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JUST IN: UNILAG building on fire

A building under construction in the University of Lagos is currently on fire, Sahara Reporters is reporting..

This is coming three days after a section of Creative Art Department of the Faculty of Arts caught fire.

The building, located near the Faculty of Education, is being constructed as a hostel for students of the institution. It erupted in flames moments ago.

The source of the fire is unknown as fire fighters are currently battling to put out the fire.

Supplementary elections: ‘I believe in people’s will’ –Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says he believes in the will of the people and cannot put pressure on voters to elect leaders they do not like.

Buhari’s statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, dismissed insinuations that he is forcing voters to elect candidates other than those they prefer during the supplementary elections scheduled for 17 states on March 23.

The President said at no time did he give instructions that the electorate should vote particular candidates.

The President assured Nigerians that he was ready to work with elected representatives of the people, regardless of party platforms on which they were elected.

President Buhari said he would work in the best interest of the country and democracy.

President Buhari, who thanked voters for re-electing him for a second term in office, said he would never forget their sacrifices in defying harsh weather conditions to vote for him.

He said: ‘‘I was deeply overwhelmed by your show of incredible confidence in me, and I will never let you down. Thank you for your sincere show of support for me.’’

President Buhari, however, appealed to voters not to get tired of coming out to vote in the supplementary elections, adding, ‘‘these elections are no less important than others before them.’’

He appealed to voters to vote for the candidates they believe would deliver on promises because, “it is your constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights.”

President Buhari also called on INEC and security agencies to ensure that the supplementary elections are conducted peacefully and in accordance with the law and constitution.

He, therefore, called on the electorate to come out en masse and participate in the supplementary elections.

(NAN)

How election petitions tribunal reached its verdict on Osun Gov poll

In a split judgement, the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Apo, on Friday, nullified the election of the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola; and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to him as winner of the September 2018 election.

However, the chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, upheld the whole election.

In the majority judgment delivered by Justice Peter Obiara, the tribunal set aside the rerun election conducted on September 27, 2018 for being unlawful.

Justice Obiora held that the poll conducted in the seven units is unknown by law because INEC has no power to conduct it.

The tribunal declared candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party’, Ademola Adeleke, in the governorship election as the duly elected governor and ordered INEC to immediately issue him the Certificate of Return.

The tribunal agreed that PDP and Adeleke established beyond reasonable doubt that INEC did not comply substantially with the Electoral Act in 17 polling units.

Consequently, over 2,000 votes credited to the All Progressives Congress and Governor Oyetola by INEC were deducted by the tribunal, while over 1,000 votes said to have been scored by the PDP and its candidate were also removed from their total votes.

The majority judgment held that the returning officer who cancelled the result in the affected units after the announcement had no power to have done so.

NAN reports that Prof. Joseph Fuwape, vice chancellor of the University of Technology, Akure was the Returning Officer for the September 22 election

Fuwape said the election was inconclusive because 3498 votes were cancelled as a result of ballot box snatching that occurred in some polling units during the election.

The affected polling units were Ife North (one polling unit), Ife south (two polling units), Orolu (three polling units) and Osogbo (one polling unit).

According to Fuwape, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Part scored 254,698 votes, while Gboyega Oyetola, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, scored 254, 345 votes. He thus called for rerun elections at the polling units where results were cancelled.

The majority judgment after deductions of the votes recorded in the rerun poll gave Adeleke’s score as 253,777 and Oyetola’s as 253,476.

In the minority judgment, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, Chairman of the tribunal, held that the petitioners, PDP and Adeleke failed to prove how the non-compliance of non-recording in the columns of accredited votes and account of ballots in the result sheets substantially affected the final results.

He further stated that even when non substantial compliance affects the outcome of the election, the tribunal, by virtue of Section 140(2) of the Electoral Act, does not have the power to subtract the votes affected by the non-compliance from the scores of the candidates and announce a winner.

According to him the tribunal only has the power to nullify the results of the Polling units affected by the noncompliance and order a supplementary poll.

He concluded that even if the non-compliance was substantial, it was not proved by the petitioners

Earlier, in a ruling on an objection filed against the petition by APC, Oyetola and INEC, the tribunal held that the objection was misconceived and that the tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

The objection was consequently dismissed by the tribunal.

(NAN)

NSCDC appeals for peace over killing of personnel by police in Abuja

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have called for calm after the alleged killing of the corps personnel by two officers of the Nigeria Police Force.

The Corps Commandant-General, Abdullahi Gana, made the appeal in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria by the Corps Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Okeh on Friday in Abuja.

NAN reports that an NSCDC Assistant Superintendent, Ogar Jumbo, was beaten to death by two policemen at Nyanya on Wednesday in Abuja.

NSCDC FCT Commandant, Solomon Iyamu while addressing personnel at the FCT Command quoted the CG as making the appeal after the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr Bala Ciroma had visited him in his Office.

Gana had revealed that the miatter was being addressed by the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Adamu in collaboration with him.

”There is need to exercise restraint in other to avoid an escalation of the situation.

“There is no existing rancour between the Nigeria Police and the NSCDC,” he said.

(NAN)

Tribunal judgment already on appeal, says Osun Gov Oyetola

Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State says the judgment of Election Petition Tribunal that sacked him has been put on appeal.

Oyetola, in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Wole Oyebamiji, on Friday in Osogbo said justice will prevail.

The statement read: “The Government of the State of Osun wishes to appreciate the teeming support of the majority of the people in all things essential for mutual progress.

“As it is, the administration of His Excellency, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, Governor, State of Osun, wishes to assure the people that the judgment of the Election Tribunal has been put on appeal.

“This is to further assure all the residents of the state of adequate security of lives and properties, as the Government of the State is still the only legitimate government having the authority to govern the State.

“We assure all our people that justice will prevail at last, and the law enforcement agencies have been instructed to maintain law and order across the state.

“We therefore urge all the residents of the state to go about their lawful duties without any hindrance.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Friday, declared Adeleke winner.

The three-member panel held that the rerun election that held on September 27, 2018, was illegal.

The tribunal, therefore, deducted the votes scored by the APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, in the rerun after declaring the rerun illegal.

The tribunal said Adeleke won the election at the first ballot on September 22 and the rerun that INEC devised to reach a final conclusion a week later was illegal.

“The declaration of Oyetola is null and void,” the tribunal ruled in a majority decision with one member dissenting.

French mayor quits over nude photos sent to woman

A mayor in northwest France close to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has resigned after several nude pictures of him were released by a woman who claims she was the victim of unwanted advances.

Philippe’s office Friday welcomed the resignation, describing it as a “responsible decision”.

Luc Lemonnier, a 50-year-old father of four who replaced Philippe as mayor of the Channel port city of Le Havre in 2017, announced his resignation on Thursday in order to “protect his family.”

He denied improper behaviour, saying “the exchange of messages occurred without any coercive intent and between consenting adults.”

Lemonnier had filed a libel suit last June over the publication of the text messages, though prosecutors later dropped the case.

“Municipal council members received a picture of the mayor along with a description of behaviours which he denies,” Lemonnier’s lawyer Christian Saint-Palais told AFP.

But the woman who released the photos said she felt she had no other option.

“It was a very difficult situation,” she told a local radio station this week, on condition of anonymity.

“I’ve been married for more than 20 years, I have children and our relationship is fulfilling — I was not involved at all in any games of seduction,” she said.

The mayor’s resignation is an embarrassment for the centrist Republic on the Move government which is hoping to win over Philippe’s former political stronghold in the 2020 municipal elections.

Before signing on as prime minister to President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, Philippe served, both as mayor and as a member of parliament for Le Havre, as a member of the conservative party the Republicans.

New Zealand PM Ardern receives death threats

The New Zealand Police are investigating death threats sent to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on social media, local media reported on Friday.

A Twitter post containing a photo of a gun and caption “You are next’’ was sent to the prime minister.

The post had been up for over 48 hours before the sender’s Twitter account was suspended after it was reported by various people.

According to the report, the suspended account contained anti-Islamic contents and white supremacist hate speeches.

Terror attacks hit New zealand’s Christchurch recently, killing no fewer than 50 people and injuring 50 others.

In the aftermath of the terror attacks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to change the gun law in the country.

Ardern announced on Thursday that military style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles are to be banned in New Zealand.

Kenyan President Kenyatta quits social media

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday suspended his social media accounts citing infiltration by unauthorised individuals.

Kenyatta has been active on social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook, where he has millions of followers, earning the tag ‘digital president’.

“On the account of unauthorised access to official social media handles of the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, all official social media handles of the president have been suspended.

“Although remedial measures were being taken to restore them,’’ Nzioka Waita, State House Chief of Staff, said in a statement posted on social media.

Kenyatta, before the suspension, had posted on Twitter and Facebook his resolve to fight corrupt officials noting he will not spare even his friends, a message that generated heated reactions.

The Kenyan leader has pledged to reinvigorate the war against graft during his second and final term in office.

BREAKING: Dokpesi arrested at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport

Founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, has been arrested at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

Dokpesi was arrested on Friday on arrival in Nigeria after receiving medical treatment at the American Hospital, Dubai.

Reasons for his arrest remain unknown. However, an immigration officer was quoted as saying that Dokpesi was on the security watch list of the federal government.

The officer added that order had been given to have the businessman arrested on arrival.

Atiku celebrates PDP’s victory at Osun tribunal

Atiku Abuabakr, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has affirmed his confidence in the judiciary.

Reacting to the victory of Ademola Adeleke, governorship candidate of the PDP in the Osun state governorship election, at the tribunal, Atiku said truly, the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.

The tribunal had revoked the victory of Isiaka Oyetola, incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September election.

It declared the supplementary election which INEC held as illegal, directing the commission to issue a fresh certificate of return to Adeleke and withdraw the one given to Oyetola.

Atiku congratulated the PDP candidate and commended the judiciary.

“Truly, the judiciary is the last hope of the common man and the defender of our democracy. Congratulations Sen. Ademola Adeleke,” he tweeted.

Atiku is currently at the tribunal to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 election.

INEC had declared Buhari winner of the election, saying he polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku who had 11,262,978 votes.

Atiku had rejected the result, alleging widespread irregularities. He had asked the tribunal to declare him authentic winner of the election or order that a fresh poll be conducted.

He and his party said data from the server of INEC showed the true and correct results from state to state computation.

He said he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who reportedly polled 16,741,430 votes.

The case is ongoing.

BREAKING: Tribunal declares PDP’s Adeleke winner of 2018 Osun Gov election

The Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja has declared as winner Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the 2018 governorship election in the state, Ademola Adeleke.

At its sitting on Friday, it held that the rerun election conducted in the state after the initial poll was illegal.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced Gboyega Oyetola as winner of the September 2018 election.

But the PDP and Adeleke filed a petition at the tribunal challenging Oyetola’s victory.

A three-man panel of the tribunal led by Ibrahim Sirajo, a judge, held that Oyetola was not validly returned as the winner of the election.

More to follow…

Access Bank issues Africa’s first corporate green bond

Access Bank Plc has issued a five-year fixed rate senior unsecured green bond to the tune of N15 billion making it the first corporate green bond to be issued in Africa.

The bond offer, which was achieved by a bookbuild and was fully subscribed, was priced at 15.5% with participation from asset managers and pension fund administrators.

The bond has already been awarded an Aa-rating by Agusto & Co.

In anticipation of the issuance, the management of Access Bank had launched the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme in partnership with FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Securities & Exchange Commission.

“With our pace-setting experience in the mainstreaming of sustainability in our business operations, we are confident that this issue with further help in supporting environmentally friendly investors to meet their investment objectives whilst simultaneously supporting the Bank’s customer towards realizing growth opportunities in a fast-developing low carbon economy,” Hebert Wigwe, the bank’s group managing director, said at the signing ceremony.

The bank said the new funding will be directed towards financing new loans and refinancing existing loans in accordance with the bank’s green bond framework, and support projects directed at flood defence, solar generation facilities and agriculture.

Chapel Hill Denham was the lead issuing house on the green bond issuance, whilst the joint issuing house was Coronation Merchant Bank.

Cadbury Nigeria gets first female MD in 50 years

Cadbury Nigeria Plc has appointed Oyeyimika Adeboye as its first female managing director since the company was established over 50 years ago.

According to a notice posted on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday, Adeboye’s appointment is effective from April 1.

She takes over from Amir Shamsi, who moves on to a new role within Mondelēz International, the parent company of Cadbury Nigeria.

Commenting on Shamsi’s time at Cadbury Nigeria, the company said: “During his tenure as Managing Director, Mr Shamsi made an invaluable contribution to the turnaround of the business, and drove Cadbury’s growth agenda with respect to top-line, bottom line, and talent.”

On Adeboye’s appointment, the company said it remains committed to “promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Adeboye joins a growing list of top female executives at the helm of affairs in multinational companies with operations in Nigeria.

Trained as a chartered accountant, the new Cadbury Nigeria MD joined the board of the company in November 2008, as finance and strategy director, West Africa.

Before then, she was the director of finance and chief financial officer of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc.

A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria, Adeboye has a track record in finance, strategy and business administration both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Ogaga Ologe, formerly the financial controller, Cadbury Nigeria, has also been appointed as finance director with effect from April 1.

Ologe joined Cadbury Nigeria in 2012, from KPMG Professional Services where he led the audit of the financial statements for many multinationals.

Breaking: Tribunal dismisses Oyetola, INEC’s objections to Adeleke, PDP’s petition

The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja on Friday dismissed the separate objections filed by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission against the petition challenging their victory at the September 2018 election.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate in the election filed the petition urging the tribunal to declare that he polled the highest lawful votes and should be declared the winner.

But Oyetola, APC and INEC filed their notices of preliminary objection contending the court’s jurisdiction and petition’s competence.

Delivering the‎ lead ruling of the three-man tribunal, Justice Peter Obi, dismissed objections as misconceived before striking them out.

The tribunal added that the tribunal had jurisdiction to hear the petition.

There are two other reserved rulings the tribunal is to deliver before delving into the merit of the petition.

More to follow …

INEC lists condition to give Okorocha certificate of return

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has listed the only condition under which it will issue a certificate of return to Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state.

At a press conference in Abuja, Festus Okoye, chairman of INEC information and voter education committee, said the commission will issue a certificate of return to Okorocha if directed by the court to do so.

Francis Ibeawuchi, returning officer for Imo west senatorial election, had announced Okorocha as winner of the poll.

But INEC declined to give Okorocha a certificate of return because Ibeawuchi said he declared him winner under duress.

This prompted Okorocha tosue the commission. In a suit filed at a federal high court in Abuja, the governor asked the court to rule that INEC has no power to withhold his certificate of return and to grant an order mandating the commission to issue it to him.

When asked to comment on the matter, Okoye said the commission’s stance that it will not reward bad conduct remains the same.

He said: “The position of the commission has not changed. The position of the commission is that we will not issue certificate of return to Governor Rochas Okorocha in relation to the senatorial election.

“Since the matter is already in court, the best thing to do is not to prejudge the matter that is in court, but to allow the judicial processes to run through.

“If at the end of the day, the court gives an order that we should give him his certificate of return, of course, the commission will obey such a court order.

“If on the other hand, the court takes a different position and makes other consequential orders in relation to the conduct of the elections in Imo West, we will also comply with whatever order the court gives.

“As of today, the matter is pending in court, the best thing to do is to wait for the outcome of the judicial process.”

FULL LIST: 18 states where supplementary elections will hold

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Saturday’s supplementary elections will take place in 18 states.

A document released by INEC on Thursday showed supplementary governorship polls will hold in five states including Bauchi (14 LGAs), Benue (22 LGAs, Plateau (9 LGAs) Kano (29 LGAs) and Sokoto (22 LGAs)

It said although an Adamawa state high court directed the suspension of supplementary election in the state, the exercise will hold for two constituencies for the house of assembly election.

“In Adamawa state, elections will hold in Nassarawo-Binyeri State Constituency of Mayo Belwa LGA, which was
countermanded as required by the Electoral Act following the death of a candidate on the eve of the Governorship and State assembly elections held on 9th March 2019,” the document read.

“Supplementary election will also hold in Uba/Gaya State Constituency in Hong LGA. In Bauchi State, supplementary elections will hold in Kirfi State Constituency of Kirfi LGA.”

The commission said supplementary  election for state constituencies will hold in 18 states.

TheCable observed the total number of voters to participate in the supplementary election for state constituencies stand at 585,138.

Below is the list of states, affected LGAs and number of registered voters there:

  • Bauchi (one LGA, 1,111 voters)
  • Bayelsa (three LGAs, 58,270 voters)
  • Benue (nine LGAs, 91,141 voters)
  • Ebonyi (three LGAs, 45,905 voters)
  • Edo (one LGA, 6,764 voters)
  • Ekiti (one LGA, 2,244 voters)
  • Kaduna (one LGA, 7,514 voters)
  • Adamawa (two LGAs, 49,588 voters)
  • Kano (one LGA, 40,821 voters)
  • Kogi (three LGAs, 24,637 voters)
  • Imo (five LGAs, 118,372 voters)
  • Lagos (one LGA, 12,711 voters)
  • Nasarawa (four LGAs, 43,874 voters)
  • Osun (one LGA, 2,485 voters)
  • Plateau (one LGA, 5,501 voters)
  • Sokoto (two LGAs, 24,492 voters)
  • Taraba (two LGAs, 19,912)
  • FCT (four LGAs, 29,796 voters)

‘Bauchi gov wants to set me up’ — Dogara writes IG

Hon. Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, has alleged that Mohammed Abubakar, governor of Bauchi state, is plotting to implicate him in criminal conspiracy.

In a letter dated March 21, the speaker told Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of Police (IGP), and Yusuf Bichi, director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), that he has credible information of an ongoing plot to give motorbikes and cars branded in his name to some “criminals”.

Dogara and Abubakar fell out shortly after the 2015 elections but their animosity worsened in the buildup to the supplementary election.

Dogara is fully behind Bala Mohammed, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who secured the highest votes cast in the March 9 election declared inconclusive.

“I write to inform the Inspector General of Police that I am in receipt of credible intelligence about an ongoing plot by Bauchi State government to implicate me in a criminal conspiracy,” Dogara said.

“The Bauchi State government has procured hundreds of motorbikes and cars which are being branded in the Government House Bauchi with my pictures and logo of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and my name inscribed.

“The plan is that the Bauchi State government will engage some criminal elements and give them the branded motorbikes and cars which they will use to commit crime and thereafter abandon them at the scene so as to implicate me.

“I am, by this letter, putting the Police and other security agencies on notice so as to be on the watch out for these criminal elements intended to be deployed by Bauchi State Government.”

INEC secures vacation of court orders, says supplementary election will hold in Bauchi, Adamawa

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that the supplementary governorship election earlier scheduled to hold in Bauchi and Adamawa states will still hold, even though the issue has become a subject of litigation.

The litigation on the Bauchi governorship election, INEC said, was initiated by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Mohammed Abubakar.

Taking to its verified Twitter handle @inecnigeria on Thursday, INEC said an interlocutory injunction to suspend the process has been served on the Commission by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

“While the Commission has complied in accordance with its policy to obey all court orders in deference to the rule of law, it has also taken urgent steps to vacate the order and dismiss the action,” INEC said.

It noted that the litigation and consequential order only affect the collation of results for the governorship election in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area.

“Consequently, the supplementary elections will proceed as scheduled on Saturday, 23 March in the other 15 Local Government Areas of Bauchi State as well as the Kirfi State Constituency Supplementary Election in Kirfi Local Government Area,” the Commission said

Similarly, INEC said, the Adamawa State High Court had issued an injunction restraining the Commission from proceeding with the supplementary election following the application by the Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy, a registered political party which did not take part in the main election.

It said that though the Commission had also complied with the order, it has also taken steps to vacate it and dismiss the action.

“Notwithstanding the legal action over the Supplementary Governorship election, elections will hold in Nassarawo/Binyeri State Constituency in Mayo–Belwa Local Government Area where the election had to be countermanded following the death of a candidate before the polls, as well as the supplementary State Constituency election and Uba/Gaya State Constituency in Hong Local Government Area,” INEC said.

Revealed: Captain of crashed 737 Max 8 plane untrained

The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight did not practise on a new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he died in a crash with 157 others, a pilot colleague said.

Yared Getachew, 29, was due for refresher training at the end of March, his colleague told Reuters, two months after Ethiopian Airlines had received one of the first such simulators being distributed.

The March 10 disaster, following another MAX 8 crash in Indonesia in October, has set off one of the biggest inquiries in aviation history, focused on the safety of a new automated system and whether crews understood it properly.

In both cases, the pilots lost control soon after take-off and fought a losing battle to stop their jets plunging down.

The MAX, which came into service two years ago, has a new automated system called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System). It is meant to prevent loss of lift which can cause an aerodynamic stall sending the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way.

“Boeing did not send manuals on MCAS,” the Ethiopian Airlines pilot told Reuters in a hotel lobby, declining to give his name as staff have been told not to speak in public.

“Actually we know more about the MCAS system from the media than from Boeing.”

Under unprecedented scrutiny and with its MAX fleet grounded worldwide, the world’s largest planemaker has said airlines were given guidance on how to respond to the activation of MCAS software. It is also promising a swift update.

Ethiopian Airlines said on Thursday its pilots had completed training recommended by Boeing and approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on differences between the previous 737 NG aircraft and the 737 MAX version.

They were also briefed on an emergency directive after the Indonesia crash, which was incorporated into manuals and procedures, it said in a tweet. The 737 MAX simulator was not designed to replicate the MCAS system problems, it added.

“We urge all concerned to refrain from making such uninformed, incorrect, irresponsible and misleading statements during the period of the accident investigation,” it said.

TRAINING QUESTIONS

Globally, most commercial airline pilots refresh training in simulators every six months. In the Ethiopian crash, it was not clear if Yared’s colleague – First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed, 25, who also died in the crash – had used the new simulator.

It was also not clear if Yared or Ahmednur would have been trained on that simulator or an older one for 737s that their airline also owned.

“I think that the differences between the 737 NG and the MAX were underplayed by Boeing,” said John Cox, an aviation safety consultant, former U.S. Airways pilot and former air safety chairman of the U.S. Airline Pilots Association.

“Consequently the simulator manufacturers were not pushing it either. The operators didn’t realize the magnitude of the differences,” he told Reuters in a communication over the Ethiopian pilot’s remarks.

The 737 MAX 8 was introduced into commercial service in 2017, but pilots of older 737s were only required to have computer-based training to switch, according to Boeing, airlines, unions and regulators.

By December, two months after the Lion Air crash that killed 189 people off Jakarta, the main simulator producer CAE Inc of Canada said it had delivered just four MAX simulators to airlines.

At that time, CAE had orders from airlines globally for 30 MAX simulators, which cost between $6 million and $15 million each depending on customization.

The world’s largest 737 operator, Southwest Airlines Co, will not have its first MAX simulator ready for use until October, its pilot union said on Wednesday.

“It is still very disturbing to us that Boeing did not disclose MCAS to the operators and pilots,” the association told members in a memo seen by Reuters.

Reuters

BREAKING: INEC fixes April 13 for Rivers rerun

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the rerun in Rivers state for April 13.

Festus Okoye, INEC commissioner for information and voter education, announced this at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

More to follow…