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Daily Archives: February 27, 2018

PDP: Dapchi parents in pains but Buhari feasting in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of abandoning parents of the kidnapped Dapchi schoolgirls to their fate.

The party said while the parents are wailing, the president is “busy feasting” with chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.

A total of 110 students of Government Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe state, were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents who raided the school last week.

In a statement on Tuesday, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, said while the girls are still missing, Buhari and his party chieftains are busy with re-election agenda.

“It is appalling that while the parents of the 110 abducted Dapchi schoolgirls are still wailing and insurgents driving into deeper recesses, the president and his party men are busy feasting in the presidential villa and plotting their 2019 campaigns; of course, with funds meant for the well-being of the people and our nation,” the statement read.

He added that Buhari’s mandate of protecting lives had been reduced to a “cosmetic dispatching of ministers and persons with no knowledge of security, on mere fact-finding missions”.

Ologbondiyan said: “Today, Nigerians are daily slaughtered and taken as captives because those who have the direct mandate to protect them are more interested in 2019 re-election ambition while the citizens are left to whatever fate befalls them.

“Nigerians are worried that he has now allowed himself to be holed in the safety and luxury of the presidential villa while citizens are being slaughtered and taken captives by marauders and insurgents.

“Painfully, Nigerians are yet to see any concrete action taken by the Buhari presidency to apprehend the perpetrators of the gruesome killings in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Adamawa, Borno, Plateau, Nasarawa and Yobe, among other states, where our citizens are being hacked down by marauders and insurgents.”

The PDP, therefore, urged Buhari and the APC to understand that Nigerians “now know the truth” and “can no longer be swayed by propaganda and false claims with which the APC hoodwinked the nation in 2015”.

Church members celebrate birthday of death row inmate, Rev King

Diehard followers of Chukwuemeka Ezuego alias Rev. King, the erstwhile  General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, who is now on death row at Maximum Kirikiri Prison, Lagos are having fun celebrating his birthday and have splashed nothing less than N7.3m on newspaper adverts alone.

Rev King was sentenced to death by hanging for the torture and murder of some members of his congregation. He has been waiting for his turn with the hang man at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison pending the time Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode decides to sign his death warrant.

However on Monday (yesterday ), his devotees took 13 full colour pages in ThisDay newspaper to mark the birththday of the man they see as the all-in-all.

A full colour page in ThisDay Newspaper, costs as much as N562, 500 bringing the total cost of the adverts to N7,312, 500.

The devotees all spoke highly of Rev King, stressing that he has the magical wand to efface problems facing the nation.

“Dr. Rev King is the only reason that we are alive today. He is equally the only reason many families are alive today. He is the only man that can resurrect the Nigerian nation, corruption, shame and poverty and elevate it to be among the league of the nations on planet earth.

“Daddy you must live and reign forever and ever in Jesus Christ name, amen”, Engineer Sotobechukwu King said, stressing that he rejoices with Rev King on his birthday.

From: Rev. Mrs Ngozi Onyiliagha King, Min Chidozie, Amarachukwu, Ogechukwu, Chukwuemeka and Chukwuamaka, a family of bishops, the message is, ”Thank you sir for your love, protection, provisions, divine favour, guidance, open door,etc, you are the great I am, the ancient of days”, the family said.

Besides, CPA Maranhao/ Curitaba branches described him as god in the midst of men.

“Daddy, your birthday has brought joy to the entire universe at large, your birthdays brightens all that concerns us both spiritually and physically including our families, business and academics etc, thanks sir our Dady G.O for coming on earth to dwell among men”, they said.

Rt Rev Chudi King called him Daddy. “Without you, we are in darkness; because of your presence in our lives, we have overcome the witches and wizzards attacks, poisons, motor road accidents, armed robbers, gunmen, assassins, kidnappers, death of all types, barreness, poverty, sickness, etc.

“Daddy you sceptre of authority cannot be challenged no matter their gang-ups, after their frame up in 2006, the branches of your kingdom rose from six branches to over 200 branches in the whole world now, and yet continues to expand, the wicked struck the shepherd and more sheep are gathered instead of scattering, showing you are 100 percent righteous. All their fallacious accusations, may god almghty help the true Nigerians to locate you so that our country will be healed of all her sickness and disease”, he said.

The women were not left out. The entire members of St Faith Women, said his irrevocable love “upon us has made our lives meaningful.

“Daddy, we are incomplete without you. Daddy, you are true shepherd who cares for his flock. The power of satan and his agents have been broken permanently in our lives because of your divine message… It is glaring in our lives today that so many of us women who were pronounced baren by scientist are mothers with kids, today. We love you Daddy”, he said.

Othes who also eulogised him include Oke John King, chinedu Anyanwu King, Hyacint Ikechukwu King, Wealth King, Sunday Onyebuchi King, Uchenna Mmaduakor king, Nnabuife Abuah King, Catherine Ndidamaka King, Chinwuko King, Ekwutsi Osita Ezemwkonna King, Super Business Class and the Super Labourers, all spoke in glowing terms of the man who is on death row.

#DapchiGirls: Nigerian Army reacts to leaked DIA memo warning of possible Boko Haram attacks

The Nigerian Army on Tuesday reacted to a newly-published memo which indicated that the Defence Intelligence Agency put the military on the notice about possible Boko Haram attacks in Borno and Yobe States, some days before insurgents stormed a school and possibly abducted more than 100 girls.

The Army said the memo, published by Sahara Reporters on Tuesday afternoon, was an attempt to bolster a narrative that the military was negligent in its counter-terrorism duties which consequently resulted in the successful attack on Dapchi, Yobe State, by Boko Haram on February 19.

The February 6 memo, signed by Emmanuel Aladeniyi, a brigadier-general, warned of impending attacks, especially suicide bombing, in public places, such as the University of Maiduguri, markets, mosques and parks.

It also said that Boko Haram was plotting an abduction of 17 citizens for suicide missions and a separate mass abduction of citizens for other deadly missions such as the use of Personnel-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (PBIED) or Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) “using especially Golf cars with registration numbers from states of the North.”

“It is very crystal clear” that the memo “does not corroborate the argument and narrative Sahara Reporters is attempting to sell to the public,” Onyema Nwachukwu, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, said in a statement to media houses on Tuesday afternoon.

”For one, the memo was a general warning about possible Boko Haram activities in Maiduguri and Damaturu, Borno and Yobe capitals, respectively, and did not include any specific or even general reference to Dapchi or facilities within it.

“The content reflects general intelligence alert, to which we cannot conveniently situate the attack on Dapchi, one of the several towns in Yobe State,” Mr. Nwachukwu, a colonel, said.

Secondly, Mr. Nwachukwu said, the date on the memo was February 6, 2018, nearly a month after the troops had been moved from Dapchi to Kanama, about 125 kilometres North-east of Dapchi on Nigeria’s border with Niger. The troops were moved to Kanama on a reinforcement after Nigerian soldiers came under heavy firepower there.

“As at the time of that redeployment, there was no imminent threat on Dapchi,” he said. “Rather, the threat was on Kanama where the insurgents were carrying out attacks along the Nigerian-Nigerien border.”

Mr. Nwachukwu’s statement reaffirms the details he gave earlier, which included the fact that the Nigerian Army 159 Task Force Battalion was moved from Dapchi to Kanama on January 10, exactly 40 days before the invasion of the girls’ school in Dapchi on February 19.

The military has come under public criticism since Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State first raised the allegation on February 24 that the military abruptly withdrew from Dapchi a week before the attack.

But the military rejected the claim first on Sunday night and again yesterday, saying soldiers left Dapchi about six weeks before the attack and had a compelling reason to do so.

Mr. Nwachukwu said the police were placed in charge of security operations in Dapchi, which he said had never been attacked before January 19 and was never under any imminent threat of Boko Haram.

The police have rejected the allegations, saying the military did not ”formally hand over the security of the town to them.”

The Army insisted that the police should be responsible for communities that have never been attacked before by insurgents, like Dapchi, and communities that were once Boko Haram strongholds but had since been liberated.

“Our role is to defend the territorial integrity of the country. It’s the role of the sister security agencies to protect the civilian population whenever we have liberated a community from insurgents,” Mr. Nwachukwu said.

He said the police did nothing to repel the attack despite having a division in Dapchi.

Both the police commissioner in Yobe, Sunmonu Abdulmaliki, and the force spokesperson in Abuja, Jimoh Moshood, did not respond to enquiries seeking comments about when the police first heard of the attack and how they responded.

Buhari congratulates ace film maker, Tunde Kelani at 70

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday joined the media and entertainment industry in congratulating renowned movie producer, Tunde Kelani, on his 70th birthday.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President felicitated all family members, friends, professional colleagues and the fans of the artiste.

He noted that Kelani started out as a journalist before mastering the art of storytelling through the stage and tube, and rising steadily to become one Nigeria’s foremost directors and producers in Nollywood.

The statement read, “The President commends Kelani’s uncanny story telling skills and his ability to breathe life into scripts and translate literature to movies, thereby enhancing understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the country and consistently updating the narrative of a unified and progressive nation.

“As the ace producer turns a septuagenarian, President Buhari believes the rising profile of the Nigerian film industry around the world testifies to the hard work, creativity and passion of artistes like Kelani, who toiled earnestly to attract global viewership, recognitions and awards.

“The President affirms that Kelani, through sacrifice, discipline and diligence, has contributed immensely to national development, especially his mentoring of younger Nigerians in the film industry.

“President Buhari prays that God will bless Kelani with good health and strength to continue in his noble trade.”

US Treasury slams sanctions on Nigeria, others for terrorism

The United States Treasury Department has added one organisation in Nigeria and other six organisations in Africa and Asia to its sanctions list for global terrorism.

Two individuals — including Abu Musab Al-Barnawi of Nigeria and Mahad Moalim of Somalia — were also added to the list for their connection to the Islamic States, the US Treasury said on Tuesday.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said on its website that at the group level, Bangladesh, Egypt, the Philippines, Somalia, Nigeria and Tunisia were on the list.

“The additions include ISIS-Bangladesh, ISIS-Egypt, ISIS-Philippines, ISIS-Somalia, ISIS-West Africa, Jund al-Khilafah-Tunisia, also known as ISIS-Tunisia, and the Philippines-based Maute Group, also known as Islamic State of Lanao,” Reuters quoted the OFAC to have said.

The US State Department said in a separate statement that, including the latest additions, it had designated 40 Islamic State leaders and operatives dating back to 2011 under an order aimed at denying them access to the US financial system.

“These designations are part of a larger comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS that, in coordination with the 75-member Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, has made significant progress toward that goal,” the statement said, using a common abbreviation for Islamic State.

This effort “is destroying ISIS in its safe havens, denying its ability to recruit foreign terrorist fighters, stifling its financial resources, negating the false propaganda it disseminates over the internet and social media, and helping to stabilize liberated areas in Iraq and Syria so the displaced can return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives,” the statement added.

Islamic State fighters were driven last year from all the population centers they occupied in both Syria and Iraq, but Washington still considers them a threat, capable of carrying out an insurgency and plotting attacks elsewhere.

On February 9 this year, the OFAC took action targeting ISIS’s global facilitation network by designating three individuals and three entities as Specially Designated Global Terrorists pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

These actions are part of a continued whole-of-government effort to identify and expose individuals and entities that provide support to ISIS and advance the violent terrorist group’s operational activity. As a result of today’s designations, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to the US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

“The Administration is committed to defeating ISIS wherever it operates, denigrating its illicit revenue streams, and pursuing all financial conduits,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker .

Dapchi abduction: Nigerians hold you accountable, Dogara tells army, police

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday, asked security agencies to take responsibility for failing to stop the abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe, on February 19.

He said that the buck-passing between the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force was unacceptable.

In a statement by Mr. Turaki Hassan, his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Dogara said rather than trading blames, the security agencies should strengthen inter-agency collaboration towards rescuing the girls.

He said that the statements credited to the Army and the Police in which they tried to exonerate themselves from any culpability in the unfortunate abduction of the girls from their school were highly condemnable.

“This is unacceptable and the House of Representatives, and indeed Nigerians, will hold the security agencies responsible. They all bear responsibility for this unfortunate incident.

“The traumatic experience of the Chibok abduction which is still fresh in our minds should have served as a warning signal to security agencies to provide adequate protection to all schools in the North-East.

“I want to use this medium to console the parents of the abducted girls and the entire Dapchi community over this unfortunate incident.

“I also urge all Nigerians and people of goodwill from all over to pray for the safe return of the girls,” Dogara said.

(NAN)

Two men in court for blocking Gov. Bello’s convoy

Two men, Ahmed Abdullahi, and Nura Musa were on Tuesday arraigned in a Wuse Zone 2 Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly blocking the convoy of  Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Abdullahi, 37, and Musa, 23, both of Asokoro, Abuja, are facing a count of public nuisance.

The prosecutor, Adeniyi Oyeyemi, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on February 24 at Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

He said the defendants unlawfully parked their car and blocked the road and sat unconcerned until the security of the governor came down to arrest them.

The prosecutor said during a search of their vehicle, a bottle of codeine was found.

He said that the offence contravened Section 183 of the Penal Code.

The defendants pleaded not guilty, while the Magistrate, Emenisi Ebiwari, granted them bail in the sum of N500, 000 each and a surety in like sum.

He adjourned the case until March 15 for further hearing.

(NAN)

Lagos shuts 20 hotels, events centres, over tax evasion

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service has shut 20 hotels, restaurants and event centres because of their failure to remit taxes.

The Director of Legal Services of the LIRS, Mr Seyi Alade, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeriaon the sidelines of a tax law enforcement exercise, conducted in Lagos on Tuesday.

Alade said the affected firms owed the State Government a total of N295.49 million, adding that the state had started full enforcement of all aspects of the tax laws on tax defaulters.

He named some of the shut facilities as Bienvenue suite Ltd., Ajaxbel Hotel, Mayor Hotel, Lafun suites, Darahamson Guest Palace, Mozarella Hotels, among others.

According to him, sealing of hotels and other facilities will be eradicated, due to the coming into operation of the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption (Fiscalisation) Regulation, 2017.

He said the new regulations had made it mandatory for all hotels, restaurants, event centres and other entities liable to consumption taxes, to allow integration of the Electronic Revenue Assurance Systems (ERAS).

“ERAS is a software application or device that issues invoices and receipts to consumers, bearing a unique QR code, detailing the items and/or services ordered and in an embedded automation of consumption tax remittance in real time.

“It is a measure that will allow the LIRS to have efficient oversight of all sales transactions undertaken through these entities.

“The system offers transparency to the entire management and operational system of the entities and it is also of immense benefit to the tax collecting agents.”

According to Alade, this is not a new law, but a compliance machinery with the existing Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law of Lagos State, towards aligning with global best practice in the use of technology and automated solutions.

He noted that the system was long in operation in countries like Kenya, Rwanda, among others, adding that Lagos State could adopt it to enhance effectiveness of its taxation and revenue generation system.

He warned that failure to be integrated into the ERAS platform was an offence punishable with fines and jail terms upon conviction by court.

He appealed to business entities liable to consumption taxes to endeavour to be integrated into the ERAS platform and ensure prompt remittance of taxes to avoid disruptions to their businesses.

(NAN)

My presidential ambition still intact — Donald Duke

A former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, on Tuesday said he had not backed down on his presidential ambition.

Mr. Duke made the statement in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said the speculations that he had dumped the aspiration were untrue.

Mr. Duke said he had not officially declared for the number one seat in the country for strategic reasons.

“Sometime ago, I said I will run for the presidency of the country if the opportunity presented itself.

“Yes, my presidential ambition is still intact, I am only waiting for the opportunity to present itself to make the right move,’’ he said.

Asked on what platform he would run, especially as he was a member of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s inspired “Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM)’’ , he said it was too early to decide.

He, however, said he was still a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“I am still a member of the PDP, at the same time a member of the coalition which is not a political party.

  • “The coalition will definitely align with a political party to achieve its goals, otherwise it will make no sense.

“I can’t say yet the platform on which I will run if the opportunity presents itself. We are still watching and will take the right step at the right time,’’ he said.

On the spate of abductions and killings in some parts of the country, Mr. Duke described the situation as disturbing.

He urged the relevant authorities to confront the problem head on for the peace and stability of the nation.

(NAN)

Why Nigeria dropped on TI corruption perception index – Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria dropped in only one of the indices used by Transparency International (TI) in corruption perception for 2017.

While the country scored 27/100 and was ranked 136th in 2016, the latest CPI scores Nigeria 28/100 but with a rank of No. 148 out of 180 countries surveyed — a significant 12 places below where it was the previous year.

Osinbajo said on Tuesday while speaking at an event organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) and the ministry of justice that the Buhari administration is making progress in the fight against corruption.

“It is also important to note that the main reason for Nigeria’s decline in the Transparency International 2017 corruption perception index is that Nigeria recorded a major drop in score on just one out of the nine international recognised indeces used by Transparency International to ascertain perceived levels of public sector corruption from the perspective of experts and business people,” he said.

“So the the drop recorded was in just one out of the nine recognised indexes. The index in question scored Nigeria low on the economy intelligence unit country’s risk service with the decline from 37 points to 20. This is an index that analyses the risks of financial exposure in countries.

“The question to be asked then is what changed so dramatically between 2016 and 2017? As we speak, the budget for 2018 is under public scrutiny at the National Assembly, the allocation and use of public funds is guided by the budget and represents one of the key areas of consultations and interaction between the two arms of government, that is the executive and legislature.

“The endless number of probes and the use of public funds going on both within the executive and the legislative arms, underscores the transparency of this government and its intention to ensure that funds are used for public purposes.”

Represented by Ade Ipaye, deputy chief of staff, the vice-president said the administration is recording progress in the fight against corruption.

He said the report should not be seen as a setback but an opportunity to continue building on the “many successes” that have been recorded by the government.

“What sets Buhari’s leadership apart from others is the prudent and transparent management of national resources,” he said.

“Thus, despite up to 60 percent drop in revenue, we have by stopping grand corruption, make the highest capital spent in the history of Nigeria, in the sum of N1.3 trillion in 2017.

“The dialogue couldn’t have come at a better time because only recently, Transparency International released a report suggesting that Nigerian declined in the perception index for reasons which I will discuss shortly.

“We are firmly of the view that real progress is being achieved in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, and perception may indeed lag behind reality. But as the saying goes, perception is sometimes stronger than reality, so we have to keep up the good fight until the full effect of our efforts can be clearly seen and perceived.

“In that regard, the ranking of Nigeria by the 2017 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, released on February 21st, 2018, should not in anyway be seen as a setback but rather as an opportunity to continue building on the many successes that have already been recorded by this government in all the key sectors.”

On his part, Itse Sagay, chairman of PACAC, said corruption could not be fought by lip service.

“Fighting corruption cannot be lip service. You cannot be corrupt and be talking against corruption, it ridicules the whole exercise and the spirit of that struggle,” Sagay said.

“And so we should purge ourselves of corruption so that we can stand on firm ground to speak. Some might have been corrupt in the past but if you purge yourselves then you are welcome.”