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Why I want to sleep with Mayweather – Maheeda

 

One-time Gospel singer-turned nudist, Maheeda, is not a stranger to hugging headlines. Fond of making controversial statements and posting lewd pictures online, Maheeda knows how to court people’s attention.

True to type, the self-acclaimed Naija bad girl dominated the news shortly after boxer, Floyd Mayweather’s record-breaking fight against Conor McGregor. Maheeda had taken to her Instagram page to indicate her interest to have sex with the heavyweight champion. She had written, “Okay now daddy, let’s do the main match in bed.”

In a chat with Sunday Scoop, she explained why she wants the boxer in her bed. “Mayweather is the type of man I like. I like them strong, determined and focused, and he looks like a man that would know how to treat a woman well in bed. Contrary to what people think, I’m not after him for his money, I just want him to give me some good loving. And I’m sure he would also enjoy the experience with me.”

N145m fraud delays Kogi Poly workers’ July salary

Kogi Government says the discovery of N145 million fraud in the salary voucher of the Kogi State Polytechnic ( Kogi Poly ), Lokoja, is responsible for the delay in the payment of July salary of its workers.

 

The Director -General, Kogi State Bureau of Information and Grassroots Mobilisation, Alhaji Abdulmalik Abdulkareem, said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Sunday.

 

The government’s statement is in response to an earlier threat by Kogi Poly local chapter of the Academic staff Union of Polytechnics ( ASUP ) to embark on an indefinite strike over non-payment of July salary of its members.

 

“Kogi State Government affirmed that the discovery of N145 million fraud in the salary vouchers was responsible for the delay in payment of the July salary . This is based on facts obtained from the office of Auditor -General of Kogi State,” the statement said.

The ASUP had threatened to direct its members to embark on strike if the July salary of its members is not paid latest by September 11.

 

Andulmalik faulted the position of ASUP and other unions in the polytechnic, saying that the delay in payment of their July salary was self-inflicted.

 

He alleged that some accounts staff of Kogi poly bloated the salary vouchers to defraud the state government of N145 million.

 

According to him, the salary is being delayed to give room for a thorough investigation into the alleged fraud.

 

The director-general said the state government had recovered N145m from over bloated wage bill.

 

He , however, assured that all staff would start receiving their July salary as from September 11.

 

Abdulkareem said that government had directed that salary of workers in the salary unit of the polytechnic be put on hold pending the conclusion of investigation.

 

According to him, investigations showed that staff in charge of salary payment perpetrated the scam by transferring money into accounts of some cooperatives societies and unions.

 

“Salaries of some staff of the polytechnic were also fraudulently bloated,” he said.

Abdulmalik said that there was no need for ASUP and other unions to go on strike again as government would start paying their July salary by September 11.

 

He reiterated government’s zero tolerance for corruption, adding that no efforts would be spared to put an end to such fraudulent practices.

Policeman kills wife, children, self in marital dispute

 

A French policeman shot his wife and two children dead on Sunday and then killed himself after the woman told him she wanted to leave the family home, the regional prosecutor said.

The shootings took place at the railway station in Noyon, northeast of Paris, prosecutor Virginie Girard said.

The incident took place after the wife had earlier called gendarmes to her house following a dispute during which she had told her husband she wished to leave him.

The officers observed that the husband, who had left, but returned while they were present, was “perfectly calm.”

He did not object to the wife taking their five children to the house of a neighbour, who was due to give them a lift to the station in two groups.

However, as the mother and the three youngest children waited on the station platform for the neighbour to bring the two eldest children, her husband reappeared and opened fire on his wife and two of the children, wounding them mortally before killing himself.

Investigators were checking whether the policeman had used his service weapon and ammunition in the killings, Girard said.

Osinbajo’s daughter, Kiki opens beauty shop in Abuja

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo with two of their children, came out to support Kiki, the first child of the family as she opened her beauty enterprise, Glam’d Africa on Saturday September 9, 2017 in Abuja.

Glam’d Africa opens its doors to the world, the first of many milestones to come while on a mission to further enhance the thriving Nigerian beauty industry.

Kiki Osinbajo aims to support young people wanting to get into the beauty industry by offering free training at Glam’d Africa, empowering young people wanting to become beauty practitioners.

The family portrait which was taken by Bigstudios features the entire family. Other photos include the one taken by Kiki and her father.

Kiki, who trained as a lawyer, captioned the family photo as, “ All the support I’ll ever need; I have in my Family. ?? cc @glamdafrica.”

Cycling: FRSC seeks infrastructure adjustment in Abuja

 

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says some infrastructural adjustments are needed in Abuja to support the proposed introduction of bicycle transport in the nation’s capital city.

The Corps’ Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, stated this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.

Kazeem said the plan also required amendment of the National Road Safety Regulations to include provisions for the safety of cyclists.

He spoke against the backdrop of the recent announcement of the proposed bicycle policy by the National Council on Transportation (NCT) after its 15th meeting in Sokoto.

“As a pilot scheme, if Abuja is taken, there is need for restructuring of some intersections before we can kick start it successfully.

“FRSC studied all the road networks in Abuja, and we have identified the gaps and recommended measures to address the.

“During the study, which we carried out with officials of the FCTA (Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), we found out that all roads and streets have provisions for bicycle lanes in the design, but at the point of construction the lanes were either ignored, merged with pedestrian walkways, making the walkways too wide, or were turned into green areas.

“I think it is only on Yakubu Gowon Way in Asokoro that the lane is being implemented. So, a key concern is the need for re-engineering of intersections and traffic lights to provide for cyclists.’’

The Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who made the announcement after the NCT meeting, had said Abuja was chosen as pilot because it already had cycling facilities.

Amaechi stated that introduction of bicycle transport would reduce road traffic congestion and environmental pollution as well as improve the health of riders among other benefits.

Speaking in the same vein, Kazeem said that the FRSC would work with other stakeholders for the successful implementation of the policy.

“In fact, FRSC commenced the promotion of urban cycling since 2011; it is not new to us. Since then we have built collaborations and established and funded the National Stakeholders Committee for four years running comprising all government agencies relating to transport, private sector and unions for four years running.

“The committee developed the first draft National Cycling Policy, which could not be approved by the previous administration owing to bureaucracy.

“We commenced the national bicycle week and hosted three editions. We have understudied different countries’ cycling systems for domestication, and we have studied all the road networks in Abuja which is the pilot.

“So, it is a welcome development and the policy announcement actually came as a result of a presentation that the FRSC made at that council of transport summit.

“For us, the announcement by the ministry confirmed our several years of advocacy and drives to make cycling a mode of transport.

“We are ready and we are going to work with other stakeholders to see to the success of this policy.’’

Kazeem stated that cycling was already part of the FRSC public education programmes.

NAN recalls that eight officers of the Corps recently underwent training in the Netherlands, the world leader in cycling, in traffic safety for non-motorised transport with cycling as focus.

Some experts also came from Netherlands to train about 24 other FRSC officers, and officials of the Federal Ministries of Power, Works and Housing; Transport, and the FCT Administration.

The FRSC spokesman said the Corps was working to duplicate the training across its formations nationwide.

Kanu home invasion: We only fired warning shots in Umuahia –Army

The Nigerian Army on Sunday said its personnel fired warning shots to disperse hoodlums who lobbed stones and broken bottles against them during a procession in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

The Army was countering the account of Mr. Kanu, which had said soldiers stormed his residence in the Abia State capital, killing and injuring occupants in a bid to attack the separatist activist.

“The attention of 14 Brigade Nigerian Army has been drawn to fictitious news going round especially on the social media that troops have invaded the home of Nnamdi Kanu and killed three persons.

“This is far from the truth. Rather, it was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while on show of force along FMC-Word Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State at about 6.00-6.30pm, today.

 

“They insisted that the military vehicles would not pass and started pelting the soldiers with stones and broken bottles to the point of injuring an innocent female passerby and a soldier, Corporal Kolawole Mathew.

“The troops fired warning shots in the air and the hoodlums dispersed. No life was lost,” the Army said in a statement signed by Oyegoke Gbadamosi, a major and assistant deputy spokesperson of the 14 Brigade.

The Army’s account corroborated police’s statement on the incident.

“There was no attack on the home of Nnamdi Kanu,” Abia police commissioner, Leye Oyebade, said on Sunday evening.

“What happened was that the military was parading a new armoured carrier and passed through Nnamdi Kanu’s residence.

“It was while they were passing that some people threw stones and other things at them,” Mr. Oyebade explained.

The police chief said normalcy has been restored and no life was lost during the minor skirmish. He said Mr. Kanu was neither targeted nor arrested.

But Mr. Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had painted a different account of what transpired at the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, saying there was a siege.

In a statement, Mr. Ejiofor accused the Buhari administration of attempting to take his client’s life.

“Just to alert the world that the Nigeria military personnel under the command of Chief of Army Staff is presently laying a siege on my client (Nnamdi Kanu) country home in Umuahia.

“They had continued to shot sporadically into the air through which assault, about five of his family members were brutally wounded and some unfortunately killed. There is no doubt that the present deployment of troops to the South East is to haunt for my client and possibly eliminate him,” the statement said.

Mr. Ejiofor added that if something goes wrong with his client’s life, the international would hold the country’s president responsible.

The Army urged the public to disregard reports or videos purporting serious injuries or casualties during the skirmish, warning “mischief makers” of grave consequences.
“We would like to use this opportunity to warn mischief makers threatening the peace and security of the country through falsehood such as above,” Mr. Gbadamosi said.

The Nigerian government is currently pursuing revocation of Mr. Kanu’s bail, after the IPOB leader allegedly breached the conditions of his bail which was granted to him by the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, where he faces treason charges.

The revocation motion, which was filed by the Attorney-General Abubakar Malami, is expected to be heard in October.

Alhassan denies accusing el-Rufai of involvement in Chibok saga

Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Alhassan, has denied the statement attributed to her on the involvement of Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, in the kidnap of over 200 Chibok school girls in 2014, describing it as false.

Dantsoho Suleiman, Alhassan’s spokesman, in a statement, said the comment is a “plot to cause bad blood between senator Jummai and her APC colleagues”.

The minister has of late been in the news for her endorsement of Abubakar Atiku, former vice-president, for the presidency in 2019.

Reacting, El-Rufai had said supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari opposed his choice of Alhassan as a minister as “she was never in the Buhari camp”.

To counter online chatter that she made accusations against the governor, the minister issued the following statement:

“The current APC government under President Buhari inherited series of problems from the past administration, the kidnap of the Chibok girls by the dreaded Boko Haram happens to be one of them and President Buhari and our military has been able to rescue some of them and checked Boko Haram’s excesses.

“Senator Jummai is not in possession of any security report and therefore will never have made the statement allegedly made by her against the person of governor El-Rufai.

“Boko Haram kidnapped many others, including women and children apart from Chibok Girls. And this government has been able to rescue most of them.

“The plot to cause bad blood between Senator Jummai And Her APC Colleagues will continue to hit brick wall.”

Meanwhile, Alhassan has accused Femi-Fani Kayode, a former minister of aviation, of peddling “falsehood, lies and propaganda” over the statement attributed to her.

Fani-Kayode, on Twitter, asked Alhassan to disclose all she knows about the governor’s role in the “Chibok girls scam and Boko Haram”.

But Alhassan denied the statement in a reply tweet to Kayode, saying “it is demeaning on your person to deliberately engage in peddling false”.

Two more Nigerian pilgrims die in Mecca

The Director General of the Sokoto State Pilgrims Welfare Agency (PWA), Alhaji Ibrahim Umar has confirmed the death in Mecca of two pilgrims, a male and female from the state following natural causes.

The deceased pilgrims are Luba Usman and Musa Haruna, from Illela and Gada Local Governments respectively.

Umar is said to have made the disclosure while giving updates on the state’s pilgrims situation Sunday in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.


Umar explained that late Luba Usman was eating her breakfast on Saturday morning when she collapsed and died. Late Musa Haruna who was in the first flight of Gada Local Government, was on the queue on Saturday night for the weighing of his hand luggage.

” The deceased who was also together with his son, just laid down to rest and that was the end of his life”, the DG said.

According to the PWA Boss, the deceased pilgrims had since been buried according to Islamic rites after their funeral prayers were conducted at the Holy Mosque in Mecca.

About 12 pilgrims from various state had already been reported have dies earlier during the hajj.

Meanwhile, the first flight of the state’s pilgrims had arrived Sokoto, with 550 pilgrims from Gada and Sabon-Birni Local Governments.

The second flight is expected to leave the King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah for Sokoto by 11pm on Monday, with 520 pilgrims.

Umar further said that the officials of the agency and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria ( NAHCON), had met with the officials of the airlines.

The DG added that the meeting was to ensure that the airlines adhered strictly to the schedule of fights.

” They have assured us that all Nigerian pilgrims will be transported back to Nigeria before the October 5,2017 deadline given by the Saudi authorities.

” I am assuring all the pilgrims that none of them will be left here and everybody will be transported back to Nigeria in the respective flights they were brought into the Holy land,” Umar, added.
Umar also stated that all the state’s 4852 pilgrims were hale and hearty.

IPOB to boycott Enugu local govt elections

IPOB to boycott Enugu local govt elections

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has announced its intention to boycott the Local Government Area elections taking place in Enugu State in addition to its plan to boycott the Anambra State gubernatorial election on November 18, 2017.

IPOB emphasized that while its focus has thus far been on the Anambra State election, it is equally important to boycott the LGA elections in Enugu State as part of its “No Referendum, No Election” pledge.

The Biafran separatist group also announced plans to start a coordinated grassroots “IPOB Evangelism to Enugu State” campaign while commending its members in Enugu West Senatorial District for their zealous advocacy of the Biafran cause.

IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu announced he would be visiting Enugu State as part of the group’s efforts to dissuade its members from participating in the scheduled election.

“There will be no more elections in Biafraland, whether LGA election or state governorship elections. I want Biafra media outlets to know that judging by IPOB’s resolve that there will be no elections anymore in Biafraland. No election is small or insignificant at the moment so far as it is to be conducted by the Nigerian government’s INEC,” Mr. Kanu said.

He emphasized that boycotting the Enugu State LGA election is just as important as boycotting the Anambra State governorship election, both of which are taking place this coming November.

“If you are a Biafran residing in Enugu State, please boycott the Enugu State LGA election come November 4, 2017, so that the world will know that we are not specifically talking about the Anambra State governorship election but all elections in Biafraland so far as it is conducted by INEC anywhere in Biafraland.

“Don’t participate in the Enugu State LGA election. Stay indoors so that the world will be a witness that Biafrans have in one voice rejected Nigeria and everything in it, including its elections. IPOB has vehemently resolved that there will be no elections in any state of Biafra, be it Abia, Enugu, Bayelsa, Cross River, Anambra, Ebonyi, or Delta.”

In August, the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission billed November 4th, 2017 for local government elections in all the 17 council areas of the state.

 

El-Rufai a stranger to the Buhari project, says ex CPC members

Members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) under the auspices of Southern Mandate of Nigeria at the weekend described Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as a total stranger to the Buhari project.

They said the real problem with the Buhari government was the fact that the President surrounded himself with people who do not share the same vision for Nigeria with him.

The group said if urgent steps are not taken to address the abnormalities affecting the government, there is the possibility that Nigerians will stone the APC and its leaders on the streets during the 2019 campaigns because of the level of poverty and hunger in the land.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Ikonomwan Francis and made available to newsmen in Abuja, the group said the government was not moving forward because President Buhari is a sheep in the midst of wolves and hyenas majorly because he neglected those who sacrificed for him and shared same ideology and vision with him.

He said it was surprising that the same el-Rufai who once said that Gen Muhammadu Buhari was “perpetually unelectable” is the same man now claiming to be a core Buharist when it was the core members of the defunct CPC made him electable?

He said the only way out of the political lacuna is to bring on board his co-vision bearers who encouraged him to come to politics for the betterment of our beloved country Nigeria.

“We are strongly of the opinion that the only way out of this confusion is the outright dissolution of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and appoint 40% of the core members of the defunct CPC into his cabinet. These are men and women who have the strong political will to drive and remedy the system right now.

“A situation where strangers have taken over his administration, those who were not there when we made Buhari’s Presidential Project a political tsunami and Hurricane that produced him as President of Nigeria today is no longer acceptable to us.
The likes of Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-rufai , the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who now parade themselves by claiming that they are more Buharist, are strangers in Buhari Project.”

NLC says power sector funds created billionaires, demands probe

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to do an immediate and comprehensive audit of all monies so far spent in government effort at reviving the power sector in the country since 1999 which it said has failed to yield result, but rather produced several billionaires as a result of diversion of the funds.

In a communique made available to newsmen at the end of its Central Working Committee meeting, the Congress is asking the government to immediately inaugurate the National Minimum Wage negotiating committee in view of the impoverishment of the Nigerian worker.

The communique signed by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Dr, Peter Oyo-Eson also reviewed the continued poor service delivery in the power sector and observed that since the current administration came to power in May 2015, it had given N740 Billion to the power sector as intervention fund without much to show for it. CWC, therefore, cannot comprehend the rationale behind the administration’s preparedness to give a further N39 billion bailout to DISCos for metering purpose.

“There is no guarantee that the DISCOs will not go back cap in hand to government again on the issue of provision of meters as the minister of power recently disclosed that DISCOs need about N220 billion to provide meters to Nigerians.

“Given that one of the conditions precedents for the privatization by the last administration was that the new owners would provide meters for customers within 24 months or so, CWC felt that the defaulting DISCOs ought to face sanctions and not additional bailout.

“CWC, therefore, call for an urgent and proper auditing of the money spent in the effort to revive the power sector since 1999 which rather than transform into increased light provision has produced tens, if not hundreds of billionaires as a result of the diversion of the funds. Nothing illustrates this better than a recent report which showed that in the almost 18 years of the current democratic dispensation, over 11 trillion has been expended from the public treasury to lift the power sector to no avail.

“The meeting called on the federal government to inaugurate the minimum wage committee immediately as the committee ought to have been put in place several months ago.

The CWC also wants the federal government to compel state governors to properly account for the bail-out funds they received from the federal government as well as the two tranches of the Paris Club refund which was supposed to be used for the payment of salaries and pensions, but diverted to other uses.

It also asked the government not to release the third and final tranche of the Paris Club refund to state governors until they make a concrete commitment to use the money to settle outstanding salaries, allowances and pension of workers and retirees in the country.

The Congress regretted that government has not lived up the expectation of Nigerians and are in the habit of reneging on signed agreements with unions, pointing out that the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities was avoidable.

“It reviewed the continuous non-payment of months of outstanding salaries of workers in some states of the federation as well as various arrears of pension which has also run into several months which is the actual situation despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s passion to address this matter since he assumed office by giving bail out to governors to clear this shameful state of affairs with the nation’s workforce.

“The Federal government has further released tranches of Paris Club refund to states government with specific appeals to the and commitment by the governors forum to use the refund for the settlement of arrears of salaries and pension owed by various states to their civil servants and retrirees.

“Despite the President’s laudable intervention notwithstanding, states like Kogi, Benue and Bayelsa are still owing workers 5-10 months in salaries arrear and pension. There are other states like Kaduna and Zamfara that have refused to disclose any information about how it had utilized the bailout and Paris Club refund despite demand from unions and the general public.

“Several efforts by unions and workers in the affected states to know what these state governors are using these funds for have yielded little or no results.”

 

Petroleum ministry officials ‘hid N535m vouchers from audit team’ – Report

 

Thirty-nine payment vouchers of a total amount of N535 million (N535,662,523.40) for both recurrent and capital expenditure were hidden by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and not handed over for audit during a recent audit exercise, a report from the Auditor-General’s office has revealed.

According to Premium Times, the report noted that the payment vouchers, which include N21 million (N21, 583,677) for recurrent expenditure and N514 million (N514,078,646.11) for capital expenditure, “were hidden and not produced for audit examination during the time of audit exercise despite the demand for them.”

The report, signed by the Auditor General, noted further that this may indicate that the expenditures the vouchers represent were illegitimate.

“In view of this, I find it difficult to accept these expenditures as proper and legitimate charges against public funds.

“The payment vouchers should be produced for audit otherwise the total expenditure of N535,662,523.40 (Five hundred and thirty-five million, six hundred and sixty-two thousand, five hundred and twenty-three naira, forty kobo) made should be recovered from the payees,” the report said.

Similarly, between July and December, 2015, the report revealed that the sum of N1 million (N1,093,000.00) was paid to 13 individual accounts and organisations without raising payment vouchers and posting into the Cash book of the same ministry.

This, it explained, is contrary to Financial Regulation 601 which states that “Under no circumstance shall a cheque be raised or cash paid for service for which a voucher has not been raised.”

The Auditor General, therefore, instructed that the N1,093,000.00 be recovered from the signatories to the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS, platform and recovery details furnished for verification.

The report also revealed that 52 advances granted to 46 officers for a total sum of N18 million (N18, 034,200.00) between January and August, 2015, were not retired as at the time of audit in August, 2016.

Four of the officers got more than one advance without retiring the previous one, the report revealed, contrary to the provision of the Financial Regulation 1420 which states that “it is the responsibility of all Accounting Officers to ensure that all advances granted to officers are fully recovered.”

The audit report instructed, however, that the outstanding advances totalling N18 million (N18.034,200.00) should be recovered from the officers immediately while recovery particulars should be forwarded for verification.
Efforts to get the reaction of the NNPC to the report were unsuccessful. Its spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, did not return calls or reply a text message sent to him.

The 2015 audit, the latest by the office of the auditor general, has unearthed several revelations of alleged fraud in government expenditure in 2015.

Premium Times recently reported how according to the audit, payments totalling N11,700, 000 were made by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to enable Minister, Aisha Alhassan, and some other staff members to embark on ‘familiarisation visits’ to unnamed skill acquisition centres in selected states in 2015.

Interestingly, part of the funds was spent on November 11, 2015, the day the minister was officially sworn-in.

The 656-page audit report also revealed how cumulative unremitted revenue from domestic crude oil sales by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, stood at about N3.878 trillion as at December 31, 2015.

The report, which formed part of the submissions in the 2015 Annual Audit Report of the Federal Government Account said the state–owned oil company withheld about N644.377 billion in 2015 alone.
The report also said that at least 44 assorted arms belonging to the Nigerian police could not be accounted for between 2013 and 2015, raising fears the weapons could have ended up in the wrong hands.

Premium Times

McCain says facing ‘very vicious form of cancer’

U.S. Sen. John McCain, who recently returned to Washington after treatment for brain cancer, said on Sunday the disease was vicious but that the treatment was going well and he has more energy than before.

“This is a very vicious form of cancer that I‘m facing,” McCain, a Republican, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2008, told CNN’s “State of the Union” programme.

The 80-year-old Arizona senator was found to have an aggressive form of brain tumour, glioblastoma, after surgery in July for a blood clot above his left eye.

“All the results so far are excellent,” McCain said of his treatment, adding that the prognosis was “pretty good.”

“I‘m facing a challenge, but I’ve faced other challenges, and I’m very confident about getting through this one as well,” the senator said.

“I’ve had no side effects, no nothing except frankly an increased level of energy.”

McCain recently completed his first round of chemotherapy and radiation, and he said that he would have an MRI on Monday, an imaging technique used to evaluate medical conditions.

McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, is also going to oversee work on a defence policy bill on the Senate floor next week.

“Every life has to end one way or another,” he told CNN, adding that he was very happy with his life, including the 2008 campaign that he lost to former President Barack Obama.

“I am able to celebrate a wonderful life and I will be grateful for additional time that I have,” McCain said.

“Remember, I am the guy, who stood fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy.”

McCain was re-elected to a sixth Senate term in November. In the past, he has been treated for melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

He is the son and grandson of Navy admirals, and a U.S. Navy pilot whose plane was shot down over Vietnam in 1967.

He spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and was tortured repeatedly.

McCain said on Sunday he hoped that people would remember him as someone, who had served his country.

“Made a lot of mistakes, made a lot of errors, but served his country, and I hope we could add, honourably.”

Arik Air files N20bn suit against FG, Ethiopian Airlines

Arik Air Limited has filled a N20 billion suit against the Federal Government and Ethiopian Airlines over recent claims in the media that they were negotiating the takeover of the airline.

The suit was instituted by the airline at the Federal High Court, Lagos against Ethiopian Airlines, the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Attorney General of the Federation.

A copy of the suit which was filed on Sept.6 by Arik Air’s counsel, Mr Babajide Koku (SAN), Mr Chukwuemeka Nwigwe and Mrs Ezinne Emedom, was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

In its statement of claim supported by a 20 paragraph affidavit deposed to by Mr Chris Ndulue, a Director with Arik Air, the plaintiff asked the court to restrain the first and second defendants from further negotiations on its takeover.

The plaintiff noted that the Asset Management Company of Nigeria ( AMCON ) had taken over the airline on Feb. 8 which was challenged by its management via two suits already pending before the Federal High Court, Lagos.

According to the plaintiff, the suits numbers are FHC/L/CS/827/17 and FHC/L/CS/826/17, adding that the negotiations by the defendants will render the outcome of the suits nurgatory.

“The plaintiff avers that the agreement of the second defendant with the first defendant will be wide ranging and intricately affect every aspect of the plaintiff herein, including but not limited to the day to day running technical as well as financial management which will affect the plaintiff as being the largest domestic and regional airline in Nigeria.

“The plaintiff further avers that the action taken by the first and second defendants will have a negative effect on the country’s image as the plaintiff being the largest airline will be pawned over to another country for management,” it said.

The plaintiff also averred that the negotiations had caused undue hardship and irreparable damage to the Arik Air brand and ongoing investment discussions as well as unbearable distress to the airline’s shareholders and directors.

It, therefore, asked the court to declare the negotiations null and void because the Ministry of Transportation had no power to transfer the management of the airline to Ethiopian Airlines while the suits over the takeover are pending.

The plaintiff also asked the court for an order directing the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure the investigation of Ethiopian Airlines by the appropriate authorities for inducing and interfering in the administration of justice in the pending suits.

It added that if found culpable, the airline should be charged to court for criminal contempt contrary to Section 133 (4) and (9) of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State, Cap C17,Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2004.

The plaintiff also asked the court for an order compelling the Inspector General of Police to investigate the actions of the second defendant.

It further asked the court for N20 billion being punitive damages against the first defendant for inducing or partaking in the interference of the rights of the plaintiff and the administration of justice.

NAN reports that the suit is yet to be assigned to any judge and no date has been fixed for hearing.

 

I pray Nigeria oil dries up, says el-Rufai

 

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State believes the oil wealth accruing to the country constitutes a major obstacle to Nigeria’s ability to think and innovate its way out of underdevelopment.

He wishes the oil wells and the ‘free money’ there from dry up so that the government and the people can get serious about making the country realize its full potentials.

el-Rufai spoke yesterday in Ibadan at the 2017 Town Hall Meeting/ Founder’s Day Celebration in memory of renowned economist, Professor Ojetunji Aboyade.

He also made a fresh case for state policing, and warned against allowing the federal character policy become an enemy of merit in appointments.

The governor who was the special guest of honour at the event said: “Because Nigeria gets easy money from oil, the nation has lost its thinking initiative on how to develop other sources of revenue and diversify the economy.

“We get easy money, we do not collect taxes and our taxes are six per cent of Gross Domestic Product; that is an average of 21per cent. We stop respecting the intellectuals that we have in our universities because we get easy money.

“This is very sad, I wish the oil will dry up so that we can begin to use our brains because we have stopped using our brains and we have stopped respecting intellects because of easy money.

On policing, he said: “It is obvious that Nigeria is severely under-policed, and will require more personnel, intelligence assets, better training, technology and equipment for its security agencies for the country to be a credible guarantor of security.

“Even if these were to be available, it is also debatable whether a single centralised policing system, structure and staffing for 200 million citizens is viable in a diverse, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria.”

He also addressed the issue of federal character, saying: “To complement the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, we must have discourse around the imperative of a project dedicated to enabling equal opportunity so that the circumstances of a citizen’s birth don’t prescribe his or her ceiling in life.

“How can we promote a national subscription to meritocracy? How can we ensure that the imperative of reflecting federal character does not become the enemy of merit and quality of appointments? Today, we don’t plan. We don’t have national plan and if we don’t plan, we are planning to fail.

“Having suffered brain drain, how do we attract back our Diaspora and the brain-gain associated with it like the Chinese and Indians have witnessed? These are the questions a distributive mentality around easy oil revenues is dodging.

“The earlier the oil dries up the better for our national ability to think, be innovative and respect intellect and academic achievement.

el-Rufai spoke on “Public Policy research should promote national consensus.”

In his presentation, the lead speaker, Professor Sam Olofin, explained that indeed the country is technically out of recession but that it requires sustained efforts for an economy to be progressive.

He noted that many Nigerians are confusing the country’s underdevelopment with recession adding that with the reversal of the growing negative rate of the economy, the country is technically out of recession but that the positive growth must also be sustained and continuous so that it would rub on the overall economy.

He stressed that if Nigeria doesn’t diversify its dependence on oil early enough, the country will remain an underdeveloped economy for a long time.

Chairman of the occasion, Professor Oladipupo Akinkugbe, said Nigeria keeps chasing potential but that the country will have to get there fast and as early as possible.

He lamented that many of the excellent ideas churned out by many research institutes are often allowed to gather dust. He said that if some of the ideas and recommendations made by many researchers over the years had been implemented, the country would not be where it is today.

The event which had the theme “Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria,” was organised by the Development Policy Centre, Ibadan.

 

FRSC confirms 19 dead in Kano accident

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says 19 persons have died in a ghastly motor accident along Kano – Katsina Road.

The Public Relations Officer of the FRSC Sector Command in the state, Mr Kabir Ibrahim-Daura, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Saturday.

Kabir-Daura said that the incident occurred near Lambun Garban Bichi, on the outskirts of Bichi town, around 8:30 a.m. on Friday.

According to him, the incident happened when a Peugeot J5 bus and a Toyota C20 bus had a head-on collision when one of the drivers of the vehicles wanted to overtake the other vehicle at a sharp bend corner.

 

He said the two vehicles bust into flames as a result of which 18 out of the 34 passengers in the vehicles were burnt to ashes.

“There were 34 passengers on board the two vehicles, so 18 were burnt to ashes, while the other one died later in the hospital, “he said.

Kabir-Daura said the remaining 15 persons who sustained various injuries were taken to Bichi General Hospital by the Corps’ personnel for treatment.

He attributed the accident to wrong overtaking and speeding, and urged drivers to always obey traffic rules and regulations to avoid road accident on the Highways. (NAN)

Togo must introduce two-term limit swiftly to prevent crisis-UN

Togo must go the way of other West African nations and swiftly limit presidential terms to two if it wants to prevent protests escalating into a political crisis, the United Nations envoy to the region said on Saturday.

 

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the past three days to demand that President Faure Gnassingbe step aside, in the most serious challenge to his family’s 50-year ruling dynasty since the death of his father in 2005.

 

Police have responded with tear gas, although avoiding the bloodshed that has tarnished previous demonstrations, and internet and phone calls have been restricted.

 

There were no further reports of protests on Saturday, and they seemed to have died down, but the opposition said they would continue until Gnassingbe steps aside.

 

“It has become unavoidable for Togo to join the rest of West Africa in having term limitations,” U.N. Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel Mohamed Ibn Chambas told Reuters in a telephone interview.

 

Since Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh was forced out after losing an election last December, all West African countries except Togo have accepted two-term limits on presidential office — bucking a regressive trend across Africa to remove them and re-enable “presidents for life”.

 

“Our main perspective is to advise the Togolese to take those actions to prevent an escalation,” he added. “We are in a region where the security challenges are real and menacing and so we don’t want to see any deep political crisis.”

 

He said a move by Gnassingbe’s government this week to propose a draft bill to reform the constitution and reintroduce a two-term limit was welcome. The opposition has rejected it because it says it would enable him to stay in power until 2030.

 

“I suspect the devil is in the detail. We have to wait to see the formulation of the draft,” Chambas said.

 

An official in Gnassingbe’s cabinet did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Chambas said he had received assurances during his meeting with the president on Friday that he had “heard the people”.

 

The president’s father Gnassingbe Eyadema seized power in a 1967 coup and ruled for 38 years before his death. He brought in a two-term limit in 1992, in response to protests, then scrapped it a decade later when he decided he wanted to run again.

 

When he died in 2005, the military installed his son instead of the national assembly head, as was constitutionally mandated, stoking protests in which at least 500 people were killed.

 

Faure Gnassingbe has since sought to remodel Togo as a shipping, banking and airline hub modelled on Dubai or Singapore, with some limited success in port upgrades, regional airline operator Asky and pan-African bank Ecobank.

 

Chambas urged the government to move swiftly with changes.

 

“My biggest fear for it to go to the national assembly and there be a total blockage. I hope there will be a clear time line…not a perception that this is a delaying tactic,” he said. “That will go a long way towards building confidence.”

Reuters

Only ill- health will stop Buhari in 2019 – Amosun

 

The number of governors rooting for President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 general election increased on Saturday with Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, saying only ill- health will stop the President from seeking re-election in two years time.

The governor stated this in Abeokuta shortly after attending a book launch put together to mark the one year anniversary of the death of renowned educationist, Chief Lamidi Sofenwa.

The book titled: “Lamidi Ayinla Sofenwa: Quintessential Gentleman and Educationist: A Biography” was written by Olasumbo Martins; ‘Dele Sogbesan and ‘Biodun Odetoyin.

It was reviewed by Dr. Taofiq Salisu.

Amosun said considering the huge debt the country was plunged into before Buhari’s administration came on board, Nigerians should know that a lot work has been done to put Nigeria back on track.

He said: “If President Buhari and his administration had not come in time with rescue mission, only God knows where Nigeria would have been today.

“On this 2019 for me, the only thing that can probably prevent Mr. President from contesting is ill -health because if not for this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari only God knows where Nigeria would have been today.

“As humans, we quickly forget things. If we could be fair to this administration, they came in at a time the country was plunged into a very deep end and imagine where the country is today. We were in recession and now we are out of it and it not easy to get to this point.

“Again, I am saying it, the only thing that can stop Mr. President is ill- health. But as we can see today, Mr. President is back, rejuvenating and very soon, it would be clear for everybody to see that Mr. President is so well now.

“Meanwhile, nobody will take the fact that from the three cardinal points he set for himself, this administration has been doing tremendously well in the area of security. We all know that nothing good can happen in any country without adequate security.

“Yes, some people are saying Boko haram has not yet been conquered but if you look at America and put into consideration how many years it took them to win the war against Osama Bin Laden among others you will know that this administration should be applauded as far as security is concerned.

“The same thing in our economy. Just look at our agriculture for instance, it has never been this good. At least I am a governor and this is my seventh year. This is the first time that Nigeria is truly diversifying.”

Terrorists planned to bomb Abuja, six other states – DSS

 

The Department of State Services on Saturday revealed how suspected terrorists planned to unleash terror on selected six  states and the Federal Capital Territory during the just concluded Eid- Kabir celebration.

 

It said that the sinister plan  was spearheaded  by Islamic State of West Africa terrorists whose aim it said, was to cause mayhem and destruction that would have disrupted the Eid-Kabir festivities held between Sept. 1 and Sept. 4.

 

It added that the plan was to conduct gun attacks and suicide bombings on selected targets in the Federal Capital Territory, Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Bauchi, Yobe and Borno States.

 

Spokesperson for the DSS, Mr. Tony Opuiyo,  who made the revelation in a statement, named Husseini Mai-Tangaran, who was described as a well known senior ISWA commander, as the mastermind of the plan.

 

He said that the suspect had been on the Service and Nigeria Army radar since 2012, when he allegedly spearheaded the armed attacks on the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone I, on January 20, 2012, as well as other public places in Kano.

 

He was also said to be responsible for the deadly explosive attacks against worshippers at the Kano Central Mosque as well as an attack on a military formation in Yobe State in 2015, which claimed many  of lives.

 

Opuiyo said that the suspect was arrested in Kano on August 31, and that further exploitation led to the arrest of one Abdulkadir Mohammed by the Service on September 2, at Kantin Kwari Market, Fagge, Kano.

 

Opuiyo said, “Mohammed was a fighter of the sect who left the conclave of the group in the Sambisa forest, to join ranks with Ismaila towards carrying out the attacks being planned by the group.

 

“Also, another accomplice in the plot, one Muhammad Ali was arrested on September 3, at Sheka area in Kumbotso area of the state.

 

“Prior to his arrest, Ali  was the financial courier of the group in Kano. He was one of the conduits through which funds and other material logistics were channeled to the group from foreign extremist elements/sponsors.

 

“Like Abdulkadir Mohammed, Ali was involved in the plot to perpetrate the planned attacks in Kano and other states in the North during the just concluded Eid-Kabir celebration.”

 

Serial killer who murdered ‘countless’ security personnel killed in Kogi

 

A notorious serial killer, Lukman Issah, aka Commander, has been killed by the Kogi state police command.

 

Lukman, according to the police, had killed six policemen and 19 Christian worshippers before he met his waterloo in an operation led by the special anti-robbery Squad (SARS).

 

A statement by the command’s spokesman, William Aya, said Lukman “was a vicious bloodletting, serial killer and arsonist.

 

“In the past years, he held forth in the crime world, leaving many deaths, robberies and arson on his trail.

 

“Countless number of uniformed personnel including policemen, soldiers and even prison officers posted to the state as well as other innocent Nigerians met their untimely death as they were murdered in cold blood by Lukman and his gang.”

 

According to the police, Lukman, who hails from Emani Clan of Obeiba-Ihima area of Okehi local government area, “enjoyed a long reign from 2001 to Sept. 3, 2017 before it was cut short”.

 

Crimes committed by Lukman and his gang include the killing of two police officers on stop-and-search operation on Ogori/Magongo-Okene Road on May 15 this year.

 

“During the attack, the leader of the Police team ASP Adetoye Okuntade of Ogori/Magongo Division and Inspr. Ochekpo Amanyi of 37 Police Mobile Force Squadron were shot dead while the patrol vehicle used by the team was set ablaze,” Aya said.

 

“Two AK 47 riffles in custody of the two deceased officers were taken away with a total 60 rounds of ammunition.

 

“His gang also attacked men of 37 Police Mobile Force on special duty at Adogo in Ajaokuta Local Government Area and killed four of them — Insp. Maxwell Dan-Zaria , Sgt. Moses Usman, Cpl. Sunday Ogbole and Constable Bulus Linka.

 

“They were the brain behind the Aug. 6, 2012 bloody gun attack on worshippers at a branch of Deeper Life Bible Church, Otite near Federal College of Education, Okene, where 19 worshippers were shot dead while several others sustained varying degrees of injuries.

 

“Lukman was also a terror to his Ihima community as he shot dead one of the traditional rulers, the Ohireba of Ihima in February 2012.

 

“The Ohireba of Ihima was relaxing in the front of his house in the evening when he was shot dead. The killing was linked to the stoppage of Okiri masquerade outing during the fuel subsidy crisis.”

 

He said before Lukman succumbed, he resisted arrest, while his gang engaged the police in a gun battle with the operational vehicle riddled with bullets.

 

“The police purposely did not want him dead as his death has denied the Force of valuable information on his exploits and accomplices over the years as well as the recovered weapons in his possession.

 

“He was even taken to the hospital after the encounter, but unfortunately, he did not make it.”

2019: ‎Osinbajo disowns group asking him to run for president

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday issued a disclaimer on a political group that is pushing for him to run in the 2019 presidential election.

The group, which remains largely faceless, said it launched a website to create awareness for the vice president because “he is the right ruler for Nigeria.”

It listed its operational base as Belfast, Northern Ireland, with an obviously fictitious phone number.

Yet the group did not claim any links to Mr. Osinbajo. In fact, it put up a screaming disclaimer on its page that its activities were unconnected to the VP.

“Note that Osinbajo did not endorse this volunteer group. We have never met him. We are strong believers in the fact that he is the right ruler for Nigeria and must create a peoples volunteer base for him,” the group stated on its website

Notwithstanding, Mr. Osinbajo issued a short statement through his spokesperson on Saturday, urging Nigerians to disregard the activities of the faceless individuals.

“Please disregard this website created by faceless people for mischievous purposes. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Vice President,” the VP’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, wrote on Twitter.