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Daily Archives: March 8, 2019

Fayemi sacks protocol chief

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has terminated the appointment of the State Chief of Protocol, Mr Ayo Adegbite.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor,  Yinka Oyebode, in Ado Ekiti on Friday evening said the sack was with immediate effect.

Oyebode stated that “according to the letter of termination of appointment signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, Mr Adegbite is to hand over government properties in his custody to the Permanent Secretary, Government House and Protocol”.

Buhari runs a govt with no direction – Financial Times

The Financial Times of London says President Muhammadu Buhari has been running a government that lacks a clear direction in the last four years.

The respected newspaper therefore called on the President to see his re-election as an opportunity to do the right thing.

The Financial Times said this in its editorial which has been read and shared thousands of times around the world.

It said there was no clear economic policy like that of Rwanda and Ethiopia.

It read in part, “With his renewed mandate, it is now Mr Buhari’s task to rebuild faith by running a dynamic and successful administration and by building the institutions that can lay firmer foundations than in his previous term.

“The omens from his first four years in office are not good. During that time, the former military leader ran a lacklustre administration with no obvious sense of direction. There was no coherent economic strategy of the sort being attempted by the likes of Ethiopia, Rwanda or west African neighbours Ghana and Senegal to produce the rapid growth needed to haul tens of millions of people out of poverty. It is an indictment of its leadership — both military and democratic — that the continent’s biggest oil producer should have more people living in absolute poverty than any other country in the world.”

FT advised the President to appoint more technocrats in his second term who can help turn things around.

The newspaper said the anti-corruption war must be more holistic and less selective.

FT added, “Mr Buhari’s priority this time must be to set out a coherent agenda, implemented by technocrats rather than ideologues, to turn things around. Nigeria desperately needs to create a level playing field for business in which access to foreign currency, permits, and other requirements is both predictable and rational.

“His much-vaunted crackdown on corruption must go beyond taking action against a few minor officials. Some big scalps would help. More important still is to implement systematic changes — whether by reforming institutions, using technology or by removing arbitrage opportunities — to create a more transparent environment. People should prosper in Nigeria based on what they know and how much value and employment they can create, not by their connections.”

Army probes video showing soldiers invading Rivers commissioner’s home

The Nigerian Army says it has begun a forensic investigation of a CCTV footage showing soldiers invading the home of the Rivers State Commissioner of Education, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja.

The army said in a statement by its Acting Director, Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, that the military would remain neutral before, during and after the polls.

The statement read in part, “The Nigerian Army has observed some CCTV footages in circulation on social media and other online platforms, allegedly showing soldiers of the NA and other security agents invading the residence of the Rivers State Commissioner of Education, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja.

“The NA has started conducting a comprehensive forensic investigation of the footages to authenticate the validity or otherwise of the claims to guide its further actions.

“In the view of these allegations, the NA, for the umpteenth time, categorically reiterate its position in the entire conduct of the 2019 general elections as severally and consistently espoused and directed by the Chief of Army Staff Buratai which is – ‘NA is apolitical, neutral, impartial and will not compromise its constitutional roles under any guise’”

He explained that the army’s responsibility in the entire electioneering process is only to assist civil authority, Nigeria Police and other relevant security agencies to provide a secure, peaceful and enabling environment for the successful and transparent conduct of the election.

The army spokesman said anything beyond this is not authorised and therefore totally unacceptable by the leadership of the NA.

The statement read in part, “Any military personnel confirmed to be involved in any professional misconduct, such a person/s would be dealt with decisively in accordance with the law.

“To this end, the NA wishes to request well-meaning Nigerians to always forward genuine complaints and evidences of professional misconduct against any of its personnel for investigation and necessary action.”

Imo accountant-general arrested as EFCC accuses Okorocha of diverting N1bn for vote buying

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Uzoho Casmir, accountant-general of Imo state, for allegedly helping  Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state, to launder N1.05bn for Saturday’s elections.

Casmir was alleged to have laundered the money through a new generation bank.

Okorocha, who won the senatorial election in Imo east two weeks ago, is supporting Uche Nwosu, his son-in-law, in the governorship election.

In a report, the anti-graft agency said Casmir was arrested based on intelligence.

“The, EFCC, Enugu Zonal Office, Thursday, March 8, 2019 arrested the Acting Accountant General of Imo State, Mr. Uzoho Casmir, on suspicion of laundering the sum of N1.050bn through a new generation bank for the governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha,” the report read.

“Uzoho’s arrest followed intelligence report that the governor intended to use the money for vote buying in favour of a particular candidate in tomorrow’s gubernatorial election. Intelligence further revealed that Mr Casmir withdrew the amount in three tranches between Tuesday and Thursday this week in the following order; N200m on Tuesday, N500m on Wednesday and N350m on Thursday.

“Meanwhile, the EFCC has blocked the traced accounts, while the arrested Accountant General has been providing useful information to the commission. Mr Casmir was before his appointment, a Director of Finance in Okorocha’s government and was in 2016 fingered in N2bn bailout fund scam, which was then given to the state by the Federal Government for the payment of salary arrears of civil servants.”

PDP to Buhari: Atiku will soon reclaim his stolen mandate

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop “gloating” as Atiku Abubakar, its candidate in the presidential election, will soon reclaim his “stolen mandate” at the tribunal.

The party was reacting to Buhari’s statement that the PDP still had questions to answer on how it spent the huge resources that accrued to the country from oil sales between 1999 and 2015.

In a statement on Friday, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, said it is Buhari that has some explanations to give concerning how some monies were spent under him.

According to the statement, Buhari’s “renewed attack” on the PDP is a ploy by the president to “divert public attention from the overwhelming evidence that he rigged the elections.”

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges President Muhammadu Buhari to stop gloating and showboating on Nigerians with the stolen 2019 Presidential mandate, as the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar would soon retrieve it from him at the tribunal,” the opposition party said.

“The party further describes President Buhari’s renewed attack and blame game on PDP administrations as a lame attempt to divert public attention from the overwhelming evidence that he rigged the elections, as well as from the plots by his Presidency to obstruct the clear winner, Atiku Abubakar, from going to the tribunal to reclaim the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians.

“It indeed speaks volumes that President Buhari, in his claimed integrity and anti-corruption stance, is grandstanding over the violent rigging of the elections and his attempt to foist himself into a second term in office on the pedestal of stolen votes.

“President Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) should know that the PDP and Nigerians are focused and will not be distracted by any sort of blackmail in the pursuit of the mandate and we are confident that our justices will never allow an illegitimate government to sit over the affairs of our dear nation.

“Moreover, if anybody has a question to answer on the administration of the nation’s resources, it is President Buhari, who has not been able to offer any explanation on the looting of over N14 trillion from revenue generating agencies in a space of three years under his direct supervision.

“We ask; was it the PDP that siphoned over N9 trillion, through underhand contracts, as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo, in the same sector President Buhari directly supervises as Minister of Petroleum Resources?

“President Buhari must note that Nigerians are no longer interested in his incompetence and blame game and this is the very reason they voted massively against him on February 23. He should therefore end his diversionary tactics and get ready to meet the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in court.”

Atiku had challenged the outcome of the election which he said was rigged to favour Buhari in court.

On Thursday, a court of appeal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow him access to all the electoral materials used during the process.

BREAKING: EFCC arrests Kwara accountant-general over ‘N1.5bn vote buying’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Suaiman Ishola, accountant-general of Kwara state, for allegedly setting aside N1.5 billion for vote buying.

A source at the commission disclosed this on Friday evening.

The arrest of Ishola comes after that of Uzoho Casmir, accountant-general of Imo, who allegedly laundered N1 billion for Rochas Okorocha, the governor.

The commission said the money was meant for inducing voters during the state assembly and governorship elections.

More to follow…

Grail Information Centre to open at Ijaiye-Ojokoro

The Grail Movement has announced the opening of it’s Grail Information Centre at Ijaye-Ojokoro in Lagos as part of ongoing efforts to propagate the Grail message.

According to a statement by Dr Omoniyi Fagbemi, the centre will be opened on Sunday, 17th March, 2019 at Josepha Close, off Ogundeji Oguntona St. by Ajala Bus-Stop, Ijaiye-Ojokoro, Lagos.

The Grail Information Centre is being set up under the auspices of Grail Administration Nigeria Ltd/Gte (Grail Movement) with headquarters on Grailland, Iju Hills, Lagos.

The statement explained that the Grail Information Centre is dedicated to the propagation of the Work: “In the Light of Truth”, the Grail Message by Abd-ru-shin and where interested members of the public can come into freely.

Copies of the book “In the Light of Truth”, the Grail Message, will be available for sale while members of the public and can borrow copies of the book and read.

Adherents can also read the Message solely (alone) or jointly with others at the library facility.

Fagbemi said opportunities would be available to freely ask questions and get answers on problems of life, human existence and Creation in general in the sense of the Grail Message.

The centre will also host lectures and seminars on different aspects of life’s experiences and existence on a regular basis while people can also make other enquiries about the Grail Message and the Grail Movement, he added.

Giving an insight into the Grail Message, Fagbemi, pointed out that it is a new spiritual revelation that explains the structure, workings, purpose and necessities of life and existence.

The Grail Message is in three volumes and it contains God’s Help to mankind at this crucial time and gives the right answers to questions of birth and death, finding and fulfilling one’s fate or destiny, marriage and family, the child and education, earthly possessions, how we can attain peace and happiness in life, etc.

He emphasised that the Grail message  does not bring a new religion and  is not a cult or secret society.

“It recognizes the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of the Almighty Creator.

“It recognizes the Prophet Mohammed as a Messenger of the Almighty Creator. It also puts in perspective the place and role of the other prophets, teachers and helpers of mankind.

” It teaches what man needs to do to get back to Paradise, which is our home and should be the goal of every spiritually alert human being; so we do not fall into perdition”, he added.

The Grail Information Centre will be opened every day of the week at specified times.


BREAKING: Thugs burn down INEC office in Akwa Ibom

Suspected hoodlums have burnt down an office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ibesikpo Asuntan local government area of Akwa Ibom state.

Electoral materials were destroyed in the incident which happened on the eve of the governorship and state assembly elections.

Akwa Ibom was among the states that recorded high rate of violence in the presidential and national assembly elections.

More to follow…

48 hours to election, Adebutu, Amosun’s candidate agree on how to share power

Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is making final preparations for the governorship election, two key political figures in Ogun state have agreed on how to share power and split contracts in the new government.

Leaked documents now circulating on social media showed how Adekunle Akinlade, governorship candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and Ladi Adebutu, who lost the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun, agreed on who gets what in the yet to be formed government.

The duo are serving members of the house of representatives.

Akinlade, who enjoys the support of Ibikunle Amosun, governor of the state, decamped to APM after losing the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket to Dapo Abiodun.

Buruji Kashamu, a serving senator, secured the ticket of the PDP, against the wish of Adebutu.

With the alliance between the duo, Adebutu is expected to mobilise members of his faction in the PDP to support Akinlade’s victory in exchange for juicy appointments and contracts.

The agreement is, however, stated to be valid for a period of three years from the date it was signed.

“The parties hereby agree to work together and support to ensure the victory of Hon. Akinlade at the March 09, 2019 Governorship election in Ogun State,” the document read.

“That Senator Amosun and Hon. Akinlade hereby agree and Ladi Adebutu concur to the following allocation of positions in Government and immediate attention to the infrastructure projects as listed herewith:

“Commissioners (2), Senior Special Assistants (3), Special Advisers (2), Special Assistants (5), Chairman — SUBEB or Local Government Service Commission, DG-Lands or OPIC Chairman.”

The agreement also include the award of contract for “100 kilometres of community roads per federal constituency per annum, Ilisan-Ago Iwoye road, Iperu/Ilisan cargo airport (reactivation), OKFTZ, 5 mini-water works including reticulations per federal constituency, Sagamu-Ogijo-Ikorodu dualisation, Ijebu Ode-Ejinrin dualisation and Oba Erinwole By-Pass Sagamu.”

Also included in the agreement for the Adebutu-led group are appointments in executive director and director positions in key federal government agencies. The agencies include “MINT, FHA, FERMA, BOI, FEDERAL MORTGAGE BANK, OGUN-OSUN RIVER BASIN, NERFUND, PTDF, SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION-fCT, NIGERIA AGRICULTURAL BANK, NIGERIA RAILWAY CORPORATION, PRO-CHANCELLOR (ANY FEDERAL UNIVERSITY), DUKE, NAPIEMS.”

“The understanding is made with copious note that Sen Ibikunle Amosun and Hon Akinlade, have respectfully agreed to implement all the above stated clauses with each assuming shared responsibilities on those projects in Ogun Central and West Districts respectfully,” the document stated.

Supreme court upholds seizure of Patience Jonathan’s $8.4m

The Supreme Court ourt has upheld an order of interim forfeiture made by a federal high court in Lagos in connection to the $8.4 million reportedly traced to Patience Jonathan, former first lady.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had announced that it traced the money to her.

In its judgement on Friday, a five-man panel of the court led by Dattijo Muhammad unanimously ruled that the appeal filed by wife of the former president, challenging the interim forfeiture, was without merit.

The court also directed the former first lady to go before the federal high court to explain why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government.

In April, Mojisola Olatoregun of the federal high, Lagos, granted EFCC the ex parte order.

She also ordered the EFCC to publish the court’s order in any major national newspaper to enable the respondents or anyone interested in the funds to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the said funds should not be made in favour of the federal government .

Jonnathan’s wife had filed an appeal before the court of appeal to challenge the competence of the ex parte application filed by the EFCC to request the order of interim forfeiture.

She also challenged the validity of the order made by the trial court and the constitutionality of section 17 of AFFA.

But the court dismissed her appeal, prompting her to approach the apex court.

Court orders arrest of APC guber candidate in Akwa Ibom

A magistrate court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, has issued a warrant for the arrest of Nsima Ekere, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Akwa Ibom state, over a N2.4 billion fraud.

The development comes hours to the governorship and state houses of assembly elections scheduled for March 9, 2019.

S.D. Andrew-Jaja, chief magistrate, issued the warrant of arrest with charge number PMC/MSC/15/2019, following the ploy doctored by the governorship candidate to boycott court judgement.

The court also held that Ekere should be arrested alongside Katungo Moljengo, director of legal service of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The court order, bearing the seal and signature of S.T. Dappa, principal registrar of the court, indicated that the arrest warrant against Ekere and Moljengo was issued “in Port Harcourt under the seal of the court and hand of the presiding chief magistrate, this 5th day of March 2019″.

Speaking at a press conference in Uyo, V.C. Edward Ekpo, a lawyer representing Multi-Intelligence Development Ltd, disclosed what led to the issuance of the arrest warrant.

“In 2011, four companies were awarded contracts by NDDC.  Having executed the job worth over N2.4 billion, were denied payment after obtaining loans from banks, individuals among other financial institutions to service the contract,” Ekpo said.

“We approached the court and obtained judgement from the High Court of Justice, Abuja but what followed was indescribable level of corruption, where Nsima Ekere conspired with Director of Legal Service, Kaltungo Moljengo to defeat the execution of justice”.

The lawyer was displeased with the act which he said was against Criminal Code Act of Section 518(1) and (6) CAP. C 38, laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.

Ekpo appealed to the inspector general of police to implement the court order and get Ekere arrested with immediate effect in compliance with the order of court, and ensure that he is put in prison within 24 hours ultimatum.

He also advised the current management of NDDC to desist from transacting businesses with the duo.

Katsina governor’s mother-in-law kidnapped on election eve

Hauwa Yusuf, mother-in-law to Aminu Masari, governor of Katsina state, has been kidnapped, according to Daily Trust.

Yusuf, aged 80 years, was reportedly abducted from her residence at Dandume crescent in Katsina layout of the metropolis.

She is the mother to Binta Masari, one of the three wives of the governor.

The newspaper said the armed abductors who wore masks stormed the residence around 3am on Friday, took her away after beating some persons “thoroughly” and carting away telephones.

Already, sympathisers have besieged the residence lamenting and discussing the incident just as security personnel were spotted gathering information.

The police are yet to make comments on the incident.

Masari is contesting Saturday’s election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The high rate of crime in the north-west state has been a source of concern to the government and residents.

Court sentences Lekan Shonde to death for the murder of wife

After a three year long trial, the end came for Olalekan Shonde, the man who beat his wife to death in 2016 as a Lagos High Court at Ikeja judicial division sentenced him to death by hanging.

Justice Josephine Oyefeso, the trial judge handed down the judgement based on the conviction that the convict killed his wife, Ronke.

The judgement was handed down on March, 8, 2019 a day set aside as International Women’s Day.

In the two and a half long judgement, the trial judge pronounced, “this is the sentence of the court upon you that you should be hanged on the neck until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy upon you.”

The judge explained that this penalty was due the convict based on the Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Adding that it is only within the power of a State governor to grant a convict mercy as being sought for by the defence counsel, Mr. I.B Mohammed who held brief for Chief Robert Clarke, the defence counsel.

Recall that trouble started for Shonde on May 6, 2016 when he murdered his wife, Ronke the mother of two in their Egbeda, Lagos residence.

He was subsequently charged to court for a one count charge of murder. His trial began on 20th September and ended on October, 2018.

At her judgement today, the judge said the court was satisfied that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt in the light of overwhelming evidence against him.

Her words: “The violence used by the defendant was in excess of a reasonable man.

The judge noted that the defendant was very economical with the truth, stating that his evidence before the court that he only slapped her when he overheard his wife on a phone call praising the sexual prowess of a lover does not match the degree of the autopsy report.

The judge reiterated the analyses of the pathologist, Dr. Shokunle Shoyemi that his examination revealed old and fresh injuries on the deceased.

She held that bruises on the deceased cheek, blood collection in the brain, brain swelling and other multiple injuries could not have been caused by a self-inflicted injuries.

Pleading on his behalf, Mohammed his lawyer said: “My Lord, we want to plead with the court while administering justice, dispensing same in this case to see reason in thus allocutus, to temper justice with mercy, Sir.

Justice Oyefeso was convinced that the prosecution also proved among the ingredients of murder that death of the deceased occured and the convict was the last person who had physical contact with her. The judge however said, ” I accept that the wife of the defendant died.”

“There are two children of the marriage .., I know as a matter of fact, these two children have passed through a worse moment of their life, agonies that are immeasureable. I know if these two children have any control in this proceeding, it will be that their father should not be prosecuted at all, but since do not, their wish is that their father be sentence on a very liberal term.

“The defendant has no criminal record, he has developed series of failing health since his detention.

“This defendant hardly see very well again, he sees faintly. My Lord, he is hypertensive as he stands there and the authourity of the prison can confirm.

However, the State prosecutor expressed that he sincerely thank the judge.

“I agree we are not aware of any past criminal record of the defendant. In view of the conviction for this charge, there is a punishment, We only ask the court to apply it.

At this point, the judge stood down the matter from 11:53 a.m to 12:50 p.m when she resumed for sentencing of the defendant.

At 12:59 p.m she ruled that “this is the sentence of the court upon you that you should be hanged on the neck until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy upon you.”

The defendant appeared confused at the pronouncement as he made to alight from the dock.

He was immediately rushed to sit down for a while in the courtroom before he was whisked away by prison official.

Three ADC House of Reps candidates defect to APC

Three House of Representatives candidates of the African Democratic Congress, ADC in Ogun State on Thursday defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The candidates sealed their defection on Thursday after a visit to the APC governorship candidate, Dapo Abiodun, at his country home in Iperu, Ogun State.

They are Jenriyo Osinowo (Ijebu North East and Waterside Federal Constituency), Lanre Oyemade (Remo Federal Constituency) and Prof. Gabriel Onalaja (Ijebu Central Federal Constituency).

With the development, the number of defecting leaders and candidates of the ADC in Ogun keeps swelling.

Last Thursday, the Ogun East senatorial candidate of the ADC, Deji Ashiru, announced his defection to the APC and was immediately joined by a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Titi Oseni-Gomez.

Titi Oseni-Gomez said she decided to join the APC after consulting with her family members, constituency and other party stakeholders.

The new three defecting candidates, who were led to the APC governorship candidate’s house by Ashiru, said Thursday that they were convinced that Abiodun would win the governorship elections. “The three of us are moving to the APC to ensure the success of Abiodun,” Oyemade said.

Ashiru said he believed that the APC candidate was already rich and was not in politics to steal government money.

“We want our people to go out en masse and vote for Dapo Abiodun. The handwriting is already on the wall that the pendulum is swinging towards him.

“Today, he is the most credible candidate. He is a businessman and an entrepreneur. He is in this game because people have been completely disenfranchised from governance.

“He is not going there to steal money; he is already made. We are giving him all our support and that is why I am leading the three candidates to join me in this course. Ogun East has the largest number of voters in Ogun State and that is a plus for him,” he added.

The Director General of the Dapo Abiodun Campaign Organisation, Segun Adesegun, a former deputy governor, said the credibility of the APC candidate was drawing people to him.

He said, “The candidate is a man of character and extra-ordinary entrepreneurship. It is obvious that a lot of people will want to associate with him, especially with the performance of the APC in the last election.

“I cannot say I am surprised and I cannot say I am not surprised. We are happy to welcome them.