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CSOs ask new Kano emirs to resign

At least 22 civil society organisations have called on the newly appointed emirs in Kano state to resign.

The groups also called on Muhammadu Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto, to denounce the the additional emirates in Kano.

Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of the state, had appointed four new emirs in the state, an action believed to be political and targetted at Muhammadu Sanusi, emir of Kano, who reportedly worked against the governor’s reelection.

Speaking during a press conference, Abdulrahman Yola, a representative of the CSOs, asked Ganduje to concentrate on addressing the socio-economic and developmental challenges in the state.

“Kano State harbours more than two million Almajiris roaming the streets, without any tangible and sustainable intervention to checkmate the ugly situation,” Yola said.

“Kano takes the lead in substance and drug abuse, we have the highest number of school dropouts, the highest cases of congested classrooms in the country, with over 150 – 200 pupils in a class.

“Reliable statistics indicate more than three million, five hundred thousand unemployed youths in Kano, more than two million girl children who do not attend formal school in Kano, more than five million people who do not have access to potable drinking water and one of the states with the highest maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.

“And with all these challenges, the next solution is the creation of new emirates?”

Saida Sa’ad, another member of the coalition, accused the state assembly of violating legislative process and placing undue attention on an “unpopular bill”.

“We have Kano state security trust fund law bill unattended to in the last six years; violence against person prohibition law bill in the last 12 months; child rights act bill, 24 months; procurement law bill, six years; audit law bill; fiscal responsibility law bill and due process law bill,” she said.

“All are either with the house or governor without being given attention, only to pass a bill in less than 48 hours and the governor assented in less than 24 hours.

“Can we convince ourselves that the creation of additional emirate councils was done in good faith, and in the overall public interest and for genuine progress of the state?”

But in his reaction, Muhamamad Garba, the state’s commissioner for information, said the government’s action cannot be reversed.

He said the challenges confronting the state had been existing before the administration of Ganduje, saying the governor had empowered more than one million youths, including almajiris.

We are investigating Okorocha, says Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is investigating Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state.

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the anti-graft agency, disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television.

Asked if an investigation is ongoing regarding the governor, he responded, “definitely”.

“Of course, we are doing a couple of checks and investigations here and there. We are investigating almost everybody,” he said.

He said the commission has to get to a certain level before it can disclose any information about an ongoing investigation.

Magu explained that this was necessary to prevent any action that can jeopardise or interfere with the process of the inquiry.

The anti-graft czar said though he was aware of reports of the investigation on the social media, the details the anti-graft agency has is different from what is in the public space.

Magu granted the interview in the United Kingdom to meet with investigators assisting the Nigerian government in solving cases of money laundering and financial crimes.

Okorocha is currently in court with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the certificate of return of Imo west senatorial district.

He was declared winner of the election but INEC withdrew the certificate, saying the returning officer was forced to announce Okorocha as winner.

The governor contested the election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The immunity Okorocha enjoys at the moment will end when his tenure expires in nine days.

Court orders INEC to withdraw 25 Certificates-of-Return

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has withdrawn 25 Certificates-of-Return issued to some candidates that won during the 2019 general elections, following court orders.

The Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Mr Festus Okoye, said this at a `Forum on Media Coverage of 2019 General Elections’ held in Enugu on Monday.

Okoye noted that 20 of the 25 certificates-of-return were withdrawn from All Progressive Congress (APC) members to other APC members; while two from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members were withdrawn and issued to other PDP members.

He said that the other three were withdrawn from APC and PDP; and given to other political parties.

“Before we left INEC national headquarters on Friday; the commission has withdrawn 25 certificates-of-return from the first owners to their new owners following court orders to do that,’’ he said.

Okoye, however, lauded the media for its openness and robust engagement with the commission before, during and after the election, adding that the media had become critical stakeholders for the success of future elections.

He noted that the media had become the first line of reach of the masses as well as platform for explanation of INEC political and electoral decisions.

Okoye, therefore, called on the media and its practitioners to dig deep into the Electoral Act to ensure that the import of the recent amended sections are made known to the public.

“The media should also centre on the aspect of using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve electoral issues especially at the party levels instead of going to the court,’’ he advised.

Speaking, President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isigozu, said that the media and its practitioners enjoyed a vast and robust relationship with INEC before, during and after the elections.

Isigozu said that INEC performed creditebly well given the resources and length of co-operation from other stakeholders involved in the electoral processes.
“However, we are here to evaluate the entire process and see where we can strengthen our engagement and better the electoral system.

“We would be open and say it as it; so that the electoral and democratic processes can be better even as we go into off season elections,’’ he said.

Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononamadu, noted that evaluation of processes of the elections would help better the electoral processes as well as strengthen institutions and stakeholders involved in the entire processes.

“INEC wants to hear from the media, security agencies, civil society organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations etc on how the election fared. Whether there are avenues to improve on what we have.

“So, INEC is open to receive your objective deliberations and its outcome and we definitely take a critical look at your outcomes in order to better the electoral processes,’’ Ononamadu assured.

Iwo monarch to FG: Give traditional rulers security votes if you want to end insecurity

Oba Adbulrasheed Akanbi, Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun state, has called on the federal government to make provision for security votes for the traditional institution to help fight insecurity in the country.

Akanbi, who spoke to journalists in Osogbo, the state capital on Monday, said the traditional rulers are closer to the grassroots and are privy to the intelligence needed to curb crimes in communities.

According to him, the police cannot effectively perform their duty of securing the people because the force is “underfunded and understaffed”, hence the need to collaborate with traditional rulers.

“Traditional rulers should be empowered to domesticate security at the grassroots which constitutes higher percent of the hideouts for kidnappers. Co-opting monarchs will unavoidably decimate security threat,” Akanbi said.

“But traditional institution should be given security vote to engage local hunters, vigilante, the Agbekoyas, trusted local Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), among others. In my own capacity, I am trying my utmost best in my domain but the institution I represent deserves security funding to act more.

“I have personally arrested a criminal in my domain and handed him over to the police. I know the nooks and crannies of my city. No criminal can survive with illegality here. I have instilled the fear in them and this has decimated atrocities in Iwo. I am ready to do more if empowered by engaging trusted local security details.

“The police saddled with this primary responsibility is underfunded and under staffed. Nigeria of over 200 million population is parading about 300,000 policemen. The police should be equipped with modern tools and should be paid good salaries and as well be assured of job security to motivate them for maximal performance.

“Government should provide surveillance helicopters to aid technical detective assignments by the police, most especially when searching kidnappers’ hideouts.”

Akanbi linked the high rate of crimes and banditry in the country to unemployment, saying the availability of jobs will cause a drastic reduction in social vices in the society.

“…The ultimate panacea is the implementation of robust youth based programs and empowerment for the Nigerian youth,” he said.

“The root of every security threat is unemployment. Addressing this will halt the menace of criminality and clean our country of social vices.

“Strict punishment should be enacted and upheld by agencies of government. The fear of legal reprisal can equally discourage some perpetrators.”

Pastor ask court to dissolve marriage over sex deprivation

Pastor Samson Farounbi has told an Idi-Ogungun Customary Court, Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State that the small size of his penis made his estranged wife to deny him sex for a long period.

Farounbi disclosed this on Monday when testifying before the court on a case of divorce he instituted against Tope Farounbi.

He had requested the court to end the 19-year-old union on the grounds of unrest of mind, threat to life and lack of respect for his family.

Narrating his ordeal, the Pastor said his wife, who was a fruit seller, used to return home at late hours every day and refused to have sex with him.

”There was a day I challenged her why she always return late and denying me sex.

”She confessed that the small size of my penis was responsible for keeping late outside and for refusing to have sex with her.

”She suggested to buy local herb for the treatment of my micro penis which cost N5,000 but I priced it down to N4,000.

”I got myself treated with the ‘Agbo'(local herb) but she still felt reluctance to allow me have access to her body,” he narrated.

The pastor further alleged that the defendant maltreated his mother when she was living with him and that the ill-treatment forced his aged mother to relocate to Ilesha where she died few months later.

He told the court that Tope used to curse every member of his family and always cursed his blood brothers when they visited him.

”My lord, she is a devil, always fighting people especially females, that come to my church for prayer, accusing me of flirting with them.

”We have never stayed beyond two years in every house I rented since we married 19 years ago due to her stubbornness and troublesome character.

”The five children of our union lack home training and always cursing me whenever I tried to correct any of the kids for doing wrong things.

”In fact, our first child has ran away from home now and I cannot even locate his whereabouts.

”I urge the court to separate us so that I can have peace of mind to do my pastoral work,” he pleaded.

In her defence, Tope denied all the allegations but urged the court to dissolve the marriage as requested by the plaintiff.

She accused her husband of womanising, saying he never care for her welfare but was in the habit of drinking alcohol.

The President of the court, Chief Mukaila Balogun and the two court assessors, Chief Wahab Popoola and Chief Alao Ganiyu, in their unanimous decision dissolved the marriage.

Balogun said the court was handicapped to settle the dispute between the parties because the couple had agreed to end the marriage.

He ordered that three kids that are males including the first born that ran away should be in the custody of the plaintiff while the remaining two daughters should remain with the defendant.

He further directed the plaintiff to pay N8,000 monthly allowance for the upkeep of the two kids in the defendant custody.

He admonished the parties to refrain from fomenting trouble or disturb public peace.

Breaking: Naira Marley remanded in prison for alleged internet fraud

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday morning ordered that upcoming musician, Azeez Fashola, alias Naira Marley, be remanded in the prison custody.

The judge made the remand order shortly after the musician was arraigned before him on 11 counts, bordering on credit card fraud.

Naira Marley pleaded not guilty to the cyber fraud charges pressed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The trial judge adjourned till May 30 to take the bail application filed by the defence counsel, Taiwo Oreagba, on behalf of his client.

Naira Marley surrounded by EFCC officials in court on Monday

I’ll not let Iran have nuclear weapons – Trump

 

Hours after threatening the “official end” of Iran if it starts a war with the United States, Donald Trump kept up his uncompromising rhetoric, vowing not to let Iran develop nuclear weapons.

“I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons, you just can’t let that happen,” Mr Trump said in an interview with Fox News late on Sunday.

Before becoming US president, Mr Trump was a vocal critic of both the Iraq war and the Libya intervention. Last year, he pulled the US out of a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, an agreement that was designed to temporarily curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

On Sunday, he said that “with all of everything that’s going on, and I’m not one that believes, you know, I’m not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly, by far the most importantly”.

Mr Trump again took credit for ending the nuclear deal that his predecessor Barack Obama signed in 2015 and indicated that the strategy of isolation and sanctions is working by devastating the Iranian economy.

“I had no idea it was going to be as strong as it was … the country is devastated from the standpoint of the economy,” he said.

The US wants Iran to come to the table, and according to CNN, the White House has passed a phone number via Switzerland to Tehran. That call has not been placed yet.

There are growing concerns in Washington that if Iran backs away from its commitments under the nuclear deal in July, it could increase enrichment levels – capped under the 2015 agreement, officially called the JCPOA – to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Before his interview was aired, Mr Trump threatened Tehran that if it “wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran”.

“Never threaten the United States again!” he said.

The escalation in rhetoric comes as a rocket landed near the US embassy in Baghdad on Sunday, four days after Washington ordered the withdrawal of all non-essential staff from Iraq because of fears of attacks by Iranian proxies.

It also coincides with mounting tension in the Gulf of Oman with two US warships arriving in the region. Last week, two attacks, one sabotaging tankers at sea near the UAE and one against Saudi oil pumping stations near Riyadh, occurred within 48 hours of each other.

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of ordering the drone attack through the Houthis, while the UAE is conducting an investigation into what happened off its coast.

Gulf states have also increased maritime patrols to deter Iran.

Billionaire Smith stuns Morehouse College graduates, to pay off their loans

An African-American billionaire technology investor, Robert F.Smith stunned the entire graduating class at Morehouse College in Atlanta when he pledged to pay off their student loans.

The Associated Press estimated the loans to be up to $40 million.

Smith, this year’s commencement speaker, made the announcement while addressing nearly 400 graduating seniors of the all-male historically black college.

On Twitter, he encapsulated the reasoning for his gesture: “More than the money we make, the awards, or recognition, or titles we earn, each of us will be measured by how much we contribute to the success of the people around us,” he wrote.

Smith is the Founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests in software, data, and technology-driven companies.

Robert F. Smith (left) laughs with David Thomas (c) and Angela Bassett, an actress at the Morehouse College graduation on Sunday. Photo courtesy AP

“On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we’re gonna put a little fuel in your bus,” the investor and philanthropist told graduates in his morning address. “This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”

The announcement immediately drew stunned looks from faculty and students alike. Then the graduates broke into the biggest cheers of the morning and stood up, applauding. Morehouse said it is the single largest gift to the college.

“More than the money we make, the awards, or recognition, or titles we earn, each of us will be measured by how much we contribute to the success of the people around us,” he wrote.

Though college officials could not provide an estimate of the exact amount owed by the current graduating class, students graduate with an average debt of $30,000 to $40,000, said Terrance L. Dixon, vice president of enrolment management.

Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse during the ceremony, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school.

Smith said he expected the recipients to “pay it forward” and said he hoped that “every class has the same opportunity going forward.”

“Because we are enough to take care of our own community,” Smith said. “We are enough to ensure that we have all the opportunities of the American dream. And we will show it to each other through our actions and through our words and through our deeds.”

In the weeks before graduating from Morehouse on Sunday, 22-year-old finance major Aaron Mitchom drew up a spreadsheet to calculate how long it would take him to pay back his $200,000 in student loans — 25 years at half his monthly salary, per his calculations.

In an instant, that number vanished. Mitchom, sitting in the crowd, wept.

“I can delete that spreadsheet,” he said in an interview after the commencement. “I don’t have to live off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was shocked. My heart dropped. We all cried. In the moment it was like a burden had been taken off.”

His mother, Tina Mitchom, was also shocked. Eight family members, including Mitchom’s 76-year-old grandmother, took turns over four years co-signing on the loans that got him across the finish line.

“It takes a village,” she said. “It now means he can start paying it forward and start closing this gap a lot sooner, giving back to the college and thinking about a succession plan” for his younger siblings.

Morehouse College president David A. Thomas said the gift would have a profound effect on the students’ futures.

“Many of my students are interested in going into teaching, for example, but leave with an amount of student debt that makes that untenable,” Thomas said in an interview. “In some ways, it was a liberation gift for these young men that just opened up their choices.”

Google cuts ties with Huawei

US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, said Sunday it was beginning to cut ties with China’s Huawei, which Washington considers a national security threat.

In the midst of a trade war with Beijing, President Donald Trump has barred US companies from engaging in telecommunications trade with foreign companies said to threaten American national security.

The measure targets Huawei, a Chinese telecoms giant in Washington’s sights that is listed by the Commerce Department among firms with which American companies can only engage in trade after obtaining the green light from the authorities.

The ban includes technology sharing.

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” a Google spokesperson told AFP.

The move could have dramatic implications since Google, like all tech companies, must collaborate with smartphone makers to ensure its systems are compatible with their devices.

Google will have to halt business activities with Huawei that involve transfer of hardware, software and technical services that are not publicly available — meaning Huawei will only be able to use the open source version of Android, a source close to the matter told AFP.

Huawei will no longer have access to Google’s proprietary apps and services, such as the Gmail email service.

Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Huawei is a rapidly expanding leader in 5G technology but remains dependent on foreign suppliers.

It buys about $67 billion worth of components each year, including about $11 billion from US suppliers, according to The Nikkei business daily.

Huawei is the target of an intense campaign by Washington, which has been trying to persuade allies not to allow China a role in building next-generation 5G mobile networks.

US government agencies are already banned from buying equipment from Huawei.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said Saturday that “We have not done anything which violates the law,” adding the US measures would have a limited impact.

Dozie, Odili, Dasuki… the billionaires who own MTN Nigeria

After going public on Thursday, MTN Nigeria has brought itself under the scrutiny of the investing public; all its progress and otherwise will now be subject to the corporate governance laws of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The identities of some shareholders, who now own billions in the second biggest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange have now emerged.

While the MTN Nigeria is still controlled by MTN Group, the parent country, some notable Nigerians hold billions in the telecommunications company.

HERE’S A FULL LIST OF THOSE WHO OWN MTN NIGERIA AS AT MAY 17, 2019:

SHAREHOLDER VALUE IN NAIRA PERCENTAGE HOLD
MTN International Limited 1.68 trillion 76.08
Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited 213.7 billion 9.64
Mobile Telephone Network 60.95 billion 2.75
Government Employees Pension Fund 38.69 billion 1.75
Victor Odili 87.87 billion 3.96
Pascal Dozie 37.07 billion 1.67
Sani Mohammed Bello 28.87 billion 1.30
Babatunde Folawiyo 23.83 billion 1.08
Gbenga Oyebode 19.80 billion 0.89
Ahmed Dasuki 19.35 billion 0.87
Karl Olutokun Toriola 100.10 million 0.005
Total 2.22 trillion 100

As expected for a money minting enterprise being the largest telecoms network in Nigeria, MTN shares are being snapped up.by investors.

Listed at N90 per share, the price has gained 21 percent in just two days trading.

PDP governors reject el-Rufai in two-man race for NGF chairman

Ahead of the election of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) chairman, there are indications that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors prefer their Ekiti State colleague, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai.

The seventh NGF poll will hold on Wednesday in Abuja.

El-Rufai may back out of the contest following talks among All Progressives Congress (APC) governors.

NGF has produced six chairmen in the last 20 years of the nation’s democracy. They are: Alh. Abdullahi Adamu, (Nasarawa, 1999 – 2004), Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom State, 2004 -2006), Chief Lucky Igbinedion (Edo, 2006 – 2007), Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (Kwara, 2007- 2011), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers, 2011 -2015) and Abdulaziz Yari (2015-2019).

The Southwest, the Northeast and the Southeast have not chaired the NGF.

Most PDP governors are said to be uncomfortable with El-Rufai because of his derision of the opposition and hardline on some national issues, especially from the religious perspective.

El-Rufai is seen by some PDP governors as one of the architects of the defeat of the opposition party in the last general elections.

The governors will attend their last National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Wednesday. They will use the opportunity to elect a new chairman.

A PDP governor said: “We have decided not to support El-Rufai as the next chairman of the NGF because his temperament is not good enough for this office. He is a courageous, brilliant and smart individual but if he leads NGF, his caustic comments can create discontent among us.

“Also, he has a headmaster instinct, which does not fit into a forum where we are all colleagues. Since Fayemi has indicated interest, we prefer him as a moderate.”

Another PDP governor said: “The Kaduna governor does not care a hoot about PDP, a party which provided him the opportunity to climb up leadership positions. He has derided us during the campaign; we will pay him back in his own coin.

”The outgoing NGF chairman, Abdulaziz Yari, has set a template of dialoguing with the Presidency for interventions, including the latest N649.43billion and we need another governor who can continue.

“We don’t want any NGF chairman who will use the forum as a platform for 2023 general elections. We respect el-Rufai, but we won’t give him this opportunity.”

As at press time, there were indications that el-Rufai might back out of the race because of the ongoing talks among APC governors.

An outgoing APC governor said: “We want to go into the NGF election united, unlike the case in 2011 when we had a split among ourselves. The APC governors are already building consensus too around Fayemi.

“The ongoing talks may lead to the withdrawal of el-Rufai from the race, more so a governor from Northwest has just ended his tenure as NGF chairman. Equity demands that the office should be conceded to another geopolitical zone.

“I think the candidature of Fayemi is more acceptable to both APC and PDP caucuses. He is also a ranking governor in our midst.”

Alleged Islamisation: Lamido warns Obasanjo against turning into bigot

A former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido has warned ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo against turning himself into a bigot. He said Obasanjo’s comments at a church on alleged Fulanisation and Islamisation of Nigeria were intolerable.

Lamido advised Obasanjo to retain his national outlook instead of fanning the embers of religious divide.

But a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo was only being courageous in telling the truth.

Lamido expressed his views in a statement by his New Media aide, Masur Ahmed.

The statement said: “Speaking about ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation at St. Paul Cathedral Church’ is very much unlike you, sir!

“If it were said at a non-religious venue to a non-religious audience, may be it might have been more tolerable.

“Please, sir, don’t let your disappointment with sitting Presidents turn you into a bigot. You must not abandon the national stage.

“The cracks along the various divides in our national cohesion are already turning into huge ‘gorges’”

In a counter-statement, Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo was just being courageous.

He said the former President had done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe, and Nigeria’s unity than any other ex-President or Head of State in the nation’s history. The former minister said posterity would be kind to Obasanjo for speaking the bitter truth.

Fani-Kayode said: “I hear one or two people like Sule Lamido are not too happy with what Obasanjo said and have called him (names) out for saying it. That is sad and unfortunate because Obasanjo has done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe, and Nigerian unity, than any other former President or Head of State in our history.

“He also fought in a civil war to keep the country together. For anybody from the core North to call him names for speaking the truth and baring his mind over what is unfolding in Nigeria today tells you how blinded by power, insensitive and callous some of these people are.

“It is only those that subscribe to the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda that will criticise or oppose Obasanjo’s observation and describe him as ‘a bigot’ for making them.

“What Obasanjo said was timely and necessary and millions are commending him for it. He spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

The former minister alleged that Nigeria was driven to this stage because the world refused to listen to early warnings.

He added: “President Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger that we are in and what lies ahead. He is deeply courageous and his latest contribution that there is an agenda to Fulanise West Africa and Islamise Africa says it all.

“Obasanjo needs say no more. History and posterity will be kind to him for speaking the bitter truth and saying what almost every other southern and Middle Belt politician and leader knows to be true but is too timid and too scared to say publicly.

“With his latest contribution, he has vindicated yours truly and many others. I saw this coming in late 2013 and I told the world. Nnamdi Kanu saw it coming in 2014 and he told the world. Asari Dokubo saw it in 2015 and he told the world.

“Afenifere, OPC, YOLICOM, PANDEM, MEND, the Middle Belt Forum, the Niger Delta Avengers, IPOB, MASSOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo saw it in 2017 and they told the world. The Christian Elders Forum, CAN and the Church saw it in 2018 and they told the world.

“Sadly, the world refused to listen, left us on our own and, instead of rising to the occasion and confronting the evil, Nigerians went on bended knee to the powers that be and acted as if they were not saddled with a major problem that was bound to eventually consume them all. Now, they know better, even though most of them are still in denial.

“Now, they must live with the consequences of their indifference, ignorance, cowardice and stoicism. What a pity!”

How gunmen killed Igbinedion varsity lecturer – Police

Edo Commissioner of Police, Mohammed DanMallam, on Sunday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers.

DanMallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izevbekhai, was killed in an attempted escape bid when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the gunmen were said to be operating near Okada junction along the Benin-Lagos highway.

It was learnt that the gunmen abducted Izevbekhai and other passengers in the bus they were travelling in.

“The driver of the minibus was said to have fled into the bush along with four other passengers.

“Unfortunately, one of the passengers who tried to escape during the abduction was killed by the gunmen. The police went after the kidnappers in the bush and succeeded in rescuing the victims.”

He said the police were working on a new strategy which entails taking the war to the kidnappers’ den in the jungle, adding that it is the best way to tackle the scourge.

Spokesman for the university, Jide Ilugbo, who confirmed the killing described it as “barbaric.”

İlugbo said late Izevbekhai was a First Class graduate and was employed in the university in 2016.

He said it was now dangerous to travel on the Benin-Lagos highway due to frequent attacks by armed robbers and kidnappers.

The official said it was unfortunate he ran into hoodlums, saying that the trailer parked before Okada junction is a hideout for criminals.

Police arrest school gardener over alleged murder of SS3 student

The Lagos State police command says a gardener in a secondary school has been arrested over an alleged murder of a Senior Secondary school student.

The Command’s spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana confirmed the arrest in a statement on Sunday.

According to Elkana, on May 16, at about 2.40pm, Iponri Police Station received a complaint from Jubril Martins Memorial Grammar School Iponri.

The complaint said that on May 15, at about 4.40pm, a gardener with the said School engaged a 16-year-old SSS 3 student in a fight along Oke-Olu Road Iponri.

He said that in the process, the student fell down and became unconscious and was rushed to Smith Medical Hospital where he later died.

“Eye witness accounts show that the deceased person was returning home with his friends after writing WAEC and the suspect blocked him on the way and pulled him down, on the accusation that the deceased student had insulted him before.

“Homicide detectives from State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba, have visited the crime scene, corpse of the deceased is deposited at the mortuary for autopsy,” he said.

According to him, the suspect has been arrested and will be charged to court for murder.

Joint Account: Governors petition Buhari over NFIU’s guidelines

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has petitioned President Muhmmadu Buhari over the released guidelines by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) on granting financial autonomy to Local Governments.

The NGF in a letter signed by Chairman and Governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, and made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, expressed “dismay and angst” over NFIU action as attempt to dabble into a matter that was beyond its mandate.

Yari accused the NFIU of “stoking mischief and also deliberately seeking to cause disaffection, chaos and overheat the polity”.

The NFIU, which was excised from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), set June 1, 2019, as the takeoff date of the new order, making it compulsory for all local council allocations to go straight to their respective bank accounts.

The decision is contained in a guideline released by the NFIU after a meeting with officials of commercial banks in Abuja.

Yari said in the letter, dated May 15, that the guideline was not only illegal but was also an attempt by the NFIU to show total disregard for the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended.

He said Section 7 (6) (a) and (b) of the Constitution confered on the National Assembly (NASS) and the Stale House of Assembly, the powers to make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to the local councils in the Federation and within the State, respectively.

“Similarly, Section 162 (6) of the Constitution expressly provides for the creation of the State Joint Local Government Account (SJLGA) into which shall be paid all allocations to the Local Government Councils of the State from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State.

“Section 162 (7) of the Constitution goes on to canter on the NASS the power to prescribe the terms and manners in which funds from the SJLGA may be disbursed and in Subsection (8), the Constitution empowers the State House of Assembly to prescribe the manner in which the amount standing to the credit of the Local councils in the State shall be distributed.”

The governor said that nothing in the NFIU Act 2018 gave the unit the powers that it sought to exercise in the recently released Guidelines.

He added that in doing that, the Unit had acted In excess of its powers and in complete disregard to the constitution of the country.

“The so-called Guidelines are in our view an exercised in mischief-stoking and one calculated to cause chaos and overheat the potty. The Guidelines have nine (9) previsions including two (2) sections covering sanction, penalties. powers that they clearly do not possess.

“The NFIU in proposing far reaching guidelines of this nature ought to have consulted widely and carried all stakeholders along.”

Yari urged Buhari to call to order, Director of the NFIU, saying such “reckless guidelines had the potential to cause disaffection in the country.

He said that in principle the NFIU should concentrate on its core mandate of Anti-money Laundering (AML) activities and Combatting Financing Terrorism (CFT) as prescribed in the Act establishing it and should desist from encroaching on or even breaching constitutional provisions.

The NFIU, according to Yari, was the Nigerian arm of the global Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) once domiciled within the EFCC but now for the purpose of institutional location domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“This means the NFIU is only mandated to trace or track laundered money that finds its way into terrorism financing and report such to the nation’s security agencies.”

Yaro advised the NFIU that it should seek to comply with those standards on combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and its proliferation as stipulated and not dabble into matters that were both constitutional and beyond NFIU purview.

“We invite Mr President to note that the Local Government is a creation of the Constitution and is neither a financial institution nor a Reporting entity and cannot be brought under the NFIU in the manner contemplated by the guidelines.

“Finally, Mr President may recall the role played by the Governors in getting the country out of recession and our contributions in strengthening the democratic experience In Nigeria.

“The NGF identifies with Mr President’s efforts to combat corruption, money laundering and terrorism amongst other social ills and will use our best endeavours in ensuring that our financial system is preserved through our concerted and individual efforts at fighting these ills.

“However, due process and constitutionalism are major planks in our journey to sustainable democracy.

“We appeal to Mr President to direct that the said Guidelines be disregarded in view of its unconstitutionality and total disregard for due process,” the petition read in part.

The letter was copied the Attorney General of the Federation, acting EFCC Chairman, Governor of CBN, Director General of DSS and the 36 State Governors.

NHRC, FCT agencies agree to suspend raids on nightclubs

The National Human Rights Commission said on Sunday that it had reached a resolution with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board and other agencies of the Federal Capital Territory Administration to suspend the raids of nightclubs and other leisure places in Abuja.

The Director Corporate Affairs and External Linkages of the NHRC, Lambert Oparah, said in a statement that the resolution was reached at a meeting between the representatives of the NHRC, the AEPB and civil society organisations.

Oparah recalled in his statement that the NHRC had on May 10, 2019 issued summons on the Director of the AEPB following complaints received from some civil society organisations “over allegations of raids on nightclubs, arrests, molestations and sexual assaults of some women by agents of the FCT led by the AEPB”.

He said in obedience to the summons, the Coordinator of Abuja Municipal Metropolitan Council, Alhaji Baba Lawal alongside the Directors, Security Services, Social Welfare, Development Control and AEPB, appeared before the NHRC on May 16.

He said the representatives of the various civil society groups led by the Head of the Amnesty International Mr. Osai Ojigho, were also in attendance.

The statement read in part, “At the end of the meeting the summary of the resolutions were as follows:

“That further raids by the FCT Task Force should be put on hold pending the mainstreaming of human rights into their operations.

“That issues concerning the distortion of master plan of the FCT should be targeted at business owners and the FCT officials themselves who approve such alterations and not the innocent citizens of the FCT using the facilities provided.”

It was also resolved that an investigation would be “carried to fish out and bring to book those officials and security agents who perpetrated the various acts of violation and impunity in the course of the raids”.

“A meeting between the clubs, similar business owners, and the FCT be facilitated by the NHRC to reduce noise pollution in Abuja, ensure respect for the right of others, the rule of law and compliance to official regulations”, the statement added.

He noted that the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, had observed at the meeting that the allegations over the molestation of women in FCT had raised a lot of public concern.

Ojukwu was said to have explained that the NHRC’s intervention in the matter, in line with its powers and mandate, was not a witch-hunt but to correct the wrongs, and forestall future occurrences to check impunity.

VIO to impose N50,000 fine for ‘For Sale’ stickers on moving vehicles

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Directorate of Road Traffic Services (VIO) says pasting ‘For Sale’ sticker on moving vehicles as a way of marketing was illegal and a violation of the law.

Mr Kalu Emetu, the directorate’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) made this known in Abuja, on Sunday.

Emetu said that such act was a violation of the FCT Administration’s transportation master plan.

He noted that a lot of vehicles had been impounded for violating the law; and warned car owners to use proper channels of marketing their vehicles.

He also said that it was illegal for any vehicle owner to market their vehicles in unauthorised car marts in the FCT.

“We have been impounding vehicles because it is illegal to be marketing your vehicle inside the city without authorisation, once you put up any car for sale, it is meant to be at the right place.

“Once you put any car for sale, you pay for advertising, and other fees, so if you have a vehicle for sale, arrange with an authorised car dealer to help you sell it,” he said.

The PRO said that once vehicles in an illegal car mart were impounded, a certain fine would be paid on each, depending on the type, before they are released.

According to him, the fine ranges from N50,000 to N25,000, adding that the vehicles will also be towed to their office for safe keeping, pending the time the owner pays the fine.

“When we get the fine from you, you will have to write an undertaking that you will not repeat such act again, when all these are done, your vehicle will then be released,” he said.

He, however, said if the offence was repeated even after paying the fine, the car owner would be re-arrested and be made to pay another fine.

Emetu said the fine was another way of generating revenue for the government.

I’ll end Apapa gridlock within my first 60 days in office –Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said he will end the protracted gridlock in Apapa area of the state within the first 60 days of his administration.

He said not minding the politics involved, he would rid the area of all the trailers whose operations have been responsible for the intractable gridlock.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Saturday during an interactive session with his classmates at the Executive Master of Business Administration class, University of Lagos, 1998/2000 set.

The erstwhile classmates held a Congratulatory Dinner Reception, in Sanwo-Olu’s honour at Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi.

At the dinner, they presented to him a policy document designed by them, which contained their ideas and suggestions on some of what Sanwo-Olu could do in office to have a successful tenure.

They also asked him specific questions and his plans about them.

One of the questions was what he would do about the trailers causing the gridlock in Apapa.

Taking on the issue, Sanwo-Olu promised that within the first 60 days in office, he would rid Apapa of the trailers.

He said, “The Apapa trailer issue; it’s a campaign issue; it’s very serious; I’m going to take it very seriously.

“I believe that it is something that we are going to solve in the first 60 days of our government. Whatever is going to be required of us, we will take them out.

“There is a lot of politics being played around there. But no, it cannot be the way we’ll continue to live. We cannot continue to give excuses.”

The governor-elect, however, said as a long-term solution, his administration would develop the Badagry Port, to diffuse the pressure on the Apapa Port

Food dealers petition Minister, IGP over extortion

Food stuff dealers in Anambra State have raised alarm over alleged extortion from their members nationwide by workers attached to Federal Quarantine Service Post at Orokam, Makurdi and Katsina Ala, Benue state.

The group, under the agies of Federated Food Stuff Dealers Association of Nigeria (FFSDAN), with headquarters in Onitsha, called on Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe to urgency address the issue to forestall crises.

The petition addressed to Ogbe and copied to the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police in Benue State and others, was jointly signed by the group’s President General, Chief Christian Afiiaonwu, Secretary, Udoka Abukanna, Operational Officer, Sabastine Ageebee and Public Relation Officer, Adamu Alidu.

It condemned the Quarantine Post at Orokam, describing it as ATM to the workers through which it daily extorted money ranging from N3, 000 to N7,000 from their members since June 2018.

According to FFSDAN, Orokam Quarantine Post ought not to exist in the first place as there should not be three Quarantine Posts in one state.

The Petition read in part, “For your information sir, there are three Quarantine Posts in Benue State located at Makurdi, Katsina-Ala and Orokam.

“These Posts came into operation in June 2018 and have in recent time been turned into ATM at which money ranging from N3, 000 to N7,000 are extorted from our members on daily basis.

“These extortions are usually carried out with intimidation under the watchful eyes of security agencies mostly Police officers.

“The Association noted that its members are aware of the importance of Quarantine Posts which is primarily to checkmate the spread of animal diseases and unwholesome food stuff moving from one location to another and not to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public.

“We also know that Quarantine Posts are usually located at border areas between countries.

“We therefore wonder why the Quarantine Service Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is keeping quiet and apparently feeling comfortable seeing that people are extorting money from Food Stuff Dealers in three Federal Quarantine Posts located in one State.”

Describing as fraudulent and unacceptable the interception of their members at Orokam after being forced to pay at Makurdi and Katsina Ala Posts, the group appealed to the Minister to wade into the matter to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

“Vehicle conveying our goods have had several accident cases owing to strong barriers mounted before them by the Quarantine Posts workers in a bid to force them to stop.

“This is pure act of corruption which our members have vowed to resist henceforth if nothing is done to address the issue,” the group stressed.

Anti-Buhari petition: Party NEC disowns presidential candidate

The Vice Presidential Candidate of Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2019 Presidential Election, Alhaji Haruna Yahaya-Shaba, and national executive committee members of the party have disowned the legal action pending in the election petition tribunal.

The Presidential Candidate of the party, Chief Ambrose Owuru, had instituted legal action against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Yahaya-Shaba, who is also the Deputy National Chairman of the party, disclosed this in a statement he personally signed and issued to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.

He said that he was working with other National Executive Committee (NEC) members against the legal action taken by Owuru.

“We called an emergency NEC meeting to discuss very serious issues affecting our great Party.

“We have taken the decision to instruct our Lawyers to communicate the decision of the NEC to the Presidential Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

“In the last two weeks, I have been inundated with calls from many party members, including some NEC members, to explain the information that our party has filed a petition at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja,” Yahaya-Shaba said.

He said many people were shocked and surprised when he explained that as the deputy national chairman and indeed the vice presidential candidate of HDP, he only heard of the news of filing petition at the tribunal from the media.

“HDP is not a personal property of any individual. It is, therefore, illegal and unacceptable for any individual in the party to take such a unilateral decision without getting official approval of the Party.
“As the running mate of the party in the last presidential election, I therefore dissociate myself from this unilateral action.”

He also disclosed that the NEC of HDP had also constituted a seven-man committee to investigate allegations against Owuru that he allegedly received substantial amount of money from the opposition PDP to institute the illegal petition. (NAN)