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Oyo Govt Rebuilds Yinka Ayefele’s Music House

16 November 2018 - 12:36am


Oyo State Government has begun rebuilding Yinka Ayefele’s Music House which was demolished on August 19, 2018.

The house is also the office for Ayefele’s Fresh FM station.

The Oyo State Government carried out the demolition claiming infringement of some building laws but the remorseful government is now set to make amends.

According to a report by TVC, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has taken up the responsibility to rebuild the same structure his government’s agents demolished for violating building laws.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi with Yinka Ayefele in Ibadan

According to reports, construction workers are on site and they have a deadline to ensure that the renovation is completed by December 2018.

“A lot has happened since the demolition in August. We’ve had a lull in the activities going on here”, said Samson Akindele, head of news at Fresh FM.

“Just about two weeks ago, after all the meetings and agreements, the ministry of works in Oyo state through the office of the permanent secretary and the commissioner came in to start fulfilling the promise the governor made that indeed the partial demolition was an activity done in error.”

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Amaechi: Atiku Not A Match For Buhari

16 November 2018 - 12:26am


Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is no match for President Buhari in the forthcoming presidential election.

Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers State, who was a guest on the ‘Morning Show’ of ARISE News, a broadcast arm of THISDAY, yesterday, boasted that judging from the anti-corruption reputation of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government, the PDP and its candidate will be a mismatch for his party in 2019.

He noted that evaluating the performances of the incumbent Nigerian leader in comparison with previous administrations under the opposition party, would further reduce the chances of the PDP, which he labelled as corrupt and unfit to take Nigeria to the Promised Land.

Asked if, as the D-G of the president’s re- election bid, he feels the ruling party feels uneasy that the PDP has a very strong team in Atiku/Obi, Amaechi said, “I am telling you clearly, we have nothing to fear about; I am not joking.”

He said for his party and the people of Nigeria, the next general election in February 2019 would be another opportunity to critically look at the issue of who has the known antecedent to genuinely tackle corruption and that by reputation, the PDP could not contend against the APC in terms of corruption perception.

“As soon as PDP elected its presidential candidate, the first thing that went to the social media was corruption. I am not saying whether he is corrupt or not, but the first battle you had in the social media was to battle the issue of corruption and those issues of corruption were the things said by ex-President Obasanjo,” he stated.

On the celebrated reconciliation between Obasanjo and Atiku, Amaechi said their vituperative attacks against each other will also be made public for Nigerians to decide, saying: “Their statements are in the public. We would get back all those statements to the table.”

According to him, “There are two issues that we will be focusing on, corruption; Nigerians will have to decide whether to go back to the stealing, where Nigerian government was borrowing money to pay salary. We are not borrowing money to pay salary now; where we were importing tomatoes, when we can plant tomatoes at home; when we were buying about 500,000 eggs per day from South Africa; and now that we are producing the eggs.

“The reason is that there are too many issues to debate about. For 16 years, Vice President Abubakar was in power for eight years, did they do anything on railways, the answer is no. I saw in my office, contracts awarded by the last government, to Nigerians who do not know anything about railways. To build a narrow gauge, how much was spent? That is why I said I would not pay and I won’t pay, when I leave the next person can pay them because these Nigerians did nothing and they are asking to be paid for having rehabilitated the narrow gauge.”

Buhari’s chief campaign manager said the PDP doesn’t offer any alternative, contending that he could not see any real opposition to his candidate.

Explaining why Nigerians have not witnessed much in terms of infrastructure, especially roads despite claims by the administration that it is spending huge amounts on the sector, Amaechi said weather and other natural factors have delayed work at most of the sites.

He said there are ongoing construction works in most parts of the country, adding that the APC-led administration has been able to implement capital budget almost at a 100 per cent rating as against a dismal situation during the past administration.

The minister listed several ongoing road projects and railway facilities, which he said the Buhari-led administration has invested hugely in the last three and half years.
On the forthcoming campaigns, Amaechi said it will be issues-based.

He denied that the party ever promised to make naira equivalent to dollar during the 2015 elections.
Amaechi said, “We will be telling Nigerians the same thing – don’t let thieves come to power again. The president never said he will make naira equal to dollar. We are not that cheap economists, we don’t practice voodoo economy.
“The president was clear during his campaign. ‘I will ensure that insecurity is tackled; I will ensure that we rebuild the economy and create employment; I will ensure that corruption is tackled because corruption is the basis in which we are finding ourselves into these entire problems.

“I give you this example, by the time we assumed office, we discover that PDP had taken $2 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and we followed the money. It was in everybody’s private pockets. The railway line from Lagos to Kano is $2.6 billion. So, we would have had two times that project with the money.”

Responding to the allegations of bias against Buhari in his fight against corruption, and the fact that he and others in APC have been shielded from prosecution on corruption allegations, Amaechi said he was ready to submit himself to investigation any day, any time.

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Buhari Speaks On Saying ‘40m Nigerians Are Mad’

16 November 2018 - 12:17am


President Muhammadu Buhari has denied statement credited to him making the rounds that many Nigerians are suffering from mental illness.

The report had it that president Muhammadu Buhari in his address in the Paris Peace Forum, said 40 million Nigerians were mad.

But, reacting, Femi Adesina the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity denied the statement saying ‘evil minds’ created the fake news.

He urged Nigerians to beware of those spreading fake news, adding that they would go to any length to gain political advantage even if it’s with the mental health of Nigerians.

Adesina on his verified Twitter page wrote: “Evil minds claim President Buhari says 40 million Nigerians are mad. Fake news.

“They now play with the mental health of people to gain political advantage. Beware of them.”

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Nigeria Can Pay Living Wage, Says Oshiomhole

16 November 2018 - 12:09am


National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole  said yesterday that Nigeria can afford living wage for workers.

He said non payment of salaries by governors creates a viscious circle leading to low production and eventual loss of jobs.

Oshiomhole said as a governor, he told his colleagues that payment of salaries was no burden, but a means of enhancing the development potential of the state, adding that the country’s major problem is stealing of public resources in the name or salary payment.

The former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president spoke on a television programme.

He said: “My views are clear, that payment of wages is not an act of kindness for an employer to pay the employees’ wages at the end of the month… Even the Holy Bible says that the laborer is entitled to its wages.

“I think, again, this is where President Buhari stands out clearly. He has publicly asked public sector employers; how do you sleep when you have not paid your employers for one year. But he did not stop at lamenting it, he went on to provide the much- talked about bailout fund and said, ‘please use this money to pay your workers and pay pension arears.

“And even the deductions from states that was done under the PDP in the name of settling our foreign debts, they went into state treasury and they over deducted; that was done under the PDP. But under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, even inspite of the huge financial challenges that he faces, decided that in order to assist the states to meet up with their social obligations, to begin to pay what is now referred to as Paris Club refund.

“He has done that two, three instalments and each time the governors are told that you must use this money, among other things to settle pension arrears and be up to date in the payment of salaries.

“But I am very proud that this President has rich conscience, he recognises that the Nigerian worker deserves his wages and that is why he has publicly lamented that there are governors who have not paid salaries as at when due, whether they are PDP or APC, it is immaterial. And in seeking to deal with it he has also provided support across party divide and I think that is statesmanship at its best.

“As for my views on the minimum wage, I tried to deal with it as a governor. I told my colleagues then that wage is not a burden in the society. In economics, when people work and get paid, purchasing power is enhanced and because purchasing power is enhanced producers will respond to that by seeking to produce more goods and services. And in the process they will recruit more hands.

“. My being in government or now chairman of a party cannot change what I believe in.

“The real problem in the public sector is money being stolen in the name of salaries, I find it embarrassing when we talk about ghost workers. And I ask the question, who counts ghosts. It is only in Nigeria that ghosts are known.”

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I Know How Boko Haram Started – Atiku

16 November 2018 - 12:00am


Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said he knows how Boko Haram started.

In an interview with The African Reports, which he shared on his verified Twitter handle @atiku, Atiku said that politicians were to be blamed for the emergence of Boko Haram.

Asked how he would solve the Boko Haram challenge, he replied:

“I happen to know how Boko Haram came into being. They were offshoots of political thuggery. Politicians used those boys in Boko Haram to win elections and then abandoned them and then there were no jobs for them. It was the same thing with the Niger Delta. In 1998, I saw it myself and I warned people.

“It’s going to be a multifaceted approach. It will involve negotiations. It will involve military action.”

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'Enough Is Enough!' — Oshiomhole Brands Bribe-Taking Allegations As 'Nonsense'

15 November 2018 - 1:10pm


Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called for a stop to the "irresponsible lies" against him regarding receiving bribes from politicians.

Oshimhole noted that "if the exercise of the APC primaries were to be about money-taking or money-making, the state governors, some of whom are embittered about the outcomes in their states, were in a better position to dish out mega bucks".

A statement on Thursday by Simon Ebegbulem, Chief Press Secretary to Oshiomhole, titled 'Alleged Bribe-taking: This Nonsense Must Stop', accused "some top elements in the top hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)" or working with some APC members.

The statement read: "The attention of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Party (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomole has been drawn to a rash of libellous reports by disgruntled persons aimed at maligning his hard-earned reputation.

"The primary elections of the APC, which were at the root of these malicious attacks, have come and gone, but it is understandable that those who lost out in the transparent exercise conducted by the party under the leadership of Comrade Oshiomhole have been exercising their rights to protest.

"It is curious to note that some elements in the top hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appeared to be too eager to see the exit of the APC Chairman from office and may be working in tandem with certain APC members. While it makes sense for PDP to wish for cure for their headache that Comrade Oshiomole has become, it should not be taken for granted that anyone can get away with any action that is capable of tarnishing the unassailable integrity of the APC Chairman.

"We are aware that part of the strategies discussed in Dubai, where the PDP leaders recently visited and held their meeting, was to continue to dish out lies against top APC leaders with a view to distract the leadership of the APC ahead the 2019 general election. But they have failed because the National Chairman and APC leaders are focused and will never be distracted."

He also threatened to take legal action against those making "unsubstantiated allegations" against Oshiomhole.

The statement continued: "However, it is time these irresponsible lies stopped; otherwise, anybody who continues to make unsubstantiated allegations against the person and character of the National Chairman should be ready to provide proofs in a court of law. It cannot be just a political game to smear the character of Comrade Oshiomole by people whose track record is unenviable.

"We want the public to note that if the exercise of the APC primaries were to be about money-taking or money-making, the state governors, some of whom are embittered about the outcomes in their states, were in a better position to dish out mega bucks. But the National Working Committee of APC under the leadership of Comrade Oshiomole was motivated by higher ideals and the pursuit of noble democratic principles.

"It is sad that instead of commending the National Chairman for resisting criminal overtures to compromise him, he is being relentlessly harangued, abused and accused of receiving phantom bribes. This is a callous and wicked enterprise. The National Chairman's credibility is unassailable. His reputation as president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is a matter of fact. Significantly, as NLC president, he fought the PDP-controlled Federal Government in furtherance of pro-people policies without collecting money to compromise the struggles.

"He rode on the crest of his credibility and reputation to step in the saddle in Edo State as governor for eight years where he turned around the fortune of the state. Indeed, owing to his performance in Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was able to get the people's support to ensure victory for APC governor as his successor.

"The National Chairman views the current attempts to tarnish his image as uncalled for and has vowed that he will seek legal redress against anybody or media, whether the traditional or in the social media, who makes such unsubstantiated allegations henceforth.

"Enough is enough. We urge our respected media outfits to exercise caution not to be used by unscrupulous elements. Except such persons or media house can provide evidence."

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Man Accuses Officer Of Threatening Him With Pistol, Petitions NSA

15 November 2018 - 11:49am


The car belonging to the NSA agent

The car belonging to the NSA agent

One Jeff Okoroafor has petitioned the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) after he was allegedly threatened with a pistol by an agent of the NSA security force.

According to Okoroafor, the incident occurred last Monday at the Chicken Republic parking lot, Wuse 2, close to AP Plaza in Abuja.

He said the unidentified NSA security agent "pulled out his pistol and threatened to shoot" because Okoroafor's car was blocking his.

Narrating the incident, Okoroafor wrote: “As I alighted from my car, I attached on the windshield wiper a piece of paper containing my number and went on to conduct my business. By the time I returned, I saw the car in front of mine trying to wriggle its way out and I quickly rushed in, apologized to both the restaurant’s attendants and this security agent and showed them the note I left. That was it! This security agent went ballistic, calling me unprintable names, pushing me, hitting me, and threatening to slap the devil out of me.

“I saw a gun attached to his waist and then quickly asked that he conduct himself as an officer of the law, adding that reckless acts like that could lead to him losing his job. On hearing this, he rushed at me, hit me hard on the chest and pulled out his gun threatening to shoot me and vowed nothing would happen."

Okoroafor advised the NSA to look into the "lawless act" and give due reprimand to ensure similar security agents do not bring "opprobrium to the image and integrity of Nigeria".

The petition continued: “Till this moment, I am still riddled with shock from the offensive, barbaric, irresponsible and lawless act of this security agent. Hideous acts such as this shouldn’t be overlooked nor go unpunished. This security agent has shown that he is a lawless officer who has no respect nor regard for the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and will continue to bring opprobrium to the image and integrity of Nigeria as long as he remains in service.

“Therefore, in the light of the above, I demand the following: Immediate investigation of this issue, and appropriate sanction where necessary; issuance of unreserved apology to me for this assault and threat to my life by this security agent.

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Ondo Central Senatorial Candidate Concedes Ticket To Mimiko

15 November 2018 - 11:46am


Gboye Adegbenro, the Ondo Central Senatorial candidate seeking to contest on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) has conceded the ticket to Olusegun Mimiko, former ZLP presidential candidate.

Adegbenro announced this on Thursday, via a statement obtained by SaharaReporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

He said he decided to stepped down from Ondo Central Senatorial District having consulted widely.

The statement read: "It has become imperative that I bring to a close my aspiration to represent Ondo Central Senatorial District at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at this critical juncture. Having consulted far and wide with my family, business associates, followers and constituents, it has become important to bow out before the full race commences in the interest of our great party, the Zenith Labour Party and our dear state.

"More than the above, I am convinced that the candidacy of our leader, the former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, will better serve the interest of the district now and the overall goal of the South-West. I am eternally grateful to my constituents, followers and party leaders who have been with us all through the processes that culminated into taking this decision and renew my commitment and unalloyed dedication to the Zenith Labour Party.

"I remain a firm believer and supporter of my brother and leader, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, who invited me into partisan politics and who has always provided selfless leadership."

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'After Receiving Calls Asking Him To Forget Presidential Ambition', Mimiko Confirms Withdrawal From Race

15 November 2018 - 11:45am


Olusegun Mimiko, the Presidential Candidate of Zenith Labour Party, ( ZLP) has confirmed his withdrawal from the presidential race ahead of the 2019 general election, SaharaReporters can authoritatively report.

Mimiko made the confirmation on Thursday at a meeting with his supporters in his home in Ondo Local Government Area of the state.  

SaharaReporters gathered that members of his Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) attended the meeting. Sources who attended the meeting told our correspondent that Mimiko was also confirmed to be the Senatorial candidate of the party in Ondo.

"Iroko (Mimiko) told us that he had received several calls from people advising him to forget his ambition. He said that people told him that 2019 presidential race is between President Muhammadu and Atiku Abubakar. So, he confirmed that having been advised from people who know the polity of the country, he has decided to quit and run for the Senate," the party member said.

"By that, he has shown interest to run for the Ondo Central Senatorial District on the same party, ZLP. He has asked us to go down to the local government and grassroots to work for the party and build it."

SaharaReporters also gathered that Mimiko has also penned Eni Akinsola, his media aide, as the Senatorial Candidate of Ondo South.

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Ganduje Slams N3bn Suit Against Daily Nigerian Publisher

15 November 2018 - 11:35am


Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, has sued Daily Nigerian newspaper and its Publisher, Jaafar Jaafar for publishing video clips showing him collecting bribe in hard currency from contractors.

The suit, filed at a state High Court, came a few weeks after the video was published.

The governor has been viewed in a series of videos published by the online medium, receiving kickbacks from contractors. However, during a hearing before an investigative panel set up by the Kano State House of Assembly, the publisher maintained that Ganduje had been under investigation for more than two years, when he got a hint from his contractor-friend that the governor received amounts ranging between 15 to 25 per cent of contract funds for every project executed in the state. See Also Corruption Ganduje Has Been Collecting 15-25% Cut From Contractors For Years, Says Daily Nigerian Publisher 0 Comments 3 Weeks Ago

In the suit filed by Nuraddeen Ayagi, Ganduje’s counsel, the governor urged the court to, among others, restrain Daily Nigerian from further publishing what he referred to as “defamatory doctored video clips".

According to Daily Nigerian, the governor also is also seeking the payment of N3billion as damages for "defamation of his character", as well as a public apology syndicated through other online platforms with global accessibility.

When contacted over the development, Jaafar said his lawyers would study the process and respond appropriately after he and the company are duly served.

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Bayelsa PDP, APC Exchange Uppercuts Over Dickson's N80bn International Cargo Airport

15 November 2018 - 10:02am


The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Bayelsa State Government have traded words over the N80 billion International Cargo Airport built by the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson.

While the APC said the airport project is a "cesspit of fraud", the Bayelsa State Government referred to the APC under the leadership of former Bayelsa Governor Timipre Sylva as a "rejected party of sick, confused and confusing minds".

A statement issued on Thursday in Yenagoa by the APC State Publicity Secretary, Doifie Buokoribo, advised the state governor to "be prepared to stand trial for this and other crimes against the people of Bayelsa State".

The statement read: "The airport was economically unviable as it lacked vital intermodal network for easy accessibility. We know it as a matter of fact that state governments that built airports in the past are unable to sustain them and want the Federal Government to take them over. No self-respecting, patriotic and honest Nigerian should be associated with this kind of fraudulent project.

"Governor Henry Seriake Dickson collected a N40 billion credit facility from a commercial bank to commence work on the project. As against the initial estimated cost of N40 billion, the Bayelsa State governor himself disclosed in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw Local Government Council, on 26 May, 2018 that N80 billion had already been spent by the state government.

"Add to the new figure the loan interest of N32 billion, and the cost comes to N112 billion. It is clearly the most expensive airport project in Nigeria, as none of the 26 owned by the Federal Government or the eight owned by states is near that figure.

"Governor Dickson told the Amassoma people that they ought to be appreciative for the airport project, which would generate employment and business opportunities and bring about rapid development. We strongly contest this picture painted by the governor. The Bayelsa International Airport project does not make any economic sense. A total interest of N32 billion (to be serviced within eight years) is a crippling repayment burden to the state. What is more, its faulty conceptualisation leaves the airport without a critical axial component — a standard road network or connecting rail system — for ground accessibility.

"To civil servants, teachers, pensioners, local government employees, and other segments of the populace, who had been without salaries or pensions, or had been placed on half pay for some 10 months while the airport was being built, that project is symptomatic of a vision that is not only deficient but also diseased."

Responding to the APC statement, Hon. Daniel Iworiso Markson, the Commissioner for Information, berated the APC for its comments on the airport project.

Iworiso-Markson accused Sylva of using what should have been a laudable airport project to "milk the state and siphon billions of Naira into private pockets".

According to the commissioner, 44 houses of Sylva for which he was probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were "screaming testimonials of the kleptocracy unleashed on Bayelsa by the APC and its thieving maniacs".

The statement read: “The Bayelsa State Government found it pertinent to react to the raving inanities of Chief Timipre Sylva and his delirious band of political rejects just to set the records straight. Timipre Sylva and the APC once told Bayelsans that the Nembe Road had no economic value but he uses that road to his community anytime  the diaspora politician visits Bayelsa. The same clique of politicians bereft of ideas are saying the Bayelsa Airport does not have economic viable in their desperation to criticise and condemn anything PDP.

“The fact is that the APC, a sinking party of sick, confused and confusing minds, lacks the capacity to see tomorrow as the vision of an international airport in Bayelsa is an impossibility to minds in custody of leadership aridity. Where Sylva and the APC see impossibilities, the Restoration Government led by Governor Dickson has translated vision into reality.

"The APC and Sylva should concern themselves with the suspended albatross of corruption charges for the scandal 44 buildings Sylva built with Bayelsa money, the moral burden of the waste of N780 billion and the foisting of a huge debt burden of N125 billion on Bayelsa among others. The fact is that APC in Bayelsa comprises Sylva, Lokpobiri, and Sylva’s aide òf many years, now Publicity Secretary, Ola Doifie. Sylva is a stranded sailor, who has been abandoned by his lieutenants in a raging political ocean.

“If anybody is to fear, Sylva should await the verdict of justice. His moment in the court of justice shall surely come. For now, his strongest defence against corruption charges is his membership of the APC.

“Creating non-existent insecurity in Bayelsa will provide no escape route for the a day of doom that draws closer with each clicking second.”

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Ex-APC Spokesman Threatens To Publish Names Of Politicians Who 'Bribed' Oshiomhole

15 November 2018 - 9:50am


Timi Frank, former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has threatened to publish names and amounts paid to Adams Oshiomhole, APC National Chairman during the party primaries.

He also claimed that Oshiomhole collected over $50million from different aspirants and candidates.

According to Frank, a large percentage of the money was paid to Oshiomhloe through proxies from Imo, Zamfara, Adamawa, Ogun states, among others.

An exclusive report by SaharaReporters on Thursday revealed that the Department of State Services (DSS) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to prosecute Oshiomhole for allegedly receiving at least $55million in relation to the nationwide primaries of the party. See Also Exclusive AT A GLANCE: The DSS Breakdown Of How Politicians 'Bribed' Oshiomhole In Dollars 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

However, in a statement signed in Abuja on Thursday, the former APC spokesman threatened to "publish the names and amounts paid to lobby the national chairman to clear aspirants and substitute the names of duly elected candidates with those that failed".

"I dare say that this singular act of refusing to order the prosecution of Oshiomhole over sundry acts of bribery and corruption he committed as contained in the DSS report, President Buhari has shown that his APC-led administration is a stinking house of corruption," he said.

Expressing surprise at Oshiomhole's latest ordeal, he said the former labour leader will go down in history as a party chairman who allegedly received such "humongous bribe within a short period of time in office".

Frank, however, called on the president to act on the recommendations of the DSS by ordering "Oshiomhole's sack and prosecution, if his (Buhari) government is actually fighting corruption or opposition".

He continued: "We are in the know that President Muhammadu Buhari has received the DSS report on Adams Oshiomhole and Nigerians are patiently waiting for the action or inaction of his government, because this is an administration that has claimed fighting corruption as an achievement.

"In the history of party administration in Nigeria, no party chairman has been accused of collecting the jaw-breaking amount of money allegedly collected within a short period in office like Comrade Oshiomhole has allegedly done.

"Instead of Oshiomhole to clear his name, he has taken to diversionary path asking the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki to resign. Nigerians are not gullible. We shall wait to see how the acclaimed anti-corruption regime will act on this particular issue.

"This same Oshiomhole has been attacking the Senate President, calling on him to resign on moral ground. Can Oshiomhole now step aside while investigation into his financial malfeasance is ongoing to justify his much talked about morality?"

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ICPC Arraigns NSCDC Official For Forged Certificate

15 November 2018 - 9:37am


The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned one Hassan Abdullahi Manga, before Honourable Abbas Ahman of Kebbi State High Court 3, sitting in Birnin Kebbi on a two-count charge bordering on alleged forgery.

Manga, a Principal Inspector with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) serving in Niger State Command was accused of procuring and presenting a forged Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) Lower Credit from Adamu Augie College of Education, Kebbi State, with which he used to secure employment with NSCDC in 2004.

According to a statement by ICPC on Thursday, trouble started for the Manga in 2016 when the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, upon the suspicion that forged certificates were presented by many officers of parastatals under the Ministry, wrote to ICPC to scrutinise the credentials of its personnel presented either at entry point or during the period of their service.

The minister's letter read in part: “As part of our effort to carry out reforms in the services so as to enhance professionalism, and in line with the current government change agenda, it has been found necessary to scrutinize credentials presented by individuals either at entry point or during the period of service. This is as a result of the recent discoveries made of some fake credentials, especially degree certificates, by some personnel.”

The Commission's investigation, however, revealed that the NCE presented by Manga before he was employed by NSCDC which he purportedly obtained in 2001 was forged, as his name was not on the convocation list of that year.

In a suit with Charge No: KB/HC/17C/2018, counsel to ICPC, Maskur Salisu, averred that the defendant’s action was contrary to sections 363, and 366 and punishable under section 364 of the Penal Code Law. If he is found guilty, he is liable to 14 years imprisonment.

The accused person entered a “not guilty” plea when the two charges preferred against him were read to him.

His counsel, Hussaini Zakariya, prayed the court to grant his client bail which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel. He was granted bail in the sum of N2,000,000 and a surety in like sum who must possess a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

The case has been adjourned to December 11 and 12, 2018 for hearing.

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Prof. Nwabueze, Chidoka, FFK, Peter Obi, et.al. Are “Hausa Fulani Slaves” By Churchill Okonkwo

15 November 2018 - 9:00am


Hausa Fulani Slave! Hausa Fulani Slave! Hausa Fulani Slave! Hausa Fulani Slave! That and so much more vileness was the backlash that some of us had to contend with for supporting Buhari is 2015. Now that those who supported Buhari and those currently supporting Atiku Abubakar are all “Hausa-Fulani Slaves”, I welcome my brothers Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Peter Obi, Osita Chidoka, Ike Ekweremadu FFK, et.al and my sisters Chidimma, Ifeoma, Chisom, et.al to the world of Hausa Fulani slavery, with love.

To open this love letter to my Igbo brothers (including FFK) and sisters with this words that I have was not done in haste. It was not easy and I gave a serious thought to whether I should open with such a repulsive derogatory epithet “Hausa-Fulani Slave.” Why give power even inadvertently, to the demeaning words and its destructive discourse? The answer is simple; truth must be told and political hypocrites must be exposed and ridiculed.

So, my aim here is certainly not to give power to the destructive discourse but to lay bare the ugliness of the politics of bigotry and hypocrisy. If you like, you can call me a truth teller or someone who dares to hold a disagreeable mirror up to my brothers and sisters and ask that they take a long and hard look without fleeing, running away or threatening to expel nonconforming voices from closed WhatsApp groups.

The truth can hurt, stun, unsettle, and unnerve. And yet, the truth must be told. For years, we complained about the dangers of embracing IPOB, a group that is anchored on bigotry, fear-mongering and promotion of hate speech. Osita Chidoka and FFK called us names and labeled “Hausa Fulani slaves”; Ekweremadu whipped up ethnic sentiments to remain relevant; Peter Obi courted Nnamdi Kanu and lied with sincerity as he positioned himself for the VP slot. Now that we are all “Hausa-Fulani Slaves”, the truth is emerging that these deceitful political hypocrites were waiting for an opportunity to swallow their vomit.

After years of derogating everything “North”, imagine Osita Chidoka opening his campaign speech for Atiku by first telling Ndigbo that, “I, too, am a Hausa Fulani Slave”. Imagine Senator Ike Ekweremadu, telling Ndigbo that he cries at night for not being selected to serve his Hausa Fulani master, Atiku. Imagine Peter Obi telling Ndigbo that he is very happy to have been the chosen one from the Jewish tribe of Africa to serve a descendant of Usman dan Fodio. Imagine FFK apologizing to his IPOB fan base for deceiving them. I imagine these new Hausa-Fulani slaves having the decency to tell the parents of Igbo youths that died for in the streets of Aba and Onitsha that they are sorry.

If someone you hate has a rash, you call it leprosy, forgetting that all grapes are sour. After years of propagation of hate-filled message stuffed with fear against Hausas and Fulanis, a person of, Atiku, a Hausa-Fulani shows up and the hate and curses disappeared. The professional politicians that used IPOB and the “messiah” Nnamdi Kanu have suddenly abandoned him and his “Biafra or death” nonsense and started following a new god residing at the foot of Adamawa Highlands.

Sure, the fly follows the person who is carrying a smelly stuff. For months, Chidoka rode on the back of IPOB and Kanu en route his disastrous run for Anambra State governorship election. He appeared in courts, with FFK on a red cap, a disrespect to one of the most valued Igbo cultural identity. But when a fly with smelly stuff Atiku surfaced, FFK and Chidoka not only transformed to Atiku’s Otimkpu (megaphones), they now laugh at IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu when they say that Biafra will not partake in any election in Nigeria.

A woodpecker says that after his parents die he will break off the trunk of the apü tree, but after they have died, a boil grows in his mouth. For years, the supporters of Southeast PDP bragged that they will stop the descendants of Usman dan Fodio from completing their march down south to the Atlantic coast of Lagos. They used hate-filled comments on social media to malign the poor man from Daura who is content with life in his small hut in the village. However, when faced with the crucial challenge of choosing between a humble versus greedy Usman dan Fodio descendant, they embraced the greedy Atiku with a record of land-grabbing in parts of Lagos Ports. What an irony.

When the baby wren is growing, it looks like it would be bigger than its mother. When the latest entrants to political slavery in Nigeria were basking under the illusion stopping Usman dan Fodio descendants, they forgot that a noisy show does not imply knowledge. Ndigbo have a saying that a wise man in Aba is a fool in Abba. A wise man who spent 4 years derogating a descendant of Usman dan Fodio in Daura over an ancient Fulani war of 1809 only to embrace a descendant of Usman dan Fodio that has already reached the coast of Lagos is the real slave.

Osita Chidoka, FKK, Peter Obi, Ekweremadu et.al are political hypocrites whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of greed that they are ruthless in their use of deceit to attain power. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the looted money simultaneously, they may keep us the common citizens in eternal subjection. These men and their co-hypocrites and bigots are like the fowl that refused to eat praying mantis because they do not want to die. Yet, they won’t let praying mantis be, because they don’t want to starve to death.

I opened this article, with that ugliest taunt to let prof Nwabueze, Osita Chidoka, Peter Obi, FFK, Ike Ekweremadu and the rest of my brothers and sisters know, with love, that we are now all “Hausa Fulani Slaves”. The moral of this piece is that if we cannot stand together in brotherhood while disagreeing on personal political alignment as Ndigbo in Nigeria, we can, at least respect one another as “Hausa-Fulani slaves”.

On a final note, the Hausa-Fulani slaves worshiping an aggressive, greedy and dangerously corrupt descendant of Usman Dan Fodio in the person of Atiku have eaten their vomit and should bury their heads in shame. Like a onye ite, a clay-pot retailer, they will soon realize that they are not in business. But, should they ever embrace the leprous IPOB after losing the 2019 election, my good Lord and their Chukwu Okike Abiama will whip them mercilessly. Until then, let us enjoy our “slavery”, together in brotherhood and love.

 

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

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'Happily-Married' 50-Year-Old Carpenter 'Rapes' Autistic, 20-Year-Old Virgin After Giving Her N50

15 November 2018 - 8:45am


The suspect, Tunde Ogunlade


Tunde Ogunlade, a 50-year-old carpenter, has been arrested for raping an autistic lady.

Ogunlade was apprehended for sexually assaulting the 20-year-old (name withheld) in Akure. The victim is also said to be physically-challenged.

The suspect was nabbed by officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in the Ondo State Command.

SaharaReporters gathered that the crime was committed at No. J3X in the Newtown area of Oke-Aro in  Akure.

According to Femi Joseph, spokesperson of the Ondo Police Command, who paraded the suspect in Akure on Thursday, Ogunlade took advantage of the 20-year-old girl's condition and raped her inside the bathroom.

He disclosed that the mother of the victim reported the incident at the police station.

Addressing journalists, Joseph said: "The man (Ogunlade) came to the neighborhood for a carpentry work and decided to take the advantage and challenge of the autistic lady. He gave the young lady a N50 note and had carnal knowledge of her.

"It is unfortunate that this man, who is happily married with three kids, descended to the abuse of moral prolifigacy by taking advantage of this autistic lady. It is shame but the law will have to take its cause and he will have his day in court by telling the Judge how he committed the crime. As usual, he has blamed the act on the devil, but beyond that we would request him to prove that beyond all reasonable doubt."

He urged parents to look after their children to ensure that criminals do not take advantage of them.

"We are using this opportunity to advise the parents to always monitor their wards because there are now many people whose stock in trade is to commit this devilish act," he said.

During interrogation with journalists, the suspect narrated how he carried out the crime. He blamed his act on the devil and argued that he only fingered the girl through her private part.

"I came for some carpentry work in the house and the young lady just passed through the passage of the house," he aid.

"I decided to call her by holding her hand, and she held mine too. I drew her to the bathroom but I did not rape her. I only fingered her in her private part. It was later I knew she was a virgin and I begged her."

When asked, if he would marry the girl, the suspect said: "With this act I have committed, if they ask me to marry her I will. I will call my wife and three children and tell them."

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Nine Months After, 80% Of Students, Teachers Resume In Dapchi School

15 November 2018 - 8:23am


Nine months after more than 100 girls were kidnapped from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, academic activities in the school have fully resumed.

On february 19, 2018, 110 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents. Although the insurgents released the students in March 2018, one of them, Leah Sharibu, is still in the custody of the insurgents, while five others were said to have died in captivity.

In October 2018, Boko Haram had threatened to keep Sharibu as a slave for life, when they issued the threat to murder a medical aid worker, Hauwa Liman. News of Liman's eventual murder was reported on October 15, 2018. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Boko Haram Executes Aid Worker Hauwa Liman 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

Hajiya Adama Abdulkarim, Principal of the school, told NAN on Thursday that at least 80 per cent of the students and teachers had resumed.

“More than 80 per cent of the students have resumed, likewise the teachers. Almost all of them are around except for very few who are away for one or more official reasons. School activities are moving smoothly as they were before the ugly incident,” she said.

Abdulkarim also noted that the school had taken steps to "comfort and encourage the students".

She said: “Before the incident, there were no matrons in the school, but now, with the help of the local government and permission of the ministry of education, we have been able to source for six elderly women. We instructed the matrons to always be around, especially in the hostels, after class hours, to comfort and encourage the students.

“On the side of the government, the military, police and civil defence personnel have been around the school at all times."

She also disclosed that the government had created admission spaces for 700 students in the next academic session, adding that “By the grace of God, the incident will not happen again."

She also appealed for more support to rehabilitate the school "with essential facilities that will attract parents to bring their children to learn and actualise their dreams".

Aisha Kolo, one of the students, told NAN that they were well catered to, just as she encouraged other students who had not resumed to return.

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Bayelsa APC Accuses Dickson Of Pocketing State Assembly

15 November 2018 - 8:10am


The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has branded a resolution by the State House of Assembly criticising the recent posting of commissioners of Police to the state a “deliberate and unnecessary insult” to the people of the state.

In a statement on Wednesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the APC said the resolution, which came a few days after Seriake Dickson, the Bayelsa State Governor, made a similar criticism, showed that the assembly had become a gathering of Dickson's footmen rather than servants of the people.

The statement, signed by Doifie Buokoribo, the State Publicity Secretary of APC, accused the Assembly of "mischievously opposing a constitutional security arrangement simply because it denied them the room to repeat the electoral fraud they perpetrated to win the last governorship election in the state". 

The statement read: "The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State unreservedly condemns the resolution of the State House of Assembly concerning the posting of Police Commissioners to the state. It is a deliberate and unnecessary insult to our collective intelligence.

"By this resolution, the state assembly has shown its complete lack of legislative independence and respect for the rule of law. The assembly has once again proven to be a poodle of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson. We note that this resolution is coming only a few days after Governor Dickson expressed similar sentiments at a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) event. The PDP National Publicity Secretary raised these same concerns recently.

"To begin with, matters about Police affairs are on the Exclusive List. They are federal matters on which a state House of Assembly cannot legislate. It lacks the jurisdiction.

"The APC has tremendous respect for the Police as a creation of our Constitution and would never read political meanings to its decision to move its own officers. We have had several Commissioners of Police in the state, including a personal friend of Dickson and PDP member who had earlier worked as Commander of his Operation Doo Akpo, Dickson’s private terror police.

"Is the PDP on its deathbed now so nervous that they are telling us only a police commissioner pliable to them must serve the state? Are they again so bent on using their terror police to compromise the 2019 elections, as they did during the last governorship election, that they do not want the police to disband it if need be? This is an assault on our democracy.

"Where was the voice of this House of Assembly during the serial killings in Brass, Amassoma, Yenagoa, others? Why has this assembly maintained an ungodly silence on the mass hunger in the state? Why has this assembly kept silent as Governor Dickson misgoverns Bayelsa State, and turns the abuse of APC leaders, particularly Chief Timipre Sylva and Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, to state policy?

"This rascally mood swing by the State House of Assembly, from Dickson-induced lethargy and fatigue on the security and welfare of the people, to sudden surge of adverse energy, when it concerns democratic institutions and values, is an ill wind. We will not allow it in Bayelsa State. This is more so as we all now know better Dickson’s strategy of crying wolf as dress rehearsal for intended evil."

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18 Ondo Lawmakers Accuse Impeached Speaker Of Working With Akeredolu To Cover Up His 'Shady Deals'

15 November 2018 - 7:48am


Impeached Ondo Assembly Speaker Bamidele Oloyelogun, Deputy Speaker Iroju Ogundeju with other lawmakers at a press conference in Akure, recently.

Impeached Ondo Assembly Speaker Bamidele Oloyelogun, Deputy Speaker Iroju Ogundeju with other lawmakers at a press conference in Akure, recently.

Lawmakers of the Ondo State House of Assembly have raised the alarm over "concluded plans" by the impeached Speaker, Honourable Bamidele Oloyelogun, to pass the reordered budget forwarded to the Assembly by Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State.

The 18 members of the House of Assembly that constituted the group that impeached the Speaker, and his Deputy, Honourable Iroju Ogundeji on Friday said the passage of the reordered budget will be "unconstitutional".

Fatai Olotu, Chairman of the Committee on Information of the Ondo State House of Assembly, had said the two main principals of the Assembly were removed due to their "gross incompetence". See Also Politics Impeached Ondo Assembly Speaker, Deputy Are 'Grossly Incompetent', Says Spokesman 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

However, in a statement issued on Thursday, and obtained by SaharaReporters, Honourable Gbenga Araoyinbo, the embattled Majority Leader of the Assembly, alleged that the reordered budget was designed to cover up some "shady dealings" of the Akeredolu and his government.

Araoyinbo alleged that the reordered budget is also one of the reasons the two principal officers — Oloyelogun and Ogundeji — were impeached.

"It has come to our attention that the impeached Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly will be passing what is unconstitutionally known as a reordered budget today. We wish to state that the request for the passage of this Bill is one of the major reasons why we chose to remove and suspend the former leadership of the House on Friday, 9th November, 2018," hey said.

"Rt Hon Oleyeloogun had informed us that the Governor was desirous of passing the bill into law as quickly as possible under a procedure unknown to our Standing Rules, indeed, unknown to any known law of our state or Nigeria.

"By this Bill, the government seeks to cover the many shady and unappropriated approvals and spendings which are in excess of what is authorized by the budget. In the instant case, there are so many cases of moving funds from one head of expenditure to fund another head to the detriment of the expectations of our dear people of Ondo State, and there are so many cases of unjustified spendings particularly under some ministries that are under the purview of persons who are dear to the heart of the Governor.

"There are many curious and inexplicable expenditures, particularly under the Government House and Protocols, while important heads of expenditure specifically designed to ameliorate one hardship or the other for our people would have their allotted funds moved into heads that are only important to Mr Governor and his hangers- on."

He added that the appropriation bill calls for deep scrutiny, particularly when it was not subjected to known rules of the parliament, including the constitutional provisions as regards financial bills.

According to Araoyinbo, in many instances, the governor had attempted to "bribe" the lawmakers to ensure all bills forwarded to the House quickly passed into law.

The statement continued: "Oleyeloogun, acting in cohorts with the Governor and some other House leaders, insisted that we could not ask for the Year's Budget Performance and could definitely not hold a Public Hearing even to enquire from affected ministries why they chose to either overspend or the Budget or Finance Commissioners why they condoned so much illegality by allowing virements ab initio.

"We were informed that the Governor would rather simply give us some hush money, while they would employ what they called 'Oku Oru" system by which they would just generate some papers to appear as if the bill had gone through a normal process. We refused and demanded that the right thing must be done.

"We have been made to know that the Governor has compelled the Staff of the House of Assembly, in spite of the present danger, to sit with the impeached speaker and his fellow companions (who do not form a quorum) on the highway to infamy and pass this illegal contraption of a bill into law!

"We want the general public to know that a bill of such importance was moved from the first to the second readings and committed to the Committee in one single sitting on Monday and is ready to be passed into law only three days later! How thorough could they have been?"

He asked investors partnering with the Akeredolu-led government to apply caution.

"We wish to state that as unacceptable as this is, it is still a tad better than the earlier proposed 'Oku Oru' system developed and perfected by the leadership of Oleyeloogun whereby bills are passed, resolutions are given clandestinely for the use of Mr Governor. Please note that our law provides that financial bills shall be passed by only two-third majority of members of the House. Any financial bill that does not enjoy this consent must of necessity be null and void.

"Let the whole world know and indeed every investor who brings their money into this cesspool being manned and supervised by the Governor of Ondo State, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu know that they do so at their own risk," the statement read.

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REVEALED: Med-View Airline's N3bn Indebtedness To Staff, £2m In Foreign Taxes

15 November 2018 - 7:27am


A Medview airline plane

Troubled Nigerian carrier Med-View Airline owes sacked and existing workers at least N1billion in salary arrears, pension and other entitlements, investigation by Sahara Reporters have revealed.

Apart from the unpaid salaries and pension to workers, the airline is also massively indebted to the tune of N2billlion to categories of suppliers, including fuellers, Global Distribution Systems, caterers and bureau de change operators.

Besides, it was gathered that the airline owes at least £2million as tax to Her Royal Majesty (HRM tax) in London, which compelled it to suspend its Lagos-London route in January 2018.

Our correspondent learnt that in 2018 alone, no fewer than 150 workers, representing about 50 per cent of the total workforce of the carrier, had either been sacked or had resigned their appointments with the airline.

This year, Med-View has laid off 110 workers — 60 in January and another 50 in September — while the other 40 had resigned voluntarily due to non-payment of salaries, non-remittance of pension and corporative society funds, which were duly deducted monthly.

Investigation revealed that the last remitted pensions and Pay as You Earn (PAYE) deducted from staff was in January 2015, but the management had continually deducted the sums without remitting to the appropriate agencies.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that most staff of the airline, including the sacked workers, are owed several months of salaries and gratuities without the plan to pay back, as the airline at the moment only operates one Boeing 737-500 aircraft to Abuja from its base in Lagos.

Investigations further revealed that the airline, which,as of December 2017 was operating to London, Dubai, Jeddah and West Coast with at least five aircraft in its fleet, only carries out one operation to Abuja daily under strict supervision from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR) stipulates minimum of two aircraft for operations, which the airline has violated.

Besides, the leased B777-200 aircraft with which the airline prosecuted 2018 hajj to Saudi Arabia is parked at the apron side of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

At present, some of the staff of the airline are owed between nine and 11 months of salaries by the management.

A source close to the airline told our correspondent that the average salary bill of Med-View is N80 million per month, but most of the staff, including the sacked ones, are yet to be paid their wages.

One of the sacked staff, who asked not to be named, accused the Managing Director of the airline, Mr. Muniru Bankole, of financial recklessness and mismanagement, stressing that he had relocated his entire family out of the country since March this year when the economic crunch began to bite hard.

The source alleged that Bankole himself had been out of the country in the past three months under the guise of seeking investors for the airline.

According to the staff, revenues generated from the sole operations to Abuja from Lagos are being diverted into a different account by Bankole, which he said further compounded the woes of the workers.

The source added: “After several months of accumulated unpaid salary, instead of the management of the airline to be courteous enough by appealing to staff for patience, or even explain intelligent steps being taken to alleviate the problem, several staff were rather slammed with "service no longer required". To be modest, the average amount of unpaid salary owed each of the sacked staff is about N2million, which aggregates to about N300million.

“While foreign station staff are owed between nine and 12 months, it is about eight months for their Nigerian colleagues. The statutory deductions from staff salary, i.e. pension deductions, and Pay as You Earn (PAYE), are not remitted to the requisite agencies and authorities. The last remittance to the various pension managers was in January 2015.

“This is to say that from February 2015 to date, the airline has not released the amount deducted as pension contributions of staff to their respective pension managers. Further to this, the voluntary staff corporative deductions from staff members of the corporative society are never remitted to the society’s account by the management of Med-View Airline.”

The sacked workers further accused the management of contravening the extant labour law of the country by laying them off without notice, stressing that the company was expected to pay the sacked staff a month salary in-lieu of notice.

“Individual and collective efforts made at requesting for the payments were rebuffed by the company. Instead of proffering explanations and plans to pay the debt, the company would rather deploy armed policemen to man her gates and premises, just to intimidate and harass anyone that comes in respect of the debts.

“Bankole keeps misinforming every well-meaning Nigerian that cares to ask him about the unpaid salary of staff, and the unending sacks. His explanation is that the sacked staff on their own chose to jump the boat as they realised the present hard situations of the business."

A Med-View Airline officiaal who asked not to be named confirmed the developments to our correspondent but said plans were underway to pay the backlog of salaries to the workers, including the sacked workers.

He said the management would acquire at least one aircraft before the second week of December 2018, and that the NCAA had been notified of the plans of the airline to deploy another aircraft for local operation.

However, Bankole could not be reached for comments, as he is presently out of the country.

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Killed and Forgotten: Police, PPMC Betray Officer Oniyinde Who Died In 2003 While Guarding NNPC Pump Station

15 November 2018 - 6:05am


NNPC station in Abuja

In 2000, when Ebenezer Oniyinde was drafted into the Nigeria Police Force, his father, 76-year-old Pa Oludotun Oniyinde thought thought he could heave a sigh of relief that his only son had fully become the breadwinner of the family. Unfortunately, that expectation was cut short barely three years into the force, when the younger Oniyinde died in the line of duty while protecting the property of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at Kabba Junction in Lokoja, the capital city of Kogi State.

Oniyinde left behind a wife and his then two-year-old son, Victor Oniyinde, who has now grown into a teenager with no idea of who his father was.

According to the Nigerian Police Force, Oniyinde “was a level headed, intelligent and committed Police officer loved by all and sundry”. Sadly, these superlatives remain mere words to the deceased's then two-year-old son as he sees his grandfather struggle to get justice for his father, while the NNPC continues to demonise him.

The Genesis

Narrating how his only son died, the Pa Oniyinde told SaharaReporters that the younger Oniyinde and three others were detailed by the then Kogi State Commissioner of Police, on November 23, 2003, to secure the Igbonla Agbaja Spot Pipeline right of way, following attacks from vandals who had bombarded the pump station with jerry cans to scoop away as many products as possible.

Oniyinde and his colleagues warded off these touts and stood guard overnight to secure the vandalized pump station, until PPMC’s maintenance repaired the vandalized pipelines. However, this became a death trap as the four policemen were not provided with any safety kit to protect them from the poisonous emission from the product.

“Ebenezer was a very good boy,” Pa Oniyinde said, recalling how his son died of hydrocarbon poisoning while guarding NNPC pump station.

“He was 31 years old when he joined the Police Force. We just got the letter of condolence from the Police stating he had died. We then sent his brother, Abiodun Oniyinde, to Kogi State Police Command at Lokoja. The Nigerian Police gave him a befitting burial.

“Through the report of his death, we realised it was not just Ebenezer; there were four of them who inhaled the hydro-carbon from NNPC station. It was written on Ebenezer’s death certificate that he died as a result of inhaling the chemical.”

The Denial

In July 2004, after a year of trying to get the NNPC to rightfully compensate the Oniyinde family, a letter signed by Princess D.E. Oyekan, PPMC’s Secretary and Legal Adviser, said the policemen inhaled the poisonous substance because they were trying to steal the product.

In the letter, dated July 6, 2004, the PPMC stated that on the night of the attack, “the policemen brought jerry cans and started to fetch petrol (PMS) from the vandalized point. In the course of inhaling the vapour, a poisonous odour of the product gushing out of the vandalized point, three of the policemen slumped, the fourth however fled the scene of the incident.

“PPMC maintenance crew and the security men, on reaching the site the following day, managed to revive one of the three policemen. Four jerry cans used to fetch products were also recovered from the scene. It appears that the policemen were unaware of the dangers of inhaling the vapour and odour from the PMS gushing out under pressure which they came in contact with.

“From the foregoing, it is established that the unfortunate death of the officers was caused by their dangerous misadventure and not PPMC’s failure to provide adequate safety precautions for the policemen guarding the site.”

However, the family members of the deceased and Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) disagreed, insisting instead that Oniyinde and his colleagues died because of the failure of the NNPC and its sister organisation, PPMC, to provide safety kits for the men.

The Oniyindes argued that if they indeed tried to steal the product, it would have been impossible for the Nigeria Police Force to give the officers a befitting burial, such as was done for Ebenezer Oniyinde.

“I know my son is not a thief and it was the Police who sent him to guard the station, where he met his untimely death,” Pa Oniyinde explained.

“I am also not very educated but I know that the Police would not have given him a befitting burial and sent a condolence letter to the family.”

Indeed, in a letter of condolence dated December 4, 2003, obtained by SaharaReporters, the Police acknowledged Oniyinde as a man who served with honour who died “when he was at the point of his duty”.

15 Years On, Police Turn Blind Eye

It has been 15 years since Oniyinde died at the point of duty, but the Police have continuously turned a blind eye to the plight of his family members who are too poor to take on a huge company like NNPC in a legal battle.

According to a high-ranking Police officer who spoke to SaharaReporters, the Nigeria Police Force is required to investigate the allegation of NNPC to establish the true situation.

“Since the man is not on an illegal duty, it means he was requested and deployed to the station, which means he died in the line of duty," said the officer, who asked not to be named.

“Apart from the befitting burial and the gratuity that the Police is required to pay his next of kin, the company also has a duty to compensate the family members, because he died due to their negligence. Although it is not a written law, that is the practice.

“Also, in the case that the company refuses to pay, the Police is required to investigate reasons they have refused to pay and if a case of negligence on the part of the company is established, the Police should sue them or find alternative ways to settle the dispute and get the company to compensate the family of the deceased.”

Pa Oniyinde revealed to SaharaReporters that the Police never took any step to ensure that his family got compensated.

“They gave Ebenezer a befitting burial in my village, but that was everything they did for us. No gratuity and no compensation from the company," he said.

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