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Customs seizes N43m smuggled goods within one week in Kaduna

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The Controller, Nigeria Customs Service FOU Kaduna, Mustapha Sarkin-Kebbi displaying some smuggled items seized by the service in Kaduna
The Controller, Nigeria Customs Service FOU Kaduna, Mustapha Sarkin-Kebbi displaying some smuggled items seized by the service in Kaduna

THE Zone B of Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Kaduna, on Thursday said it seized smuggled goods valued at over N43 million within one week in the zone.

The Comptroller of the command, Mustafa Sarkin-Kebbi said among the items seized was a truck intercepted along Kebbi-Kalgo road carrying foreign parboiled rice concealed with footwears in one hundred kilogram bags.

Sarkin-Kebbi, who made the disclosure at a press briefing in Kaduna, also said 25 vehicles were intercepted within the period, as well as 703 bags of smuggled foreign rice, 500 Jerry can of vegetable oil and 245 cartons of spaghetti.

Other where nine bails of second hand clothes, 40 Jerry Can of Kerosine and a truck of 30,000 PMS being discharged into Jerry Can across the boarders in Kebbi.

According to him, in spite of the Customs anti smuggling patrols across the zone and closing of Nigeria’s borders, smugglers are yet to desist from their illegal acts.

He assured that the Nigerian Custom Service especially the FOU zone B would not relax in its efforts to fight the smugglers to a standstill, to protect the nation’s economy.

“The policies of the Federal Government of self sufficiency  in rice production must be sustained, and we can only sustain that if we stop these smugglers,” Sarkin-Kebbi said.

 

NAN

– Nov. 22, 2019 @ 08:39 GMT |

FRSC explores better strategies to tackle road crashes

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THE Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kaduna, Aliyu Dutsinma, on Thursday said only better road safety strategies would guarantee safer roads in the country.

Dutsinma stated this at a North-West adhoc stakeholder’s consultative meeting for production of implementation cost model and Monitoring and Evaluation framework for Nigeria Road Safety Strategy II, 2019 – 2023, held in Kaduna.

He explained that the stakeholders were expected to make inputs on the identified cost and budgeting gaps from the first version of Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, which run from 2014 to 2018.

He said that it was important to have a realistic budget to implement all activities outlined under the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy Phase II.

According to him, the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy document adopted Safe System approach to road safety management anchored on the five pillars listed in the United Nations Decade of Action For Road Safety.

Dutsinma said lack of synergy among relevant agencies are compounding road crashes, emphasising that the phenomenon needed to be addressed through concerted efforts.

According to him, the strategy document will stimulate road infrastructure development across states  and other strategic initiatives meant to  save lives of commuters and other road users.

The FRSC official appreciated Gov. Nasir El-Rufai for hosting the event and his support to the commission.

He urged the participants to come up with favorable outcomes for the successful implementation of the policy document in all states, to tackle the high rate of road crashes in the zone.

 

NAN

– Nov. 22, 2019 @ 08:39 GMT |

UN General Assembly President arrives Nigeria to rousing welcome

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TIJJANI Muhammad-Bande, President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), arrived Nigeria to rousing welcome on Thursday night on a four-day official visit to the country.

Muhammed-Bande, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja at 11:45pm, was received by the UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Ms Comfort Lamptey, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, Amb. Samson Itegboje, among others.

Muhammed-Bande, while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during his first official visit to the country since his inauguration as UNGA President said he was excited to be at home and to learn about the issues relating to the Regional Expert Conference on the Human Rights Situation of Older Persons in Africa.

“Well I’m excited to be here and also very keen to learn about issues at home, but basically we are here to discuss issues of ageing in relation to how the life of the aged are advanced”, he said.

For being the second Nigerian to be elected UNGA President in 30 years and how this reflects on the nation, Muhammad-Bande advised that Nigerians continue to do the things that endears us to the international community and make our nation proud.

“I think that we should continue to do the kinds of things that makes us acceptable to others by doing our bit in the international community and doing also great things for our country,” he added.

Similarly speaking on his experience so far as President of the UNGA Muhammad-Bande credited his good start to the support he enjoyed from his colleagues.

“I’m happy that the support of all colleagues has gotten us to a good start”, he said.

NAN reports that Muhammad-Bande is in Nigeria to attend a Regional Expert Conference on the Human Rights Situation of Older Persons in Africa as an Inter-sessional Event of the United Nations General Assembly Open-ended Working Group on Ageing.

The conference, which is for the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons, will hold in Abuja on Nov. 25.

It will have as participants, governments, national human rights institutions, civil society organisations, academia, older persons, regional organisations as well as intergovernmental institutions and United Nations organisations.

The Conference will also witness the participation of non-African member states and is open to a global audience.

It is also expected to provide a better understanding of progress made and challenges faced in ensuring those rights, as well as exchange-related experiences and lessons lea

While in Nigeria, Muhammad-Bande will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, and the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Pauline Tallen.

He will also visit the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja as well as the reconstructed UN House.

Muhammad-Bande’s election, was the second time that Nigeria has produced the president of UNGA in three decades and since joining the UN as its 99th member in 1960.

The first was in 1989, during the tenure of late Gen. Joseph Garba, which was usually described as a flamboyant era

 

NAN

– Nov. 22, 2019 @ 08:39 GMT |

Plateau IDPs want assistance from FG, international community

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INTERNALLY Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Plateau have appealed to the Federal Government and international Community render assistance to them just like their counterparts in the North-East.

Prince Barnabas Philip, IDPs’  Camp Coordinator, Barkin Ladi, made the call during a two day Meet the IDPs tour by the Management Committee Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government of a Plateau, Ezekiel Mondyau.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that most of Camp coordinators, who spoke in the various camps visited, made the same request.

“Sir, could you believe that in this very camp, where we have over 2000 IDPs as a result of the attacks on Gashish District last year, since November last year no single government official or organisation visited us to assist us.

“We have teeming children and women, most of who are widows and orphans, yet nobody cares to come to around to feel what we are feeling till this your (Chairman’s) visit to us today.

“The visitor and assistance we got was a Christian Organization since November last year, yet each time we hear on Television and Radio, billions of Naira being pumped to our counterparts in the North-East.

Philip told the Chairman that what they wanted was for them to return to their respective communities if only Government, Corporate bodies and wealthy individuals and Philanthropists could assist them to “rebuild our destroyed houses and provide adequate security for us.”

NAN reports that the speech of Philip brought tears to many people on the Chairman’s entourage, including him (Mondyau).

Responding, Mondyau told the IDPs that it was out of Government’s concern that he embarked on the two day meet the IDPs tour and assured them of Government’ readiness to assist them to return to their respective communities.

Mondyau pledged to relate their plights and pleas to both the state and federal government for necessary assistance, but also assured them of his “widow’s might” at alleviating their plights.

He said part of Governor Simon Lalong plans, was ensure that all the IDPs in the 12 camps returned to their respective communities before the new year.

 

NAN

– Nov. 22, 2019 @ 08:39 GMT |

Two-day Multi-Stakeholder training workshop on open contracting in Nigeria ends in Abuja

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THE participants at the two-day multi-stakeholders workxhop on Open Contracting in Nigeria have called on Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies to proactively publish their procurement records, data and other information on the NOCOPO platform to enable the country to realize objectives of the procurement reforms embarked upon by the Government.

In a communique issued after the meeting on Wednesday in Abuja said that such a practice would ensure its commitments on open contracting as contained in the first and second National Action Plans under the Open Government Partnership, OGP, are realised.

They urged the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to institute and appropriate apply sanctions on the Hundreds of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies that have continued to violate or ignore the July 2018 circular directing all public institutions to regularly upload their procurement information and records on the NOCOPO platform.

They noted that the participants are able to improve their ability to use the NOCOPO platform effectively as a part of the Government’s efforts to promote and ensure transparency and public participation in the procurement process.

They also called on the Federal Government to urgently inaugurate the National Council on Public procurement, adding that the government’s failure to do so more than 12 years after the coming into force of the Public Procurement Act and in obvious violation of the provisions of the Law raises serious questions about the Government of Nigeria.

The participants in the public procurement processes stated that the media, civil society organizations, professional bodies and other stakeholders have a duty to monitor the economic development and that the inhibition of public services would turn out to be about the full realization of its objectives.

In addition, they called on the media to monitor compliance by relevant bodies, agencies and institutions with the duties, processes and requirements under the Public Procurement Act, while urging the media and civil society organizations to embark on vigorous public enlightenment and sensitization activities to mobilize public involvement in various aspects of procurement process in order to engender new culture of openness and citizen engagement in governance.

The participants had earlier observed that ttransparency was the bedrock of any public procurement system without transparency, there will be confidence or trust by stakeholders and the wider public in the system while procurement activities will be viewed with suspicion, which will undermine the system. They added that transparency is the most effective safeguard against corruption in public procurements.

They noted that despite the development of NOCOPO by the Bureau of Public, BPP, which is intended to open up public procurement in Nigeria through Increased disclosure of procurement information to all stakeholders with a view to ensuring improved transparency and accountability, improving competition, preventing corruption, enhancing active citizen participation, and achieving better service delivery and improving the ease of doing business, stakeholders are still faced with the challenge of accessing procurement records and information as well as public finance data that of value to them .

The proposed outcomes in the open contracting area commitment in Nigeria’s second National Action Plan, NAP, under the OGP are very ambitious and unlikely to be realized without significantly increased levels of engagement by various stakeholders. Act was enacted in 2007 and particularly since Nigeria joined the OGP in 2016.

They noted the low level of awareness about open contracting and the applicable principles in Nigeria while the open contracting discourse does not currently include key actors , such as women groups and youth organizations, who are relevant to its sustainability and the achievement of greater impacts.

The workshop addressed conceptual and practical issues relating to Open Contracting and Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS) as well as their application in Nigeria. NOCOPO, NOCOPO, to obtain procurement records, data and other information as well as how to analyze information in order to have a better appreciation of trends and anomalies in procurement processes. And, in order to monitor public procurement activities and processes, they could be effectively deployed to obtain procurement records and mitigate.

The workshop is part of activities being implemented under the project: “Strengthening Disclosure and Citizen Participation to Improve Value for Money in Public Contracting in Africa”.

It was organized by Media Rights Agenda with a grant from the Hewlett Foundation, managed by the Africa Freedom of Information Center, AFIC, in Uganda. Participants in public institutions, civil society organizations and the media as well as the Secretariat of the Open Government Partnership.

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 18:09 GMT |

Buhari is ignoring Nigerian judges – we must not let him get away with it

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Buhari
Buhari

By Kolawole Olaniyan

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s government record on the rule of law is chilling. Since assuming power on May 29, 2015, Mr Buhari has showed a stunning disregard for the rule of law and human rights, ignoring Nigerian judges on at least 40 occasions. And he seems to be getting away with it.

The fight against corruption has been an important facet of his rhetoric but his persistent disobedience of court orders, disdain for Nigerian judges and flagrant violations of human rights under his watch puts into question his commitment to actually ending corruption.

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this disregard of court orders not just for the operation of the rule of law but also effective respect for constitutional and international human rights, such as freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association and access to information.

Yet, Mr Buhari is carrying on, irrespective of human rights and the rule of law.

Any time the courts have told Mr Buhari’s government to do something it doesn’t like, it has refused to obey it. Even Mr Buhari’s attorney general Abukabar Malami, SAN, once said the rule of law is what the authorities determine it to be.

To be clear: it is only an independent and impartial tribunal that has the authority to correct any perceived errors of law of lower courts, not the attorney general.

Court orders that are yet to be complied with include those obtained by human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, particularly the judgment by Nigerian courts ordering the release of Islamic Movement of Nigeria leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, from unlawful detention.

Similarly, the government’s State Security Service (SSS) continues to arbitrarily detain activists Mr Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare who called a national protest, in spite of court orders that they should be released on bail and meeting their bail conditions, prompting Mr Falana to tell the government to: “stop subjecting Nigeria to ridicule.”

Other high-profile judgments the authorities are refusing to obey include at least four judgments obtained by the anti-corruption and human rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). The first is the judgment by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari ordering the government to tell Nigerians about the stolen assets it allegedly recovered, with details of the amounts recovered.

The second judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris, ordered the government to publish details on the spending of stolen funds recovered by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, while the third judgment, by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor ordered the immediate release of details of payments of billions of naira to all defaulting and allegedly corrupt electricity contractors and companies since 1999.

The fourth judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris [as he then was], ordered Mr Buhari to prosecute senior lawmakers suspected of padding and stealing N481 billion from the 2016 budget. The court also ordered Mr Buhari to “direct the publication of the report of investigations by security and anti-corruption bodies into the alleged padding of the 2016 budget.”

Despite the absolute clarity of these orders and judgments, the government continues to refuse to obey them, with almost absolute impunity.

Yet, the rule of law means respecting and protecting the human rights of everyone. Without the possibility of judicial protection and strict obedience to court orders, the means by which an individual can complain of an abuse of governmental power will be illusory, and human rights will remain a fiction.

The government is already in contempt of court regarding these cases but it is not even pretending to be seeking to appeal the orders and judgments, even though that in itself wouldn’t be a reason for disobeying them.

The government always has explanations on why it should not obey lawful court orders, seemingly replacing binding legal decisions with the vagaries of politics, and obeying the decisions whenever they suit it.

This disdainful arrogance for the courts and our constitutional jurisprudence wasn’t even normalized during periods of military dictatorship in Nigeria.

The public perception seems to be that the government will only obey court orders if it gets what it wants. Yet, it should never be right for the government to obey the court as a matter of grace. Mr Buhari has to obey the courts as a matter of necessity.

If Nigeria is ever going to comply with its international human rights obligations and commitments, the government has to begin to show respect for Nigerian judges.

The courts shouldn’t be treated as the enemy; the judicial process is by far the most effective method of upholding the rights of the individual against public bodies.

The government cannot run to court to obtain detention orders or other favourable decisions only for it to turn around to ignore the orders of the same court.

Former US President Harry S Truman famously adorned his oval office desk with a sign that read: “The Buck Stops Here.” This sign was Truman’s own way of saying that he would accept personal responsibility for the decisions he made and for the consequences of those decisions.

No more excuses: the buck stops with Mr Buhari, because he’s the one with a legal duty to see that his government operates within the rule of law, and consistent with Nigeria’s constitution and international human rights obligations.

Indeed, of all the people who have a critical duty to obey court orders, it is the executive. If the government continues to disobey court orders, the means to hold the executive to account will be blocked, and there will be no means of ensuring that human rights and the rule of law prevail.

Mr Buhari’s example is already having corrosive consequences across several of Nigeria’s 36 states, with state governors using the judicial process to target journalists and human rights defenders, and also disobeying court orders. This is the case, for example, in Cross River state where publisher of online news outlet CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo, is arbitrarily detained and facing unfair trial simply for reporting allegations of corruption involving the governor.

In Kaduna state, human rights defender Chidi Odinkalu is facing bogus charges of “injurious falsehood and incitement”, simply for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

But the implications of failure to obey court orders are much wider, as Nigeria’s National Assembly is also using Mr Buhari’s example to pass repressive laws, the most recent being the “Hate speech bill”, which prescribes death by hanging for alleged hate speech.

However, many people see this as an extension of the government’s push to restrict the right to freedom of expression and media freedom, as the minister of information is already pushing to “regulate the social media.”

If Mr Buhari is truly committed to fighting corruption and protecting individuals against unlawful action by his government, security agents (or other public bodies) and private actors, he must immediately begin to obey all court orders, respect human rights. He must ask recalcitrant state governors and the National Assembly to comply with Nigeria’s constitution and international obligations.

Until this happens, we as Nigerians must raise our voices and tell the President loud and clear that he will not get away with disrespecting human rights, the rule of law, and treating our courts with contempt.

Kolawole Olaniyan, PhD, is the author of Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa and a Legal Adviser at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat, London.

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 18:09 GMT |

Again, EFCC araigns Maina for N738.6m contract scam

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on November 20, 2019 arraigned Abdulrasheed Maina on another charge of contract racketeering and stealing before Justice Abubakar Kutigi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gwagwalada, Abuja.

The embattled former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, was docked on a nine count charge alongside one Ann Igwe Olachi, who was his secretary.

Maina is alleged to have abused his position as Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team to award fictitious contracts for purported biometric enrollment of pensioners, an offense that is punishable under Section 317(read in conjunction with section 316) of the Penal Code Act, Cap532, vol. 4, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, 2007.

The facts of the case indicate that “bogus” claims of fictitious allowances were also made by Maina and his cohorts in the course of the purported biometric enrolment assignment, while proceeds of the fictitious contracts were remitted into his account through the 2nd defendant.

When the matter was called, the prosecuting counsel M.S Abubakar informed the court that the matter was slated for arraignment and applied that charges be read to the defendants to take their pleas.

When the charges were read, the defendants pleaded not guilty.

One of the counts read, “That you ABDULRASHEED ABDULAHI MAINA and IGWE ANN OLACHI between December, 2010 and January, 2011 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonestly received an aggregate sum of N136,200,000 (One Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira Only) from one Ibrahim Abdulkarim knowing that the said money was stolen from the Federal Government of Nigeria under the guise of payment of allowances”.

Another charge reads,  “That you ABDULRASHEED ABDULAHI MAINA and IGWE ANN OLACHI between July and December 2010 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honorable court dishonestly received an aggregate sum of N153,146,719,.99 ( one hundred and fifty three million, one hundred and forty six thousand, seven hundred and nineteen Naira, ninety nine kobo) from Xangee Technologies Limited (which company is facing separate charge before Federal High Court) knowing that the said money was stolen from the Federal Government of Nigeria under the guise of contract for biometric enrollment of pensioners.”

Another count reads, That you ABDULRASHEED ABDULAHI MAINA on or about the 8th July, 2010 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honorable court dishonestly received N107,398,500 (one hundred and seven million, three hundred and ninety eight thousand, five hundred Naira) from Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited through one Osarenkhoe Afe (both of whom are facing a separate charge at the Federal High Court) knowing the said money was stolen from the Federal Government of Nigeria under the guise of contract for biometric enrollment.”

A statement by the EFCC said that the case had been adjourned till November 28, 2019 for ruling on bail application.

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 18:09 GMT |

Surety allegedly uses fake documents to secure bail for suspected thief

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THE police on Thursday in Lagos arraigned a surety, Henry Idogbue, who allegedly presented fake documents to mislead a court to grant bail to a suspected thief.

Idogbue, 43, appeared before an Ogudu Magistrates’ Court on charges of impersonation and attempt to pervert justice.

The defendant, who resides at Ogudu, however, pleaded not guilty.

According to the Prosecutor, Insp. Donjour Perezi, the defendant presented false documents to mislead the court to grant bail to one Olusegun Bafuwa charged with stealing.

The prosecutor said that the surety committed the offences at the Ogudu Magistrates’ Court, on Nov. 14, at 1.30p.m.

Perezi said that the defendant  was arrested in the court after impersonating a staff of Global Manpower Company by presenting an identity card and a copy of an employment letter falsely claimed to have been issued by the company.

“The defendant forged the identity card, employment letter and payslip of the said company, intending same to be believed, used or acted on as genuine,” Perezi said.

The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 97(1), 365 and 380 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The Magistrate, Mrs Bukola Mogaji, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N50, 000 with one surety in like sum.

Mogaji adjourned the case until Dec. 20, for mention.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 18:09 GMT |

ECOWAS partners FBA to empower Togolese stakeholders on prevention, MITIGATION OF ELECTION-RELATED CONFLICTS

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A three–day workshop organised by the Political Affairs Directorate of the ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with the Folke Bernadotte Academy, FBA, the Swedish agency for peace, security and development, opened in Lomé, on Tuesday, the 19th November 2019, to strengthen the capacity of Togolese national peace actors on the use of dialogue and mediation to prevent or mitigate election-related violence or disputes

This is against the background of the presidential election due in early 2020 in the country.

Addressing participants, including representatives of civil society organizations, traditional and faith-based organizations, governmental structures responsible for the management of elections, security agencies, women, youths and the physically challenged, Garba Lompo, the Permanent Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Togo, reiterated the commitment of ECOWAS to peaceful, free and transparent elections in the region.

He explained that this was reflected in the organization’s normative frameworks and instruments, particularly the 2001 Protocol on democracy and good governance.

The ECOWAS representative expressed gratitude to President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo for his commitment to peace and stability in the country, noting that ECOWAS has observed that competitive elections have the potential of generating conflicts, which if not well-managed can escalate into violence.

He therefore called on Togolese political stakeholders to work towards promoting the culture of peace, build confidence in the electoral process and ensure that all efforts are put in place to prevent and mitigate potential pre- and post-election violence as the country prepares for the 2020 presidential election.

In his remarks, Per Bjälkander, the FBA Senior Dialogue and Peace Mediation Officer noted that the ECOWAS-FBA partnership seeks to strengthen the capacities of relevant stakeholders and peace actors in Togo to ensure a violence-free electoral outcome in 2020.

Other objectives of the workshop include creating the opportunity for participants to appreciate the ECOWAS normative principles and frameworks for transparent and peaceful elections, and the organisation’s commitment to using dialogue and mediation in resolving electoral disputes and conflicts.

In addition, the workshop would provide a forum for the participants to brainstorm and identify contending issues around the forthcoming election and the possible role they could play in preventing and mitigating potential electoral violence.

Like in similar workshops already conducted in some other member States, the Lomé event being attended by some 60 participants also seeks to ‘‘sustain and enhance ECOWAS’ strategic engagement with the Togolese electoral process.’’

At the opening ceremony were representatives of the Togolese Government, namely, the Ministry of security and territorial administration;  the Independent National Electoral Commission, CENI, National Human Rights Commission, members of the diplomatic corps in Togo, including from the European Union, UNDP, France, Germany and Egypt.

The ECOWAS Dialogue and Mediation Handbook serves as a facilitation text for the workshop, with participants expected to acquire practical techniques and skills for dialogue and mediation as important tools for the management of electoral conflicts through case studies and simulation exercises.

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 18:09 GMT |

Travel agent in court for allegedly defrauding 3 applicants of N1.186m

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A female travel agent, Aderonke Ise-Agba, 45, who allegedly defrauded three applicants of N1.186 million  on Thursday appeared in a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

Ise-Agba, a resident of No. 10, Danshi St., Lagos, Island was charged with four-counts bothering on fraud and forgery  however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecutor, Insp. Ajaga Agboko, told the court that the defendant committed the offence sometimes in July 2018 at Warder’s Barracks, Ikoyi, Lagos.

He said that the defendant collected N1.186 million from the three applicants under false pretenses of helping them get a Turkish Visa.

The prosecutor said that Ise-agba collected N507, 000 from one Mr Sule Saibu, N350, 000 from Mr Bashiru Abiola and N329, 000 from Mr Ade Adewale.

Agboko said after the defendant collected the money she disappeared and was later found and arrested.

“After an unrepentant Ise-Agba was arrested and promised to get the visa for the three complainants, she gave them forged Turkish visas,” he alleged.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 315 (1) and 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 315 (1) stipulates 15 years imprisonment while 363 prescribes three years imprisonment for forgery.

The Magistrate, Mr T.A. Anjorin-Ajose, granted the defendant N300,000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case until Dec. 12 for trial.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 18:09 GMT |

Bayelsa Poll: We don’t have anything against Jonathan-PDP

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THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says it has nothing against former President Goodluck Jonathan over the just concluded Bayelsa governorship election.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja.

There were reports in the media that Jonathan may be sanctioned by the party following the defeat of PDP by All Progressives Congress (APC), at the Nov.16, governorship election in Bayelsa.

Ologbondiyan said that the issue of Jonathan was not part of matters discussed at the NWC meeting.

“The issue of former President Goodluck Jonathan did not come up at the meeting and it was not discussed.

“You must know about the procedure and processes in our party. If we do not have a report or an issue before us, we cannot delve into.

“As we speak now, we do not have any matter concerning Jonathan before us in the party,” he said.

Ologbondiyan said that the only issue discussed at the meeting was the Nov. 16 election in Kogi and Bayelsa, of which the National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus would formally address the press on the party’s position on Thursday.

“We have taken a decision to go to court long before but beyond that, we are going to take other measures which the national chairman will disclose on Thursday.

“We have not done a post mortem of the election. We have only weighed the circumstances that surrounded the election.

“We have also looked at the global condemnation of the election. We have reviewed the role of INEC and the role played by security agencies. Formally, the party will come up with a position,” he said.

He, however, denied insinuation that Secondus was under pressure, saying the party was rather concern about the state of democracy in the country.

“We believe that as the main opposition party we have a responsibility to salvage democracy,” he said.

Ologbondiyan also said that there was no division within the NWC.

“All of us are here. Virtually everybody was here and we discussed freely,” he said

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:49 GMT |

Bayelsa Poll: INEC presents certificate of return to Lyon, Deputy

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THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Thursday, presented Certificate of Return to Bayelsa Governor-elect, Mr David Lyon and his deputy Sen. Degi Eremienyo.
INEC National Commissioner in charge of Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, presented the certificates at a ceremony in Yenogoa.
Agbamuche-Mbu expressed gratitude to all stakeholders including the police, army, traditional rulers, women groups and the youth for abiding by the electoral law to record the most violence free- poll in the state.
Speaking after receiving the certificate, Lyon dedicated his victory to the people of the state, whom he said made it possible for him to win the poll.
Lyon also commended the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Service (DSS) for living up to their responsibilities during the election.
“I thank INEC for its commitment towards the election in spite of pressure to do otherwise.
“To all the people of Bayelsa, this is the time to come together to build our dear state; my victory at the poll is for the people and I am assuring you, my people, that I will not fail you.
“The APC led administration will be for a total change which Bayelsa is going to be witnessing in the next few months; my belief in this context is that, everyone is a winner.
“Let us come together and ensure that the state is developed and there will be security for investors,” Lyon said.
The News Agency or Nigeria (NAN), reports that Lyon polled 352,552 votes to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Duoye Diri, who scored 143,172 votes in the Nov. 16, governorship poll.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:49 GMT |

Court remands 40-year-old man for allegedly sodomising neighborur’s 10-year-old boy

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A Kaduna Chief Magistrates’ Court on Thursday ordered that a 40-year-old man, Musa Alhassan, 40, who allegedly sodomised his neighboir’s 10-year-old boy,be remanded in a correctional centre,  pending legal advice.

The Magistrate, Hajara Dauda, who did not take the plea of Alhassan ordered the police to duplicate the case file and send it to the State Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.

Dauda adjourned the case until Dec. 4 for mention.

The police charged Alhassan, who resides in Kaduna, with one count of unnatural offence.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp. Sunday Baba, told the court that Alhassan committed the offence on Nov. 2 at Warri Street in  Kaduna.

According to Baba, Mohammed Zayyad, of the same address with Alhassan reported the matter at Sabon Gari Police Station Kaduna, on the same date.

The prosecutor stated that the defendant lured his neighbour’s 10-year-old boy to his house and sodomised him.

Baba said in the course of investigation, the defendant confessed to committing the offence which contravened the provisions of Section 259 of the Kaduna State Penal Code, 2017

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:49 GMT |

VP Osinbajo presides over NEC meeting

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VICE President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday presided over the monthly National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Nigeria’s Constitution provides that the vice president is the Chairman of NEC.

The council meeting is held monthly to deliberate on the coordination of the economic planning efforts and economic programmes of the various levels of government.

NEC comprises the 36 state governors, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, minister of finance, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and other government officials as well as agencies involved in managing the economy.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:49 GMT |

Buhari meets Speakers of 36 states Houses of Assembly at Aso Rock

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Buhari
Buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met with speakers of the 36 states Houses of Assembly of the federation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the speakers were led by their Chairman, Mr Mudashiru Obassa, who is also the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly.

NAN reports that though the agenda of the meeting was unknown as at the time of filing this report, President Buhari and the speakers are expected to deliberate on national issues, including security and autonomy of the Assemblies.

Those at the meeting included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

Others include the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jamil Arabi and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:49 GMT |

Pope Francis delivers speech on humanitarian issues to Thai Govt

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Pope Francis, left, walks with his cousin Ana Rosa Sivori, centre, as Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha shows the way during a welcoming ceremony at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand
Pope Francis, left, walks with his cousin Ana Rosa Sivori, centre, as Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha shows the way during a welcoming ceremony at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand

POPE Francis was officially welcomed by the Thai Government in a ceremony on Thursday at the prime minister’s office in Bangkok where he delivered a speech that touched on a range of humanitarian issues.

An honour guard of marching Thai soldiers came to a halt as they stood for the Vatican City national anthem.

In his opening remarks to a room of Thai government officials and priests, Francis said he welcomed Thailand’s transition from a military government to a civilian one.

The comment was met with a bright smile from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who led the former military government after overthrowing an elected government in a 2014 coup.

Prayut leads the current civilian coalition government after his junta introduced new election laws to favour his return as prime minister.

Francis’ speech then touched on the global issue of refugees, which he described as an “important ethical issue for our times”.

He said the problem is not about the migration of people but stems from situations that force people to flee their homes.

“Thailand was once a country that had a reputation of accepting refugees,’’ he said.

“I plead that communities in each country to responsibly proceed with addressing the problems that lead to people having to flee their countries.’’

Francis said the issue of refugees reminds him of women and children, who are taken advantage of and face “violence and forced labour in many forms’’.

Later in the evening, Francis is scheduled to meet the Thai king before addressing a stadium in Bangkok for a holy mass, where around 50,000 people are expected to attend.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:49 GMT |

Maina arrives in court for trial continuation

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ABDULRASHEED Maina, Chairman, defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTM), on Thursday, arrived in the Federal High Court, Abuja, for continuation of his trial.

Maina, though came into Court 6 without a wheelchair, he was however supported by two men as he walked slowly into the court.

The former pension reform boss, who arrived at the court at about 9:30am, dressed in a white caftan with a black cap.

His son, Faisal,was also in the same court for trial continuation.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Okon Abang had, on Nov. 7, fixed today, Nov. 21, for continuation of the trial, following an appeal by the Deputy Comptroller General (DCG), Health and Social Welfare, Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), H.B. Kori, to the court to give him a week to respond to the court order on the true health status of Maina.

Maina, who came into the court on wheelchair in the last adjourned date, had, on Oct. 25, arraigned alongside a firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Abang.

He was charged with 12 counts bordering on money laundering, operating fictitious bank accounts and fraud.

NAN reports that while Maina is the 1st defendant in the case, the company was the 2nd defendant.

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:19 GMT |

Song produced by Cobhams Asuquo calls for every Nigerian child’s rights to be respected and protected

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UNICEF Nigeria, together with Cobhams Asuquo and several top Nigerian artists released a song on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 called “For Every Child,” calling for every Nigerian child’s rights to be respected.

The song release comes on the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), celebrated worldwide.

The song featured children singing with Niniola, TuBaba, Chidinma, Timi Dakolo, Umar M. Sheriff and Cobhams Asuquo.

“With this song, we are urging all people to call for every right for every child. Every Nigerian child deserves a fair chance to safe and healthy future and to fulfil their dreams,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative.

UNICEF Nigeria is also launching an app where children can find the CRC and other materials related to their rights. This can be downloaded here from 20 November.

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:19 GMT |

Senate lashes out at anti-corruption agencies over unaudited accounts

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THE Senate yesterday accused anti-corruption agencies in the country of failing to audit their accounts in the last 20 years. It warned all agencies of government including those under the presidency that henceforth all funds allocated must be accounted for. The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, which issued the reprimand, gave 25 Ministries, Departments and Agencies a seven-day ultimatum to submit their income and expenditure operations from 2017 till date. The defaulting MDAs are to make the submissions on or before November 27, 2019.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, said there would be no sacred cows. He said the directive was expedient so that defaulting MDAs would comply and, in turn, enable his committee to carry out special functions in ensuring accountability and transparency in the management of public funds.

“Some agencies have existed for 20 years. They don’t have audited accounts. Even the ones that are fighting corruption, their accounts are not audited. In other areas, there is no way you can collect money in the succeeding year when you have not accounted for what you got the preceding year, only in Nigeria.”

He said: “It is only here that we spend a lot of money checking, after corruption has been perpetrated. Nobody bothers. You spend huge sums of money on EFCC running after people that have stolen the wealth of the people. It is only in this country, after people have inflated and stolen money, that we start talking about corruption…after the road has been built, runways have been built, airplanes have been bought at inflated prices.”

He noted: “All the components that are in the bill of quantity, everything that is stated there, if there are 100 items, we must see the 100 items. If the thickness of the asphalt is supposed to be 5mm, we must see 5mm.“We want to change the narratives and we need you, the media, so that every erring agency that is not playing by the rules must support us. If this committee must do its job, we need the media as partners. We are starting that journey. A lot of the agencies that we have written to, to intimate us on their status have refused. We have been calling them but they have refused.”He said they must account for all government funds or face the music. “This committee is very ready to bring everybody to the public arena,” he said.

The affected MDAs include: Office of the Accountant General of the Federation; Federal Inland Revenue; Niger Delta Development Commission; Federal Capital Territory; Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria; National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure; Nigerian Investment Promotion Council; Federal Ports Authority of Nigeria; Nigeria Football Federation; Federal Road Maintenance Agency; National Space Research and Development Agency; Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency; Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board; Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; Presidency Amnesty Programme; Nigerian Petroleum Development Company; Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency; Federal Road Safety Corps; Nigerian Airspace Management Agency; Nigeria Insurance Trust Fund; Industrial Training Fund; Nigeria Railway Corporation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency; and Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Senate, meanwhile, has debated the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which provides for e-voting and direct transmission of results from polling units to a central database. The chamber may pass the document in four weeks.The chamber, which concluded debate on the general principles of the bill yesterday referred the matter to its committee in charge of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with a directive to report back within the stipulated period.

The Guardian had exclusively reported on Tuesday that the work on the bill would be sped up.Also, the controversial anti-social media bill received accelerated hearing yesterday despite the nationwide uproar against the proposal.The bill titled, ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations’, was sponsored by Senator Musa Sani from Niger State.

It passed second reading and was referred to the committee on judiciary and legal matters. The panel has a four-week ultimatum to submit the report after public hearings where Nigerians and other stakeholders would make contributions.“This bill is not an attempt to stifle free speech. It is rather an opportunity to address the growing threats, which, left unchecked, can cause serious damage in our polity and disrupt peaceful existence,” Sani said during his lead debate.

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:19 GMT |

E-voting and Senate’s bid to restore public confidence in electoral process

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IT states: “The Commission shall compile, maintain and update on a continuous basis, a register of election results to be known as the National Electronic Register of Election Results which shall be a database of election results from each polling unit, including collated election results of each election conducted by the Commission.

“National Electronic Register of Election Results shall be kept by the Commission at its National Headquarters and any person or political party may obtain from the Commission, on payment of reasonable fees as may be determined by the Commission, a certified true copy of any election result kept in the National Electronic Register of Election Results for the Federation, a State, Local Government, Area Council, Ward or Polling Unit, as the case may be and the certified true copy may be in printed or electronic format.” On electronic voting, the Electoral Reform Bill amends section 52 (2) of the 2010 Electoral Act and introduces a new provision stating that “The commission may adopt electronic voting or any other method of voting in any election it conducts as it may deem fit”

It was learnt that many lawmakers are not comfortable with the additional clause, which permitted INEC to use any other method it deems fit and may delete that option during the consideration of the Bill. The current law completely prohibits the use of electronic voting as it states, “the use of Electronic Voting machine for the time being is prohibited.”

Also, the Electoral Reform Bill slashed the nomination fees charged by political parties, such that presidential aspirants are to pay not more than N10 million, while governorship aspirants are to pay N5 million.In specific terms, the Bill stipulates: “For the purpose of nomination of candidates for election, the total fees, charges, dues and any payment howsoever named imposed by a political party on an aspirant shall not exceed: One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000) for a Ward Councillorship aspirant in the FCT; Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000) for an Area Council Chairmanship aspirant in the FCT; Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) for a House of Assembly aspirant; One Million naira (N1,000,000) for a House of Representatives aspirant; Two Million Naira (N2,000,000) for a Senatorial aspirant; Five Million naira (N5,000,000) for a Governorship aspirant; and Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) for a Presidential aspirant.”

The Bukola Saraki-led National Assembly had attempted the Electoral Reform, but failed to get the presidential approval even though the bill sought to strengthen internal democracy, reduce the cost of politics, widen political participation and the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections through technological innovations and an electronic database.

At the height of the politics that surrounded the proposed amendments, there were concerns raised over the enforceability of some of its provisions. For instance, President Buhari, in refusing to sign that bill, had argued: “I am declining assent to the Bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general elections, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.

“Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.”

Deputy Senate President, Omo-Agege had, in an interview with The Guardian before the inauguration of the 9th NASS, declared that his legislative interest would focus on electoral reforms, stressing, “We must get it right. Unless and until we get it right, we shall continue to have problems.  I am a very big fan of technology.  I do not see why we cannot go for electronic voting.  Even before we came on board in the outgoing senate, there had been an amendment to the Electoral Act that removed the inhibition from Sections 52 or 53 of the Electoral Act that prohibited INEC from evoting.

“I know that the inhibition was removed. There is no reason why INEC should not go for full-blown evoting. And even apart from the evoting, we had provided in the Electoral Act amendment for e-transmission from the polling units directly, because the bulk of the rigging that happens usually happens at the collation centre and everyone agreed on it.

“But, the poisoned pill of section 25 of election sequence also deprived us of the benefits of that provision in the Electoral Act amendment. Having said that, we need to address it because inasmuch as we want evoting, people must have that confidence that whatever is contained in the server is well protected.

“That is my area of interest and God willing, if I emerge as the Deputy Senate President, I would be the chairman of the Constitution Review Committee of the National Assembly. That is my main focus, electoral reform, and of course, other amendments to the constitution to bring it to terms with modern day reality.”

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 14:19 GMT |

FG, states record N352b shortfall in revenue target as fiscal crisis persists

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THE Federal Government and the state of the federation missed their respective revenue targets gain for the month of October, widening the 2019 budget deficits. At N894.09 billion, the estimated federally-collected revenue (gross) in October 2019, fell below both the monthly budget estimate of N1.246 trillion.

The shortfall represents 28.2 percent of the monthly budget estimate and 0.9 percent of the preceding month’s receipt, a development that has been attributed to shortfall in both oil and non-oil revenue. The development, which shows that the country’s fiscal challenges still remain at large, raised more worries as discordant tones were said to be trailing the new Finance bill currently at the National Assembly.

There were allegations that members of the finance committee of the House of Representatives were at loggerheads with their counterparts at the Senate for being left out of decisions, leading to boycott of hearings. An economist, Ucha Wagbo, said the unsteady revenue stream of the government and sustained dependence on oil income, after huge debts without sustainable projects, will only have one outcome, which is bad for the economy.

“The country will continue to borrow and the worsening debt service-to-revenue ratio will persist. Nigerian leaders are too relaxed for my liking, especially in development projects. Once they pay themselves, they are contented leaving the economy in shambles,” he said.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in its October 2019 Economic Report, oil receipts, at N577.30 billion or 64.6 percent of total revenue, was below the monthly budget estimate of N798.83 billion by 27.7 percent. However, it exceeded the receipt of N467.58 billion in the preceding month by 23.5 percent, while the decrease in oil revenue has been associated with shut-ins and shut-downs at some terminals of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, due to pipeline leakages and maintenance activities.

Specifically, at N316.91 billion, the estimated Federal Government retained revenue for the month of October 2019, was below the monthly budget estimate of N705.44 billion, which is 55.1 percent shortfall. A breakdown of the fiscal report showed that Federation Account pooled 88.4 percent of the total retained revenue, while Value Added Tax (VAT), Independent Revenue and Exchange Gain amounted to 4.2 percent, 7.3 percent, and 0.1 percent, respectively.

Similarly, at N316.79 billion or 35.4 percent of total revenue, non-oil receipt was below the monthly budget estimate of N447.24 billion and the preceding month’s earning of N434.52 billion by 29.2 percent and 27.1 percent, respectively.

The drop in collection, relative to the monthly budget estimate, was due to the decline in revenue from corporate tax, VAT, education tax and Federal Government Independent Revenue.Of the total, N697.5 billion was retained in the Federation Account. The sums of N89.16 billion, N23.11 billion, and N2.33 billion were transferred to the VAT Pool Account, Federal Government Independent revenue, and “Others”, respectively, leaving a net balance of N582.90 billion for distribution to the three (3) tiers of government.

The Federal Government received N279.98 billion, while the state and local governments received N142.01 billion and N109.49 billion, respectively. The balance of N51.42 billion was shared among the oil-producing states as 13 percent Derivation Fund. Also, from the N89.16 billion transferred to the VAT Pool Account, the Federal Government received N13.37 billion, while the state and local governments received N44.58 billion and N31.21 billion, respectively.

Additionally, N950 million was distributed in the month as Exchange Gain, with the federal, state and local governments receiving N440 million, N220 million and N170 million, respectively.Overall, total allocation to the three tiers of government in October 2019 amounted to N673.01 billion, which was below the preceding month’s budget estimate of N1.091 trillion and monthly allocation of N676.9 billion.

However, the Federal Government spent N695.89 billion in the period, although it was still below the monthly budget estimate of N865.31 billion by 19.6 percent.It was also below the N949.56 billion recorded in the preceding month by 26.7 percent.A further breakdown of the fiscal transactions showed that recurrent and capital expenditure constituted 57 percent and 37.3 percent of the total expenditure, respectively, while transfers gulped 5.7 percent.Of the recurrent expenditure, non-debt obligation was 76.8 percent, while debt service payments accounted for 23.2 percent of the total.

Guardian

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 14:19 GMT |

Ruiz defeat made me a smarter fighter, says Joshua

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Boxing – Andy Ruiz Jr & Anthony Joshua Press Conference – Hilton London Syon Park, London, Britain – September 6, 2019 Anthony Joshua and trainer Rob McCracken during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra
Boxing – Andy Ruiz Jr & Anthony Joshua Press Conference – Hilton London Syon Park, London, Britain – September 6, 2019 Anthony Joshua and trainer Rob McCracken during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

BOXING – Andy Ruiz Jr & Anthony Joshua Press Conference – Hilton London Syon Park, London, Britain – September 6, 2019 Anthony Joshua and trainer Rob McCracken during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

London, Nov.21, 2019 (Reuters/NAN) Briton Anthony Joshua said his first career defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. was due to a lack of experience and he had become a “smarter” fighter ahead of December’s rematch.

Mexican-American Ruiz produced one of boxing’s biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world heavyweight champion with a seventh-round stoppage at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.

“It wasn’t burnout. The issues I faced in the last camp, it’s just down to lack of experience,” he told BBC.

“Even though it was at a high level, we were still finding experience.

“Andy Ruiz is good but I don’t think he should beat me twice. I used to hear guys say you have to take a loss and I would think ‘why’?

“Now I can understand it and know what it takes. I have more understanding now and my ears are open to new information so that’s making me smarter as a fighter,” Joshua said.

The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight title rematch – dubbed the ‘Clash on the Dunes’, will take place in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 7 after former Olympic Champion Joshua triggered a rematch clause.

“The blessing is I have a second chance and here we are,” the 30-year-old said

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:19 GMT |

Alleged P&ID scam: EFCC files fresh charges against Briton

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, filed fresh charges against James Nolan, a Briton, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The EFCC’s Counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, had, at the resumed trial, told Justice Okon Abang that the anti-graft agency had filed an amended charge dated Nov. 20.

The lawyer said the EFCC is now bringing up a 32-count charge against the defendants in the case contrary to the initial 16-count charge bordering on money laundering.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EFCC had, on Oct. 21, arraigned Nolan and Adam Quinn (at large), both British nationals, over their alleged complicity in the 9.6 billion dollars judgment against Nigeria.

Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), an Irish engineering company, had secured the award against Nigeria following the non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) the company had with the federal government.

The arraignment of the two British nationals is coming weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.

The defendant are both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) and ICIL Limited.

As at the time of filing this story, the 32-count charge was still being read to Mr Nolan by the court registrar.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:19 GMT |

Suspect gets N500,000 bail over N9,000 fraud

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A Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State on Thursday granted  N500,000 bail to a 32-year-old man, Ogbonna Iteh, who allegedly possessed fake 200 dollars and defrauded a woman  of N9,000.

The Magistrate, Mr T.A. Anjorin-Ajose, also ordered the defendant to produce  two sureties as a condition for the bail.

He said that one of the sureties must be a blood relation of the defendant and the other, a civil servant.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Iteh, who resides on Aboki Estate, Ikate, Elegunshi, Eti-Osa, Lagos State, is facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and possession of fake currency.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the offences.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Ajaga Agboko, told the court that the defendant and one other person at large conspired to defraud one Mrs Faith Samuel of N9000.

He said that Iteh committed the offences on Nov. 13, at 8:00a.m., at Abijo Lekki, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State.

Agboko said that the defendant also had in his possession fake 200 dollars.

“Iteh’s accomplice (who drove their vehicle), gave a ride to Samuel, who was taking her children to school.

“In the vehicle, Iteh said that he just returned from abroad and God sent him to help the complainant; he gave her 200 dollars and told her to bring any amount she has in naira.

“Samuel told them she had only N9,000 in her account; the duo told her to go and withdraw it; they followed her to a bank; she withdrew the money and gave it to them.

“The duo left; the complainant went into the bank to change the 200 dollars but was told that it was fake.

“Samuel traced them back to where they picked her and saw only the defendant where he was trying to defraud another woman, she raised an alarm and he was caught,” the prosecutor alleged.

He  said that the offences contravened Sections 314, 329 and 411 of  the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Anjorin-Ajose adjourned the case until Dec. 5 for substantive hearing.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 16:19 GMT |

Banker decries suicide rates by students, admission seekers

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AN Executive Banker, Mr Adebayo Adeyinka, has decried the rate at which Nigerian youths were committing suicide due to failure in their academic pursuit.

Adeyinka, the Regional Bank Head, South-West 1, Fidelity Bank Plc, made the assertion at the 2019 National Pre-University Conference in Badagry, organised by CityMood Communications.

“Many Nigerian youths are committing suicide because of academic failure, not knowing that failure is part of life.

“Suicide is not the next thing in life, if you fail the first time, prepare and do it again.

“Nothing can stop you, not even lack of resource can stop you from achieving your dreams, it is only you that can stop you in life,” Adeyinka said.

He urged those students who did not get admission to institutions of their choices after several attempts to work hard and prepare to do it again, saying that nothing good comes easily.

Adeyinka urged students and admission seekers to be free to dream and be focussed.

“A dream is not what you see in your dream, but a dream is that which keeps you awake in the night.

“Have a clear cut goal and ask yourself if I gain admission today to the university, what do I intend to achieve at the end.

“Resist any attempt by anyone to put you in the secret cult. Please never join any cult in school,” he pleaded.

Adeyinka, however, advised them to make good friends and build good network when they gain admission into the university.

Also, Ms Chizobam Ofoegbu, a Confidence Coach, urged the students to be careful about the type of groups they mix up with in higher institution.

Ofoegbu said that peer pressure was the number one killer of youth nowadays.

According to her, peer pressure is when you are easily motivated to sabotage your life and life of others.

Ofoegbu urged students to know the type of friends to keep while in school, adding that bad friendship would destroy their lives.

She also advised them to always associate themselves with people of same character and value.

Commenting, Mr Folaranmi Oyediran, an Author and Youth Leadership expert, urged students seeking admission to know the purpose of their going to the university.

“Knowing the purpose of going to university is to study and become purposeful in life and you must give it everything to succeed.

“University is not a place where you go and play, but to study squarely.

“You will succeed in university without comparing yourself with others.

“You must manage your life within the time allocated to you,” he advised.

Also, Opeyemi Oke, the Executive Director, Equip Africa, advised students that have talents to utilise it.

Oke appealed to parents to allow their children to explore their talents, urging the students to search for their talents and develop them.

Earlier, Mr Sewhupe Akande, Chief Executive, Citymood Communications, said the aims of the event was to enlighten graduating senior secondary school students and young school leavers about higher education pursuit.

“Developments in our Ivory Towers have necessitated a national re-orientation of our admission seekers with the hope of shaping and sharpening their perspective about university education and positioning them for a quick start at excelling on campus.

“With the pedigree of speakers at this conference, participants are guaranteed of receiving knowledge that will impact their lives and nation for good,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that many students in senior secondary schools and young school leavers within and outside Badagry attended the conference.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 14:19 GMT |

120 SMEs for Lagos MegaCity Fair — Organiser

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NO fewer than 120 small businesses from across the country are expected to participate in this year’s Megacity Fair which opens on Friday at Amuwo Odofin Festival Mall in Lagos.

Convener of the Fair, Ifeoma Emenahi, told journalists in Lagos on Wednesday that the three-day event would offer free master classes for women to acquire new skills that would empower them financially.

She said that the 8th edition of the Fair, tagged, ‘Black Friday Sales’, was aimed at supporting vendors and small businesses to network and showcase Made-in-Nigeria products.

“The event this year is not just for the visitors to come and buy, but also for them to come and learn, adding value to themselves.

“We want to empower the women with skills by teaching them how to make headgear like facinators, auto gele and turbans.

“There’s also a master class where they will be taught how to make accessories using Ankara fabrics; all these will be taught for free,” she said.

She added that the Fair would also feature red carpet events, raffle draws, games and bouncy castles to keep the visitors entertained.

“If visitors come to the fair and they find it dull, they won’t come back again but if they are entertained, they’ll be happy to stay,” Emenahi, said.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 14:19 GMT |

World Children Day: UNICEF pledges to support Nigeria’s child rights programmes

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THE United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), has pledged to support programmes targeted at promoting the rights of children in Nigeria’s local communities.

UNICEF Country Representative, Mr Peter Hawkins, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at a ceremony to mark the 2019 International World Children’s Day.

The theme of the 2019 World Children’s Day is “Children of Today, Our Keepers Tomorrow”.

Hawkins also said that more attention must be paid to educating the children to enable them know and defend their rights in the society.

He said that the celebration of the 2019 World Children’s Day, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), was to showcase the talent of the Nigerian child and re-affirm the need to value and recognise his or her rights.

He described the Nigerian child as the light, dream and the hope of tomorrow.

“Thirty years ago, world leaders made a commitment to the world’s children by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which made provision for 42 rights in the passports as enshrined in the convention on the rights of the child.

“Every Nigerian Child is born with a talent and a future.

“Today, UNICEF Nigeria says the children are the tomorrow of Nigeria; that is why this year’s 2019 world Children’s Day, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the CRC, provides a platform to showcase their talent,” he said.

Addressing the students of Government Day Secondary School, Garki, a special guest at the event, Mr Cobhams Asuquo, said that the Nigerian children have the chance and opportunity to re-write all that is wrong with the country.

According to him, “you are all that is right with Nigeria because you all have the chance to re-write all the wrongs the previous generations before committed. I envy you all because you have the chance”.

Cobhams, who called for equal and better treatment of the Nigerian child, challenged the students to do better than anyone they had ever admired in the society.

“Greatness is achievable for all Nigerian children; you are every thing that is right with Nigeria and you have a chance to make it better and greatness is in you and you all deserved to be treated well,” he said.

In his statement to the children of the world, the UN Secretary General, Anthonio Gutteres, called on the governments of the world to build on advances and re-commit to putting children first.

Gutteres said: “Around the world, children are showing us their strength and leadership. They are advocating for a more sustainable world for all. Let’s build on advances and re-commit to putting children first.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event showcased dance competitions with two winners receiving a cell phone each.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 14:19 GMT |

FOC inaugurates 64 new apartments for officers at Ojo Navy Town

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THE Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, on Wednesday urged beneficiaries of the newly inaugurated apartment blocks in Lagos to exercise utmost care in the use of the facilities.

The FOC said this at the inauguration of four blocks of 32 three-bedroom flats and two blocks of 32 two-bedroom flats  for Lieutenants and Senior rates, respectively.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the naval apartments were located at the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) WEY, Navy Town Ojo, Lagos State.

“Although the NN is still faced with the challenges of accommodation deficiencies, the addition of the ones commissioned will go a long way to ameliorate the challenge.

“I therefore enjoin beneficiaries to exercise utmost care in the use of the facilities and maintain them properly.

Daji said that there would be inspection and guidelines for the use of all accommodation in the command, saying all guidelines would be enforced.

The FOC also thanked the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, for his consistency and outstanding effort in meeting the basic needs of personnel.

“I deem it most appropriate and within the ambit of decency to extol the consistency and outstanding effort of the Chief of Naval Staff toward meeting the basic needs of personnel.

“I am at a vantage position to make this assessment, given the series of landmark projects that were commissioned in this command during the 63rd Anniversary celebration of the NN in June all geared toward improving NN capacity and personnel welfare,” he said.

“It is against this background that I am pleased to be part of the ceremony to commission yet another accommodation facilities at the Lieutenants and Senior Rates quarters to consolidate on the successes achieved so far,” he said.

Daji said that the provision of decent accommodation would have positive impact on the operational effectiveness and efficiency of the Nigeria Navy.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 14:19 GMT |

ECOWAS worried by Guinea Bissau, other crisis in the region

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THE ECOWAS Parliament and Commission on Wednesday raised concerns over the security challenges in the region.

It called for collective efforts to restore stability in the region, especially the political crisis in Guinea Bissau.

The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha Cisse-Lo, said this at the Second Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament held in Abuja.

He said that it was important to act collectively as a region to eradicate spiral violence and recurrent attacks.

“The recurrent terrorist attacks in Mali and Burkina Faso, where they have become more deadly, remind us of the critical need to respond appropriately to this threat.

“Terrorism and insecurity have assumed unprecedented proportions in our region, they constitute a major challenge that needs to be absolutely addressed.

“Inasmuch as we all agree that without peace and security, sustainable development is unachievable, indeed, there is a close link between security, stability, democracy, peace and development, which are all necessary and interwoven. It is necessary for us to act now and vigorously to eradicate this spiral of violence.

“In this regard, the involvement of our States and the pooling of our forces and resources seem to me very important, failing which the fight against terrorism will remain ineffective.

“We all paid particular attention to the events in Guinea-Bissau, which disrupted the political situation in the country in the run-up to the presidential election.

“It should also be noted that ECOWAS has planned to send observers, including a parliamentary delegation, to observe the presidential election, I have already given the necessary instructions to that effect.

“I want to stress that we place a great deal of hope in this presidential election, which is expected to enable Guinea Bissau to find a lasting solution to the political crisis it has been facing for many years.”

He said the forthcoming election would usher the people of Guinea-Bissau into a new era of peace and prosperity as well as contribute to political stability at regional level.

Mrs Halima Ahmed, speaking for the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou, said that the attacks in the region constitute a threat to stability and integration agenda.

“It is important to highlight that our region is facing some political challenges, especially in Guinea Bissau, which will be organising Presidential election in the next few days.

“The region continues to be confronted with sporadic attacks by terrorists and armed groups, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger which calls for us to redouble our collective efforts, solidarity and cohesion.”

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presidential election of Guinea Bissau will be held on Nov. 24.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 14:19 GMT |

2019/2020 NPFL: Sunshine Stars beat title-holders Enyimba

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SUNSHINE Stars Football Club of Akure on Wednesday beat Enyimba Internatonal FC of Aba 1-0 in a Match Day 4 fixture of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match’s only goal came in the 10th minute.

Alow shot from inside the box by midfielder Anthony Omaka settled the game, with striker Israel Abia assisting in the match was played at the Ondo State Sports Complex in Akure.

Abia had in the 50th minute missed scoring from 18 yards after facing Enyimba’s goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali face to face.

All efforts by the visitors to equalise were rebuffed by the home team to ensure maximum the three points were kept in the kitty.

The Technical Adviser of Sunshine Stars, Kabiru Dogo, later said he was happy his team picked the maximum three points from the game.

Dogo said he was much more happy that his team was creating scoring chances, adding that it was a matter of time before his team would be scoring more goals.

“I am very happy, if you look at the calibre of opposition we played, and we secured victory. We have to appreciate God and the players,” he said.

Speaking also, Omaka said he was happy to have scored in an encounter against the current NPFL champions.

On his part, the Head Coach of Enyimba FC, Usman Abd’Allah, said the first formation he planned to use in the match did not work out.

“This forced us into making quick substitutions in the second half,’’ he said.

Abd’Allah was however quick to point out that the match was a good game generally, in view of having o play against a strong home team.

NAN reports that Sunshine Stars now have five points from three matches.(NAN)
GSD/DE/OLAL

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 14:19 GMT |

PDP caucus demands justice over murder of Kogi women leader

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INEC National Commissioner/Chairman of Information and Voters Education, Mr. Festus Okoye (middle); Senator Dino Melaye (right) and Secretary to the commission, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony (left) during the presentation of a petition on Kogi West election by Melaye in Abuja
INEC National Commissioner/Chairman of Information and Voters Education, Mr. Festus Okoye (middle); Senator Dino Melaye (right) and Secretary to the commission, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony (left) during the presentation of a petition on Kogi West election by Melaye in Abuja

THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate yesterday expressed concern about the future of the opposition in Nigeria following the murder of PDP women leader in Kogi State, Mrs. Salome Abuh. Political thugs killed the late Mrs. Abu shortly after Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello won re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe alleged that APC hoodlums chased her to her house, doused the residence with petrol and burnt her to death in public view.“You have all seen the viral video of her skeleton and especially her skull…for the mere fact that she is an opposition leader and a woman at that. If you are in the opposition and you are singled out to be murdered, it tells us that what we are going to see will be dangerous for Nigerian politics, if it is not curbed immediately and now.”He called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu and security agencies to fish out the killers of the woman.

“What it tells us is that the rest of us who are in the opposition are no longer safe. What it also tells us is that anybody who seeks to win an election can go ahead and commit murder and mayhem. And as long as he belongs to the APC, he would be left free.“We hear that the police said they are launching an investigation as usual. But this is something that we don’t want pushed under the carpet because it involves life. When you get to power on the ashes and bones of all these people that you have killed, God is watching you, especially the governor of Kogi State.

“We cannot continue to condone these attacks. If we leave the matter to continue this way, we don’t know what is going to happen in 2023. Let us see action. The caucus of the PDP in the Senate is not in support of these anomalies in the past elections.”He described what happened in Bayelsa and Kogi States during the elections as outright intimidation, killing and connivance between security agencies and different groupings in the APC to perpetrate hate on Nigerians.

The APC, however, condemned the post-election violence in Kogi. In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party condoled with the family of the deceased and others affected by the incidents. It said: “While the Kogi police command says the killing was as a result of a reprisal attack, we urge Kogi people to ensure this does not escalate. We are aware that the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has already directed law enforcement agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

“The APC abhors violence and other criminalities which sadly continue to plague our electioneering process. We urge partisans to see election as a democratic contest and not a do or die affair that we pay for with our lives. We pray that the culprits are caught and the full weight of the law is brought to bear on them.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has advised partisans that are not satisfied with the results of governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States to seek redress in court and shun violence. We must all heed this call.”In the same vein, the candidate of the PDP in the Kogi-West Senatorial District rerun, Dino Melaye, yesterday stormed the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja demanding the cancellation of the senatorial poll. Melaye, who arrived at the commission with some supporters, presented 21 video clips containing details of alleged violence and irregularities during the election.

INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye, who received Melaye, said the commission would study his petition and take action in due course.Reacting to the polls, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) said in a statement: “In saner climes, the police chief could have tendered his resignation for absolute failure to stop the bloody violence that trailed both the Kogi and Bayelsa election including the burning to death of a Peoples Democratic Party women leader, Mrs. Acheju Abuh, by APC armed thugs.”

Meanwhile, a report released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) yesterday said Nigerian journalists were attacked and threatened while covering the Bayelsa and Kogi elections.The CPJ urged the authorities to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the harassment of journalists.

The report noted: “Armed men threatened and harassed reporters, security forces barred journalists from entering electoral buildings, and demonstrators threw stones at reporters trying to cover the elections, according to news reports and journalists who spoke to CPJ.”
The statement circulated by the African Press Organisation (APO) described journalists as indispensable in the conduct of credible elections and urged the government to ensure they are shielded from threats, violence or harassment.

“Nigerian authorities,” according to Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa programme coordinator, “must investigate all allegations made by journalists about interference in their work covering the November 16 elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.“In Kogi State, Chinedu Asadu, a reporter with the privately owned The Cable online newspaper, told CPJ in a phone call that police officers seized his cell phone for 15 minutes when he attempted to take photos of a politician giving money to women waiting to cast their votes. After police returned his phone, Asadu said another officer made threatening comments. He feared the officer would harm him, so he left the polling place.

“Lolafunke Ogunlolu, a journalist with the privately owned Africa Independent Television, told CPJ in a phone call that a group of armed men threatened to beat her after they saw her film them assaulting a woman at a polling station in Aiyetorogbede, Kogi State.”CPJ said calls and text messages to INEC spokesperson, Oluwole Ozassi-Uzi, went unanswered. The head of voter education in Bayelsa State, Wilfred Ifogah, however told journalists that security officials “misunderstood INEC instructions” when they barred reporters from entering the commission’s office.

Also, in a text message to CPJ, police spokesperson, Frank Mba, said he was not aware of any assaults on journalists. “The safety and wellbeing of journalists and media practitioners generally was of paramount importance to the Nigeria Police Force.” He said the force would “take extra measures to ensure (journalists’) safety.”

Mustapha Isah, Acting President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), in response to the report, condemned the attacks and called for the prosecution of the culprits. He told The Guardian: “I totally condemn the attacks on some journalists who were deployed to cover the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections. Those behind the attacks must be fished out and prosecuted. Journalists should feel safe and protected while performing their constitutional function of holding government to account. Under no circumstances should journalists be intimidated, threatened or attacked. Government should provide a safe environment for us to do our legitimate duties, and covering elections is one of such.”

Guardian

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 09:19 GMT |

Police arrest 7 suspected cattle rustlers, recover 273 livestock in Kaduna

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The recovered livestock by Kaduna Police command from suspected cattle rustlers
The recovered livestock by Kaduna Police command from suspected cattle rustlers

THE Kaduna State Police Command, said it had arrested seven suspected cattle rustlers and recovered 273 livestock in Iche Village near Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government area of Kaduna state on Nov. 19.

The Deputy Commissioner (DCP) Department of Finance and Administration, Kaduna Command, Onah Sunny made the disclosure at a press conference on Wednesday in Kaduna.

Sunny said the success recorded, was the success of Community policing.

“It is very important to let you know that, we are here today to showcase the remarkable achievements the Kaduna state Police Command recorded yesterday (Tuesday) by recovering 246 Cows and 27 sheep.

“The animals were suspected to have been rustled, and the arrest of seven suspects in connection to the crime,” he said.

According to him, the feat was achieved through community willingness to ensure safety and security of lives and property of well meaning citizens of the state.

Sunny said the Kaduna Command received a reliable information that there were suspected rustlers trying to move rustled cattle in large numbers to location yet to be ascertained.

“On receipt of the information, the Command immediately swung into action and intercepted the cattle and sheep around Iche Village near Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government area of the state.

“The operatives equally arrested the seven suspects, who are currently assisting Police in their investigation.

“Let me call on the Public in the State to rededicate themselves to the concept of civic responsibility to demonstrate personal and collective commitment in assisting the Police with timely and reliable information to be able to sustain the gain recorded and improve security in our communities in general.

“I want to assure you that the suspects will be prosecuted accordingly upon completion of investigation and the cattle will be handed over to the real owners with verifiable proof of ownership.”Sunny said

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

NNPC to automate its downstream facilities

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THE Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari says the corporation is poised to automate its downstream facilities such as depots, pump stations and measurement systems across the country.

Kyari said this in a statement signed by the Acting Spokesman for the Corporation, Mr Samson Makoji in Abuja, on Wednesday.

Kyari spoke during a tour of the state-of-the-art products loading facility and lubricants manufacturing plant of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, an indigenous oil company based in Lagos.

He added that the move would align with the corporation’s commitment to accountability, transparency and efficiency in the sub-sector.

He said the visit was a follow-up to the recently launched Operation White initiative which was aimed at taking stock of every drop of white products in every NNPC’s location nationwide, particularly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

He said that as a control mechanism, the Operation White had so far produced significant results as the corporation now clearly knows the areas of losses as well as reliability and integrity status of each and every facility under its control.

“As you can see, those control measures have produced results. The evacuations from many of the depots have drastically gone down.

“We shall go further on this and ensure that the evacuation issues are brought to the nearest level possible,” Kyari said

The GMD said that as an enabler company with the responsibility of ensuring energy security for the country, NNPC would sustain its engagement drive of the downstream stakeholders, adding that every stakeholder along the sub sector value chain was very critical.

He acknowledged the recent successful operations of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) which he said had helped tremendously in reducing the cross-border leakages and losses suffered by the country.

Responding, the Group Chief Executive Officer of MRS Oil Nig. Plc, Alhaji Sayyu Dantata, thanked the GMD for the visit, saying that as the leader of the Industry, NNPC had been very supportive toward the growth of indigenous companies.

Dantata also welcomed the move by the NNPC to upgrade and automate its systems and processes so as to bring more efficiency and curtail losses across the downstream value-chain.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

NYSC sets aside N26m to replace Corps member’s amputated limbs

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THE National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has set aside N26 million to replace a Corps member’s amputated limbs in Kano state.

The state NYSC Coordinator, Malam Ladan Baba disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday when he led other officials of the scheme to visit the corps member, Nuruddeen Tahir at his family house in Gwarzo Local Government Area of the state.

Baba sai the corps member, who already had his left hand amputated when he was 12 years old, had also lost the other one in an accident on his way to his Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) in Taraba State where he attended orientation course for 2019 Batch ‘B’, Stream l.

He said, “The DG, when he heard the information was so concerned about the condition of the Corps member, therefore, he made adequate arrangements to replace the two hands with artificial ones.

The coordinator explained that the courage and endurance of the 27 year old corps member to continue with his education after the amputation of the first hand prompted the DG to offer him the lifetime succor.

He said, “Tahir is presently stable after spending over two months on admission at Dala Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano, and the NYSC had settled all his medical bills and had since been posted to teach in a secondary school in his hometown.

“After he managed to complete his primary education, he had the zeal and determination to continue with his education up to degree level where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies from Yusuf Maitama-Sule University, Kano”.

“In order to give this patriotic young man hope of life, the DG made adequate arrangements to replace the two limbs with artificial ones worth N26 million in order to give him relief and succor,” the coordinator added”.

He said that the replacement process is ongoing as the doctors had made steady progress for completion of the implanting of the limbs.

In his remarks, the doctor who would administer the implant, Dr Rufus Arumugam, said they had already placed the order for the artificial limbs in Scotland, adding that they would be delivered in 45 days from now.

He explained that the customised prosthetic limbs, which would be built using bionic technology, would enable the patient to move his hands normal.

According to him, the limbs would come with a remote control which would be used to move the hands based on the action the patient wants to perform.

Also speaking to newsmen, the father of the corps member, Alhaji Dahiru Dalhatu expressed happiness and gratitude for the gesture.

He said that, “Tahir was grinding grains when he was 12 years, the grinding machine grabbed up his cloth and severely injured him which eventually led to the amputation of his left limb at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.

My son is not lazy and wants to continue with his life struggles even with the loss of his limbs.”

But now with this gesture by the NYSC, my son will be able to continue to run his normal life. I thank the Director General. I am highly grateful to him and the Kano State Coordinator for standing with us”, he said. (

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

Customs promotes 2,508 officers to various ranks

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The Nigeria Customs Service Board has promoted 2,508 officers to various ranks.

The Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah made this known in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.Attah said the board also approved the appointment of DCG David Chikan, ACG Kashim Ajiya, ACG Dinatu Umaru and ACG Yusuf Bashar as members of management.

He said 30 officers were promoted from Deputy Comptroller to Comptroller while 115 Assistant Comptroller were elevated to Deputy-Comptroller.

He further disclosed that  the board also approved the promotion of officers from Chief Superintendent of Customs to Assistant Comptroller and 43 Superintendent of Customs to Chief Superintendent.

According to him, 117 Deputy Superintendent to Superintendent and 565 Assistant Superintendent I to Deputy Superintendent of Customs.

Attah added that 988 Assistant Superintendent of Customs II to Assistant Superintendent of Customs I as well as 505 Inspectors of Customs to Assistant Superintendent of Customs II.

He said the promotion took effect from Jan. 1, 2018.

The spokesperson stated that the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) while congratulating the new members of management and the promoted officers, charged them to see their elevations as a call to greater responsibilities.

According to Attah, the customs boss urged them to double their efforts to consolidate on the gains of the on-going Service reforms.

Middle Belt Youth Organisation takes peace advocacy to schools

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THE Middle Belt Youth Organization said on Wednesday that it would continue to mobilise students to promote peaceful coexistence among all Nigerians irrespective of religious, ethnic and religious affiliations.

The National President of the organisation, Amb. Victor Enjema, stated this during the opening of the 3rd annual interfaith quiz competition for youth in Kaduna.

He said that the organisation had sensitised not less than 200 students on peace and nation building through the teaching of interfaith activities.

According to him, the organisation’s main aim is to spread the culture of tolerance, forgiveness and better understanding among Nigerians especially school children.

Enjema said it was important to educate young people on the importance of living in peace and harmony with every Nigerian.

He stressed that the quiz competition was also to spread the teaching of peace and tolerance.

“Our aim is to improve relationship, consolidate peace and curb insecurity in northern Nigeria to avoid religious crisis which is tearing us apart.

“Christian and Muslims are worshiping same God, and we are from one family under God.

“We must join hands to unite the entire 19 northern states to save the region from the increasing daily challenges that is setting the entire region backward,” he said.

He expressed the belief that the platform will provide a rallying point for Muslim and Christian students, enhance integration and “provide a common voice that is nationally audible and acceptable by all in the society.”

In her remarks, Chief Anna Avong, Chairperson Dignity for Women, emphasized the importance of promoting peace among students.

She called on religious leaders to enhance efforts toward senstitizing the public on the importance of peace and unity.

Similarly, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, an activist, called for the introduction of peace clubs in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria, as well as peace education in schools.

She said it was necessary for students to learn about accommodation, tolerance, forgiveness and understanding of each other irrespective of religious, cultural and ethnic differences.

Tijjani called on the Federal Government to create centres for comparative studies in all states of the country to deepen understanding of the teachings of Islam and Christianity.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

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