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Court Dismisses Kalu’s Motion To Adjourn N4.6bn Fraud Trial

22 July 2019 - 8:09am


Kalu with his lawyer at Federal High Court, Lagos

Kalu with his lawyer at Federal High Court, Lagos SaharaReporters Media

The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos has dismissed the motion for an adjournment made by Orji Uzor Kalu, the senator representing Abia North senatorial district, to enable him to attend to election petition tribunal.

Kalu alongside Ude Udeogo, his former Commissioner for Finance, and Slok Nigeria Limited are answering charges bordering on money laundering and embezzlement preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The trial on Monday was scheduled for the senator to opened his defence on the allegation of money laundering and embezzlement.

However, when the trial commenced, the senator asked the court for an adjournment which was opposed by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the prosecuting counsel.

Justice Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge, ruled in support of the prosecution and asked Kalu to open his defence as that was the stipulated business of the day.

Kalu took the witness stand and gave testimony on his credentials before becoming a lawmaker. He was led in evidence by his lawyer, Awal Kalu (SAN).

Thereafter, Kalu’s counsel repeated his motion for an adjournment to enable him properly give evidence in his defence.

This time, the trial judge granted the motion but insisted that the trial would continue on a day-to-day basis until it is concluded.

Recall that Justice Idris was elevated to the Court of Appeal in June 2018, but was given a fiat to sit on the case until its conclusion. See Also CRIME Court Issues Fiat To Nigerian Judge To Hear Senator Orji Kalu's Criminal Trial 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

The first fiat was granted at the instance of Kalu’s Lawyer, who activated Section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, to prevent the case from being transferred to another judge. However, the fiat expired in November 2018.

A copy of a fresh fiat was issued for the trial to continue on a day-to-day basis from July 22, 2019, until the trial is concluded.

On July 31, 2018, Justice Idris dismissed the ‘no-case submissions’ made by Kalu and the other defendants and ordered them to open their defence.

But rather than open their defence, Kalu sought a six-week adjournment to embark on a trip to Germany to have surgery for an undisclosed ailment.

The defendants later challenged the jurisdiction of the judge in hearing the case, arguing that he was no longer a judge of the high court.

They also filed an application seeking a stay of proceedings pending the outcome of their appeals. Justice Idris dismissed both.

Subsequently, when Kanu did not make himself available for his trial, Justice Idris revoked his bail. The judge also ordered him to submit himself to the EFCC within 24 hours of his return to the country. See Also CRIME Court Revokes Orji Kalu's Bail 0 Comments 8 Months Ago

On January 23, 2019, when the case last came up in court, the prosecutor complained about Kalu’s repeated absence from court, alleging that the former governor, then a senator-elect was taking the court for a ride. The EFCC's lawyer also noted that despite the court’s order, Kanu did not turn himself in, as directed by the court.

But in response, Justice Idris said he could not proceed with the case as the fiat given to him by the Appeal Court President had expired in November 2018.

The trial has now been adjourned to August 26, 2019, for the commencement of a day-to-day trial.
 

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Rejects APC's Request To Review Zamfara Judgment

22 July 2019 - 7:55am


The Supreme Court of Nigeria

The Supreme Court of Nigeria Sahara Reporters Media

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for it to review its last judgment in which it voided the participation of its candidates in the last elections in Zamfara State.

A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, in a ruling early on Monday, struck out the application marked: SC/377/2019 filed by the APC, seeking a review of the judgment.

The court rejected an effort by the counsel to the APC, Robert Clarke (SAN), to take a second look at the decision given earlier this year.

More to come...
 

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Nigerians Knock Desmond Elliot For Seeking Ban Of Foreign Movies In Nigeria

22 July 2019 - 7:31am






Nigerian actor and Lagos State lawmaker, Desmond Elliot, has come under fire for his call on the Nigerian government to ban foreign movies.  

In an interview with Nigerian entertainment channel, HipTV, Desmond who is representing Surulere Constituency at the Lagos State House of Assembly, said the Nigerian government needed to create an environment that would help the Nigerian film industry thrive.

Referring to the recent ban on importation of rice by the Nigerian government, Desmond advised that all foreign contents be banned after which the Nigerian government can now refocus its attention on locally produced content.

The lawmaker said, “First they need to create an enabling environment for this industry to thrive. Secondly, they need to consciously, intentionally focus on building the industry. Treat it like you’re importing rice.

Okay, you know, so you ban all foreign content. You know, make it difficult for foreign content to come in, so your local content can grow.”

Desmond Elliot’s comment on the Nigerian movie industry has generated a lot of reactions on social media as movie enthusiasts have berated him for calling for the ban of foreign movies. 

A Twitter user, Holuwafemi, described Elliot's advise as nonsense. He wrote, “Please stop talking nonsense. Signed: Concerned Nigerians.” 

Another Twitter user, Raphael Christopher, in his Tweet wrote, “Desmond Elliot was using a foreign accent to advocate the banning of foreign content lol. No, be the foreign content teach you the accent you dey use.” 

Another Twitter user, Ruccified questioned if the lawmaker considered his opinion before he spoke. His tweet read, “In honesty, Desmond Elliot's viewpoint is limp. I only wonder if he'd thought about his point before the flashy lights and cameras? Also, considering the fact if this worked vice-versa, who would suffer it more? Well, man is in politics now. Perhaps, he cares less. Just saying.” 

Ayo Bankole, in his tweet, was rather more concerned with lawmaker's accent than the content of his speech. His tweet read, “I argued that it is impossible for Desmond Elliot to say BS till I saw it. Banning foreign content in entertainment? To treat it like rice?? And why is that fake accent sounding like Pinky in Pinky& the Brain? Did India ban to grow Bollywood? Did we ban to export Wizkid?” 

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Kenya's Finance Minister Arrested For Corruption In Awarding Contract

22 July 2019 - 6:59am


Henry Rotich, Kenya's Finance Minister

Henry Rotich, Kenya's Finance Minister

Henry Rotich, Kenya's Finance Minister, has been arrested after surrendering himself to the police after the chief prosecutor ordered his arrest over allegations of corruption.

The BBC reports that Rotich is accused of flouting procurement procedures in awarding a contract worth over $450m (£405m) for the construction of two dams to the Italian company CMC de Ravenna.

In March Rotich denied any wrongdoing in a large newspaper advert.

The company has also denied the accusations.

Director of public prosecutions Noordin Haji is also investigating how the tender was awarded for $170m more than was in the original contract.

"It was established that the conception, procurement, and payment process for the dam projects were riddled with massive illegalities," he said.

He has ordered the arrest of more than 20 other people accused of being involved in the contract, including other top officials and the directors of CMC de Ravenna.

Earlier this year, local media reported that files from the investigation revealed purchases that didn't appear to make sense for a dam construction project, including at least $38,000 that had allegedly been spent on bedding.
 

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BREAKING: Again, Court Adjourns Senator Elisha Abbo Sex Toy Shop Assault Case

22 July 2019 - 6:17am


Senator Elisha Abbo in court

Senator Elisha Abbo in court

A magistrate court sitting in Zuba, Abuja, has directed the Nigerian police to make available all the evidence to be used in the trial of Senator Elisha Abbo on 20 August 2019 for the commencement of the trial.

The presiding magistrate, Abdullahi Ilellah, gave the order on Monday at the resumed hearing of the case.

He said he would not entertain any application for adjournment, urging the prosecution to speed up the investigation and serve the defendant all necessary materials.

The prosecution counsel, James Idachaba, applied for an adjournment of the matter in order to comply with the provision of section 350 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015. 

He argued that they needed more time to conclude investigations on the proof of evidence in which they will rely on to prosecute the case. 

He added that forensic analysis has to be conducted on the CCTV video evidence in line with evidence act. He said that they are being careful not to run foul of the law.

In his own submission the defence counsel, Adegbite Adeniyi noted that they were entitled to see the material evidence before the trial, adding that it will enable them to prepare for their defence. 

The matter was adjourned until 20 August to begin the trial.

Abbo was arraigned on July 8 on a two-count charge which bordered on assault of a nursing woman at a sex toy shop in Abuja.

The offence which is punishable under section 263 and 264 of penal code law.

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BREAKING: Many Injured As Police Clash With Shiites in Abuja, ChannelsTV Reporter Shot

22 July 2019 - 6:05am


Many people were injured in a violent clash between the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shiite, and the police on Monday.

SaharaReporters can confirm that a journalist with Channels TV was among the casualties as he was shot and rushed to the hospital.

The group clashed with the police at the federal secretariat during a protest to compel the Federal Government to release it’s their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

The protest, which began from NITEL junction at Wuse 2, was disrupted by armed policemen who had cordoned off the road leading to the National Assembly and three arms zone.

Those injured were looking lifeless when our correspondent visited the scene on Monday.

Live ammunition was fired at the protesters as they advanced toward the Eagle Square leading to commotion and pandemonium in the area. 
 

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Nigerian Army Quizzes General Over Missing N400 Million In Botched VIP Escort

22 July 2019 - 1:49am


Major General Hakeem Oladapo Otiki (left)

Major General Hakeem Oladapo Otiki (left)

The Nigerian Army has commenced investigations on the alleged stealing of N400 million by some soldiers in the 8 Division, Sokoto State.

The military authorities had quizzed Hakeem Otiki, a major general and former general officer commanding of the division, who ordered five soldiers to escort the money. 

Five soldiers were instructed to escort the money from Sokoto to deliver it to a very important personality in Kaduna, in the first week of July.

Apart from the quizzing, the former GOC was said to be under close watch and would be brought to Abuja after he was cross-examined by the Directorate of Military Intelligence, the Special Intelligence Bureau and the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police.

The army’s spokesman in 8 Division, Lieutenant Audu Arigu, confirmed the incident, saying investigations have commenced. 

He identified the runaway soldiers as Corporal Gabriel Oluwaniyi, Corporal Mohammed Aminu, Corporal Haruna, Oluji Joshua and Hayatudeen.

Army source who spoke with PUNCH said the runaway soldiers turned in their rifles and abandoned their mobile phones at the infantry corps in Jaji, Kaduna state before they escaped.

One of them said, “Investigations so far show that this is not the first time the escort soldiers have transported such a huge amount of money for the officer. The soldiers all left their mobile phones in the vehicle, which has made their tracking difficult.

“The former GOC is being quizzed. He will be in Sokoto State for now where he is expected to properly hand over to the new GOC and then he will be brought to Abuja for further investigation.”

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Miyetti Allah: Cattle Rearing A Venture But Herdsmen Need Ease Of Doing Business

22 July 2019 - 1:42am


Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, President of the Miyetti Allah Association, addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.

Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Fulani socio-cultural association, has accused the Nigerian government of insensitivity to the plight of Fulani herdsmen in the country, adding that ease of doing business principles and practices should apply to the herders.

Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, the President of the association, while speaking at an event in Bauchi.

He said: “The Nigerian government has been insensitive to the plight of Fulani herdsmen across the country, despite contributing immensely to the nation’s economy through their business.

“Let the federal government bring back the grazing reserves across the country. We have national and international cattle routes across the country, which have been taken away by modern roads. These are the rights of Fulani as citizens. I agree that cattle-rearing is a personal business, but governments must look for ways of easing business for these herders.

“If government can disburse billions of naira as loans to petty traders, who do personal businesses across the country, then they (governments) should also look at what they can do to help Fulani herders in their cattle-rearing business. It is a business that government at all levels must support them to do at ease.”

He also condemned the labelling of the Fulani herdsmen as criminals.

He alleged that the name-calling was being instigated by some politicians and enemies of the Fulani to blackmail the ethnic nationality and cause unnecessary confusion.

Bodejo, said all forms of criminal activities, such as kidnapping and armed robbery shown on social media were designed to paint the Fulani in a bad light.

The association president noted that the incessant farmers and herders clashes were politicised, saying the misunderstandings between the two groups were age-long.

According to him, they have traditional ways of resolving the issues.

He said: “You will see someone taking pictures from accident scenes and before you know, he would post them on social media, claiming Fulani herdsmen are responsible for the killings. It’s unfortunate.”

Bodejo said herders do not bear arms of any kind except the traditional sticks they have been known for.

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15,193 Nigerians On 31 Flights Head For Pilgrimage In Saudi Arabia

22 July 2019 - 1:30am


Not less than 31 flights have conveyed Nigerian Muslims to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage.

At least 15,193 Nigerians departed from the FCT, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Gombe, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Kogi, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Lagos states, according to a Daily Trust report.

Meanwhile, more Nigerian pilgrims, especially from Lagos, left Madinah for Makkah on Sunday to observe Umrah before the obligatory Hajj.

Hajj is one of the important pillars of Islam for those who have financial and physical capacities.

The Chief Imam of Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Alhassan Yaqub, advised Nigerian pilgrims to honour Madinah, the city of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by relating with one another with decorum. 

Yaqub, who is one of National Ulama Team to 2019 Hajj, gave the advice yesterday during a brief orientation session with pilgrims from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. 

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Dakolo House Invasion: Nigeria Police Impunity Has Reached New Low, Says Amnesty International

22 July 2019 - 12:45am


Amnesty International, a global human rights organisation, says the attempt by the Nigeria Police Force to intimidate and harass the Dakolos is showing a disturbing trend on how victims of sexual assault are treated in the country.

The human right organisation said this via its Twitter handle on  Saturday. 

Armed policemen had stormed the residence of Dakolos on Saturday to take them to the police headquarters in Abuja.

Following a public outcry, the police later said the visit was to invite Busola Dakolo for an investigation of matters of criminal conspiracy, falsehood, mischief and threat to life. See Also Breaking News UPDATE: Policemen Ask Busola Dakolo To Recant Confession Against Fatoyinbo By Signing Document 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Busola had accused Biodun Fatoyinbo, the founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, commonly (COZA) of raping her when she was a teenager.

Fatoyinbo repeatedly denied all the allegations.

Reacting to the police invasion of the Dakolos house, the Nigerian chapter of Amnesty International said intimidating victims of sexual abuse with the use of the police was a new low in the country’s cases of impunity. See Also Sahara Reporters Busola, Timi Dakolo Given Letter Of Invitation, Not Arrest Warrant -Inspector-General Of Police 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“Attempts to intimidate and harass Timi and Busola Dakolo by the Nigeria Police show a disturbing pattern of how authorities respond to allegations of sexual abuse. In February, armed SARS officers arrested Maryam Awaisu of #ArewaMeToo in Kaduna and dragged her to Abuja, at the instance of a person widely accused of rape and sexual abuse.

“For too long, Nigeria’s women have been facing various kinds of sexual violence that seldom receives proper attention from the country’s law enforcement agencies. It is unacceptable that women seeking justice end up intimidated by Nigeria Police.

“It is unacceptable that women seeking justice for sexual abuse are subjected to arrest and intimidation by a unit of police whose remit is armed robbery. We fear that these actions may prevent victims of sexual violence from pursuing justice. See Also Sahara Reporters 'Be Happy A Man Of God Disvirgined You', Busola Dakolo, Wife of Timi Dakolo, Narrates How Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo Raped Her 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

“In the face of rising sexual abuse of women and girls across Nigeria, for how long will women be continuously subjected to intimidation and forced silence in the face of injustice? When will the injustice end?

“This pattern of Nigerian police dispatching anti-robbery squads to pick up victims of sexual abuse who refused to be silent is unacceptable.”

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Enough Of Impunity, APC Tells Edo, Bauchi Governors Over Assembly Crisis

21 July 2019 - 10:18pm


The All Progressives Congress (APC) is in support of the decision taken by the National Assembly to resolve the crisis in Edo and Bauchi State Houses of Assembly.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu, stated this while addressing a news conference on Sunday in Abuja.

”There was supposed to be a proper proclamation of the House of Assembly in Bauchi and Edo and in both cases, what happened has fallen short of the expectation.”

“So, do the right thing. You can deal with whoever you think is your problem; that is a different issue.

“Our only concern here is wherever – Edo, Bauchi, anywhere else, rule of law must guide whatever we do. Enough of impunity in the country, and we will not take it,” he added.

The APC spokesman said the party has demanded that the governors of Edo and Bauchi states obey the rule of law by ensuring that their State Houses of Assembly were properly inaugurated.

He insisted that the National Assembly was constitutionally empowered to take over the functions of any State House of Assembly found not capable of performing its functions.

Issa-Onilu explained that the APC aligned itself with the position of the federal lawmakers, stressing that their intervention in the crisis was in line with the constitution, Channels TV reports.

He said, “What should happen is the National Assembly is clearly empowered in a situation where it is clear that a particular House of Assembly is incapable of conducting its business.

“The law is clear on what should be done and we are glad to know that the respective chambers are already doing what they need to do.”

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Abacha Loot: Expert Suggests Strategies To Fully Recover Stolen Funds

21 July 2019 - 10:16pm


Mr Nicholas Hildyard, an expert on asset recovery, has advised the Nigerian government to be resolute in its quest to recover stolen money by politicians stashed in foreign bank accounts.

Hildyard, co-director, The Corner House, a global anti-corruption group, said this when he spoke at a conference on asset recovery organised by Human and Environment Development Agenda, (HEDA) in Abuja.

He said the stolen funds were usually not fully recovered and usually involved associated high cost leading to diminishing returns to the benefit of most Western countries who are the recipient of such sleaze funds.

He cited the case of funds stolen by the former dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, regretting that it had taken Nigeria over twenty years – and millions in legal fees - for just a small proportion of $5billion or more looted by Abacha to be returned.  He said even where funds had been frozen and recovered, some Western nations insisted on taking their share.

Citing geopolitical realities, Hildyard said Nigeria could request the US and UK  for the hundreds of billions of looted dollars held in the West to be returned “but nothing, nada, zilch will come home without a fight.”

Hildyard said, “Will Nigeria get the full $267 million recovered from a bank account in Jersey? Not a bit of it. The monies will be shared with Jersey (which hid the money) and the US (which had a role in the recovery), and what is returned comes with conditions on how it can be spent.

“Of course, it would be a very different matter if the boot had been on the other foot. If American politician looted billions of dollars from the US treasury and salted away the proceeds in Nigerian banks, it is inconceivable that the US would have waited for over 20 years for just a small proportion of that looted money to be returned.

“The US would have mobilised every means at its disposal to force the speedy, unilateral, voluntary return of the funds. Sanctions would have been imposed. Visa bans executed. Pariah state status promulgated. You would probably even have had the sixth fleet weighing anchor off Lagos. And do you think for a moment that the US would have accepted Nigeria imposing conditions on the return of the funds? Of course not. On the contrary, conditions would instead have been imposed by the US on Nigeria’s banking system.”

He condemned the geopolitics and the gross imbalances of bargaining power that imperialism continues to create, saying they are just one of the obstacles that Nigeria faces in reclaiming what is rightfully hers.

He bemoaned the regulations in western countries that are supposed to prevent money laundering and enable the recoveries of funds are simply not fit for purpose. 

He said though an estimated £36 billion to £90 billion in dirty money is said to be laundered through London every year, the number of banks convicted of money laundering in the last decade can be counted on one hand.

He added, “No senior bank executive has been jailed or prosecuted, unlike in some other jurisdiction, such as Denmark. The fines imposed are a fraction of those imposed in the US – the fine imposed on Coutts was 600 times less than the penalty that was levied by the United States on BNP Paribas. The UK government and the Financial Services Authority—now the FCA—successfully lobbied the US not to prosecute HSBC for money laundering.

“While the US has a better record for prosecutions, it also has a record of ensuring that the penalties amount to little more than a slap on the wrist.

“Neither HSBC nor BNP Paribas was barred from the American financial system following their convictions for money laundering. On the contrary, the prosecutors reportedly worked hard to limit the damage from the BNP Paribas guilty plea so that it could continue to function as a global bank. Despite promises to tighten up the system, little has been done.”

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Rats Ate Baby's Ear At Anambra Hospital –Police

21 July 2019 - 9:57pm


Pests.org

A police report has cleared the mystery surrounding a baby’s missing ear at the Victory Children’s Hospital, Onitsha, Anambra State.

The report, which was sighted by PUNCH on Sunday, exonerated the hospital and its workers from blame.

The parents of the baby had in 2015, when the incident happened, accused the hospital management and staff of chopping off their child’s ear for ritual purposes.

This resulted in a series of arrests of the hospital staffs.

But the report by the office of the Inspector-General of Police stated that rats actually ate the baby’s ear at the hospital.

The report read in part, “This deals with a case of alleged mutilation of a newborn baby girl’s ear reported to the Inspector-General of Police by Mr. Solomon Igwe against Dr. Oliver Umeh, the owner, and staff of the Victory Children’s Hospital, Onitsha.

“On July 30, 2015, around 7.30am, Solomon Igwe, upon unwrapping the corpse, discovered that the right ear of the baby had been severed from the body.

“He reported to the Central Police Station, Onitsha, where he accused Dr. Oliver Umeh as being responsible for the missing ear.

“While the investigation was ongoing, Dr. Oliver Nnamdi felt dissatisfied with the police arrest and detention, and from one level of investigation to another as he was neither at the hospital during the admission/treatment and the death of the said baby hence, he petitioned the Inspector-General of Police.

“The said petition was subsequently forwarded to the Commissioner of Police, Homicide Section, for harmonization and consolidation. While the investigation was ongoing, the parents made a demand for the sum of N10m for Dr. Oliver Umeh to be vindicated, but he sensed a foul play and an attempt to extort and blackmail him using the then investigating team.

“Consequently, he wrote a counter-petition to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, urging the transfer of the case to Abuja for an unbiased investigation.

“In the course of the investigation, statements of parties to the case were recorded and the scene of the crime was visited. Detectives also viewed the corpse of the deceased baby. An autopsy was conducted on the remains of the deceased baby, but the parents contested the outcome."

The report added that police investigation revealed that the parents capitalized on the discovered severed ear and became suspicious of the cause of death.

It further stated that both the first and second post-mortem examinations conducted on the insistence of the father of the deceased baby revealed that the ear was apparently removed by rodents, hence the serrated edges of the defect left behind. Histology also shows that the defect arose after death.

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NNPC Records N6.33 Billion Trade Surplus In May -Report

21 July 2019 - 9:51pm


NNPC station in Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it recorded a trade surplus of N6.33 billion for the month of May, 13 percent higher than the N5.60 billion surplus made in April.

The corporation disclosed this in its Monthly and Operations report (MFOR) released on Sunday in Abuja

It attributed the rise to the increase in gas and power output and surplus recorded by the corporation’s downstream entities like NNPC Retail, Petroleum Products Marketing Company(PPMC), Nigerian Pipelines Security Company(NPSC) and Duke Oil.

The report further indicated that within the period, the NNPC recorded a total of 580.32 million dollars in the export sale of crude oil and gas which is 23.39 percent higher than the previous month’s figure.

"Out of this number, crude oil export sales contributed 458.59 million dollars which translates to 79.02 percent of the entire dollar transactions compared with 342.11 million dollars contributed in the month of May,” it said

It also showed that between May 2018 and May 2019, crude oil and gas worth 5.97 billion dollars were exported.

On the downstream, the report noted that for the corporation to ensure uninterrupted supply and effective distribution of petrol across the country, a total of 2.06 billion litres of petrol translating to 66.49mn liters/day were supplied for the month of May.

It noted that beyond supply, the corporation continued to monitor the daily stock of petrol to achieve smooth distribution of petroleum products and zero fuel queue across the nation.

“Within the period, a total of 60 pipeline points were vandalized which represents a 52 percent decrease from the 125 points vandalized in April.

“The Atlas Cove-Mosimi and Ibadan-Ilorin pipelines accounted for 38 percent and 23 percent respectively and other locations accounted for the remaining 39 percent of the total breaks,” the report said.

The report attributed the improvement to the spirited efforts by NNPC in collaboration with the local communities and other stakeholders to continuously strive to reduce and eventually eliminate this menace.

The May 2019 NNPC MFOR is the 46th in the series, designed to provide greater transparency and remove the perception of opacity associated with the operations of the national oil company, News Agency of Nigeria reports.

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I Don't Believe Trump Is Racist, Says Ben Carson

21 July 2019 - 9:49pm


The growing feud between President Donald Trump and a group of four Democratic congresswomen, known informally as “The Squad,” continues after the president fired back at Rep.Ilhan Omar, on Twitter on Sunday.

Omar tweeted on Saturday that America needed to “end this charade” and “accept that this racist president wants every black/brown person deported and Muslims banned.”

You all should end this charade and accept that this racist president wants every black/brown person deported and Muslims banned 🤦🏽‍♀️

His immigration policies say this much! https://t.co/B6czPntRn4

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 21, 2019

Trump responded on Sunday by tweeting that he does not believe that ‘the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our country.” He also tweeted that they are “destroying the Democrat Party” and are “weak and insecure people who can never destroy our country.”

I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2019

Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, told Fox News’ that he does not believe Trump is racist.

“I have never seen anything that even resembles racism,” he said. “And look at the policies that have been done and look at the people who have been helped.”

Carson said that several of Trump’s policies have helped black and Hispanic unemployment levels reach an all-time low.

“Look at the fact that he has engaged so much in second chance for people, you know things other people have talked about but he has done,” Carson said.

“Opportunity zones where people who have made enormous amounts of money have the opportunity to take unrealized capital gains and to plow them into the areas of the country that have traditionally been neglected.”

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Army Captain Ohakwe Died in Accident, Not Killed by Boko Haram - Report

21 July 2019 - 9:48pm


A report by the online publication, PRNigeria, says the news of the killing of one Ohakwe Egegus Ikechukwu, a captain of the Nigerian Army (NA 15045), by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno is not true, PRNigeria’s investigation has revealed. 

Capt. Ikechukwu, an indigene of Imo State, was reported to have been killed in a recent attack launched by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.

The trending social media reports had claimed that Ikechukwu was killed alongside an army colonel and three other soldiers in Borno State. 

However, PRNigeria gathered that Ikechukwu, and two other officers, were involved in a ghastly road accident along Makurdi-Lafiya Road at Yelwata, a border town between Benue and Nasarawa states. 

The officers were returning to their base after completing cadre conversion course at the 20 Model Battalion of the Nigeria Army in Serti, Taraba State. 

It was learnt that a Honda Accord car, which the army officers including Captain Ikechukwu were in, had a head-on collision with a vehicle in the opposite direction. 

The crash instantly claimed Ikechukwu’s life while Captain NA Shehu (NA14972) and Captain JE Akwaraonwu (NA 15039) survived the accident. 

The remains of the late army captain were evacuated to the Nigerian Airforce Hospital (NAF) in Makurdi, while the other two injured officers were moved to NAF base for urgent treatment.

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Social Media Security Exploited By Subversive Elements In Nigeria, Other African Nations -Spymasters

21 July 2019 - 9:41pm


The Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) has declared some activities in the social media as a national, regional and continental security threat. 

This was contained in a final communique issued at the end of the 16th ordinary session of CISSA at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in Abuja on July 14-20, 2019. 

In the communique, Director-Generals and Heads of Africa’s Intelligence Services noted that despite the many benefits of social media, it is increasingly being exploited by some subversive elements and negative forces to destabilize African countries. 

“Conference, therefore, agreed that social media represents a threat and resolved to take necessary measure to check it whilst at the same time guaranteeing the citizens’ rights to information,” the statement said. 

The conference also noted with concern, the increasing security threats experienced by some African countries and resolved to support efforts by the governments to restore peace and stability in these countries. 

To this end, the Conference reaffirmed its commitment to further enhance mutual confidence among members and to exchange intelligence to serve their common objectives, including the attainment of the goal of a conflict-free Africa as envisioned by African heads of state and government. 

CISSA further took stock of the gains made since its 15th Conference in Windhoek, Namibia in contributing to the building of a “conflict-free African continent as per the African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the year 2020”. 

In a related development, the conference extensively deliberated on the theme: Illicit Financial Outflows from Africa and Their Impact on National Security and Development’, noting that “a common thread that permeated throughout all the presentations was that Africa loses billions of dollars annually in Illicit financial flows, which has become a serious threat to the continent’s sustainable development, governance as well as peace and security agenda”. 

'Africa’s intelligence and security services umbrella body warned that this threat of IFOs undermines the efforts to combat terrorism and the attainment of its Agenda 2063, including its flagship project of Silencing the Guns by 2020. 

Against this backdrop, CISSA in the communique said it has examined various means by which member services could support national, regional and continental efforts to combat IFOs, such as tracing and recovery of the illicit funds lodged outside the continent and the proper utilization of theses recovered assets for national development.

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Again, Gunmen Kidnap Turkish Citizens In Nigeria

21 July 2019 - 9:38pm


Armed men have kidnapped four Turkish nationals in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.

Those abducted were identified as Seyit Keklik (25), Yasin Colak (33), Ergun Yurdakul (35), and Senerapal (40).

Recently, 10 Turkish nationals were kidnapped off the waters of Nigeria. No news of the release of the sailors yet. See Also CRIME Gunmen Kidnap 10 Turkish Sailors Off Nigerian Waters 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

The Nigeria Police Force in the state confirmed this incident to Channels TV on Sunday.

The spokesperson for the police, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the foreigners were abducted at a drinking joint in Gbale village on Saturday night.

The victims are said to be construction workers.

According to Okasanmi, the Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has dispatched teams under Operation Puff Adder in the area to rescue the expatriates. See Also International Kidnapping: Turkish Government Working With Nigeria, Ghana For Release Of 10 Sailors 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Egbetokun also asked security operatives to ensure that the kidnappers were arrested and brought to justice.

The Okasanmi told Channels TV that the rescue effort was already yielding positive results.

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N2 Trillion Wasted On Constituency Projects Since 2000 – Nigeria's Anti-Corruption Agency

21 July 2019 - 9:34pm


The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said the nation had spent about N2 trillion on constituency projects without commensurate development at the grassroots.

The spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a statement quoted the chairman as disclosing that at the induction of newly-qualified members of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors in Abuja.

Owasanoye, while making emphasis on the ongoing tracking of constituency projects by the Commission in 12 states, said that the exercise was not to witch-hunt anyone.

He said tracking the projects was an important assignment for ICPC as the nation had spent about N2 trillion on the funding since 2000 without commensurate impact at the grassroots.

Owasanoye, however, said ICPC would not hesitate to prosecute any contractor that has failed to deliver on the projects, including accomplices.

The chairman said ICPC commenced the Constituency Projects Tracking Group (CPTG) initiative to ensure proper implementation of funded projects at the various constituencies across the nation.

He further said the initiative was already yielding positive results as some contractors had gone back to the site to complete unfinished projects.

He, however, noted that the commission was collaborating with the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) in the on-going exercise.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that constituency projects are ploys used by the legislative arms in the three-tier federation to pad the annual budgets.

Citizens had criticized the constituency budgets and the security votes for the executive arms as wastes.

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Federal Lawmakers Visit Fasoranti, Pledge To End Killings

21 July 2019 - 11:47am


Ajayi Boroffice, the Deputy Senate Majority Leader, has said the legislative arm is not happy with growing security challenges that are bedevilling the country.

He spoke when he and other members of the National Assembly visited Pa Reuben Fasoranti at his residence in Akure to commiserate with him over the killing of his daughter, Mrs Funke Olakunri.

Olakunrin was murdered last Friday while returning to Lagos from Akure by suspected herdsmen.  

Boroffice, who led the delegation of members of the National Assembly to Fasoranti's home, said the security challenges in the country were becoming worrisome. 

He added that the incessant killings and attacks of people by herdsmen, who have turned the forests in the Southwest to a kidnap den, must be stopped.

According to Senator Boroffice, the National Assembly has been raising motions on the possible way to end the daunting security challenges. 

He said, "We are concerned about what is happening (insecurity). We believe that action has to be taken to stop all the nefarious activities of these people (herdsmen). 

"Though we have a role to play and something has to be done very urgently because we too are part of the government.  We are fighting a war that has no frontiers, we are fighting those we don't know their location but with our conscious efforts, we would find solutions to it.

"The National Assembly would work with the executive to find lasting solutions to insecurity challenges in the country."

While reacting on the calls by some stakeholders to send the Fulanis from the South back to the North, Boroffice said that would be against the provisions of the constitution which provides free movement in the country.

“We are a nation where the constitution guarantees free of speech. I don't think the Senate can legislate on it. I believe people speak with emotion or out of anger or sentiment. I don't think that is enough for us. This shows concerns of Nigerians and this will actually activate the solutions the country wants to put forward to solve it,” he said.

The senator stated that the National Assembly would be ready to support any security ideas or initiative introduced by the executive to tackle banditry and kidnappings.

He advised politicians not to heat the polity with their utterances.

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