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Insecurity: More Have Been Killed Under Buhari Than During Civil War, Uche Secondus Claims

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 1:16am

More Nigerians have been killed under President Muhammadu Buhari's government than were killed during the country's civil war, says the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus.

Over two million people were estimated to have died in the war.

Secondus made the claim during a  meeting of the Ogun State wing of the party at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, on Wednesday.

The PDP  chief said his party would stop violent deaths in the country if elected in the 2023 polls.

He said, “For how long can we continue to be oppressed, intimidated and continue to kill ourselves (one another)? So many killings now in the country than we had during the civil war.

"The people that have been killed since the inception of the APC government are many that you can’t place records because we wake up to hear news of killings on a daily basis.”

On his plan to unite the party ahead of the 2023 elections, Secondus said Ogun had taken the lead towards the move to unite the PDP in other states.

He also said the party would hold its ward, local government area and state congresses next year.

He said, “Since Ogun state has started this unification move, other states will follow in the interest of our great party. We must all come together after we have passed   through   pains.”

A leader of the PDP in the state, Oladipupo  Adebutu, said Dapo Abiodun would not have won the March 9 governorship poll if he had represented the party.

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#RevolutionNow: Sowore In High Spirits In Detention, Sources Say

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 1:07am

Omoyele Sowore

Omoyele Sowore SaharaReporters Media


Omoyele Sowore, President Muhammadu Buhari's opponent in the February 23 presidential election, though currently in detained by Nigeria's secret police (the Department of State Services) is in high spirits,
SaharaReporters can report.

Sowore, a political and social activist, is being charged with terrorism for calling on Nigerians to embark on nationwide protests tagged, #RevolutionNow.

He was abducted on August 3, 2019, two days before the planned protest.

Reliable sources close to the detention facility Sowore is being held disclosed that every attempt to dampen his spirit had failed.

The sources added that the activist was in good health.

One of the sources told SaharaReporters that Sowore vowed that he would continue to "speak truth to power" and would not bow to intimidation and persecution.

The Buhari regime was pilloried by many individuals and organizations for arresting and detaining the pro-democracy campaigner and called for his release.

Among Nigerians who took to the social media includes the former Vice President,  Atiku Abubakar who described the arrest as “kidnapping in the guise” adding that freedom of speech was part of the nation’s democracy.

Others were a former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili, Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Senator Shehu Sani, Femi Falana, Mike Ozekhome, among others.

Also, over 52 civil society organizations condemned the government's security agents' clampdown on peaceful #RevolutionNow protesters.

However, the All Progressives Congress-led federal government has been seeking ways to prolong Sowore's stay in DSS' custody.

Sowore, a candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 23 presidential election is known to be a vocal critic against bad governance and corruption in Nigeria.

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Ministerial Portfolios: Buhari Just Paid Back Kinsmen For Giving Him 97% Votes, Says Ohanaeze

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:38am

Ohaneze National President, John Nwodo at Ukehe

Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have criticized the allocation of ministries by President Muhammadu Buhari, with all nine ministers from the North-West given senior positions.

Among the six geopolitical zones in the country, the North-West, which consists of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara, got the highest number of ministers with senior portfolios.

The nine ministers from the region include Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State), who was appointed Minister of Water Resources; Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State), Minister of Finance; Muhammad Mahmood (Kaduna State),
Minister of Environment; and Sabo Nanono (Kano State), Minister of Agriculture and Development.

Others are Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Kano State), Minister of Defence; Hadi Sirika (Katsina State), Minister of Aviation; Abubakar Malami (Kebbi State), Minister of Justice; Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto State), Minister of Police Affairs; and Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State), Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said the appointment of the ministers was a reflection of alleged sectionalism on the part of the president.

Odumakin said, “That is 'next level' of sectionalism, in your face, and incorrigibility. There have been complaints about all these things since the first term. Now, it has been done in a super way. So, that is the next level. Welcome to the 'next level'.”

Similarly, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Uche Achi-Okpoga, said noted, “We are already used to the antics of the Presidency. We were not expecting anything less. We have a President that does not mince words. He stated it in his first tenure that he would not sacrifice those who gave him 97 percent votes to those who gave him maybe five percent. So, why should we be surprised that he gave juicy and senior positions to his kinsmen?”

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Nigerian Parliament To Probe Abandoned Projects That Date Back To 1999

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:35am

The House of Representatives has begun investigations into projects abandoned by the Nigerian government since 1999.

An ad hoc committee set up by the House to probe abandoned projects in the communications sector, including the closed-circuit television camera projects, held its inaugural meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

Punch reports that Chairman of the committee, Chukwuma Umeoji,  said the parliament would prosecute firms and individuals linked to any failed projects.

Umeoji said the mandate given to the panel included investigating abandoned federal government’s projects from 1999 to date, to find out the costs and the period the contracts were awarded as well as the level of completion, among other things.

He said, ministries, departments, agencies, parastatals, commissions and boards awarded contracts for the execution of several capital projects since the nation returned to democratic rule in 1999.

“Many of these projects have been abandoned even as many of them (contractors) have received advance payments of not less than 50 percent of the contract sums. Government has spent billions of naira on such contracts without the government and the people getting value for the money spent so far.

“It is instructive to note that if the nation is to have a meaningful development in terms of infrastructure and social services, there is an  urgent need for a change in the manner of award of contracts for and the execution of capital projects.”

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Certificate Forgery: Buhari's Embattled Anti-Corruption Chairman, Obono-Obla, Blames Osinbajo For Downfall

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:30am

The suspended Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla, has said the planned investigation by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission would not be fair due to the closeness of the commission’s Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owansanoye, to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Obono-Obla stated this in a suit he filed on Tuesday to challenge the said probe for alleged certificate forgery and extortion.

Among other things, he contended in the suit marked, HC/ABJ/CS/980/2019, that the ICPC, had no powers to invite, arrest, detain, investigate, or prosecute him in connection with alleged falsification of academic certificates.

Through his lawyer, Faruk Khamagam, Obono-Obla also filed an ex parte application seeking an urgent hearing of the suit.

The head of the legal unit of the SPIP while Obono-Obla held sway as the panel’s chairman, Dr. Celsus Ukpong, deposed to the affidavit filed in support of the main suit and the ex parte application.

According to Punch, the court papers in which the plaintiff alleged that part of the reasons he was suspended as the SPIP chairman was that he was not taking instructions from Osinbajo were sighted on Wednesday

He added that with Owasanoye as the ICPC chairman, the anti-corruption agency would not conduct a fair probe of his case.

Obono-Obla linked his travails to the investigations he launched against influential persons and organizations.

Faulting his suspension, said he “has been investigating many politically-exposed persons and civil servants, none of whom has been suspended”.

The plaintiff, who detailed his achievements as the Chairman of the SPIP in terms of recovery of looted funds and assets, added that he had received death threats and sacrificed his comfort in assisting the
President Muhammadu Buhari administration to fight corruption.

He also faulted the alleged forgery of a West Africa Examination Council certificate levelled against him.

He added that despite filing a suit challenging the House of Representatives’ powers to investigate his WASCE certificate and serving the court papers on the House “they refused to show up in court and went ahead and conducted a one-sided hearing and produced a report indicting him of falsifying his WASCE certificate”.

Ukpong, who noted in the affidavits that he had a telephone conversation with Obono-Obla  at about 2 pm on August 16 while preparing the case, stated that the suspended SPIP chairman “is currently living in fear of imminent arrest, intimidation, harassment, detention, arraignment and/or prosecution by the defendant (ICPC) on allegation of offences they have no power to prosecute”.

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African and American Senior Enlisted Leaders Discuss Empowerment, US Africa Command

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:29am


Senior enlisted leaders from 27 African nations and the United States gathered in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, for the third annual Africa Senior Enlisted Leader Conference (ASELC).

The ASELC provides a forum for African and U.S. senior enlisted leaders to share experiences and find ways to collaborate regarding non-commissioned officer empowerment and development.

“This is a great opportunity for countries to collaborate, build on strengths, understand differences, and work together. A more secure and stable Africa is in everyone’s interest,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command. “The incredible
exchange of ideas and learning at this symposium is making us and our African partners stronger.”

During the first ASELC held in 2017, African senior enlisted leaders identified professional military development as one of the key issues they face. The second conference, held in 2018, included a forum to unveil the Africa Enlisted Development Strategy, AFRICOM’s low-to-no-cost, multi-year approach to enlisted development.

The Africa Enlisted Development Strategy seeks to standardize existing African professional military education institutions that can train, not only their own nation’s forces but also those of neighboring nations with the goal of developing regional centers of excellence.
Each year, the strategy focuses on up to four countries. The first four focus countries included in the first tranche of the strategy are Botswana, Ghana, Liberia, and Malawi.

The execution is ongoing for the first tranche, said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez, command senior enlisted leader, U.S. Africa Command. During this year’s conference, the African tranche one senior enlisted leaders shared their experiences and are now able to serve as a model for the other African senior enlisted
leaders in attendance.

For Chief Warrant Officer Ramous Barker, Forces Sergeant Major, Ghana Armed Forces, he understands that empowering and developing NCOs is critical to the success of his military.

“NCOs form the backbone of every military institution,” he said. “If you have a weak NCO corps, then you will have a weak military institution so it is essential that all NCOs are trained very well and are educated very well so that they are able to function as NCOs.”

Professional military education is at the heart of strengthening the NCO Corps, he said.

In Malawi, efforts are already underway at the Malawi Defence Force Sergeant Major Academy to train their own forces and forces from other African nations.

In 2014, at the request of the Malawi Defence Force, U.S. Army Africa sent a mobile training team to help the Malawi military develop an NCO training curriculum. During the first class, the U.S. instructors trained Malawian instructors. During the second course, the Malawian instructors taught the class and the U.S. instructors provided mentorship. In 2015 during the third iteration of the course, the Malawi Defence Force instructors taught the class with no U.S. involvement. Later that year, they began training other African NCOs.

To date, the academy has trained NCOs from 12 African nations and they plan to expand to even more countries, said Warrant Officer Class One George Bisalomu, Malawi Defence Force Sergeant Major.

“As African nations, not everyone has got everything so we keep on helping each other,” said Gen. Vincent Nundwe, commander, Malawi Defence Force. “If we have those courses in Malawi, it’s one way of trying to harmonize the interoperability with other forces.”

Top defense officials from the four focus countries, including Nundwe, participated in a Chief of Defense panel discussion about NCO empowerment.

This panel was a direct result of a request by the African senior enlisted leaders, Colon-Lopez said. During the first ASELC, the attendees said it’s great to hear from U.S. generals, but it’s most important to hear from African generals.

“The problem lies when officers aren’t always willing to empower non-commissioned officers,” he said. “We asked some of our most trusted partners [African generals] to come here to be able to impart ‘why is it that they’re choosing to empower non-commissioned officers in Africa.’”

The panelists spoke about their personal experiences empowering NCOs and why it’s essential to their military.

“NCOs, all the time, have to be empowered and you have to show the trust and the confidence in them so that even when you are not there, they will do the job just like when you are there,” said Maj. Gen. Mpho Mophuting, director of general support services, Botswana Defence Force. “It’s really important to ensure that you have the best NCO
corps that can represent you both professionally in the military and even outside when they are in the civilian population to help people understand what the military stands for.”

Another topic of discussion during this year’s event is the unique perspective women NCOs bring to a military. During last year’s ASELC, two women NCOs were in attendance. This year that number increased to
seven representing six African nations and, for the first time, a Women, Peace and Security panel was held featuring women NCOs from Ghana, Liberia and Malawi.

“Women are very important because they make a difference in the military,” said Master Sgt. Joyce N. Akoi, Administrative Clerk for the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces Liberia.

In Mali, women soldiers have an important role in information gathering because in that culture, women are not allowed to be seen with men. Women soldiers are able to talk to other women so that information can be gathered for the mission, Akoi said.

“We need to utilize all talent and provide everybody, regardless of gender, the ability to excel, grow, develop, and lead,” said Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The goal of the Women, Peace and Security panel is for the African participants to take lessons learned back to their countries and look for ways to capitalize on effectively leveraging women in their military, Colon-Lopez said.

As the Africa Enlisted Development Strategy progresses, Colon-Lopez said the desired end state of NCO development in African sustainability and ownership with little to no U.S. or coalition assistance to carry on training the future crop of NCOs, he said.

“It is imperative that we first and foremost bring the lessons learned from the Africans and not just the ideas of the U.S.,” he said. That’s what’s going to resonate with them and that is the direction we need to take as United States Africa Command. African solutions to African

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IMF Wants Nigeria, Others To Vote On Removing Age Barriers In Appointing Its Managing Director

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:09am

International Monetary Fund

International Monetary Fund The Wire


The executive board of the International Monetary Fund says it has asked Nigeria and other 188 member countries to vote on removing age barriers to who becomes the managing director of the international lending institution.

In a statement made available to SaharaReporters, the board is seeking to amend its by-laws to allow it select persons older than 65 and to permit the selected individual, the right to stay in office beyond his or her 70th birthday.

The board's reason to change the rules, the statement pointed out, was to bring it in alignment with that of its sister-organization, the World Bank.

“The Executive Board has today recommended that the IMF Board of Governors vote to remove the age limit that currently applies to the position of IMF Managing Director with those of members of the IMF Executive Board, which the Managing Director chairs, and those of the President of the World Bank Group, who are not subject to an age
limit,” the IMF said.

It explained further, "The board of governors who represent the 189 members, will vote on the matter from Wednesday 21 to Wednesday, September 4. A simple majority from governors who control 2-3rd of the lender’s shares will be enough to legalize the change. The Executive Board has today recommended that the IMF Board of Governors vote to remove the age limit that currently applies to the position of IMF Managing with those of members of the IMF Executive Board, which the
Managing Director chairs, and those of the President of the World Bank Group, who are not subject to an age limit.”

The board of governors who represent the 189 members, will vote on the matter from Wednesday 21 to Wednesday, September 4.

A simple majority from governors who control 2-3rd of the lender’s shares will be enough to legalize the change.

The statement added, “The IMF Board of Governors, which represents the 189 member countries according to their voting shares, is requested tovote on the proposal. A simple majority of the votes cast is required to adopt the proposal, with a minimum participation requirement of a
majority of Governors holding two-thirds of the total voting power. Voting is scheduled to run from August 21 to September 4.”

The board is in the process of choosing a successor to Christine Lagard, while nominations for her replacement ends on September 6 and the world will know the new managing director by October 4.

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Buhari's 'Next Level': Nigerians To Pay More For Electricity, Documents Reveal

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 11:36pm

Prepaid meter

Prepaid meter Nigerian Finder

The President Muhammadu Buhari regime through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has increased electricity tariff across the country.

According to Punch, findings from various documents obtained from the NERC on Wednesday in Abuja showed that beginning from next year, power consumers will have to pay between N8 and N14 (in addition to what they currently pay) for every kilowatt-hour of energy provided by distribution companies.

Also, the cost-reflective tariff of each of the Discos in separate documents for each particular distributor in a regulatory instrument cited as ‘The 2016-2018 Minor Review of Multi-Year Tariff Order 2015 and Minimum Remittance Order for the Year 2019’ was disclosed.

The tariff increase for each Disco differs, going by figures in the documents from the commission.

For the Abuja Disco’s minor review assumptions 2015 – 2021, the commission stated that the Disco’s end-user cost-reflective tariff from 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 per KWh were N42.81, N46.44, N52.86, N46.02, and N44.29, respectively.

NERC, however, stated that the end-user allowed tariff from 2017 to 2019 per kWh was N32.66 in each of the years, while those of 2020 and 2021 were put at N42.46 and N44.21.

The difference between what AEDC’s customers pay currently and what they will pay from next year, going by NERC’s figures, is an increase of N9.8/kWh.

For Benin Disco, it said the end-user cost-reflective tariff from 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 per kWh were N51.37, N54.36, N59.07, N47.61 and N43.79, respectively.

It also stated that the end-user allowed tariff from 2017 to 2019 per kWh was N32.50 in each of the years, while those of 2020 and 2021 were put at N42.25 and N43.79.

Here, the difference between what BEDC’s customers pay currently and what they will pay from next year is an increase of N9.75/kWh.

For Eko Disco, the commission said the end-user cost-reflective tariff from 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 per kWh were N39.7, N41.8, N46.1, N39.8, and N39.2, respectively.

For the end-user allowed tariff from 2017 to 2019 per kWh, it said this was N28.3 in each of the years, while those of 2020 and 2021 were put at N36.8 and N39.2.

The difference between what Eko Disco customers pay currently and what they will pay from next year is an increase of N8.5/kWh.

It was gathered that for Enugu Disco, customers under the power firm’s franchise areas will get a tariff increase of N10.6/kWh from next year.

This is because based on figures from the commission, the allowed end-user tariffs for Enugu Disco for 2019, 2020 and 2021 per kWh are N35.3, N45.9, and N41.6, respectively.

For residents who are served by Ibadan Disco, the end-user allowed tariffs for 2019, 2020 and 2021 per kWh are N30.6, N39.7, and N44.2, respectively.

This implies that by next year, power consumers who get supply from Ibadan Disco will witness an increase of N9.1/kWh in their tariff.

In Ikeja Disco’s franchise areas, customers will have to pay additional N8.2/kWh 2020.

This is because the end-user allowed tariffs in the order from NERC put the tariffs for 2019, 2020 and 2021 per kWh at N27.3, N35.5 and N37.1 respectively.

In Jos Disco, the tariff increase for 2020 is N10.1/kWh, as consumers under this Disco will have to pay N43.9/kWh, as against N33.8/kWh which they currently pay.

In Kaduna, power users will witness an increase of N9/kWh.

The end-user allowed tariffs for 2019, 2020 and 2019 per kWh for Kaduna Disco, as captured by NERC, are N30.3, N39.3, and N41.7, respectively.

Also, in Kano Disco, NERC increased the end-user allowed tariffs from N30.1/kWh in 2019 to N44.7/kWh in 2020 and N41.8/kWh in 2021.

This implies that residents who are served by this Disco will witness an increase of N14.6/kWh in the tariff they pay for electricity.

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Angry Nigerian Drivers Protest Police Extortion, Block Road

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 11:20pm

Commercial drivers in Ogun State have protested against extortion by Nigerian policemen, operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Vehicle Inspection Office by blocking the Papalanto-Ilaro-Oja-Odan Road (Yewa North Local Government Area) in Ogun State.

The protest took place on Wednesday.

According to a source who witnessed the protest, the aggrieved drivers blocked the road as early as 6:30 am.

The protesters, the source said, gathered in front of Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro's campus, blocked the road and prevented other commercial vehicles from plying the route, forcing them to join the demonstration.

“The transporters on the Lagos to Ilaro and Ilaro to Lagos route blocked the road as they protested against incessant harassment and extortion by the police, the FRSC and the VIOs," the eyewitness, who preferred not to be identified said.

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Nigerian Army Court-Martials Soldier Who Killed Abia Motorcyclist

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 11:14pm

The 14 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Ohafia, Abia State, has court-martialled Lance Corporal Ajayi Johnson, who shot and killed a motorcyclist, Chimobi Nwogu.

Nwogu was shot dead in Umoukereke, Obingwa Local Government Area of the state this month.

Johnson, dismissed from the army, was reported to have shot the victim over a N100 bribe.

The Commander, 14 Brigade, Brig. Gen. Solomon Kumapayi, in the company of some military officers from the 82 Division, Enugu, yesterday handed over the dismissed soldier to the Commissioner of Police, Abia State, Eme Okon, in Umuahia.

In a statement, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, stated that Johnson was tried, found guilty and dismissed from service.

“In reference to our earlier press release dated August 10, 2019, on the arrest of Lance Corporal Ajayi Johnson, who allegedly killed Mr. Chimaobi Nwaogwu in the Umoukereke Ngwa community in Abia State on August 7, 2019.

“We said in the statement that the 82 Division was assuring the general public that the soldier would be arrested and tried in accordance with the extant rules and regulations of the Nigerian Army, and if found wanting, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against him.

“In keeping to our promise, the dismissed soldier has been handed over to the Abia State Police Command today, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, for further investigation and civil prosecution for murder if found culpable,” the statement said.

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Ministerial Appointment: I Don't Know What I’ll Do Differently, Says Ngige

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 11:08pm

Newly appointed Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Wednesday said that he does not know what he will do differently in his ministry in his second time in that position.

Ngige's comment comes amidst a feud with the Nigerian Labour Congress on the issue of minimum wage implementation and also at a time when unemployment rate is high in the country.

He said, “I don’t know what I will do differently. I am a man of due process. If you are also a man of due process, you will be my friend. Do things the way they should be done, and not abnormally.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress is a federation of some labour unions. We also have the Trade Union Congress and the United Labour Congress which, though, has not been officially registered.

“The issue of consequential adjustments in the minimum wage is currently being handled by the permanent secretary in my ministry and he has made some progress.

“On Thursday, we will get the notes from him and, I and the minister of state will know how to key in.

“The most important thing is that we want to make sure that the matter is addressed as quickly as possible so that we can put smiles on the faces of Nigerian workers.”

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Ondo PDP, APC Trade Words Over Governor Akeredolu’s Spendings

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 11:04pm

The Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress in Ondo State have attacked each other over the spending of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

In a statement on Wednesday, the PDP accused Akeredolu of renovating his office with the sum of N1.5bn and squandering the state’s resources.

Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP, Zadok Akintoye, also alleged that the governor withdraws N800m as monthly security votes.

In addition, Akintoye also claimed that Akeredolu unlawfully withdraws N140m every month as imprest.

He said, “The governor recently renovated his office (which was renovated just a few years ago by his immediate predecessor) with a staggering amount of N1.5bn.

“He allegedly withdraws the sum of N800m monthly as security vote and N140m monthly as personal imprest.

“Free education has been cancelled by this government and tuition fees in our state owned universities rank amongst the highest in the country.

“Free maternal and child care is no longer provided as seen in the decay of the healthcare system inherited by this government from its predecessor.

“One therefore wonders the rationale behind the almost N1bn allegedly being collected by this governor on a month-to-month basis as security vote!

"We therefore state that these allegations are alarming, scary and deeply concerning and must therefore be investigated, considering other salient information that majority of the capital projects being executed in our state are largely used as conduit pipes to syphon state funds via cronies of this government.

“It is our belief that these action by the current APC-led government should be condemned by every right thinking citizen of this great state.”

Reacting to the allegations, spokesperson for the APC in the state, Mr Alex Kalejaye, said the ruling party was surprised that the PDP could churn out porous and imaginary allegations to distract the Akeredolu-led government.

He said, “The PDP, in a desperate attempt to smear the soaring image of the ruling party, recently accused the APC-led government of defrauding the state, impoverishing traditional institutions, destroying the health sector, among others.

“APC is deeply astounded that a party that carried out a crude castration and strangulation of the state finances could issue such a statement in less than 30 months of its exit.

“The APC wishes to declare with all sense of modesty that the current administration has proved that it has come to serve the people; develop the land, and not to plunder the treasury.”

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Buhari's Cabinet Made Up Of Corrupt, Recycled Looters, Says PDP

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 3:23pm


The Peoples Democratic Party has described President Muhammadu Buhari's new cabinet as a team made up of persons “indicted for corruption and treasury looting".

The party made its position known in a statement by National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbodiyan.

Ologbodiyan said all 43 ministers are, “a poor parade of recycled foot-travelers”.

He added that, “The PDP is, however, not surprised that the President had no clear-cut blueprint to rescue the nation from the economic, security and social quagmires which his administration had plunged our nation into in the last four years.

“Of course, Mr President had on several occasions demonstrated a lack of required capacity to lead a nation as complex as Nigeria, especially at these trying times.

“At a ceremony where Nigerians had expected the forceful articulation of a progressive policy thrust, Mr President bored the nation with an empty and directionless script that only evoked more despondency in our nation.

“Instead of helping President Buhari to offer hope, his handlers were more interested on photo-ups and refreshments, away from serious business of governance.”

The party called on Nigerians not to lose hope in the face of abandonment by the Buhari led administration.

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African Games: Nigeria Gets First Gold Medal In Taekwondo

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 3:18pm


Team Nigeria won its first gold medal on Wednesday at the ongoing 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco, by its representatives in the taekwondo event.

Athletes in that category also won two bronze medals on the same day.

Chinazum Nwosu won the gold medal in the female 53kg event, while Sunday Onofe and Okuomose Benjamin won the bronze medals in the male 87kg and +87kg events respectively.

Nwosu had drawn bye in the preliminary round, while she beat Halidou Balkissa of Republic of Niger 23-9 in the quarter-finals and Tsebaot Fikadu of Ethiopia 14-10 in the semi-finals.

She went on to beat Morocco’s Oumaima El Bouchti 26-22 in the final.

On his part, Onofe beat Congo DR’s Esende Chadrack 25-05 in the preliminary round and Fredric Adoua of Chad 15-5 in the quarter-finals.

He however, lost to eventual gold medallist, Seydou Gbane, of Cote d’Ivoire 15-12 in the semi-final.

Benjamin also drew bye in the preliminaries, beat Senegal’s Laye Seye 40-37 in the quarter-finals and lost to Niger’s Alfaga Abdul Razak 32-10 in the semi-finals, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

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Nigerian Robbed, Killed In South Africa

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 1:38pm


A Nigerian has been robbed and killed in South Africa.

President of Nigerian Union South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, made the disclosure on Wednesday, adding that the victim, a 46-year-old man named Obinna Ayanele, hailed from Uruala, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State.

He said Ayanele was murdered in cold blood by some criminals in his shop in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg, on Tuesday evening.

The criminals had reportedly attacked Ayanele with the intention of robbing him of his money and wares.

Olubajo said, “With deep sorrow in our hearts, the Nigeria Union South Africa regrets to announce the gruesome murder of another Nigerian, Stanley Ayanele, from Uruala, Ideato North LGA, Imo, aged 46.

“Until his death, he was a small scale business owner, a stockist of petty goods.

“Ayanele was accosted by some criminals at his shop in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg in the evening of August 20, 2019 with the intention of robbing him of his money and wares.

“He was brutally stabbed several times, and they smashed his head with a hammer thereby leaving him in a pool of his blood to bleed to death.’’

Olubajo revealed SAPS crime team later arrested two of the criminals while the third one escaped. 

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Woman Kills Eight-year-old Daughter For Stealing N350

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 1:23pm


A 37-year-old woman in Plateau State, Adeyola Afonja, who allegedly beat her eight-year-old daughter to death for stealing N350, have been remanded in prison custody.

Afonja, who resides in Etobaba Village, Jos North, was charged with culpable homicide, an offence punishable with death if convicted.

Justice S.P. Gang gave the order after the visibly distraught mother pleaded not guilty to the charge, stating that she only wanted to correct her child.

Justice Gang adjourned the case until October 8 for continuation of hearing and to enable her get legal representation.

Prosecution counsel, Inspector Onegbenoise Osho, had told the court that the accused person used a cable wire to flog her daughter in a bid to correct her after she had allegedly stolen N350 from her.

Osho alleged that the little girl collapsed during the fatal beating and was rushed to the Plateau State Specialist Hospital where she was confirmed dead on arrival.

The prosecutor added that the accused mother immediately informed her husband, Mr Anisuida Felix, whom she is separated from, about the development.

Felix was said to have reported the matter at the Nasarawa Gwom Police Station, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.


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Prioritise Oil And Gas Reforms, Petroleum Expert Tells New Minister, Sylva

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 1:14pm

Emeritus professor of Petroleum Economics and Policy Research, Wumi Iledare, has set five goals for newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva. Top on the list is the implementation of reforms in the oil and gas industry.

Speaking with Sahara Reporters on Wednesday, Iledare reminded the former Bayelsa State governor that Rilwan Lukman started the reform journey in 2000 as an energy adviser.

He said, “The number one priority is the Petroleum Industry Reform which was started in 2000.

“I will advise him to own the PIR, he must not behave like Diezani Alison-Madueke who pretended like she wanted the reform.

“Secondly, Silva should professionalise the ministry. The head of upstream policy must be professional, the head of downstream must be professional, the head of gas and oil field services must be professional as well.

“He must find a way to improve the reward system in other to attract competent hands to the ministry. The idea that agencies under the petroleum ministry are paid better than those in the ministry itself, is not good.”

Iledare frowned at the reality of personnel in regulatory bodies like the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency and other regulatory departments getting better pay than the ministry’s staff.

He urged the former Bayelsa State governor to go beyond the limits of the federal civil service salary structure in order to attract quality technocrats into the ministry.

The scholar also admonished Sylva to avoid meddling in the day-to-day running of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.

He added, “Even though he is the chairman of the board, he must not get himself involved in the day-to-day running of the NNPC, just like Diezani before him.

“He must separate policy from regulation and from operations. He needs to allow the Department of Petroleum Resources do its job independently.”


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HURIWA Condemns Appointment Of Muslims As Defence And Interior Ministers

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 11:55am

The Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria has criticised the appointment of Muslims as ministers of Interior and Defence by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The group said the development in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria contravenes section 42(1) of the constitution, which prohibits discrimination.

In a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA condemned the domination of juicy offices by Northern Nigeria.

The group said, “We are not happy that most of the cabinet appointments are cornered to the North-West.

“It’s unfair because the Igbo population in Nigeria is not less than 50million and constitutionally either people vote for you or not, you must appoint one minister from each state of the federation. See Also Sahara Reporters FULL LIST: Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“Why will President Buhari repeat the mistake of his first term where he concentrated all his appointments to Muslims? 

“He should use the composition of the governing boards of agencies to correct the mistake he has made.”

HURIWA however, commended President Buhari for appointing a young man, Mr Sunday Dare, to head the Ministry of Youth and Sports and for creating a Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

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Debt: AMCON Takes Over Donald Duke’s Ikoyi Home

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 11:39am

The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and United Bank for Africa to take over a property belonging to a former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke.

Justice Chuka Obiozor made the order following an ex parte application filed by AMCON and UBA.

The property was to be forfeited over an alleged debt of N537,334,360.77.

Listed as first to third defendants were Stonehedge Investment Limited, Donald Duke and Owunari Bob-Manuel Duke, respectively.

The applicants had prayed the court for “an order of interim attachment, possession and custody of the property being No. 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos”.

They told the court that the property was mortgaged by Duke “as collateral in securing the 1st respondent’s indebtedness to the applicants”.

They urged the court to grant them possession of the property “pending the institution and disposal of proceedings for recovery of debt against the respondent, pursuant to Section 49 of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act 2010 (as amended)”.

They also prayed the court for an interim Mareva injunction to take possession of funds in the accounts of Duke and others in any bank “pending the institutional and disposal of proceedings for the recovery of a debt of N537,334,360.77 made up of the principal debt and interest against the respondents pursuant to Section 50 of AMCON Act 2010”.

The judge granted the prayers in addition to an order restraining the respondents from “transacting, transferring, changing or howsoever dealing in any manner or interfering with the applicants’ possession” of the Ikoyi property.

The judge ordered AMCON and UBA to ensure service of substantive originating processes on the respondents within 20 days of the making of the order.

He adjourned the case until September 2, 2019.

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Ministerial Appointment: I Know Nothing About Internal Security, Aregbesola Says

Sahara Reporters - 21 August 2019 - 11:35am

Aregbesola at the ministry of interior

Aregbesola at the ministry of interior building

Few hours after the inauguration of new ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has confessed that he lacked knowledge of how the ministry in charge of internal security operates.

Aregbesola revealed this when he visited the ministry shortly after he was assigned the portfolio by President Buhari.

Addressing officials of the ministry, the former Osun State Governor said that he had no idea of its policies and operations.

He said, “My relationship with the ministry is distant. What I know about the ministry is what I read in the newspapers.

“I will officially assume duties on Monday. I give the Permanent Secretary the grace to run the ministry till then. We will be ready by Monday to take on the huge assignment.”

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