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JUST IN: PDP agent arrested for vote-buying in Osun

An agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been arrested for alleged vote-buying at ward 1, unit 1, Obada Ede local government area of the state.

The agent whose identity was not disclosed was said to have brought out money openly, forcing security operatives at the unit ti pick him up.

Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the PDP in the election is from the local government.

There have been allegations of inducement of voters by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP in the state.

More to follow…

‘I don’t believe foreigners are involved in Nigeria’s killings’ – French envoy contradicts Buhari

Denys Gauer, outgoing French ambassador to Nigeria, says he does not believe that foreigners are involved in the killings across the country.

The French’s envoy position contradicts that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had said that the killings are as a result of the influx of mercenaries from the Sahel region.

“It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region,” the president had said when Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, visited him in London back in April.

But speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Gauer said impunity is encouraging the killings in the country and those responsible must be punished.

The envoy spoke to journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day.

“The reason for the killings is demography; some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry,” he said.

“I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners are involved in the killings.

“The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen then, it cannot end.”

David Bamigboye, first military governor of Kwara, dies at 78

The first military governor of Kwara State, Brig.-Gen. David Bamigboye (rtd),  is dead.

The younger brother to the deceased, Col. Theophilus Bamigboye (rtd),  confirmed the death on Friday.

He said the former military governor died on Friday during a brief illness in Lagos.

The deceased was born on December 7, 1940, and was the  military governor of Kwara between May 1967  and  July 1975.

He was credited with establishing  the Kwara State Polytechnic in 1972.

FG abolishes payment of overstay fees by Nigerians with dual citizenship

The Federal Government has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to, with immediate effect, put an end to the payment of fines by Nigerians holding dual citizenship at the nation’s International Airports.

Interior Minister, Lt.- Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), stated this in a statement by Dr Mohammed Umar, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, in Abuja.
Umar said that the minister stated this in his office in Abuja.

Dambazau, in the statement, said that the directive was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to make movement easy for Nigerians with dual citizenship to come into their fatherland unhindered.

The statement quoted the minister as saying that ” as a new government policy, on no account should any Nigerian traveller holding dual citizenship pay fine for so-called overstay”.

The statement said that the minister restated that it was a crime to ask or pay any money in that regard.

Dambazau stressed that under the new policy, “citizens with dual nationality should only present both traveling documents of their countries of nationality to the immigration officials upon arrival and departure, regardless of whichever they are using to travel”.

He emphasised that the NIS should ensure immediate compliance with the new government directives as government would sanction any Immigration official found collecting such fines henceforth.

The statement said the minister further directed that Nigerians with dual citizenship should report any Immigration official who imposed such charges on them to the appropriate authorities.

Osun election: INEC clarifies ban on phone usage, warns against vote-buying

Less than 24 hours to the governorship election in Osun State, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has warned politicians not to misinterpret the commission’s electoral rules for their selfish aims.

Agbaje was reacting to the allegations that the commission had placed a total ban on the usage of mobile phones and cameras at polling units

Speaking on Friday at a press conference at the commission’s office in Osogbo, the state capital, the REC said it was not true that the commission had asked voters not to come to polling units with their phones.

He clarified that the commission only asked voters not to hold their phones inside the voting cubicle, in a bid to curb vote-buying, a phenomenon that has marred elections in the past.

He said, “It is important to once again clear the air on some baseless allegations being peddled around by some critical stakeholders, such as the banning of phones and other cameras at the polling unit; giving out of uncollected Permanent Voter Cards to a certain political party; preparing the Smart Card Readers to favour a particular political party; and that INEC will be biased during the election.

The allegations are not true. They are figments of the imaginations of those that made them, as they have not been able to substantiate them as I speak to you. INEC did not place a ban on phones and other camera devices at the polling units.

“What INEC said is that voters should not carry their phones or other camera devices into the voting cubicles where the voter will mark the ballot so as to safeguard the secrecy of the ballot.

“Voters are free to come with their phones and other camera devices; what we are saying is that at the cubicle where they will be casting their votes, they can’t be allowed to go in with anything except the voting materials.”

Agbaje also warned politicians and voters against vote-buying, and vote-selling, saying the commission was ready to unleash the full wrath of the law on anyone found doing so.

PDP: Nine APC governors currently in Osun to rig Saturday’s election

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says nine All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have invaded Osun state to rig Saturday’s governorship election in favor of the APC.

Ayo Fadaka, south west zonal publicity secretary of the party, said this in a statement on Friday.

He accused the governors of causing disquiet in the state, saying this development is capable of leading to unforeseen developments.

“We wish to bring to the notice of Nigerians that Osun State has again been invaded by nine APC governors who continue to remain the arrow head and catalyst of its rigging machines across the nation,” the statement read.

“They brought into Osun State public funds meant for the development of their individual States to come and buy votes again as done recently in Ekiti State, accompanying them are thugs whose only mission is to cause mayhem in the State during the elections.

“These Governors are led by Alhaji Ganduje and Mr El’Rufai of Kaduna and there nine of them presently on ground. It is sad that the APC continues to pride itself in this malfeasance of wholesale bribery in spite of its so called battle against corruption.

“We however encourage the people of Osun State to take a hard stance against these Governors who have abandoned their duty post with a view to corrupting them.”

Osun election: PDP in panic mode, says Lai Mohammed 

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has slipped into panic mode over the Osun state governorship election.

The election is scheduled for Saturday.

In a statement on Friday, Mohammed who is chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign council for the election, said the opposition party is jittery because it did not prepare for the poll.

The minister said the allegations by the PDP that the APC is planning to rig the election could not be substantiated.

“The PDP and some of its top members have accused INEC, the police and other security agencies as well as the NYSC of all sorts of things. They have made allegations of thuggery and rigging against the APC,” the statement read.

“None of the accusations has been substantiated. If only the party had invested its energy in preparing for the election, it may not have become so jittery.

“Unfortunately, the die is cast and the PDP has seen the handwriting on the wall, hence the party’s slip into the panic mode.

“On our part, we have confidence in the various institutions saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a successful election in Osun state. We have no need for thuggery or rigging because the people are solidly behind us.”

CBN revokes Skye Bank’s licence, floats Polaris Bank to take over assets

The Central Bank of Nigeria has withdrawn the operating licence of Skye Bank.

Umaru Ibrahim, chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), made this known to journalists on Friday.

Umaru said the NDIC in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved that a bridge bank will be established.

Addressing journalists, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, said the bridge bank, Polaris Bank, will take on the assets and liabilities of  Skye Bank.

“Consequently, Polaris Bank Limited has been issued operating licence by the CBN and shall commence banking business from today, Friday, 21st September,” Umaru said.

“The operating license of Skye Bank has been revoked by the governor of the Central Bank and the NDIC has commenced its liquidation. The capitalisation of Polaris Bank Limited is being done by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria through the injection of about N786 billion to return the bank to soundness and profitability so as to enable its subsequent sale to credible and financially sound third-party acquirers.”

Emefiele said that although the bank’s performance improved after July 2016 when the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria and the CBN stepped in.

“The result of our examinations and forensic audit of the bank revealed that the Skye Bank requires urgent recapitalisation as it can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN.

“We wish to assure all depositors that under this arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Monday, 24th September 2018, to ensure customers to transact their businesses seamlessly.”

The shares of Skye Bank will be temporarily suspended on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Polaris Bank will begin operations on Monday in all Skye Bank offices.

Police recover $470.5m, N8bn NNPC funds hidden in commercial banks

The police said they had recovered $470.5m belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s Brass Liquefied Natural Gas hidden in some commercial banks in violation of the directives of the Federal Government on Treasury Single Account, TSA.

The force disclosed that another N8.8bn belonging to the NNPC/LNG which was also not remitted to the TSA Account was equally recovered.

The police spokesman, acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, said in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, that the police, in addition, recovered N114.2m from 23 electoral officers in connection with December 10, 2016, National and State Assembly re-run election in Rivers State.

He said, “As a result of these efforts, the Nigeria Police Force recovered the following monetary and non-monetary assets for the Federal Government:

“The sum of $470,519,889.10 belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG investment hidden in some commercial banks after the directives of the Federal Government on TSA.”

Osun election: Confusion in SDP, ADP, ADC over ‘alliance’

Supporters of three major parties participating in tomorrow’s Osun State governorship election, were thrown into confusion following the rumour that they had formed an alliance.

Radio stations were broadcasting the denial of such an alliance by no fewer than three of the five prominent candidates.

The candidates are Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Moshood Adeoti of the African Democratic Party (ADP) and Fatai Akinbade of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).

At a briefing in Osogbo, the state capital, Omisore, who spoke for the three candidates, said Adeoti and Akinbade did not step down for him, adding that what they had was an alliance for a credible election.

He accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of intimidating would-be voters at rallies.

The APC denied the allegation.

Its spokesman Kunle Oyatomi described the “gang-up” of opposition parties as a “house of commotion”.

Speaking on the telephone last night, Oyatomi said: “We in the APC do not see any threat to whatever the opposition or a coalition of them is doing.

“We are bigger than all of them put together. We will win the election because we have a lot to show as achievements.

“We defeated them in 2014 when the PDP in this state was formidable. Now they are split into pieces. They will lose. They are jittery and are pretenders.

“They are people who lack vision and mission. That is why they have reduced the campaign to only payment of salaries.”

Omisore said: “APC has been boasting that they will rig election. So, these three parties, in spite of the differences in their names and candidates, still believe that the election must be credible. That’s why we signed the protocol. It is incumbent on these other parties, being leading opposition parties in the state, to publicly ask the people of Osun State to be vigilant as they cast their votes to prevent malpractices. We just want sincerity, credibility and fairness at the poll.”

Omisore said each of the three parties would run its election by itself, but that there was need to encourage voters across the state not to be intimidated in any way because they are committed to free and fair election tomorrow.

But when asked to provide evidence of the alleged intimidation by the governing party, Omisore said the declarations made by the APC at its rallies were pure intimidation which could discourage the masses from coming out to cast their votes. “We watched it on Channels Television as they said those things. So, it is public knowledge, nothing that requires any documentary evidence,” he said.

While denying withdrawing from the election, Adeoti, in a statement by his spokesman, Kayode Agbaje, said he had no discussion with any other candidate about standing down, affirming that he remained a candidate in the election.

“The attention of the Moshood Adeoti Campaign Organisation (MACO) has been drawn to a rumour currently gaining ground in Osun State that our principal and governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, has withdrawn his participation from the race in favour of Senator Iyiola Omisore, the candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

“We wish to reiterate that at no time was our canadidate contacted for such and that the ADP and Alhaji Adeoti harbour no such plans. We still stand resolutely behind our resolve to contest and by God’s grace win the election.”

Akin bade also debunked the insinuations that he had stepped down for Omisore. His Media Officer said: “Akinbade is in the race for good. The people of Osun are itching to have him as their next governor. This they hope to translate come Saturday, September 22, through their worthy votes.”

According to Akinbade, the rumour is malicious and insulting to the ADC political family. “Our main focus is the execution of the Sept. 22, 2018 election to success. The people of Osun State are rooting for the victory of Alhaji Fatai Akinbade and this will be proved by their massive votes on Saturday. You are requested to remain resolute and cast your votes for the ADC on Saturday.”

The statement condemned what it described as “dirty” and “cheap” politics embarked upon by those”afraid of their own political shadow.”