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BREAKING: US Jury Finds Derek Chauvin Guilty Of Killing George Floyd

Sahara Reporters - 1 hour 30 min ago

The  jury in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has reached a verdict, the court said on Tuesday afternoon, as tensions are running high across the United States.

The verdict on whether Chauvin is guilty of the murder of George Floyd is expected to be announced shortly in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the trial was heard, Al Jazeera reports.

An air of excitement and dread hung over downtown Minneapolis after authorities announced that the jury had reached a decision.

A group of activists waiting for the verdict in downtown Minneapolis chanted, “What do we want? Justice. If we don’t get it? Shut it down. 

Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25 last year, which spurred mass protests around the world. See Also International Black Lives Matter: Ex-Police Officer, Chauvin's Body Camera Captures His Remarks After Kneeling On George Floyd 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

Al Jazeera’s John Hendren, reporting from Minneapolis, said the speed with which the jury reached its decision – about a day after their deliberations began on Monday, following closing arguments – sends a message.

“They’re trying to tell us that this was a relatively easy decision, arrived at speedily, with very little rancor,” Hendren said, noting that it appears the jury asked no questions of the judge or attorneys during their deliberations. “In general, when a jury comes down with a verdict this quick, it often favours the prosecution.”

Jury deliberation entered its second day Tuesday morning, after the prosecution and defence gave their closing arguments yesterday.

The biggest surprise came from the nearly three-hour closing from Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson, which was interrupted by Judge Peter Cahill’s call for a lunch break and looks of boredom from the jury, according to court pool reports. See Also CRIME Former US Police Officer Accused Of Murdering George Floyd Granted $1.25m Bail At First Court Appearance 0 Comments 10 Months Ago

Monday was calm in Minneapolis following days of tumult. A demonstration began at 5pm local time (22:00 GMT) near the Hennepin County Justice Center, which serves as the courthouse, shortly after the jury began deliberations.

The crowd was smaller than in recent nights, with about 2,000 attendees at its peak, but still fervent. The trial was on the minds of protesters.

“Nelson was stalling. He knows he has no case,” Steve Graff, one of the demonstrators, told Al Jazeera in reference to the defence’s lengthy closing argument.

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IGP, EFCC Chairman On Collision Course As Police Withdraw CSPs, Others From Anti-Graft Agency

Sahara Reporters - 2 hours 25 min ago

The acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, may be on a collision course, as the police authorities have directed the withdrawal of its senior officers from the commission starting from Chief Superintendents of Police.

The IGP gave the directive in a memo to the EFCC chairman, dated April 15, and obtained by SaharaReporters, while also requesting that the commission provide the police with the list of personnel in its nominal roll and their dates of transfer.

The IGP letter reads that the CSPs and other senior police officers hitherto with the EFCC must return to the police headquarters on Wednesday by 10 am for “further instructions.”

The IGP's memo written by Acting Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, a Principal Staff Officer to the IGP, reads, “I write to extend the warmest regards of the Inspector-General of Police and to inform the chairman that the Inspector-General of Police has directed the withdrawal of all senior police officers from the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police and above attached to your agency.

“The decision is informed by the current operational requirements of the force. You are accordingly requested to kindly direct the immediate release of the concerned officers who are to collectively report to the undersigned on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at 10am for further instructions.

“I am to also request that you avail this office the comprehensive nominal roll of all police personnel attached to the EFCC to include their date of transfer and designations in the agency for the purpose of updating our records.”

Although the EFCC has civilian staff members and its trained cadets, police officers make up a substantial number in its investigations and operations department – the core department of the commission.

Some of the past chairmen of the commission were Commissioners of Police as of the time of their appointment, which has made more policemen to be deployed to the commission.

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Establish Anti-Corruption Commission In Kwara, Group Tells State Government

Sahara Reporters - 2 hours 30 min ago

The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) has urged the Kwara State government to establish a Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PUCACC) in the state.

The group noted that there is a need to fight corruption institutionally, saying corruption is the major reason the level of growth and development does not commensurate with public funds spent by successive administrations since the return of democracy.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee, Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), Saeed Tijjani, on Tuesday. 

According to the statement, the Coordinator of ENetSuD, Dr. Alagbonsi Abdullateef, made this call while reacting to the PUCACC Executive Bill 2021 recently passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly, which was signed into law by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday, April 19, 2021. 

The Commission, as reported, will investigate and prosecute officials of the state government and registered contractors, among others, indicted for economic crimes and financial misappropriation.

Alagbonsi said, “Even though the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) are playing their roles (within their capacity) to fight corruption nationwide, little has been achieved by them at the state and local government (LG) levels. To kill corruption, which is seemingly high at these levels, there is a need to establish an independent state organ that will specialise in the fight against corruption at the state and LG. 

"We strongly believe that a thorough scrutiny of public fund and government budget execution at the state and LG levels will block diversion of public funds, improve quality service delivery, enhance value-for-money in project execution, and make adequate funds available that will enable Kwara State government and LGs to meet the needs of the citizenry.”

ENetSuD noted that only three states in Nigeria, namely Kano, Oyo, and now Lagos, have established PUCACC. ENetSuD, therefore, urged the governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Salihu Yakubu Danladi, to partner on how to establish the PUCACC in Kwara State as soon as possible. 

ENetSuD concluded that the promise and desire of the present administration to fight the systemic corruption in Kwara State will manifest only when concrete steps are taken by the government. 

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Minister Of Communications, Pantami Claims Facebook Page Hacked After Raining Curse On Activist, Adeyanju

Sahara Reporters - 2 hours 31 min ago

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has claimed his Facebook page was hacked.

SaharaReporters had on Monday reported how Pantami placed a curse on the convener of human rights group, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju for asking the United States to place him on terrorism watchlist

Adeyanju had in a letter dated April 11, 2021, with the subject, ‘Terrorist Watchlist – Isa Pantami’ and addressed to the Secretary of State, United States Department of State pointed out that Pantami being a senior member of Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, it was not expected of him to be an alleged supporter of world’s extremist leaders like Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden, and if the allegation is true

“He should not hold a sensitive position and be in charge of the database of Nigerians.”

However, some followers and supporters of the minister declared Adeyanju an ‘Enemy of Islam’.

In a post on Facebook, one Datti Assalafiy wrote, “The non-Muslim, Deji Adeyanju, hates Islam and Muslims, supports the abuse of Islam and Muslims on his social media.

“He is one of the enemies of Nigeria's peace that has won a contract to spread the #ENDSARS crisis on social media which has cost Nigeria more than N3 trillion.

“He is the one who has now written a letter of complaint to the US Embassy in Abuja, requesting that the United States place Sheikh Dr Isa Ali Pantami on a list of people responsible for terrorist activities around the world, and that the embassy (should) accept his complaint.

“No matter the fate and destiny, there is nothing to associate with these pagans who hate us all the time and their parents.

“O Allah, show this pagan one of your verses, may Allah grant him a long life in hardship and humility to witness the glory of Malam Isa Ali Pantami and the Muslims in Nigeria. Amen Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum.”

Commenting on the post with his verified Facebook page, Pantami wrote in Hausa, “Allah ya tsine masa alubarika” which means “May Allah rebuke his blessings.” See Also Sahara Reporters Pro-Terrorism Comments: Concerned Nigerians Group Writes DSS, Demands Arrest, Prosecution Of Pantami 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

The minister comment which gathered over 350 replies was however deleted few minutes after.

The deleted comment has stirred further outrage with Nigerians insisting the minister is an unrepentant fundamentalist despite openly renouncing his support for terror groups.

Pantami however said his page was hacked but now recovered.

“This account was hacked. Just recovered it. It is not being managed by Dr Isa Ali Pantami, but by some youth. Disregard any request, comment or message from it. Thanks! Management,” he said.

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We Need Referendum, Freedom From Nigeria, Not Asylum, IPOB Tells UK Government

Sahara Reporters - 3 hours 6 min ago

The Indigenous People of Biafra says its victimised members do not want asylum from the British government.
IPOB said what it needs and appreciates most is a referendum that will accord a sovereign Biafran nation to its members.

The separatist group said this while reacting to the promise by the United Kingdom to grant asylum to IPOB members hounded by the Nigerian government.
The Igbo National Council (INC) on Monday said the United Kingdom wanted to appease the Igbo people, over the wrongs done to them.

INC President, Chilos Godsent, said this in Owerri, Imo State, while reacting to the report that the United Kingdom was planning to grant asylum to alleged persecuted members of IPOB and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB. 

Godsent said, “The only thing is that the UK is trying to address some of the anomalies targeted on the Igbo nation. They want the Igbo to feel pacified and believe that the UK is in for social justice. The UK wants to redeem its image. In the history of Nigeria, the UK has not shown any support for the Igbo nation. They know that things have fallen apart in Nigeria.”
Reacting on Tuesday, IPOB in a statement through its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful appreciated the British government for its gesture but declined the offer.
“We the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), ably led by our great and indomitable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has noted with satisfaction the news that the United Kingdom has agreed to grant asylum to persecuted Biafra agitators resident in the UK.
“While we commend them for this bold initiative, we wish to most graciously remind them that what we Biafrans need and cherish the most is a referendum and not asylum in the UK. We are tired of living in bondage in the devilish contraption called Nigeria they single-handedly created.
“We would not wish our children, now and generations unborn, to share the same geo-political space with those that reward terrorists and criminalise law-abiding citizens. We particularly thank the UK government for confirming what the rest of the civilized world already know that the great IPOB worldwide family are not terrorists but peaceful agitators and freedom fighters.
“That Nigeria is a country run by terrorists for the benefit of terrorists has been confirmed by this noble move by the United Kingdom. Aso Rock, the seat of power in Nigeria is a terrorist haven with serving ministers who are openly sympathetic to terrorists and their activities, coming and going as they please, while freedom fighters are languishing in jail. 
“We want freedom, not asylum,” IPOB said.

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Dismissed Police Officer Arrested For Stealing Phone At IRT Commander’s Office

Sahara Reporters - 3 hours 42 min ago

The Nigeria Police Force has arrested a dismissed corporal, Daniel Aaron for stealing a phone which was being charged around the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) commander’s office. 

The 37-year-old man, who was arrested after he was seen in a CCTV footage stealing the phone, claimed he committed the act to raise his children’s school fees.

He added that his wife left him after he lost his job.

According to the Benue state indigene, he was dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force after being involved in a case of accidental discharge in 2014. 

When asked about the phone he stole, he said he sold it for N37,000 to one Abdul around Mararaba.

He added that he sent part of the money to his family.

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Obafemi Awolowo University Student Commits Suicide By Taking Sniper

Sahara Reporters - 3 hours 50 min ago

A 200-level student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State has allegedly committed suicide after taking a popular pesticide, Sniper.

The student simply identified as Emmanuel, was studying Accounting at the university before his death. 

He had reportedly told his friends on Friday that he would commit suicide and had taken a portion of the pesticide on Tuesday. 

The young man was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance but was brought in dead.

A source in the school said a friend had gone to the health centre and witnessed how Emmanuel was rushed to the hospital.

It was also stated that the nurses confirmed the young man drank Sniper.

"He was rushed this morning to the health centre but the ambulance brought him in dead. My friend who is sick went to the health centre this morning and witnessed the incident. He told me about it. He told me the nurses confirmed he drank Sniper," the source said. 

A Twitter user @theefeyisayo, who confirmed it, said the deceased had always been discouraged by his mother, who always told him he would not be successful in life. 

He alleged that whenever Emmanuel threatened to commit suicide, his mother ignored the threat.

His tweet read, “One guy took Sniper in OAU today. I was with the boy on Friday night. Apparently, the mum always tells him he can't amount to nothing and whenever he threatens suicide, she always like, ‘leave him, that's how he does'. Mama don come meet dead body in school today (His mum met his dead body in school today when she came)."

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Falana, Labour Form New Movement, Roll Out Radical Agenda To Liberate Nigeria

Sahara Reporters - 4 hours 23 min ago

Ahead of national elections and beyond, progressives across Nigeria have met to form a mass workers and labouring masses’ political party.

The new movement said it would replace despair with hope by uniting the working people and the masses beyond the narrow prism of ethnicity and religion, with the hope of attaining a new Nigerian renaissance.

The new group was named 'The Peoples’ Alternative Political Movement', with a socialist ideology tailored to transform the new-colonial Nigerian economy.

The promoters said the new movement would wrestle Nigeria from a rainbow coalition of dishonest, corrupt and reactionary politicians currently driving the country to a shipwreck through mass corruption and exploitation of the primordial fault lines for personal fortunes.

It added that it would mend a divided country and bring hope where there is despair.

The promoters called on Nigerians, workers, students, women, youths and defenceless people alike to be ready to confront the exploitative system in order to secure eternal freedom from anguish and misery.

“We have started to build alliances in the creeks, in the forest lands, in the savannah, in the desert, in the plateau and plain fields where poor and toiling masses of Nigerians live,” the party said in a statement signed by Jaye Gaskiya.

"We are very clear about the root causes of our existential crisis. We shall mobilise Nigerians irrespective of religion, creed and norms to establish a new country that will be the pride of Africa. Nigeria shall be great again.”

The group described the ruling elite as incompetent, greedy, exploitative, and destructive with their repressive capitalist system over which they preside.

"We are equally not ambiguous about what is ultimately required to address the crisis and salvage our country and her peoples - the displacement of crooks and looters from power, and the elevation of the working class and masses to a state where they can exercise real control and management of their political and economic future," it said. 

On insecurity, the group said the result of the decades of misrule is seen in terrorism, killings and a dominant atmosphere of fear and trembling.

It said, "Armed bandits, armed insurgents, armed herders, armed militias, armed cultists, armed robbers, and armed kidnappers lay siege to the country, exercising varying degrees of authority over territories in Nigeria.

"It is clear that the ruling class, and all its various factions have run out of ideas and are incapable of resolving the threats facing the country.
“While bandits in power continue to negotiate with bandits in the forests and on the highways, no single inch of the territory of our country is secure, and not a single citizen or resident is safe or can live a life free from fear.

“Armed bandits, armed insurgents, armed herders, armed militias, armed cultists, armed robbers, and armed kidnappers lay siege to the country, exercising varying degrees of suzerainty over large swats of the territory of the country.

“It is clear that the ruling class, and all its various factions and fractions have run out of ideas and are incapable of resolving the humongous security challenges, facing the country, and brought on by their incompetence and greed.

“It is clear that in order to adequately address this crisis, the popular masses must accede to power, and undertake a comprehensive root and branch overhaul and radical reorganisation of governance.

“We demand that the working peoples of Nigeria, and the labour movement rise up and hold the government and the ruling class accountable.”

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Jungle Justice: Robber Burnt To Death In Nigeria's Capital City

Sahara Reporters - 4 hours 54 min ago

File Photo

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, Abuja has confirmed the death of one of the suspects that was set ablaze in the city over alleged abduction of a woman and her child.

The command spokesman, Mariam Yusuf said a preliminary investigation revealed it was a case of “one chance robbery" and not abduction as initially suspected, in a statement released on Tuesday. 

File Photo

The suspects reportedly attempted to defraud their victim in a taxi with reg no. KUJ 959 AQ around Wuse 2, Abuja.

The people in the area were said to have killed one of them after they were apprehended before police officers arrived at the scene and rescued the others.

Yusuf said, “The Commissioner of Police, CP Bala Ciroma, has ordered a discreet investigation into the incident and appealed to members of the public to shun jungle justice.”

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Nigerian Senate Moves To Establish Agency To Control Cows, Other Livestock Movement

Sahara Reporters - 4 hours 57 min ago

Nigerian Senate

The Senate on Tuesday considered a bill that seeks to control the movement of cows and other livestock across the country.

The bill which was sponsored by Senator Bima, Muhammad Enagi (Niger South), seeks to establish National Livestock (Protection, Control and Management) Bureau, passed Second Reading on the floor of the Senate.

Nigerian Senate

According to Enagi, the piece of legislation when passed into law will curb incessant cattle rustling and conflicts between herders and farmers.

He said the movement of livestock and their products has increased the spread of diseases, increased the threat to human health and reduced consumer confidence in animal products.

The lawmaker added that the agency when established will ensure the traceability of animal products into the country, in order to safeguard the lives of the people.

He listed the benefits of the Bill to include creation of a National Livestock identification data base; ensuring management, traceability, and control of movement of livestock; ensuring livestock health and disease management through disease surveillance, prevention and quick response to disease outbreaks.

Others are food safety through the traceability of animal products; enhancing transparency and information in the food chain; deterring animal theft, especially as it affects the incessant cattle rustling crisis; aiding intelligence gathering by security agencies towards mitigating the incessant conflicts between herders and farmers.

“With the vast livestock resources available and proper use of experts, it can be exploited to transform the livelihood of millions of farmers and other stakeholder in the livestock value chain.

“In the long run, an enabling law will sanitise the sector, reduce communal conflicts and herders-farmers clashes, enhance foreign exchange earnings, give the desired boost to the ongoing agricultural renaissance that the present administration is passionate about,” he said.

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Federal Civil Servant, Three Others Arrested Over Sale Of Babies In Bayelsa

Sahara Reporters - 4 hours 59 min ago

Officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons have arrested four persons including a federal civil servant based in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on allegations of buying and selling of babies and conspiracy to commit a crime.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the agency's Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, Stella Nezan.

According to the statement, the federal civil servant, Wilson Erurom and a middle-aged man, Marksoo Uzer, who works with First Fertility Hospital, Makurdi, Benue State, were arrested alongside two other culprits: Albert Motemi and Gabriel Gav. 

They were arrested alongside an intending buyer, who was picked up by men of the Department of State Services after a failed transaction.

The statement read, “The federal civil servant, Mrs. Wilson Erurom and another middle-aged man, Mr Marksoo Uzer, an employee of First Fertility Hospital, Makurdi Benue State, Albert Motemi and Gabriel Gav were arrested in Makurdi, the Benue State capital through the combined effort of operatives of the agency and the Department of State Services.

“During interrogation, the woman who was the intending buyer, stated that she linked up with the suspect after listening to an advertorial in one of the broadcast stations in Yenagoa in which the man boasted of assisting people to get children either through in-planting, in-vitro fertilisation or outright adoption.

“She explained that because age was not on her side, she preferred outright adoption of infant and she subsequently paid the sum of N500, 000 for the purpose.

“According to her, after the safe delivery of the baby in question, she received a call from the man urging her to come to Makurdi for the baby. The woman was quoted as saying: "By the time I arrived, I lodged in one hotel and the following day when I saw the man, he told me that the ‘surrogate mother’ suddenly changed her mind. I did not know what happened and as I was trying to find my way back to Bayelsa State the following day, I was arrested by men of the DSS and handed over to NAPTIP."

The statement continued, “Investigation revealed that the principal suspect in the case, Mr Marksoo Uzer, who is suspected to have been involved in such illegal dealings in the past, had promised an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) a baby after collecting the sum of N950, 000 and refusing to give her the baby.

“In his confession, the principal suspect in the case and employee of one of the popular fertility hospital in Makurdi who regretted his action attributed the development to the financial pressure brought about on him by the health challenge of his wife.”

Reacting to the development, Director General of NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, commended the inter-agency collaboration existing between NAPTIP and the DSS as demonstrated in the prompt referral of the case. 

Ibrahim, thereafter, urged Nigerians to always ensure due process is followed when confronted with issues of child adoption.

The NAPTIP boss also promised that the case will be thoroughly investigated and taken to court.

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BREAKING: Stay Away From Ebonyi, Umahi Tells Herdsmen

Sahara Reporters - 4 hours 59 min ago

David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi state has urged herdsmen to stay away from the the state for now.

The governor disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the state executive council meeting, on Tuesday.

According to Umahi, there is no herdsman in Ebonyi as a result of the ongoing tension in the state.

He said, “We are killing policemen, we are burning police station which means that South-East leaders should know that our problem is not just herdsmen. We want to put it on record that no herdsman is in Ebonyi state now.

“We didn’t ask them to leave. They left on their own, which means they were privy to the attacks on Ebonyi state.

“I have been begging the national leadership that with what is going on, no state governor is in control of bandits and because of the killings of the defenceless Ebonyi people, for the safety of them, they should not return now.

“There is high tension. We have sent text messages to Miyetti Allah that Ebonyi state is under tension and we would not want them to still stay until such a time that the state is safe.”

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JUST IN: Tension Over Heavy Shooting On Enugu-Abakaliki Highway

Sahara Reporters - 5 hours 22 min ago

Movement of vehicles and passengers along the Enugu Abakaliki expressway has been halted following heavy shooting at the Ezilo axis of the highway by gunmen, the Nation reports.

It was not immediately clear those responsible for the shootings.

SaharaReporters Media

Governor David Umahi had on Tuesday confirmed the killing of two persons in a renewed boundary dispute between Exilic community and neighboring Iyionu community.

Both communities are in Ishielu local government area of the state.

It could not be immediately established if the shooting is connected with the dispute.

A passenger from Afam Cyprian, who was travelling to Enugu, said travellers had been stranded at Okpoto for about one hour.

He said military patrol vans were patrolling the highway but had told them not to advance.

“Many people are looking for another route to take. Some have gone back to take Afikpo Road. I am looking for a way to go back to Abakaliki,” he said.

Police spokesperson, Loveth Odah confirmed the shootings.

She said the police commissioner, Aliyu Garba has dispatched police patrol teams to restore peace and open up the road for users.

She however said the shooting could not have been related to the boundary dispute as the disputed area is not close to the highway.

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EXPOSED: Stella Oduah Plots With Senate President, AGF To Scuttle Her Ongoing N9.4billion Fraud Trial

Sahara Reporters - 5 hours 43 min ago

The trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over a N9.4 billion fraud may gradually be scuttled going by her secret plot with the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

SaharaReporters learnt that the trial of Oduah which was supposed to proceed on February 22 could not proceed because the co-defendants with the minister failed to appear before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The judge had given the prosecution additional weeks and slated April 19.

It was gathered that Oduah, who is presently the Senator representing Anambra North in the National Assembly, has met with Lawan and Malami to douse her case with the EFCC.

“February 22 has passed but she was not arraigned. April 19 has also passed because of the industrial action of judiciary workers. She is working very hard using the Senate President and AGF to either scuttle arraignment or frustrate the trial. Alternatively, they are planning to water down the trial through the prosecution via the EFCC chairman.

“February 22 has passed but she was not arraigned. April 19 has also passed. She is working very hard, using the Senate President and AGF to either scuttle arraignment or frustrate the trial. Alternatively, they are planning to water down the trial through the prosecution via the EFCC chairman. See Also Corruption N5bn Scandal: How AGF Malami, Senate President Are Frustrating Stella Oduah's Trial 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

“Another way is through the prosecutor, Dr Hassan Liman, a close friend of Lawan and the AGF,” a source revealed to SaharaReporters.

SaharaReporters had reported on February 22 that the EFCC had earlier planned to re-arraign Oduah over an alleged fraud to the tune of over N9.4 billion on that same day but her co-defendants failed to show up in court as part of the plot.

Odua was scheduled to be arraigned on a 25 counts of money laundering alongside Gloria Odita, Nwobu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Chukuma Irene Chinyere, Global Offshore and Marine Limited, Crystal Television Limited, Sobora International Limited and the China Civil Engineering Construction Company Limited. See Also Corruption N9.4bn Fraud: Absence Of Co-Defendants Delays Stella Oduah’s Trial 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

One of the counts in the charge reads, “That you, Stella Adaeze Oduah, whilst being the Minister of Aviation, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Gloria Odita whilst being the Company Secretary to Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Ltd (SPGC), and an aide to the former Minister of Aviation on or about the 12th day of February, 2014 at Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of this Honourable Court used your positions to transfer the sum of N1, 629,250,000 from 1-Sec Security Nig. Ltd account No. 2021756955 with First Bank Plc to Global Offshore and Marine Ltd account No. 2022977296 also domiciled with First Bank Plc, which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (6) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

When the case was mentioned, the prosecuting counsel, Dr Hassan Liman, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, informed the court that the commission tried every means possible but was unable to serve the fifth and sixth defendants with the court processes.

He therefore applied for an additional 14 days to serve them.

Justice Ekwo granted his prayer and adjourned till April 19, 2021, for arraignment. See Also Legal EFCC To Arraign Ex-Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, Over Alleged N9.4billion Fraud 0 Comments 2 Months Ago

SaharaReporters had on February 9 reported that Oduah would be arraigned for alleged financial impropriety totalling more than N9.4 billion fraud. 

SaharaReporters had in September 2017 uncovered how Oduah bought a $1.2 million home in London, disguising it in the robes of a foreign-registered company in an effort to avoid detection.

The transaction, which had been kept secret, was blown open when Mrs. Oduah decided to rent out the house and engage the services of an estate company. 

SaharaReporters had also reported in February 2018 that the EFCC had commenced investigation of Oduah, over her involvement in the N9.4 billion contract for supply of security equipment to 22 airports across the country.  See Also Breaking News How Stella Oduah Bought $1.5m House In London Using A Company Registered In Guernsey To Hide Ownership 0 Comments 3 Years Ago

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University Of Nigeria Affiliate Campus Asked Us To Pray Before We Can Graduate — Aggrieved Students

Sahara Reporters - 6 hours 20 min ago

Some students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka affiliated with the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) in Lagos have lamented the delay in the processing of their results.

The students, who are of the 2018/2019 graduating set, said some administrative staff members in the institution told them that graduating is by God's intervention.

Some of the students complained of inability to take up good jobs and further their studies both locally and internationally as they have not even been cleared by the school authorities with no explanation for the delay.

The students said they have not been issued statements of results and neither do they have any certificate to tender at job interviews or other schools where they planned to further their studies.

According to them, there is no memo from the school authorities on the cause of the problems and how to go about resolving them.

Some of the students alleged that the delay is from the mother campus, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as students' statements of results have yet to be issued and the Senate list has not been collated.

A student of the institution said, “We have finished since 2019 and our set in other schools have gone for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme and here we are, even clearance we are being denied. This is wrong, NYSC registration has started and we can't register, are we going to serve after 10 years?

“I even heard from a previous set that there's a fee we need to pay which is like N35,000 for certificates."

The student said he had stayed for one year and 4 months after his project defence with no memo as regards what to do next.

Another said, “All the good jobs I have seen out there are demanding NYSC certificate as necessary before appointment. Even before they made the clearance form available to us, it took them more than a year, YABATECH students had already begun NYSC registration.”

One of the students claimed the problem is not from the mother school but from the management of the UNN affiliate in YABATECH. 

He said, “My cousin schools in Anambra, same UNN affiliate, they did their clearance after the examination, and now their Senate list is out. The problem is our management as we finished our examination before them.”

Another student lamented, “I count myself lucky to be having a physical interview with the Managing Director of a reputable company next week but I don't have a statement of results or certificate or proof that I went to a higher institution. No NYSC certificate, nothing. What will I say when I get there? This is sad. Please answer us, we can't let opportunities go because we don't have a certificate.”

One of the students who complained said a lot of resources had gone into running the four-year course, including finance, time and energy.

“So after paying N78,500, N66,000, N66,000 and N72,000 and numerous departmental fees, journal fee and every other fee, this is what we will get? No, I didn't sign up for this. If the management can't handle our programme, they should scrap it. We are people's children for heaven's sake.”

According to one of the students, the Head of Department of one of the departments had said, “Help is on the way. Relax. May will not miss you. We are not sleeping on the case. I wanted everyone to be ready. It is well."

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EXPOSED: Fire Service Comptroller-General, Liman Ibrahim Refuses To Retire After 44 Years In Service

Sahara Reporters - 6 hours 28 min ago

Alhaji Liman Ibrahim, Nigeria’s Controller-General (CG) of the Federal Fire Service

Despite spending 44 years in public service, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim, Nigeria’s Controller-General (CG) of the Federal Fire Service (FFS) has refused to retire.

SaharaReporters gathered that Liman started his public career as a pioneer Cadet in the Niger State Fire Service in 1977.

Alhaji Liman Ibrahim, Nigeria’s Controller-General (CG) of the Federal Fire Service

His action is however against the civil service rule, which states that a career civil servant must disengage from service either after attaining 60 years of age or having worked for 35 years, whichever comes first.

It is also against a recent circular from the office of the Head of Service to all agencies of the Nigerian government which says, “For avoidance of doubt and in order to maintain discipline and integrity of the extant public service rule which prescribed 60 years of age or 35 years of service for mandatory retirement, should strictly be complied with.

“Accordingly, the following guidelines shall apply. (I) that career officers who take up tenured appointment should at the point of taking up the appointment retire from service to ensure they run their term uninterrupted.

“(II) that career officers who have not retired from service before the commencement of their tenured appointment must leave office on attainment of mandatory age/years of service for retirement and

“(iii) that career officers who are currently holding tenured appointment are required to retire from service with immediate effect and continue to run their term. Failure to do so would mean that they would vacate office on attaining the mandatory age or at the expiration of their term which ever comes first.”

However, sources have informed SaharaReporters that Liman, who by law is an illegal public servant, has been bribing members of the National Assembly committees on interior.

They accused the Fire Service chief of doing everything within his capacity to manipulate the extant laws and regulations to remain in office.

“This is someone who joined the Niger State Fire Service and went for training at the then Kano State Fire Service in 1977. By law, that was when his service in public service started. Public service rule says 35 years, both state and federal or 60 years of age.

“He later trained at the Fire Service Training School, Lagos in 1986. He left Niger State Fire Service where he headed for several years to establish the FCT Fire Service in 2001. He then crossed over to the Federal Fire Service in 2015. In all, he has put in approximately 44 years service counting from 1977,” a source told SaharaReporters.

Born to family of Alhaji Abdulrahman Ndabida in Baro, Agaie Local Government, Area Niger State, Liman was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2019.

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How Chad President’s Death Exposes Nigerian Army To More B’Haram Attacks – Intelligence Report

Sahara Reporters - 6 hours 34 min ago

Late President Idriss Deby in Nigeria

The death of Chad President Idriss Deby on Tuesday is bad for the Nigerian Army in the Lake Chad area, as the Boko Haram insurgents now have a larger stronghold to launch more violent attacks on military troops and bases, according to a report by the SB Morgen Intelligence.

The SB Intel report released on Tuesday added that the security situation already in Damasak and Dikwa, two Borno towns close to the Chadian border, is dangerous at the moment and has forced humanitarian agencies and workers to flee the towns, making them more vulnerable.

Late President Idriss Deby in Nigeria

The African-focused research firm, in its April 2021 report, stated that the Nigerian military now has a lot more work to do in the Multi-National Joint Task Force monitoring the Lake Chad region, which despite consisting of four countries, has Nigeria and Chad as the only active combatants.

The SB Intel report obtained by SaharaReporters said, “Geographically, Chad is at the heart of a number of conflicts in West and Central Africa. To its west, Déby had been a key ally for Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram. The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) operation which was supposed to include cooperation with Niger, Cameroon and Chad, ended up being a largely Nigerian operation with input from only the Chadian army.

“Chadian forces were largely restricted within the country’s borders, with the bulk of the fighting in Lake Chad done by the Nigerian military. For Nigeria, Déby’s death is not good news as the battle-hardened Chadian Army has been the only effective check on Boko Haram. While his son, Mahamat Déby Itno is at the moment the de-facto head of the military council, there is no clear successor to Mr Déby as he was effectively the state. See Also Politics President Deby’s Death, Insecurity in Chad Will Affect Nigeria—Adeyanju 0 Comments 7 Hours Ago

“The 37-year old Mahamat Déby has been a military brat all his life and has limited administrative or political experience. A succession battle, which is almost certain, would mean that the insurgents will have no worries about their flanks and can attack the Nigerian Army at will.

“This will likely mean the consolidation of the Lake Chad Basin as a staging area for the insurgents from where to launch attacks on towns and military bases. Already, the security situation in Damasak and Dikwa, Nigerian towns close to the Chadian border, has become untenable, forcing UN staff to suspend humanitarian operations.”

The report said the passing away of Deby leaves a “big gap” in Nigeria, a neighbouring country that is likely to have a profound impact on its security.

“This opens a brand new challenge - Nigeria either steps up in the region and ensures peace both within its borders and in this huge arc of instability, or the strip of relative stability in Southern Nigeria will be engulfed by the collapse of our near abroad.

“The growing external instability around Nigeria will soon become existential, and based on precedents, Deby’s passing would be blamed (by the Nigerian government) on any reversal of progress in the fight against Boko Haram in the North East It must be treated with the urgency it deserves,” it added.

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Police Kill 30 Bandits In Zamfara Shoot-out

Sahara Reporters - 6 hours 57 min ago

The Zamfara State Police Command has said it killed 30 hoodlums in Gobirawa, Gora, Rini and Madoti Dankule villages in the Maradun and Bakura local government areas of the state. 

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Mohammed Shehu, the operation followed a distress call it received about simultaneous attacks in the areas.

“On receipt of the distress call, tactical operatives of the command comprising of Puff Adder, Special Forces, PMF and CTU led by the Commander 78 PMF arrived at the scene and engaged the attackers in a gun duel. 

“As a result of the encounter, about 30 hoodlums were neutralised while others escaped to the forest with possible gunshot wounds," he said. 

Shehu, however, said the police found about 10 corpses belonging to the villagers lying around. 

He also asked residents of the state to cooperate with security agencies in order to effectively fight criminal elements terrorising the people.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police has reiterated his warning to all the recalcitrant armed bandits to either surrender their arms and embrace peace or face the unpredictable consequences.

While thanking police personnel for their resilience, he asked them to defend themselves aggressively in any engagement with bandits and ensure that they dominate the ungoverned spaces on a continuous basis.

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Nigerians Want One Nigeria, Secession Agitators Only Out For Financial Gains— Presidency

Sahara Reporters - 7 hours 7 min ago

Garba Shehu

The Presidency on Tuesday said separatist agitators such as Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Sunday Igboho and Asari Dokubo are mercantile agents who are only out for pecuniary gains.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this on Tuesday while giving a scorecard of the Buhari administration at an event organised by the All Progressives Congress APC Professional Forum.

Garba Shehu

Igboho had recently unilaterally declared the South-West part was no longer part of Nigeria.

During his declaration, the self-acclaimed activist said the major resources of Nigeria were in the hands of Northerners, stressing that Yorubas were being killed and their land taken over.

Dokubo also announced establishment of Biafra Customary Government in which he incorporated some parts of the South-East and South-South as part of the territory.

Kanu has been demanding a separate state of Biafra.

Also, Professor Banji Akintoye, has insisted on the creation of a Yoruba Republic, saying that agitation for restructuring of Nigeria is too late for Yoruba people.

But Shehu said that the Buhari-led government cannot be intimidated or bullied into giving in to the threats of such agitators.

Describing them as mercantile agents who are only out for pecuniary gains, the presidency said Buhari would not open the vaults to share free money with anyone.

He said, “On the unity of this country and the calls for secession and the insinuation that the presidency is not talking, the presidency has been talking. And our position is clearly that this country is one, is united, and by the grace of God will continue to be united.

“Look, one thing with this President and the National Secretary of the party has said a bit of that, you cannot intimidate Buhari. You cannot bully him. A lot of these people who are calling for secession are the problem of this country and I am happy that reasonable opinion, reasonable voices are now rising. Is it not only yesterday we were reading Afenifere, the most credible faction of Afenifere saying they were not for secession?

“The Ohanaze Ndigbo has said this over and over again. So this thing about secession is, they had used it in the past. You create secession and break up Nigeria and then you intimidate the sitting leader and then he opens the vaults and he brings money to settle people. President Buhari will pay no one. He is not going to pay and now it is clear that having ignored all of that, reasonable opinions are coming from those States and from those regions.

“Now, the thing about the South-East is part of the earlier conversation we just had now. Criminals are fighting to gain the upper hand but I tell you that no criminal or terrorist is bigger than this country. None of them is mightier than our armed forces. This structure has been there. They were certificated and praised for World War I, World War II, they stabilise the entire West Africa region. Without Nigeria, would there be Liberia in its present form, would there be Sierra Leone in its present form, even Gambia? So just give it time and support and pray, we will win against these forces.

“The governors in the South-West, we have all heard them, they have denounced all of these things. So it is a sham. Nigerians want to be one, they want to continue. Yes, there are problems and we are hoping that as people united and loving of one another, we will come together and solve our problems and that leads me to the next question, whether there should be National Conference?

“What National Conference do more than a parliament? Anyone who is a democrat at heart, in practice in their beliefs they should believe in the tripartite structure of government. Governments that are democratic, there must be a parliament, the executive arm of the government and the judiciary, each one being independent and cooperating with the other. We have an elected parliament, which mandate is to be the custodian of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people.

“Look, a lot of these people who are crying for this secession, are unelectable. If you think you are electable, go around for a parliamentary seat whether House of Representatives or Senate and come and table an Amendment to the Constitution. 

“The process is ongoing as we speak now under the Deputy Senate President. They are calling for Memoranda, why can’t you present what you want? So the issue is that people who are not democrats want a parallel parliament to be set up and this Constitution does not recognize two parliaments in this country. We have one parliament that is sovereign, that is the custodian of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people. If your member representing you has failed to present this request that you want whether it is a change of the structure at the state, local government or national level pull him out four years after, don’t vote for him. Put another representative who will do what you want. This is how democracy works, periodic elections.”

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Be Warned, Don’t Invite The Wrath Of Igbos, Ohanaeze Tells Miyetti Allah

Sahara Reporters - 8 hours 2 min ago

Ohaneze Ndigbo

The apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has warned Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) against any attempt to operate a Fulani security group in the Igbo land.

The group in a statement by its Secretary General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro emphasized that securing lives and property of the citizenry solely lies in the hands of governors and the President, vowing that Ndigbo would resist such attempt to deploy any Fulani security group to man the nooks and crannies of Igbo land.

Ohaneze Ndigbo

Isiguzoro said if the purported move by Miyetti Allah is not quelled, it may spell doom for Nigeria.

“We have accommodated them, living with them peacefully, but we will resist any attempt to deploy any Fulani security group in the East,” he said.

The group also gave marching orders to the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and Ebube Agu to as a matter of urgency ensure the unwarranted attacks on Igbo land are stopped henceforth.

The apex Igbo body disclosed that its leadership will invite ESN, Ebube Agu and Miyetti Allah for a meeting so as to holistically and proactively address the wanton destruction of lives and property, occasioned by herdsmen and farmers’ clashes across the South-East zone.

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