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FG Renames Black Maria, Approves N1.5bn For New Vans

Sahara Reporters - 8 November 2018 - 1:32am

The vehicles used for conveying inmates from prisons to courts will now be known as Green Maria instead of Black Maria following the approval for name change by the Federal Government.

A bill has also been transmitted to the National Assembly for the renaming of the Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS) to Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) to give it a new image.

The Minister of Interior, General AbdulRahaman Dambazau, disclosed this to State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Dambazau said the renaming was to reflect the current thinking on the rehabilitation of inmates in the country.

The minister said the FEC has approved N1.5bn for the purchase of 116 vehicles for the prison service to fast-track the administration of justice in the country.

Dambazau said due to the challenge of vehicles, the dispensation of just was being delayed, saying justice delayed is justice denied.

“There are over 5,000 courts and 240 prisons. Daily, we need to convey inmates awaiting trials to these courts. For speedy dispensation of justice, we need the vehicles. If there are no vehicles, there will be problem. Justice delayed, is justice denied,” he said.

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BREAKING: Gunmen Abduct Ondo ADC Chairman, Senatorial Candidate

Sahara Reporters - 8 November 2018 - 1:13am

Olujide Ipinsagba

Olujide Ipinsagba

Gunmen have abducted Bisi Ogungbemi, Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Ondo State.

SaharaReporters learnt that Ogungbemi was abducted alongside Jide Ipinsagba, a Senatorial candidate.

Ipinsagba is the ADC Senatorial Candidate in Ondo North for the 2019 general election and had left the All Progressives Congress (APC) after he failed to secure the party's ticket.

Sources confirmed to our correspondent that the two other occupants of the vehicle they were travelling in were also kidnapped.

"The ADC chieftains were abducted on Wednesday evening on the Ikare-Owo road after a political meeting. They were waylaid and some other party starwalts together with the driver of the vehicle were also abducted," the source said.

Femi Joseph, Police Spokesperson in Ondo State Command, confirmed the incident but said the details were still sketchy.

Joseph told SaharaReporters via phone call that the real identity of those abducted was still not clear to the Police as at Thursday morning.

"It is true a kidnap occurred around the Ikare road road, but we cannot confirm the main identity of those who were abducted yet.

"Immediately, we got wind of it, our men moved to the scene, and they saw a vehicle which belongs to one Jide Ipinsagba. And as at this morning, we don't know the remaining occupants that might have been abducted as well.

"But we have commenced a search for the victims and we shall rescue them and bring these perpetrators to book," he said.

SaharaReporters gathered that the camp of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Ondo State has been thrown into confusion over the abduction of the party chieftains.

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We’re Unaware Of Oshiomhole’s Grilling By DSS, Says APC​

Sahara Reporters - 8 November 2018 - 1:11am

The All Progressives Congress on Wednesday night said it was not aware that its National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole was invited and quizzed by the Department of State Services.

An online medium, The Cable, had reported early on Wednesday that the DSS questioned Oshiomhole over his role in the rancourous primaries of the party.

The former governor of Edo State was said to have been asked to respond to allegations levelled against him by some aggrieved members of the party, including governors.

When contacted, Oshiomhole’s media aide, Mr Simon Ebegbulem, said, “The party (spokesman) has already responded, please check.” He declined further comments.

But when one of our correspondents got in touch with the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, he said, “We do not have any information on this rumour. More so, the chairman is not around in the country to confirm or deny this. As soon as we have any relevant information, you’ll be updated.”

In response to another question on when Oshiomhole travelled out of the country, he said, “I do not have this information. I know it is a scheduled personal trip he could not make last week due to the November 2 deadline for the submission of the list of candidates.”

Several calls made to the spokesperson for the DSS, Mr Peter Afunanya, to speak on the issue were not connected,  while the national leadership of the ruling party also refused to speak on the issue.

Oshiomhole was said to have been briefly detained by the DSS on Sunday.

The invitation sent to the former Governor of Edo State by the agency was said to have been as a result of issues raised by some APC governors, that the primaries were not transparent.

A source close to the agency said Oshiomhole denied any wrong doing during the interrogation and that he did not compromise his office.

It was however not clear if the operatives muted the idea of him leaving office due to the crises in the party as a result of the outcome of the primaries.

The source added, “Oshiomhole denied allegations of corruption. He also said he was even surprised to be asked questions.

“He said he had briefed the President (Muhammadu Buhari) and that the party and its leadership were carried along in all the actions he and the National Working Committee took during the exercise.

“He demanded to see if there was any petition written against him or any member of his NWC; but he was not shown any due to the sensitivity of the investigation.”

It was not clear if the former governor had briefed the President after his encounter with the DSS.

Recall that the APC primaries, especially the governorship, were marred by controversies in some states. The states included Lagos, Rivers, Imo, Ogun, Zamfara, Adamawa and Enugu.

In Ondo, where the governorship primary was not held, the state Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, alleged that his aides were sidetracked in the National Assembly elections.

The case of Zamfara State is said to be worse as the Independent National Electoral Commission insisted that the ruling party would not field candidates for the 2019 elections.

This was because the commission said the APC failed to conduct its primaries within the stipulated time.

Despite the intervention of the President, Governors Rochas Okorocha and Ibikunle Amosun of Imo and Ogun states respectively had been calling for the removal of Oshiomhole.

They alleged the former governor was economical with the truth over the conduct of governorship primaries in their states.

While Okorocha preferred his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor, Amosun is also rooting for a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Abiodun Akinlade.

But the Oshiomhole -backed NWC had submitted the names of Mr Dapo Abiodun and Hope Uzodimma, as the party’s governorship candidates for Ogun and Imo states, respectively.

PDP accuses Buhari of concealing corruption

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has described as reprehensible, what it claims to be an attempt by the Buhari Presidency to conceal alleged bribery and corrupt practices involving Oshiomhole.

The party said it was privy to the pressure from the Buhari Presidency on the DSS, which it said reportedly detained and grilled Oshiomhole, to let him off the hook for fears that his investigation might unearth the alleged complicity of the Presidency and other key APC members in the scam.

National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this in a statement in Abuja.

He said, “If the Buhari Presidency has nothing to hide; if it is not complicit in the alleged scam, it should allow the DSS and EFCC a free hand to investigate and prosecute his party’s Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

“As long as the DSS and the EFCC are not allowed to put Oshiomhole in the dock, the Buhari Presidency does not have the moral rectitude to speak on corruption.

“This is especially as the involvement of the DSS shows that the corruption burden of the APC chairman has already become a security risk for our nation.”

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Gunmen Displace 16,000 Benue Pupils​

Sahara Reporters - 8 November 2018 - 1:03am

Unknown gunmen

Attacks by gunmen on rural communities in Benue State this year alone forced over 20,000 pupils out of school, 16,000 of whom are currently housed in various internally displaced persons’ camps across the state.

The chairman of the state Universal Basic Education Board, Philip Tachin, who disclosed this to journalists in Makurdi yesterday, said more than 50 public primary school structures were also destroyed.

“Yes, it is true that some schools were completed and when destroyed. At least I have pictures that have been sent to me but I don’t know the exact number of schools that have been destroyed but they maybe tuning to over 40 or 50 thereabout. There is no way I can access those places myself because of the insecurity. One of the picture of the completed project was sent to me by a military person when they went there and saw that they came and burnt down the whole thing, the block that was completed.

“Another contractor sent to me that he had finished the project but went there and saw that the Fulani people had burnt down the building, so there are several of those. You know that thousands of school children have been forced out of school in those affected places. It’s difficult to even know exactly what was there because of insecurity. Going there is security risk,” Tachin said.

On abandoned primary school projects in the state, Tachin said the board would compile the names of defaulting contractors and forward same to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission if they failed to complete those projects by next month.

“I have given them (contractors) up to December, and if they don’t comply with directives, I will compile their names to the EFCC. The projects were meant to be completed within 12 weeks, but it is over three years now and the contractors are delaying the work,” he said.

He noted that the board had earlier terminated about 90 primary school projects abandoned by some contractors in parts of the state.

He said the projects which, awarded specifically to be completed in 12 weeks, had lasted for over three years as contractors complained of inflation.

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Buhari, Atiku Clash Over N30,000 Minimum Wage

Sahara Reporters - 8 November 2018 - 1:01am

Rather than subside, the row over the minimum wage keeps growing.

President Muhammadu Buhari explained yesterday his position on what the least paid worker should earn.

The Ms Ama Pepple committee set up to resolve the matter recommended N30,000.

The President said he was “fully committed to having a new National minimum Wage Act in the very near future” when the committee’s report was presented to him on Tuesday.

This was interpreted in the media to mean that Buhari planned  to recommend N30,000 to the National Assembly.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar hailed the N30,000 recommendation.

But yesterday, the Federal Government clarified Buhari’s position on the  matter.

The President will study the recommendation of the tripartite wage review committee before making government’s position known, it said.

Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday, Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed said what was presented to the President was a recommendation which he promised to study and get back to the committee.

But Atiku insisted that Buhari “must keep his word.”

Labour suspended its planned nationwide strike after the tripartite committee agreed to recommend N30, 000.

Ms. Pepple told the President that after extensive deliberations, the committee was recommending N30, 000, which Labour described as a compromised figure

President Buhari promised to send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly on the recommendation as soon as possible for consideration and approval, but he was silent on whether he endorsed the N30, 000 new wage.

Asked to clarify the government’s position on the issue, Mohammed said the President will study the recommendation and get back to the committee.

“I think it was a recommendation. Mr. President will consider it and will make his views known in due course,” the minister said.

Pressed for more comments, he added: “I said a recommendation was submitted. Mr. President will get back to the committee after he has studied the recommendation.”

On the possibility of reviewing the revenue sharing formula should the new minimum wage be approved to enable the states to pay, the minister said: “Once again, like I said, a recommendation has been made and in responding to the recommendation, all these views will be taken into consideration.”

A presidential source, who preferred not to be named, said the President had not endorsed N30, 000 as proposed by the committee and as being reported by some sections of the media.

The source, however, confirmed that President Buhari expressed commitment to ensuring the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage.

It said: “But the President’s speech at the event was immediately made available to the media and nowhere indicated that the President endorsed N30, 000 minimum wage.

“It is not the duty of the President only to endorse a new national minimum wage. The process involves the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Assembly.

“It is imperative for us to always avoid misinterpreting a written speech.’’

President Buhari had pledged that the Federal Government would soon transmit an Executive Bill (on National Minimum Wage) to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.

He said: “Our plan is to transmit the Executive bill to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.

“I am fully committed to having a new National Minimum Wage Act in the very near future.’’

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Igando/Egan Community Says No To Crazy Bills By Adekunle Taofeek

Sahara Reporters - 8 November 2018 - 12:25am

Prepaid meter

Prepaid meter Nigerian Finder

I, Comrade Adekunle Adeyemi Taofeek (Scott), write on the challenge of lack of power and the problem of crazy bills which consumers of electricity in Nigeria are still being subjected to, which imply that the Distribution Companies (DisCos) could be sued for poor service delivery unlike in the past, when NEPA could hardly be dragged to court by aggrieved consumers.

We, the residents of Agric road and its environs, Egan, Igando, Lagos State compel the Government of Nigeria to immediately suspend and remove the regime or system of Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) which was introduced to the payment system of the Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN).

This, in the first instance, is daylight robbery on Nigeria. If truly PHCN has been privatized, it is a pound of flesh being dubiously cut off Nigerian flesh monthly. This is the main reason PHCN has not performed and it has been ineffective. Whether Nigerians are supplied with electricity or not, it is a must for them to pay the fixed rate; this has been the only reason those that acquired the power industry have resorted to laziness and turned a deaf ear to performance and efficiency. 

The deliberate stealing from hard working and law abiding citizens by power distribution companies is a direct reflection of the depth our society has sunk into. Some fellows sit behind a table and allocate cost and ridiculous charges for power never consumed and the impunity that accompanies this is better imagined. 

The Consumer Protection Council Act was enacted to provide for the establishment of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to aid speedy redress of consumer concerns whenever such needs arise. The CPC was created by law to deal with consumer complaints through negotiation, mediation and conciliation.

Apart from CPC, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) was established by an Act of Parliament to eliminate from the market hazardous products and dubious methods designed by crooked individuals to produce fake and substandard products.

There is also the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), created by law to regulate the food, drug, and cosmetics industry and market to ensure standards and protect consumers from ingesting or using harmful products.

Just as there exists CPC, NAFDAC, and SON, among others, the power sector also has the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) whose mandate also touches on consumer complaints and the protection of consumer rights.

However, despite the fact that there are existing laws and regulatory bodies established to protect consumer interest, consumers have hardly approached them to enforce their rights.

Nigerian consumers are known for their docility in that they are more than likely to do nothing, even in the face of wanton frustration of their legitimate expectation by manufacturers of consumer products or service providers.

Some of the many problems faced by Nigerian consumers range from little to no supply of power, extortionate banking levies, wanton increases in food prices, among others. There is also the problem of low literacy levels and lack of information among Nigerian consumers as they are hardly conscious of their rights.

Although they constitute the largest economic group, and are also most affected by decisions taken in both the public and private economic spheres, yet their views are often not heard, respected or taken account of by the decision makers.

On this note, we implore the Federal Government and Lagos State Government to look into this as we can’t continue to pay exorbitant fees for darkness in our community. 

Yours in struggle

Comrade Adekunle Adeyemi Taofeek (Scott)

Comrade Adekunle Adeyemi Taofeek sent this via

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Ondo APC Begs Olusola Oke Not To Leave

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 1:46pm

Olusola Oke, Ondo APC Aspirant

The crisis-ridden All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State has begged Olusola Oke, a chieftain of the party, to reconsider his threat of dumping the party.

Last week, many supporters of Oke had showed their grievances with the way the governing party was being run like an "occult group".

The supporters, who converged for a meeting at the residence of Oke at Ijapo Estate of Akure, expressed preparedness to leave the party for a new platform. 

At the meeting, Oke also aired his own grievances, noting that he had been rejected, marginalized and humiliated by leaders of the party since his defection to APC.  

But a statement on Wednessday by Alex Kalejaye, Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ondo State, denied all the claims of rejection and humiliation raised by Oke and his loyalists.

Kalejaye said both Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the Chairman of the APC, Mr Ade Adetimehin, had always placed Olusola Oke in high regard due to his political strength.

"We have read with a sense of disbelief the report credited to a frontline chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke, SAN, and his followers, that they have suffered humiliation and rejection in the party.

“The State chapter is taken aback by this claim, because Chief Oke, a notable personality with vast political experience, is well-respected by the Governor, Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and the State Secretariat of the APC."

He said Adetimehin had always displayed respect and appreciation for the political exploits and professional attainments of Chief Oke.

“Adetimehin believes very strongly that the fortune of APC in Ondo State would be greatly enhanced with the political experience of Oke as well as his followers.

"This is readily explained by the quick response and visit to Oke’s country home in Okitipupa by the State Working Committee, led by Adetimehin, to condole with him over the loss of his elder brother recently. As a colleague in the legal profession, the governor regards Chief Oke as a worthy partner in the quest for the political and economic emancipation of Ondo State.

The statement, however, noted that the ruling party wants all its leaders and faithful members to work in harmony in order to strengthen its fold in the state ahead of 2019 poll.

“It is expedient to state in crystal clear language, that the two leaders are both eager to see the development of the Sunshine State, and are mostly in touch, particularly, on matters that border on the well-being of the party and the state.

“We want to appeal that Chief Oke and his followers exercise some patience while the leader of the party in the state and our dear Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, look into some of the issues raised, with a view to addressing them."

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Atiku Needs Crash Course On Economy, Says Oduduwa Group

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 1:20pm

The Oduduwa Vanguard (ODV) has tackled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for attacking President Muhammadu Buhari over the Federal Government’s $500,000 donation to Guinea Bissau.

Atiku had slammed the Federal Government’s $500,000 donation to Guinea Bissau as wasteful, saying it was one of the ways the Muhammadu Buhari administration brought a once thriving economy to its knees.

However, the Oduduwa Vanguard described Atiku’s comment as "irresponsible on many levels".

Kunle Adewole, President of the group, said Atiku was not qualified to be entrusted with making decisions for Nigerians because he lacks the patience to fully understand issues before reacting.

Adewole said the PDP presidential candidate needs a crash course on the economy before exhibiting his "ignorance". 

“We wonder how an Atiku who can donate lavishly to buy cars for women will find it wrong that Nigeria wants to play its big brother role to other African nations. 

"This is double standard play at its best and we advise the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, not to join Atiku at the level to which he has sunk. It will amount to wrestling a hog in the mud.

“A right-thinking person that looks beyond the meanness of satiating only his own avarice would have seen that there are gains to Nigeria when the donations to Guinea Bissau are well-exploited.

“For one, a revived Guinea Bissau or any other African country provides fertile grounds for Nigerians to go exploit since we fortunately have enterprising Nigerians that have made marks for themselves in their places of sojourn. We believe that helping other nations to stay afloat when we can is a strategic way of ensuring that our country’s huge population is able to spread outwards to these other places and earn their keep. An intelligent person will realize that remittances from the funds repatriated by such Nigerians will go a long way in helping the economy back home.

“It is understandable that Atiku is projecting his own values unto others because this kind of donation would have found its way into private pockets between 1999 and 2007 when he was vice president. The absence of such slush fund must have been responsible for his recent gimmick of under declaring his income so that he can keep back some more money from tax avoidance.

“But we ask for once that he should believe in the capacity of other people to be upright where he is crooked. Such realistic perception of others would have made him to realize that the money promised to Guinea Bissau is not the type wasted on sponsoring team members to Dubai or for paying a foreign agent to procure election hacking services from Russia.

“By using 'Father Christmas', a concept synonymous with contemporary Christianity, to imply wastefulness, Atiku has shown that he holds the spirit of giving among adherents of this religion in disdain hence the negative casting of the joy that Father Christmas brings to the world.”

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ARRESTED: Seven Of The 13 Gunmen Who ‘Abducted’ Health Practitioner For 15 Days

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 11:11am

The Adamawa State Police Command on Wednesday paraded five kidnap suspects in Yola, the state capital.

Five of The suspects were nabbed in a village called Balma, in Song Local Government Area of the state. They are being held in connection to the kidnap of a health practitioner whose name was given as Thakma Dabala.

Narrating his ordeal to SaharaReporters, the victim, Dabala said: "I regained my freedom after 15 days when by brother paid a ransom of N350,000.

"About 15 of them stormed my apartment in the night, shooting sporadically. Thereafter, they whisked me away to a mountain through cattle routes.

Othman Abubakar, a Superintendent of Police and Public Relations Officer of the command, told reporters that the kidnappers, numbering 13, "demanded the sum of N2 million, although only the sum of N350,000 was eventually paid as ransom".

Abuakar listed five of the suspects as Mohammed Ali Iliyasu, Abdulkarim Ababa, Alh. Haruna Usman, Isa Wada and Danfulani Layaru.

The Police further disclosed that two other suspects, Lamini Tukur and one Marazu, were yet to be apprehended.

Meanwhile, Prof. Allan Mamman Kadams of the Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH) Yola, who was kidnapped two weeks ago, has been released after allegedly paying a N3 million ransom.

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Adamawa Assembly To Grill Atiku's Daughter Over Non-Payment Of Salaries

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 10:05am

Fatima Atiku Abubakar, Commissioner of Health, Adamawa State, will on Thursday appear before the Adamawa State House of Assembly to explain non-payment of six-month salaries to some health workers in the state.

The Health Commissioner, who is the biological daughter of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is to appear at plenary alongside some principal officers of her ministry and the state Accountant General, Augustina Wandamiya.

Presiding at plenary on Tuesday, Speaker of the House, Kabiru Mijinyawa, had said: "The invitation of the officers was over non-payment of six-month salaries of some recruited health workers.

"The House has also constituted an ad hoc committee, under the chairmanship of the Majority Leader, Hassan Barguma (APC-Hong), to probe the alleged utilisation of N2 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) agricultural loan.”

The CBN was said to have granted the loan to the state through the Adamawa Agricultural Development and Investment Ltd, (AADIL).

Chairman of AADIL Board, John Garba, and the Managing Director of AADIL, Ibrahim Dasin, who appeared before the plenary, were referred to the ad hoc committee.

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Protesters Seal Off NDDC Office With Charms Over 'Multibillion-Naira' Abandoned projects

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 9:36am


Aggrieved youth from Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have protested over the continued abandonment of projects by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The youth were armed with placard bearing different inscriptions such as 'NDDC Is A Scam', 'Govt Has Failed Us', 'OSOPADEC Is A Scam', 'NDDC Is A Curse To Ilaje', 'Make Our Schools Affordable', among others.

The protesters paralysed activities at office of the NDDC and sealed off the main gate with charms to prevent staff from entering the entrance.

Chanting solidarity songs, the youth complained that lots of "multi-billion naira projects" are currently littering the oil-producing communities and being abandoned by the NDDC.

Juliet Ehinmowo, the leader of the protestors, decried the high number of projects abandoned by the NDDC in Ilaje community and noted that it has hampered development.

Ehinmowo spoke about the need for the Federal Government to critically probe the activities of NDDC in Ilaje communities.

"The NDDC has been a curse to the people of Ilaje and not a blessing as our communities are on the brink of extinction because of the persistence of the sea incursions," she said.

"What the NDCC only does in Ilaje is to erect signposts with the inscription of multiple billion naira contracts and they have turned Ilaje to a dungeon by littering our land with so many ghost projects.

"So many abandoned projects every where. When you see documentaries in the media, you would notice that Ilaje community is nowhere to be found on list of completed projects. NDDC has not done any meaningful project in Ilaje for years and yet our people are suffering. Our land is not good for farming and that is why we into fishing.

"We are using this period to tell the FG to call the commission to order and let them come to our land and develop the community. We can't continue to open our eyes and leave our land to be destroyed by the sea incursions and untowards attitude by the NDDC."

Earlier, Comrade Bola Iwaloye, one of the protestors, disclosed that no project carried out by the NDDC had ever been completed in the oil-rich communities.

He said that the youth in the communities have given those representing the board of NDDC the time to do the needful or see their wrath.

"Those people who are representing us on the board of the NDDC should do the needful and if they fail to do it. They would see the wrath of the masses of the Ilaje people," he said. "We are also begging the Federal government and even the EFCC to look into the activities of the NDDC in Ilaje Local Government because the commission is not working."

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Police Dismiss Officer Caught On Video Getting Drunk

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 8:57am

Inspector Kadima Useni, an officer caught on camera while drunk, has been dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force.

According to the Force, he was dismissed for "conducts unbecoming of a law enforcement officer".

A video of him drunk at Akowonjo Area of Lagos State went viral on social media on Wednesday.

Useni served at the Police Mobile Force Squadron Base 22 Ikeja before he was dismissed.

News of his dismissal was disclosed via a tweet by the Rapid Response Squad that read: "A drunken police man who was caught on an online viral video has been dismissed by Inspector General of Police, IGP Idris Ibrahim, for conducts unbecoming of a law enforcement officer. Inspector Kadima Useni who got drunk at Akowonjo Area of Lagos served at Police Mobile Force Squadron Base 22 Ikeja before his dismissal which would serve as a deterrent to others".

Inspector Kadima Useni who got drunk at Akowonjo Area of Lagos served at Police Mobile Force Squadron Base 22 Ikeja before his dismissal which would serve as a deterrent to others.

— Rapid Response Squad (@rrslagos767) November 7, 2018

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Ekweremadu Threatens To Release Video Of 'Assassination Attempt' On His Life

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 8:42am

Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Wednesday vowed to release video footages of how his house was invaded by alleged assassins on Tuesday.

Ekweremadu said he would release the video if the Police fail to withdraw their claim that what happened in his house was a mere case of burglary.

After the plenary on Wednesday, the Senate resolved to ask the Police to conduct a deep investigation of the alleged assassination attempt on Ekweremadu, his wife and son in the early hours of Tuesday.

Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, blamed the Police for not investigating the case properly before reaching a conclusion.

"The Police adopted a very myopic, porous and intellectually stagnant approach to a very serious matter. To start with, burglary is not mere. Anyone who is engaged in burglary has satanic intention. It is burglary that leads to assassination," Melaye said.

“To come out and say its mere burglary shows that the Nigeria Police has identified some individuals that no matter what happen, we will not get their service. If this has happened to one of the faithful of Mr President, this will not be the reaction of the Inspector-General of Police. If this has happened to one of the close friends of the villa, this will not be the reaction of the IGP.”

While speaking, Ekweremadu said that a Commissioner of Police for the FCT and Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations visited his house on Tuesday afternoon to sympathizie with him.

“I showed them round and although they were very sympathetic of what happened,” he said.

"I was so shocked when I woke up this morning to hear the Police saying what happened in my house was a mere case of burglary. I am at a loss because as we speak, they have not taken any statement from my son who was hospitialised, they have not gone to the hospital to find out what exactly happened to my son. They have not invited security personnel attached to me who reported yesterday; some are still reporting this morning.

"They looked at the CCTV tapes operated by the DSS and a staff of my house; apparently, they were not able to figure it out, so it was easy for them to quickly dismiss what really happene."

Expressig surprise about the incident, Ekweremadu said he is in possession of the full video clip and some pictures.

“Unfortunately for them, later yesterday evening a technician came and was able to figure out and was able to produce the CCTV footage, including how they gained entrance into my house and how they got a way into my room and the fight between them, my wife and my son and all the efforts we made to save our lives. I am happy that we have that in our custody, which the Police are not aware of.

"I am sure that Nigeria will be shocked on what transpired and all the efforts made to save our lives. Now that the Police appear to have concluded the case, unless they withdraw the statement that it is a mere case of burglary, I may now be forced to release those footage to the media, international community so that Nigerians and ordinary people judge whether it was a case of burglary or attempt to kill me or whether they just want to come to my house to have a breakfast or have a handshake with me.”

Ekweremadu continued: “It appears to me that the man who said it was a mere case of burglary does not know what burglary is about. He doesn’t need any teaching; he just needs to go into the Internet and find out what burglary is really about. He can compare if it is the same with what happened in my house.”

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) advised the Senate to condemn the rapid conclusion by the Police that the invasion of Ekweremadu’s residence was a mere burglary case.

“For the Police to quickly, without interviewing the very person for whom this incident happened to, come out and determine that it was a burglary, actually burgles the mind," he said.

"We know in this country that Bola Ige was killed in his home. We know and also it is a fact the former gubernatorial candidate, Funsho Williams, was also killed in his home. Our fear today is, why is the Police engaging in a cover-up?"

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Group Writes NHRC, NBA, CJN Over 300 Persons Languishing In Bayelsa Prisons

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 7:28am

National Human Rights Commission, Executive Secretary, Anthony Ojukwu


The Niger Delta Youths Advocate for Justice and Peace group has sent a protest letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over the "cases of human rights abuse" in the state, with over 300 persons languishing in the medium prison facility in the state, known as Okaka Prisons.

In a three-page petition, dated November 2, 2018 and addressed to the NBA President, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the Secretary of the NHRC, the group alleged that despite the reforms embarked upon by Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, the activities of the State Special Prosecutor, Barr. Andrew Simeon Arthur, are a disservice to the state judiciary.

It said that although investigations into the alleged cases of human rights violations by the special prosecutor, Andrew Simeon Arthur, were ongoing, sources claimed those detained were subjected to trial in three marked courts allegedly used to pervert justice and violate the detainee rights to fair hearing.

According to the statement, issued and signed by Comrade Bidemi Williams, investigations were conducted by an undercover member of the group, but the cases identified were those initiated by the Special Prosecutor, Barr. Andrew Simeon Arthur.

"He is said to have been hired by the state government through the office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Kemasuode to prosecute cases with fiat. Most of the cases did not follow due process and culprits jailed without proper judicial processes."

"At the last count, the total number of detainnee on Barr. Arthur list numbered 300. The detainees claimed they were political detainees. While some said they were detained due to their loyalty and affiliation to the All Progressive Congress (APC), others claimed Barr. Arthur used his fiat, handed to him by the state government, to settle old and personal scores.

"Some of the cases are alleged to lack proper police investigation before being charged before a selected judge and the accused detained. It is gradually turning the judiciary into a subject of mockery. And we learnt that his attitude towards judges during court proceedings smacks of violation of court rules and processes to the embarrassment of the lawyers in court."

The group stated that though the state government had shown interest in the development of the judiciary through judicial autonomy and building of new courts, "Governor Seriake Dickson's administration, in partnership with the NHRC, the Nigerian Bar Association and the Office of the Chief Judge, should take a second look at the issues of Human Rights violation, use of State judges and magistrates to victimise detainees and rising prison congestion at Okaka prisons.

"We call on the relevant agencies and Human Rights groups such as the Civil Liberties Organisation,  to assist in a second Independent and open investigation into our findings to make it more verifiable and authentic. We are worried that as a State Special Prosecutor, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutor is rendered useless and cases that would have been dispensed speedily are now turned into circus of witch-huntand judicial comic."

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BREAKING: Gunmen Kidnap Four Catholic Priests In Delta

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 6:37am

Four Catholic Reverend Fathers have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen around Umutu/Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.

The priests were en route to Ekpoma, Edo State, from Warri, Delta State, in a convoy on Tuesday when they were attacked by unidentified gunmen and whisked away.

The priests were travelling in a convoy of four vehicles, but the assailants could only overrun two of the cars, ordering the four priests out.

Muhammad Mustafa, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, confirmed the abduction but said the kidnappers were not herdsmen as first suspected.

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Shell, Exonnmobil Could Return To Nigeria’s Downstream After A Few Years Out

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 6:11am

Shell and ExonMobil could make a return to Nigeria’s petroleum downstream sector, Bello Rabiu, Chief Operating Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), told Reuters on the sidelines of an African oil and gas summit in Capetown South Africa Monday, that

According to Rabiu, the two multinationals had exited a few years back but could be lured back in with the prospect of exchanging their crude for petrol on behalf of the Nigerian government.

NNPC signed a similar crude-for-product deal with British Petroleum last Wednesday, in the first of a rash of possible deals Rabiu describes as "stop-gap measures".

According to the official, the country is seeking the most cost effective means of bringing in petroleum products into the country ahead of an expected boom in local refining.

“Unfortunately, Shell and ExxonMobil exited the downstream sector in Nigeria a couple of years ago but they are coming back for this particular arrangement, because it’s an opportunity for them to get crude and sell their products to the refineries,” Rabiu said, explaining that the state-owned corporation hopes to repeat savings of around $1billion it achieved in 2016 with its crude-for-product swaps, as well as in 2019.

“If our refineries are back, which we want in the next 18 months, this thing will stop. So, all these things are just stop-gap measures, but the key issue is that we wanted to import at the least cost before our refineries come back onstream. It is on track and I believe if we don’t sign a final deal (on the project to upgrade refineries) this month of November we will surely sign in December."

As oil prices soared thanks to production cuts by the OPEC plus alliance, the landing cost of petroleum products increased as well. The Nigerian government were however not willing to take the risk of aligning pump prices; petrol importers were thus forced to quit.

Rather than go back to the pre-May 2016 status of issuing subsidies to these marketers, NNPC took up the burden of importation and removed funds it now calls ‘under recovery' from the revenue it remits back to the government. The company uses swap contracts to make its importations. It has entered into direct sale direct purchase agreements with 10 consortiums that include trading houses Vitol, Trafigura , Mercuria and Total.

The present deals were extended to June but several trading sources in the consortiums said they had requested new price terms.

The corporation is in the last lap of conversations with consortiums, including top traders, energy majors and oil services companies to revamp its long-abandoned oil refineries in an effort to reduce its reliance on imported fuel.

Bukola Saraki, Senate President, had asked the state-owned enterprise to present a subsidy budget to the National Assembly earlier in the year, which it had failed to do. That refusal has now catalyzed the initiation of a probe by an ad-hoc committee of the upper chamber.

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BREAKING: Senate In Rowdy Session Over 'Politicisation' Of Buhari's Social Intervention Programme

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 5:14am

There was a rowdy session at the Senate on Wednesday when Abiodun Olujimi, the senator representing Ekiti South at the National Assembly, accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration of politicising its social intervention programme.

Citing Orders 42 & 52, Olujimi, who is also the Senate Minorty Leader, brought “an urgent matter of the politicization of the Social Intervention Fund” before the Senate, saying beneficiaries were being asked to provide their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) number.

“The funds have been used for political reasons,” she said. “I have one such forms where your BVN number, PVC number, gender and account details must be written. I urge that an Ad-hoc Committee be set up to look into this issue.”

Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan stood up to counter Olujimi’s claims, but he was resisted by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers, who, led by Dino Melaye, the Kogi West senator, raised their voices.

The rowdiness lasted several minutes, with Lawan unable to speak until the situation mellowed.

Eventually, the Senate resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter.

It also mandated committee to investigate the implementation of Goodluck Jonathan’s Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) as well.

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Sanwo-Olu Receives 'Another Spiritual Reassurance' From Lagos CAN Chairman

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 4:37am


Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has received "reassurance" from the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on his political ambition.

Sanwo-Olu was the beneficiary of a spiritual session with the Lagos CAN Chairman, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, on Tuesday.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the encounter with the Lagos CAN chairman was "spiritually soothing".

He disclosed the visit via a tweet that read: "Another reassurance from the Lagos State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Apostle Alexander Bamgbola this morning. It was spiritually soothing.

"With God and the good people of the State on our side, Lagos will surely climb to a higher pedestal."


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Court Denies El-Zakzaky, Wife Bail, Orders Them To Remain In DSS Custody

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 4:32am

A Kaduna State High Court has declined to grant bail to the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky, and his wife.

In his ruling on the bail application filed by counsel to El-zakzaky and his wife, Justice Gideon Kurada, the presiding judge, said two accused had not provided sufficient medical evidence to warrant getting a bail.

Therefore, he ordered them to remain in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) throughout the duration of their trial.

Details soon...

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Group Asks ICC To Probe Obasanjo, Danjuma Over Odi, Zaki Biam Massacres

Sahara Reporters - 7 November 2018 - 3:41am


A Civil Society Organization, the Good Governance Advocacy Project, has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate, prosecute and convict former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and erstwhile Minister of Defence TY Danjuma, for alleged involvement in war crimes and other offences against humanity that took place at various times between 1999 and 2007.

The group noted that Obasanjo and Danjuma were involved in crimes against humanity in Odi, Bayelsa State, and Zaki Biam, Benue State.

Addressing journalists at a press conference on Tuesday, Danelson Momoh, the National President of the group, recalled that it was Dajuma’s regime as Defence Minister under Obasanjo that troops massacred innocent citizens of Zaki Biam community.

Momoh said that both Obasanjo and Danjuma needs to hand over themselves to ICC for a probe over the massacre of innocent citizens in the communities.

"Instead of being elder statesmen as would be expected of them in their twilight, they have resorted to heating up the polity and making demands of the current dispensation that they were never able to fulfil in their own times.

“Of note among these yesteryears' men is former military chief, retired General Theophilus Yakubu (TY) Danjuma who of late has become synonymous with being an inciter of adherents of Christianity in the country to go to war with their neighbours under the guise of ethno-religious killings.

"He had in the past called on people to take up arms against their neighbours for which he was roundly censored by all well-meaning Nigerians. This does not however seem to have deterred him as he is back to lying bald-facedly.

“TY Danjuma purportedly issued a statement entitled 'Choose your own Fulani with care', in which he alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari is out to massacre the entire north central and southern parts of the so that he can repopulate the same areas with Fulani from other West African countries. While this irresponsible statement is condemnable in the strongest terms, the seeming saving grace is that Danjuma has eaten his words and distance himself from the dangerous utterance.

"We, however, want to place on record that it was not enough for him to distance himself from the offensive statement for several reasons. One, if he had not been in the business of making divisive utterances, mischief makers would not replicate his style of incitement to attempt doing damage to the country. He has, by the tradition he has created, made Nigeria into a land where ethnic hatred is now being treated as common place. 

"We categorically state this because historically, it was Dajuma’s regime as Defence Minister under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo that troops were massacre innocent citizens of Zaki Biam community in Benue state. 

"Much as the history of what happened in Zak Ibiam is being rewritten to obscure the actual drivers of that pogrom, TY Danjuma knows that the genocide that took place there was never about national security but was about protecting narrow interests that were not intended for the benefit of the larger population. 

"He and Obasanjo remain the architect of the genocide in Zak Ibiam, which was not their only crime because they also jointly masterminded the scorched earth pogrom at Odi. These actions were the foundation that sowed the seeds of discord amongst the various ethnic groups in Nigeria."

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