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BREAKING: Fire Guts Radio Station ‘LOVE FM’ In Abuja

4 December 2020 - 3:01pm

A private radio station, LOVE FM, 104.5 located at Mpape, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has been razed by fire.

According to a worker, who confirmed the incident to SaharaReporters, she said she left the station a few minutes before the inferno started.

It was gathered that it took the men of FCT fire service some hours before they arrived at the scene, but they could not put out the raging fire which had engulfed the entire building.

The fire, which started around 7.30 pm, razed the computers, furniture and transmitters at the station.

The cause of the fire could not yet be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.

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Zabarmari: We Won’t Accept Mass Burial Again, CAN Warns Nigerian Government

4 December 2020 - 2:58pm

The Christian Association of Nigeria on Friday added its voice to the growing condemnation of the massacre of at least 78 rice farmers by the Boko Haram terrorists last Saturday in Zabarmari community in Borno State.

The association said mass burial without Nigeria being in a full-scale war was “unprecedented and unacceptable.”  

In a statement by Pastor Bayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant, Media and Communications to the CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, the group noted that condolence visits after many souls had been wasted were unacceptable.

CAN said, “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has condemned in strong terms the killing of no fewer than 43 rice farmers in Borno State by unknown persons suspected to be terrorists. We call on the security agencies to stop the unending mass killings by the criminals who now operate with impunity all over the country but more devastatingly in the North-East and North-West of the country.

“We are shocked, disturbed, saddened to learn that criminals suspected to be terrorists, but for which a terrorist group had claimed responsibilities, invaded the Garin Kwashebe community and murdered the innocent farmers while harvesting their products.

“As usual, the number of the deceased gruesomely murdered remains disputed by the Federal Government. To us at CAN, 43 was not only frightening but inexcusable by those who should have prevented it. The massacre was wicked and completely satanic.

“A situation where the terrorists and bandits are taxing farmers before they are allowed to work on their farms is unprecedented, and the government must stop it before it is too late. We are in a recession in the country, yet, criminals are still preventing farmers from going to the farm to harvest. We are not aware of any country where similar lawlessness is taking place without being adequately checked.

“CAN calls on the security agencies to wake up from their prolonged slumber and save their image. The government is urged to think out of the box and take adequate steps to bring the terrorists to their knees rather than finding excuses to justify the failure of governance. Mass burial without a full-scale war is unprecedented and unacceptable.”

The association noted that it was pained to observe that “killings and kidnapping of people are no longer news in the country, and no one is immune from it.”

While reassuring all that we at CAN will not give up praying for this nation, we urge the government to fulfil its responsibility of protecting lives and property.

“Sympathy through press statements or condolence visits after many souls have been wasted are not acceptable anymore. What we need is adequate protection of lives and property by those we have put in charge to do so,” the association noted.

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Lagos To Punish International Travellers Evading COVID-19 Test

4 December 2020 - 2:57pm

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Government has warned travellers coming into the country, who shun the required COVID-19 guidelines as stipulated by the Presidential Taskforce, to desist from such infraction or face serious consequences. 

The state Commissioners for Information and Health, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, and Prof Akin Abayomi, in a joint statement, gave this warning on Friday.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

The commissioners said, “It has been reported several times through notification from Port Health Services, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Lagos State Biobank and accredited private laboratories carrying out COVID-19 tests that inbound passengers arriving Nigeria are breaching the COVID-19 protocols.

“We have good authority that some passengers, having registered and paid for COVID-19 tests, have failed to report to assigned private laboratories after completion of their seven days isolation. Some incoming passengers even were unable to register and pay for the test whilst making their journey to the country in total disregard and breach of the safety protocols.

“Likewise, a large number of international passengers provided wrong information and contact details while registering online, making it difficult for them to be reached, traced or contacted by our logistics team.

“This is not only worrisome but portends danger for public health and safety as the populace stands the risk of infection from an asymptomatic positive case who perhaps is not aware of his or her status.

“We are not going to fold our arms and watch the gains made by us against the disease to be reversed by the irresponsibility of some citizens who choose to disregard our guidelines flagrantly. This is why we are set to take action against people who flout these protocols.”

The statement warned that the flouting of directives by the international travellers to COVID-19 guidelines might push the country to a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria, on February 27, 2020, had recorded its index COVID-19 case; but the cases grew geometrically within weeks, forcing President, Muhammadu Buhari, to declare a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on March 31. 

The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown lasted for about three months, bringing untold hardship, suffering and hunger on Nigerians.

Airports, schools and business activities were shut down, and schools were closed as the pandemic gripped the country for more than seven months.

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Police Protest Six-Month Unpaid Allowances In Katsina

4 December 2020 - 2:53pm

Police officers at Batsari Local Government of Katsina State on Thursday protested against their unpaid allowances.

According to Katsina Post, the police officers took to the streets and blocked a major road linking to Batsari market.

According to the report, soldiers eventually arrived at the scene to remove the barricade, a move that provoked the police and caused an exchange of verbal abuses before the intervention of the district head of Batsari, Alhaji Tukur Muazu Rumah.

“Yes, I am an eyewitness, they block our way when going for Batsari weekly markets, claiming that we won’t have a business today because the government has not paid them their allowances for six months,” a resident, Muhammad Wada Bakiyawa, said.

However, the state’s police spokesman, Gambo Isah, said the story was not true. “It’s fake news, disregard it, it’s not true,” he said when asked by SaharaReporters.

When SaharaReporters told Isah about the pictures and video of police officers mounting roadblocks and arguing with the army officers, he said mounting of the roadblock was normal in the area because of the high rate of banditry.

“If they mount a roadblock, are they not performing their duties?” he said. “That place, do you know it’s a bandit area? The police are working with the military there. There is a special operation ongoing. They are working together.”

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Lekki Shooting Survivors Share Painful Experiences Of Having Nigerian Army Bullets Inside Their Bodies

4 December 2020 - 2:48pm

Despite denials by the Nigerian Army that soldiers did not fire live bullets at protesters during the t#EndSARS protest at Lekki tollgate on October 20, one of the protesters said that a bullet fired by the soldiers is lodged in his body.

"I got mine in my thigh, and the bullet is still inside me," the victim who did not mention his name told Arise TV on Friday.


He said he became unconscious after the bullet hit him and was revived the following day at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.

"The bullet in me is giving me discomfort," he said. "It is affecting my leg, making it swell up every day, sometimes my leg gets stiff. Why is the government saying they didn't shoot at us while I'm still having the bullet inside me right now?"

A father of another victim, Tunde Odeyemi, said his son was seriously injured and he could not talk. "They told us to do the X-ray of the brain. So, when the doctor studied the X-ray, he noticed that there was blood at the front and back of the head."

"He said that that was why he couldn't speak. That was when they started giving him drugs. Five days later, he started talking. He hasn't returned to his normal being up to this moment, but he has improved."

Survivors Of Lekki Tollgate Killings Demonstrate At Lagos Judicial Panel | Sahara Reporters

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 4, 2020

Olufunmi Aiyedungbe, who lost her brother, Aiyedungbe Gabriel Ayoola, during the protest, said: "My brother was shot in the head. We were looking for him because he did not stay with us. It was two days before he passed on that somebody sent a notice to me on WhatsApp.

"It was written there that my brother was at LASUTH and they're looking for his family. We went to LASUTH. They said he has been unconscious for two weeks. But by the time we got there, he had opened his eyes and was moving his hand, but he could not talk. They were feeding him through the nose."

The clamour for justice for victims of #EndSARS has intensified as some of the survivors on Friday visited the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Friday.

Their spokesperson said: "We have people with amputated legs. We have people with brain surgery in this van. We have dozens of them that are yet to be discharged. This is from the Lekki tollgate massacre in 2020. We want justice. We don't want to be silenced. We don't want to be marginalised even in our own country."

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EXCLUSIVE: Panic As Boko Haram Returns To Zabarmari, Shoots In The Air

4 December 2020 - 2:40pm

Boko Haram

The last has not been heard of the Boko Haram terrorists' onslaught on Zabarmari community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State as the insurgents invaded rice farms on Thursday, shooting sporadically to scare away the residents.

Some of the witnesses told SaharaReporters that the terrorists came to the area but nobody was killed or abducted as people fled their homes.

File Photo: Boko Haram Google

Last Saturday, Boko Haram inflicted one of the greatest casualty figures in the state by slaughtering no fewer than 78 rice farmers in the community – an incident that has attracted national and global condemnation.

One of the residents, Ishaya Ahmed, said women who were on their way to farm on Thursday first caught a glimpse of the terrorists.

"While some of our women and girls were on their way to the farm on Thursday, they came across the Boko Haram in large numbers, moving in a single line from north to south and, at the sight of the women, they began to shoot sporadically into the air to scare people away.

"So, the women froze at the gunshots and could not proceed to the farms. They had to return. I think the insurgents spared them because they were women. If we, the men, had followed them, they might have killed us."

A community leader in Zabarmari, who did not want his name to be mentioned, told SaharaReporters that boys and men were affected in the Saturday's gruesome murder.

"Some of them were newly-weds," he said. "Some with very young families. Others were mostly school-age boys while some were hired to harvest the farm for some fee. We heard the rumours that women were also killed, but it is not true."

Meanwhile, a woman in the community who lost her husband during the attack, said: "We got married eight months ago. I don't have a child, and I don't have any business I am doing. I only survive by what my husband makes from the farm. At the moment, I am staying with my mother since the death of my husband."

The Senate earlier on Tuesday called on the president to fire the service chiefs who have failed to secure Nigerians while the House of Representatives summoned the president to brief the house on the mass murder.

The Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, who seemed to have lost trust on Nigerian armed forces, had on Monday asked the president to engage the services of mercenaries to fight Boko Haram.

"One of our recommendations as possible solutions to end the insurgency is the immediate recruitment of our youths into military and paramilitary services to complement the efforts of the Nigerian forces," he said. "Our third recommendation is for the President to engage the services of mercenaries to clear the entire Sambisa forest."

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U.S. Varsities Offer $2.17Million Scholarships to 19 Nigerian Students

4 December 2020 - 2:32pm

No fewer than 19 high achieving, low-income students from southern Nigeria have received full scholarships totalling $2.17million to attend American universities and colleges for the 2020/2021 academic session. 

This feat was made possible through the Opportunity Funds Program of the United States Consulate General in Lagos, with support from Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited.  

During a reception held in Lagos in honour of the US-bound students, the United States Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, congratulated them on their success, while urging them to make the most of their opportunity to get a top-notch education.

“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is pleased that our two major EducationUSA centres in Lagos and Abuja helped brilliant, deserving and high achieving students defray the cost of applying to study in the U.S. You have successfully navigated the daunting U.S. college and university admissions process, and we are so excited for your future.

“During your time in the United States, please take full advantage of every opportunity you have, not only to learn but to expand your horizon. You have excelled in Nigeria, and I have no doubt that you will continue on that path of academic excellence in the United States,” Consul General Pierangelo told the departing students.  

Izunna Okpala, one of the 2020 Opportunity Fund Program scholars, received full funding for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme in Information Technology with a concentration in Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing at the University of Cincinnati.

He described the EducationUSA Opportunity Funds Program as a “game-changer” in his quest to receive an international education.  

The 19 departing students — two undergraduates and 17 graduate students —will be studying a variety of majors including Infectious Diseases, Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Chemistry, Climate Change and Climate Variability, Geology, and Political Science.

The list of acceptances includes the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Purdue University, Duke University and Northwestern University.

Now in its 11th year, the Opportunity Funds Program assists talented and determined, low-income students who are good candidates for financial assistance from U.S. colleges and universities but lack the financial resources to cover the up-front cost of obtaining admission.  

Following a competitive selection process, the successful students received financial aid that covered expenses involved in the college application process such as payment for standardized tests, application fees, visa and SEVIS fees as well as air travel to the United States. 

EducationUSA advisers also worked closely with the students through regularly scheduled meetings and seminars to assist them throughout the application process.  

According to the latest Institute of International Education Open Doors Report, Nigeria retained its top ranking as the number one source of African students studying in the United States. About 13,762 Nigerians study at more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities.


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Survivors Of Lekki Tollgate Killings Demonstrate At Lagos Judicial Panel

4 December 2020 - 2:16pm

A group of persons with visible injuries came to the premises of Lagos State Court of Arbitration, Lekki, venue of the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry, on Friday, to demonstrate that their injuries were caused by the soldiers who shot at them on October 20 during the #EndSARS protest.

They arrived at the venue in a white bus, followed by a placard-carrying group, New Nigeria Network.

“We have people with amputated legs. We have people with brain surgery in this van. We have dozens of them that are yet to be discharged,” said their spokesperson. 

“This is from the Lekki tollgate massacre in 2020. We want justice. We don’t want to be silenced. We don’t want to be marginalised even in our own country.” 

11:09 A banner is up in front of the court building. Dabira is up speaking. She was the one on stage telling people to sit down when the shooting started.

— Editi Effiòng (@EditiEffiong) December 4, 2020

While the Nigerian Army has consistently denied killing any protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, video evidence has shown that the soldiers indeed killed some of the protesters while others survived with gunshot wounds.


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Delta State Threatens To Punish Nurses, Midwives Who Join Ongoing Strike

4 December 2020 - 1:55pm

Delta state governor Ifeanyi Okowa

The Delta State government has threatened to punish any nurse or midwife who joined the strike by the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives in the state.

The state’s Ministry of Health issued the threat in a circular dated December 3, 2020, and marked HNC3/T/15, to all principals of the state’s schools of nursing and other government centres where the nurses and midwives are employed.

Delta state governor Ifeanyi Okowa
Instead of implementing the demands of the health workers, the state government threatened to deal with any nurse or midwife who “flouts this directive” according to the rule of engagement and extant provisions.
See Also Sahara Reporters Nurses, Midwives Begin Indefinite Strike In Delta 0 Comments 1 Day Ago
SaharaReporters gathered that the health workers commenced their strike on Thursday, based on a five-point demand.

The strike stems from the demotion of principals of nursing and midwifery schools and the imposition of a junior nursing officer as the director of nursing services.

Other issues include implementation of license community nursing and midwifery and volunteer nursing recruitment instead of actual recruitment, as well as promotion, arrears and uniform allowance of the workers.

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives had asked their members in the state to begin the indefinite strike on Thursday.

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Appeal Court Upholds Maryam Sanda's Death Penalty For Killing Husband

4 December 2020 - 11:49am

File Photo

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja on Friday, has affirmed the death sentence on Maryam Sanda.

A Federal Capital Territory High Court had, in January 2020, sentenced Sanda to death by hanging for the murder of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello.

File Photo
The Nigerian police charged Sanda for culpable homicide in November 2017 and sought the death penalty against Sanda in a two-count charge.

After the lower court found her guilty of killing Bello, she approached the appellate court to upturn the judgement.

In a notice of appeal predicated on 20 grounds, the appellant through her legal team described the judgment of the trial court as “a miscarriage of justice”.

She submitted that the judge relied on circumstantial evidence as there was “lack of confessional statement, absence of murder weapon, lack of corroboration of evidence by two or more witnesses and lack of autopsy report to determine the true cause of her husband’s death.”

But the appellate court dismissed her appeal for lack of merit.

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Leadership Failure In Africa: Nigeria A Classic Example Of Failed Leadership And Weak Institutions By Richard Odusanya

4 December 2020 - 11:37am

Richard Odusanya

"The tragedy of Africa is wrought in the minds of politicians who behave like demi-gods and delude themselves that they have monopoly of wisdom."- PLO Lumumba.

Africa is the cradle of civilization and the root of mankind. A land flowing with milk and honey; nature is kind with her, beautiful weather, optimal temperature for diverse ecosystem balance, giving rise to an array of different types of resources, but the inhabitants are like its own natural disasters.

The mindsets of the average African are tailored more towards a set goals for personal aggrandizement, individual accomplishment, self-centeredness, materialism, and slave mentality. This may be part of the reasons for the types of leadership that emerged and the society we have today.

Except for few countries like Ghana, Botswana, Rwanda etcetera; that are fortunate enough to have succeeded by reasons of good leadership, prudent management of resources and electoral system that is relatively credible.

Most of the other African Nations with defective systems, products of poor leadership and fraudulent elections are not doing well at all, in all facets of life. Nigeria example in particular: the citizens are wallowing in hopelessness; oppression, hunger, and violent crimes against humanity. A typical case of systemic failure which originates from failed leadership.

Richard Odusanya

Recent events in Nigeria, specifically, the #EndSARS protest, that resulted in the now famous #LekkiMassacre, which was a peaceful protest for the malfeasance, corruption and brutality of the Armed forces and police in Nigeria. The youths are seeking for a better Nigeria and a decent society where Nobody is unduly; harassed, intimidated, oppressed or killed. It was supposed to be a wake-up call, unfortunately, events of the past few days appear to be in the contrary.

This calamitous regime has completely failed the test of integrity and embarked on dishonesty, subterfuge, subterranean moves to stifled information and continue in its old ways of cruelty and crudely behaviour.

The gladiators and their spine doctors have been playing the game of divide and rule tactics with the minds of gullible citizens, using both religion and tribal sentiment to achieve their selfish motives. 

This further polarised us as a nation, the method was really working for them, until the past few days after the series of violent crimes, kidnapping/killings, including that of a first class traditional ruler (Olufon of Iron) in Ondo State Southwest of Nigeria and the recent brutal massacre, in Zabarmari village of Bornu State in the Northern part of Nigeria.

The elders of the Northern and Southern Nigeria, including socio-cultural organization can now see through the gimmicks and pranks that was designed for the continuous cover up of their misdeeds.

The most recent, is the frivolous and vexatious lawsuit filed by the legal department of the Nigeria police force trying to use judicial gymnastics to stop the judicial panels probing the activities and atrocities of police officers brutality across the states to unravel the rot and brutality of police officers. 

The Inspector General of police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu and the management team in a clever somersault, considering the backlash of such misdemeanour and misconduct of agency of the state working at cross purpose with constitutional bodies and among themselves. The 'IGP' and the management team clearly disassociated themselves and claimed unaware as usual, in continuation of unsustainable lies and cover up, that our institutions have degenerated into, as usual there will be no consequences, nobody will resign, or be sanctioned.

Fundamental, for the sake of the African Nations with defective system and in dire need of rescue, we must earnestly begin the process of freedom from despotic governance, poor leadership and lift herself from the morass of POVERTY. The propensity of putting truth on guillotine must be checked, particularly for the seek of building strong institutions. Arise and shine the beautiful continent! Arise from deep slumber Nigeria our beloved country.


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How Ex-NBA President, Usoro Paid N65m To Akwa Ibom Attorney General's Account – EFCC Witness

4 December 2020 - 11:32am

Paul-Usoro, NBA President.

A second prosecution witness at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos State, has said that a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, SAN, paid the sum of N65million into the bank account of Uwemedimo Nwoko, the Attorney- General, Akwa-Ibom State.

The witness, Abdulrahman Arabo, told Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the FHC, Ikoyi that Usoro was first arraigned on December 18, 2018, before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court.


He was later re-arraigned on March 1, 2019, before Justice Aikawa on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.4billion brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

One of the counts reads, "That you, Paul Usoro, SAN, Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune against criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant-General, Akwa Ibom State (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large), sometime in 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of the sum of N1,410,000,000,000.

"Also, the property of the Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act."

Usoro had pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

See Also Corruption Money Laundering: Witness Reveals How Ex-NBA President, Usoro Received N1.1bn From Akwa Ibom Govt 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

At today's sitting, Arabo, an investigator with the EFCC, told the court that Nwoko ignored the EFCC's invitation when he was invited to corroborate the claims of the defendant that the sum of N65million paid into his account was payment for lawyers, who handled the election tribunal matter in court.

According to a statement from the EFCC, when asked by the defence counsel, O.E.B Offiong(SAN), if he could not have called any of the lawyers who received the money from the Attorney General on account of the defendant, Arabo said: "The Attorney-General was the only one we could call because the money went into his account and it was natural to invite him as the sole signatory to the account."

Arabo, during cross-examination, further told the court that though the EFCC had written letters to the Secretary to the State Government of Akwa-Ibom state requesting the release of certain officials, the Attorney-General was, at that time, not included because the need had not arisen.

He added, "However when he was needed, he failed to show up."

Justice Aikawa adjourned the case to January 20 and 21, 2021 for the continuation of trial.

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Nurses, Midwives Begin Indefinite Strike In Delta

4 December 2020 - 11:17am

File Photo

Nurses in Delta State, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, on Friday, commenced an indefinite strike.

A statement by the association said the decision was sequel to the resolutions adopted by the State Executive Council (SEC)-in-session during an emergency meeting held on November 24, 2020.

File Photo
“The move became necessary due to the unwillingness of the Delta State Ministry of Health to meet the association’s demands as contained in the 14-day ultimatum to the Delta State government and other correspondences to the Commissioner of Health on the abuse/violation of the Civil Service Rules and Scheme of Service as it relates to the career progression of nurses and midwives in Delta State,” the statement read in part.

The leadership of NANNM, in their directives to members on the observance of the strike, remarked that “skeletal services will not be provided while the strike lasts” adding that “the strike will not be called off until all the demands are met”.

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Father Seeks Justice For 13-Year-Old Daughter Raped By In-Law In Kano

4 December 2020 - 8:32am

Sani Dankaka, who lives in Kano, says his 13-year-old daughter has been allegedly raped by 40-year-old Hassan Sani who is an in-law.

In an interview with SaharaReporters on Friday, Dankaka explained that Hassan, who married his sister, had repeatedly molested his daughter who was staying with the family at the time.

"My daughter told me that whenever my sister was away from home, Hassan called her and raped her after which he threatened her with a knife and so many other objects that he would kill her and there is nothing anybody would do about it. So, she kept that information to herself, for these past two months," Dankaka said.

He said his daughter revealed her experience after his sister divorced Hassan because of Hassan's indecent character.

He said, "My sister had a child recently but since she has divorced her husband, he calls once in a while to speak with her and sends money. It was during one of such conversations that my daughter asked my sister if it was her stupid husband she was talking to.

"That statement shocked my sister, who asked if there was anything wrong. It was until then that my daughter revealed all that this man had done to her. She couldn't even count the number of times the man had raped her."

He said that Hisbah, Islamic police in Kano, had asked the family to go for forensic tests at the hospital, which would determine the next step.

"When they heard about this case at Hisbah, they said it was a terrible issue. We are presently on our way to Hisbah. They would take her to the hospital," he said.

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Smugglers Abduct Customs Officer, Cart Away Arms In Ogun

4 December 2020 - 6:59am

Suspected smugglers have abducted an officer of the Nigerian Customs Service in Ogun State, while also carting away arms and ammunition.

It was learnt that the armed smugglers on Thursday vandalised one of the patrol vehicles before leaving with the Customs officer identified as CA 1, Taiwo Odeyemi.

According to Daily Trust, the abducted Customs officer was the driver of one of the patrol vans used to trail the smugglers.

The Public Relations Officer, Ogun 1 Command, Hammed Bukoye Oloyede, who confirmed the incident said, "On Thursday, December 3, 2020, at about 12.10 pm, a team of officers from the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Command, while on a routine mobile patrol along Olorunlere village, near Alapoti in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, intercepted some vehicles loaded with bags of foreign parboiled rice.

The PRO said the suspected smugglers, on sighting the patrol team, attempted to evade arrest and eventually started shooting sporadically at the officers. 

He added that this later resulted in a serious exchange of fire between the two sides.

Oloyede said consequently, the patrol team called for reinforcement, but before the intervention from other units, the officers were overwhelmed due to the number of the smugglers. 

"In the ensuing commotion, the team tactically withdrew to enable the arrival of the reinforcements teams.

"On the arrival of the military personnel and other units of Customs, including the Federal Operations Unit as requested by the CAC, the hoodlums had already vandalised one of the official vehicles attached to the team.

"It was later discovered that an official driver, Odeyemi, was missing and has not been found as at the time of writing this report.

"Investigation is ongoing, and effort is being made along with other security agencies and other critical stakeholders to locate the whereabouts of the missing officer and rescue him alive," he added.

Oloyede further revealed that the NCS strongly warned smugglers and their supporters that the constant attacks leave officers with no other choice than to use reasonable force to deal with this new wave of criminal attacks on personnel performing their statutory functions.

"The command is not deterred by this and will step up its offensives against those whose interest is to make profits at the expense of the nation.

"The NCS has vowed to ensure that those behind this attack face the full wrath of the law and justice," he said.

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Zabaramarians And The Scoundrels! By Gbenro Olajuyigbe

4 December 2020 - 6:37am

Gbenro Olajuyigbe

Dear Zabaramarians,

I might not know your names

But I will not allow anyone to call you what you were not!

Some called you forty three(43)

Other said your names was seventy eight (78)

Mere number, in land of your birth!

Victims of Vipers in Power!

Enemies did not kill you.

Your nation gave you out!

It wasn't the sword of terrorist that slit your throats!

It was the growth of apathy;

the rise of the tribe of the terrible,

who wears silence as garland of honor

and loyalty to evil, as evidence of patriotism.

You were victims of colluding forces

of silent subjects and their wicked king,

whose tender mercy is cruel! –gbenro olajuyigbe

Humanity loathes death, even though it is language of future of every living thing. It becomes scary if it comes brutal. Brutal killing challenges our humanity. It calls to question our sanity as part of mankind. Death culture is spreading and scarier is that it does not shock Nigerians any longer.2020 is a gory year made gorier by vipers in power. The benefit that comes with society is lost. The hope that democracy provides has turned to despair. Voices of wisdom are drowning while cacophony of sycophancy has shattered voices of courage. Ordinary poor people of Zabaramari, where scores of people were brutally and callously murdered were the recent victims in the unending ring of cruel victimization by Boko Haram, Bandits, Kidnappers, and sundry violent criminals that have pushed the frontiers of ungoverned space in Nigeria. Agony has filled the land and the nation is soaked in grief. Until apolitically altruistic intelligent steps are taken to come out with context informed security governance strategy that speaks to inclusion, effective coordination, proper and judicious funding as well as addresses the rapid national disintegration, the journey will remain a torturous long walk on mine.

Gbenro Olajuyigbe
 One of the things I have learned from Lombroso's Criminological theory is that ability to look at someone's skull and recognize if the converging nerves give him or her out as callous cruel criminal personality. Cesare Lombroso was an Italian Criminologist and a Medical Doctor who saw crime as characteristic traits of human nature. He advanced that criminality can be inherited and that revelation of this could be grabbed from physical appearance, particularly defects around the skull. He might not be hundred percent correct as research has thrown up other factors and theories of criminology that are irresistibly convincing. Nevertheless, there may be no reason to waste more words and time on psychopaths who blame victims for their brutal killing if one takes time to look at their skulls. Vendors, hawking 'License to life' in a constitutional democracy and space that impose duty to protect on leaders and state definitely have  traits that qualify them as appropriate specimens in Lombroso’s laboratory! Equally uncharitable was the statement of a Minister that continue to shamelessly insisting on the defeat of Boko Haram despite tragic contrary evidence. The same character also despicably describing the attack on the rural farmers of Zabarmari as attack on soft target. What a careless callous statement! The questions are; who and what made them soft target? Isn't that an admission of existence of ungoverned spaces in Nigeria? Could that be a testimony to a government that is responsibly in control by any stretch of responsibility? Imagine the tragic narrative of empowered by laws and duties to generate protective impact and secure spaces within a geography stock- taking its own failure to protect and defend unintelligently with self- indictment. There is obvious collapse of intelligence and wisdom among the chips and chaps in this government that continue to lies and falsehood as governance tactics. Indeed, the seal of beast is on the callous monsters that mourn the massacre of vulnerable with non-issuance of military license within democratic and constitutional license of life and movement! That happens only in bloody regime of jaded jackals! I don't easily connect with those who are timid and fearful, those who are apathetic to human suffering and those who profit from collective agony because I know that future does not belong to them. Powerful tide of grief is blowing across a country governed by a bizarre King that have broken all records of imbecility, won all awards on incompetence and scored all goals of tragic governance with deliberate affliction of his people. There is no substitute for competent, just and effective leader with strength of character in affairs of any nation; leaders whose words and deeds unite people and drive them toward profitable future. The unfolding crises in our country and the ways they are responded to and managed are reflection of her ‘leaders’. Leaders heal wounds; they halt crises and protect their people from harm. They keep the gates of their nation and defend the territorial integrity of their land. The basic features of civilization have evaporated in a nation where a set of outlaw wakes up to play death- game, determining how many people will die, where and how they are going to die without any resistance from those with statutory responsibility to protect!

Aside from the critical situations in all the zones in the North, Ondo, Edo, Cross Rivers, Rivers among others have also become the new fire zones while we are still dipping security in oil of politics! 

While we should be seen to be responding from all angles, particularly addressing issues of our large youthful population by prioritizing human capital development, employment as well as supporting innovation and talents, we are busy throwing scarce resources at symptoms while Boko Haram continue to harvest recruits from the expanding pool of out of school and unemployed population of  youths. We irrationally and backwardly continue to project Microbiology graduate as a successful Akara seller, worthy of emulation by our youths while her mates elsewhere are in laboratories seeking breakthrough in vaccine production, forgetting that man shall not live by bread alone. Education is to advance the cause of humanity, make its subject self-fulfilled by supporting his or her self-actualization; not to merely quench individual's hunger.  We should build conducive environment for our youths to fly and stop ancient retrogressive motivation that tend to project fatalism as an enduring philosophy of life! We may wonder as much as we can on how we got here, but then, every human tragedy starts with a wrong foot. Nations do not become terrorized in a day. It starts with exclusion, with injustices and with state backed liberty of lawlessness that emboldened people to become law unto themselves, creating government inside government and country inside country! When did we sink into nadir of internecine religiosity, that people now exclusively claim ownership of patent license for days of week? So Kano owns Friday that its Hisbah, a religious police in a secular state has audacity to warn a Radio Station to desist from saying Black Friday? This early warning of combustible bigotry must be heeded. The fire must be quenched before it consumes all without further notification. That’s how climate of terror grow! Under climate of inspired anarchy and state of inconceivable anomie, I pity those who further unleash on themselves the tragedy of silence; even when all evidence point to direction of imminent long and final night of silence, if hands are not stretched long, wide and early enough while soul of our nation can still be rescued from a sinking ship. I don't understand the eternal idiocy of talking about sponsors of violence in a country that have legitimate government. I have responded to Disaster in the last two decades. None is as bad as irresponsible government. Worse if it's democracy; it comes with rope for you to hang yourself! Fright not! Fight! A government that blames even the dead for its glaring incompetence is already dead! The living must never lean on it! Response to Zabarmari massacre is reflective of what is going on in all spheres of governance, worse in economy sphere, where tragiconomic self-defeating policies have become the drivers of recession, a  Nigeria’s historic nemesis! Value of Naira is falling, prices of basic necessities are rising, there is running inflation that disposable income cannot catch up with. Hardship and chronic suffering are affliction that Nigerians have to endure; when not killed by bandits, you are marooned by inclement economy that spins blood out of its victims. Nations require a certain level of quality and compassionate leadership in driving people out of ditch. The tribe of informed elites has shrunk in Nigeria’s governing cycle. We have government that exist for nothing outside self-aggrandizement. The people are equally timidly docile, yet, the scoundrels, drenched in their gluttonous infamy, in their cruelest form, spit on them the same way they spat on Zabaramarian's graves!

Gbenro Olajuyigbe is the Executive Director of Emergency & Risk Alert Initiative.

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Kaduna Correctional Centre Sets ‘Dangerous’ Conditions For Inmates To Be Visited – Lawyer

4 December 2020 - 6:24am

File Photo/: Prison

The Kaduna Correctional Centre has operationalised a new set of conditions for client inmates in the facility to be accessed, with the rules described by lawyers as obnoxious, stressful and dangerous.

The authorities of the Kaduna centre recently set out eight conditions that must be met as the minimum requirements for lawyers seeking interviews with client inmates in its centre.

File Photo/: Prison

An Assistant Superintendent Controller of the Kaduna centre, Abubakar Zain, in a letter of notice, posted to the lawyers’ platform and dated November 11, 2020, stated that henceforth, a valid, sealed and signed written application by the legal practitioners should be addressed to the Deputy Controller, Medium Security Custodial of the Kaduna centre, before visitation.

The notice also stated that applications should be forwarded at least 24 hours before the visitation, and shall only be granted in respect of one case, regardless of the number of inmates answering the case.

The new rule also noted that a lawyer, wishing to interview more than one client, should apply separately for each, except casemates, adding that the above requirements must be complied with, and COVID-19 guidelines observed, for a successful interview.

But reacting to the notice in a protest letter addressed to the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, a legal practitioner, Obiyo Ugoamadi, of O.R Ugo Amadi and Company, Kaduna, described the conditions as obnoxious.

In the petition letter, dated November 25, Ugoamadi stated that the conditions imply that lawyers would wait for about three days or more before being attended to.


He said this was expensive and discouraging for outside jurisdiction lawyers from Kano, Plateau and places as far as Lagos State.

According to him, some of the conditions are a display of “crass and ignorant administration of justice. It is against the relevant provision of Evidence Act, Cap, E. 14.”

Ugoamadi said, “The officer, who posted the notice, has never observed or conducted a criminal trial from arrangements to judgment. The centre is abolishing pre-trial briefing as the counsel could no longer dash to centre to brief the inmates of their case the next day.”  

While he described the action as an insult and demeaning to lawyers visiting the centre, Ugoamadi added that the notice reflected the “empty ego of officers at the centre.”

He said, “The correctional centre does not state what it stands to lose in terms of these conditions. It does not know whether the conditions are obtained nationwide or internationally.” 

The lawyer also described the process and hurdles to accessing the centre as disparaging and demeaning to lawyers, who intend to render services to their client inmates at the centre.

He said, “Out of the eight conditions, numbers 4 to 6 are subtle denial of lawyers the access to the centre and denial of inmates of their right to access their counsel as provided by Section 36 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”  

The petitioner lamented that the barriers set by the centre would constitute a great impediment to the smooth administration of justice, saying the authorities of the Kaduna centre should come out clear and tell Nigeria that lawyers should stop coming to the centre.

“Any Nigerian taken to the centre should forget about his or her right to counsel,” he added.

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India Police Arrest Three Nigerians With 220 Cocaine Grammes Worth Over $29,000

4 December 2020 - 5:30am

The Mumbai Police Special Squad in India on Thursday, December 3, busted a drug peddling syndicate and arrested three Nigerian nationals in the Malad and Royal Palm areas of the town.

The Nigerians were found with 220 grammes of cocaine worth over Rs 22 lakhs ($29,833.32).

They were arrested by the Special Squad of Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone XI along with the Bangur Nagar police.

According to an official, the police, while acting on a tip-off, laid a trap at Link Road in Malad and first apprehended 38-year-old Uche James after he arrived to deliver the contraband on Wednesday, December 2.

Upon search, 10.14-gramme cocaine was recovered from him. He was produced in court and remanded in police custody till December 7.

Later, the police team on Thursday, December 3, brought Uche to Royal Palms in Aarey Colony Goregaon and based on information he had provided, a trap was laid to arrest his accomplices.

Two other Nigerians identified as Emeka Cyprian and Chukwu Joseph were nabbed at the spot. Two hundred ten grammes of cocaine were seized from both of them. 

The police recovered a total of over 200 grammes of cocaine were recovered from the trio, who were booked under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the official added.

Officials from the special squad said the arrest could lead them to other peddlers and help bust the cocaine peddling ring being run in suburban Mumbai. 

Nigerians have been lately notorious for drug smuggling to the Asian country.

On November 6, the police still arrested four Nigerians for alleged possession of the banned substance, 747-grammes cocaine, which is reportedly worth Rs1.49 crore.

A crore in India means ten million. This implies that the substance is worth Rs10.49 million. Using the Google exchange calculator, the amount is N54,192,745.32 (over N54 million) in the Nigerian equivalent.

The accused were reportedly arrested in Nala Sopara, a town in India, while the banned substance had been seized from them. According to an Indian newspaper, a case has been registered against them in line with relevant sections of India's Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act at Tulinj police station.

The menace is not only in India.

In another related incident earlier in the year, two Nigerian students were arrested for peddling drugs in Cyprus. According to reports, the duo, Onuwa Kachıkwu and Uduak Emmanuel, were arrested on May 6, 2020, and charged with receiving, selling and storing illicit drugs.

It is reported that a total of 17 grammes of wrapped drugs was retrieved from the students, one of whom was a lady (Uduak) who was said to have sold the drugs to the Department of Narcotics and Anti-Smuggling in Cyprus.

Murat Özkırdar, the police officer who busted them, had also discovered $3750 (N1.4milliom), €400 (N171, 140), and £50 (N24,192), and 1100 TL in a shoebox in their room. The money is believed to be proceeds of illicit drugs sales. 

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Money Laundering: Witness Reveals How Ex-NBA President, Usoro Received N1.1bn From Akwa Ibom Govt

4 December 2020 - 5:09am

The second prosecution witness, Abdulrahman Arabo, in the ongoing trial of Paul Usoro (SAN), a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, for alleged N1.4bn fraud, on Wednesday, told Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how the defendant received a sum of N1.1bn from the Akwa-Ibom State government.

Usoro was first arraigned on December 18, 2018, before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court.

He was later re-arraigned on March 1, 2019, on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.4bn.

This was contained in a statement by the spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren.

One of the counts reads: "That you, Paul Usoro, SAN, Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune against criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant-General, Akwa Ibom State (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large), sometime in 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of the sum of N1. 410, 000, 000, 000.00 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ten Million Naira), the property of the Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act."

He pleaded "not guilty" to the charge preferred against him.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, U.U. Buhari, at resumed sitting on Friday, Arabo, an investigator with the EFCC, told the court that the defendant failed to link the money found in his account to the cases he claimed to be handling in courts.

When asked by the defence counsel, O.E.B Effiong SAN, if he received any letter from the defendant that was addressed to the chairman of the EFCC stating the details of the job he did for the Akwa-Ibom State government and the payment received, Arabo answered in the affirmative.

Arabo, during cross-examination by the defence, also revealed that "there was an allegation that the defendant was laundering money for the Akwa-Ibom State government, and the evidence showed that he received about N1.1bn between 2015 and 2016 from the state government."

Arabo, however, denied holding the defendant till the wee hours of the night of June 4, 2020, during his first visit to the EFCC office in Abuja.

He said the delay experienced by the defendant on the said day was because he had been given a bail condition to meet and his international passport was to be brought to him at the EFCC office in Abuja from Lagos.


Justice Aikawa adjourned the matter to December 4, 2020, for the continuation of trial.

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Police Restrict Movement In Five Lagos LGAs As Senatorial By-Election Holds Tomorrow

4 December 2020 - 4:01am

Hakeem Odumosu

The Lagos State police command has restricted movement in Somolu, Kosofe, Epe, Ikorodu, and Ibeju-Lekki local government areas in Lagos State due to the Lagos-East by-election which will hold on Saturday.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said in a tweet that the restriction would be from 6 am to 6 pm.

Hakeem Odumosu

The tweet read, “Lagos-East senatorial election, no movement between 6 am and 6 pm on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Comply please.”

Candidates from 12 political parties will be contesting in the Lagos East Senatorial by-elections while eight candidates will be contesting the Kosofe Constituency II, Lagos State House of Assembly by-elections.

The contestants for the senatorial election are Muyiwa Adebanjo, Action Alliance; Ms Mercy Adeoye, African Action Congress, and John Kome, African Democratic Congress.

Others are Adebowale Ogunlaru, Action Democratic Party; Adetokunbo Abiru, All Progressives Congress; Olusola Babatope, Allied Peoples Movement; Mrs Florence Trautman, Labour Party; and Ms Adijat Lawal, New Nigeria Peoples Party.

They also include Babatunde Gbadamosi, Peoples Democratic Party; Akin Olukunle, National Rescue Movement; Saheed Aluko, Social Democratic Party and Taiwo Temitope, Young Progressive Party.

The eight contestants for the Kosofe Constituency II by-election are John Akerele, AA; Sadiq Olawale, AAC; Wasiu Saheed, APC; Adekunle Oladapo, LP; Muyideen Agoro, NNPP; Ademorin Adelaja, NRM; Sikiru Alebiosu, PDP and Mrs Mary Abojeh, ADC.

The two by-elections, slated for December 5, became necessary following the demise of the former occupants who were members of APC.

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