Friday , 19 April 2019
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Buhari signs N30,000 minimum wage into law

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the national minimum wage bill into law.

The senate passed the bill on March 19, approving N30,000 as the new national minimum wage. The house of representatives had earlier passed the bill.

On Tuesday, workers in the federal capital territory (FCT) begged Buhari to sign the minimum wage bill into law before May 1.

Buhari sent the wage bill for consideration after the national council of state approved it.

The council had approved N27,000 while the federal government said it would increase it to N30,000 for its workers.

The tripartite committee earlier set up by the federal government had approved N30,000 for both federal and state workers.

Commenting on the new law, Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters (senate), said it has become compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay their workers N30,000.

Enang made it clear that this excludes persons who are employing less than 25 workers; persons who work in a ship which sail out of jurisdiction; persons who are in other kinds of regulated employments are excepted by the Act.

“It also gives the workers the right if you are compelled by any circumstance to accept salary that is less than 30,000 for you to sue your employers to recover the balance,” he said.

“It authorises the minister of labour and any person nominated by the minister of labour or any person designated by the minister of labour in any ministry, department or agency to on your behalf take action in your name against such employer to recover the balance of wages.

“It also ensures and mandates the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and the minister of labour to be the chief and principal enforcers of the provisions of this law; and this law applies to all agencies and persons and bodies throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The effective date is April 18, 2019 as Mr President has assented to; it has been assented to and it takes effect today except such other provision as are contained in the Act.”

Enang said the enforcement and the right to start the implementation of the provisions commenced immediately including such steps that would to be taken gradually under the provisions of the Act.

He urged Nigerian workers to celebrate Buhari and support his administration and policies.

The senior special assistant said the administration would come out and march together with Nigerian workers and Workers Day.

“Mr President will celebrate Workers Day and this government will celebrate. This is Mr President action showing the love he has for Nigerian workers,’’ he said.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had led the campaign for an upward review of minimum wage from N18,000.

Onnoghen rejects CCT judgement, heads to appeal court

Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria, has rejected the judgement of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Danladi Umar, CCT chairman, had found Onnoghen guilty of the six counts preferred against him by the federal government.

Umar, therefore, ordered that Onnoghen be removed from office of CJN and banned from holding public office for 10 years.

He also ordered the forfeiture of the money in the five accounts which the defendant failed to declare as part of his assets

But Onnoghen has filed a notice of appeal at the appellate court in Abuja to challenge the ruling of the tribunal.

The federal government was listed as the only respondent.

In the appeal filed by Adeboyega Awomolo, Chris Uche, Okon Efut, Ogwu Onoja and George Ibrahim, his counsels, the embattled judge said tribunal erred when it dismissed his application.

“The appellant was at the time the charges were filed on the 11th of January, 2019 before the lower tribunal a judicial officer and was not subject to the jurisdiction of the lower tribunal,” Onnoghen said in ground one.

In ground two, he asked the CCT chairman to recuse himself from further proceedings.

“Once an allegation of real likelihood of the bias is raised the court or tribunal will have nothing more to say except to wash its hands from further proceedings in the matter.”

In ground sixteen, Onnoghen said the tribunal erred when it placed on the defendant the burden of proving his innocence which according to him is a violation of section 36 (5) of the constitution.

“The onus was on the prosecution to prove that that the defendant did not declare and submit his assets declaration form to the Code of Conduct Bureau for over 11 years as charged,” he said.

Onnoghen thereby sought for the following reliefs:

  • An order allowing this appeal.
  • An order that the lower tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain the case.
  • An order that the lower tribunal ought to have recuse itself from proceedings before it.
  • An order that the charge has become academic
  • An order setting aside the the conviction of the appellant.
  • An order setting aside the order for forfeiture of assets made by the honorable tribunal.
  • An order discharging and acquiting the appellant.

BREAKING: CCT finds Onnoghen guilty, bans him from public office for 10 years

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has convicted Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), for false asset declaration.

Danladi Umar, CCT chairman, found him guilty of the six counts preferred against him by the federal government.

The CCT chairman ordered that Onnoghen be removed from office of CJN and banned from holding public office for 10 years.

He also ordered that the money in the five bank accounts of Onnoghen that he did not declare be confiscated.


Ambode receives UEFA Champions league trophy in Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday received the UEFA Champions League Trophy alongside its Ambassador and former captain of Barcelona FC of Spain, Carles Puyol in Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.

Puyol, a three-time Champions League winner is in Nigeria on a three-day visit to lead the UEFA Champions League Tour connecting with consumers and football lovers.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by the Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr Kweku Tandoh, also received Nigerian football legend, Austin JayJay Okocha, who was part of the delegation.

Speaking while receiving the trophy, Governor Ambode expressed excitement with the fact that the organisers of the tour considered Lagos as one of the states to visit, adding that the development was particularly gratifying more so that the synergy between sports and entertainment as well as tourism had been massively played up in the last four years.      

The Governor also lauded the contribution of Puyol and Okocha to the development of the round leather game in Nigeria and worldwide, saying they deserved to be appreciated and celebrated.

“I must say I am very pleased with the organisers of this Trophy Tour for deeming it fit to take the UEFA Champions League Cup to Lagos. We are particularly excited because our administration has focused on the synergy between sports, tourism, entertainment and the arts, among others and the people can see the positive effects of our efforts in that regard.

“We are pleased to also welcome Barcelona FC and Champions League legend, Carles Puyol to Lagos, as well as our legend, JayJay Okocha to Lagos House. Many of us underrate this legend that we have and just yesterday, I understand Puyol had a very difficult time on the field of play in Uyo when JayJay had to give him a few tricks.

“Unfortunately, JayJay did not get to play for Barcelona; he would have lifted the Champions League but I must say we appreciate what Okocha has done for Nigerian football. If you have a player that is sometimes compared to Messi, Maradona and spoken about in the same breath, then we know we have a star in our midst and so I like to thank JayJay for his contribution to football,” Governor Ambode said.  

He said in order to ensure a successful Trophy Tour, the relevant security and government agencies have been contacted, assuring that all the activities lined-up as part of the tour would be hugely successful.

While wishing the team a successful tour in Nigeria, Governor Ambode said the State Government would be glad to receive the trophy back in the State in the nearest future, just as he assured that the government remained committed to make Lagos the sports hub not just in Africa but the entire world.


L-R: Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; Ex-Nigeria International, Austin JayJay Okocha; UEFA Champions League winner and former Barcelona FC Defender, Carles Puyol; representative of Lagos State Governor and Chairman, the State Sports Commission (LSSC), Dr. Kweku Tandoh; Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries PLC, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel; Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh; Director-General, LSSC, Mr. Babatunde Bank-Anthony and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Habib Aruna during the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Wednesday.




Speaking earlier, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Breweries Plc, organisers of the Trophy Tour, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel thanked Governor Ambode for warmly receiving the team, saying the Trophy Tour was specifically organised to bring the tournament closer to fans.

He said as part of the tour, there would be a road show from Maryland Bus Stop to Ikeja City Mall, among other activities.   

Besides, he commended Governor Ambode for his well-though out policies and projects in all sectors and sections of the State, saying the Governor deserved to be appreciated for also creating enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the State.

“I will like to say that this visit is a great opportunity for the management team of Nigerian Breweries to appreciate Governor Ambode on the success that he has recorded in the last four years of administering the State which is a testament to the fact that well-thought policies have been implemented as has been witnessed in security, in transportation, in health, in welfare sectors in the State, and particularly in the continuous construction of impactful infrastructure as well as the Governor’s focused and dynamic leadership in the State.

“We also want to thank the Governor for sustaining a supportive business environment in the State,” he said.

Abayomi Shogunle asks Nigerians to speak pidgin to policemen to avoid trouble

Abayomi Shogunle, head of the public complaint rapid response unit (PCRRU), says it is better for Nigerians to communicate with police officers in pidgin English.

Commenting on the recent killings of citizens by trigger-happy policemen, Shogunle said communicating with the officers in pidgin will aid better understanding.

Kolade Johnson and Jessy Gold, both residents of Lagos state, were killed by policemen within two weeks.

Shogunle, who tweeted a video where Tunji Disu, commander of the Rapid Respond Squad (RRS) was seen addressing his men in Pidgin, said communicating with policemen in a language they understand will aid better understanding.

In the video, Disu was heard saying Nigerians were not happy that arms bought for officers to protect them are used in killing citizens.

“Sebi we no forget that thing wey dey teach us for academy or police college. Dem talk say it is better to allow armed robber to escape than to kill one innocent person,” Disu said.

Shogunle asked Nigerians to emulate Disu by speaking pidgin to police officers on the road.

According to him, the use of pidgin, rather than “Queen’s English” would save people from trouble with the policemen.

“Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in #Lagos do more of this,” Shogunle wrote.

“#YSGuide: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.”

Abayomi Shogunle


Nice one 👍.
Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in do more of this.
Source: RRS Lagos
cc: @PoliceNG_CRU: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.

264 people are talking about this

His comment, has, however, generated controversy on social media, with some accusing him of being unprofessional.

Some questioned if the policemen were trained in pidgin, while others demanded that “learned” people be recruited into the force.

Below are some of the reactions by Nigerians.

Abayomi Shogunle


Nice one 👍.
Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in do more of this.
Source: RRS Lagos
cc: @PoliceNG_CRU: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.

Dr Uwem Ite@uwemite

Why should I talk to them in Pidgin? Did you use pidgin to recruit and train them?

See Dr Uwem Ite’s other Tweets

Abayomi Shogunle


Nice one 👍.
Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in do more of this.
Source: RRS Lagos
cc: @PoliceNG_CRU: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.

Embedded video


Oga can you try and employ learned people instead of all these retired agberos you have given uniforms and guns to?…asking for a friend(for fear of my life)

See Sucre🌹🌹🌹‘s other Tweets

Abayomi Shogunle


Nice one 👍.
Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in do more of this.
Source: RRS Lagos
cc: @PoliceNG_CRU: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.


Lols….wonders shall never end….but na the Queen’s English dem dey fear small…i don use am escape dia wahala sometimes…

See Westo’s other Tweets

Abayomi Shogunle


Nice one 👍.
Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in do more of this.
Source: RRS Lagos
cc: @PoliceNG_CRU: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.

Embedded video

Black Hammer@BlackHammer_100

Why should we use pidgin? aren’t the officers educated enough?

See Black Hammer’s other Tweets

Abayomi Shogunle


Nice one 👍.
Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in do more of this.
Source: RRS Lagos
cc: @PoliceNG_CRU: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.

Embedded video


This is a shame on us as a Nation!

See HyperNation!’s other Tweets

Abayomi Shogunle


Nice one 👍.
Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in do more of this.
Source: RRS Lagos
cc: @PoliceNG_CRU: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.

Embedded video

Cali 😎@___Mistercap

Imagine, how do you recruit this people?
In our local communities, when a child is way past wayward , the parents pushes them to join police force. I’m certain it’s the same everywhere, we now see the end products

See Cali 😎‘s other Tweets

Abayomi Shogunle


Nice one 👍.
Lagos State will be calm if police chiefs in do more of this.
Source: RRS Lagos
cc: @PoliceNG_CRU: For now, don’t go and be speaking Queen’s English with them on the road. For proper understanding talk to them in Pidgin, another way to avoid kasala.

Embedded video

Mayor Lee 🔌@Iam_Mayorlee

So if we speak “Queens English “, that means they have the right to harass us? Please explain properly.

See Mayor Lee 🔌‘s other Tweets



Things that can get you assaulted by the Police
1. Owning a nice-looking cellphone
2. Speaking Queens English
3. Asking “What did I do wrong?”
4. Standing in front of your house
5. Looking happy
6. Not looking happy
7. Having a tattoo
8. having dreads

265 people are talking about this

Haruto Itsuki 🇯🇵🇳🇬@godwin_ogabo

Ok I am not understanding Nigeria again so in order not to be killed by SARS officials one must speak pidgin and not the Queens English? So the people that have already been killed by SARS they were speaking British English? Is NIGERIA well at all?

See Haruto Itsuki 🇯🇵🇳🇬‘s other Tweets

Ahmed Tijani@PrymeMentalst

If the police can not communicate in queens English then what is the purpose of educational certificate such as WAEC in recruitment?

Defending his stance, Shogunle said he only identified a problem and proferred a solution to it, arguing that there is nothing unprofessional with his tweet.

“What’s unprofessional about me alerting the public to what I’ve known to be a problem over the years! What of first 3 lines in my tweet. The Senior Officer addressing the men had to revert to Pidgin, why did you think he did that?” he wrote.

Abayomi Shogunle


What’s unprofessional about me alerting the public to what I’ve known to be a problem over the years!
What of first 3 lines in my tweet.
The Senior Officer addressing the men had to revert to Pidgin, why did you think he did that?
You just want traffic to your site cos of advert.


Replying to @YomiShogunle and 4 others

No sir, your tweet is unprofessional. As a senior police officer you must be guarded when you engage with the public. Your tweet can further encourage trigger happy policemen. We expect more professionalism from an officer like you. As a media we keep doing our duty to the public

Ex-Sudan president Omar al-Bashir transferred to notorious maximum security jail

Sudan’s ousted President Omar al-Bashir was transferred on Tuesday evening to Kober prison, a maximum-security prison notorious for holding political prisoners during his 30-year dictatorship, two prison officials who witnessed his arrival told CNN.

Several other regime figures are being held at the jail and kept separately to Bashir, who is under intensified security measures, the officials said. The prison’s main yard has been well-known as a site for executions.

“He would’ve been led past the same hangman’s noose where he sent people to meet their Lord,” said one of the prison officials.Sudan’s military has previously said that it would prosecute Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), but would not extradite him.

The long-time leader was ousted from power in a military coup last week.

Bashir and other top officials were arrested in a sweep of regime figures.
Bashir, former Interior Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein and Ahmed Haroun, the former head of the ruling party, will be charged with corruption and the death of protesters, two sources with direct knowledge of events told CNN.

The three men are all wanted by the ICC for war crimes related to atrocities during the 2003-2008 Darfur Conflict, which claimed at least 300,000 lives.
The military has dissolved the government and said it would remain in power for up to two years, despite large street protests against their rule.

The ruling military transitional council faces mounting pressure from the international community to hand over power to a civilian government.

On Tuesday, the African Union threatened to revoke Sudan’s membership unless the country’s military establishes civil rule within 15 days.

Fraud charges: Court frees suspended SEC DG for lack of evidence

A federal capital territory (FCT) high court has discharged Mounir Gwarzo, suspended director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in the N115 million fraud charge filed against him.

In his ruling on Tuesday, Hussein Baba-Yusuf, the judge, held that the prosecution could not establish any prima facie case against the defendants.

Zakwanu Garba, the co-defendant and executive commissioner of the commission, was also freed.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had filed a five-count charge against Gwarzo and Garuba bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds and conferment of corrupt advantage on a public officer .

Gwarzo was said to have received N104,851,154.94 as severance benefits and N10,983,488.88 in excess of car grant when he served as the director-general of the commission.

Garba was accused of conniving with Gwarzo to commit the fraud but the duo pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In 2017, Kemi Adeosun, former minister of finance, had suspended Gwarzo and constituted a panel to probe the allegations.

Baba-Yusuf said the prosecution team was unable to establish beyond reasonable doubt the essential elements of the offence for which the defendants were charged.

The judge maintained that the prosecution, by its admission, through witnesses and evidence proved that the offences the defendants were accused of were products of decisions of the governing board of SEC, which is the highest decision-making body of the commission.

“Furthermore, exhibit 19, which is a memo from the governing board of SEC, has clearly demonstrated that the decisions of the board of SEC as the highest decision and policy-making body of commission is legal,” the judge ruled.

“As a result of this, the first defendant is acquitted on the first charge.

“The burden of proof was on the prosecution but through its own exhibit, which includes a board resolution which approved the car benefit for an executive director who had spent more than two years in office, the charge against Mister Gwarzo has not been established.”

Jega: Some lecturers in Kano conspired with politicians to rig elections

Prof Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has faulted Nigeria’s electoral system which he says has been under assault.

Jega also alleged politicians used university lecturers to commit irregularities during the elections, particularly in Kano state.

According to Guardian, the former INEC chairman spoke at the annual conference of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria at Bayero University Kano (BUK).

He said the BUK lecturers who worked with politicians to perpetrate “all sorts of irregularities” betrayed the confidence reposed on them by compromising the electoral process.

A former vice-chancellor of BUK, Jega oversaw the 2015 election which was widely described free and fair.

“I think the major crisis in Nigeria’s democracy is that our electoral integrity has been under assault, compromised and undermined by those who have control over the process,” he said.

“Look at what happened during the last elections, and the story of irregularities being spread even in the four walls of BUK.

“The politicians, through crooked means, got alliances with lecturers in the university to compromise the system and they perpetrated all sort of irregularities, which pave way for a faulty process for the continued entrenchment of bad people in governance.

“Maybe, I am preaching to the converted or I am talking nonsense but frankly speaking, I am beginning to think that we are not taking the obligations of scholarship and intellectual engagement with the seriousness it deserves.”

INEC server: Atiku to invite Microsoft, IBM, Oracle experts as witnesses

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, is willing to engage experts from Microsoft, IBM and Oracle to verify his claim that the servers belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed that he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.

INEC’s polling figures from the 36 states and federal capital territory (FCT) gave Buhari 15,191,847 votes, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But in his petition submitted at the tribunal, the PDP candidate alleged that he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes in the presidential election held on February 23.

INEC, in response, said the results being paraded by Atiku was fabricated and not from its website.

But in their response to the INEC’s submission, a copy of which was obtained by TheCable, Atiku and the PDP said address of the server from which the results were obtained is unique to INEC.

“The Servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the first Respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the first Respondent’s Presidential Result’s Server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019, whose Physical Address or unique Mac Address is 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-7000000000-AA535. The above descriptions are unique to the 15t Respondent’s Server,” they said.

According to PUNCH, Atiku and the PDP would rely on the services of some prominent technology companies to argue the case at the presidential election tribunal.

“The petitioners will at the trial of this petition rely on experts on Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, amongst others,” they added.

JUST IN: Fayemi wins as supreme court dismisses Oni’s appeal

The Supreme Court has dismissed the suit of Segun Oni, a former governor of Ekiti state, who challenged the candidature of Kayode Fayemi.

Oni had filed the suit after losing the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket to Fayemi in 2018.

In a unanimous judgement on Wednesday, the five-man panel held that the appeal by Oni was without merit.

In the lead judgement, Amiru Sanusi held that the case was not opened at the trial court, within the required time, as stipulated under the Forth Alteration Act.

Oni had asked a federal high court in Ekiti to determine if it was proper for Fayemi, who was at the time minister for solid minerals, to contest the primary without resigning as a member of the federal cabinet.

He also asked the court to determine if Fayemi’s action did not violate the Nigerian constitution and the guidelines of the ruling party primary.

Senate passes PIGB after addressing Buhari’s concerns

The senate has passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).

The upper legislative chamber also passed the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism bill 2019, National Research and Innovation Council bill 2019, Stamp Duties act (amendment) bill 2019 and National Agricultural Seed Council bill 2019.

Others are Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (amendment) bill 2019 and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) act 2010 (amendment) bill 2019.

The bills were passed after Ahmad Lawan, senate leader, moved a motion and referred for the committee of the whole for consideration.

Buhari had initially rejected the bills after which the senate set up a technical committee to review the bills.

After the technical committee effected corrections, the senators considered the clauses of each of the bills and passed them on Wednesday.

The president had cited legal, constitutional and drafting issues as reasons for rejecting the bills.

In the case of the PIGB, the president raised “legal and constitutional reasons” as reasons he had withheld assent.

“That the provision of the Bill permitting the Petroleum Regulatory commission to retain as much as 10 percent of the revenue generated unduly increases the funds accruing to the Petroleum Regulatory commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, States, Federal capital Territory and Local governments in the country,” Ita Enang, Buhari’s legislative aide, had said.

“Expanding the scope of petroleum equalisation fund and some provisions in divergence from this administration’s policy and indeed conflicting provisions on independent petroleum equalisation fund.

“Some legislative drafting concerns which, if assented to in the form presented will create ambiguity and conflict in interpretation.”

The PIGB seeks to establish the Nigerian petroleum regulatory commission as a one-stop regulator that will be responsible for licensing, monitoring, supervising petroleum operations, as well as enforcing industry laws, regulations and standards.

The bills will have to also be passed by the house of representatives before they are sent to Buhari for assent.

El-Rufai’s resignation order – Full list of those affected

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has directed political appointees in Kaduna  state to resign by 30th April 2019.

According to a statement signed  by Samuel Aruwan,Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Media & Publicity) the governor has directed all appointed to submit their letters of resignation on the said date.

According to Aruwan, “Each notice of resignation must be submitted along with a handover note, signed by the political appointee on behalf of the MDA or office to which he or she had been appointed. All resignation letters should be properly addressed to the Principal Private Secretary.”

The statement, which also contains the list of those expected to tender  their resignation letters reads:

“As he commences selecting the team for his second-term in office, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has directed all political appointees to submit letters of resignation by 30th April 2019. The governor will exercise his constitutional prerogative to decide on re-appointments while giving the Kaduna State Ministry of Finance adequate time to compute severance payments and reconcile any liabilities.

“According to the directive, each notice of resignation must be submitted along with a handover note, signed by the political appointee on behalf of the MDA or office to which he or she had been appointed. All resignation letters should be properly addressed to the Principal Private Secretary.

“A government notice issued in Kaduna State stated that Malam Nasir El-Rufai has thanked all political appointees for their contributions and service to the state during his first-term. As he constitutes the team that will assist him in his second-term, the governor said he expects the process to be enriched by the handover notes from the political appointees, and the report of the Transition Committee headed by the Deputy Governor-elect, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe.

THE LIST: “The government notice specified that the following appointees are expected to comply with the directive:
• All Commissioners in the State Executive Council,
• All Permanent Secretaries,
• Special Advisers,
• Directors-General, Executive Secretaries, Managing Directors, General Managers and other Heads of Agencies,
• Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants and Technical Assistants to the Governor, other than the Kashim Ibrahim Fellows.

“Excluded from compliance with this directive are full-time Commissioners of certain State Executive bodies who retain their tenured appointments in the following agencies:

i. Fiscal Responsibility Commission
ii. Civil Service Commission
iii. Judicial Service Commission
iiii. Assembly Service Commission
v. The State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECOM)
vi. The Peace Commission
vii. Public Procurement Authority
viii. Water Regulatory Authority

“Due to recent adjustments in roles within the government, the occupants of and recent appointees into the following offices are also exempted from the directive to resign:
a. Commissioner of Finance
b. Principal Private Secretary
c. Accountant-General
d. Special Adviser, Intergovernmental Relations
e. Managing Director, Kaduna Markets Development Company
f. Managing Director, Kaduna Investment and Finance Company, and
g. Any other political appointee sworn-in or appointed to their current role within the last six months.”

France’s richest families lead $700 million fundraising effort for Notre Dame

France’s three wealthiest families are coming to the rescue of a national icon, spearheading a fundraising drive to rebuild Notre Dame that has topped $700 million.

The billionaires behind luxury giants LVMH Group, Kering and L’Oreal on Tuesday pledged a combined €500 million ($565 million) after a massive fire ripped through the Paris cathedral.

LVMH and its CEO Bernard Arnault have promised €200 million ($226 million). The donation has been matched by the Bettencourt Meyers family, which controls L’Oreal.

The Pinault family, which operates luxury conglomerate Kering has pledged €100 million ($113 million).

The three fashion dynasties have invoked patriotism and shared cultural identity in explaining their generosity following the devastating fire.

Other French companies have also written big checks: The oil and gas company Total has promised €100 million ($113 million), while tech and consulting firm Capgemini will give €1 million ($1.1 million).

Combined with other donations from companies including French bank Crédit Agricole, the total amount pledged by business and wealthy donors has reached $700 million.

Luxury giving

LVMH  which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, said in a statement that its donation showed “solidarity with this national tragedy” and that funds would be used to rebuild this “extraordinary cathedral.”

The fashion house went on to describe Notre Dame as a “symbol of French heritage and unity.” LVMH said it would make its creative and financial teams available to help with rebuilding and soliciting donations.

Arnault, its CEO, is the third richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth comes in at $90.4 billion, more than that of Warren Buffett or Mark Zuckerberg.

In addition to its fashion lines, LVMH controls high-end alcohol brands such as Dom Pérignon, Hennessy and Veuve Clicquot, as well as popular beauty retailer Sephora.

LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault pictured in 2018.LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault pictured in 2018.

Kering, which is the home for brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, was first out of the gate Tuesday with its donation.

“This tragedy is striking all the French people, and beyond that, all those attached to spiritual values,” François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, said in a statement.

“Faced with this tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back to this jewel of our heritage as soon as possible,” added Pinault, who is the son of the billionaire businessman François Pinault.

The Pinault family is worth an estimated $37.3 billion, per Bloomberg.

François-Henri Pinault, who manages the family’s businesses, is married to actress Salma Hayek. Kering also owns fashion brands such as Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.

The Bettencourt family owns a 33% stake in L’Oreal, which controls brands like Maybelline, Lancome, Garnier and Kiehl’s.

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the richest woman in the world, is worth $53.5 billion, according to Bloomberg.

She inherited the stake from her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, who died in 2017. Bettencourt Meyers is the granddaughter of the company’s founder, Eugene Schueller.

The rebuilding process

The blaze at Notre Dame on Monday devastated large parts of the 850-year-old church, including its iconic spire. The fire was extinguished after nine hours.

French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild the site, saying Monday that France will launch an international fundraising campaign to assist with the effort.

The process will be expensive and lengthy, and it could take time to begin in earnest. Immediate steps will need to be taken to prevent further damage, since the structure is now particularly vulnerable to water damage.

It’s tough to estimate the total time and cost of the restoration.

The Venice Opera House, which was gutted by a blaze in 1996, reportedly reopened eight years later after €60 million ($68 million) was spent.

When Windsor Castle, one of Britain’s royal residences, was severely damaged in a fire in 1992, it reopened nearly five years later at a cost of £36.5 million ($47.8 million).


Ajax stun Juventus, qualify for Champions League semis

Ajax stunned Juventus to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 1997 as Matthijs de Ligt’s thumping second-half header secured a 2-1 second-leg victory in the last eight in Turin on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, bidding for his sixth Champions League title, scored a 28th-minute header to put Juve ahead after a 1-1 first-leg draw, but Donny van de Beek levelled for Ajax before half-time.

Teenage centre-back De Ligt struck midway through the second period, though, to seal a 3-2 aggregate win and set up a last-four clash with either Manchester City or Tottenham.

The young Dutch side had already eliminated three-time defending champions Real Madrid en route to the quarters, overturning a 2-1 home defeat against the Spanish side with a memorable 4-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Juventus had been looking to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the third time in the past five seasons.

But Ronaldo, who scored an away goal last week with a diving header in Amsterdam, was Juve’s only weapon against the impressive Dutch side.

The 34-year-old was signed for 100 million euros ($117 million) last summer from Real Madrid in a bid to win the European trophy for the first time since 1996, when they beat Ajax in the final.

Massimiliano Allegri had been forced to reshuffle his side because of injuries, with Paulo Dybala returning in place of the injured Mario Mandzukic, while captain Giorgio Chiellini was also sidelined.

Ajax’s defence took a hit when Noussair Mazraoui, who had replaced the suspended Nicolas Tagliafico, limped off on 11 minutes with an ankle injury, with Daley Sinkgraven coming on.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana dived to keep out a scorching Dybala half-volley in the 20th minute.

– Ronaldo leaves Onana no chance –

But Ronaldo latched onto a Miralem Pjanic corner with a downward header that left Onana without no chance.

It was the Portugal star’s 126th Champions League goal and sixth of this campaign, having now scored in his past six European games against Ajax, netting nine goals in total.

But Van de Beek soon silenced the cheers of the home crowd when he controlled a wayward Hakim Ziyech shot six minutes later, rolling the ball past Szczesny to cancel out Juventus’ away goal and make it 2-2 on aggregate.

Teenage striker Moise Kean replaced Dybala after the break, but it was the Dutch who turned on the style, with only Szczesny’s reflexes keeping Juventus in the tie.

The Polish keeper denied Ziyech from close range with one hand, and minutes later tipped Van de Beek’s curling effort over the bar.

The Juventus back-line struggled with the pace of the Dutch team with Pjanic doing well to deny Ziyech a tap-in.

But Erik ten Hag’s side’s incessant pressure paid off with 19-year-old skipper De Ligt towering above Alex Sandro and Daniele Rugani to head home Lasse Schone’s corner on 67 minutes.

Ziyech looked as if he had fired a third past Szczesny, but his goal was ruled offside after a VAR check.

And the Dutch visitors held on, with Ronaldo unable to make a difference after his incredible hat-trick had pulled Juventus into the quarter-finals in the last-16 win over Atletico Madrid.

Four-time winners Ajax won their third consecutive title in 1973 at the expense of Juventus, and last lifted the trophy in 1995, with their last semi-final appearances ending in defeat by Juve 22 years ago.


Three things we learned from Barcelona v Man Utd

Barcelona cruised into the Champions League semi-finals as their 3-0 win against Manchester United sealed a 4-0 aggregate success on Tuesday.

Here, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the quarter-final second-leg clash:

No Camp Nou repeat for Solskjaer

Barcelona’s Camp Nou will always hold a special place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s heart, but the Manchester United manager won’t regard the famous old arena with quite as much fondness after this frustrating loss.

It was the first time Solskjaer had played or managed at the Camp Nou since scoring the treble-clinching winner for United in the final seconds of the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Twenty years after the goal he has seen a “million times” since, lightning didn’t strike twice for the Norwegian.

“We are confident but humble enough to know it’s our hardest night of the season,” he said in a prescient comment just before kick-off.

United were aiming to overturn another first-leg deficit after their epic effort in recovering from 2-0 down to beat Paris Saint-Germain on away goals in the last 16.

But, crucially, Marcus Rashford hit the bar with a glorious chance to give United the lead inside 40 seconds and it wasn’t long before Lionel Messi put the tie beyond Solskjaer’s reach.

Messi feasts on English foes again

Lionel Messi extended his incredible record of tormenting Premier League clubs in the Champions League.

Messi has now scored 24 goals in 32 Champions League games against English opponents, more than any other player in the tournament.

Accelerating away from Fred, Messi was granted too much space by United defender Chris Smalling on the edge of the area and took full advantage with a superb low shot that flashed past David de Gea in the 16th minute.

It was a sweet moment of revenge for Messi, who suffered a facial injury in the first leg after a clash with Smalling.

Messi’s first Champions League quarter-final goal since April 2013 ended a run of 12 games at this stage without netting.

Just four minutes later, Messi effectively clinched Barca’s return to the semi-finals for the first time since 2015 with a helping hand from United keeper De Gea, whose woeful attempted save failed to stop the Argentine’s weak shot slip under his body.

Messi has 45 goals in 41 games in all competitions this season, with his 10 in the Champions League making him the tournament’s leading scorer in 2018-19.

With Messi on their side, it’s no wonder Barca are now unbeaten in 31 Champions League home games.

Liverpool remain the only Premier League club to win at the Camp Nou in 24 attempts dating back to February 2007.

Coutinho makes his point

Philippe Coutinho has endured a difficult time since moving to Barcelona for £142 million ($185 million) in January 2018, but the former Liverpool forward gave a timely reminder of his quality with a stunning strike to wrap up the victory.

Substituted during Barca’s recent win over Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou, Coutinho’s disappointing form reached a new low when he was whistled by a small section of his own fans.

But the Brazilian was handed a start against United as one of Barca’s front three instead of Ousmane Dembele, who has just recovered from a hamstring injury, and at last he showed a glimpse of the talent that made him such a favourite of United’s rivals at Anfield.

With Barca already well on the way to the last four by the 61st minute, Coutinho had nothing to lose when he unleased a majestic curling effort that raced into the top corner from 20 yards.

Coutinho seized the opportunity to emphasise that he won’t be affected by the doubters, celebrating the goal by sticking his fingers in both ears while staring at the crowd in a defiant gesture.


Gowon: We won’t be depending on fuel imports if my plan to build five refineries had worked

General Yakubu Gowon, a former military head of state, says Nigeria would not be dependent on fuel imports if plans by his administration to build five refineries had succeeded.

Nigeria currently imports most of the refined petroleum products in circulation through crude oil swap deals and falls prey to scarcity of the products from time to time.

The government owns four refineries with a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) but have been operating well below capacity, hitting an all-time low in 2017.

But speaking at the second annual Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) international conference in Lagos on Monday, Gowon said three refineries designed for local consumption were built during his rule between 1966 and 1975.

Gowon said one of the export-oriented refineries would have been dedicated to the local market to meet rising demand.

“During our time, we planned to build five export-oriented refineries to be able to deal with exporting of crude oil for refined products,” he said.

“But then, we had the three refineries–Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna–for home consumption.

“Today our consumption has grown more than the three refineries can do, and what would have happened is that we would transfer one of the export-oriented refineries to feed the local market.

“That is the way that it would have been.”

The former head of state hoped that the modular refineries coming on stream will reduce the nation’s dependence on petrol imports and bring an end to subsidy.

“With the modular refineries coming up, I hope things will improve and there will be reduction of our dependence on export of our crude oil for refined petroleum products as this has created a lot of problem like subsidy and other challenges,” he said.

“I hope the modular refinery will solve the problem.”

Oil slips to $71, hit by talk of higher OPEC+ production

Brent oil slipped to around $71 a barrel on Tuesday, pressured by expectations of higher U.S. inventories and concern about Russia’s willingness to stick with OPEC-led supply cuts.

Analysts on average expect U.S. crude stockpiles to have risen by 1.9 million barrels last week, the fourth straight increase.

The first of this week’s stockpile reports is due at 2030 GMT from the American Petroleum Institute.

“We have already seen these inventories going higher in the last week’s print,” said Naeem Aslam, Chief Market Analyst at TF Global Markets in London.

“The rising inventory data has raised many questions for investors – no one wants to see the oil glut again.”

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 12 cents at $71.06 a barrel at 0801 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained six cents to $63.46.

While OPEC-led supply cuts have boosted Brent by more than 30 per cent this year, gains have been limited by worries that slowing economic growth could weaken demand for fuel.

Oil also fell on Monday after comments from Russia raised concern that the OPEC-led supply-cutting pact may not be renewed.

Russia and the producer group may decide to boost output to fight for market share with the U.S., TASS news agency сited Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries   and other producers including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, have been cutting output since January 1.

They will decide in June whether to continue the arrangement.

“There is a growing concern that Russia will not agree on extending production cuts and we could see them officially abandon it in the coming months,” said Edward Moya, Senior Market Analyst at OANDA.

Court orders DSS to produce Dasuki on May 24 for trial

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an FCT High Court Maitama, on Tuesday, issued a production warrant to the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS) to produce Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) in court to face his trial on May 24.

Dasuki,  a former National Security Adviser (NSA) to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since 2015.

On trial with him are Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director, and two firms – Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital.

They are arraigned on 32 counts of criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and dishonest release and receiving of various sums of money to the tune of N33.3 billion.

The judge, Baba-Yusuf ordered for a production warrant to be issued on the Director General of DSS to produce Dasuki in court for his trial at the next adjourned date.

Production warrant is issued when a defendant is in the custody of the state as is in Dasuki‘s case.

The judge also ordered the prosecution to liaise with the DSS to produce the defendant whenever his matter comes up.

‘Hence, I will issue a production warrant to the DG, DSS to produce the defendant for his trial on the next adjourned date.

He then adjourned until May 24 for trial.

Earlier, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolegbe, had expressed surprises when he found out that Dasuki was not in court.

Atolegbe told the court that it was the duty of the DSS to produce the dependant who was in their custody.
Dasuki‘s counsel, Mr Victor Okwudiri, told the court that it was the duty of the prosecution to produce the defendant in court and it is their duty also to explain his absence.

Counsel for the second defendant , Mr Solomon Umoh (SAN), told the court that it was now a common knowledge that the defendant was in the custody of the state.

He said much as the ACJA allows for trial on absentia, this is an occasion where the law did not contemplate, ‘ My Lord can use his inherent power in two ways’

‘One issuance of production warrant and secondly, issuance of bench warrant ‘ the prosecution should find a way of producing the defendant in court’
he said .

Counsel for the third and fourth, Mr A Rilman and A. Ayodele, aligned with the learned silk.


We’ll offer asylum to ex-Sudanese president if he asks —Uganda Govt

Uganda is willing to offer asylum to former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should he apply, a state minister for foreign affairs on Tuesday said.

Henry Oryem, Uganda’s minister of state for international affairs, told the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs that the ousted leader is a guarantor to the South Sudan peace process.

“If Bashir applies for asylum here that is something the government of Uganda can consider because Bashir is a guarantor to our peace talks,” said.

Oryem, while presenting the ministry’s budget requirements for financial year 2019 to 2020 said, Bashir and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni are the guarantors to the peace deal in the neighbouring South Sudan.

“We wish and urge that Sudan should remain intact whatever happens, no one should have aspiration or desire for Sudan to break.

“This is what Uganda is urging, privately and publicly. We don’t under estimate that what happens in Sudan has an effect on Uganda.”

The minister said the authorities in Kampala were closely monitoring the ongoing events in Khartoum, where street protests have continued after the military removed Bashir from power last week.

“We are watching Sudan very closely and we classify Sudan as our immediate neighbour.

“The transition is very volatile and as far as we are concerned we urge the government in Sudan to respect the will of the people,” said Oryem.

The Sudanese army ousted and detained Bashir on April 11 in response to four months of nationwide protests against his three-decade rule. (Xinhua/NAN)

Appeal Court affirms conviction of Congolese for $551,225 money laundering

The Court of Appeal in Lagos Tuesday affirmed the conviction of a Congolese, Kutumisana Blaise, and the forfeiture of $551,225 to the federal government.

In a unanimous judgment, three justices of the appellate court l – Mohammed Garba, Tom Yakubu and Jamilu Tukur – upheld the July 7, 2015 verdict of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The appellate court further concurred with the decision of the lower court over the forfeiture of the money, saying that the said amount was properly forfeited to the Federal Government.

On why the judgment of the lower court was affirmed, Justice Yakubu, who read the lead judgment, said, “I have myself perused the pieces of evidence proffered by the witnesses at the court below vis-a-vis the findings made by the learned trial judge which ultimately culminated in the conviction of the appellant (Blaise).

“I am satisfied that those findings are clearly borne out of the evidence placed before his lordship. The findings are, to my mind, unassailable. I have no reason whatsoever to tamper or interfere with them. I affirm them accordingly. In the end, I resolve the sole issue in this appeal against the appellant.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had arraigned the convict on April 21, 2015 before Justice Buba.

EFCC counsel Abba Muhammed urged Justice Buba to convict Mr. Blaise, following his failure to declare the said $551,225 in his possession to the men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the point of entry into Nigeria.

According to Mr. Abba, Blaise’s action is contrary to Section 2 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No 1 of 2012.

In his judgement on July 7, 2015, Justice Buba upheld the argument of the EFCC’s lawyer and sentenced Mr. Blaise accordingly

The judge further directed that the said $551,225, which Mr. Blaise failed to declare, be forfeited to the federal government.

Dissatisfied with the verdict of Justice Buba, the convict approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos, for intervention, asking the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.