Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Saraki accepts Chief of Staff's resignation

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has accepted the resignation from office of his Chief of Staff, Senator Isa Galaudu.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said Galaudu first mentioned his decision to step down for personal reasons last November and that they both agreed on his final exit at the end of January.
Saraki thanked the outgoing Chief of Staff for his commitment and dedication to duty while also directing the Deputy, Hon. Gbenga Makanjuola to act in that position pending the appointment of a substantive Chief of Staff. 

Ibori wins another court victory; returns to Nigeria soon

As though a benevolent spirit is now constantly behind Chief James Onanefe Ibori, the  winning streak that has attended his recent court cases remained unbroken Tuesday 31 January 2017 as he once again floored the British Secretary of State for the Home Office. 
Ibori, in a statement Tony Eluemunor, his Media Assistant, said the British Government had attempted to withdraw the case from Court 5, before Mr. Justice Garnham to either the Queen’s Bench Division or the Crown Court.  Ibori’s lawyers argued that this was a delay tactic by the Crown and the Judge refused to grant the transfer, insisting that the case will remain in his Royal Court of Justice.
This time, the case before the court on Tuesday was to determine the amount of money Britain will pay Ibori as compensation for the illegal detention he was subjected to when the British Prisons did not allow him to leave on the exact day his prison sentence ended in December last year, but detained him unlawfully and illegally by a day, while even seeking for ways to further deny him his freedom by locking him up illegally.  Early March, the two sides in the matter will make their final statements and the amount of damages to be awarded to Ibori would be decided.

Oyo LG Election: Alaafin, Ajimobi explore out-of-court settlement


L-R:  Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; a member of the House of Representatives and son of the monarch, Hon Akeem Adeyemi; and the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, when the monarch visited the governor to explore out-of-court settlement in the dispute arising from the creation of Local Council Development Areas in the state, at the Governor's Office, Ibadan... on Tuesday. Photo: Governor's Office
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Tuesday, visited the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, to explore the alternative dispute resolution mechanism in settling the dispute arising from the creation of 35 Local Council Development Areas in the state.
The foremost monarch dropped the hint in an interview with journalists shortly after emerging from a closed door meeting with the governor at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan.   
He said that the suit filed by some aggrieved traditional chiefs challenging the alleged ceding of parts of their domain to Ogbomoso under the newly created LCDA would be resolved amicably very soon in order not to subject the people to hardship.
One Chief Oladokun Abiola and 14 others from Oyo East Local Government had challenged the creation of the new LCDAs before an Abuja FHC court on the premise that it would ostracize them from their ancestral land, while the Alaafin was joined as a respondent in the matter.
It is believed that the Alaafin wield enormous influence over the plaintiffs, who are chiefs and indigenes under the vast Oyo empire.

African Heads of State to advance immunization in Africa

Heads of State from across Africa Tuesday, adopted a Declaration on Universal Access to Immunization in Africa, in which they endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization, a historic and timely pledge to ensure that everyone in Africa – regardless of who they are or where they live – receives the full benefits of immunization. The endorsement was issued during the 28th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
While Africa has made impressive gains over the last 15 years toward increasing access to immunization, progress has stagnated, and the continent is falling behind on meeting global immunization targets. One in five children in Africa still does not receive basic life-saving vaccines and, as a result, vaccine-preventable diseases continue to claim too many lives. Measles alone accounts for approximately 61,000 preventable deaths in the African region every year.
We know that universal access to immunization is achievable,” noted outgoing African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. “The Addis Declaration on Immunization is a historic pledge. With political support at the highest levels, we are closer than ever to ensuring that all children in Africa have an equal shot at a healthy and productive life.”
The Addis Declaration on Immunization calls for countries to increase political and financial investments in their immunization programmes. It includes 10 commitments, including increasing vaccine-related funding, strengthening supply chains and delivery systems, and making universal access to vaccines a cornerstone of health and development efforts. The full declaration can be found below.

Nigeria: Time to domesticate United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250


By Lawal Rafiu Adeniran 
On the 9th December 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2250. This is the first Resolution that deals with the role of young people on issues of peace and security. This global policy framework was and is still been celebrated by youth across the globe because it recognizes the actual potentials of youth in conflict and post conflict reconstruction.
This resolution was adopted because the world realized that it cannot build sustainable peace without the involvement of youth, protecting their lives, meaningfully engaging and empowering them on issues of peace and security. This resolution gives recognition and legitimacy to the several works been done by youth at local, state and national levels towards building lasting peace.
The importance of this resolution cannot be over emphasized, putting into consideration the fact that the world is currently experiencing a wave of youth bulge; there is an increasing population of youth when compared with other age groups. In Nigeria for example an estimated 70% of her population is under the age of 35. Given this demographic advantage, it is only imperative that youth are involved and included in decision making and peacebuilding.

Avoid water-borne diseases, drink only clean water--Aisha Buhari



Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has called on Nigerians to ensure that they use clean and safe drinking water in order to avoid water borne diseases. She made the call while commissioning a borehole donated by her project Future Assured to Gofinda community near the FCT, in her speech Mrs. Buhari asked communities to take charge of their health by promoting filtering in areas where clean water is a huge challenge.

Three die as herdsmen/farmers clash in Adamawa

Fulani herdsmen clash with farmers in Gereng  community of Girei local government of Adamawa state.Tuesday morning has claimed three lives and injured no fewer than 6 others.
Reports from the area indicated that some members of the Gereng community were fishing in a pond in the  area when the herdsmen swooped on them killing their victims and injuring many others.
The report added that, members of the community launched an attack to repel  the invading herdsmen and casualties was  equally recorded on the Fulani side.
The herdsmen on the other side were reposted to have retreated and are mobilizing  for a full blown war with the Gereng  community.
A resident of the community disclosed that nearby communities have alerted them that the herdsmen are mobilizing and marching towards Gereng community.
"We have been alerted  that the herdsmen have fully mobilized themselves and are Marching towards your community ".
"The herdsmen are in large numbers and are armed to the teeth.we noticed some of them in the nearby bushes preparing for the onslaught the  resident quoted the informant as saying".
Adamwa state police command has confirmed the clash,but gave the casualties figure as one person killed while four others injured.
The command's spokesman,Othman Abubakaar (SP) stated that it was migrating herdsmen that attacked the Gereng village.

According to the command's image makers,the migrating herdsmen used bows and arrows in the attack ,adding that the migrating herdsmen disappeared into the thin air.

Rivers CP Francis Mobolaji Odesanya dies

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, has announced the demise of a serving Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Police Command,  Francis Mobolaji Odesanya,  who passed on at the age of 56 years after a brief illness at Sterling  Hospital Ahmedabad-Gujarat in India.
A statement by CSP JImoh o. Moshood, Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, said the late Commissioner of Police was enlisted into the Force on the 1st February, 1986 as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police and rose through the rank. He served as Deputy Commissioner of Police Department of Operations and that of Finance and Administration in Rivers State before he was promoted and posted as Commissioner of Police Rivers State Police Command on the 20th July, 2016, the position he held until his sudden demise on 31st January 2017 after a brief illness at Sterling Hospital Ahmedabad-Gujarat in India.  

Rowdiness as PDP, Ize-Iyamu’s witness declares to Tribunal, “I am the petitioner”

A mild drama and rowdiness temporarily occurred during proceedings at the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal siting in Benin City on Tuesdaywhen one of the petitioner’s witnesses (PW 14), Mr. Yusuf Seidu Abu mounted the dock only to  claim that he was not just a witness but at the same time, a petitioner against the Edo 2016 governorship election.
Recall that the petitioners in this case are the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and her candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Prior to the mild drama and mirth occasioned in the courtroom by Mr. Abu, who was facing cross-examination, he said, “I voted in unit 001, ward 8 and I functioned as the ward collation agent for the PDP. We had 9 polling units”.
However, on being asked that, ‘When the petitioner in his petition stated that you had 10 polling units, did you object?’ he thundered saying, “I am the petitioner”. This reply evoked laughter and served as a timely dose of comic relief in an otherwise serious court case.

U.S. Consul-General visits Ijaw monarch, embarks on fact-finding mission to N/Delta creeks

United States (USA),Consul-General , Mr John Brey, has lembarked on a fact-finding mission into the Niger Delta creeks to gather firsthand information over the resurgence of militancy in the region, in order to proffer necessary solution and intervention by the U.S. in the troubled region.
The Consul General landed at the Murtala Mohammed International airport Monday this week and led his team straight to Warri, Delta State, and his first point of call was the Palace anex of the Pere of Seimbri Kingdom, HRM Charles Ayemi Botu (JP), where he disclosed his mission to the region.
He noted that the visit was a continuation of the United States' engagement in the country's South-south in order to fast-tract dialogue and ultimately enthrone peace in the region, stressing the U.S. hoped for a peaceful resolution to the Niger Delta crisis.

Suicide bomber attacks Mosque in Maiduguri, undergraduate blown to pieces


Another suicide bomber attempted an attack on another mosque this morning at Dalori quarters.
The suicide bomber sneaked into a Mosque at Dalori Quarters/Housing Estate in Maiduguri, Borno state, and detonated heavy explosives killing an unidentified undergraduate, with scores injured.
Sources said the incident took place Tuesday at about 5:35am when Muslim Ummah were performing their morning prayers.
Dalori Quarters is located near the University of Maiduguri and a large camp occupied by Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs mostly from Bama Local Government Area of the state.

Edo: Tribunal declines PDP, Ize-Iyamu’s bid to introduce new evidence

The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin City has ruled against a bid by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and her candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to introduce fresh evidence independent of those deposited by their principal witness (PW 13), Alhaji Mohammed Shaibu.
Mohammed, a native of Okugbe-Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area had said earlier in his deposition that his complaints stemmed from issues of accreditation alone, but during cross-examination, he said, “I voted in unit 9 and no voter was accredited via the voters’ register. I complained”, he said.
When asked if he would be surprised to see that his name was not on the voters’ register, he declaimed with confidence, “My name is there”.
Continuing, he said, “I agree that I must accredit before I vote and anyone who is not registered in a particular polling unit cannot vote there”.
However, when shown the voters’ register of unit 9 where he claimed he voted, he expressed shock, as he was unable to find his name. The only Mohammed on the list in question belonged to one Mohammed Awosetu.

Owerri Court Attack: NPS to enhance welfare packages

The Controller General of Nigerian Prison Service (NPS), Ja'afaru Ahmed has promised to improve welfare package and medical facilities in the service.
The Prisons boss made the disclosure at Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri while commiserating with the victim of the recent attack on Prisoners by yet to be identified gunmen within the premises of Owerri High Court.
Mr. Ja'afaru who had had also visited other inmates being treated in Owerri Prisons Clinic for various degrees of bullet wounds, commended the timely response of other security agencies during the attack.
He assured members of the public that the fleeing fugitives would be rearrested in no distant time.
Commending Imo Governor for offering financial rewards for information that would aid the arrest of fugitives, he appealed to the public to provide useful information that would lead to the arrest of the notorious criminal, Chibueze Henry Onyekachi, aka vampire.

State-Wide Development: RSG to plug all revenue loopholes

PHOTO: Private Medical Proprietors at a meeting with Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday. 
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike has stated that  his administration  will  plug all revenue loopholes to ensure   that it has the financial  resources  to  execute pro-people projects. 
The governor  spoke during  a meeting  with private medical proprietors at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday. 
He explained  that the if 50 percent  of  the  state's  revenues  are collected  through  the  right channels and processes, the State will develop  faster.

FG recovers treasure trove of materials from Boko Haram, calls for vigilance

Following the recovery of a treasure trove of materials from the decimated Boko Haram, the Federal Government has called on the media and the general public to be vigilant, saying the decimated group has shifted its strategy towards dominating the media space, propagating a perverted version of Shariah law and giving the impression that it is still holding territory.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, therefore appealed to the general public and the media to ensure that they do not unwittingly provide the terrorists with the oxygen of publicity that they desperately need.
He said the propaganda strategy was discovered from the materials left behind by Boko Haram Terrorists after they were routed from their last stronghold in Sambisa.
''The materials include documents, phones and computers that contained detailed information on the Boko Haram media and propaganda strategy. An analysis of the materials reveal Boko Haram's training in videography as well as how they sought and received training from other terrorists groups on video recording and manipulation.
''The documents, written in Arabic, also outlined the media strategy that Boko Haram Commanders should employ and how the surviving members should ensure the propagation of the Boko Haram doctrine using the Social Media,'' Alhaji Mohammed said.
The Minister said the recovered materials confirmed the announcement of a new media wing called ''Wadi Baya'' (Clear Speech) by Boko Haram in an audio released by the group on 17 Jan. 2017, following its routing from Sambisa.

''As Boko Haram refocuses its resources to media war and propaganda against the Nigerian people and state, we must all unite against terrorism by denying Boko Haram our platforms to propagate its ideology. Both the media and the citizens have important roles to play in complementing our Armed Forces, which are combining land and air resources to completely clear the vestiges of Boko Haram,'' he said

Again, FG insists on secret trial of Dasuki, Ex-NSA objects


T
he Federal Government, for the second time applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja for protection of witnesses that will testify against the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki in the charges of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering brought against him.

The fresh application to that effect was brought to court by Chief Oladipo Okpeseyi SAN, recently engaged by FG to lead the prosecution.

The motion dated January 23 and filed January 24 is insisting that the witnesses must be given protection by the court by not allowing their names and addresses to be made public in the course of the trial.
But in a strong opposition to the fresh request, Dasuki asked the court to dismiss the government motion on the ground that it lacks merit and constituted a gross abuse of court process.
The Ex-NSA in a counter affidavit filed by his lead counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji argued that there was no justification for the Federal Government to have brought the motion for secret trial for the second time having lost in the first motion.
The defendant insisted that FG had on its own volition placed the charges against him in the internet where the names, addresses and positions of the witnesses were conspicuously put at the disposal of the general public.

Sapele gets eight-hour power supply

The nation’s parlous energy situation took the centre stage on Monday in Asaba as stakeholders lamented the massive power outages in Delta State, particularly Sapele.
They also agreed on eight – hour daily uninterrupted power supply for Sapele.
The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya described the electricity situation in Sapele as unbearable and oppressive.
Igbuya who spoke at length on the recent protest in Sapele, the drop in electricity supply in the country and its effects on people and organizations during a special stake holders meeting to proffer solutions to the worsening electricity situation in Sapele protested the failure of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to provide uninterrupted power supply in Sapele.
He also criticised the tales out of BEDC, the deluge of excuses of non performance and the shifting of responsibilities to the consumers and other partners.

Monday, 30 January 2017

NCS intercepts 661 action rifles, arrests 3 suspects

The roving team of the Nigeria Customs Service , Federal Operations Unit, Sunday intercepted a Mack truck with registration number BDG 265 XG conveying a 1x40ft Container with Number: PONU/825914/3 along Mile 2 Apapa road.
According to a release by NCS, the truck was immediately taken to the premises of FOU Zone A, Ikeja where Physical examination revealed 49 boxes containing a total number of 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed with steal doors and other merchandize goods.
“These Rifles are under absolute prohibition; therefore its importation is illegal. Such deadly contravention of the law is even more unacceptable considering the fragile security situation in some parts of the country.”

Pastor Johnson Suleiman honours DSS invitation

The pastor of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle  Johnson Suleiman Monday honoured the invitation of Department of State Services, DSS, in Abuja who invited him to their office over his utterance on Fulani herdsmen.
The pastor had allegedly  called on Christians to defend themselves when they are attacked by Fulani militias.
He reportedly said: “I have told them in the church here that any Fulani herdsman that just enters by mistake and wants to pretend, kill him.  Cut his head. If they are busy killing Christians and nothing is happening, we will kill them and nothing will happen, he said pumping with emotions.”
Apostle Suleiman had denied saying so.

Ugwuanyi rejigs Enugu Rangers Management, appoints Christian Chukwu as GM

After Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State held a fact-finding meeting with the Board, Management, players, supporters club and other stakeholders of Enugu Rangers International Football Club, it was unanimously agreed that there was need for a change in the management of the club.
Consequently, the governor after the meeting announced the appointment of the former captain and coach of Enugu Rangers and the National  Team, Christian Chukwu, as the new General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Enugu Rangers International Football Club, with immediate effect.
The decision was not unconnected with the unimpressive performance of the club this season which has been a source of concern for the state government, supporters of the club and other stakeholders.
Reacting to the development,  the new General Manager of the club,  Chukwu thanked the governor for the appointment and his prompt intervention and promised to put in his best to ensure that Rangers retains it current status in Nigeria football.

He called for the cooperation and support of the board,  management,  players and all other stakeholders of the club to take it to an enviable height. Chukwu takes over from Ozo Chibuzor.

23,000 artisans, traders in first batch, benefit in FG’s soft loan scheme across 13 states & FCT

The Federal Government has so far disbursed 23,400 loans to beneficiaries in 13 states & Federal Capital Territory under the Government’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
The States are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Lagos, Osun and Ogun. Others are Oyo, Ondo, Rivers and the FCT.
The Micro-credit scheme is a no-interest loan scheme, with only a one-time 5% administrative fee for costs. The loan is targeted at micro-enterprises: traders, artisans, market men and women, entrepreneurs, farmers with the involvement of cooperatives and executed through the Bank of Industry, BOI.
Although over 23,000 people have benefited from the loans, altogether, over 1 million people have already enrolled for the programme across the country and are expected to benefit this year.
To facilitate the loan disbursement, four payment providers have been signed-on for the programme mostly in the urban areas. The next wave of payment providers, coming on stream by March 2017, would provide a much wider coverage in the rural areas.
Equally, about 8,436 market associations and cooperatives nationwide have been registered for this scheme through the web portal (www.boi.ng/market), as well as through paper application forms.
The loans range from N10,000, to N100,000 per applicant. While the loans would be paid directly to individuals, they are expected to belong to registered associations and/or cooperatives as the case may be, to ensure that they are peer-endorsed as credible, and to facilitate timely repayments. All beneficiaries must have BVNs and bank accounts.

FG will not tolerate destruction of national monuments – Information Minister

From Left: Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Alhaji Yusuf Abdallah Usman; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, at the site of the demolished national monument in Lagos on Sunday.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government will not tolerate the destruction of national monuments anywhere in the country for whatever reason.
The Minister gave the assurance when he visited the site of a national monument - the 190-year-old Brazilian style building in Lagos – on Sunday.
The building, which was acquired and gazetted as a national monument by the Federal Government in 1956, was destroyed by some developers. The Federal Government and the developers have since instituted cases in court over the property.
''Because they wanted to develop this place, they have broken so many laws. Fortunately, this is a country of laws and we are ready to meet them in court and one thing I can assure you is that nobody can benefit from his own crime.

Restore Wike’s security, Rivers Traditional Rulers tell Buhari

PHOTO: A Cross Section of Rivers Traditional Rulers during the 105th Quarterly meeting of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers on Monday. 
Rivers State Traditional Rulers  have  called on President Muhammadu Buhari  to use his good  offices to prevail  on the Police High Command to restore the  security details of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. 
This is as Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  assured that all the Local Government Areas in the state will have at least two projects as his administration  spreads development  to the nooks and crannies of the state.
Speaking at the 105th Quarterly meeting of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers  on Monday, Chairman of the Council, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Jeki V, Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, also called on the Inspector General of Police to revisit the dismissal  of six policemen  who protected  Governor Wike when he came under attack  on December  12, 2016.

Dakuku Peterside commends Magnus Abe on Senate Committee appointment

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has commended the leadership of Senate for appointing Senator Magnus Abe as the Senate Committee Chairman on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
Dr Peterside, who stated this in a chat with newsmen at the Port Harcourt International Airport last weekend, said Senator Magnus Abe’s appointment is a testimony of his industry, managerial acumen and willingness to expand frontiers of democracy beyond rhetoric.
According to him, “the people of Rivers South East and indeed the state will now see what representation is all about. We all know what Senator Abe can do, he has been there before and his records are still unmatched. We, in the Rivers South East remain proud of him.”

How Jonathan, Wike prevented my govt from possessing the controversial helicoptors - Amaechi

The media office of Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said their attention have been drawn to misrepresentations and innuendos as it concerns the immediate past Governor of Rivers State and current minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in the purchase and importation of two helicopters into Nigeria that was supposedly abandoned at the Murtala Mohammed International airport, Lagos. 
The media office in statement made available to NF-Reports said to set the records straight, they stated the following facts:
“Recall that when Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi took over as Governor of Rivers State, criminals masquerading as militants, kidnappers and all other criminal elements were on the prowl in Rivers State. With a strong political will to tackle these menaces and make the State a safe place, Amaechi initiated a lot of measures to deal with the menace. Purchasing these helicopters was one of the measures the Amaechi administration took to curb the clandestine and criminal activities in the state. And the decision to go for these helicopters was based on the advice and recommendation of security experts and specialists that were working closely with our Nigerian security agents to rid the state of these criminals- kidnappers, pipeline vandals, vicious political cultists etc.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Ajimobi urges citizens to continue to pray for Buhari, other leaders

Oyo state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has advised citizens of the country to continue to pray for the well-being of President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders in other levels of government instead of peddling unfounded rumours about them.
The governor gave the advice in an interview with journalists while dispelling the rumour on the president’s alleged ill-health shortly on his return from an official trip to Abuja, at the Alakia Airport, Ibadan, on Friday.
Ajimobi said that he was in Abuja for a scheduled meeting with World Bank officials, stressing that no governor was invited to any imaginary meeting to discuss the health status of the country’s leader as being speculated.
Ajimobi said, “There is no iota of truth in the rumour making the rounds that governors were summoned to Abuja for an emergency meeting to discuss the health status of our dear President. We should desist from circulating callous insinuations aimed at denting the image of prominent citizens.
Instead of peddling unfounded rumours, I will advise Nigerians to continue to pray for President
Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders, including governors, because their well-being is tied to the well-being of the people.
The rigours of governance require that leaders take time off to relax and recoup for the daunting challenges ahead of them. We should be fair to our leaders, because they are also human beings with feelings.

SERAP to Buhari: Refer SGF Lawal alleged ‘grass-cutting’ corruption to EFCC, ICPC

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to use his good offices and leadership position “to urgently refer the allegations of corruption against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for further investigation, and if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence, for him to face prosecution.”
The organization also urged President Buhari to “urgently publish the outcome of the investigation conducted on the matter by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN, and to ask Mr Malami to hand over the file to both the EFCC and ICPC.”
In the letter dated 27 January 2017 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said, “We are concerned that the failure to suspend Mr Lawal from his position as Secretary to the Government of the Federation pending the investigation by Mr Malami, and the perceived lack of transparency in the outcome of that investigation may have created the impression that your government is treating Mr Lawal as a sacred cow.”

Ooni charges Yoruba groups to be united

The need for peace and unity among every associations and groups in Yoruba land, formed the fulcrum of the speech delivered by the Ooni of Ile-Ife, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ojaja 1, at the 2017 edition of Oodua Festival which held at the Palace Square of the ancient town, Thursday.
The foremost Yoruba traditional leader offered the advice as he received the National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, and National Promoter, Olokun Festival Foundation, OFF, Otunba Gani Adams, into his palace for the grand finale of the Oodua Festival.
The Oodua Festival which kicked off in Ile-Ife, Wednesday, climaxed with the grand finale at the Ife Palace Squard, featuring dignitaries from every segments of life as well as executive members of the OPC and Oodua Progressive Movement, OPU.
The OPU is the group formed to promote the Yoruba culture, traditions and value system among Yoruba indigenes in diaspora with Otunba Adams as the World wide Convener.
The Yoruba monarch, while addressing members of the pro-Yoruba socio-cultural organisations, berated some elements among the Yoruba groups who would not follow rules but rather jump guns and break protocols.

FG says partnership with Lagos State will breathe life into National Theatre

PHOTO:
From Left; Acting GM of National Theatre, George Nkante Ufot; Mrs Joke Sylva; Mrs Peace Anyam Osigwe; Mrs Bolanle Austin Peters; Special Adviser to LASG on Investment,Prof. Ademola Abass;  Hon. Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed;  MD, New Dawn Production, Mrs Lillian Amah-Aluko; Chairman ZMirage,Alhaji Teju Kareem; AGM Business Development & Event Management, National Theatre,Mr Biodun Abe;Director, Engr. Services, National Theatre, Engr. Nwogu Ndubuisi; and other management staff of the National Theatre during the Inspection of facilities by the Minister on Saturday.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the partnership between the Federal Government and Lagos State on the renovation of the National Theatre will breathe life into the national edifice.
Speaking after an inspection tour of the National Theatre in Lagos on Saturday, ahead of the renovation to be carried out by Lagos State, the Minister described the theatre as a valuable national asset that cannot be allowed to become derelict.
''We are here today (Saturday) to take physical stock of what the Lagos State Government has offered to help us with - that is the rehabilitation of the National Theatre.

OGSG seeks FG's support on reforestation project

The Ogun State Government says it has requested for technical support and grant-in-aid from the Federal Government to further boost its reforestation programmes in the nine Forest Reserves across the State.
Commissioner for Forestry, Chief Kolawole Lawal made the request while speaking at a meeting with the Executive Director, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Commissioner through his Media Aide, Mr. Olusola Olubodun said the meeting was imperative so as to bridge the communication gap between the institution and Ogun Government as well as to enable the institution identify with the State reforestation project.
Chief Lawal noted that the State needed technical support of the institution on the best ways to safeguard its forestry assets, especially on reforestation of depleted forest reserves in the State.
The Commissioner explained that to achieve its set objectives, the State Government had sourced for grants from the Federal Government to fund agro-forestry projects, saying that more capacity building would be needed especially in the training of Forest Guards that would combat illegal activities in the reserves.

Responding, The Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Adesola Adepoju, said the institution was established to assist States in capacity building and was ready to support Ogun State in achieving its set objectives, especially the reforestation project.
He promised that the institution would assist the State in accessing the grants by including it in the appropriation bill which would be presented to the Federal Government.

SERAP to Buhari: Refer SGF Lawal alleged ‘grass-cutting’ corruption to EFCC, ICPC

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to use his good offices and leadership position “to urgently refer the allegations of corruption against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for further investigation, and if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence, for him to face prosecution.”
The organization also urged President Buhari to “urgently publish the outcome of the investigation conducted on the matter by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN, and to ask Mr Malami to hand over the file to both the EFCC and ICPC.”
In the letter dated 27 January 2017 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said, “We are concerned that the failure to suspend Mr Lawal from his position as Secretary to the Government of the Federation pending the investigation by Mr Malami, and the perceived lack of transparency in the outcome of that investigation may have created the impression that your government is treating Mr Lawal as a sacred cow.”

Akwa Ibom governor, champion of education -- NOUN

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has commended the accomplishments of Akwa Ibom state governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, in the area of education, describing him as a champion of education.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, stated this at the weekend during a brief ceremony for the relocation of the NOUN study centre to its permanent site in Uyo, the state capital.
The ultra-moden site was donated recently to NOUN by the state government in order to boost the activities of the institution in the state, especially in the area of enrollment of the citizens and other residents into the university.
The erstwhile Special Study Centre, located at No. 3, Mbaba Afia Street, has formally moved to the new facility at Udo Udoma Avenue in the metropolis.
At the ceremony to declare the centre open for occupation by NOUN staff and students, the Registrar of the institution, Mr. Felix Edoka, who represented the vice-chancellor, said, “The purpose of our visit today is to ask the director of the Uyo Study Centre, Dr. Angela Abaa, to move into this facility recently donated to the university by the government of Akwa Ibom state. I wish to seize this opportunity to express the gratitude of the university to the governor, His Excellency Deacon Udom Emmanuel, for this wonderful gesture."
He revealed that the university has decided to make Uyo the operational hub of the university in the South-south region.

Trump bans two-year multiple visa for Nigerians

President Donald Trump of the United States through the Executive Order signed on Friday has banned the issuance of multiple American entry visas to Nigerians.
The Executive Order shows that at least two sections will affect Nigerians directly.
Nigeria currently only issues one-year multiple-entry visa to Americans, which is a non-reciprocation of the two-year visa the country issues to Nigerians.
Section 9 of the Executive Order states: “The Secretary of State shall review all non immigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking non immigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable…”
By this provision, except the federal government quickly moves to extend the validity of Nigerian visa to Americans, Nigerians too will be issued with one-year visas.
Nigerians who hold dual nationality will also be affected if their other passport is from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — the seven Muslim-majority countries “of concern”.

Although, the section on dual nationality involving seven Muslim-majority countries is not expected to affect a significant number of Nigerians because a second citizenship these countries is not common, Nigerians who have been to these countries in recent times may be subjected to extra immigration control with possible deportation.

War on Terror: NERI exhibits positive photos from Borno

Determined to rebrand the North-Eastern Nigeria in a positive narrative on developments against the negatives on insurgency, the North-East Regional Initiative (NERI) has hosted the Bit of Borno Photo Exhibition by acclaimed Photographer, Fati Abubakar.
Speaking at the occasion, the Manager of NERI, Albert Pam disclosed that the Bits of Borno Photo Exhibition was conceived as a platform to showcase the beauty, culture, traditions of people living in Borno State.
He said that the state which was traumatized for several years has the tendency to be viewed from the angle of despair and destruction in the media.
Pam said: “The media have portrayed an image of Borno as a place of death and destruction. We are happy that a photojournalist is using her pictures through various platforms to challenge misconceptions about her hometown. Most of the pictures demonstrate the resilience of the peoples, especially women and children who are still proud to carry on their day to day  activities with joy and happiness.

Ile-Ife agog as Adedoyin wears Miss Oodua crown

The ancient city of Ile Ife was lighted up Wednesday as the Olokun Festival Foundation, OFF, staged the 2017 Oodua Beauty Pageant at the Nicon Hotel amidst pump and pageantry.
The Olokun Festival Foundation, OFF, an offshoot of the OPC, saddled with the responsibility of promoting the culture, tradition of, and moral values among the Yoruba race.
The Oodua Beauty Pageant is a package of the OFF to showcase talents and beauty among the Yoruba race.
At the colourful event which showcased no less than eleven participants, Onamade Adedoyin, 21, of the Polytechnic, Ile-Ife, emerged winner, with the star price attached to the category.

Oil Wells: Bury your heads in shame, Rivers APC tells Wike, PDP

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has hit out hard at Governor Nyesom Wike and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), asking them to bury their heads in shame over the ceding of oil wells belonging to Rivers to neighbouring Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states. Rivers APC in a statement issued on Sunday in Port Harcourt berated Wike and the state PDP for attempting to shift the blame to former governor Chibuike Amaechi over the unfortunate development.
The party said in the statement signed by the State Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya: “We are shocked by Wike and PDP’s brazen attempt to shift the blame to Rt. Hon. Amaechi via a statement issued by one Jerry Needam titled, ‘Oil Well Politics: Accept your empty promises, PDP tells Amaechi, APC’. This simply shows how shameless both Wike and Rivers PDP leadership can be. It was Nyesom Wike and his confused PDP members who collaborated with then President Jonathan Goodluck to cede oil wells belonging to Rivers State to neighbouring Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states to show their disdain for Rivers State and her people. Instead of hiding their faces in shame, they have the audacity to remind Rivers State and her people at this period of their golden age celebration, of how they wickedly connived with the then PDP-led Federal Government to deny Rivers State her entitlements as an oil producing State just because of their hatred for Amaechi.” 

Thousands attend RCCG Port Harcourt Holy Ghost rally

 PHOTO :L-R. Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani, Speaker, House of Assembly and Prince Uche Secondus, Former PDP National Chairman during praise & worship session at the Holy Ghost Rally organized by Redeemed Christian Church of God at Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt.

Thousands of Rivers people on Sunday  trooped to the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for the Port Harcourt Holy Ghost  Rally of the Redeemed Christian Church of God ( RCCG) where the General Overseer Worldwide, Pastor Enoch Adeboye ministered.
Among the worshippers were Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani  and members of the Rivers State Executive Council. 
Preaching under the theme: "The Almighty ", General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye stated that  God  has the capacity  to  turn any situation  around.
He called  on the people to always look unto God for their blessings, pointing out that the 2017 Holy Ghost Rally  would lead to several  testimonies. 

Senate says Justice Ministry recovered over $18.5bn looted funds last fiscal year

The National Assembly has commended the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN for his judicious use of finances and his creativity in sourcing direct revenue which ensured he achieved so much inspite of the meagre resources allocated to his Ministry in 2016 year’s budget.
A press statement emanating from Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice revealed that the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters gave the AGF a pat on the back when it visited the Federal Ministry of Justice last Thursday as part of its oversight function.  
Chairman of the Committee, Senator David Umaru advised other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to take a cue from the AGF by exhibiting prudence in the management of resources allocated it and to device creative means of generating funds for optimal benefit of the nation.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Literary icon, Buchi Emecheta dies at 72

One of  Nigeria's literary icons, Buchi Emecheta who amongst others authored The Joys of Motherhood, Second-Class Citizen and The Bride Price, has died at her home in London at the age of 72.
Emecheta's books were on the national curricula of several African countries.
She was known for championing women and girls in her writing, though famously rejected description as a feminist.
"I work toward the liberation of women but I'm not feminist. I'm just a woman," she said.
The topics she covered in her writing included child marriage, life as a single mother, abuse of women and racism in the UK and elsewhere.
"Black women all over the world should re-unite and re-examine the way history has portrayed us," she said.

We will do all we can to support local producers & manufacturers— AG. President Osinbajo

Vice president Yemi Oshibanjo (2nd right) admiring some made in Aba shoes on his arrival during the maiden edition of nation wide micro, small and medium enterprise clinic in Aba. With him behind are minister of trade and investment Dr. Okechukwu Enelama, Abia state Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu among other top government officials.

Determined to ensure that Federal Government’s business oriented regulatory agencies become facilitators for Micro, Small, & Medium Scale Enterprises, MSMES, the Buhari presidency would do all within its ability to support them and ensure they become thriving businesses.
This assurance was given earlier today by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, during a visit to Aba, Abia State, where he participated in the First MSMES Clinics after the media launch in Abuja on Tuesday.
Using as an analogy, the story President Muhammadu Buhari once told him about the importance of taking care of people “who do the things that make us comfortable, the Vice President observed “it is important to pay attention to MSMES.
“We will spend time to ensure that we give those who produce locally all the support that we can give, and that is why we are doing this clinics.”

FG debunks report on governors' emissary to London, says President is ok

From left: The Director General, National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, Mrs. Asmau Joda, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Chairman, Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative - Sub Economic Development Committee,  Mr. Yusuf Buba, Engr. Mohammed Gambo Umar, Mallam Aliyu Kamara and Rabo Ngatuwa when members of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative - Sub Economic Development Committee paid a courtesy visit to the Minister in his office on Thursday

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has refuted a media report alleging that Nigerian Governors are planning to send a delegation to confirm the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari in London, saying there is no need for such emissary since the President is in good shape.
The Minister made the rebuttal in Abuja on Thursday when he received members of the Presidential Committee on the Northeast Initiative's Sub Committee on Economic Development.
I think it is very much in order to use this opportunity to debunk the report in a section of the press today (Thursday) that Governors are meeting in Abuja and they will at the end of the meeting send an emissary to London to see President Buhari.

2Face Idibia makes case for good governance

Nigerian musical legend, Innocent Idibia, also known as 2Baba is leading a protest against Federal Government’s handling of the economy among other sundry issues.
2Baba announced his plans on Wednesday on his Instagram page, stating that protest would hold nationwide on February 5.
caption 'A call for good governance', 2baba is demanding an explanation into the reckless economic downturn across Nigeria. He wrote:

A call for good governance
A call for urgent explanation into the reckless economic downturn nationwide.
A call for nationwide protests as we say No to the Executive, No to legislatures, No to judiciary… You have all failed us.
We the people are tired. We can no longer continue with all of you. All your excuses and mistakes are not funny. We do not wish to continue with a system and government that is not working but afflicting the people. We the people of this country not living under the privileges of government allowances and remuneration have now accepted to take the bull by the horn to come out and protest this obnoxious and baseless policies and excuses
of the government of the day.
Where are the recovered looted funds?

Wike flags off the construction of Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba-Ozocha road

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  (m) , Member representing Ahoada East Constituency 2, Mr Ehie Edison (r) and Chief Cassidy Ikegbidi during the flag off the construction of Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba-Ozocha road on Thursday

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has flagged off the completion of the Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba-Ozocha road, pledging that Ekpeye-land will experience  unprecedented development  now that peace has returned to the area.
Performing the flag off the construction  of  the  road on thursday, Governor Wike  said that the contract was awarded in fulfilment  of his promise to former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Chibodum Nwuche.

4 members of Turkish College kidnap gang arrested in Delta, Ogun & Lagos


Four members of the kidnap gang who abducted five Turkish School Children and three members of staff of the school, have been arrested, according to a release by the Police at Force headquarters on Thursday. It was also  disclosed that a sum of N1. 2million being part of the ransom collected was recovered from the kidnappers.
According to Force Public Relations Officer, Acting CP Don Awunah, the names of the suspects are Bekewei Agbojule, aka, Prince Yellow; Philip Joel Kakadu, aka, General Kakadu, a militant leader; Romeo Council, aka, Raw and Totki Okoda, (the informant) who lives in the creeks behind the school at the Ijaw fishermen settlement.
The Force PRO said The IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), worked in synergy with the Tactical Intelligence Unit (TIU) of the Nigeria Police Force in a joint operation supervised by AIG Kayode Aderanti, AIG Zone 2, Lagos which smashed the notorious kidnap gang and arrested four (4) vicious kidnappers who are active members of the gang.
In the course of investigation into the dastardly crime, three suspects namely Are Philip Joel Kakadu aka “General Kakadu” a militant leader; Romeo Council aka “Raw” and Totki Okoda who lives in the fishermen’s community behind the school and provided information about the victims to his gang, were trailed and arrested at different locations in Delta, Ogun and Lagos States respectively, for the criminal roles they played in the commission of the crime.

Buhari is not ill or in any London hospital-Presidency

The presidency has debunked rumours making the rounds that President Buhari is ill and on admission in a London Hospital.
Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina made the clarification on Thursday in a live interview programme on CNBC Africa.
Adesina said that the rumoured hospitalization of the President was a figment of peoples imaginations.
"The President is in London on vacation.  He is not in any hospital and he is not ill. When he was travelling last week the statement we put out was that he was going on vacation and during the vacation he would do routine medical check-up and nothing has changed from what we pushed out last week. If anybody has fed something else into the rumour mill that is just what it is- rumour", Adesina said.
The President's spokesman said it was at the discretion of the President to chose whether to talk to Nigerians from the UK or not. The fact that he is a president, he still has his rights. Compelling him to come out and talk will be infringing on his rights.
The President will talk if he wishes to if he doesn’t wish to, nobody will compel him to talk. The truth is that the President is on vacation and he has given a date on which he will return to work.’’ 

Edo Governor swears in Ikponwen as new Chief Judge

Governor Godwin Obaseki exchanging pleasantries with the newly sworn in Chief Judge, Justice (Mrs) Esohe Ikponwen

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo, on Thursday, sworn in Justice (Mrs) Esohe Ikponwen, as the substantial Chief Judge of the state.
Speaking during the swearing in ceremony at the state Government House, Obaseki said that every government must recognize the importance of the judiciary.
He said that the laudable achievement recorded in the Oshiomole-led administration was due to the harmony which existed between the judiciary and executive.
He therefore urged the Chief judge to bring to bare her wealth of experience in the discharge of her duties as a highly respected judge in the country.
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