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Lagos Sexual Offences Court jails 58-year-old paedophile for 60 years

An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Wednesday sentenced Obinna Iziejen, a 58-year-old paedophile, to 60 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 12-year-old pupil.

Iziejen was convicted of the offence of defilement on Feb. 15.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the sentence is the first judgment of the Sexual Offences Court inaugurated by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Feb. 1.

Justice Sybil Nwaka, in her judgment, said that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to sexual predators in the state.

She said: “I cannot agree more with the prosecuting counsel that incidences of rape have taken a new astronomical dimension in our society.

“The rate at which men in our society are prowling around, looking for young underage children to defile, is alarming.

“Children, especially the girl child, are no longer safe in the custody of uncles, brothers even fathers; this is sad.

“Our children, especially the girl child, should be encouraged to cry out and report any sexual assault against them, as this is the only way to correct this dire situation.

“We desire to make the city of Lagos and its environs safe for our children.

“These children are leaders of tomorrow and as such, not to be ruined in their formative years.

“The state of Lagos has zero tolerance for sexual offences.

“For these reasons, I hereby sentence you to 60 years imprisonment with hard labour; this is the judgment of this honourable court.”

NAN reports that the convict was arraigned on Feb. 12 alongside Raimi Jimoh (38) and Arowolo Olorunwa (35) on a three-count charge of defilement of a child.

Iziejen had pleaded guilty while Jimoh and Olorunwa claimed innocence of the charges.

NAN reports that the trial of Jimoh and Olorunwa, who pleaded not guilty, will commence soon.

According to Mr Jide Boye, the Chief State Counsel, the convict committed the offence in 2017 at Orimedu Town, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

According to him, the child is a 12-year-old primary five pupil.

“It was observed by her school authorities that she often returned late from her lunch break during school hours.

“Upon enquiry, the child admitted that Olorunwa has been having sexual intercourse with her during the break time.

“The head teacher of the school, probing further, reported the matter at the Akodo Police Station, Ibeju-Lekki.

“At the police station, the child also identified Jimoh and Iziejen as persons who also defiled her on a number of occasions during her break time.”

The prosecution revealed that Iziejen, in his statement to the police, admitted defiling the pupil on three occasions in his home.

NAN reports that on Feb. 15, during the facts and sentence for the case, Iziejen was convicted of defilement by the court.

During the facts and sentence proceedings, Boye had urged the court to allow justice take its course, and that a stiff punishment should be meted out to Iziejen, to send a clear message to the public.

“A situation where our children, especially the girl child, cannot freely move around even in schools, should be condemned by the state.

“The state will deal decisively with anyone found guilty of sexual offences.

“The victim/survivor should be reassured of justice, because the state has put the necessary facilities in place, to make sure that they are adequately protected,” Boye had said.

Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, prescribes a mandatory life sentence for anyone found guilty of defiling a child.


Two pupils die in Abuja school after eating party biscuits

The police in the Federal Capital Territory have confirmed the death of two pupils of the Local Education Authority (LEA), Kubwa II school after eating biscuits at a party.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on Tuesday, two 14-year-old pupils of the school, Nehemiah Yahaya and Yahaya Garba, of primary 5 and 4 respectively, died after eating biscuits at a party allegedly organised by unknown persons.

The spokesperson of the police in the FCT, Anjuguri Manzah, told NAN that no arrest had been made as investigation was ongoing.

He said that the case would be transferred to the command’s Criminal Investigation Department for discreet investigation.

Following the incident, the Chairman, Bwari Area Council, Musa Dikko, suspended activities at the school till Monday, February 26.

Man bites off snake’s head in revenge

A farmer in northern India reportedly chewed off a snake’s head in revenge after the reptile bit him, with his attending doctors saying they had never come across such a bizarre case, a local media reported on Wednesday.

The incident took place in Uttar Pradesh state’s Hardoi district at the weekend, when the man identified only by his first name, Sonelal – was rushed to a government health centre after locals found him unconscious.

The man told villagers that he was grazing his cattle in the fields when the snake bit him, which however made him so angry he chewed off its hood before spitting it out.

“The snake bit me, so I held its head and chewed it off, it died, then I brought it back to the village. I tore off its head again,’’ Sonelal told the ANI news agency.

Sanjay Kumar, a doctor who treated him said he was amazed that the man survived after biting the hood, which could have contained venom, assuming it was a poisonous snake.

However, the local media said that the doctors failed to find any marks of snakebite on his body.

“I’ve never seen such a case in my life. The man was all right even after biting a snake,’’ Kumar said.

Witnesses who claimed they saw him ingest part of the snake said they suspected the man was addicted to drugs.

Medical officials believe that the man’s abnormal reaction could only be explained if he was under the influence of drugs.


Akwa Ibom, Rivers receive highest as FAAC disbursement increased 25% in 2017

Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, on Tuesday in Abuja said the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursements increased by 25 per cent in 2017.

The NEITI Director of Communications and Advocacy, Orji Orji, said this in a statement.

Mr. Orji said FAAC disbursed a total sum of N6.418 trillion in 2017 showing an increase of 25.8 per cent and 6.8 per cent when compared to total disbursements of N5.1 trillion and N6.011 trillion in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

Quoting the latest edition of its Quarterly Review titled: “Analysis of FAAC Disbursements in 2017 and Projections for 2018” Mr. Orji said a further breakdown of the amount disbursed in 2017 showed that the Federal Government received N2.564 trillion.

The review showed that the 36 states got N1.859 trillion while the 774 local governments shared N1.502 trillion.

The review, it explained, noted that despite the fact that FAAC disbursements increased in 2017 over the preceding years, they were still 34.1 per cent and 25.3 per cent lower than total disbursements of N9.742 trillion and N8.595 trillion in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

The NEITI review attributed the revenue increase in 2017 to rising crude oil prices, improved oil production, and greater attention towards development of non-oil revenue sectors.

It projected brighter prospects in 2018 as a result of the current oil price which recently hovers around 70 dollars per barrel, in addition to upsurge in oil production.

A state-by- state breakdown of the FAAC allocations in 2017 by the review showed that Akwa Ibom State received the highest share of N143.6 billion, followed by Rivers State with a total allocation of N119.6 billion.

Delta State came third with a total allocation of N111.2 billion in 2017 while Bayelsa State got N105.3 billion to take the fourth position.

However, Osun State received N10.4 billion to take the lowest position of FAAC within the year under review.

“Another striking feature of the latest NEITI review of FAAC allocations is the disclosure that the third quarter of 2017 recorded highest revenues of N1.929 trillion, while second quarter recorded the lowest revenues of N1.377 trillion,” Orji said.

He said revenue disbursements from Value Added Tax (VAT) have been on the increase since 2015.

“The increase is an indication of a positive signal in recognition of the government’s policy towards the development of non-oil sectors through sustained revenue generation from services.

”VAT disbursements in 2017 were N967.7 billion and N811 billion in 2016. This represents an increase of 19.3 per cent in 2017 over the figures for 2016.

”Also, total VAT disbursements in 2015 were N778.7 billion. This represents an increase of N188.9 billion (24.3 per cent) over the 2015 figures,” Mr. Orji added.

The review stated that the 36 states received the highest share of VAT revenues of N464.5 billion in 2017, followed by N325.1 billion shared among the 774 local governments, while the federal government received the lowest share from VAT proceeds with N139.3 billion.

It noted that this is on the account of the fact that states take 50 per cent of VAT, while local government areas and the federal government take 35 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

On Paris Club loan refunds, the review disclosed that the 36 states received N760.18 billion.

”The refunds were released in two batches of N516.38 billion and N243.79 billion respectively.

”A breakdown showed that Rivers State got the highest amount of N44.925 billion while Gombe State received the lowest sum of N13.4 billion,” Mr. Orji said.


‘111 girls still unaccounted for’ — police contradict Yobe commissioner

The Yobe police command says a total of 111 students of Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, are still unaccounted for, following a Boko Haram attack in the school on Monday.

This comes shortly after Mohammed Lamin, the state commissioner of education, said 48 missing students had returned.

Lamin had said: “This has brought down the 94 missing students realised at the yesterday headcount to 48 this morning. We are still hopeful that more are returning soon.”

But Abdulmaliki Sumonu, the state commissioner of police, contradicted him by saying 111 girls, not the 94 earlier reported, were still unaccounted for.

Addressing journalists in Damaturu, the state capital, Sumonu said: “815 out of the 926 students were physically seen in the school as of Tuesday.

“There are reports that more girls have returned to the school after the headcount.

The commissioner added there were no reports of abductions nor deaths inside the school.

He added: “I asked the school’s principal if there were abductions or deaths in the school and she said no.

“I am not unaware of the rumours going on, l want to appeal to the press and the society to please cooperate with the security agencies in this situation.”

Yobe attack: 48 missing girls have returned, says govt

The Yobe state government says 48 of the 94 students of Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, who were declared missing after Monday’s Boko Haram attack, have returned.

Some of the students fled after insurgents invaded the school.

One of the teachers in the school was quoted to have said a headcount was taken after the attack.

“After the roll call, 610 out the total number of 704 students have returned. We are still searching for the remaining 94 students,” he was quoted to have said.

“We cannot say [if they have been abducted], because the insurgents went into the students’ hostel, and many of these students scaled the fence and escaped into the bushes.”

But Mohammed Lamin, the state commissioner of education, disclosed that while 28 of the missing students returned on Tuesday night, 20 more returned on Wednesday morning.

“This has brought down the 94 missing students realised at the yesterday headcount to 48 this morning,” he said.

“We are still hopeful that more are returning soon.”

Most of the students were said to have been rescued by villagers in bushes around Dapchi.

There has been tension in the area amid speculations that some of the students might have been abducted by the insurgents.

Abdumaliki Sunmonu, Yobe police commissioner, had said the police could not establish if there was a case of abduction.

It was gathered that parents have started evacuating their wards from the school.

Liberia is broke, says George Weah

Liberia’s new President George Weah on Tuesday pledged to fight corruption as he spoke about conditions in his “broke country” on the first day of an official visit to Paris.

  1. The former international football star who, took office on January 22, is faced with a dire economic situation in Liberia following two civil wars and a deadly Ebola epidemic in 2013-2015.

“I inherited a country that is very broke, depleted by political malfeasance. We have to make sure that the things that happened will not happen again,” Weah said during a conference.

“I ordered a complete audit to make sure that what belongs to the government goes to the government.”

Weah also spoke about another top priority, education for young people who represent 60 percent of Liberia’s 4.7 million inhabitants.

“I believe in education. Yes, I didn’t have the opportunity in my early days but after my career I went back to school. Today I can boast of a master’s degree,” said the new leader, who grew up in a Monrovia slum.

Founded 170 years ago by freed slaves, Liberia is “the oldest African country but we don’t have an engineering school. We don’t even have a diagnosis centre to tell if someone has Ebola,” Weah said, vowing to do more to get children in school and “to leave the street”.

On his first foreign trip as president, Weah on Wednesday will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, along with several sports figures, and the vice president of the World Bank for Africa, Makhtar Diop.


Court freezes accounts of Navy Admiral who received billions controversially

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday granted permission to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to freeze the accounts of Tahir Yusuf, a retired naval officer.

The judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu, made the order following an ex parte order filed by Elizabeth Alabi on behalf of the EFCC chairman.

“An order is hereby made granting the chairman of the EFCC or any officer of the commission, powers to instruct the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc or the Chief Compliance officer of Zenith Bank to issue a freezing order.

“The freezing order is in respect to the accounts shown in the application until investigation into the matter is concluded.”

The judge made a similar order directing the managing director of Skye Bank to also issue a freezing order in respect to the same accounts in his bank.

She further ordered that should investigations reveal a prima facie case against the respondent, the EFCC should take steps to prosecute appropriately as stipulated by law.

Earlier, Mr. Alabi informed the court that the commission received intelligence report with regards to some unusual transactions between the account of the Nigerian Navy and those of Mr. Yusuf.

She said that upon investigation, it was discovered that huge sums of money were transferred from the navy’s account to the account of Mr. Yusuf and Babajide Oguntade, both retired officers of the navy.

“We discovered an inflow of about N2 billion into a joint account they had opened. On further investigation, we realised that the money had been spent.

“We also uncovered about seven accounts belonging to Yusuf with the bank and these are the accounts we want the court to freeze so we can conclude our investigation, “she said.

The counsel said that investigations were still on to unravel why monies were moved from the Nigerian Navy’s account into the individual accounts.

Justice Ojukwu adjourned the matter until April 20, for counsel to report back.


‘Monkeys carted away N70m from senators’ farmhouse’

Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, says monkeys carted away N70 million gathered by northern senators.

The senator said this on Wednesday after the northern senators forum removed Abdullahi Adamu as its chairman.

Adamu was removed because of alleged financial mismanagement.

Sani said the northern caucus in the 7th senate handed over N70 million to the 8th senate but that the money could not be accounted for.

The lawmaker said the country is becoming a huge joke as it was snakes who first drove the president from office.

“There are things my colleagues will not say but I am not used to holding back. When we assumed office as senators, Senator Ahmad Lawan tendered the sum of N70 million to the 8th Senate as money gathered by northern senators of the 7th senate,” Sani said.

“The rumours going round which I don’t know if it is true but I believe most senators know and aware of allegations that some monkeys raided the farmhouse of some of the executives of the northern senators forum and carted away some of this money.

“I think this country is becoming a huge joke. First of all, it was the rodents that drove away the president and we now had snakes consuming about N36 million and now we have monkeys. They don’t want this to be said but I believe we should be very clear. I support that it is very important that distinguished senator Abdullahi Adamu is allowed to protect and defend his integrity.”

On his part, Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, said the allegations against Adamu were investigated and found to be true.

“All I will just is simple that the decision of the majority of the northern senators forum is that they want to have a change of leadership. The allegations investigated and found out to be true is that there was financial mismanagement,” Melaye said.

“Monies were spent without the consent of members or the excos. The organization is becoming moribund and we need to inject some vibrancy in the organisation.”

Teacher ‘flogs student to death’ in Zamfara

A teacher at Government Day Secondary School Sankalawa in Bungudu local government area of Zamfara state has allegedly flogged a student to death.

According to NAN, Muhammad Abubakar-Gummi, deputy speaker of the state house of assembly, disclosed this incident on Wednesday.

The deputy speaker, who spoke under matters of urgent public importance during the assembly’s sitting in Gusau, said the house had received several reports on the issue.

According to him, another incident at Government Female Day Secondary School, Kwatarkwashi, had led to the injury of a student in the school after the vice principal allegedly subjected her to heavy punishment.

Gummi said: “These problems apart from discouraging our children from acquiring education, also revealed poor attitude to work on the part of teachers in this state.”

He urged the house to invite the commissioner for education to explain steps taken to address the issues.

Sanusi Rikiji, the speaker, described the actions of the teachers as unfortunate and vowed that the assembly would not allow the matter to pass.

“It is part of our responsibilities to ensure effective security and good learning atmosphere for our children for their future development, therefore, we cannot allow teachers to continue harassing our children from schools,” he said.

The speaker directed the house committee on education to invite the commissioner to appear before it on the matter.

Meanwhile, the assembly has passed into law the bill for the establishment of Zamfara State University, Talata-Mafara.

Foremost Christian evangelist Billy Graham is dead

Popular Christian evangelist, Billy Graham, is dead.

Mr. Graham is credited with transforming American religious life through his preaching and activism.

He was 99

His books are also popular among Christians across the world including Nigeria.

A counsellor to ex-U.S. presidents, Mr. Graham long suffered from cancer,

The Guardian UK newspaper quotes his spokesperson as saying Mr. Graham died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday morning.

OAU striking staff shut school down again

A strike by the Joint Action Committee, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has degenerated to a ‘total and comprehensive’ action, causing the blockade of the main roads and disruption of water and electricity supplies to the campus.

The JAC, consisting of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU; Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU; and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, had started their strike at the beginning of December last year after they disagreed with authorities over the sharing of the earned allowances between them and their teaching staff counterparts.

But with the commencement of the examinations in January, the action was reviewed to allow the school provide a limited level of service to the students studying.

With the examinations over last Saturday, the striking group said they are bringing the school to a halt.

“We held congress last week Friday and it was at the congress that we reached a resolution that we must shut the university this week,” said a staffer, Oyeleke Adelegan.

Mr. Oyelegan said: “The university management was given two weeks to conduct exams for students and they even went ahead to breach the agreement for making the exam last for three weeks and now that the students are done with the exam. We have to go back to our total and comprehensive strike,” he said.

The chairman of the NASU, OAU, Wole Odewunmi said the striking unions had earlier cooperated with the university basically, ”because of the students.”

“We agreed to reduce the ‘force’ of the strike because of the students’ examinations because we are also parents and we know that they are lagging behind. Now that they are done with their exams, we are going back to the total and comprehensive shut-down of the university.

“As you can see, the roads have been blocked and we can no longer guarantee electricity, water and others.”

Our correspondent saw how the roads on the campus, including the main Adesoji Aderemi Road, also known as ‘Road 1’, were blocked on Monday and Tuesday.

Man accuses wife of being pregnant for boyfriend, seeks divorce

A 34-year-old man has approached the Igando Customary court for dissolution of marriage after accusing his wife of being pregnant for her boyfriend.

Ola Ismaila, an indigene of Ede, Osun State, said he got to know about his wife’s supposed pregnancy when she started having stomach pains.

Mr. Ismaila said his suspicion was confirmed when he caught his wife, Aminat, patronising a midwife for a pregnancy test and possible abortion.

“I have not released in her whenever we have sex based on doctor’s advice,” Mr. Ismaila said.

“Right from the day I got married to her, her way has been questionable. She has a boyfriend. The boyfriend even called her right on our matrimonial bed around 7 a.m. How can an unmarried man call my wife around 7 a.m.?

“Her mother could testify to her infidelity. Even when I reported her to the mum, she corrected her and asked her to delete her boyfriend’s number from her mobile phone.”

Mr. Ismaila also accused his wife, who is his landlord’s daughter, of being fetish.

“When she was pregnant with her twins, she brought an oil from her mum telling me to use. After bathing and drinking out of the oil, things turned around. My job became so bad to the point I couldn’t feed my family.”

He further accused her of threatening his life with a knife.

But Aminat denied all the allegations but said she used the knife in self-defence.

“He brought out cutlass the first and second time, then the third time, I picked up a knife to defend myself,” she said.

“I have never cheated on my husband. The man that called me was my JAMB mate. I called him after missing his call the night before. It was around 9 am that I spoke with him.

“I was not pregnant for any man. I was only having pain below my abdomen after an operation I had while giving birth to our child. My husband was just being suspicious for what is not real.

“About the oil, it was given to me by my mum which she got from a church. Everybody that used out of the oil never complained except him.”

She further pleaded with the court not dissolve their four-year-old marriage, adding that she still loves him despite her husband’s “lack of love.”

Akin Akinniyi, the court president, ruled that the couple should be referred to the dispute resolution section.

He said they both lacked understanding, adding that the court was not just a dissolution centre but a reconciliation home.

He adjourned the case till March 6.

NAHCON refunds N820m to Hajj 2017 pilgrims

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has released over N820 million (N820,283,965) as refund to state Muslim pilgrims welfare boards and agencies for 2017 Hajj operations.

The refunds consist of about N181 million for pilgrims and officials of states that could not travel for the pilgrimage and N209 million refundable deposits from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj.

It also consists of refunds for catering services that were either not rendered or poorly rendered for which the commission did not pay the service providers. This was about N46.1 million.

Other refunds, according to Adamu Abdullahi, NAHCON spokesperson, in a statement Tuesday, consists of “sums for poorly rendered tent-C services, faulty cooling systems at Arafat for which the total sum of N278 million was demanded and collected by the commission from the organisation responsible,”

The refunds, he added, also comprise N1.5 million for states that did not receive Zam-zam water.

“The refund, which was done in two batches, witnessed eleven state pilgrims boards receiving a total of N401,291,658.41 in December 2017, while 13 pilgrims boards and agencies received N418,992,307.77 as the second batch in 2018 after reconciliations,” Mr. Abdullahi said.

NAHCON advised all concerned pilgrims to check with their respective state pilgrims boards and agencies for collection.

“The refund exercise will be monitored by NAHCON and appropriate security agencies nationwide. NAHCON also directs that any refunds not collected should be returned to the Commission,” the agency said.

NNPC fuel import gulps $5.8bn — but scarcity persists

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday said it has spent $5.8 billion to import 9.8 million metric tons of petrol since late last year to combat the fuel crisis.

Mainkati Baru, NNPC group managing director, said at the public hearing held by the senate committee on public accounts in Abuja that the corporation had to carry out the massive importation after private fuel marketing companies abandoned the trade because of the high landing cost of the fuel.

This, he said, made cost recovery and profitability difficult owing to the regulated price regime.

“This is in fulfilment of (NNPC’s) statutory role of supplier of last resort to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer as a result of product unavailability,” a statement from the corporation quoted Baru as saying.

The NNPC boss, however, pointed out that cross-border smuggling owing to price disparity between Nigeria and neighbouring countries where a litre of petrol sells above N350 per litre as well as logistic issues in trucking products to different locations across the country remained serious challenges in the quest for fuel queue-free situation in the country.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producing country with over 2 million barrels per day of output, imports more than 85% needs of its PMS needs because of inadequate local refining.

Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, said on Tuesday the government was working on plans to bring in private sector investment in the repair and management of the refineries and get them up to about 90% of capacity.

“That process is almost completed now, probably in a matter of weeks, we will be announcing the winners,” he said.

“We want to get the private sector to be major investors in building new refineries.”

JUST IN: Dana aircraft overshoots runway in Port Harcourt

A Dana aircraft with registration number 5N-SRI performing a flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt has overshot the runway and ended up in the bush in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Passengers on board the Dana aircraft are currently being evacuated from a nearby bush in Omagwa neighborhood where the Port Harcourt International airport is located in Rivers state.

Emergency officials state that no one was injured as at the time of filing this report.


Police arrest mastermind of Benue killings

Following strict orders by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to his Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and other operational apparatus of the police, the mastermind of the Fulani herdsmen responsible for the recent attacks in Benue State, was arrested by the police.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, DIG Joshak Habillah, who made this disclosure on behalf of the IGP said the mastermind was arrested after deploying the most advanced technology and trailing him for more than three weeks.

The suspect, who was identified as 40-year-old Alhaji Laggi, was arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) at the Tunga Forrest in Nasarawa State.

Asides Laggi, the police authorities said four other principal suspects were arrested between February 16 to 19 also in Tunga town, Nasarawa State, in possession of AK47 rifles and other prohibited arms.

The four suspects were arrested in connection to the killing of Sergeant Solomon Dung, other police officers and many innocent citizens in Benue State.

While Laggi was fingered as the mastermind, the other four were identified as Mallam Mumini Abdullahi, 34, Muhammed Adamu, 30 and Ibrahim Sule, 32.

During preliminary interrogations, the suspects confessed to the killings and mentioned their fleeing gang members who are in possession of the police rifles they took from the cops they murdered.

Already the police said serious follow up is in progress in Benue, Taraba and Benue States.

It would be recalled that the IGP had given the Marching orders on Sunday by deploying three additional Police Mobile Force units (PMF) following the recent killings of citizens in the Zurmi area of Zamfara State.

The additional deployment brought to 10 the PMF units dispatched to the state in the recent time to augment the personnel of the Zamfara State Police Command, to maintain law and order and sustain the normalcy that has been restored in Zurmi and other parts of the state.

The IGPhad also dispatched a high-powered joint investigation team headed by an assistant inspector general of police.

He also ordered the arrest of the perpetrators just as he placed commissioners of police, assistant general of police in the state contiguous to Zamfara State on red alert.

According to the IGP, the mandate of the joint police investigation was to arrest and bring to justice the perpetrators of the killings, investigate the incident in totality with a view to unravelling the remote and direct causes of the unfortunate killings and prevent occurrence of such in the future.

They were also mandated to arrest and disarm all suspected bandits, militias and criminal groups in possession of prohibited firearms and restricted weapons in the region.

Court dismisses corruption charges against Nnamani, ex-Enugu gov

A federal high court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the corruption charges against Chimaroke Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu state.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had accused Nnamani of laundering N4.5 billion while in office between 1999 and 2007.

He was to be re-arraigned before the court on Tuesday after he was first arraigned in 2007.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Rickey Tarfa, Nnamani’s counsel, informed the court of an application he had filed disclosing the result of the plea agreement, which according to him, led to the institution and determination of the charges against the defendants in July 2015

The lawyer said in view of the plea bargain agreement entered into by parties, there is no longer any valid charge pending before the court as Chuka Obiozor, the judge could not seat on an appeal of the previous one.

The EFCC prosecutor, Kelvin Uzozie, said after looking at the affidavits filed by the defendant, he is of the view that the entire proceedings should be expunged to enable the prosecution file fresh charges against the defendant.

In his ruling, Obiozor held that “in view of the plea bargain judgement of this court delivered on the 7th of July, 2015, there is no valid charge before his court”.


Adamawa monarch advises Buhari to ignore ‘empty barrel’ elite opposed to his reelection

Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu  Barkindo has asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to listen to some “empty barrel Nigerian elite” opposed to his re-election bid.

Speaking when he hosted the president at his palace on Tuesday, the monarch said Buhari has achieved a lot and should proceed to seek for a second term.

“I am calling you to remain focus, stand firm and don’t listen to the empty barrel Nigerian elite who are calling you not to contest 2019 presidential election,” he said.

“They are burying their heads in shame and telling people that Buhari’s led government has done nothing.”

Barkindo said the elite had forgotten that Buhari implemented the treasury single account which has helped save  trillions of naira.

He listed some of the visible achievements of Buhari to include security, economy and fight against corruption.

Barkindo appealed to the federal government to look into the Chochi water and rice irrigation project which he said had been abandoned for over 20 years.

The monarch appealed to the president to intervene and reconsider the upgrading of Moddibo Adama University of Technology, Yola into full pledge conventional university with schools of management, information technology, health, among others.

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and former military President Ibrahim Babangida are among those who have asked Buhari to leave office at the end of his first term.

We won’t sell the refineries, Kachikwu insists

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu says the federal government will not sell its refineries.

Rather, the aim is to make Nigeria the refinery corridor for the rest of the continent, he said.

The minister was speaking on Tuesday on the short and medium term priorities directed towards growing the country’s oil and gas industry at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja.

According to him, a dearth in oil and gas infrastructure had affected the sector’s refining capacity which birthed an infrastructural map by government to address all the defects in crude pipeline and their leakages, depots and all related aspects.

He reaffirmed that rather than selling off Nigeria’s ailing refineries, the federal government will ramp up investments such that new refineries will be built across the country.

“The President (Muhammadu Buhari) has made it clear that he was not going to sell the refineries, because if we sell them, we are going to be selling them as scraps,” he said.

“So the model we came up with is to bring in private sector investment in the repair and management of the refineries and get them up to about 90% of capacity.”

“That process is almost completed now, probably in a matter of weeks, we will be announcing the winners.”

The minister continued: “We want to get the private sector to be major investors in building new refineries.

“There are two or three modular refineries that are ready to come up.

“Agip is working towards final investment decision (FID) on 100,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in  Bayelsa state, and of course there is the Niger Republic Refinery that we are discussing- also a 100,000 bpd potential.

“The objective is to make Nigeria a refinery corridor in Africa.”

On Monday, Kachikwu had said that  Nigeria targets to raise its domestic refining capacity from 14% to 90% between the next 18 to 20 months.

He said the vision is to have Nigeria refine most of its crude locally rather than exporting them.