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Patience Jonathan accuses EFCC of assassination plot

Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of sending assassins after her.

Mrs. Jonathan said she had survived two of such attempts but urged the House of Representatives to quickly intervene before the EFCC would succeed in the alleged plot to eliminate her.

In a letter written by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) & Co, Mrs. Jonathan said, “There have been assassination attempts, at least twice, between February and April, 2017, against our client ostensibly by the operatives of the EFCC along the Yenagoa-Mbaima Road, Bayelsa State, in furtherance of its unlawful actions against the former first family.”

The former first lady also accused the anti-graft agency of bugging her telephone lines, adding that agents of the commission had been sending threatening text messages to her.

The former President’s wife said, “The EFCC and its agents have repeatedly bugged the personal telephones of our client and her relations through its many operatives and has inundated her with numerous threatening calls and text messages.”

She said apart from the EFCC, other agencies of the government, like the Federal Inland Revenue Service had intimidated her.Patience alleged that officials of the FIRS stormed her hotel in Bayelsa State two months ago and vandalised its properties.

Mrs. Jonathan added, “On May 3, 2017, officials of the FIRS, in a convoy of about 20 trucks and over 70 personnel, raided our client’s NGO – Aridolf Jo Resort Wellness and Spa Limited – situated at Kpansia Expressway, Bayelsa State, and orchestrated a massive destruction of personal properties belonging to our client without any lawful court order or search warrant and caused mayhem there under the guise of trying to collect unpaid taxes without following any due process provided by law to do so.”

She stated that apart from her bank accounts, the commission had frozen those of her relatives and her NGOs which she said were only carrying out charity work for the benefit of Nigerians.

Patience said the anti-graft agency had also seized properties belonging to her NGOs.

The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, refused to react to the allegations levelled against the commission by Mrs. Jonathan when he was contacted on the telephone on Monday.

Meanwhile, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, on Monday, said the allegation by Mrs. Jonathan that the agency was harassing her was misleading and spurious.

The NDLEA also stated that the former President’s wife’s allegation was an attempt to take issue with the agency as it had no case against her.

Mrs. Jonathan had petitioned the House of Representatives through her lawyer, Granville Abibo, alleging that she was being subjected to continuous harassment by the EFCC and the NDLEA.

But the anti-narcotic agency, in a statement on Monday by its Head, Public Affairs, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said any individual, found culpable of drug trafficking and other related offences, would be duly prosecuted by the agency irrespective of his or her status.

Ofoyeju said, “Mrs. Jonathan’s allegation is spurious and misleading. NDLEA has no case against the former First Lady. It is rather surprising that the agency was mentioned in her petition when she is not being investigated.

“The NDLEA remains committed to the fight against drug cultivation, trafficking and abuse. It will not harass but those who violate the provisions of the Act, no matter their status, shall not go unpunished.”

Supreme Court affirms Obaseki as Edo governor

 

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the election of Godwin Obaseki as the governor of Edo.

The court dismissed appeal filed by Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2016 governorship election in the state.

Ize-Iyamu had challenged the decision of the appeal court which affirmed the position of Obaseki as governor.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen led seven other judges that gave the judgement

 Patience Jonathan petitions Reps over ‘harassment’

 

Nigeria’s former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, on Thursday alleged harassment of her family by security agencies and sought House of Representatives intervention.

In a petition to the Lower Chamber, Jonathan urged the Federal Government to call the agencies to order.

The petition was presented at the House’s plenary by the lawmaker representing Okrika Constituency of Rivers, Rep. Bright Tamuno.
Presenting the document, Tamuno urged the house to wade into the matter in consideration of the sacrifices her husband, former President Goodluck Jonathan, made for the country.

According to him, no former first lady has been harassed like this before, and in view of the sacrifices that her husband has made for the country, the house should consider and call the security agencies to order.

In the petition, Jonathan alleged that the harassment was being orchestrated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other agencies of the Federal Government.

The Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, referred the petition to the Committee on Public Petitions for further legislative action.

The former first lady had petitioned the House on a similar in December, 2016. (NAN)

NOUN law graduates know fate Oct 4

Justice Hilary Oshomah of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has set October 4 to rule on the suit filed by some law graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN.
The graduates went to court following the refusal of the relevant authorities to admit them to the Nigerian Law School.
Joined in the suit are the Council for Legal Education, National Universities Commission, the Attorney-General of the Federation and NOUN.
Mark Agwu, counsel to the Council for Legal Education, urged the court to strike out the case at Wednesday’s hearing in Port Harcourt.
He told the court that part-time and correspondent graduates were not qualified for admission into the Nigeria Law School.
“The certificate from NOUN Law Faculty is not enough to give the graduates admission into the Law school,” he said.
But Abiodun Amuda-Kannike, counsel to the plaintiffs, urged the court to deliver judgment in favour of his clients in line with the reliefs sort by the affected graduates.
He told the court that the Council for Legal Education was bent on depriving his clients the privilege of being admitted into the Law School.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, ‎ recalls that the Council for Legal Education had issued a public notice in 2015 against NOUN’s admission of its first set of law students in 2004, who later graduated in 2013.
‎Consequently, the Law Graduates Forum of NOUN filed a suit against the Council, challenging its refusal to admit them into the Nigerian Law School programme.
‎‎After hearing the matter on December 7, 2016, in Port Harcourt, the presiding judge, Babatunde Quadri, failed to deliver judgment on the case on January 27, 2017 as scheduled.
‎Since then, the law graduates have continued to fight for the judgment with several petitions to the appropriate quarters until the matter was re-assigned to Justice Oshomah.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ruling will determine whether or not the more than 1,000 law graduates of NOUN will be able to practice law.
(NAN)

Nigeria slips to 39th spot in FIFA world rankings

The Super Eagles have dropped to the 39th spot from 38th in the July FIFA World Rankings.

The rankings table on FIFA’s website on Thursday indicated that Nigeria now has 715 points as against 730 it had in the June rankings.

The ranking also saw the national team become sixth in Africa behind Egypt, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia and Cameroon respectively as against Nigeria’s fourth position in the continent in June.

On the global scene, Germany have capped a sensational week on the international stage by returning to the top of the FIFA World Rankings for the first time since being knocked off the spot exactly two years ago.

Following their 1-0 win over Chile in the FIFA Confederations Cup final in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the newly crowned champions have narrowly overtaken Brazil (2nd, down by 1 point) and leapfrogged Argentina (3rd, down by 1 point).

European neighbours, Poland (6th, up 4) also have cause to celebrate, having risen to their best-ever ranking.

Spain, however, dropped from the first ten to now place 11th.

G20 summit: Saudi King cancels participation due to Gulf 

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Al-Saud will not attend the G20 summit due to the Gulf crisis, Saudi diplomatic sources said on Monday.

Instead of the king, the Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan will attend the summit, scheduled to take place in the northern German port city of Hamburg on Friday and Saturday.

The summit brings together leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In June, Saudi Arabia led its neighbours Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, in cutting ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge that Doha denies.

On June 24, the four Arab states handed the country a list of 13 demands, including some likely to infuriate Doha and exacerbate the region’s worst crisis in decades.

Some of the key demands include shut down the Al Jazeera media network and its affiliates, halt the development of a Turkish military base in the country and reduce diplomatic ties with Iran.

Others are cut ties to extremist organisations, stop interfering in the four countries’ affairs, stop the practice of giving Qatari nationality to citizens of the four countries.

The four Arab countries on Monday agreed to give Qatar 48 more hours, in a deadline extension proposed by Kuwait, for the Gulf emirate to comply with a list of demands.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt agreed to extend the deadline after Kuwait’s government urged them to do so late Sunday, the Kuwait News Agency reported.

Earlier, as the original deadline expired, Saudi-owned television Al Arabiya reported that Qatar could be hit by further sanctions.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt said they were “studying” a list of potential political and economic sanctions against Qatar after it rejected the list of demands.

Evan: We’re not under pressure – Police

 
The Nigerian Police Force on Monday said they were not under  any pressure in handling the case of suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans.
The police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, said on Monday morning while featuring on a talk show on African Independent Television, AIT that the matter was still under investigation.
Mr. Moshood was reacting to concerns raised by Nigerians, especially on social media, about the seeming slow pace with which the police have handled the case thus far.
Evans and six of his co-conspirators were arrested and paraded at the Lagos State Police Command in June.
According to Mr. Moshood, the suspects were arrested after officers stormed the kidnappers’ den and engaged in a gun battle which lasted several hours.
The suspect was first declared wanted in August 2013 for the attempted kidnap of Vincent Obianudo, the owner of a Lagos-based transportation company. Mr. Obianudo survived the attempt, as police officers foiled the scheme, killing three of his gang members in the process.
According to the police, the gang primarily kidnapped victims in Lagos State but have also kidnapped prominent Nigerians from Northern states.
Since Evans’ arrest, he has made startling confessions about his alleged kidnapping exploits, among other criminal activities.
Many Nigerians have, however, raised concerns on why the Police are delaying his (Evans’) prosecution.
But Mr. Moshood, in his reaction, said the police are not under any pressure over the case, saying there are related issues the police are still investigating, including criminal cases involving the suspect in Ghana and other African countries.
The spokesperson also advised Nigerians to be wary of social media reports, which he said were often based on hearsay and not authentic information emanating from the police.
While explaining that the police would do everything within its capacity to ensure proper investigation and prosecution of the suspect, the force image maker noted that the police have no power over the decision of the court on the case.
He called on other Nigerians who may have evidences against the suspect to assist the police and the court in the administration of justice.
Moshood, however, noted that the police are not under any pressure from anywhere.
“We are not under any pressure and we won’t be,” he said.

Shocking: Badoo cultists sell blood handkerchiefs for N.5m each

The menace of Badoo cult group in Ikorodu area of Lagos State may not end anytime soon as fresh facts have emerged that the group sells the handkerchief, which the terror group use to clean the blood of their victims, for a whooping N500,000 to some highly placed Nigerians.

“We heard they sell one handkerchief containing the blood of their victims for N500,000 to highly placed Nigerians. The police must urgently investigate this lead in order to put an end to this menace, so that residents can sleep with two eyes closed in Ikorodu,” a top security source hinted on Sunday.

The police, which is now investigating the veracity of that information, engaged in joint operations with the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Department of State Services (DSS), Lagos State Task Force, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and local vigilance groups to raid the dreaded group’s black spots at Igbobo/Bayeku, Ibeshe, Ijede and Imota at the weekend.

This came few days after a closed-door emergency stakeholders meeting was held between officials of the Lagos State police command and National Leader of the OPC, Otunba Gani Adams, with leaders of other vigilance groups over the security challenge in
Ikorodu.

The operation was led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, in charge of Operations, Edgal Imohinmi, with over 100 suspected members of the cult group arrested during the raid.

There was a brief meeting with the security agencies and local vigilance groups at Ipakodo division before the raid took off from Ibeshe, where majority of the suspects were arrested.

An OPC member, Abiodun Akerejola, a.k.a. Ojolebua, who spoke to crime reporters, said the raid was a welcome development.

“The issue of Badoo and other cult activities in Ikorodu and environs should give everyone some concern and not only the police. We do not know the next family or person they may attack,” Akerejola said.

Balogun Moses, a resident in one of the communities, said: “If the raid is maintained on a regular basis, crime rate would be drastically reduced. We commend the effort of all the security agencies and local vigilance groups, who know the terrain. Everyone can have some respite now. For the past eight months, Ikorodu was on the news daily for negative stories.”

Meanwhile, angry residents went berserk in the early hours of Sunday, lynching three suspected members of the Badoo cult in Odogunyan area of Ikorodu.

The suspects were caught around 2a.m. in an SUV and were flagged down by residents who were doing stop and search around Odogunyan junction. It was gathered that a big stone, diesel and a cutlass were found in the vehicle.

The suspects reportedly could not offer any explanation as to what they used the objects for and where they were heading. They were subsequently beaten up and burnt to death together with the vehicle.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the incident, urging residents to desist from jungle justice.

The PPRO confirmed that over 100 Badoo suspects had been arrested across Ikorodu, adding that investigations were ongoing to screen out innocent persons among them.

He said: “We can confirm the arrest of 100 suspected members of the dreaded cult group, and they are helping with ongoing investigation into the activities of the gang. Government is on top of the situation and we like to use this medium to caution the people to desist from jungle justice.

“We also like to assure residents that they are free to go about their normal activities without let or hindrance, as the police and other security agencies in the state are poised to make Lagos uncomfortable and hot for criminal elements to perpetrate their nefarious activities.”

Also, it was reported that in another incident, a heroic dog prevented suspected Badoo members from carrying out an attack in Ikorodu Sunday.

According to a resident of the area, who shared the story on his social media page and posted images of a wounded dog, he wrote: “In spite of the recent raids, let’s be vigilant. Badoo deadly group are still at work. Around 1a.m. on Sunday, they wanted to enter a house in my area at Ojogbe, but their dog stopped them by barking loudly.

“In frustration, they stabbed the dog. Am not sure the dog is going to survive the stabbing because it has been bleeding seriously all day. May God continue to guide and protect us. At this stage, it is only God that can help us in Ikorodu.”

Despite the declaration of traditional rituals by Ikorodu chiefs and traditionalists on Friday to halt the activities of the killer gang, they stormed the Jumofak area of Igbo-Oluwo in Ikorodu around 1a.m. This time, the gang of three ran out of luck as local vigilance team arrived the scene as they were trying to break into one apartment near a gas station in the area.

The vigilance team, however, apprehended one of the suspects while the other two took to their heels.

Eyewitnesses’ account said the trio were naked and rubbed their bodies with engine oil but it could not be ascertained if they were in possession of objects like hammers, white handkerchiefs and grinding stones that the gang was noted for.

Elder statesman, Maitama Sule is dead

Nigeria’s former permanent representative to the United Nation (UN)  Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, is dead.

The elder statesman and orator died in Cairo, capital of Egypt and would be buried in Kano on Tuesday, according to a statement from the family.

“This is to announce that the corpse of the late Maitama Sule, Danmasanin Kano is expected to arrive Nigeria tomorrow Tuesday, July 4,” the family said in a statement.

“The aircraft conveying it is expected to land at the Aminu Kano International Airport at 2pm. Funeral to be conducted at the Kano Central Jumaat mosque, Emir’s palace at 4:30pm,” the statement revealed.

Sule is survived by a wife and nine children.

Buhari under fire over Sallah message in Hausa

 

For the first time since President Muhammadu Buhari left the country for the United Kingdom 50 days ago, the Presidency, on Sunday, released his voice message to Nigerians.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the voice message was released to debunk reports that the President was suffering from speech impairment.
The audio clip, which is the President’s voice message to Nigerians on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr, is in Hausa.

The Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had, in a statement on Saturday conveyed the message of the President to Nigerians.

On Sunday, the BBC aired a recorded audio version of Buhari’s message.

The message, which took the President about one minute and three seconds to deliver, is the audio version of the statement released by Shehu.

Buhari stated in the message, “I am immensely grateful to God for his mercy in guiding us successfully to conclude another Ramadan. My greetings to all Nigerian Muslims and our brother Christians on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr:

“May the lessons of Ramadan, namely piety, self-denial, prayers and generosity to the poor and the needy, be with us for all time.

“I, again, appeal to all Nigerians to avoid reckless statements or actions against our fellow countrymen. We should all resolve to live in peace and unity in our great country, which is the envy of many less-endowed nations.”

There have been reports in the social media claiming that the President is suffering from speech impairment and memory loss.

Some Nigerians however expressed mixed feelings about Buhari’s message with some civil rights organisations and prominent individuals berating the President for speaking to Nigerians in Hausa.

It’s propaganda, says Junaid Mohammed

A member of the House of Representatives during the Second Republic, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, wondered what the President’s handlers intended to achieve with the audio message.

He stated, “Other than propaganda, I wonder what they (President’s handlers) intend to achieve by putting out such an audio clip (message) at this time. The President needs our prayers and we sincerely pray for his quick recovery and safe return.’’

Also, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, said Buhari’s statement failed to address the issues of concern in the country, describing the audio message as flat.

Its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said he expected the President to have cautioned Arewa youths against their ultimatum to the Igbo, noting that instead, Buhari simply danced around the issue.

He said, “The statement is so flat; it did not address specific issues on the ground. In view of what is going on in the country now, I would have thought he would have appealed to those, who are issuing notices to quit against some other tribes, to desist from doing such a thing.

“He was talking about reckless speeches. What constitute reckless speeches? I think he should have been more specific in terms of what we are facing now because the country is under stress.”

Odumakin berated the President for speaking in Hausa in the recording, saying that was not good enough.’’

He contended that there were many non-Hausa Muslims.

“It’s like the Acting President (Yemi) Osinbajo addressing the nation in Yoruba because he is a Yoruba man.

“Addressing the nation at this time in Hausa does not bring inclusiveness. I don’t think it’s good enough for the President of a multi-ethnic nation to have made a national address in the language spoken by a section of the country,” he said.

No difference between Buhari, Nnamdi Kanu –Jonathan’s ex-aide

Reacting to the President’s message, a former Special Assistant on Social Media to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Reno Omokri, on his Facebook page, condemned Buhari for addressing Muslims in Hausa.

Omokri stated, “In a country, whose official language is English, President Muhammadu Buhari broadcasts his Sallah message in Hausa! Would Trump (whose origin is German) address America in German? So what about all those Nigerians who can’t speak Hausa?

“Ideally, the President should have spoken in English first; then, if he feels like it, he may also speak in Hausa. The way he spoke only in Hausa makes it seem as if he is only concerned with those who gave him 97 per cent of the votes while those who gave him five per cent can take a hike!

“How would the rest of the country have felt if President Olusegun Obasanjo had released a Christmas broadcast to Nigerians in Yoruba or if President Goodluck Jonathan had done so in Ogbia?

“How can a national leader address Nigerians in a sectional language? Nigeria has never had a leader as divisive as Buhari! There is no difference between President Buhari and Nnamdi Kanu.

“President Buhari is the President of all Nigeria; he is not the President of only those who can speak Hausa! This is an outrage! (The late) President Umaru Yar’Adua also spoke to the BBC News by telephone. He is Fulani, like President Buhari; yet, he spoke in English because he was President of all of us!”

President’s use of Hausa ill-advised, says CDHR

In its reaction, a civil society organisation, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, said the President’s use of Hausa in his salah message was discriminatory as more than half of the population would not understand him.

The CDHR President, Malachy Ugwumadu, stated, “The lingua franca of Nigeria is not Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba or Ibibio, but English. Therefore, while we appreciate that the President is not in the best of health condition, it is far-fetched that he would communicate on this occasion in a language that is not understood by more than half of the population. That was not well advised.

“This is a heterogeneous society, where we have over 200 indigenous languages. I think the President should focus on what unites us rather than what divides us. If he mustered the energy to talk at all, he should talk in a way everyone would understand. It is not proper.’’

IYC surprised Buhari spoke Hausa

Also, the Ijaw Youth Council expressed surprise that Buhari, whom it noted Nigerians had been eager to hear from, spoke in Hausa in his sallah message.

IYC spokesman, Mr. Henry Iyalla, said, on Sunday, that it would be difficult for Nigerians to agree that the President was actually the person that spoke to Nigerians on the BCC.

He explained that the President should have spoken in English, the official language of the country, adding that it was only English that the entire Nigeria would be able to hear and understand if he was the person who spoke.

Iyalla stated, “He is not only the President of the Hausa, he is also the President of Yoruba, Igbo, Niger Delta and other ethic nationalities.

“We are not really sure that he is the one who really spoke and this has not doused any tension about his health.”

Nigeria, now a Banana Republic, says Ohanaeze

The umbrella group for the Igbo, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, declared that Nigeria had descended to the level of a ‘Banana Republic’, if the President could address Nigerians in Hausa.

The Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Enugu on Sunday, doubted the authenticity of the message.

Ibegbu noted that there was a big problem if the message was found to be authentic, saying the message should be investigated.

“First of all, we have to ascertain the veracity of the voice because in these days of technology, a lot of things can be cloned, including human voice,” the Ohanaeze spokesman.

“But if it is true that Mr. President addressed Nigerians in a local language, it means something is wrong somewhere.

“I want to believe that the voice is not real, but if it is Mr. President that actually spoke, then, it means that we have descended to the level of a Banana Republic.

“The Federal Government should tell Nigerians whether it is actually Mr. President’s voice, or not.”

Ibegbu noted that the address couldn’t have been meant for Nigerians if it was delivered in Hausa.

He said, “Which message; message to who; in what language? Is Hausa our lingua franca? If Mr. President wants to address us, he should talk to us in English, which is our lingua franca.”

Buhari’s Sallah message, a good development –ACF

But the Arewa Consultative Forum said Buhari’s Eid-el-Fitr message was a good development in view of recent happenings in the country.

The National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Muhammad Ibrahim, told one of our correspondents in Kaduna on Sunday that Buhari’s appeal to all Nigerians “goes to show the President’s belief in one and indivisible entity (country).”

Also, the National Chairman of the Northern Elders Council, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, prayed for the President’s quick recovery.

LAUTECH students lock out UTME candidates

 

Students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso have shut the gates of the institution against UTME candidates scheduled to write their examination on Monday morning.

The gates were locked after students leaders held a congress by 5am and resolved that the school will be lockdown and no Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination will hold until their demands are met.

The demands include, a comprehensive academic calendar, commencement of lectures and a permanent resolution of the crisis in the institution.

Unless the demands are met, the student leaders said they will continue to protest and ensure a total lock down of the institution.
The student leaders said the aim of the lock down is to get the attention of the federal government on the plight of the institution.

Girl chosen for suicide bombing after refusing marriage proposal

A 14-year-old female suspected suicide bomber has said Boko Haram leaders chose her to detonate an Improvised Explosive Device in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, because she rejected the marriage proposals of their members in Sambisa Forest.
Also, the troops of the Nigerian Army, under Forward Operation Base, Fika, Yobe State, have arrested four suspected Boko Haram kidnappers in Mundu village in the Yuga area of the state.
It was learnt that the suspected Boko Haram members – 25-year-old Yahaya Auta; Salisu Lawal, 20; Umar Mohammed, 18; and Samaila Abubakar, whose age was not known – were apprehended after a tip-off and found to be in possession of several ammunition.
However, the girl suicide bomber was among three suspects arrested by the military when they allegedly came for a suicide mission at a military facility in Jakana in Maiduguri.
The suspect (name withheld because she is a minor) told the News Agency of Nigeria that she was sent on the mission to detonate the device because she refused marriage proposals from three Boko Haram terrorists.
The suspect said she was abducted with her father, Usman, by Boko Haram insurgents in Gwoza, Borno State, in 2013.
She stated that she and her father were running to Mandara Mountain for safety when they were abducted.
The teenager added, “I have spent three years in the hands of Boko Haram. Three different Boko Haram (terrorists) had proposed to marry me and I refused. Two among them were commanders (amir).
“When I refused for the third time, one of the commanders became furious and threatened to kill me and my father. I told him I would rather die than marry a Boko Haram (terrorist).
“So, after one week, they said since I have refused to get married, I should be taken to Maiduguri for a suicide mission. So, three of them held my hands and they injected me.
“Then, I never knew what was happening again.
“Ï was taken to a herbalist, who, after I regained consciousness, told me that I had been with him for 30 days.
“He told me he was preparing me for a mission. So, he gave me some water to drink. I don’t know what it tasted like but I drank it. So, he said they would come and pick me today.
“At about 7pm, three Boko Haram (members) came with a male and a female. They were also recruited for the mission like me.
“We spent one and a half days on the road to Maiduguri. It was when we got to Maiduguri that they strapped the bombs to our bodies. At that moment, I knew that I was going to die; so I started crying.
”I was watching when the first bomber, a female, detonated her explosive close to a military checkpoint, which killed no one but herself. The second, a male, was killed by the military before he could detonate his.
“At that time, something told me to remove my own IED and surrender, which I did. I was surrounded by soldiers and policemen and I fainted.
”When I woke up, I discovered that one of the policemen at the checkpoint was a brother of my mother. I think that was the reason I survived.”
Meanwhile, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, said the suspects were being de-radicalised at a military detention facility.
“We have quite a number of them here in our facility. We have been profiling them and making them feel comfortable.
“So far, from their testimonies, they usually tell us that they were brainwashed by some sort of charms to commit suicide,” Irabor said.
According to the army, the weapons recovered from the four Boko Haram kidnap gang are one locally-made six-loader single barrelled gun, one empty cartridge, two machetes, a knife, two mobile phones, two packets of Tramadol tablets and N360,000.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, confirmed the arrest, adding that the suspects were currently undergoing investigation.
He said, “Troops deployed at Forward Operation Base, Yuga, on blocking position, on Sunday, following a tip-off from well-meaning individuals, ambushed and arrested four suspected kidnappers at Mundu village.
“Also, troops of Forward Operation Base, Fika, on routine patrol, on Sunday, arrested a suspected fleeing Boko Haram terrorist, Bala Ibrahim, 30.
“Preliminary investigation shows that the suspect hails from Bulabulin village in the Fika LGA. He is being further interrogated.”

EFCC seizes N450m cash found at Lagos shopping plaza

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said late Friday that is had seized a sum of N448,850,000 (Four hundred and forty eight million, eight hundred and fifty thousand naira) discovered in a shop at LEGICO Shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The large sum of suspected laundered money stashed in several Ghana-Must-Go bags according to the EFCC were in N500 and N1000 denominations, hidden in a shop awaiting conversion into foreign currency.

Acting on a tip-off by a concerned whistle blower, operatives of the Commission swooped on the shopping complex and sought the identity of the owners of two shops, LS 64 and LS 67 which were under lock and key.

The shops had signages of Bureau de Change. Inquiries about the owner of shop 64 indicated that he had not been seen for a long time, as they claimed the shop had not been opened for businesses for close to two years.

Several calls were put to the owner of shop 67, but there was no response.

The attention of the plaza’s chairman and some traders were drawn in order to force the shops open. There was no money found in shop 67, but in shop 64 heaps of Ghana-Must-Go bags were found loaded on the floor of the shop. When the bags were unzipped they were found to contain bundles of naira notes totaling N448,850,000.

Traders interviewed at the premises claimed they were not aware that such money was housed inside the shop, as the place hardly opens for business.

The Commission is investigating the matter in order to unravel the owner and source of the money.

FG to demarcate 6,000km cattle routes this year 

The Federal Government said on Friday that it will demarcate 6,000km cattle routes across the country in 2017.
The National Coordinator, Grazing Stock Routes, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mahmud Bello, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Mararaba Dajin, Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State
“We are going to provide 6,000 kilometres of cattle routes across the country; we are going to open the primary routes first, while the state and local governments are expected to launch the secondary routes.
“By the time we identify the primary stock routes, being frequently used, we will develop them.
“All the same, all the states may not have an equal share of the routes; Bauchi may have 200 kilometres and Plateau may have 50 kilometres but we are going to spread it,’’ he said.
Mr. Bello said that the cattle routes were aimed at boosting livestock production, adding that crop farming had benefited a lot from the agricultural policies of the previous administrations.
He said that the ministry would also improve the genetic resources of the indigenous cow, which was currently producing 1.5 litres of milk per day, to enable it to produce 25 litres of milk per day.
According to him, the new plans will prevent people, particularly farmers, from encroaching into stock routes, grazing areas and selling those areas that have been mapped out as graving reserves since 1962.
Mr. Bello said that dams, boreholes, grazing reserves, stock routes and other facilities, which the government had earlier provided for the pastoralists, would be handed over to them for optimal utilisation.
He noted that such facilities were hitherto abandoned by herdsmen who decided to migrate to other areas, thereby resulting in their clashes with farmers.
“This time around, the Federal Government will strive to hand over all the facilities to the pastoralists so as to enable them to take care of them.
“Besides, we are going to develop 50 hectares of land as pasture development centres for seed multiplication in all the grazing reserves in the country.
“The centres will serve as seed banks for commercial pasture production, as part of the goals of the proposed youth empowerment programme,’’ he said.
Mr. Bello recalled that the Federal Government had, in 2016, requested state governments to provide 5,000 hectares of land within their grazing reserves for commercial pasture production.
He said that when the pasture development project was executed, it would encourage pastoralists, who were migrating in search of pasture and water for their animals, to settle down in one place.
He said that in 2016, the ministry carried out a public sensitisation campaign on the programme in 10 states, adding that it was currently carrying out the campaign in five other states.
(NAN)

Lagos police nabs Lekki Expressway robbers

 

The Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Dedicated Police Patrol Team, have foiled a car snatching operation by a gang of armed robbers.
The robbers were attempting to snatch a Toyota Camry with registration number EPE 685 CP at gun point at Oniru intersection on Lekki-Epe Expresssway.
The LCC Dedicated Patrol Team is part of the security arm of the company set up to complement the efforts of security agents at tackling crimes especially at the Lekki/Ajah/Epe axis.
The team, led by Inspector Adebisi Abraham, responded to a distress call that a gang of robbers was operating at Oniru intersection.
The team swung into action, met the three robbers in the car of the victim, Joseph Mican, a resident of Abraham Adesanya Estate, Ajah. The robbers were in the process of strangling Mican with a cable when the LCC Dedicated Patrol Team swung on them. One of the robners was arrested while the other two escaped.
The suspect, Oday Francis, a resident of Igbo Efon, was arrested with the cable used for the offence.
The arrested robber was later handed over to the Maroko Police Division for further investigation and possible prosecution.

 Abuja airport repairs 80% complete – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday inspected the ongoing rehabilitation of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and said the exercise is going according to schedule.
The airport was shut down on March 8 to enable repairs on the runway over a scheduled period of six weeks.
Mr. Osinbajo arrived the presidential air fleet wing of the airport from where he was conducted on a tour of the rehabilitation site by the Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, Saleh Dunoma.
“I have looked round. What I have seen, and from the information from the contractors, from the consultants, looks as if things are going very well”, he told journalists after the inspection.
“We were told that we are now nearing 80 per cent and we are clearly on schedule.
“We expect to see that this will be completed without any delay whatsoever. We have assurances from the contractors and consultants that we are clearly on schedule”.
The vice president said he had no reservations over the implementation of the project after listening to the contractors, consultants and FAAN officials.
“A lot of work has been done and I heard the contractors were doing shifts for 24 hours. They have taken the job very seriously. We expect that the job will be completed on the 19th (April) as promised”, he added.
Also addressing the journalist at the facility, Mr. Dunoma reiterated that the repairs had reached 80 per cent completion as atFriday.
“The other critical elements of work that we have is number one; asphalt laying, it’s about 73 per cent; traffic lighting installation is about 40 per cent. The next critical item is of course marking which will start on Monday; that one is very critical. Our regulator would have to come and certify what we have done, then we will be ready for the reopening on the 19th.
Inspection of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo led by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Managing Director, Engr. Saleh Dunoma
“We are seizing this opportunity of it being empty to rehabilitate the entire terminal building, all the facilities that are there – electrical and civil,” Mr. Dunoma stated.
He gave the assurance that the plan to reopen the airport on April 19 would be met.
“We will get it before the 19th. All the works that is going on there will be completed by the 19th,” he added.
“April 19 remains sacrosanct. You have seen how far we have gone, you have witnessed all the activities that you have seen going on and I want to reassure Nigerians that come 19th, we will open for traffic”, he said.
Mr. Dunoma, however, said the airport needs a second runway to avoid future inconveniences of closure for repairs.
“We need a second runway; that is it”.

Mobile phone subscriptions in Nigeria hits 154 million

At least 154 million Nigerians are now active subscribers of the General System on Mobile Communications (GSM), the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has said.

Speaking on Friday during the NCC day at the ongoing Enugu International Trade Fair, Danbatta said that the country’s social media space had continued to thrive.

Danbatta, who was represented by the Head of Public Relations of the South East zonal office, Mr Rueben Mouka, revealed that internet penetration of about 90 million subscribers in the country.

“This has brought the nation to more than 110 per cent teledensity.

“With broadband penetration of 21 per cent, Nigeria’s social media space has continued to thrive and our citizens are enjoying access to modern ways of interactions in cyberspace,” he said.

Danbatta said that the commission would continue to keep the nation abreast of developments in telecommunications industry through innovative and world class regulatory processes.

He, however, regretted the activities of local and state authorities in the South East who deny telecommunication companies the right of way in the task of providing services.

“We still notice a lot of challenges confronting the provision of services in this part of the country.

“Issues of vandalisation of telecommunications equipment still abound. We call on the appropriate authorities to note that it amounts to denial of our citizens rights to communications when we obstruct services.

“There are some individuals who still believe that telecom masts and towers constitute health hazards to humans.

The World Health Organisation has affirmed that no result of any such hazard has been established against base stations,” he said.

Danabatta said that anyone that adduced such reasons to deny right of way to telecom companies and prevented them from expanding services was contributing to the poor quality of service in the network.

He said that the issue of consumer empowerment and protection aimed at protecting consumers from unfair practices occupied a prominent place in the 8-point agenda of the commission.

He said that the commission had dedicated 2017 for the resolution of complaints of consumers as a complement to their consumer parliament sessions and outreach programmes.

“We have all mandated our zonal offices to take the messages down to the grassroots through a new interactive programme called ‘NCC Conversation’,” Danbatta said.

In a remark, the President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Mr Ugochukwu Chime, said that the commission needed to do more in its regulatory operations.

Chime said that in spite of the laudable achievements of the commission, “Yet, there remains a lot more that needs to be done to fully tap the potentials in this sector”.

NAN

FG protests murder of Nigerian in South Africa

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday protested against the killing of a Nigerian, Mr Rasaq Ajao, in Polokwane, Limpopo Province, South Africa on Thursday.

Amb. Olushola Enikaonolaiye, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement in Abuja, urged South African authorities to assume their responsibilities in taking proactive measures to prevent such incident.

Enikanolaiye said the deceased was killed by a mob over alleged engagement in drug peddling in Polokwane, Limpopo Province.
He added that “Mr Ajao, an auto mechanic, had lived in South Africa and had been practising his trade for over 10 years without any record of involvement with or in any drug related transaction.

“The Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria also reported that five other Nigerians were wounded in the mayhem and so far, two of the wounded have been discharged and three still receiving treatment in local hospital.

“Following the unfortunate incident, our High Commission has dispatched a strongly worded letter of protest on the death of Mr Ajao and the continued violence against Nigerians.”

According to him, Federal Government considers this development reprehensible and calls for restraint on the part of its citizens as it continues to engage South African authorities for explanations on the recent incident.

He said government would continue to pursue the course of justice for the dead and the injured, as well as ensure adequate compensation for victims.

The permanent secretary said Nigeria was prepared to attend the inaugural meeting of the newly-created Early Warning Mechanism scheduled to hold next week in South Africa.

In the same vein, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, had condemned attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, describing it as pathetic.

Dabiri-Erewa said in a statement by her Special Adviser, Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, that `this renewed attacks and killing of Nigerians in South Africa is pathetic, coming after high level, successful meetings by both the executive and legislative arms of government.”

London attack: Woman who fell into Thames dies

A Romanian woman who fell into the Thames during the Westminster terror attack has died, police have said.

Andreea Cristea is the fifth victim of the attack on 22 March, in which Khalid Masood drove into crowds on Westminster Bridge then stabbed a policeman to death, before being shot dead himself.

Ms Cristea, 31, who was on holiday with boyfriend Andrei Burnaz, had been in hospital since the attack and Mr Burnaz had planned to propose during the day out.
A family statement confirmed Ms Cristea had died on Thursday and said, “After fighting for her life for over two weeks, our beloved and irreplaceable Andreea – wonderful daughter, sister, partner, dedicated friend and the most unique and life loving person you can imagine – was cruelly and brutally ripped away from our lives in the most heartless and spiritless way.

“She will always be remembered as our shining ray of light that will forever keep on shining in our hearts.”

The family said they were “deeply touched and eternally grateful” to the “never-ending dedication” of the medical staff who treated Ms Cristea, saying their “kindness and empathy are beyond compare”.

“There are no words to even begin to describe the crushing pain and emptiness that is left in our hearts,” they continued.

Mr Burnaz, who sustained a broken foot in the attack, visited Westminster Bridge last week to lay a single white rose.

Romania’s UK ambassador, Dan Mihalache, the couple were in London to celebrate Mr Burnaz’s birthday and he had been planning to propose to Ms Cristea that day.

He said it was thought Masood’s car had mounted the pavement and hit Mr Burnaz, before pushing Ms Cristea into the Thames.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was “deeply saddened to hear of the death of Andreea Cristea”.

He tweeted, “Londoners hold her & her loved ones in our thoughts today.”

The other people killed on the bridge were Aysha Frade, 44, who worked at a London sixth-form college, U.S. tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, from Utah, and retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, from south London.

Father-of-two PC Keith Palmer was fatally stabbed outside Parliament.

Relatives of those killed joined members of the Royal Family at a “service of hope” held at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday.

Ms Cristea’s family said they would now like money donated for her recovery to be given to charity.

NAN

JAMB suspends 2017 UTME registration for 52 hours

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in Abuja on Friday announced the suspension of registration for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for 52 hours.

The decision was aimed at preventing any disruption during the conduct of the UTME mock examinations scheduled for Saturday.

The examination body, which put the suspension hour between 8:00pm on April 7 (Friday) and 12:00am on April 10 (Monday), said one million candidates have registered for the exam so far.

The Registrar/Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who made the announcement at a press briefing in Abuja, however said candidates could also go to banks, NIPOST, Interswitch or Remita to procure PINs for registration on Monday.

According to him, there will be no sale of forms, registration and biometric capturing at the various centres in which the mock examinations would take place.

‎He said the mock examinations for interested candidates taking place on Saturday was intended to familiarise the candidates with the Computer-Based Test systems and generally forecast the challenges that may surface in order to proactively address them.

Oloyede reassured the candidates that there was no need for worry or anxiety; adding that in the next one week, eligible and interested applicants will be successfully registered, as, already, 1,000,000 applicants have successful registered.

While regretting all inconveniences caused as a result of the temporary closure of registration activities, the JAMB CEO assured everyone of the possibility of an extension of registration date‎, as, according to him, every applicant must be carried along.

He said, ‎”Saturday April 8 , 2017 has been set aside for the Mock UTME. To seamlessly achieve this, the Board has s‎uspended all activities relating to the registration exercise in any CBT centre from 8pm today, being Friday April 7 2017 and to resume on Monday April 10 2017.

‎”There will be no sale of forms, registration and biometric capturing at the various centres in which the Mock Examinations are taking place. This however does not preclude any candidate from going to Banks, NIPOST, interswitch or Remita to procure pins for registration on Monday. This is to prevent any disruption of the process and conduct of the Mock Examination.

“The Mock Examinations are intended to familiarize our candidates with the CBT systems and generally forecast the challenges that may be faced ahead in order to proactively address them. It is just a rehearsal for us and candidates who want to experience the situation to expect during the actual examinations.

“Therefore, the sale of forms, registration and biometrics at CBT centres are to be suspended from 8:00 p.m. today till Monday, April 10, 2017. This notice is for the strict adherence of our officers and partners throughout the federation.

‎”While wishing the candidates and officials participating in the examination a successful mock exercise, we once again re-assure the candidates that there is no need for worry or anxiety. In the next one week, we believe it will be sufficient to capture the remaining candidates as about 1,000,000 applicants have successful registered.

“No one will be left behind as the deadline may be extended if there are applicants who do not succeed at registering due to circumstances beyond their control.”