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JAMB warns against multiple registration for direct entry, UTME

 

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will not condone multiple registration for Direct Entry and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

A statement signed by JAMB’s Head of Public Relations, Mr Fabian Benjamin said in Abuja on Sunday.

Benjamin described the act of multiple registration as a serious offence in the process of obtaining the Board’s application forms presently on sale.

He said that the warning had become imperative for people to know and understand that violation of such rule would attract sanctions.

“Candidates are to note that our advertisement for 2017 UTME clearly states the penalty for any candidate caught buying two forms.

“Members of the public are requested to note that any candidate who indulges in double registration will be caught by our software and disqualified.

“The Board is not interested in the candidates’ money as is being insinuated by certain group who suggested to the Board that such registration will enhance the revenue base of the Board.

“No, we are more interested in the credibility of the examination and not the money, if money is our concern we will not be returning over five billion naira to the Federal Government coffers.’’

Benjamin said this year, the Board had so far remitted more than five billion naira to government, the highest ever in the 40 years of its existence.

He said that the money was saved through the transparent and judicious use of resources.
Benjamin urged candidates to disregard all information on admission, especially cut-off marks being circulated on the net.

According to him, the Board has established new method of admission in line with its mandate to ensure fairness irrespective of tribe, religion and it is determined to meet the expectations of Nigerians.

The JAMB public relations officer said that the Board had held consultations with universities across the country to enable candidates meet the requirement and secure admission without the assistance of anybody.

According to him, no cut-off mark has been arrived at as this can only be done at a policy meeting, which is at the moment yet to be conveyed.

“Do not allow yourselves to be defrauded by internet fraudsters, the policy meeting would commence the 2017 admission with all mode, process and acceptable conditions for admission.

“The Prof. Oloyede led management is working to ensure transparent, acceptable and fair admission process.

“We have designed software known as Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS), where human interference will be completely removed, to promote credibility.

“The admission criteria would be keyed into the software and it will select candidates blindly according to the institutions requirement without any primordial consideration.’’

Court papers reveal how Aluko, Omokore laundered $1.76bn looted from NNPC

 

Court papers in Lagos Nigeria have detailed how oil businessmen, Kolawole Akanni Aluko and Jide Omokore laundered the $1.7 billion creamed off the questionable oil swap transactions between them and the NNPC, during the tenure of Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Some of the money laundered through the United States and which had been used to acquire assets are now the subject of a forfeiture bid by the United States Justice Department. But the filings in a Lagos court have provided the most insightful details yet into how the entire money was laundered, while the Nigerian treasury was left dry and emasculated.

According to an affidavit sworn at the Federal High Court by Isaac Kehinde Oginni, a lawyer in the Federal Ministry of Justice, both Aluko and Omokore lifted and sold allotted Nigeria’s crude oil. While they were paid for their service, they deliberately diverted to private use, what was due to the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, in the sum of $1,762,338,184.40.

*They bought vehicles with a combined value of over N800million and donated them to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through its then National chairman Prince Secondus.
*They also bought vehicles valued at over N130million and gave them as gifts to former minister of Petroleum, Mrs Dieziani Alison-Madueke and some other management staff of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

*Kolawole Aluko paid $18,548,619.99 and N1,070,000,000 to FBN Mortgages Limited as part payment for block A consisting of 26 Flats at 46 Gerrard Road Ikoyi Lagos. The block was bought for a total cost of N5,210,520,315.

*Payment of a total sum of $25,839,606.77and N95,000,000 was made to Real Bank for the purpose of part financing the acquisition and renovation of properties by the Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited (AEDC) and Atlantic Energy Brass Development limited (AEBD).

The Properties are: Mason apartments at 6 Gerrard Road Ikoyi Lagos comprising 60 units of 3 bedrooms apartment valued at $78,000,000, Marion apartments Block 8 located at 4&5,Onikoyi Estate, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos consisting of 43 units of apartments valued at $76,160,000, apartments at 33A Cooper Road Ikoyi, Lagos renovated at a total cost of $4,937,750, Admiralty Towers at 8 Gerrard Road Ikoyi, Lagos., which was also renovated.

The two businessmen also transferred $69,912,981.15 to the following companies ;Mia Hotels Limited, First Motors Limited, V.I.Petrochemicals, Evergreen Reality &Management, WIz Trade limited, DE First Union Integrated Services and Amity Plus limited.

Mr Ogini also averred that Kolawole Aluko literally took residence outside the shores of Nigeria, to embark on a spending spree and assets acquisition in Britain, Canada, United States and Switzerland.

Among the assets acquired were houses at: Grove End Road, London NW; 755 Sarbone Road, Los Angeles;952 North Alpine drive Los Angeles;815 Cima Del Mundo. He also bought land at 807 Coma Del Mundo in Los Angeles.
Aluko also bought houses or apartments at 1049 Fifth Avenue, New York, 1948&1952 Tolls Avenue, Santa Barbara, 157 West 57th St,New York , 4100 Let Revenge, Dubai. In Nigeria , he bought Avenue Towers in Lagos. He also bought a piece of land in Mont Tremblat, Canada and a property at Colina D’oro Montagnola, Switzerland

After hiding his loot in many assets, he also bought the luxury $80million yacht, the Galactica Star, 58 exotic cars, expensive watches, private jets including a Global Express S5-GMG and a Bombardier Global 6000 9H-OPE.

Cash found in his bank accounts, according to documents before the court are: LDT Switzerland -$25million, Corner Bank, Lugano, Switzerland -$ 1million, Deutsche Bank, Geneva -$40million, HSBC London $175,000.

He also had 75% shareholding in Atlantic Energy Drilling concepts Nigeria and Atlantic Energy Brass Development and 10% Shareholding in Seven Energy.

The case came before Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos state last Friday, incidentally the same day the US Justice Department filed a forfeiture bid at a court in Houston.

The Nigerian judge adjourned hearing till 29th of September, 2017 to decide whether to stay proceeding in tune with an application filed by the defendants or continue with the case.

The Federal Republic of Nigerian and two of its agencies are the plaintiffs and they are ranged against Aluko and Jide Omokore’s Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited (AEDC) and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited (AEBD). The Nigerian government wants to recover $1.76 billion from the businessmen and their companies. Omokore is the chairman of the companies, while Kolawole Aluko is a Director.

Apart from Aluko and Omokore’s application, a limited liability company Virtual Properties and Investment Limited, has also filed another application as an intervener.

The company is urging the court to discharge or vary its order,as it relates to Marion Apartments, on the ground that the property located at Block 8 Plots 4&5 Onikoyi Estate, Banana Island, Ikoyi consists of 56 apartments owned and developed by the intervener.

By virtue of two separate deeds of sublease, the intervener said it conveyed its interest in 43 out of the 56 apartments to Realblanc Energy Engineering limited, an affiliate of the defendants.

The intervener contends that it still retains ownership of 13 out of the 56 apartments in Marion Apartments. It says that the order of the court is prejudicial to its interest and interferes with its right ownership over these flats.

Last year, the Nigerian government had frozen the accounts of the defendants in 19 banks in Nigeria and eight offshore banks.

This was sequel to the affidavit deposed by Oginni of the Federal ministry of Justice in Abuja and filed by a Lagos lawyer Oladipo Okpeseyi SAN.

The court was urged as a matter of utmost urgency and public interest, in aid of administration of justice to issue a worldwide Mareva order restraining the defendants from dissipating all known assets directly or indirectly by the defendants including but not limited to assets listed on the face of the motion paper filed before the court.

After hearing the submission of Okpeseyi, counsel to the Federal Government, Justice Oguntoyinbo restrained the defendants and their agents from demanding, receiving, transacting, mortgaging or whatsoever dealing in any manners with the assets of the defendants in banks, houses, land and shares in Nigeria and others located outside Nigeria ,while the Nigerian banks listed in the motion papers were ordered to within 7days to sequestrate all money and negotiable instruments standing to the credit of the defendants in the sum of $1,762,338,184.40 and keep same in an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court as trustee of same pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The court also ordered that its ruling should be served on the affected parties by way of advertisement in newspapers circulating within and outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

8 killed in Borno suicide bomber attack

 

At least eight people were killed on Monday when a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives at a mosque in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The head of the state emergency management agency, Ahmed Satomi, said the incident happened at about 6:00 a.m. in the London Ciki area of the state capital.

“She killed eight people and injured 15 others. The mosque was being guarded by civilian JTF (joint task force militia) during prayers,” Satomi said.

Nigeria drifting towards another civil war, Danjuma, Dogonyaro, others warn

 

 

 

 

Retired generals and other Christian elders under the aegis of National Christian Elders Forum, NCEF, have expressed sadness that Nigeria is drifting towards a needless conflict that could culminate in another war, if not well managed.

Rising from a meeting in Abuja, where it reviewed unfolding events in the country, the NCEF, a group of eminent Christian elders, including Elder Solomon Asemota, Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (retd), Gen. Zamani Lekwot (retd), Elder Moses Ihonde, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma (retd), Elder Shyngle Wigwe, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, called on Nigerian leaders to tread softly to avoid a pending implosion.

In a statement issued after the meeting, signed by its chairman, Elder Solomon Asemota, SAN, NCEF noted with concern the budding constitutional crisis in the country, and said the threat of another major ethnic conflict, occasioned by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) call for secession and the response of Arewa Youths for the eviction of the Igbo from the North, the agitations for fiscal federalism and resource control, among many other regional agitations, could set the country on the path of war the nation could not afford at present.

The group also observed that “conflicting signals emanating from the Presidency and the Senate as well as the unrelenting attacks of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen,” have not helped the situation, noting that the Presidency appeared to be at war with itself and at conflict with the National Assembly.

It said: “It’s preposterous that with the wide expanse of land available in the North, government is sponsoring grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen across the nation.

‘’Apart from the injustice of government promoting one trade over and above other business interest groups in the country, the NCEF cannot understand the rationale behind the action of some state governors who are willing to release the ancestral land of their people as grazing reserve.

“If grazing reserve is a must for the Fulani herdsmen, instead of ranching which is the international best practice, NCEF recommends that Sambisa Forest should be given to the Fulani herdsmen.”

NCEF contended that while the economy was stagnating, Nigerians were losing their jobs in millions, as insecurity in the form of insurgency, kidnapping, armed robbery, as well as cyber crime continue to ravage the land.

“To add to the problems of Nigeria, the President has been on medical vacation for some time now. Nigeria seems to be going through its worst crisis since it became an independent nation,” the statement noted, even as the group joined all well meaning Nigerians to pray for the health of  the President. Noting that the nation appeared more ill than the President, the Christian Elders urged that more prayers and intercession be made to the Almighty God for Nigeria.

“As distressing as the situation is, it would appear that many Nigerians are still unaware of the real issues at stake. The NCEF wants Nigerians to be alert and focus on the reality of what is actually occurring in Nigeria.

“The real problem with the country is that JIHAD has been launched in Nigeria and Islamists that have been interfering in the governance of the country using “Taqiyya” (approved deception) as “Stealth/Civilization Jihad” and Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen as violent Jihad, are relentless in their pursuit of eradicating democracy in Nigeria.

“The objective of the Islamists (Political Islam) is to supplant the constitution of Nigeria with Sharia ideology as the source of legislation in the nation. The conflict between democracy as national ideology and Sharia as a usurping ideology is responsible for the crisis unfolding in Nigeria. The nation is in the throes of Jihad,” it stated.

The Christian elders considered it imperative in the interest of the over 389 ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and the over 180 million citizens that the conflict be resolved in favour of democracy in place of deliberate violations of the Constitution and Rule of Law as well as judgments of courts.

According to the Christian elders, one key indicator of the tension between democracy and Sharia is the conflicting signals emanating from the Presidency. “The Buhari/Osinbajo Presidency is the result of a democratic process. The subtle attempts to undermine the office of the Acting President, as evidenced by an unguarded statement recently by a government functionary, is an indication of a competing ideology which is conflicting with democracy.

“Our founding fathers signed on in Nigeria as a democratic country in order to guarantee justice, equality and fairness for all citizens. They did not sign on for a Sharia ideology that promotes discrimination, persecution, division and oppression on the basis of religious belief and sectional ethnic identity. This is not the dream of our founding fathers; neither is it our aspiration.

“Therefore, the NCEF is calling on all Nigerians, at home and abroad, to join in the call for the supremacy of the Nigerian Constitution. Every action of the present administration that violates the Constitution, particularly Section 10, Section 38 (1) and Section 14 (3) which specifically relates to the principle of federal character in appointments should be reversed and all cases of injustice, inequality and unfairness in government appointments should be redressed forthwith,” it further stated.

The Forum noted that almost every key position in security and education is held by Muslims from the North, arguing that such “is a flagrant violation of Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

It stated: “Meanwhile, the Security forces are unable to arrest and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen while Boko Haram operates unabated. We demand compliance with the constitution.

“The NCEF is alarmed at the audacity and impunity of the Islamists in Nigeria to attempt to forcibly transform Nigeria from a democratic nation into an Islamic theocratic state. The NCEF wishes to alert Nigerians that all the sectional appointments in security and education are not mistakes but intentionally designed to place Islamists only in strategic positions in Nigeria.

“This brazen attempt at Islamization of Nigeria has extended to the introduction of  Religion and National Values subject which denigrates Christianity and promotes Islam. The NCEF joins in the demand that Christian Religious Knowledge, CRK and Islamic Religious Knowledge, IRK, revert to the original status as stand alone subjects.

“Nigerians should be ready to prevent a situation in which a group of people not voted for by the citizens wrest control of governance from duly elected government officials. The Buhari/Osinbajo Presidency is a joint ticket and the holders of the ticket must be equally respected, either as President or Acting President,” the statement added.

The elders also urged Nigerians to sustain the clarion call for restructuring of the nation for true fiscal federalism, noting that the ongoing debate on restructuring was healthy and hoped that it would quickly resolve the choice between regions or states as federating units. The Christian elders gave thumps up for the demand of the South West Zone and other well meaning Nigerians for a new Constitution for Nigeria to replace the current 1999 Constitution which is plagued with a dual, conflicting ideology. They argued that after 57 years of independence, “Nigerians want to live together in peace so that they can make progress.’’

It appealed to the Islamists that want to take over Nigeria to leave Nigerians alone to run the nation according to the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers. Our nation is a democratic nation and it shall remain so, the Christian leaders vowed. While Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, said it would not comment on religious matters, efforts to reach the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, proved abortive, as several calls pulled through the telephone of spokesman of the group elicited no response.

Dismissed army officers petition Osinbajo, seek justice

Nigerian army officers, dismissed under controversial circumstances in June 2016, have forwarded a fresh petition to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, accusing military authorities of bias and injustice.
This latest appeal comes over one year after nothing came from earlier petitions to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Nigerian Army had last year abruptly ended the careers of 38 officers by compulsory retirement over allegations of professional misconduct during the 2015 general election and involvement in arms procurement fraud.
However, PREMIUM TIMES’ investigation revealed some of the officers, including one of the country’s brightest in external and internal security operations, were forced out of service without recourse to the armed forces rules of disengagement.
Most of the affected officers were neither queried nor indicted by any panel, but were dismissed for reasons that reportedly smacked of high-level arbitrariness, witch-hunting and partisanship by authorities of the Army.
The irate officers thereafter petitioned Mr. Buhari in keeping with the armed forces rules to seek redress.
But even so, a year after their petitions were delivered to the presidency, their fates still hang in the balance.
One of the affected officers, Ojebo Baba-Ochankpa, died, while waiting for justice, in January this year.
In the new petition forwarded to Mr. Osinbajo, the affected officers expressed concern their earlier petitions to the authorities may have never been delivered by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, who has the statutory duty to forward same.
Mr. Olonisakin last week defied a ruling of the Industrial Court, which had asked him to show evidence of transmitting the officers’ petitions to the President, who is presently receiving treatment abroad.
In the fresh petition jointly written on behalf of the 38 officers by their counsel, Abdul Muhammed, they restated their pleas for redress and insisted authorities breached rules.
They alleged the “troika of the minister of defence, chief of defence staff and chief of army staff replaced corrupt officers with innocent ones.”
The petition sighted by PREMIUM TIMES read: “They maliciously and surreptitiously substituted the names of culpable officers with innocent ones in a gross act of corruption and went ahead to deliberately mislead the President and Commander in Chief as well as the entire nation on the matter.
“The action of the military in the matter of the 38 officers was based on pure vendetta and pursuit of opaque objectives such as attempt to coerce officers to commit crimes in future elections. This was motivated by their desire to further their personal ambitions and interests without any consideration whatsoever for overall national interest and security.
“Army record shows that in the respective case of all the officers, there were either no factual basis for the punishment and/or there was complete lack of established process leading to their dismissals.
It added that, “The report with respect to Arms Procurement was completed and published in December 2016, which was six months after these 38 Senior Officers had been dismissed based on involvement in Arms Procurement saga. The panel on Arms Procurement never indicted any of these 38 officers and some of those serving officers that were recommended for further investigation are still serving in the Army and have continued to enjoy their promotion and privileges.”
The allegations, they said, if properly investigated and construed, “are indicative of gross misconduct, misapplication of delegated powers and dereliction of duty.”
“The Federal Government is respectfully requested to inquire into the actions of high officials of government and see to it that the persons that have done these illegal things are unmasked and punished to the fullest extent of the law,” read petition, dated July 6.

Fayose threatens to release 11 damaging pictures on Buhari’s health

 

The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has threatened to release 11 pictures which he said would prove to Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari’s health had deteriorated.

Fayose said there was no iota of truth in the claim by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo that the President was fast recuperating in London.
The governor, who spoke with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, insisted that the President should resign and attend to his failing health.

“If care is not taken, I will release pictures and this will create serious problems for the country. The offices of the governors and the president are that which require work. If care is not taken, I will release about 11 pictures (on his bad health”), the governor said,

Fayose, who is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, however, said he was not praying for the President to die.

He challenged Osinbajo to show to Nigerians audio or still pictures taken with the President in London when he met him on Tuesday night.

The governor insisted that without the acting President showing either of these, Nigerians should not take the message by Osinbajo as the truth.

He called on the acting President to tell Nigerians what he saw when he visited Buhari.

He said, “I’m not going to prove that to Nigerians. It is him (Osinbajo) who said he saw the President that needs to prove to Nigerians.

“I have made the allegations and I have said it expressly that we are in the age of technology. So, we have an Acting President of a nation that has visited his boss that cannot show evidence of the meeting.

“The pictures they are posting on social media are pictures taken long time ago. You recall that I said this again at Transcorp Hilton in 2015. We are talking about the President of 170 million people.

“The Acting President visiting the President that has left this country for about 60 days or more cannot show evidence of the meeting. It shows the President is in a critical condition.

“I wasn’t saying that we don’t want him to return, but the claim of the acting President is not true. In this age and time when we have the social media, we have everything to show that the government cannot be run by propaganda.

“The fact is, the President is sick, incapacitated and he’s not in good condition. The acting President should show us pictures, short video of his meeting with the President . It is not in the interest of the country that the country will be run in deceit and propaganda.

“The visit (of Osinbajo) was diversionary and an attempt to divert the attention of the country. Both the President and his vice do not have what it takes to run the country.

“As far as it is good to protect the interest of his boss, he should consider the interest of the people. We are no longer credit worthy. We cannot wait for a President that is incapacitated.”

 

NIC’s Justice Agbadu Fishim docked for corruptenrichment

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday arraigned Justice Agbadu Fishim, a serving judge of the National Industrial Court, for N3.5m unlawful enrichment by public official.

Justice Fishim was arraigned on 19-count before Justice Raliat Adebiyi of Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.
The anti-graft agency, in the charge, alleged that Justice Fishim received an aggregate of N3.5m from seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria, one other Lagos-based lawyer and one law firm between 2013 and 2015.

The EFCC claimed in the charge sheet that the money was paid into the judge’s First Bank account with number 3008199491.

The judge, according to the EFCC, allegedly received a total of N1.15m from Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN) between December 5, 2013 and February 26, 2015.

He allegedly received a total of N700,000 in multiple tranches from Paul Usoro (SAN) between August 5, 2014 and March 26, 2015.

Other SANs, from whom the judge allegedly received money, were Chief Gani Adetola-Kazeem, who gave him N100,000 on February 10, 2015; and Mr. Uche Obi, who gave him N250,000 between October 17 and 20, 2013.

Others were Dr. Banire (SAN), who according to the EFCC, gave the judge N500,000 on June 20, 2013; and Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), who gave him a total of N300,000 in two tranches of N200,000 and N100,000 on June 3, 2013 and February 26, 2015 respectively.

The EFCC also claimed that Justice Fishim received a total of N250,000 from Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), in tranches of N150,000 and N100,000 on December 12, 2014 and September 10, 2015 respectively; while a Lagos-based lawyer, Enobong Etteh, was said to have transferred N200,000 to the judge on October 27, 2014.

A law firm, Alliance Law Firm, according to the EFCC, also paid N250,000 into the judge’s account on August 21, 2015.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Justice Fishim received the money “so as to have a significant increase in your assets that you cannot reasonably explain the increase in relation to your lawful income.”

It alleged that the judge acted contrary to Section 82 (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No.11, 2011.

In view of the defendant’s plea, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court for a trial date.

The defendant’s counsel, Mr. Amuda Kehinde (SAN), begged the court to grant the defendant bail on self recognizance.

“My Lord, we are saying with all sense of responsibility that the defendant be granted bail on self recognizance being a judge of the NIC.

“The defendant was just filed with this charge yesterday around 5pm,” Kehinde said.

Justice Adebiyi while granting the defendant bail, held that the prosecutor did not present any documents before the court to prove that the defendant would not attend trial.

“The defendant charged before the court is a judge of NIS.

“The main function of bail is to ensure that the defendant is in court to stand trial.

“No facts before the court by the prosecutor that the defendant would not attend trial.

“The defendant is hereby granted bail on self recognizance, however, the defendant would deposit his International passport with the Chief Court Registrar,” Adebiyi said.

Adebiyi adjourned the matter till October 11, 12 and 13 for trial.

New commands, officers redeployed in Air Force shakeup

The Nigerian Air Force on Tuesday announced the redeployment of 58 senior officials.
The Air Force, in a statement by its spokesperson, Olatokunbo Adesanya, also announced the establishment of two new commands.
“These new commands were excised from the now defunct Training Command (TC) thereby bringing the total number of Commands in the NAF to 6,” Mr. Adesanya, an air commodore, said.
Read the full statement by Mr. Adesanya below.
As part of restructuring efforts by the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, to enhance the effective and efficient projection of air power, 2 new Commands and a Branch have been established.
The two new Commands established are the Air Training Command, ATC, with Headquarters in Kaduna and Ground Training Command, GTC, with Headquarters in Enugu.
These new commands were excised from the now defunct Training Command (TC) thereby bringing the total number of Commands in the NAF to 6.
The ATC will be responsible for the implementation of policies on flying and air operations while the GTC will be responsible for the implementation of local ground training.
The newly established Branch is known as Communications Branch. The Branch was unbundled from the former Logistics and Communications Branch which brings the number of NAF branches to 10.
The new Branch would handle all the needs of the NAF, with regards to communications, electronics, radar maintenance, Information and Space Technology.
Sequel to this development, the NAF has redeployed a total of 58 officers comprising 25 Air Vice Marshals (AVM), 20 Air Commodores, 5 Group Captains, one Wing Commander, 4 Squadron Leaders, 2 Flight Lieutenants and one Flying Officer.
Among those posted to Defence Headquarters are AVMs Wakili Ahmed, Defence Policy and Plans; Ibrahim Umaru, Director Safety and Manual; Benjamin Nweze, Director, Civil-Military Relations; Eche Agwungwu, Director Space; Bernard Chiobi, Director of Operations and Onyemaechi Osahor, Director General Defence Research Production Bureau.
Senior Officers posted within HQ NAF include AVMs Nurudeen Balogun who is now Chief of Training and Operations; Muhammadu Muhammed, Chief of Policy and Plans; Charles Otegbade, Director of Plans; Olusoji Awomodu, Director of Museum and Archives; Sani Ahmed, Director of Policy; Muhammad Abdul-Wahab, Air Secretary; Kingsley Lar, Chief of Standards and Evaluation; Napoleon Bali, Director of Training; Christian Dii, Managing Director Aircraft Engineering and Technical Services Limited; Abdulganiyu Olabisi, Chief of Aircraft Engineering; Charles Oghomwen, Chief of Communications, Cletus Udeagulu, Director Research and Development and Paul Dimfwina, Director of Evaluation.
Similarly, the newly appointed Air Officers Commanding are AVMs Samson Akpasa, Ground Training Command, Enugu; Saddiq Kaita, Special Operations Command, Bauchi; and Mohammed Idris, Tactical Air Command, Makurdi.

N1.4bn fraud: Ex-OAU VC remanded in prison

A former Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Anthony Elujoba, has been remanded in Ilesha Prisons after the bail application was dismissed.

Justice David Oladimeji of the Federal High Court in Ede, Osun State, ruled that Mr. Elujoba be remanded till July 19 when the case will be brought for hearing.

The former VC is standing trial on a seven-count charge of alleged corruption and abuse of office involving some N1.4 billion.

He is standing trial alongside the bursar of the university, Josephine Akeredolu.

But workers of the university see Mr. Elujoba’s trial as “victimisation”.

Two lecture-free days declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, in solidarity with Mr. Elujoba ended Tuesday.

On Tuesday, workers of the university protested the decision of the court to send the embattled professor to prison.

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU, locked down the court gate as the ruling was being handed.

No one was allowed to leave the premises of the court at the time of this report.

The workers demanded the judge withdraw his ruling, and authorise the former vice chancellor be kept in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Students fear the latest disturbances may further affect their academic calendar.

 

Jackals, hyenas surrounding Buhari to go – Aisha

President Muhammadu Buhari is getting better and will soon be back, going by his wife Aisha’s statement yesterday in London.
The President’s wife last week travelled to London to be with her husband, who is undergoing treatment for an undisclosed ailment. She has also been carrying out other assignments.
President Buhari left the country on May 7 for another round of treatment. He spent more than 50 days during his first medical vacation in London.
On his return, he told the nation that he had never been that sick in his life adding that he underwent blood transfusion. But he did not disclose his ailment.
On her Facebook page yesterday, Mrs Buhari, in a response to the July 6 post by Senator Shehu Sani, expressed herself in a figurative manner, using the animal imagery like the senator did.
She wrote: “God has answered the prayers of the weaker animals. The hyenas and the jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom. We strongly believe in the prayers and support of the weaker animals.
“Long live the weaker animals. Long live Nigeria.”
Director of Press in Mrs Buhari’s office Mr. Suleiman Haruna, said yesterday that the post was on the president’s wife’s “verified facebook page”.
As at 10pm, about 257 people had made comments on the post, most of which were wishing President Buhari quick recovery.
Senator Sani (Kaduna Central) wrote on his facebook page on July 6.
“Prayer for the absent Lion King has waned; until he’s back then they will fall over each other to be on the front row of the palace temple.
“Now the hyenas and the jackals are scheming and talking to each other in whispers; still doubting whether the Lion King will be back or not.
“Now the Lion king is asleep and no other dare to confirm if he will wake up or not. It’s the wish of the hyenas that the Lion King never wakes or comes back so that they can be kings. It’s the prayers of the weaker animals that the Lion King comes back to save the Kingdom from the hyenas, the wolves and other predators.”
The senator is believed to be referring to those who are scheming to become president in 2019, criss-crossing the country in moves to taking advantage of the president’s absence.
Some people who are holding political positions are also believed to be undermining the system to position themselves in the president’s absence.
The President’s wife also yesterday posted her photograph speaking at an event in London.
She wrote under the photograph: “Today I attended the Babatunde Osotimehin Memorial Lecture at County Hall, London.
“It was an honour to have spoken about his achievements at all levels and his commitment towards women and children all over the world.”
Osotimehin was the Executive Director of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and a former minister of health, who died last month.

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.