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Buhari Congratulates Oyetola On Supreme Court Victory

5 July 2019 - 6:22am


President Muhammadu Buhari, whose election is being contested has congratulated Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun on the Friday Supreme Court ruling which affirmed his victory in the State Governorship election of Sept. 2018.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday, the president commended the government and people of Osun in allowing the rule of law to run its entire course.

President Buhari urged the people of the state as well as security agencies to sustain the peace in the state.

According to the president, the decision of the apex court has ended the tussle over the governorship of the state and removes all encumbrances on the path of the governor from fully delivering dividends of democracy to the people. 

He called on Oyetola and the ruling All Progressives Congress party to be magnanimous in victory and make concrete moves towards inclusive governance as may be necessary.

The president also expressed the federal government’s continued willingness to partner the state government for the betterment of the people.

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Adeleke: I Have My Misgivings About Supreme Court Judgment But Congratulations To Governor Oyetola

5 July 2019 - 6:11am


Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2018 Osun State governorship election has congratulated Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress on his victory at the Supreme Court. 

Adeleke in a statement on Friday by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, stated that his ambition to be the governor of the state was not a do-or-die affair.

He said, “As a democrat and law-abiding citizen, I accept the ruling no matter my misgivings. I wish Governor Oyetola well in the governance of Osun State.

“In all circumstances, we must thank God Almighty. We gallantly fought a good fight in pursuance of a democratic cause. The ideals we fought for lives on.

“Our ambition was never a do-or-die affair. We aspired to serve and deliver democratic dividends to the people of Osun state. Our ambition was altruistic. We wish Governor Oyetola the best in the governance of the state.”

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Airtel Listing On Nigerian Stock Exchange Postponed

5 July 2019 - 6:03am


The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), has postponed the listing of Airtel’s shares for trading on the floor of the NSE today. 

Airtel had on Thursday been unable to meet the requisite amount of 300 institutional investors needed to list its shares for trading. 

The NSE had at yesterday, indicated that the Indian-based network provider will be granted a waiver and permitted to meet this target after the listing. 

The NSE, however, appears to have made a U-turn.

“The cross border secondary listing of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc has been postponed from the scheduled date of Friday, July 5, 2019,” a statement released by the NSE on Friday said.

“This postponement was necessitated by the need to ensure that the company meets all the post NSE approval pre-requisites for listing on the NSE. However, the facts before the listing event will hold as planned at 11.00 a.m. on Friday, July 5, 2019.” 

Bharti Airtel, the parent company of Airtel Africa, did an Initial Public  Offering (IPO), on the floor of the London Stock Exchange last Friday. 

It grossed $750 million from its sale of 937.500 million shares at 80 pens per share. Its shares had lost 13 percent in value shortly after trading started. 

Airtel had said Thursday that it would list 39,227,968 ordinary shares of 60 cents at N363 per share today. Jude Chiemeka, NSE’s head of business trading had said during the media briefing yesterday that Airtel’s LSE shares can be bought on the floor of the NSE.

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Full List Of Former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke Luxury Items Buhari Seized

5 July 2019 - 5:49am


The Nigerian Government has just taken possession of forty million United State Dollars worth of pieces of jewelry from Deizani Allison-Madueke, a former minister of petroleum. 

Here is the list of items forfeited to the government: 

Description                                                               Quantity

Expensive Bangles                                                    419

Expensive rings                                                        315

Expensive earrings                                                   304

Expensive necklace                                                  267

Expensive wrist watch                                              189

Expensive necklace and earrings                              174

Expensive bracelet                                                     78

Expensive Brooch                                                       77

Expensive Pendants                                                    74

Expensive necklace                                                     48

Expensive necklace, bracelet, earrings and rings         44

Expensive necklace, earrings and rings                       32

Expensive pendants and earrings                                30

Expensive necklace and bracelets                                18

Expensive earrings and rings                                       15

Expensive earrings, rings and bracelets                       12

Expensive cufflinks                                                      11

Expensive pendants earrings and rings                         6

Expensive single earrings                                             5

Expensive bracelets and earrings                                  5

Expensive bracelets and single earrings                        3

Expensive necklace and ring                                         3

Expensive travel clocks                                                 3

Expensive brooch and cufflinks                                    3

Expensive pendants and rings                                      2

Expensive bracelet earrings and rigs                             1

Expensive bangles and earrings                                    1

Expensive necklace, ring and bracelet                           1

Expensive bangle, ring and brooch                                1

Expensive necklace, earrings and 2 bracelets                 4

Expensive bangle and ring                                             1

Expensive brooch and earrings                                      1

Necklace and two pairs of earrings                                 3

Customized gold iPhone                                                1

 

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Buhari's Government Seizes Diezani's 2,149 Pieces Of Jewellery, Customized Gold iPhone, Valued At $40 Million

5 July 2019 - 4:59am


Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the forfeiture of 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customized gold iPhone, valued at $40m, belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The judge ordered that the items should be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.

The forfeiture order followed an ex parte application moved on Friday morning by a lawyer for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo.

The application, titled action in rem, had Diezani as the only defendant and it was filed pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Offences Act No. 14, 2006.

The EFCC said in the application that it found and recovered the jewellery and the customized gold iPhone "on the premises of the respondent," adding that it reasonably suspected that the former minister acquired them with "proceeds of unlawful activities."

According to the schedule attached to the application, the jewellery, categorized into 33 sets, include "419 expensive bangles; 315 expensive rings; 304 expensive earrings; 267 expensive necklaces; 189 expensive wristwatches; 174 expensive necklaces and earrings; 78 expensive bracelets; 77 expensive brooches; and 74 expensive pendants."

The EFCC said, "The respondent's known and provable lawful income is far less than the properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria."

Following submission by the EFCC lawyer, Oyedepo, Justice Oweibo ordered that the 2,149 pieces of jewellery and the customized gold iPhone should be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judge ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the forfeiture order in a national newspaper "for the respondent or anyone who is interested in the property sought to be forfeited to appear before this honourable court to show cause within 14 days why a final forfeiture order of the said properties should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria."

The judge adjourned until August 23, 2019, for further proceedings.

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Be Ready To Defend Yourselves, Ohanaeze Tells Igbo As Northern Groups Give Buhari 30-day Ultimatum To Implement RUGA

5 July 2019 - 4:48am


Nnia Nwodo, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a socio-cultural organization of Igbo in Nigeria has called on his people to get ready to defend themselves against the threat by a northern group to forcibly evict them. 

The group made its position known while reacting to the 30-day ultimatum the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) gave to governors opposed to the RUGA settlement programme of the Federal Government to Fulani herdsmen.

Nwodo said, “My attention has been drawn to a broadcast by Abdul Azeez Suleman, speaking for a Coalition of Northern Groups in which he had the audacity to give the Federal Government an ultimatum of 30 days to rescind its decision on the suspension of its RUGA settlements policy,” he said in a statement.

“This irresponsible, unlawful and provocative outburst reminds me of the quit notice from northern youths two years ago.

“Ohanaeze insists that the RUGA policy is an Islamization and a Fulanisation policy. It is a violation of our constitution and Supreme Court decisions on the Land Use Act. Its suspension without cancellation leaves the Federal Government still in violation of our laws.

“The threat to evict law-abiding Nigerians from their places of abode in northern Nigeria is treasonable and obviously like the gun-toting herdsmen will go unnoticed by our federally-controlled law enforcement agencies.

“I call on all Igbo to be ready to defend themselves. Enough of these threats! Let Abdul, the federal government and others like them take notice that Ohanaeze has no objection to all Igbo in the North returning home so long as all northerners in the east leave the east.

“The nepotism exhibited by this federal government, its duplicity of standards in law enforcement, her undisguised Fulanisation policy is repugnant to rule of law and good governance.

“We will no longer tolerate any further threats from these northern war-mongers. After all, who should be aggrieved under the circumstance? The South that is bearing the yoke of oppression from cattle herders are trying their best to coexist with their aggressors, yet it is the aggressors that are threatening further mayhem. This cannot be.”

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Don't Let El-Zakzaky Die In Your Custody, Human Rights Group To Buhari

5 July 2019 - 3:47am


A human rights group, Initiative for Conciliation and Right Protection (ICRP), has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari government to allow Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky access health care and not to allow the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) die in their custody due to deteriorating health conditions.

The group said this while addressing a press conference on the health of the Shiite leader and continuous detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah. 

Mr. Ahmad Shuaib who spoke to journalists urged President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the court order, which ruled that the government should release Zakzaky.

He said, “On April 25, 2019, a delegation of expert doctors and consultants led by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) gained access to Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife for the first time and conducted initial medical investigations on both the Sheikh and his wife.  

“What came out from the investigation was very disturbing. ICRP medical team were able to have some explanation about the results which part of it states that in the case of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, he had obstructed blood flow to the heart (Myocardial Ischemia and Left ventricular hypertrophy) which poses a serious risk of a heart attack. Severe cervical spondylitis causing nerve root compression. 

“In his right eye, the diagnosis was severe visual impairment, progressive open angle glaucoma, and progressive macular atrophy and other issues that can inevitably lead to permanent blindness. In the left eye, the diagnosis was anophthalmia, which is to say that the left eye is completely absent. 

“Furthermore (Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning were also observed.) The tests revealed unusually high concentrations of lead and cadmium in his blood. Meaning that the full extent of the damage may yet be much higher than can be easily ascertained.”

Speaking about Zakzaky’s wife, the group stated that a medical report of her says that she has Sinus arrhythmia a condition characterized by heart rhythms that fluctuate between being too fast or too slow.

Severe bilateral knee osteoarthritis, which is a painful and crippling condition, requiring urgent surgical treatment.

“Both of them have a high level degree of injuries they sustained from the gunshots of the military while they were attacked in their home in December 2015.

“Their state of health has been deteriorating due to the negligence and untimely interventions, caused by the unnecessarily restricted nature of their access to medical care for for nearly four years,” the group said. 

The group demanded that the President order the military and allow Zakzaky and his wife to immediately get unhindered access to medical treatment outside the country.

“All citizens have rights to life and health. This means nobody, including the Government, can deprive them of that right. It also means the Government should take appropriate measures to safeguard life of all people by making laws to protect any one whose life is at risk.

“This is part of their right to life provided by the law. This is a fundamental right of every citizen under section 33 of  the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN),1999 as amended and article 4 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap.A10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria ( LFN), 2004,” they stated.

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Anti-Hausa-Fulani Backlash Is Driven By Fear And Attempt To Discredit Buhari By Churchill Okonkwo

5 July 2019 - 2:29am


This article has been difficult to write, but at a time that many Nigerians are promoting fear-mongering and sometimes dangerously-irresponsible anti-Hausa-Fulani propaganda, we cannot afford to be silent, or timid. Candid discussion, is, therefore, necessary when it comes to the present state of the Nigerian nation, which when it relates to “settlement” of herdsmen and the subsequent demographic changes raises all sorts of anxieties.

Profound discomfort is necessary, given the weighty existential issues at stake and part of the discomfort is an admittance of some uncomfortable truth. Here is one: herdsmen have been roaming the streets and destroying crops for decades. It is wrong, unacceptable and should stop. But, unfortunately, no Nigerian government at the federal level including Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan did anything to address the menace. 

Now, interestingly, Nigerians that lost the 2015 and 2019 elections have turned their anger on the herdsmen to discredit President Buhari, a herdsman, who is damned if does anything to get the herdsmen out of the farms and damned if he does nothing. 

We need to be courageous now more than ever, and nothing takes more courage than being honest. Apart from discrediting Buhari’s Presidency, the changing patterns of regional migration as Nigerians from the north move and increasingly seek to settle in the south is driving the anti-Hausa-Fulani backlash. The changing face of Nigerian demographics is driving fear and anti-Islam propaganda in the southeast and south-south. 

When it comes to northern Nigerians settling in the south, southerners are afraid. The thought scares the dickens out of southerners who, sensing that a storm is on the way, inevitably try to batten down the hatches by deploying all sorts of tactic and propaganda.

But, as James Baldwin reminds us, people who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insist on remaining in a state of innocence long after innocence is dead turn himself into a monster. 

The reality is that the north-south migration is fast reversing the previous south-north migration. Anyone who shuts his eyes and promotes intolerance and isolationism to halt the fast-changing demographics in the south will surely turn him or herself into a monster. 

Should the herdsmen be allowed to freely roam the streets and destroy crops in people’s farms? NO. But, just in case you may not have thought of it, you look like a monster when you insist that all the herdsmen in the south must be rounded up and sent back to the north. 

It may surprise you to hear it, but I cringe every time I hear these arguments about marching all the herdsmen back to the “north” as a solution. I also cringe at the suggestion that doesn't come with the proper context like pushing for the herders must modernize to ranching in “their states” ONLY and NEVER in the south. 

Good luck with that. In less than 4 years, Buhari will leave Aso Rock but the herdsmen-farmer challenges will remain with us. 

Determined and daring Nigerians from different regions, for different reasons, will continue to relocate to cities and villages other than their own to reinvent themselves and, in the process, remaking and revitalizing the country. This turnaround has already occurred in some states, most notably Lagos. And now it's about to happen on a national scale.

For example, thousands of Igbo youths will keep streaming north and south every day as they attempt to make it in one corner of Nigeria. Similarly, thousands of youths from the North are now streaming south, to escape the crippling economic hardship that is driving banditry and kidnappings in their “home” states. 

As the younger population from northern Nigeria becomes more adventurous and spreads to broader parts of the country, we need forward-looking political and civic leaders and citizens to bridge ethnoreligious divides that are already fueling issues like fear of “Islamization”.  Because of this reverse migration, ethnic and religious problems and tensions are emerging in southern Nigeria which is the new receiving states. 

It may seem rational that the federal government is doing something to minimize the conflict between farmers and herders. But, unfortunately, “colonization” or “Islamization” strikes at the heart of every plan with a Muslim Fulani as the President. This anxiety and discomfort is the sad reality of our present Nigeria. 

I understand that some of us are angry about the changes in our hometown. Really angry. But at the heart of our collective peaceful coexistence in Nigeria is a rethink of how we relate with each other. Within the multicultural, pluralistic society like Nigeria, people should celebrate our diversity, not feel threatened by it. 

Just pause and refresh on our venerated Prophets Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. At one point in their checkered journey, they were settlers and refugees. Without their relocation, humanity would have lost the priceless good they brought. The lesson here is that settlement is human and the associated changes present challenges and opportunities. 

So, while some Nigerians look at changing demographics and see calamity, I only see opportunity. I see an opportunity for herders to negotiate as a group or individually with states or local communities on the modalities for peaceful coexistence that is symbiotic in nature. 

In the path to make Nigeria truly great, therefore, we need to consider the new demographic reality and look to a future that fosters hope and prosperity for all. We should do away with any misguided vision of keeping Nigeria monocultural, as it remains a route that promotes hate and tribalism. 

Together, we can. 

 

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

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United States Government Condemns Attack That Killed Nigerians, 35 Others In Libya

5 July 2019 - 2:24am


The United States has condemned an attack on a migrant detention centre in Libya that killed 44 people including nine Nigerians and wounded at least 100 people.

In a statement made available to SaharaReporters, the President Donald Trump administration said: "The United States strongly condemns the abhorrent attack on a migrant detention facility in Tajoura, Libya, which reportedly killed 44 and injured more than 100 innocent civilians. We extend our deepest condolences to families of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.

"This tragic and needless loss of life, which impacted one of the most vulnerable populations, underscores the urgent need for all Libyan parties to de-escalate fighting in Tripoli and return to the political process, which is the only viable path to lasting peace and stability in Libya."

Nine Nigerians were among those killed in a double air strike on a detention centre outside Tripoli, the capital of Libya.

Deaths from the attack which was carried out on the hapless civilians late Tuesday has been reviewed to 53 from 44.

More bodies are still being pulled out of the rubble, indicating that the body count has not stopped.

Worst still, the United Nations said in a new report on the war crime that guards fired on migrants trying to flee the site of the explosion.

BBC reports that the first missile landed in a garage beside the camp, while a second struck a hanger occupied by at list 120 European dream seekers.

Two of the migrants informed the British broadcaster that they were coerced to work for a local militia. At list 500 more stranded migrants are vulnerable to attacks according to the UN report.

"There are reports that following the first impact, some refugees and migrants were fired upon by guards as they tried to escape," the UN report said.

"Humanitarian actors call for the immediate release of refugees and migrants from detention centres and for relocation to safe shelter," the report added. Fathi Bashagha, Libya’s Minister of Interior, was quoted by the Libyan Observer, as saying that the government is considering closing all detention centres.

While people smugglers try to get migrants who are mainly from Nigerian and other Subsaharan African countries, to Europe in crammed rubber boats, Libyan coast guards funded by the European Union, intercept these dingy inflatable contraptions and return them to detention camps. With funding from the EU bloc, Libyans found a new venture in setting up deportation camps.

Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry which has no communications link has failed to put out any press release or Tweet on the killings at press time— leaving the report by the BBC as its only mouthpiece.

Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj’s National Accord and War Lord Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army, have blamed each other for the attack.

The Washington Post in a piece published Thursday noted that the militia the migrants were working for, was on the side of Al-Sarraj.

The combatants used the hangar adjacent to the camp house to store ammunition, this would most likely have made it a target for the LNA.

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Zamfara Governor, Matawalle, Nigeria Police Strike Curious Deal With Bandits Terrorizing State

5 July 2019 - 2:19am


As part of efforts toward peace in Zamfara State, the local vigilantes, otherwise known as Yan Sakai, and bandits have started an exchange of captives. 

Some 25 Fulani women, men, and children held by the Yan Sakai since last April were released to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Usman Nagoggo. at the Emir of Dansadau’s place on Thursday.

Mr. Nagoggo said the exchange was part of the agreement reached with bandits in the state, adding that the captives would be handed over to Governor Bello Matawalle and would be kept in safe custody until the bandits release their captives. 

"I’m representing the Inspector General of Police and Governor Bello Mutawalle here and I can tell you that we are very much committed to the peace process. There would be no deceit whatsoever that is why I’m appealing to the stakeholders to exercise patience,” Nagoggo said. 

He said he had established contacts with many bandit leaders and he was always reminding them of the terms and agreement of the peace deal in case of any violation. 

The Emir of Dansadau Alhaji Hussaini Umar said the peace dialogue would remain the best option to address the issue of armed banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnappings in the state. 

“We were very much troubled by the bloody carnage in the state. Whether the killings are inimical to our well-being or not we have seen the result by now. We will continue to give our full support to anything that will ensure restoration of peace to the state,” the Emir added. 

Some of the leaders of the Yan Sakai complained about the violation of peace agreement by the bandits saying they were compelled to carry arms in self-defence as most of them were orphaned by the deadly attacks carried out by the bandits.

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Supreme Court Confirms Oyetola As Osun State Governor

5 July 2019 - 2:12am


The fight for the eligible winner of the Osun State Governorship election has finally come to an end as the Supreme Court has pronounced Gboyega Oyetola as the winner of the September 2018 election.

At the ruling today, the seven-man panel led by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivor gave a split decision with five Justices confirming Oyetola while two consented for Ademola Adeleke.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Rhodes-Vivour dismissed Adeleke’s application and confirmed Oyetola as the rightful winner of the election.

Details later…

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Explosion: How Two People Were Killed, 80 Houses, 30 Cars Destroyed In Lagos, Residents, Officials Explain

5 July 2019 - 12:50am


Two persons were confirmed died over 80 houses, including 100 shops as well as about 30 vehicles, were destroyed yesterday in a pipeline explosion that rocked Ijegun, a  densely populated community in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos, when a vandalized pipeline exploded. The explosion, which occurred around 3 am, also left many people injured and several families rendered homeless.  

Eight severely burnt people were taken to the Gbagada General Hospital and four others, to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, according to the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu.  

The inferno, according to residents, was caused by an explosion from a vandalized Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline at fire junction along Ijegun-Isheri Right of Way.  

The pipeline supplies petroleum products from Atlas Cove to Ejigbo and Mosimi depots in Lagos and Ogun states respectively. See Also Sahara Reporters UPDATE: Lagos Pipeline Explosion Records 10 Casualties, 30 Vehicles Burnt 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Residents alleged that the vandals connected a hose to the hole from where they siphoned the product into awaiting trucks until 3 am when the fire started. Residents around Pipeline Road were jolted from their sleep by the explosion, scampered in different directions, as the ravaging fire spread rough open drains where the petrol had flown into.  

“Two men who were driving out of the street to Awolumate street were engulfed by fire. To escape death, they jumped into a nearby canal where they eventually got burnt to death,” Titilope Awofesan, one of the residents, said.  

When Daily Trust correspondents visited the scene, the charred remains of two male adults were seen wrapped in black nylon by officials LASEMA and wheeled into an ambulance which took them to the morgue.

Over 20 vehicles parked in a mechanic workshop behind Ijegun High school were completely destroyed; while others parked by the road side were also affected.  

The Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said the State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu had visited the scene and ordered a full investigation into the immediate cause of the incident. He also ordered his men to go after those behind it.

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Hundreds Of Nigerians Stranded As Fuel-laden Tanker Crashes

5 July 2019 - 12:45am


file photo

file photo

Commercial activities were for some hours paralyzed and hundreds of motorists plying the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway on Thursday were stranded for several hours when a Liquefied Natural Gas-laden tanker crashed and spilled its content on the Joju Road, Sango, in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The incident, which made most of the motorists furious and a lot of the business owners on the route apprehensive, was confirmed by both Clement Oladele, the State Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps and Babatunde Akinbiyi, the Public Relations Officer of the state Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE).

The FRSC commander said that the gas-laden tanker hit an object on a bad portion of the road and its content escaped at the Joju area of the expressway.

“Due to the explosive nature of the gas and the propensity for fire, both sides of the road had to be cordoned off,” Oladele said.

He added that traffic had to be stopped on both sides of the dualized road.

The FRSC boss stated, “The traffic build up from Joju has gone past the Dalemo U-turn outwards Lagos, while that inwards Lagos has extended to Iyana Ilogbo.

“The FRSC and fire service personnel are on the ground together with other security agents managing the situation.”

The TRACE spokesperson said motorists would need to exercise patience till the remaining content was transferred from the tanker.

Akinbiyi said the tanker had been stopped from moving in order to avert danger so that its content could be discharged into another vehicle.

He stated, “We have begun the process to offload the content of the tanker and it will take about two hours. Motorists need to be patient until we complete the exercise; if not, the chemical in the gas is too dangerous for human beings to inhale.

“Men of fire services have been on the ground to flush away the chemical immediately the gas is completely evacuated from the tanker.”

Also on Thursday, a petrol-laden tanker crashed into road barriers around 2.50 pm around the car park ‘C’ of the Redemption Centre, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Oladele said, “FRSC personnel working with sister traffic agencies and the construction company handling the road have been able to remove the barriers to enable free flow of traffic.

“The fire service has also been contacted as standard practice before trans-loading of the tanker’s content in order to avert a fire outbreak.

“Efforts are on to remove the crashed vehicle from the road. Motorists are advised to use alternative corridors like the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road, Lekki-Ajah-Epe Expressway and the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.”

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Three Dead, 11 Injured As Vehicle Plunges Into Ogun River

5 July 2019 - 12:40am


At least three persons died while 11 others were seriously injured when a  bus plunged into a river on the Ijebu-Sagamu Expressway in Ogun State, on Thursday.

According to an eye-witness, the accident occurred when a Mazda E220 commercial bus with 14 occupants plunged into the Ososa River in the Ijebu Ode area as the driver reportedly lost control of the bus due to a mechanical fault.

Clement Oladele, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Ogun State confirmed the fatal accident. He said the accident occurred around 10:32 am.

Oladele said, “The lone crash involved a yellow Mazda E220 commercial bus. The bus took off from the Ijebu Ode Motor Park and was going to Lagos, but the driver lost control and the bus plunged into the Ososa River in Ijebu Ode. The suspected cause of the crash is a mechanical fault.

“A total of 14 people comprising five male adults and nine female adults were involved in the crash. Eleven of them were injured and a total of three people died in the crash.

“The injured victims were rescued and taken to the Ijebu Ode General Hospital, and the corpses of the dead victims were deposited in the Ijebu Ode General Hospital mortuary.”

The sector commander, who commiserated with the families of the victims, advised motorists to put their vehicles in good condition before embarking on any trip and be cautious during the rainy season to avoid road traffic crashes.
 

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N21 Billion Fraud: Ex-Air Force Chief, Amosu, Others Seek Plea Bargain

5 July 2019 - 12:31am


Adesola Amosu, a Former Chief of Air Staff, and two others, have informed Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, in Ikoyi, Lagos of their willingness to enter into a plea bargain with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Amosu alongside Jacobs Adigun, a former Chief of Accounts and Gbadebo Owodunni, a former Director of Finance and Budget, in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), said this in court on Thursday, during the resumption of their trial.

The defendants are being prosecuted by EFCC for an alleged N21 billion fraud, to which they pleaded not guilty.

Rotimi Oyedepo, prosecution counsel, informed the court that the defendants, through their lawyers, wrote the EFCC, expressing their willingness to enter into a plea bargain over their alleged crimes. 

Oyedepo, however, expressed worry that the defendants and their counsels have not shown commitment towards the plea bargain they requested and in the general resolution of the matter.

“After receiving the letter from the defendants, indicating their willingness to enter into a plea bargain. I made several phone calls to the defence team as I was directed by the EFCC, urging them to come to the EFCC office for a meeting, but they have not shown up. So, it appears to me that the defence and their clients are not committed towards the resolution of this matter,” Oyedepo told the court.

He further stated that if the defence team refused to come for the meeting before the next adjourned date, the prosecution will have no choice than to continue with the trial.

In his response, counsel to Amosu, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, told the court that they did not honour the invitation to the meeting because the commission had not formally responded to their letter. 

Ayorinde noted that the EFCC only made an oral, rather than a formal invitation for the meeting.

Counsel to AVM Adigun, the second defendant, Norrison Quarkers, SAN, and counsel to Owodunni, the third defendant aligned themselves with Ayorinde’s submission, insisting that the EFCC needed to respond to their letter in writing, and further told the court of their willingness to continue with the plea bargain with the commission.

Quarkers also brought before the court a “motion on notice” seeking the temporary release of the passport of his client to allow him to travel out of the country on medical grounds.

Responding to the motion, Oyedepo told the court that the application was just served on the prosecution two days back and that he would need ample time to respond to it.

Justice Aneke adjourned the case until October 9, 2019, for a hearing of the application and continuation of trial.

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Nigerian Defence Corps Arrests Boy With Fake Pre-University Exam Result

5 July 2019 - 12:29am


The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested a Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidate, Cletus Kokowa, for allegedly hiring a syndicate to upgrade his score from 162 to 206.

Kokowa was arrested on Thursday at the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board headquarters in Bwari, Abuja, where he confessed that he was asked to pay N10,000 for the upgrading.

Kokowa, with the Registration Number 95329290ED, is from Bayelsa State. 

He was said to have contacted the syndicate through a WhatsApp group a few weeks ago after he learnt that they could upgrade his score from 162.

The syndicate later sent a fake result notification to Kokowa, stating that his score was now 206. When his UTME result, however, remained unchanged on the JAMB portal, Kokowa’s father, Garen, wrote a letter of complaint to the board asking for the rectification of his son’s scores.

The board, thereafter, invited Kokowa to come with the two results as proof, after which he confessed on Thursday to have employed a syndicate.

The boy was afterward handed over to the NSCDC.

Kokowa who was convinced that he scored a higher mark in the UTME had checked the results more than 15 times before deciding to get it upgraded by contacting the syndicate on a WhatsApp group. He said he convinced there was an error from the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB). 

Kokowa said that although he knew upgrading scores was an offence, he did not believe he would be caught.

He said, “Those people sent a mail to my electronic mail inbox that they could help me to upgrade my score. I then sent them my registration number and e-mail address. When the results were released and I checked, they showed me 206. Then, one of them called me and demanded payment.

“I later went to check and I found 162. I was confused. I had heard that upgrading scores was an offence, but I didn’t really believe it. I did not tell my father and my uncle about the syndicate.”

The JAMB Registrar, Oloyede, said the board would ensure the arrest and prosecution of candidates discovered to have engaged in fraudulent practices before, during and after the examination.

He said, “One of the popular claims candidates usually make is that JAMB issued two different UTME results to them. But I said it was a lie because this result was processed via information and communication technology.

“When this boy came with his complaint, I asked for his records to be brought and we discovered that he had contacted fraudsters who gave him a fake result. We discovered that the result given to him was an imposition of another candidate’s result on his own.

“He is with the NSCDC and he will be handed over to the police for prosecution.”

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N4.9 Trillion Debt: We're Collaborating To Avert Disaster In Nigeria, Say Anti-corruption Commission, Asset Recovery Corporation

5 July 2019 - 12:25am


The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) have resolved to partner towards the recovery of assets worth trillions of naira for the government. 

The ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said in a statement on Thursday that the decision to forge this collaboration emerged during a visit by AMCON’s management to ICPC headquarters in Abuja recently. 

She said the AMCON Chairman, Dr. Muiz Banire, revealed that the government was owed debts worth N4.9 trillion by numerous entities, and as such, they were in the commission to partner it in order to “rescue the system from impending disaster by recovering the outstanding indebtedness”. 

Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC Chairman, pledged the commission’s commitment to partnering with AMCON to achieve its mandate of assets recovery which incidentally was also an important part of ICPC’s work. 

She said he promised that the commission would set up a task team to put the partnership into effect.
 

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Gunmen Kidnap Two Chinese, Kill Their Police Guard In Nigeria

5 July 2019 - 12:23am


Two Chinese working with a glass and aluminium company have been reportedly abducted by gunmen in Benin, Edo State. 

The incident happened on Wednesday at the Utesi community along the Benin-Auchi Road.

According to reports, the police orderly attached to the victims lost his life; he was caught down in a hail of bullets during the operation.

The victims were said to be on their way home after the close of work when the gunmen blocked their vehicle. They were abducted after killing the police guard.  

Speaking to newsmen, a source who preferred to be anonymous said, "As soon as the victims came out of the company’s premises, the gunmen, who apparently had been waiting for them, started trailing them.”

The source added that the gunmen killed the cop attached to the victims, before abducting the Chinese.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. DanMallam Muhammed, confirmed the incident.

“Yes, the incident was reported to us yesterday (Wednesday). We are working hard to rescue the victims from the kidnappers,” he stated.
 

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Nine Nigerians Killed In Air Strike On Libya Detention Centre

4 July 2019 - 2:06pm


 

The Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says nine of its citizens were among those killed in a double air strike on a detention centre outside Tripoli, the capital of Libya.

Deaths from the attack which was carried out on the hapless civilians late Tuesday, has been reviewed to 53 from 44.

More bodies are still being pulled out of the rubble, indicating that the body count has not stopped.

Worst still, the United Nations said in a new report on the war crime that guards fired on migrants trying to flee the site of the explosion.

BBC reports that the first missile landed in a garage beside the camp, while a second struck a hanger occupied by at list 120 European dream seekers.

Two of the migrants informed the British broadcaster that they were coerced to work for a local militia. At list 500 more stranded migrants are vulnerable to attacks according to the UN report.

"There are reports that following the first impact, some refugees and migrants were fired upon by guards as they tried to escape," the UN report said.

"Humanitarian actors call for the immediate release of refugees and migrants from detention centres and for relocation to safe shelter," the report added. Fathi Bashagha, Libya’s Minister of Interior, was quoted by the Libyan Observer, as saying that the government is considering closing all detention centres.

While people smugglers try to get migrants who are mainly from Nigerian and other Subsaharan African countries, to Europe in crammed rubber boats, Libyan coast guards funded by the European Union, intercept these dingy inflatable contraptions and return them to detention camps. With funding from the EU bloc, Libyans found a new venture in setting up deportation camps.

Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry which has no communications link, has failed to put out any press release or Tweet on the killings at press time— leaving the report by the BBC as its only mouthpiece.

Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj’s National Accord and War Lord Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan national Army, have blamed each other for the attack.

The Washignton Post in a piece published Thursday, noted that the militia the migrants were working for, was on the side of Al-Sarraj.

The combatants used the hanger adjacent to the camp house to store ammunitions, this would most likely have made it a target for the LNA.

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Elisha Abbo Undergoing Interrogation in Police Custody

4 July 2019 - 1:55pm


Senator Abbo Elisha with Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu

Senator Abbo Elisha with Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu PM News


Disgraced Senator Elisha Abbo, representing Adamawa North senatorial District, has arrived at the FCT police command in Abuja, for interrogation over his assault of a nursing mother in a sex toy shop. 

Following a viral video published by Premium Times on Tuesday, Mohammed Adamu, Inspector General of Police, had the following day said Abbo would be invited for questioning on Thursday.

The Senate had also opened preliminary investigations into Abbo’s conduct. Online petitions have been signed calling for him to be charged to court and arrested.

Punch reports that Abbo had met with Adamu at the force Headquarters, before going to the police command. 

Bala Ciroma, the FCT Commissioner of Police, told Punch that Abbo was still with them.

The video, which was obtained from a closed-circuit camera installed in the shop, showed Abbo assaulting a lady who had tried to intervene in an argument between the senator and a sales attendant.
 

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