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Daily Archives: May 14, 2019

Lt.-Col, two soldiers killed as vehicle runs over IED planted by Boko Haram

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the death of three military personnel on Monday in Borno was “wake-up call’’ for the army to further strategise to defeat terrorists.

He stated this at the burial of Lt.-Col. Ibrahim Aminu, Cpl. Jibril Ahmadu and Lance Cpl. Tijjani Mohammed, at the Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery in Maiduguri on Tuesday.

Aminu, the Commanding Officer, 145 Task Force Battalion and the two soldiers died on Monday when, during patrol, their vehicle ran over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by Boko Haram insurgents. The device exploded.

The incident occurred at Mauli-Borgozo axis in Kaga Local Government Area of Borno.

Buratai said “this threat, IEDs, is real but we are taking all measures to ensure that we counter it.

“The challenge that we are having in the North-East has always been the enemy action, either through encounter or Improvised Explosive Device being exploded on our troops, and today’s burial is one of those incidents that involve IED.

“This is a situation that will require us to be vigilant at all times and to ensure that we protect ourselves from this menace of the IEDs.’’

He described the death of the officer and soldiers as “highly unfortunate and regrettable’’.

“Today, it is with heavy heart that we bury our colleagues who paid the supreme sacrifice in course of duty.

“It is a great loss; we will miss them.

“Let me pay my condolences to the families of the late lieutenant-colonel and two soldiers, and indeed all of us – officers and men of Operation Lafiya Dole and Nigerian army,’’ Buratai lamented.

Meanwhile, the Control and Command Centre of the Operation Lafiya Dole, on Monday unveiled a device to counter IEDs, as part of the measures to tackle the challenge.

The device, a padded roller supported by plate, weighing about 280 kilogrammes and attached to heavy duty truck, is capable of detecting and safely detonating IED.

And, in case the device goes off, the plate protects the vehicle and troops.

At the unveiling in Maiduguri, Buratai assured that apart from the roller, Nigerian Army Manufacturing Company was developing a similar device which would be mass produced “as soon as we get it correct.’’

He said that the device, when produced, would be used to counter the threat of IED.

On general security in the North-East, the army chief said that the situation was improving, but expressed worry about the terrorists’ resilience.

According to him they still move around causing havoc and sometimes attacking military locations.

He charged troops to sit up and deal with the terrorists, who he described as “criminal elements bent on destabilising the country and make life difficult for the citizens’’.

“We should not allow them to triumph over us.

“This should never be allowed to happen and therefore, we must make sure that we deal with them decisively and to do that, we must remain alert, conscious of our environment and must be vigilant all times.

“What is required now is just vigilance.

“We must ensure that all suspicious movements in and around locations are reported or actions are taken and arrest made. This will help us in this operation,’’ he said.

Buratai said that efforts were being made to procure required equipment and platforms for the ongoing operations, adding very soon, the first set of consignment would be delivered to the army.

He said that the equipment would greatly help to address some of the gaps observed in operations.

He disclosed that the military was taking “some strong and decisive measures’’ to checkmate the activities of the “Boko Haram jihadists’’.

The COAS urged citizens, especially Borno and Yobe states people, to be patient with whatever steps being taken to contain the terrorists.

“There may be some inconveniences; it is for the good of all of us, people of Borno and Yobe, and indeed, all Nigerians,’’ he said.

Senate threatens to order shutdown of Bet9ja over refusal to honour invitation

The Senate Committee on Youth and Sports, on Tuesday, threatened to order the shutdown of Bet9ja office if the company failed to honour its invitation for a second time.

Bet9ja is the biggest online sports betting company in Nigeria with revenues running into.the tens of billions.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Obinna Ogba, made the remark at the National Assembly, Abuja during the verification of loto companies with licence to operate in Nigeria.

Ogba (PDP Ebonyi Central) said it was unfortunate that Bet9ja refused to honour the committee’s invitation.

“Clerk, write to Bet9ja again. If they did not honour our invitation, we will ask the National Lottery Commission to seal their offices,” he said.

According to him, the Senate is making efforts aimed at assisting the Lottery Commission to generate money for the Federal Government.

”We want to see bet9ja. They can’t run away,” he said.

The chairman explained that the verification followed series of complaints against the betting companies, adding that ”some don’t even have offices while others have not been making remittances to the government.”

”Some got the licences but they are not operating. The new regulation only give them one year to start operations,” he noted.

Meanwhile, about 20 other betting companies appeared before the committee for the verification.

UN agreement’s amendment’ll ensure safe transport of dangerous goods -FRSC

UN agreement’s amendment’ll ensure safe transport of dangerous goods -FRSC

The amendment of United Nations (UN) Agreement Concerning International Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) will ensure safe transportation of the commodities in the country, Mr Bisi Kazeem, Spokesman of the Federal Road Safety Corps has said.

Kazeem said this while presenting the press release on the amendment by UNECE after their meeting in UN headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland

He disclosed that the Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi is attending the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the 1957 Agreement in Geneva, Switzerland as a delegate where an amendment to the agreement was carried out.

Kazeem lamented that far too many accidents involving the transport of dangerous goods still occured in countries all around the world.

He said that with the UN agreement, the risks of such accidents would be reduced.

“The Agreement concerning the International Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) is a tried and tested United Nations instrument.

“It has helped to prevent such accidents and reduce the severity of their consequences for over 50 years.

“ADR also helps to ensure swift and effective emergency response in the event of an accident.

“Adopted at United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in 1957 as a European agreement, ADR is a highly successful example of the positive impact of international harmonisation and cooperation on improving safety.

“In addition to countries of the Pan-European region, Morocco, Tunisia and most recently Nigeria have joined ADR.”

This, Kazeem said has signaled increasing global demand for solutions for the safe transport of dangerous goods.

The ADR was among the six key UN international legal instruments serviced by UNECE.

It creates a legal framework addressing the main causes of road traffic accidents.

Boko Haram: Over 90,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon – UN officials

Officials from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and those from Adamawa and Borno states on Monday said about 90,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon ”are safe’’ and will soon return.

The officials brainstormed on Monday over plans to repatriate the refugees.

The refugees, mostly from Borno, were displaced by the unending Boko Haram insurgency.

At the meeting in Yola on Monday, the Adamawa State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Ahmad Sajoh, said plans for their evacuation had reached an advanced stage.

”Necessary arrangements have been made by the Adamawa State Government to receive the refugees, who would pass through Adamawa transit camp from Minawawo camp in Cameroon.

‘’About  4,000 of the refugees are from Adamawa, and already agreement had been reached with some communities here in Adamawa to host about 1,500 refugees from Borno, who have indicated that they would want to remain in Adamawa,’’ he said.

The commissioner, who did not give the date for the commencement of the evacuation, said the refugees would be airlifted by the Nigerian Air Force.

Also speaking, the Borno delegation team leader, Kullima Kachalla, commended the government and people of Adamawa, ”for the hospitality to the displaced persons from Borno since the insurgency started.

”Borno government is committed to ensuring the success of the evacuation exercise,’’ Mr Kachalla said.

In her remarks, at the meeting,  head of UNHCR sub-office in Marwa, Cameroon, Mylene Ahounou, said: “the commission is waiting for final authorisation from the central government of Cameroon to embark on the exercise.

“We urge the Nigerian Government to also reach out to Cameroon to facilitate action.”

A representative of the refugees, Ashigar Mohammed, said ”We are eager to return home.” He thanked Nigeria, Cameroon and UNHCR for coming to their aid.

The UNHCR is a United Nations programme with the mandate to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people, and assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.

The Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria has led to about 100,000 deaths since 2009, according to the Borno State Government. The terror group, which has been largely decimated since 2015, seeks to impose strict Islamic law in Northern Nigeria.

NNPC recovers $1.6bn from companies

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, on Tuesday said the Corporation had recovered $1.6 billion from some companies fleecing one of its subsidiaries.

Mr Baru disclosed this in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists after a visit by officials of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN)

The Institute conferred an award of Honourary Fellow and Patron to Mr Baru and solicited partnership with the corporation during the visit.

CIFIPN is an anti-Fraud organisation saddled with the responsibility of providing skills to professionals from relevant fields on the use of science and technology to detect, prevent and investigate fraud and also put some measures to prevent future occurrence.

He said its upstream subsidiary fleeced was the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

He also said under his watch, the corporation had made significant progress in terms of fraud detection, prevention and control.

“There is a lot of sanity that has happened in the industry as a result of this. Recently, due to the work, we were able to get the Atlantic companies who were fleecing the NNPC subsidiary, the NPDC, and we got an award for them to refund 1.6 billion dollars to the NPDC, through the arbitration process.

“We have also been able to stem fraud. High profile court cases were being set up to defraud the NPDC.

“If you see the amount of money involved, if you do not have people who are determined to fight corruption, our chances would have been compromised by over 1.6 billion dollars.

“We have had cases, like NNPC versus IPCO, where they are demanding over 400 million dollars, and because of their activities, we were able to settle out of court with them for 37.5 million dollars, which is a saving of several percentages, about less than 10 per cent of the total amount.” he said

Mr Baru added that the recovery was possible as all staff of the corporation and its business partners had imbibe transparency in all areas of their operations.

Commenting on the honours, he assured that he would support the institute with his wealth of knowledge to help boost forensic investigation in the country.

“This institute’s intention is quite laudable and conferment of fellows on me will make me more determined to support them and being a patron will make me to share some of the knowledge I have,’’ he said

Ajimobi renames roads, institutions after Lam Adesina, Alaafin, Olubadan, Soun, Ladoja, Akala, others

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has approved the renaming of some roads and institutions after prominent indigenes in recognition of their contributions to the state.

Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, said in a statement that the decision was in recognition of the individuals’ contributions to the development of the state, career and humanity.

Among the beneficiaries are former governors Lam Adesina (now late), Rashidi Ladoja, Adebayo Alao-Akala and the incumbent, Abiola Ajimobi.

Also on the list were Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi, among others.

Arulogun said that the Challenge – Efunsetan road would now be known as Lam Adesina road, Elebu road now officially Alao-Akala Way, Monatan – Olodo road now Rashidi Ladoja road, while Idi-Ape – Bashorun Akobo road is now Abiola Ajimobi way.

He said that Ibadan/Oyo Express/Iseyin-Owode with spur to Akesan-Palace and Old Ibadan-Oyo road would now be known as Alaafin Lamidi Adeyemi III road and Eleyele-Dugbe ANCE road is now Oba Saliu Adetunji road.

The commissioner said that Ilorin Express Junction-Ikoyi – Takie – Palace – Ogbomoso Grammar School road would now be known as Soun Oyewumi Ajagungbade road.

Arulogun listed others as Ijokodo – Apete road now Ambassador Olu Sanu road; Onireke-Agbarigo road now Onikepo Akande road and Festac road at Mokola now Adebayo Faleti road.

He said that Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora would now be known as Lam Adesina College of Agriculture and Technology, while Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa is now Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic, Eruwa.

The commissioner said that Maternal & Peadiatric Centre, Olodo, Ibadan would now be known as Abiola Ajimobi Maternal & Paediaitric Centre, while the newly constructed Zonal Mediation Centre in Ogbomoso is now Justice Atilade Ojo Mediation Centre.

He said that the flyover constructed at Mokola in Ibadan by the present administration would now be known as Transformation Flyover.

Arulogun stressed that the process for the amendment of the enabling laws for the institutions would commence immediately.

He said that the governor would from Wednesday inaugurate some completed projects, among which were Oba Akinbiyi Model School and Dualization of Challenge Roundabout-Efunsetan Roundabout (Phase II).

Also on the list are Rehabilitated/Constructed 3.6km Ijokodo-Apete road with Associated Bridge Works, Zonal Mediation Centre in Ogbomoso and Abiola Ajimobi Maternal & Paediaitric Centre, Olodo, Ibadan.

Others are the Archive Management and Record Centre, Secretariat, Ibadan, Raw Materials Display Centre, Secretariat, Ibadan, Islamic Model School, Mini Water Scheme, Iganna and Ogunpa Market.

Military dissociates self from call to overthrow Buhari

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Tuesday, dissociated the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) from the circulation of a document, calling for the overthrow of the democratically-elected government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement by Navy Capt. Muhammed Wabi, Deputy Director of Defence Information, the DHQ accused a group, “Nigeria Continuity and Progress (NCP)’’ as being behind the document.

Wabi alleged that the document called for the setting up of an “interim government’’ in place of the elected government.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) wishes to dissociate itself from the rascality and intentions as espoused in a document being circulated by a faceless group named Nigerian Continuity and Progress (NCP) calling for support of a revolution to oust the current democratically elected government and in its place establish an illegitimate interim government.

“The AFN outrightly condemns the undemocratic and demonic actions of the author of the document.

“Accordingly, members of the public are enjoined to discountenance the content of the documents being circulated by NCP and equally condemned in totality, the call to derail our hard-earned democracy,’’ the statement said.

It said that the armed forces was “very mindful of its constitutional responsibilities’’ and would not be misled into any act that would undermine democracy as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The AFN remains unflinchingly loyal to the Constitution, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The statement said all relevant law enforcement agencies had been advised to unravel those behind the seditious document for appropriate actions.

N100bn worth of bonds up for subscription on May 22 – DMO

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says N100 billion worth of Federal Government bonds will be up for subscription on May 22.

The DMO said in a circular on its website on Tuesday in Abuja that the five-year re-opening bonds of N35 billion to mature in April 2023, was offered at 12.75 per cent.
It said that the 10-year re-opening bonds also of N35 billion to mature in April 2029 would be auctioned at 14.55 per cent.

The website said the N30 billion 30-year bonds, introduced in April, which would be due in April 2049, would be auctioned at 14.80 per cent.

According to the DMO, units of sale is N1, 000 per unit, subject to a minimum subscription of N50 million and in multiples of N1, 000 thereafter.

The DMO explained that the bonds were backed by the full faith and credit of the Nigerian Government, with interest payable semi-annually to bondholders, while bullet repayment would be made on maturity date.

Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

Dollar bribe scandal: Court asked to compell EFCC, ICPC, Police to prosecute Ganduje

A rights group, Enough is Enough, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja to compel the EFCC, ICPC and Nigeria Police to probe and investigate Governor Adbullahi Ganduje on all allegations bordering on corrupt practices.

The media director of the group, Tolulope Oladele, in a statement made available to Ripples Nigeria on Tuesday, said “We are committed to demanding that all who choose to serve and are elected into public office must be held accountable for their actions. The suit against Ganduje over corruption had first came up for hearing on May 10th and has been adjourned to May 24th”.

The group in the statement recalled that “On Sunday, October 14, 2018, video clips were released by Daily Nigeria (an online news platform) indicating the Executive Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, of receiving $5 million kickback from a government contractor. The allegation against the governor has since generated public outcry and controversy.

“In light of the aforementioned, the Kano State House of Assembly set up an investigative committee headed by Mr Baffa Babba Dan’agundi to probe the alleged bribery of Mr Ganduje”.

The statement continued that “A group, Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, led by Muhammed Zubair, filed a lawsuit at the Kano State High Court compelling Kano State House of Assembly to halt the probe against Mr Ganduje.

The court ruled that it is not in the constitutional  purview of the Kano State House of Assembly to investigate a bribery allegation against Mr Ganduje, saying it is the function of agencies under the executive arm of government such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) and the Nigeria Police Force”.

The statement, however, read that “As an institution that is interested in the nation building by promoting good governance, transparency and accountability, we wrote to the ICPC, EFCC, and the Nigeria Police on December 17, 2018, to investigate the bribery allegation against Mr Ganduje as the court of law suggested.

We followed up with a reminder letter on April 2, 2019. Sadly, the executive arm of government saddled with the responsibility of investigating criminal offenses has taken no action”, the statement concluded.

Recall that Kano State governor, Umar Ganduje, was revealed last year in a video published by Daily Nigerian, allegedly receiving what was described as bribe from a contractor.

In the series of videos, the governor was alleged to have received a total of $5 million in installments from a certain contractor on several occasions.

Since the videos surfaced, the governor dismissed it as a fabrication while the published, Ja’afar Ja’afar appeared before the Kano State House of Assembly to convince lawmakers of the authenticity of the videos.

But Governor Ganduje maintained his innocence, claiming that the videos were doctored by his political opponents to tarnish his reputation. He also threatened to sue Ja’afar for allegedly defaming his character.

Hope Democratic Party asks tribunal to halt Buhari’s inauguration

The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and Ambrose Owuru, its presidential candidate, have asked the presidential election petition tribunal to halt the  swearing-in ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari will be sworn in on May 29.

The motion filed by the applicants is seeking an order restraining Buhari, the first respondent, from presenting himself on May 29 or any other date for swearing in or taking of oath of allegiance and oath of office as president.

They are also seeking an order restraining Ibrahim Mohammed, acting chief justice of Nigeria, or any other justice in that stead from swearing in or administering the oath of allegiance and oath of office on Buhari.

The applicants predicated the application on the ground that they had filed a petition on March 3 challenging the validity of the election and the return of the first respondent as the winner of the election.

“A restraining order by this court is appropriate to preserve the subject matter of this petition and prevent the first respondent foisting a fiat accompli and state of helplessness on the court and render the petition nugatory,” the motion read.

“The law is settled that once the question of the validity of Election of any person is challenged as to whether he is validly elected or not, the person is not competent to take office or assume the seat of power until the matter is dealt with.”

However, Zainab Bulkachuwa, president of the appeal court, adjourned hearing on the application till May 22 on account of non-proper service on the respondents.

“The application filed by the appellants/applicants and all other interlocutory applications are hereby adjourned until May 22 for hearing,” she held.

“It is hereby ordered that all exchanges of processes and filing of respondents’ briefs are done within the period specified.”

Akeredolu seeks to tap into huge marijuana market

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, says the state could diversify its economy by tapping into the marijuana market.

In a tweet on Monday, Akeredolu explained that with an estimated value of $145 billion in 2025, the state would be shortchanging itself if it ignores the marijuana business.

“We all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria,” he wrote.

“We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed tap into the Legal Marijuana Market.

“Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the@ndlea_nigeria. I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of Jobs for our youth & spur Economic Diversification.”

Arakunrin Akeredolu

@RotimiAkeredolu

We all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed t tap into the Legal Marijuana Market

Sahara Reporters

@SaharaReporters

Gov. @RotimiAkeredolu, NDLEA Boss, Abdallah In Thailand To Learn How To Grow Cannabis | Sahara Reporters
“We are here to study how cannabis can be of more advantage to the state and Nigeria at large just the way Thai Government has done.
READ MORE: http://bit.ly/2W4Wzgz 

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Arakunrin Akeredolu

@RotimiAkeredolu

We all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed t tap into the Legal Marijuana Market

Sahara Reporters

@SaharaReporters

Gov. @RotimiAkeredolu, NDLEA Boss, Abdallah In Thailand To Learn How To Grow Cannabis | Sahara Reporters
“We are here to study how cannabis can be of more advantage to the state and Nigeria at large just the way Thai Government has done.
READ MORE: http://bit.ly/2W4Wzgz 

View image on Twitter

Arakunrin Akeredolu

@RotimiAkeredolu

Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the @ndlea_nigeria. I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of Jobs for our youth & spur Economic Diversification. pic.twitter.com/L2pKhksPl6

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The governor and Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), visited Thailand to learn more about extracting cannabis.

At a programme held in Thailand on Monday, Akeredolu said they came to “study how cannabis can be of more advantage to the state and Nigeria at large just the way Thai Government has done. Cannabis is used for medical purposes; how can it be cultivated for specific purposes  and not be abused?”

Abdallah said that the current trend in the world is to look into the advantage of cannabis in the making of food and drugs.

During the electioneering, Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), had saidNigeria will export marijuana if he gets elected as president of the country.

He said people are making billions from the plant while Nigeria is lagging behind.

“We have to start taking care of our weed (Igbo), such that we can also contribute to the GDP of the world,” he had said.

In November 2018, most stores in Canada were reportedly struggling to meet the demand for cannabis, two weeks after the Canadian government had approved it for recreational use.

Grace Mugabe accused of bloody attack on domestic worker

Grace Mugabe, the wife of former Zimbabwean ruler Robert Mugabe, has been accused of attacking an employee at the family’s home with a shoe in 2017, lawyers said Tuesday.

She also faces an arrest warrant in neighbouring South Africa for her alleged assault with a power cable on a female model in Johannesburg in the same year.

Papers filed in Zimbabwe’s high court by lawyers for Shupikai Chiroodza allege that Mugabe used her fists and then her shoe in a prolonged attack that left Chiroodza’s face pouring blood.

Mugabe allegedly attacked Chiroodza after accusing her of “milking” her husband because she had accepted a cash wedding gift from him, the papers say.

Chiroodza was a government employee working at the Mugabes’ private Blue Roof mansion in Harare when the alleged attack took place in March 2017, eight months before then-president Mugabe was forced from office.

“I represent Chiroodza, who was part of the domestic staff at Blue Roof in a case of unlawful dismissal,” lawyer Douglas Coltart told AFP.

In her court papers demanding her job back, Chiroodza said Grace Mugabe punched her and ordered her to return an unspecified amount of money.

“She started beating me with clenched fists shouting, ‘Who do you think you are? You are milking my husband behind my back’,” Chiroodza said in her court application.

“I was terrified. She removed her shoe and continued assaulting me with it and blood started gushing out of my forehead, mouth and nose. The assault continued for about 20 minutes.”

Chiroodza said she received a dismissal letter two months later.

Coltart said the civil service commission had indicated it would not contest the case. “We are hoping to get some form of settlement,” he said

EFCC stalls N6.9bn alleged fraud trial of Fayose

A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Tuesday, adjourned until May 21, the ongoing criminal trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, facing N6.9 billion fraud charges.

The trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, had stood down the case for one hour, to await the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), when it was first called at 1.00p.m.

After the court and defence counsel had waited for one hour and prosecutor still did not show up, the court adjourned the case until May 21, for continuation of trial.

Fayose was arraigned on an 11 counts charge, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Oct. 22, 2018, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the court had granted him bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.

EFCC opened the case for the prosecution on Nov. 19, 2018 and is still leading evidence.

At the last adjourned date on May 10, the prosecutor had sought for an adjournment of the case, after it informed the court that its 13th witness, Adewale Aladegbola, had proved “hostile” in his testimony.

In spite of objections to the application for adjournment by defence, the court had granted the prosecution an adjournment to enable it decide and bring its proper application before the court,  in relation to the hostile witness.

When the case was called on Tuesday, Messrs Ola Olanipekun (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN) had respectively announced appearances for the defendants.

Defence then informed the court that the prosecutor was absent and had not written any letter to them, and had urged the court to stand down the case for some time, to enable prosecutor attend court.

The matter was however, adjourned, after the stand down, yielded not result.

At the last date, the 13th witness for the prosecution, Adewale Aladegbola, had introduced himself as a former driver of a Bullion Van in Zenith bank, Ado-Ekiti branch as at 2015.

He had told the court that his area of duty was cash picking and in absence of cash to pick, he works in the marketing section.

When asked about the vehicles he used for his job, he had said he uses two vehicles namely: a Bullion Van and an Escort Van.

The prosecutor had then asked the witness to tell the court what transpired on April 16, 2015 in relation to cash operation in the bank and in response, the witness had said:

“I don’t have any operation; more so, the Bullion Van which I was using was grounded on that date,”

When asked to tell the court what transpired between him and one Alfa named Oputu Okiemute, he had said that he got to know the said Alfa in August.

“He told me about the cash they had picked and that we need to cover up as if we had gone to pick it up officially, and I asked him what do you want me to do now as you said I was not aware,” he had said

It was at this point, that the prosecutor informed the court that the witness was departing from the contents of his extra judicial statement made to the EFCC, and had sought an adjournment.

In the charge, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have on June 17, 2014, taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti State, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.

He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his Zenith bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain in their accounts, the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, the defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

The accused was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

We’ll compensate owners of affected properties along Ojodu road construction site

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday began construction of road at Ojodu-Berger area of the state, promising to compensate residents whose properties will be affected.

According to the government, the expansion of the two-lane road to six-lane was going to bring inconveniences to people but appealed to concerned stakeholders to cooperate for the successful execution of the project.

Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, while speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting for the construction of Kosoko Road, Ojodu Berger in Ojodu Local Council Development Area, called for understanding of the residents and other property owners whose property might be affected by the project.

He said the project was part of moves of the current administration to ensure regional integration and implementation of policies that would fast-track the southwest integration.

Ogunleye said the concept of regional integration was very crucial to the state government, saying that the Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration believed in developing the border roads to actualize the southwest regional integration agenda.

The commissioner stated that property owners were bound to undergo some inconveniences during the construction of the roads, he assured the stakeholders of enhanced value of their property when the project was completed.

He promised that the administration would adequately compensate those affected by the regeneration of Ojodu Berger as well as other developmental projects carried out by the government irrespective of the time left for the administration to handover.

According to him, the Sanwo-Olu administration would continue to work on the infrastructural development.

“Please we want you to cooperate with our team who will soon begin to mark your houses. First team will come to do the enumeration, other will come for the marking and another team will come for the removal,” he said.

Ogunleye allayed fear over denial of payment, urging the residents and affected property owner to bring any document to prove their ownership of the affected property.

“Bring whatever documents to you have to prove ownership of the house. As long there is evidence to prove that the property is yours, you will be duly compensated.”

Also speaking, the Iya-loja of the demolished market, Alhaja Abibat Adegbola said though most Lagosians and residents were happy with the regeneration of Ojodu Berger by the outgoing administration, she lamented that hundreds of marketers were being rendered jobless and wrecked by the demolition of the market.

Tonto Dikeh wants new boobs for birthday

Controversial Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh on Tuesday hinted on her desire to get a new set of boobs for her birthday which comes up on June 9.

The 33-year-old singer and mother of one with 4.4 million followers revealed this on her Instagram handle, @tontolet.

The philanthropist and self-acclaimed evangelist posted her thought in form of prayers to God.

“Dear Lord Jesus, I have all I want for now.
“My birthday wish is that you make me schedule and that of Dr Ayo allign so I have my new boobs in Jesus name I pray!! Thanks in addy Lord

“ #KINGTONTO #KINGTONTOBIRTHDAYWISH #JUNE9TH #BUYINGME A NEW BREAST #BOOBSWISH #GEMINIBABY,’’ she wrote.

However, it is believed that the new boobs she was talking about might be additional plaster surgery to her mammary glans to enhance firmness.

The third child in the family of five had in 2017 reportedly undergone plastic surgery twice to increase the size of her butt and enhance her body image.

Also, on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018  Dikeh who was raised by her step-mother  thanked her surgeon for the work he did on her body and wished him and his team a happy new year.

According to series of posts on her Instagram in 2018, she did the first surgery for five million naira while the second surgery went for four million naira.

In November 2018, the Petrochemical Engineering graduate from River State University of Science and Technology hinted on getting another plastic surgery.

Her birthday wish for a new boobs is a clear indication that she would soon be undergoing the knife to enhance her boobs.

400 level UNN student commits suicide

A 400-level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), identified as Chukwuemeka Akachi, on Monday allegedly committed suicide, the police have confirmed.

Ebere Amaraizu, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Enugu state, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, described it as “pathetic and unfortunate.

“The suicide of a UNN 400 level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies on Monday is pathetic and unfortunate. Police will investigate circumstances surrounding the suicide.”

An eyewitness account said that Akachi went to an uncompleted building on Sullivan Road, Nsukka, where he drank two bottles of “Sniper’, an insecticide, and slipped into coma.

He said that the deceased was discovered by some passersby, who reportedly saw him in a state of coma.

He said that the people, mainly students, raised alarm before he was rushed to UNN Federal Medical Centre.

It was further learnt that he was later moved to University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla Enugu, where he was confirmed dead by doctors on duty.

According to the eyewitness, Akachi posted a suicide note on his Facebook wall shortly before he committed suicide, as follows:

“Forgive me. In case you are the one who found the body, I am really sorry. It had to be someone you know.

“I have chosen Jo Nketaih’s poem as my suicide note: “They said you came looking for me. I don’t drown, I was the water, Where do atheists go when they die! Lol. Amen.”

Also, Akachi was said to have posted on his Facebook on May 12 that “My mental health has been on life support for a while now. Thanks to those who call. Text. Visit.

“Speak to me. May we always remember. May we never forget. You May have added a few hours, months or days to my time here. But you know life support is expensive right?
“Thank you for trying. Amen.”

A senior security personnel in UNN Security Department, who pleaded anonymity, also confirmed the incident, adding that the report was brought to them on Monday morning.

He said this was not the first time Akachi wanted to commit suicide, adding that on two occasions, he had drunk kerosene and petrol to kill himself but was rescued.

“But on Monday he drank Sniper and was rushed to UNN Medical Centre first, but was later moved to UNTH Enugu, where he was confirmed dead.

Ambode commissions ferries, jetty…says integrated transport on track

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday commissioned the Bariga Waterfront Jetty, Five Transport Ferries and the Ilaje Road, saying that the development was a testament to the fact that the State’s integrated transport management system was firmly on track.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the unveiling of the projects, said the development would greatly lessen pressure on road transportation, reduce travel time as well as enhance connectivity within the State.

“With these projects, our State is firmly on track with our goal of establishing an integrated transport management system. These facilities will continue to impact positively on the lives of Lagosians as we strive to address traffic gridlock, reduce travel time, improve road connectivity and abate flooding,” Governor Ambode said.

He said like other projects delivered by his administration, the projects were inspired to open up the Bariga community for more commercial activities and make residents feel the impact of government, recalling that his administration since inception set out on a mission to make every community economically viable and livable.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the thinking behind these projects is inclusion; an inclusion where every resident of our State has a say, feels the impact of government in their lives and is given the opportunity to realise their dreams.

“When we assumed office four years ago, we set out on a mission to make every community economically livable. This has been the guiding principle behind spreading our different projects across the State,” he said.

Explaining how the jetty and Ilaje Road came about, Governor Ambode said the projects were basically in response to the security challenges of late 2015 as investigations then revealed that the cultists terrorizing the people and threatening peace of the State were getting funds from sand dredging activities in the area, adding that the projects were a clear example of urban regeneration inspired by creating solution to challenges.

The Governor said that the initial plan was to upgrade the roads in the community but that a proper assessment of the community revealed a greater need to improve the lives of the people and make Bariga a transport hub that would connect the community to other parts of the State through water transportation.

“The delivery of this road, the jetty and our new ferries signifies our commitment to the people of Lagos State to continuously provide the critical infrastructure that will improve their standard of living and also be an impetus to increase the socio-economic activities of this axis.

“The provision of comfortable, safe and reliable ferry services for the residents of Bariga and environs will no doubt bring about an improvement in journey times that would lead to greater productivity,” he said.

The Governor explained that the new Ilaje Road would serve as a very good access road to the jetty as well as opening up the community, while the Bariga Jetty would serve as a terminal where residents in the area can access ferry services and easily get to other jetties at Ikorodu, Marina, Falomo and Badore in Ajah, among others.

He said the jetty has a 150-car parking lot that would provide an avenue for people to park their cars comfortably and get on a ferry taking them to other parts of the State, adding that residents of the area can also make use of the ample space for social events.

Besides, the Governor said that of the five new ferries, four are passenger ferries that can accommodate between 40 to 60 passengers, while the fifth ferry – a Car Barge has the capacity to take between 16 and 20 cars at a time on water.

He said the projects were also in line with his administration’s policy to develop an efficient integrated transport model to decongest roads in the State by getting more people to utilise water transportation as a viable alternative.

Earlier, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya said aside the jetty, road and ferries, the State Government was also constructing 12 other roads within Ilaje and Bariga, just as he urged the people to take ownership of the projects.

On his part, Baale of Ilaje, High Chief Kayode Ajetiwa, who spoke on behalf of the community, thanked Governor Ambode, saying the people of the area would forever appreciate and remember him for transforming their neighborhood and making life comfortable for them through the projects.

“The good people of Ilaje-Bariga Community and Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and Shomolu Local Government and all Lagosians will ever remember your Excellency (Governor Ambode) for the construction of this ultra-modern jetty at Ilaje-Bariga Community for the sole purpose of easing water transportation in Lagos.

“We salute your courage for providing the funds for this project within four years of your administration to which no other Governor has ever done. We are grateful that you have taken us to the next level,” Ajetiwa said.

Swaziland King Mswati denies ordering men to marry more wives

I have nothing personal against Saraki – Magu

Mr Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday said the ongoing investigation of the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, is not personal.

Magu stressed that contrary to allegations that Saraki was being witch hunted, his investigation was no different from others as the EFCC only “invite people who have committed crime, people who are corrupt”.

He said this while receiving award for Outstanding Leadership in Public Service by Euro Knowledge Group.

The Euro Group Award is a highest recognition for individual achievement and is awarded annually.

The award acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leaders that have made significant contribution and positive impact in their specific industry.

“No,  no, it’s not personal. I am not after anybody.

“Please, I don’t want you to personalise this. It is not different from other investigations we are doing,” he said.

When asked to comment on the statement  by Saraki that he was being witch-hunted,  Magu said  “never.

“You invite people who have committed crime, people who are corrupt.

“If you are not corrupt, you are not here.

“We do our homework very well: sometimes we conduct preliminary investigations for up to six months and such persons won’t even know we are investigating them,” Magu said.

He described corruption as “a national disaster and mother of all evils.

“If you remove disaster (corruption), you have a peaceful country.”

He said banditry, Boko Haram nuisance and other crimes were “caused by corruption and sustained by corruption.

“It is been funded by stolen and laundered funds, that’s why it is being sustained.”

The acting chairman, however, said that if corruption was tackled, banditry and kidnappings would be sorted out.

He called on Nigerians and stakeholders to take ownership of the fight against corruption, saying that it was not a job for one individual alone.

Magu, expressed gratitude for the award saying it would spur him to do more in the fight against corruption.

Mrs Olayinka Fayomi, Chairman, Foreign Investment Network (FIN), who presented the award on behalf of Euro Knowledge, said the award was in recognition of those who had impacted the economy.

“It is also in recognition of those who have impacted the system from which ever sector they are operating from, and the EFCC is one of them.

“Ever since the period Magu had been acting, there has been a tremendous improvement in the fight against corruption,” she said.

She said that with the award,  Magu had become one of the African Change Agents.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Saraki had recently come under pressure from the anti-graft agency.

The EFCC had confirmed reports that it had opened a fresh investigation into Saraki’s stewardship as President of the Senate as well as a probe of his earnings as governor of Kwara from 2003 to 2011.

Tony Orilade, acting spokesman, EFCC,  said in a statement that EFCC was obligated by law to enthrone probity and accountability in the governance space and had supremely pursued this duty without ill-will or malice against anyone.

“It is in the interest of the public and for Saraki’s personal good that he is not only above board, but be seen at all times to be so.

“Indeed, all the instances in which the EFCC have had cause to sleuth into his financial activities either as a former governor or President of the Senate were driven by overarching public interest and due process of the law,’’ he said.

In his reaction, Saraki insisted that the action of the EFCC was a witch-hunt.

“Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the EFCC has marked certain property belonging to President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, obviously under the claim that they are subject of investigation.
“The action of the EFCC only reinforced our earlier stated position that their current investigation is mischievous, contrary to the tenets of the rule of law and only aimed at settling scores.

“The EFCC’s move to investigate him is a mere witch-hunt exercise, aimed at settling scores, laced with malicious and partisan motives,” Saraki’s Media Adviser, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, said in a statement.

Terrorists are now in charge of Nigeria, says Bakare

Pastor Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, says terrorists are in charge of Nigeria.

Speaking during a service at his church, Bakare said the country had been taken over by bandits, kidnappers, killer herdsmen and looters.

He described them as the “commander-in-chief” of the nation.

“It is evident that the bandits; criminals, killing people every day; those kidnapping people over the place; and cattle rustlers and killer herdsmen terrorising the people are in charge in this country; they are the commander-in-chief,” he said.

“Nobody seems to know what to do anymore; the terrorists are in charge. They have even extended their regime to these areas. They now kidnap lecturers; doctors are no longer safe.

“The whole nation is under the control of terrorists. But in the name of the Lord, Nigeria shall be delivered. I shall witness the deliverance and greatness of Nigeria.”

Bakare also took on Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, for comparing the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to Afenifere and Ohanaeze.

Describing the comment as shameful, Bakare said anyone in his right senses would not make such comparison.

He said excluding the Arewa Consultative Forum, north socio-cultural group, from the comparison implies that the presidential spokesman is saying ACF is superior to Ohanaeze and Afenifere.

“It is shameful for anyone to compare Miyetti Allah with Afenifere. Such a person cannot be in his right senses to think that Miyetti Allah and Afenifere and Ohanaeze are the same,” Bakare said.

“How can a group that has been rated as the fourth most deadly group in the world by the United Nations, a group of terrorists, be the same as Afenifere?

“How can a group that kills people, rapes women, destroys houses be on the same scale as Afenifere? Do Afenifere members carry weapons?

“And to show the true colour of the person doing the comparison, he left out the ACF from his comparison as if that one is above everybody else.

“If you have to put Afenifere and Ohanaeze on the same scale as Miyetti Allah, why did you exclude the ACF? Is it not to tell everyone that the ACF is superior to other groups in the country?”