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Daily Archives: January 2, 2019

BRT passenger jumps to his death on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway

The Ifo Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps said that a middle-aged man died while jumping down from a Marcopolo BRT bus at Casso axis, on Abeokuta/Lagos Expressway on Wednesday.

The Agbado Unit Commander of FRSC, Mr. Joshua Ibitomi, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria in Ota, said that the accident happened around 5.40 p.m.

Ibitomi explained that the victim boarded the BRT bus from Oshodi and missed his steps in the process of jumping down from the vehicle at Casso Bus Stop.

“The man died instantly because he hit his head on the road.

“His corpse has been taken to an undisclosed hospital because residents of the area are harassing and destroying property of motorists plying the road,” Ibitomi said.

He also said that there was no ID card or any such document on the deceased to identify him.

The unit commander said the FRSC was unable to get the registration number of the BRT vehicle because the driver had driven off before its officers got to the scene of the accident.

He, however, said that the FRSC, Police and LASTMA were on ground to control traffic and restore peace to the area.

Ibitomi also advised the people to desist from taking laws into their hands.

(NAN)

We’re not rigging elections, INEC tells PDP

The Peoples Democratic party (PDP) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to distance itself  from an alleged plot to compromise the Electoral Guidelines and pave the way for the alteration of the forthcoming general elections results.

The Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, gave the advise at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ologbondiyan alleged that Nigerians were already aware that the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, was under pressure to drop the display of results at the polling units as well as the electronic transmission of polled figures to the server of the electoral umpire from its guidelines.

He said that the display of results at the polling units ensured that results posted at all levels remained those originally announced at the various polling units, while the electronic transmission to INEC server ensured that the results from the polling centres were not tampered with.

“Prof. Yakubu must not succumb to the pressure of the Buhari Presidency, because doing so will definitely set him on a collision course with Nigerians,” he said

However, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, dismissed the allegations and urged the PDP to provide the evidence in its possession to prove them.

“Otherwise, the PDP should cure itself of this recurring hallucination which I am sure Nigerians no longer buy. Certainly, INEC is not into the rigging business,” he said.

Teacher caught defiling 5-year-old girl

A 43-year-old Islamic studies teacher Abdulsalam Salaudeen has been arrested by the police for defiling a five-year-old girl.

Salaudeen, who lives 16, Awoyemi Street on Igando Road, Ikotun Lagos, was recorded on video while engaging in the act.

The suspected pedophile was allegedly engaged to teach the girl Islamic studies.

A Good Samaritan last Friday took the video evidence to the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command.

After watching the heart-rending video, Commissioner of Police (CP) Imohimi Edgal, directed the command’s undercover operatives attached to the State Intelligence Bureau to immediately arrest the culprit and hand him over to the Gender Section for detailed investigation.

The operatives went in search of Salaudeen and arrested him near a mosque in Igando, a suburb of Lagos.

A statement by police spokesman Chike Oti, a Chief Superintendent (CSP), said Salaudeen was taken to the Gender Unit, where the Officer-in-Charge, Abimbola Williams, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) confronted him with the video of him defiling the child by penetrating her anus and private parts.

“On seeing himself captured like an actor in a movie, the suspect broke down in tears and owned up to the crime,” Oti said.

The case, he added, will be charged to court as soon as the investigation is concluded.

Oti said: “The CP, while commending the courageous act of the good Nigerian, warned parents and guardians to keep constant watch over their children and wards.

“Nobody should be trusted. Be friends with your children and let them be free to share things with you.

“Do not cover up any crime, no matter who is involved. Raise the alarm on child molesters in your neighbourhood so they can face the law and other nursing such thoughts can be deterred.”

Father poisons his 3 children with sniper in Bayelsa

Mr Aminu Saleh, Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, says that a father of three, Mr Samuel Sunday, has been arrested for allegedly poisoning his three children with sniper.

The police commissioner told newsmen at the crime scene in Bayelsa that two of the children died after drinking sniper while the third one survived.

The surviving son told newsmen that their father and his brother gave them the sniper to drink.

“Our father and his brother tied three of us and gave us sniper to drink.

“I was told that my brothers are dead, and that I am the only one that survived,” the boy said in tears on his hospital bed.

He said that suspect and his brother, Aya Preye, were being charged for the murder of the two children.

He identified the deceased boys as Miracle (12) and God’s time (10).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that Sunday and his wife had divorced but the three children were living with their grandmother before the incident occurred.

The police commissioner said that the suspect had alleged that his sons were wizards who were responsible for his sickness.

Dr Moses Emeka of Hillem Medical Centre, who attended to the only survivor, said the boy was brought to the hospital unconscious by an NDLEA official.

The doctor confirmed that the survivor was responding to treatment and would soon recover.

Idris removes Imo CP, three deputy commissioners, 11 others

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has removed the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galadanchi.

Also removed by the IGP were the three Deputy Commissioners of Police in the Command.

The DCs were in charge of the Operations and State Criminal and Investigation Departments of the Command.

The IGP also removed 11 out of the 14 Assistant Commissioners of Police in the Command.

The affected ACPs included Area commanders and others heading strategic departments in the Command headquarters.

A Police source who confirmed the development to our correspondent on Wednesday described it as “a tsunami.”

He said that the Command had never witnessed such massive transfers.

The source who pleaded not to be mentioned said, “The IGP has removed the Commissioner of Police, all the three Deputy Commissioners of Police and 11 out of the 14 Assistant Commissioners of Police.

“The transfers are with immediate actions. The Command is expecting a new CP any moment from now.”

Our correspondent gathered that the IGP transferred the Imo CP to Bauchi State Command.

 

Philippine president confesses to sexually assaulting maid

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has confessed to sexually abusing a maid while he was a teenager, according to a report.

In a speech on December 29, Duterte said that he had confessed to a priest going into a maid’s room while she slept and placing his fingers on her genitals, TIME magazine reports, quoting the BBC.

The remarks were not unusual for Duterte, who has frequently come under fire for making statements that demean or encourage violence against women.

Last June and July, women’s rights activists gathered in Manila to protest Duterte’s treatment of women, including his remarks that communist rebels should be “shot in the vagina.”

The new remarks stand out, however, because Duterte admitted to sexually assaulting a woman himself.

Duterte said that when he was a teenager, he walked into the maid’s room while she was asleep.

“I lifted the blanket… I tried to touch what was inside the panty,” he said, according to the BBC. “I was touching. She woke up so I left the room.”

He later came back into the maid’s room and fondled her genitals again, the BBC said.

Duterte said that after hearing the confession, the priest said, “Say five Our Fathers, five Hail Marys, because you will go to hell.”

Duterte, a frequent critic of the Catholic Church, then turned the conversation to accusations about sexual abuse by Catholic priests, according to Rappler.

Gabriela Women’s Party, a political party that represents women’s rights groups, said that Duterte is “unworthy of his position and should resign,” according to the BBC.

Lagos lawyer asks court to stop ‘Operation Python Dance’ nationwide

Lagos-based Rights Campaigner, Chief Malcom Omirhobo, on Wednesday asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to declare as unlawful and unconstitutional, the declaration of “Operation Python Dance” across the nation.

The applicants in the suit labelled FHC/ABJ/CS/01/2019, are Omirhobo and Board of Incorporated Trustees of Malcom Omirhobo Foundation.

Joined as respondents are the Attorney General of the Federation, the National Assembly, the Inspector General of Police, the Nigeria Police Council, Police Affairs Commission as well as Service Chiefs.

The applicant is seeking the court’s declaration that the commencement of a nationwide “Operation Python Dance” with effect from January 1 to February 28, with the military to tackle internal security challenges during the conduct of the country’s general elections is illegal and undemocratic.

According to him, it violates the fundamental rights of the applicant, as well as those of the Nigerian public, to life, dignity of human person, personal liberty, family and private life, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of movement.

The applicant wants the court to declare that it is the primary responsibility of the police force to tackle internal security challenges such as kidnapping, terrorism, millitancy and proliferation of arms, and not that of the Armed Forces or military.

He seeks a declaration that the use of the military to perform the functions of the Police in the conduct of the 2019 elections is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The applicant, is therefore, seeking a court’s order, compelling the respondents to respect the fundamental rights of the applicant as well as those of Nigerians, by allowing the Police Force to perform its statutory role of enforcement and maintenance of law and order.

He seeks an order that the respondent clears off the military from the public spheres and stops forthwith, the use of “Operation Python Dance” in the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

Omirhobo also wants an order compelling the police to take charge of the enforcement and maintenance of law and order in their various commands, before, during, and even after the general elections.

Besides, the applicant seeks an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the respondents from using the military to perform the duties of the police, in the enforcement and maintenance of law and order, before, during, and after the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

He seeks an order, for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, and those of the Nigerian public, to life, dignity of human person, personal liberty, as well as private and family life.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

Aisha Buhari’s ‘impersonator’ hosted our CEO at Aso Rock before defrauding him of N150m – Chicason Group

Chicason Group, a technology-driven company, has explained how Alexander Okafor, its chief executive office, got involved with Amina Mohammed, suspected impersonator of Aisha Buhari, wife of the president.

In December, the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Mohammed for allegedly impersonating Buhari’s wife and Rashida Bello, wife of Kogi governor.

In a statement issued by Haruna Gamson, Chicason group head of corporate communications, the company said Mohammed defrauded  Okafor of N150 million.

The statement said Okafor started dealing with Mohammed after a traditional ruler informed him of the sale of some landed property in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The statement said Okafor paid N150m for one of the two plots of land he was asked to buy but Mohammed failed to tender the documents for the property.

Read the statement below:

Due to the need to keep the record straight, we at Chicason Group deem it necessary to explain what transpired between our organisation and the lady known as Amina Mohammed (also known as Amina Villa), who was paraded recently by the Department of State Services. 

Sometime in July 2017, a traditional ruler approached the Chairman/CEO of Chicason Group of Companies, Chief (Dr) Alexander Chika Okafor, KSC, OON, and informed him that the property beside Chief Okafor’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos, made up of 2 plots belonging to the Court of Appeal, was up for sale by the Federal Government Implementation Committee on disposal of FG Landed Property. The Royal Father said that he would have applied for it but was short of funds, but asked Chief Okafor to apply for it. He gave Chief Okafor the forms to fill for the property. 

Although the Chairman of Chicason Group had NEVER bought any property from the Federal Government, he decided to give this a try because of the seemingly trusted source. He got the forms filled for the two plots through two companies under the Chicason Group: Cason Travels Ltd and Uslasiya Nigeria Ltd.

Two weeks after, he received a call from a lady, who was identified by Truecaller as “Amina Villa.” She introduced herself as the sister of the First Lady. The lady said that some people brought the application forms by our companies to her sister to assist in the procurement of the property. Amina Villa said her sister asked her to confirm that the identity of the owners of the companies used in the forms was genuine.

Subsequently, Amina Villa visited the Abuja office of the Chicason Group for confirmation and promised to fix a meeting with her sister upon her availability.

On a later date she called Chief Okafor and said she had arranged a meeting for him at the Villa with the First Lady. By the time he arrived the Villa in the evening for the meeting, his details were already in the system as an expected visitor. His biometrics was taken and he was cleared. Amina received him and took him to the First Lady’s lounge where someone offered him water. But he wondered why the lounge was so quiet and bereft of the expected human activity. Amina apologised that the First Lady had to travel for the lesser hajj that morning and that was why she made frantic effort for Chief Okafor to meet the First Lady the previous day. On hearing that the First Lady was not around, Chief Okafor left the Villa immediately.

Amina, on two other different occasions that the First Lady travelled out of the country, made calls to Chief Okafor that reported on Truecaller that she was calling from the country where the First Lady travelled to. With the benefit of hindsight, she was doing all that to build confidence by demonstrating that she was in the company of the First Lady.

On the landed property, Amina said each of the plots of the property was officially up for sale at 150 million naira. She asked that since Chief Okafor was always travelling, that he should give her the money, so that she could pay promptly from the account she controls and be in charge of the transaction, to make it seamless.

Chief Okafor said he would pay for one plot first, and would pay for the second after the first had been approved and documents released to him. He asked for the account details and went on to make the payment totalling 150 million naira.

At no stage of the conversation was the issue of bribery mentioned. We have with us all the telephone and WhatsApp messages of the exchanges. Our Chairman insisted that an account number be provided, before making any payment. No reasonable person would pay a bride into a bank account using his corporate or personal bank account. The only thing mentioned by Amina was that she would be paid a commission at the successful completion of the transaction, which is normal in property transactions.

Few months after the payment, the traditional ruler confirmed to our Chairman that the documents were out. Amina also confirmed that there was an approval for the allocation of the plot to our company and that she had the document. She then asked for a commission of twenty million naira but Chief Okafor insisted on documentary evidence of the approval to be made available to him before releasing the commission. It was from that point that the hide-and-seek started, with excuses made each day why the document could not be presented.

After months of hide-and-seek from Amina, our Chairman decided to contact officials at the Presidential Villa to report the matter. He was asked to write a formal petition. The petition led to the scrutiny of all the ladies working for the First Lady to identify her, but none was Amina. The matter was referred to the DSS, who tracked her and invited her. She initially denied having any property transaction with Chicason Group but later confessed and acknowledged collecting the money for the property purchase when some evidence was presented to her.

The matter is being handled by the DSS, and we are waiting for the result from their investigation. That was why we kept quiet all this while. 

However, this press release was necessitated by the need to ensure that the image of our organization and the integrity of our Chairman, Chief (Dr) Alexander Chika Okafor, OON, are not tarnished through the presentation of inaccurate account of the event.

When Mohammed was quizzed by the DSS, she had named Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), and one Moriyatu, said to be a sister to Aisha Buhari, as her alleged accomplices.

Jehovah is with me, says Melaye on police siege

Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, says those after him depend on guns but Jehovah is with him.

Melaye said this in a video he tweeted on Wednesday from hiding.

On Friday, police officers numbering about 30 invaded the Abuja residence of the senator in a bid to arrest him.

Since then, they have not left Sangha street, off Mississippi street, Maitama, where the lawmaker’s house is located.

Jimoh Moshood, force public relations officer, had said the police officers would not leave the senator’s house until they arrest Melaye

The police said the lawmaker is wanted for culpable homicide, alleging that the senator’s armed thugs attacked Danjuma Saliu, a police officer, in Kogi state, on July 19.

They believe Melaye is holed up in his luxurious mansion,  but the senator claims he is away.

In the video, Melaye said: “the rulers of Nigeria have set themselves against the Lord and his “anointed” but the “Lord shall laugh at them in his sour displeasure.

“Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing. The rulers of Nigeria have set themselves against the Lord and his anointed but you know what the Lord shall laugh at them in his sour displeasure.

“They depend on chariot, horses, power, authority and guns. But I come to them in the name of Jehovah, the Lord God of hosts. I trust you. It is well, it is well, it is well.”

Below is the video:

NSE loses N134bn on first trading day of 2019

The Nigerian Stock Exchange  (NSE) started the year 2019 with the bears dominating, as the market shed N134 billion on Wednesday.

As at the last trading day of 2018, the market capitalisation stood N11.7207 trillion, only to fall by N134 billion to  N11.5863 trillion on the first trading day of 2019.

The all share index (ASI) also fell from 31,430.50 on the last trading day of 2018 to 31,070.06 on January 3, 2019.

Diamond Bank came in as the biggest trader for the day, with 111.995 million in trades on Wednesday, ahead of Access Bank, Zenith Bank and First Bank Nigeria Holdings (FBNH), which were all well traded.

The top losers for the day are; Nestle, Nigerian Breweries, Dangote Cement, Flour Mills, and Forte Oil.

Julius Berger, International Brewery, Custodian, Vitafoam, and Ecobank led the top gainers at the bourse.

Economic analysts have predicted a withdrawal of portfolio investors from Nigeria in 2019 — in anticipation of the 2019 general elections, and expected economic uncertainty.

Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer of the Nigerian bourse, said the exchange hoped to achieve a market cap of about N200 trillion at the end of 2015 and the opening of 2016, but reviewed the plans for 2019.

“The targeted 2016 capitalisation was set across five asset classes and would not be possible to achieve considering present realities. We no longer believe that it is possible to meet the target, given where we are today,” he said.

“But we believe that our new strategy up to 2019 has more realistic targets and we are approaching it now in a different perspective.”

It is clear today that the market cap of the Nigerian exchange will not be anywhere near the $1 trillion target set a few years ago.

Mbaka endorses Buhari for second term

Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka, spiritual director of adoration ministry, has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.

Mbaka gave his endorsement in a New Year message to Nigerians.

The Catholic priest said Nigeria has not had president who has undertaken agricultural programmes like Buhari.

He said Buhari has addressed the herdsmen clashes between herdsmen and farmers and banditry.

“A president that is fighting corruption need to be supported,” he said.

“We pray for President Muhammadu Buhari; he is a man who understands the situation. Since Nigeria started, we have never experienced a president that has agricultural programmes like him.

“For 16 years, the road from Anambra to Enugu was over-grown with weeds but within four years the road is being reconstructed and the same way they are doing it to Umuahia. This one that remembered us may God bless him.

“Four years doesn’t mean eight years; he has finished his four years, I pray for peaceful transition that he may complete his remaining four years. He will hand over to a better person, may the Lord keep him. When he was sick, he was almost dead and we said prayer and God granted him healing. God knows the purpose for allowing him to be alive; if God doesn’t want him, he could have died.

“The roads that were not going has started going. A lot of things are happening now which nobody knows. May the lord protect Buhari; it shall be well with our president.”

Mbaka’s endorsement is coming after he said Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Peter Obi, his running mate, might “end in shame”.

The priest said this in December after Obi failed to give a donation to his ministry. Mbaka had chosen Buhari over ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

PDP accuses Buhari’s family of diverting N1trn military funds

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the International Police Organisation better known as Interpol to probe President Muhammadu Buhari’s family over an alleged diversion of military funds.

In a statement on Wednesday, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, accused the president’s family of diverting N1.032 trillion meant for the purchase of weapons for soldiers to acquire shares in 9 Mobile and Keystone Bank.

The PDP spokesman also alleged that the military fund is being used to finance the president’s re-election campaign and to produce campaign materials.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) calls for an urgent investigation into the alleged link between the reportedly diverted military funds and the N1.032 trillion said to have been used by President Muhammadu Buhari’s family members for corrupt acquisition in 9 Mobile Nigeria and Keystone Bank PLC,” the statement read.

“The PPCO calls for an independent and system-wide investigation by the INTERPOL, Directorate of State Services (DSS), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the alleged links between the two funds.”

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of PDP, had earlier asked the federal government to probe the allegations that the president’s family owns substantial share in the telecommunication outfit and a bank.

In his statement on Wednesday, Ologbondiyan said the president’s silence on the allegations show that he hands were soiled.

Below is Ologbondiyan’s full statement:

1. Urgent Call On INTERPOL To Investigate The Alleged Diversion of Military Funds By Buhari’s Family

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) calls for an urgent investigation into the alleged link between the reportedly diverted military funds and the N1.032 trillion said to have been used by President Muhammadu Buhari’s family members for corrupt acquisition in 9 Mobile Nigeria and Keystone Bank PLC.

The PPCO calls for an independent and system-wide investigation by the INTERPOL, Directorate of State Services (DSS), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the alleged links between the two funds.

This concerted investigation has become imperative following President Buhari’s failure to directly speak out on the allegations against his family members, as well as explain how they came about the sum of N1.032 trillion for the alleged acquisition.

We make this demand in view of public insinuations that the money may have been sourced from funds meant for the purchase of weapons for our soldiers.

More so, the Buhari Presidency has blatantly refused to respond to allegations that military fund is being used to finance President Buhari’s re-election campaign which even manifested in the use of military resources to produce APC’s campaign materials, including an electronic momento book by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali.

The PPCO is deeply worried by the disturbing videos of our gallant soldiers languishing and being killed by insurgents due to neglect and failure of the Buhari administration to adequately equip them in the fronts.

The PPCO is also unhappy by similar videos, showing our soldiers protesting and threatening to retreat from the fronts, while grumbling against their neglect by the Buhari administration.

This should not be the way to go for our nation. Our soldiers are brave and have continued to show the highest form of professionalism and unmatched patriotism in risking and laying down their lives in defence of fatherland. Therefore, any action by anybody that is capable of reducing their morale in the fronts must never be allowed.

The PPCO invites Nigerians to continue to be at alert and give all support to our fighting troops as the fight against terrorism in our land must continue to be a collective effort. We therefore insist on this inquest and urge Nigerians to give their support in this regard.

2. President Buhari Must Personally Respond To 9 Mobile/Keystone Bank Allegations:

Also, the attention of the PPCO has been drawn to a vicious attempt by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to use diversionary tactics to dismiss allegations of corruption hanging directly on President Muhammadu Buhari. The APC is attempting to dismiss revelations that family members of President Buhari’s involvement in acquiring substantial shares in both the 9 Mobile and Keystone Bank Plc that is worth over a N1 trillion.

We want Nigerians to note that the PDP had already challenged President Buhari to personally speak out on these allegations. We note that President Buhari had the occasion of the launch of his campaign in Akwa Ibom last week and his New year address to deny these grave allegations but he decided to shy away from it.

The PPCO unequivocally stands by its actions that President Muhammadu Buhari has soiled his hands on corruption enrichments and has resorted to sending his aides to put up frivolous defenses. We hereby insist that Mr. President should rise in defence of his best-selling point-assumed integrity-by personally responding to the 9 Mobile and Keystone Bank-gate

3. A Stern Caution To INEC Against Plots To Manipulate Election Results.

The PPCO cautions the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmood to immediately disentangle himself and his commission from the fresh plot by the APC and the Buhari Presidency to compromise the electoral guideline and pave the way for the alteration of the results of the 2019 general election to favour President Buhari.

We urge Prof. Yakubu to note that Nigerians are already aware of the pressure being placed on him by the Buhari Presidency and APC seeking to force the commission to drop the display of results at the polling units as well as the electronic transmission of polled figures to INEC server from its guidelines.

The Buhari Presidency is desperate to remove these requirements because the display of results at the polling units ensures that results posted at all levels remain those originally announced at the various polling units, while the electronic transmission to INEC server ensures that the results from the polling centers are not tampered with. PDP also demands that INEC allows both local and international observers to its situation room to ensure that the final figures are not tampered with.

The APC and Buhari Presidency are mounting pressure on INEC to drop the requirements so as to pave way for their planned alteration of results and allocation of fictitious figures to President Buhari during the collation process.

Prof. Yakubu must not succumb to the pressure of the Buhari Presidency, because doing so will definitely set him on a collision course with Nigerians.

This demand has become imperative in the face of allegations and public apprehensions that the INEC Chairman is being offered humongous sums of money, running into billions of naira, by agents of the APC and the cabal at the Buhari Presidency to accede to their demands.

Information at our disposal further reveals that the INEC Chairman has been under pressure from this group said to be coordinated by President Buhari’s blood relation in INEC, who, we are surprised, Prof Yakubu still allows around himself.

Prof. Yakubu is now counseled to distance himself from these very dangerous racketeers and the commission from this very dangerous racket, as Nigerians will directly hold him responsible should these two important guidelines that guarantee transparency in the elections suddenly disappear from the INEC manual.

4. PPCO Rejects Use of Past NYSC Members as Ad-Hoc Staff

It has further come to our knowledge that the INEC Chairman is contemplating the deployment of past National Youth Service Commission (NYSC) members for the 2019 election.

The PPCO totally rejects this ignoble intention which is a ploy to use APC card-carrying members as polls officers.

It is very instructive to state that the on going ASUU strike has not by any measure evacuated its members from the surface of the earth.

Therefore, if INEC sought to use the members of ASUU for the 2019 elections, the on going strike will not be an excuse to deploy APC members.

We totally reject these plots to thwart electoral transparency in 2019 and we invite lovers of democracy and global democratic institutions to show more than a passing interest in our democratic process.

On the whole, the PPCO invites Prof. Yakubu to bear in mind that all what Nigerians demand for is a transparent, free, fair and credible election that reflects only the will of the people, as directly expressed at the ballot. Any attempt by anybody, to subvert the will of the people will be highly resisted by Nigerians, in their determined resolve to elect a new President, come February 16, 2019.

FG generates over $2bn from oil block licences to fund 2019 budget, says Kachikwu

Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, says the federal government has generated over $2 billion from the renewal of oil block licences.

The former group managing director the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the funds will be used to implement the nation’s budget.

“We have actually asked for early renewals, because we needed to get money out of it to help finance the budget and from that process, we have actually gotten about $2 billion,” Kachikwu told TheGuardian.

The minister said his ministry deliberately put a policy in place to hasten renewals, so enough funds could be put together for the budget.

“I put a policy of early renewals in place so that even blocks that are not due for renewal before 2019 are being renewed right now,” he said.

According to him, only about 30 of the fields, expected to add an about 300 million barrels of crude were granted licenses by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Kachikwu added that about 40 others, as well as mega fields suggested to President Muhammadu Buhari, who doubles as the minister of petroleum, were awaiting approval.

He said the ministry is currently analysing the renewal applications lodge for the 2019 process, to ensure best use of Nigeria’s oil field.

“We are doing analysis on what these people can bring to bear on the time limit between which you must develop the block that you asked for,” he added.

“If you can’t, lets somebody else get into it, and try and create a joint venture to find funding. But just holding to a block is depriving the government, state and even the investor money and it does not make any sense.”

The minister of petroleum, who is the president, has discretionary powers to allocate oil blocks in Nigeria — without the scrutiny of any other government ministry, department, or agency.

Army declares Brimah wanted over ‘fraudulent global fund raising to feed troops’

The Nigerian Army says it is working with Interpol to declare Dr. Perry Brimah, a Nigerian in Diaspora wanted over a fraudulent global fund raising to provide food for troops in the North East.

It said its attention was drawn to the “fraudulent and criminal’’ venture by Brimah, tagged “Global campaign to provide food for Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram.’’

Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, the spokesman of the army in a statement on Wednesday, urged the general public to provide any information on the whereabouts of “this fraudster.’’

Usman further alleged that Brimah embarked on the venture “ostensibly to defraud unsuspecting members of the public, especially the international community to fund subversive activities and personal life style.’’

“The criminal is using the following contact points for the fund raising, https://www.gofundme.com/feed-nigerian-soldiers/info @ ENDS.ng Tel: +1-929-427-5305; Whatsapp: +234-903-420-3031.

“We wish to state that the Nigerian soldiers deployed to the North East or elsewhere, neither lack logistics nor food as the fraudster wants unsuspecting members of the public to believe.

“The Nigerian army never faltered in providing necessary logistics to troops to the extent of providing extras, especially during festive periods,’’ Usman said.

He said the move by Brimah was nothing but a scam as there was nowhere in the world where troops were fed through donations by members of the public.

According to him, there has never been complaints of lack of food by soldiers talk less of starvation.

The army spokesman stressed that neither Brimah nor his agents represent the Nigerian army or its soldiers.

“Whoever believes and fall victim to this criminal act does so at his or her own risk,’’ he said.