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Customs Intercepts Rice, Other Goods Worth N47 Million In Lagos

14 June 2019 - 1:48am

Lorry loaded with groundnut oil seized by Customs

Lorry loaded with groundnut oil seized by Customs

The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Strike Force Zone ‘A’ has intercepted 2,494 bags of 50kg parboiled rice, 1288 jerrycans of vegetable oil and assorted cars with Duty Paid Value of N47million in one month.

The Officer in Charge of CGC strike force Zone ‘A’ Deputy Comptroller (DC)  Yahaya Biu, made the disclosure to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos.

Biu said the goods were intercepted in various locations in the zone.

“The seized items were conveyed in different vehicles ranging from Mazda to Toyota vehicles numbering six cars, five buses, and two trucks.

“The vehicles were fully loaded with the seizures and parked at customs training college and warehouse in Ikeja earlier on Thursday, June 13, 2019,” he said.

The seizures were coming barely a month after DC Biu took over the Zone ‘A’ arm of the CGC strike force.

“Other seized goods include one of the trucks and five hired buses that were fully loaded with rice were intercepted in Igbora area of Oyo axis, while five of the cars loaded with rice commodities were apprehended along Idiroko border axis of Ogun.

“Furthermore, another truck fully loaded with over 1,000 (25 litres) vegetable oil products from Malaysia was apprehended through the vibrant information profiling method of the strike force.

“The truck was intercepted in Lagos hinterland around Trade Fair, Mile 2 axis by information patrol team,” Biu said.

He, however, urged smugglers to engage in legitimate good and save Nigerians from consuming expired smuggled items, adding that failure to comply would lead to a seizure.

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N3.4b Embezzlement: Sanusi Misrepresenting Facts, Deceiving Public, Says Kano Anti-corruption Agency

14 June 2019 - 1:47am

BusinessDay Media

The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has described as misrepresentation of facts, the response of Muhammadu Sanusi II, the emir of Kano, to a query the state government issued to him.

The administration of Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano, had asked Sanusi to respond to the accusation that N3.4 billion was misappropriated under his watch.

In his response, the monarch said he is not the accounting officer of the emirate and made it clear that he did not inherit up to N2 billion.

But in a report, Muhuyi Magaji, chairman of the agency, said there was evidence against Sanusi.

The report, with reference number PCAC/GEN/6/VOL.I, dated June 11, 2019, was addressed to the secretary to the state government.

Part of the report read: “In furtherance to the Commission’s earlier communication No. PCAC/GEN/6/V.I, dated 31st May 2019, on the above subject matter and the unfolding events, the Commission deemed it necessary to make some clarifications as follows:-

“It is imperative to state categorically that, the commission’s investigation is on alleged misappropriation and questionable expenditures but not on the funds left behind by the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, and we still maintain our stance.

“In the cause of investigation, we undertook an analysis of the main Account belonging to Kano Emirate Council and domicile at First Bank with account No. 2005888452 starting from the era of the late emir to enable the commission to have an idea of how the money is being managed.”

According to the report, there were 783 activities bordering on withdrawals, transfers, and placements from January 2, 2013, and June 6, 2014, during the time of the late emir.

“As from 2nd January 2013 to 13th April 2017, the opening balance is N432,338,412.98. Total credit made in the account during this period was N6,784,146,335.73 while the total debit during the period under review is N7,209,035,163.09,” it said.

However, it added that “the closing balance as of April 2017, is N7,449,585.62″.

It said on February 13, 2014, and February 26, 2014, payments were made to Philko Ltd, the company said to have undertaken the construction of Ado Bayero Royal City via Inter Bank transfers of N776,159,519.50.

“There were transfers of N388,079,759.75, N338,079,759.75 and N50,000,000.00 made on February 13, 2014, and February 26, 2014, respectively; making the total quoted figures for Philko Ltd,” it said.

The report also alleged that during the period, fixed deposit placements were made to the tune of N581,884,729.54 (placement and rollovers) while net withdrawals on some engagements both cash and withdrawal stood at N1,056,533,728.31.

“In summary, the total withdrawal made from the account under the Late Emir was N2,414,577,977.35, subtracting this amount from total debit on the account which is N7,209,035,163.09,” it said..

“It is evidently clear that the current emir is responsible for the expenditures to the total sum of N4,794,457,185.74 from the Emirate Council Account domicile in First Bank Plc.”

Similarly, it alleged that all the expenditures made by the emirate council were either based on the approval or instructions of Sanusi.

The commission attached copy of a payment voucher in respect of one of the withdrawals to buttress its claim, which read “Being payment to the above named in respect of making special prayers for peace as directed by H.H. Emir of Kano respectively.

“Therefore, any claim that the Emir is not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council is a deception and a misrepresentation of facts.

“Specifically, the reason of our recommendation for the suspension apart from obstruction of investigation which formed the basis, investigation further reveals that Rufa’i Buhari (senior accountant) usually made cash withdrawals directly from the account and change it to dollars on behalf of the emir.

“Sometimes direct transfers from the account are made to a bureau de change belonging to one Jazuli Sani who was said to have died.

“The commission still maintain the allegation on unappropriated, seemingly personal expenditures, making the total sum of questionable expenditures uncovered by this investigation to the tune of N3,432,090,797.94 only.”

(See documents)

See the document below:

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Scores Of FBI's Witnesses, Informants Have Gone Missing In 2 Years –Report

14 June 2019 - 1:24am

FBI Agents

FBI Agents The intercept

Scores of foreign citizens, recruited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as witnesses and informants, disappeared between 2015 and 2017 in the United States, according to a new audit. 

The Justice Department's inspector-general said in an audit released on Wednesday that in many cases, the FBI failed to report the missing foreigners to immigration authorities. 

The audit looked at the Justice Department's use of immigration programmes that allow law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to sponsor foreign citizens for a temporary stay in the United States. 

David Gomez, a retired FBI special agent, said foreign individuals sponsored by the FBI are primarily criminal informants or national security assets. 

"Most are probably undocumented aliens of some sort, or people brought in from overseas to perform some special criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence mission," Gomez said. 

The audit found that the FBI and DEA did not always keep close tabs on their foreign recruits and, in some instances, failed to alert the Department of Homeland Security when they went missing.   

"We are concerned that the monitoring policies and practices currently executed by the DOJ components that sponsor foreign nationals do not adequately mitigate the risks associated with bringing individuals into the United States who may have criminal backgrounds or involvement in disreputable activities, or who may be associated with such individuals," the report said. 

A total of 61 FBI-sponsored foreign nationals "absconded" from the bureau's control, the audit found. While the bureau reported 39 missing individuals to the Department of Homeland Security, it failed to do so in 22 other cases until after the department had begun inquiring. One DEA-sponsored individual was also found to have absconded. 

The total number included "deliberate" absconsions by individuals who purposely evade law enforcement, as well as "benign" cases where people change their places of residence without informing their sponsoring agency. The report did not provide a breakdown of the two categories, nor did it reveal the nationalities or whereabouts of the absconding individuals.

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Apologize Publicly For Us To Reconcile: Ganduje Tells Sanusi

14 June 2019 - 1:19am

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has been quoted as saying that Emir Muhammad Sunusi II must publicly apologize to him and the entire people of Kano State for allegedly dragging the Emirate Council into politics for the ongoing reconciliation moves to yield the desired result.

Ganduje, in his 45-paragraph response to an article, ‘Letter to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje,' written by one Jibrin Ibrahim in respect of the face-off between the duo, also said, "Emir Sanusi has the moral burden to withdraw all court cases he’s personally sponsoring against Kano State Government as part of reconciliation conditions."

The rejoinder, written by the immediate-past Kano State Commissioner for Information, Mallam Muhammed Garba, on behalf of the state governor, read, "It is very important to state that for the reconciliation to yield the desired result, Emir Sanusi has the moral burden to publicly apologize to Governor Ganduje and the entire people of Kano State for dragging the revered Kano Emirate into the murky water of politics."

It also asked the monarch to extend a hand of fellowship to the emirs of Karaye, Rano, Gaya, and Bichi and demonstrate his readiness to assume his position as the Chairman of Kano State Council of Emirs.

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Too Many Political Parties Hindering Nigeria’s Democratic Progress –UN Envoy

14 June 2019 - 1:16am

SRSG Mohamed Ibn Chambas

SRSG Mohamed Ibn Chambas UN

The Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, says the high number of political parties in Nigeria is worrisome.

Chambas stated this during a courtesy call on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja.

Chambas said, “So, we came here seeking to be part of that conversation going forward and we will particularly be interested in a number of issues, such as the number of political parties, mode of registration, internal democracy, and accreditation of party agents which the chairman of INEC himself has already identified.

“The number of political parties in certain elections in our West Africa and Sahel sub-region has posed a challenge recently and it is not only here in Nigeria that we need to look at the issue of the number of political parties and their mode of registration.

“Recently in Senegal, this same challenge was faced; they have found their manner of dealing with it. Next door in the Republic of Benin, when they were confronted with as many as 249 registered political parties, they have also tried to find their way to handle this issue.

“In the last elections in Nigeria, many of you will recall that there were 73 presidential candidates. I am not talking about registered political parties but presidential candidates. With the usual Nigerian people, some people even referred to the ballot paper as a tablecloth on account of its length and breadth.

“Of course, that also has its own challenges and for countries in our sub-region, presenting them with such long list of candidates sometimes distracts them from the quality of the process and informed decisions by the electorate.

“So, these are legitimate issues that we want to be part of this conversation that has been initiated by the INEC chairman.

“The UN wants to be part of that preparation. We want to always see in what way we can be useful. How can we support, how can we facilitate, how can we be part of the process which strengthen the capacity of INEC to better deliver in future elections?”

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220 Ex-lawmakers, Including Saraki, Yet To Return Number Plates -FRSC

14 June 2019 - 1:13am

The Federal Road Safety Corps has asked former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and about 219 lawmakers who failed to return to the Senate and House of Representatives to return their official vehicle number plates.

FRSC had requested the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, to retrieve the vehicle identification plates from about 69 senators and 151 members of the House of Representatives who failed to return to the 9th National Assembly.

The FRSC Public Education Officer, Corps Commander Bisi Kareem, confirmed this to our correspondent in Abuja.

According to PUNCH, Kareem said, “We have written to the clerk of the National Assembly to direct former lawmakers to return official number plates issued to them. We expect the clerk to reach out to them; we cannot get across to them ourselves, that was why we wrote to the National Assembly about it.”

Forty-two of the senators lost out in October last year at their parties’ primaries while others were defeated at the National Assembly elections.

Apart from Saraki (Peoples Democratic Party, Kwara Central), others expected to return their official vehicle number plates are Godswill Akpabio (All Progressives Congress, Akwa Ibom West); Nazif Gamawa (PDP, Bauchi); Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South); Tayo Alasoadura (APC, Ondo Central) and Yele Omogunwa (Ondo South), among others.

Asked about the deadline for the return of the plates and sanctions for failure, Kazeem said he would not speak on that.

Findings have, however, shown that many former lawmakers and ex-officials were still using the official number plates.

The immediate past senator who represented Oyo South Senatorial District in the Eight Senate, Adesoji Akanbi, said the senators who were not returning to the National Assembly, were expected to return the number plates.

He said, “The number plates have an expiry date, hence there is no basis for holding on to it after June 2019 because those who issued it said it’s between 2015 and 2019.

“Although some may just remove it and throw it away for record purposes, it is better to return it to the National Assembly management which distributed them to us."

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Buhari's Government More Pro-Military Than Pro-Democracy -Dele Momodu

14 June 2019 - 1:10am

Dele Momodu

Nigerian Publisher and former presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party, Dele Momodu, believes that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is more pro-military than it is pro-democracy.

Dele Momodu made this assertion when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Mr. Momodu who was speaking about MKO Abiola’s polity and how he was able to win the hearts of the people, was of the opinion that it would be hard to get such a person like Abiola today.

He was of the opinion that there are no strong democratic tendencies within the Buhari-led government.

“I see Buhari’s government as more pro-military than pro-democracy. When you see an executive arm that seeks to control everything, executive controls executive, executive controls judiciary, controls legislature, controls the media, that is military.

“Absolute power, as they say, creates an absolute dictatorship,” Dele Momodu stated.

When asked if he sees President Buhari as that kind of person who will unite Nigeria, Mr. Momodu said, “I have met him a couple of times, but I am not convinced, especially today, what I expected today in Abuja was a unification process.

“I would have expected to see most of the opposition leaders, I am sure, I don’t know if they were invited, but I am sure that if they were invited a lot of them would have come here today.”

Mr. Momodu, however, hoped that the Nigerian government would be able to unite its people soon.

He said, “I am hoping that the government of today, beyond naming the stadium after Abiola, beyond declaring the public holiday, I’m hoping that they will also be able to unite Nigeria”.

The Ovation Magazine publisher noted that the unification of Nigeria for him is more important than the issue of the economy.

He stressed that until Nigeria is united, there would be no peace and there would be no progress.

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NBC, AIT/RayPower Get Leave To Settle Out Of Court

14 June 2019 - 1:03am

A federal high court in Abuja has granted DAAR Communications, owners of Africa Independent Television and Ray power FM, and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) leave to settle their dispute out of court.

The regulatory body had suspended the operating licences of DAAR Communications over alleged infractions.

But DAAR communications had asked the court to restrain the NBC from interfering in its operations, pending the determination of a motion on interlocutory injunctions filed in court. See Also Free Speech National Broadcasting Commission, AIT/RayPower Settle Rift 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Inyang Ekwo, the judge, granted the leave for the out-of-court settlement on Thursday after Maliki Sylvanus, holding the brief of Mike Ozekhome, counsel to Raymond Dokpesi, founder of the company, made an oral application.

The matter was slated for hearing before Sylvanus informed the court that parties in the proceedings were engaged in talks with the aim of amicably settling the matter out of court.

In view of this, Sylvanus counsel called on the court to avail them with a date for parties to report the settlement to the court.

The defence counsels in the matter did not raise any objection to the application for settlement.

The judge, thereafter, adjourned till June 26 for a report on settlement.

The NBC and DAAR Communications had agreed to work together after a meeting of media stakeholders.

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100 Million Youths Will Face Unemployment By 2030, AfDB Says

14 June 2019 - 1:01am

AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina

AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has warned that 100 million youths who would be new entrants into the labour market will be unemployed by 2030 if the current trend reversed.

In its African Economic Outlook report, the bank predicted that most of the jobs will be generated by the informal sector where “productivity and wages are low and work is insecure, making the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030 a difficult task”.

To combat this, the state secretariat for Economic Affairs of the Government of the Swiss Confederation (SECO) and the bank signed two agreements to fund African initiatives.

SECO contributed three million Swiss francs (CHF) to the Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab) for innovative young entrepreneurs and 200,000CHF to the Urban & Municipal Development Fund for Africa (UMDF), which helps African cities plan and manage urban growth and climate-resilient development.

“These days it’s important that partners work together to put talents together in a complementary fashion. These are two areas which are forward-leaning and positive for the African continent,” said Raymund Furrer, bank governor for Switzerland, who signed on behalf of SECO at the Sipopo Conference Centre in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, AfDB’s vice president for finance signed on behalf of the bank.

“Our partnership goes beyond the consistent and strong support of the two main windows of the Bank Group … Let me then take this opportunity to thank Switzerland for these two very valuable contributions, but also, for being a long-standing partner of the Bank Group,” Tshabalala said.

The E-Lab, which is a part of the Boost Africa initiative, provides young entrepreneurs with financing, technical assistance, and broader ecosystem support through incubators, accelerators and fund managers.

Five countries have been identified to pilot the E-Lab: Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Boost Africa is part of the bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy, which aims to create 25 million jobs in 10 years.

The initiative was launched in partnership with the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank to improve entrepreneurship in Africa.

Switzerland joined the African Development Fund in 1972 and has been a full member of the African Development Bank since 1982.

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PHOTOS: Building Collapse Claims Three Casualties In Lagos

14 June 2019 - 12:49am

Three people are currently in the hospital following the collapse of a storey building under construction in the Magodo area of Lagos.

The building, which is located on Kayode Aluko Olokun close, Shangisha, Magodo, collapsed on Thursday evening.

According to Lagos Rapid Respond Squad, the victims were rescued and taken to the hospital for treatment.

In March, a three-storey building housing a primary school collapsed at Ìta-Fàájì, Lagos Island, killing at least 12 persons, including nine children.

Below are pictures from the scene of the incident:

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Nigerians Know Kidnapping, Don't Let It Be A Feature Here, Ghanaian President Begs Citizens

13 June 2019 - 2:46pm

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, Ghana

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, Ghana

Two young Canadian women freed from their kidnap ordeal by Ghanaian security forces were unharmed, the government said Wednesday, after the development volunteers were snatched at a golf club in the city of Kumasi last week.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said five Ghanaians and three Nigerians are being held in connection with the kidnapping, a relatively rare incident of violence targeting foreigners in a country seen as a bulwark of stability.

The women, aged 19 and 20, have been flown to the capital Accra.

"Preliminary investigations show they are fine and are receiving the necessary attention," Oppong Nkrumah told reporters, adding that the operation began overnight Tuesday and lasted less than half an hour.

The Canadians were named as Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chitty by Youth Challenge International, an international development organisation headquartered in Toronto.

"Bailey and Lauren are receiving emotional and psychological support from professionals as they travel home. Medical reports are that they are both physically unhurt," the organisation said in a statement.

The women were abducted on June 4 in Kumasi, Ghana's second largest city, located some 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of Accra.

They had been travelling in an Uber with a third Canadian woman.

When they reached their destination, the pair got out of the taxi first and were kidnapped. The third woman then went to alert the police with the Uber driver.

Oppong Nkrumah earlier sought to give security assurances.

"Citizens and travellers are once again assured that Ghana remains safe," he said.

Local media quoted President Nana Akufo-Addo this year as warning that action must be taken to ensure that kidnapping "doesn't become a feature of our society".

"Our brothers and sisters in Nigeria have known it," Akufo-Addo said.

"But we have not known it in this country, and we need to do something about it, to make sure that it doesn't become a feature of our society."

Police on Tuesday briefly detained Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the chairman of the largest opposition party, in connection with a spate of kidnappings.

He was later released but ordered to report back to the Criminal Investigations Department on Thursday, according to a post on the official police Twitter account.

Last year, three Ghanaian women were kidnapped in the southern port of Takoradi.

In April this year, an Indian man was reportedly abducted, also in Kumasi, by an armed gang demanding a cash ransom. He was swiftly rescued by police. 

The Estonian consul was also briefly abducted in April, but released soon after.

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Nigeria To Lose $9 Billion Assets Over Aborted Gas Project

13 June 2019 - 2:17pm

A firm incorporated in the British Virgin Islands will ask a British court on Friday for the right to seize up to $9 billion of Nigerian government assets - some 20% of the oil-rich nation's foreign reserves - over an aborted gas project.

The case highlights a risk to Nigeria's foreign assets, potentially clouding its appeal to some investors.

The request is part of a long-running saga over a 2010 deal in which the Nigerian government agreed to supply gas to a processing plant in Calabar on the country's southeast coast that Process and Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID) - a little-known firm founded by two Irish business men specifically for the project - would build and run.

When the deal went south, P&ID won a $6.6 billion award at arbitration, based on what it could have earned during the 20-year agreement. It now says the total owed has ballooned to $9 billon because of interest accrued since 2013 .

Nigeria has tried to nullify the award, saying it was not subject to international arbitration but British courts rejected the argument. P&ID is now asking the Commercial Court in London to convert the arbitration into a judgement, which would allow them to try to seize international assets, a report in DailyMail UK said.

A source close to President Muhammadu Buhari said they were fully aware of the matter and the government "is not sleeping", adding they were optimistic the matter could be resolved in the courts. There are also proceedings pending at a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Buhari, who was inaugurated for a second term on May 29, has not yet appointed cabinet ministers, and officials contacted by Reuters said the lack of an attorney general or petroleum minister made it difficult for anyone to comment on the record.

"This is a problem that the Nigerians are not facing up to in any serious way," said Andrew Stafford, Q.C. of Kobre & Kim LLP, which is representing P&ID.

Experts said it would be difficult for Nigeria to fully extricate itself.

"Under UK legislation, state immunity does not operate to protect a sovereign state where it has entered into an arbitration agreement," said Simon Sloane, a partner with UK law firm Fieldfisher.

He added that going after state assets following arbitration had become a well-trodden path over the past 15 years and it would be difficult for Nigeria to avoid paying compensation.

While assets that are used for diplomatic purposes - such as the Nigerian High Commission building in central London - were off the table, commercial assets were up for grabs.

In 2008, a UK court ruled that proceeds of oil sales from Chad held in an international account intended to repay World Bank loans were fair game for seizure.

Experts also said that the involvement of hedge fund VR Group, which has a stake in PID, signalled that it is unlikely to let the issue drop.

"They could still come to a settlement," Sloane said. "As it's a consensual process the parties can agree to settle, and settle for significantly below the $9 billion figure." 

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Tanker Rams Into Bar In Bayelsa, Five Casualties Recorded

13 June 2019 - 2:04pm

A diesel tanker with registration number Lagos GGE 179 XP has rammed into a bar injuring five persons.

The accident which happened at Duncan Eradiri junction of Azikoro, a suburb of Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

It was gathered that the incident occurred at about 7 pm on Democracy Day when residents were hanging out.

One of the victims and the owner of the joint, Kenneth Ighedosa, said the incident happened within a twinkle of an eye as the residents ran for their dear lives.

”My neighbour's family members were trapped under the truck because the incident happened suddenly. People spent several hours trying to rescue people trapped under the rubble,” he said.  

An eyewitness Stephen Ofema, a barber said what he noticed was that the truck hit two tricycles on the road before running into the relaxation spot leaving his neighbor and her family trapped under the truck for hours.

Also, a tricycle operator, Blessed Tony, who was among the casualties said they were able to take others to the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.

Meanwhile, the police have visited the scene and as of the time of filing this report efforts were underway to remove the truck.

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I Won't Divorce My Wife Until She Pays N3.5M I Spent On Her, Man Tells Court

13 June 2019 - 1:14pm

A businessman, Alhaji Murtala Adamu, on Thursday prayed a Gudu Grade II Court not to grant his estranged wife’s request for divorce until she returned the N3.5 million he had so far spent on her.

Adamu made the request during divorce proceedings to end his one-year marriage to Layisatu Abubakar.

He said that he would not divorce Abubakar until his conditions are met.

Abubakar had filed a case against Adamu on the basis of ‘Khul’, (also called Khula, a procedure through which a woman can divorce her husband in Islam, by returning the dower).
In his testimony before the court, Adamu claimed that the petitioner only stayed in his house for nine days when they got married after which she ran away to her friend’s house in Jos.

He also said that it was until she fell ill that her mother called him so that he could pay for her treatments.

During his testimony, Adamu calculated the total amount he spent on the petitioner.

“My lord, I spent N1. 2million during our wedding ceremony which includes her dowry of N80,000. I bought clothes, jewellery, and shoes worth N500,000.

“I also paid N750,000 for her treatment when she was sick.

“Before I will agree to this divorce, she must refund all this money to me,” he said.

In her statement to the court, Abubakar said that she left her husband of nine days because an evil spirit was disturbing her.

“All the things he bought for me are still in his house.

“I cannot afford to return more than the N80,000 which he paid as my dowry,” she said.

The Judge, Ado Muktar adjourned the case until July 2 for judgment.

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BREAKING: Abaribe Emerges Minority Leader

13 June 2019 - 12:55pm


The Peoples Democratic Party Senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe,  has been  named the Minority Leader of the Ninth Senate 

Also, Emmanuel  Bwacha from Taraba South retained his position as Deputy Minority Leader. 

The Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory,  Phillip Aduda,  also retained his position as the Minority Whip.

Details later.

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Heavy Rain Destroys Delta Broadcasting Service Equipment

13 June 2019 - 12:25pm

Delta Broadcasting Service, (DBS), Asaba, has been flooded following a downpour on Thursday that lasted several hours destroying many pieces of equipment.

The flood which also affected some parts of the busy Okpanam road caused gridlock as motorists were forced to drive one-way while the road leading to the Junior Staff Quarters from Summit Road was totally cut off by the surging water.

When visited the premises of the state-owned broadcasting station which is in a state of comatose, workers were seen standing helpless while those caught up by the flood could not find their way out of the premises.

Lamenting the situation, some Staff of the station who preferred not to be named said their offices have been taken over by the flood saying most of the equipment of the broadcasting station were not left out in the destruction.

"Some of the cameras the former information commissioner, Mr. Patrick Ukah, claimed to have bought with over N18 million were destroyed by the flood. Before now whenever it rained the station was always flooded but it has become worst following the almost abandoned storm drainage that cuts across the premises of the station," a top official lamented.

The workers, therefore, called on the government to revisit the uncompleted storm drainage project, saying that the flooding was hindering their jobs and efficiency of the Station.

Penultimate Wednesday, all efforts by David Edevbie, the newly sworn-in chief-of-staff to governor Ifeanyi Okowa, to access the broadcasting house during an official fact-finding visit to the station regarding the poor state of equipment and alleged embezzlement against the immediate past commissioner for information, Patrick Ukah, were unsuccessful due to the premises being flooded.

Also at Ibusa community, the situation was the same as some many homes at Umueze quarters were rendered homeless.

A resident who identified himself simply as Uzor noted that the flood was as a result of a poor drainage system in the area, lamenting that the poor drainage system was causing Umueze people so much pain and appealed to the state government to as a matter of urgency and importance do something to address the situation.

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For Third Time In Two Years, Gov. Akeredolu's Government Sacks Local Government Caretaker Chairmen

13 June 2019 - 12:02pm

The Ondo State House of Assembly has dissolved the caretaker committees heading the 18 local government areas of the state.

The committees were dissolved on Thursday via a text message. 

The SMS directed all the caretaker committees to hand over to the directors of local government administration [DLA] in their respective councils.

18 interim management committee of the local governments and members stand dissolved today 13th of June 2019," the text message said. 

This would be the third time within two years that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu would dissolve the interim committees. 

On April 3, 2017, Mr. Akeredolu appointed and inaugurated 18 caretaker chairmen to head local councils in the state.

Akeredolu had, upon assumption of office, immediately dissolved the council bosses and councillors, on the premise that they were illegally elected into office under former Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Peoples Democratic Party. 

The governor's decision followed a judgment by the Akure High Court which dissolved all the local councils' leadership.

Also, on October 18, 2018, Akeredolu's government sacked the caretaker committees.

Akeredolu has been using "interim heads", who are party loyalists in the APC, to oversee the 18 councils in the state. 

He has not authorized the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) to conduct elections in the local government areas. 

The commission, headed by Prof. Yomi Dinakin, had in August 2018, announced that elections into the 18 councils would in December 2019.
Dinakin also reeled out the guidelines, stressing that the chairmanship aspirants were to pay a nomination fee of N50,000, while those seeking the office of councillors should pay a non-refundable nomination fee of N20,000.

Political pundits in the state are, however, accusing ODIEC of violating Section 30 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Schedule 4 Paragraph 1 of Local Government, Establishment and Administration Law (Cap 87) Laws of Ondo State which empowers the body to conduct the election.

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Job Seekers Besiege National Assembly Complex

13 June 2019 - 11:31am

In an unprecedented manner, the lobby of the National Assembly Complex in Abuja on Thursday was filled to the brim following the influx of job seekers. 

The army of unemployed youths in their numbers, both male and female, stormed the nation's lawmaking building in search of legislative jobs and office assistance. 

Most of them were seen with their credentials pleading with the lawmakers to offer them a job in their offices. Many of the job seekers would have been among the voters who helped the politicians to elective offices.  

The workless class who are in different academic categories defied the directives of the sergeant-at-arms that loitering at the lobby was prohibited. 

The security operatives had a hectic time to control the surging crowd who are roaming around in the lobby. 

The situation which many job racketeers have taken advantage of promising to secure a job for the unsuspecting applicants in exchange for money.  

Each senator is entitled to five staff which include legislative aide, secretary, office assistance, cleaner, and driver. 

Also, some of them can engage the service of professionals like lawyers as consultants who will guide and give them professional advice on various bills.

Some legislative aides to federal lawmakers in October 2018  staged a peaceful protest to demand their unpaid allowances. 

They accused the lawmakers of not paying their salaries and duty tour allowances (DTA) among others, since the inception of the 8th assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to take 100 million Nigerians from poverty to prosperity in the next 10 years on June 12 Democracy Day celebration.  

The National Bureau of Statistics  ( NBS ) in its report said that  Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen from 18.8 percent to 23.1 percent.  

The NBS stated that the number of persons in the labour force increased from 85.1 million in the third quarter of 2017 to 90.5 million in the third quarter of 2018.

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Ezekwesili To Lead Talks On Good Governance As Soyinka Turns 85

13 June 2019 - 10:57am

Dr. Oby Ezekwesili

Obiageli Ezekwesili, the Senior Economic Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI) and Co-Founder of #BringBackOurGirls Movement, will give the keynote address on the theme, ‘Rethinking credible elections, accountable democracy and good governance in Nigeria’, at the 11th Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series.

According to a statement by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), the event is slated for  July 13, 2019, at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos Island, Lagos, to mark Wole Soyinka’s 85th birthday.

The former Nigerian minister of solid minerals and minister of education, erstwhile vice president of the World Bank (African Region) and a candidate for office of the president of Nigeria in the 2019 election, Ezekwesili, will speak along with others chosen from relevant sectors on the theme.

The panel will discuss the urgent need to reconsider Nigeria’s election process in view of its complexities, how to make sure that governance becomes accountable and propound ways to make the people emerge as the greatest beneficiaries of democracy in Nigeria, even as it considers the critical role of the media in the mix.

The meeting is strategic as it hopes to set the tone for the new executive government sworn in on May 29 and the parliament as it resumes with its new leadership on July 2.

Held first in 2008, the Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series is an annual event of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). 

The Centre organises the lecture to raise debate on critical issues affecting Nigeria. The event has since 2009 held on 13 July, to commemorate the birthday of Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Literature and Grand Patron of the WSCIJ, Wole Soyinka.

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Why Nigeria Is Committed To Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic’s Independence –Buhari

13 June 2019 - 10:04am

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja restated Nigeria’s support for the people of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and her quest for self-determination and independence.

At an audience granted the President of SADR, Brahim Ghali at the State House, the Nigerian leader stressed that the country’s position is in line with the several resolutions of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) on the matter.

He said: “Nigeria remains committed to supporting the efforts of the AU and the UN towards finding a lasting solution to the Sahrawi problem.”

Earlier, Ghali had congratulated President Buhari on his re-election and the successful celebration of Democracy Day.

He commended Nigeria’s past support for SADR during President Buhari’s tenure as a military head of state, and the country’s support for liberation movements on the African continent.

The SADR leader said the weight of Nigeria’s support remained crucial to the final resolution of the “continued colonization of his people.”

Nigeria had recognized SADR on November 11, 1984, when General Buhari was the head of state.

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