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DSS rearrests Sowore in court

The Department of State services (DSS) has rearrested Omoyele Sowore at the federal high court in Abuja.

On Thursday, the court ordered the DSS to release Sowore within 24 hours. He was later released in the evening of the same day.

But on Friday, DSS agents pulled their guns in a show of force causing confusion in the court premises and arrested the activist.

Staff of the court took to their heels, and the judge was reportedly chased out of the court.

The secret police had kept Sowore in custody against court orders for his release before this recent arrest.

The current arrest is against a subsisting order.

Sowore is facing charges of treasonable felony and cyber-stalking brought against him the government.

He was arrested on August 3 ahead of a protest he was promoting.

BREAKING: DSS releases Sowore

The Department of State Services has released rights activist and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 general elections, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.

His co-detainee, Adebayo Bakare, was also freed.

They were freed hours after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja had given the DSS 24-hour ultimatum to release the two men.

Their lead defence counsel, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), confirmed this development to our Correspondent on Thursday.

He said they were released about 7pm on Thursday.

“They were released about 30 minutes ago. They were released to one of our lawyers,” he said.

He also told our Correspondent that the agency had paid the sum of N100,000 awarded against it by Justice Ojukwu for making the court to adjourn till Friday for frivolous reasons on Thursday.

The two men, who are now being prosecuted by the Federal Government on charges of treasonable felony, were arrested in August over their call for ‘Revolution’ protest against what they described as “bad governance.”

But the had DSS continued to hold them in custody despite separate court orders ordering their release.

It came to a head on Thursday when the judge, who frowned at the conduct of the DSS, issued a fresh order directing the agency to release them within 24 hours.

Earlier in the day, a group of half-naked women from Sowore’s birthplace in Kiribo, Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, had stormed the Federal High Court, Abuja, to protest the continued illegal detention of their son by the DSS.

Most of the women, numbering about 30, were decked in white wrappers and bra, but with no clothes covering the rest of the upper parts of their bodies.

NASS makes history, passes N10.59trn budget for 2020 in record time

The Senate on Thursday made history with the passage of N10.59 trillion budget for the year 2020 in keeping with its major legislative agenda of returning the country’s budget cycle to a more predictable one as well as stabilizing the economy.

The passage of the annual 2020 budget before the end of the 2019 fiscal year by the upper chamber signals the country’s return to a January – December budget cycle after decades of its disruption.

The 2020 Appropriation Bill was passed into law after a clause by clause consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

The Senate specifically approved N10,594,362,364,830 (Ten trillion, Five hundred and Ninety-Four Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty Naira) for the 2020 fiscal year.

The breakdown shows that N560,470,827,235 is for statutory transfers, N2,725,498,930,000 for Debt Service; N4,842,974,600,640 for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure; and N2,465,418,006,955 for Contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on December 31, 2020.

The budget has a Fiscal deficit of N2.2 trillion and Deficit/Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1.52 percent.

The budget is predicated on Crude Oil production of 2.18mbpd, just as proposed by the Executive; Oil Price benchmark of 57 dollar per barrel as against US$55 proposed by the Executive, Exchange Rate of N305 to US$1; Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Inflation Rate of 2.93 percent and 10.81 percent respectively.

Capital Expenditure for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs) for the 2020 fiscal year are: Ministry of Defence N116,181,290,730; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, N7,608,141,474; Ministry of Information and Culture, N7,555,803,233; Ministry of Interior, N34,035,825,302; Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, N1,722,796,040; Ministry of Police Affairs, N15,959,986,864; Ministry of Communication Technology, N5,919,002,554; and Office of the National Security Adviser, N27,418,469,323.

Others are: Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, N25,188,940,930; Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, N2,158,620,395; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, N124,395,096,917; Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, N4,976,199,925; Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, N38,583,331,761; Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, N24,445,756,678; Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, N62,882,531,566; Federal Ministry of Transport, N121,366,932,571; and Federal Ministry of Aviation, N52,061,533,122.

Also, for the 2020 fiscal year, the Ministry of Power has an allocation of N129,082,499,363; Ministry of Petroleum Resources, N3,337,444,887; Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, N10,431,563,177; Ministry of Works and Housing, N315,563,564,269; Ministry of Water Resources, N91,679,927,042; Ministry of Justice, N3,853,600,220; Federal Capital Territory Administration, N62,407,154,360; and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, N23,120,350,399.

Others include: Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, N3,735,486,210; Military of Women Affairs, N6,650,300,966; Federal Ministry of Education, N84,728,529,572; Ministry of Health, N59,909,430,837; Federal Ministry of Environment, N12,350,140,731; and Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, N61,085,146,003.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his concluding remarks after the 2020 budget was passed, said, “when we came in, all of us approved our legislative agenda, and one of the key pillars of this agenda is to take back our budget cycle from the very undesirable cycle that can not be defined to something that can be defined and bought into by our country and business partners living in and outside the country.

“Today, we have been able to achieve this. It means where there is will, there is always a way. This is something that we have been able to achieve together with the House of Representatives.

“I must give members of the Ninth National Assembly the credit, because we thought it was going to be impossible.

“Let me also commend the buying-in of the executive arm of government. When we continued to preach that we have to receive the 2020 budget estimates before the end of September, it was not easy for the executive.

“I know they (Executive) worked day and night. So it was presented to us on the 8th of October. We have been able to work harmoniously. There is no way we can achieve this without all of us working together.

“I want to commend our colleagues from the opposition. This Senate from the beginning, we said, will be bi-partisan. You have given us all the support that we require, and indeed, this is the way it should be”, Lawan added.

The Senate President also noted that with the recent passage of landmark legislations such as the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Act, Finance Bills and Public Procurement Bills by the National Assembly, the Executive arm of government is sufficiently empowered to ensure the successful implementation of the 2020 budget.

 

JUST IN: Ex-Presidential aide to Obasanjo, Titilayo Ajanaku is dead

 

Former Presidential Adviser on Women Affairs to former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Dame Titilayo Ajanaku died at 73.

Details about her death were still sketchy at the time of filing this report, but Tribune Online gathered that the political amazon succumbed to death having battled with cancer

The late Ajanaku was until her death the Otun Iyalode of Egbaland.
The deceased a trained nurse, politician, administrator and women leader was born on 25th January 1946 at Àgọ́-Òdo Quarters Abeokuta, Ogun State.

She attended Nawair-Ud-Deen Secondary School, Abeokuta, She Trained in Nursing at Stobhill General Hospital, Nether-Edge City General Hospital, Sheffield, UK, 1964 – 1965.

She was Staff/Midwife, General Hospital, Surrey England, 1966. Domiciliary Midwife in London Borough of Croydon, 1967. Staff Midwife at University College Hospital, London, 1968-1969.

She was Midwife Sister at Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa, Nigeria, University of Ife Teaching Hospital Complex (now Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital), Wesley Guild Hospital Branch. She was Member of the National Association of Nurses and Midwives of Nigeria.

Chief (Mrs) Ajanaku was known as a foremost political activist and first came into the national limelight when she emerged against all odds as Chairman (old) Abeokuta Local Government, Ogun State, under the zero-party arrangement. She defeated about 10 men lined up as candidates at that election. Indeed she was the first woman elected as Local Government Chairman in Nigeria.

She was also in the vanguard of G-34 which metamorphosed into Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which was later hijacked by the military politicians and aristocrats. She was also one of the top politicians arrested and arraigned before the Patrick Aziza chaired 1995 Abacha phantom coup.

She was Matron, Nigerian Youth Organisation, Ladies Club of Nigeria, Abeokuta Central Lions Club, Current Affairs Association of Nigeria.

Ajanaku also held the traditional titles of Iyalode-Oba of Igbesa; Iya-Oge of Ogbere, Ijebu-East; Iyalode Oke-Ona, Egba (2001), Otun-Iyalode of Egbaland

Don’t handcuff me in public, Kalu begs prison warders

 

Former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud, has suggested that he has a role to play in the national politics of 2023.

Kalu, who is the Senate’s Chief Whip smiled at reporters and said, ‘2023, here we come’ as he was led out of the courtroom by Correctional Services officials after his sentencing.

He was also seen asking prison warders, “where are you taking us to?”.Kalu then begged the prison warders not to handcuff him in public.

The former governor, who appeared shaken, said, “Where are you taking us to now? Please don’t handcuff me. I will follow you.”

Two unidentified women were also seen weeping as Kalu was being led away.

A short while earlier, Kalu wiped tears from his eyes with a white handkerchief as Justice Mohammed Idris began reading an abridged version of the 228-page judgment.

Kalu’s associate, Udeogu, was sentenced to 10 years in prison while the company which was used in perpetrating the fraud, Slok Limited, was ordered to be wound up by Justice Idris Mohammed.

The case began in 2007, 12 years ago, when they were first arraigned for the offences, but before a different judge.

In an amended 39 counts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) proved that they conspired and divert N7.65bn from the coffers of the Abia State.

IPPIS: ASUU members sneak to register as enrolment hits 937,000

There are indications that some members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities are enrolling for the Integrated Personnel Payroll Integrated System (IPPIS) contrary to the directive of the  union.

Investigations by The Punch on Wednesday revealed that institutions where lecturers were registering for the IPPIS included  the  University of Calabar and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

ASUU had last month opposed the IPPIS despite the Federal Government’s directive that any worker that failed to register for it would not be paid his December salary.

The union directed its members not to enrol for the IPPIS, which the Federal Government said was aimed at fighting corruption through payment of  salaries to each  employee’s  bank account.

But ASUU wondered why the   Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and a few other agencies were  not on the IPPIS.

But on Wednesday, the Federal Government said the agencies were not on the platform because they were revenue generating entities. It said 937,000 workers had registered for the IPPIS.

The IPPIS registration started in universities on November 25 and ends on December 7.

UNN staff register

At the UNN, it was observed that workers were registering for the IPPIS, despite ASUU’s opposition.

It was reliably gathered that  some ASUU members had joined non-academic staff unions in the enrolment on both the Enugu and Nsukka campuses.

A worker of the university, who didn’t want his name mentioned, told one of our correspondents that members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities , Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities  and the National Association of Academic Technologists  were the first to  come out for enrolment before ASUU members started joining them.

Some UNICAL lecturers register

Also at UNICAL, it was gathered that some ASUU members had been sneaking to the IPPIS registration area to enrol for the scheme.

A source  said, “The exercise has been highly successful. Many lecturers have been sneaking into the venue to register.”

When the Chairman of ASUU in UNICAL, Dr John Edor, was contacted, he said there were only few isolated cases.

He said, “They are not sneaking. No ASUU member is sneaking. If the people are sneaking, I am not a witch to discover that. But I tell you on good authority that we have very high level compliance (boycott). What you may find is a situation like Faculty of Agriculture where we have about 140 lecturers and only two lecturers defaulted. You have those isolated instances. On a general note, we are coasting away with about 98 per cent victory.”

Confusion in UNIPORT, security guards disrupt ASUU meeting

There  was confusion at the Delta Park axis of the University of Port Harcourt on Wednesday as ASUU members were stopped from holding their congress inside their secretariat.

The meeting, which was slated for 2pm (Wednesday) could not hold as the ASUU, UNIPORT branch secretariat was barricaded by some uniformed men suspected to be the institution’s security guards.

The blocking of the entrance to the ASUU secretariat, it was learnt, forced over 150 members of ASUU, who came for the aborted meeting and other persons, who came to witness the situation, to be trapped on the road along the Delta Park section of the institution.

The situation had halted vehicular movement temporarily as motorists had to come out of their vehicles to find out why the road was blocked.

One of ASUU members, Dr. Sunday Edum, and a member of the National Youth Service Corps were said to have been arrested by security guards of the university and taken to Choba Divisional Police Station.

Both the lecturer and NYSC member were later released after several hours at the police station.

Recall that the UNIPORT authorities and the branch of ASUU had been at daggers drawn over the sack of a lecturer, Prof. Frank Uguimoh, just as a press conference organised by the union was disrupted last week Wednesday by a group of students.

A statement signed by ASUU, UNIPORT Branch Chairman, Dr. Austen Sado, the Secretary, Dr. O.F. Ndioho, and obtained by our correspondent, claimed that the disruption of the union’s congress was masterminded by the university administration.

Reacting, UNIPORT spokesman, Dr William Wodi, dismissed the claim that there was terror on campus, adding that if there was any form of lawlessness, it was instigated by ASUU.

Wodi told our correspondent that the secretariat was locked up because both ASUU and a breakaway group from the union known as Congress of University Academics planned to hold meetings at the secretariat on the same day, adding that the vice chancellor was preventing a breakdown of law and order at the ASUU secretariat.

UNIPORT said that IPPIS officials in the university would end the registration of its staff on December 7, 2019.

The Chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU, Prof. Deji Omole, in a statement on Wednesday in Ibadan, stated that it was unfortunate that vice chancellors had become errand boys of the AGF.

Omole maintained that the union had made useful suggestions to the Federal Government but stated that Nigerian intellectuals would not be turned to errand boys.

The Punch

JUST IN: Court sentences Orji Kalu to 12 years in prison

A former governor of Abia State, now Senate Chief Whip, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, has been sentenced  to 12 year in jail after he was found guilty of N7.65bn fraud.

The 12 year sentence is the longest relating to the 39 counts for which the defendants were convicted the lowest sentence being three years.

Mr Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Ltd was ordered to be forfeited to the federal government.

The court found the second convict, his former commissioner of Finance Jonnes Udeogo guilty of 34 counts.

Kalu was re-arraigned in July last year on a 39-count amended charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The convicts were first arraigned in 2007 before Justice Adamu Bello but several adjournments and transfer of judges stalled the trial.

The court initially fixed December 2 to deliver judgment but announced last Friday that the judgment would be delivered on December 5.

It was learned that the reason for the rescheduling was due to the judge’s participation in election petition tribunal matters.

In 2018, the EFCC closed its case after calling 19 witnesses.

In their defence, Kalu and his co-defendants filed a no-case submission before the court.

Before he could hear and rule on the no-case submission, the presiding judge, JusticeMohammed Idris, was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

The judge, however, received a fiat from the appeal court president, Zainab Bulkachuwa, to return to the high court and conclude the case.

Rather than proceed to open their defence, Kalu sought a six-week adjournment to enable him to embark on a trip to Germany to have surgery for an undisclosed ailment.

The defendants later challenged the judge’s jurisdiction to hear the case, arguing that he was no longer a judge of the high court.

They also filed an application for a stay of proceedings pending the outcome of their appeals.

Justice Idris dismissed both applications.

When Kalu did not present himself for trial, the judge revoked his bail and ordered him to submit himself to the EFCC within 24 hours of his return to the country.

Kalu, however, failed to heed the judge’s directive and began campaigning for his senatorial election.

In April this year, the Court of Appeal in Lagos upheld the high court’s decision against Kalu.

Kalu was a governor under the Peoples Democratic Party but defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress where he contested and won a senatorial seat.

Lawan urges military chiefs to repel bandits…swears in Adeyemi

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has called on the Service Chiefs and security agencies in the country to immediately swing into action by repelling the attacks and assaults by armed bandits on Nigerians across some states in the north.

Lawan made the call on Wednesday after consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East).

He said, “The motion we have just taken is a very serious one and I would urge the security agencies to act as quickly and expeditiously as possible to repel the attacks and assaults by the bandits.

“The essence of any government is the protection of lives and properties, and this is what we have to do for our citizens as an administration and as a government.

“We hope that this situation will be brought to an end and we will do everything possible, working with the executive to ensure that we secure the lives of our citizens and their properties.”

Earlier, Senator Sani Musa, in his motion, said confirmed reports from Madaka ward, Burwaye, Tagina, Gaude, Ungwar Sarki Noma, Gyaramiya, Maganda, Samunaka, Kurmi villages of Alawa, all in Rafi and Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, have been under attack.

According to the lawmaker, “many people have been killed and abducted including the District Head of Madaka.”

He bemoaned that “these attacks continued without any presence of Security Personnel in the Communities leaving them in the hands of the bandits.”

He added that, “the current criminal wreckage among other havoc on fire Victims, set many homes on fire and carted away many cattle and other valuable assets worth millions of naira.”

The Senate, accordingly, urged the Service Chiefs and other Security Agencies to deploy immediately troops and materials to tackle the menace and to change the Security architecture of the area to forestall and bring back peace

and order.

The upper chamber also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to the affected areas in view of the harsh harmattan weather experience across Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday swore in Smart Adeyemi as a Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

The lawmaker was sworn-in immediately after the adoption of the votes and proceedings for Tuesday, December 3, 2019, moved by Jibrin Isah (APC, Kogi East) and seconded by Obinna Ogba (PDP, Ebonyi Central).

The oath was administered by the Clerk of Senate, Nelson Ayewoh.

Adeyemi was early this week declared winner of the Kogi West Senatorial election, having defeated Senator Dino Melaye after the court annulled an earlier victory awarded Melaye.

Melaye and Adeyemi had contested the November 16 Senatorial rerun election in the state to represent the people of Kogi West Senatorial district but the election was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

According to the results from the concluded elections last Saturday, Adeyemi polled 88,373 votes while Melaye recorded 62,133 votes, and was accordingly declared the winner by the Returning Officer, Olajide Lawal.

 

EFCC arraigns Aisha Wakil, ‘Mama Boko Haram’, over ‘N66m fraud’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned Aisha Wakil better known as ‘Mama Boko Haram’ over an alleged N66 million fraud.

Wakil was arraigned alongside one Tahiru Daura before Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno state high court, Maiduguri, on a three-count charge of conspiracy and cheating.

This followed a petition filed by one Ali Tijjani, managing director of AMTMAT Global Ventures, against Complete Care and Aids Foundation, a non-governmental organisation run by the defendants.

Tijanni, in his petition, alleged that on September 7, 2018, Complete Care and Aids Foundation awarded his company a contract to supply processed maize grain worth N15 million.

According to him, Wakil, the second defendant, received the product on behalf of Complete Care and Aid Foundation upon delivery but allegedly failed to make payment for it.

He also said his company, upon the request of the defendants, processed and funded their trip to Morocco to the tune of N51 million, but that they refused to make payment for it as well.

“That you Tahiru Saidu Daura, while being a programme manager of Complete Care and Aid Foundation, and Aisha Wakil, being the CEO of Complete Care and Aid Foundation on the 7th September, 2018, in Maiduguri within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, dishonestly induce Ali Tijjani, the CEO and alter ego of AMTMAT Global Ventures to deliver to you, processed maize grains (biski), valued at N15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million Naira) which you are yet to pay and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(a) and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Cap 102 Laws of Borno State,” count two of the charge reads.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Fatsuma Muhammad, the prosecutor, applied for a trial date and asked that the defendants be remanded in the custody of a correctional centre pending the determination of the case.

But H Waziri and BG Zanna, counsel for the defendants, made oral bail applications, on the grounds of the administrative bail earlier granted to them by the EFCC.

Kumaliya granted Wakil and Daura bail in the sum of N30 million with two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties, she said, must be someone at the level of a permanent secretary in the civil service, who owns a landed property in Maiduguri GRA, and must submit the title document of the asset to the registry of the court.

The judge said the bail will be revoked if the defendants fail to attend trial.

She subsequently adjourned the matter until January 13 for commencement of trial.

Three injured, cars damaged as gas cylinder explodes in Lagos hotel

Three persons were injured and many cars were damaged after a gas cylinder exploded at Four Points by Sheraton Hotels, Oniru, Lagos state.

The incident happened around 12:35pm on Wednesday.

In a statement, Nosa Okunbor, public affairs officer, Lagos State Emergency Management (LASEMA), said an investigation revealed that the incident was due to a hose leakage in one of the gas cylinders.

He said investigation is still in progress, and that the injured have been taken to hospital for treatment.

“On getting to the scene of the incident, a gas cylinder was said to have exploded within the vicinity of the hotel. Further investigations revealed that the gas cylinder used by welders working in the yard of the hotel premises exploded due to a leakage of one of the gas cylinder hose,” he said.

An injured person being wheeled to LASEMA ambulance

“A total of three people sustained severe injuries as a result of the blast and two has been rushed to Lagos Island General hospital for intensive care by LASEMA ambulance unit while one was rushed to a nearby private hospital.”

Okunbor said cars and room windows in the hotel were shattered in the explosion.

An affected vehicle

A LASEMA official inspects affected vehicles at FourPoints by Sheraton

He said recovery operation is ongoing to restore normalcy in the hotel.

“Several cars and hotel room windows were shattered as a result of items flying objects due to the blast. The situation is under control as a combined efforts of the LASEMA response unit, Nigeria. Police alongside Staff of the hotel are on ground to ensure a swift recovery. Recovery operation ongoing,” he said.

 

NSA: If we don’t end Almajiri now, it will come back to bite us

Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser (NSA), says the government cannot afford to keep extending the phasing out of the Almajiri system of education in Nigeria.

Speaking at the launch of the revised national security strategy for 2019 on Wednesday, Monguno said if the system is allowed to persist, “it will come back to bite us big time”.

The national security strategy was launched in 2014 and it is reviewed every five years.

In June, Monguno said the federal government was considering proscribing the system to ensure that no child is deprived of basic education.

“The issue of illiteracy is directly linked to the issue of children not going to school, this Almajiri phenomenon which we have been talking about, we cannot continue to push it under the carpet because what? Eventually, it will come back to bite us in the butt big time, we need to deal with this issue and it is the responsibility of all of us to try and take care of this issue without any inhibition,” the NSA said.

He also said insecurity in the country is tied to international influence, adding that both internal and external factors have combined to result in “a complex constellation of threat and risk to all of us”.

He said the revised strategy is designed to tackle the root causes of insecurity, education and healthcare challenges.

“The issue of insurgency in the northeast is directly linked to the issue of terrorism in the Sahel which is an increasingly volatile neighbourhood and the situation is also derived from what is happening in Libya which in turn is affected by the lack of security Syria which derived its own situation ultimately from Iraq,” he said.

“Now when we look at the issue of farmers and pastoralists perpetual conflict, it is also linked to the influx of armed groups and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons across porous borders. In our own case, we are talking of some 4,040 kilometers of land borders. Again, when you look at the upsurge in armed banditry, it is part of the sphere of transnational organised crime which is affecting us. And looking at the Niger delta situation, basically, the activities of criminal gangs in the Niger Delta are equally linked to pipeline vandalism, oil theft, piracy and sea robbery in the Gulf of Guinea.

“Now, what the strategy does is to look at our national security objectives and align these objectives with this administration’s goals in fighting corruption, giving access to improved education, taking care of the healthcare problems as well as increased productivity in the agriculture sector. But rooted in the strategy are issues that may not be visible to the necked eyes, but issues that have tended to be malignant to cause a lot of greater problems to this society.

“Fundamentally, if we are going to take care of these problems, we need to try and safeguard the fast-growing young population of Nigeria and guess what? We need to look at issues of poverty eradication and illiteracy. I will tell you one thing. The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in its pursuit for greater and enhanced security will not allow itself to be blackmailed or handcuffed by the disarming philosophy of compliance with certain aspects that are socio-cultural in nature which people tend to be adverse to dealing. We must grab the bull by the horn and deal with these issues.”

Speaking further on the revised strategy, Monguno said a committee of experts was constituted and tasked with the duty of revising the 2014 edition so as to tackle evolving trends of security threats.

According to him, the revised strategy places emphasis on human security as against the existing “state-centric orientation”.

“It addresses the current threats faced by the Nigerian nation as well as those threats that are anticipated to emerge in the near future. We have also proffered appropriate strategy to address these threats which demand a whole of government approach in combination with a whole of nation to achieve a whole of societal approach in dealing with these challenges,” he said.

“The core philosophy of this strategy is human security. This is a shift from the state-centric orientation we have been used to, to a new paradigm in which the safety and wellbeing of the individual citizens are the primary bases for all national security measures. And this is what I call the Muhammadu Buhari approach to National Security.”

 

FG files N135bn fraud charge against Ifeanyi Ubah

The Federal Government will arraign Ifeanyi Ubah, senator, representing Anambra south, over alleged false claims and an indebtedness of N135 billion to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.

His arraignment, which was scheduled for Wednesday at a federal high court in Lagos, was adjourned till February 2020 owing to the absence of the senator.

When the case came up, Olisa Agbakoba, counsel to Ubah, informed the court that his client has not been served with the charge.

He also told the court that there is an ongoing mediation to settle the case out of court “since it is all about money”.

But Ajibola Oluyede, counsel to Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, Ubah’s company, acknowledged receipt of the charges and told the court that he has filed a preliminary objection to challenge the competence of the suit.

Responding, Kunle Adegoke, counsel to the federal government, said he might be forced to apply for a warrant to compel Ubah to show up in court.

One of the charges reads: ”COUNT 1, That you, Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, sometime between 2012 and 2018, conspired in making false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets-transferred to Asset Management Corporation _of Nigeria (AMCON) under the Consent Judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 on the 1st day of July, 2013 in partial payment of the Indebtedness of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited with a view to defeating the realisation of the said judgment debt of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited to AMCON, then standing In the sum of 135 Billion Naira contrary to Section 54(1)(a) and (d) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended).”

Mugabe left $10m, a farm and two houses

Zimbabwe’s late former president Robert Mugabe left $10m, 10 cars, a farm and two houses, details of his estate released on Tuesday revealed.

The state-owned Herald newspaper said his daughter, Bona Nyepudzai Mutsahuni-Chikore, disclosed these assets to the High Court after the family had been unable to locate his will.

The $10 million (nine million euros) was in a foreign currency account with a local bank, the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), the report said.

It did not identify the make or model of the 10 cars.

During his presidency, Mugabe, who styled himself as a leftwing radical, was reported to own several farms that were seized during his controversial land reforms.

Only one farm is listed on the inventory of his assets.

His other properties, according to the list given to the High Court on October 21, include two houses in posh suburbs of the capital, Harare; his rural homestead in Zvimba; a two-hectare (five-acre)farming plot in Zvimba and a five-acre orchard.

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe from the country’s independence from British colonial rule in 1980 until being ousted in November 2017, died on September 6 at the age of 95 in Singapore, where he had been receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

“Mrs Grace Mugabe was listed as the sole surviving spouse while Bona, Robert, Bellarmine and stepson Russel Goreraza were listed as surviving children,” The Herald reported.

Mugabe once said in jest that he would remain in power until he turned 100.

He was ousted after 37 years in power and replaced by his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom Mugabe had fired weeks earlier.

The later years of his rule were characterised by food shortages, massive joblessness and the use of brutal force against his opponents.

Many had hoped Mnangagwa would fare better but the hardships that Zimbabweans suffered under Mugabe have returned to haunt the country.

According to the World Bank, extreme poverty is likely to affect 5.7 million Zimbabweans this year — equivalent to 34 percent of the population, after 29 percent in 2018.

Gross domestic product is likely to contract by 7.5 percent in 2019, it says

JUST IN: Court orders Fashola, Saraki, Akpabio, others to refund pension collected

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has asked the federal government to recover pensions and allowances received by former and serving senators as ex-governors.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) disclosed the ”landmark judgment” in a tweet on Wednesday.

The group sued the federal government in 2017 over its “failure to stop former governors from receiving double pay and life pensions”.

It also sued the government for failing to seek the recovery of over “N40bn unduly received by the former governors” who are now serving senators and ministers.

Individuals named by SERAP as beneficiaries of this policy are Bukola Saraki, Godswill Akpabio Rabiu Kwankwaso, Theodore Orji, Abdullahi Adamu, Sam Egwu, Shaaba Lafiagi, Joshua Dariye, Jonah Jang, Ahmed Sani Yarima, Danjuma Goje, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Adamu Aliero, George Akume, Biodun Olujimi, Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe, Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi, Chris Ngige and Babatunde Fashola.

SERAP@SERAPNigeria

BREAKING: We’ve obtained a landmark judgment from the federal high court ordering @NigeriaGov to recover life pensions collected by Saraki, Akpabio, others & directing the AGF to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws permitting former governors to collect such pensions.

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The court made an order directing Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation to institute appropriate legal actions to challenge the legality of states’ laws permitting former governors, who are now senators and ministers to enjoy governors’ emoluments while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.

The court adjourned till February 3, 2020, for a report of compliance with the judgment by the federal government.

Recently, the Zamfara state house of assembly abolished a law that allowed the payment of pension and other allowances to former governors and their deputies.

SERAP says it will not relent until the judgment is fully enforced and all state governors abolish the life pension law in their states.

We have power to impose fines, FRSC warns

The Federal Road Safety Corps has insisted that it has statutory powers to impose fines and other penalties for road violations.

Reacting to resurfacing social media posts suggesting that the sanctioning powers of the FRSC had been revoked by the courts, Corps spokesman, Bisi Kazeem, pointed out that superior judicial pronouncements had validated the agency’s constitutional powers.

The Social media posts come at a time the Lagos State government, again, released a long list of traffic offences publishable by stiff fines,  vehicle seizure, jail terms and or community service.

Below is the full statement by the FRSC:

RE: FRSC CAN NO LONGER FINE MOTORISTS:

The attention of the Federal Road Safety Corps has once again been drawn to a recirculated social media publications of a decision of Justice J.T. Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos in 2014 in Tope Alabi v FRSC Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1234/13 that FRSC had no powers to impose fines on road traffic offenders and that such would amount to a usurpation of the functions of the Court of law.

2. We want to make it clear, that the 2014 decision of the Federal High Court, Lagos in Tope Alabi v FRSC is no longer the law as several other pronouncements of the Court of Appeal have overridden that decision which was, with due respect, reached per incuriam.

3. In FRSC V Emmanuel Ofoegbu CA/L/412/ 2014 the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, overruled the judgment of the Federal High Court in Emmanuel Ofoegbu v FRSC and held that the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 and the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR) 2012 were valid laws made pursuant to the 1999 Constitution and that the provisions of the NRTR, 2012 were enforceable from 1st October, 2013, the deadline earlier set by FRSC.

4. Also, in FRSC v Okebu Gideon Esq. v FRSC-CA/IL/50/2014, the Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin held that the Notice of Offence Sheet issued by FRSC does not run counter to Section 36 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended.

5. Also, in Barr. Moses Ediru v FRSC & 2 ORS-CA/J/226/2010, the Court of Appeal sitting in Jos held that the fines which the law gives FRSC the nod to enforce do not, in the least derogate from the judicial powers of the Courts as enshrined in Section 10(7)(a) of the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 and Regulation 113 of the NRTR, 2012.

6. We believe there are enough judicial pronouncements to the fact that FRSC has adequate legal and statutory backing to perform its functions as stated in the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007 and NRTR 2012. Those brandishing recycled news on the judgment in Tope Alabi’s case delivered in September, 2014 as against the more current position of the courts, more importantly, the Court of Appeal decision in FRSC v Emmanuel Ofoegbu to the effect that FRSC has statutory and constitutional powers to arrest, detain vehicles of road traffic violators are mischief makers and as such those people should be disregarded.

7. While assuring the public that FRSC and its operatives will continue to perform within the ambits of the law, we seize the opportunity to seek the understanding and collaboration of all citizens as we strive to evolve a safer road environment in Nigeria.

8. Finally, as the year winds to a close, the FRSC appeals to all road users to use the road carefully and wisely so that we can all have a crash free, peaceful and joyful yuletide.

9. Thank you.

Housekeeper arrested for allegedly adding sniper to 93-year-old woman’s tea

The police have arrested a Beninois teenage home help (name withheld) who allegedly attempted to kill a 93-year-old woman by adding a substance suspected to be sniper to her tea.

The spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed the arrest to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect was employed by the daughter of the nonagenarian, Madam Christiana.

According to him, the alleged incident occurred on Saturday at Maryland, Lagos State.

The spokesman said that Madam Christiana lived in the same building with her daughter, who always instructed the teenager to stay with her mother anytime she went to work.

According to him, the employer lived downstairs while her mother lived upstairs.

The image maker said that the suspect went upstairs to stay with the old woman on Friday as usual and met her preparing tea in her sitting room.

He said that the woman closed the teacup for a while and went into her bedroom.

Elkana said as soon as the old woman left the sitting room for the bedroom, the suspect opened the cup and added a substance.

According to Elkana, the nonagenarian’s home help who was working in her kitchen came to the sitting room and saw the suspect adding the substance, and reported to the old woman, who threw the tea away.

He told NAN that the woman’s son, Abayomi, reported the case at the Anthony Village Police Station at 1.00 p.m. on Saturday.

“The police visited, searched the house, arrested the suspect and recovered an empty mug of the suspected poisoned tea.

“The suspect confessed to the offence.

“She alleged that the old woman always shouted at her; she said she was tired of her tantrums, so she decided to poison her tea that day.

“She laced her unsuspecting victim’s usual morning tea with sniper (Dichlorvos or 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate) but the victim was smart enough not to drink it. She will be charged to court soon,’’ he said.

(NAN)

US court orders banks to release Trump’s financial documents

A US appeals court ruled Tuesday that two banks must hand over documents about Donald Trump’s finances to Congress, in the latest legal blow to the president.

Two Democratic-controlled committees issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Capital One in April demanding that they hand over financial records related to Trump and his family.

Trump, who is fighting attempts by Democrats and a New York prosecutor to force him to release eight years of tax returns, sued to stop the banks from complying.

Two appeals courts have already ruled that he must make documents available, including information held by the accountancy firm Mazars USA, but decisions are pending in the Supreme Court.

In a 106-page decision released Tuesday, a New York federal appeals court said the banks must comply with the congressional subpoenas but introduced a caveat given the volume of documents requested.

The judges said the president could oppose the disclosure of certain documents that contain sensitive personal information that is not related to the ongoing investigations.

They added that the exceptions should be limited, however.

“The committees’ interests in pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a chief executive’s distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions,” they wrote.

Trump is expected to challenge the ruling.

Last month, he said he would publish information about his finances before next year’s presidential election without specifying which documents he would release.

Trump broke with a presidential norm during the 2016 contest by refusing to release his tax returns as most presidents have done since the 1970s even though it is not required by law.

He claims that his tax returns are under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

(AFP)

I won’t be Onaiyekan’s replica, says new Catholic Archbishop Kaigama

New Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, confirmed on Tuesday, that he won’t be a replica of Emeritus Archbishop of the Archdiocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, who was known for being a vocal and social critic.

He said his primary role as Archbishop of Abuja is perform his priestly, kingly and prophetic responsibilities as assign to him by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, and not to be an antagonist who, perhaps, derive joy and pleasure in discrediting people, either in government or outside the government.

At his maiden press conference in Abuja, alongside Cardinal Onaiyekan, the former Archbishop of Jos Catholic Archdiocese, appreciated the great role played by Cardinal Onaiyekan, in uplifting the Catholic Church in Abuja and beyond.

He said: “I am primarily here as a Priest and not a political or economic analyst. I am also not here as a social critic. I am here to exercise my prophetic, priestly and kingly responsibilities as a Priest.

“I don’t intend to set out another government or believe that I can make everything right in Nigeria within a short time. But I will be concerned about what is happening in Nigeria and speak out when the need arises.

“Part of my prophetic work has to do with issues of social justice, equal opportunities, good governance, amongst others. I won’t hunt for problems but when they come, I will do my best to tackle them with my Priestly skills and experience.

“I must emphasis that I won’t be a replica of His Eminence, John Onaiyekan. He is John Onaiyekan and I am Ignatius Kaigama. We are two different people with our uniqueness and differences in age, status, experience and several other things. You don’t expect that I suddenly become a replica of His Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan.

“In as much as I will rely on his counsel and already established platform, I will be myself, use my strength, experiences and potentials to make positive impact in the lives of people. People will be terribly disappointed if they want a replica of Cardinal John Onaiyekan in me.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Onaiyekan, in his remarks, congratulated the incoming Archbishop of Abuja, and expressed confidence in the capacity and experience of the new Archbishop to succeed beyond him.

He promised to support him in prayers and every other way possible for the good of Catholics in Abuja and beyond.

Staff strength of Nigerian banks reduce by 2,929 in three months

Even as the Nigerian government continued to promise to reduce unemployment, the workforce of Deposit Money Banks in the country reduced by 2,929 workers in the third quarter of 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics reports.

The figure is contained in a report on ‘Selected Banking Sector Data: Sectoral Breakdown of Credit, ePayment Channels and Staff Strength data’ posted on the NBS website.

According to the report, the staff strength of the banks reduced by 2,929 in the quarter with 101,435 total staff as against the 104,364 recorded in the second quarter of the year. This represents a 2.81 per cent decrease.

It also reduced by 1,386 when compared to the 102,821 staff recorded in the same period last year.

The report did not indicate the mode of reduction of staff and whether the staff were all sacked or if some had retired.

The report did not also name the banks most involved in the staff reduction.

Banking Transactions
The banking sector recorded a volume of 800,201,498 transactions valued at N42.76 trillion naira on Electronic Payment Channels within the three months of the third quarter (July – September).

“NIBSS Instant Payments (NIP) transactions dominated the volume of transactions recorded. 298,988,572 volume of NIP transactions valued at N26.18trillion were recorded in Q3 2019,” it said.

The report also recorded N16.25 trillion as the total value of credit allocated by the bank for the period under review.

It said Oil & Gas and Manufacturing sectors got credit allocation of N3.39 trillion and N2.57 trillion to record the highest credit allocations during the period under review

FG owes pensioners over ₦400bn – Senator

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Ibrahim Shekarau, has claimed that the federal government currently owes retirees over ₦400 billion in accrued pension, Punch newspaper reported.

Mr Shekarau said this at the second annual National Assembly retreat with the Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp) held in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State on Monday.

He said the committee would work with the federal government to offset all the arrears, “even if it would be the only achievement that the 9th National Assembly would be remembered for.

“Government owes the accrued pension funds of over ₦400 billion,” Punch newspaper quoted Mr Shekarau to have said.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari “might not be aware of the huge debt” but pledged to make him address the situation.

“The committee has written a seriously worded letter to the Senate President, insisting that the Senate should take this up with Mr President to make sure this matter is addressed, otherwise it is one step forward, 10 steps backwards.”

Mr Shekarau said his committee would meet with key relevant government officials and agencies and pension operators.

He also decried the indebtedness of state and local governments to their retirees which he said is due to “lack of political will”.

To address this, he said, “We will initiate appropriate amendments. This is very important; otherwise, the pensioners will be suffering.”

In her address, the President of PenOp, Aderonke Adedeji, called for a working pension system to take the hand of corruption off pension funds.

“So, it is evident that a well-functioning, transparent and efficient pension system is critical for all groups of Nigerians and our nation at large. A well-functioning pension industry will reduce the menace of corruption; because individuals will be assured that they have funds they can fall back on during their retirement years.”