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Pope Francis Falls Sick A Day After Supporting People With Coronavirus

27 February 2020 - 6:21am


 

Head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has missed a planned mass with clergymen in Rome, Italy, due to an unspecified illness.

The 83-year-old pontiff is said to have had a ‘slight indisposition’ but would proceed with the rest of his activities for the day.

There was no word about the nature of his illness but the pope was seen coughing and blowing his nose during Ash Wednesday Mass, according to Metro UK.

On Wednesday, he said, “I wish, again, to express my closeness to those who are ill with Coronavirus and to health-care workers who are caring for them.”

The latest development comes after an outbreak of Coronavirus in Italy that has infected more than 400 people and seen 12 deaths.

Rome had three cases, but all were cured. 

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JUST IN: Impeachment Of Kogi Ex-Deputy Governor, Achuba, Declared Illegal By Court

27 February 2020 - 5:41am


 

A High Court in Lokoja, Kogi State, has declared the removal of Simon Achuba, former Kogi deputy governor by the State House of Assembly as null and void, according to a report by Channels Television.

Justice John Olorunfemi while delivering the judgment on Wednesday, said Achuba’s removal from office by the Assembly was a violation of the constitution and the subsequent nomination of Edward Onoja as the deputy governor did not follow due process

Justice Olorunfemi described the action of the Kogi State House of Assembly as a constitutional coup, hatched and executed in a democracy, explaining further that the action was contrary to Section 188 subsection 8, a section that stopped the Assembly from further action having discovered that the former deputy governor was not found wanting by the panel.

The judge said the onus to produce the remaining volumes of the report purported to have indicted the former deputy governor rest with the defendants, which they failed to do.

He pointed out that the 29th defendants also did not file a counter-notice, describing the process of removing the former deputy governor as not following due process.

Achuba had earlier challenged his impeachment by the Kogi State Assembly and sought relief of the court to declare his impeachment as illegal and to be reinstated as the rightful deputy governor of the state.

In their submission, counsel to the impeached deputy governor, Jibrin Okutachi (SAN), in a 13-page counter-affidavit, submitted that the court should discountenance the application by the clerk, describing it as a breach of court order 11, rule 2, subsection 4, and section 115 subsection 4 of the evidence act.

Achuba was impeached in October 2019 by members of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

His impeachment followed the submission of a report of the committee set up by the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajana, to investigate an allegation of gross misconduct against the former deputy governor.

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Ganduje And Ban On Street Begging In Kano By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

27 February 2020 - 4:24am


Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Olabisi Deji-Folutile google

 

Call it a mere coincidence. You might be right. You may even choose to see it as just a positive response to some constructive criticisms - that could also be true. Whichever way one decides to look at it, the decision of Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, to ban Almajiris from begging on the streets of Kano, a few days after he was bashed for appointing special assistants on street lights, is a positive development.

Recall that Ganduje had appointed three people as Senior Special Assistants on Street Light Matters last week. The appointees were saddled with the responsibility of handling issues concerning generators and diesel used in powering streetlights in the state. However, the governor was strongly criticised for treating with kid gloves the problem of child begging in Kano State where hundreds of thousands of school age children roam about the streets begging for food in what has almost become a culture or tradition of sort in the north.

Among other things, Ganduje was told to do something urgent about the army of child beggars in his state to avert an impending catastrophe. The starting point, as noted in this column last week, was for the governor to get these children registered and retained in school, rather than appointing three aides to maintain streetlights. Likewise, other Northern governors were charged to declare a state of emergency in the education sector and mount up strong campaigns against Almajiris in their states. After all, some of us are aware that there is nothing Islamic about the Almajiri system; it’s a mere product of the Northern feudal system. Otherwise, why are we not seeing children beggars on the streets of Mecca, the holiest of Muslim cities where the holy Prophet Muhammad himself, the founder of Islam, was born,  or in  any other well-known Islamic countries like Turkey and Indonesia? 

Now that Governor Ganduje has decided to  sanitise the Almajiri system,  it is only proper to encourage  him to use all the executive power at his disposal to end this crime  against children.  I must say that it is heart-warming to hear that the governor is resolute in getting these children off the streets and ensuring they have access to education. He has not only outlawed street begging, he has also read the Riot Act to parents and guardians of any child caught begging. According to the governor’s spokesperson, Abba Anwar, parents and guardians of such children   will be taken to court to face the wrath of the law. Similarly,   any Almajiri teacher that thinks he cannot cope with the new system has been asked to leave the state.

Also, the official statement from the government shows that the state has integrated the Almajiri system into its education policy. With this integration, the Almajiri schools are expected to include English and Arithmetic in their curriculum to enable the children to acquire the knowledge of the Holy Qur’an and other types of education, to be able to continue their education to secondary schools and beyond. The state government is doing this to consolidate its free and compulsory primary and secondary schools education.  

As it is, the government‘s new policy seems to be a win-win for everyone as the children will have access to both Islamic and other types of education. This is good. However, there is a huge difference between policy formulation and implementation especially in a country like Nigeria.   For instance, as far as policy formulation is concerned, there is nothing novel about what Ganduje just did. All the details of the state’s new policy on education are some of the provisions contained in the 2004 Universal Basic Education Commission Act. If the provisions of the UBEC Act had been implemented to the letter, Nigeria shouldn’t be having any business contending with the menace of child begging 16 years after the UBEC Act was promulgated.

The Act clearly states that basic education is compulsory for all Nigerian children of school age. Basically, the Act stipulates   an uninterrupted access to nine-year formal education for every Nigerian child. That is why the Federal Government devotes two per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to finance free and compulsory basic education for every child of school-age in the country. In other words, every Nigerian child by law is entitled to compulsory education of  six years in primary school and three years of junior secondary education.

The UBEC fund is given to the states and local governments to ensure provision of uniform and qualitative basic education across the nation. And according to Section 2 (4) of the Act, it is a crime for parents not to send their children to school. Any parent who refuses to send their child to school, going by the provision of the Act, commits an offence which is punishable, on first conviction to reprimand, on second conviction to a fine of N2, 000 or a jail term of one month or both and on subsequent conviction to a fine of N5, 000 or imprisonment for a term of two months or both.  

This provision notwithstanding, more and more Nigerian children are out of school today and their parents have not been convicted for committing any offence.  As a matter of fact, the population of out-of-school children in the country has been on a steady rise. A survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund shows that the population of out of school children in Nigeria has risen from 10.5 million to 13.2 million, the highest in the world.

From time to time, state governments threaten to take action against parents that failed to send their children to school, but they never do. I remember asking a former deputy governor in one of the South-West states some years back why government was not arresting parents of children trading during school hours in line with the provisions of the UBEC Act. Her response was intriguing.  She said that   government was usually afraid of an angry backlash from parents, especially considering the fact that these parents are voters. I guess this is the reason why no parent is convicted for flouting the UBEC act in any part of the country.

 Unfortunately, no country plays politics with its children without bearing the bitter consequences of their action. The child bandits, Boko Haram insurgents and the 419ners in Nigeria are some of the consequences of government’s failure  in giving sound education to its children.

It is good that Ganduje has read the Riot Act to the people of his state. However, getting the desired result in this kind of situation goes beyond mere pronouncement. He needs to back his statement with the required political will. Many of us are eager to see Kano streets free of Almajiris. Who knows? That could serve as a cue for other northern governors to do something about the situation in their states. I believe Ganduje can make this happen if he truly wants to make history.   

Olabisi Deji-Folutile is the editor-in-chief of Franktalknow.com and member of Nigerian Guild of Editors. Email: bisideji@yahoo.co.uk

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Fraud: Court Remands Man In Correctional Facility Of Choice

27 February 2020 - 4:21am


 

Justice Mojisola Dada has remanded a man, Anthony Okpala, in the correctional facility of his choice pending the hearing of the $177,000 fraud brought against him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Okpala alongside his company, Mashuchun International Limited, on a two-count charge before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.

The anti-graft agency claimed that Okpala sometime in August 2014 converted to his own use the sum of $177,000 belonging to Ibrahim Tsafe and Ibrahim Zango.

EFCC prosecutor, A.B.C. Ozioko, said the offences contravened sections 278 (1) and 285 (1) and 9(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

The prosecution said the defendant committed the offence around August 11, 2014, in Lagos.

The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following the plea of the defendant, Ozioko requested for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in a correctional facility while the defence counsel, Kolapo Gbadamosi, informed the court of a bail application.

However, Justice Dada, noted that the bail application would be heard at the next adjourned date

She said, “The defendant should be remanded at any correctional facility service of his choice pending the hearing of the bail application.”

She adjourned the matter until May 15, 2020 for trial.

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German Company Barred From Doing Business In Nigeria By Court

27 February 2020 - 4:15am


 

The Nigerian Government has secured an ex-parte order restraining a German firm from doing business in Nigeria.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, gave the order against Andreas Stihl Ag and co. Kg.

The company is alleged to have been operating without properly registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The case is being prosecuted by the Federal Government pursuant to Sections 104 and 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

The summary of the case against the defendants were deposed before Justice I.E. Ekwo by A.K. Akilu,  Chief State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation for the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

It reads, “Hans Peter Sthil, Eva Mayr, Bertram Kandziora, Karl Dieter Angler, Wolfgang Zahn and Nikolas Stihl, all of Badstrasse 115, 71336 Walblingen, Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany, while working for Adreas Stihl Ag & Co. Kg, being a company incorporated in Germany, at various dates for several years and at different locations in Nigeria, including Abuja and Lagos, carried out business of selling chainsaws and other handheld power equipment including trimmers, blowers, grinders and high-pressure washers without prior incorporation in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission.”

Delivering his ruling, Justice Ekwo said, “An order is hereby made issuing a criminal summons against the defendants, in this case, to compel their attendance in court for the purpose of arraignment and trial in respect of charge No.FHC/ABJ/CR/38/2020.

“An order of interlocutory injunction is hereby made restraining the defendants, and all traders, dealers from the continuance of public display in any market in Nigeria, advertising for sale, the sale of Stihl Chain or its related products or accessories anywhere in Nigerian market which said acts constitute offences and formed the basis of charge No.FHC/ABJ/CR/38/2020 pending the conclusion of the trial.”

 The judge adjourned the case until March 4, 2020 for further hearing. 

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Chinese Residents In Lagos Test Negative To Coronavirus

27 February 2020 - 4:07am


Google

 

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, has disclosed that some Chinese citizens tested for Coronavirus disease came out negative.

Abayomi disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

He said, “The likelihood of COVID-19 infection in this particular patient was very low and the conclusion of investigations and sophisticated testing confirmed that no case of Coronavirus exists in Lagos State till date.

“I would like to reassure Lagosians that our vigilance levels are very high and we are putting more measures in place to safeguard the state.

“The Ministry of Health’s attention was drawn to a suspected case of Coronavirus at Reddington Hospital, a private health facility located at Ikeja but from our investigations we gathered that a Chinese citizen who arrived Nigeria from China seven weeks ago was presented at Reddington Hospital yesterday (Wednesday) complaining about fever.

“The hospital in keeping with the advisory we earlier issued, correctly maintained a high index of suspicion, isolated the patient and reported the case to the ministry.

“We took up the case, transferred the patient to the State Isolation Unit at the Mainland hospital which is our specialised infectious disease hospital. His blood samples were taken to the Virology laboratory for analysis and it came out negative.”

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Nigerian Government Approves Construction Of Road Linking Niger Republic

27 February 2020 - 4:00am


 

Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, has said that the Nigerian Government had approved N29.2bn to construct two roads linking Nigeria’s borders with the Republic of Niger.

Fashola disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.

One of the roads, Kurnya-Babura-Niger Republic border, is estimated to cost N19.7bn and will pass through Jigawa State.

The second road, Bale-Kurdella-Niger Republic border, passes through Sokoto State and terminates at the country’s border with Niger.

The sum of N9.5bn was approved for the road by the FEC.

Fashola said the roads would promote economic activities across the borders.

He added that the roads would position Nigeria for effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

He said, “It is not only critical to execute our mandate under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and ministerial mandate to improve infrastructure, but also for the enablement of business across borders particularly now that we have taken an affirmative position on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

“The market in that area of the country (Nigeria/Niger borders) does a lot of trade across borders. So, this is a good boost for business as well.”


 

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JUST IN: Ambode’s Suit To Stop Lagos Assembly From Probing Him Dismissed By Court

27 February 2020 - 3:51am


 

A suit by former Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, seeking an injunction to restrain the state’s House of Assembly from probing him, has been dismissed by a high court in the state.

The legislators had signified intentions to probe the former governor over the purchase of 820 buses meant to boost public transportation in the state, hence his decision to approach the court to stop that move.

Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos High Court on Thursday in her ruling held that court lacked the jurisdiction to stop the lawmakers from proceeding with the probe.

 

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Student Drowns Hours After Matriculation

27 February 2020 - 3:36am


 

The Cross River University of Technology has confirmed that one of its new students drowned in a swimming pool hours after his matriculation.

The student, Barnabas Otu, who just gained admission into the Department of Urban and Regional Planning under the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, did his matriculation on Monday, February 24, 2020.

According to reports, the incident occurred at Orange Resort, Akai Efa in Calabar Municipality Local Government Area, where the victim and other students had gone to celebrate their successful matriculation.

Public Relations Officer of CRUTECH, Onen Onen, said, “The information is true, but I don’t have many details now because I travelled, when I come back, I am going to compile a report on that.”


 

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Where Is Babachir Lawal, Is He Still On Trial? By Fredrick Nwabufo

27 February 2020 - 1:49am


Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

On December 14, 2016, the Nigerian Senate asked Babachir Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation at the time, to immediately resign from office. This followed the recommendation of its ad hoc committee on the humanitarian crisis in the North-East, which had investigated the management of funds for internally displaced persons in the region by the Presidential Initiative on the North-East. PINE at the time was under the SGF.

But on January 17, President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the Senate, saying he would not sack Lawal because he was not given fair hearing. The President dilly-dallied and shilly-shallied over the issue for weeks. 

Shehu Sani, chairman of the committee which probed Lawal at the time, alleged that the SGF awarded contracts to companies owned by cronies and relatives of top government officials. He revealed that Rholavision Engineering Limited, a company, with Lawal as director, for instance, was awarded a consultancy contract.

The company’s major role, according to him, was the removal of invasive plant species in Yobe State. He said the former SGF violated all procurement activities and laid-down rules. Sani also said most of the contracts awarded had no direct bearing or impact on the IDPs who were living in deplorable conditions.

On January 21, two days after Buhari embarked on a medical peregrination to London, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo sacked Lawal and ordered his prosecution. 

But the Lord of the Manor returned months later – and it was business as usual. Lawal was not arrested or arraigned until a few days to the 2019 general election. It is obvious now that this was an artifice by the Buhari administration to win political advantage and to tout its doped up anti-corruption scorecard. 

In fact, Aso Rock whisperers say Osinbajo’s axing of Lawal Daura, former DSS DG, and Lawal formed the crux of the opposition against him at the presidency. Since February 12, 2019 when the former SGF was arraigned on charges of fraud, his case has sputtered, and it is petering out. Nothing! No progress! I will not be surprised if the charges are eventually withdrawn. 

Lawal, who once asked in arrogant conviction, ‘’who is the presidency’’, has no need to worry about any trial. In fact, I believe he knows it is all smoke by the way he totes himself around – granting media interviews and making definite pronouncements on the 2023 election. 

In October 2019, he convened a news conference where he ‘’crowned’’ a chief partaker in Nigeria’s cock-up president.
Hear him: “By 2023 when Buhari’s tenure will be over, he’ll go back to Daura to face his cows like I am doing. But you see, every leader must leave behind a legacy. I will like to see that he leaves behind a legacy of achievement.
“Bola Tinubu is my friend of many years. Buhari is my big boss. Bola Tinubu without prejudice that he’s my friend; will make a good president. Other issues notwithstanding, he (Tinubu) will make a good modern president because the presidency these days is scientific. Nigerians, by convention, seem to have agreed that there should be rotation of the presidency.”

Last week, in another news conference, he sentenced governors to the rear quarters and said they are all parasites. I guess he is right. He should know better because he is alleged to have diverted N500m while fighting parasites in Yobe.

In its 2019 corruption perception index published on Thursday, Transparency International ranked Nigeria 146 of 180 countries studied, two points lower than 148 the country was rated in 2018. Based on this rating, Nigeria is the second most corrupt country in ECOWAS.

TI speaking through Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, its chapter in Nigeria, noted one-sided/selective anti-graft war as one of the core reasons for the plummet.

It said the rich and the powerful “do not play by the rules”, and that prominent personalities in politics and business are “untouchable” despite evidence of corruption against them.

“The pre-election period witnessed mind-blowing scandals, which stayed without consequences. Politicians stashing millions of dollars in kickbacks or having corruption charges upon them just need to switch political parties or stay loyal and charges are dropped against them,” it said.

This is where the fatal failure of Buhari’s war against corruption lies – selective prosecution! There are those in the president’s fraternity who have corruption allegations hanging on their necks, but the EFCC is yet to crack up a case against them. Even the case of the former SGF is clearly bereft of diligent prosecution. 

Please do not get me started on how the administration is fighting corruption by ‘’diligently prosecuting’’ the expendables and unnecessary baggage (Orji Kalu and Joshua Dariye) in the All Progressives Congress.

I guess when the Buhari administration starts to take Babachir Lawal’s case seriously, Nigerians will begin to take a less passive interest in its fight against corruption.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist
Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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Teachers In Police Custody For Raping Students

27 February 2020 - 1:41am


The police have arrested three teachers for allegedly raping students in Osi Grammar School, Osi Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area and All Soul's Grammar School in Ado Ekiti metropolis.

The suspects (name withheld) were arrested by the police and held in custody pending investigation into the allegations against them.

Spokesperson for the police in the state, Sunday Abutu, also confirmed the arrests on Wednesday.

Abutu said the suspects allegedly had sexual intercourse with the victims.

According to him, the teachers were reported to the police through a petition received from an activist that the suspects allegedly molested the victims sexually.

He said, “The suspects, one from Osi Grammar School and two from All Soul’s Grammar School, are in our custody and are giving us useful information.

“We have invited the victims and they are giving useful information to us, as well.

“But as of now, the victim from Osi Grammar School declined the allegation while being interrogated. But we are not resting, we will get to the root of the matter.”

Abutu said the victims from All Soul’s have been invited by the police for interrogation, saying they were yet to give information concerning the incident.

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Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia Suspends Visa For Pilgrims

27 February 2020 - 1:26am



 

Saudi Arabia has suspended visas for pilgrims wishing to visit Mecca over Coronavirus fears, AFP reports.

The foreign ministry said on Thursday it suspended entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet’s Mosque temporarily.

It said it was also suspending visas for tourists visiting from countries where the new virus is a “danger”.

Even as the number of fresh cases declines at the epicenter of the disease in China, there has been a sudden increase in parts of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Iran has emerged as a major hotspot in the region, where 15 people have succumbed to the disease — officially known as COVID-19.

The Gulf states of Kuwait and Bahrain have also announced additional cases this week.

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Nigerians Protest Against Buhari’s Government In Canada Over Insecurity, Others

27 February 2020 - 12:57am




A group, Concerned Nigerians in Canada, has protested against President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, describing it as a failure over unfulfilled promises made to citizens. 

The group asked Buhari to immediately resign from office following the rising spate of insecurity and poverty in the country.

According to the group, the administration of Buhari had failed woefully in protecting Nigerians and creating avenues for economic empowerment for the people.

In a statement by Convener of the group, Olujimi Adekanle, and addressed to House of Commons Government of Canada, Catholic Archdiocese of Canada, Amnesty International among others, Concerned Nigerians in Canada disclosed that they embarked on the protest to expose Buhari’s failures to the world. 

The statement reads, “We want to register our fears and utter disappointment at the leadership and government of President Muhammed Buhari. 

“Events and heart-breaking happenings in our country as a result of gross incompetence of the Buhari administration can no longer be tolerated judging by the humongous negative effect they are having on our nation. 

“We unequivocally submit that Buhari's government has failed in all departments of governance and he has become nothing but a puppet in the hands of his cabal.

“The recent infighting between the National Security Adviser, General Monguno (retd), and Buhari's Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, is a  signal that all is not well with Nigeria’s security system. Buhari has totally lost it. 

#PressPlay: Nigerians Protest Against @MBuhari’s Government In Canada Over Insecurity, Others@NigeriaGov pic.twitter.com/toVRQGXOTb

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) February 27, 2020

“Nigeria went in search of solution and elected a problem, today we have graduated to the third position in global terrorism index after Syria and Iran.

“What is obvious to the whole world is that rather than face good governance and delivery of his campaign promises for public good, Buhari and his cohorts have continued to engage in lethargic divisive ethnic and sectarian sentimentality with alarming impunity. 

“We can no longer entrust our collective destiny in the hands of such wicked leaders and therefore call on Nigerian patriots world over to rise up to this occasion to join us to resist Buhari's government of total failure. 

“We want to assure you that this protest will be staged round the globe to finally end a grossly incompetent and self-centred government.

“We beckon on all well-meaning Nigerians to support us in our quest to take our Nigeria back from evil leaders benefiting from terror in our nation.” 

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Maina’s Drivers Petition Police Over Threat To Life By Him, Wife

26 February 2020 - 2:01pm


Maina in court

Maina in court ChannelsTV

Abdul Ibrahim and Ibrahim Muhammad, former drivers to Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, have written a letter of complaint to the Nigeria Police Force over threat to life and intimidation by Maina and his wife, Laila.

The drivers, in the letter addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State, by their lawyers, claimed that Maina, currently remanded at Kuje Correctional Centre, has been issuing death threats to them for granting an interview to operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the ongoing case against him.

Maina is currently standing trial on a 12-count charge of money laundering to the tune of over N2bn preferred against him by the EFCC.

The duo of Ibrahim and Muhammad said that sequel to the arrest of Maina, they were apprehended by the EFCC, detained and interrogated.

They however, raised the alarm that after speaking with the anti-graft agency, they had received death threats from Maina’s family.

They also said that the police was used to intimidate their relatives and that they had been forced to go into hiding to remain alive.

The letter reads, “Sequel to the release of the complainants, they began to receive series of threats to life, contempt and ridicule. 

“Sometimes in December 2019, the second suspect (Maina’s wife), called the attention of Ibrahim and threatened to deal with him because he had become a traitor by pinpointing her husband’s property and cars to EFCC operatives.

“On January 24, 2020 around 11:00pm, Ibrahim received a phone call from a restricted number threatening to kill him wherever he was found.

“On January 27, 2020 around 7:00pm, the private security of Maina went to Ibrahim’s house and asked his whereabouts.

“Both complainants feel intimidated and fear for their lives. 

“We urge you to thoroughly investigate this matter with a view to apprehending the suspects and bring them to justice.”

Maina’s Drivers Petition Police Over Threat To Life By Maina, Wife by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

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EFCC Arraigns Ighalo Over N1.75m Scam

26 February 2020 - 1:07pm


 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned one Patrick Ighalo before Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, over a N1.75m scam. 

Ighalo was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence. 

One of the counts reads, "That you Patrick Ighalo and Raymond Otamere Ibie between 10th and 15th of April, 2015 at Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of the court with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N1.75m from one Evelyn Obene under the false pretence that the sum was an investment in an oil business and which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)( a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act."

When the charges were read to Ighalo, he pleaded not guilty.

In view of the plea of the defendant, the prosecution counsel, R.E. Alao, prayed the court for a new date for trial while the defendant was remanded in Port Harcourt Correctional Centre.

However, the defence counsel, T.J. Kurukurugbor, asked the court to grant his client bail.

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Nigerian Senate Fixes Date For Public Hearing On Anti-Social Media Bill

26 February 2020 - 12:53pm


The Nigerian Senate has fixed March 9, 2020 for a public hearing on the bill to regulate social media usage in Nigeria.

The bill titled ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019’, which was sponsored by Senator Mohammed Musa, is on course to become a law in the country.

Chairman of Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, made the announcement on Wednesday.

As part of the public hearing, stakeholders and interested members are requested to submit 20 hard copies and a soft copy of their memoranda to the committee's secretariat before March 6.

The bill, since its introduction, has been under scrutiny from Nigerians, who have expressed displeasure at its emergence.

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Rehabilitation Of Boko Haram Insurgents Signals Recycling Of Terrorism In Nigeria —Okei-Odumakin

26 February 2020 - 12:48pm


Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, Convener of Nigerians Unite Against Terror, has described a bill seeking to create an agency that would see to the rehabilitation, deradicalisation and integration of repentant Boko Haram terrorists in the country as a means of recycling terrorism.

Okei-Odumakin stated that one of the major roles of elected politicians was to keep the country safe. 

She said, “We strongly feel that the bill offers further concessions to Boko Haram militants still terrorising the country which would further embolden them.

“There is an insinuation that terrorism in the entire North-East was raised and promoted by some politicians.

“What started as recruitment and indoctrination of young minds against the value system of Western world, has now snowballed into killing innocent civilians and uniformed men irrespective of creed and religion.

“We rise in unison as a people of conscience and condemn such cruelty and assault on our collective value for life.”

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JUST IN: Soldier Kills Four Colleagues, Self In Borno

26 February 2020 - 12:18pm


A Nigerian soldier serving at Army Super Camp 15 located at Malam Fatori, Borno State, has killed four of his colleagues in Borno State.

The unnamed soldier also killed himself after committing the act.

Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, revealed this on Wednesday evening.

Musa said that the incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday.

He said, “A corporal of the Nigerian Army serving at Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Army Super Camp 15, Malam Fatori, went berserk in early hours of February 26, 2020 and opened fire, killing four of his colleagues before shooting himself. 

“Two of his colleagues were also injured during the incident and are currently in stable condition in our hospital in Maiduguri.”

He added that investigation into the case had begun to determine circumstances leading to the killings.

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Displaced Persons Protest Over Lack Of Food, Water In Adamawa

26 February 2020 - 11:02am


 

Internally Displaced Persons at the Fufore International Transit Camp in Adamawa State on Wednesday staged a protest over lack of food, water and other supplies.

The affected persons used the occasion to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to make their communities safer for them to return home. 

The camp housing more than 1500 displaced persons, is located near the Nigeria/Cameroon border.

Leader of the protesters, Umar Bakura, told journalists that the National Emergency Management Agency had not made any supply to the camp for the past four months.

Bakura added that cases of acute malnutrition were already affecting children in the camp.

He said, "For the past four months, we have not received any food from NEMA.

“We are about 1,500 IDPs living in the camp and mostly from Bama, Gwoza and Ganboru all from Borno State.

”We also have children, elderly people and orphans living with us in the camp.

“President Muhammadu Buhari should intervene and evacuate us back to our respective local government areas in Borno State."

When contacted, NEMA's Operational Officer, Midala Anuhu, said the agency was aware of their plight and making efforts to address the situation.

He said, "The agency is aware of the situation however; it was last December we provided them with food.

“We have forwarded their case to our headquarters in Abuja and are still waiting for approval.

"Anytime we are given the directive from the top to supply food, we will do so because we have food in our store in Yola."

 

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Court Remands Indian, Others For Allegedly Forging SON Receipts

26 February 2020 - 9:03am


 

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the remand of an Indian and two others for allegedly forging Standards Organisation of Nigeria receipts.

Chucks Okeke, Omkar Shinde, Shittu Adedeji and a company, Everchem Paints Nigeria Limited, were arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu on a three-count charge of forgery.

Senior State Counsel, Olofindare Adeleke, alleged that Okeke and Shinde, an Indian, and Everchem Paints, forged 15 SON receipts on February 12, 2020 at Close 6, House 4 Satellite Town, Lagos, and at 110/114 Oshodi Apapa Expressway, Isolo.

He said the defendants committed the alleged offence “with Intent to use the false documents as genuine”.

SON said Okeke and Shinde forged receipts numbered TCI/S621 dated 17/10/2016;  TCI/5523 (16/11/2016), TC1/5524 (16/11/2016), TCI/1008 (12/04/2018), TCI/1366 (21/06/2018), TCI/268 (22/02/2018), TCI/1161 (10/05/2018), TCI/ 1008 (04/04/2018) and TCI/SS40 (13/01/2017).

Others are TCI/348 (12/03/2018), TCI/50127 (22/11/2017), TCI/4381 (30/11/2017), TCI/50128 (22/11/2017), TCI/57542 (28/06/2017) and TCI 50128 (22/ 11/2017).

The prosecution said it was with the “intention of causing the forged documents to be believed to have been issued by SON and use same as genuine.”

SON said Adedeji, on February 12 at 2, Morebise Egan, Igando, “did present false documents to SON officials, which you knew or have reason to know same to be false with intent to use the false documents as genuine”.

The alleged offence is contrary to Section 465 and punishable under sections 467 and 516 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. 

The defendants pleaded not guilty. 

Defence counsel, E.O Pobeni (for the first defendant), Tiwalade Aderoju (for the second and fourth defendants), and I. C. Ituma (for third defendant), told the court that they filed bail applications on their clients’ behalf.

Justice Saidu ordered that the defendants be remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

He adjourned that case until March for hearing of the bail applications.

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