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South Africa: Zuma’s fate hangs in balance in secret no-confidence vote

The Speaker of South Africa’s parliament ruled on Monday that a motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma brought by opposition parties will be held through a secret ballot.
Baleka Mbete, who is also the national chairperson of the ruling African National Congress, ANC, made the remarks in a news conference, saying her decision was “to ensure the outcome of this very important vote is credible”.
A no-confidence motion is scheduled to be debated on Tuesday and requires the backing of a majority of 400 lawmakers to pass.
The decision could embolden members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to vote against Mr. Zuma and puts him in a precarious position as he struggles to fend off opposition accusations of corruption and mismanaging the economy.
If the motion succeeds, Mr. Zuma, in power since 2009, and his entire cabinet would have to step down. The rand extended its gains, bonds firmed and banking shares advanced after her announcement.
She said that her decision was “to ensure the outcome of this very important vote is credible”.
In a new development, South African opposition party Democratic Alliance, DA, also urged ruling party lawmakers to vote Zuma out after parliamentary speaker allowed a secret ballot on a no-confidence vote.
Mr. Zuma’s critics wanted the no confidence vote to be anonymous, hoping it will embolden ANC lawmakers to support his removal by shielding them from pressure from other party members.
“(African National Congress) MPs now have no excuse,” DA leader Musi Maimane said.
South Africa’s top court had ruled on June 22 that the speaker of the parliament can order a secret ballot for no-confidence motions, an outcome the opposition hopes would embolden ANC MPs to rebel and depose scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma.
However, Chief Justice Mogoeng stopped short of ordering a secret ballot, saying it would be a violation of the separation of powers between the Constitutional Court and parliament.
Mr. Zuma, had survived four no-confidence votes during his eight years in power thanks to loyal voting by African National Congress, ANC, lawmakers, who form a strong parliamentary majority.
Opposition parties believe a recent cabinet reshuffle that led to the dismissal of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan and a slew of credit rating downgrades may have angered ANC MPs sufficiently to desert Mr. Zuma.

Arewa/Igbo joint panel extend sitting, quit notice yet to be revoked

The peace meeting between the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) and Igbo leaders in the North, to find solutions to the quit notice issued to the Igbo in the North, appears to have ended in a stalemate.

The 10-man committee appears to have more responsibilities than envisaged, as it has extended its sitting by another 10 days, and sources saying there is more than meets the eye with the committee’s inability to call off the quit notice yesterday.

A source said: “We sat more than thrice and we realised there are more issues on ground that should be extensively deliberated if we really want to find a lasting solution that will settle the dust.”

After a crucial peace-parley of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) and Igbo leaders in the North last week, a 10-man committee was raised to find better ways of resolving the contentious issue.

However, after three days of brainstorming, the committee adjourned sitting to the next 10 days to make way for wider consultations.

A statement by the committee yesterday said there was need for more time to enable it do a thorough job.

The statement, signed by Chief Chi Nwogu (Igbo leader), Alhaji Dauda S. Shamakiri (CNG), and Comrade Isa Tijani (convener of the peace parley), reads: “Reference to the August 4 peace meeting, which led to the formation of a 10-man committee to find a solution to the quit notice issued. The committee sat and deliberated extensively, and agreed that there is need for further consultations from both sides.

“Accordingly, the meeting adjourned to reconvene in the next 10 days, where a final resolution on issues will be achieved.”

Meanwhile, CNG, in a statement issued after its town hall meeting in Kano, accused leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, of sowing the seed of discord in the corporate existence of Nigeria as a country.

According to the statement, “his (Nnamdi Kanu) recent action of forcefully grounding movement of people including those from other regions by shutting down most South-East cities notwithstanding the mild and ineffective condemnation by some Igbo political, cultural and religious leaders has foreclosed the avenues for an expected early peaceful resolution.

“It is further justification of our concern expressed in the Kaduna Declaration and subsequent correspondences with the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the International Community.

“These renewed threats contained in Kanu’s unwarranted utterances and actions compel us to push further for definite national and international action that would decide the Biafran matter to conclusion once and for all.

“In our usual truly patriotic aim to forestall the drift toward anarchy in Nigeria, and also to alert the international community as to where responsibility would ultimately lie if such momentous events ever came to pass, we have followed up our earlier effort by another round of initiatives of extending similar communications to relevant authorities.”

They added that, “accordingly, we have met with many leaders and groups with positive developments while our doors remain open for discussions with more groups, leaders and agencies genuinely interested in addressing the separatist issues with a view to finally achieving a peaceful and stable Nigeria.”

Osinbajo says foreign investors that fail to put money in Nigeria’ll regret in 10 years

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has advised investors willing to take advantage of the opportunities in the Nigerian economy to do so now or risk blaming themselves in 10 years time.

Speaking at the presidential villa in Abuja during a meeting of delegates from the Nigerian Initiative for Economic Development (NEID), United States, Osinbajo said in 10 years, Nigeria would have become the sixth or seventh largest in the world.

He recalled how some companies which missed the opportunity of investing in the telecoms sector expressed regrets when the organisations granted licences secured more than double their investments within five years.

Osinbajo described Nigeria as the best country for investment in Africa.

“If you are really serious about investing in Africa, Nigeria is where to come. If you don’t invest now, your company will query you in 10 years,” he said.

“This is a country of 180 million people, and in another 10 years, we are probably going to be the sixth or seventh largest country in the world. There is no way we are not going to need power, whether it is off-grid power or on-grid power. Power is required by everyone where we have a major power deficit.

“So, we are going to open up that power sector and anyone who invests in the power sector will definitely make money. No question. It is going to be much bigger and better than telecom.”

He also addressed the issue of investors having the mindset that they are doing their host country a favour through putting their money there.

Osinbajo said prospective investors also stand to reap many benefits.

“I like the idea of investors knowing that the reason why you are coming to Nigeria is not to help Nigeria. You will ultimately end up helping Nigeria, but the reason why you are coming here is because this is a good place to do business,” he said.

“Nigeria is a place that is waiting to happen and it will happen. That’s really the point. It will happen. The truth of the matter is that any country that opens itself to free enterprise, the way Nigeria is opening itself to free enterprise, will somehow find that it will work.

“My friend is from Rwanda. Rwanda is a very lovely country and Paul Kagame is an incredible individual doing really good things in that country and I believe that the country will do great things. But compare Rwanda to Nigeria in terms of just the size of the economy. We have 36 states in Nigeria. Lagos alone which is the commercial nerve centre is six times the economy of Rwanda.

“So, really when you compare some of these things people say ‘Oh! I want to go to there’; ‘I want to go here’ …Yaah! It’s okay. But the truth of the matter is that if you are really serious about investing in Africa, this is where you have to come to. This is absolutely where you must come to. There is no other place.”

Buhari won’t resign, says Presidency


President Muhammadu Buhari will not resign from office, The Presidency said yesterday.

It was in response to a call by some civil society organisations that the President should resign or return to work.

President Buhari has been in the United Kingdom since May 7 for a follow-up appointment with his doctors.

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu told reporters at the State House that the President had not breached any law.

He said: “They are exercising their rights in line with the constitution of this country. Of what use or value is a democracy in which citizens cannot embark on peaceful protests? So we respect their right to convene or undertake peaceful protest.

“On the second issue, whether the President should resign or disclose or whatever, I think they are stepping outside the laws of this country.

“Anyone conversant with the constitution of this country will have noticed or seen that Mr President has complied 100 per cent with the requirements of the constitution..

“He has handed over power to the Vice President, relying on the constitution and the Vice President is carrying on with the affairs of this country; he is undertaking activities of government in line with the constitution in a way that the President himself has given words of commendation.

“So the President has not breached any law. What he has done is perfectly in line with the constitution of this country and people are looking for things to say. I think they should do their research very well.”

In a statement later, Shehu added: “I wish to respond to media enquiries following demonstration by a few citizens this morning in Abuja. The demonstration is in the exercise of their freedom under the constitution, which guarantees their right to embark on peaceful protests.


“There is nothing like a power vacuum in the country, given the competence and general harmony with which the whole government is running.

“Any such calls as being made by this or any other group represents an irrational assault on the constitution and should be ignored by well-meaning members of the public.

“The need of the hour for this country is to rid it of corruption, reform and reinvigorate the economy and to fight crime and insurgency.

“The government is busy with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure all over the country. It is creating jobs for the unemployed. It has set its sight on the larger picture of the country’s development; investing in rail and power projects and redeeming the country’s image from the mountains of corruption scandals that have marred it. We will not, therefore, be distracted by this or any other groups.”

It was learnt yesterday that the President’s wife, Hajia Aisha Buhari, left Nigeria for the United Kingdom on Sunday.

Mrs Buhari, who returned from the UK last week, had on several occasions, insisted that her husband was recovering fast and would soon return to the country.

Although there was no official statement on Mrs Buhari’s trip, some officials in the Presidency confirmed it.

In Abuja, the coalition of civil society groups demanded the return of President Buhari from his medical leave or resign.

It also urged the National Assembly to invoke Section 144 sub Section 4 of the Constitution and set up a medical panel to determine the President’s health status.

Convener of the protest Deji Adeyanju, expressed regret on whay he called “the failure of the National Assembly to launch an investigation or set up a panel to look into the true status of the President Buhari’s health”.

Adeyanju said: “The leadership of the National Assembly must choose between the Nigerian people and the cabal. 90 days is too long for a president to be away from his country without any explanation to the people that voted him into office.

“If Buhari had become incapacitated, he should do the honourable thing and resign because he cannot continue to hold the country to ransom; his absence in the country is being exploited by a cabal to loot the treasury.”

He added: “We hereby demand that the National Assembly invoke Section 144 sub Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution and direct the setting up of a medical panel in conjunction with the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to ascertain whether the President is incapacitated.”

A leader of the group and member, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said the Federal Executive Council should disclose to Nigerians the nature of Buhari’s illness.

Protesters led by artiste Charles Oputa (Charlie Boy), defied the early morning showers and walked from the Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja to the Presidential Villa junction to demand the return of the President.

The protest was spearheaded by the National Coordinator, Foundation For True Freedom and Good Leadership, Deji Adeyanju; Publicity Secretary, #OurMumuDonDo Movement, Adebayo Raphael; Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Ariyo-Dare Atoye; and Secretary of Concerned Nigerians, John Danfulani.

The movement said it would continue with daily protests in Abuja and London to press for the return of the President.

Court orders final forfeiture of Diezani’s $37.5m Banana Island property

A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture of a $37.5m apartment block on the highbrow Banana Island, Lagos, belonging to Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources, to the federal government.

Chuka Obiozor, a judge, who gave the ruling, also ordered that the sums of $2.7 million and N84.5 million realised as rent on the property should equally be forfeited to the government.

Obiozor, a professor of law, gave the orders following a motion on notice argued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) counsel.

On July 19, the anti-graft agency had obtained a court order to temporarily seize the property located at Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, federal government layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate.

It is said to have 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses.

The court had directed that the temporary forfeiture order be published in a newspaper and fixed August 7 to enable anyone interested in the property and funds to appear to convince the court why they should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government.

At the hearing of the case on Monday, Anselem Ozioko, the EFCC lawyer, told the court that the publication order had been complied with and said no one had contested the forfeiture order.

He said: “ In summary, it appears as if they are not willing to contest this application.”

Ozioko urged Obiozor to go ahead and order the permanent forfeiture of the property and the funds.

Obiozor, in his ruling, granted the orders sought by the EFCC, saying “in the face of the publication, which I find in Exhibit B of the affidavit of compliance before me and there being no responses from any interested party, I have no other option but to grant the orders as prayed.”

The EFCC had earlier told the judge that the Banana Island manson was reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities by Madueke.

The anti-graft agency said its investigations revealed that she purchased the property sometime in 2013 at a cost of $37.5 million for which she paid in cash.

According to the EFCC, the $37.5 million was moved straight from Diezani’s house in Abuja and paid into the seller’s First Bank account in Abuja.

“Nothing could be more suspicious than someone keeping such huge amounts in her apartment. Why was she doing that?” he asked.

“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt because as of the time this happened, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was still in public service as the minister of petroleum resources.”

In a 41-paragraph affidavit attached to the application, an investigative officer with the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, explained that Madueke, in connivance with one Nwokedi purposely incorporated a company — Rusimpex Ltd — on September 11, 2013 to facilitate the alleged fraud scheme.

Bawa said Nwokedi later registered Rusimpex Ltd at the Corporate Affairs Commission, wherein a lawyer in his law firm, and a Russian, Vladmir Jourauleu, were listed as the directors of the company.

The investigator explained further that “sometime in 2013, the former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, invited Nwokedi to her house in Abuja for a meeting where she informed him to incorporate a company and use same as a front to manage landed properties on her behalf without using her name in any of the documents.

She was also said to have further directed Nwokedi to meet with Bisi Onasanya, the group managing director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc for that purpose.

“Mr Stephen Onasanya was invited by the commission and he came and volunteered an extra-judicial statement wherein he stated that he marketed a property at Bella Vista, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, belonging to Mr Youseff Fattau of Ibatex Nigeria Ltd to Diezani Alison-Madueke and she later bought the property from Mr Youseff Fattau, through Nwokedi (who she introduced to him) and that the payment for the said property was made through the Abuja office of First Bank,” he said.

“First Bank of Nigeria Plc, through Mr Barau Muazu, wrote to the commission and also volunteered an extrajudicial statement in writing that they made the payments totalling 37.5 million dollars to Ibatex Nigeria Ltd and YF Construction Development and Real Estate Ltd on behalf of Diezani Alison-Madueke.

“They collected the entire cash from her at her residence located at No. 10, Fredrick Chiluba Close of Jose Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja and paid into the First Bank of Nigeria Plc accounts of Ibatex and YF Construction Development and Real Estate Ltd on her instructions.


Church killings part of gang war, says governor



Anambra State Governor Willy Obiano yesterday described Sunday’s killings at St. Philips Catholic Church, Amakwa, Ozubulu during Mass as part a gang war that spilled to the state from an African country.

Also yesterday, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and Obiano vowed that the perpetrators of the crime would not go unpunished.

Obiano who upgraded the death toll to 12 from the 11 announced by the police on Sunday has gavin an insight into the killings in a broadcast to the people just as some survivors relived their ordeal in interviews with our correspondent.

According to the governor, “What happened in Ozubulu was a tragic dimension of a long battle between two business partners who are from the same town. I have been fully informed that this dangerous conflict has been going on for a while in the country where they both live outside Nigeria before they decided to bring the conflict home.

Suspected gangster Aloysius Ikegwuonu aka Bishop

“This explanation, I believe, has erased the fears that the incident may have been caused by either some terrorist organisations or some members of some groups of agitators in the country.

“Wat happened in Ozubulu was neither a terror attack as we know it, nor a violent action by some agitators. We are dealing with a dangerous gang war that has spilled over to Anambra State from another African country. But this is the last time it will happen under my watch”

He added that “The people directly and remotely involved in this crime are known to the law enforcement agencies. But no suspect, no matter how highly placed, is above the law. So, we have taken bold steps to bring them to book and restore the peace and tranquility that Anambra State has enjoyed since the past three years.”

The governor’s comments confirmed trending post on social media that the shooting was a reprisal attack for a suspected drug deal gone sour involving one Aloysius Ikegwuonu aka Bishop, a wealthy businessman who was said to have single handedly built the church where the attack took place.

Bishop, whose father was among the victims,  has also donated money to tar community roads among other philanthropic gestures.

Meanwhile, some survivors relived their experiences at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), where doctors are battling to save their lives.

The wife of a man who was believed to be the target of the gunman, Mrs. Caroline Ikegwuonwu, 40, is one of the injured at the hospital. Her husband, Mr. Chief Akunwafor Ikegwuonwu, was shot dead by the gunman who then turned his gun on other parishioners.

Okoye Patricia, 46, and her 20-year-old son, Odinaka Okoye, are also hospitalised as a result of bullet wounds.

But one of those who missed being hit by the bullet, 24 year old Mary Cynthia Ndulue’s brother, Samuel Ndulue, has his legs riddled with bullets.

Cynthia’s escape was “miraculous”, she said, thanking God for His mercy. She regretted that her brother was affected in the shootings.

Anambra State Police Commissioner Mr. Garba Baba Umar announced yesterday in Awka that the command had arrested some suspects over the killings.

Umar did not give the number of suspects in police net, but he assured residents not to panic.

Hospital authorities described survivors’ condition as stable.

All was calm yesterday at Ozubulu. Residents were going about their normal businesses.

But the chairman of Ekwusigo Local Government Area, Ikenna Ofodeme, said they were not ruling out political influence in the tragedy as it is a governorship election year.

But he ruled out any terror link to the attack in which 12 persons died and 27 others were hospitalised.

He said the Obunadike family lost three persons. A member of the family, Mr. Joel Obunadike, told The Nation that he lost his uncle, his brother’s wife and her niece during the attack.

He was in tears. Ofodeme called on security agencies to wake up to their responsibilities. He praised the police commissioner and Assistant Inspector General of Police (Zone 9), Umuahia for their prompt response to the problem.

One of the community leaders in Ozubulu, Chief Timothy Nwadike, said what happened at the community was a national calamity.

He is the President General of Egbenma Ozubulu. He said the community would not allow anybody or group of people to destroy the peaceful community.

Another community leader, Chief John Ejimkonye, 70, told The Nation that what happened in Ozubulu was the handiwork of bad people.

He said everybody in the community, nay Anambra, had been in shock since Sunday. They are praying to God not to allow such a thing to happen again.

However, they refused to talk on the alleged feud between two suspected drug barons in their community, adding that only God could intervene in the calamity that had befallen the area.

At the hospital, Patricia Okoye, 46, and her son, Odinaka, said they were still in shock .

She said she saw the gunman who came into the church and started shooting, adding that it was later that she saw that a vehicle was stationed outside with other members of the gang in it.

Mrs. Ikegwuonwu, whose stepson is alleged to be one of the drug barons in the community, said she was short of words to describe the incident.

As she was struggling to talk, an elderly man bent down and whispered something to her. She stopped.

Chinasa Chukwueloka (25), another survivor of the attack, said the incident was too fast for anybody to give account of it.

One of the senior nurses at NAUTH, who preferred not to be named, said about six of the injured had been transferred to another place because of the extent of their fracture, adding that 12 of the victims were retained at the hospital.

They were transferred to the Accident and Emergency Complex.

Former Governor Dame Virgy Etiaba, who flew in from Lagos, was seen commiserating with the victims.

She described the shooting as “barbaric, satanic and inhuman”, adding that those behind it would not escape God’s punishment.

A former Commissioner for Health and pro-life activist, Prof. Linus Amobi Ilika, noted that though there had been shootings of Ozubulu indigenes living in South Africa and their bodies brought home, but the shooting of worshippers at St. Philip Catholic Church was an abomination against the land.

Ilika also said there was no evidence that High Chief Nnamdi Ikegwuonwu, who built the church where the lone gun man shot worshipers, was involved in drugs. He described him as a philanthropist.

Ilika, who was one time secretary general of Ozubulu Development Union, said the stories making the rounds that Chief Ikegwuonwu was in drugs business and may have offended his business partners, was untrue.

Ilika said the community does not know the young man’s trade, adding: “He has not been charged or arrested for such offences”

“There is a spate of shooting in South Africa and they brought down the corpses of our people living in South Africa.

“The person who built the church resides in South Africa. There is likely to be dispute and struggle among them but I cannot say exactly what the issues are.

“But for whatever it is there is no justification for assassinations and invasion of a place of worship to commit such mass killing of innocent worshippers,” the former commissioner said.

Perpetrators won’t go unpunished, says Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has assured that the perpetrators of the heinous crime at the St. Philip’s Catholic Church Ozubulu in Anambra State on Sunday would be brought to justice.

A statement by Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity Laolu Akande said Osinbajo had been receiving regular updates on the status of investigations regarding the atrocious and mindless acts of violence, which resulted in the death and injuries to some Nigerians..

The statement also said that the Acting President had been in touch with Anambra State Governor Willy Obiano, the police authorities and other security agencies on the matter.

Prof. Osinbajo also condemned the despicable acts of violence, and commiserated with families, relatives, friends of the victims, the entire people and the government of Anambra State.

Police arrest suspects in Anambra church killings

The Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Garba Umar, has said that some suspects have been arrested in connection with Sunday’s killings at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, in the state.
Mr. Umar told journalists on Monday that the number of arrest would not be disclosed so as not to jeopardise ongoing investigation into the massacre of 11 persons by unknown gunmen.
The gunmen attacked the church while Mass was going on. Apart from the dead, 18 others were hospitalised for gunshot injuries.
The commissioner had on Sunday said the attack was an isolated case of feud between two individuals from the same community, adding that the police had contacted some persons who would be useful in the investigation.
Separately, the federal government has promised to unmask and deal decisively with the attackers.
The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, made the pledge in a statement signed by the Director Press in the Ministry, Willie Bassey, on Monday in Abuja.
‎‎The minister condemned “in strongest terms” the killings and assured that all hands will be on deck to bring the perpetrators to justice.
‎Mr. Dambazau commiserated with Gov. Willie Obiano, the Ozubulu community, families who lost their loved ones, the injured, and the entire people of Anambra.

He described the incident as a wicked and cowardly act which the police‎ and other security agencies were working hard to unravel.
Meanwhile, Ikenna Ofodeme, Transition Committee Chairman of Ekwusigo Council, has said that his people were still in shock after the gun attack at the Ozubulu.
Ofodeme told newsmen on Monday in Awka that the trauma among the resident was because the tragedy was not expected as such gruesome attack had never happened in the South-East.
“It was a black Sunday for us; we are still in shock because it has never happened in the South-East. We hear of this type of attack from other parts of the world but it’s sad that it happened in my constituency,” he said.
He disclosed that he had been part of the rescue operations, adding that 40 worshipers were affected, out of whom 12 persons had died.
The chairman said the dead were nine women, a baby girl and two men.
One of the survivors of the attack, Samuel Ndulue, who got gunshot wounds, was full of thanks to God for sparing his life.
At the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where he is receiving treatment, he said he was gradually coming to terms with what struck him and others.

We’re ready to execute Senate’s arrest order on 30 CEOs — Police

The police have said they would carry out the order by the Nigerian Senate to arrest the chief executive officer of 30 companies alleged to have been involved in the loss of revenue believed to be N30 trillion in the maritime sector.
The senate gave the arrest order on Wednesday after officials of the companies refused to honor the invitation of its Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and Maritime Transport, in spite of several reminders.
Police Spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, speakingon phone with Premium Times on Monday, said the police aware of the arrest order and are bound to obey the National Assembly once served the warrant.
“We cannot go against the order of the National Assembly, as soon as the warrant is served, the Police is bound to obey the directive of the National Assembly,” he said.
He however could not confirm whether the warrant for the arrest had been served.
Below are the affected 30 companies and some of the CEOs:
1. Globacom – A privately owned Nigerian multinational telecommunication company with its headquarters at Lagos. It began operations on 29 August 2003 and currently operates in Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
CEO – Mike Adenuga.
2. Crown Flour Mills – Also known as CFM is an international company specialized in the production and distribution of wheat, flour among others. their most recognized products in Nigeria include the Semolina and Mama Gold whole wheat meal.
3. British American Tobacco – Founded in 1902, British American Tobacco is one of the world’s leading multinational companies. Makers of cigarettes chosen by around one in eight of the world’s one billion adult smokers.They are widely known for products like Rothmans, Pall Mall, Kent among others.
CEO – Nicandro Durante.
4. CCECC – China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is an international contracting and economic cooperation established in June 1979 under the approval of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. They are best known for railway construction, civil engineering design & consultancy, real estate development, trading, industrial investment as well as hotel management.
CEO – Yuan Li.
5. Dana Group – Founded May 1, 1991, Dana Group is an established group of companies which have multi dimensional activities in the global steel industry with its headquarters at Dubai, UAE. They are best known for manufacturing steel and automotive lubricants.
CEO – Birbal Singh Dana.
6. Olam Int. Ltd – a leading agri-business operating from seed to shelf in 70 countries, supplying food and industrial raw materials to over 16,200 customers worldwide and headquartered at Singapore. Olam International Limited engages in sourcing, processing, packaging, and merchandising agricultural products and food ingredients worldwide.
CEO – Sunny George Verghese.
7. Hong Xing Steel Co. Ltd. – An Chinese company widely known for the production of steel with headquarters at China and Lagos.
CEO – Lin Quiantao
8. Visafone – One of the telecommunication companies in Nigeria with its headquarters at Lagos. They are CDMA providers. They were recently recently acquired by MTN and bulk of their services and customers are located in Lagos.
CEO – K. V. Srinivasa / Jim Ovia
9. African Wire – An African-based company widely known for the production and distribution of wire ropes and fittings with headquarters at Windhoek, Namibia.
10. Star Comments and Allied Ltd –
11. Aarti Steel – Incoporated in the year 1979, Aarti Steels Ltd. represents a fully integrated steel manufacturing company with manufacturing facilities of Carbon and Alloy Steel Rounds and Squares, Sponge Iron, Power and Ferro Alloys. The Company also manufactures Spring Steel Wires and Tyre Bead Wire. The total products portfolio of the company is assigned to the automobile industry.
CEO – Sohan Lal Mittal.
12. Abyem-Diva Int. Ltd – Abyem-Diva International Limited is a registered company in Nigeria that covers both air / Sea freight forwarding on Door to Door basis and have a global network service which allows for on time pick up of goods and also speedy customs clearance procedures for on-time delivery of shipments.
CEO – Leke Abejide.
13. Gagasel International

14.Friesland Campina – FrieslandCampina is a Dutch diary co-operative with products like consumer milk, milk in powder and concentrated form, dairy drinks, yogurts, desserts, cream, coffee creamers, baby and infant food, cheese, butter, fruit juices and ingredients (e.g. for pharmaceutical purposes). They are best known in Nigeria for products like Peak Milk, Three Crowns among others.
CEO – Cees C. ‘t Hart / R. J. Streetskamp Bob.
15. Etco Nig. – Etco (Nigeria) Limited (incorporated in Nigeria by Chaim Weiss in 1963) is a leading Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Contracting firm with it’s Headquarters in Lagos and with branch offices in Abuja and Port Harcourt. ETCO is positioned to undertake projects anywhere in Nigeria.
16. Edic Chemicals and Allied Distributors – Is a Nigerian-based company located i Illupeju, Lagos,specialized in import and export of chemicals,distribution of food processing chemicals and pharmaceutical chemicals.
CEO – Edwin Mmuoemenam.
17. De United Foods – The company was incorporated in 1993 and is based in Lagos, Nigeria. De United Foods Industries Limited, produces and markets food products. They are the makers of the popular Indomie noodles. De United Foods Industries Limited is a joint venture between Tolaram Corporation Pte. Ltd. and Salim Group.
CEO – Deepak Singhal.
18. Don Climax Group – Don Climax, the new face of modern era cargo logistics solutions, located in the business hub of Nigerian Lagos and Rivers State – the main gateway for all imports and exports began operations in 2003, efficiently operating as a clearing-forwarding, import, haulage and warehousing organization. They render high focus quality maritime services.
CEO – Obelle Ikenna Donatus.
19. Skill G Nigeria Limited – Skill ‘G’ Nigeria Limited is a leading company in the promotion of science, technology and technical education in Nigeria and the West African sub-region specializing in education instructional material development, supply and installation, training/ capacity building and Education Resource Centre Administration.
20. Premium Seafood – Premium Seafood is a wholesale food company dedicated to sourcing and distributing shrimps and frozen seafood.
CEO – Edgar E. Samson.
21. La Rauf Nig. Ltd –
22. Standard Metallurgical Co. Ltd – Standard Mettallurgical Company (SMC) Limited is a limited liability company registered in Nigeria and specializes in the production of iron, steel as well as wire rods.
23. Kam Industries – Kan Industries (Nigeria Limited), a wholly owned indigenous company, was registered in 1997 under the Companies and Allied Matter Act (1990) of Nigeria as a manufacturer of steel products such as, Roofing Nails, Couper Nails, British Reinforcement Concrete (BRC) Mesh wire and Binding Wire.
CEO – Alhaji Kamoru Ibitoye Yusuf.
24. IBG Investment Limited
25. Orazulike Trading Co. Ltd – is a Nigerian-based limited liability company and one of the major importers of steel, steel pipes, electrodes, building rods and plumbing materials in Nigeria.
CEO – Ichie Joseph Orazulike / Nnaeto Irazulike.
26. Popular Foods Ltd – Popular Foods Limited is a Nigerian -based company headquartered at Lagos. They are specialized in the importation and exportation of food products ad well as distribution of seafoods.
27. A-Kelnal Integrated & Logistics Services –
28. African Industries – African Industries is a diverse West African multinational group currently operating in several locations in Nigeria. They are responsible for the production and exportation of grade steel, chemicals (for soap & detergent), architectural glass, paving stones, among others.
CEO – Raj Gupta.
29. African Tiles & Ceramics – An African limited liability company. Specialized in the production and distribution of tiles, marbles, ceramics among others.
30. ZTE Nigeria Limited – is a Chinese telecommunications company with offices in Abuja and Lagos. They produce devices such as phones, tablets and other accessories.
The chairman of the committee who made the announcement at the committee meeting expressed disappointment at the officials of the companies involved stating that their refusal to honor the invitation was disrespectful to the National Assembly and that the 8th Senate would not tolerate such behavior from anybody or institution, particularly in the present situation that involved the Federal government funds.

Premium Times

Anambra church shooting survivor recounts horror

One of the survivors of the gory incident of shooting and killing of worshippers in the Church in Ozubulu, Anambra State on Sunday, Mr. Ohamadike Stephen has recounted how the horrific attac took place.
According to him, “We were in the church and I was to handle the second reading. As the first reading was still on, I heard a sound like a thunder. I dived under a long form in the church auditorium and from there raised up my head a bit and saw a young man with a face cap shooting and people ran in all directions for safety in confusion.
The survivor who reluctantly accepted to talk flatly refused his photo to be used in the paper.
I remained where I was and that was around 5:45am. The Parish Priest removed his cassock and hid at the altar while the gunmen continued in the shooting spree.
“When they had left, I helped in evacuating the wounded and casualties to the NAUTH, Nnewi,” he said.
Also later in the evening, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 9, Umuahia, Mr. Hassan Karma, visited the victims at the NAUTH and said that the act was completely unacceptable before man and God.
The AIG assured that the perpetrators must be fished out. He said that would not make anyone say there is no security in Anambra State.

Police confirm 11 dead in Anambra church shooting


The death toll in an attack on worshipers in a Catholic Church has increased to 11, the police have said.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Garba Umar, who provided the update said that the command would do everything possible to bring the attackers to justice.
Mr. Umar, who spoke at a news conference in Awka on Sunday, gave the updated figures of casualties as 11 dead and 18 injured.
He also confirmed that the attack was mainly linked to a feud between some Igbos living abroad.
He ruled out the possibility of a terror attack, and spoke about an isolated feud between individuals in the community.
He said that the command had invited some suspects who would be useful to the investigation.
The police chief advised residents to go about their lawful businesses, assuring them that churches and public places were safe.
“At about 6.30 a.m. today, August 6, I got a distress call that gunmen had invaded and shot at worshippers at St. Philips Catholic Church, Umuezekwe, Ofufe, Amakwa Village in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Located Government Area.
“As a result, I, the Commissioner of Police, led my operatives immediately to the scene to rescue worshippers.
“The command, under my watch, will leave no stone unturned in locating and prosecuting those behind the massacre of innocent worshippers.
“The intelligence report and preliminary investigation showed that the incident was as a result of a feud between two individuals from the same community living outside Nigeria.
“One of the individuals built the church where the shooting occurred; it is definitely not a terrorist attack in the mould of Boko Haram or Fulani herdsmen attack.
“The command will brief the public after investigation is concluded; I commiserate with all those who lost their loved ones in this unfortunate incident.
“I also encourage `ndi’ Anambra to be vigilant and to promptly report suspicious movements or strange observation of persons and actions in their localities to the security agencies,” Mr. Umar said.
In its reaction, the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Anambra, described Sunday’s attack as regrettable.
The church, in a statement signed by Hygi Aghaulor, Director of Communications of the Diocese, and available to journalists, said that the Parish Priest, Jude Onwuaso escaped unhurt.
He described the act as a sign of loss of what is sacred and consoled the families of victims of the attack.
“It is regrettable that our people are more and more losing a sense of what is sacred.
“What on earth would make people open fire on innocent unarmed worshippers including children and women on a Sunday morning?

“We condemn this ungodly act in its totality; we pray Almighty God to console the families affected and assure them that our hearts are with them as we pray for the quick recovery of the wounded.
“For the entire parishioners, we call on them not to be discouraged in their usual practice of faith.
“It is when the forces of darkness attempt to overshadow goodness that the light of God shines even brighter than ever just as it happened on Easter Sunday.
“Evil may make attempts but God and goodness will always triumph; we call on the good people to continue to pray for the deceased worshippers and their families,” Mr. Aghaulor stated.

Lagos to recover 100 real properties sold illegally

The Lagos State government may seize under-valued properties allegedly sold illegally and prosecute defaulters.

The Nation learnt that the government is set to implement a far-reaching report on the sale of such assets. The report is said to contain a list of over 100 properties, the names of their buyers and the locations of the assets.

Sources disclosed that the report was arrived at after extensive lasting several months by a panel of inquiry set up in late 2016 by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to “investigate the sale of its assets in prime areas running into billions of naira”.

The source, who does not want her identity revealed due to the sensitivity of the issue, said the government decided to investigate the sale of its assets because they were sold below market value.

According to the source, the loss ran into billions of naira.

She said: “The affected assets are located in high-profile areas, where decision-makers, captains of industries, top government functionaries and political actors among others often crave to build their homes and offices.”

She identified the areas where the assets are to include Ikeja GRA, Magodo, Ikoyi, Lekki and other prime locations.

She explained that the assets were disposed at abysmal (or give-away) prices and obviously against public interest, which in her words, stoked the interest of the present administration to investigate and review the process by which the assets were sold.

She disclosed that what eventually culminated in the resolve of the State government to investigate the sale of its assets was overriding public interest, lamenting that some of these assets “were sold as low as N20 million.”

She added: “Generally, we have a situation where government properties in prime locations were sold at give-away prices. The assets were abysmally under-valued. Besides, the assets were sold below the actual market value”

The Nation gathered that government took an exception to such transaction, stating that no serious government would allow such sales against public interest to stand.

It was further gathered the report had indeed been submitted and implementation had begun with review of sales of properties that were sold grossly under market value.

In one of the test cases under review, it was discovered that two wings of a five bedroom semi detached house located around Ikeja GRA valued at hundreds of millions of naira was in 2010 offered to Funmi Smith of Debam Mega Solutions Limited for a sum far less than half of the value, but seven years after the offer barely half of the offered sum has been paid to the State Government coffers by the company.

It was reliably gathered that as part of the report’s recommendations, the State Government has been advised to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to unravel several other transactions that have been identified by the panel of inquiry.

Reps to spend N6.1bn on cars for members


The House of Representatives is spending N6.1 billion on procurement of 360 Peugeot 508 for its members, it was learnt at the weekend.

At a unit price of about N17 million, the leadership of the House said no members would get more than a car, including the principal officers.

It debunked allegation of favoritism in the distribution of about 200 units that were supplied so far, saying members would take possession of their vehicles by the end of the year.

Another batch of supply is expected this week.

According to its leadership, favoritism was not employed in the distribution of the already procured vehicles.

Speaking with reporters at the weekend, House spokesman Abdulrazaq Namdas explained that installment supply of the vehicles was due to the financial challenges facing the House leadership.

“About 200 vehicles have been supplied so far and members would take possession of theirs by the end of the year.

“We never promised to supply the 360 vehicles at once because of the financial constraints.

“The budget implementation hasn’t commenced and that is the reason for the installment supply of the vehicles. But, since it was provided for in the budget, every member will get theirs before the year runs out.

“Complaints by some members is normal because the House is huge and it is normal for some to complain. But, since we are getting the cars in batches, it will be impossible for everyone to get at once.

“Allegation that women lawmakers and committee chairmen were given first was also not true.

“As a matter of fact, it was the decision of the leadership to provide for the new members first. So, you may have a new member having while a committee chairman like myself don’t have yet.

“The distribution was not meant to marginalise anyone; the leadership wasn’t choosy about the distribution. Everyone will be adequately taken care of before the year runs out.”

On why the House had to procure the cars for its members, Namdas pleaded for the understanding of Nigerians, saying there was a level that Nigerians would not want their lawmakers to descend to.

According to him, Nigerians would want their representatives to be deserving of their status.

“Definitely, chief executive and directors in government institutions and agencies have official vehicles attached to them. Why would lawmakers not enjoy same privilege?

“Meanwhile, not even our principal officers will have more than one of the same vehicle and these vehicles are to last for four years and not yearly as we have in other arms of government.

“Our job here is to make laws for good governance and that is what we are doing and we need peace of mind and the goodwill of Nigerians to accomplish this,” he added.

Ayo Adebanjo raps Osinbajo on‎ restructuring comment


Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo on Sunday, faulted the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinabjo for describing those agitating for restructuring as political jobbers.

Speaking at the Southern Leaders Forum meeting in Lagos, Adebanjo expressed regrets over the Acting President’s remarks that those championing the call for restructuring were looking for appointments.

The Afenifere leader said: “That is a very unfortunate statement. I would not like it‎ to appear that we are attacking our acting president. The Acting President was born on the principle of restructuring. Myself and his father were followers of Awolowo since the 1950s.”

Speaking further, Adebanjo said, “He cannot say we are looking for appointment, is it me or Horsfall or Gen Ike Nwachukwu? It just shows someone in position, but does not understand the problem of the people he is leading. It is an unfortunate statement to make, I am not going to engage in brick brats with him, it shows the limit of his knowledge of how the country came together.

I think he should know better. He is not only a lawyer; he has been an Attorney-General and Vice President.”


JAMB to announce admission cut-off marks next week

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), on Sunday announced that it would hold its Policy Committee meeting next week Monday and Tuesday to determine the cut-off point for the 2017 admission.
The agency made the announcement in a statement on Sunday issued by its Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, in Abuja.
‎Dr. Benjamin said the meeting approved by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu would kick start the 2017 admission exercise.

According to him, the policy committee would announce the cut off point for the 2017 admission exercise after the meeting.
“‎The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has obtained the approval of the Hon Minister of Education to hold the Policy Committee meeting on 2017 admission.

“The meeting is scheduled to hold on Monday 21st to Tuesday 22nd August, 2017. This meeting will kick start the 2017 admission exercise. The policy committee would announce the cut off point for the 2017 admission exercise.

“All stakeholders including Vice Chancellors of Universities, Rectors of Polytechnics and Monotechnics and Provosts of Colleges of Education would be in attendance.”
Benjami said the board has sent a soft copy of printout of candidates to all institutions chosen by candidates.

“This year the Board has sent candidates who scored 100 and above in their JAMB to the institutions in its flexible admission policy for institutions to determine the suitability of the candidates in compliance with all laid down rules and regulations as determined by the proprietors of the institutions and approved by Senate of the various schools.

“The Board will ensure that criterion set by Senate are strictly adhere to by the institutions admission officers and no shifting of goal post in the middle of the admission exercise. This is to guarantee fairness and equity to all candidates,” the statement added.

He also said the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, at the foundation laying ceremony for a 500 capacity twin CBT centre in Osogbo, Osun State advised all computer based test (CBT) centre owners to ensure that their centres are up to date as the board would not compromise on the 2018 accreditation exercise.
He said having suitable centres was the bedrock of conducting a smooth examination.

“The 500 capacity twin CBT centre built by NCC in compliance with presidential directive for NCC to build such centre in each senatorial district is to bring the centres closer to the candidates and also ensure standard.

“The Registrar urged the consultant to ensure that the centre is built according to specification,” the statement added.

Gatlin upset: IAAF President insists dopers should get life ban

Justin Gatlin should have been banned for life after he was convicted of being a drugs cheat, Lord Coe declared on Sunday after watching the American ruin Usain Bolt’s farewell 100 metres.

Coe, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, blamed the World Anti-Doping Agency and legal systems worldwide for Gatlin being able to return to the sport after two doping violations.

The World Championships were still reeling on Sunday from Bolt’s shock defeat in his final individual race to pantomime villain Gatlin, with Coe admitting it was “not the perfect script” following the jeers which greeted Saturday’s result at the London Stadium.

Denying it was “the worst result ever” for a sport beset by doping scandals, Coe nevertheless told the BBC’s Sportsweek programme: “I’m not eulogistic at the thought of somebody who has served two bans in our sport walking off with one of the biggest prizes our sport has to offer.”
Gatlin’s first drugs ban in 2001 was halved from two years following an appeal that a positive test had been due to medication he had been taking since childhood, when he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

His second ban, after testing positive for testosterone in 2006, was originally eight years but was halved again on appeal because of the circumstances of the first case.

“There have been two bans in the past,” Coe said. “One got watered down, which made it very difficult for the second ban.

“The second ban, we went for an eight-year ban, which would have, in essence, been a life ban. We lost that.”

Coe blamed Wada for failing until 2015 to make first-time doping offences carry a suspension of up to four years, something he indicated would have made it easier to ban Gatlin for longer second time around.

A crusader for the ultimate punishment for drugs cheats, Coe added he would be willing to push for it again in the wake of Gatlin’s win.

“I’m never going to set my face [against] or close the door on the thought that we could end up one day with a lifetime ban,” he added.


A recent study on the long-term effects of testosterone found mice still benefited from being given it years later, raising fears the same applied to Gatlin, whose third coming saw him run faster than ever.

Coe urged national federations last year to be brave enough to stop picking former drugs cheats for the Olympics and other major events.

The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, also called for life bans for dopers following Bolt’s defeat, something that would also have affected compatriots Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell.

“It’s the only way you’re going to fully ensure that people don’t cheat in sport,” he said.

Gatlin was expected to be booed again at Sunday’s 100m medal ceremony, at which Bolt will also receive a bronze medal.

Declaring the IAAF was “not the thought police”, Coe nevertheless added: “I don’t think Usain will want a situation where an athlete at the moment is demonised.”

Coe was confident Bolt’s legacy had already been assured before last night’s defeat.

“I’m sorry that Usain, by his own standards – and I think he was very open about it in his post-race interviews – felt that he’d had a very bad start and was just not in vintage form,” he said.

“For him, personally, I think it was minor tweak in what he has achieved on and off the track for us.”

Holness admitted Saturday’s race was not the ending Jamaica wanted, saying: “Usain Bolt is such a great sportsman, his achievements are probably superhuman. But, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings and sometimes these things do happen.

“We in Jamaica view Usain Bolt as our hero. He is a legend. So I think his achievements are still intact.

“We see him as a great sportsman. The Jamaican people still love him and, I believe, the world still loves Usain Bolt.

“What I’m particularly proud of is he did the work, he stuck with the sport, he worked very hard, he followed the advice of his coach, but, more than that, he kept clean.

“I don’t think there is anyone who will achieve what he has done in our lifetime or lifetimes to come.”


Buhari says Ozubulu church killing, an unspeakable sacrilege

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday condemned the Ozubulu Church attack in Anambra State by a yet to be identified gunmen.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President described the incident as “an appalling crime against humanity and unspeakable sacrilege.”

Buhari said there was no justification whatsoever to target church worshippers and kill them in cold blood.

He said this kind of atrocity “plumbs the depth of depravity and extreme cruelty of the kind that words cannot adequately express.”

According to the President, there is no religion that does not lay constant emphasis on the sanctity of life, and that “all Nigerians must rise up and speak with one voice against these remorseless evil men.”

While expressing sympathy with the families of the victims, the church leadership and the government of Anambra State, Buhari reassured all Nigerians of his administration’s firm and uncompromising commitment to protecting their lives and property at all times.


My driver sold me to kidnappers – Ex-Ohanaeze Secretary General


A former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya, has said that his driver, who was abducted on Thursday, was the brain behind the crime.
Eya was rescued in a forest in Emene, near Enugu by a team of policemen who stormed the den of the kidnappers at about 10 a.m. yesterday.
Narrating his ordeal in his house in Enugu, yesterday, the victim said he was kidnapped around 9.30pm on Thursday when he was about to take his coffee before going to bed. He alleged that the kidnappers, apparently working with his driver, came into the compound through the main gate, which the security guard had earlier wanted to bolt, but the driver told him not to, as some visitors were being expected.
“I was rescued by the police. My driver was part of it; they said he brought the business. I can tell you, the police, when they want to work, they work. After all the rigmarole, I was tortured, I was beaten but I just said ‘why do you strike me’? The driver was there, they beat him too but I don’t know if it is the same type of beating they gave me,” he said. “
But one funny thing is that for three days I was blindfolded, but they didn’t blindfold the driver. He was the driver who took us out to the bush, he was driving. And this is a young man, he had no job, I just employed him.”
The Igbo group’s secretary stated that three of the kidnappers walked into his main building through the kitchen door with the driver who they were beating to give the impression that he was not part of the plot.
“When they came in, they pointed a gun at him and he followed them to his own car and the driver (who usually keeps the car key) was commandeered to drive us up to Emene, before one of the kidnappers took over from him and meandered into the forest,” he added.
“On arrival at the forest, I discovered over time that the number of the kidnappers increased to between 14 and 20 and they moved me from one location to another.
“They demanded N25 million before it went down to N2 million, even “as I kept reminding them that I am a poor retiree and had no such money.”
Meanwhile, Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ebere Amaraizu, yesterday, narrated how Eya was rescued.
“He was rescued unhurt by the operatives following an operation carried out in a forest along Enugu/Abakiliki Expressway in which one suspect identified as one Chibundu Amadi was arrested,”he said in a statement.
Amaraizu further said that the said Amadi was “armed with a locally made gun and he is helping the operatives in investigations, while the rescued victim has re- united with his family.”


Why Abacha sentenced me to 30yrs imprisonment – Obasanjo

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has revealed why the ex-Head of state, General Sani Abacha, jailed him for 30 years, though, later reduced it to 15 years.

On 17 November 1993, Abacha overthrew the short-lived transitional government of Chief Ernest Shonekan. In September 1994, he issued a decree that placed his government above the jurisdiction of the courts, effectively giving him absolute power.

Another decree gave him the right to detain anyone for up to three months without trial. However, Chief Obasanjo said, despite his ordeals in the hands of Abacha, he never wished the then head of state anything bad.

Chief Obasanjo said, in fact, he wrote a condolence letter to Abacha when the son of the head of state died and equally wrote another condolence letter to Abacha’s wife when Abacha died.

Obasanjo said he was even surprised when he came out of the prison to hear that his oppressor was dead.
Chief Obasanjo also gave reasons why General Gowon was overthrown in a coup that brought him (Obasanjo) and Muritala to government.

He said, “That later brought about what was termed as Muritala/Obasanjo regime. But we were careless as regards security in which Muritala was killed like chicken and I would have been killed but God’s grace preserved me and I was later persuaded to take over.

“We stabilized the country, conducted election and handed over. But when there was incessant coup in different parts of the country, I spoke against Military in general and Abacha’s in particular. “The consequence was that I was arrested, tried and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment which Abacha later reduced to 15 years but God in his mercy, I only spent 3 years, three months and three days. He pointed out that the person who sent him to prison was not alive by the time he came out.

“But when I was in prison in Jos, Abacha’s son died and I wrote a condolence letter to him and also when he died, I also wrote a letter of condolence to his wife of which the prison authority found unbelievable but delivered all my letters.

Obasanjo who spoke on the topic, “God in my Life” under the auspices of Torchbearers Society termed his educational career as God’s destiny. He disclosed that the respect he has for his biological father made him slap his teacher on his first day in school after his teacher asked him the name of his father.

“I do follow my father to farm but one day, he asked me what I wished to do and I told him I would prefer to be a mechanic. But he suggested education and I bought into it.

IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Okagbare fails to pick 100m final slot


Nigeria’s fastest female sprinter, Blessing Okagbare -Ighoteguonor has failed to advance to the final of the of women’s 100m at the ongoing IAAF World Championships holding in London.

She ran a time 11.08 seconds in the semi-final at Olympic Stadium on Sunday to place fourth.

The reigning Commonwealth Games double sprint champion would now shift attention to the long jump, which starts on Wednesday.

Falana asks Saraki to return pension, house given by Kwara govt

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has called on Senate President Bukola Saraki to return the entire pension he received since 2007 from Kwara state government to the state.

He also asked him to relinquish the house the state government bought for him in Abuja.

Last week, Saraki said he had written to the Kwara state government regarding stopping his pension. This followed the allegation by the Socio-Economic and Accountability Project (SERAP) that the senate president and some former governors, who hold political office, were receiving double pay.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Falana, however, commended Saraki for doing the right thing.

He also urged him to prevail on 20 other senators, who are former governors, to stop receiving pension from their states.

“The senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki announced last week that he had stopped collecting pension as a former governor of Kwara state following the protest by the Socio-Economic and Accountability Project (SERAP),” he said.

“According to the senate leader, the moment his attention was drawn to the allegation of the payment of double salaries he wrote to the Kwara state government to stop the payment of his pension.

In like manner, three serving ministers in the Buhari administration who are former governors have disclosed that they are not being paid pension from any the state government. Other ministers and legislators who are former governors and deputy governors should speak out so that Nigerians can know the public officers who are involved in the illegal collection of pension from state governments and salaries from the federal government at the same time.

“Apart from writing to the Kwara state government to stop further payment of the pension due to him under the former governors pension law of Kwara state Dr Saraki decided to contribute to the debate on double payment of salaries by some ex-governors. In condemning such payment, Dr Saraki he stated that ‘morally, if you have got another job, you should give it up until when you are truly a pensioner.

‘Some of these oversights are not addressing the issues. What the states should do is to go and amend their laws to say that if you have another appointment then you are not entitled to that benefit. With this, we will just simplify the matter’. With respect, the proposed amendment of the obnoxious laws will not ‘simplify the matter’.

“Since Dr Saraki has come to the conclusion that the collection of the pension is immoral he is advised to refund the pension he had collected from the Kwara state government since he became a senator in June 2007. He should also relinquish the house bought for him in Abuja by the Kwara state government since he is said to receive housing allowance as president of the senate.

However, while Dr Saraki is commended for demonstrating leadership by example with respect to the illegal collection of the ex-governors’ pension he should proceed to use his position as the president of the senate to prevail on the 20 other senators who are former governors and deputy-governors to stop further collecting pension from their state governments since they are currently receiving jumbo salaries and allowances from the national assembly.”