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Abuja DPO, Omorogieva Threatens Islamic Cleric, Wife Over Interview With SaharaReporters

3 December 2020 - 10:59am

The Divisional Police Officer of Zuba division in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Wellington Omorogieva, has threatened to 'deal' with an Islamic cleric, Ismaeel Gbadamosi, and his wife, SaharaReporters has gathered.

The threat, according to sources, followed an interview granted to SaharaReporters by Gbadomosi's wife where she alleged that police officers from the division broke into their house around 10 pm on Tuesday, behaving precisely like kidnappers.

See Also Police "Police Are Working With Kidnappers"—Woman Narrates Encounter With Police Who Broke Into Her Home Through Ceiling 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

According to the woman, when the officers led by one Isah Dahiru could not gain access to their home through the door, they broke the ceiling and jumped inside.

"Last night, around 10om, we put on the generator because I was marking sone students' exam scripts. My husband had slept. I heard a bang on the gate, thinking it was a neighbour. Maybe the electricity company has restored light. Suddenly I heard continuous sounds as if they were using stones on the entrance to force it open. I quickly woke him up that armed robbers were breaking our door.

"They started shouting that we should open the door, that they would shoot us, kill us, that they had rifles and cutlasses. My cousin ran to lock the door with the key. My husband was holding the doorknob because they were hitting it with an iron to break it. My children and I were crying. They were pointing their torches inside the house. Many of them were at the door. Some were at the window trying to remove the burglary.

"Then I followed them and started shouting to the neighbours that they were kidnappers. Their vehicle was parked at a long distance to my house. We saw other people in their car. I was still insisting they were kidnappers. So I took a bike to follow them to the station to establish they were policemen.

"The DPO tactically tried to give Isah Dahiru a room to turn the case, but the man was gullible. He admitted that my husband was arrested for no reason as they were looking for cocaine dealers. The DPO pleaded and that he was ashamed of what happened. He pleaded that he would discipline them internally.

"See, these police officers are working with the kidnappers, because like 10 of the boys that followed them were Fulani dressed like Boko Haram fighters. They broke other people's ceiling and doors too," the woman had said in the interview published by SaharaReporters.

But a police source said Omorogieva, who was transferred to the division three weeks ago, was infuriated over the publication.

"He was furious; he called some officers and told them he would deal with the man and his wife. He told them he had received different calls from people including a commissioner for police," the source said.

Also speaking to SaharaReporters, a relative of the teacher confirmed that the family had been told to leave their house for security reasons.

He said, "The DPO reported them to two prominent people in Zuba community. It was those people that called them to go and beg him over the interview. He told them he would deal with the family, especially the wife.

"We have advised them to vacate the house now for security reasons."

When contacted, the DPO, on hearing the reporter was from SaharaReporters, dropped the call and refused to answer subsequent calls put across to him.

Video of Police Broke Into My House Through Ceiling, Arrested My Husband, Woman Narrates Her Experience Police Broke Into My House Through Ceiling, Arrested My Husband, Woman Narrates Her Experience WATCH VIDEO: Police Broke Into My House Through Ceiling, Arrested My Husband, Woman Narrates Her Experience

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Court Frees Nurse Charged Over Death Of Senator Adeleke

3 December 2020 - 10:49am

Isiaka Adeleke

Justice Ayo Oyebiyi of Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo on Thursday discharged and acquitted a nurse, Alfred Aderibigbe, who was charged with the murder of late Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke.

Aderibigbe was arraigned at Osun State High Court on June 8, 2018, where he pleaded not guilty to the murder charge preferred against him.

Isiaka Adeleke

According to Daily Trust, Senator Isiaka Adeleke during his lifetime was suffering from 'gout', a form of arthritis characterised by severe pain and the nurse treated him at his residence before he died on April 23, 2017.

The state government, however, set up a coroner's inquest into his death and the coroner which was led by Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara indicted the nurse for administering an overdose of drugs on the late Senator and recommended the nurse for prosecution.

When the nurse was arraigned at Osun State High Court on June 8, 2018, he pleaded not guilty to the murder charge preferred against him.

The prosecuting team from the state Ministry of Justice, led by Acting Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Mr Dapo Adeniji, called nine witnesses and tendered several exhibits during the trial.

One of the witnesses, the Chief Medical Director of Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Prof Akeem Lasisi, told the court that Adeleke died of a drug overdose.

Also, the Consultant Pathologist, who carried out an autopsy on Adeleke's corpse, Dr Taiwo Sholaja, told the coroner that the late politician died of a drug overdose.

However, counsel to the accused, Soji Oyetayo told the court that none of the witnesses and investigating police officer visited the scene of the crime to retrieve a doctor's prescription which was in the custody of the deceased before he died, saying that the evidence on how the deceased died was conflicting, mixed-up and inconclusive.

He further stated that the deceased was in emergency need of medical attention when he invited the defendant to treat him.

Ruling on the case, Justice Ayo Oyebiyi said the Prosecution Counsel failed to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt and now discharged and acquitted the defendant.

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Cyber Fraud: Court Orders Invictus Obi’s N235m Forfeited

3 December 2020 - 10:40am

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture of N235m “warehoused” in the bank accounts of Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited.

Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesperson for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Justice Abdullah Liman had on March 23, 2020, ordered the interim forfeiture of the money domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) following an ex parte application dated December 18, 2019, filed by the EFCC.

The judge also ordered the anti-graft agency to issue a notice in a national newspaper asking anyone opposed to the forfeiture of the money to come before the court and show cause why it should not be permanently forfeited.

Owing to no opposition, the commission on June 2, 2020, filed a motion seeking the final forfeiture of the money to the federal government.

Moving the motion on November 12, 2020, I. Sulaiman, counsel to the EFCC, asked the court to grant his prayers for final confiscation of the money.

“In his ruling, Justice Liman granted the applicant’s prayers and also ordered the final forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government,” the statement said.

Okeke, who was in 2016 celebrated by Forbes as one of Africa’s most outstanding entrepreneurs under the age of 30 and described by the magazine as “proof that there is hope for Africa” was arrested in August 2019 by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation as the ringleader of a cybercrime syndicate.

The syndicate had defrauded some American citizens to the tune of $11m “through fraudulent wire transfer instructions in a massive coordinated business email compromise scheme.

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Minister of Justice Malami Shields High Profile Syndicate In N170 Million FIRS Contract Despite Indicting Documents

3 December 2020 - 10:31am

Abubakar Malami

SaharaReporters has obtained several documents that indicted some deep-pocket syndicates who allegedly defrauded and swindled an Ibadan-based businessman and managing director of the Citadel Oracle Concepts Limited, Benjamin Joseph, of N170 million Federal Inland Revenue Service contracts.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Federation, Abubakar Malami, has refused to prosecute the suspects, despite a prima facie case that has been established in the reports by the Special Enquiry Bureau of the Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department of the Nigeria Police Force, Abuja.

Abubakar Malami

The CIID had investigated the allegations contained in Joseph's petition of July 3, 2014.

In one of the reports with No. 3000X//FHQABJSEB/Vol.41 of April 7, 2015, the suspects were recommended for prosecution and to be charged for conspiracy, forgery and fraud over their role in the diversion of contracts.

Among the suspects was the chief executive of Zinox Computers, Leonard Ekeh.

The contract for the supply of laptop computers by the FIRS was awarded to Citadel Oracle Concepts Limited belonging to the complainant in 2012 was fraudulently diverted by the syndicates.

The minister was said to have deliberately frustrated the case in an attempt to shield the eight suspects listed by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police's investigation report.
 Names of those to be prosecuted included Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Princess Kama Onyeoma, Chief Onny S.O Igbokwe, Mr Chris Eze Ozims and Folashade Oyebode.

Others are Charles Adigwe, Obilo Onuoha and Deborah Ojeabu.

The suspects were alleged to have connived and forged the complainant's company documents, signature and letterhead paper to divert the contracts fraudulently.

The suspects opened bank accounts with the Access Bank in the complainant's company's name with which the payments were received from FIRS for the execution of those contracts.

As required by law, the perpetrators needed a board resolution of Citadel Oracle Concept Limited to open the account. Since they were executing the contract fraudulently behind the company, they could not approach the company for board resolution. So, they forged it.

Igbokwe and Kama were alleged to have taken a board resolution to the IT Company, Zinox/Technologies Distribution Limited, to supply the laptops which they were, in turn, to supply to FIRS in the name of Citadel.

Igbokwe is the chief executive of a Port Harcourt-based IT company, Ad'mas Digital Technologies Limited, as well as Pirovics Engineering Services Limited, while Kama, his ally, allegedly conspired and facilitated the fraud.

In a letter titled "Police Interim Report" dated October 19, 2020, with reference number CB.4099/X-SQD/D.Dept T.2 /FHQ/ABJ/VOL. 4/116 by the Commissioner of Police X- Squad Section, Amechi Elumelu, to the DIG of the Police Force Criminal Investigation Department, the letter recommended the prosecution of the suspects.

The letter recommended to the Director of Public Prosecution to prosecute the suspects given the overwhelming evidence of culpability of the suspects. The report also directed ACP Simon Lough, the prosecutor, to withdraw from the case filed against the complainant.

An interim police report dated October 19, 2020, pointed out that Simon Lough had flouted several directives, signals and verbal directives by the DIG FORCID ordering him to transfer the case file to the X squad.

The report recommended ACP Simon Lough to withdraw the case against the complainant immediately and transfer the case file to the X squad section, given the overwhelming evidence of culpability of the suspects.

It stated further that the suspects should be charged as advised by the Director of Public Prosecution.

In a letter obtained by SaharaReporters with reference No. DPP /ADV/1009/14, the report recommended to the Director of Public Prosecution to take over the prosecution of the case from the police in light of the prima facie evidence against the suspects.

Meanwhile on May 8, 2015, the complainant, Joseph, again petitioned a former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, shortly after his appointment over the lukewarm attitude of the police to prosecute the suspects.

But instead of charging the matter to court and prosecuting the suspects, the police instead charged the petitioner, Joseph, for "providing false information in his petition against the suspects."

Joseph was subsequently arraigned before a Federal Capital Territory High Court on a one-count charge of 'false petitioning' to frustrate the case of identity theft, impersonation, forgery and criminal conversion of contracts against the suspects.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, November 26, the petitioner opened his defence after a series of adjournment.

It was gathered that Joseph had met the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on this matter for more than eight consecutive times on the need to prosecute the suspects, but he kept dribbling him since 2015.

The suspects are still walking free on the streets despite the overwhelming evidence.

The complainant through his lawyer, Bob James, had written another petition dated October 23 to the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, and demanded the sum of N1 billion damages against ACP Simon Lough and the Nigerian Police Force or face legal action.

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Odumakin To Police: Get Better Lawyer And Stop Embarrassing Yourself Over Judicial Panels' Probe

3 December 2020 - 10:28am

Yinka Odumakin

Yinka Odumakin, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, has asked the security agency to consult a better lawyer and stop embarrassing itself.

Odumakin was reacting to a suit filed by the Nigerian police to stop the various states' Judicial Panels of Enquiry probing abuses perpetrated by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

The police had, in a suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/1492/2020, filed by its lawyer, O.M Atoyebi, argued that the establishment of Panels of Inquiry by governors to investigate the activities of the force violates "section 241(1)(2)(a) and item 45, part 1, first schedule to the constitution and section 21 of the tribunals of inquiry act".

Yinka Odumakin SaharaReporters Media

See Also Police #EndSARS: Police Ask Abuja Court To Stop Judicial Panels’ Probes 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

Among the defendants are the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Human Rights Commission, the Attorneys-General of the states, and the chairmen of the panels set up by the states.

According to the force, the action of the governors "is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever".

It asked the court to restrain the defendants from conducting any investigation or setting up panels to probe the affairs of the security agency.

Speaking in an interview with SaharaReporters, Odumakin said the governors as chief security officers have jurisdiction over security issues in their respective states, while he advised the police to check the Law of Tribunal and Enquiry.

He said, "They can't be serious; the law is apparent. They should go and check the Law of Tribunal and Inquiry. The governors are the chief security officers of their states; they have jurisdiction over what happens in their states. They (the police) should consult better lawyers and know what to do.

"When governors buy vehicles for them, buy equipment for them, they can take it, but the governors can't ask them what they are doing. It doesn't make any sense at all. That's why we are asking for restructuring; we should have state police."

Also speaking, a human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, described the suit as outrageous and obnoxious.

"Well, the action by the police is scandalous because the police are being investigated for violation of human rights and they are asking the court to stop the investigation because the panels, according to them, do not have the authority to do so. 
"I find that very outrageous because it's an indication that they do not appreciate the seriousness of the agitations that led to the disbandment of SARS and these panels were not set up by the states on their own. It was a resolution of the National Economic Council which comprises the governors of the 36 states. The President has also given support to the constitution of these panels.

"The point is that these panels are not to convict these officers, so for them to say it's only the Federal Government that has power over the control of the police is wrong. The panels are not controlling the police; the panels won't discipline or sanction these officers; they will only make a recommendation. 
"These are just fact-finding panels; I don't think there is a contravention of the law of the constitution as alleged. Unfortunately, the police have taken this obnoxious step which amounts to dancing on the graves of victims of SARS brutality and police abuse," Effiong told SaharaReporters.

#EndSARS: Nigerians React As @PoliceNG Ask Court To Stop Judicial Panel Probe | Sahara Reporters

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 3, 2020

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Arrested Ex-Pension Boss, Maina Lands in Abuja

3 December 2020 - 9:31am

A former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was arrested in Niger Republic on Tuesday has now landed in Nigeria.

Maina, who is facing a 12-count money laundering charge levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, touched down at the airport, Abuja, according to photographs shared by the Nigeria Police Force.

The police said on Twitter, “Maina extradited to Nigeria; the Nigeria Police Force has extradited Abdulrashid Abdullahi Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team today to Nigeria from Niamey, Niger Republic.”

On Monday evening, operatives of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency and the Niger Republic intelligence service had arrested Maina somewhere in Niger Republic.

“He has been arrested in Niger Republic, but we have not yet brought him into Nigeria. He is going to be brought in Tuesday or Wednesday. But he has been arrested,” one of the sources said.


See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Arrested Maina Currently On His Way To Nigeria 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

According to the EFCC, Maina is facing money laundering charges to the tune of about N2 billion, part of which he allegedly used to procure land properties in Abuja.

He had fled trial and his whereabouts unknown since his prosecution resumed on September 29, 2020, a development which made Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court order Senator Ali Ndume’s remand last Monday.

Ndume was Maina’s surety. The Federal High Court in Abuja only on Friday granted bail to the Borno South Senator.

Maina last attended court on July 2, 2020, during the cross-examination of the sixth prosecution witness by his legal team.

He failed to show up in court since September 29, 2020, prompting the judge, Justice Okon Abang, to adjudge him as having jumped bail in a ruling delivered on November 18, 2020.

The judge in the November 18 ruling, revoked the bail earlier granted him, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial would proceed in his absence.

There was also no lawyer to represent him or his company charged along with him as his second defendant.

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#EndSARS Protest Resumes In Lagos As Old Women, Others Carry Placards

3 December 2020 - 9:22am

The EndSARS protest, which gripped the country for about two weeks in October, resumed in Lagos State on Thursday with protesters marching by Tejuosho Road in the Yaba area of the state.

SaharaReporters gathered that old women and some young men brandished various placards in the area, defying the scorching heat to march for almost two hours.

They continued to chant, "End SARS and we march for our children."

A number of them were also seen carrying the Nigerian flag in their hands, with microphones to make their voices audible.

#Endsars protest live at tejuosho road yaba Lagos by our mothers.. the pace has been set.. it's time to speak up.. #SoroSokeGeneration Their placard says “we march for our children” #SoroSoke
God bless these old women in the sun protesting for us!!! #EndPoliceBrutality

— ShortFuse (@Odafe_D) December 3, 2020

The EndSARS movement, mostly peaceful, had turned to a blood field on Tuesday, October 20, when the personnel of the Nigerian Army went to the Lekki Tollgate area and opened fire on the crowds.

The soldiers from the 65 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Bonny Camp, Victoria Island, reportedly killed and injured several demonstrators.

A certain Lieutenant Colonel Bello, who was the Commanding Officer of the battalion, had reportedly led the soldiers to fire bullets at the scene. However, he claimed before the ongoing Lagos State Panel of Inquiry that he only fired blank ammunition into the air.

A day after the shootings, the Lagos State Governor had initially denied any loss of life from the gunfire or that he was aware of the deployment of soldiers.

Later, he admitted that two persons were killed in the incident, while the army said in a terse statement that the state government requested a military clampdown on the protesters to enforce its earlier-than-scheduled curfew. 

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How Femi Falana Fought CBN To Stop Unjustified Foreign Currency Regime

3 December 2020 - 9:15am

Femi Falana (SAN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday introduced a new rule that allows beneficiaries of diaspora remittance to receive their money in foreign currencies, months after court action by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana.

Before now, beneficiaries of diaspora remittance could only receive in cash the naira equivalent of the amount transferred. In addition, foreign currencies' cash withdrawal from domiciliary accounts was restricted to only cash deposit.

Femi Falana (SAN)

Falana had in a petition dated October 21, 2019 and addressed to former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, asked for an investigation of banks, Western Union and MoneyGram for substituting naira for dollar remittances.

He referred to a remark by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation at the 2019 National Diaspora Day celebration in July 2019, where the SGF was quoted as saying the remittances received from Nigerians stood at $19.6 billion, $22 billion and $25 billion in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Falana argued that it was a contravention of the Foreign Exchange Act and the Money Laundering Act that the CBN granted banks, Western Union and MoneyGram the authority to pay beneficiaries of remittances in naira while retaining the dollar.

As a follow-up on his request for a probe, Falana, through his chambers, wrote to the CBN on February 10, 2020, demanding to know the accurate remittances for 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The request, according to the law firm, became necessary after it was discovered that the CBN had quoted a misleading figure in order to downplay the volume of money sent home by Nigerians living abroad.

For instance, in February 2019, the Nigerian government disclosed that the remittances received in the country in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were $19.6bn, $22bn and $25bn respectively.

However, the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria faulted the figures, going ahead to claim before the House of Representatives' Committee on Diaspora that contrary to the World Bank’s report, the official financial inflow was $2.6bn for 2018.

To clear the air on the matter, Falana’s chambers in the letter to the CBN  pointed out that, “At the 2019 National Diaspora Day held at Abuja in July 2019, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, revealed that the remittances received by Nigeria stood at $19.6bn, $22bn and $25bn in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“According to Mr Mustapha, the money is currently utilised as social security funds to families (school fees, feeding allowances, hospital bills and so on). Some of it is invested in housing and estate development, hospital projects, schools and commercial enterprises but are not properly documented and analysed for impact.

“Springing from the above statement from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, we request to be furnished with the official figures of remittances received by Nigeria from the Diaspora for 2016, 2017 and 2018. Please be informed that this request is anchored on the Freedom of Information Act, 2010.”

In a response to the request on June 29, 2020, more than four months after the seven days required by law for FOI requests to be responded to, the CBN in a letter signed by its director of corporate secretariat, C.E Olonta, said it could not respond because the information sought was already on its website.

Further findings, however, revealed that even though all remittances are recorded by the CBN on a daily basis, the management has refused to disclose the real figures.

Falana then proceeded to the Federal High Court, Abuja, where his chamber instituted a court action against the CBN for its refusal to release the requested information on foreign remittances.

In a suit dated July 28, Falana requested an order of mandamus compelling the respondent (CBN) to provide the official figures as requested.

He argued that the information was needed to provide clarity on Nigeria’s foreign remittances as figures provided by some newspapers and credited to Mustapha were contradictory.

The suit reads: “The failure of the Respondent to furnish the Applicant with the details of her request is unlawful and in contravention of the provision of the Freedom of Information Act.

“That the information requested by the Applicant was never published by the Respondent on its websites claimed in the letter dated 29th June 2020.

“That a prerogative writ of mandamus can be issued or ordered by the court to secure or compel the Respondent to furnish the Applicant with the official figures of Diaspora remittances received by Nigeria for the years: 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively under Section 20 of the Freedom of Information Act 2010.”

With the new directive by the CBN, Nigerians who receive foreign currencies through money transfer operators like Western Union or Moneygram can withdraw in dollars. 

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Disabled People Obstruct NNPC Headquarters In Puzzling Protest

3 December 2020 - 9:13am

A group of people living with disabilities has occupied the entrance into the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headquarters at Central Business District in Abuja.

Their presence stopped NNPC and visitors from leaving or going into the building.

Some of them with crutches and wheelchairs were pulling the front gate while armed security agents held onto the barrier.

Security agents from police, civil defence, army and secret service have been trying to control and pacify the crowd.

The efforts by SaharaReporters to know their demands were unsuccessful as they declined to comment.

One was overheard complaining that the management of the corporation had scheduled an appointment with them today but decided to abandon them at the gate. This claim has not been verified by the time of this publication.

The General Manager, group public affairs division of the NNPC, Kennie Obateru, has not responded to a request for comment by SaharaReporters.

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Expert Urges Nigerian Government To Keep Food Banks To Avert Crisis

3 December 2020 - 9:03am

The Nigerian Government has been urged to develop a viable and sustainable nutrition policy to forestall against a major health crisis in the country.

Making the call on Thursday in the face of rising food insecurity in the country following attacks on farmers in many parts of Nigeria especially in the Northern region by Boko Haram terrorists and armed bandits, nutritionist and weight-loss expert, Azeezat Oluwakemi Sule, said it was important for the government to implement an acceptable nutrition policy to save lives and improve the environment.

Pushing for a review of the country’s education policy, syllabus and curriculum to accommodate the study of nutrition as a critical subject matter right from pre-school to tertiary institutions, Sule said that such a move would help improve public understanding of the importance of good food in the health of individuals in the society.

She said, “Such policies will support issues that have been seen to spur the consumption of some foods over another, such as giving economic incentives like a reduced tax on healthy foods and increased tax on junk foods and sodas.

“Marketing limits can also be placed on some foods as most foods being advertised now are the multi processed foods and sugar. Other policies to limit food marketing to children include curbing advertising and marketing of less healthful foods and beverages in schools and removing toys in children’s fast-food meals, encouraging exercises and healthy eating.

“Policies will also encourage community spaces marked for food events like food demonstration and cooking classes, competitions, etc.

“Having said this, there is a need for the Nigerian government to ensure healthy eating among the people and there are many ways to look at it bearing in mind that the rural areas are different from the urban.”

On the review of the education policy, she said, “There should be a review of our education policy, syllabus and curriculum to incorporate nutrition in an informative and practical way right from pre-school to the tertiary institutions. Every Nigerian that passes through the education system should be already aware of the importance of food and good nutrition/healthy eating, and we can as well produce more graduates in this niche.

“Food education can also include affordable food demonstration and preparation classes at various locations such as trade schools, technical schools, health facilities, places of worship and community centres. This will make it easy for people to access full services that will help them kick-start their journeys.

“In developed countries, food banks are a way the government supports their people with food supplies on a routine basis after the individual or families have met the criteria to receive such foods. Having food banks where only healthy foods are being distributed will be a great way to keep people away from hunger and also keep them healthy.

“Also, when the government is supporting such, the people see it that those foods are the best to eat and when they can afford, they do not buy anything other than these groups of food.”

Poor diet has remained a significant problem in Nigeria over the years, where an estimated two million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF.

The country has the second-highest burden of stunted children in the world, with a national prevalence rate of 32 per cent of children under five, the global organisation said.

With food insecurity becoming a major threat in Nigeria by the day, experts have called on the government to tackle the situation to save lives. 

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Anambra Final-Year Student Dies Days To Graduation

3 December 2020 - 8:42am

A final-year female student of Political Science at the Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Anambra State, Clement Ruth, has been found dead days to her graduation from the institution.

Some of her colleagues believed that a yet-to-be-identified assailant might have killed her.

The deceased student was reportedly last seen on Thursday, November 26, after writing one of her final exams.

According to Ruth’s friend, Ugochinyere Precious, who shared photos of the deceased on Facebook, she was thereafter found dead in unknown circumstances.

The friend wrote, “Just a few days to be called a graduate, you were found dead. What a life!!!

Very hard to believe you're gone. Dearly, coursemate, we greeted each other after the exams we had on Thursday; we laughed and talked about many things.

“As finally, the exam was over; still like a shock to Chinenye and me because the three of us were heading down for the department. What a world.

“Just a few days to be called a graduate, you were found dead. Oh, God. Why now; why now Ruth, the Political Science Department, will miss you. Rest in peace, Ruth Clement; rest in peace, dearly course mate. Rest in peace girlfriend; Chinenye and I will miss your company.”

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Military Arrests 10 Oil Thieves On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Recovers Six Trucks

3 December 2020 - 8:37am

Troops of the Nigerian military attached to Operation Awatse have arrested 10 oil thieves who were vandalising government pipelines in Arepo – a transit area along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Ogun State.

The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, said on Thursday in a briefing in Abuja that after the vandals were apprehended, six fuel trucks, which they had loaded, were also recovered from them.

The DHQ Defence Media Operations Coordinator, Maj Gen John Enenche, stated these, adding that the military would continue to flush out oil thieves in the region.

Enenche said, “In the South-West zone, troops of Operation Awatse have continued to intensify the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements in the area. Within the period under review, troops of Operation Awatse while on routine patrol intercepted six trucks fully loaded with stolen petroleum products at Arepo.

“The operation was conducted after troops carried out an intensified surveillance within the general area. Accordingly, troops moved swiftly to the area and met vandals loading their trucks with the fuel. Troops arrested 10 of the vandals and six trucks loaded with products.”

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How EFCC Officials Maltreated Us For Not Raising N96m As Conditional Bail – Ex-Bankers

3 December 2020 - 8:32am

Eight former workers of the First Bank Nigeria Limited, who were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, for allegedly stealing dirty naira notes in the Central Bank of Nigeria have narrated how officials of the EFCC maltreated them.

They explained that the officials maltreated them for their inability to raise N96milion in December 2014.

The affected ex-bankers are Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Adeola, Toogun Philip, Isaq Akano, Ayodele Adeyemi, Oyebamiji Akeem, Ayodeji Aleshe and Ajiwe Adegoke.

In a separate affidavit deposited at a Federal High Court, Ibadan, Oyo State, by Ayodele Adeyemi, Isaac Akano, and Ajiwe Adegoke through the Chambers of their counsel, Barrister Micheal Lana, the defendants in the case alleged that Mr Hammadama Bello, who was asked to investigate the case, insisted that he must benefit from the bail.

He allegedly asked them to raise N96million to set them free.

According to the affidavit, the suspects told him that they didn't benefit from the alleged dirty naira notes because they had been deposited with the CBN for over four years before the allegations.

The affidavit reads: "He told us that he was not going to prosecute anybody but if we wanted to go back to our offices that day, each of us must bring N12million each. We told him that as we stood before him, we had no money in our accounts. He asked for our bank accounts, and we gave him. Immediately, he went to check the accounts and he found that there was no money there.

"He then said he would detain us there. Upon hearing this, my manager, Mr. Emmanuel, told him that he had no money but promised to give him N500,000 and was ready to deposit his international passport. He called his wife and she brought the passport and he set him free but detained us. 

"He mentioned names of those who had money in their accounts and asked them to pay. He said he had done his investigation and discovered that Messrs. Adeyemi, Akano and Aleshe have properties everywhere. As a result, he took us to Abuja and kept us in a German cell.

"We were kept in an underground cell with no windows such that one could know the difference between day or night and the heat was so unbearable that no human being can last for a month alive there. On December 23, 2014, Hammadama Bello came to us in the cell and asked us whether we wanted to be released from the hell of a dungeon in which we were and spend Christmas with our families if so we must pay N1milliom. At that time, we were ready to do anything so as not to die in that place. 

"We all begged him to take N500,000 for him to at least release us to spend Christmas out of that deadly cell. He assured that there would not be prosecution because the President at that time, Goodluck Jonathan, had said the dirty money issue was more of an administrative problem of the Central Bank of Nigeria, but he at the EFCC did not have the power not to release us on bail."

The defendants further claimed that they paid N6million to Hammadama Bello through a banker, Ademola Oni, working with Wema Bank.  

"After payment of the money, Hammadama Bello and his lawyer started mounting pressure on us that if we do not want prosecution, we must pay the money. That was when we discovered that to force us to pay the N12million, he had obtained an order from the Oyo State High Court. He seized not only our properties but properties of our wives, which he rented out through an estate agent, Festus Azikagbon, and he is collecting the rent."


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Bandits Kill Traditional Ruler, Abduct Former PDP Chairman, Seven Others In Zamfara

3 December 2020 - 8:26am

File Photo

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have killed the village head of Gwaram community, Talatan Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The gunmen, who stormed the village in the early hours of Monday with motorcycles, also abducted eight people including the wife of the village head and former ward chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Musa Makeri.

File Photo

A spokesperson for the Zamfara State Police Command, Shehu Mohammed, confirmed the incident on Thursday.

Mohammed said the village head was shot dead after refusing to be kidnapped by the bandits and saying he preferred to be killed in his community than to be taken to the bush.

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#EndSARS: Nigerians React As Police Ask Court To Stop Judicial Panel Probe

3 December 2020 - 8:18am

IGP Mohammed Adamu

Nigerians have taken to Twitter to react to a fresh move by the Nigeria Police Force to halt the judicial panels of enquiries constituted in various states of the federation to probe allegations of abuses and brutality against its operatives. 

Following the #EndSARS protests, aimed at addressing allegations of brutality and extrajudicial killings by operatives of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, the judicial panels were set up to get justice for victims of police brutality.

IGP Mohammed Adamu
The National Economic Council decided to set up the various panels of enquiry with members, including the 36 state governors and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

See Also Police #EndSARS: Police Ask Abuja Court To Stop Judicial Panels’ Probes 0 Comments 2 Days Ago
But on Wednesday, the police, in a suit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja described the judicial panels as a contravention of the provisions of section 241(1)(2)(a) and Item 45, Part 1, First Schedule to the Constitution and Section 21 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act.

In the suit, the Force had consequently prayed the court for the discontinuation of the ongoing probe into allegations of abuses by its operatives.

The development has since ignited heated controversies on Twitter with Nigerians expressing mixed reactions on the issue. 

Some described the move as a welcome development, arguing that the judicial panels would only amount to a waste of public resources.

Festus Johnson @Okonofi, one of those with this school of thought, wrote, "I support the police on this oo, it's boring, and I don't see any meaningful thing coming out of it. It has already (been) compromised. CNN and The UK parliament have already done the job for us. They shouldn't waste funds."

Others, however, slammed the police for the move, noting that it showed the Force want its operatives to continue with their evil acts.

Commenting, Sylvester Oniriode Obigba @SylvesterObigba, wrote: "So what's your point @PoliceNG ??? Should the police officers be allowed to continue with their evil acts? Why do some lawyers take up jobs like this? Was the police and this SAN unaware of the set up of the panels?? Why is this government always at variance with themselves?"

For Idorenyin Etuk @IdorenyinEtuk5, the Nigerian Police Force is wasting its time with the order as citizens have become awakened to realities. 

"NPF is wasting its time; we the citizens stand opposed to the wish to off the mic. We must decentralize policing in Nigeria. Enough of this nonsense, they must give account for their actions and face the law they are supposed to enforce," he wrote.

Aproko Doctor @aproko_doctor also wrote: "The commander in chief of the armed forces of Nigeria "approved" the judicial panels. An appointee, his employee, challenges the same judicial panels that his oga approved. Nigeria is an upside-down country or the plan was never to have the police probed."

In the same vein, @JacobMarveDan wrote "There is a coordinated plan to keep Nigerian youths quiet. There was never a plan to probe the NPF."

JT @Jesutodudu wrote: "So NPF is praying the court to dismantle the various states' judicial panels of enquiry probing human rights abuses by SARS and they claim that the states lack the power to investigate the NPF. The decision to set up the panel was by NEC which the VP is part of. That's federal!"

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Governor Umahi Needs "Psychiatric Help", Planning To Kill Me, Pius Anyim Says In Open Letter

3 December 2020 - 8:12am

Pius Anyim

A former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, has said Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, needs psychiatric and psychological evaluation and help, going by his "dangerous" moves in the state, including some alleged sinister plan to kill him (Anyim).

The former SGF noted on Thursday that the governor visited his home alongside some high-profile people on  November 20, and begged him to leave the Peoples Democratic Party and join the All Progressives Congress with him, but he (Anyim) kicked against such idea.

Pius Anyim

Anyim said this was one of his offences in Ebonyi.

The battle between Umahi and Anyim, who were both stalwarts in the PDP, had reached a peak three days ago when the governor on Tuesday sacked all his appointees from the former SGF’s Local Government Area – Ivo LGA – as well as Anyim’s kin from his government.

The former Senate President stated these in an open letter to the governor, which he also copied to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the State Security Service and the Chief of Defence Staff.

He said based on the alleged plan to assassinate him, he is inviting the security agencies “to note this plan, and I want to assure Governor Umahi that my blood is not available for him in pursuit of his ambition.”

Anyim, who was Senate President between 2000 and 2003, said, “People who know Gov. Umahi know that he usually starts this way whenever he is hatching a sinister plan. He raises dust, makes wild allegations and accusations against people to divert the attention of the public before he strikes.

“I believe that Gov. Umahi needs help. He was not in this shape when I picked him. His present behaviour is certainly not normal. I want to advise his brothers to seek psychiatric and psychological help for him before it is too late. 

“The only offence we committed is that we refused to follow Gov. Umahi in his political adventure. Gov. Umahi may have been told that he needs to kill a high-profile person to achieve his mad ambition.

“Security agencies, the Attorney General of the Federation and judges, should note; I fully understand that what Umahi meant by saying to me 'this will be the last fight I will fight' is that he will kill me so that I will not live to fight again.

“While I invite the security agencies to note this plan, I want to assure Gov. Umahi that my blood is not available for him in pursuit of his ambition. I want to ensure the street dinner Governor that no amount of blackmail or intimidation will compel any of us to follow him. 

“Gov. Umahi should know that there is a record of those who died mysteriously, violently, and those who just disappeared since he became governor of Ebonyi State. On my part, I will continue to pray for him to recover from his delusion.” 

Read the full letter below:


1.   The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria 
2.   Inspector – General of Police 
3.   Director – General, State Security Service 
4.   Chief of Defence Staff 
In a widely circulated media briefing on the 27th November after a formal Ebonyi State security council meeting, Governor Umahi stated as follows: 

“I want the media to note, that I reported an allegation that some Ebonyi people are engaging cultists and according to them some IPOB Members to start killing and causing crisis in Ebonyi State in the name of fighting Ebonyi State Government and the governor and their leader is Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and their members are Dr. Sam Egwu, Senator Obinna Ogba, Mr. Ali Odefa and others…...The same Senator Anyim Pius Anyim fought the former Governor Sam Egwu and many people were killed. 
…...I have also directed Security Agencies to ensure the implementation of policies on tinted glasses of vehicles in the state, the use of a siren and then their police escort…. If they try to fight the State, this will be their last fight, they will not fight again”. 

1.   I would not have bothered to respond to this gibberish by a sinking man but for the compelling need to put the records straight and forewarn the public about the sinister plans of a man who personifies everything ignoble, shameless and despicable.  
Gov. Umahi is pitiably delusional. He is a prisoner of his greed and inordinate ambition. Here is a drowning man looking for who to drag down with him. Gov. Umahi has made his worst mistake after his latest misadventure by taking on me and other noble and respectable sons of Ebonyi State who have served and continued to serve our dear State with resolute commitment, dedication and integrity. 
2.   The case at hand is his defection to APC on the 19th of November, 2020. The discerning public knows that he has been on the plan for a long time and when he decided to consummate it, he suddenly concocted an accusation against PDP, that PDP was not willing to zone Presidency to the South East. When he spews these allegations, he would not even mind whether they make sense or not. He did not have the mental capacity to reason that no party in less than two years into a new term would bring the next election unto the front burner. That even in APC where he has gone to, the issue of next election is not yet on the table as doing so would distract the government.  

3.   People who know Gov. Umahi know that he normally starts this way whenever he is hatching a sinister plan. He raises dusts, makes wild allegations and accusations against people just to divert the attention of the public before he strikes. It is public knowledge that Gov. Umahi had been planning his defection to the All Progressive Congress, APC for a long time. In his delusion, he believed his own lies that he is the only man who matters in Ebonyi State. He did not consult with anybody notable before consummating his defection to APC. After his defection, no person of note followed him.  

4.   Unable to contain and manage the unsavory reactions from the public he ran to my home in the company of some high-profile people, on the 20th of November 2020, and pleaded with me to defect to APC, saying that if I do, others will follow suit. I pointed out to him that his approach has made it almost impossible for anybody to defect. He pleaded with me that if I cannot defect now, I should not attend any PDP meetings, and I said no, I must attend PDP meetings as long as I am in PDP. He realized that he could not persuade anybody when he saw the crème of Ebonyi Elders and citizen that gathered for the inauguration of PDP Caretaker Committee. He could no longer sleep and declared war on every one who has refused to defect with him.  

5.   I would not have taken his present spew of baseless allegations seriously, but because I suspect he is under a spell and perhaps something is pursuing him. He may have been told that he will need to kill before he would achieve his present enterprise and so to build up a scenario for him to kill, he will need to spew allegations of killings even when they make no sense. I have no doubt that Governor Umahi may have been told that he needed blood to accomplish his present enterprise, otherwise how can a man in his 6th year as Governor of a State suddenly realise that a former President of the Senate, a former Governor of the State and two-time serving Senator Dr. Sam Egwu, Senator Obinna Ogba, two time serving Senator, are now cultists and IPOB members. Something is wrong somewhere.  
It is obvious that either something is pursuing Governor Umahi or that he is pursuing something. For those who know him well, please notice that his lips have shifted out of shape and his eye balls shrinking. Something is pursuing Gov. Umahi.  

Gov. Umahi’s modus operandi are well known and his moves are easily predictable. The three examples below will elucidate this point: 
1.   The case with Pastor Ephraim Ononye 

Pastor Ononye was the pastor to Gov. Umahi’s campaign organization in 2015. Midway into his term, he requested the pastor to start praying for the next term. The pastor declined to be part of his second term agenda. He was so enraged that he walked the pastor out. The following day he accused the pastor of murder and that he was running an illegal school. He unleased security agents against the pastor. The pastor’s school with about 900 pupils was closed till today. On the 2nd of June 2017 while the church was having a night vigil with some widows, he sent security agents to go and close the church. They manhandled and threw the women out into the rain and seven days later, one of the women died. That wicked act has continued to hunt Governor Umahi till date. It is obvious that the spirit of error has come upon him. Gov. Umahi was told that the only way he could win the election was if he ate on the street. Governor Umahi quickly organized a State Banquet on the street at Udensi roundabout and Ebonyi people attended without knowing that it was a ritual dinner. Only Gov. Umahi knows how many Ebonyians that have died mysteriously after that dinner. 
Gov. Umahi is the only governor in Nigeria that organizes dinner on the street. Since I got to know the reason behind the street dinner, I stopped attending his functions. After he won the election, he arranged for his close associates to reconcile the pastor and himself. When he was asked why he did not keep his promises, he replied that he was not God that keeps promises. 
2.   The case of Prof. Bernard Ifeanyi Odoh 

Professor Odo was the first of the three SSGs he has had so far. When Prof Odo could not fit into his various schemes, he decided to resign with a widely publicized resignation letter. Governor Umahi was so offended and hit back by setting up a committee to probe the Agric loan disbursement committee which the former SSG chaired. The former SSG responded by writing to EFCC to thoroughly and properly investigate the Agric loan saga as he was ready to provide all information relating to the purported loan transactions. When Governor Umahi realized that the former SSG was not intimated but ready to spill the beans, he backed down and nothing till today is heard of that committee. He had since reached out to the former SSG for a truce but the man rebuffed him. The public should be aware of Gov. Umahi’s use of wild allegation as a weapon. I’m sure if the former SSG had agreed to a peace meeting he would have apologized and if you ask him why do you lie, he will say that he is not God that speaks the truth. 

3.   The case of Charles Otu 

Charles Otu is a journalist in Abakaliki, he wrote an article that was offensive to the Governor. On the 3rd of June 2017 while he was at a newspaper stand, a bus with the inscription “Akubaraohia Youth Vanguard” pull up and at gun point he was dragged into the bus and taken to one corner of Government House, Abakaliki where he received severe beatings until he passed out and they dropped him on the street, up till today, Mr. Otu is yet to regain his full composure. When Gov. Umahi boasted to the two journalists, he accused of offensive articles that “if they think they have the pen that he will show them that he has  KOBOKO”. Charles Otu’s treatment is what Gov. Umahi meant by KOBOKO. The two journalists, Mr. Chijioke Agwu and Mr. Peter Okutu should thank their God that the public outcry that greeted the Governor’s outburst saved them from the Koboko treatment, who knowns whether they would have come out alive as many never did. But for lack of space, the examples can go on and on. 

The purpose of this response is to alert the public and the security agencies in particular on the schemes of Gov. David Umahi so that they will read him upfront and be wary of him and his allegations. Accordingly, all concerned should note as follows:  
a.   I believe that Gov. Umahi needs help. He was not in this shape when I picked him. His present behaviour is certainly not normal. His behaviour and utterances are strangest whenever he puts on the costume for the new enterprise – an oversized white Agbada and an elongated red hat that over sizes his head. I want to advice his brothers to seek psychiatric and psychological help for him before it is too late. 
b.   The only offence we committed is that we refused to follow Gov. Umahi in his political adventure. We do not know when belonging to parties of one’s choice has become an offence against a Governor or means fighting a Governor.  

c.   It is clear that Gov. Umahi may have been told that he needs to kill a high-profile person in order to achieve his mad ambition. Ebonyians should be wise and those he is preparing to use for the killings should know that after using them he will also plan to kill them to cover his track. Examples abound. 
d.   Security agencies, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Judges should note that Gov. Umahi had boasted as follows: 
-  That one of the gains of his defection is that he has been promised absolute use of the security agencies for all that he desires to do. 

-  That the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation is his friend and will soon visit Abakaliki the second time and that he will use him to deal with those opposed to him using the EFCC. 

-  That he will extensively use the courts to not only make it impossible for PDP to function in the state but also to frustrate those opposed to him including sending them to prison. My advice is that all those concerned should be wary of Gov. Umahi so that he will not taint their soul and ruin their careers, because all his actions and schemes have black sides. 

e.   To notify the public that I fully understand that what Umahi meant by  “this will be the last fight I will fight”, is that he will kill me so that I will not live to fight again. While I invite the security agencies to note this plan, I want to assure Gov. Umahi that my blood is not available for him in pursuit of his ambition. 

f.   To assure the street dinner Governor that no amount of blackmail or intimidation will compel any of us to follow him. 

g.   Gov. Umahi should know that there is a record of those who died mysteriously, violently, and those who just disappeared since he became governor of Ebonyi State. 

On my own part, I will continue to pray for him to recover from his delusion. 
God bless Nigeria. 

Former President of the Senate 
Former Secretary to Government of the Federation

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Passengers Stranded As Workers Union Ground Arik Air Operations

3 December 2020 - 4:46am

The protesting workers

Arik Air operations were on Thursday grounded by the National Union of Air Transport Employees over poor working conditions.

The workers blocked the entrance of the airline’s headquarters in Lagos, carrying placards with different inscriptions.

The protesting workers Punchng/Joseph Olaoluwa

Some of the inscriptions read, “End Arik brutality”, and “Sign our condition of service and recall all staff”.

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, adding that pensions were being owed.

State Secretary of NUATE, Ijeh Anthony, explained that the issue had lingered for long, vowing to continue the strike till all demands are met.

He said, “The contentious issue is the signing of the conditions of service, which we have been negotiating for the past three years.

“But the only aspect remaining in the CoS is the issue of the severance package. We have sought interventions from the Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

“However, in most discussions, Arik Air Management will always renege.”

At the MM2 terminal, several passengers booked for 8 am flights were stranded.

Some of the passengers, who spoke to The PUNCH, were distraught after waiting for several hours.

Officials from the airline were seen trying to manage the situation.

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Suspend Strike, Students Beg ASUU

3 December 2020 - 4:24am

Some university students on Thursday appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities to consider their future and resume to work in their various institutions.

Some of the students, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu, expressed worries and lamented as they appealed for the suspension of the prolonged strike.

The students said they were tired and frustrated due to the time wasted without any academic achievement.

They said the strike would make them remain in the university more than it was necessary.

ASUU has been on strike since March 2020 over demands for more funding for public universities and renegotiation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement.

Others are outstanding earned academic allowances, the proliferation of universities by state governments, and the constitution of Visitation Panels to Federal Universities.

A law student at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Augustine Azubike, said he was appealing to the university lecturers to consider the future of the students and to return to work.

Azubike added that the incessant strike embarked upon by the lecturers was affecting the quality of university education in the country.

Another university student, Ann Chukwu, of Linguistic Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka expressed worry over the lingering strike, adding that her private business, located within the university, had been static since the strike started.

“My business, which is within the university premises, has been static since the lecturers embarked on strike and the business has been the source of income for my school and accommodation fees,” Ude lamented.

Daniel Onyekachukwu, a mechanical engineering student, from UNN, said the incessant strikes by public universities’ workers had altered the academic calendar and the students’ time of graduation.

“Our lecturers and government should consider students from poor families, whose parents are not financially buoyant enough to send their children and wards to private and foreign universities,” Onyekachukwu appealed.

Joe Ezike of the Department of Psychology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka said he was unhappy over the strike as his rent had expired.

“My anger over the strike is that the money I paid for my off-campus accommodation before the strike has expired without proper use of the room,” Ezike complained.

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Tragedy In Zabarmari And Other Matters By Achike Chude

3 December 2020 - 4:23am

Achike Chude

The funny man or clown, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman says that the slain farmers in Zabarmari village (110 of them according to the UN), Borno State, Nigeria, needed permission from the soldiers to farm. Perhaps he is unaware that in some parts of the North East, even the soldiers need permission from Boko-Haram to operate.

What else is there to say about this country and government? There is nothing new. With what we see and experience everyday in our dearly beloved country, it is almost easy to say that we are finished. So easy to say that President Muhammadu Buhari is about finishing what his predecessors started - the total and final humiliation and despoilation of Nigeria. Some are saying that he has come to put the final nail on the country's coffin. I do not know about that. All I know is that in an earlier Facebook and social media post I had argued that one of the reasons President Goodluck Jonathan was sent packing was because he claimed that he was no army general or field marshal, therefore could not deal decisively with the situations at hand in Nigeria. Nigeria and Nigerians needed a general and 'field marshal' to root out Boko-Haram within months as promised by Buhari. My contention in that post and write-up was that President Muhammadu Buhari, previously considered a lion, had become a kitten before the ravaging and rampaging Boko-Haram Killers. 

Our country is in a very difficult and almost impossible place. Do we give up completely? Do we throw up our hands in total surrender and proclaim victory on behalf of the forces seeking our country's final humiliation and defeat? It is difficult to hope, to believe, to see anything good ever happening to us as citizens of a potentially great country. But believe, we must! Hope, we must! I had reminded us somewhere else that it is at the darkest point of night that dawn breaks. Our dawn will come! So my fellow citizens, my fellow Nigerians, friends and compatriots, regardless of your pains, your disillusionment, your Hopelessness, regardless of your religious inclinations, your ethnic proclivities, and your geo-political leanings, get up and believe that a  new dawn will break in this country. Wake up from your dark reveries and see the gloom of your despondency lifted up. There is a silver lining somewhere. You do not see it or refuse to see it because you believe it is over.

Achike Chude

Those who afflict us will only do so for a time. Soon, very soon, you will look for them and see them not. Their cup is almost full. When the hour cometh, you will understand the statement that 'no man controls all the variables of life'. 

"There is a tide in the affairs of man, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.” says William Shakespeare. 

We missed the initial tide before, and in the wake of our independence and have struggled as a country ever since. This time around, in spite of the crises in our country, the cacophony of noises, the discordant tunes, the poverty, the unmitigated lootings and corruption, the acts of injustices, the violence, the perfidy of the ruling class, the crass mediocrity and apalling myopsm and nepotism in government and governance, another flood, bringing good fortunes and blessings is coming. We must see it for what it is and take it at its peak at high tide. 

Nigeria as a geo-political expression is too beautiful and inviting, in spite of her many ugliness, and Nigerians as a people are too resilient, too innovative and ambitious to wallow in failure. We shall arise! We shall yet have cause to be proud of ourselves and our nation. But only after we have gotten rid of the cankerworms that deny us our joys and happiness. 
And get rid of them we will. 


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2023 Presidency: Another Retirement Plan Or Governance? By Ishowo Oluwatosin

3 December 2020 - 4:20am

Reminiscing on events of 2014 and days that preceded the 2015 election; the heated debates, threats and propaganda that swept the media space against Jonathan, the present reality is very sad and it is even more disgusting that present realities and scorecard of the present administration proves that presidency of the supposed messiah is nothing but a “retirement plan” all along. The hope of both well-wishers and citizens who passionately fought and believed in the dream of a man who promised a better Nigeria was dashed and thrown out of the window. 

This must be the most important lesson in our recent history, especially the new generation that anti-corruption fight and 4+4 is not an economic policy. We must not pick the comfort of a single man at the centre of power above common prosperity. Equally, we must understand that what affects an economy is not limited to corruption but also things that are not done. Most importantly, the very essence of a working economy is one where people are not deprived of the fruit of their labour, a working economy is one where people are working and such productivity reflects in their lives. In essence, our main problem is not limited to corruption but also a corrupt economy.

A corrupt economy where banks are not helping business, where loans are not granted and those granted are with killer interests. A well-corrupted economy where business ideas don't see the light of the day due to the Nigerian environment hence cripples people from contributing to the economy. It is a system riddled with social investments and poverty alleviation schemes that do not seek to promote prosperity. It is also where high unemployment rate limits the number of talents available for use and 80% of our needs are imported. The chief cause is nothing than four of our refineries are left to rot, inability to process our own crude oil despite pushing out nearly 2 million barrels per day according to "The Economist Magazine". It is aided by a corrupt political system where funds that are meant to be injected into the economy are distributed as embarrassing social welfare packages, where winning an election is more important than stabilizing the economy.

Nothing will change in 2023 than another retirement plan from a certain individual, no significant change will take place when the presidency is used as a compensation for men who have serially lost elections. The government will continue to change while the people remain the same. A nation where people don’t know that rebuilding a society with cracked moral code is more important than leaving it on the shoulder of a single man going into the villa. A nation where we failed to know that abiding by simple laws will save us billions that are wasted in the legal system. A country where people don’t know that the very essence of democracy is to share responsibility and that one’s responsibility does not end with voting at the polls. It’s easy to blame the system while exonerating the people who continue to subject the system to threat and invasion. It is difficult to rebuild the country without the support of the citizens. 

The polite and extraordinary waste of trustworthiness and failure to realize that ineffective honesty leads to a decline in trust in such a society. Corruption is a culture in Nigeria and has posited us as a nation that is desperately poor due to lack of ambition as a people. We spend more hours learning about concepts of economy and how political systems are supposed to work ignoring moral decline in the nation and the need to let the Nigerian educational curriculum reflect the aspirations of the nation.

In Nigeria, the people strongly believe in taking axe to a hog house to axe a runt because it is born as a weakling and will result to waste. But they will spare a child born with impairment because it was not its choice to be born that way. The question is, was it the runt choice to be born that way? Why must we continually bear the outcome of the decisions of ancestors we didn’t choose and a nation we didn’t pick.

The believe that tangible factors are the sole determinants of national prosperity but ignoring the intangible factors won’t get us anywhere as a people. In a bid to avert another retirement plan, we must perform our roles as citizens by not wasting time in search of a messiah - but a man who will address the causation of these myriads. A man who will save us from the desperation to be poor due to lack of ambition as people. Our search for a messiah is enough, let the search for men begin, I mean ordinary men who are ready to search for available extras to make this country extraordinary. 

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican who issued the emancipation proclamation in 1863 to strike out slavery, Democrats aggressively kicked against it as most of these slaves were black and an important feature of power in American society. Today, Democrats are the ones that offered a black man; Barrack Obama the chance to be the President of the most polarized nation in the world. Also, Democrats are the ones that gave a black woman a chance to be a vice-president-elect. Even if our political parties failed to have an important feature that will indicate and reflect nation-building and national interest, we must help them to find it, we must hold them accountable by preventing them from turning matters that affect our lives to an ideological and political attractive package. 

We have tested yesterday, we are testing today, we should be able to predict our tomorrow and tailor our actions towards what we want it to be. This is the major lesson of history. The fundamental role of history is to provide sufficient knowledge and information to people about themselves.

ISHOWO, Isiaq Oluwatosin
Twitter: @Tosinishowo

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Ishowo Oluwatosin Disable advertisements : 
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