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Zimbabwe uniniversity admits Grace Mugabe’s PhD is fake

University of Zimbabwe’s Department of Sociology has broken its silence concerning the award of a PhD to ex-First Lady Grace Mugabe, saying the qualification was fake and earned without the department’s knowledge or involvement.

The department has since engaged Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights which has written to UZ Vice Chancellor Prof. Levi Nyagura, compelling him to revoke the doctorate degree and nullify it immediately.

The institution is also expected to make a public statement concerning the revocation.

The Sociology Department Board has said the award of the degree constituted “academic corruption and criminal abuse of office” in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Law on the part of anyone implicated in the case.

Grace graduated in 2014, but, in a departure from the norm, the university did not publish her 226-page thesis, entitled “The changing social structure and functions of the family: The case of children’s homes in Zimbabwe.”

The thesis was only published in January under the name Ntombizodwa Grace Marufu.

Prof Nyagura has been given seven days to respond to the issues, failure of which the department would approach the courts of law for appropriate recourse.

“The candidate earned the degree without the knowledge or involvement of the Sociology Department Board, from the application, acceptance, supervision, examination, to the award of the degree.

“The Sociology Department Board has never approved anything in respect of the candidate’s research or thesis.

OLX closes shop in Nigeria

There are indications that OLX, an online marketplace owned by Naspers, has shut down its offices in Nigeria, a move that will affect over 100 of its employees.

It was gathered that the workers were formally informed of the decision on Tuesday through a notice of termination, which will commence in March, and will be followed by the management team in April.

In an emailed response by the Public Relations and Communications Lead, OLX Nigeria, Uche Nwagboso, the company confirmed that it made a decision to consolidate its business operations in Nigeria.

According to her, the company has made provision for financial compensation for the workers that will be affected.

“We made a difficult but important decision in Nigeria to consolidate our operations between some of our offices internationally. Our marketplace will continue to operate here – uninterrupted – as it has since 2010, and we remain committed to the many people here who use our platform to buy and sell every month,” Nwagboso said.

She added, “We continue to be focused on constantly innovating to make sure that OLX remains the top classified platform in the country. Of course, we are committed to helping our affected colleagues during this transition and have already offered them meaningful financial and other support.

“As we’ve expressed to them directly, we are extremely grateful for their many significant contributions to OLX’s success.”

OLX, which launched in Nigeria in 2012, said it had more than three million sellers and buyers registered on its platform in 2015 and reported that items valued at N12.1tn were posted for sale on its website in 2016.

OLX is a classified ad platform that connects people in local communities to buy, sell or exchange used goods and services through their mobile phone or on the web.

OLX operates in 45 countries and has an average of 54 million monthly listings of items for sale on its website.

The e-commerce business is experiencing divestment in Nigeria. Efritin.com closed down in 2015, citing high cost of doing business as reasons for the exit from Nigeria. Konga.com, in which Naspers is a major investor, also sold its business to Zinox Group last week.

Ex-Governor’s son docked for alleged N32m fraud

Federal High Court, Kano, on Wednesday granted bail to Nuriani Adamu, son of former governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu, docked for alleged N32 million money laundering.

Justice J. k. Daggard also granted bail to one Felix Onyago, arraigned with Mr. Adama.

Both denied committing the offence, and were granted bail in the sum of N8 million each.

Mr. Daggard ordered that the defendants must produce two sureties each; adding that one of the sureties must be resident in Kano.

He said that the second surety must be a blood relative of the defendants and the blood relative must have a landed property.

The judge ordered that the documents of the property must be deposited with the court.

Mr. Daggard adjourned the case until March 28 for hearing.

The defendants were arraigned on a six-count charge of money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N32 million.

The counsel to the prosecution, Douglas Gift, had earlier told the court that the defendants allegedly conspired to commit the offence on December 23, 2014.

Mr. Gift said that on the same date, Mr. Adamu allegedly transferred N32 million on several occasions to Onyago’s bank account in Kano.

He said that the offence violated Section 18(a) and 15, 2 (b) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

(NAN)

Two police officers dismissed for alleged involvement in cultism

Two police officers have been dismissed in Akwa Ibom State for their alleged involvement in cultism.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, disclosed this on Tuesday during a visit to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, and the leadership of the House.

Mr. Ogunjemilusi said the two officers were currently facing trial.

He did not, however, give out the identity or the rank of the dismissed officers.

The police chief told the speaker that over 60 suspected cultists have been arrested recently in the state, with 17 of them charged to court, while others were still being investigated.

Mr. Ogunjemilusi, who said he was in the Assembly to seek collaboration and support from the legislature towards crime-fighting, told Mr. Luke that the police in the state did not have adequate operational vehicles.

He appealed to the state lawmakers to desist from the practice of covering the license plate number of their vehicles to enable the police track down culprits whenever a crime is committed.

The speaker, Mr. Luke, assured the police chief of the lawmakers’ readiness to partner and support the police.

“I want to give you our commitment that we are ready to work for the peace, order, and security of lives and property in Akwa Ibom State,” Mr. Luke said.

“Let the long arm of the law takes its course, anyone caught involving in cultism should not be spared.”

Mr. Luke, who expressed the lawmakers’ readiness to review the state’s anti-cultism law, requested the police commissioner to forward a memo to the House on the areas of the law that he thought should be reviewed.

Akwa Ibom state has been bedeviled of late with cult-related killings and violence.

Secondus says Buhari is practising ‘nuclear nepotism’

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is practising “nuclear nepotism”.

Secondus alleged that for one to be given an appointment at federal level, the person must be a native of Daura, the president’s hometown in Katsina state.

He said the outcome of the All Progressives Congress (APC) 32 months in power is not what Nigerians bargained.

Secondus said the APC has left the presidential villa spiritually but would move out physically in 2019.

He also said Nigeria was sitting on a keg of gunpowder waiting to explode, adding that only the PDP could save it.

Secondus spoke when he led members of the PDP national working committee (NWC) to the party’s caucus at national assembly “to rub minds and see how we can save this country.”

“I have come with members of the NWC of our party to thank you for the mandate you gave us at the successful National Convention last year and to charge you to redouble your efforts for the eventual humiliation of APC in 2019,” Ike Abonyi, Secondus’ spokesman, quoted the PDP chairman as saying.

“People are being killed on daily basis, nuclear nepotism is in vogue, you have to come from Daura to be appointed into a federal position.

“Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder waiting to explode, only the PDP can save it.

“This is the time for all to stand up to save this country and all eyes are on PDP to lead the way, I am ready and determined even to be arrested for us to regain our liberty in this land.

“What we have ruling Nigeria today at the villa is a broken party and a broken government, spiritually APC has already left the villa, what we must fine tune is the physical accomplishment.”

Reps ask Buhari to replace IGP with a ‘more professional officer’

The House of Representatives has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP).

The lawmakers made the call during plenary on Wednesday.

They passed a vote of no confidence on the IGP, after various complaints from the lawmakers on the failings of the police chief.

They, therefore, asked Buhari to remove the IGP and replace him with “a more professional police officer”.

While raising the motion, Danburam Nuhu, from Kano state, drew the attention of the lawmakers to the “complicity” of the Nigeria police in the high rate of thuggery in Kano.

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a senator from Kano state, has been having a running battle with the state governor.

The police in the state have been fingered in the matter.

Nuhu described as “unfortunate” the rising cases of thuggery in the state, saying it is sponsored by some politicians.

“In fact, the recent thuggery experience in Kano was championed by q current high ranking member of the hallow chamber,” he said

“We must use all legislative instruments available to this house to discourage it in the strongest terms and curb thus barbaric act of terror.”

In the course of the deliberations, some of the lawmakers faulted the police for its “failure” to address the situation in Kano.

Nkem Abonta from Abia state said it is “very undemocratic” for the police who are supposed to be protecting the citizens to now be the ones going against the law.

“The third force (which former President Olusegun Obasanjo) was talking about could be the police force, going by the way they are operating,” he added.

“Before now, we had a decent society where there is respect for the constitution but now, everything has changed.”

On his part, John Dyegh, from Benue state, also faulted the police on the issue as well as their “unwillingness” to tackle similar challenges in the country.

He said following the killings in Benue state, intelligence reports had it that the alleged killers were camped in a local government area in Nasarrawa state “and a whole IGP claimed he was ignorant of such.”

“The intelligence reports from security agencies across the country were clear that these killers were still there. The IGP later went and said there was no such thing,” he added.

“It is obvious the IGP is incapable of his job. So I am amending the prayers to be that the president should replace the IGP with a more professional police officer.”

The lawmakers subsequently adopted the amendment.

 

Tobacco, alcohol prices to rise as FG considers tariff review

 

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun is proposing increased tariff for tobacco and alcohol.

Her proposal is in line with the implementation of the ECOWAS common external tariff (CET), one of the instruments of harmonising member states to strengthen its common market agreed upon on October 25, 2014.

In a memo sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, Adeosun suggested that a two-part tariff be approved for tobacco products.

A two-part imposes two types of import levies on the same item.

Adeosun suggested a 20 percent “ad valorem” tariff and a specific tariff of N1 per stick be placed on be placed on cigarettes and tobacco products.

She also suggested that a specific tariff of 35 kobo per CL be placed on beer and stout, N1.50k per CL on wines, and N2 on spirits and other alcoholic beverages.

Ad valorem tariff is levied as a fixed percentage of the value of a commodity.

According to the minister, this was a recommendation made by the tariff technical committee (TTC), which is chaired by the ministry of finance with members from ministries of industry, agriculture, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Office of the Secretary to the Government and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

“Further to the request, the chief of staff to Mr President requested for my views on the matter. As a result of this, the TTC deliberated on the subject and recommended for an upward review of excise rate on tobacco and alcohol, taking into consideration their health implications and revenue potentials,” she wrote.

“In addition, it also recommended the introduction of a specific frate of excise on alcohol including beers and a mixture of ad valorem and specific rate excise structure on tobacco products in ECOWAS member states.

“In line with the recommendations of the TTC, I wrote and requested Your Excellency’s consideration and approval for the proposed revised rates of excise on alcohol and tobacco, vide letters: FMF/OHMF/TA/1/2017, dated 3oth October, 2017 and FMF/PHMF/ALCOHOL/1/2017, dated 8th November, 2017.”

In November, Adeosun told the ECOWAS financial council of ministers that the federal government was working on policies to increase taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

In 2017, the World Health Organisation called for increased taxes on tobacco products to discourage its use.

Nigerians smoke about 20 billion sticks of cigarette years, according to Isaac Adewole, minister of health.

Nigeria is also said to be the highest alcohol-drinking country in the world.

JUST IN: Passengers panic as door falls off Dana Air plane

Some passengers of Nigerian air carrier, Dana Airline, expressed fear when the door of an aircraft belonging to the airline fell off upon landing.

One of the passengers on the flight, Dapo Sanwo, said the door panel was loose all through the flight,a situation he described as an indication of “lack of maintenance.”

Another passenger, Ola Brown, who took to his twitter page to vent his frustration, said the experience was scary.

Mr. Brown narrated that the exit door of the aircraft was unstable all through the flight, adding that it fell off as soon as the aircraft landed.

“Flew Dana. Exit door was unstable throughout flight. As we touched down, it fell off. Scary stuff,” he wrote on twitter.

“I was closer to the front so when I heard the sound, (I) thought it was an explosion. (I) couldn’t quite comprehend that it (the door) had just fallen off.”

Details of the incident and its causes were not immediately clear.

When contacted on Wednesday morning , the corporate communication desk of Dana Air said it would need to be briefed by its engineers before reacting to the development.

“We need to also get the engineers to give their report,” a staff of the airline’s corporate communications department said..

How I stopped Kingibe, Abba Kyari, Rufai Abubakar from stealing $44m ĺ- Former Acting D-G, NIA

Immediate past Acting Director-General (D-G) of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Mohammed Dauda, has disclosed that he fought off attempts by Messrs. Babagana Kingibe, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and his protégé and incumbent D-G of the NIA, Mr. Rufai Abubakar and Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff to steal $44million NIA intervention fund.

The disclosure was made in a brief to the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence.

In the brief, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, Mr. Dauda said he assumed office as Acting D-G on November 6 2017, following a brief meeting with Mr. Kyari at the Presidential Villa. The Chief of Staff, he said, conveyed the President’s directive to him that he should function in an acting capacity while waiting for further directives.

On leaving the Presidential Villa, Mr. Dauda said he headed straight to have a meeting with Mr. Arab Yadam who was D-G in an acting capacity but was retiring. The meeting, he said, dwelt on what the retiring Acting D-G did in the seven months during which he ran the agency.   The briefing, said Mr. Dauda, comprised his administrative, operational and technical duties, all of which were highly confidential. Mr. Yadam also gave his successor the picture of the agency’s financial position, which included $44million he informed was part of the intervention fund that brought the Ikoyi apartment cash scandal.

After the briefing, Mr. Yadam introduced Mr. Dauda to Brigadier-General Mohammed Ja’afaru, the Acting Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) who briefed him on the nature of the agency’s assignments. Among these are the daily operations of the accounts for both domestic and foreign management. The Acting DFA also told Mr. Dauda that the $44million in his custody, which was not part of the agency’s budgetary allocation, should not be touched because it had become an exhibit in an ongoing case. The purpose of the disclosure, Mr. Dauda said, was for his information.

Not long after Mr. Dauda assumed office, the Presidential Review Panel (PRP) headed by Mr. Kingibe started its assignment within NIA.

The agency provided the members of the panel with office space, accommodation, food and other logistics. Aside from Mr. Kingibe, other members include Mr. Albert K. Horsfall, a former D-G of the State Security Service; Mr. Olaniyi Oladeji, Mr. ZY Ibrahim both former DGs of the NIA and the current DG of NIA, Mr. Abubakar, who was PRP Secretary.

After the maiden meeting with the panel, said Mr. Dauda, Mr. Kingibe called him to advise that in his own interest, he should cooperate with them fully and avoid being close with Buhari’s National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Mr. Kingibe also disclosed that they had presidential powers to overrule previous instructions or directives issued by the NSA.

“I was instructed to channel all our activities, contacts, concerns and complaints through the Office of the Chief of Staff Abba Kyari only,” said Mr. Dauda.

He said the instructions left him in discomfort, as they contradict all the provisions of the agency’s instruments. Not wanting to start on a confrontational note, he kept away from the NSA as instructed.

According to him, things went on smoothly untilKingibe and Abubakar kept pressuring him for money. Mr. Dauda said he explained that the agency’s dollar account was low because of the difficulty in sourcing dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria following the crises that arose from the Ikoyi money scandal. However, the replied that the $44m in the custody of the Acting DFA belongs to the agency and that the DFA had no power to stop Mr. Dauda from spending the money. They added that since the crisis had blown over, Mr. Dauda should go and tell Brigadier-General Jafa’aru to return to his job in the army. He was advised to write to the National Security Adviser to withdraw him or ask the NIA security department to stop him from entering the premises of the agency.

Mr. Dauda said the pressure was huge, but he felt if Brigadier-General Jafa’aru left, he might not be able to resist further pressure from the desperate Kingibe led gang.

“They kept insisting that they had the mandate of the President and that the President had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to hands off the money and that it was legitimately ours. They verbally queried me on the logic of keeping the money as an exhibit since there was no case pending in court. Ambassador Kingibe told me that he was the one who, through the Chief of Staff drafted the memo that the President assented to, instructing the EFCC to hands off our case (Ikoyi cash . scandal) just to convince me that there are no more encumbrances on the money,” stated Mr. Dauda.

Still, no dice. He claimed that Kingibe and others kept pressuring and threatening that if he did not get rid of the Brigadier-General, he would have regrets. Mr. Dauda said he had no reason to get the man out and he actually enjoyed working with him. His refusal to do as they wished, he said, this prompted Messrs. Kingibe and Abubakar to tell him at a meeting that he was refusing presidential orders to bar the Brigadier-General from the NIA premises. They warned him that there might be consequences if he remained adamant.

At one of the meetings, explained Mr. Dauda, Mr. Horsfall advised him to ignore any suggestion that could cause confrontation between him and the NSA and advised his colleagues on the panel to put it as part of their recommendations to the President since they had his mandate, so he could order the NSA to remove the Acting DFA from the NSA.

The pressure on him for money, the former Acting D-G said, intensified.

“They wanted money for medical treatment or holidays abroad for their families and girlfriends. I met and gave a lady Ambassador Kingibe simply introduced to me as “Angela”  money twice at the car park of the Hilton Hotel. Once $50,000 and the second time $20,000, which apparently did not impress him. Even the current DG NIA once called me on WhatsApp, just like Amb. Kingibe always does and said that his Oga was traveling to London for medical check-up and he suggested that I should find something for him as a sign of good will. So, I reluctantly gave him $50,000 against my will, a decision that made me sad throughout the day,” he said. He added that Mr. Kingibe collected over $200,000 from him during the time he headed the PRP. Mr. Dauda said he was always using the President’s name to squeeze cash out of the NIA. They also undermined the Office of the National Security Adviser.

On December 20 2017, said the former Acting DG, Mr. Kingibe asked the current DG NIA to tell him to meet them at home located at 59 Nelson Mandela Street, Asokoro, Abuja. He was asked to come alone. At the meeting, he was told of his refusal to cooperate with them and they had brought him there to warn that the Acting DFA was conspiring with some people to steal the $44million in their safe. He was warned that he would be held liable if he did not stop their plan.

“They told me that their Committee had completed their assignment and that their recommendations were so generous to the DG NIA. They said they recommended the appointment of two Deputy Directors-General and watered down their powers enough so that they will not be in a position to pose any threat to him as the DG,” wrote Mr. Dauda.

They then suggested that it was his turn to do something in return as he was likely to get the President’s nod as the substantive DG only if he could immediately make $2million available.

“I told them it was not going to be possible as the only money available was the $44million and I didn’t know how to approach the Acting DFA. They also told me at the meeting that if I can’t  sack the DFA, they would send someone to do it soon. That was my last communication with them until I heard of my removal from office on Wednesday 11 January on Channels Television around 8 pm,’ said Mr. Dauda.

The next day, he advised the NSA to look at the possibility of evacuating the money from the NIA, an advice the NSA heeded. The money was moved and taken to the Office of the NSA.

Later that night, Mr. Dauda said he received a call from the Mr. Abubakar, who requested for a meeting with him and the staff who worked with him at 10pm. Mr. Abubakar said the meeting was ordered by Mr. Kyari. The meeting was eventually moved to the next day after Mr. Dauda protested that it was too late. At the meeting the next day, an enraged Mr. Abubakar said the Presidency blamed him for not taking over immediately thereby giving room for the money to be taken away and warned that Mr. Dauda would be held responsible.

When he finished, Mr. Dauda said he told him no money was missing and that he approved the transfer so the money could be safe.

“I told him that if there was no ulterior motive, the apprehension was unfounded. I also warned him to mind his language as I have always been his senior in this service,” Mr. Dauda stated.

He equally stated that his life is being threatened by the Kingibe gang and requested immediate protection for him and his family. Mr. Abubakar, he said, has already shown his hand with a letter requesting Mr. Dauda to return official vehicles in his possession. He has also received another letter restricting his movement on the claim that the agency was investigating leakage of sensitive information.

“These are acts meant to cow and intimidate me into submission and there are also attempts to bundle me out of my official quarters through extra-legal means and also to withdraw my security details, thereby impacting my security,” he said.

He called on the House Committee not to allow the Kingibe gang to subvert the rule of law by bullying him into submission.

How Chrisland School supervisor defiled two-year-old pupil, by witness

An ex-social worker, Miss Gloria Chinoyera, on Tuesday told the newly-inaugurated Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court how a two-year-old Chrisland School pupil was allegedly defiled by the  school supervisor.
The school supervisor, Adegboyega Adenekan, 47, is facing a charge of child defilement.

The prosecution alleged that Adenekan committed the offence sometime in November 2016 at Chrisland School, Victoria Garden City (VGC), Ajah, Lagos.
Chinoyera, a lawyer ,who has also undergone specialist training in social work and issues relating to children, was led in evidence by Mrs O. Akinsete, the prosecuting counsel.

She said: “At 9.15 a.m. on November 24, 2016, the defendant was brought to the police station, the mother of child `X’ was asked to bring her daughter to the station.

“During the interaction with child, she said that Mr Adenekan had used his wee-wee on her wee-wee and his mouth on her wee-wee, she also said that he comes to her classroom to sit and watch the television with her.

“The police made a video recording of our interaction with child `X’.
“Shortly after our interview, Mr Adenekan was brought by the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) into the room we were in, the IPO did not realise that we were still in the room.

“When she (the IPO) realised we were still in the room, she pulled Mr Adenekan back but Child `X’ had already seen him.
“She got very emotional and started crying that she wanted to see Mr Adenekan that he is her friend, we tried to calm her down but she kept insisting that she wanted to see him.

“We had to take her to the office of the Divisional Police Officer to calm her down.

“After the interview and based on what Child `X’ had said, we (myself, the Officer in Charge of Human Rights, Child X and her mother) decided to visit the school at VGC, Ajah.”

Chinoyera added:“She was asked to show us her classroom which she did and the first classroom she showed us had no television in it.

“We were made to understand that that was her new classroom as the school had changed her classroom after the allegation against Mr Adenekan.

“We asked her to show us her former classroom which she did and right in that classroom, there was a black television.

“We asked her to show us Mr Adenekan’s office where she alleged he takes her to, she played for a while because she did not know the seriousness of what was happening.

“She took us upstairs, pointed to an office and an official confirmed that that was Mr Adenekan’s office.

“She also showed us a room in the office which is to the right which was a toilet where she claimed he cleans her up after the act.

“The child at that time was two years and 11- months old and she is highly intelligent.

“I made a statement to the police on November 25, 2016 especially as the DPO wanted us to write how the matter got to his station. That was the end of my involvement in the matter.”

Earlier during her evidence, Chinoyera told the court that she was a volunteer social worker  from May 2016 to November 2016 at the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) when a petition about the alleged defilement was filed by Child X’s mother.

The ex-social worker claimed that efforts to get the school to interrogate Adenekan were on futile on two occasions and that the school supervisor was transferred to the Ikeja branch of Chrisland School following the allegation.

She said it was on the third time on November 22, 2016 with the assistance of Area “F ” Police Command that access to Adenekan was granted.

The defence counsel, Mr Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN), while cross-examining Chinoyera, queried how efficient her investigation into the alleged defilement was.

The ex-social worker revealed during the cross-examination that the matter was not initially reported to the police.

“The petitioner said when it was mentioned to the school, the school said it was not possible for Mr Adenekan to do it as at November 16, 2016 when nothing was done about it, she filed a petition to the OPD.

“According to the petitioner, she had initially thought about reporting to the police but she thought that the police could be `funny’ at times.

“She decided to go to the OPD which she felt will see to the end of the matter,” she said.

Chinoyera also revealed under cross-examination that while acting in her capacity as a social worker in the case, she never spoke to the defendant, the teachers and the management of Chrisland School.

“I never spoke to the defendant, I had no cause to; my primary concern was for the child, her welfare and protection.

“I did not speak to teachers, the police did, I went to the Chrisland School just once and twice when I was attempting to invite Adenekan for interrogation.

“I did not really speak to the management of the school, the police did, I only spoke to them to confirm the office of Adenekan.

“It was not in my place to conduct an investigation, it was the duty of the police.

“I was there to ensure that justice was done in the matter, the child was okay and not traumatised,” she said.

Justice Sybil Nwaka adjourned the case until February 8 for continuation of trial.

JAMB extends deadline for registration

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has announced the extension of registration for 2018 UTME till February 11, 2018.

The spokesperson of the board, Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in a press statement made available to the media on Tuesday evening.

The board had said in December that the sale of form and registration for all candidates including those from foreign countries will hold from December 6, 2017 to February 6, 2018.

“JAMB as a responsive organisation has taken the decision albeit with great hesitation to accommodate candidates who failed to register between the two months window period that ended at midnight of Tuesday, 6th February, 2018,” Mr. Benjamin said

The agency, however, said such extensions in future may involve some penalty.

“The failure of these candidates to register is unfortunate and the Board hastens to add that this culture of impunity will not be tolerated and indeed penalty may be imposed for late registration in future.

“Candidates are therefore strongly advised to take advantage of the extension to register as request for further extension would not be entertained,” the spokesperson said.

“For emphasis, 2018 UTME registration now closes at midnight of Sunday, 11th February, 2018.”

The board, however, said registration for direct entry candidates continues.

The board had also proposed March 9 to 17 as the date for the examination.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, is a Nigerian entrance examination board for tertiary institutions.

The board is charged with the responsibility to administer similar examinations for applicants to Nigerian public and private universities, monotechnics, polytechnics and colleges of education. All of these candidates must have obtained the West Africa School Certificate, now West Africa Examinations Council, WAEC, or its equivalent, National Examination Council, NECO.

Fraud charges: Ex-minister, Jumoke Akinjide accused of money laundering wants out-of-court settlement

former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, who is standing trial over alleged N650 million money laundering charge, on Tuesday in Lagos sought out-of-court settlement.

Akinjide’s lawyer, Bolaji Ayorinde, told a Federal High Court that they were “in the process of engaging in out-of-court settlement” with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the former minister and two others are facing charges bordering on a N650 million money laundering.

The EFCC had slammed a 24-count charge of money laundering on Ms. Akinjide, Ayo Adeseun, a former senator, and a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Olarewaju Otti.

Also listed in the charge is a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, who is said to be “at large”.

Justice Sule Hassan granted an adjournment to enable both the defence and the prosecuting counsel explore out-of-court settlement.

Mr. Ayorinde said that there was no point wasting the time and resources of the court since the sum contained in the charge had already been refunded.

“My Lord, the charge before this court is essentially in relation to the PDP campaign funds for the 2015 elections in Oyo State.

“Before trial commenced, the defendants, who were chieftains of the PDP in Oyo at the time, acting on the collective decision of the party, decided to refund the monies mentioned in the charge.

“I have had talks with the lead counsel for the prosecution and we think it wise not to subject this matter to further adjudication so as not to waste the time and resources of the court.

“In that light, I have suggested that all counsel meet to look at the way forward on this charge, especially considering the fact that the monies complained of has already been refunded.

“My application, therefore, is that this court adjourns further hearing pending the outcome of discussion by both counsel,’’ Mr. Ayorinde told the court.

Responding, the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, confirmed the position as suggested by Ayorinde.

According to Mr. Oyedepo, the allegations against the accused do not principally bother on campaign funds, but on “dealings with proceeds of unlawful activity”.

The prosecutor also confirmed to the court that the EFCC had recovered N650 million, but added that the money was recovered from the first accused and not from chieftains or principal members of the PDP.

Citing Sections 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, Mr. Oyedepo submitted that its provisions allow for such “settlement discussions” by both parties.

He told the court that the prosecution was not opposed to “discussion” and urged the court to grant the adjournment.

Besides, Mr. Oyedepo urged the court to place on record the fact that his witness had been present in court since the last adjourned date in preparation for trial.

In his ruling, Justice Hassan held that in line with the provisions of Sections 270 of the ACJA which allows plea bargain and as parties are not adverse to it, he adjourned the case until February 22 for hearing.

How ex-Defence chief allegedly used wife to launder N3.9bn – EFCC

The trial of Air Chief Marshall Alex S. Badeh (retd), former Chief of Defence  Staff resumed on Tuesday before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, with the cross-examination of the nineteenth prosecution witness, Abubakar Madaki.

Mr. Madaki, an operative of the EFCC had earlier narrated how his team of investigators discovered millions of naira diverted by Mr. Badeh from Nigeria Air Force’s accounts through companies supposedly owned by members of his family.

At the sitting on Tuesday, Mr. Madaki, while responding to questions by Mr. Badeh’s counsel, Akin Olujimi, told the court that the Zenith Bank account allegedly used to launder the funds had ‘Mary Badeh’, the first defendant’s wife, as its sole signatory.

Referring to Exhibits H1 to H47, Mr. Madaki stated that, “Mary Badeh became the sole signatory to the account of Iyalikam Nigeria Limited in a letter signed by one Salamah Badeh, dated June 23, 2004 but acknowledged on March 21, 2016.”

In yet another revelation, Mr. Madaki said, “The directors of Prince and Princess Multiservices Ltd (another company through which NAF funds were allegedly laundered) as indicated in the Certificate of Incorporation, as at August 22, 2007, are the first defendant and members of his family. The sole signatory to the bank account for this company is the first defendant’s wife, Mary Badeh”.

On the observation by Mr. Olujimi that statements of the account of the first defendant from 2007 to 2011 were withheld by the EFCC and not included in the proof of evidence presented before the court, Mr. Madaki said:

“The first defendant still has a case to answer involving the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA. I requested from our Lagos office the statements of accounts that were relevant to the case being investigated. The statements generated from November 2012 to 2015 were the ones relevant to the case at the time of investigation.”

In the absence of further questions for the PW19 whose cross-examination started about six months ago, O. A. Atolagbe, counsel to EFCC, applied for adjournment.

According to Mr. Atolagbe, the adjournment was to enable him review evidence of the witness under cross-examination to see if there is a need to re-examine him.

Justice Abang adjourned to February 26, 28 and March 1, 2018 for possible re-examination of the witness and continuation of trial.

Mr. Badeh is being prosecuted alongside Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, by the EFCC for allegedly using Nigeria Air Force, NAF, funds for personal enrichment and the acquisition of choice properties in Abuja.

2019: Senate, Reps adopt new sequence of election

The National Assembly Conference Committee on Electoral Act (amendment) Bill on Tuesday adopted the reordered sequence of the 2019 General Elections, making presidential election last.

The News Agency of Nigeria  recalls that the House of Representatives had few weeks ago, began process to amend the Electoral Act 2010 with the inclusion of section 25(1) in the law.

This was to reorder the sequence of the elections, to commence with National Assembly, followed by governorship and State House of Assembly, and Presidential as last.

This is against the sequence rolled out by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) late 2017, which put Presidential and National Assembly elections first and governorship and state assembly to follow.

The Chairman of Senate Committee on INEC, Suleiman Nazif, said that the bill did not in any way violate any provisions of Section 76 of the 1999 Constitution which empowered INEC to fix dates and conduct elections.

He said the words “empowering INEC’’ to that effect were duplicated in the bill just as powers conferred on the National Assembly by section 4 (2) of the Constitution were exercised in relation to rescheduling of elections.

Mr. Nazif said that inclusion of section 25(1) which changed the sequence of election different from the one earlier released by INEC had not violated any provisions of the laws governing the operations of the electoral body.

In his contribution, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on INEC,  Edward Pwajok, said that what the House concurred with the Senate as was very necessary in giving credibility to the electoral process.

“The sequence of election provision in the bill is not targeted at anybody but aimed at giving credibility to the electoral process.

“This is by giving the electorate the opportunity to vote based on qualities of candidates vying for National Assembly seat,” he said.

Mr. Pwajok added that if the bill was given assent by the president, the lawmakers, who based on national interest, adopted it, would invoke constitutional provisions at their disposal to make it see the light of the day.

“Whether it would be assented to or not by the President, as far as we are concerned, remains in the realm of conjuncture for now but if such eventually happens, we will know how to cross the bridge,” he said.

A member of the committee, Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi), said that while date for election was the prerogative of INEC, extant laws gave schedules for such elections as sole responsibility of the National Assembly.

“So contrary to reports and comments by some Nigerians on the reordered sequence of election, National Assembly has not overlapped its boundaries,” he said.

(NAN)

Two NDDC contractors kidnapped in Bayelsa

Suspected gunmen on Tuesday kidnapped two contractors working on one of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) projects in Otuogiri community, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state.

Asinim Butswat, spokesman of the Bayelsa police command, who confirmed the incident said the police had arrested the accomplice and that he was undergoing interrogation.

NAN quoted Lucky Moses, one of the community development committee (CDC) executives in the community, as saying the gunmen stormed the area in the early hours of Tuesday.

“The gunmen came and began to exchange gunfire with soldiers before whisking away their targets,” Moses reportedly said.

“The victims were two but one was released on the spot, while the other was whisked into a waiting speedboat which zoomed off to an unknown destination.

“The community caught the accomplice who confessed that he gave information to the abductors; the accomplice has been handed over to security operatives.”

Italy arrests lawyer, professors for ‘tampering with probe’ of Malabu oil block deal

Italian investigators have arrested 15 people, including Piero Amara, a popular lawyer in the country, and Giancarlo Longo, a magistrate, in connection with the Malabu oil block scandal.

Among those arrested were professionals, consultants, professors who were accused of trying to cover up issues relating to the bribes allegedly paid in Nigeria.

“They had put up a fake investigation to pollute the Milanese on Descalzi and the bribes in Nigeria,” Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, reported on Tuesday.

The arrests were carried out between Rome, capital of Italy, and Messina, the third-largest city on the island of Sicily.

The Malabu deal involved OPL 245, an oil block considered to be the richest in Africa.

An estimate says OPL 245 holds reserves of 9.3bn barrels of crude oil and gas reserves.

In the deal finally consummated in 2011, only $210 million of the $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni for the block went into federal government coffers as “signature bonus”.

The rest was paid to Malabu Oil and Gas, mainly owned by Dan Etete, who, as petroleum minister in 1998, had awarded the lucrative licence to himself.

The sale to Malabu was nullified by former President Obasanjo in 1999 and assigned to Shell — without a public bid.

Ownership was suspiciously reverted to Malabu thereafter, leading to legal action by Shell who later resorted to negotiating directly with Etete after President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office in 2010.

A year later, the $1.3 billion deal was struck, with Malabu getting $1.1 billion from Shell and Eni to its transfer ownership, while the signature bonus was paid to Nigeria.

Italian detectives had said some of its citizens paid bribe to Nigerian officials involved in the deal.

Court documents filed in in Milan, an Italian city, in December 2016, outlined a case against 11 people, including senior executives from Eni and Shell as well as the companies themselves.

Claudio Descalzi, ENI chief executive and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni, were said to have met with Jonathan to sort out the deal “in person”.

The prosecutors alleged that ENI and Shell executives worked with Etete during the military administration of Sani Abacha.

A total of $801.5 million was allegedly transferred to Etete’s Malabu accounts while $54 million was said to have been withdrawn by Abubakar Aliyu, who was described as an “agent” of Jonathan.

The prosecutors added that beneficiaries of the money went on a shopping spree buying “property, aeroplanes, armoured cars”.

Jonathan had denied the allegation.

Fayose lambasts Justice Abang over treatment of Metuh

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has described the controversial Federal High Court Judge, Okon Abang, as a disgrace to the judiciary in Nigeria, saying that the judge was acting more like a persecutor in the case of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, such that he ridiculed Nigeria by causing an accused to be brought to court on a stretcher.

The governor, who said it was clear that Justice Abang was out to satisfy the sinister aim of Metuh’s persecutors, said; “In saner climes, all that is needed as proof of inability to stand trial due to ill health is a doctor’s report from a duly recognized health institution and one wonders whether medical report from Federal Government owned Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State should not have been enough to convince Justice Abang that Metuh was indeed sick.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere OIayinka, Governor Fayose said; “Shame on Abang, a judge who goes to court robing himself in garment of corruption. Why didn’t he (Abang) dock Metuh with the stretcher on which he was brought to court yesterday despite all his initial bragging?

“The judge’s utterances during last month’s court appearance when he was told that Metuh was on admission and could not appear in court was a clear demonstration of malice and desperation to convict an accused person at all cost.

The governor said it was obvious that Justice Abang’s only aim was to satisfy the interest of those with evidence of his corrupt practices, adding that; “When they needed the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Chairman, Danladi Umar to help them convict Senate President Bukola Saraki, they made the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to clear him of culpability in the N10 million bribery allegation levelled against him.

“In April 2016, the EFCC said via a letter signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Emmanuel Adegboyega Aremo that ‘after investigating the case for some time, it became clear that the whole allegation bordered in the realm of mere suspicion and would be difficult to charge the CCT judge to court based on the allegation.’

“Today, the same Umar that they cleared has been charged to court by the EFCC on the same allegation.

“Obviously, they intend to use the criminal charges filed against the CCT chairman to blackmail him into doing their sinister bidding of convicting Senator Saraki at all cost just as they are doing in the case of Metuh.

“On August 18, 2016, five Appeal Court justices in their judgment in the case of Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu Vs. Samson Ogah, said Justice Abang committed a rape on democracy!

“Also, a three-member panel of Appeal Court judges led by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa said the judgement delivered by Justice Abang on October 14, 2016 was as ‘fraudulent as it was violent’ and that the judge acted like Father Christmas.

“If not because of his ability to do hatchet jobs for those presently holding Nigeria at the jugular, how can a judge like Abang that has been adjudged severally as giving fraudulent judgments and acting like Father Christmas still sit in judgment over cases involving Nigerians?”

“We therefore call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen to do something on Abang to save the bench in the hand of judges like him.

Buhari’s minister summoned after buying N280m property in Abuja

A serving minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet has been queried after purchasing a massive edifice worth N280 million in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The property was purchased in 2017. The Presidency is currently studying the development.

The cabinet member, who is a substantive minister, it was learnt, was summoned by the Presidency to explain how he came about the funds for the purchase of the house, which is located in the highbrow area of Abuja.

The Presidency got wind of the purchase following a petition to the president.

According to a source privy to the issue, the minister, who was staying in an N8 million per annum rented apartment when he became a cabinet member in 2015, has already moved to the palatial house with his security details.

The minister had told the Presidency that he secured the property with a mortgage. “The president summoned him following the receipt of the petition against him that he bought a house of N280 million for residential purposes.

The minister explained that he took a loan from one of the banks to fund the payment. “Of course, the Presidency wasn’t satisfied with his explanation because it is begging the question. How does he intend to fund the loan from his salary, especially when he didn’t purchase the house for commercial purposes?” the source said.

The source noted that the minister, who claimed that he doesn’t have the cash to fund such a purchase, but relied on bank loan that will be payable over a period of time, is already moving around to ensure that the issue is quelled within the Presidency.

“I think the question to ask the minister is when and how does he intend to pay the loan back? A minister’s take-home is less than N1 million, even if he doesn’t touch one naira from his salary and used it as payment for the loan in the course of his four-year stay as a minister, it doesn’t still meet up with the loan at all. So, how can you fight corruption when things like these happen among even members of the cabinet?”

It was learnt that many ministers, except those that are former governors, lawmakers and FCT minister, have problems with accommodation since their swearing-in late 2015.

Owing to the paucity of funds, some of the cabinet members were forced to squat with friends and relatives.

However, it was gathered that three months ago, the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, gave forms for the processing of lands to the ministers.

One of the ministers confirmed the development, but said nothing has been heard after the submission of the forms by the cabinet members.

Another top source who lamented the plight of the ministers, especially those who are coming to public service for the first time, in Abuja, said that all that government has been doing is to just empathise with the affected ministers without any concrete solution.

He said: “Last year, a member of the cabinet who was squatting with a family friend since 2015 was ejected from the apartment he was managing when the children of the owner of the property returned from abroad. In fact, it was shameful because he was given less than a week notice to move out.

“The minister even contemplated resigning at a point. It’s that bad. Many of the ministers are yet to fully settle down and some haven’t even been able to relocate their families to Abuja, hence, they shuttle on a regular basis to visit their families.

“Of course, former governors like Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi and Chris Ngige, the FCT Minister, as well as former federal legislators in the cabinet like Aisha Alhassan, Hadi Sirika, Hajia Khadija Bukar Ibrahim and Heineken Lokpobiri, among others, may not be feeling the accommodation crisis because they benefitted from the monetisation policy of the past government as legislators.”

Under the current package, ministers are entitled to N4,052,800 as housing allowance per annum. The housing allowance is 200 per cent of a minister’s annual remuneration.

According to the remuneration package set by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), a substantive minister will earn N2,026,400 annual basic salary, while a minister of state is to get N1.8 million per annum.

New Telegraph

 

Buhari warns herders, bandits against further attacks

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that the government would no longer tolerate the attacks by suspected herdsmen and other bandits.

Buhari who was on official visit to Nasarawa state, frowned on what he described as “unwarranted killing of innocent citizens’’.

He said the government was working hard to instil peace and stability and enjoined Nigerians to resist the temptation of engaging in reprisals.

The President spoke on Tuesday at the inauguration of Comprehensive Special School, Lafia, Nasarawa State.

He sympathised with victims of reported attacks and urged them not to engage in reprisals.

He reassured the people of North Central that the Federal Government had put in place, adequate measures, to end the crisis and maintain law and order.

“I also want to assure the people of the north central and indeed all Nigerians that the federal government is working day and night to ensure peace and stability returns.

“We have deployed additional resources to all the affected areas to maintain law and order.

“I appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from reprisal. The security agencies have standing order to arrest and prosecute any and all persons found with illegal arms

“I will once again express my condolences and sympathy to all the affected victims of these barbaric acts,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that border communities along Benue and Nassarawa states have been witnessing social unrest occasioned by farmers/herdsmen clashes resulting in killings of innocent citizens in both states.

It would be recalled that such barbaric killings took place on Jan. 1 where suspected herders attacked villages in Logo and Guma local government areas of Benue with over 73 people murdered.

The killings of the 73 people had spilled into violent reprisals with seven travellers believed to be of Fulani extraction were killed and their corpses roasted by rampaging crowd believed to be criminal elements in the society.

Buhari on Tuesday arrived in Lafia, capital of Nasarawa state, for a state visit and to commission some projects.

The president was received by the state governor, Tanko Al-Makura; Plateau State governor, Mr. Simon Lalong; and Deputy Governor of Benue state and other dignitaries.

Some of the projects to be commissioned are Lafia Comprehensive Special School; Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Centre in Kwandere; Muhammadu Buhari International market, Karu.

Ahead of the visit security personnel have been deployed in major streets.

The police and other personnel of other security agencies have been stationed in strategic locations.

They were also stationed in some towns, including Akwanga, Keffi and Karu.
(NAN)

Anti-Buhari statement: SERAP condemns harassment of IBB’s spokesman

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has “strongly condemned the intimidation and harassment by the police of Kassim Afegbua, spokesman of General Ibrahim Babangida over a statement he issued on behalf of the former military president.”

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, last night declared Afegbua wanted over the statement he issued on Sunday. Idris ordered the arrest of Afegbua for “making false statements, defamation of character, and for an act capable of instigating public disturbance.”

But SERAP in a statement today by its deputy director Timothy Adewale said, “Everyone has the right to speak out about political or other public interest issues. To do so cannot qualify as ‘making false statements’. And it’s certainly not ‘defamation of character’ let alone rising to ‘an act capable of instigating public disturbance.’ It is the essence of democracy and human rights. Declaring Afegbua wanted is unwarranted because there is no evidence of inciting violence against him.”

According to SERAP, “Afegbua’s statement doesn’t contain incitement to violence. Declaring him wanted simply for exercising his right to freedom of expression is the hallmark of an oppressive government. The police should immediately withdraw its unlawful declaration and end the harassment of Afegbua. President Muhammadu Buhari should publicly instruct the police authorities that it’s their duty to facilitate people’s enjoyment of their freedoms, not to hinder them.”

The statement read in part: “Afegbua’s statement is within reasonable limits, and entirely within his constitutional right to freedom of expression. The allegation that he instigated public disturbance is to say the least, bizarre. Expressing one’s opinion is at the heart of freedom of expression, not sedition. At any rate, Babangida is not known to have lodged any complaint to the police on the matter. He reportedly confirmed Afegbua’s statement. Even if Babangida had issues with Afegbua’s statement, it’s not the police’s business to take upon itself Babangida’s perceived cause of action.

“This government is striving to promote Nigeria as a free society and a good place to do business, but people in a country that calls itself a democracy shouldn’t be afraid to speak out about political issues. This kind of action by the police can stifle debate on matters of public interest in Nigeria and have broader chilling effect on free speech.

“People may hold and express strong political views. These may sound offensive, but such expressions should not be branded as criminal simply because they involve critical views about the government and authority.

“Indeed, the UN Human Rights Committee established pursuant to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party has emphasized that the value placed by the Covenant upon uninhibited expression is particularly high. All public figures, including those exercising the highest political authority, are legitimately subject to criticism and political opposition. It is absolutely necessary in a free society that restrictions on public debate or discourse are not implemented at the detriment of human rights, such as freedom of expression.”

It would be recalled that the statement which Afegbua issued on behalf of Babangida detailed the alleged failings of Buhari and called for the emergence of a younger, vibrant leader that could tackle the country’s 21st-century challenges headlong. But few hours after the first statement was released, another one reportedly signed by Babangida was made public. The statement denied the critical issues raised in the first one. However, Afegbua insisted that Babanginda authorised the statement he issued. Babangida also reportedly confirmed to THISDAY that the statement which Afegbua signed on his behalf still stands.