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Daily Archives: January 10, 2018

FRSC is not recruiting, says official

The Federal Road Safety Corps says it is not conducting a recruitment exercise.

In a statement signed by the Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, the FRSC said it is not responsible for any online job advertisements.

“The Corps` attention has been drawn to a number of online sites currently advertising application forms for vacant positions at the Federal Road Safety Commission.

“This is to inform members of the public that the Corps is not responsible for any of the advertisements, and expressly disclaim all liability for, extortion of any form arising out of use, in reference to or reliance on any information contained in these sites,” Mr. Kazeem said.

The Corps further urged applicants to be patient and avoid desperate moves. It said any “recruitment exercise organized by the Federal Government through the Corps will be published in the National Dailies, the website (www.frsc.gov.ng) and on all FRSC social media platforms.”

Russian man rams armored personnel carrier into shop, steals wine

 

The man had swiped the vehicle from a privately-run motorsport training ground nearby, driven it through a forest and into Apatity, a small town just south of the Arctic circle, local news agency Hibinform said.

Struggling to turn around in a narrow street, the man, whom witnesses described as being drunk, proceeded to slam the tank into the window of the “Family” convenience store, the news agency said.

He also crushed a Daewoo car parked nearby, images showed.

Footage shared on social media showed the man subsequently exiting the vehicle through its hatch, briefly inspecting the damage, and entering the shop through the broken window.

He was later arrested in possession of a stolen bottle of wine, Hibinform said. The shop was not licensed to sell alcohol that early in the morning.

Witnesses visible in the footage did not seemed particularly disturbed by the incident.

“Basically some guy stole an armored vehicle… and went into a shop to top up his stocks in the morning,” the social media user described, whilst filming the snow-covered scene out of his window.

The man, in his late twenties, did not resist arrest, RIA news agency reported.

Radisson Blu opens new hotel in Lagos

Global hotel chain, Radisson Blu, has announced the opening of its third hotel to open in Nigeria and its second hotel in the country’s largest city, Lagos.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s fastest growing hotel companies now has a portfolio in Africa of 85 hotels and over 17,800+ rooms in operation and under development.

Speaking on the opening of the second hotel in Lagos, Tim Cordon, Area Senior Vice President, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, said “We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in Nigeria, one of Africa’s economic powerhouses, with the opening of Radisson Blu Hotel Lagos Ikeja. We have identified Nigeria as a key country for scaled growth and the addition of our second Radisson Blu in the megacity of Lagos perfectly complements our development strategy.

“We are confident the appeal of the international upper upscale Radisson Blu brand and the excellent location of the hotel will attract strong business from both international and domestic travellers.” He said.

The hotel is centrally located in Ikeja, the capital of the Lagos State, home to many corporate headquarters, government offices and large manufacturers.

It is situated on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Highway, a main highway linking Ikeja with the rest of Lagos.

The location of Radisson Blu Hotel Lagos Ikeja is also just a few km away from Murtala Muhammed International Airport and close to the suburb’s cultural and tourist attractions.

The 155 room Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos Ikeja offers a choice of contemporary standard, deluxe and executive rooms and a range of ultra-stylish 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites.

All rooms carry a fresh and modern design with free High-Speed Wireless Internet.

The hotel has an extensive food and drinks offering with six different outlets. Guests can enjoy dining at the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant serving international and local cuisine, a steak house restaurant ready to calm a carnivorous craving, as well as a destination rooftop terrace and stylish lobby café.

Guests can also bask in the views from the pool terrace while sipping on a refreshing drink at the adjoining bar or play a game of pool in the afropolitan business class lounge.

The hotel has impressive meeting and events facilities encompassing an area of 2,047m2 and including a ballroom, expansive conference room capable of hosting over 400 guests and six meeting rooms with an adjoining business centre.

All meetings rooms are equipped with modern meeting technology and break-out area.

Leisure facilities include a wellness spa, fully-equipped gym and swimming pool for travellers seeking to rejuvenate or maintain their fitness regime.

George Balassis, General Manager of Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos Ikeja said “We are excited and ready to welcome the local community and international guests to Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos Ikeja. We are sure that the team’s passion to deliver the brand’s renowned Yes I Can!SM service will lead us to become the preferred hotel in Ikeja for all guests.”

Shocker: Ijesa indigenes in Canada shun ethnic bigotry, elect Igbo man president

 

Within the Nigerian community in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, there is one name that strikes an instant chord in every ear. It is a name that has become a constant refrain on many lips.

The name is Okey Paulicap Okeke, a Nigerian-born writer, theatre artist, clinical social worker and entrepreneur who has been domiciled in the North American country for close to two decades.

But his stay in Canada isn’t what makes the name and its owner the major theme in many conversations across that country. It’s not even about his book, Biribamba The Lonely Elephant, a children’s storybook published in the United States and over which he is in court with Macmillan Nigeria, a firm that allegedly published the book here without the writer’s authorisation.

Okeke, an Igbo man whose parents hail from Enugu State, is the president of Ijesa Progressive Association of Canada (IPAC), the umbrella association for sons and daughters of Ijesaland in Osun State living and working in that country.

An Igbo man as leader of an association comprising only Yoruba men and women? That is not only impracticable in Nigeria, it is absolutely inconceivable. Indeed, anyone harbouring such an implausible, far-fetched notion would be seen as suffering from the after-effects of excessive alcoholism, or having been untimely roused from a nightmare-riddled slumber!

But what many would have considered impossible in these shores became a reality in Canada. The Ijesa men and women in that North American country taught millions of their countrymen and women at home some great lessons when, in January 2017, Okeke was sworn in as president of Ijesa Progressive Association of Canada. And since then, he has been steering the ship of that association, alongside his executives.

On Saturday, September 16 last year, IPAC, under Okeke, held its annual “Ijesa Night” celebrations at the Manhyia Palace Convention Centre on Eddystone Avenue, Toronto. The event, which was chaired by Chief Isaac Ige, Odofin of Atorinland, was attended by many Nigerians, a number of who were there simply to confirm the rumour that the leader of Ijesa people in Canada wasn’t a Yoruba man.

Okeke said, right from his childhood, he had been well tutored by his parents that all men were the same, and that there was no difference between a Yoruba boy and an Igbo boy, between a Christian and a Muslim.

“They taught me that relationship is very important to life. And you would admit that it has been my guiding principle, even at the University of Ibadan, where the three of us here were classmates and friends. So, right from my childhood days, it comes to me naturally. I see you and relate with you first as a human being, before any ethnic or religious considerations. I don’t look down on people. I respect everyone.”

After his primary and secondary education, Okeke proceeded to the University of Ibadan where he studied English and Theatre Arts. He later relocated to Canada.

For him, becoming a member of the umbrella group for Ijesa indigenes in Canada was just natural. Since he was born and raised in Ilesa, most of the friends and playmates that he grew up with were Ijesa indigenes. Many of those friends were already living in Canada before he relocated and, naturally, he stayed with one or two for some time before he found his feet.

He said, “I lived with Yemi Fashakin and Ayo Ojuwusi. These were my childhood friends and they were already living in Canada. There were other friends too. And I see myself also as an Ijesaman. My mum is a prominent community leader in Ilesha. Naturally, immediately I got to Canada, they took me to the IPAC meeting, and I registered as a member. I started attending IPAC meetings. My name wasn’t an issue, because these were the people I grew up with. And anywhere I am, I will be involved. I can’t be a passive member in an organisation.

“Again, I was born in Ilesa. I can speak the Ijesa dialect very fluently, better than many native Ijesa people, because many of them were even born outside Ijesaland. I can write the language very well. So, I’m never going to be a stranger in Ilesa or among Ijesa people. And even if anyone is talking about me being Okeke or whatever, it doesn’t get into my skin because I know who I am. So, whether you like it or not, I am Igbo and I am Yoruba. I am Igbo by blood and I am Yoruba by birth. I am Ijesa, in spite of my name. That is the way I see myself and that is the way the Ijesa people in Ilesa and in Canada see me. If anyone makes fun of me, I would be stupid to allow it to get at me.”

Within IPAC, Okeke was a very active member for many years. He was involved in a number of committees and did each task creditably. When it was time for election into the association’s leadership positions, some members told Okeke to run for president.

“I resisted it initially,” he recalled, slipping a chunk of barbecued cat fish in his mouth. “But everyone was saying, ‘we want you as president. You will do a lot for the association.’ So I contested and Ijesa people in Canada made me their president.”

Okeke admitted that some people couldn’t conceal their incredulity at his emergence as IPAC president: “I was getting calls all over. Some didn’t even believe it was real until they attended our Ijesa Night in September last year. I had a lot of journalists interviewing me, asking how I did it, and I was wondering why they were that surprised. To me, it’s nothing serious. Many of these people have been my friends since I was born.”

According to Okeke, the honour on his emergence as president of a Yoruba association in Canada should actually go to members of IPAC who decided to have an Okeke as their president.

“They should be getting all the accolades, because what it means is that they have attained an uncommon level of maturity and sophistication that enabled them to shun all forms of bigotry and unproductive ethnocentricism, sentimentalism. Ijesa people, especially those in Canada, should be applauded,” he said.

Okeke asserted that Nigerians are usually more united whenever they leave the shores of the country. He urged Nigerians living at home to do away with tribal and religious bigotry and join hands to build the nation.

Besides acting as the rallying point for Ijesa people in Canada, IPAC, Okeke averred, would bring succour to the lives of many Ijesa people back home during his tenure. Aside from providing some amenities for some rural communities in Ijesaland, IPAC was already working to grant scholarships to young people across Ijesaland, he said.

One of Okeke’s wishes is that, someday soon, an Adegoke would be elected a National Assembly member representing a constituency in Imo or Enugu State, while an Okoro would be governor in a South-West or northern state.

Fayose rallies Ekiti hunters against herdsmen invasion

Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose on Wednesday rallied local hunters against possible invasion by suspected Fulani herdsmen. Sounding the battle cry against while hosting the hunters at the Government House pavilion, Fayose alleged that intelligence report available to him revealed that “Bororo” herdsmen have surreptitiously entered the state.

Fayose, who wore a camouflage shirt, a pair of trousers and a fez cap to match “to reflect the mood of the nation” urged the hunters to go back home and defend the people. Apart from the local hunters, others who showed up at the forum are the Agbekoyas, vigilance groups, the Tivs, Idomas and Igedes from Benue State who are resident in Ekiti.

The event was highlighted by intermittent firing of gun shots, whistling and songs by the hunters. Fayose who sympathized with the people of Benue State where scores have been killed by suspected herdsmen, vowed that he would not allow his people to be slain as done in the Northcentral State.

The Ekiti governor claimed that the alleged plan to invade Ekiti was to make the state ungovernable ahead of the July 14 governorship election.

Fayose said the situation in Benue and Taraba States has shown that “President Buhari lacks the capacity to protect Nigerians.”

He said: “I have received letters that the Bororos have entered our reserves, they want to violate our laws. I want to call on the attention of the Federal Government that they have come and wanted to kill men, women and kids in Ekiti.

“We will not allow that to happen here in Ekiti; I want you all our hunters to go back today to protect your people. Be vigilant, open your eyes and make sure that everybody entering the state is screened.

“No one in the guise of grazing should enter our land after 8.00 pm. Four our brothers who harbour criminals, tell them Ekiti is a no-go area. If your plan is to make this state ungovernable, you are wasting your time.

“I have called thois meeting for everyone to be vigilant; I will begin to support you now to secure Ekiti. Don’t let them take you by surprise, don’t allow them to take Ekiti by storm.

“Go to the farms and keep vigil; don’t just entertain visitors that come in the night, screen them. We don’t want visitors in our reserves at 8.00 pm.”

Fayose added: “This (camouflage) dressing is done to charge our hunters to secure the state. I saw pictures of the killings (in Benue) and I wonder if those were human beings.

“I asked the question if people could be that picked to kill human beings that way; they will find no peace. It is no tribal killings but
that of mindless people.

“The blood of the departed will find those people and they won’t know peace. It is the duty of the Federal Government to protect its people. We are not protected.

“We have never had it so bad; people must come to leadership with conscience. The Federal Government should have sent the Army and not
the Police.

“Governor (Samuel) Ortom should fasten his belt and protect his people. Those seeking for help in Abuja would not find because Abuja also needs help. I sympathise with you (Benue) people and nobody will kill you. You are all safe here.”

Fayose also gave out telephone hot lines through which people who noticed strange movements can call for urgent attention.

Police arrest 52 Shi’ites, ‘recover petrol bombs’

Fifty-two members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have been arrested in Abuja.

The Abuja police command, which announced this in a statement on Wednesday, said it recovered “some bottles of improvised petrol-bomb” from the IMN members who were demanding the release of Ibrahim Zakzaky, their leader.

Earlier on Wednesday, the police cracked down on the IMN members, popularly known as Shi’ites.

An unconfirmed number of persons were injured during the incident which occurred at Area 2 junction, Abuja.

Giving reasons for the clampdown, the police said the Shi’ites “went on rampage and were attacking innocent citizens including police operatives”.

“The FCT police command has arrested some members of the sect and recovered some bottles of improvised petrol-bomb, stones and catapult used by members of the sect to attack police operatives and damage police operational vehicles,” the police said in a statement.

The command also added that the Shi’ites’ protest, which started on Monday, “is constituting a serious security threat to the peace of the federal capital territory”.

The statement, signed by Anjuguri Manzah, the command spokesman, added: “In view of the current security situation in the country, the command wishes to unequivocally state that while it will continue to be professional in the discharge of its constitutional and statutory roles; and equally recognise the rights of citizens to express their lawful grievances, the command will not fold its arms and watch some persons hold the capital city to ransom by disrupting government and legitimate business activities.

“In view of the foregoing, the command wants to state that any person or group of persons arrested for violating the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution while registering their protest will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the appropriate section(s) of the law.

“Meanwhile, the fifty-two (52) members of the El-Zakzaky group arrested by police operatives during the violent protest that left some policemen with injury will be charged to court upon the conclusion of the investigation.”

Buhari names Abubakar head of NIA

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the new director-general for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Abubakar, a retired career foreign service officer, has been a senior special assistant to the president on foreign affairs/international relations.

Abubakar had extensive experience working with the United Nations in peace support operations, mediation process, preventive diplomacy and good offices, as well as the promotion of good governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights.

He also briefly served as senior adviser at the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), with headquarters in Ndjamena, Chad, before his appointment as a presidential aide.

Abubakar holds a B.A degree in French Language and Literature, and an M.A degree in Francophone Maghrebian Literature, both from Bayero University, Kano. He is also fluent in English and Arabic.

The appointment takes immediate effect.

The former DG of the intelligence agency, Ayo Oke was sacked on 30 October 2017, following a long drawn probe into the $43.5m found in an apartment in Lagos.

The money, which also included £27,800 and some N23million Naira was linked to Oke. It was found in an empty flat at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi.

Oke, also a career ambassador, was appointed by former president Goodluck Jonathan in November 2013.

Army deploys special forces in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa

Amid the disturbing killing in some parts of the country, the Nigerian army has deployed special forces in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states.

The presidency announced this in a tweet on Wednesday evening.

Over 100 people have been killed in the three states in the last one week.

The killings have sparked a public outcry with Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari not to treat the crisis the same way former President Goodlcuk Jonathan did with the Boko Haram insurgency.

The army took the action hours after Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police, said there was no need for military deployment in Benue.

Buhari had ordered Idris to relocate to Benue which has recorded highest casualties in the fresh crisis.

Speaking with stakeholders at government house, Makurdi, Idris said the military could only come in when the police had been overwhelmed.

Traditional ruler, son, arraigned for alleged murder of EFCC ‘informant’

A traditional ruler, Nojimu Abioye, and his son, Wahab Abioyge, were on Wednesday arraigned in an Ikeja High Court, for alleged murder of one Olatunji Rasak in 2015.

Mr. Rasaki was said to be an informant for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.

The duo was charged with a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecutor, M.T Adewoye, told the court that the Baale of Temidire and his son committed the offences at 10.a.m on July 20, 2015 at the Temidire Area of Alagbado, Lagos.

“The defendants alongside others who are now at large, murdered Rasak by shooting him with a gun and cutting him with a machete and dangerous weapons,” Mr. Adewoye said.

According to the prosecution, the offences contravene Sections 221 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2011.

The counsel to the defendants, Adebayo Lawanson, requested that the accused be allowed to maintain the bail granted them during their prior arraignments at the Magistrates’ Court.

“The accused ever since they were granted bail by the magistrates’ court had never jumped bail,” Mr. Lawanson said.

Obliging the defence counsel, Justice Hakeem Oshodi ordered that the accused continued with the bail earlier granted them by the magistrates’ court.

Mr. Oshodi adjourned the case until March 19 for trial.

(NAN)

Corruption trial of Nigeria Supreme Court judge proceeds

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday ordered that the N4 million tendered as evidence in the ongoing trial of Supreme Court Judge, Sylvester Ngwuta, be counted before it is admitted as evidence.

Justice John Tsoho gave the order after a prosecution witness, Ibrahim Ndakpoto, tendered the money as evidence.

Mr. Tsoho also ordered that the money be counted with the assistance of an Accountant from the Court’s Accounts Department, in the presence of the prosecution, the defence and the registrar of the court.

He said it was necessary to count the money in order to confirm that the amount tendered corresponded with the amount stated by the witness.

Mr. Ndakpoto, while giving evidence, alleged that the money was recovered in a house in Abakaliki following information received from one Linus Chukwuebuka.

“Chukwuebuka made revelations that necessitated our search of the house where we found documents relating to property and a bag containing the money.

“Chukwuebuka told me that Justice Ngwuta called him and asked him to go to his bedroom and remove the documents and the bag containing the money and hide them because if the “SSS” should lay eyes on it, he will be in trouble.

“He also told us that Ngwuta asked him to move some cars, a BMW, a Wrangler jeep and a Hummer jeep and that he further asked him to disappear afterwards so that he will not be arrested.”The judge adjourned the matter until January 11 for continuation of trial.

NAN reports that Mr. Ngwuta is standing trial on an amended 13-count charge of corruption related offences, bordering on money laundering and other financial crimes.

(NAN)