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Ondo Workers Give Akeredolu 48 Hours Ultimatum To Offset Outstanding Salaries

12 November 2018 - 5:29am


 

Labour unions in Ondo State have issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State, to offset the backlog of salaries and arrears of civil servants in the state or face industrial action.

They accused the governor of silence on receiving the state's share of the Paris Club Refund.

The unions expressed disappointment over the attitude of the state government towards the plight of workers in the state.

Last week, the state government had confirmed the receipt of the sum of N20 billion from the Federal Government as its own share of the Paris Club Refund. 

However, the unions addressed a letter to the governor to show their displeasure over the arrears, and it was signed by the State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Tayo Ogunleye, Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Soladoye Ekundayo, and Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Mr. Abel Oloniyo.

In the letter, they threatened that if by 12pm on Tuesday November 13, 2018, the governor failed to offset the outstanding salaries, business activities will be shut down at the governor's office.

The letter read: "We believe that negotiation and agreement with labour was the key criteria of how the fund was released, despite that the fund has been released to the state without consulting labour.

"We humbly refer Your Excellency to the agreement between labour and the state government before the suspension of our industrial action of 30th June 2016.

"Furthermore, we want to draw the attention of His Excellency to the recommendations of a committee on payment of six-month arrears of salary to Ondo State workers set up by the state government that was submitted to Your Excellency in May 2017.

"We also hold that the said agreement subsists between labour and the government of Ondo State, irrespective of who holds the mantle of leadership, particularly when the state Head of Service remains the signatory to both the agreement and the committee report.

"In view of the above, we call on the government to please pay in line with out agreement as analyzed in our letter under reference on or before 12 noon on Tuesday, 13th of November, 2018.

"Failure on the part of government to accede to our request may not not be able to guarantee industrial peace by resuming our suspended strike of 30th June, 2016."

 

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Court Revokes Orji Kalu's Bail

12 November 2018 - 4:51am


Publisher of Sun Newspaper, Orji Uzor Kalu

The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has revoked the bail granted the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, for flouting the court's order.

On Monday, Justice Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge, retracted the bail conditions granted to Kalu in 2007 when he was first arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako in Abuja.

In the ruling, the judge stated: "I have perused the proceedings from court records and I discovered that one of the conditions for granting bail to the 1st defendant, who happens to be Orji Uzor Kalu, is that he should deposit his international passport with the court and the permission must be granted before he can travel outside the country for whatever reason. 

“It is clear that the 1st defendant has flouted this order. No one, high or low, rich or poor can disobey a valid order of court and expect such court to show mercy. 

“Consequently, the bail granted to the 1st defendant is hereby revoked. It's hereby ordered that the first defendant upon his returning to Nigeria must submit himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with all his travelling documents. EFCC should effect his arrest if he fails to submit himself."

The judge, however, accommodated the doctor’s report that claimed the embattled former governor should be admitted on bed rest for ten to twelve months.

“In line with the neurosurgeon's advice from Germany which stated that the 1st defendant should be on hospital bed rest between ten to twelve months, this case is adjourned to January 23rd, 2019 for trial day to day,” the judge ruled.

In September 2018, EFCC had urged the court to revoke the bail granted to the embattled governor.

EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said the former governor travelled out of the country without seeking permission from the court.

However, in explaining the reason behind the unavailability of Kalu in court, his lawyer, Gordy Uche, told the court that he (Kalu) had travelled out of the country for a surgical operation in Germany. 

He said: “My lord, at the last hearing of this matter on July 31, 2018, we did inform the court that the first defendant (Dr. Kalu) had an appointment for a surgical operation which was scheduled for the 2nd of August, 2018, in Germany. 

“Incidentally, the first defendant was unable to get a flight out to meet up with the appointment. The Consultant Surgeon, Dr. Mario, thereafter, went for his summer vacation. However, from the communications we have, the only available date for the surgery is today (Monday). We have already made out a letter attached to which are the correspondences fixing the appointment since last week Friday. 

“It is very unfortunate that we found ourselves in this circumstance and we shall be applying for an adjournment for the first time in this case. This is the first time the first defendant will be absent in court. We plead for a short adjournment to enable him recover and stand his trial.” 

EFCC’s counsel opposed the plea, stating that the time given to Kalu by the court to travel for medical treatment had elapsed and he cannot by himself extended it. 

Although the judge declined EFCC’s application to have Kalu’s bail revoked in September, the continuous absence of the former governor necessitated the eventual order of the court.

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Of Atiku Abubakar’s Huge Moral Burden And The Coming Election

12 November 2018 - 4:43am


Peter Claver Oparah

Peter Claver Oparah

Since he emerged from a heavily monetized PDP primary election, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar had been trying to fend off a noxious image of a super corrupt and shady politician that symbolizes Nigeria’s rotten past. His emergence itself was a huge rebuke to PDP’s recent mien as a repentant group that is truly sorry for its sordid past, for which it recently offered a tenuous apology, which most Nigerians saw as insincere and opportunistic. Before the primary itself, PDP had been waxing noisome of its resolve to break from its putrefying past and offer a rehabilitative balm to the horrific damage it inflicted on the country in its 16 years that were marked by egregious and byzantine corruption, bizarre impunity, avarice and incompetence. This repentant mien, which though looked insincere, was aimed at warming itself back to the hearts of Nigerians who were so riled by the sins of the party, especially as it pertains to a wholesome plundering of the wealth of the country, that they threw it out with one heavy thud n March 2015 despite the huge efforts and resources the party committed into securing an additional term.

In electing to put forward Atiku as its presidential candidate, PDP must have decided to give up the daunting struggle to pretend to be what it is not. The party, still weighed down by its notorious past, must have shed all pretenses that it had reformed itself and was ready to give what it woefully failed to give in its long 16 years in power. Added to the huge monetary bait Atiku unleashed in the race to secure the party’s presidential ticket, PDP must have forcefully decided to spurn all pretenses to be a reformed and penitent party that wants to do right all what it did wrong for a hefty 16 years. In putting forth Atiku as its standard bearer, PDP must have been ruled by the urge to adopt a practical stance on its fate and end all pretenses to be anything different from the money-loving cartel of power hustlers who desire power for the monetary leverage it gives its members. Yes, Atiku and PDP’s other presidential aspirants made it a dollar bazaar where the huge loot that wrecked and laid bare the country for the 16 woeful years of PDP’s reign were brought into full use. Trust PDP members, money will always have its way and it was just natural that Atiku, with all his elephantine baggage and hunches, carried the day; having outspent other equally-questionable alternatives at the PDP primary.

Having emerged from the PDP primary, the biggest challenge for Atiku is to waltz through his many smelly records and wrench the presidency from an austere and frugal President Buhari who stands as a direct opposite to what Atiku is. Knowing his heavy baggage, his supporters and those of PDP tried to wrap his emergence as PDP candidate in one noisome euphoria that will substitute the ensuing campaigns and allow Atiku walk away with his many scruples. Atikulate and such other warped coinages became their sing-song meant to evade the critical and important questions about Atiku and most importantly, his worm-ridden conduct in public service as Vice President for eight years. They told us how the Atiku we know has become one instant talisman to solve the many problems he ironically contributed so much in creating, how he is coming with a magical wand to fling away the many problems of statehood he superintended as Vice President for eight whole years. He was garbed in the dubious cloth of an instant performer, a job creator of unmatched expertise with ludicrous claims of employing as many as 300,000 Nigerians without even a single industry! On yes, Atiku suddenly became Nigeria’s biggest employer, credited to have employed more Nigerians than all the major industrialists in Nigeria combined! He has become a born-again Muslim, a born-again Fulani, a born-again old man, a born-again ruler; in contrast to all his promoters have ranted and invested their energies to discredit before his quixotic emergence as PDP presidential candidate. What is even curious is that most of Atiku’s employees remain anonymous and the work they do remain  huge mystery to a country that knows very well the sham that clothes Atiku as well as his many indiscretions.

But even in these borrowed clothes, Atiku and his supporters know there is no way he will escape the inquest about his personality, the probe of the many corruption and sleaze cases dogging him at every corner, the question of how Atiku, whose known designation before he went into politics, was a retired senior customs officer, happened on his fabled wealth. They all know that Atiku has so much questions to answer Nigerians who have come to associate him with every giant corruption case since 1999; be it the Halliburton scam, the Malabu con, the Siemens fraud, the power sector scam, the privatization scandal, among so many high profile cases of sleaze that bear his indelible imprimatur. Atiku’s corruption indictment goes even beyond Nigeria as he was indicted in a United States money laundering case that is weaved around his purchase of franchise for his American University of Nigeria Yola. For this case, an American congressman was jailed but it was enough to keep Atiku a fugitive from the United States since he left power in 2007! With these and many other gargantuan scruples, those that put forward Atiku as an alternative to President Buhari knew they had an unwinnable war in their hands trying to sell a moth-ridden candidate to Nigerians who are still reeling from the debilitating aftermath of the corrupt acts of Atiku. They know Atiku’s liabilities are far too weighty to be ignored by Nigerians in choosing who leads them from 2019 but they were simply overwhelmed with the scent of his dollars to believe they will bluff their way through with Nigerians.

It was this pathetic mindset that made a human rights lawyer who had very close affinity to PDP, Olisa Agbakoba, to be recently quoted as saying that he would not mind if Atiku is a thief but that he would vote for him! It is as bad as that. This lawyer knows that to sell the jaded ware that is Atiku, he has to first murder his own conscience and pretense to moral unction. He knows he needed such self-indictment as he made on himself by that damning statement, to sell the bad market that is Atiku, who, for understandable reasons, we know he feels compelled to sell. You cannot sell Atiku without deprecating yourself so badly as Agbakoba did by that self-indicting statement. That is as corrosive as Atiku is.  So this was the type of cocoon those that are marketing Atiku have weaved for themselves but Nigerians would not be fooled by their antics. Atiku must conveniently come clean of his dirty past to be entrusted with our present. Pretending to care less of the moral gird of his present ambition is a cheeky tactic he and his supporters will not be allowed to exploit. If Jacob Zuma could be hounded off office in neighboring South Africa for a corruption case that could pass a case of pick pocket when compared to Atiku’s egregious corruption scandal, I see those trying to blunt our senses and morality by selling Atiku as indulging in an exercise in futility.

Good enough, Atiku’s putrid history is well documented in the book, My Watch, written by no less a person than his principal and newfound marketer; an equally compromised, Olusegun Obasanjo who served as President when Atiku was Vice President. Curiously, Atiku side-stepped the weighty indictments contained in the book to recently go and beg Obasanjo so as to secure his endorsement (as worthless as it is) for his present presidential ambition. But even when Obasanjo forgave him and hoisted him as his candidate for the coming 2019 presidential election, the huge indictments contained in his book still remain un-retracted and stands as an indelible patch of shame that will hunt Atiku for the rest of his sordid life.

So, for his queer presidential dream, Atiku Abubakar must offer clear, concise and impregnable defense of the many allegations stalking him like a malignant shadow. He must explain where he suddenly happened upon his much-vaunted wealth, which has formed the corpus of his campaign. He must explain to Nigerians where and when he suddenly met Midas who invested him with the magic wealth he is indecently flaunting around. Till he does this, Atiku remains another benevolent armed robber; a moral cripple, an ethical tragedy and a light-fingered crook who should not be allowed anywhere near our treasury again. Recently, his party ‘warned’ the opposition to stop calling him a thief. Yet, the same party pretends not to care that more damning names for Atiku still exist in Obasanjo’s My Watch! In embarking in such flight of folly, PDP thinks that Nigerians are dolts whose minds and senses could be remote-controlled by its filthy mandarins and its ruined sense of propriety. They haven’t seen nothing yet as Atiku, and indeed PDP, cannot run away from their shadows as the election approaches.

So let PDP and Atiku provide clear and convincing evidence that the moral destitute they are promoting to take over Nigeria’s leadership is not who we know him to be. Until they do that, they should be content to live with the liabilities of the rotten choice they have put forth for the 2019 election.

 

Peter Claver Oparah

Ikeja, Lagos.

E-mail: peterclaver2000@yahoo.com

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Checks, Balances or Resistance: What Role Are Our Senators Playing? By Dyepkazah Shibayan

12 November 2018 - 4:15am


Countless times the senate particularly the current one led by Abubakar Bukola Saraki has been accused of being a clog in the wheel of the country's progress. Such accusations often arise when the senators differ with the executive on issues.

The current senate also known as the "8th" has disagreed with the executive on various issues ranging from the approval of loans, summoning of appointees and confirmation of nominees. 

One of such issues that easily comes to mind is the summoning of Hammed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), over a vehicle tariff and his refusal to wear uniform.

To cut a long story short, the senate called for his resignation of Ali after Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), told the lawmakers in a letter that the matter of Ali's refusal to wear uniform was before the court. Ali is still in office.  

The non-confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was also another contentious issue. This led to a decison of the senate to suspend the confirmation of nominees sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari afterMaguwas rejected twice. 

The frosty relationship got to its peak when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators called for Buhari's impeachment in April after he expended over $400 million to purchase fighter aircraft to combat Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east without approval from the national assembly.

However, all these are now water under the bridge because Saraki who defected to the PDP few months back and senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have since struck a peace deal. 

The senate has begun confirming those nominees it had once put "in a cooler" and approving the president's requests. Of recent, it approved the virement request of N242 billion for the 2019 polls just as the president wanted.

As a student of government, i have learnt that you cannot subtract the principle of separation of power from a democracy. But is the senate or the national assembly allowed to exercise its powers, like the way the executive does? Would Nigerians be able to look past sentiments to the functions of the various arms of government viz-a-viz the law?

With the 8th senate having about six months to go and a new dispensation - having opposition party in leadership - there are fresh issues on ground that needs to be addressed with a non-partisan approach given the oversight functions of the legislature backed by the constitution.

Biodun Olujimi, senate minority leader, recently raised "dust" with two motions which urgently needs to be looked into. A motion on the $3.5 billion fuel subsidy fund operated by two individuals in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and another one on the allegation that the Social Investment Programme (SIP) is being used to buy votes ahead of the 2019 general election.

Will the senate be labeled as a "resistance" if the outcome of the probe of the aforementioned issues do not go down well with the executive?  

There is no doubt that some actions of the senate or the national assembly have political undertones, but should it be a rubber stamp to the executive? How can Nigerians see through the actions of the executive, legislature or judiciary without denigrating them?

We should not weaken or look down on state institutions because some of us like Buhari or hate Saraki. They will leave office some day and what would be left of institutions of state?  

Shibayan can be reached on Twitter @justdyepis
 

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Buhari’s SIP An Avenue To Enrich Supporters And Cronies, Says Group

12 November 2018 - 4:01am


 

The Atiku/Obi Advocacy Group has flayed the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) for accusing the leadership of the Senate of playing the script of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by its decision to probe the Social Investment Programme.

The group described the statement by the BMO as vacuous and crass, saying it reeks of desperation to blackmail, to distract, and to stoke controversy.

A statement by Fredrick Nwabufo, Chairman of the Atiku/Obi Advocacy Group, said the Social Investment Programme lacks sincerity and transparency.

“The Buhari administration claims it has spent more than N66bn feeding school children. But it is clear that this programme is an avenue for enriching supporters because it has not improved our education in any way. In fact, the number of out-of-school children has multiplied since this programme started. The number rose from 10 million to 13.5 million,” the group said.

“And the schools where this feeding programme take place are at best hovels; totally inhabitable. Our education continues to take a nosedive, yet the government is pumping money into a failed programme to enrich its supporters.

“We are aware that the Buhari Media Organisation enjoys this ‘Social Investment Programme’. In fact, it was designed for them. A group which goes around government ministries and agencies demanding money lacks the integrity and moral right to question a legitimate probe into what has become a political largesse for cronies, hangers-on and minions.

“To show that the Social Investment Programme lacks sincerity, no Nigerian has been lifted out of poverty by this programme. Instead every minute, six Nigerians become extremely poor – according to the World Poverty Clock, which reported that Nigeria is now the poverty capital of the world. In fact, 88 million Nigerians now live in extreme poverty, and with 1.1 million citizens slipping into extreme poverty between June and October, 2018.

"We are also aware that Nigerians are being compelled to show party membership card and voter card to access the N10,000 Trader Moni. Does this not show that the programme is a political gambit?

"And to show that the programme lacks transparency, there is no verifiable data of the beneficiaries, their location and total cash received so far. Only patriotic Nigerians who are not benefitting from this farce will support the Senate’s probe of the programme. All well-meaning Nigerians are enjoined to support the effort of the Senate to purge the underbelly of this failed programme.”

 

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Sokoto Governorship: Tambuwal Missing On INEC List​

12 November 2018 - 2:42am


The name of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State is missing in INEC’s list of candidates contesting for the governorship of the state.

The list which was displayed at the office of INEC showed Manir Dan’iya as the governorship candidate of the PDP.

Dan’iya is the immediate past Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development.

However, some sources have said Tambuwal would replace Dan’iya in the final list of candidates that would be released by INEC on January 31, 2019.

When contacted, the PDP state Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma, said there was “no cause for alarm” as there was still time for substitution.

According to the particulars pasted by INEC, 34 candidates will contest for the governorship in Sokoto, but a source within the commission said the candidates were up to 50.

“There are more candidates and their credentials would be displayed this week,” he assured.

Daily Trust learnt that among the candidates is Hajiya Salamatu Isa Abdullahi who is contesting on the banner of the Progressives Party Alliance (PPA).

Meanwhile, the Sokoto State Government has applauded the responses of registered voters to the ongoing “clean up” exercise by INEC in the state.

A statement signed by Akibu Dalhatu, the Special Adviser, Public Enlightenment and Mobilisation to Governor Tambuwal, said a monitoring committee was set up to work with executives of the party at various levels towards ensuring awareness among the voters.

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Why We Gave Up On Impeachment Of Saraki, Dogara –Moghalu

12 November 2018 - 2:39am


The All Progressives Congress (APC) has admitted that the rigid stipulations for the impeachment of the leadership of the National Assembly have compelled the ruling party to give up the plan to impeach the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

National Auditor of the ruling party, Dr. George Moghalu, told Daily Sun that though it was the desire of the party to impeach them, the prevailing circumstance has made it impossible.

The national leadership of the party had repeatedly threatened to impeach the senate president after his defection to the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with other members of the upper chambers.

However, asked if the APC had given up on the removal of the National Assembly leadership, Moghalu said: “The situation is not about given up, the present reality is that as a law-abiding party, one thing is the wish, while another is the act itself.

“We wish to have the leadership of the two chambers as a party, but the point is that the reality on ground will not make it achievable.

“Considering the prevailing reality, the possibility of changing the leadership of the two chambers is not there, because we need the required number to so.

“Don’t forget that we are in a constitutional democracy. We may be left with no other option than to live with the current situation because we don’t have another choice.

“However, my simple appeal is that the common denominator is the unity of Nigeria.

“We must all be accountable to the country. We have to place Nigeria first in whatever we do, whether we are in the opposition or ruling parties,” he said.

On whether the rate at which the leadership is approaching the party crisis will help the party in 2019, he appealed for more dialogue.

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Impeachment: Ondo Lawmakers Shun Akeredolu’s Peace Meeting​

12 November 2018 - 2:20am


The 18 members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, who effected the removal of the Speaker, Bamidele Oloyeloogun, and his deputy, Ogundeji Iroju, shunned the meeting summoned by state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to intervene on the leadership crisis that rocked the assembly.

This is coming as the organised labour in the state has threatened to resume the suspended strike if the state government fails to start payment of the salary arrears from the N20.9 billion received as the state’s share of Paris Club loan refund by today.

THISDAY learnt yesterday that the 18 lawmakers had fled the state and relocated to Ibadan, Oyo State, following alleged threat to their lives.

The situation came just as the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the party and its state Chairman, Mr. Ade Adetimeyin, were not involved in the invasion of the assembly by hoodlums suspected to be members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) after the removal of the speaker and his deputy. See Also Sahara Reporters VIDEO: Lawmaker Beaten Up As Ondo Assembly Speaker, Deputy Are Impeached 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

During the invasion of the assembly, some lawmakers, journalists, assembly workers and security agents were assaulted.

Sequel to the removal of Oleyelogun and Ogundeji, Olamide George and Faloju Abimbola were elected and sworn in as the new Speaker and deputy Speaker respectively.

It was gathered that the 18 lawmakers shunned the meeting convened by the governor while the removed Speaker, his deputy and four others loyal to the embattled Speaker, attended the meeting.

A lawmaker, who was among those that shunned the meeting convened by Akeredolu said they relocated to Ibadan,  Oyo State capital, following series of threats to their lives after the Speaker’s removal last Friday

A source within the government also confirmed the lawmakers’ absence at the meeting, adding that only the removed leaders of the assembly and four others loyal to them honoured the governor’s invitation.

“The governor had lost the control of the assembly, and the former speaker (Oleyelogun) was not in-charge, if not for the APC and Aketi, he would have been removed since, but I don’t think the removal would be reversed because some lawmakers are not returning to the assembly in 2019, so they have nothing to lose.”

Akeredolu had early this year intervened in the removal of the speaker and his deputy, which brought them back to office.

The source said the governor was rattled with the development as George-led assembly is clearly the majority with two-third required by the constitution to take decision in the assembly.

 Meanwhile, state APC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Alex Kalejaye, debunked the allegation that the party’s chairman led thugs to invade the assembly.

Kalejaye in a statement described the allegation as untrue and a wicked blackmail.

 The publicity secretary said the chairman was only at the assembly to pacify the lawmakers, but he was assaulted and told that it was not a party affair.

“The chairman got the information that the lawmakers were planning the  removal of the speaker and his deputy, and he rushed to the assembly.

“The APC members are in the majority in the House of Assembly, so, like a father, the chairman has a responsibility to race down to the assembly in response to such distress call, and that he did last Friday.

“The  intention of the chairman was to explore ways to pacify aggrieved members and ensure the situation did not degenerate to an ugly scene. Unfortunately, he was rebuffed by some members, who actually assaulted him, saying it was purely a party affair.

“It therefore amounts to a deliberate blackmail for any person or group to insinuate that a well-cultured democrat like Adetimehin would lead thugs to attack the members of the assembly.

“It is disheartening that hoodlums would invade the hallow chamber of any assembly, and harass members. No government would condone such behaviour.

“We urge security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter and ensure punishment or sanction for those found culpable,” Kalejaye stated.

Meanwhile, the organised labour in Ondo State has threatened to resume the suspended strike if the government fails to start payment of the salary arrears from the N20.9 billion received as the state’s share of Paris Club Loan refund by today.

The threat of the organised labour was contained in a letter written to Governor Akeredolu and dated November 9, 2018.

The letter was signed by the State Chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) Tayo Ogunleye; Soladoye Ekundayo and Abel Oloniyo respectively.

They accused the governor of not consulting labour unions as agreed on the release of Paris club refund to the state by the federal government.

The labour leaders said they would not be able to guarantee industrial peace in the state if the government failed to pay the outstanding salaries on Tuesday.

“We believe that negotiation and agreement with labour was the key criteria of how the fund was released despite that the fund has been released to the state without consulting labour.

“We humbly refer your Excellency to the agreement between labour and the state government before the suspension of our industrial action of June 30, 2016.

“Furthermore, we want to draw the attention of His Excellency to the recommendations of a committee on payment of six month arrears of salary to Ondo State workers set up by the state government that was submitted to your Excellency in May 2017.

“We also hold that the said agreement subsists between labour and the government of Ondo State irrespective of who mounts the mantle of leadership particularly when the state Head of Service remains the signatory to both the agreement and the committee report.

“In view of the above, we call on the government to please pay in line with our agreement as analysed in our letter under reference on or before 12 noon Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

“Failure on the part of government to accede to our request may not be able to guarantee industrial peace by resuming our suspended strike of June 30, 2016”, the letter stated.

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Appeal Court Explains Relocation Of Osun Gov Tribunal To Abuja​

12 November 2018 - 2:16am


The Court of Appeal at the weekend explained why it relocated the Osun State governorship election petition tribunal from Osogbo to Abuja.

This is coming as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  has called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to probe the sudden relocation of the sitting of the tribunal.

The tribunal was set up to hear petitions arising from the September 22 and 27 governorship polls in the state which Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner.

THISDAY gathered that the reshuffled three-member panel was moved to FCT High Court No 24, Apo Abuja following the directives of President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.

Giving reasons for the relocation, the spokesperson of the Court of Appeal, Sa’adatu Musa, said the action of Justice Bulkachuwa is in line with the Nigerian constitution.

“It is constitutional. The president (of the appeal court) has the power to constitute a panel and to use that same discretion if she feels a need for safety so that there will be peace.

“If there’s a flashpoint or there would be trouble or insecurity of the judges, will you want to expose your judges if you are the one?

“Because of this, once in a while (the president exercises the power) and for peace to reign. Let there be no interference and so as to maintain peace and order amidst tensed politics.”

The spokesperson added that a similar situation occurred in Rivers State.

“You could remember in 2016 when she (the president of the court) relocated some tribunals back to Abuja from Port Harcourt. “For example, during the Wike and Amaechi issue, she moved them back to Abuja so that they can stay in a peaceful environment”.

Asked if the sudden relocation will not be termed a political move by the opposition party,  Sa’adatu said it would not be the first time the court will be accused of an attempt to tamper with justice.

“They have always thought otherwise. During the PDP time, APC were accusing Her Lordship that she is PDP. Now it is APC time and PDP members are accusing that she is a member of APC.”

But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a statement signed by the state Chairman, Soji Adagunodo, yesterday asked the National Judicial Council to probe the ‘sudden’ relocation of the sitting of the tribunal to Abuja.

The party described the relocation as “another sign that there is a desperate and evil plan by some forces to implement a pre-written script on the proceedings and outcome” of its petition before the tribunal.

The party said though it was not shocked by the development, “in view of the several boastings of prominent APC leaders to that effect in the last few weeks”, it was “very disappointed that a very important institution like the judiciary would allow itself to be cheaply manipulated by unscrupulous elements in the political space.”

“We believe that the decision to relocate the tribunal sitting to Abuja was also without any justifiable reason because there had been no reports on any security breach neither had there been any other cogent factor that could have necessitated the action.”

The party said it was probably those who took the decision without consultation with counsel to the petitioners did so partly to prevent the people of the state from observing the proceedings of the tribunal and also to make it easier for federal authorities to influence its outcome.

“We want to remind honourable members of the tribunal of the dictum of the eminent jurist Niki Tobi JSC that ‘The true test of a fair hearing is the impression of a reasonable person who was present at the trial whether from his observation justice has been done’”.

Mr. Adagunodo added that apart from the court of public opinion which the conduct of the tribunal will be subjected to, “there is also a burden on the tribunal members to justify the expectations of God from those who hold such sacred offices and who are called upon to do justice without fear or favour.

“On our part as a party, we will continue to invite the attention of the National Judicial Council, leaders of thought and the international community to the happenings in Osun State and state what these portend for the 2019 general elections in Nigeria and the stability of the country as a whole.

“We are hopeful that the concerned persons and authorities will act speedily on this matter and restore the hope of the common man in Osun State in the judicial process as an aftermath of the last governorship election.”

In his reaction, the APC Publicity Secretary in the state, Kunle Oyatomi, said his party has no objection to the relocation of the tribunal.

“It is a legal process permitted by the law of Nigeria. We support the movement, so long it dispenses justice fairly and without favour,” he stated in a statement yesterday.

“We like to point out to the PDP and its candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke that by the fact on the ground of the two elections, and the official and legitimate pronouncement of the results of those elections by INEC, the mandate of the people of Osun remains that of Alhaji Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola and not for Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke; not as the PDP is claiming,” he said.

The PDP candidate in the election, Ademola Adeleke, filed a petition at the tribunal to challenge the victory of the governor-elect, Oyetola.

Adeleke, who claimed he polled the highest number of votes in the election, asked the tribunal to cancel the victory of Oyetola, who will be sworn-in on November 27.  Adeleke asked to be declared the winner of the election which he initially led in until a controversial re-run election was held in seven polling units.

The re-run, whose conduct was criticised by local and international observers due to the extent of violence and intimidation witnessed, eventually secured victory for  Oyetola and the APC.

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Women Are Better Borrowers, Says CBN

12 November 2018 - 2:13am


Isaac Okorafor

Isaac Okorafor Voice of Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria has urged more women to approach the banks for small and medium scale loans because they will repay such grants better than their male counterparts.

Its Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said this during an event by the bank at the Lagos International Trade Fair in Lagos on Friday.

He also said that the CBN placed a high priority on women, and was increasing the number of females in its fold.

His words: “We have a special place for women and we have increased the number of women we have because we believe that women are more efficient, more reliable and more enterprising than men.

“It is easy to give more loans to women because they will pay back. They are not like those of us (men) who may not pay back.”

He explained further that if a woman had the naira note, the impact of the money would be greater than when it was given to a man.

While noting that the women were more enterprising, he said that they hardly come out to collect the single digit interest loans that the bank was giving to the small and medium scale enterprises, while those who come are not well organised and lacked the necessary collateral.

He also mentioned that many of the women did not have bank accounts where the loans could be paid into.

To address this challenge, he said that the CBN had been encouraging the women to organise themselves under effective cooperative units to be able to access the incentives.

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Take A Cue From Buhari, Oshiomhole Tells Losers In APC Primaries

12 November 2018 - 2:06am


Edo State Governor Oshiomole

Following the controversy that trailed the outcome of the primary elections of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday urged all those that lost out to take a cue from President Muhammadu Buhari who contested the presidential election four times before he could win saying, contesting in an election is a long distance race.

Oshiomhole who spoke to journalists in Benin City, Edo State shortly after the church service to mark the second year anniversary of the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki, however, denied visiting the National Leader of the party,  Bola Tinubu, in London as reported in some sections of the media.

“Once you have more than one aspirant, there will be a winner but in a good democracy if those who win, govern for the good of all, everybody will be a winner. If it were possible to field everybody that had contested, we will do so but it is not possible and I think that overtime, people will recognise this reality and they will overcome whatever shock they may have suffered because everybody going out to play a football match is doing so believing that he can win but at the end of the day, there must be a winner.

“I think people should just accept that there will always be a winner; that you didn’t win today does not mean you will not win tomorrow and there is no better example than the fact that our president, President Muhammadu Buhari lost three times, but he did not give up, the fourth attempt he won. There is a lot to learn from that. It is a long distance race and only those who have capacity for long distance will venture into the business of politics.”

On his alleged meeting with Tinubu in London, Oshiomhole said “What am I going to do in London? The truth is that when you are a leader and as they say the tree that bears fruit will always attract stones, both those who want to pluck and those who are just hungry. Why will I go to London to see Tinubu when I can see him in Bourdillon? And what are the issues between me and him that I am going to resolve with him? The leader of the party who is the president of Nigeria, I have access to him 24/7.  So, I don’t need to go to London through the queen to reach my own leader in Lagos, it doesn’t make sense.

“The problem is that once a news reporter succeeds in printing one lie, he is obliged to print several lies to sustain that one lie. So, some of the media and I don’t want to mention their names haven allowed the opposition to misuse them to fake news, they now feel obliged to fake more news to sustain the fake news but it will remain fake news. I am here and I am fine.”

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Alleged Breach Of Contract: APC Gov Candidate, Uzodinma, Arrested

12 November 2018 - 1:55am


The Special Presidential Investigation Panel For Recovery of Public Property said on Sunday that it had arrested the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Imo State,  Hope Uzodinma, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

Chairman of the panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, said in a short message to our correspondent on Sunday that the panel arrested Uzodinma, the senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, for the failure of his company to execute a contract of $12m for the dredging of Calabar channel.

According to the panel’s chairman, the contract was awarded by Nigerian Ports Authority.

Obono-Obla said Uzodinma had been evading arrest for about a year but was arrested at about 8.20pm at the Abuja airport.

The statement read, “This evening, at about 8.20pm, operatives of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel For Recovery of Public Property at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport arrested the APC governorship candidate in Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, after disembarking from an Air Peace P47324 flight from Lagos.

“The panel is investigating economic sabotage against Senator Uzodinma arising out of the failure of his company to execute a contract of $12m for the dredging of Calabar channel awarded by the NPA.”

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Should Lai Mohammed’s N3.5m Claim Have Been Left Off The Record? By ‘Fisayo Soyombo

12 November 2018 - 12:40am

Journalism entails a high degree of public trust. To earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative for every journalist and every news medium to observe the highest professional and ethical standards — Preamble, Code of Ethics for Nigerian Journalists (1998).

For three days in March 1998, some of the country’s finest journalists, plus newspaper owners and other stakeholders, gathered in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, to forge what till date remains the most recent version of the ethical code guiding journalism practice in Nigeria. The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the Nigerian Press Council (NPC), the Nigerian Union of Journalists NUJ), the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigerian (NPAN) were all represented. The ensuing document was an upgrade on the one in existence since 1979.

Exactly 20 years on, Kwara State returns to the summit of a delicate yet thrilling debate about ethical journalism, not because another gathering of journalists has been convoked but because a son of the soil has fallen victim to the relative obscurity to which the 1998 document has fallen.

On Thursday, Lai Mohammed, the Kwara-born Information Minister, was seen telling reporters in a viral video that the government was spending N3.5 million monthly to feed Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the Shi’ia sect leader who has been in detention since December 2015. In the six-minute-fifteen-second video, Lai can be heard four different times saying the information should be kept “off the record”. In an instance, he specifically says: “This should be off the record… I am only giving you all this background information so you know how to write your story.”

Lai’s off-the-record revelations were passed on to the public by internet platform, Oak TV. Following Lai’s cry of betrayal, Oak TV delivered a letter of apology to the Minister, and claimed to have sanctioned “all the team members involved”. The only problem is Nigerians won’t stop discussing the incredulity of feeding a detainee with such humongous sum. Of more journalistic and scholarly importance, however, the debate rages: should Oak TV — and the legion of media outfits that jumped on it — have published the video?

Before delving into the debate about the propriety of publishing the video, it has to be said that something is fundamentally wrong with this so-called regime of change if it truly spends N3.5million monthly on an accused for whom it has disobeyed a court order for his release, and at a time the government can’t just muster a measly N30,000 as minimum wage for workers. Maybe some will also argue, perhaps rightly so, that Lai got his comeuppance in the end — for being such a notorious inventor of propaganda for the selfish interests of the then opposition party and a cynical manipulator of information to the benefit of the now ruling government.

Still, should that video have been published? The answer — and it is not hard to explain — is no. Section 4 of the Ethical Code, tagged ‘Privilege/Non-disclosure’, states clearly: “(i) a journalist should observe the universally accepted principle of confidentiality and should not disclose the source of information obtained in confidence; (ii) a journalist should not breach an agreement with a source of information obtained as ‘off the record’ or as ‘background information.’” Not only did Lai say “off the record”, he particularly clarified he was only offering the journalists background information for their stories.

Although they haven’t expressly said so, most of those arguing for the spilling of the video can fall back on other sections of the Ethical Code. In the second, titled ‘Accuracy and fairness’, the code says “the public has a right to know”. A part of the document’s preamble also states: “In the exercise of these duties, a journalist should always have healthy regard for the public interest.”

Is there, therefore, a clash of interests between the public’s right to know and the journalist’s respect for off-the-record information? No. Combining these two provisos would mean something like: ‘the public has a right to know, but through any means other than the publication of off-the-record information’. And this is possible. In this specific case, the answers are not set in stone, but there are a number of possibilities.
 
One — probably the least desirable and surely not in a video — would be to state Lai’s claim but attribute it to a Federal Government source rather than him. In any case, according-to-a-source stories are a permanent fixture in Nigerian journalism. Another would be to take Lai’s claim to the Interior Minster or the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), both of who should know; whether they say yes or no, it’s a story. Yet another is to attempt to force the information out of the government with an FoI request, with failure to respond gifting the journalist the liberty to announce Lai’s claim even without revealing the source. The possibilities are limitless. Lai’s revelation, in fact, can be the springboard for investigative reporting to ascertain the cost of feeding or generally caring for a DSS detainee or an EFCC detainee or a prisoner. Or for El-Zakzaky himself!

The wide publication of the Lai video also raises a string of worrying questions about the practice of journalism in the new-media age. One that personally bothers me is the growing transformation of the media to an entity that sees itself as useful solely for news dissemination — what’s happening to educating the readers? What’s happening to analyzing, interpreting and processing the raw news so that readers are better placed to make informed decisions with them? This shrinking of robust journalism is one reason Lai’s revelation was not considered valuable beyond its news mileage.

It is also wondrous how the media is comfortable with setting a certain standard for the rest of the society yet lowering it for itself. For example, over the past two weeks, the media has been vociferous in its criticism of the Army for gunning down dozens of Shi’ites in Abuja. That criticism is valid because the Army’s Rules of Engagement (RoE) state clearly when and how a soldier can apply fire. There must be “grave danger” to the life of the soldier; and even then, “fire must be aimed and controlled”. The RoE forbid “indiscriminate firing”. All these the Army flouted, and for this it was roundly criticized by the media. How then can the media fall short of the rules of its own rules of engagement?

I have been taken aback by arguments reprimanding Lai for saying on camera something he didn’t want published. Baffling thought pattern, actually. As long as he wasn’t on live TV, and knowing the taped videos would still be edited pre-publication, he acted within reasoning. A few months ago, I taught an investigative journalism class during which a participant questioned the morality of undercover reporting; he just couldn’t understand why a journalist would obtain information in an environment where he isn’t known to be one. In one of my answers, I shared a finding from Borno State during an undercover adventure in June 2016. But first, I asked that my disclosure should be off the record. And the cameras were on, too. During that trip, I found myself in a certain room where there was access to the official — not the press-release manipulations — number of the total number of soldiers who had been killed by Boko Haram in just the first six months of that year. And boy, were the numbers staggering! I gave the figure to the class but I again impressed it on them that this information couldn’t be made public. All I wanted to prove to the class was this: there are certain information you will never have unless you go undercover.

That this debate has existed at all is one more reminder of how the disruption of journalism practice by technology is not all gains. In more intellectually-conscious climes, last week’s off-the-record drama would spark scholarly incursions into the changing values of 21st-century journalism. It would trigger intense concerns about the gaping hole of self-regulation that must be filled if the media must bountifully harness the pluses of Internet-driven media explosion. Personally, I remain worried that while the audience for journalism is larger today than it was, say, a decade or two ago, the mindset is remarkably smaller.


Soyombo, former Editor of the TheCable and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), tweets @fisayosoyombo

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Oshiomhole: I Wasn't Hired By The DSS, I Can't Be Asked To Resign By The DSS

11 November 2018 - 2:15pm


Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has faulted claims that he was asked by the Department of State Services (DSS) to resign his position.

He stated this on Sunday, when he featured on Politics Today, a television programme aired on Channels Television.

Confirming that he met with the DSS, Oshiomhole said the security agency could not have asked him to resign his position, as he wasn't hired by them.

His words: "I wasn't hired by the DSS and I cannot be requested by DSS to resign or to retain the job. APC is a structured party; we have organs. I know the procedure and I believe the DSS also understands their own role in the system. It's not up to them to demand the resignation of a party chairman, whether that party chairman is the chairman of a ruling party or chairman of an opposition.

"But I believe it is their right to have a conversation with anyone, who in their opinion, can assist them in discharging their mandate so that Nigeria is safe and secure, particularly as we move towards 2019 elections. 

"I met with the DSS on Sunday at about 3pm and I drove there on my own."

Oshiomhole, however, did not expressly confirm or deny if he met with the President on the DSS matter, when questioned on the subject.

He continued: "On my meeting with the President, the President is the President of Nigeria and he is elected on the platform of our party, which I am privileged currently to be the Chairman of. I visit the villa at least two to three times a week. I have a duty to brief Mr. President on what were doing in the party. I have the privilege of learning from the President what the government is doing as it relates to what the party expects of the government elected on our platform.

"Meeting the President is not news at all. Those are my privileges and I think it will continue to be so as long as Mr. President is gracious enough to give me the privilege to want to know what we're doing in the party, and also to hear my own suggestions on a variety of issues as it affects governance, our party and the country."

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BREAKING: Buratai's Car Involved In Accident In Kaduna

11 November 2018 - 1:37pm


An official staff car belonging to Lieutenant General T.Y. Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, has been involved in an accident.

According to the Army, the accident occurred at Jere town, on the way to Kaduna, on Sunday evening.

The car was in a convoy alongside other vehicles, when a lone civilian vehicle veered off its lane and rammed into the car. 

Although Buratai wasn't in the car, the ADC sustained minor injuries and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

BREAKING:The COAS' official staff car had an accident at Jere town on the way to Kaduna today 11 November 2018 at about 6.00 p.m. The staff car was in a convoy along with other vehicles when a lone civilian vehicle veered off its lane and rammed into the staff car. pic.twitter.com/WXCovfXdBI

— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) November 11, 2018

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Police 'Rescue' Wife Threatened With Machete By Husband From Her Home

11 November 2018 - 1:16pm


Officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have assisted a wife in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in moving out of her home after she was threatened by her husband with a machete.

The wife had made a distress call to the Police on Sunday, concerning the incident. She also requested Police protection to enable her move her belongings out of the house.

A team of policemen was immediately dispatched to her home and the incident was brought under control.

Although, the identity of the couple was not revealed by the Police, ACP Yomi Shogunle directed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to provide security for the wife, and she is now in a "safe place".

A case of "threat to life" has been recorded against the husband.

You can call our phone lines to report #DomesticViolence.
At 1:10pm today we received a distress call from Ibadan concerning a husband threatening his wife with a machete at their home.
A @PoliceNG team was immediately dispatched to the address & situation brought under control.

— POLICE COMPLAINT (@PoliceNG_PCRRU) November 11, 2018

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Only The President Is Exempt From Airport Security Screening, Aviation Minister Tells Atiku

11 November 2018 - 1:07pm


The Federal Government has responded to the claim by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that he was "intimidated" during a check at the airport on his return to Abuja from Dubai.

The former Vice-President had claimed that he and members of his staff were subjected to "intimidation" during the security screening at the Abuja airport on Sunday.

However, a statement by Hadi Sirika, Nigeria's Minister of Aviation on Sunday, noted that the screening was a routine process and only the President was exempted from such checks.

The Aviation Minister said the "claim by Atiku is a mischevious attempt to grab the headlines", noting that the search was part of standard procedure.

The statement published in a series of tweets, read: "The claim by @atiku is a mischievous attempt to grab the headlines. Nigerians need to know that one of the resolutions of the Atiku team at their recently-concluded Dubai retreat was to embark on scaremongering. This is one of such.

"For the records, all incoming passengers on international flights go through Customs, Immigration, health and security screening. Where the aircraft is using the private, charter wing, as the PDP candidate did, such arrivals are met by a team of the Immigration, Customs and other security agencies.

"They go to the arriving aircraft as a team. The airport authorities confirm that this is a routine process, applying to all international arrivals, including Ministers, unless the passenger is the President of Nigeria. The President, the Vice President and passengers aboard planes on the Presidential air fleet use the Presidential wing of the airport.

"It is also important to state that even in the Presidential Wing of the airport which the President of Nigeria uses, there is the presence of Immigration and other security officials who must stamp his or her passport on arrival.

"By standard procedure, all aircraft on international arrivals must first of all park at the international wing of the aircraft. They can move to the domestic terminal only upon the completion of the arrival processes."

The minister affirmed that the PDP presidential candidate was subjected to the check, and insisted that he was "accorded full respect as a former vice-president".

The statement continued: "While it is true that the Task Force on Currency at the airport did the routine action of checking the former Vice President’s travel bag, he was accorded full respect as a former Vice President of Nigeria.

"These checks are mandatory, conventional, internationally applied and routine. No one is excused from them under our laws. These checks are carried out on all international arrivals and President Buhari does not get involved in them.

"Law-abiding citizens are encouraged to respect the laws of the country and our VIPs should not seek to be treated over and above the citizens they wish to serve."

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DSS 'Detains' Bauchi State Chairman Of ASUU

11 November 2018 - 11:19am


Dr. Adamu Babayo, Chairman of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has been detained by the Department of State Services (DSS), the ASUU chapters of the ATBU and Bauchi State University, Gadau, have said.

Vice Chairman of the association, Dr Ibrahim Maina, decried Babayo's detention when he addressed a press conference in Bauchi on Sunday.

According to NAN, Maina alleged that Babayo was detained by the DSS operatives on Sunday, when he was invited to the department’s headquarters in Bauchi.

“The ASUU Chairman, Adamu Babayo was invited through a Short Message Service (SMS) which is not a formal way of invitation.

“On Friday, he received a text message requesting him to report to the DSS office in Bauchi on Sunday. He went to the office together with some of the executives of the association. The DSS operatives requested other members of his entourage to leave and detained him in their office," he said.

Stating that the chairman's detention was a violation of his rights, he said: "Let them explain to us why he was detained. That will give us the idea of what needs to be done.

“If the detention is in connection with the ongoing strike, it is a nationwide strike embarked on by the universities in the country and not a peculiar or personal problem. What wrong have we done by pressing for our rights through the strike?"

However, a DSS official, who preferred not to be named, insisted that Babayo was not detained but only invited to answer some questions.

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After Seeing CCTV Footage, Togolese Cook 'Confesses' To Killing Credit Switch CEO

11 November 2018 - 10:49am


Sunday Adefonou Anani, the 22-year-old Togolese cook accused of killing Chief Opeyemi Bademosi, has confessed to perpetrating the crime, the Police have revealed.

Bademosi, Chief Executive Officer of Credit Switch Limited, was stabbed to death at his residence in Onikoyi Lane, Parkview Estate in Lagos State. See Also CRIME Ondo CEO Stabbed To Death In Multiple Places 'By Togolese Cook' 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

A statement by CSP Chike Oti, Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State, on Sunday, noted that Anani killed his boss after an attempt to rob the latter's home.

In the confession statement made available to newsmen by the Police, the suspect said he got into an altercation with his boss during the incident and initially stabbed him by accident with a knife he had brought along.

Anani was, however, said to have eventually got hold of the knife and stabbed his boss repeatedly, resulting in his death. Thereafter, he fled the scene of the crime.

THE FULL STATEMENT

HOW I KILLED MY BOSS  ---Togolese Cook

In keeping with its promise to brief members of the public of what, why and  how Chief Opeyemi Bademosi, aged 67 years was killed at his No. 3B, Onikoyi Lane, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, the Nigeria Police, Lagos State Command hereby gives a brief of what transpired in the deceased's home on Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

The journey that eventually ended the life of one Opeyemi Bademosi, a business mogul and an Ondo State indigine, began in Ondo town, in the deceased's home state, on 25/10/2018, when one Kofi Friday, 27, returned from Togo to Nigeria and called his compatriots, including the murder suspect, Sunday Adefonou Anani, aged 22 years to his house at Yaba area in Ondo town to deliver messages from home.

When the suspect came to take his message, the said Kofi Friday who happens to be his cousin, delivered the good news that he has secured him a job as a cook in a rich man's house in Ikoyi Lagos through one Agbeko Ayenahin, a male friend of his. The suspect was subsequently taken to the deceased's house in Ondo State on Friday, October 26, 2018; it is important to mention that the deceased usually went home every last weekend of the month. So, on Sunday, October 28, 2018, he brought the suspect, Sunday Adefonou, 22, to Lagos to start work as his cook. 

Three days after, Wednesday, October 31, 2018, the suspect with the intention to rob the deceased, made his way to his room through the kitchen, to the lobby and then to the room which was the scene of crime, when he observed that the woman of the house, Mrs Ebunola Bademosi, left home for a transaction  in a neighbourhood bank called Polaris Bank, Falomo branch. 

According to the suspect, when he got to the deceased's room and met him on the bed, he said "Chief, I am not here to kill you". The deceased asked him "what do you want?" and he replied "money". The deceased said he had no money in the house. At this point, the suspect said he tied him up with a cloth and put him on the floor. He went further to say that the deceased, while still on the floor, kicked him causing the knife he tucked inside his pants to fall off. He added that the deceased crawled to pick the knife but he (suspect) was faster; that he struggled with him and the knife accidentally pierced the deceased.

He said that while exiting the room, the deceased took the knife to stab him, so he kicked him and he fell down. He then took the knife and stabbed him twice on the chest which added to three knife stabs.

When he was done killing the man, he entered his bathroom and threw away his apron already stained with blood and the kitchen knife used as murder weapon. He, thereafter, heard a knock on the kitchen door. 

Sensing it must be the deceased's wife, he ran out of the room and exited from the sitting room door. 

He was confronted by the guard at the gate, one Nura Mamudu, who asked him where he was hurrying to and he replied that "madam sent me on an errand".

Finding himself on the street, he came across men loading cement into a Dangote truck. He assisted them and they rewarded him with a lift to Ondo State and the sum of five hundred Naira  (N500.00) given to him by the truck driver in appreciation. 

Investigation into the case revealed the following facts: That the incident occurred on 31/10/2018, at about 0810hrs;

That the suspect committed the offence when the deceased's wife, Mrs Ebunola Bademosi went to Polaris Bank, Falomo branch, Lagos for a transaction; 

That the suspect fled the crime scene when he heard knocks on the door of the kitchen door to Ondo State for refuge;

That the deceased's wife entered the crime scene through the sitting room after knocking several times on the kitchen door without response from the suspect;

That the deceased's wife, Ebunola Bademosi, reported the incident to Police after she found her husband in a pool of blood on 31/10/2018;

That the deceased, some minutes before his death, called his wife, Ebunola Bademosi on phone, complaining that the suspect, Sunday Adefonou Anani barged into his bedroom uninvited; 

That the suspect, Sunday Adefonou Anani, stabbed the deceased severally on the thoracic region (chest); 

That the the scene of crime which is the deceased's bedroom, was scattered and stained with blood;

That after killing the deceased, the suspect stole his Samsung phone and fled to Ondo State, where he was later arrested on 02/11/2018;

That the stolen Samsung phone was recovered from the suspect upon his arrest in Ondo State; 

That the kitchen knife used in killing the deceased was found inside the deceased's toilet; 

That the suspect's apron found at the scene of crime was soaked with blood;  

That the suspect broke down in tears and confessed to the act after he was confronted with evidence of the CCTV footage;

That the suspect led the investigation team to the crime scene demonstrating/reconstructing how he carried out the crime;

That samples recovered from the scene of the incident have been handed over to Forensic and DNA Department of Ministry of Justice for examination and analysis;

That the autopsy report attributed the cause of death to (a) Bilateral Haemothorax (b) Laceration of the lung and intercostal vessels and (c) Multiple sharp force trauma to the chest;
That the suspects Kofi Friday, Agbeko Ayenahin, Salisu Hussein and Nura Mamudu are not linked to the crime. 
In
conclusion therefore, investigation has established a prima facie case of armed robbery/murder of one Opeyemi Bademosi, male, aged 67 years against Sunday Adefonou Anani, male, 22 years. 

It is evident that the suspect single-handedly committed the crime by stabbing Mr Opeyemi Bademosi to death with a kitchen knife with intent to steal from him. To this end, the suspect will be arraigned in court, while the other suspects who are not linked to the crime will be released to reliable sureties. 

The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Edgal Imohimi, has directed that the case file be duplicated and forwarded to the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for vetting and legal advice.

He thanks Lagosians for keeping faith with the police and for their patience throughout the duration of the murder investigation which took the Command a record two days to unravel and apprehend the author of the crime, Sunday Adefonou Anani.

He enthused that criminal investigation has gone beyond the era of rule of thumb to an era scientific and research based investigation in Lagos state Police Command.

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Air Peace Blames Aviation Politics For Inability To Commence Flights On International Routes

11 November 2018 - 10:34am


An Air Peace Boeing 737-300 at Tallinn Airport in Estonia

In what appeared to be a response to the criticism against its operations by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Air Peace has blamed aviation politics for its inability to commence designated international routes.

At the fifth stakeholders’ forum held in Abuja last Thursday, Sirika had taunted Air Peace for its inability to begin flying designated international routes and wondered why an airline would acquire aircraft for international operations without using them.

Sirika had insisted that the Fly Nigeria Act may not work until the country’s carriers put their acts together.

Air Peace had, earlier in 2017, acquired a Boeing B777 aircraft in anticipation of the commencement of its international routes. However, nine months after the acquisition, the airline is yet to commence flights to any of the routes.

Also, a few months ago, Air Peace announced the acquisition of another B777 aircraft, bringing the total number of Boeing 777 in its fleet to two.

On the acquisition and non-deployment of the two airliners, stakeholders at various forums had said it was a bad business plan for the airline, saying that either flown or not, some rotables in the aircraft would require change.

In a statement on Sunday, Chris Iwarah, spokesman of the airline, faulted the minister and attributed its inability to commence the routes to aviation politics.

The Federal Government had deployed Air Peace to London, Guangzhou-China, Houston, Mumbai, Johannesburg, Dubai and Sharjah over three years ago, but the airline was yet to operate into any of the long-haul routes.

Iwarah quoted the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the airline, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, as saying that the authorities of most of the international destinations the carrier had been designated to operate, were either "deliberately foot-dragging in processing its application or imposing frustrating conditions to discourage it from flying into their domains".

Some of the destination countries, she said, responded to the airline’s application only after about two years.

According to her, where the destination countries reluctantly approved the airline’s application to fly into their domains, "their authorities imposed impossible charges on it to frustrate and discourage it from acting on such approval".

The high charges imposed on Nigerian airlines by other nations, she said, were unfortunately not responded to back home, regretting that the foreign airlines were "rather pampered" in Nigeria and given approval to operate to multiple destinations.

She dismissed the claims that domestic airlines lacked the capacity to take advantage of the Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) Nigeria signed with different countries.

In demonstration of its capacity, she said Air Peace was at the moment consistently operating into 14 domestic and five regional destinations, including Accra, Banjul, Dakar, Freetown and Monrovia.

Olajide maintained that Air Peace had capacity to operate into all destinations approved for it, announcing that the airline was concluding arrangements to launch its Dubai and Sharjah services before the end of the year. 

In apparent response to the claim that some foreign airlines operating in Nigeria had offered 20 pilots jobs, the Air Peace COO said the carrier had, so far, directly offered jobs to more than 3,000 Nigerians, besides impacting the nation’s economy in many other respects.

She also identified the inability of airlines to operate in most of the nation’s airports once it was sunset as a great disservice to the operational capacity of the carriers.

Speaking on the suspended national carrier project, which Air Peace had criticised as being out of fashion and a drain on public resources, Olajide wondered whether it would be fair for the Federal Government to confer the planned airline with advantages not available to the existing private carriers.

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