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Updated: 1 hour 38 min ago

Airtel To List On Nigerian, London Stock Exchanges

10 hours 57 min ago


Airtel

Airtel

Airtel Africa Ltd, a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, says it intends to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the same time as the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The company said on Monday that although the listing on the NSE was on, it had set a price range of 80 to 100 pence per share for its planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the LSE.

The company said that conditional dealings in its shares were expected to begin on or around June 28 and the final pricing would be announced the same day.

The IPO for the London listing is expected to raise 595 million pounds ($749.05 million) from the issuance of about 595.2 million to 744 million new shares.

The company said the price range values it between 3.01 billion pounds and 3.62 billion pounds. (Reuters/NAN)

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Ondo Protest: Anti-Riot Policemen Tear-gas Protesting Youths

10 hours 59 min ago


Ilaje youths demonstrating over the "total neglect of their oil-rich communities" by the government



Ilaje youths demonstrating over the "total neglect of their oil-rich communities" by the government

Ilaje youths demonstrating over the "total neglect of their oil-rich communities" by the government SaharaReporters Media

Anti-riot policemen on Monday tear-gassed youths from Ilaje Local Council Area of Ondo State protesting in front of the Governor’s Office in Akure.

The youths, under the aegis of the Ilaje Advancement Forum, were demonstrating over the "total neglect of their oil-rich communities" by the government.

SaharaReporters reported that the youths were tear-gassed to disperse them with the youths having blocked Alagbaka adjourning street. 

The protesters had gathered as early as 9 am on Alagbaka Street of the governor's office carrying placards displaying their grievances and demands.

Ilaje youths demonstrating over the "total neglect of their oil-rich communities" by the government SaharaReporters Media

The youths, who demanded financial autonomy for Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, also noted the government needs to devote the 40 percent oil derivation coming from the federal government to the coastal areas.

Oyetakin Akinjo, a leader of the IAF, said OSOPADEC under the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu administration had failed to meet the demands of the people.

"This is because the OSOPADEC as you know was created by an act of parliament in 2001 and its function as stated in the act which was amended in 2003 was that the commission shall receive and also manage exclusively 40 percent of the 60 percent oil derivation fund coming from the federation account.

"But now what do we have in return? The only thing we see in this present OSOPADEC is the construction of footbridges and these are not sustainable project as dictated by the commission's mantra itself. You would recall that Ilaje LGA is the only oil-producing local council in the entire South-west of Nigeria, not until recently that Lagos State also became an oil-producing state," he stated.

Reacting, the Chairman of OSOPADEC, Mr. Gbenga Edema, said the current government had been transparent in handling the funds accruable to the commission under the state government.

Edema added that the government, through OSOPADEC, had embarked on massive construction and rehabilitation of wooden walkways in all the villages to the tune of N500 million.

"I also hear that the youth are shouting autonomy, Akeredolu was not the one that created the commission, there is a provision for supervision and control by the governor in the act," he added.

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More Than 1,000 Houses Destroyed In Zamfara By Windstorm -Lawmaker

11 hours 2 min ago


More than 1000 houses have been destroyed by a windstorm in Bungudu town, Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara, says the lawmaker representing the area, Alhaji Nasiru Lawal.

Lawal, who conducted journalists around the affected areas in Bungudu on Monday, described the incident as unfortunate.

“It is worrisome to have this kind of incident, we never experienced this type of disaster for over 30 years. We are going to visit all the affected persons, sympathize with them and take the record of damages caused by the disaster.

“Apart from the destroyed houses, there are also public facilities such as electric poles, cables, and schools among others. We are going to present the record of this incident to the concerned authorities, particularly the state government for timely assistance to the victims,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Emir of Bungudu, Hassan Attahiru, has encouraged the victims to consider the incident as a trial by God.

Attahiru stated: “We thank Allah no life was lost to this disaster, only a few people recorded minor injuries. We have a record of houses, properties, and food destroyed."

“We always appeal to our communities to avoid compromising standard when it comes to the issues of building. The local government and land officials should also consider these issues while allocating lands to people. We are appealing to government at all levels to assist these victims."

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Frustrated Nigerian Man In London Destroys Five Embassy Cars Over Failure To Receive Visa Services From Officials

11 hours 22 min ago


One of the damaged cars

One of the damaged cars

A yet to be identified Nigerian man, frustrated with the visa process at the Nigerian Embassy in London has damaged vehicles belonging to the Nigerian mission in London after he was denied passport services.

A video viral shows the level of damage done to the car as onlookers and embassy staff looked on helpless.

One embassy staff in the video speaking in Hausa could be heard saying, "Mohammed can you see, one mad boy came to collect passport and they didn't give him so he destroyed our cars.

The police can also be seen in the video assessing the level of damage on the vehicles.

Friday Akpan, Ministry of Foreign Spokesperson when contacted by SaharaReporters said that he was not aware of the incident and did not have any information on it.

WATCH: Frustrated Nigerian Man In London Destroys Five Embassy Cars Over Failure To Recieve Visa Services From Officials @AsoRock pic.twitter.com/UuhaIZE6Yj

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) June 17, 2019

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London Tribunal Concludes China Still Harvesting Organs From Detainees

11 hours 26 min ago


An independent tribunal sitting in London has concluded that the Chinese government has continued to harvest the organs of prisoners despite a promise made in2014 to stop the act. 

The panel which was instituted by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (Etac), gave a unanimous verdict that there is no sign China has stopped organ harvesting. Investigators who worked on gathering evidence observed that it takes an astonishingly fast rate of two weeks to get a new organ in the Asian superpower.

“The conclusion shows that very many people have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason, that more may suffer in similar ways and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found in the power of those, for the time being, running a country with one of the oldest civilizations known to modern man,” Geoffrey Nice Queens Council (QC), Chair Prosecutor said in a unanimous interpretation.

“There is no evidence of the practice having been stopped and the tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing.” 

Investigators discovered that the Falun Gong Movement- a religious group which came under persecution in 1999, are the main victims of the ‘hideous indescribable deaths'.

In Africa, there is a lucrative organ market that has doctors, security officials, and brokers as stakeholders. 

Weak law enforcement, poverty, conflict, porous borders and large demand in developed climes have kept the ‘red market’ well oiled. 

The World Health Organisation estimates the value of the trade to be about $1 billion. 

In the meantime, China has dismissed the claims made by the tribunal as politically-motivated and untrue.

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EU Report: Concerned Nigerians Group Calls For Resignation Of Nigeria's Electoral Body, INEC's Chairman's Resignation

11 hours 41 min ago


A civil society organization, Concerned Nigerians Group, has called for the resignation of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commissions ( INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu over report of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) on 2019 general elections. 

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday on behalf of the group, Mr.Dare Ariyo, said the Chairman of the electoral umpire has no moral right to remain in the office having been indicted by the report of the EU.

Ariyo said: "Since INEC has denied that they have no server in the court of lied on oath and we must know. That is why I also support the fact that the INEC Chairman should step aside to allow thorough investigation and we believe if the executive is not willing to do that we are calling on national assembly who approved the budget to demand the INEC chairman to step down."

"The Concerned Nigerians Group is particularly satisfied with the 'audacious and grand' final report of the EU EOM which was made public over the weekend and contained 30 recommendations to improve future electoral processes. The EU EOM has done a good job and we laud its positive impacts on our elections.

"We believe that the reports by EU EOM, other partners, and our own recommendations should provide sufficient information to guide the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in developing a far-reaching framework for fundamental electoral reforms."

According to him, the controversy over INEC server has lingered for so long in the public space and is gradually eroding the confidence of Nigerians in the electoral body as an institution that has sincerity of purpose in conducting free, fair and credible elections.

Also speaking,  a human right activist, Deji Adeyanju, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action and sign the electoral act into law to ensuring credibility and transparency of the electoral process.

The European Union Election Observation Mission on Friday released its report on the just concluded general elections where the flaws and shortcomings of the process were highlighted.

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EXCLUSIVE: 2 Already Deported, More Than 100 NDDC Foreign Scholarship Beneficiaries At Risk Of Deportation

12 hours 6 min ago


Nelson Bambraifa, MD NDDC


Nelson Bambraifa, MD NDDC

Nigerians who benefitted from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) 2018 Scholarship programme are currently facing deportation due to non-payment of their academic fees.

The 200 Nigerians, who were selected out of over 4,000 applicants, were given scholarships to pursue postgraduate studies abroad, fully funded by NDDC.

The commission in an elaborate ceremony presented award letters to the beneficiaries from the Niger Delta region.

The students received the letters with joy not knowing they would get no payment from the commission regarding their tuitions.

As promised, each beneficiary going for the doctorate would receive N28,050,000 while those going for master's degree would receive N9,180,000.

A breakdown of the money shows that each beneficiary would get N10,000 for transportation, N500,000 as take-off grant and $30,000 for MSc while PhD will be given $30,000 for three years.

Beneficiaries of the scholarship began the process of enrolment in their choice universities using their personal funds after being assured of reimbursement by NDDC. However, six months into the programme, many have yet to receive any funds from the commission.

Many of the beneficiaries are studying at Coventry University. Others are at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom; University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom; University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; and the University of Sheffield.

One of the beneficiaries who spoke with SaharaReporters stated that the commission only gave few beneficiaries N500,000 while others have yet to receive any payments.

“When we were given the award letter, NDDC is supposed to give us N500,000 as take-off grant but they gave very few people the money and promised others that they will give us the take-off grant later. Till now, we are yet to receive any money from the commission.

“We keep calling the commission but since last year, they were telling us that they will send the money but till now we are yet to get any money,” the beneficiary said.

Another beneficiary of the 2018 foreign scholarship scheme of the NDDC said the foreign schools they enrolled in are beginning to write them and might have their admission revoked any moment from now.

He said: "Many of us including myself have been receiving letters from our institution. They have written to the NDDC and the Nigerian government, who are our sponsors but they failed to reply to the institutions. The fact is that 95 percent of NDDC Scholars do not know where the next meal will come from.

“All our efforts to get the money were not successful. When we contact them, they will say it is the Central Bank of Nigeria that is delaying, sometimes they just give different reasons for not giving us the money. We want them to do the needful as many of us have been reduced to common beggars.”

One of the beneficiaries studying at Coventry University has had his programme terminated.

Before his programme was terminated and his eventual deportation, the school wrote to NDDC but the commission failed to respond to the school neither did it respond to the message sent by the beneficiary.

Another student, identified as Kevin, was studying at the University of Leeds but had his studentship revoked and was deported.

An email to him by the Admissions Officer, Katherine Goodchild, said, “Dear Kevin, as you did not complete registration by the deadline, you have now been withdrawn from your studies at the University of Leeds. This will be reported to your Home Office and they will take steps to cancel your visa.”

Currently, many students who have not been deported have been logged out of their university portal and would not receive a certificate if they are able to complete their programme.

The beneficiaries are urging the NDDC to immediately begin the process to release funds to them and complete the registration process for their academic programme.

“We are pleading to them to pay the money so we can be able to complete these studies. We want all relevant government agencies to step in and President Muhammadu Buhari should look into it as well,” they said.

All efforts to contact the Managing Director of NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa and Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the NDDC, Chris Oyirindah were unsuccessful as they both failed to pick their calls and to respond to messages sent to them.

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US Student Visa Ban Is Fake News, Says American Embassy

13 hours 25 min ago


The United States Mission in Nigeria has dismissed viral news which said the embassy is no longer issuing student visa to Nigerians.

Distancing itself from the story it described as "fake news", the embassy tweeted on its verified Twitter handle, @USEmbassyAbuja, saying, “#FakeNews Alert! Be advised, reports of Student Visa ban for Nigerians is false. If you have seen such manufactured item on Facebook and Twitter or received it via WhatsApp, please communicate that it is false.”

#FakeNews Alert! Be advised, reports of Student Visa ban for Nigerians is false. If you have seen such manufactured item on Facebook and Twitter or received it via WhatsApp, please communicate that it is false. pic.twitter.com/1EvoiST6ak

— U.S. Mission Nigeria (@USEmbassyAbuja) June 17, 2019

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Prince Harry Accused Of Cheating On Meghan Markle With Model

15 hours 3 min ago


Chris Jackson/Getty Images

A new book by royal biographer, Angela Levin has claimed that Prince Harry was dating Sarah Ann Macklin when he met and started dating Meghan Markle.

In the book entitled Harry: Conversations with the Prince, Levin says Harry and Sarah Ann met at a private party, where they swapped numbers and exchanged some texts,"But it turned out to be just a fling." 

Prince Harry is said to have gone out on multiple dates with Sarah Ann who models for Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren.

The allegations are coming at a time when Prince William is also linked to another woman while he’s married to Kate Middleton.

While at the Queen's birthday (Trooping the Colour) Meghan reportedly put on a brave face despite already knowing about the allegations.

Levine said Prince Harry and Sarah Ann, "met a private party, he took her number and bombarded her with texts."

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We Have Eliminated Another Boko Haram Hideout In Sambisa Forest, Nigerian Airforce Claims

15 hours 35 min ago


Ibikunle Daramola

Ibikunle Daramola

The Nigerian Airforce has said it launched an air strike which eliminated a camp of Boko Haram insurgents in Sambisa Forest, Borno state. 

NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said air strikes were conducted on specific targets in the forest.

The claim is coming less than 24 hours after Boko Haram suicide bombers detonated their Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at a viewing center in Mandarari ward, Konduga local government area of Borno state on Sunday evening.

Ibikunle said:” In continuation of its sustained air strikes against terrorists’ targets in Borno State, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has severely degraded another Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) hideout in the Sambisa Forest.

“The operation was executed yesterday, 16 June 2019, after persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions revealed heavy presence of BHTs at a new camp with several structures hidden under the thick foliage of the Forest.

“Accordingly, the ATF dispatched an Alpha Jet to attack the location.

” Its bombs hit the target area, with devastating effects on several of the camouflaged structures, neutralizing their BHT occupants.”

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Access Bank: Nigeria's Financial Institution Embroiled In Staff Gratuities Scandal

16 hours 2 min ago








For several weeks, one of Nigeria’s foremost banks, Access Bank, had refused to comment on some underhanded financial dealings involving its former employees. Several phones to its media department had yielded no response. There has been no response to emails sent to the bank too. A visit to the bank’s head office in Lagos yielded little or no response.

The seeming arrogance and impudence of the financial heavyweight signpost the serious allegations many of its former staff are levelling against it. It all started in 2012.

A reliable source, who is also an ex-employee that resigned on December 31, 2012, said the bank caused the majority of them to resign their appointment against their wish by ignoring their opinions and feelings while hundreds of people were sacked and their appointments terminated by a letter through the former Head, Employee Relations, Anthonia Opara and Mrs. Bolaji Agbede, Head, Group Human Resources which the proof, a clear document is with SaharaReporters.

According to a document forwarded by the Team Member, Branch Control Team (LMN), Kikelomo Omijeh on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at exactly 3:00 PM to one Olatunbosun Otesile, Team Member, Branch Services (LMN) containing the Staff Gratuity Scheme says that Intercontinental bank has reviewed its old gratuity scheme for qualifying for the money from 10 years to 5 years with immediate effect from 1st of November, 2005.

However, the document also stated that the staff that joined the bank after 30th September 2006 will not qualify for gratuity but those that have worked before that year will be paid. In this gratuity scheme, an example of N2, 500,000 was used in demonstrating how the Gratuity fund is stipulated and verified by the bank to be paid.

In 2012 when the merger between Intercontinental bank and Access bank was about to take place, according to a reliable source, the management of the bank had a meeting with the staff asking them to resign because there will be no place to secure a job in the bank if the merger comes through.

Many of the employees agreed to resign since the bank had promised to pay their severance and gratuity packages.

When an employee is leaving, the gratuity and the severance package should be paid. 

SaharaReporters found out that the calculation of how much the former employees would receive was not clear.

With many of its staff agreeing to resign, the bank realized it would suffer a huge indebtedness and according to reliable sources, Access Bank decided to play a fast one on its once loyal workers who had chosen to resign their appointment with the bank. Rather than give the former workers all their entitlements – severance pay and gratuity, among others – the bank enforced an agreement on them that they could only collect one of the entitlements at a time.

For example, a document attached to the resignation letter by Access Bank to one Adeyemo Akeem Adewale (Staff No: 020030)and dated March 5, 2012, said: “We acknowledge receipt of your letter on the above subject and wish to convey that it has been accepted by Management. Please find below details of your terminal account with the bank as of February 3, 2012, which officially was your last day at work. You are entitled to a severance package or your gratuity whichever is higher.”

  

Some of the former employees who complained about their gratuity were the former staff of Intercontinental Bank Plc which was acquired by Access Bank. They were considered eligible to receive gratuity under the defunct Intercontinental Bank’s gratuity scheme managed by Crusader Sterling Limited.

A source told SaharaReporters that the gratuities which were originally managed by Crusader Sterling Bank, NLPC Pension Administrators Ltd and First Trustees were moved by Access Bank to fund managers (the fund managers so as to tell the staffs that they have already gained access to the money legally without which Intercontinental Bank cannot meddle with. All these are just to shield the beneficiaries from getting their gratuity.

Earlier, in a gratuity document by Intercontinental Bank sent to all its staff on 6th of October 2011 prior to the merger, in the third paragraph wrote: “The board also approved that the gratuity entitlements of qualified staff should be moved to Fund Managers for the funds. In addition, a five-man Trustees Board was appointed amongst staff with all powers of Trustees as may be contained in the Trusteeship Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so as to ensure a transparent administration”

“In this vein, the gratuity fund has been moved to the approved Fund Managers who were selected after rigorous screening by the Trustees in conjunction with Human Resources,” a source said.

In a document obtained by SaharaReporters of the deed of appointment of Trustees for the Gratuity scheme, Mrs. Vesiri Olu-Odugbemi, Mrs. Hetty Dambo, Mr. Akeem Babatunde, Mr. Mike Leramo and Mr. Dapo Tijani all signed on behalf of members of the scheme in the presence of Habila Amos who was at that time the Head of Human Resources of Intercontinental Bank PLC.

“In order to manage the scheme, the Company is desirous of appointed the staff as Trustees of the scheme” stated clearly on the second page of the ‘b’ part of the document.

This means the bank actually appointed them to be the intermediary between the fund managers where the bank had moved the gratuity fund with and the staff members so as to not allow any means of fraudulence.

It was done when the Central Bank of Nigeria was planning to sell Inter-continental bank to Access and the staff are afraid that they will be sacked without payment or see anything to benefit in. 

As a consequence, some of the staff now reasoned along with the bank’s guidelines that since they were already qualified for the gratuity, they could resign.

Knowing too well about the numbers of the staff that want to leave, which means there will not be any buyers. With that, they assured them that their money will be safe and this brought to the movement of funds from the bank to the five funds managers as explained earlier.

Since this money has been in their care (Access Bank) and no successor is allowed to tamper with the money, in a cunning way, “Operation Just Cause” OJC was introduced just to make sure that they frustrate the staff and give reasons to sack some who will not be able to meet the target;

“What they did was that they gave every staff regardless of your grade of deposit target to go and source fund for the bank, targets that were outrageous. They gave us a target of a deposit and reactivation of dormant accounts. We complained and of course, there is nothing we could do. 

Access Bank management do it in a way that if we bring in new deposit and at the end of the day, the owner should not take out from that deposit for three months, if they withdraw any amount, that shows that we going to get a negative mark and all our labour will go in vain.”

Some of the staff not sacked, knowing too well that there might be a calamity that would befall them, resigned because of the management's earlier said all their allowance will be paid.

“If we had known that our gratuity will not be paid to us as promised earlier giving us the option of resigning, some of us wouldn’t have resigned, at least work more and gather money till we are sacked,” said a source.

“Access Bank met with the fund’s manager in which our money has been successfully kept by Intercontinental Bank to release the gratuity to them. This money is part of the money the bank used to pay our severance package.

“Without the gratuity payment, this indicates that all our years of labour and working honestly with our former employers are just in vain which Access Bank management took away with impunity” lamented by an ex-staff.

One of the top officials in Access bank told SaharaReporters that the amount of money which the bank use abnormality and fraudulence to filter away both sacked or retired staff are more than N6 billion naira.

Some of the staff took the case to court with their intact document as a piece of evidence to tender. This is after they’ve met with the Bola Akinyele and Co Chamber to seek for their opinion on the issue which the legal practitioners wrote to the Managing Director of Access Bank on May 2, 2012, soliciting for the staff who formally resigned.

In the document, the chamber noted that if the terms were not met within 14 days from the receipt of the letter that the staff had the right to set in motion the legal machinery at the appropriate court to redress, remedy and vindicate the ex-workers legal rights.

When the staff noticed that the response from Access Bank’s management was not satisfactory, they proceeded to court.

First, it was the National Industrial Court of Nigeria on February 4, 2013. The case was initially assigned to Justice Obaseki-Osaghae.

During the case, an ex-staff said: “The first three preceding, their lawyer(s) didn’t show up in the court trying to frustrate us with the case, he continued that The judge, Obaseki-Osaghae now wrote to the bank that if they fail to produce their lawyer(s) she will preside over the case. So before the next case, some people have informed the management of the bank what is going on. 

I was told that they perform their magic. Before the next case, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae was transferred to the Calabar Division of the National Court.”

SaharaReporters gathered that the regulatory bodies who contacted Access Bank to appear before them were immediately compromised before the next court proceeding and the case dropped after. This shows that the case was transferred to another judge.

“Following the transfer of Obaseki-Osaghae, the matter was assigned to Justice J.D. Peter. He came up only on five occasions before the said Honourable Justice dismissed the case. So, the court now brought another judge that is in the interest of the bank. To tell you that there was compromised about the case, one of the heads of the Industrial courts was indicted. “

“The judge granted a relief that the defendants never even apply for. But our case and stand with the bank was that they have no right to tamper with our gratuity in the first place and second, there are some of the staff members appointed by the same Access Bank Management to monitor our funds.”

“The duty of the staff is to make sure the money is not tampered with and when they did, we questioned them that how can Access Bank come from the back to gain access to our gratuity package to pay our severance package.” 

“What the judge did was striking out those staff (Board of Trustees) that they are not responsible to be with the money that they are just acting on principal as agents on behalf of Access Bank.”

Although the bank appointed some five trustees, the management actually played a trick while preparing the deed document knowing full well that the case might go to court if they eventually withheld the gratuity money of the staff members. What they did was that on page three no 6, 7 and 8 said:

“Upon transfer of the gratuity sum to the Fund Manager, the company (Bank) shall cease to operate the gratuity scheme policy and no member of staff of the company who thereafter attains five years in the service of the company shall be entitled to the scheme”. This actually means that after they had successfully transferred the fund to the fund managers, any members that joined after will not be entitled to gratuity. This is quite explanatory as this not what SaharaReporters want to reveal.

“The trustees shall have the sole exclusive powers to relate directly with the Scheme Manager in relation to the administration and management of the scheme” this is not the interesting part.

The interesting part is number (8) which states that;

“In the case above mentioned, the Trustees shall incur no liability for so acting and they shall in no way be bound to call for further evidence or be responsible for any loss that may be occasioned by acting on any such certificate and/or statement” 

This simply restricted the Trustees to some extent. This shows even if the management of the bank go ahead to meet the fund managers and get some funds without their (staff) consent, the members of the board (Trustees appointed by the same bank just to paint the bank that they are transparent) do not have the right to request for evidence or bank statement.

These are people with passion who before the merger of the banks have worked tirelessly. More so, the bank also said while leaving the employers’ service prior to exit date he or she “shall, in any event, be entitled to the sum due to him in the Scheme (Gratuity)”.

Although, the case is still in court and it has been adjourned until November 21, 2019.

  

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Gun Battle Involving Security Agents, Cultists In Rivers Claims Four Lives

16 hours 31 min ago


Korobe Menele, better known as 'Mene', a notorious cultist and oil thief, has been killed in a combined security operation in Rivers state.

The gun battle that ensued between the oil thief and security operatives left one Nigerian army personnel and two Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers dead. 

Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director Army Public Relations confirming the incident said, “In the early hours of today Sunday the 16th of June 2019, troops of 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines at Gio community in Tai Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State were attacked by suspected militants who were hitherto prevented from vandalizing 24 and 28 TNP, thereby putting them out of the illicit business. 

“Unfortunately, during the ensuing firefight one soldier and two personnel of the NSCDC lost their lives and their weapons (one AK 47 and 2 G3 rifles) were carted away by the assailants.

“An immediate reinforcement by troops at the location led to the cordon and search of the general area with the view to finding any criminal believed to be harbouring within the communities. 

“Reliable intelligence led to the tracking of the prime suspect, a notorious cultist and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele Loveday who has been on the wanted list of the security agencies for terrorizing communities in the state. 

“Consequently, at about 9:00am, troops cashing on available information sighted a white Toyota Hilux vehicle without a number plate, hastily driven with four occupants.

"Efforts to stop the vehicle by troops at a checkpoint was ignored. The gallant troops chased the speeding vehicle and caught up with the suspects around Kira Junction, along Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic.

“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at the troops in a bid to escape. Troops reacted and incapacitated the militants' vehicle. As a result, the bandits abandoned their vehicle and fled to the bush. 

"However, one of the criminals was gunned down and was identified as the wanted notorious cultists and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele, popularly known as MENE. Other cult members escaped with gunshot wounds. 

“The following teams were recovered from the scene and in the vehicle: 1 x K2 Rifle, 2 x Magazines loaded with 52 Rounds of 5.56mm, some personal effects, one pair of vehicle plate number KRK 95DP RIVERS and some documents," he concluded. 

At the time of filing this report, the victims' remains have been handed to the appropriate authorities while all exhibits were presented to the NSCDC for further investigations.

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Adeleke vs Oyetola: Supreme Court Fixes July 5 To Deliver Final Judgment On Osun Governorship Election

16 hours 36 min ago


The Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed July 5, 2019, to deliver its judgment on the 2018 Osun State governorship election.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Ademola Adeleke, had approached the apex court following the decision of the appeal court to pronounce Governor Gboyega Oyetola as the winner of the election.

Adeleke’s lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), prayed the court to uphold the ruling of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that pronounced Adeleke as the legal winner of the election and discard the judgment by the appeal court.

At the resumed hearing today, a seven-man-committee headed by Justice Tanko Muhammad, adjourned sitting on the matter until July 5 for judgment.

Oyetola’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) together with the counsel representing the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN), and the All Progressives Congress counsel, Olumide Olujinmi, all urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal and retain Oyetola as the governor.

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UPDATE: Death Toll Rises To 30 As Government Confirms Multiple Suicide Bombings In Borno Viewing Centre

16 hours 59 min ago


The death toll in Sunday's Boko Haram suicide attack on a viewing centre has risen to 30 as emergency services battle to save more lives.

Giving casualty figures, Director Emergency Response State Emergency Management Agency, Borno state, Usman Kachalla, said 30 people have died so far with 42 critically injured.

SaharaReporters can confirm that the death toll rose from 20 to 30 due to poor facilities to treat the injured while many others died due to lack of blood for transfusions. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Boko Haram Suicide Bombers Attack Viewing Centre In Borno, Kill 20, Injure 30 0 Comments 18 Hours Ago

Kachalla said, “When my team arrived Konduga early this morning, the military prevented us from gaining access to the community to assist the victims.

“They told us they were given order from above not to open the road until 9 am," he lamented.

The bomber, a male and female, went into a viewing center detonating their Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Mandarari ward, Konduga local government area at about 9:15 pm on Sunday.

Another bomber (female) whose IED failed to detonate has been handed over to the Nigerian Army.

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South Africa Xenophobic Killings: 130 Nigerians Murdered In 30 Months

19 hours 27 min ago


The Consul General of the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg, Mr. Godwin Adama, says the mission is to protest killings and high-handedness of the South African police against Nigerians.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the planned protest follows the recurring killing of Nigerians resident in the former apartheid enclave, where some 130 Nigerians were murdered in 30 months up to September 2018.

The figure has since jumped.

Adama made the announcement while reacting to the latest killing of a Nigerian, Maxwell Okoye, by the South African police.

He spoke in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) following Okoye’s killing on June 14.

The envoy, who described the persistent killing of Nigerians as unacceptable, said the issue had become worrisome and deserved urgent intervention of the South African authorities.

”I have confirmed the death of Maxwell Ikechukwu Okoye in the hands of South African police officers at about 01:00 hours on Friday, June 14 when a group of policemen invaded his house in Ladysmith in Kwazulu Natal Province.

”He reportedly alerted a leader of the Nigerian community in the area of the presence of policemen in his house and called for their intervention.

”However, help was not immediately available, probably due to the time of the night and the fact that all attempts to get him on line was futile.

”He eventually was reported dead by the police who claimed they met him foaming when they broke into his house in that odd hour of the night, a claim that appeared suspicious and compromising.”

Adama said that by the time members of the Nigerian community in the area got to Okoye’s home, his house was turned upside down and he was reported dead by the police, who took his body to the mortuary on their own.

The envoy said that the matter was reported by Nigerians to the South African police, who promised to commence an investigation into the matter.

He said that the mission had also reported the matter to the national headquarters of the South African Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

”We intend to protest the matter officially through the usual diplomatic channels by the high commission in Pretoria once all details are collated.

”This is about the third case involving alleged torture and murder of Nigerians by the South African police within one month.

”It happened in Cape Town, Durban and now in Ladysmith. As the Nigerian Mission in South Africa, we will not fold our hands and allow these infractions to continue.

”We will not stand by and allow this development to continue. We shall be visiting the area to see things for ourselves while engaging relevant authorities on the matter. It is unacceptable.”

Adama recalled that in October 2017, a similar murder of a Nigerian, Badmus Olalekan from Lagos State by men of the South African police led to the arrest and arraignment of eight policemen in Vanderbijlpark Park, near Johannesburg.

This followed the intervention of the Nigerian Consulate, he stated.

According to him, the case is currently at the High Court in Johannesburg and will be concluded in October 2019 going by the conclusions of the last court sitting.

”We are closely following up this along with the others to ensure that justice is served. We shall not leave any stone unturned concerning these matters.

”The high-handedness of the South African police against Nigerians over flimsy excuses has become worrisome and deserves the intervention of the authorities.

”This is to protect the excellent relations that exist between the two countries as well as preserve coexistence of Nigerians and their South African hosts.”

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Zamfara Banditry: Governor Matawalle Ignores Nigerian Security Agencies, Flies To Dubai To Seek Solutions

19 hours 38 min ago


The Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, says he is flying to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to discuss the worrying insecurity in his state with security experts with a view to proffering solutions to the incessant bandits' attacks Zamfara is experiencing.

In a statement by Alhaji Yusuf Idris, the Director-General of Press Affairs, the governor, who travelled on Sunday to perform the lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia, would stop over in Dubai to meet with security experts to seek their opinions on the best way to deal with the attacks and killings in the state.

The statement said: “The governor will meet with security experts in Dubai and share ideas on the best way to end the menace of armed banditry in the state.

“He is also expected to meet with the officials of Saudi Arabian government to discuss ways towards the release of the Zamfara-born Alaramma Ibrahim, who has been in detention for almost two years, over alleged drugs trafficking.

“From our findings, his arrest followed a frame-up initiated from the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

“While in Dubai, the governor will also meet with officials of the African Development Bank (AfDB), and some investors interested in investing in the Zamfara economy.”

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JUST IN: Protest In Ondo As Angry Youths Shut Down Akeredolu's Office

19 hours 40 min ago


Youths from Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have shut down the government office in Akure as they protested an alleged diversion of funds meant for the development of the coastal area by the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu administration.

The youths also blocked the access road to Alagbaka governor's office to prevents workers from gaining access into the building.

A SaharaReporters correspondent at the venue of the protest reported that some anti-riot policemen had arrived to dispatch the protesters.

However, the youths chanting heavy solidarity songs were insisting they would not leave the road leading to the governor's office until they were addressed by Mr. Akeredolu. 

The youths, under the aegis of Ilaje Youths Congress (IYC), were also demanding the total autonomy of the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC)

More details later...

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Boeing 737 Plane Crashes: CEO Admits Company Installed Faulty Cockpit

20 hours 12 min ago


The chief executive officer of Boeing said the United States-based aircraft maker had made a mistake in installing a faulty cockpit warning system on its 737 MAX planes, Reuters reported.

Dennis Muilenburg’s admission came after two fatal crashes over the last year.

In March, 157 people died when Ethiopian Airlines flight JT610 crashed minutes after takeoff. In October last year, 189 people died when Lion Air’s flight ET302 crashed off the coast of Indonesia.

Both crashes involved the 737 MAX model. In April, Boeing announced plans to cut back production of its 737 MAX aircraft after several countries grounded the aircraft following the crashes.

Muilenburg said on Sunday that Boeing failed to communicate “crisply” with regulators and customers, and admitted that it will take a long time for the planemaker to regain consumer confidence.

However, he defended the company’s broad engineering and design approach to the Boeing 737 MAX planes.

The chief executive said he expects the 737 MAX to return to service this year. Muilenburg added that 90 percent of the aircraft’s customers have taken part in simulator sessions with its upgraded MCAS software.

“Clearly, we can make improvements, and we understand that and we will make those improvements,” he said.

Muilenburg said the company is fully supporting the criminal investigation the US Department of Justice has initiated into the two crashes.

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Zookeepers Claim Gorilla Swallows N6.8 Million in Kano, Ganduje Kicks, Orders Probe

20 hours 14 min ago


Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano has ordered the state's Anti-Corruption Commission to probe the claims by the Kano Zoological Gardens that a gorilla in the state-owned zoo swallowed N6.8 million.

“The order was given on Friday and the commission has already swung into action,” a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Abba Anwar, said on Sunday in Kano.

It quoted the governor as directing the commission to look into the immediate and remote circumstances surrounding the allegation and “unearth everything surrounding the incident”.

Apart from the gorilla, Gandjue too was last year accused of collecting kickbacks from contractors in the state.

In 2018, a video showing Governor Ganduje stuffing wads of dollars in his babaringa went viral.

The governor was seen collecting the money before putting them in his white dress.

The governor had since debunked the video as “cloned” and threatened to sue.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the animal was said to have swallowed N6.8 million generated by the zoo as gate fees collected from visitors of the garden, particularly during the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.

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Kwara Poly Staff, Students Kick Against Appointment Of Rector, Registrar

20 hours 19 min ago


Staff and students of Kwara State Polytechnic have kicked against the appointment of the institution's rector and registrar, claiming that the due process was not followed.

In a statement by Mr. Jubril Abdullahi, a lecturer,  on behalf of the expressed dissatisfaction over the process of appointing the rector and registrar.

The statement pointed out that the advertisements and shortlisting of candidates were intentionally done to edge out other qualified candidates in the polytechnic.

“We discovered that the advertisements were done to disallow qualified members of staff of our institution from applying for the positions,” Abdullahi said.

He added that external candidates who applied for the jobs were shortlisted more than a week before the interview, alleging that those in the school who were later allowed, were given only 24 hours to apply.

Abdhullahi, who condemned the recruitment process, said it was biased and tilted toward favouring a particular candidate by the advertiser.

“It was on this shady recruitment method that the former Governor Abdufatah Ahmed declined his assent to the initial appointment which led to the dissolution of the governing council,” he said.

He said the former governor discovered that the process was against the National Board of Technical Education (NBTC) guidelines and traditions of the school.

Abdullahi, however, called on Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Kwara State House of Assembly to disregard the illegal appointment which was done on May 22 at 10 pm.

He described the appointment as illegal because the Governing Council and State Executive of the school had already been dissolved, which were supposed to transmit the reports to the incumbent governor.

He said had no doubt that the governor would correct the wrong of such fraudulent process to ensure there was peace in the polytechnic.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the staff and students of the school had on May 19 threatened to stage a peaceful protest over the appointment of a new rector without following due process.

Comrade Kayode Rafiu, the speaking on behalf of the students, said the protest became necessary due to alleged “shabby process in the appointment of a new rector for the institution”.

Reacting to the allegation, Mr. Abdulkadir Yunus, the Public Relations Officer, Kwara State Polytechnic said the interviews for appointing the rector and registrar were conducted during the last administration and the processes were transparent.

He said that everything was concluded before the expiration of the last administration and there was no favourite candidate as alleged by the staff.

He said that the registrar had officially resumed about two weeks ago, adding that when the interview was conducted the Rector was not part of the panel.

Yunus debunked the allegation of the rector and the registrar being favoured by the last administration.

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