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Brazil Records First Case Of Coronavirus

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 9:02am


 

The health ministry in Brazil has confirmed the first Coronaviros patient in the country. 

According to AFP, the ministry on Wednesday said a Sao Paulo resident was diagnosed with the disease.

The 61-year-old patient had returned on February 21 from the Lombardy region of Italy, the epicentre of an outbreak in the European country, Brazil’s Health Minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, said.

See Also Sahara Reporters Coronavirus Spreads To More Countries, Causes Deaths, Fear 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Upholds Ruling On Bayelsa Governorship Election

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 6:35am


 

The Supreme Court has upheld its earlier decision that sacked David Lyon as governor-elect of Bayelsa State and declared Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party as authentic governor of the state. 

The disputed judgment was delivered on February 13, barely 24 hours to the inauguration of Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

The five-man panel of the court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili disqualified Degi-Eremienyo for presenting fake academic credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission to contest the election. 

The court as a result of this, nullified the joint ticket held by the APC candidates. 

In a lead judgment delivered by Amina Augie, the court held that the grounds for review of the application lacked merit.

She said, "The decision of this court is final. It is final forever and no force on earth can force this court to change its decision on Bayelsa."

Earlier, Afe Babalola, counsel to Lyon, faulted the decision of the apex court for voiding the election of the party on the grounds that cause of action was not brought into the picture.

While conceding that the apex court cannot review its decision, he however, maintained that it can set aside its own judgment.

Babalola stressed that the judgment was a nullity as it was in breach of his applicant's right to fair hearing, adding that it was adequate grounds for the decision to be set aside.

On his part, Wole Olanipekun, counsel to the APC, said the apex court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter in the first instance.  

He added that the judgment of February 13, 2020 was a human error.

PDP's counsel, Tayo Oyetibo, in his own argument, maintained that the Supreme Court remained the highest court in the land.  

He submitted that the application of Lyon and the APC was a call to violate the Nigerian constitution.

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Coalition Of Lawyers Asks EFCC To Revisit Case Of Forgery Against Nigerian Minister

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 6:03am


 

The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates has written the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to reopen the case of forgery against Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah.

The group, in the letter to the commission, held that revisiting the case would be in the interest of equity and justice.

COPA stated that Ogah was accused by one Mrs Bridget Adeosun, Managing Director of Mut-Hass Petroleum Limited, who submitted a petition to the EFCC, claiming that Ogah forged her signature on a document to validate a non-existent Memorandum of Understanding between his company, Masters Energy Oil and Gas and Mut-Hass Petroleum Limited sometime in 2011.

The advocacy group added that Ogah was arraigned in court but the case was withdrawn following the order of the Inspector-General of Police.  See Also Legal Absence Of Magistrate Stalls Uche Ogah's Alleged Forgery Case 0 Comments 3 Years Ago

 “It is on public record that the allegation of fraud and forgery against Ogah was thereupon taken to the magistrate court on a criminal charge by the Nigeria Police Force ostensibly to prosecute the accusation but was later withdrawn at the instance of the then Inspector-General of Police to allow them gather more evidence. Since then, the matter has been shelved while the perpetuated fraud remains unaddressed.

“It was therefore a relief when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, acting on Mrs Adeosun's petition against Ogah on the same material facts of fraud and forgery, picked up the accused right after the case was withdrawn from court by the Nigeria Police Force and invited him over for a series of interrogation.”

COPA alleged that since taking over the case, the EFCC had failed to record any tangible progress or make public the results of its findings and investigation.

It also stated that the public hoped that the EFCC would be on top of their game and be adept in reaching a resolution wherein justice would have been done in the matter.

The coalition said, “The alacrity and intensity with which it commenced investigation into the allegation of fraud against Ogah fizzled out however, in a manner reminiscent of the police's abrupt and ill-intentioned withdrawal of same from adjudication.

“The impression on the public and the direct victims of this fraud is that your agency, like the police, may be protecting the interest of a man of clear influence and wealth at the cost of justice.

“There is gain stating that the anti-corruption fight of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration relies heavily on the capacity, objectivity and efficiency of the EFCC.

“In many ways, the successes in the fight against corruption is traced back to the firm approach of this agency to corruption matters in a manner that is hoped to dispel fear of selective prosecution.

“By refusing to act on a petition that has languished unattended with your agency, the impression is made that there are indeed sacred cows in the corruption fight of this administration and this agency.”

COPA noted that there is an urgent need for expedited action on the petition against the minister as his office does not grant him immunity from investigation and subsequent prosecution.

It said, “The allegations against him are grave and negatively impacts the image projected by the President Buhari government.

“The EFCC must rise above the cronyism and partisanship that has crippled a great many other institutions of state and show itself as a shining light in the anti-corruption fight in the country.”

COPA also demanded that the anti-graft agency “revisit and revise the case file against Ogah.

“EFCC must shun the implicit duress of Ogah’s political connections and office, and should act in the interest of equity, fairness and justice in this matter forthwith.”

 

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WHO Confirms Coronavirus In Algeria

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 5:33am


The World Health Organisation has confirmed that Coronavirus in Algeria, making it the second African country with the case of the virus. 

According to the country's Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform, the patient arrived from Italy, one of the affected countries, on February 17.

According to WHO, health authorities report that tests indicated that an Italian adult, who arrived in the country on February 17, 2020 tested positive for Coronavirus.

“This is the first case in the WHO African region.

“The window of opportunity the continent has had to prepare for Coronavirus is closing.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, urged all countries in the region to prepare for the virus.

“All countries must ramp up their preparedness activities,” she said.

She stated that Algeria was one of 13 countries, which WHO had identified as a top priority for preparedness measures due to their direct links or high volume of travel to China.

WHO is preparing to deploy a team of experts to Algeria to support health authorities.

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Immunity For Presiding Officers Breach Of Public Trust —SERAP

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 5:01am


The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has said that the bill seeking to give immunity to presiding officers of the legislative arm of government at both federal and state levels was a breach of public trust.

The organisation, speaking through its Deputy Director,  Kolawole Oluwadare, said the bill was tantamount to ripping up the Nigerian constitution.

He said, “Providing immunity for presiding officers against crimes of corruption is tantamount to ripping up the constitution. It’s a blatant assault on the rule of law and breach of public trust.

“The leadership of the House of Representatives must immediately withdraw this obnoxious bill. We will vigorously challenge this impunity.

“Countries like Guatemala voted unanimously to strip their president of immunity from prosecution for corruption, our own lawmakers are moving in the opposite direction.”

The group warned that if lawmakers had their way by passing the bill into law, they will succeed in denying Nigerians the right to make leaders accountable to the people.

The bill, which was sponsored by Odebunmi Olusegun, was supported by majority of the lawmakers, who say it was important to safeguard the sanctity of the National Assembly.

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We Need To Save Nigeria From Criminal Justice Sector By Monday O. Ubani

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 4:36am


With the Blind Lady sign herein, I am sure friends will expect me to talk about the earth-quaking judgment of Justice Okon Abang sending Olisa Metuh, former PDP stalwart, to prison for seven years for sundry offences during the reign of former President GEJ. The topic for that discussion is reserved to a later date.

My recent experiences with our criminal justice sector is not too palatable and I have tried very much to bear it but the more I try the more I get terrible heart ache. Before now I have seen many hardened criminals, I mean unrepentant criminals escape justice due to the incorrigible system we are operating in Nigeria. I have been a participant or an observer of criminal proceedings in which accused persons now known as defendants are discharged from prosecution due to non diligent prosecution of the case. 

The beginning of such sad incident at the magistracy usually starts with the police prosecutor ( heard that the Lagos State Government want to phase out police handling of criminal prosecutions  in the state, which I consider a healthy development) telling the court that the witnesses, especially the Investigating Police Officers are not in court and all his attempts to bring them to court have  proved abortive. The next you will hear is that he is seeking the indulgence of the court for an adjournment. 

Most patient magistrates will entertain such adjournments up to 10 times before striking out "for want of diligent prosecution". These cases clog the court docket up to four or five years or more with no positive result at the end the day.

In these instances just narrated above, several criminals (though presumed innocent by our constitution) have ran away from justice and of course very soon they are back to the court for another crime as there are no deterrent punishment for the previous ones committed.

The worst scenario is now at the various High Courts and Federal High Courts  across the federation. To be sincere I am handling some of these cases in the High Court, Lagos, presently in which I think if the prosecution should come up with diligent handling, the defendants should smell the rod in Correctional Centres. Alas, the witnesses for the prosecution are nowhere to be seen. 

It can be frustrating for the prosecution no doubt. Several times I pity them (state counsels) when they announce those names of witnesses who are supposed to be in court and none responds. I am not happy telling the court that again the prosecution has failed to produce his or her witnesses and the court should strike out and decongest its docket for want of diligent prosecution. What I am supposed to do in the circumstances if not applying that the case be struck out? Am I happy doing it, certainly "No".

What we should do

My recommendation is that at the investigation stage, the witness must be made to swear to an affidavit that he or she must be prepared and willing to prosecute his or her case after investigation and any failure will attract a penalty to be prescribed by law. The investigating police officers must also be ready at the expense of the government to attend every court proceedings in which they are to give evidence having investigated same.

Even though on transfer, any investigating police officer must be made to come back to complete his or her evidence in any criminal investigation he or she had carried out. Every state should enact a law to take care of these vital stakeholders in the administration  of criminal justice sector to solve this perennial problem that have allowed many criminals even though presumed innocent by law to escape the long arm of justice.

I always feel violated when I see hardened criminals escape justice due to the rustic system we are operating. This must stop as consequences of allowing this to continue is better imagined. 

Nigeria must survive!

Monday O. Ubani (Esq) is a Lagos-based legal practitioner

 

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Corps Member In Court Over Rape Allegation

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 2:52am


A member of the National Youth Service Corps has been arrested for allegedly raping a secondary school pupil. 

According to spokesperson for the police in Katsina State, Gambo Isah, the victim is a pupil in a secondary school where the corps member is carrying out his primary assignment.

The young man whose identity was not revealed, is being detained at the Sabon-Garin Police Station, Katsina.

Isah said, "The boy has been arrested. But we are still awaiting the outcome of our investigation and the medical report to firmly establish the allegation.”

NYSC spokesperson in Katsina, Alex Oboaemeta, however, denied the allegation, declaring that investigation was ongoing on the matter. 

It was alleged that the victim, who is a JSS one student at Government Girls Secondary School, Katsina, made the allegation against the corps member, leading to his arrest.

The girl alleged that the corps member committed the act when she visited him at the residence the school provides for persons serving.

Sources further revealed that the school management and NYSC authorities met on Monday to discuss the issue before police were invited on Tuesday.

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Woman Arrested In Kano For Marrying Two Men

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 2:42am


A 37-year-old woman has been arrested in Kano for allegedly marrying two husbands.

The woman, Hauwa Ali, was arrested on Monday from her residence in Kumbotso Local Government Area of the state.

An official, Alhaji Lawan Fagge, said the woman was apprehended after her first husband, Bello Ibrahim, 45, who was critically ill and taken to his village for treatment, reported the case.

He said, “After waiting for some time, she thought he was dead and proceeded to marrying the second husband, Bala Abdulsalam.

"Abdulsalam, 40, claimed to have paid a dowry of N20,000 to her.

“The first husband was the father of her six children and they were living in their matrimonial home when she went ahead to marry another man.”

Fagge said Ibrahim after recovering from the sickness, was brought back to the house only to find out that his wife had married another man.

“The woman at the moment has three or four children for the second husband. She claimed the first husband had divorced her but he denied ever divorcing her,” Fagge said.

The woman would be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigation.

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How Metuh Tried To Humiliate Me —Justice Abang

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 2:35am


Justice Okon Abang, the presiding judge that sentenced Olisa Metuh to jail, has narrated how the convict and his team of lawyers attempted to humiliate him during the course of hearing the case.

Metuh, former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, was convicted alongside his company for fraud to the tune of N400m.

Justice Abang said the convict unlawfully got funds from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Metuh had lost in his bid to make Abang recuse himself from the trial.

He had said the judge, who was his mate at the Nigerian Law School, was hostile to him.  See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Court Sentences Olisa Metuh To Seven Years In Prison Over N400m Money Laundering Case 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

But at the court on Tuesday, Abang said he did his best for Metuh but he had to act without fear of favour.

He said, “I cannot state all the negative things I passed through in this matter. 

“The convict and his counsel, especially Emeka Etiaba (SAN) and Ikpeazu (SAN), used every opportunity open to them to humiliate the court, writing hopeless, reckless and frivolous petitions against the court.

“They even took the matter to the international press. The day the first convict fell down, it was aired on CNN just to have unmerited sympathy, portraying the court in bad light.

"It was only God that used my immediate family to sustain me throughout the four years of hostility coming from the team of lawyers.

“It was only a few weeks to the end of the proceedings that the convict and his team of lawyers began to defend him in court. Before then, they had thoroughly humiliated me just because I discharged my function without fear or favour.

“I have forgiven the first convict and if there is anything within my powers to do, I will do. I have also forgiven Emeka Etiaba (SAN) that took this matter against my person for doing nothing. I have forgiven Ikpeazu (SAN) too that maltreated me during this period of hostility.”

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Bill Seeking Immunity For Nigerian Lawmakers Passes Second Reading At National Assembly

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 1:06am


A bill seeking to grant immunity on members of both states and federal legislature has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

If passed into law, it would be difficult to prosecute indicted lawmakers while in office.

The bill seeks to alter Section 308 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to extend immunity to cover presiding officers of legislative institutions.

It was sponsored by Olusegun Odebunmi, lawmaker representing Ogo-Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency of Oyo State. 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said he was not in support of the bill and would only agree to it if it was proposed to take effect from 2023.

The lawmakers later resolved that the bill should be pushed to Nigerians through a public hearing to accept or reject it.

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Commission Announces Monthly Fee For Nigerians Without Electricity Meters

Sahara Reporters - 26 February 2020 - 12:26am


Electricity

Electricity

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said that unmetered customers must not pay beyond N1,872 per month. 

According to the commission, the limit was to guide against outrageous estimated billing by distribution companies.

The commission also said the Estimated Billing Methodology Regulation would no longer be used for unmetered customers.

NERC disclosed this in its order on the capping of estimated bills in the Nigerian electricity supply industry, which it said took effect from February 20, 2020.

The commission said all unmetered R2 and C1 customers should not be invoiced for the consumption of energy beyond the cap stipulated by it.

R2 customers are residential customers, who consume more than 50 kilowatt-hour in a month (single phase and three-phase), while C1 customers are small businesses (single and three-phase). 

“A consumer of XYZ Disco resident in White Acre under R2 (single phase) tariff class has an energy cap of 78 kilowatt-hour per month and a tariff of N42 per kilowatt-hour. The maximum that XYZ Disco can invoice such a customer is 78kWhr x N24/kWhr = N1,872 per month. 

“The customer shall remain connected to supply without further payment to the Discos until a meter is installed on the premises under the framework of MAP Regulations or any other financing arrangement approved by the commission,” NERC said.

In another development, power generation companies in the country have raised concerns over the tariff review scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2020.

The Association of Power Generation Companies, the umbrella body for the Gencos, said NERC had not captured all the ‘changes’ in the relevant macroeconomic variables and available generation capacity in updating the operating MYTO 2015 in line with the provisions of the MYTO methodology.

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Nigerian Embassy Owes United Kingdom Government £7.1m

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 4:11pm


 

The Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom has been revealed to owe £7.1m in charges for the year 2018.

In a statement titled ‘Debts owed by Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations in the United Kingdom 2018’ released on Tuesday by Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab, the Nigerian High Commission was discovered to be leading the line in many aspects of debt in related charges to the British authorities.

The statement revealed that the US accumulated a total of 102,255 unpaid congestion charges, which add up to £12.44m, adding that the Embassy of Japan had a total of 69,690 unpaid congestion charges, which add up to £8,510,650, while the Nigeria High Commission follows with a total of 58,102 unpaid congestion charges, which add up to £7,063,965 in lost revenue for Transport for London.

The Commonwealth Office further stated that aside from the unpaid congestion charges, the Nigeria High Commission had £47,165 in outstanding parking fines in the same 2018, adding that the commission also has £36,975 of unpaid National Non-Domestic Rates, which is six per cent of the total value of offices of diplomatic missions, which they are obliged to pay.

These put the total unpaid debt of the Nigeria High Commission at £7,148,105 for the year 2018.

According to Raab, the Commonwealth Office had held several meetings with the debtors while encouraging them to defray their debts.

He said, “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has held meetings with missions which have substantial outstanding parking fine debts.

“In addition, in 2019 Protocol Directorate wrote to diplomatic missions and international organisations with debts giving them the opportunity to either pay outstanding debts or appeal against specific fines if they considered that they had been recorded incorrectly.”

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Coronavirus Spreads To More Countries, Causes Deaths, Fear

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 4:06pm


 

The Coronavirus epidemic caused more deaths and disruption on Tuesday after spreading to new countries.

As a result, top health official warned that the world was “simply not ready” to contain it.

As number of fresh cases declines at the epicentre of the disease in China, there has been sudden increase in parts of Asia, Europe and the Middle East, AFP reported.

Entire towns and cities in different parts of the world have been sealed off in an attempt to stop the contagion, while hotels in the Canary Island and Austria were placed under lockdown on Tuesday because of suspected cases.

Iran, which has reported 15 deaths from the disease out of nearly 100 infections, had the country’s deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, infested by the virus.

At the World Health Organisation headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Bruce Aylward, who headed up an international expertto China, told reporters that other countries were “simply not ready” to rein in the outbreak.

“You have to be ready to manage this at a larger scale and it has to be done fast,” Aylward said, insisting all countries had to “be ready as if this hits us tomorrow”.

The virus has killed more than 2,600 people and infected over 77,000 others in China.

In the rest of the world, there have been more than 40 deaths and 2,700 cases.

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Former Maritime Agency Boss, Buba Galadima, Accuses AMCON Of Witch-hunt After Property Takeover

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 3:33pm






 

A former Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Agency, Buba Galadima, has accused the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria of witch-hunt after the agency took possession of his business and assets on Tuesday in Abuja.

Galadima, an ardent critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, claimed that he did not borrow money or have unpaid debt with Unity Bank, which lodged a complaint against him and occasioned AMCON’s move on Tuesday.

The properties taken over include House No. 15, Addis Ababa Crescent, Wuse Zone 4, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and House No. 4, Bangui Street, Wuse 2, also in Abuja. 

Reacting to the situation, Galadima said, “This is an attempt to disgrace and break me down. This is injustice and an attempt to humiliate me.

"But I am unbreakable and they can never silence me. They sacked me and over 50 people that sleep in the apartment.

"We don’t know where to go. We will remain on the streets. We will remain on the streets until God provides another place for us.

“They will surely pay for disgracing and humiliating me publicly. I am going back to court.” 

Shedding more light into the matter, a family member of Galadima, who spoke with our correspondent, said the former NMA boss never borrowed money from Unity Bank as claimed by AMCON.

He said, “Engineer Buba Galadima never borrowed any money from the bank.

“He opened a Letter of Credit with a bank, now Unity Bank, to purchase fertiliser for Kano State Government but the LC was never honoured by suppliers because the bank was under FBI investigation.

“The then governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, revoked the contract due to some issues of party politics and Unity Bank never gave Galadima any money but charged him an interest that amounted to N349m.

“The case was taken to the trial court and Galadima was asked to pay the interest even without accessing any fund.

“He then went to Appeal Court and got a judgment in his favour to dismiss the charges.”

However, not satisfied by the court order, Unity Bank informed AMCON that Galadima was indebted to it. 

AMCON soon filed a fresh case and prayed the court to grant an ex-parte order empowering it to take over Galadima's property.

The court, in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1136/2019, ordered AMCON to take over the business and assets of Bedko Nigeria Limited belonging to Galadima.

 

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Air Strike Kills Boko Haram’s ‘Chief Judge’ In Lake Chad

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 2:34pm


 

‘Chief Judge’ of Boko Haram terrorists, Muhammad Shuwa, has been killed in a brutal air raid.

Intelligence sources noted that assessment conducted on the terror group revealed that about 25 top Boko Haram commanders were killed within the last two months following a rise in military offensive in North-Eastern Lake Chad.

Terrorists and inhabitants have continued to flee the Lake Chad general area to neighbouring countries including Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Source also told PRNigeria of the massive death caused by undetonated improvised explosive devices used to fortify camps by insurgents after aerial attacks.

The source said, "Two foreign terrorist sponsors were killed during the air raid and ground assault by the Nigerian troops in their camps.

“During the operations, most of the foreign commanders fled, leaving behind few local commanders.

“Local fighters were also said to have been forcibly recruited along with some few Budumas who stayed back to hold ground.

"There is anticipation of an imminent and massive protest in the ISWAP camps as some fighters have started accusing the leadership of misleading them.”

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Almajiri: Kano Governor Bans Street Begging

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 2:31pm


 

Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has banned street begging by children popularly known as almajiri in the state.

Ganduje disclosed the decision on Tuesday according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar.

He noted that the almajiri system would be fully integrated under the new policy of education in the state.

Ganduje noted that while almajiris will continue acquiring their study of the Holy Qur’an, they would at the same time learn English and Arithmetic.

Ganduje threatened to arrest parents of any child seen begging on the streets, adding that a warning had been issued to teachers of almajiris as well.

He said, “This policy of free and compulsory basic and secondary education goes along with it integration of our almajiri system into the mainstream policy implementation which suggests that English and Arithmetic must be included in schools curriculum.

“When almajiri are caught begging, it is not only that beggar is caught, but their parents or guardians would be taken to court for disrespecting our laws.”

 

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Money Laundering: Court Adjourns Trial Of Former Nigerian Minister, Usman, Until Wednesday

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 12:20pm


 

The trial of a former Minister of State for Finance in Nigeria, Nenadi Usman, and others resumed before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday with cross-examination of a prosecution witness, Mr Shehu Shuaibu.

Shuaibu is the third witness for the prosecution that had commenced evidence since November 2019 and is now being cross-examined by the defence.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charged Usman alongside a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, and Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, in a 17-count charge of N4.6bn money laundering case.

Also charged is a company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd.

They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.

On Tuesday, trial resumed before Justice Rilwan Aikawa with first defence counsel, Chief Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), cross-examining the witness.

Orbih asked the witness if he personally took the statements of any of the defendants and the witness replied in the affirmative.

When defence counsel insisted that there was no column in the statement of first defendant showing that her statement was recorded by the witness, he replied, “I wrote the cautionary word and I can show the court my handwriting.”

Witness further explained that although there was a column to be filled by the maker of a statement, such column can be filled by another, who records the statement on her behalf in situations where such defendant cannot do so.

Orbih then asked the witness if it was correct as he had earlier stated under cross-examination that the first defendant asserted in her statement to have known that the funds came from government.

Though the witness earlier said that the monies was not from the expected source, she later discovered that the funds were from the Permanent Secretary of the State House, one Engr Emordi.

In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.

In counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8bn which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.

In counts eight to 14, the defendants were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970m, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.

Meanwhile in counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30m, in excess of the amount allowed by law without going through a financial institution.

Besides, Fani-Kayode allegedly made payments to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.

All offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

The case was adjourned until February 26 and 27 for continuation.

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EFCC Invites Kano Lawmaker Over N1.5bn Constituency Project

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 12:15pm


 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has invited Minority Leader of the Kano State House of Assembly, Isiyaku Danja, for questioning over an allegation of abuse of office and misappropriation of N1.5bn meant for constituency projects.

The Kano State Government had written the commission alleging the diversion and misappropriation of public funds.

In the course of investigation, numerous suspicious payments were allegedly traced to multiple beneficiaries, including some made to Allad Drilling Limited, a company belonging to the suspect and whose accounts he is sole signatory.

The source said it was also discovered that the funds were withdrawn in cash by the suspect on several occasions.

He said, “Interestingly, he is the one to certify that the jobs were done before any payments are made.”

He added that investigation had commenced to discover the beneficiaries of the other suspicious outflows from the account, which is believed to be over N1.5bn.

He disclosed that the minority leader would be charged to court upon completion of investigation.

 

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I Want Repentant Boko Haram Members To Enter Mainstream Politics –Senator Gaidam

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 12:07pm


 

Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, sponsor of the bill that seeks to establish an agency for the rehabilitation of repentant Boko Haram members, has said his goal is to reintegrate such persons into mainstream politics in Nigeria.

The lawmaker said this while addressing journalists at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

Gaidam said, “The agency when established will help rehabilitate and reintegrate the defectors, repentant and forcefully conscripted members of the insurgent group Boko Haram to make them useful members of the society and provide an avenue for reconciliation and promote national security.

“It will also encourage other members of the group who are still engaged in the insurgency to abandon the group, especially in the face of the military pressure and enable the government to derive insider-information about the insurgency group for greater understanding of the group and its inner workings.

“It will enable government to use the defectors to fight the unrepentant insurgents. It will help disintegrate the violent and poisonous ideology that the group spreads as the program will allow some repentant defectors or suspect terrorists to express remorse over their actions repent and recant their violent doctrine and in the long run, re-enter mainstream politics, religion and society.

“The agency would also help to combat future recruitment into the insurgents group. If defectors told their stories and were made more public, their experiences would play a key role in countering Terrorist propaganda, which in turn would lessen the appeal of joining the group.

“In view of the fact that the Boko Haram insurgency is becoming increasingly aggressive since its inception in 2009, marked by extreme brutality and explicit targeting of civilians, it has become necessary for us to go back to the drawing board and adopt an alternative approach, in addition to the military option which has so far performed significantly well.

“There is no doubt that many members of the insurgents’ group have defected and many more are willing to repent given a window of opportunity and this is confirmed by many organisations including NGO’s that have unalloyed access to the Boko Haram.

“There is the need for a more strategic and comprehensive approach to entice those members of the group who, after realising the futility of the course they are pursuing have eventually decided to voluntarily lay down their arms and chose the path of peace. Hence, the need for the establishment of the National Agency for the Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Reintegration of Repentant Insurgents to accommodate the defectors.”

 

Boko Haram Politics News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
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Buhari’s Levity Emboldening Boko Haram Terrorists, Nigerian Cleric Tells United States President, Trump

Sahara Reporters - 25 February 2020 - 12:05pm


 

A Nigerian Christian leader, Pastor Adewale Giwa, has told President of the United States, Donald Trump, that President Muhammadu Buhari’s levity was emboldening Boko Haram insurgents to wreak havoc in the country.

The pastor said this in a letter to Trump where he asked him to save Nigeria from chaos.

He said, “These terrorists are being tagged ‘repentant Boko Haram members’ and the Federal Government is now treating them like kings.

“The good people of Nigeria, especially Christians, have continued to pray for God’s intervention against terrorism in Nigeria, but it seems that the more we pray, the more the activities of the deadly group known as Boko Haram persist due to inability of the government under President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful.

“Boko Haram is enriching itself via the millions of dollars thus far paid to it by the Nigerian Government in form of ransom payments. It is no longer news that terrorism has become a lucrative business under the leadership of Mr Buhari. The approach of the Nigerian Government in handling the issue of Boko Haram with levity has further given the group power to continue with its nefarious activities,

“Presently, the Nigerian Senate is proposing to establish an agency that could further take good care of them. A few weeks into the new year, precisely on January 19, the Islamic group released a video of a child who looked to be around 10 years old executing a Christian man in Borno, Nigeria. As if it was not enough, a few days later, on January 22, a Nigerian pastor, Rev. Lawan Andimi, was beheaded by Boko Haram militants.

“Today, Boko Haram appears to be on the rise again as it continues to kill innocent Nigerians consistently.

“One could have thought that President Buhari, being a former General in the army, could be able to defeat this groups, but all he keeps promising Nigeria is to exercise patience while Boko Haram continues to kill the people.

“Mr President (Trump), it is now glaring that Nigeria’s situation has gone beyond prayers, but all we need now is to cry out for help since our government has failed us. It is evident that Boko Haram has overpowered Buhari and his security personnel. We can no longer fold our arms and watch our people being killed. The deadly group has grown wings under the administration of Buhari.

“I write to beg you on behalf of the good people of Nigeria to save us from these terrorist groups.”

Boko Haram Politics Terrorism United States of America News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
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