was amended and assented to on the 23rd of March, 2019.

Nigerian lawmakers face-off with ECOWAS MPs over border closure

Nigerian representatives at the ECOWAS Parliament have berated Members of Parliament from its West African neighbours over unfriendly criticisms over the decision of Nigeria to close its borders.

Reacting to questions and comments from the MPs who criticized the border closure, Hon. Idris Wase who leads the Nigerian delegation said that the critics of the closure were unfair to Nigerian.

Members of Parliament from other countries had criticized Nigeria for the border closure, accusing it of violating ECOWAS Protocol, adding that Nigeria should not stop playing its big brother role.

However, according to Wase who is the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, he stressed that many of the countries that are complaining had been violation of ECOWAS protocol for many years.

“We have a protocol, the protocol is very clear: No country in the ECOWAS sub-region is allowed to export into another country what it does not produce.

“This means that by our own actions we want to be self-sufficient, we do not want to be dumping grounds, we want to encourage production.

“This is not acceptable to Nigeria and I believe that as good citizens and as MPs, we should encourage our citizens to be productive.

“The population we have should not just be a number in size, it should be number that can be helpful to the nation of Africa and to the world.

Wase who is also the Deputy Speaker of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives informed the Parliament that the border closure was mainly for security reasons not economic.

He said that the fight against insecurity had been hampered by the porous borders and the complicity of neighbouring countries from where arms were being shipped into Nigeria.

He expressed displeasure at particular comments by some MPs who criticized Nigeria over delay in payment of its community levy.

On contribution to ECOWAS, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria has contributed over $700 million to ECOWAS in the last 12 years, an amount that is more the contributions of all other countries put together except Ghana.

“Nigeria has paid its dues, we have been there for our neighbours, but sadly by the comments of some of our colleagues here these countries are not being fair to us.

“From the close of these borders, Nigeria has started seeing some changes in its security. These borders have not just been used for the purpose of importing goods.

“From the day we closed our borders, Nigeria have now started seeing peace. I want to confirm to the World that even the so called insurgency has now stopped.

“This is because the same border is where the arms are coming through, they will package rice but inside it they would put arms and bring into Nigeria.

“No country would support that. If we do that to you I don’t think you would accept it.

“Even the human trafficking that is taking place, that is the common route. If Nigeria goes into disarray, I don’t think West Africa can contain it,” he said.

Throwing more light on the matter, Hon. Ibrahim Sadiq concurred that many neighbouring countries had been violating ECOWAS [protocol

He corroborated that since the closure of the borders that the level of dangerous incursion by Boko Haram has dropped drastically.

De described as unfair the situation where some countries take advantage of Nigeria and pepetrate actions that sabotage the economy of Nigeria.

“Republic of Benin has 11 million population, but you cannot believe it, Benin Republic is the 5th largest importer of rice in the World. Where is that rice going to.

“In other words, that rice is coming to Africa’s largest market which is Nigeria.

“If the purpose of our coming together is to encourage local production to feed our local markets and compete favourably, then what is happening now is against that protocol.

“This issue is clear, we do not need to be sentimental about it,” he said.

He stressed that Nigeria was not the only country that has closed its border over security issues, saying that Rwanda and Kenya had closed their borders in the past over security.

He stressed that the borders had not been shut but were only closed to certain items, stressing that if neighbouring nations do not assist Nigeria then the drill will be intensified.

NAN reports that the issue of border closure has dominated deliberation at the Parliament from the opening Day with Parliament Speaker Moustapha Cisse Lo calling for the borders to be reopened.

 

Driving with phone google map an offense – FRSC warns

The FCT Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Ayuba Gora says driving with the aid of Google map using mobile phones is a serious traffic offence.

Gora said this at the inauguration of the 2019 Ember Months Campaign by Lugbe Unit Command of the FRSC in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to him, the law forbids motorists from using mobile phones in any form while driving, as it can lead to accident.

He also informed motorists that the corps would soon begin massive enforcement of installation of speed limiting devices.

Gora advised motorists, especially commercial vehicle operators, who have yet to install the device to do so to avoid the wrath of the corps.

“We will embark on massive checks of vehicles without this device soon and arrest those that disconnected the devices from their vehicles.

“It is very important that all vehicles should have the device installed in their vehicles.

“The required speed limit for commercial vehicles even on the highways should not exceed 90 km/hr for buses and taxis.

“By doing this today, we are simply reminding motorists that they must drive with care and observe traffic rules and regulations in order to make the job very easy for all of us.

“If you are arrested this period, you will not just pay fines but must be taken for emotional evaluation test in the hospital to ascertain your mental fitness before we let go,” he said.

He urged the public to dial 122 or 112 in case they noticed unusual behaviour by road users and in the event of an accident.

Gora debunked speculations that the device damages car engine, saying it had nothing to do with engine, but only cut fuel supply during attempted speeding.

“Once the vehicle reaches a predetermined top speed, the computer steps in and restricts the flow of air and fuel to the engine and even the Sparks that cause combustion.

“Either way, the vehicle will be unable to exceed the top speed as determined by the car’s manufacturer.

“The problem we have with the operators of these vehicles is that, when a speed limiting device has been installed, they temper with it. In the process of tempering by disconnecting, it leads to problem,” he added.

The Lugbe Unit Commander, Mr Martins Ohiani said it was necessary for all road users to obey traffic rules and regulations and avoid overloading their vehicles with goods.

“Ember months usually represent the peak of human and vehicular movement which in turn attracts high rate of road crashes in the country.

“There is need for us to avoid speeding and use of illegal motor parks for safety sake.

“For long journey drivers, you need to observe 15 minutes rest after four hours of drive to avoid fatigue and ensure that passengers manifest is duly filled,” he said.

He, however, appealed to members of the public to always respect road safety officials while performing their duties as cases of assault had been noticed and won’t be tolerated henceforth.

Mr Abdulłahi Diwa, Divisional Traffic officer, Nigerian Police Force, Lugbe Division called for synergy between the law enforcement agencies to achieve greater result collectively.

“No organisation can achieve meaningful achievement. I pray with this, we will see the need to collaborate together by supporting each other where necessary to ensure that our roads are safe and our environment crimes free.”

Mr Yakubu Abdullahi of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Lugbe Command appealed to FRSC to make such campaigns quarterly and not just during ember months going by the increase of road crashes in the country.

On his part, Dele Agboola, the Chairman, NURTW, Lugbe branch, pledged on behalf of members to be of good conduct, especially this period, adding that a lot of campaigns were ongoing to sensitise the drivers on the need to be careful while driving.

 

Board suspends Kirikiri prison boss, eight others over $1m scam

The Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board has approved the suspension of three officers and six other men of the Nigerian Correctional Service implicated in the $1 million internet fraud allegedly perpetrated by Olusegun Aroke, an inmate serving a 24-year term in Kirikiri Maximum Security Custodial Centre in Lagos.

Those arrested include the Deputy Controller in charge of the facility, Emmanuel Oluwaniyi, and DC Hemeson Edwin.

Aroke, who was serving a 24-year jail term was given a referral to be treated outside the facility during which he pulled a $1 million scam.

An investigation panel constituted by the Controller-General of the Service, Jaáfaru Ahmed, was said to have indicted the officers of complicity in the scandal.

According to a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by the NCS spokesman, Controller of Corrections, Francis Enobore, the CG, while handing down the suspension order noted that “the task of correcting maladjusted persons in the society requires a measure of moral rectitude to make a positive impact on offenders in custody.”

He restated the “irreversible commitment” of his administration to ensure that those without adequate strength of character and integrity are not allowed to “taint the sanctity of the Nigerian Correctional Service.”

The statement read, “The Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board has approved the suspension of three officers and six other ranks of the Nigerian Correctional Service implicated in the alleged internet fraud suspected to have been perpetrated by Hope Olusegun Aroke, an inmate serving a term of imprisonment in Kirikiri Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Lagos.

“This is based on the preliminary report of the investigation panel earlier constituted by the Controller-General of the Service, Jaáfaru Ahmed which indicted the officers of complexity in the scandal.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Monday arrested Oluwaniyi and Edwin, for allegedly procuring exaggerated medical report for Aroke.

The agency said it’s preliminary investigation revealed that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to the internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre.

Aroke was one of two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC in 2012 at the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos and convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on two counts of obtaining money by false pretence, cheque cloning, wire transfer, and forgery.