Saturday, December 31, 2016

News: Most-wanted Boko Haram commander caught in politician's home

The Nigerian Army operating under ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ in Borno and other north-eastern states has arrested one of the most-wanted Boko Haram insurgent in the state.

The chairman was also arrested for hiding the top Boko Haram Commander, whose identity is yet to be revealed, in his house at 1000 housing estate along Maiduguri-Damaturu- Kano road, the Vanguard reports.

The report quoted sources living in the estate as saying the chairman's arrest was not surprising since many of the sect members have fled the Sambisa Forest where they lived for years while carrying out attacks.

The report describes that local government as about 40 kilometres drive from Maiduguri the state's capital.

The report quoted a neighbour of the politician as saying that soldiers and some security operatives stormed the house after an intelligence report that the top Boko Haram commander was with him.

The chairman and the Boko Haram commander are being detained in a military facility for investigation.
The report said the spokesperson of the police, Victor Isuku, could not be reached on phone, that a top security officer confirmed the incident.

“The arrest and capture of the caretaker chairman and the wanted Boko Haram commander took place on Friday night following a tip off,” the source said.

News: Assistant Commissioner of Police commits suicide in Edo

An Assistant Commissioner of Police, identified as one Christopher Osakue, has reportedly committed suicide in Benin, the Edo State capital.‎

It was gathered that the late Osakue allegedly shot himself in the head with his service pistol in his residence located on Upper Sokponba on Wednesday.

The deceased was said to have sent a woman and a little boy, said to be living with him, on an errand before killing himself.

It was also learnt that he did not leave any suicide note behind.

The late police officer was said to be in charge of training and development at the state police command after his recent posting from Ondo State.‎‎

It was gathered that the ACP had earlier suffered a partial stroke a few years back and was gradually recovering from it before the incident occurred.

A source in the area disclosed that a gunshot from the residence of the deceased was heard at about 5pm on December 28.‎‎

The source said, “A neighbour said she heard a gunshot inside the ACP’s residence about 5pm that fateful Wednesday.

“She added that after the sound of the gun, a frightening silence engulfed the entire building.”

Security operatives from the Ugbekun police division were said to have later stormed his residence.

It was further learnt that the late Osakue had played host to some youths in his area last Christmas.

The Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, described the senior police officer’s death as a case of suicide.

Gwandu also explained that the pistol which he allegedly used to commit the act was signed for at the Ondo State Police command before he was posted to Edo.


News: Stop ‘political madness’ in North East, South East, Niger Delta - President Buhari

The Nigerian Army on Friday night in Abuja hosted President Muhammadu Buhari to Guards Brigade Regimental Dinner and presented to him the captured Boko Haram flag.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the flag was handed over to the president by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Lucky Irabor.

Troops operating in the North East had ‎‎successfully captured ‎the‎ “Camp Zero”, ‎the strongest enclave of Boko Haram terrorists sect, in the Sambisa Forest.‎

Mr. Irabor, a Maj. -Gen., had disclosed that ‎about 1,240 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were arrested during a mop-up operation by troops inside the Sambisa forest.

While receiving the flag, President Buhari challenged the armed forces to continue to ensure the survival of Nigeria as a geo-political entity despite what he described as “political madness” being exhibited in some parts of the country.

According to him, the army is duty-bound to ensure the sustenance of peaceful co-existence among the over 250 ethnic groups across the country.

“We will do our best to build the national institutions in the country.

“All these political madness in the North East, the Niger Delta or in the East should not be allowed to cause division or any form of tension in the country.

“There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done, even for your personal reason you must make sure this country remains united and stronger,’’ he said.

President Buhari, who narrated his early military life in Abeokuta and subsequent redeployment to Zaire (now Congo), said he was almost killed while on duty even before enjoying his first salary as an officer.

The president said he was conversant with the problems of the military having spent over 25 years in the service.

He recalled how his refusal to adhere to an advice from the IMF, World Bank to devalue the naira and increase prices of fuel and flour, as a military Head of State, led to his removal.

He said: “I refused and gave my reasons and the next thing I knew I was removed and detained for three and half years.

“As a civilian president I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing we will remain great.”

In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, urged the officers and men of the Guards Brigade to always maintain the courage and discipline they are known for in 2017 and beyond.

He assured that the military would continue their onslaught in the North East, and would not rest in mopping up of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Mr. Buratai, a Lt. Gen., reassured that the Nigerian Army would remain apolitical in carrying out its duties to the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the regimental dinner night, which was organised to mark the end of drilling year of the Presidential Brigade of Guards, afforded the officers of the brigade to socialise with their commanders.

The highlight of the occasion was the ‎inauguration of the PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) Gymnasium at the Scorpion Mess in W.U. Bassey Cantonment by the President.

The event also witnessed the presentation of Souvenirs, Scorpion Magazine and Compendium of Guards Brigade as well as the conducts of the band by the President.

The Commander, Brigade of Guards, Musa Yusuf, a Brig.-Gen., delivered the vote of thanks at the occasion which was attended by notable personalities including the representative of Senate President, ‎Sen. Leader, Ali Ndume, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello.

Others are the National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs‎, the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, Presidential aides among others.


News: Ibrahim Magu not sacked - EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has debunked speculation that its Acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has been removed from office.

“It is not true,” spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said in response to an SMS enquiry by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday.

The rumour of Magu’s sack hit the social media and some traditional media websites in the early hours of Saturday.

The report said Magu had been redeployed to the Nigeria Police Force to pave way for a fresh nominee by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The report  also said the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had already notified the EFCC Acting Chairman on the development through a letter.

Malami, according to the report, has also directed Magu to hand over to the Director of Operations in the commission.


News: Stop ‘political madness’ in North East, South East, Niger Delta - President Buhari

The Nigerian Army on Friday night in Abuja hosted President Muhammadu Buhari to Guards Brigade Regimental Dinner and presented to him the captured Boko Haram flag.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the flag was handed over to the president by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Lucky Irabor.

Troops operating in the North East had ‎‎successfully captured ‎the‎ “Camp Zero”, ‎the strongest enclave of Boko Haram terrorists sect, in the Sambisa Forest.‎

Mr. Irabor, a Maj. -Gen., had disclosed that ‎about 1,240 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were arrested during a mop-up operation by troops inside the Sambisa forest.

While receiving the flag, President Buhari challenged the armed forces to continue to ensure the survival of Nigeria as a geo-political entity despite what he described as “political madness” being exhibited in some parts of the country.

According to him, the army is duty-bound to ensure the sustenance of peaceful co-existence among the over 250 ethnic groups across the country.

“We will do our best to build the national institutions in the country.

“All these political madness in the North East, the Niger Delta or in the East should not be allowed to cause division or any form of tension in the country.

“There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done, even for your personal reason you must make sure this country remains united and stronger,’’ he said.

President Buhari, who narrated his early military life in Abeokuta and subsequent redeployment to Zaire (now Congo), said he was almost killed while on duty even before enjoying his first salary as an officer.

The president said he was conversant with the problems of the military having spent over 25 years in the service.

He recalled how his refusal to adhere to an advice from the IMF, World Bank to devalue the naira and increase prices of fuel and flour, as a military Head of State, led to his removal.

He said: “I refused and gave my reasons and the next thing I knew I was removed and detained for three and half years.

“As a civilian president I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing we will remain great.”

In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, urged the officers and men of the Guards Brigade to always maintain the courage and discipline they are known for in 2017 and beyond.

He assured that the military would continue their onslaught in the North East, and would not rest in mopping up of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Mr. Buratai, a Lt. Gen., reassured that the Nigerian Army would remain apolitical in carrying out its duties to the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the regimental dinner night, which was organised to mark the end of drilling year of the Presidential Brigade of Guards, afforded the officers of the brigade to socialise with their commanders.

The highlight of the occasion was the ‎inauguration of the PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) Gymnasium at the Scorpion Mess in W.U. Bassey Cantonment by the President.

The event also witnessed the presentation of Souvenirs, Scorpion Magazine and Compendium of Guards Brigade as well as the conducts of the band by the President.

The Commander, Brigade of Guards, Musa Yusuf, a Brig.-Gen., delivered the vote of thanks at the occasion which was attended by notable personalities including the representative of Senate President, ‎Sen. Leader, Ali Ndume, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello.

Others are the National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs‎, the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, Presidential aides among others.


Liverpool consider move for keeper: Long-term replacement for Mignolet and Karius wanted

The Reds have struggled in the goalkeeping position with Jurgen Klopp starting the season with Simon Mignolet before bringing in summer signing Loris Karius and then recently recalling Mignolet.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has claimed Klopp may be forced to spend in the transfer market if the uncertainty continues.

And according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, they are interested in Ferreira.

With doubts over Mignolet and Karius, the 20-year-old could be a long-term replacement.

It is claimed Liverpool have been watching the keeper since he came to prominence in the UEFA Youth League last season.

He is yet to make a first-team appearance but is a regular for the Benfica B team.

Ferreira is contracted to the Portuguese side until 2021.

Sport: Antonio Conte issues major update on Michy Batshuayi’s future ahead of the January window

The Blues beat off a host of rivals to sign the 23-year-old Belgian striker for £33m over the summer but he has endured a tough season so far.

He is yet to start a match in the Premier League and has been linked with leaving Stamford Bridge when the transfer window reopens.

But Conte is adamant Batshuayi has a major role in his plans and the youngster will be in action during the rest of the season.

He said: “Michy is working very well and improving a lot. I’m sure, in the future, he will have his chance.
“It’s important now for Michy to be available against Stoke because if I need him he must be ready to play. Then we have another game against Tottenham and then the FA Cup match.

“It’s not easy to play in this league and it’s important to adapt to physical and tactical situations.

“We are working a lot with him, and other players, to improve. It’s important for me to see a great attitude in every training session.

“He will have his chance to show he deserves to play.”

The main reason Batshuayi has not had much of a look-in so far this season is because of the flying form of Diego Costa.

The 28-year-old Spanish forward has bagged 13 Premier League goals already this term and Conte was full of praise for his superstar.

The Italian added: “Diego is very focused on the game, his position and movement, and finishing.

“He’s playing very well, his attitude and behaviour has been great.

“He’s showing his passion in the right way and I’m very happy for him. He deserves for the press to speak very well about him.”

Batshuayi is likely to be on the Chelsea bench in their clash with Stoke later today.

Costa missed their 3-0 Boxing Day win over Bournemouth due to suspension but should lead the line at Stamford Bridge again this afternoon.

News: Magistrate Court in Osun state ordered CP to arrest Monarch

A magistrate court sitting in Osogbo has ordered the Commissioner of Police in Osun State, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, to arrest the Plywood of Iwo, Oba Rashers Akanbi, and bring him to court on January 6, 2017.

It may be recalled that  the Oluwo of Iwo-Oke, Oba Kadiri Adeoye, had approached the Magistrate Court accusing Oba Akanbi of concealing from the state government some facts about his past when he was installed last year.

In a 33-paragraph affidavit, Oba Adeoye said Oba Akanbi’s character did not befit a person of his status and calibre, as he allegedly used to carry about armed thugs, miscreants and hoodlums to harass, intimidate, molest and attack persons whom he perceived as his enemies.

Oba Adeoye further alleged that Oba Akanbi forged his name to obtain travel documents to the United States where he was jailed in New York City and was deported to Nigeria in 2000.

The affidavit also stated that Oba Akanbi later traveled out with his real name to Canada in 2001 and became a Canadian citizen, but was also arrested in Toronto and was in jail between 2006 and 2007.

Oba Adeoye added that Oba Akanbi was making money through Internet fraud or ‘Yahoo-Yahoo,’ as it is called in local parlance, using his palace as a cover-up.

But Oba Akanbi, in reaction to the allegations in a 13-paragraph affidavit, described the application filed against him as “scandalous, vexatious and designed to embarrass, blackmail and ridicule” him in the eye of right thinking members of the society, vowing to take up the case to a higher court in the land.

News: Permanent secretary in trouble for spending N1.5bn on Jonathan’s campaign

Former Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Power, Mr. Godknows Igali, is in the soup after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission discovered that he allegedly spent N1.5bn for the purchase of Sports Utility Vehicles which were used by the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation.

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had alleged on Thursday that 40 SUVs and other vehicles were recovered from a retired permanent secretary but the minister failed to mention the name of the suspect.

However, detectives at the EFCC told our correspondent that Igali was the retired civil servant being referred to.

An EFCC operative told our correspondent that the commission got to know about the vehicles through an artisan who had gone to do some maintenance work at Igali’s Abuja residence.

The artisan was said to have been surprised by the number of vehicles in the retired civil servant’s residence and quickly alerted the EFCC.

The detective said, “He (Igali) had allegedly secured the 47 vehicles in well guarded premises in an upscale neighbourhood of Abuja but he ran out of luck when an artisan who had come to fix a faulty utility got curious by the avalanche of state-of –the-art vehicles parked on the premises and tipped off the EFCC.

“The commission immediately commenced discreet investigation. In the course of investigation, it discovered that all the vehicles were supplied by Dilly Motors at the instance of Igali.”

Investigators, however, discovered that the money used in buying the vehicles did not emanate from Igali’s bank account but from Baseworth Insurance Brokers Limited, a company that was under investigation in another case of an alleged diversion of N27bn insurance premium of deceased staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

However, when representatives of Dilly Motors were invited, they told operatives of the EFCC in their statement that the payments were made by Baseworth Insurance Brokers Limited on behalf of the permanent secretary.

The EFCC source added, “It was initially difficult to determine the source of the funds with which the vehicles were purchased as it did not come directly from Igali’s account but a breakthrough came as the commission stumbled on evidence of a curious payment To Dilly Motors from the account of Baseworth Insurance Brokers Limited, a company that was under investigation in another case of alleged diversion of N27bn insurance premium of deceased staff of the PHCN.

“In one of the transfers, N300m was paid to Dilly Motors from the account of Baseworth Insurance Brokers. Operatives of the commission were curious to determine the service which Dilly Motors rendered to Baseworth Insurance Brokers to warrant payment. Dilly Motors on interrogation allegedly admitted that the N300m was part of the N1.5bn paid by Igali for the purchase of vehicles for the Goodluck/Sambo Campaign organisation to prosecute the 2015 general election.”

It was learnt that the permanent secretary had been released on administrative bail and may be charged to court soon.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Jose Mourinho is a different man away from football, insists Aitor Karanka as 'good friends' prepare for reunion

Aitor Karanka has admitted Jose Mourinho is a different man away from the pressure of elite football.

Middlesbrough's head coach will take on his mentor for the first time on Saturday when the Teessiders arrive at Manchester United looking to end Mourinho's five-game winning streak.

The pair may be at war for 90 minutes as they attempt to get the better of each other, but the friendship they forged at Real Madrid, where Karanka served as the former Chelsea manager's No 2 for three years, will survive the white heat of battle.

Mourinho's mind games off the pitch and his antics on the sidelines paint a picture of huge intensity, but as a man who knows him better than most, the Boro boss insists there is more to the Portuguese than meets the eye.

Asked if he is different away from football, Karanka said with a smile: 'A little bit. Yes, he's different.

'He's different because it is impossible to live 24 hours with that pressure, with that tension that he puts into every single training session or every single game.

(Daily mail)

Sport: Man. United target Nelson Semedo tells Benfica fans to 'rest easy' after ruling out January transfer

Manchester United are facing further disappointment in the January transfer market after alleged target Nelson Semedo declared his intention to stay at Benfica for many years to come.

Jose Mourinho goes into the new year knowing one or two signings could make a major difference in the race for the top four and it appears his defensive line is one area he could look to strengthen.

The Red Devils have been linked with a deal for the £35m-rated Semedo as well as getting as far as negotiating with his club team-mate Victor Lindelof.

As speculation around the Sweden international continues, Semedo has drawn a line under talk of a switch to Old Trafford, insisting Benfica fans have nothing to worry about as he plans to stay with the club for the foreseeable future.

Mourinho's urgent need for a right-back has eased with the form of Antonio Valencia, who has been one of the Premier League's most consistent performers this season and won Manchester United's Player of the Month award in November.

Similarly, the Special One appears to have shelved plans to sign centre-back Lindelof after the resurgence of Phil Jones.

Memories of the former Blackburn star's floundering attempts to defend earlier in his career going viral on social media led many to question whether he would ever reach his potential.

But Mourinho appears to have revived Jones and saved Manchester United a potential £50m, the amount they would have needed to meet Lindelof's release clause.
Benfica coach Rui Vitoria did little to curb speculation surrounding Lindelof after leaving him out of their Taca de Liga tie, but later rejected the suggestion that his absence was due to United's interest.

'Tomorrow [Friday] he [Lindelof] will be training with us,' he said. 'He sat out of the 18 as did others.

'The president knows what to do with the fortunes of the club. There is no player who is not committed to Benfica.'

News: Nigeria farmers participate in Anchor Borrowers Programme

Not less than twenty thousand farmers in Katsina State are to benefit from the newly-launched Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in the state.

Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele stated this at the launch of the programme at the Federal Government's irrigation site in Jibia, Katsina State.

Radio Nigeria Correspondent reports that the Anchor Borrowers Programme is being funded by the Federal Government in eighteen states of the 

Federation to the tune of Forty Billion Naira.

So far, over two hundred thousand farmers in the eighteen states are benefiting from the programme.

Mr. Emefiele explained that the programme will assist small scale farmers with single digit loans to encourage local production of rice, wheat, sorghum and other staple foods.

He further explained that in Katsina State, twenty thousand beneficiaries will cultivate one hundred thousand hectares of farm land, which is expected to boost local rice production and minimize rice importation in the long run.

Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari explained that the State Government will avail the farmers with eight dams in the state to facilitate the smooth implementation of the anchor borrowers program in the state.

News: Airline Operators of Nigeria decries poor state of navigation facilities

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has described as disheartening the deplorable state of navigational aids at airports around the country, which makes flying virtually impossible during the harmattan season.

In a statement, the Chairman, AON, Captain Nogie Meggison, said the situation has increased the plight of passengers and disruption of their plans especially during this season.

He lamented the situation and described it as awful. The Captain noted that exactly forty eight years today on December 28, 1968, the first aircraft operated at CAT lll and landed under zero visibility at Heathrow airport, yet in Nigeria aircrafts are still unable to land under visibility of about 800m.

According to him, most international and local flights had to be diverted to Cotonou, due to the harmattan haze, adding that the economic impact was too heavy on them as Fifty per cent (50%) of scheduled flights are delayed due to weather, shortage of Jet fuel, inadequate screening machines at the Terminal Boarding exit points, insufficient parking for airplanes on the tarmac, as well as VIP movement etc.

The AON chairman appealed to the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency to give attention to the revival of navigational aids and airport facilities to promote safety in the industry.

News: No plastic rice in Nigeria - NAFDAC

Over 40,000 bags of rice seized by the Nigeria Customs Service have been shared to Internally Displaced  Persons’ camps, its Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ali, has stated.

The NCS CG, represented by its Deputy Comptroller-General, Mr. Umar Ilya, said this on Thursday in Abuja, during a joint press briefing with the acting Director-General of National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, on the outcome of laboratory tests conducted on the confiscated plastic rice allegedly imported into the country.

At the event, Oni explained that no plastic rice was imported into the country.

She, however, said the seized rice was “contaminated with microorganisms above permissible limit.”

“Based on the above laboratory result, the product is not plastic but rice contaminated with micro-organisms above permissible limit, hence the seized rice consignment is unsatisfactory and therefore unwholesome for human consumption. The consignment upon handover by the Nigeria Customs Service shall be destroyed,” Oni emphasised.

While explaining the circumstances surrounding the alleged plastic rice, he said the NCS only responded to a security alert issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser on the importation of plastic rice into the country.

On the bags of good rice seized from traders who illegally imported the staple food to Nigeria, Ilya explained that the NCS had after subjected the rice to test had given them to IDPs.

He said, “We have seized over 40,000 bags of rice so far since the ban on importation of rice through the land borders. Those are the bags of rice that are being shared to the IDPs camps. But that is after we have tested and certified them suitable for consumption.”

He urged warehouse owners across the country not to accept smuggled products into their facilities.

“We enjoin transporters to reject moving such products, as under the law, both smuggled products and the means of conveyance are liable to seizure. We will rely on the synergy with NAFDAC, and other agencies of government to ensure that smuggled  and unhygienic products  are not allowed in Nigeria,” he said.


Sport: I am engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis - Serena Williams

Tennis superstar Serena Williams announced Thursday she is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, breaking the news with a poem on her verified Reddit account.

Williams, 35, and Ohanian, 33, did not reveal a wedding date in the postings, listed under the Reddit tag ‘isaidyes’.

“I came home A little late, Someone had a bag packed for me, And a carriage awaited, Destination: Rome, To escort me to my very own “charming” Back to where our stars first collided, And now it was full circle At the same table we first met by chance, This time he made it not by chance But by choice, Down on one knee He said 4 words And r/isaidyes,” Williams posted on her account.

A reply from his verified account said: “And you made me the happiest man on the planet.”

The WTA Tour, which Williams has dominated for much of her career, posted a photo of Williams and Ohanian on Twitter with a message of congratulations.

Williams won this year’s Wimbledon crown, the 71st singles title of her career, to match Steffi Graf with an Open Era-record 22 Grand Slam singles titles, two shy of Margaret Court’s all-time record.

She later completed 186 consecutive weeks as world number one, matching Graf for the longest run at the top in rankings history, but she was dethroned from the spot by Angelique Kerber in September.

News: Lagos woman killed by house help buried

Feeling reaction ran high on Thursday as late Temidayo Adeleke, who was stabbed to death by her Cameroonian house help, was laid to rest at The Vaults and Gardens, Ikoyi, Lagos State.

Prior to the burial, a funeral service attended by families and friends of the deceased was held at Guiding Light Assembly on Parkview Estate, where the victim lived.

Correspondence reported that Joel Ludguo approached the 32-year-old victim around 10.30pm on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, and asked for advance payment of N15,000 out of his N27,000 salary.

Adeleke, whose marriage was slated for early 2017, was said to have pleaded with him to be patient, saying she did not have naira notes on her.

The entreaty, however, fell on deaf ears as Ludguo left the boss’ living room in anger only to return a few minutes later with a knife and stabbed her in the chest.

The police had said the 22-year-old cleaner was desperate to send the money to his girlfriend in Cameroon, adding that the suspect would be duly prosecuted.

The security guard of the Adelekes’ residence, who identified himself simply as Abbah, had told press reporters that the suspect was employed about two months ago, adding that he was on drugs.

He said, “The boy is wicked and I have always warned him. He takes drugs. When policemen checked his clothes, they found tremor there. Madam bought him a new phone last month and she usually gave him money apart from his salary. She brought him home through her church member last month and they lived in her flat.

“It was the driver who lives in the adjoining flat that heard madam scream. By the time he got there, she was gasping with blood gushing out of her chest. The driver alerted me immediately to stop Joel at the gate and he was later arrested,” he had said.

A mammoth crowd flooded  The Vaults and Gardens on Thursday during the burial of the victim as tears streamed down the faces of many sympathisers.

The family members of the deceased were distraught to speak to journalists, but friends described Adeleke as a kind-hearted and passionate woman, who lived a virtuous life.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Life is about beginning

Jimmy's mother called out to him at seven in the morning, "Jimmy, get up! It's time for school."  There was no answer. She called again, this time more loudly, "Jimmy get up! It's time for school."  Once more there was no answer. Exasperated, she went to his room and shook him saying, "Jimmy, it's time to get ready for school."
He answered, "Mother, I'm not going to school.  There are fifteen hundred kids at that school and every one of them hates me.  I'm not going to school."
"Get to school!" she replied sharply.
But, Mother, all the teachers hate me too.  I saw three of them talking the other day and one of them was pointing his finger at me. I know they all hate me, so I'm not going to school," Jimmy answered.
"Get to school!" his mother demanded again.
"But, Mother, I don't understand it. Why would you want to put me through all of that torture and suffering?" he protested.
"Jimmy, for two good reasons," she fired back.  "First, you're forty-two years old. Secondly, you're the principal."
There are few of us who, on some days, have not felt like Jimmy. We just do not want to go to school. That school, of course, is life itself, where dropping out or playing hooky can seem a much better idea than facing the challenges that inevitably lay ahead. 
But, success begins the moment we understand that life is about beginning. Opportunity is always where you are, never where you were. To get anywhere you must launch out for somewhere or you will get nowhere. Do what you can. Everyone who has arrived had to begin where they were. The truth is, you can't know what you can do until you try. Here's to a great new year!

(John Mason)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

News: NCCA sanctions Arik over delay luggage

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has sanctioned Arik Air for violating the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.

The sanction is coming on the heels of investigations carried out by the NCAA over complaints of delay and inability to ferry passengers’ checked – in luggage from London enroute Lagos from the 2nd- 4th December, 2016.

The Authority has therefore fined the airline six million naira being civil penalty payable within seven days.

The airline is also expected to pay affected passengers One Hundred and Fifty US dollars as compensation for inconveniences suffered as a result of delayed arrival of their luggage.

Spokesman for the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye explained that despite the authority's directive to the airline to freight all backlog of short – landed baggage to Lagos within forty-eight hours, the airline declined and also failed to offer care and compensation to the affected passengers.

The NCAA Spokesman said that the letter of sanction had been sent to the airline for immediate action.


News: Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) destroys substandard tyres

Substandard tyres worth about four hundred million naira imported into the country are to be destroyed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON. 

In a statement, the Director-General of SON, Mr. Osita Abolomo explained that the tyres were mopped up from different enforcement operations carried out by the agency across the country over the last few months. 

He said the destruction was not punitive in any way, but to safeguard lives and property of Nigerians. 

According to Mr. Abolomo, such products whenever confiscated would be destroyed to serve as deterrent to others.The SON boss said his Agency would continue to sensitise Nigerians on the need to double-check the quality of products they buy, while at the same time sanctioni substandard products.

News: Nigeria anti-narcotic arrests 2 drug traffikers

The high expectations of two suspected drug traffickers of making quick money this festive season has been dashed by anti-narcotic officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Ageny, NDLEA at the Lagos International Airport.

The two suspects were arrested during the screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight to Hong Kong and Egypt Airline flight to Athens. 

One of the suspects, an importer of electronics, Achebe David was arrested by Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA on his way to Hong Kong.

The suspect who lives in Athens, Greece was also apprehended in connection with unlawful possession of wraps of substances that tested positive to cocaine. 

The total weight of cocaine seized from the suspects is one-point-one-five-zero kilogrammes. 

According to the NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba, Mr. Achebe David, excreted forty-five wraps of cocaine weighing nine hundred and thirty-five grammes while the second suspect, Ndukwe Daniel, who lives in Athens, excreted five wraps of cocaine weighing two hundred and fifteen grammes.

Monday, December 26, 2016

News: President Buhari predicts more jobs, as digital transmission begins

Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated the Digital Switchover Project from Analog transmission in broadcasting to Digital Transmission in the country.

He described the event as historic and said that it would transmit 30 channels even in this first phase.

The President said he was happy with the achievement, saying that viewers in the pilot scheme would be able to enjoy 15 free channels covering news, sports, music and business.

Buhari was represented at the event by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Osibanjo, who read the President’s prepared speech, quoted Buhari as saying that he was happy that local industry was already experiencing a boost from the new vista in digital economy, with several indigenous companies now manufacturing Set-Top-Boxes.

He said that he was told that many of the Set-Top-Boxes being used for the Abuja switchover were produced in Nigeria.

Buhari added he was also pleased to note that the signal distributor for the Abuja switchover, Pinnacle Communications, “is a wholly owned Nigerian firm,” which he said had invested considerably in transmission services.

Buhari said the successful inauguration of the pilot scheme in Jos in April had clearly demonstrated the gains of digital switchover.

Already, he said he had been told that viewers in the pilot would be able to enjoy 15 free channels covering news, sports, music and business.

He recalled what he said at the presentation of the budget to the National Assembly last week that strong partnerships with the private sector was a defining strategy of his government’s  economic plan.

Buhari said technology was now transforming the lives of Nigerians and that their livelihoods daily were now new.

The President said for some of those born over three decades ago, it was even more amazing.

He said, “The pioneering TV signals of the Western Region of Nigeria TV (the first in Africa then) was a wonder, then we thought  black and white TV was the end of change in TV broadcasting until coloured TV came.

The President added that Nigerian artistes and entrepreneurs in music, entertainment and filmmaking would also be important pillars in government’s diversification plans.

Digitisation, he said, would create jobs in the area of content and software development, and provide the platform for film producers and musicians to release their productions directly to households.

He said this would substantially cut off piracy.

The President restated his government committed to meeting the June 2017 deadline for the switchover in the West African sub-region and also to the roll-out of the DSO in all the states of the federation.

He, therefore, appealed to states and local governments to be actively involved in the project because of its obvious advantages to Nigerians.

He congratulated the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Director General of National Broadcasting Commission, Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu; Pinnacle Communications and Messerschmitt SMK for what he described as a world-class performance on the switchover.

In his address, Mohammed commended the commitment of the President to ensuring that Nigeria meet up with the deadline of the switchover.

He said the commitment of the President was responsible for the success of the occasion.

Mohammed said there were a number of initiatives that his ministry was focusing on in order to achieve a credible and effective development of the nation’s TV and production industries, and to successfully develop the digital economy.

Part of them, according to him, are that the “Consumer Proposition that is all encompassing which most Nigerians have never had access to 30 free digital channels; free and easy access to government and public information through a touch of the remote control; current affairs and news available through the middleware on the boxes; and a world-class electronic programme guide that will make television viewing an unbeatable experience.”

He also listed the creation of tens of thousands of jobs through technical, production and manufacturing opportunities and Set-Top Box assembling and ultimately manufacturing is an irreversible mandate by the government to the industry.

Mohammed said the country expected this to extend very quickly to local Smart TV and Tablet manufacturing.

He also told the audience that the Electronic Programme Guide would also be a platform for application developers to create products that would make life easier for the home consumers, thereby creating and promoting an industry of developers that would operate in both the television and telecoms industries.

He said government was going to forbid all forms of monopoly so that all Nigerians could get access to all types of content without having to expend money on multiple devices

Sunday, December 25, 2016

News: Taraba workers shut down secretariat over unpaid salaries

The workers in the employment of Taraba State Government under the auspices of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council shut down the state secretariat in Jalingo to protest the non-payment of their salaries.

Addressing the workers, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Peter Gambo, said the state government had continued to be insensitive to the plight of the workers.

Gambo said the workers were protesting other irregularities in the payment of their salaries and pensions of retirees in the state.

He also said local government workers and teachers had not been paid for eight months, resulting in untold hardship.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Aviation: Arik Air resume work after desperate workers go on strike

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has intervened in the Arik Air crisis and strike commenced by the airlines labour unions over the unpaid salaries and illegal deductions.

As a result of the intervention, Arik Air represenatives have promised that the company will pay all salary arrears to its workers this Friday, December 23.

The unions that include the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) in their turn agreed to stop the strike.

A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting summoned by the NCAA reads in part:

"Parties resolved that Arik Air is to resume operations forthwith upon the signing of this communiqué. Parties agreed that no individual shall be victimized as a consequence of the strike action."

October salaries will be paid on or before Friday, 23 December 2016 while the November salaries will be paid on or before 31 December 2016, according to the communiqué.

The unions will submit the acknowledged copies of the letters forwarding membership forms of their prospective members to the NCAA that will forward them to the airine management.

Besides, a committee to review the circumstances of employees dismissal, made up of one member from each union and Arik Air, will be inaugurated on Tuesday, January 10 next year.

News: Indonesia government announces new visa policy for Nigerians

The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto, on Tuesday announced his government’s new policy for issuing visas to Nigerians and other foreigners wanting to visit Indonesia for any purpose.

Purwanto told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that under the new policy, his Embassy would no longer be involved in visa processing, but only in the collection of visa applications.

The Ambassador, who did not give any reason for his government’s new visa policy, said that the processing of visas to Indonesia would henceforth take a much longer time.

“Nigerians seeking visas to Indonesia should know that the Indonesian government has introduced a new visa application and issuance policy.

“Under the new policy, we as an Embassy in Nigeria have been withdrawn from processing visas.

“All we are now required to do is to collect visa applications and send them to Indonesia for processing. We now have to be taking authority from Jakarta.

“We, therefore, want to tell Nigerians seeking visas to Indonesia to now begin their applications at least two weeks in advance, to enable us send their applications on time to Jakarta,’’ he said.

Purwanto enjoined Nigerians to always ensure that authentic information and documents were provided in their visa application forms, to avoid visa refusal from Jakarta.

The Ambassador, who restated his government’s commitment to issuing more visas to Nigerians, said that about 1,000 Nigerians were issued visas to Indonesia this year.

He also said that his government would continue to create the right environment for mutual trade relations and people-to-people interactions between genuine Nigerians and Indonesians.


Pay us now or we’ll take bribes like policemen –FRSC officials threaten

Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps have threatened to obtain bribes the same way policemen extort money from motorists if they are not paid their November salaries and allowances before Christmas.

The officials, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the Federal Government had refused to offer any explanation for the non-payment.

They said this was unfortunate, because they had been asked to work during the holidays as part of the ‘ember months’ campaign.

An official, who identified himself only as Patrick, said the government had no excuse for withholding salaries since the FRSC is a revenue-generating agency.

He said, “The government is being very unfair to us. Christmas is next Sunday and many of us who are male officials have been asked to remain on the roads to ensure that the roads are safe.

“How can the agency ask me to spend Christmas on the road and at the same time deprive me of my salary?

“They should not turn corps officials into policemen because that is what will happen if we are not paid.”

A female FRSC official, who is a single mother, said the non-payment of salaries had affected her, as she had not been able to do any shopping for her children.

She said, “Everyone knows that the prices of goods increase during Christmas and that is why most people try to do their shopping early December. It is bad enough that we are witnessing a recession but the government should not worsen our condition by withholding our pay.

“What will I feed my children this Christmas? Where will I get the money to take them out to have fun? They cannot tell us not to extort money from motorists and at the same time deprive us of our salaries. It is unfair.”

Another official, who identified himself only as Abiodun, told our correspondent that in the last five months, corps officials had been receiving salaries on the seventh day of the following month.

He added that the agency and the government had failed to explain to officials why things had gone bad.

Abiodun said, “There have always been bad eggs in the agency, but the fact that most officials are well paid sort of reduced the number of bad eggs.

“However, now that salaries are not being paid, the government seems to be giving officials the ‘green light’ to indulge in corrupt practices. You cannot flog me and ask me not to cry.”

When contacted on the telephone, the FRSC’s Head of Media Relations and Strategy, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, told our correspondent that the salary issue was not the fault of the agency but the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, the platform through which Federal Government officials are paid.

Kazeem, however, said officials would not resort to bribes as they are paid separately for patrols.

He said, “The salary issue is from IPPIS and not from us; so, I suggest you get in touch with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

“The salary issue is being sorted out and anyone who takes bribes knows the implications. Anyone who is caught collecting bribes will be dismissed.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New universities established by Jonathan face probe

The federal government will probe all projects executed by the nine new universities set up by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Rasheed Abubakar, disclosed this on Tuesday.

He spoke as a representative of President Muhammadu Buhari at the maiden convocation of one of the universities, the Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State.

According to him, the probe is towards eliminating wastage and ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of resources.

He warned that his administration will not condone corruption in the federal universities.

Mr. Abubakar said universities must set example in good governance and financial management.

“No room for corruption in the academic sector. Very soon, we will tour all projects executed by our new federal universities to ensure that funds allocated to them are judiciously utilized,” he said.

“Our universities must be example in good governance and financial management. So, no room for corruption in the academic sector.”

(Premium Times)

News: A Magistrate Court issues bench warrant against Iwo monarch

The Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo has issued a bench warrant against the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adewale Akanbi following his refusal to appear in court in a case instituted by the Oluwo of Iwo Oke, Oba Kadiri Adeoye.

Although Oba Akanbi was represented in court on Tuesday by his counsel, Mr. Olaide Yekeen, Magistrate Olusola Aluko issued the bench warrant despite the application for stay of proceeding; notice of preliminary objection and a notice of appeal filed before the court.

Oba Akanbi was dragged to court by the Oluwo of Iwo Oke, who leveled some criminal allegations against the paramount ruler in Iwo land.

The magistrate had at last sitting of the court on December 2nd threatened to issue a bench warrant against the monarch if he refused to appear in court on Tuesday ( today).

Counsel for Oba Akanbi had told the court that his client had several applications before the court and he told the court that the notice of preliminary objection which bordered on competence and jurisdiction of the court should be heard first before the substantive application.

But counsel for the applicant, Soji Oyetayo, in his submission told the court that the court made an order which the Oluwo had refused to complied with.

The magistrate in his ruling agreed with the respondent ( Oluwo) based on the issue of jurisdiction and said and said the notice of appeal was not ripe.

He said,” The court mandated the first respondent to appear in court. He has violated the court order of the last adjourned date. I hereby issue a bench warrant against him.”

Hmmmn!!!! Dalung and ministers Buhari ‘spended’ months to search for


If Channels TV did not show the videotape of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, telling the  House of Representatives  Committee on Sports that “the funds spended were properly spended,” anybody alleging that a Nigerian minister made such a statement would be accused of concocting a malicious story against a minister. Dalung is said to have a university degree in law, a postgraduate degree, and worked briefly as a lecturer.

 Before those who love to hide behind a finger start reminding us that English is not our mother tongue, please, in what language was he taught in primary school and secondary school? In what language did he sit for the examinations set by the West African Examinations Council and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board by which he was offered an admission into the university? In what language was he taught at the university for four or five years? And in what language was he taught at the Nigerian Law School and assessed before being certified to be called to the Bar? Sure, it was not in Tarok, Hausa or Igbo.

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News: Atoney General of the Federation meets Buhari, Osinbajo

Mr. Malami, on Monday, met separately with Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as part of the plan to investigate top government officials accused of corruption.

A source in the Presidency said Malami had earlier met with Osinbajo before he met Buhari.

When asked why the government officials under investigation were not asked to step aside for thorough investigations, a top government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the investigation to be done by the AGF as an interim one.

“Why will they be stepping aside by this time? The investigation has to start somewhere; this is a preliminary investigation. If the AGF later sees something that can hinder investigation, they may be asked to step aside,” the source said.

The source dismissed permutations that some former governors in Buhari’s cabinet could be among those to be investigated as a few of them had been accused of corruption by their state governors.

He added, “Where is the report? Were they indicted through a judicial or parliamentary process?”


Senate leader Ndume seeks to save Magu, visits Buhari

The report of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), will decide if the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, will retain his job.

The Presidency had, in a statement on Sunday, said President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the AGF to investigate all top government officials accused of corruption.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in the statement, said any official found guilty of the allegations levelled against him or her would not escape prosecution.

“The attention of the Presidency has been drawn to a number of reports in the media, in which various accusations of corruption have been levelled against some top officials in the administration.

“In that regard, President Buhari has instructed the Attorney-General of the Federation to investigate the involvement of any top government officials accused of any wrong-doing. If any of them are liable, they will not escape prosecution,” the statement had read.

The Senate had, on Thursday last week, refused to confirm Magu as the EFCC chairman as requested by Buhari, citing a negative “security report” on the anti-graft agency’s boss by the Department of State Services.

The DSS, in the report, had said Magu had failed integrity test and would be unfit to drive the anti-graft fight of the government.

Besides Magu, other top government officials recently accused of corruption include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari.

It was gathered that Malami was expected to forward the reports on his investigations to the President in January, which would determine the fate of the government officials.

It was learnt that the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume; the National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Monguno; and a former Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, had been making moves to save Magu by reaching out to the President.

Findings, however, showed that the President had yet to take a final decision on the report of the DSS, which stated that Magu was not eligible for the post.

It was gathered that a private meeting between Buhari and Ndume on Monday was part of efforts to save the EFCC boss.

A reliable source, who was privy to the meeting, told one of our correspondents that the President was keen on conducting an independent investigation into the allegations against Magu in the DSS report.

The source added that the findings of the investigation would determine if Magu would be dropped or not.

The source stated, “Ndume is very close to the President and one of his closest supporters. The Senate Leader’s visit to Buhari was private but Magu’s issue was raised.

“Ndume made the President to understand that there is a conspiracy against the man but the truth will always prevail and evil will never succeed over evil. Somebody must be there to do the job and it cannot be business as usual.

“Ndume told the President that the Senate had not rejected Magu. He also told the President that the content of the DSS report was not an indictment but mere allegations, the reason why the President ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation to conduct an investigation.”

But Ndume, in an interview with State House correspondents after the meeting with the president on Monday,  said there was no truth in the reports that the Senate  rejected the nomination of Magu as the EFCC chairman.

He said what the Senate had done was to step down Magu’s screening until issues surrounding the security report concerning him were cleared.

Ndume stated, “Let me say categorically that the Senate did not reject Ibrahim Magu as the chairman (of the EFCC).

“What happened was that we slated his confirmation for Thursday. Then, we had an issue of a letter from the Department of State Services that could not allow us to continue with the confirmation without further clarifications.

“So, we then concluded that since we have a letter that we cannot ignore, we cannot do the confirmation. So, it was not that we sat down to take a decision that we have rejected Ibrahim Magu. I want that to come out clearly.

When reminded that the Senate spokesperson said the Senate rejected Magu and would return the nomination to the President, Ndume said the position was not correct.

“I was part of the persons that wrote the short press statement which stated that the Senate cannot continue with the confirmation. It is different from saying that the Senate has rejected him. In fact, we have referred the other four nominees to the committee,” Ndume said.

The Senate Leader also said the Senate’s investigation into some allegations against the SGF, Lawal, had not been concluded.

The Senate had, last week Wednesday, passed a resolution that Buhari should sack and prosecute the SGF for awarding contracts to a company in which he had substantial interest in certain projects for the Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.

But Ndume said Lawal’s investigation by the Senate was still in progress.

He said, “It’s not an order we are giving; the Senate resolution is a recommendation, it is not a law.

“What the Senate considered is work in progress because it was an interim report. It is the same public that is interested and worried to know what we have done as a Senate about those allegations.

“The committee issued an interim report and the interim report seemed to indict the SGF. The consequence of that indictment is it recommended; but we are not there yet because the report itself is an interim (report).

“I heard the SGF say that he has not been given a fair hearing. The hearing has not finished. We can give him an ample time to go before the committee and clear himself.”

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, could not be reached to confirm Ndume’s comment on the true position of the lawmakers.

He did not return several calls to his telephone or respond to a text message sent to him.

Abdullahi had, however, said on Sunday that the chamber stood by what it did on Magu.

While dismissing the reactions that had condemned Magu’s rejection, he said Buhari would determine the next step to be taken by the Senate.


New vehicle registration scheme begins March 31 – Adeosun

The Federal Government has fixed March 31, 2017 for the commencement of registration of automobiles being imported into the country under the Vehicle Identification Number scheme.

It is expected that the scheme will put an end to the smuggling of vehicles into the country through the land borders, and eliminate revenue leakage by ensuring that appropriate duties are paid on imported vehicles.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who disclosed this during the opening of a workshop on the integration of the National Vehicle Identification System held at the Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja on Monday, said the initiative aimed to introduce technology to counter the activities of smugglers and boost revenue collection.

In attendance at the workshop were the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (retd); Secretary of the Joint Tax Board, Muhammed Abubakar; Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi; and Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman, who represented the Inspector-General of Police.

Adeosun, according to a statement by her Special Adviser on Media, Festus Akanbi, stated that revenue would be increased by reducing leakages through the nation’s porous borders, adding that there would also be a reduction in imports under-declaration and evasion of duty payment.

The minister stated, “Going forward, we are introducing a new system where all vehicles will be registered using the Vehicle Identification Number, effective March 31, 2017. Customs clearance will be linked to the VIN, and this in turn, will be required by each state government at the point of vehicle registration.

“Effectively, any vehicle on which duty has not been paid will not be able to be registered and driven in Nigeria. We are using technology to make smuggling an unprofitable venture.”

She explained that members of the public would be advised to ensure that they obtained proof of customs duty payment when purchasing a vehicle to avoid being saddled with the liability of unpaid duties and related penalties.

The minister noted that the country was losing billions of naira annually to the activities of smugglers and described the VIN system as a powerful tool against the illicit and dangerous practice.

Adeosun added, “The VIN provides a form of identity for each vehicle that will be linked to proof of ownership and connected to a centralised database. Another advantage of the VIN is that the original vehicle manufacturers will be aware of the vehicles imported into Nigeria.

“This information is important where safety and other recalls are issued internationally. The manufacturers will now have no excuse for not extending the benefits of such recalls to Nigerian customers.

“The objective is to ensure transparency and accountability in the collection of duties and create a central system for tracking all vehicles coming into Nigeria independent of point of entry, shared database for all regulatory and enforcement agencies and requirements. As we expand the database to cover all cars, we will be able to tackle car theft and non-insurance of vehicles, among others.”

According to the minister, the collaboration between the Customs, FRSC and the Federal Inland Revenue Service will be instrumental to achieving this objective.

She added that the programme was also expected to significantly boost vehicle security and ease of transfer of vehicles from one owner to the other.


Monday, December 19, 2016

News: Nigeria gets N1.5b grant to fight insurgency

While international cooperation heightens to combat global terrorism, Nigeria has received 180 metal detectors, radar stations as well as field hospitals and other technical assistance from Germany to boost counter-insurgency operations in the North East region of the country.

Also, the German government provided fresh €3 million grant (about N1.5 billion) for the procurement of surveillance equipment, mobile medical care units and associated support services for the nation’s armed forces.

Receiving the items from the German Minister of Defence Ursula Von Der Leyen, his Nigerian counterpart, Mansur Dan-Ali, noted that the existing relationship between both countries had been further strengthened by the gesture.

He said the capacity-boosting items were facilitated through the German Technical Advisory Group and its Enhance and Enable Initiative by the Memorandum of Understanding undertaken to cover 2012 -2016.

He added that a second phase of the agreement, covering 2017-2020, was being facilitated.

At a joint press conference, Der Leyen pointed out that fighting terrorism was a dangerous venture that required strong collaboration as well as trained quality personnel and equipment, because it was “hot but very important fight.”

News: Three Nigerians involved in crime in South Africa willing to return home – South Africa Union

President of the Nigeria Union in South Africa, Ikechukwu Anyene, says three Nigerians in that country are willing to return following the group’s campaign against drugs and prostitution.

Mr. Anyene told the News Agency of Nigeria on telephone from Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday that the union had commenced street campaigns against drugs and prostitution.

He said that after the successful launch of the campaign in October at Kimberly, Northern Cape Province of South Africa, the union embarked on street sensitisation.

Mr. Anyene stated that during campaigns at Krugersdorp, Sunnyside and Hillsborough in Gauteng Province, three Nigerians involved in crime indicated interest to return home.

“One of them said he had a return ticket and the union will facilitate the journey,” he said.

The president said the union found out during the campaign that some Nigerians were deceived to come to South Africa after paying huge sums of money.

He said on arrival, such Nigerians were left on their own while they resorted to crime to survive.

According to him, the campaign made them to meet victims, suspected culprits and make them change their ways. 

“We use the opportunity to go to where Nigerians live to preach against crimes like drugs and prostitution.

“We also discovered that most of our people come to South Africa on false promises of jobs and when they arrive, they resort to crime.

“One Nigerian said he had potentials to do well at home and will return. We will facilitate the journey and ensure that he returns safely,” he said.

Mr. Anyene also said the union was making arrangements with some companies to train Nigerians on skills like barbing, tiling, panel beating and auto-repair.

“The aim is that if they have skills, they will be busy and stay away from crime.

“They will also be self employed. Many Nigerians are self employed and doing well in South Africa,” he said.


Buhari meets career Ambassadors

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday opened  the induction programme for recently appointed career Ambassadors in Abuja.
The four-day induction was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Clement Aduku, said in a statement that the induction programme would be for the 47 career Ambassadors-designate recently screened and confirmed by the Senate.
Aduku said that the four-day programme, was declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja.
According to him, the programme is to acquaint the newly-appointed Ambassadors-designate with the foreign policy agenda and priorities of the current Administration, including the domestic programmes of national development.
Aduku said that it was also aimed at reminding them of the basic elements of diplomacy, expectations and the role of the Ambassadors abroad, as well as expectation from their spouses.
He also said that resource persons had been invited to deliver lectures and exchange experiences with the Ambassadors-designate on the different aspects of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Aduku said that the resource persons would also expose them to diplomatic and consular relations, government policy and strategy for trade and investment promotion and relations with Nigerians in the Diaspora.
The Ministry’s spokesperson said that all the Ambassadors-designate had already started arriving in Abuja, ahead of the four-day induction programme

EFCC: Why SSS wrote separate reports to Presidency, Senate on Magu

The actual trigger for the State Security Service (SSS) to have written the report upon which the Senate rejected Ibrahim Magu’s nomination for the top job at the anti-graft EFCC has been uncovered.

At a hurriedly arranged press conference about the same time the Senate was ending a closed-door session on Thursday.

On Monday, the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, claimef the senate did not reject Mr. Magu’s nomination but only suspended discussions on the matter until the SSS’ concerns are resolved.

According to PREMIUM TIMES’ the ongoing investigation into the procedural issues involved in the handling of Mr. Magu’s nomination showed the State Security Service actually turned in two reports on Mr. Magu.

Reasons the SSS acted the way it did – directly sending a report to the Senate to block a presidential nominee – have remained unanswered.

The investigations, reveal that the SSS acted only after it received requests from both the presidency and the Senate to vet Mr. Magu.

The Presidency, through Mr. Buhari’s senior special assistant on National Assembly, Ita Enang, made the request that Mr. Magu be vetted via an August 26 letter SSAP/NASS/SEN/I67 to the SSS.

The Senate’s version went to the SSS through its Clerk on September 21 via letter NASS/CS/SA/01/16/08/1.

While the Senate sought vetting of Mr. Magu and other nominees for the EFCC Board, the presidency asked that only Mr. Magu be screened.

Incidentally, the SSS replied both the Senate and the Presidency on October 3with separate reports SV.114/2 and SV.114/3 respectively.

A review of how the Presidency, the Senate and the SSS handled Mr. Magu’s nomination revealed procedural lapses and questions the capacity of Nigeria’s secret police to gather factual information about subjects under investigation.
The Presidency made the request for Mr. Magu’s confirmation in July through a letter signed by Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo in his capacity as acting president when Mr. Buhari travelled abroad for medical treatment.

But it was after one month of seeking the confirmation – and after eight months in acting capacity – that the presidency sought security vetting  for Mr. Magu.

standard practice, nominees of the president get security clearance before their names are sent to the National Assembly for confirmation.

Since Mr. Magu’s nomination did not come with security clearance, the Senate, whose members, including its President, Bukola Saraki, have at different times been investigated by Mr. Magu, had a window to approach the intelligence agency for security vetting.

However,  the most serious issue arising is the fact that claims made by the SSS in its reports are not factual.

Meanwhile, the two SSS reports gave contradictory conclusions. The one to the Senate advised against Mr. Magu’s confirmation, saying he had failed the integrity test; but the SSS asked the Presidency to give the subject “benefit of doubt and be considered” in view “of his achievements since assumption of office in acting capacity” although his “integrity may be in doubt”.

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Sport: Carlos Tevez football career scoring

2001-2004 Boca Juniors

110 appearances, 38 goals

2005-2006 Corinthians

76 appearances, 46 goals

2006-2007 West Ham

29 appearances, 7 goals

2007-2009 Manchester United

99 appearances, 34 goals

2009-2013 Manchester City

148 appearances, 73 goals

2013-2015 Juventus

95 appearances, 50 goals

2015- Boca Juniors

17 appearances, 9 goals

INTERNATIONAL - 2004-2015 Argentina

76 appearances, 13 goals

Sport: Tevez set to move to China Super leaque

Carlos Tevez is set to complete his mega-money move to China despite Boca Juniors fans begging their hero to stay in emotional scenes on Sunday night.

The 32-year-old Argentina striker is poised to sign a staggering contract with Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua worth an estimated £615,000 a week.

And the former West Ham, Manchester United and Manchester City player took the opportunity to wave goodbye to his first club as they beat Colon 4-1 at La Bombonera.

Liverpool have a chance to keep their title hopes alive against Everton... a win would stop the Premier League race from becoming Chelsea's steady march to the crown By Amitai Winehouse For Mailonline

Liverpool's Merseyside derby trip to Everton offers so much more than bragging rights. Supporters demand a result, but victory holds an even greater significance for the Reds.

Sky Sports have deemed this one ‘Mersey Monday’. Given the importance to Liverpool and their hopes this season, it will not just be the north west but the entire division watching.

Under Jurgen Klopp they have become legitimate title contenders again. Unlike the season under Brendan Rodgers, this does not feel like a castle built on sand, but a concrete push that will pan out at some point.

That is an experience that the Reds have not truly had in the Premier League era.

Unfortunately for Klopp's side, their own stumble - a run of just two victories in six - has coincided with Chelsea's incredible run of form. Antonio Conte's side have won 11 on the spin in the Premier League.

When the first ball is kicked on Monday night, no side will be within seven points of the Stamford Bridge side.

The closest Liverpool can be by the final whistle is six points away. Even by this stage of the season, the fight for the title is resembling one of Anthony Joshua’s bouts rather than Dillian Whyte against Dereck Chisora.

It would be wrong to discount any of the chasing pack - after all, at the start of November it looked like it was time to etch Manchester City’s name on the trophy.

Chelsea and Conte have found a revolutionary system that is currently swatting opposition aside, but every system can be exploited. They will not win every game this season. Even so, if that gap widens any further then it will become harder and harder to close.

Liverpool seem like the most likely candidates for a number of reasons. First and foremost, at times they play sublime football under Klopp. It is easy to forget how stale they became in Rodgers’s last 12 months at the helm. They are now one of the most potent attacking units in the land, able to cut apart any opposition on their day.

Take Middlesbrough only last week. On the surface it was a tough away game. Liverpool had not won at the Riverside since March 2002. Aitor Karanka can set a team up to take a draw. And yet Liverpool did not struggle. Inspired by Adam Lallana, they came away with a comfortable three goal victory.

Lallana speaks for another reason why Liverpool should take great hope. Klopp has improved a number of players who, while talented, seemed unable to turn it on at the right times. 

Lallana himself spent two seasons as the best player in the country between areas. His return of six goals already in all competitions suggests a man who has added a clinical edge to his penalty box manner.

Roberto Firmino has gone from a slightly peripheral figure to the main man at Anfield. His style of play conjures up memories of Luis Suarez, at once technically gifted, physically able and, you imagine, the name defenders fear to read most on the team-sheet.

Sadio Mane is probably a close second. The arrival of the Senegalese forward has altered Liverpool’s entire outlook. It is difficult to maintain a slow style when Mane, a perpetual motion machine of a footballer, is in the side.

Get through Monday’s game and Liverpool are not far away from welcoming back their best player - Philippe Coutinho. He, more than anyone else, can keep Klopp’s side ticking.

There are a number of reasons why Liverpool are the most likely candidates to push Chelsea.

A six-point gap is just two defeats. Liverpool still have to welcome Chelsea to Anfield this season. Most importantly, like Conte’s side, they are not burdened by European football in their quest for the title.

Sure, Pep Guardiola’s side were back to something resembling their best against Arsenal on Sunday, but they will still have to deal with the challenge of battling on two fronts. Which, knowing Guardiola, they will.

For Liverpool it will never get ‘easier’ than this. The Premier League may test fitness and form more than any other league, but without the added fatigue of a weekly trip to some European outpost it is far more manageable. It would be a shock not to see them back on the continental stage next season. The same brilliance that makes them title contenders almost guarantees it.

There are failures in the side but they tend to be mitigated. The Bournemouth collapse can be explained away. No team is perfect, no team has ever won every game. Make no mistake - Liverpool’s problems are hugely outweighed by their positives.

Monday’s game may be the Friendly Derby, but it has ramifications far beyond Merseyside. A win for Liverpool would still leave Chelsea just outside touching distance, but a defeat would leave them chasing the sun over the horizon.

Employment: N-Power verification of 200,000 graduates completed in 13 states

As the Federal Government prepares to commence the payment of monthly stipends to the 200,000 graduates engaged under the N-Power job creation programme of the Buhari administration, 13 states of the federation have now submitted verified lists of the graduates and more are expected later this week.

Disclosing this on Sunday while giving a news update on the programme, Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, stated that also in some states the graduates have also been deployed to their primary places of assignment, noting that payment of the N30,000 stipends for the graduates will commence this month once verification and deployment have been done.

Under the N-Power Volunteer Scheme, the Federal Government announced the selection and engagement of 200,000 unemployed graduates as the first batch of the half a million the Buhari administration plans to hire for the 2-year paid volunteer job programme.

In his budget speech Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Social Investment Programmes would continue in 2017 with another allocation of N500,000.

According to him, “the 2017 Budget estimates retain the allocation of N500 billion to the Special Intervention programme consisting of the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme to provide loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and the new Family Homes Fund (social housing scheme).

He added that the “N-Power Programme has recently taken off with the employment of 200,000 graduates across the country, while the School Feeding Programme has commenced in a few States, where the verification of caterers has been completed.”

While the Federal Government is responsible for their monthly stipends, it is in partnership with state governments to verify the selected unemployed graduates and deploy them to their primary places of assignment since each of the volunteer graduates would be serving in their communities where they are resident, Mr. Akande explained.

He disclosed that the states that have completed the verification by weekend are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Kogi states. Others are Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara States, while verification and deployment have already been completed in Benue, Cross Rivers and Kogi.

According to the SSA, in virtually all the states of the federation, the verification has commenced and there are indications that much progress would be made this week in order to enable the Federal Government process the monthly payments of the already verified graduates before Christmas.

The Buhari administration is keen on ensuring that the selected 200,000 graduates are able to draw their stipends starting this much, as plans have been concluded to release the funds once verification is completed. States have been very cooperative in working with the Federal Government so much that even in states that have not completed verification by weekend, much activities are going on towards attaining that goal.

The FG will pay the graduates their monthly stipends directly into their own bank accounts and 93 per cent of the selected 200,000 graduate volunteers have already been verified based on the Bank Verification Number, BVN.

(Premium Times)

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