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Why I can’t take sides in Ganduje, Sanusi feud – Shettima

Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno state, has denied speaking in support of the creation of additional emirates in Kano state.

Speaking with reporters at the end of a meeting of the Northern Governors’ Forum  in Kaduna, Shettima said he has a special relationship with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of the state, and Muhammadu Sanusi, emir of Kano, and cannot take sides in the controversy.

Ganduje had appointed four new emirs in the state, an action believed to be as a result of getting back at Sanusi who reportedly worked against the governor’s reelection.

Shettima, however, said he is indebted to the governor and the monarch, saying while Ganduje adopted 200 Borno orphans, Sanusi brought Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, to his state for humanitarian assistance.

He said he could not speak ill of them.

“Fact is that I could never have supported the development in Kano emirate or spoken against the governor. Governor Ganduje and his highness, the emir of Kano have done some things that are eternally dear to the people of Borno, to me in particular,” he said.

“Governor Ganduje has adopted and granted lifetime scholarship from primary to university levels to 200 orphans from Borno state whose parents were killed by Boko Haram. These children are provided with accommodation, feeding and being given very good ‎education in Kano state under a special welfare programme that the governor approved. ‎

“On the other hand, the emir of Kano was our main link to Alhaji Aliko Dangote. In 2016, the emir was in Borno and on seeing the humanitarian situation, he spoke to Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Dangote has been to Borno state more than three times. He has given the highest individual and private sector support to our humanitarian course and I will never forget that the emir of Kano was the link.

“As CBN governor, the emir brought the CBN entrepreneurship development center to Borno state back in 2013 or so. He helped in raising global local and global awareness to our situation in Borno. I will never forget the empathy shown to us by the Emir of Kano as well as Governor Ganduje and this is why I play the role of a bridge builder.”

Shettima said northern governors are making background moves to ensure that the rift between the governor and monarch is settled.

“And then, we governors have one unwritten policy. We don’t openly interfere with the issues of one another. We only play background roles to lobby and appeal,” he said.

“The northern governors did play a role sometime back over the same Kano emirate and we are still working underground because I cannot dictate to Ganduje how he should run Kano but we can work underground as bridge builders.

“God willing the governor and the emir will come back together as one.”

FG to shut Enugu airport for ‘security reasons’

Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, says the Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu will be shut down due to security reasons.

Speaking on Friday at the stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, the minister listed the security challenges at the airport to include bad runway, proximity to a market and the wrong location of the state’s radio mast.

He said the challenges pose a great risk to lives, hence the need to shut down the airport.

He appealed to the state government to remove the market and radio masts.

The minister also said the government had contracted Julius Berger to renovate Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos at the project cost of N14bn.

“The Lagos airport was built to handle N200,000 people but today Lagos airport is handling eight million people. So it must collapse. Julius Berger will help give it the new look it requires,” he said.

“The airport generates most of the income, so it is only right we give it facelift it requires.”

He said the new Lagos airport terminal will be completed by the end of the year so some airport operators will be moved to the new terminal.

Okorocha’s suit: Court orders lawyer to produce certificate of mental fitness

A Federal High Court Abuja on Friday ordered a lawyer, Orji Nwafor-Orizu, to produce a certificate of mental fitness confirming he is fit to appear in court.

Mr Nwafor-Orizu had at previous sittings announced himself as counsel representing Osita Izunaso, the third defendant in the ongoing certificate of return suit filed by Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

The judge, Okon Abang, made the order following what he described as Mr Nwafor-Orizu displaying conduct not befitting of a senior counsel.

“On account of Nwafor-Orizu’s conduct, not being counsel on record, and displaying such conduct not worthy of a senior counsel, he shall not be allowed to appear as a counsel in this matter, or any other court, unless and until he furnishes the court with a medical report from a government psychiatric hospital certifying him to be mentally fit.

“He shall also sign an undertaking and serve on all counsel that he shall henceforth be of good conduct and until then, S.M Anichebe shall appear as counsel to the third defendant,” the judge said.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, counsel to all parties announced their appearance following which the judge called on Okorocha’s counsel, Kehinde Ogunwumiji, SAN, to complete his submission which he started on Thursday.

Mr Nwafor-Orizu then came into the court at this point and insisted that he must be heard since he had a process from the Court of Appeal stopping proceedings in the matter.

The judge asked him to sit and allow Mr Okorocha’s counsel to continue his argument but the lawyer insisted saying; “the court will not proceed until my motion is heard.”

The judge warned that he was frustrating his proceedings and should desist from any further antics.

Following the warning, the judge rose for about five minutes and when he resumed, he asked the security personnel in the court to watch Nwafor-Orizu closely saying he didn’t feel safe with him in court.

The judge said he felt unsafe because he was not sure of the mental state of the lawyer, adding that no sane lawyer would act in the manner he did since he had not announced himself on record and yet was insisting to be heard.

He asked the security personnel to be ready to remove him from the court should he display such conduct again, and where he resisted, he should be arrested.

Mr Abang also sent for court’s doctor and informed her to be on standby as he might need to send a lawyer to her to ascertain the lawyer’s mental fitness.

In spite of pleas from N.A Nwawuche (SAN), counsel to the second defendant that the court should pardon Mr Nwafor-Orizu’s behavior, the judge said he would only acknowledge him after he presented a certificate of mental fitness.

30-year-old father of 11 stabbed to death by 20-year-old man

A 20-year-old man has been convicted in the stabbing death of a 30-year-old father of 11.

Twenty-year-old Nasiar Day had confessed to killing 30-year-old Jose “Migue” Malave at the victim’s Palisade Avenue, New Jersey, USA home on November 14, 2017.

As reported by Jersey Journal, a number of events led to the senseless killing of Malave, a father of 11 children.

Day’s defense attorney said Day moved to Jersey City to live with his girlfriend and their baby but they had money trouble and were evicted. After a few months, the landlord put most of their possessions on the street, including clothing, a crib and other items.

On the day of the homicide, Day was hanging around with friend Devante Dormena, who was 17 at the time, and others at a nearby deli. Day saw Malave and his then eight-year-old son walk by and noticed the boy was wearing a sweatshirt that he recognised as his own.

Day told Malave that the shirt belonged to him and Malave said he would give it back, but he just wanted to walk his son home first.

At Malave’s apartment, he returned the sweatshirt, which was apparently taken when Day’s things were put at the curbside.

Day thought Malave might have more of his belongings, but when and he and Dormena went back to the apartment, the Malaves would not let them inside. Instead, they let others come into their home and they found more items belonging to Day. The items were returned as well.

Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Gazzar said Malave tried to diffuse the situation at every turn, but Day would not let it go. She said Day got a knife and he and Dormena went back to Malave’s home and pushed their way inside. Dormena punched Malave before Day fatally stabbed him.

Gazzar said the clothes Malave returned that day were recovered in a search in Newark and they had Malave’s blood on them. She said Day was actually holding all the clothing Malave had willingly returned as he stabbed him to death.

Gazzar noted that Day was arrested three times as a juvenile and was adjudicated delinquent for aggravated assault in an incident in which he beat a 16-year-old girl with a scooter.

He was on probation for that incident when he killed Malave.

The judge meted out the maximum penalty of 20 years for the crime under the plea deal.

He said Malave had done nothing wrong and merely reclaimed some garbage on the sidewalk.

Dormena pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and faces five to 10 years in prison.

“You are a violent person, that’s what your record says,” Young told Day before sentencing him.

Day showed no emotion at the sentencing but did apologise to Malave’s family.

EFCC arrests health ministry workers over yellow fever card racketeering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested four officials of Port Health Service of the Federal Ministry of Health in Benin City, Edo State over alleged e-yellow fever travel card racketeering.

The EFCC’s Acting Head, Media, and Publicity, Tony Orilade, in a statement on Saturday, said the Benin zonal office of the commission had, on Tuesday, arrested the suspects in a sting operation, after a petition.

Orilade said the petitioner had alleged that her aged mother, who was to travel to Europe, visited the Benin Office of Port Health Service to procure the e-yellow fever travel card, but, rather than lead her through the proper procedure, she was convinced to pay N10,000 to obtain the card instantly.

He added that, while boarding her flight at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, it was discovered that the e-yellow card did not have the Remita Retrieval Receipt Reference Identity.

The statement read, “She was subsequently compelled to get a proper one at the airport with the sum of N2,000. Based on the petition, the Benin zonal office of the EFCC sent two operatives to Port Health Service office in Benin, who pretended to have genuinely requested the e-yellow fever card.

“Unaware that they were EFCC operatives, the Port Health Service staff requested N7,000 as payment for each card. On payment of the amount, the EFCC operatives were issued with the cards instantly. The e-yellow fever travel card is officially N2,000.

“The illicit transaction made EFCC operatives swoop on Port Health Service office on Tuesday morning, arresting four of its officials. The arrested officials will be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are completed.”

Kwara herbalist scams South Korean of N30m … posing as Baru, Adesina

A 31-year-old man in Ilorin, Kwara state, who claimed to be an Islamic scholar and herbalist, Jamiu Isiaka has stung a South Korean, impersonating prominent public officials.

Among the people that Isiaka impersonated were the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) Dr Maikanti Baru and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

According to the EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, the suspect with others who are still at large allegedly used the names of the senior government officials to scam a South Korean national, Keun Sig Kim, under pretence of getting him an ”NNPC licence” that would enable him purchase a company.

Isiaka, during interrogation with EFCC officials, claimed that he used the money to perform sacrifice on behalf of the petitioner.He claimed to have bought a vulture, elephant’s skin, elephant’s intestine, skull of a lion, liver of gorilla, among others.

The petitioner had paid over N30million (Thirty Million Naira) into the suspect’s account as fee to get the license.

According to the victim: “I transferred $4,285.071 (Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty-five United States Dollars, Seventy-one cents) to the United Bank of Africa, account number 2107575870 in the name of one Jamiu Isiaka, an associate of Mr Shola Adeshina. It is noteworthy that this account particulars have been provided severally for me to make transfer to.”

Isiaka, during interrogation by EFCC officials, claimed that he used the money to perform sacrifice on behalf of the petitioner.

He claimed to have bought a vulture, elephant’s skin, elephant’s intestine, skull of a lion, liver of gorilla, among others.

The suspect will soon be arraigned in court while efforts are ongoing to nab the accomplices, still at large.

UNN confers honorary degree on Emefiele

The Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has been conferred with a Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

Emefiele was honoured on Friday in Nsukka at the Special Convocation of the institution, where 50 people were also conferred with doctoral degrees in different fields of studies.

On the occasion, Emefiele gave a lecture entitled “From Recession to Growth: The Story of Nigeria’s Recovery from the 2016 Economic Recession.”

He spoke on the actions the CBN took to address recession, which included a combination of monetary and foreign exchange policies, as well as development finance interventions and bailout programmes to states.

The apex bank governor said that due to its policies, the country’s GDP had been steadily growing, inflation going down, the nation’s foreign reserves growing and the foreign exchange market stable at N360 to a dollar.

Emefiele said that since the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the country had been able to save over $800 million, due to decline in the importation of rice.

“So far, the programme has supported more than 1,059,604 small holder farmers across all the 36 states of Nigeria in cultivating 16 different commodities over 1.114 million hectares of farmland.

“It has also supported the creation of over 2.5 million jobs across the agricultural value chain.

“A key emphasis was placed on improving rice production, given the considerable weight importation of rice had on Nigeria’s import bill,” he said.

Emefiele said that because the GDP growth remained slow, the CBN would give support to domestic production of goods in the country which, according to him, was the way to improve economic growth.

“Addressing the constraints of farmers, SMEs and manufacturers will be critical, to drive sustainable growth of the Nigerian economy and reduce our reliance on proceeds from the sale of crude oil.

“In addition, there is need to forge partnerships between universities, research institutions, the private sector and public sector institutions.

“This will aid in developing and implementing solutions that will support productivity in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors to build a sustainable productive base for the nation,” he said.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, called on philanthropists and alumni of the university to join hands with the Federal Government in funding the school.

Ozumba said that UNN had a couple of innovative ideas which, if developed, would create jobs and add to the country’s economic development.

“As a vice-chancellor, I have a first-hand experience of the consequences of the poor funding being experienced by universities in the country.

“Universities all over the world receive huge periodic support from donors, philanthropists and alumni to fund their research and implement the development agenda of such universities.

“I urge us all to remain committed to the task of preserving the traditions and standards, for which our university is known for,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Deputy Governors of CBN, Mr Joseph Nnanna and Mrs Aisha Ahmad, CBN board members and members of the Monetary Policy Committee were present at the occasion. (NAN)

Ex-French president Sarkozy bound for trial

The trial of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy now appears inevitable after a top court rejected his appeal to avoid facing charges of illicit financing for his failed 2012 re-election bid.

According to France24, prosecutors claim Sarkozy spent nearly 43 million euros ($51 million) on his lavish re-election bid — almost double the legal limit of 22.5 million euros — using fake invoices, and demanded he answer the charges in court.

Sarkozy has denounced the charge, saying he was unaware of the fraud by executives at the public relations firm Bygmalion, who are also among a total of 13 people likely to face trial.

Sarkozy’s lawyers appealed to the Constitutional Council, which rules on the admissibility of laws and legal rulings, arguing that he had already paid a financial penalty for the overspending.

But that ruling concerned just 364,000 euros of overspending in the campaign, and came before revelations of the “Bygmalion affair” and fake billings.

Bygmalion executives and Jerome Lavrilleux, the deputy manager of Sarkozy’s 2012 campaign, have acknowledged the existence of fraud and false accounting.

On Friday, the Constitutional Council ruled that a criminal trial was justified on the grounds that it concerned “the potential breach of probity by candidates or elected officials.”

“It’s a big disappointment,” one of Sarkozy’s lawyers, Emmanuel Piwnica, told AFP.

Sarkozy retired from political life after failing to secure the nomination from his rightwing Republicans party for the 2017 presidential election, won by centrist Emmanuel Macron.

He would be the second former French head of state to face trial since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958.

In 2011, former president Jacques Chirac was given a two-year suspended sentence for embezzlement and misuse of public funds during his time as mayor of Paris.

MTN signs 7-year N200bn medium term facility

MTN Nigeria Plc, has announced the signing of a seven-year N200 billion medium term facility deal with a consortium of Nigerian banks.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Ferdi Moolman, announced this after signing the agreement at the law offices of Aluko & Oyebode in Lagos on Friday.

He said that the signing was with a consortium of seven local banks, with Citibank acting as co-ordinator and Quantum Zenith, as facility agent.

Moolman said the facility would enable MTN to fund its evolving business opportunities while assisting with capital expenditure and working capital, to deliver enhanced customer service.

He said that the new facility followed the successful establishment of a similar seven-year N200 billion facility by the company in 2018, and formed part of the company’s wider programme to raise domestic debt.

“I am happy at the completion of the agreement; it signposts MTN’s commitment to, and confidence in Nigeria, and the strength of the strategic collaboration between MTN Nigeria and local financial institutions.

“This will help to deepen and broaden the provision of ICT services in Nigeria.

“This facility expands our existing successful domestic debt programme which we are using to fund increased network capacity, and the expansion of Voice and Data services on our network to customers in new areas.

“We have enjoyed remarkable funding support from Nigeria’s financial institutions since our first facility in 2003 and this has been critical to the development of one of the largest telecoms network in Africa, with over 60 million subscribers.

“ I am delighted that, so soon after our successful listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we are able to compliment it with such an important addition to our portfolio of debt,” he said.

Moolman lauded the participating financial institutions for staying committed to MTN, adding that the loan syndication showcased the strength of Nigerian financial institutions and their confidence in MTN’s vision “and both parties’ ability to stimulate significant economic growth’’.

He said that the facility was structured with a two-year moratorium and a repayment plan of seven years, and was denominated in Naira.

He said that this was the eighth syndicated loan agreement by MTN in Nigeria since its inception 18 years ago.

The MTN chief listed member-banks of the facility consortium as Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, First City Monument Bank, United Bank for Africa and First Bank. (NAN)

Elumelu: Why African youths leave for other countries

Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings and Tony Elumelu Foundation, says African youths migrate because of a lack of economic hope.

Speaking on Thursday in Paris at Tech for Summit organised by Emmanuel Macron, president of France, Elumelu advised world leaders to pay attention to African youths so that they are not left behind in the technology era.

“Africa needs this type of gathering – we are a continent with over 60% of its people under the age of 30 – they need economic opportunities, they need hope,” he said.

“I represented the African continent to draw attention to our young ones who seek economic hope and opportunity via technology.

“Technology is a great employer of labour, technology drives inclusiveness, technology helps to alleviate poverty, but we must not forget that in Africa we are just starting out and we cannot afford to lag behind.

“We need the world to pay attention to Africa so that young Africans are not disenfranchised and left behind in this new technology era. We need the world to pay attention to the plight of young Africans so that issues of migration can be addressed in a more fundamental way – by tackling the root cause which is a lack of economic hope.”

Canvassing for gender equality, he said United Bank for Africa currently has 30% female representation on its boards while the Tony Elumelu Foundation has 50% female representation on the board and 100% representation in senior management.

Zainab Ahmed: Corps members will earn new minimum wage

Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, says National Youth Service Corps members will receive the new minimum wage as allowance.

Speaking on Thursday while intimating the press on the activities of her ministry, Ahmed said the federal government is working out the modalities of the new minimum wage.

“Apart from the increase of the minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000, there is also a consequential adjustment that we have to negotiate with the labour unions,” she said.

“The total implication of that would be worked out only after the negotiations and that would involve determining how much increase every other employee above the minimum wage would get.

“It could be a flat amount or a proportion, but the other aspect that is clear is that there would be an increase for the National Youth Service Corps as well because, by the Act, they should earn at least the minimum wage and the NYSC also has to increase to that N30, 000.

“So, because we have not done the negotiation with labour, I cannot give you the details of what we are projecting because it is simply on projections.”

The minister of finance also announced that a sum of N649.43bn would be distributed to state governments as the final refund for the Paris Club debt.

Court strikes out suit seeking sack of Saraki, Dogara over defection

A federal high court in Abuja has struck out a suit seeking to declare vacant, the seats of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of house of representatives, and 52 other federal lawmakers who defected from their political parties in the buildup to the general election.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Okon Abang, the presiding judge, held that the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), the body which instituted the suit,  lacked the legal right to institute it.

He held that LEDAP’s status as a registered corporate body under the Company and Allied Matters Act was not sufficient to confer the right to institute the action on behalf of the public.

“The plaintiff that instituted this case is not a political party that sponsored the election of the lawmakers,” Abang ruled.

“Also the plaintiff is not Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) that regulates the activities of political parties and monitor elections. The plaintiff is not a registered voter in Nigeria.

“They are not members of the national assembly. None of the political party that sponsored the lawmakers is a party in this case.

“They, therefore, lack the capacity, legal power to institute the case. The plaintiff’s case is incompetent and thereby struck out.”

In July 2018, not less than 14 senators defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while 37 members of the house of representatives also announced their defection the ruling party.

INEC recognises Sowore as AAC chairman, faults his suspension

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Omoyele Sowore remains the substantive national chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC).

In a letter dated May 14, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, the commission’s secretary, said Sowore’s purported suspension by the party cannot hold.

She said there is no evidence of the meeting in which Sowore was suspended, as some of the party leaders had claimed.

Mazi Okwy, a member of the AAC national executive committee (NEC), had announced the suspension of Sowore, adding that one Leonard Nzenwa had been appointed acting chairman.

Okwe based the action on “failure to convene national executive council (NEC) meeting, financial misappropriation and other anti-party activities”.

Sowore dismissed the suspension and subsequently expelled Nzenwa while he suspended top members of the party.

The INEC secretary said the commission will continue to relate with Sowore as the national chairman of the party.

The letter read: “There is no documentary evidence that a meeting of the AAC National Executive Committee was convened by the National Chairman as required by chapter 9 section 59(a) of the AAC constitution.

“The party did not provide a 21-day notice of the NEC meeting as required by section 85(1) of the Electoral Act 2010.

“There are no minutes or evidence of attendance of the AAC National Executive Committee meeting where the National Chairman and eight others were purportedly suspended.

“Accordingly, the Commission shall continue to recognise and relate with Mr. Sowore Omoyele as the substantive National Chairman of the AAC.”

Facebook bans Israeli firm ‘using fake accounts’ to post news about Nigeria

Facebook has banned Archimedes Group, an Israeli company, for using fake accounts and pages to post political news about Nigeria.

Archimedes Group is a political consulting and lobbying firm that boasts of its ability of wining elections worldwide.

In a post, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy,  explained that the accounts and pages were identified through “internal investigations”.

He accused firm of coordinated inauthentic behaviour, saying so far, Facebook has removed 265 fake accounts.

“Today we removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, Facebook Pages, Groups and events involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Gleicher said.

This activity originated in Israel and focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in Latin America and Southeast Asia. 

“The people behind this network used fake accounts to run pages, disseminate their content and artificially increase engagement. They also represented themselves as locals, including local news organizations, and published allegedly leaked information about politicians. The Page administrators and account owners frequently posted about political news, including topics like elections in various countries, candidate views and criticism of political opponents.

“Although the individuals behind this network attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found that some of this activity was linked to an Israeli commercial entity, Archimedes Group. It has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and other policies, including by engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior. This organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter.”

Facebook said it is constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because it does not want its services to be used to manipulate people.

Assuring its users of its commitment to continually improving to stay ahead, the social media giant said it is investing heavily in building better technology, hiring more people and working more closely with law enforcement, security experts and other companies.

In February, Facebook had partnered with Dubawa, a fact-checking website in Nigeria, to help assess the accuracy of news and reduce the spread of misinformation.

RCCG speaks about ‘Pastor’ who committed suicide

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Thursday reacted to widely circulated reports in Social media that one of its pastors had committed suicide in Abuja.

The Church’s Head, Media & Public Relations, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, said in a statement  that the man involved was not a minister in the Church and had left the mission before his death.

Many commentators on the social media had slammed the church leadership for not taking care of its pastors and other ministers.

Read the full statement:

RE: RCCG MINISTER COMMITS SUICIDE

The attention of the leadership of the RCCG has been drawn to reports of the death of one Mr. Michael Arowosaiye said to have committed suicide in Abuja on Tuesday May 14, 2019.

The report which has been trending on the social media and has also featured in the newspapers, said the man decided to take his own life after going into depression.

While the RCCG leadership sympathises with the family of the deceased, it has become necessary to clarify the mis-information and absolute falsehood in the report.

The said Mr. Michael Arowosaiye was not a minister in the RCCG.

He was a singer and a keyboardist in one of our Youth Parishes in Abuja until 2017 when he left for another ministry.

His movement to another ministry notwithstanding, Michael, through his elder brother who is presently one of the coordinators of the RCCG Youth Choir, continued to get invitation to minister in RCCG programmes.

He had accommodation problem in 2018 and though he was no longer in the RCCG, a family in the Mission gave him the Boy’s Quarters of their house in Sunnyvale Estate in Lokogoma FCT, which was where he lived till the unfortunate suicide incident.

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It is therefore untrue to refer to him as a Minister in the RCCG. It is also misleading and absolutely incorrect to create the impression that RCCG does not care for its Members and Ministers.

The RCCG is in the forefront among organizations with robust welfare package in Nigeria.

Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi

Head, Media & Public Relations

The Redeemed Christian Church of God

May 16, 2019

UNILAG institute wins German University’s N338m infrastructure grant

The University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, has won 840,000 euros (about N338million) as an infrastructural grant for its Institute of African and Diaspora Studies.

Under a project sponsored by the University of Bayreuth, Germany, UNILAG was on Thursday announced as one of the four African universities to host an African Cluster Centre of Excellence.

Following the announcement, the university’s beneficiary institute is expected to carry out research activities on the thematic areas of mobility, otherwise regarded as migration, and core issues of traditional knowledge.

The project, which will run for seven years, will allow the university’s institute to draw 120,000 euros (about N48million) annually for the next seven years. The fund, according to the university, is only meant for the procurement of required facilities such as video-conferencing laboratory, human resources, among others.

This is coming less than 72 hours after the conflict between the Oluwatoyin Ogundipe-led university management and its governing council chairman, Wale Babalakin, was amicably resolved at a two-day meeting.

The council chairman and the vice-chancellor had, among other issues, disagreed over allegations of financial misappropriation and abuse of rule of law and procedures.

The announcement by the German university was contained in a letter dated May 16 and addressed to the university’s Director of Research and Innovation, Wellington Oyibo.

The letter  was signed by the dean of the German university’s Africa multiple centre of excellence, Rüdiger Seesemann, and the deputy dean in charge of internationalisation and public engagement, Ute Fendler.

The letter also commended UNILAG for standing out among more than 40 universities that applied for the opportunity.

The letter read in part; “We are delighted to inform you that the cluster’s Academic Committee, based on the recommendations of the external selection committee, enthusiastically voted to select your institution as one of the four African Cluster Centres (ACCs).

“The other institutions that will join the cluster as ACCs are Université Ouaga I Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya, and Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. We would like to convey our congratulations on this achievement and express our readiness to embark on our joint endeavour of reconfiguring African Studies, building networks, and working together on shared research questions.

“According to our university’s statutes, we will now have to draft an official cooperation agreement that spells out the terms and conditions of our collaboration, including the management of funds. Here, we will involve the International Office at the University of Bayreuth. Please indicate to us the responsible parties at your institution so that we can start this process as soon as possible.”

Mr Oyibo said the university was excited by the news, describing it as a confirmation of the institution’s drive for excellence.

He said the beneficiary institute, which has the dean of the faculty of art, Muyiwa Falaiye, a professor of Philosophy, as its director, will work alongside colleagues such as Taiwo Akinyele, a professor of History, on the project.

“As a background to this success, UNILAG management considered research grants as a strategy to attract funding to support government efforts. And as the director of research and innovation office at the university, the university management led by Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has given us the mandate to pursue this agenda.

“It was in fulfilment of this mandate that through our institute, we responded to the call from the German university to competitively establish African Cluster Centre of Excellence that will look at several dimensions on issues around African studies. The Bayreuth University, which is funded by European Union, provided this multimillion-euro-grants for Africa’s benefit.”

He said the major funding for researches in the field will be won through fresh proposals to be submitted by the institute on the thematic areas already chosen.

He added that the purpose was to establish a knowledge centre that will connect Bayreuth University with African cluster centres.

“There were more than 40 institutions across Africa that expressed interest, and UNILAG was one of the 10 shortlisted. The shortlisting meant that a full proposal would have to be developed. Then, there was an on-site visit by an external team which visited us on February 11 for a real-time assessment of our human, structural and infrastructural capacities.

“The main goal of establishing this knowledge centre that will be based in Germany working with the four clusters is to work on different areas. What we have chosen to do in UNILAG is to work on the areas of mobility- migration and core issues of our traditional knowledge.”

Commenting on the development the university’s vice-chancellor said he thanked God that UNILAG was found worthy of the opportunity. He said it is just one of the many research grants won by the university within the 16 months of his administration.

Wike berates GOC 6 Division for allegedly engaging in oil bunkering

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has berated the General Officer Commanding ( GOC) of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem for running an illegal oil bunkering squad for the purpose of financing his quest to be appointed the Chief of Army Staff.

Governor Wike declared that any attempt to appoint the GOC of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army as the Chief of Army Staff, would spell doom for the nation’s failing security architecture .

According to a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media. Wike spoke on Wednesday during a Courtesy visit by the Commander of Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe, Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

He said: “The GOC is doing illegal bunkering, which he is using to finance his quest to emerge as the country’s Chief of Army Staff.

“He has his own team that is making money for him through oil bunkering”.

He accused the GOC of the 6 Division of compromising security in Rivers State through illegal actions.

“We will have a security meeting and he will release the details to criminals. And the Chief of Army Staff will leave the man here because he is playing their role.

“How will security of the state be with such a man as the GOC? He will compromise when fighting to reduce crime, they sent us a GOC who destroy the security architecture of the state”.

Governor Wike wondered what the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe would do when they encounter the illegal oil bunkering team of the GOC.

Governor Wike said that Rivers people stopped the GOC and his accomplices from imposing a Governor on the state during the elections.

“A man came to plot coup. The people resisted him for plotting coup. You want to impose a party that has no candidate for National Assembly and State Assembly elections on the people. How will such a party win the Governorship election? A party that nobody has seen their posters. Rivers people said no.

“He has result sheets. Let him bring the result sheets to the tribunal. Army now has result sheets. That is now part of their mandate “.

Governor Wike assured the Commander of Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe that the Rivers State Government will support their operations to ensure that they defend the Niger Delta, especially Rivers State.

He said: “Anybody who wants to help us fight crime, I will support. I will never support those involved in illegal refineries”.

Commander of Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe, Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade thanked the Rivers State Governor for the supply of gunboats, security vehicles and finances for security operations in the area.

He assured the governor that the Joint Task Force will not relent in fighting crime in the State.

“Governor Wike is a consummate politician and grassroots leader. As a man who understands National Security, he understands that National security itself is Local.

“We want to seriously commend you on his numerous achievements you made since your tenure. I will like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Governor on the renewal of your mandate to serve the people of Rivers State for another four years “, he said.

The Commander said that the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe has recorded successes in the protection of oil and gas facilities and the maintenance of internal security in the area.

He appealed to leaders to engage youths to shun crime and criminality for the development of the state.

Simeon Nwakaudu,

Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media.

15th May, 2019.

JUST IN: Suspected hoodlums break into Ogun APC Secretariat, cart away documents

Suspected hoodlums on Wednesday night, reportedly broke into the Ogun State Secretariat of All Progressives Congress, located at Iyana-Mortuary, Abeokuta, and carted away vital documents.

The state Chairman of APC loyal to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Chief Derin Adebiyi stated this on Thursday, while addressing journalists at the Secretariat over the development.

Adebiyi claimed that all the offices within the Secretariat were ransacked by the hoodlums.

He explained that the hoodlums also destroyed all air conditioners, television sets, and chairs in all the offices.

According to him,  the air conditioners and televisions destroyed were only a decoy as none of them was taken away from the complex, but, documents were taken away.

Adebiyi later took journalists on a tour of the facility where it was observed that the hoodlums broke in through the rooftop of each of the ransacked offices.

He said the intention of the vandals remains unknown but suspicious.

He added that the action might not be unconnected with an attempt to destabilise the Party as governor Ibikunle Amosun winds down his administration.

He said, “The attack was massive and destructive. All offices were broken into including those of the chairman, the state secretary, the organizing secretary, among others.

“The attack witnessed vandalization of property, such as air conditioners, pumping machine, ceilings, chairs and television sets. The offices were ransacked while important files and documents were taken away.

“The intention of masterminds remains unknown, but, suspicious. This is because it is coming at the twilight of Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s administration that prides itself on eight years peaceful coexistence and security of lives and property.

“The Ogun State chapter condemns the incident in the strongest terms as barbaric and uncalled for. This trend is worrisome as it is believed that the incident targeted at destabilizing activities of the party as the governor winds down.

“We wish to state that the Ogun State chapter of APC is a peaceful and law-abiding political party. Our party believes in the rule of law and due process.  In this regards, the party has reported the matter to the security agencies for investigation.”

EFCC files 11 charges against musician Naira Marley

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has preferred 11 charges bordering on fraud against upcoming musician, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, for alleged credit card fraud.

The musician effectively risks seven years in jail if found guilty, as Section 33 (2) which he was accused of breaching, reads: “Any person who uses: a counterfeit access device; an unauthorised access device; an access device issued to another person; resulting in a loss or gain commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than seven years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 and forfeiture of the advantage or value derived from his act.

The charges with suit number FHC/L/178C/19 were filed before a Lagos State High Court.

Some of the credit cards, according to the EFCC, bore the names- Nicole Louise Malyon, and Timea Fedorne Tatar.

The alleged crimes were in contravention of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act.

The charges read in part, “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 11th day of December 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use Access card 42658840359191132 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.

“That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, with intent to defraud possessed, counterfeit card 4921819410257431 issued to Timea Fedorne Tatar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33(9) of Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.”

The artiste has been enmeshed in controversy in the last one month following his decision to openly support online fraud commonly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo.’

He was arrested last Friday along with four others, including his bosom friend, Zlatan Ibile.

CBN plans to revive 20 textile companies

Plans are underway by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to revive at least 20 textile companies before the end of the 2019.

The apex bank had taken the first step in the journey to revive the sector with the flag-off of input distribution to 100,000 cotton farmers, as well as cultivating 100,000 hectares in 23 states of the federation.

To realize this ambitious dream, the CBN Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele has inaugurated the Textile Revival Implementation Committee.

Members of the committee are drawn from the CBN, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Kaduna State, Federal Ministry Power Works and Housing, Nigeria Customs Services, Federal Ministries of Finance and Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment and Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

The committee which was inaugurated on Thursday in Abuja was charged by the CBN Governor to resuscitate at least 50 textile firms by the end of 2023; collaborate with stakeholders to identify, name and shame textile smugglers in Nigeria as well as develop a framework for eradication of smuggling and dumping of textile products into Nigeria, facilitate the production of 200,000 hectares of cotton fields by 2020 and maintain an annual increase of 100,000 hectares over the next three years.

The Committee is also expected to “work assiduously to deliver a minimum of 50 megawatts of captive power to Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) firms in the interested states by 2021, and facilitate the effective pricing and delivery of gas, black oil and diesel to CTG firms in Lagos and other interested states to enhance their power generation and consumption.”

Speaking at the event, the CBN Governor lamented that “the CTG sector within the last 20 years had suffered a lot of difficulties especially, low cotton production, poor power and transport infrastructure, obsolete production lines, smuggling and counterfeiting, inadequate local patronage, high cost of production, and multiple taxation among others.”

According to Emefiele, “smuggling of textile goods alone has been estimated to cost the nation over $2.2 billion. Today, most of the textile factories have all stopped operations and the workforce in Nigeria’s textile industry stands at less than 20,000 people. In addition, a large proportion of our clothing materials are imported from China and countries in Europe.”

Speaking on the rationale behind the inauguration of the textile revival committee, Emefiele noted that “a consolidated approach of this magnitude will afford us economies of scale, synergy in resource utilization and provide a holistic solution to harnessing the potentials of the CTG sub-sector in Nigeria.”

He was optimistic that “the CBN would resuscitate the cotton belts nationwide and grow the value chain till the last mile of textile production. We will need to set timelines for these deliverables and charge the technical committees to develop road maps that must be achieved within the set timelines,” he added.