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NAHCO Official Hit With Wood By Customs Agents Suffers Internal Brain Damage

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 7:06am


A staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc was violently attacked on Wednesday by one of the Customs clearing agents at the warehouse of the ground handling company at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos while carrying out his lawful duty.

The victim, who was identified as Tersuu Orhemba, was said to have been hit with a big stick on the skull by the assailant in the course of his duty.

A source close to the ground handling company confided in our correspondent on Monday that the victim was still lying critically ill at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Surgical Emergency Department after suffering internal bleeding in his brain.

The source alleged that after ab argument ensued at the warehouse between the two, the assailant, who was said to be working for “one of the big boys” in the industry, was furious and hit the NAHCO official airside of the airport. 

The source said that the victim would require surgery to clear the blood stain in his brain as a result of the attack.

“The incident happened last Wednesday while the NAHCO staff was on duty," said the source.

"He was hit on the back by a yet unidentified person. He collapsed immediately after the incident and was rushed to the hospital. Medical report reveals that has internal bleeding and will require surgery to clear blood stains in the brain.

“He is lying critically ill in the hospital. NAHCO will require to conduct thorough investigation or search to apprehend the person that caused this pain to this young man and guarantee safety of other employees of the organisation. If this is not done, the other staff of this organisation are also at risk of been attacked the same way."

A second source in NAHCO confirmed the incident to our correspondent on phone.

The source insisted that the attacker works for one of the cargo agents and is known to all, but his boss is obstructing the arrest of the assailant.

According to the NAHCO source, who doesn’t want his name mentioned, NAHCO security officers had reported the case to the Police, who visited the scene to arrest the attacker, but they were prevented from carrying out the arrest by some cargo agents in support of the violence.

The NAHCO security agents were said to have followed up the case with a letter to the Divisonal Police Officer (DPO) at the Lagos Airport, who responded that the command had written to the company of the attacker to bring him for interrogation but the company declined.

The source said: “The Police came and wanted to effect arrest. Some cargo agents said they would not allow the Police to arrest any of them. The Police went away. NAHCO security department followed up with the DPO, who said that the Police had written to the company of the alleged attacker.

“Our Security Manager was forced to ask whether that would be the same position of the Police if the victim, who is still lying critically ill in the hospital awaiting surgery, dies. Would they be sitting down waiting for the company to produce the culprit who was known to the Police and for an act that took place in the presence of Customs officers and other NAHCO staff who were ready to testify even as the attack was captured on the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera?

“That is the update. The victim is lying critically ill in the hospital. The Police have been unable to arrest the individual responsible for the attack. NAHCO is escalating the case beyond the DPO and Airport Police Command.”

When our correspondent contacted the Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Joseph Alabi, he declined to comment on the issue.

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Greedy Train Station Officials Hoard Tickets, Triple Prices As Abuja-Kaduna Kidnappers Scare Passengers Away From Road

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 6:23am





Three officials of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) at Kubwa Station in Abuja station were allegedly arrested on Saturday in connection with the ticket racketeering and hoarding.

Due to the spate of kidnapping and armed robbery along the Kaduna-Abuja Road, hundreds of passengers thronged the train station over the weekend, leading to rowdiness during ticket purchase.

According to a source who is also a staff of the corporation, those three people arrested were a staff member, a policeman and a security guard who engaged in hoarding tickets and inflating their prices. The source said that they were picked up by some plain cloth security agents on saturday following a sting operation.

It was a survival of the fittest over the weekend for passengers willing to buy tickets across the counter, as officials deliberately hoarded and sold the tickets to the highest bidders who had paid way before commencement of sale.

With the sale of tickets scheduled for one hour before the departure time, many passengers arrived at the terminal as early as 4:30am to avoid a last-minute rush. 

The daily schedule for Abuja-Kaduna from Monday to Sunday are as follows: 7:00am, 9:00am, 2:00pm and 6:00pm, except Wednesdays with only two trips at 7:00am and 6:00pm.

But many were disappointed despite their early arrival when it was announced that the train had exceeded its capacity, leaving hundreds stranded. Many wondered how the coaches that were reserved for Kubwa could be filled up within a few minutes, especially since only few tickets were sold on the counter.

Hell was let lose when the officials began to sell tickets for passengers who would remain standing throughout the trip (standing class). The situation almost degenerated into a stampede, as people were falling over one another in the struggle to buy the tickets. Many sustained injuries in the process. 

It was gathered that the tickets sold to the standing passengers are not officials tickets and will not reflect in the records .  

There were no security agents on ground to control the surging crowd in Kubwa. Many people were shocked to the marrow to see strange faces who never joined the queue, strol in with tickets in their hands to the departure lounge to board the train. At this point, the atmosphere became charged, as stranded passengers hurled abuse at the officials, whos they believed might have sold the tickets to them through the back door.

SaharaReporters found out that some officials took advantage of the system to sell as high as N4,000 to N5,000 when the official price was N1,300. They decided to hoard the tickets for this pecuniary purpose while those that could not afford the humongous amounts resigned to fate and joined the endless queues.

The situation was not different inside the train as passengers were seen engaging in altercations over seat numbers because many passengers were issued with same seat numbers.

One of the stranded passengers who identified himself as Ahmed Abubakar expressed his displeasure with the poor and shoddy arrangements at the Kubwa train station. He described it as embarrassing and worrisome, adding that the situation was inhumanity of man to man. 

"This is wickedness in the highest order and there is need to address the situation as a matter of urgency and necesity," he said. "There is no point asking us to queue up because only few tickets will be sold on the counter while the rest are sold through the back door to those who can pay higher." 

The situation was not different at Idu station, where a mammoth crowd of passengers overwhelmed the officials, leaving many stranded. 

Ticketing in Rigasa station was more organised, as there were no cases of hoarding or preferential treatment, although inability of officials to organise the passengers for easy boarding was their own albatross.

For example, when it was time to board the 1o:35am Kaduna-Abuja train at Rigasa station on Sunday, the situation became rowdy as passengers were seen in a mad rush to get on the train. 

Instead of the officials to announce to the passengers who had purchased their tickets to queue up for ticket verification before boarding, they left them in disarray until the last minute, which led to a free-for-all. 

Also, it was revealed that the officials were not interested in the safety of the passengers but only in the tickets. There was little or no measure in place to check the luggage of the passengers boarding the train. No policeman or soldier was sighted throughout the harrowing experience on saturday; just one private security guard was stationed at the entrance with a metal detector that was not functioning.

When one of the station officials was prodded to speak on the situation, he said that if the government could procure additional coaches to the trains, it would ease their problems.

Many passengers blamed the government and officials for lack of coordination and organisation, while others blamed the insecurity along Kaduna-Abuja road, which forced many people to resort to train.

Kaduna-Abuja Road has become a death trap for travellers, awith kidnappers and armed robbers having a field day and operating on almost daily.

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With Buhari’s Handling Of Security, Were Nigerians Too Hard On Jonathan? By Fredrick Nwabufo​

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 5:47am


Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

There are byzantine vibrations about the Nigerian. He is like a banshee wailing against the failings of power when his belly is empty; when he is not within the circle of influence and when the holder of power is not his “religious or ethnic brother”. As soon as he is fed; his insecurities and sentiments catered to, he swears an oath of perpetual silence. And sometimes, he becomes an advocate of what he once protested against. 

The hypocrisy of the Nigerian runs deep like still waters. At the height of Boko Haram killings in 2014, the Northern Elders Forum threatened President Goodluck Jonathan. It “ordered” Jonathan to secure the release of the Chibok girls by October 2014 or shelve his ambition of seeking re-election. This was a group of statesmen “speaking truth to power” when it was convenient to do so.

This forum publicly excoriated Jonathan saying, a “lack of a strong will at the level of the presidency, deep-seated corruption, incompetence in government and in the management of security challenges” was giving oomph to the crisis. What has changed?

In July 2018, the US Council on Foreign Relations said it had documented about 20,000 deaths since Buhari became president.  This number of deaths is higher than that of the Republic of Congo Civil War of 1997.

In November 2018, more than 120 soldiers were massacred by Islamic State in West Africa and about 150 reported missing in Borno state - the highest number of combatant deaths in a single bout since the Nigerian Civil War of 1967. And many more soldiers have been killed since November.

In 2016, Zamfara killings gained notoriety, but three years after, the savagery pushes farther into the entrails of the state. There have been more deaths and kidnappings. Violence has also taken over the roads Katsina, Kaduna and Kano. It is a sheer surrender to suicide to travel some roads of the northwest and of the northeast.

But in all of these, President Buhari is spared a blizzard of criticisms, protests and call-outs by people whose voice once pierced the ears remonstrating Jonathan for being “clueless”.  In fact, some persons who are directly affected by the killings are only a “little pissed” with Mr President.

Really, it is clear now that not all the fusillade of attacks against Jonathan was because he was “clueless”, but because he came from a section of the country that is considered “insignificant” and worshipped differently. And because, as I said earlier, some persons were not within the circle of influence at the time and were not “chopping” from the table.

As a matter of fact, if Jonathan dispensed 80 percent incompetence in handling the security challenges at the time, Buhari has demonstrated 150 percent incompetence in managing the Boko Haram crisis in the northeast, banditry in the northwest and kidnapping across the country.

Sadly, Mr President is exempted as an excusable party to incompetence by people who should ordinarily keep him on his toes and make him bend his back to the wheel.  

Incompetence deserves dispassionate outrage; it does not discriminate between religions or ethnicity. Everyone is a victim.

Mr President must act to stop the killings now. Enough of the scripted responses to massacres. It has always been one response to every crisis, "...We are doing our best...." And leaving the country at the time citizens are mourning shows the president is not very attuned to this issue. Act now, Mr President!

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Gloating Goats Of Republic Of Naruba By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 4:47am


The Republic of Naruba held its presidential election six months ago. It was the first of its kind in this huge island full of both human and animal apes. The election was free, fair, peaceful, transparent, and conclusive. The inaugural of president-elect of Naruba, His Excellency, President Ahmed Mohammed Rihabu, took place last week. President Rihabu wasted no time in reaching out to supporters as well as critics. 

I was the only lucky Naruban citizen abroad that was invited for the inauguration. President Rihabu e-mailed me. He'd been following my writings before, during, and after the election. 

“Dear Bayo: I'm writing to invite you to our wonderful country Naruba for a visit and to celebrate with the gloating goats of Naruba my victory. I'm a regular reader of your column. I have been following you for a long time. I pray and I hope you'll gladly consider my invitation and come celebrate with us. My kindest regards. His Excellency, President Ahmed Mohammed Rihabu, Federal Republic of Naruba.”

Naruba is a Western African nation stated to be one of the richest in the world and the best place on earth to live. With a population of 100 million people, it is located between Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Benin and Burkina Faso. The capital is the city of Jaabu. Posthaste, I set out on a 18-hour flight from Okokomako to Naruba. Right from the time I set my foot at the Naruba International Airport, visible signs of neglect and decay over the years from the rooftops to the floor of the airport advertised a microcosm of a nation paralleled to hell. 

Droplets of February showers that escaped through leaking roofs of Naruba International baptized travelers with the ostensible truth that warned me of images of Naruba I would later experience. The airport was partially boarded up and torn down. Looks like an abattoir undergoing some facelift ready for meat inspectors from department of agriculture. Everywhere looks mangled, air-thirsty, decrepit, and filthy. Scraps of construction materials like trees hewed down by the storm compete for squeezed space, an ironic reminder of Naruba's vestiges of its former greatness.

As the hours whizzed by, the rain became more violent and unfriendly. The waiting lounge and the baggage claim areas turned bedlam. People waiting for their loved ones were pounded by the rain. The crowd had become inured by the beatings of the rain. Out of the sea of heads, I strained and stretched my neck to elongate it more in order to recognize the sign held up by the aide to President Rihabu who came to pick me up. The aide was completely bathed in the pre-noon downpour.

If superstitions were vestiges of ancient religion, poverty and corruption have become the creative destruction of Naruba. The twin derivatives of socioeconomic malady in Naruba is on full scale war with Narubans. Open fields, abandoned houses, buildings, shops, and heaps of thrash greeted me with open arms. I saw people young and old, men, women, and children sauntering down the streets, hawking fruits, vegetables, cooked and roasted corn, snacks, sodas. I saw kids perched atop of junked automobiles that have become makeshift playhouse. Steady flow of human traffic ambled through a chaotic of jumbled streets. I saw people openly defecating at nearby bushes. I was amazed by the way people blended into the scenery.

After a prolonged sweating in the snake crawling traffic, we made it alive to the presidential palace. His Excellency, President Rihabu emerged from one of the many rooms. President Rihabu welcomes me enthusiastically pumping my hands as if I'm a long-awaited diplomat. Dressed in a long rustic white caftan similar to the ones worn by the Old Testament Mosaic herdsmen. With a thick black rimmed glasses similar to the pediatricians, the president sat me down. And he said “Welcome to our beautiful country Naruba!” “Thank you, your Excellency, I'm glad to be in Naruba,” I replied. I asked his Excellency how Naruba and its people are doing. I try to frame my questions in a way that wasn’t offensive or dismissive lest his supporters label me “arrogant,” “proud,” “cocky,” “rude,” and “inexperienced.” My instinct tells me I should let him do the talking. Here's President Rihabu:

“I fought a very hard campaign. My campaign was tormented by fears, doubts, and bitter ambivalence of my qualifications and electability. First and foremost, my profound gratitude goes to the gloating goats of Naruba. They have never been so generous to a presidential candidate. The fact that I didn't articulate any vision for Naruba and Narubans, they fiercely and sheepishly defended my candidacy. For the next four years, Narubans can expect the following during my presidency:

“The economy will nosedive into a recession. Naira, our currency will lose 70% of its value. Food prices will triple. Unemployment will rise to 200%. Petroleum prices at the pump will jump to 67%. Restructure of our inefficient and lopsided federal system will not take place during my time. Electricity supply will be worse than before. Narubans will pay more for darkness. Our hospitals will serve as a model hospital for non-humans. There will be nothing like rule of law. Armed robbers, kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen killings, ethnic violence, and complete meltdown of law and order will be the norm. My government will do everything to subvert the rule of law. My presidency will be a reign of terror characterized by chaos, crisis, violence, killings, poverty, corruption, fear, and uncertainties. Remember, I promised you next level. Well, Zamfara is a textbook example of the next level. I will spend more time jetting around the world than being in Aso Rock.

“My presidency will be known for poor vision, tunnel vision, vision that is fickle, or a non-existent vision. I don't have the optics or the ethics to develop Naruba. Performance will not be an indicator of my administration. I can't guarantee you love and leadership. But I can promise you lack of love, misplaced love, misguided policies, plans, and programs.” 

“I will not apply leverage and resources in an aggressive and committed fashion to the problems facing Naruba. I will model the wrong behaviors. I will not pull forward the future of Naruba because I'm satisfied with the status quo. Expect no change, no innovation and no creativity that will make Naruba fresh, dynamic, and growing. I'll be a champion of static business doom.”

“Naruba has not been blessed to be led by influential and competent leaders. I will continue in that tradition of failure and retrogression. My administration will live by the mantra “Overpromise and underdeliver.” I'll bring lack of energy, and I will see initiative, and enthusiasm in governance as burden. My presidency will mirror the dark side of leadership: ignorance about the truth, wrong perception about the reality, obstinate behavioral pattern.” 

“I will surround myself with gloating goats that were instrumental to my victory and bootlickers who will not challenge my decisions or opinions, but defend my incompetence, failures, bash my critics, and will do whatever they want. I'll shirk my responsibility to address burning national issues. My message will be ambiguous. There will be miscommunication. I will avoid conflict and confrontation altogether, hoping the issues will resolve themselves. I won't care about public opinion.”

As President Rihabu continued to reel out his plans for the next four years, a phone call from his Vice-President Festus Barbarosa interrupted his conversation. The Vice-President had called to intimate his boss that ethnic and religious violence had erupted in the oil rich state of Jibiti. The president conversation with me ended on an inconclusive note. He didn't have the opportunity to bid me goodbye. I quickly offered a quick sick smile to the president.

As I leave the Presidential Palace, my thoughts were engulfed by the statement of the famous Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli's: “It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to enslave a people that wants to remain free.” 

The people of Naruba will find wisdom in Machiavelli's words as they face brutalities of realities of President Ahmed Mohammed Rihabu's primitive style of governance in the next four years. As the countdown begins, meanwhile the gloating goats continue with the celebration of their beloved president... Long live the Republic of Naruba!

bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

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Fake Note Withdrawn From ATM Almost Lands Nigerian University Student Heavy Beating

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 4:23am

Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, almost landed in trouble at the weekend hewithdrew fake a note from an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

On Friday afternoon, Koye withdrew the sum of N3,000 only to discover one of the three N1,000 notes to be counterfeit. 

The Law student withdrew the money but did not discover until he had paid a driver, who threatened to deal with him before accepting his explanation that the money was withdrawn from an ATM after seeing the debit alert. But for that evidence, he wouldn’t have narrowly escaped mob action.

"The complaint from a number of bank users is that ATMs now release fake currencies, which customers rarely discover on time because they are usually hidden among other notes, the exception being the withdrawal of single currencies," he lamented. "Across various parts of Nigeria, fake notes were used in vote-buying during the elections and they are now in circulation."

A Nigerian bank user Ojuse Omotayo Richmond also said he had had such experiences.

“I have a series of those experiences with fake notes, also with torn money,” he said. “That is why anytime I go to the ATM, I do not only count but also check before leaving the ATM so that their camera can capture me.”

Ben Oladoye, another complainant, said it is common occurrence in Nigeria to notice fake notes from cash withdrawn from ATMs.

Fake money is hard to identify, as the recent counterfeits look very much like the original and even have all the stamps and markers of identification. The paper texture is the best way to know counterfeits; the paper material used is different from that of real money. Also, raising it to the sun or any source of light may assist in differentiating fake from original.

Reports lodged to banks indicate the banks first view their CCTV records and then the withdrawal alerts of the bank statement before offering apologies and changing the money.

A banker who asked not to be named told SaharaReporters that banks are indeed concerned about the frequency with which customers walk into banking halls to return fakes notes withdrawn from ATM points. He noted that while the ratio of fakes notes to original notes withdrawn over the counter inside banking halls is as negligible as 1:30,000,000, that of ATM points is very slightly higher at 1:24,000,000. 

"Any fake note presented after withdrawal over the counter is immediately retrieved, perforated and replaced with the customer," he said. "Although there is no law mandating replacement of fake snotes withdrawn at ATM points, banks still use their discreyion to replace them."

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Councillors Exchange Punches With Local Govt Chairman Over Diversion Of Millions Of Naira Released By Okowa For Elections

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 2:45am


Gov. Patrick Okowa

There is crisis in the Isoko South and Oshimili South chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, following what aggrieved party members have described as "hijack of funds released by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa during the just concluded general election".

SaharaReporters reliably gathered that several millions of naira released from the state treasury by the Governor less than 48 hours to the March 9 governorship and house of assembly elections was hijacked and diverted to private pockets by some leaders in Isoko South Local Government Area of the state.

Expressing his displeasure wuith the disbursement of the funds in Isoko South, an ex-official of the party who did not want to be named, alleged thus: "Rather than disburse the funds accordingly, some persons who claimed to be close to the Governor, gave out peanuts and diverted huge sums of the funds into their private pockets. One of such persons is the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) and his cohorts.

"The election funds did not get to those it was meant for. If not that APC is not a party to rely on, PDP would have been defeated in Isoko South during the March 9 election, because the fund was not disbursed accordingly. Call the state House of Assembly member representing Isoko South constituency 11 who is also the Chairman of the campaign in Isoko South, Hon. Johnson Erijo, he cannot deny the diversion of the election funds released by Okowa.

"Every local government council in the state got these funds running into so many millions of naira released by Okowa, but the one that came to Isoko South was diverted into private pockets. Can Erijo say he is not aware of the stealing by these so-called PDP leaders who claimed to be close to the Governor? Won't the money get finished? Will the money remain with them for ever? The answer is no; even as we talk, some of them are going broke now."

When contacted on the issue, Erijo said he heard the news too that party members were complaining and alleging that election funds were diverted. But he maintained that no such thing happened, adding that the funds released by the Governor were disbursed accordingly.

"The information you got has nothing to do with the funds released from the state. The way you heard the news so I heard it too as the head of the campaign in Isoko. The money that came from the state were properly tagged and released as same," he said.

"We were trying to raise some money to augment what was brought from the state, so as a head of the campaign, the same way you are hearing it now, I heard that some of our big boys brought some money. Unfortunately, I didn't see the money and I don't want to probe. I don't want to probe; the same way you heard it so we heard it too. In fact, it was very disturbing to some of us. Well, we have won; that's why I don't want to probe anything."

In a similar vein, the Chairman of Oshimili South Local Government Area, Uche Osadebe, and his councillors were said to have been embroiled in physical combat over the election funds.

Narrating the show of shame to our correspondent, a senior official of the council and Head Of Department, (HOD) who pleaded for anonymity said trouble started barely three days after the elections, when the councillors approached the Chairman to give them their own share of the millions of naira released by the Governor.

"The Chairman, who already had misappropriated the said money, gave flimsy excuses, saying he gave the leader of the legislative arm N300,000. The councillors were angered beyond control, so they barged into the Chairman's office and engaged him in a physical combat.

"The council premises was turned into a theatre of war where people were exchnaging punches, which attracted the Police and other security operatives at the council. The Chairman and the councillors were later arrested to the Police A Division where the issue was addressed by the Divisional Police Office, DPO, CSP Ukang Esther, in charge of the area.

It will be recalled that during the release of bailout funds, the council Chairman also had issues with the councillors over embezzlement of the over N10 million allocated to the council to offset some outstanding debts and salaries of staff.

As of the time of filing this report, calls made and messages sent to the Chairman of Oshimili South local government area, Uche Osadebe, were not acknowledged.

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International Expert Exposes Under-Valuation Of OPL 245 Oil Block By Shell, ENI

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 1:48am


A renowned international expert Stephen Roger from Athur D Little firm in the United Kingdom has faulted oil giants Shell and ENI for their evaluation of the OPL 245 block that is currently being probed by an international court.

On Thursday in Milan, Italy, Rogers told the court: “It is my opinion that the commercial value of the OPL 245 Licence as of April 29, 2011 can reasonably be placed at US$3.511m.” The Nigerian authorities had hired a lawyer, Lucio Lucia, who in turn had brought the British for his expert opinion.

Expert opinion on economic valuation and fiscal consideration of the OPL 245 block are crucial to determining cases of sleaze and malpractices linked with controversial transactions.

Under examination by Lucio, Rogers said: “In my view, Shell’s 2010 valuations using an oil price of US$60/bbl are too low to appropriately represent the value of Block 245 on April 29, 2011. Between March 2010 and April 29, 2011, the Brent oil price increased from around US$80/bbl to more than US$110/bbl, with the forward curve also rising in the same manner.”

The prosecutors were told that the industry developed clear expectations of progressively higher oil prices at the period. The jurists heard that it is reasonable to conclude that if Shell had diligently valued Block245 as at 29 April 2011, it would have applied an oil price assumption much higher than US$60/bbl to reflect the prevalent higher oil price environment.

It was argued that it is reasonable to conclude that the average Shell valuation in 2010, assuming a US$60/bbl oil price (US$1.619 million), was too low to represent a reliable value indicator for Block 245 at 29 April 2011. 

Nigerian rights group Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre had launched a probe into the deal, calling for global investigations. HEDA’s campaign is supported by a string of international anti-corruption groups Cornerhouse, Re:Common and Globalwitness. In 2018, the four groups blew the lid off, saying there were infractions in the valuation of the deal.

The submission of the British expert came after the Federal Government had hired Lucio, who took the British expert contracted by the lawyer on behalf of the Federal Government through the presentation of his written expert report and oral reaffirmation, leading to logical conclusions drawn by Arthur D Little on the economic terms under which the Resolution Agreements were drawn and signed between the oil companies and Nigerian officials.

Rogers proficient opinion confirmed the findings and conclusions of Dr. Don Hubert of Resources for Development Consulting as prejudicial to the interest of Nigeria. This was equally observed in earlier Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) official letter on the Resolution Agreement.

In 2017, HEDA Resource Centre instituted legal action against Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to seek the Order of Mandamus from the Court to compel the Attorney General for a discharge of his constitutional responsibility as the Chief Law Officer and revoke the oil licence unconstitutionally allocated to Malabu in 1998. 

HEDA said the allocation represents an abuse of office and a violation of the Code of Conduct for Public Office Holders by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Dan Etete, at the time of the allocation. The legal action, which the two oil companies and Malabu have individually applied to be joined to as interested parties with application granted, recently awarded cost against the office of the Attorney General for failure to file necessary process within required time. 

An excited Chairman of HEDA, Suraju Olanrewaju, who was in the Milan court to monitor the hearing, said: “The submission of the renowned expert is not only a validation of our expert's previous finding but a vindication of our stand on the corruption and rip-off the allocation represents. The amount involved is sufficient to change the status of Nigeria from the world’s poverty capital."

Rogers explained that he adopted a three-pronged approach to valuing the OPL 245 licence: an industry standard discounted cash flow analysis, examining Shell and ENI’s valuation at the time of the deal, and the price paid per barrel in comparable deals at the time.

"The market value of OPL 245 was $3.511 billion in 2011," he said.

In his oral submission, he said: “ENI’s expert had apparently valued the block even higher, at $4.543 billion. They argue that despite this, the price paid ($1.3bn) is reasonable because of various risks."

Rogers criticised this conclusion by ENI, saying: “ENI expert’s method is double discounts for risk."

He further evaluated the value of gas, which ENI experts failed to include in the economic value of the block, at $167m and the value of additional exploration opportunities at $653m, using Shell and ENI’s data.

There was no cross-examination from the prosecutor or lawyers to Shell and ENI but the President of the court sought further clarification on the model and other conclusions of the expert. Lawyer to one of the suspects, Paolo Scaroni, challenged the experts on some findings.

Some Nigerian experts and other foreigners contracted by ENI and Shell are expected to present their expert reports to the court in writing and orally from April 17.

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Kolade Johnson: For All Of Us To Be Safe By Oke Umurhohwo

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 1:31am


Kolade Johnson

Kolade Johnson

Security agents, especially the Police are primary meant to secure citizens and ensured their safety. But for Kolade Johnson, he was cut down in his prime by those who should have rescued him from harm’s way. The people who should secure him from harm riddled his body with bullets and ended his life.

That is the pathetic and sad reality of what the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, infamously known as SARS, has turned themselves into on our society. Just as his lover tearfully wrote on her Twitter page hours after the incident, the government, and most importantly, the people who should ensure his safety, failed him.

“My Kaylo Boy is gone! My ‘Lion’ … my chef… my precious Kolade Johnson… I’m so sorry it ended this way… I’m sorry I wasn’t there to stop the bleeding… I’m sorry the government failed you… I’m sorry. Uncle @segalink; @PoliceNG @MBuhari @ProfOsinbajo @BBCAfrica look at what SARS did to my Kay. Nigerians see oo. His only offence was going out to watch football. Thank you very much for the support everyone,” Stephany George tweeted.

Indeed, she was right. Instead of securing Nigerians, SARS have constituted themselves to the same dangerous evil they were initially meant to confront. SARS is a special unit of the Nigeria Police to confront the country's most heinous crimes– armed robbery, kidnapping, assault and murder, and guarantee the safety of citizens. But rather, unfortunately, has become a vicious and gruesome squad that is now dreaded by Nigerians.

For some time now, Police brutality have been a great concern to Nigerians and created mistrust between them and the security agents. Even more disturbing is the impunity with which the Police, especially SARS, excessively inflict injury on citizens, and in some cases, reign gunshots on Nigerians without justification.

Stories of Nigerians unlawfully picked on the streets, beaten and extorted or maimed are heard daily, stirring fears on the minds of the people about their safety because those who're responsible for their safety have turned to be their oppressor. SARS impunity and uncanny attitude have turned a nightmare for the people and Kolade Johnson gruesome murder is another example.

Kolade Johnson did not deserve to die but for the brazen impunity of SARS personnel, Nigeria has lost a promising and talented soul. He wasn't a criminal just as many others who have suffered similar unfortunate fate but the irresponsible and reckless attitude of Ogunyemi Olalekan, who has thrown his family and loved ones into grief.

The painful loss of Kolade Johnson has again proved the call for #ReformPoliceNG and #ENDSARS right as that is the only way for every one of us to be safe. It's Kolade Johnson today, it may be anyone tomorrow if this unprofessional squad is not disbanded. The unending cruel and strong-arm tactics of SARS is too frightening and this experience must end.

Nigerians can no longer rely on their tormentor for their safety. Security should be done with responsibility, not becoming the same threat the people are running away from. Aside from the gruesome murder of Kolade Johnson, many Nigerians have a bitter experience to share on their encounter with SARS.

From the streets to leisure spots, cases of SARS personnel ambushing citizens and molesting them with impunity is widespread. Roles outside its scope of duty, such as harassing young people for 'immoral' dressings, physical appearance and other petty grounds, just to extort and molest citizens were some of the features that captured the reign of impunity of SARS.

This was probably echoed by Dr. Joe Abah, who tweeted on his handle @DrJoeAbah that "Being young is NOT a crime. Having dreadlocks is NOT a crime. Sagging your jeans is NOT a crime. Having tattoos and piercings is NOT a crime. The big crime is the police harassing and killing the innocent youth they are paid to protect, and nobody stopping them."Indeed, being young shouldn't be a crime and a reason for SARS vicious treatment.

Though, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo ordered reform of SARS last year after weeks of calls for their scrap, that remain to be seen as their impunity continue unchecked. From the look of things, it is clear that SARS is averse to reforms and the only remedy to their rampaging impunity against Nigerians is for them to be scrapped. I join millions of Nigerians in the call to #ENDSARS and #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY for all of us to be safe.

 

Oke Umurhohwois a Political Analyst and Strategist. He can be reached via oke.umu@gmail.com

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Condescending Perspective On Nigeria Will Change With Good Governance By Ettu Mohammed

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 1:27am


Whenever I hear Nigeria is poor. I laugh hysterically, only a few countries on Planet earth can match Nigeria in term of Natural Mineral Resources buried beneath us instead our old brigades have stamped rhetoric of poverty and negative image on Nigeria which has been meticulously maintained for years so they can keep collecting aids which are used for their personal needs. Nigerians must understand anything free is extremely dangerous. These aids and loans constantly given to Nigeria comes with high risks.

Beneath Nigeria is a whole lot of mineral resources which are yet to be exhumed, we have got quantum raw materials, despite this abundance Nigeria is perceived poor by the world media and international aid agencies have been persistently drawing an image of Nigeria as country mired in poverty and misery all thanks to our leaders and now 50% of Nigerians are living below the extreme poverty line.   

How on Earth will a state like Osun, Kogi and Zamfara be poor? 

How on Earth will any state in Nigeria be poor? 

In 2017, the then Minister of mineral resources told us Nigeria lost about $9bn between 2014 and 2015 and the Buhari administration was putting up measures to curb the same guess what nothing has changed. Illegal mining activities are ongoing. 

The same Fayemi had in 2016, promised to generate more than N3 billion through mining fees and royalty by 2017, but the ministry, however, contributed N3.5 billion to the Federation Account in 2017 but in 2018 a man was stopped at the Abuja airport with illegally mined gold from Zamfara  worth N 1.12 billion en route Dubai. We never heard anything again that is 32% of our 2017 revenue with one man in 2018.

This wrong assumption is aided by our looting old brigade and some Nigerians who refused to push for renewal instead got stuck with a generation whose actions and inactions have impoverished Nigerian and Africans in general.

The security issues we have in Nigeria today was created by this same class of old brigades, they destroyed the educational sectors and looted all that could have provided the basics for Nigerians, every known agitation in Nigeria today was created as a result of bad governance. 

Boko Haram which is constantly highlighted was fueled because some demons called old brigades. Billions of US dollars was earmarked for the decimation of these deadly terrorists but the money ended in Private pockets and Boko Haram grew and in the process, thousands of Nigerians were killed and millions were rendered homeless and poverty thrived. Rape and malnourishment were directly administered on a whole region with that singular act.

Over the last 58 years, we have had a lying set of leaders whose only agenda is to fill their pockets at Nigeria's expense. They stole everything for their unborn generation and we keep hailing them across every region. Nigerians should know there is no good thief. These hoodlums as I prefer to call them have continually kidnapped our Commonwealth which is in hundreds of billion of  dollars in 58 years. 

Good governance is not rocket science, Europeans, Chinese, Lebanese, Indians Americans ain't better than Nigerians they come here and use Nigerians to achieve their aims and desires.

Ettu Mohammed writes from lagos.

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Federal University Of Technology Identifies Students Who Died In Sex Romp In Imo

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 12:41am


The Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, has confirmed the identity of three of the four students that died in a sex romp.

Uche Nwelue, Public Relations Officer of the institution, said the school checked its database and was able to confirm the academic status of the students.

Three students died after engaging in a sex romp induced by hard drugs.

The incident happened at the Sunshine Castle Hostel, Ihiagwa, a hostel near the school.

Nwelue said the female student involved in the escapade was not a student of the institution.

He said: “I can now confirm to you that all the three boys, who took part in the alleged sex incident after an alleged drug overdose, were students of the university.

“The only female among them is not our student; she is from the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede. That is the true situation of things as it concerns the studentship of the victims.”

He said that the university would not take any action as the action happened outside the school premises.

“The university is actually handicapped as it relates to this matter. The incident happened outside of the campus of the university. We do not have control over their lifestyle outside the campus. Moreover, the school has rules and regulations guiding every student here. If any of them breaks it, we will punish him/her once he/she comes back to school.”

He advised parents to watch and encourage their children to stay on campus, adding that it would make them more serious and dedicated to their studies.
 

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Not Satisfied With N33bn Remittance, RMAFC To Probe 22 Banks Over Stamp Duty Funds

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 12:38am


The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) says it would probe 22 commercial banks over remittance of stamp duty since 2000.

In a statement issued by its spokesperson, Ibrahim Mohammed, on Sunday, the commission said N33billion had been remitted so far.

Mohammed said the probe would cover affixed stamp used on cheque books prior to the introduction of electronic transactions.

The statement read: “The commercial banks have been deducting the sum of N50 on every deposit with a value of N1,000 and above since January 2000.

“At the moment, the total sum of N33bn had been realised through the collection of stamp duties, which falls far below the expectation of stakeholders. It is expected that at the end of the exercise, over N100billion will be recovered.

“The commission has concluded arrangements to engage the services of reputable forensic audit firms to carry out the probe of the banks. The probe will be comprehensive as it will cover the affixed stamp used on cheque books prior to the introduction of electronic transactions.”

RMAFC said NIPOST could generate over N500billion per annum from the Stamp Duty Act if backed with appropriate legal and regulatory framework and the introduction of appropriate technology.

It urged the National Assembly to initiate measures to amend the NIPOST Act to enable the postal organisation expand the economy and attract more revenue to the federation.
 

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Judiciary Staff Union Threatens To Embark On Strike Over Proposed Sack Of Kogi Chief Judge

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 12:35am


The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has threatened a nationwide strike action over the decision of Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State, to remove Nasir Ajanah, Chief Judge of the state, over the non remittance of accrued revenue to the judiciary by the state government.

The State House of Assembly had recommended the removal of the Chief Judge to Governor Bello last week.

However, Marwan Mustapha Adamu, National President of JUSUN, threatened that judiciary staff members would withdraw their services from all courts if the Governor proceeds with the removal of the CJ.

Adamu said: “We condemn this wicked recommendation for the removal of the Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasir Ajanah by the State House.

“We warn against total shutdown of the nation's judiciary in solidarity with our members in the state who have been on strike for five months over this matter and also that the matter is pending in Court.

“We see this action by the lawmakers as an affront to the Judiciary and against doctrine of separation of powers as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.

“We also believe that for the Assembly to even deliberate on the matter is subjudice, since the issue is before the court.”

Judiciary workers in the state are yet to be paid salaries for eight months after the state government took over the payment of judiciary staff salaries.

Funds accruing to the state judiciary have not been remitted and workers had approached the National Industrial Court to get a ruling that the executive lacked the power to withhold funds accruing to the Judiciary, and that its continued refusal to remit such funds were unconstitutional, "illegal, ultra vires, wrong, of no effect, null and void".
 

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UNILAG Women Society School Suspends Teacher Over Defilement Of Four-year-old Pupil

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 12:32am


Charity Madumere, a class teacher at the University of Lagos Women Society Nursery and Primary School in Akoka, Lagos, has been suspended for molestation of a pupil in her class.

Madumere was indicted in the case for her friendship with Abiodun Matthew, the school driver, who was accused of molesting a four-year-old girl in the school premises.

The Punch newspaper reported that the victim had confessed to being sexually assaulted by Matthew on several occasions.

The father of the victim stated that he had complained of the driver's closeness with the children, but the school handled the matter carelessly.

A staff of the school, who preferred not to be named, said: “The school never tried to cover up the case; it was the school that reported the case to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and everything we were asked to do has been done.

“We did not plead that any of those who were arrested should be released. The school will never support injustice and if we try to cover up, nemesis will catch up with us.

“The class teacher was suspended on Thursday pending the conclusion of the investigation. The teacher’s only offence was that she was negligent."

Matthew, Madumere and two others have been arrested by the Police and detained at the Gender Unit of the command.

DSP Bala Elkana, spokesperson of the Lagos Police Command said: “Four suspects, who were arrested, are still with the Gender Unit of the command. Investigation is ongoing and we will charge them to court as soon as we conclude our investigation. We are doing our best on the matter to arrive at the truth without any sentiment."
 

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Nigeria Customs Service Doing Less Than Expected To Address Rice Smuggling, Says RIPAN

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 12:28am


Nigerian Customs Service
Nigerian Customs Service

The Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) has expressed dissatisfaction with the Nigeria Customs Service for not being up to the task in combating smuggling of rice into the country.

The group, through Mohammed Abubakar, its chairman, stated this while addressing the press over the weekend.

Abubakar added that rice smuggling has increased in recent months with 20 million bags smuggled into the country through various land borders.

He said: “Investors in Nigeria have made an enormous financial commitment in the rice sub-sector. Unfortunately, the only threat to the industry’s total development is smuggling.

“Over 1 million metric tons of rice (about 20,000,000 bags of 50kg rice) have been smuggled into Nigeria in the last three months.

“In the last 30 days, we have met with Nigeria Customs more than 10 times over the rising spate of smuggled rice through our borders.”

The Rice Processor Association Chairman urged the Nigerian government to draft the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into combating smuggling as it is affecting the economy, adding that smuggling of rice into the country is affecting local production and if not combated early, could lead to a national food emergency.

Abubakar said: "More painfully, millions of small-holder farmers are stuck with their paddy fields, because the millers can no longer afford to buy from them.

“The Rice Processors Association wants to use this opportunity to tell everyone that if this menace is not tackled with appropriate dispatch, the magnitude of loss to Nigerian rice stakeholders starting with the

Federal Government, Integrated Rice Millers, funding banks, CBN, rice farmers, mill workers, rice consumers, etc. would be too devastating to cope with in an economy that is fledgeling.

“There is a need for urgent action to avert eventual national food emergency by combating smuggling, so that we can continue to grow our local rice industry and the economy.”
 

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CDC Chairman Begs Residents To Return Home After Cultists Attack Community In Rivers

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 12:24am


Sunny Odum, Chairman of Rumuolumeni Community Development Committee (CDC), has appealed to residents of the community to come back to their homes after fleeing due to attack by cult members.

The residents fled their homes after the community was attacked by some gunmen identified to be cult members on Sunday.

The gunmen moved from one house to another in search of members of a rival cultist group.

Eight people were shot and killed by the cult members, according to Odum, who added that security personnel have been deployed to the community to maintain law and order in the area.

Confirming the incident, Nnamdi Omoni, Rivers State Police spokesperson, however, stated that cult group killed only three people in the search.

“It was a cult fight and as at the time I got a report from Rumuolumeni Police Division today, only three persons were confirmed dead while several others who sustained gunshot injuries were being treated at different hospitals," he said.

Omoni stated that some people connected to the killings have been arrested and an investigation is going on to apprehend all the cult members.
 

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Kidnappers Refuse To Release Businessman After Receiving Ransom

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 12:22am


Daily Trust

Kidnappers in Taraba have decided to hold on to Alhaji Usman Mayo, a businessman in Taraba State, after collecting the sum of N100million as ransom.

Mallam Ibrahim Takum, spokesperson of Mayo, told Daily Trust newspaper that Mayo has spent not less than 40 days in the custody of the kidnappers.

Narrating steps to rescue Mayo, Takum stated that the kidnappers requested for a sum of N100million, which was paid immediately.

He, however, expressed disdain at the kidnappers for demanding another N100million before Mayo would be freed.

He added that the kidnappers cut off communication when the family of Mayo was negotiating the sum and have since been unreachable.

When contacted, ASP David Misal, the spokesperson of the Taraba State Police Command, said he had no update on the case but promised to check his records.

Takum revealed that family and relatives of Mayo are in fear over whether he is still alive or not.
 

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Ohanaeze Ndigbo: Imposed Leadership Will Make National Assembly Impotent

Sahara Reporters - 8 April 2019 - 12:18am


The youth wing of the Ohaneze Ndigbo has frowned at moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to impose leadership on the 9th National Assembly.

A statement issued by Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the President-General of the group, rejected the decision of APC to enforce its choice candidates as leaders of the Assembly.

Isiguzoro stated that if successfully done, the 9th National Assembly will only be a “rubber stamp and impotent” assembly.

He said: “The leadership of Ohanaeze Youth Council will storm the National Assembly soonest to persuade Igbo lawmakers to take destiny in their hands and resist any attempt by external factors to impose on them unpopular candidates for the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives.

“The independence of the legislature remains the hope of Nigerians. Any imposed leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives will turn the 9th Assembly to a rubber stamp and will make them impotent in checkmating the excesses of the executive arm of the government.”

The Ohaneze youth are also asking President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint someone from the South-East as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the new cabinet.

The group posited that if the South-East gets the position, it would reduce the complaint of marginalization from the people.

Isiguzoro added: “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council demands from Presidency the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as the rightful means of re-writing the past mistakes of perceived marginalisation of the Igbo in the first tenure of the Buhari presidency.

“We are also supporting the Senate Presidency to go to the North-East as we expect the North-East to relinquish the office of SGF to the South-East. We have eminent personalities from the region who are qualified for the job.

"The Presidency should allow its appointments to reflect the principle of federal character as the position of the SFG will heal the injustice of the past and unite Nigeria as one.”

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Sowore Gives Account Of How Publicly-Raised Campaign Funds Were Spent

Sahara Reporters - 7 April 2019 - 1:13pm

Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the just concluded general election, has given detailed account of expenditure from public funds he solicited to fund his presidential ambition. 

In a detailed infograph released on Sunday, the Sowore 2019 Campaign Organisation revealed that it had spent a grand total of N157,884,936.98 for its campaign activities.

The campaign, which spanned 50 weeks, and cut across 36 states in over 15 countries detailed its expenses to include townhall rentals, which gulped N9.8million for event centres and N3.2million for accessories. 




















PHOTONEWS: Sowore Releases Account Statement Detailing Campaign Spending Of Publicly Raised Funds

Others include caravan rentals for N8.1million, travel costs N5.5million, mobilisation of attendees N20.2million, refreshment for attendees N3.3million, accommodation of candidate and team members N4.2million, and security and Intellegence N740,000.

Sowore raised monies publicly through a GoFundMe account and a Zenith Bank Account. SOWORE 2019 SOA new.pdf (function(){ var scribd_doc = scribd.Document.getDocFromUrl('http://saharareporters.com/sites/default/files/SOWORE%202019%20SOA%20new.pdf', 'pub-38756116719609018964'); var onDocReady = function(e){}; scribd_doc.addParam('jsapi_version', 2); scribd_doc.addParam('public', true); scribd_doc.addParam('allow_share', true); scribd_doc.addEventListener('docReady', onDocReady); scribd_doc.write('embedded_doc_77488'); })(); Sowore Releases Account Statement Detailing Campaign Spending of Publicly Raised Funds

Recounting his experience and the need for accountability through a statement, human rights activist Sowore said: "A little over one year ago, we embarked on a remarkable journey aimed at rescuing Nigeria from 58 years of inept leadership, returning power to the Nigerian people and setting our nation on a path to progress and growth.

"Our campaign birthed a global movement that brought Nigerians together in a way that had never been seen before. We staged hundreds of events in Nigeria and around the world, giving voice to the powerful yearnings of our people for true and positive change. 

"Thousands of you donated your time, skills, energy and funds to our epic campaign. This document is a thorough accounting of the funds that were donated and the uses to which they were put by the campaign. Only the financial donations that were received are captured in this document.

"Although the tens of thousands of volunteer hours that many of you put into the Sowore 2019 effort might never be captured on paper, the impact of those donations-in-kind were felt all over Nigeria. To all those who gave generously of their time and energies, we say THANK YOU. Stand with us as we continue to work towards Taking Nigeria back."

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BREAKING: Lagos Fire Service Director Abducted With Six Others

Sahara Reporters - 7 April 2019 - 12:59pm


Rasaki Musibau, Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, has been kidnapped alongside at least six others along the Epe-Itokin Road, Ikorodu, Lagos.

The incident occurred on Saturday night while they were returning to Lagos from Epe.

SaharaReporters gathered that the kidnappers blocked the Itokin bridge end of the road before abducting all occupants of the three vehicles.

Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and spokesman of the Police in Lagos, confirmed the incident, saying: "Seven people were kidnapped. They were in three different vehicles, a Toyota Sienna, Toyota Corolla and Opel jeep. We searched and saw some items belonging to the victims, one of them is the Lagos Fire Service Director.

”Those abducted include: Rasaki Musibau (Director of Fire Service in Lagos State), Mufutau Adams (a management staff of the Fire Service), Mrs. Funmilayo Adelumo and Asiogu Martha. Others are, Lasisi Muka, and two others.

“Vehicles recovered from the scene include a Toyota Sienna, a Toyota Corolla and an Opel Jeep. The CP in company with Tactical Units Commanders visited the crime scene in the early hours of Sunday.

“Investigation has commenced into this incident. The CP has also deployed Special Forces and tasked them to rescue the victims, arrest the perpetrators. Effort is ongoing.”

He assured the family of the victims that the Command would ensure that the victims are rescued unhurt.

Saturday’s incident comes a little over a month after Samson Ajijedidun, Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC) in the area, was kidnapped by criminals, and only released after the payment of ransom.

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'Everyone Knows The Penalty For Drugs Is Death' — Saudi Arabia Defends Execution of Nigerian Woman

Sahara Reporters - 7 April 2019 - 12:34pm


The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria has insisted that all legal and judicial procedures were observed before the execution of a Nigerian woman over alleged drug-related offences.

On Tuesday, the Nigerian Government, through, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora, had condemned the execution of Kudirat Afolabi, a Nigerian widow and mother of two.

Dabiri had described the execution as "pathetic, sad and tragic", stressing that some airlines had been working with drug syndicates to put such drugs in the bags of unsuspecting passengers.

However, the embassy, in a statement in Abuja, said the execution was carried out after all proofs and legal evidence had been exhausted.

The embassy said the Nigerian woman was accorded every legal right before the death sentence was carried out.

"All accused persons subjected to the legal process in Saudi courts of Law are allowed access to lawyers to litigate on their behalf, and the kingdom avails itself the responsibility to provide  lawyers  for any persons that have no financial ability to do so," it said in a statement.

"All convicted persons on whom the death penalty has been carried out in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have gone through trials characterized by legal guarantee of justice to their case because the Kingdom's judicial system is established on objectivity and is dependent, in terms of its rfules and regulations, on the Islamic Law, which has always restored rights to their owners and done justice to the victims. This is what the Kingdom has always affirmed.

"The death sentence is only carried out in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after all proofs and legal evidence have been exhausted regarding the accused, and the process goes through various legal stages until the allegations against the detained persons have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is always in consultation with foreign embassies and consulates in the Kingdom, of which are the Nigerian embassy in Riyadh and Consulate General in Jeddah, and it provides them with all facilitations and information and allows their staff to visit their nationals that are detained vis-a-vis a variety of charges as are related to the different stages of their detention and prosecution, and this is allowed every time of their request through normal channels.

"It is well-known for all those interested in travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the penalty for drug trafficking is the death sentence and the said sentence is applied on all persons convicted without any exceptions, as long as the evidence is established against them, and this is conveyed to every person prior to his trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not neglect the enforcement of penalties in terms of matters of drug trafficking and is determined to apply the law on any person against whom evidence is established in order to combat drug trafficking and protect its citizens from this dangerous menace."

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