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Journalists Barred From Witnessing Magu’s Probe By DSS In Aso Rock Villa

6 July 2020 - 9:55am

Officials of the Department of State Service on Monday barred journalists from gaining access to the Conference Centre of the State House where the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes, Ibrahim Magu, was being questioned by an investigative panel.

Personnel of the DSS stationed within the premises of the Conference Centre asked journalists to leave the place immediately Magu was moved in after his arrest. 

SaharaReporters gathered that no lawyers were on the ground to defend the EFCC boss during the questioning by the panel established by President Muhammadu Buhari.  See Also Breaking News BREAKING: EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu, Moved To Aso Rock Villa After Arrest To Face Investigative Panel 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

The DSS in a 2016 report revealed that Magu was living in a N40m mansion.

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: DSS Arrests EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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We’ll Isolate Governor Nyesom Wike, Win Edo Governorship Election Before He Recovers, Says Kano Governor, Ganduje

6 July 2020 - 9:42am

Kano Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Chairman of All Progressives Congress National Campaign Council for Edo State governorship election and governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has boasted that his committee will dismantle the Peoples Democratic Party rigging machine in the September 19, 2020 poll.

Speaking to newsmen at the APC Secretariat after the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee inaugurated his committee, Ganduje disclosed how the APC would place Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in an ‘isolation centre’ and win the election before he recovers.

The PDP had named Wike the chairman of its campaign council for the elections. 

He said the PDP had poached Governor Godwin Obaseki because they needed access to the state’s treasury in order to prosecute the election.  Kano Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

He said, “The PDP decided to accommodate our former governor in Edo State not because they have anything in common, not because they share some feelings, but simply because he is managing the treasury of Edo State and they want him to use that treasury in order to win the election.

“We know the opposition is planning to rig the election, we know their tactics, we know their methodology and we shall dismantle all their tactics to ensure that we win this election

“We know PDP made Wike their chairman but I assure you, we will isolate Wike in an isolation centre and before he recovers, the election is over. The PDP decided to accommodate our former governor in Edo State not because they have anything in common, not because they share some feelings, but simply because he is managing the treasury of Edo State and they want him to use that treasury in order to win the election.

“But I assure you the people of Edo State are watching, they know that somebody who was assisted in 2016 to win an election, somebody who was given every cooperation to succeed in the governance of Edo State without doing much for the people, at the end of it, he has taken the treasury and now handed it over to PDP in order to win the election. The people of Edo State will not accept this treachery. The people of Edo State on the 19th September will come out en masse and vote APC.

“I am motivated, encouraged when I see the composition of the council comprising the who is who in the APC, Deputy Senate President, the former SGF, many former governors and my colleague governors. You can see that the campaign council is composed of both the young and the old. The young, who are veterans from political war college, who are used to door-to-door fight, who were, in fact, born in the field base of war and the smoke of guns do not deter such people who silently shoot and never miss their targets.”

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Boko Haram Terrorists Kill Nigerian Soldier, Injure Many In Fresh Attack On Borno Village

6 July 2020 - 9:35am

At least one soldier was killed when Boko Haram terrorists attacked Gajibo Village in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State over the weekend, security sources told SaharaReporters on Monday.

The sources said terrorists in gun trucks and several motorcycles engaged Nigerian troops in a gunfight during the attack, killing a soldier and injuring many.

The attack comes three days after three soldiers were killed in the Damasak area of the state. 

A humanitarian chopper belonging to the United Nations was also damaged by bullets fired by the insurgents during the attack, which occurred last Thursday.

The UN has complained of an uptick in attacks targeting aid workers in the Northeast of the country.

The area around Damasak on the border with Niger is dominated by the Islamic State West Africa Province, which broke away from Boko Haram in 2016.


See Also Insurgency Boko Haram Terrorists Attack UN Helicopter, Kill Five-year-old Child, Others 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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I Have Recovered From COVID-19, Says Ondo Governor, Akeredolu

6 July 2020 - 8:23am

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo State, has recovered from COVID-19.

He made the announcement less than 24 hours after his estranged deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, asked him to hand over government to him after 21 days as provided by the constitution because he was in self-isolation.  Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

In what seems like a reaction to the statement amidst a charged political atmosphere ahead of governorship elections in the state, Akeredolu in a briefing on Monday said he had tested negative and was fit to continue in his capacity as governor.


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BREAKING: EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu, Moved To Aso Rock Villa After Arrest To Face Investigative Panel

6 July 2020 - 8:10am

Ibrahim Magu

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who was earlier on Monday arrested by officials of the Department of State Services in Wuse II in Abuja, Ibrahim Magu, has been moved to Aso Rock Villa to face an inter-agency committee set up to investigate allegations of corruption against him.

SaharaReporters gathered that Magu was arrested at the EFCC office by a combined team of DSS and policemen.  Ibrahim Magu

Sources at the Aso Rock Villa disclosed that he might be detained if the committee created by President Muhammadu Buhari recommends detention for further investigation or released to go after today’s proceedings.

The source added that it is unclear why the security agency arrested Magu when he could have been invited to the committee without any show of force. 

The DSS in a 2016 report revealed that he was living in a N40m mansion paid for by one Umar Mohammed, a retired air commodore who is allegedly involved in shady deals.


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Nigerian Government To Shut Third Mainland Bridge For Six Months

6 July 2020 - 7:59am

The Nigerian Government is set to shut the Third Mainland Bridge for six months starting from Friday, July 24.

Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, disclosed this to journalists on Monday.

Popoola said consultations are currently ongoing for another phase of repair works to begin on the 11.8 km bridge. 

He said the repair works would start on the outward mainland section of the bridge.

The bridge has gone through a series of repair works and was last shut in August 2018 for a three-day investigative maintenance check.

There have also been reports of some worn-out expansion joints on the structure, raising concerns over the state of the bridge.

This development will force motorists in Lagos, who ply the bridge to begin making arrangements for alternative routes.


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Palace Official Suspended For Fighting Late Oniru’s Son

6 July 2020 - 7:55am

The Oniru of Iruland, Oba Omogbolahan Lawal, says he has suspended the palace official, who was caught on camera fighting with Tijani Oniru, one of the sons of the immediate past Oniru, a report by PUNCH said.

Oba Lawal, however, said in a statement by his media office that reports have it that it was Tijani’s men that first attacked his palace officials before they retaliated.

The statement reads, “On Sunday, July 5, 2020, a rather regrettable incident occurred within the Oniru Estate neighbourhood (close to Millennium Estate gate) which culminated in an altercation between some officials of Oniru’s palace and a group led by Prince Tijani Oniru.

“A team of palace officials led by Prince Murisiku Ajasa were allegedly accosted by Prince Tijani Oniru and some other persons. The palace officials were on a routine inspection to supervise the work being done by an inventory and enumeration group. 

“In the ensuing heated argument, it was alleged that Prince Tijani Oniru slapped the leader of the palace officials who was also alleged to have retaliated. Fortunately, the police quickly intervened to prevent further escalation.”

Oba Lawal said he had ordered an investigation into the incident and the conduct of the palace officials.

He said he would not tolerate or condone any acts of violence, lawlessness and recourse to self-help.

The statement added, “Notwithstanding the provocative affront to the authority of the Oniru and desecration tradition, the Oniru warned palace officials to remain emotionally stable in the discharge of their duties even in the face of provocation. In addition, he sees no reason or excuse for violence in Iruland.

“Consequently, kabiyesi has directed the palace administrator to immediately suspend the official involved in the incident pending full investigation. His majesty enjoins all parties to desist from all forms of violence and uphold peace, law and order.”

It was earlier reported how the crisis between the children of the late Oniru of Iruland, Oba Idowu Abiodun; and his successor, Oba Lawal, had degenerated into violent confrontations.

The violence, it was learnt, was over the control of some properties in highbrow Oniru under Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.


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EFCC Witness Contradicts Self In Shehu Sani's Alleged Fraud Trial

6 July 2020 - 7:47am

Bala Ismaila, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission witness, has contradicted himself on the dates in which Senator Shehu Sani visited the house of Sani Dauda, Chairman of ASD Motors.

At the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Iyang Ekwo on Monday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the prosecution witness gave contradictory dates before the court.

Ismail, who is a domestic staff of Chairman of ASD Motors, told the court that Shehu Sani came to the house of his boss located in Maitama Abuja five times with brown envelopes but could not remember when those visits took place.

The witness was evasive when he was asked to give the dates when the senator made those trips to the house of ASD motors. 

He said the visit was made in December 2020 and during COVID-19 lockdown.

The dates did not tally with the ones given by the owner of ASD Motors himself.

Ismail also said that his testimony was based on what his boss told him.  See Also Sahara Reporters I Was Thrown In Underground Cell, Forced To Declare Assets By EFCC –Shehu Sani 0 Comments 5 Months Ago

Efforts by the prosecution counsel, Abba Mohammed, to put words in the mouth of the witness was rejected by the court.

Also, there was a mild drama when Dauda was narrating how Shehu Sani mounted pressure on him to pay N5,000,000 to settle four judges.

Dauda, who spoke in Hausa language, contradicted himself in the course of his testimony as the interpreter told the court that the witness was speaking in parable and he could not understand and interpret him again.

Meanwhile, the court had told the interpreter to address the court and not to ask the witness any question.

After the court proceedings, the interpreter was also seen at the premises engaging in an altercation with the prosecution lawyer and witnesses over the contradictions that happened in the courtroom.

The trial judge adjourned the matter to Tuesday July 7 for continuation of the matter.

Shehu Sani is standing trial on a two-count charge bordering on alleged bribery.


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BREAKING: DSS Arrests EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

6 July 2020 - 6:15am

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has been arrested by the Department of State Services.

He was arrested at the Wuse II office of the DSS on Monday afternoon and is now undergoing interrogation at the DSS Headquarters In Aso Drive.

The DSS in a 2016 report revealed that Magu was living in a N40m mansion.

“In December 2010, the Police Service Commission (PSC) found Magu guilty of action prejudicial to state security – withholding of EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer, and awarded him severe reprimand as punishment. 

“Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.

“For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.

“Investigations show that the acting EFCC chairman regularly embarked on official and private trips through a private jet owned by Mohammed.

“In one of such trips, Magu flew to Maiduguri alongside Mohammed with a bank MD who was being investigated by the EFCC over complicity in funds allegedly stolen by the immediate past petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.  See Also Corruption How EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu, Ordered Arrest Of Complainant To Protect ‘Godson’ Caught For Extortion During Sting Operation 0 Comments 3 Weeks Ago

“Furthermore, the EFCC boss has so far maintained a high-profile lifestyle. This is exemplified by his preference for first-class air travels. On 24 June, 2016, he flew Emirate airlines first-class to Saudi Arabia to perform lesser hajj at the cost of N2.9m. This is in spite of Mr President’s directive to all public servants to fly economy class.

“Magu has fostered a beneficial relationship with Mohammed who by his confession approaches clients for possible exploitation, favours and associated returns,” the DSS report said.

Magu is yet to be confirmed as the substantive chairman of the EFCC despite occupying the position in acting capacity for many years.

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Lance Corporal Martins vs. Broken Presidency, Broken National Assembly, And Broken Country By Bayo Oluwasanmi

6 July 2020 - 5:45am

Bayo Oluwasanmi

Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein of the Eighth Division, Sokoto, Nigerian Army, criticized the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, and Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, for not doing enough to end Boko Haram terrorism. Martins lamented the needless and senseless killings of citizens. 

Shortly after the video went viral, Martins was arrested on the orders of Buratai. Days later, his wife Victoria was arrested “leaving her three children in the care of no one.”

Nigeria, a country ruled by brigands, is a place where anyone, who exposes a crime becomes a criminal. Our abundance of cliches for describing and discussing our broken presidency, our broken National Assembly, and our broken country are inexhaustible. Nigerians’ appetite for diagnosis of all that’s wrong with Nigeria and prescriptions to fix it is bottomless. The truth is, there’s no one in charge of Nigeria. Nigeria is a lawless country. Nigeria is a failed country. How to cure Nigeria’s metastasizing maladies is up to Nigerians.  Bayo Oluwasanmi

The arrest of Martins for exposing the rut in the military clearly shows the presidency, the National Assembly, and the country are all broken. The broken presidency is adrift in the midst of competing disasters facing the country. It thrives in deceit and dishonesty. General Muhammadu Buhari is either AWOL or MIA. He has become redundant, irrelevant, and out of touch. Buhari’s regime has turned Nigeria into a politically, socially, morally, and spiritually chaotic country. 

The National Assembly is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Briefly summarized, the functions of the National Assembly are: (1) Through debate make laws that influence our daily lives. (2) Hold hearings to inform the legislative process. (3) Conducts investigations to oversee the executive and the judiciary. (4) Serves as the voice of the people and states in the federal government. 

To say the National Assembly is broken is to be economical with the truth. Despite its vast authority, the legislature seems paralyzed in the face of the country’s toughest problems. The corrupt legislature has willingly surrendered its authority to the executive branch. 

Nigeria as a broken country, is like a virgin whose life had been ended in the bloom of youth. Nigeria is so hopeless and irredeemable. Her desolation is like a deserted land with no one to lift her up. Nigerians are chased from pillar to post. They flee from a lion only to meet a bear. They run into their homes believed to be their places of security, but they are bitten by snakes. They have no hope. No one ray of light!

The service chiefs have over stayed their 35 years. Their capacity and capability have diminished. They have no clue how to prosecute a modern warfare. They are as good as dead. They must go! They must make room for young, brilliant, agile, educated, committed young officers. Instead of listening and fixing the problems Martin complained of, they arrested him and his wife. 

How can a handful ragged, war-weary, no weapons army fight terrorists? How can hungry, low esteemed, battered, and frustrated soldiers fight unrelenting Boko Haram insurgents? How can unhappy, low paid, non-paid and low spirited soldiers whose expressions of sorrow are classic go after die-hard terrorists? 

The National Assembly should enact a law similar to the US Military Whistleblower Protection Act. The Act covers all members of the US Armed Forces who make “protected communications” about violation of a regulation or law. The superiors of whistleblowers can’t retaliate in any way, shape, or form against the whistleblower. The Act has been vital to many cases of unethical and illegal conduct in the US military. Without the Act, some of the cases that were brought before the courts would never have been possible. 

The real enemies of Nigeria are Buhari, Buratai, and Olonisakin not Martins. These three war commanders should be court-martialed for prolonging the war on Boko Haram, for failure to equip soldiers to fight the war, and for making Nigeria a terrorist haven. They are guilty as charged Lance Corporal Martins should be released immediately with generous compensation for wrongful detention. This country ruled by lunatics must be redirected to the path of sanity and civilization.

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Fayose’s N2.2bn Fraud Trial Stalled Over Witness Absence

6 July 2020 - 4:35am

The N2.2bn fraud trial of a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and a firm, Spotless Investment Limited, was stalled on Monday over the inability of the prosecution to bring its witness to court, a report by PUNCH said.

The prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told Justice C.J. Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos that a relative of the witness scheduled to come had been admitted into a COVID-19 isolation centre.

Jacobs urged the judge to consequently adjourn the case.

The defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), said he had no objection to the request for an adjournment. 

Justice Aneke adjourned the matter until October 20, 2020.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged, among other things that Fayose, on June 17, 2014, “Took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing.”

The ex-governor was also alleged to have on the same day “received a cash payment of $5,000,000 from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1 and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.

The EFCC also alleged that Fayose purchased a property known as No.44, Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, for N200m in the name of “your elder sister, Mrs Moji Oladeji.”

But Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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Edo AAC Executive Committee Not Dissolved, Says Party Chairman

6 July 2020 - 3:07am

The Edo State chapter of the African Action Congress has said that the State Executive Committee of the party has not been dissolved.

Dr. Hafiz Lawal, Chairman of AAC in the state, said the dissolution of SEC cannot be done by one man.

He said, “First, the video clip posted by one Leonard Ezenwa is targeted at discrediting Edo State Chairman and Excos. Our meeting with an impostor Ogbodo Orland sent by him was like a message to concede defeat by recognizing us authentic Excos as instructed by INEC.

“In as much as Leonard claims that the judgment of a Federal High Court made him chairman, it is also very important to note that the party's NEC has rightly compelled him to stop parading himself as Chairman of AAC while also reaffirming Comrade Omoyele Sowore as authentic Chairman. 

“The appeal filed by Sowore and other lawsuits will rightly do justice to this whole charade in due course. 

"Secondly, let our members from every nook and cranny disregard the purported suspension and dissolution of Edo State Chairman and Excos. The dissolution of state Excos cannot be done by one man.

“The NEC is the strongest organ of any political party that has a say in suspension and dissolution of state Excos, its meeting requires 21 days, Leonard Ezenwa having been expelled by the AAC NEC is not recognised by the party and INEC, although colluding with him, have come to great realisation that Ezenwa’s fake convention holds no water because 99 per cent of NEC was not even present at his fake convention. 

“We are meeting with necessary stakeholders of the party and a decision will be reached to further quench Leonard Ezenwa's appetite for disrespect for rule of law and breach of our party's constitution. Our attention is focussed at getting the party back to INEC's book for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections and there shouldn't be distractions.”

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BREAKING: Ondo SSG Resigns, May Join PDP

6 July 2020 - 2:28am

Ifedayo Abegunde

Ifedayo Abegunde, the Secretary to the Ondo State Government, has resigned his position. 

Mr Abegunde, who tendered his resignation letter on Monday morning, told SaharaReporters that he resigned his position for "personal reasons".

He revealed that he had tried his best for the Governor Rotimi Aleredolu-led government and it was time for him to leave.  Ifedayo Abegunde

He said, "I have resigned from the government and I am no longer a member of the cabinet. 

"I will make further comment when the time is ripe for me to talk on resignation." 

Asked if he would be defecting from the All Progressives Congress, the SSG said, "I have just told you I have resigned and nothing more."

However, sources close to Mr Abegunde disclosed that there had been a frosty relationship between him and the governor. 

One of the sources disclosed that the SSG would soon join the Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the October 10governorship election in the state.


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Ex-APC NWC Member, Inuwa Abdulkadir, Is Dead

6 July 2020 - 2:18am

Late Inuwa Abdulkadir

A top member of the All Progressives Congress from the North-West region, Inuwa Abdulkadir, is dead.

A member of the party's National Working Committee that was dissolved recently, the 54-year-old Abdulkadir is said to have died at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, on Monday to suspected Coronavirus complications.

He is expected to be buried at his Gawon Nama residence around 2pm on Monday.

Late Inuwa Abdulkadir

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EFCC Receives Petition To Investigate Katsina Governor, Masari, Secretary, Other Government Officials In Over N300bn Fraud

6 July 2020 - 12:56am

Governor of Katsina state, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari

A petition has been written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission calling for the investigation of Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State; Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Muhammed Inuwa; Commissioner for Local Government and some other government officials in over N300bn financial misappropriation.

The petition was also used to urge the anti-graft agency to investigate unlawful cash withdrawal, stealing and diversion of over 340 new vehicles belonging to 34 local government and as well as the illegal and unlawful approval and release of N500m to the national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress for the party’s June national convention.

The financial misappropriation was alleged to have been carried out between 2015 and 2018 in contravention of extant rules and financial regulations and constitutions of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). 

In a breakdown of the financial misappropriation by the state government, some of the funds were embezzled under fictitious project and pilgrimage.  Governor of Katsina state, Aminu Bello Masari

In 2015, N17.8m was issued for polio eradication; N121.5m for pilgrimage in two tranches; N21.9m for the permanent secretary in four tranches while N273.7m was released as transfer for MLG.

Aside from the governor, secretary and commissioner, other government officials indicted in the scandal include 34 local government council directors of admin and finance, accountant-general, deputy accountant general, permanent secretary (local government and chieftaincy affairs), permanent secretary ministry of finance.

Others indicted are permanent secretary government house, chairman state internal revenue board, O. M. housing authority, director of finance (department of Sure P.) and director security (SSG office).

The petitioner highlighted some of the corruption as, “Award of N2.8bn contract in June 2015 for procurement of fertilizer without budgetary provision, tenders board or executive council approval clearly over and above governor’s limit.

“unlawful and illegal release and diversion of non-appropriated sum of N589m, which was withdrawn in cash by one Kabir Faskari (Kebram) on the pretext of doing Ramadan feeding.

“The unlawful and illegal withdrawal of N150m and diversion of same from local government accounts at N15m per local government in June 2015.

“Unlawful cash withdrawal of over N3bn from Sure P accounts with Access Bank and other banks.

“Unlawful cash withdrawal, payments, and direct breach of public trust by Governor Aminu Bello Masari from the state board of Internal Revenue Service.”

Other financial misappropriations levelled against the governor and his cabinet members include renting of Army of Karama House for N750m per annum and renovation of same at N250m and the looting and outright stealing of N3.6bn cash in 2016 by Governor Masari, Inuwa and officials of the Ministry of Finance from the security escrow account.

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President Buhari Ignores Career Diplomats, Appoints Inexperienced Cronies To Head Nigeria's Foreign Missions

5 July 2020 - 10:12pm

The nepotistic tendencies of President Muhammadu Buhari has again manifested in the preference of non-career diplomats ahead of those, who have invested so many years in this career field.

Since coming into office in 2015 as the country's democratically elected President, Buhari has abandoned the dictates of Nigeria's foreign policy to appoint his cronies to head the country's mission abroad.

Over the last five years for instance, there have been numerous reports of discrimination, racism and ill treatment of Nigerians in countries such as Ghana, South Africa, India, Ukraine, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia etc, all of which point to a fast disappearing international clout.

SaharaReporters gathered this might not be unconnected with President Buhari's administration ‘systematically’ eroding the ethos of professionalism in the Nigerian diplomatic service in favour of his cronies.

According to the Nigeria's foreign service rule, non-career ambassadors should not constitute more than 25 per cent of Nigeria's envoys at any point in time.

But like several others, this rule have been swept under the carpet by the Buhari government. See Also Politics Buhari Nominates 41 Ambassadors 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

To add credence to this argument, on May 12, the President transmitted the names of 42 career ambassadorial nominees to the Senate for screening and subsequent confirmation. 

But 18 days later, he sent the names of 41 non-career ambassador nominees to the Senate.

The President subsequently renewed the appointments of 12 non-career ambassadors on July 3. 

When these numbers are added to the five ambassadors appointed in 2019, a total of 100 ambassadors would be expected to be sent to Nigeria's 83 foreign missions.

With this, 17 career ambassadorial nominees would be expected to serve as deputy ambassadors.

It therefore means that career officers, who have been trained for 30 years and above would be made to serve under political appointees with all the resultant ramifications.

Also, two of the three non-career ambassadorial nominees from Oyo State come from the same senatorial zone.

In the same vein, the new non-career nominees from Katsina State hail from Katsina central senatorial District. 

This is the zone where the retained ambassador in the United Arab Emirates comes from.

“The truth need to be told that Nigeria will continue to be ridiculed and humiliated for her self-inflicted wounds. Do we need to be reminded of the diplomatic humiliation the country suffered when a certain inexperienced Fatima Mohammed Kyari was presented as a candidate for an African Union position contrary to the advice of the Foreign Ministry to field an experienced career diplomat? The country also lost international positions to other African countries due to the fielding of chosen candidates in place of competent and experienced persons.  See Also Politics National Intelligence Agency Staff Write Buhari Against Ambassadorial Nominee 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

“At a time when the world is witnessing tremendous changes and transformations, what is required is adjustments and realignment of forces to face head-on the emerging challenges. Every professional, no less our trained diplomats would be required to spearhead global engagements through the embassies and high commissions. This is no time  for amateurism and playing to the gallery. The stakes are too high and consequences too grave.

“In this regard, Mr President should as a matter of urgency withdraw from the Senate, the list of non-career ambassadors unilaterally compiled by a certain dark horse presidential aide, Mallam Ya'u Darazau (Senior Special Assistant to the President, Special Duties). The list is too large and lopsided. Whereas some states have three nominees, other states such as Abia, Kebbi, Niger and FCT have no nominees. As it became apparent after the list was read at the floor of the Senate, the names were compiled without consulting the key political actors in the states. Many state governors have kicked against the nominees from their states. A sizeable number of senators have also come out to complain that they were not consulted. Yet they are expected to confirm these appointments.

“Worse still, the loopsidedness was also reflected in the list of 12 serving non-career ambassadors who were undeservedly retained at their duty posts. It should be pointed out that both Ambassador Baba Madugu (Switzerland) and Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar (Germany), hail from Mr. Yau Darazau's state, Bauchi State. Although the duo are to remain at their duty posts, a new nominee from Bauchi State was also forwarded to Senate for confirmation as ambassador.

“Rather than send these unprofessionals abroad, government should consider utilising their experiences at home to improve on Nigeria's failing politics,” a diplomat told SaharaReporters.

It was gathered that as a result of this nepotistic practice, many Nigerians were now suffering visa restrictions and travel bans from a growing number of countries.

The situation has also led to a loss of political prestige by Nigeria as it longer controls as much respect in the diplomatic circle as it used to in the past.

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70-year-old Rapes Eight-year-old Girl In Niger, Gives Her N80 To Stay Silent

5 July 2020 - 9:55pm

A 70-year-old man, Mohammed Sani Umar (Tela), has raped an eight-year-old girl in Chanchaga area of Minna, Niger State.

Umar raped the girl twice before giving her N80 not to tell anybody about the incident.

The mother of the girl noticed her abnormal behaviour, which made her question the girl before she revealed that the septuagenarian defiled her.

“She was sick for some weeks and after every treatment, she was still not very well. Then, a neighbour advised her mother to keep a close watch on the girl, which the mother started doing.

“After some days, she saw some stains in her underwear and asked her what happened to her.

“The little girl took the mother to his place and on reaching there, she just pointed at him.

“On sighting the woman and the girl, he started begging them to cover it up so he will take responsibility,” Abubakar, the girl's uncle, narrated.

He said Umar was beaten by angry members of the community before he was interrogated and handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution.

“The woman started crying and shouted for help. People came around, dragged him to the family house, where he was beaten and confessed that he had sex with her twice.

“He said that he gave her N50 once and another N30 the second time.

“We took him to the police custody and handed him to the police to charge him to court,” Abubakar added.

The family appealed to the police to handle the matter professionally as they expressed fear that the police could sweep the case under the carpet as Umar is influential in the society.

“The Divisional Police Officer said the case would be forwarded to the state command on Monday.

“We want the police to do the right thing because the man is very influential and has some people who usually bail criminals arrested by the police. 

“He knows the rich people in the community and there is a possibility they would conspire with the police to release the man and sweep the matter under the carpet.

“The police should ensure justice is served right in this case,” the family urged.

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We Are Not Criminals, Kidnappers, Rapists Are from Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna-- Miyetti Allah

5 July 2020 - 9:54pm

Miyetti Allah group

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has fought back over the claim that Fulani herdsmen are criminals.

The group claimed most kidnappers and rapists hail from Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Bauchi and Katsina States.

MACBAN Chairman in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Mohammed Hussaini, accused visitors from the far North and their children of causing a problem in the state.

Miyetti Allah group

"Most of the kidnappers in the state were from Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Bauchi and Kasina states among others who have caused security problems in their respective states,” Hussain said at a meeting of MACBAN in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, Vanguard reports.

The Miyetti Allah leader, who regretted that their members were also aiding and abetting criminal activities, said the action of some of their members was portraying the entire Fulani in a bad light, as they are now being branded kidnappers and armed robbers.

He called on every Fulani family to expose criminals among them to show the world that they were good and peaceful people. “Majority of the kidnapped victims are Fulani people because our people are living in the bush and are vulnerable to the activities of criminals.”

The MACBAN Chairman said Nasarawa State belongs to them, hence the need for all leaders of the social-cultural group to restrategise and expose bad elements among them for prosecution.

“How can we allow a few strangers from other states to tarnish our image? Look at what happened in Udege – Loko Road where these strangers, our children together with some indigenous tribe of the area, whisk away 30 people to an unknown destination?”

“Let’s us restrategize, if your son, brother or anyone you know is among these bad eggs, bring them out or the law will take its course on you, the leaders.”

 Hussaini listed illiteracy and hard drugs as the major factors pushing people into crime, hence the need for security agents to rise to their responsibility of reducing crime.

 Lawal Dono, Chairman of Ardos in Nasarawa State, said as leaders, they would not harbour criminal elements.

He said that they would direct their people to provide security agencies with relevant information about criminal elements since they are the ones in the bush.

Leaders of some of the local government chapters of MACBAN in Nasarawa said some arrests were based on their efforts, challenging other tribes to complement the efforts of security agents in the fight against insecurity.

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Christians Exhibiting Reckless Confidence In Face Of Coronavirus Pandemic — SGF

5 July 2020 - 9:53pm

Boss Mustapha

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has said that it is worrisome that some Christians exhibit reckless confidence in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

Mustapha, who spoke at the Interdenominational Church Prayer Service, organised by the Nigeria Interreligious Council (NIREC) in Abuja on Sunday evening, said all Nigerians must realize that the pandemic has come to stay.

SGF Boss Mustapha

The SGF called on Church leaders to be at the vanguard of enlightening their followers on the truth about the deadly virus and how they can stay safe in their families and communities.

Speaking about the stay-at-home directive by various governments, Mustapha who doubles as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said: “If you have no business going out, stay at home. It is scriptural and I will undertone this with a quotation from Proverbs 14:16 where the bible says the wise are cautious and avoid danger, fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. I see a lot of Christians exhibiting reckless confidence and the Bible describes them as fools.

“Stay at home, if you don’t have a business going out. That is the safest place you have. If you have every genuine reason to go out, as mandatory, wear a face mask.

“My admonition to the church is that we must stop the exhibition of reckless confidence and tell our people the truth and ask them to do the proper things so that they can stay safe for their families, communities and the body of Christ.”

Mustapha stressed that the national response that the federal government had put in place was intended to protect the people of Nigeria.

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COVID-19: Madagascar Places Capital On Lockdown As Cases Rise

5 July 2020 - 9:50pm

Authorities have again decided to restrict movement in the Malagasy capital due to the spike in coronavirus cases.

The measure is expected to continue until July 20. The conditions are strict: only one person per household has the right to go out on the street from 6 a.m. to noon. Until now, the measure extended until 5 p.m.

Accustomed to registering dozens of cases of coronavirus per day, the Malagasy health authority has reported hundreds of cases daily for the past three days, including 216 on Saturday, a record for the country.

A total of 1,621 people are currently living with the virus on the island with 31 serious cases, among the 23,000 people tested since the beginning of the pandemic, Africa News reports.

Madagascar has been promoting a home-grown “remedy” for COVID-19 which has attracted criticisms from different quarters.

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