Thursday , 25 April 2019
Latest
Home » News » Latest

Latest

Otedola presents $50,000 cheque to Christian Chukwu for foreign medical treatment

Christian Chukwu, former coach of the Super Eagles and one of Nigeria’s greatest footballers ever, will travel to the UK for further treatment in the first week of May following the footing of his medical bills by Femi Otedola, the billionaire businessman.

Otedola had offered to foot the bill of the former captain of the national team following reports that he was battling with prostate cancer.

The $50,000 cheque was presented to Chukwu on Wednesday morning in Enugu by Philip Akinola, the COO of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, one of Otedola’s companies.

Also present were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor of Enugu state, Amaju Pinnick, the chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Onochie Anibeze, the renowned sports journalist.

Otedola confirmed the development to TheCable.

“The governor just called to thank me immensely and I spoke with Christian Chukwu too. He will be flown abroad next week. I told him he will be fine and I will make sure he is provided with the best health services,” Otedola told TheCable on phone.

Chukwu, with support from the Enugu state government, has already done an initial surgery in Nigeria and has been recuperating.

Aside captaining Nigeria to its first Africa Cup of Nations success in 1980, Chukwu also led the Enugu Rangers FC team that won the Africa Cup Winners Cup in 1977.

He was nicknamed ‘Chairman’ for his authority on the field as a central defender.

Chukwu also served as assistant coach of the first team to win a FIFA World Cup trophy for Nigeria – the Golden Eaglets that triumphed at the FIFA U16 World Cup in China in 1985.

He was also assistant coach of the team tagged the Golden Generation – the 1994 class of Super Eagles that qualified Nigeria for its first FIFA World Cup finals.

As assistant coach, he helped Nigeria win the Africa Cup of Nations title and reached the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in the US.

Between 2002 and 2005, Chukwu was head coach of the Super Eagles, leading the team to bronze medal at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

Ugwuanyi, Chukwu, Pinnick and Akinola… after the cheque presentation

Ngige: We have enough doctors, those who want to work abroad can go

Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity, says there is nothing wrong with doctors leaving Nigeria as the country has “more than enough” medical personnel.

Speaking during a Channels TV programme on Wednesday, the minister defended the doctors searching for green pastures elsewhere, saying “if you have surplus, you export.”

Ngige’s comment comes weeks after Saudi officials stormed Nigeria to recruit medical doctors, an opportunity that was highly sought for.

One of the programme anchors had asked him if he was worried about the rate doctors leave Nigeria to which he responded: “No, I am not worried (about doctors leaving the country). We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export.

“It happened some years ago here. I was taught chemistry and biology by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.

“There are surplus in their country and we also have surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. In my area, we have excess.

“Who said we don’t have enough doctors? We have more than enough. You can quote me. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out.”

Ngige, who himself is a doctor, added that the medical personnel relocating from Nigeria also contribute to the country’s foreign exchange earnings, and that some of them do set up medical centres back home.

He said: “When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them and not just oil.

“Will you call that brain drain? I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.”

Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that as of 2013, there were 3.8 doctors for every 10,000 Nigerians, far below the organisations’s recommendation of one doctor to 600 patients.

Recent data from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) also showed that as of December 2017, Nigeria had 39,912 registered medical doctors. This means with a population of 193 million in 2016, there was just one medical doctor for every 4,845 Nigerians.

House forced to adjourn as Shi’ites invade premises

 

Some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) broke into the premises of the national assembly, forcing federal lawmakers to adjourn plenary.

The IMN members were said to have overpowered security operatives before breaking down the first gate.

Shouts of “Allah Akbar” rented the air after the aggrieved protesters gained entry into the complex.

They advanced towards the second gate, which lead to the chambers but were stopped by their leaders who appealed to them not to proceed further.

At this point the policemen who had fled also joined to make entreaties to the mob.

The protesters kicked against the continued detention of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, their leader.

Some of the protesters forcing one of the gates of the national assembly open

Yusuf Lasun, deputy speaker of the house of representatives, who was presiding over plenary, announced that he had just been briefed of the development before the lawmakers adjourned.

He said he chose to adjourn plenary out of caution.

Security has been beefed up around the the legislative chamber.

During a procession in commemoration of Zakzaky‘s 68th birthday, the IMN members threatened to change their style of protest.

Zakzaky has been in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) since December 2015.

He is currently facing trial over “culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace”.

ISIS releases picture of seven suicide bombers that executed Sri Lanka attacks

The Islamic State (ISIS) has released a picture of the “suicide bombers responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka”.

The image was released by Amaq news agency, the official mouthpiece for the group.

ISIS had earlier claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings which led to the deaths of over 300 persons, saying it targeted Christians and Sri Lanka citizens.

“Those, who carried out the attack that targeted the citizens of the coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka the day before yesterday were Islamic State fighters,” Amaq reported on Tuesday.

Imam Mohamad Tawhidi

@Imamofpeace

: ISIS release a portrait photo of the seven terrorists responsible for the standing in a row. Also, notice the 8th terrorist standing behind the second one from the right.

2,370 people are talking about this

While all the suspected bombers covered their faces, Zahran Hashim, an extremist cleric, left his open.

The picture was taken in front of an ISIS flag. There are also reports identifying Hashim as the mastermind of the attacks.

The group had previously named the bombers alongside Hashim as Abu Ubayda, Abu al-Mukhtar, Abu Khalil, Abu al-Bara’a, Abu Muhammad and Abu Abdullah.

The death toll from the multiple suicide attacks at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka over the Easter weekend rose to 321 on Tuesday, the national day of mourning for the victims.

There are reports that the bombings were intended as retaliation for last month’s attack against Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Buhari unveils reconstructed Ayinke House, Nigeria’s biggest maternity hospital

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled the newly reconstructed Institute of Maternal And Child Health popularly known as Ayinke House located within the premises of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, describing it as a critical and timely intervention by the State Government in the health sector.

Ayinke House, which is Nigeria’s biggest Maternity Hospital, was upgraded from an 80-bed facility to a 170-bed healthcare centre with state-of-the-art medical equipment, as well as information technology services.

Aside the entourage of the President which included Ministers and Special Advisers, Governors of Ogun (Ibikunle Amosu ), Oyo (Abiola Ajimobi), Ondo (Oluwarotimi Akeredolu), Ekiti (Kayode Fayemi), Jubrila Bindow, Adamawa, Acting Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu; Lagos State Governor-Elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Oba  of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, among others were in attendance.

The President, who landed at the Presidential Wing of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja at about 10: 45am, arrived at Ayinke House about 15 minutes later, after which he unveiled the project, and also embarked on comprehensive tour of the facility.

Speaking at the event, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode described the development as historic, expressing optimism that the facility would provide world class childbirth and maternal care services to Lagosians and Nigerians at large.

Recalling how the journey began, Governor Ambode said the facility was commissioned exactly 29 years ago, with the late businessman and philanthropist, Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony donating the first dedicated maternal and child care facility to the State Government, in memory of his mother; hence the christened name “Ayinke House”.

He said the hospital, which started with just one surgical theatre soon assumed a life of its own as a first-class childbirth and maternal care centre in the health sector of Nigeria as well as first choice for expectant mothers.

However, the Governor said the hospital later became over-stretched beyond capacity and somehow obsolete, while in recognition of the need to sustain Bank-Anthony’s philanthropy, the State Government, during the administration of former Governor Babatunde Fashola who is now the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, awarded the contract for the expansion and reconstruction of the facility.

“Today, seven years after the closure of the facility, the new edifice is now a 170-bed facility with 5 surgical theatres. It has a 16-bed emergency care units with 3 organ support facilities, 30 bed special baby care unit, 5 neo-natal intensive care units, a fully equipped laboratory with support services, laboratories and a blood bank.

“Beyond the significance for the health sector, this institute is a major contribution to our education sector also; as it becomes a veritable platform for our medical students in the State University to enhance their exposure and experience with the top-class medical equipment provided,” Governor Ambode said, just as he revealed that Ayinke House had also been completely digitalised with state-of-the-art medical equipment as well as information technology services supported by the State Ministry of Science and Technology.

He said in view of President Buhari’s determination of making universal and basic primary healthcare as one of the cardinal priorities of his administration, the State Government, under him, had consciously worked to bring quality, affordable and modern healthcare to all our citizenry, among other initiatives in the health sector.

“Just last year, we launched the Lagos State Health Insurance scheme to allow residents access top quality medical care with a little contribution and support from the State government.

“These and other efforts are directed at improving the lives of our people, especially the women and children; and by extension the productivity of our nation,” he said.

While congratulating President Buhari on his resounding victory at the recent presidential election, Governor Ambode thanked him for finding time to personally commission Ayinke House and other projects in the State, adding that the completion of the projects would not have been possible without the President’s support, administrative direction and encouragement.

Besides, Governor Ambode commended the Management and Staff of the State’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, LASUTH as well as contractors for working round the clock and their enthusiasm in getting the project completed.

Similarly, the President also commissioned the 500-seater Lagos Theatre in Oregun, Ikeja. The ultra modern theatre is one of the four simultaneously constructed by the Ambode administration to increase arts spaces and create standard platforms for talented citizens of the State to showcase their skills.

The President who arrived the venue at exactly 11:30am was treated to a live dance performance by a young group of talented artist before taking his leave.

The Governor said the three other theatres with the same specifications are also ready for commissioning in Igando, Badagry and Epe.

Flood kills 50 in South Africa

No fewer than 50 people were killed in southern and eastern parts of South Africa after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides, authorities said on Wednesday.

Rescue workers were digging through collapsed homes and other buildings in coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal province, where the death toll stood at 51, local officials said.

The region has been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not anticipate the extent of the downpour late on Monday, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department.

“As a result there was flooding and some structures were undermined and collapsed on people,” Mabaso said, adding some people were swept away by the water.

Multiple dwellings and houses collapsed in the mudslides, said KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesman Robert McKenzie.

Some major roads in and around the port city of Durban were closed on Wednesday, local media reported.

Flooding also killed at least three people in the Eastern Cape province, state broadcaster SABC said on Wednesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will visit communities in both provinces, his office said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Last week, 13 people were killed during an Easter service in KwaZulu-Natal when a church wall collapsed after days of heavy rains and strong winds.

Reuters

NDLEA uncovers airport cartel planting hard drugs in passengers’ luggage

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has uncovered a cartel, which specialised in planting illicit drugs in travellers’ luggage.

The NDLEA Chairman, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd), disclosed this in a statement.

The cartel was uncovered after NDLEA detectives embarked on investigation of a Nigerian lady identified as Zainab Aliyu.

Zainab was accused of entering Saudi Arabia with tramadol. The implication in this discovery by NDLEA was the realisation that many Nigerians arrested and executed for drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia might be innocent.

Zainab was arrested by Saudi Arabia Police on December 26, 2018 shortly after arriving for Lesser Hajj.

Zainab, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, had travelled from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in company with her mother, Mrs. Maryam Aliyu, and sister, Hajara Aliyu.

She was later arrested over allegations that a luggage, bearing her name tag, contained the unlawful substance.

However, while in detention, the NDLEA had received a petition from Zainab’s father, seeking a probe of his daughter’s ordeal.

Consequently, the NDLEA Commander in charge of MAKIA had launched an investigation, which culminated in the arrest and arraignment before a Federal High Court in Kano of seven staff of the airport.

The accused are Idris Umar Shehu (alias Umar Sanda), Sanni Suleiman, Nuhu Adamu, Rhoda Adetunji, Udosen Itoro Henry and Sanni Hamisu.

According to a report of the investigation, a copy of which was made available to journalists yesterday, a suspected cartel in the airport had planted the tramadol-bearing luggage on Zainab.

In the report, which has since been forwarded to the Consul-General in Jeddah for action, it was further established that Zainab who, like her mother and sister, had only a luggage, was not aware that a second bag had been labelled in her name.

The NDLEA said: “Based on the investigation activities carried out, it has been revealed that the said Zainab Habibu Aliyu is not the owner of the second luggage tagged in her name.

“On 24th of December 2018, Maryam Habibu Aliyu and her two daughters, Hajara Habibu Aliyu and Zainab Habibu Aliyu, who are students of Maitamia Sule University, Kano, were to travel to Saudi Arabia for Lesser Hajj. The three passengers had one luggage each.

“At the Departure Hall, three bags belonging to the three passengers were given to one Bako A. Salisu, who weighed the bags, tagged and gave the labels to the passengers.

“Immediately the luggage of the passengers were checked in, Rhoda Adetunji, an official of the Airport Authority (one of the accused persons) approached them, asking for their remaining luggage as the luggage checked-in by the passengers were lower than the total weight they were entitled to travel with – two of their luggage weighed 36kgs while one weighed 17kgs.

“The passengers ignored the said Rhoda Adetunji and went to the arrival hall to purchase yellow card and by the time they came back from the arrival hall to the departure hall, screening for boarding had already started and the three passengers all went for boarding. They never consented nor knew that any other luggage was tagged to the name of any of the passengers.

“On 26th of December 2018 about 12.45 midnight, the Saudi Arabia police came to the hotel room of Maryam and her daughters in Saudi Arabia to arrest one of her daughters, Zainab, on allegation that one of the luggage tagged to her name and passed has prohibited drugs, tramadol. Zainab is presently in detention in Saudi Arabi awaiting investigations and prosecutions.

“Following receipt of the complaint, seven people working at MAKIA were arrested in connection with the offence.

“In the course of the investigations, the telephones of all the suspects were seized by the agency for investigations, while going through the phones of the suspects one after other, it was discovered that the following happened between Sani Suleiman and Idris Umar, alias Umar Sanda.

“On 24th December 2018, Sani Suleiman with phone number 08036066448 was in conversation with Umar Sanda with phone number 08065499791 at 8.26a.m., 12.47a.m., 03.56p.m., and 4 p.m.

“On the same 24th December 2018, Sani Suleiman with number 08036066448 sent a WhatsApp picture of two parcels to Umar Sanda on phone number 08065499791.

“Also on the same 24th December, Suleiman sent a WhatsApp picture of two coloured luggage to phone number belonging to one Alhaji Gabari now at large.”

MTN Nigeria converts to public company ahead of NSE listing

MTN Nigeria has changed its status from a private company to a public liability company (PLC) ahead of its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

This conversion is one of the requirements for listing on the exchange.

The company had previously announced that it looks to list on the NSE before July, saying it plans to enter the market by way of listing by introduction.

Speaking on the conversion, Fredi Moolman, MTN CEO, said the listing is part of its commitment to localisation in the markets in which it operates.

“Our conversion to a Plc is a major step towards listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019,” the telecommunications company said on Wednesday.

“It is a reaffirmation of our long-term commitment to expanding investment opportunities for Nigerians, in addition to providing everyday services to them. We look forward to continuing our engagement with the SEC and NSE to take forward the listing process.”

A listing on the NSE was one of the conditions reached in the resolution of a N330 billion fine placed on the telco by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its inability to disconnect improperly registered SIM cards.

For the year ended 2018, the company had announced the addition of 6 million new subscribers and a revenue of N965 billion.

The results, which were announced in March 2019, showed that data revenue grew by 39.3% while internet subscribers grew to 18.7 million.

Tight security at Lagos airport ahead of Buhari’s visit

A high number of security operatives were, on Wednesday, deployed to strategic positions at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, ahead of the working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state.

According to NAN, the security operatives were already at their respective positions around 7.15am.

They included officers from the Nigerian air force (NAF), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Also on ground were officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) who controlled traffic within the airport and its environs.

Buhari is visiting Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, to inaugurate some projects executed by the Lagos state government.

The projects are – Institute of maternal and child health (Ayinke House), Lagos theatre, Oshodi transport interchange and international airport road as well as 820 mass transit buses.

Meanwhile, here are the roads to be closed during the president’s official visit to the state.

Motorists are advised to avoid the roads while those who find it unavoidable to ply the listed roads were advised to be patient and co-operate with traffic managers.

EFCC arrests ponzi scheme operator who ‘defrauded Nigerians of N7bn’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Babagana Dalori, chief executive officer of Galaxy Transportation and Construction Services Limited, for allegedly defrauding Nigerians through a ponzi scheme.

The commission said 27,400 Nigerians lost N7 billion through fake promises of high returns on their investment in Dalori’s companies.

In a statement, Tony Orilade, EFCC spokesman, said Dalori was discovered to have initially paid investors 200 per cent interest on their deposits in his companies.

He said the suspect later reduced the interest to 135 per cent “before the scheme crashed in 2018.”

“Dalori, who is currently undergoing interrogation in the Commission, had incorporated the firm in 2012 with one tricycle (Keke NAPEP), which through pool investments by members of the public later boasted of 50 tricycles,” the statement read.

“The entrepreneur later diversified into other business ventures while promising mouth-watering returns to investors.

“To suck as many unsuspecting victims into his ponzi net, Dalori engaged in massive advertisements on radio and television, including a production of a movie by A-list Nollywood actors, which aimed at convincing members of the public to invest in his companies.”

The anti-graft said a victim lamented the frustrations of unsuspecting investors who can no longer get their funds back.

According to the victim, “at the moment, he has used the investors money to incorporate different entities without getting their consent. He now has Galaxy Global Energy Concept Ltd, Galaxy Miners Concept Ltd, Galaxy Global Farms, Galaxy Computers, Galaxy Block Making Factory, Galaxy Hospital and Galaxy Hotel.”

The commission accused Dalori of committing a criminal act, saying all bank accounts belonging to his company have since been frozen.

Last year, EFCC cracked down on a similar ponzi scheme shortly after the shut down of Mavrodi Mondial Movement (MMM).

FRSC names new deputy corps marshals, promotes 30 other senior officers

 

Further to its determination for greater performance and optimal productivity, the Board of the Federal Road Safety Commission has approved the appointment of 4 Assistant Corps Marshals (ACM) to the rank of Deputy Corps Marshals (DCM), 14 Corps Commanders (CC) to Assistant Corps Marshals (ACM) and 16 Deputy Corps Commanders (DCC) to the rank of Corps Commanders (CC).

According to Bisi Kazeem, Corps Public Education Officer, FRSC , the Board after its sitting, considered the report of the Establishment Committee in respect of 2018 Senior Officers promotion and approved the appointment and elevation of 34 Senior Officers to the next rank.

He gave the list of the Officers promoted to the rank of Deputy Corps Marshals as; Julius A Asom, mni, who is the present Special Assistant to the Corps Marshal, Kenneth Nwaegbe mni, Commandant FRSC Academy Udi , Umar Aliyu , the Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone 7 Abuja and Shehu Zaki, fsi, Zonal Commanding Officer RS 12 Bauchi

He also gave the names of Officers promoted to the rank of Assistant Corps Marshals as, Oluwasusi Familoni, Head of National Vehicle Identification Scheme, Gwagalada, Edward A Zamber, Sector Commander, Rivers state sector command , Angus Ibezim fsi, Sector commander, Jigawa state sector command, Ann Marjah, Sector Commander, Taraba state sector command, Aliyu B Datsama fsi, Commandant , Training school, Jos, Umar G Ibrahim, Sector Commander, Kaduna state sector Command, Jonah I Etuk, Zonal Head of Operations, Zone RS4, Jos , Christopher O Ademoluti, Head of section , Policy, Yusuf Garba, Sector Commander, Kano state sector command, Godwin V Ngueku, Sector Commander, Katsina state Command,
Y Gojara, Head of section, Special duties and Partnership, Joseph K Aremu, Sector Commander, Imo state sector command , Fumibi Olawoyin, Head of Special Marshal and Pat O Emordi, Sector Commander, Plateau sector command

In addition, among the officers promoted to the rank of Corps Commanders include; Roland Onamusi, Ali Sule Tanimu, Hafiz T Mohammed fsi, Aliyu Baba, Abiodun Akinlade, Emmanuel G Dung among others.

With this promotion, Kazeem, quoted the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi saying that the Board Chairman, Mallam Bukhari Bello has charged the newly promoted Officers to be dedicated to duty and ensure that they mentor the younger Officers to follow in their trail of excellence to move the Corps forward.

He further reminded them that the Corps will be expecting more from them, in terms of commitment, dedication and sacrifice

Tinubu has fascist agenda to control all levels of power – Dogara

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has attacked a National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bolaji Ahmed Tinubu, saying that the former Lagos Governor was pursuing fascist agenda to control all levels of power in Nigeria.

Dogara, in a statement signed by his Media Aide, Turaki Hassan, and made available on Tuesday, said that only the ignorant with dubious academic certificates will say the maker of a document has padded the document that only he can constitutionally make.

Dogara was reacting to an earlier statement by Tinubu, where he accused Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Dogara of having padded the country’s budget for four years.

Dogara’s statement added, “We have noted the statement issued on April 21, 2019 by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu wherein he stated his reasons for sponsoring or supporting some aspirants to various leadership positions in the forthcoming 9th Assembly. Ordinarily, this would not have elicited any response from His Excellency, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, as Asiwaju is entitled to sponsor those he believes will have no choice but answer to his dog whistles anytime he blows same in his capacity as the self acclaimed National Leader of his party.

 

“If Asiwaju had confined his intervention to stubborn facts, this response would not have been necessary. He, however, used the opportunity to manufacture falsehoods and paint a non-existing picture of the stewardship of Mr Speaker and the work of the 8th House of Representatives under his watch. It is therefore, incumbent on us to set the records straight for posterity.

“Asiwaju Tinubu accused the leadership of the National Assembly of stymieing ‘the APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious reactionary and self interested legislation on the nation.’

“He said further: ‘Just look at the way Saraki and Dogara and their ilk hijacked the Budget Process these past four years. National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them”.

“He continues ‘Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefited the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly.’

“He generously used the usual unexplained words like installing a progressive leadership and so on.

“We do not expect Asiwaju Tinubu to dwell on brazen mendacity, much less murder facts and decorum in his rabid bid to justify his patently clear fascist agenda of controlling all levers of power in Nigeria. Asiwaju Tinubu’s nocturnal agenda has no parallel in the history of any democracy and it is more loathsome when he throws caution to the winds and maligns government officials who are doing a yeoman’s job of stabilising the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, even in spite of political differences.

“It is on record that the Rt. Hon. Speaker has done more to stabilize this government more than Asiwaju Tinubu and his ilk whose stock in trade is scheming, manipulation and subversion especially when they feel they cannot be caught. When the history of Buhari’s administration is written by those who know the truth of what really transpired in the last four years, Asiwaju’s pretentious loyalty to President Buhari will then be exposed. We won’t say more but no matter how long it may last, the truth will one day overtake lies. Perhaps, Asiwaju is still bitter about the leadership contest for Speakership of the 8th Assembly, even though the actors have moved on culminating in Speaker Dogara magnanimously facilitating the appointment of his opponent in the race and Tinubu’s protege as House Majority leader.

“The chief cause of delay in enacting the budget is the persistent refusal or neglect of the Executive to present it in good time.

“For the records, in the last four years, there was no urgency or plan by the Executive to achieve a January to December budget cycle. For the avoidance of doubt, we will show the dates the Budget estimates were submitted by the Executive in the last four years below.

2016 Budget was submitted on December 22, 2015, exactly nine days to the end of the year.

2017 Budget submitted on December 14,2016, just 17 days to the end of the year.

2018 Budget was presented on November 7, 2017, the earliest even though it also fell short of the 90 days stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

2019 budget was presented on December 19, 2018 exactly 12 days to the end of the year.

“As if the late or delayed submission of budget estimates wasn’t enough, in most cases, Ministers and heads of agencies contributed to the so-called delay by consistently refusing to appear before National Assembly Standing Committees to defend their budget proposals in line with the provision of the Law. At some point, the leadership of the National Assembly had to take up the issue with the President who advised his Ministers to honour legislative invitations to defend their budgets.

”What Nigerians don’t know is that the Executive, through the various Ministries, continued to propose additional projects to be included in the 2018 budget even as at April and May of 2018 which further delayed the passage of the 2018 budget. These were communicated officially and if anyone is in doubt, we will exhibit the letters with the dates they were written and received. In any case, the National Assembly inserted a clause in the Appropriation Bill consistent with S.318 of the Constitution which allowed the Budget to last for 12 months after Mr President’s Assent. This enabled the Executive to spend more of the capital component of the Budget as it still had 12 months protected by law.

“As an activist legislature, the National Assembly effected an amendment to S. 81(1) of the Constitution to compel Mr President to present the Budget estimates not later than 90 days to the end of a financial year in order to solve this problem but unfortunately, very unfortunately, Mr President declined assent to the bill which was passed by both the National Assembly and over 2/3rds of the State Assemblies.

“The National Assembly made a further attempt to make the Budget process much better by improving the institutional capacity of the Parliament to process and pass National budgets by passing the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) Establishment Bill into law. It was loosely modelled after the American Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Again, Mr President declined assent to the Bill.

“It is important to emphasize that the National Assembly is not a Rubber Stamp Parliament and reserves the right, working cooperatively with the Executive to interrogate projects unilaterally inserted by the Executive branch without the input of or consultation with Parliament. The legislature cannot be accused of padding a Budget it has unquestionable constitutional power to review

“The Budget is a law and the Executive does not make laws. Therefore, it’s only the ignorant and those who hold dubious academic certificates that say the maker of a document has padded the document that only he can constitutionally make. In the words of his lordship, Hon Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High court, in suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2014 delivered on March 9, 2016, ‘the National Assembly was not created by drafters of the Constitution and imbued with the powers to receive ‘budget estimates’ which the first defendant is constitutionally empowered to prepare and lay before it, as a rubber stamp parliament. The whole essence of the budget estimates being required to be laid before Parliament is to enable it, being the Assembly of the representatives of the people, to debate the said budget proposals and to make its own well informed legislative inputs into it.’

“The parliamentarians are representatives of the Nigerian people and you don’t expect them to rubber stamp budgets that are heavily skewed and lopsided against most sections of the country. It is their responsibility to ensure equitable and even distribution of capital projects across all the nooks and crannies of the country, if the Executive fails to do so. In any case, it is false to state that legislative intervention in the Budget Process is to benefit the legislators and not their constituencies.

“We challenge Asiwaju Tinubu to prove otherwise. He should also show in what way the 8th Assembly acted differently from other Assemblies of the past to warrant the kind of language used. In any case, all the aspirants to the Senate Presidency and Speakership he is sponsoring are majority leaders in the 8th Assembly and took part in the Budget Process that he made the chief basis of his crude attack. This proves beyond doubt the hypocrisy of Asiwaju’s stated reasons for supporting his candidates.

“He should find better reasons other than the lies being peddled about the Budget and obstructing government business. Asiwaju shouldn’t take better informed Nigerians for fools. Otherwise, when he sought to take control of the 8th Senate and 8th House in 2015, was it because of any Budget Saraki and Dogara had delayed or pet projects they had inserted into any Budget before 2015? Asiwaju must come clean on this matter. He should let Nigerians know why he wants to install both the Senate President, the Speaker and leadership of the 9th Assembly. He may yet win the support of some of them if he comes clean on this matter.

“The 8th National Assembly is on record to have supported Mr President’s requests on critical issues of governance. We backed him by Resolution on the issue of fuel subsidy, we backed him on the National Minimum wage, even though we were more sympathetic to workers’ rights. In security matters, we never cut any proposal from Mr President save our refusal to rubber stamp a clear constitutional overreach of spending $1 billion in arms purchase without appropriation. We have passed more Bills than any Assembly before us including Bills that are helping the government improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria, and there were times we passed Bills within 2 legislative days. Is Tinubu genuinely ignorant of all these?

“We challenge Asiwaju Tinubu to list out the Bills he claimed were not passed by the National Assembly. The oil and gas or petroleum sector is the most important and critical sector of our economy which accounts for over 70 percent of our earnings, the Executive didn’t forward a single Bill to the National Assembly to reform and reposition the sector in the last four years even when repeatedly urged to do so by Mr Speaker in his first year in office. The lawmakers waited in vain and had to take the bold initiative of crafting a Bill – Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PGIB) among others, passed it in record time and transmitted same to Mr President for assent. This Bill was vetoed without an alternative Legal framework proposed by the Executive. Did Asiwaju miss this also?

“Asiwaju Tinubu should mention the so-called bills the Executive sent to the National Assembly and were delayed to show he is a man of honour or forever keep his peace.

“Could someone also challenge Asiwaju to list all the “ noxious reactionary and self interested legislation on the nation”? Can he name the bills that are reactionary and not in the national interest? Is this how wayward lust for power blinds the reasoning of people we should ordinarily respect? Is it not most unfair, unpatriotic and wicked for Asiwaju Tinubu to have resorted to factoids in promoting his known fascist agenda which he mistakenly thinks he is keeping secret.

“Finally, we advise Asiwaju Tinubu to be circumspect in his use of language. In this case, he spoke as a spokesperson of depravity. Our reaction must therefore be seen as a provoked counter-punch. Any one can descend into the gutter if he so wishes but no one has a monopoly of gutter language. We won’t run an adult day care centre anymore on matters like this.”

UAE launches ‘Ministry of Possibilities’

The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday unveiled a new branch of government, a Ministry of Possibilities, three years after launching a department in charge of happiness.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the UAE’s premier and ruler of Dubai, said the “unconventional” ministry would function “without a minister” but with input from the whole cabinet.

“We launched the world’s first virtual ‘Ministry of Possibilities’, a new government work system in the UAE,” he said on Twitter.

“The virtual ministry, administered by the cabinet, will address pressing national portfolios and build future government systems.”

It would also cut waiting times for government services, according to the Dubai government’s media office.

Sheikh Mohammed said: “Future challenges require the constant development of the government structure… and impossible is not in our dictionary.”

In 2016, the UAE created ministries of happiness and tolerance.

(AFP)

Trump to make state visit to UK in June

President Donald Trump has accepted Queen Elizabeth’s invitation to make a state visit to Britain in June, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday.

Trump and his wife Melania will make the trip from June 3 to June 5, the palace said, adding that further details would be announced in due course.

Trump will hold a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street and the trip also coincides with events to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War Two.

“The UK and U.S. have a deep and enduring partnership that is rooted in our common history and shared interests,” May said in a statement.

“The State Visit is an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defense, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead.”

The Trumps met the queen for tea at Windsor Castle on their last trip to Britain in July, which was not deemed a state visit.

Similarly, Trump and his wife will travel to France on June 6, where Trump will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday. (Reuters/NAN)

Emir advises Judiciary on farmers, herdsmen cases

The Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, has urged the judiciary to be fair and just in deciding cases between herdsmen and farmers, so as to help in tackling banditry in the country.

The emir gave the advice at the launching of operation PUFF ADDER by the Kebbi Police Command in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday.

”I urge the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice on herder/farmer cases as part of effort to tackle the menace of banditry and other criminal activities in Kebbi.”

Mera expressed concern over unfair treatment of Fulani herdsmen especially by local vigilantes, saying it has aggravated the situation.

“Only a court of law should be allowed to dispense justice to anyone suspected of committing an offence,” he added, stressing that justice and fairness were the foundation of peace in any society.

The emir added that some of the security challenges bedevilling Zamfara were a result of injustice and not allowing the law to take its full course in matters involving Fulani herdsmen.

In his speech, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Danjuma appealed to the general public to provide security agencies with useful information about the activities of criminals.

” I am appealing to the general public to always provide the police and other security agencies in the state with timely and useful information about the activities of criminals and their collaborators around their communities with a view to nipping their activities at the bud ”, he said.

Danjuma said police will not relent “until our homes and highways are made safe and secured.”

The commissioner said useful information would help police to checkmate the activities of armed bandits and criminals.

Justice Asebe Karatu, the Acting Chief Judge of Kebbi, assured that the judiciary would not compromise justice in any way, adding that justice would be delivered speedily without fear or favour.

”We are going to strength our efforts to ensure that criminals are convicted according the laws of the country ”, Karatu said (NAN)

NAF to acquire 18 new aircraft in 2020

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is to acquire additional 18 aircraft by 2020 to boost its air assets.

Air Commodore Nnamdi Ananaba, the Chairman, Organising Committee for the 2019 NAF Day Celebration, disclosed this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

The brands of the aircraft, according to him, are 4 X A-109 Power and 1 X Mi-35M, 1 X AW139 helicopter and 12 Super Tucano.

Ananaba said: “On acquisition of platforms, the NAF within the last three years has taken delivery of 16 brand new aircraft (10 X Super Mushshak, 4 X Mi-35M and 2 X Bell 412 helicopters).

“Another 18 (4 X A-109 Power and 1 X Mi-35M, 1 X AW139 helicopter and 12 Super Tucano) are either expected soon or have been paid for and are expected to be inducted into service in 2020.’’

He also said 14 grounded aircraft such as the Falcon 900, ATR-42, Beechcraft, Super Puma, EC-135 Do-228, Mi-35P, F-7 and L-39 had been reactivated.

He said that with hindsight NAF had realised that it had a lot to celebrate and showcase.

Ananaba said NAF had metamorphosed from being a service which, during the civil war, rolled bombs out of aircraft by hand, to one that is highly professional and equipped.

He said that the air force was now equiped with advanced aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) capable of precision strikes from as far away as 250 kilometres.

“There has obviously been a remarkably change, much of which was achieved within the last three and half years.

“The NAF has winged 90 pilots in the last three years, while 68 others are in training both at home and abroad.

‘’Over 7,000 personnel have been trained in different specialties and these include over 4,000 regiment personnel and 1,000 Special Forces personnel who have been actively involved in combat operations with the army.

‘’Through all these, there have been operational gains in several internal security operations in the country,” he stated.

Ananaba said government was committed to achieving lasting peace, security and national unity.

He said the priority of the NAF lay in the consolidation of the gains of employment of its assets in support of internal security, especially at present, a crucial stage in the history of the nation.

The NAF Day celebration 2019, tagged ‘’NAF@55, is scheduled to take place in Abuja from April 27 to April 29.

Ananaba said the anniversary would also enable the air force to show the Nigerian taxpayers what it was capable of doing.

The chairman said the theme of 2019 NAF day was “Building Capability for Defence of Nigeria’s Air Space while Responding to National Security Imperatives.”

He said the highpoint of the celebration would be the ceremonial parade and Order of Battle (ORBAT) flying past at the Eagle Square.

“This promises to be a thrilling event. It will involve a march past and silent drill by personnel of the 6 NAF Commands as well as a capability display by NAF Special Forces and NAF K-9 Unit,’’ he said.

The chairman further said the various aircraft in the NAF inventory would fly past to salute President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians.

‘’Thereafter, the latest aircraft to be acquired by this administration will be unveiled by the president,’’ he added.

Ananaba said other activities earmarked for the celebrations included: Juma’at prayers and interdenominational church service which would hold on April 26 and April 28, respectively, across all NAF units.

“Medical outreach will also be conducted across all NAF Units and formations for people living within host communities.

“This will afford the NAF the unique opportunity of giving back to the society as part of Nigerian Air Force social responsibility.

‘’It will also be a viable medium to appreciate Nigerians for their support and goodwill over the years,’’ he added.

In Kaduna, two women jailed for wearing skimpy dresses

A Sharia Court II, sitting at Magajin Gari, Kaduna on Tuesday sentenced 20-year- old Farida Taofiq and Raihana Abbas to two months in prison each for wearing skimpy dresses.

Taofiq and Abbas, residents of Argungu road in Kaduna, were convicted after they pleaded guilty to constituting public nuisance and indecent dressing.

The two convicts however pleaded for leniency saying they won’t repeat such crime again.

The Judge, Mallam Musa Sa;ad-Goma, however gave the convicts an option to pay N3,000 fine each.

Sa’ad-Goma also ordered them to return to their parents’ homes.

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Aliyu Ibrahim said that Taofiq and Abbas were arrested on April 16, at a black spot along Sabon Gari road roaming the street in skimpy dresses.

“When they were asked where they were going, they said that they were going to a friend’s house who just put to bed”, the prosecution said.

Ibrahim said the offence contravened the provisions of  Section 346 of the Sharia Penal Code of Kaduna state.

Yahaya Bello will end up in prison, says Melaye

Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, says Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, will end up in prison for alleged corruption.

In a tweet on Tuesday, he said he would sue Bello and members of the state house of assembly  over “the illegality of the L.G caretaker chairmen.”

Melaye said he was fine-tuning his petition which would make the whole world shocked.

“I’m heading to court this week to sue Yahaya Bello and Kogi State House of Assembly over the illegality of the L.G caretaker chairmen,” he tweeted.

“From my concluded investigation they will all end up in prison for corruption. We are fine tuning our petition and the world will be shocked.. SDM.”

Senator Dino Melaye. (SDM)@dino_melaye

I’m heading to court this week to sue Yahaya Bello & Kogi State House of Assembly over the illegality of the L.G caretaker chairmen. From my concluded investigation they will all end up in prison for corruption. We are fine tuning our petition and the world will be shocked.. SDM

438 people are talking about this

On at least two occasions, the governor has had cause to extend the tenure of the transition committee chairmen of the 21 local government in the state by six months.

Bello, in a letter to the assembly in October, said there was no funds to conduct elections at the local government level.

“This administration would have preferred to hold election at the various councils but our financial realities have constrained us to focus on salaries and recovery from the recent natural disaster, among other pressing needs,” he said.

“It, therefore, falls on the assembly to keep our local government administration running within the ambit of the law by again extending the tenures of the transition committees in our local government areas.”

Children killed as NSCDC officials clash with Boys’ Brigade in Gombe

A vehicle rammed into a procession of Christians celebrating Easter along Gombe-Biu road in Gombe state on Sunday evening.

Eleven persons were killed in the incident.

The accident was said to have occurred when the driver of the vehicle lost control of it towards central roundabout, and found its way into the procession by Boys’ Brigade.

Witnesses said some of the children killed were from different ECWA churches in Gombe metropolis.

Adams Borkono, state chairman of the Boys Brigade, said the incident happened around 11:30pm when the NSCDC officer and the policeman had an argument with some youth in the procession.

“After exchanging words with the youth, they allowed them to pass. However, the NSCDC who was driving the car made a u-turn, switched off his car’s light and rammed into them from behind, killing eight children on the spot and injured 31 others, Borkono said.

“The unfortunate action provoked other survivors from the tragedy. Therefore they chased the security officers, caught up with them and mobbed them to death.”

Frank Mba, police spokesman, said the accident which occurred at Unguwan Waja area of Gombe metropolis.

He said the driver, one Adamu Abdullahi, who is a staff of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), as well as 10 of those in the procession whose identities have not been confirmed were confirmed dead at the hospital.

Mba said Mohammed Adamu, the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the incident.

“Gombe Commissioner of Police visited the scene of the accident to have an on -the-spot assessment as well as the hospital to monitor the treatment of the victims,” he said in a statement.

“The IGP, while condoling the families and friends of the dead and the injured victim, has advised motorists to exercise utmost caution by obeying all traffic signs, rules and regulations while driving especially this festive period and beyond.”

Roads to be closed for Buhari’s Wednesday visit to Lagos

The Lagos state government says preparations are in top gear to host President Muhammadu Buhari on his official visit to the state on Wednesday.

This was announced in a statement issued by the state ministry of information and strategy on Tuesday in Lagos.

It said that during the one-day working visit, a number of state projects would be commissioned by the president.

“The projects to be commissioned include the rehabilitated 10-lane Oshodi/Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, and the 170-Bed ‘Ayinke House’ (Maternity Hospital) at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja,” the statement read.

“Other projects to be commissioned include the Lagos State Theatre at Oregun in Ikeja, new 820 Mass Transit buses and the multi-level Oshodi Transport Interchange on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

“The Presidential visit would hold between 9.00 a. m. and 3.00 p.m. on Wednesday, during which traffic on some routes will be diverted in order to ensure a free flow of traffic.”

According to the statement, the routes to be affected are:

  • Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way (coming from the Presidential wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport to LASUTH under-bridge);
  • Kodesoh Road
  • Obafemi Awolowo Way
  • Kudirat Abiola Way
  • Ikorodu Road (between the Ojota Intersection and Anthony Interchange)
  • Oworonshoki-Apapa Expressway (between Anthony and Oshodi Transport Interchange)
  • International Airport road through the Local Wing of the airport to Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way and back to the Obafemi Awolowo Way.

“Roads highlighted above shall only be cordoned-off when necessary, Obafemi Awolowo Way and portions of Mobolaji Bank-Anthony shall be closed to traffic on three occasions within the specified period, as they are central to the President’s itinerary,’’ it said.

Motorists are advised to avoid the above-listed roads while those who find it unavoidable to ply the listed roads were advised to be patient and co-operate with traffic managers.