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We'll Make Any State That Refuses To Implement New Minimum Wage Ungovernable'

30 April 2019 - 1:09am

Organised labour unions have expressed their readiness to confront any state government that refuses to begin the payment of N30,000 as new minimum wage from May.

The union made this known at a pre-May Day rally held on Monday in Abuja.

They described the implementation of the new minimum wage as “long overdue”, adding that states that default would be grounded by protests.

Comrade Nasir Idris, President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), said organised labour would not condone any state governor that failed to pay the new minimum wage, as they were all carried along in the negotiation process.

He said: “We want to call on governors to ensure that they implement the new minimum wage. The NLC and TUC will not condone any governor that fails to implement the N30,000 minimum wage. They had representatives on the committee that arrived at the new minimum wage of N30,000.

“We will make any state that refuses to implement the new wage ungovernable for the governor. We will use our might and strength to ensure that all governors pay the money.”

Comrade Najeem Yasin, Deputy President of the NLC, said the rally is “to sensitise Nigerian workers ahead of May Day on Wednesday.

"It is also part of the centenary celebrations of the International Labour Organisation," he added.

He also lamented the increasing rate of unemployment in the country, and called on government and private sectors to collaborate to create more jobs for Nigerian youth.

“As we prepare for May Day, we urge all state governments to implement the N30,000 new minimum wage. There should be no delay. The new wage is long overdue.

“This rally is also about job creation. We are not happy with the country’s high unemployment rate. We have thousands of youth that are unemployed. We call on the private sector to complement government’s efforts to eradicate unemployment in the country.

“We also call on the Federal Government to create the enabling environment for private sector participation in job creation.”

Similarly, Amaechi Uchechukwu, President of the Civil Service Union, stressed that the focus of the 2019 May Day would be to enlighten Nigerians and awaken their consciousness to demand the full implementation of the new minimum wage.

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I'll Fulfill My Promise On Addressing Insecurity, Buhari Assures Nigerians

30 April 2019 - 1:08am

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration would not relent until Boko Haram terrorism and the security crises in parts of the country were eradicated.

The President stated this on Monday at the 55th Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Day Celebration in Abuja.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, he said the government was working on “stabilisation, reconstruction and resettlement phase of the overall efforts in the North-East,” and sought the support and understanding of Nigerians.

Speaking further, he also urged Nigerians to disregard political, religious and ethnic affiliations and focus on winning the war against terrorism and insurgency.

His words: “As you may recall in my inaugural speech as President, I promised to put an end to the Boko Haram insurgency which hitherto had posed a grave threat to Nigeria’s territorial integrity as well as development in the North-East. In fulfilling this promise, training and the acquisition of new platforms and other support equipment for the armed forces were intensified.

“The employment of the newly acquired platforms in addition to the Super Tucano aircraft which would be delivered in 2022 will add impetus to the combat efficiency of the Nigerian Air Force. Moving forward, I charge you to consolidate on the gains of air power towards sustaining the peace and stability we have attained so far.

“As part of our continued commitment to equip the armed forces, I will induct two NAF Agusta 109 power helicopters. I appreciate the roles played by the air force in the just concluded general elections. It went a long way in checkmating the activities of electoral saboteurs and other criminal elements."

In his remarks, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff, said NAF had increased the strength of service personnel by 7,500 airmen, airwomen and 400 officers.

“Additionally, two new commands and two staff branches were established to meet the evolving security challenges we are faced with,” he added.

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Sultan Calls For More Efforts To Tackle Insecurity

30 April 2019 - 1:03am

Alhaji Abubakar Sa'ad (III), the Sultan of Sokoto, has expressed concern over insecurity, rising poverty and socio-economic problems confronting Nigeria.

The Sultan, who is also the President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, said the fact that these problems were left to linger for too long without being addressed is cause for worry.

He stated this at the Jama’atul Nasril Islam’s Central Council Meeting and Annual Pre-Ramadan Conference held in Kaduna on Monday.

Sultan Muhammadu also stressed the need for Nigeria to take strict actions in solving its problems as the nation has competent people that could proffer solutions to its challenges.

“The challenges bedevilling the country require commitment and proactive steps to address them. These challenges have unfortunately been on the increase because necessary steps and commitment to implement solutions identified are not taken," he said.

He also urged Muslim clerics to preach according to Islamic provisions as enshrined in the Holy Quran in the forthcoming Ramadan.

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Police Explain How Gunmen Kidnapped UBEC Chairman, Daughter... Killed One, Injured Two

29 April 2019 - 2:43pm

The Kaduna State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has given details of how the Chairman Board Universal Basic Education Commissions (UBEC), Muhammed Mahmood and his daughter were kidnapped along the Kaduna-Abuja Road.

A press release sigmed by the Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Abubakar Sabo, and obtained by Saharareporters on Monday, explained that armed men in military uniform intercepted Mahmood's Land Cruiser Jeep and opened fire on the vehicles before tbey seized their victims and shot the driver dead.

"Today 29/04/19, we received information through DPO Katari that at about 1530hrs, he got a distress call that armed men in military uniform intercepted a Land Cruiser Jeep with Reg. No 07E o4 FG and Toyota Sienna with Reg. No SLJ 465 TN at Kurmin Kare Village along Kaduna - Abuja Express Way, opened fire on the vehicles in the process the driver of the jeep was shot dead while the occupants; Dr. Muhammad Abubakar, who is the Chairman of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), and his daughter were kidnapped.  See Also Breaking News BREAKING: UBEC Chairman Mahmood And Daughter kidnapped, Driver Shot Dead (Video) 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

"The occupants of the sienna; one Alowonle Olalere and Onuka Victor both of Ibadan Oyo State were injured and rescued to Katari Police Station. They were said to be returning from Kano where they went to shoot a film titled 'The Last Step’.

"Combined Teams of PMF Men, Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Command, Special Forces and Operations Yaki were quickly mobilized to the area with a view to combing the bush for possible rescue of the victims and arresting the criminals. IGP'S IRT was also contacted for technical support in tracking the hoodlums. At the moment, the two vehicles were recovered to station.

"The Commissioner of Police CP Ahmad Abdur-Rahman appeals to members of the public to support the Police with relevant information that could assist in apprehending the perpetrators of this heinous act. He said the Command will not be deterred in its efforts to bring crime to the barest minimum in the State. CP Ahmad said the hoodlums are only testing our collective will and we cannot relent. Update follows in due course please."

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BREAKING: UBEC Chairman Mahmood And Daughter kidnapped, Driver Shot Dead (Video)

29 April 2019 - 1:41pm

Muhammed Mahmood, Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen along the Kaduna-Abuja Highway.

Mahmood was abducted alongside his daughter while travelling from Kaduna to Abuja on Monday afternoon.

His driver was not that lucky, as he was shot dead in the operation, which took place around Katari, a village few kilometres from Zuba, an Abuja suburb.

Video of BREAKING: UBEC Chairman Mahmood And Daughter kidnapped, Driver Shot Dead (Video) BREAKING: UBEC Chairman Mahmood And Daughter kidnapped, Driver Shot Dead (Video)

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Police Arrest Jealous Lover Who 'Set Ex-Girlfriend's Family Of Nine Ablaze'

29 April 2019 - 1:09pm

Deji Adenuga, the man suspected to have set his ex-girlfriend's family of nine ablaze In the Okitipupa Local Council Area of Ondo State, has been arrested.

Adenuga was nabbed in Ogun State following "round-the-clock investigations" by the Police. 

The suspected arsonist, who is also an ex-convit, set the familiy of his former girlfriend, Titi Sunmonu, ablaze in the Igbodigo area of Ayeka in Okitipupa.

SaharaReporters had reported how the middle-aged man, who had some disagreement with her then girlfriend, brought a jerrycan laden with petroleum in the midnight, gained entrance into the building by breaking a window, and sprayed the family while they were asleep.

A source and Police Inspector confirmed the arrest to SaharaReporters, saying fleeing Adenuga was nabbed in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.

Femi Joseph, spokesman of the Ondo State Police Command, confirmed Adenuga's arrest to SaharaReporters, saying: "Yes, the suspect has been arrested and he is currently in our custody but we shall parade him tomorrow at the headquarters.

"He was arrested in Ijebu-Ode, under the bridge that leads to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway."

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'Boko Haram Members Earn $3,000 Daily But Nigerian Soldiers Get N1,000'

29 April 2019 - 12:45pm

Dr. Sidi Ali Mohammed, a member of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), has disclosed Boko Haram fighters receive daily payments of $3,000 daily for their efforts in elongating the insurgency that has been raging in the North-East since 2014.

He made this disclosure at the Presentation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Sub-Sahara Africa’s Economic Outlook Report, in Abuja on Monday.

According to Mohammed, the payment makes the N1,000 daily allowance paid to Nigerian troops at the war front ridiculous.

Mohammed, who is the Head of the Humanitarian Assistance and Rehabilitation arm of the PCNI, lamented that Boko Haram has been hijacked and operates like a cartel.

“I will give you an example. The Nigerian military for example, gets N1, 000 per day for being in the North East, at the war front, as an allowance," he said.

“The same North-East, where if you are a member of Boko Haram you get $3,000 per day as allowance. So it is lucrative. Sometimes, they even give you money upfront. So we must do something about the youth from where they are recruiting.”

On how to curb the menace of insurgency spreading across the country, particularly in the North-East, Mohammed said amnesty shouldn't be ruled out if it would guarantee the desired peace.

“If it is amnesty that will guarantee that peace, then we have to think of it," he said.

“Most importantly, we need to deplete the army of youth on the streets and take them away from the streets so that Boko Haram does not recruit them. Don’t forget, they [Boko Haram members] are being killed on daily basis but they are also recruiting on daily basis.  They are getting people to recruit because it is lucrative.

"Part of the reason why this problem has refused to go away is the abundant natural resources in the Lake Chad Region. We need to think outside the box. It is now more like a cartel. When you see the type of weapons they use, it is more sophisticated than the type of weapons that our military are using.”

He further stated that the Boko Haram menace is "like a guerilla warfare".

"As we are here discussing, if somebody here is a member of Boko Haram, he will not say anything," he said. “He goes out there to strategise and comes back. It, therefore, means the conventional ways of fighting warfare cannot work here.  It, therefore, calls for thinking outside of the box.”

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Seven Weeks After Losing Election, Last PDP lawmaker In Lagos Assembly Joins APC

29 April 2019 - 12:32pm

Dapo Olorunrinu, the sole survivor of the gale of defection that swept seven Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2017 has eventually defected to APC.

The Lagos State House of Assembly is now fully constituted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers only.

Olorunrinu, who represented Amuwo-Odofin constituency I, lost his re-election bid to Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, the APC candidate, in the March 9 house of assembly election with just 278 votes.

However, he promised to the let the result stand without seeking legal redress

The lawmaker informed the house of his defection on Monday at the plenary through a letter titled 'Letter of Defection from PDP to APC' and addressed to Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker.

The letter was read by Azeez Sanni, the Clerk of the assembly.

“I have been a young progressive-minded person and I have decided to realign with the APC based on moving trend and party to reckon with taking Lagos State to the next level,” he said in the letter.

“I will like to appreciate Mr Speaker for his continuous act of service to my constituency. This explains the magnanimity of Mr Speaker.”

Olorunrinu had earlier said that in 2015, there were eight PDP members in the house but seven defected.

"In all sincerity I make bold to say here that, I have never had any regret," he said, adding that he was happy to still find himself in the midst of great administration.

"Sincerely, I said to myself that continuity as a young man in politics is a necessity. I said to myself that I must join the progressives’ party, which is the APC. Permit me to say this in this hallowed chamber that the PDP has been discovered by my humble self as a party that is not to be reckoned with — not to be reckoned with because it is a party that lacks structure, it is a party that lacks visions for Nigeria of tomorrow. That’s the more reason why I said to myself that we must start from here and preach the good news of APC. I want to say a very big thank you to Mr Speaker for accepting me.”

Olorunrinu apologised to the speaker for his late defection.

He said he has spoken with his constituents, stakeholders of different cadres on the decision to join the “moving train”.

Responding, Obasa welcomed Olorunrinu to the APC, saying: “I thank you for making the decision at last. We welcome you into our midst as members of APC in the House of Assembly.

“You have always been part of us, save the fact that you refused to dump the leaking umbrella but today you have decided, I welcome you on behalf of our party.

"I want to thank you for lending your voice to what have been our position from quite sometime that the best party in Nigeria today is APC, so there is nothing to gain from PDP; for realising this, I congratulate you.

“Distinguished colleagues, we are now 40 members of APC. Thank you for joining us.”

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FCDA: Next Level In Sharia Policing In Abuja? By Leo Igwe

29 April 2019 - 11:37am

Leo Igwe

Leo Igwe

As I have earlier noted, raiding Caramelo nightclub was not about law enforcement. It was not a move to rectify an illegal use of a property or to combat noise pollution or traffic challenge in the city. The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) used these reasons to mask their more sinister motives, and to legitimize their illegal clamp down on the operation of nightclubs and women attendees in Abuja.

Simply put, raiding Caramelo was a front to justify the execution of a religious and moral agenda that is stealthily being unveiled in the city.

As many anticipated, more raids have been carried out and more women, not men, have been arrested in Abuja. Over the weekend, at least 70 women were arrested following similar raids in the city. These women were detained at a local police station where they have allegedly been abused.

The FCDA must be taken to task on the light of recent developments. The municipal authority must be called to order and compelled to adhere to its constitutional roles and duties. The agency must make it clear if it is enforcing the law or prosecuting some moral/sharia policing agenda.

This is because Abuja is the seat of the Federal government where federal laws apply. And FCDA could not execute such operations without the implicit knowledge and endorsement by the Buhari Administration. So the raids of nightclubs and arrests of female attendees are not only municipal local issues, they have federal, constitutional dimensions that need to be addressed.

First, the FCDA need to categorically respond to these concerns: is the operation of nightclubs against the law? If yes, which section of the Nigerian law prohibits such operations and what does the provision explicitly say? Are there guidelines for the operation of nightclubs including dress codes for men and women? If yes, what are these operational guides?

Another question that the FCDA needs to urgently address is this: Is it against the law for women to attend nightclubs in Abuja? If yes, which section of the law prohibits females attending nightclubs and what does the provision state?

Otherwise, the FCDA should put an end to these reckless and irresponsible raids. The agency should stop making itself a laughing stock locally and internationally and confirming that it is an extension of the sharia policing regime!

Going by the latest reports, the arrested women would be accused of prostitution and charged to court. So for the FCDA, attending nightclub equals prostitution, right? By implication, nightclubs are brothels? I mean how will the FCDA prove in court that a woman who was arrested at the nightclub is a prostitute? Is attending or dancing at a nightclub an evidence of prostitution?
So it is pertinent to highlight the twisted morality that underlies the raids on nightclubs in Abuja especially the facts that this clamp down reinforces existing power relations and privileges. These raids constitute mechanisms for witch hunting, settling scores, victimization and scapegoating the weak and vulnerable in the society, and the subjugation of women. Otherwise, how does one explain the fact that, in Abuja where many hotels operate nightclubs, the FCDA have chosen to raid some and not others? Why didn’t the FCDA first move against the nightclubs at Sheraton or at Nicon Hilton or the clubs at any other 5 star hotels in the city, which the rich and powerful attend? Why have they not arrested attendees at these places? Why did they choose to storm roadside clubs?

Now on the gender aspect. Both men and women do nightclubbing. So why arrest only women? Why create the impression that night clubbing a female affair when in actual fact it is not? Why reinforce the gender prejudice and bias that have characterized sharia enforcement in muslim majority states? This is definitely an exemplification of what applies in sharia implementing states. Men freely go about night clubbing while women do so with fear, fear of being arrested, molested and abused by only-men sharia policing units. Is this the lunacy and farce that the FCDA wants to introduce in Abuja?

The FCDA should stop raiding nightclubs and focus on their constitutional roles and duties as stipulated by the law. It should stop being a tool for the prosecution of ethno-religious agenda. The Federal Government should not turn a blind eye on the raiding activities of the FCDA including the divisive, and polarizing undercurrents. It must ensure that the rule of law not religious codes apply in the city of Abuja. Abuja is a federal, not a sharia capital. All Nigerians are equal before the law. And the FCDA must ensure that all Nigerians are treated with dignity and respects. 

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PDP 'Receives Briefing' Of How INEC 'Erased All Trails Of Atiku's Victory Results From Server'

29 April 2019 - 11:32am

In a bid to reclaim what it has described the 'stolen mandate' of its presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of replacing all the servers at its headquarters in Abuja and all its offices in the 36 states of the federation in a bid to obliterate the authentic result of the elections. 

Kola Ologbodiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, made the revelation in a statement on Monday. 

He said: “The PDP has been well briefed on how the INEC leadership and officials of the Buhari Presidency became jittery and resorted to the desperate measures, after they realised that the servers have information of Atiku Abubakar’s victory at the election.

“Our party also has details of how the INEC leadership and the Presidency agents procured and detailed computer experts to the commission’s offices to switch the servers, mutilate vital information in the system and attempt to erase all trails of transmitted results to the main server.

“Moreover, our party has been informed about how the INEC leadership, several weeks after the election, used some compromised officials of the commission to manipulate voter registers in some states by ticking names of individuals who did not participate in the presidential election as having voted. 

"This is with the view to using such to cover the fictitious results it wrote for the APC. What INEC and the Buhari Presidency do not understand is that computer software and applications leave traces, signatures as well as footmark. Forensic investigation of the system will reveal the real votes transmitted from the polling centers, which show Atiku Abubakar as the winner of the election. 

“The PDP therefore, insists on forensic examination of all relevant documents and equipment used for the presidential election."


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'Ghanaian Doctors Better Paid Than Their Nigeria Counterparts'

29 April 2019 - 11:23am

Nigerian Doctors Strike
Nigerian Doctors Strike

Dr Betta Edu, Director-General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCA), says medical doctors in Nigeria are lesser paid than their colleagues in some African countries.

Edu, who was reacting to comments by Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, stated that the country clearly lacks the number of medical doctors to meet with the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) recommendations.

“I want to put it clearly on record, the Minister of Labour and Productivity was wrong. By the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, we need one doctor per 600 persons in a population," he told NAN.

“Even if we churn out the figure we have today 10 times for the next 10 years, we are not going to arrive at what Universal Health Coverage (UHC) requires from Nigeria. It is simple mathematics and not about anybody now.

“How many doctors are practising right now in Nigeria? Just 35,000 — and most of them are in urban areas. Very few of them are practising in rural areas. How are we going to achieve UHC when we are saying that even the 35,000 doctors that are grossly inadequate can go for all we care.”

Betta said the government must improve the welfare of doctors to meet global standards, arguing that medical practitioners should be encouraged to stay in the country rather than allowed to leave.

“Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pays the house rent of its staff and children’s school fees that is the oil sector; we can do the same for our doctors to keep them to offer services,” she said.

“Beyond that, even as a nation, we should be discussing with International Labour Organisation (ILO) to see how we can prevent more people from leaving instead of saying they can go; if they go, how will the health sector in Nigeria work?

“I really don’t blame most of them and the reason is simple; other nations have the ability to pay for services. Go and ask how much they pay doctors in Ghana, convert it in dollars and compare it to what they pay doctors in Nigeria.”

The DG of CRSPHCA called on the state government to enforce the laws guiding medical practitioners to ensure all doctors are licensed and fully certified.

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Nurses In Calabar Beat Up Woman In Labour 'Because She Couldn't Afford N20,000 Bill'

29 April 2019 - 10:52am

A woman in the throes of labour was allegedly beaten by a team of nurses on duty for her inability to settle her N20,000 bill when she entered the hospital for prompt medical recourse. 

The incident happened on April 12 at the Primary Healthcare Centre, Ekpo Abasi in Calabar, Cross-Rivers State.

The woman said the nurses thought her to be a mentally deranged person and they started beating her with sticks.

She said not until they saw the baby 'coming' out of her did they stop the beating and delivered her of the baby.

"They thought I was a mad woman and they started beating me, telling me to leave the hospital premises," she said.

"I had no option but to find a means to save myself and the baby. And it was when they saw the baby coming out of me that they exclaimed 'oh the baby is coming o, it's like she is not a mad woman o.'"

The woman, however, said even at that, the nurses almost denied her bed but for the intervention of an empathetic woman who came to her aid in the hospital.

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Nigeria Intensifying Efforts To Rescue ‘Innocent’ Female Student Arrested With Tramadol In Saudi Arabia

29 April 2019 - 9:54am

The Nigerian government is stepping up its intervention in the case of Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian student arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking.

Zainab, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested after a banned drug, tramadol, was found in her bag on arrival in the south-western Asian country; however, she insisted it was planted in her luggage by unknown persons.

The student had travelled from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, in with her mother, Maryam Aliyu, and sister, Hajara Aliyu, but she was arrested over allegations that a bag bearing her name tag contained the unlawful substance.

She was accused of entering Saudi Arabia with an illegal dosage of Tramadol, but it has since been discovered she was a victim of a cartel that the airport in Kano that specialises in keeping hard drugs in travellers’ bags. Some members of the cartel are already in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

With claims of Zainab’s innocence mounting of late, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had since given the directive for government intervention in the matter.
“President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive immediately the matter was brought to his attention about two weeks ago,” she said in a statement released in Abuja on Monday by her media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun.

“My office has been working with the AGF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to rescue the beleaguered student. We have been working with the AGF as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that regard.”

Dabiri-Erewa said the arrest of those who implicated Zainab has strengthened the legal case for her innocence.

Bashir Ahmad, Personal Assistant to the President on New Media, backed up Dbiri-Erewa’s claims, writing: “@MBuhari has since directed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to take all the necessary action to ensure Zainab Aliyu’s release and her safe return to Nigeria, Hon. @AbikeDabiri, SSA to the President on Foreign Relations and Diaspora discloses.”

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Leaked Audio Exposes Amnesty Boss Dokubo's Plans To 'Steal' N4.88bn

29 April 2019 - 9:01am

An audio released by Ilem-Iyam, Director of Finance and Administration, Presidential Amnesty Programme, on Monday, has revealed plans by the Cordinator of the programme, Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo, to cash out N4.8 billion before President Muhammadu Buhari reshuffles his cabinet in May.

According to Ilem-Iyam, Dokubo, in conjunction with Musa Johnson Odiniya, Director Procurement; Ubi Umoren Franklyn, Director of Administration; Chief Brown Aroloyetiem, Head of Reintegration and Awotu Patricia Ojakoyo, Legal Adviser to the programme, are conspiring to inflict bodily harm on him for refusing to play ball in the grand scheme.

Documents seen by SaharaReporters show 35 front companies that Dokubo intends to use to cart away the huge sum.

In an audio obtained by SaharaReporters, Ilem confirmed the threat to a friend saying: “…The money is a total of  N4.88 billion. I think the one they are particular about is the N1.8billion. First of all, they awarded it as a distribution contract and I said 'no, how can you award N1.8billion to one person and there was no Tenders Board'?

“I don’t know when the contract was awarded. As a DFA, I am a statutory member of the tender board. I don’t know when it was awarded. And awarding N1.8billion contract to one person is against the majority interest of the Niger Delta People. I told them if it is, I would not put my hand there; I would not pay.

"They came and carried the files from the office. SA [Dokubo] denied; [he said] he was not aware; they started writing a petition to the EFCC, ICPC, to everywhere.

“When it didn’t work, they came to meet me. Musa (Director of Procurement) had the guts to come to me and say he is my senior in the Service. How can a Deputy Director claim he is my senior in the service? I proved to him that he is not my senior. I am his senior. He said if he approved anything, I was not supposed to say no. I told him he didin't know what he was talking about. I told him to go and look at the financial regulations.

"The major function of the Director of Finance is that I am a Chief Financial Adviser to the Accounting Officer… They went and changed it. When the money eventually came, they went and repackaged it and gave it a different name. I have all the documents with me here. I refused to pay. I used the money to pay as many that are possible.

“Can you imagine? They are very heartless! You mean I should leave all those files people have been crying for months and then pay, not only the N1.8billion but a total of N4.88billion…Musa and Brown are their members.

“They said they would give me N150million; I said I don’t want that kind of money. We all like money but to leave all those files and pay N1.8billion plus other fake ones that are there and give you? For what? I went to go and meet him and he told them, 'I have told the DFA to pay, he is the one who has refused to pay'... pitching them against me.” [Leaked Audio Exposes Amnesty Boss Dokubo's Plans To 'Steal' N4.8bn]

Continuing, Ilem said: “This evening when I was coming back at the Maitama, Mississippi junction, I saw my driver look back. I said 'why are you looking back? Move, move.' Na God save us yesterday say we no get accident because we were not obeying traffic regulation. And they were pursuing me with force.

“When we got to Police headquarters, you know they have security there at the main entrance, I said to him, turn, turn…I ran and went there. Then they ran away. When I complained to him, he said they must be some of my friends that have I forgotten so soon, that they must be some of my friends; that he, the SA, that I said is powerless. What does that statement mean? That I said he is powerless…I said to him I have never said you are powerless. How can I say you are powerless? Me as a DFA I won’t pay that money. Let them come and carry the money on their own. That is my own…I know I am fighting a battle. I was sent to sanitize that office. Every month when money comes, pay this, pay this and after collecting all the money, he would turn back to be blaming me. Right from the first day I resumed, he said he did’t want me.

“He has gone to Accountant General 10 to 20times. Now the Accountant General does not listen to him again. Now he is writing a petition every day against me. Every day, every day.

“Last week, there was a rumour that DFA was going to be removed, DFA was going to be removed. I said I came on posting. If I am posted again, it’s ok. I was not bothered because the person who posted me was not complaining…Yes oooo, the office needs to be sanitized. I have started it. They cannot be wicked to our people like that.

“He (Dokubo) is worse than Boro [General Paul Boroh, former Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme). Very foolish man. When you people begin to pester me, as a Civil Servant, I am not supposed to be opening my mouth to tell what’s going on. You know sometimes I continue to explain and explain, and I begin to tell lies. But you people would not understand. Every day we get work order, 99.9, 99.9. I said reduce the value of these contracts.

“If you pay N2.2billion, pay N1billion and operation about N500million, we are left about more that N1billion. If you pay 10 people N99.9million, the money finishes; people would not understand. 

"Stop awarding contracts, before they now come say, they have stopped awarding contracts. See my office, it is like where they pack files and kept every day. You will advise him; he would never hear. It is a terrible experience. I have not had that kind of experience. He is not fit to be in a position of leadership.”

Video of Leaked Audio Exposes Amnesty Boss Dokubo's Plans To 'Steal' N4.8bn Leaked Audio Exposes Amnesty Boss Dokubo's Plans To 'Steal' N4.8bn

Professor Dokubo Reacts

In a reaction on Monday, Dokubo has described as a “plot to tarnish his image”.

The reaction is contained in a statement by his special adviser on media, Murphy Gangana.

"The plot, which is already in its advanced stage, is orchestrated by individuals who have failed in their bids to force Dokubo to award contracts to them," he said.

“To put the records straight, we wish to state as follows: It is true that a contract for empowerment of 300 Niger Delta youths in oil and gas instrumentation was awarded to Messrs. Glassfa Continental Ltd, and another contract for training and empowerment of 400 delegates in coastal fishing was awarded to Innotek Royal Services Limited.

“However, the two contracts in question were beyond the threshold of the Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme. Therefore, in line with statutory guidelines and regulations, a Due Process No Objection was sought and obtained from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) vides a letter OSAPND/GCL/VT/2018/11010 dated 19th October, 2018. Consequently, approval for award of contracts to the two companies was granted by the BPP.

“We wish to state with emphasis that no dime has been paid to any of the two companies. It is pertinent to state that processes leading to payment of 15 per cent of contract sum are yet to be completed for the two companies which have not been handed delegates for training. Files of the two companies on the contracts have not reached the Prof. Dokubo’s table."

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BREAKING: Lagos To Wait As Immigration Starts Issuing 64-Page, 10-Year-Validity Passports In Abuja

29 April 2019 - 8:11am

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has begun the issuance of the new passport booklets with 10-year validity.

President Muhammadu Buhari launched the new passport in January,  Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller-General of the NIS, explaining that the new passport with 32 pages would cost N25,000 at home and $130 abroad, the 64-page document with five-year validity would cost N35,000 and $150 abroad, and the 64-page version with 10-year validity N70,000 in Nigeria and $230 abroad.

“The new passport reform programme is weather-friendly, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant," Babandede had said. "It has polycarbonate technology that eliminates damage, enhanced security features and save Nigerians in the Diaspora time of frequent visit to Nigerian Embassy among others."

Conducting journalists round the NIS headquarters in Abuja on Monday during the maiden issuance of the passport, Sunday James, Public Relations Officer of the NIS, said the new-look booklet is part of the Nigerian Government’s efforts to improve the quality and security of the travel document, while also reduce susceptibility to damage, and forgery.

James reiterated the NIS’s previous warnings that applicants would be denied passports without supplying their National Identification Number (NIN). He added that to make it easy for applicants, the NIS had provided space for National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) at the service headquarters, Abuja, to register applicants and issue them a NIN.

“The public are advised not to rush for the new booklet, as the new enhanced passport will run concurrently with the old one,” he said.

He said Babandede had directed passport offices at the state commands to continue to issue the old booklet, while only the service headquarters in Abuja would issue the new passport booklet.

He specifically said the enhanced polycarbonate booklet with 64 pages will be available in Ikoyi beginning from June 3, Alausa, Lagos from July 8, and London from July 29.

It costs N70,000.

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BREAKING: Dickson Set To Decline Assent To Bill Approving Monthly Life Pension For Bayelsa Lawmakers

29 April 2019 - 7:45am

Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, is set to decline assent to a bill seeking life Pension for members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, which was forwarded to him after passage by the legislture.

Therefore, Dickson has summoned the leaders and the members of the assembly to his farm in Toru Orua to have a consultative meeting with them.

The summon is on the heels of pressure on the governor to decline assent to a controversial bill on life pension to members of state Assembly.

Dickson has been under pressure from all quarters to decline assent to the billl.

The controversial bill, sponsored by the leader of the House, Peter Akpe, approved N500,000 post-service monthly pension to the speakers of the assembly, while deputy speakers will receive N200,000. Members are to get N100,000.

The bill specifically provided that former lawmakers, including persons of Bayelsa origin who served in the old Rivers State, would enjoy life pensions for their services in the state as applicable to former presidents, vice-presidents, governors and deputy governors across the country.

To qualify for the speakership pension of N500, 000 monthly, the official must have served for two years and above.

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Buhari’s Impact And Legacy Is Not Muhammadu Buhari University, But Nepotism! By Bayo Oluwasanmi

29 April 2019 - 7:07am

Few weeks ago, First Lady Aisha Buhari announced her plan to establish a private university to be known as “Muhammadu Buhari University.” Speaking at a town hall meeting in Yola, Mrs. Buhari did not disclose when or where the university would be sited but said the university would be established in collaboration with partners from Sudan and Qatar.

To be sure, Mrs. Buhari is looking for something edifying and lasting as legacy to immortalize her husband. Buhari's presidency is still with us. This makes it difficult to draw sound judgments about its lasting legacy. While it's hard to evaluate the future legacy of a president during his lifetime, history has proven that in the worst moments in the history of a nation, the nation gets her heroes. We're in the worst time in our history. Buhari, from all indications, has failed woefully to rise to the occasion. 

The present paints the picture of tomorrow. The sum total of policies and decisions of President Buhari and events taking place right now that shaped or strapped his administration will ultimately form his legacy. It is often said that Buhari has no ideology or vision. This is not true. His ideology and vision are embedded in Fulanization of Nigeria. Buhari's rise to the presidency was shepherded by Bola Tinubu. Tinubu and other Yorubas by their own greed, fear, and fantasy of the Hausa-Fulani Cabal/hegemony-oligarchy have become so weak and wicked that they readily surrendered to the humiliation of Buhari's inept leadership.

The true impacts and legacy of Buhari is not in naming a university after him, but in nepotism. Exemplary leadership made it possible for presidents who earned their places on monuments and currency. leadership that united a country. In Buhari, the herdsmen killers and Boko Haram terrorists see one of their own in Aso Rock. No wonder, Buhari's lackadaisical and nonchalant attitude to the killings sponsored and perpetuated by the two terrorist groups.

Buhari carries nepotism like an ancestral talisman. Buhari is a nepotist who never hides his preference for the Hausa-Fulanis. Buhari's vision of nepotism is to ensure that what other ethnic groups achieve with maximal effort, the Hausa-Fulanis achieve with minimal qualifications. Remember during his first term when Nigerians accused him of favoring his own by appointing them as heads of federal parastatals and agencies, he said he did so because those are the people he trusted.

Few examples will suffice. The executive including all the leading organs and agencies of the federal government are headed by northerners. The legislative comprising the National Assembly namely the Senate and House of Reps are headed by northerners. The judiciary comprising of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and federal High Courts are headed by northerners. All the 17 military, paramilitary, and security agencies, except for the Navy are headed by northerners. Customs, Immigration, Aviation, prisons, Fire, EFCC, ICPC, NYSC, name it, and other federal agencies are headed by northerners. These are just the tip of the iceberg.

The damage done to Buhari's place in history is far more pronounced and permanent. Buhari's legacy will be evaluated not just what he did, but also what he did not accomplish. The true impacts of many of his policies and decisions are clear. So far, the news is not good for Mr. Buhari. It was during his presidency that Nigeria was declared poverty capital of the world. Not that alone. Nigeria top the list of misery index of nations. His presidency will be remembered for corruption, poverty, hunger, misery, insecurity, ethnic clashes and violence, comatose healthcare system, dilapidated infrastructure, electricity, lopsided federal system, moribund education system. The list goes on. 

Buhari has the unique opportunity to reform all the sectors and rewrite history, but as a spectator president, he’s satisfied to watch from the sidelines.

Buhari's candidacy was buttressed and sold as a “man of integrity.” But his aloofness, distant, ineptitude, incompetence, insensitive, poor judgment, indecision, lack of foresight, lack of creativity and innovation, washed away all that's left of his integrity. It is this consideration of “what might have been” that may be Buhari's greatest obstacle to his legacy.

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257 Poems Submitted For The Anthology In Memory Of Pius Adesanmi

29 April 2019 - 5:19am

The editors of the proposed anthology Wreaths for a Wayfarer in memory of Professor Pius Adesanmi, which will be published in the last quarter of the year by Daraja Press (Canada) and Narrative Landscape Press (Nigeria) respectively, have received 257 poems from within and outside Africa.

The submissions by established and budding poets come from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Africa.

From outside of Africa, poets from Canada, Italy, The Netherlands, Sri Lanka, India, United Kingdom, etc., also submitted towards the anthology. Interestingly, a 10-year old Nigerian-Canadian boy joined the league of poets who submitted poems for consideration for the anthology.

The editors, while thanking everyone who submitted their poems for consideration for publication in the anthology, expressed delight at the number, diversity, and quality of the submissions.

“These highly competitive submissions,” Nduka Otiono and Uchechukwu Umezurike said on behalf of the editors “represent the transnational connections of Professor Adesanmi’s life and work.”

They also revealed that a leading Nigerian artist, Victor Ehikhamenor, as well as a notable graphic artist and former Art Director at ThisDay newspaper and Arise Networks, Ochi Ogbuaku, are already working on the cover design of the anthology.

Meanwhile, the large number of submissions for the anthology are already being evaluated in line with the guidelines provided in the call for poems.

The editors have assured the public that all received poems will be fairly assessed irrespective of the reputation of the poets.  Final decisions on submissions will be communicated to all who submitted by the end of May — whether successful or not.


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Four Arrested In Ogun For 'Hiding' Cannabis in Deep Freezer And Selling 'Like Soft Drinks'

29 April 2019 - 4:53am

Four suspected dealers in cannabis have been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for distribution of the substance.

Arrested during a raid of hideouts in the state, the suspects are Opeyemi Wahab, 22; Kabirat Ahmed, 21;  Yusuf Rasaki, 20; and Saheed Mustapha, 32.

Abimbola Oyeyemi, spokesman of the command, siad on Sunday: "in furtherance of total clampdown on hoodlums perpetrating violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and cultism, following which a special operation outfit code named ‘Operation Puff Adder‘ was launched recently by the Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama. 

"The suspects were caught with the deep freezer, which they pretended to use to sell soft drinks. But when it was opened, it was found loaded with the suspected weed.

“On interrogation, they confessed being the major distributors of the substance in Agbara area and that they always used the freezer to distribute it around so as to deceive security agents and evade arrest".

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371 Rendered Homeless As Fire Destroys 140 Shelters In Borno IDP Camps

29 April 2019 - 4:45am

At least 140 shelters were destroyed and 371 persons displaced afresh by fire in two Internally Displaced Persons camps at Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). 

Abdulkadir Ibrahim, NEMA Northeast Information Officer, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Maiduguri.

Ibrahim said the fire incidents affected Flatari and Nguro camps in Monguno on Saturday, adding that28 shelters were destroyed at Flatari camp, affecting 20 households while 120 shelters were razed and 77 households displaced at Nguro in the fire disaster.

He added that about 371 persons were displaced in the fire outbreaks recorded in the two camps.

Ibrahim said the agency was conducting investigations to identify the cause of the fire and appraise the needs of the victims.

According to him, the agency in collaboration with the Borno State Emergency Management Agency had scaled up activities to support the victims.

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