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Saturday, August 22

There’s no alternative to democracy - Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said there is no alternative to democracy, arguing that he almost lost his life to a dictator under a military rule.

He said this on Friday at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta when officials of the National Association of Nigerians Students and some student union leaders from various institutions of learning paid him a visit.

Obasanjo and some other retired military officers and civilians were jailed in 1995 by the military government of the late Gen.Sani Abacha, after he was found guilty by a military tribunal of allegedly plotting to overthrow  Abacha's administration.

He was released after the dictator's death in 1998 by the Abdusalami Abubakar military regime shortly after Abacha's death.

Narrating his near-death experience under the late Abacha's administration, the former President said he would support the current democratic dispensation led by President  Muhammadu Buhari to succeed.

He said, "I will work for the success of this current dispensation; there is no excuse because there is no alternative to democracy.

"The alternative to democracy is worse than dictatorship. I experienced that. Abacha put me in prison and I was about to be killed. If it was under democracy (democratic rule) that would not happen."

Obasanjo, who said no matter what the critics of Buhari might say, it was evident that in the last two and half months, Nigerians had started to witness a sign of a country of their dream.

He noted that the country had tottered towards the precipice so many times, but God had not allowed it to tumble.

The ex-president said, "When one takes a look at everything, the most crucial and vital conclusion is that God loves Nigeria.

"The nation has gone toward the precipice many times and Nigeria did not tumble, this shows God is a Nigerian.

"Many had thought after the 2015 general elections. Nigeria will be no more. Some had sent their families abroad. Some know the NADECO route. I don't know the NADECO route.

"I don't have anywhere to go. But to the surprise of many of them, God did it in a miraculous way. The election took place, though some did not want it to take place. But let us thank God it took place. We must also thank those who conducted the elections.

"We thank God for peace even after the election. No single individual is a paragon of perfection. There is no Messiah except Jesus Christ. But there are people who still stick out their neck for the good of Nigerians.

"Thank God we have such as a leader now. What we have witnessed in the last two and half months is that our dreams are coming true. We must give unalloyed support to the government.

"Criticisms that are objective and positive are welcome where necessary."

Responding to a question on whether Obasanjo added that Buhari took a right decision by giving the military a November deadline to end the Boko Haram insurgents.

He said setting a target was part of military war strategy to measure the success or failure of a particular operation.

He said, "President Muhammadu Buhari took a right decision by telling the military to quash the Boko Haram insurgents by November.

"It is not good to just leave everything open-ended. It is a strategy in the military to set a target for any operation. This will enable those concerned to work hard.

"Having a target is necessary. Even if that target was not met, the people concerned would have something to work with."

Obasanjo, who used the Nigeria's civil war as an example, said the military had set a six-month target to crush the Biafran renegades, but the war extended to 30 months.

He said, "For those of us who were involved in the Nigeria civil war, we set a six-month target to end the Nigeria-Biafra war, but it extended to 30 months."

On his own part, the vice-president, NANS, Ogunkuade Oluwatosin, said the students' body recognised the doggedness and contribution of the former president to the success of the 2015 general elections.

He said the Buhari-led administration should extend its anti-corruption war to education sector.

He said, "Your fatherly contribution to the development of Nigeria is visible, even three months after the general elections.

"We need your contribution to move Nigeria to Nigeria of our dreams. We want student-youth inclusion in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari."

Obasanjo threw a challenge to the students, arguing that none of them was too young to make meaningful contribution to the development of the country.

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Troops advance to clear terrorists’ camps in Borno – Army

The 7 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, on Saturday entered and cleared Gudumbali town in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno.

This is contained in a statement signed by Col. Sani Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations.

He said the effort was part of the continued offensive against the Boko Haram terrorists.
He added that during the operation, a number of terrorists were killed and their weapons and equipment destroyed.

Usman recalled that the Nigerian Air Force inflicted severe damage on the terrorists' camps within the general area last Monday.
In related development, Usman said that troops of 5 Brigade Explosive Ordinance Devices (EOD) unit ran into landmines while advancing towards Dikwa.

He said the landmines were buried by the terrorists between old Marte and Kerenoa junction in Marte Local Government Area of Borno.

According to Usman, two soldiers lost their lives, while two others sustained critical injuries from the landmine explosion.
"The bodies of the two gallant soldiers have been evacuated while the two wounded soldiers are already receiving treatment at the military hospital,'' he said.

Usman said the army also lost a Mowag Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) in the same location.

"Despite these sad events, the troops are not deterred as they continue their advance and pursuit of the terrorists to their enclaves in Sambisa forest.

"The troops in the various formations and units in Operation LAFIYA DOLE are in very high spirits and more determined to destroy the terrorists' camps and enclaves,'' he said.
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REVEALED: Why Buhari is after Jonathan’s men – Oshiomhole

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole at the weekend declared that it was not wrong for President Muhammadu Buhari to beam his anti-corruption searchlight on men and women in the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He stressed that the cries of selectiveness of the Buhari's fight against corruption was uncalled for as Jonathan's men were fully in charge of managing the Nigerian economy that have been claimed to witness many corrupt practices.

The governor spoke during the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) event for celebrating two media icons, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday night.

Oshiomhole, who represented the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Chairman of the occasion, said: "They are serving a President who appreciates that these problems have to be confronted headon. The President who boldly told the world that the issue of corruption, if it is not killed, it will kill us. And since we don't want to die, we have to kill corruption."

"But the forces behind corruption are powerful, some are feasible and some are not feasible. They are men and women of rich, of means. Many are even billionaires in dollars and euros.

"Now where are the forces that will queue behind the president to confront the drivers of corruption. As you can see, people are already asking question about due process, people are asking questions about selective and so on.

"And it will be the job of Shehu and Femi to remind people that if you managed a house for 16 years and members of the community believed that the house has not been properly managed and that the reason for the mismanagement is that some people willfully … including resorting to corrupt practices, you can only deal with those in that house, the people who had responsibility for managing the house.

"So when you select those people and deal with them, of course it is selective. You can only select from among those who are involved with crime. Editors will help to take this to our people." He said

He wondered why those crying fowl play now decided to keep silent when many wrongdoings were carried out under Jonathan.

He said: "When my helicopter was stopped when going to Ekiti State, as a governor with immunity, I was stopped by a low-level military officer from flying to Ekiti because my purpose was to campaign. I didn't quite hear pastors protesting on my behalf.

"When Rotimi Amaechi was detained by a Commissioner of Police in Rivers State and they moved tankers to Government House, heaven didn't fall." He stated

Stressing that everything must be done now to guide the current democracy, he noted that it is not possible to fight war against corruption without having casualties.

"It is only in Nigeria, that for 16 years a particular political party was in power, they were fighting corruption war but there were no casualties. It is like the Nigerian Police that sees criminal and shoot to the air."

He said that the good news is that Nigeria now has a President with enormous political will, who is determined to get the job done.

"Whether in the course of doing it, he will make a mistake that he will become too careful as to leave the job undone. For all of us who agree, lamentations won't be our portion forever. It is time to get organized and deal with these issues." He added

He urged the NGE to assist the two Presidential Media aides as they have a huge and challenging tasks ahead of them in their spokesman's job for the President.

The governor prayed for God to give them the desired wisdom to succeed in their assignments.

The NGE Acting President, Garba Mohammed, said that the event was to express their happiness and back the two Presidential aides on their new jobs.

According to him, they are round pegs in round holes and a perfect team for the jobs.

"We will be with them through thin and thick." He stated

The two presidential aides were also presented with gifts during the event

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OAU ranked best university in Nigeria

The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has been ranked the best university in Nigeria by Webometrics.

According to the latest web ranking of world universities conducted by the Cybermetrics Lab of Spain, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), OAU was rated as the best in the country

A statement by the insitution's spokesperson, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, stated that in the newest ranking, which was released last Monday, "Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, was placed, ranked and rated as the best University in Nigeria, while the Universities of Lagos and Ilorin came a distant 2nd and 3rd in positions.

" This is the first time in the history of higher education in Nigeria where a particular university, like OAU, would maintain been the first and the best in the country for more than four consecutive times."

The statement quoted the institution's Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole, as applauding the ranking and ascribing the first position which OAU has been maintaining for the past years to the hard work and dedication to duty of the academic, administrative and technical staff.

He said the midas touch of the staff has placed the university far and above more than one hundred (100) other universities in Nigeria.

Prof. Omole re-emphasized his determination to make training and retraining of staff, on constant basis, his topmost priority, adding that he would not rest on his oars until OAU becomes the best in Africa, and one of the top ten in the world.
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Residents warned to stay indoors as Oro festival sweeps Ile Ife

Residents of Ile-Ife, have been warned to remain indoors as traditionalists wrap up the funeral rites for the immediate past Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade.

The final rites are to be performed by the Oro deity.

Town criers went from street to street on Saturday,asking residents especially commercial drivers and motorcyclists, to keep off the roads between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The Head of the Oro Cult in the town and the Awara of Iwara, Oba Layi Adereti, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), ordered the curfew, warning that anyone who flouted the order, irrespective of age or gender would face its consequences.

Many residents rushed to the few available markets to get essentials that would last them for the day.

Major markets in Ile-Ife have been shut since last penultimate Friday when the burial rites started,although some around Mayfair have been in operation.

As a result of the curfew, some Heads of Departments in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife cancelled the continuous assessment tests for their students scheduled for yesterday.

Some students, who reside off campus, were advised to remain indoors in compliance with the Oro cult order.

Also, hundreds of commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as "Okada riders" were seen on Friday distributing a hand bill to their colleagues, warning them against operating in Ife yesterday.

The Vice President of the Okada Riders Association, Ile-Ife chapter, Mr Idowu Akamo, told NAN that the fliers became imperative because some members of the association were always busy and might not have heard the town criers while making the announcement.

He said that many of the residents as well as the Okada riders had thought the mourning period would end on August 21, adding that many residents were surprised when they heard the stay-at-home order.

According to him, the Oro people should not be dared because the consequences might be disastrous, saying the association will not like to lose its members because of disobedience.
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Ban Ki-Moon begins two-day visit to Nigeria

The UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, is scheduled to begin a two-day official visit to Nigeria on Sunday.

Ban is expected, to among others, meet with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock Villa on Monday.

An itinerary released by the UN Information Centre, Lagos said. during the visit, Ban is also scheduled to hold talks with state governors on Sunday.

The dialogue with the governors, the itinerary showed, will hold under the theme: `Pathways to a New Nigeria – the Role of Sub-national Governments.'
The programme also showed that the UN scribe will lay a wreath in memory of persons who died at the UN House bombingb in 2012 as part of activities to mark the 4th anniversary of the unfortunate incident.

Ban would later in the day have a lunch with members of the business community.

The lunch time conversation will be on: `The role of Nigeria business and the economy in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and addressing climate change".

He is also billed to take part in series of activities, including a visit to immunization centres and a dialogue on democracy, human rights and countering violent extremism, before departing Nigeria later on Monday.
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Lagos police arrest man for impersonating former police commissioner

The Lagos State Police Command on Saturday said it has arrested one Friday Aguibosim for allegedly impersonating a former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Aderanti, who has been transferred to Abuja.

According to a police source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the 27-year-old Aguibosim was arrested on August 12 for opening a Facebook account in the name of the former Lagos commissioner of police.

"The suspect opened a Facebook account in the name of the former Lagos CP and requested policemen who wished to go on a peace keeping mission to pay money into a particular Fidelity Bank account.

"The account was traced to the suspect at Ihiala, Anambra State, before he was arrested," he said.

The source said Aguibosim had an accomplice, one Emmanuel Ekene, who also operated another Fidelity Bank account, but the police said they were still on his trail.

The suspect, however, told the News Agency of Nigeria that it was his cousin, one Victor Uzogba, who received money through the account, which he later learnt was fraudulent.

"My cousin said I should give him my account number that somebody wants to deposit money into the account and I asked him what about his own account.

"He said he had no ATM card for his account and so I gave him my account. Later that day somebody paid N30,000 into the account. I withdrew the money with my ATM card and gave it to him.

"The police later came and arrested me after tracing the account to me. I have been trying Uzogba's telephone line since then but it is not reachable.

"It was when I was arrested that I was told that he has a Facebook account which he is also using to defraud people," the suspect said.

The source said the police were making efforts to arrest his accomplice currently at large.
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Police arrest two masquerades over N57,000 robbery

The Police in Nsukka on Saturday arrested two men in masquerade costume in Ovoko Community, Nsukka LGA, Enugu State, for allegedly beating up a passenger on a commercial motorcycle and robbing him of N57,000.

The incident happened on the Nsukka/Oballo-Afor highway.

A police source said policemen moved to the scene when the victim, Mr. Chinonso Ezewaji, reported the matter to Nsukka Police Area command and the two men were arrested.

"The escorts of the masquerade however ran away.

"There were eight masquerades. They blocked the Nsukka/Obollo-Afor road and harassed people.

"The two arrested masquerades however denied collecting the N57,000 from Ezewaji but claimed they know the person who collected the money from the victim.

"When we searched one of the arrested masquerade, we saw Indian hemp in his pocket," the police source said.

When contacted, Public Relations Officer, Enugu State Police Command, Mr. Ebere Amarizu, confirmed the incident, saying investigation had commenced on the matter.

He urged communities to regulate and monitor those who wear masquerade costumes, adding that some of them used the opportunity to harass, intimidate and rob innocent members of the public.

"The Police are not against the people practising their tradition and culture but community leaders must know the character of people they allow to wear costumes of masquerade in the name of culture.

"A masquerade has no right to mount road block on busy highways where motorists, motorcyclists and other road users move on daily basis.

"The police have commenced investigation and will get to the root of this matter as issues of masquerade disturbing people have become a recurring decimal," Amarizu said.

The victim, Ezewaji, a trader, who deals on clothing materials, told the News Agency of Nigeria he was on his way from Nsukka to Obollo-Afor to see his mother when the masquerade stopped the motorcycle he was riding on.

"They beat me, searched me and collected N57,000.

"When they left, I ran into the bush and when I discovered they have gone some distance, I came out and went to the police to report.

The two masquerades identified themselves as Kenchukwu Eze, a carpenter, and Ejiofor Eze, a brick-layer.

They, however, denied the allegation that they stole money from Ezewaji

They claimed that their colleague, Chima Mamah, stole the money.

Eze, however, admitted that the police saw Indian hemp in his pocket, saying it was the leftover of what they smoked before coming out.

"If the police release me, I will not wear masquerade costume, nor smoke Indian hemp again," he pleaded.


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ISIL’s second-in-command killed – US

The second-in-command of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group was killed during a US air strike in Iraq on Tuesday, according to the White House.

The US and its allies stage daily air strikes on ISIL targets in the group's self-declared caliphate based in Iraq and Syria.

A drone strike last month killed a senior leader in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

"Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, also known as Hajji Mutazz … was killed in a US military air strike on August 18 while travelling in a vehicle near Mosul, Iraq, along with an ISIL media operative known as Abu Abdullah," Ned Price, White House spokesman, said in a statement.

"His death will adversely impact ISIL's operations given that his influence spanned ISIL's finance, media, operations, and logistics."

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Washington DC, Joshua Walker, a former adviser to the US State Department and a Nonresident Rransatlantic Fellow at the German Mashall Fund of the United States, said: "Nobody knows how many  deputies there are.

"There's only one top man [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi and he's got a price on his head."

The White House said Hayali was a "primary coordinator" for moving weapons, explosives, vehicles, and people between Iraq and Syria.

He was in charge of operations in Iraq and helped plan the group's offensive in Mosul in June of last year, the White House said.

Mutazz was a lieutenant-colonel in the army of deposed leader Saddam Hussein and, like many who later went on to form the core of ISIL's leadership, was detained by US troops in Iraq at the Camp Bucca detention facility, according to US counterrorism experts.

(Al Jazeera)
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Northern Governors meet on dreaded forest

Governors of North Western States and Niger met in again in Kaduna on Saturday to review the security approach towards ending cattle rustling and other security challenges in Kamuku and Kuyanbana Forests.

It would be recalled that, five Governors of Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara states met in June to form a joint security operation against dreaded Kamuku Forest.
Meanwhile, at the Saturday's review meeting held alongside security chiefs, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and his Sokoto counterpart had joined the five Governors to avoid spillover of security challenges around their states when criminals are smoked out of the forest.

Briefing newsmen after the close door meeting which lasted for three hours, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwwal said they will leave no stone unturned to ensure maximum security in their domain.
He noted that, the collaborative approach adopted by the states surrounding Kamuku and Kuyanbana Forests has paid off, as it has started yielding positive results.

According to Tambuwwal, "We have resolved to support the security agencies both material, financially and morally to improved security situation and ensure that there is no hideout for criminals in the North-west sub-region.

"The collaboration between the states and Federal Government has been very helpful. So, we just sat to review the way forward and how to bring about peaceful coexistence in our region.

"With reports reaching us so far from the security operatives, we are satisfied that the operation is successful and moving smoothly. And we are hopeful that in no distance future, peace will return to the region.

"Initially, it was only five states of Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara, Katsina and Kebbi but today other states like Sokoto and Kano have decided to join hands with the movement to ensure that no hideout for the criminals or terrorists.

"So far, we have made lot of arrests and recovery of property belonging to innocent persons and were returned back to their owners. But it is still ongoing and we will brief you adequately at the end of the operations on the successes recorded.

"We are calling on the people to cooperate and support us by making available necessary information and by reporting suspicious movement around their neighbourhood to security operatives to ensure they are apprehended." Tambuwwal said.

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Newcastle earn 0-0 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford

Manchester United's early-season goal-scoring problems resurfaced in a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United on Saturday that left them with just two goals from their opening three Premier League games.

The spotlight will inevitably fall on England centre-forward Wayne Rooney, who has now gone 10 games without a goal for his club and was once again operating as the only striker in manager Louis van Gaal's formation.

The attacking shortcomings were plastered over in the 3-1 Champions League play-off defeat of Club Brugge in mid-week, only for former assistant Steve McClaren to frustrate his old employers on his return to Old Trafford as Newcastle manager.

United had to wait until the 80th minute to truly test Tim Krul as substitute Javier Hernandez latched onto a deflected Juan Mata shot, only for the Newcastle goalkeeper to jut out a leg and produce a breathtaking stop.

The game burst into life in injury time, with Chris Smalling heading against the post for the hosts, Newcastle debutant Florian Thauvin almost toeing in a low cross and United substitute Michael Carrick shooting just wide.

The home team had started the contest at an electrifying pace, with the visitors immediately on the back foot, and Rooney saw an early effort chalked off for a marginal offside.

But it helped Newcastle that the final pass was often lacking from the home side or, when shooting opportunities presented themselves, they resulted all too often in routine shots directly at Krul.

Memphis Depay, Rooney and Mata, from a promising free-kick outside the area, were all guilty of that in the opening exchanges.
And when Ayoze Perez dithered and allowed Matteo Darmian to set up Mata after 15 minutes, Krul was equal to the task, diving low to his left and turning the Spaniard's shot behind for a corner.

Krul also saved solidly from Rooney's shot on the turn, but as the half progressed, Newcastle grew in confidence.

– Mitrovic hits bar –

Only a poor first touch denied Massadio Haidara a clear run on goal after a neat one-two with Georginio Wijnaldum.

Even more worryingly for Van Gaal's team, after 23 minutes right-back Chancel Mbemba crossed and Aleksandar Mitrovic outjumped Darmian, sending a magnificent header past Sergio Romero and against the crossbar.
The home response was swift, with Adnan Januzaj showing strength in midfield and slipping through a pass for Depay, who rounded goalkeeper Krul only to see his attempted pull-back cut out by Mbemba.
Before the interval, there was another chance for the visitors, after more poor defending from the hosts, as Perez dragged a shot narrowly wide.

United's dominance, in terms of possession, continued after the restart, but again, there was no cutting edge once inside, or even within sight of, the Newcastle penalty area.
Depay won a free-kick, after a clumsy foul by Gabriel Obertan, but succeeded only in placing the resulting dead ball directly into the Newcastle defensive wall.

The Dutch winger, so devastatingly effective against Club Brugge, then made room for himself with a darting move across the face of the Newcastle box, but once again the end product was errant, his shot flying well over.

McClaren threw on French new signing Thauvin for his first taste of  Premier League football, but there were even fewer openings for his side in the second half than there had been before the break.

United's frustrations were growing, with Mata appealing vainly for a penalty after contact from Jack Colback on the edge of the box and then volleying wildly over with his weaker right foot from Rooney's left-wing cross.

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Nigerian cleric predicts doom for countries adopting gay marriage

The Catholic Bishop of Ondo Diocese, Most Rev. Ayodeji Arogundade, has predicted that all the countries adopting gay marriage would soon crumble, saying their people have lost their values.

Arogundade also attributed the increase in homosexuality in western countries to the lack of adequate parental care for the children there.

The cleric stated this while speaking with journalists at the Bicentenary Service in memory of Don Bosco, held at Mary Help of Christians Shrine, Akure, the Ondo State Capital.

He said, “Whatever the western world becomes today is just for a while, no nation will take such step they are taking and not crumble. I commend African governments for rejecting this.

“We are a people of values. Once you lose your values, you are no longer human beings. We value our culture, value respect for elders and we also have respect for our bodies.

“Once you lose your value, you lose your identity. Unfortunately, some western countries have lost their identities because what is really happening in the west today is a crisis of identity.

“When a man longer recognises that he is a man, and thinks he is a woman, that is identity crisis. When a country gives certificate to a man and a man that are getting married, that country has lost its sense of identity. We must continue to emphasise that the problem of the western world is as a result of a loss of identity.”

The Bishop further stated that findings have revealed that the youths in western countries have been the ones mounting pressure on their governments to legalise gay marriage.

He described the situation as a sign that parents no longer have control over their children.

He said, “The youths are the future of tomorrow and by the time they have gone astray, what will happen to the future?”

Meanwhile, the President, Ogun Baptist Conference, Dr. Adesegun Jayesimi, on Friday threw his weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign, saying that those found culpable should be punished.

The cleric said this in Abeokuta while briefing journalists on the 38th edition of conference holding in Sagamu, starting from this morning (Saturday).

Jayesimi who described the war against corruption as a worthy crusade, however, warned that it should not be used to witch-hunt political opponents.

He said, “Ogun Baptist conference also joins the crusade against all forms of corruption and malpractices that seem to be the order of the day in this nation.

“This is a worthy crusade that all Nigerians need to put resources together to fight to a logical conclusion.”
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DPR seals 14 petrol stations in Lagos for manipulating dispensing pumps and over-charging buyers

The Department of Petroleum Resources on Friday stormed several filling stations at Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki and Ketu, in Lagos, shutting down 14 stations for manipulating their dispensing pumps and over-charging buyers, among other offences.

While all the affected stations had N87 per litre on their pumps as the selling price, the pumps were under-dispensing Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, with almost one litre lost by buyers for every 10 litres bought.

The affected stations include Mobil at Owode bus-stop, Ikorodu; So Super Limited (Sahara), Ogolonto, Ikorodu; General Oil Limited, Ketu; Walesaf, Owode-Idera bus-stop, Ikorodu, and HS Petroleum at Ketu.

At Mobil, 150 litres of water were also found in 30,000 litres of PMS in one of its tanks.

Two pumps were sealed at MRS station at Alapere, Ikorodu road.

At the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation station, Irawo bus-stop, Ikorodu road, three of its pumps were sealed for under-dispensing.

At Ibeju-Lekki, Kaz Oil, Lakowe; Forte Oil, Gulf road, Lakowe; Ona Ara Oil and Gas Station; Forte Oil, Molete; Wakass, Igando-Oloja; Forte Oil, Abule Folly Ibeju, and Forte Oil, Oribanwa were all sealed.

The Forte Oil station at Oribanwa was sealed for hoarding 24,000 litres of PMS and refusal to open pumps for testing by the DPR officials.

Kaz Oil, whose pumps read N86.50 per litre at the time of the visit, under-dispensed petrol by 0.8 litre for every 10 litres, thereby making the public buy the product above N90 per litre.

Ona Ara Oil and Gas station, where there was no one to attend to the DPR inspectors, was sealed as the officials believed the pumps were switched off and abandoned on the news that the DPR was at the nearby station, Kaz Oil.

At Forte Oil along Gulf road, Lakowe, two of its pumps were under-dispensing by 0.98 litre and 1.06 litre for every 10 litres.

Wakass and Forte Oil at Molete filling stations were closed down for short-changing buyers by 0.82 litre and 0.95 litre respectively for every 10 litres.

At Forte Oil, Abule Folly, the pumps were under-dispensing by as much as 1.26 per litre for every 10 litres, meaning that a buyer who was there to buy 10 litres got less than 9 litres.

The Zonal Operations Controller, Lagos, DPR, Mrs. Chioma Njoku, in an interview with newsmen at the end of the exercise, said the affected stations would be made to pay a fine of N100,000 each.

She said, “Some of them engage in manipulating their pumps that under-dispense to the public, which is a way of over-charging the buyers and they bear the brunt of it when caught.”
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Presidency scraps office of First Lady

The presidency has said that official portfolio was yet to be assigned to Aisha, the wife of president Mohmmadu Buhari, overruling what hitherto was known as “First Lady’s office”. Apparently renaming it “Office of the Wife of the President”, the presidency however stated that Mrs. Buhari would, for now, be saddled with women and youth related issues in the country.

The Presidency was reacting to allegations in some Nigerian media that the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari has moved into the First Lady’s office in the Aso Villa.

Describing the allegation as totally false and fictitious, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said that even though there was absolutely nothing wrong with Mrs. Buhari making use of the office space reserved for the First Lady, she had not done so in her capacity.

Shehu stated that under president Buhari, the office shall be completely different from what obtained in the past, saying that the era of the First Ladies issuing oil wells and licenses was gone.

“President Buhari promised that there would be a clear difference between the role played by his wife during his tenure and that played by many previous First Ladies. “All that ostentation, ubiquitousness and arrogance we have come to expect from the office are over and done with. Change has come.

“The ideal platform from which she will be useful to Nigeria’s women and children is still being thought out. Once this has been concluded on, Mrs. Buhari’s role will become clearer to all Nigerians. There will be nothing shady or hidden about it. There will be no access to public funds. It will be purely private and voluntary”, he said.

The presidential spokesman recalled that the time Mrs. Buhari had to make use of the office was at the beginning of the present administration.

He added that the meeting during which she hosted the wives of governors was held in a section of the Villa’s banquet hall, not in the First Lady’s office. “Her only visit to that office was at the point of the take-over of the Villa by the incoming administration.

“Out of respect to Mrs. Buhari, the Sierra-Leonian First Lady, Mrs. SiaKoroma recently surrendered her position of head of Africa’s First Ladies to Mrs. Buhari, inviting her to take up the same seat which Mrs. Jonathan hurriedly handed over a few weeks to the handover of her husband’s government to President Buhari. Again, all these things are currently under consideration and no decision has been arrived at presently,” Shehu said.
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Buhari to establish special anti-corruption courts to try looters of public funds

The Federal Government has begun moves to establish special courts to try corruption-related cases as part of the efforts to fight graft in the country.

According to Punch Newspaper, President Muhammadu Buhari was opting for a comprehensive onslaught against the problem of corruption in the country.

It was learnt that the President had concluded plans to submit a bill on the planned special anti-corruption courts to the National Assembly.

It can be recalled that the Presidency had commenced the process of identifying fearless judges that would be saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting corrupt persons.

It was also gathered that the Federal Government was planning to establish 37 of the Special Courts to try corruption in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the 36 states of the Federation.

A top operative of one of the anti-graft agencies, who confided in one of our correspondents, said that the Federal Government decided to set up the planned special courts because of the long delay by regular courts in deciding corruption-related cases.

It was further gathered that the President recently made a demand for 36 judges with the requisite integrity and boldness to decide cases in line with the law and not according to influence of the people or the pecuniary gains that come with associating with them.

The anti-graft officer said, “The President is being careful; he does not want people to do a wishy-washy job for him.

“Buhari is pressing for the establishment of special courts to try corruption cases. He wants the courts to be established in Abuja and the 36 states of the federation so that they can fast-track such cases.”

Investigations further revealed that the Federal Government had contacted the National Judicial Council to provide judges with impeccable reputation to preside over the planned courts.

It was gathered that the NJC released the names of 100 judges from the 36 states of the federation to the leadership of three major anti-corruption bodies in the country after an internal process of selection.

The judges were screened by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission and the Department of State Security on Tuesday.

It was gathered that the focus of the on-going screening exercise is to identify judges with a passion for the law and the constitution rather than deference to personalities.

The officer stated, “On Tuesday, the NJC forwarded the list of 100 judges to the anti-corruption agencies for screening. The exercise is meant to select the judges for the special courts the President is moving to establish to try corruption cases.

“The plan is to get judges that are bold, courageous, and fearless. Many of them must have delivered sound judgements (in the past). They don’t want those who play to the gallery.

“The screening exercise is very intensive; they are passing through the NJC that has the list of all the judges. When the NJC is through with its screening, it passes the list of the judges to security operatives and the anti-graft agencies to continue with the investigation.

“And because this is a democracy, they have to go through acceptable legal channels; they have to amend the constitution to set up these courts. They want to start with speed; even the legislatures have to be involved to amend the constitution.”

It was also learnt that the anti-graft agencies screened the judges by doing background checks on them, particularly looking at their history at the bench.

The source said, “We are working on the information we got about them (the judges). There are those who have been compromised in the past, who will not be part of the arrangement.”

But the anti-corruption agencies are not saying much about the on-going screening exercise, which is said to have entered its second phase.

When our correspondent contacted the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on the telephone on Friday, he said that he was not aware of it.

“I am not aware of the exercise you are talking about,” he said.

Similarly, the Resident Consultant, Media and events of the ICPC, Mr. Folu Olamiti, said that he could not comment on the story, when contacted.

“I can’t comment on it,” he said.

Also, the Acting Director, Information, National Judicial Council, Mr. Soji Oye, said he was not aware of any plan to create special corruption courts.

It will be recalled that the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, had in 2012, when he was being screened by the Senate, called for the establishment of special courts for corruption cases.

He had said, “The reason for the clamour for special courts for certain cases has to do with the processes of law. Judges have corrupt cases and other cases to attend to, but if we have special courts for corruption cases, it would facilitate the process. I don’t think it will be too much to ask that a special court be dedicated to corruption cases.”

Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, and Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adeniran, described the plan to create special courts to handle corruption cases as a welcome development.

But a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Nwobike, described the establishment of such courts as needless.

Keyamo, however, urged the government to put certain resources and laws in place for such special courts to achieve their intended goals.

He said, “Establishment of special courts will not solve the entire problem of anti-corruption cases and it will not solve all the problems of criminal cases. But it will go a long way if the courts are well equipped and have rules that will help fast track such cases.

“Special courts will not address the integrity of judges that will be sitting there. It is a welcome development and government should go ahead to establish them but some things should be put in place for the courts to achieve the intended goals.”

Adeniran also described the establishment of special corruption courts as desirable. He said such courts would help in quick determination of corruption cases.

He said, “It is desirable to the extent that it will hasten up the adjudication on corruption cases and will make it easier for the judges to handle.”

But Nwobike said that instead of creating special courts, government should focus on capacity building to enhance the competence of investigators and prosecutors.

He said, “It is needless. It will amount to waste of judicial resources to set up special courts to try corruption cases.”

What is your take on the establishment of special courts to try looters of Nigeria's money?
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Friday, August 21

Buhari appoints Obasanjo on special mission

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed former President Olusegun Obasanjo as his Special Envoy to mediate and help find a solution to the crisis brewing  in Guinea Bissau following the dismissal of the Prime Minister, Mr Domingos Pereira, and his cabinet by President Jose Mario Vaz.

This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

It stated that Buhari had already sent former President Olusegun Obasanjo as his Special Envoy to mediate and help find a solution to the crisis brewing in that country.

According to the statement, Buhari’s peace mission is in demonstration of true African solidarity and brotherhood.

The statement maintained that Obasanjo had embarked on the first leg of his mission by consulting with the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Macky Sall of Senegal in Dakar on Thursday.

“It is regrettable that while Chief Obasanjo was still consulting with President Sall, President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau proceeded to appoint and swear-in a new Prime Minister in the person of Mr Baciro Dja, a development that has worsened the political situation in his country.’’

Buhari appealed for calm and called on the leadership in Guinea Bissau to exercise utmost restraint and ensure the maintenance of law and order as efforts continue to resolve the current crisis.

The president, particularly, urged the leadership in Guinea Bissau, including the military, to ensure respect for constitutional order, sanctity of life and safety of citizens.

He also enjoined them to avoid taking any further action that could threaten the fragile democratic institutions recently established in the country.

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Recruitment of 10,000 new police officers yet to begin - Nigerian police

Following the approval for the recruitment of 10,000 police officers by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigeria Police has informed the public that recruitment into the Force is yet to commence.

A statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu said the modalities for the recruitment were being worked out with the Police Service Commission and would be announced in due course.

The statement warned the public to beware of online fraudsters who might take advantage of the recruitment information to defraud them of their hard earned money.

“The Nigeria Police Force will adequately advertise on all forms of media (Televisions, Newspapers, etc) when the recruitment commences. You can also visit the Police website on for necessary information,” it said.
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Power generation to hit 5,000mw by December

The National Economic Council (NEC) said on Thursday that power generation in Nigeria will reach 5,000 megawatts by December, noting that, the trend will continue to improve.

They said that Council learnt that power supply had increased by 29 per cent with a generation of 4,662 MW, adding that, the target was to reach 5,000 MW by December.

The council was unhappy that states and their agencies were in default of remittances for electricity consumption by about 45 per cent and urged those owing to pay up without delay.

The NEC also received the interim report of the Governor Adams Oshiomhole committee which reviewed the operations and management of the Excess Crude Account (ECA)/Federation Account and ratified the appointment of two international audit firms by the committee to conduct a forensic audit of the account from 2010 to 2015.

The governors said that the CBN governor had briefed the Council on the state of the economy and the exchange rate of the Naira with the observation that the declining oil price had put a drag on the foreign reserve.

They said that the new NNPC boss also gave council an insight into the ongoing reforms in the petroleum industry which covers aspects of performance management, transparency and accountability, proper focus in investment and zero tolerance to corruption.

The governors noted the effort put in the repair of the stranded hydro stations, and gas supply to thermal stations and urged states to assist in protecting gas pipelines against vandalism.
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Amaechi denies having an account with a Bank in Minnesota, USA

Below is a press statement from former Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi denying claims in that he operates an account with an unnamed bank in Minnesota, USA.

Our attention has been drawn to fake stories making the rounds on the Internet and social media about former Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. The stories are all what they are- concocted and failed attempts to ridicule the person and achievements of Rt. Hon. Amaechi. Our initial reaction was to ignore them, but to clear the doubts of those concerned we have decided to issue this statement.

There is absolutely no truth in fabricated story saying Amaechi has an account with a Bank in Minnesota, USA; same as the concocted write-up alleging that CNN’s Christiane Amanpour accused Amaechi of corruption. They even went ahead to say Amaechi wrote to Bancorp and another bank in Switzerland stating that the said funds were deposited in error. This is absolutely false.

It is important for the public to note that no such account or accounts exists. There is also no story of Amanpour linking the former governor with any corruption issue or case whatsoever, not on CNN or any verified news source or website associated with Amanpour.

These are all lies, concocted in an attempt to put the public against the acclaimed people’s governor whose achievements as governor of Rivers State speaks volumes and drew admiration and accolades from within and outside Nigeria.

All these fictitious stories are the product of the ill imaginations of wicked and unscrupulous people opposed to Amaechi; those jealous and at unease with his continued rise in the country and beyond; those whose life ambition is to pull-Amaechi-down.
We therefore urge the people to discard and disregard the unfounded rumours. They are all fake.

August 21, 2015
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Old Anambra speaker, Enemchukwu dies at 75

The speaker of the old Anambra State House of Assembly during the second republic, Chief Ifeanyichukwu Enemchukwu has passed on. He was 75 years old.

Enemchukwu, who held the title of Oba of Oba in Idemili South local government area, was the speaker of the old Anambra State, comprising the present Anambra and Enugu states and some parts of Ebonyi State between 1979 and 1983.

The speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mrs. Rita Maduagwu read a letter from the Enemchukwu family on the floor of the House after which a minute silence was observed in his honour.

The lawmakers also held a special session in his honour, with most of the legislators describing the late Enemchukwu as a lawmaker whose contributions during the second republic helped to shape the country’s democracy.They also called for the immortalization of the former speaker by the state government.
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REVEALED: Why Buhari suspended NIS boss, David Parradang

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, on Friday, clarified that President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), David Parradang, for unauthorized recruitment into the Service.

Adesina, through a text message, dispelled insinuations in some quarters that Parradang was suspended because an ISIS chief, Ahmed Al Assir, got entry visa at the Nigerian embassy in Lebanon to visit Nigeria.

He said: “The suspension of Comptroller-General, Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), David Parradang, today (Friday), was not connected to the probe of how the ISIS chief got the Nigerian visa but for unauthorized recruitment into the Immigration Service.”

Recall that Parradang was appointed into office in June 2013 for a four-year tenure.

He was also indicted in the recruitment scandal which led to the death of at least 19 job seekers across Nigeria, during a nationwide recruitment test conducted by the NIS, on Saturday, March 16, 2014.

Millions of job seekers who reportedly paid the sum of N1,000 as application fee, had thronged venues of the exercise, mostly stadia.

Earlier, a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Interior, Mr Yusuf Isiaka Alhaji, on behalf of the permanent secretary of the ministry, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, said the Federal Government had suspended from office the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. Parradang, with immediate effect.

The statement said the Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Martin Kure Abeshi, has been directed to take over the affairs of the office.

Abeshi is the most senior officer after Parradang, the statement added.
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BREAKING: Buhari suspends immigration boss

President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, David Parradang, with immediate effect.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Interior, Mr. Yusuf Isiaka Alhaji, on behalf of the permanent secretary of the ministry on Friday in Abuja.

The statement said the Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. Martin Kure Abeshi, had been directed to take over the affairs of the office.

Abeshi is the most senior officer after Parradang, the statement added.

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Nigerian soldiers liberate Borno town

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, has said troops of the 7 Brigade, Maiduguri, have liberated Gudumbali town in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.

Usman, in a statement on Friday, said operatives killed a large number of the insurgents and destroyed their weapons during a battle and had commenced "a clearance operation in the general area".

He recalled that the fighter pilots of the Nigerian Air Force routed the camps of the insurgents in the mission area on Monday.
Usman added, "As part of the offensive against the Boko Haram terrorists, troops of 7 Brigade have today(Friday) entered and cleared Gudumbali town in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.

"During the operation, quite a number of the terrorists were killed and their weapons and equipment destroyed. 

"The troops are currently doing clearance operations in the general area."
The Acting Army spokesman lamented that two soldiers of the 5 Brigade Explosive Devices Ordinance Unit were killed by landmines and two others injured while they were advancing towards Dikwa, Borno State, on Friday.

According to him, the soldiers ran into the landmines buried by the insurgents between old Marte and Kerenoa junction in Guzamala Local Government Area of the state.
He said the bodies of the deceased soldiers had been evacuated while those who were wounded were being treated in a military hospital.

Usman explained that the Brigade lost a Mowag armoured personnel carrier to the mines explosion, saying the troops had continued their advance to the Sambisa Forest in pursuit of the fleeing terrorists with determination in spite of the sad occurrence.
He added, "In a related development, troops of the 5 Brigade Explosive Ordinance Devices  unit, while advancing towards Dikwa, ran into landmines buried by the terrorists between old Marte and Kerenoa  junction in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno State. 

"Unfortunately, two soldiers lost their lives  while two others were critically injured due to the landmine explosion.
"Despite this sad event, the troops are not deterred as they continued with their advance and pursuit of the terrorists to their enclaves in the Sambisa forest."

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Afrobasket: Nigeria beat Uganda 98-59

Nigeria's D'Tigers beat Uganda 98-59 in their second Group A game at Afrobasket for Men in Rades, will meet hosts Tunisia in their final group game on Sunday.
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Disaster strikes in Makurdi, over 200 houses submerged by flood

Parts of Makurdi, the Benue State capital was, Friday, hit by a major disaster following over four hours of torrential downpour which submerged about 200 houses and huts and also swept away property and valuables of residents, worth millions of Naira.

The latest incident which has taken its toll on residents was the second major flood disaster in the state capital, in the last four weeks.

The hardest hit areas included the Wurukum roundabout and railway crossing, Wurukum market, Judges quarters on Gboko road, Logo and Angwa Jukum which were completely taken over by flood water

Also affected was the personal residence of the Second Republic Governor of the state, late Aper Aku, Benue State University (BSU), Living Faith and Dunamis churches, Steam fast and houses on Daniel Amokachi avenue were all submerged in water.

Shops and stalls at the popular Wurukum market were also not spared as most of them were filled with water, while traders battled hard to save whatever they could from the flood.

Reacting to the unfortunate development, the state Commissioner of Water Resources and Environment, Nicholas Wende, lamented that the state would need about N100 billion to stem the flood menace in the state.

He said the state government had submitted a request to the federal government for intervention adding that the government was expecting the federal government to also assist in dredging River Benue as a permanent solution.

Wende explained that the state government had constituted a committee to identify flood prone areas with a view to taking measures to control the disaster.
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Why Victor Moses will not play for Chelsea this weekend — Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has disclosed that Super Eagles' star, Victor Moses is injured and will not be part of the team to face Brown Ideye's West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
'Moses is still injured and Oscar is still injured,' said the Portuguese. 'I don't know if the new players are available for Sunday yet.'

Moses against New York Red Bulls
He reported Thibaut Courtois, available again following his one-match suspension, will return to the starting line-up on Sunday.
'I'm so happy with Begovic's performance (at Manchester City), he showed what we have, but we'll go back to Courtois.'
Addressing the media ahead of Sunday's trip to West Bromwich Albion, the Blues boss spoke about the good reaction to last weekend's result against Manchester City.
'We normally train very well but this week we trained better than ever,' said Mourinho. 'Why? Because we are not happy. I'm not happy with the results and the players are not happy with the results. We want to do better and there is only one way, which is to work well and better than ever, which we did this week.
'Do we have to improve? Obviously, always, but we are calm. Not happy but calm. We need to be unhappy because that feeling makes you work, but to be calm is important.
'New players are always welcome so obviously I'm happy both of them have come to us. I know the Premier League doesn't start tomorrow, it started two weeks ago, but people call it the transfer window and I sometimes call it the opportunity window. While the window is open there is always an opportunity.
'It's dangerous because every team can lose players at a moment when nobody wants to, but at the same time it's an opportunity to get players until the last moment and this week we got a very good, young left-back that we needed, with potential we believe can be developed, and we got one of the best attacking players in the world, a player with lots of experience and with something I really like very much, which is the desire to leave a giant club, one of the best clubs in the world, a club that normally players don't want to leave.
'For a player like him, who is loved by the club and who loves the club, he wanted to leave because he wants something more for his career. That's evidence of his ambition.'

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Police arrest nine over alleged rape, theft

The Kaduna State Police Command on Friday said it arrested five suspected rapists and four other persons for alleged criminal conspiracy, theft and vandalism.

Mr. Zubairu Abubakar, the command's spokesman, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna that the rape suspects carried out the act in Rigasa area of Kaduna metropolis.

He said the suspects were arrested on August 19, following complaints by the victim's parents.

"Among the suspects, were two who raped a 13-year-old girl, while three others raped a 20-year-old girl. Two other suspects involved in the act are at large.

"The victims were taken to Rigasa General Hospital and the medical reports have confirmed that they were raped,'' he said.

Zubaira said the other four suspects were arrested for criminal conspiracy, vandalism and theft.

He said the Regional Manager of Forlknox, Mr. Musa Usman, had lodged a complaint with the police on August 13, that some unknown persons were vandalising the company's property.

"After the complaint, the police took immediate action and arrested the four suspects with five 4KVA generators belonging to the company,'' Zubairu said.

The command's spokesman said all the nine suspects will be arraigned in court.
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Don't exhort money from applicants - Buhari warns Nigerian police

President ​Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja said he would not tolerate ​any ​attempt by ​​​the Nigeria Police to extort money from unemployed youth applying to join the force.

​​Speaking at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Police Service Commission at the presidential villa, Mr. Buhari said the practice of applicants having to pay bribes before being accepted into the police was totally unacceptable.

He ​said those in charge of recruitment and training in the police must be above board and shun every form of extortion and secret dealing that would involve receiving or taking bribe from any of the applicants.

“You must ensure that the recruitment process is transparent. Those who will conduct the recruitment must be above board. It should not be heard that they receive gratification or extort money from those who want to enlist in the police,” Mr. Buhari said.

Also, ​the president​ directed that the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, reduce the number of police officer​s​ attached to dignitaries.

Mr. Buhari asked that the police service commission review the present police structure and make valid recommendations on boosting the morale of officers and non-promotion of personnel for years.
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US endorses NNPC reforms, pledges to support

The United States Government has said it is ready to work with the ne
w management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to reform the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, told the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, that the United States would provide all the necessary assistance required by the new NNPC Management to realize its set goals and objectives.

Although Mr. Entwistle acknowledged Mr. Kachikwu’s job in NNPC as the most challenging in the country, he said the US government was confident the NNPC boss will perform the task, as he possesses the skills, training and requisite experience to lead the oil and gas industry in Nigeria towards the path of growth and sustainable development.

Responding, Mr. Kachikwu noted the US’ pledge to support the country, restating the determination of the new NNPC Management to implement the spirit and letter of President Muhammadu Buhari’s reform agenda in the petroleum industry.

He said the new NNPC would be driven by a deep sense of commitment to service delivery anchored on the principle of transparency, efficiency, people, purpose and profit.

“My mission is to re-direct and re-energize the work force for greater value addition and I believe that the NNPC, given the right leadership has what it takes to achieve this objective,’’ he said.
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PDP faults Ahmed’s N5bn loan

People’s Democratic Party in Kwara State has faulted the rationale behind the state government’s decision to borrow five billion naira to pay the arrears of local governments’ staff salaries.

The state Publicity Secretary of the Party, Chief Rex Olawoye, made the observation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin.

Olawoye, therefore, challenged Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, to explain what the monthly Federal Allocations to the councils have been used for.

He maintained that the N3.5bn Federal Allocation to the 16 local governments in the state for the month of June was adequate to offset the three months arrears of salaries allegedly owed council staff.

He said this was aside the state statutory allocation of N5.2bn from the Federation Account for the same month.

“Once an organisation resorts to borrowing to pay salaries, such organisation should be counting its days of collapse or bankruptcy.

“As much as it is good to pay salaries with borrowed money, how do you pay back the loan with the interest? Borrowing to pay salaries means postponing the evil day,” Olawoye said.

Olawoye challenged Ahmed to tell the world what happened to the June allocations that should warrant his borrowing money for salaries.

The spokesman gave a breakdown of the June allocation to each of the 16 councils to prove why it was needless for the APC-led state government to raise bond to pay salaries.

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15-year-old stabs mother’s customer, arraigned

The police on Friday arraigned a 15-year-old boy in an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly stabbing his mother’s customer in the face with an iron rod.

The accused, who lives at Isheri, a suburb of Lagos, is facing one charge of assault.

The prosecutor, Sgt. Jimah Iseghede, told the court that the offence was committed on August 16 at 8, Ajibode St., Isheri, Lagos State.

Iseghede said the accused committed the offence during a fight that had ensued between the accused and his mother’s customer, Wasiu Adeshina.

“The complainant lost so much blood in the process and was rushed to a nearby hospital by some passers-by,” he said.

The prosecutor said the offence contravened Section 171 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Tajudeen Elias, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50,000 with one surety in like sum.

Elias ordered that the accused be remanded at the Borstal Centre in Adigbe, Abeokuta, Ogun State, until the bail conditions were perfected.
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President Buhari intervenes in Guinea Bissau’s political crisis

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday expressed deep concern over the unfolding political situation in Guinea Bissau.

The political crisis was sparked off by the dismissal of the Prime Minister, Mr. Domingos Simoes Pereira, and his cabinet by President Jose Mario Vaz.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement on Friday, said in demonstration of true African solidarity and brotherhood, Buhari had sent former President Olusegun Obasanjo as his special envoy to mediate and help find a solution to the crisis brewing in the country.

Adesina disclosed that Obasanjo embarked on the first leg of his mission by consulting with the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Macky Sall of Senegal, in Dakar on Thursday.

He regretted that while the former President was still consulting with President Sall, President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau proceeded to appoint and swear-in a new Prime Minister, Mr. Baciro Dja.

This development, he said, has worsened the political situation in his country.

He therefore quoted Buhari as appealing for calm and restraint in the country.

The statement read in part, “President Buhari appeals for calm and calls on the leadership in Guinea Bissau to exercise utmost restraint and ensure the maintenance of law and order as efforts continue to resolve the current crisis.

“The President particularly urges the leadership in Guinea Bissau, including the military, to ensure respect for constitutional order, sanctity of life and safety of citizens, and avoid taking any further action that can threaten the fragile democratic institutions recently established in the country.”
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I'm confident of Eagles’ recall – Ighalo

Watford striker Odion Ighalo has insisted his spirit is not dampened by his omission from the Super Eagles’ list to face Tanzania next month, saying he plans to work harder to earn a recall to the team.

Coach Sunday Oliseh omitted the 26-year-old from his 18-man foreign-based list for the crucial encounter, Goal reports.

The former Udinese striker said his omission would afford him the opportunity to continue working for his team to ensure he makes the list in future.

Ighalo praised the decision of Oliseh to come out in the open and disclose that he still has a future in the Eagles despite his omission from the latest squad.

“I will say I am satisfied with the fact that I will keep on working hard on doing my best for my club which I hope will earn me a recall to the Eagles’ fold. I cannot fault his decisions because he is the boss,” the striker told Goal.
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Landlord’s daughter bites tenant’s ear over power bill

A 23- year old hair dresser at the popular Oba market, Miss Faith Idehen, is currently battling excruciating pain in her left ear after she was allegedly bitten by her landlord’s daughter simply identified as Vivian, a single mother of two.

The victim was occupying a two bedroom apartment at Vivian father’s house located at No 2 Jesus Power lane, off Ojo Street, Ugbiyoko, Benin City, Edo State.

The accused was said to have demanded the payment of monthly electricity bill of N1, 500 from the tenant who pleaded with the landlord’s daughter to exercise patience.

She, however, deposited N1, 000 with a promise to pay the balance of N500 later in the day, a plea that fell on Vivian’s deaf ear.

The victim reportedly left the compound and boarded a commercial bus to her place of work at the Oba market, but unknown to her, she was being trailed by Vivian who caught up with her at the popular (Yanga fish market) and a fight ensued between the two ladies.

Faith, who bled profusely from her left ear, was rescued from the grip of her attacker by those present at the scene of the fight.

The landlord’s daughter was later arrested by policemen 24 hours after the incident.

The victim said, “I didn’t know that I was being trailed even after I pleaded that I will pay the balance of N500 when I returned from work. The moment I alighted from the bus I heard someone calling Faith, Faith and immediately I turned behold it was Vivian who grabbed my hair and started beating me and before I knew what happened I saw my ear dangling with blood gushing out.

“I was later rescued and rushed to the Central hospital where it was stitched.”
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Wike to continue sponsorship of pilgrims to Israel, Saudi Arabia

Rivers governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, has said his administration will continue sponsorship of Christian and Muslim Pilgrims to their respective Holy lands.

Wike made this known at the inauguration of the State Christian and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards in Port Harcourt.

He said that the dwindling state resources was not an excuse to stop sponsoring Nigerians, adding that pilgrimage was necessary for spiritual growth of the people.

“Rivers government will continue to sponsor pilgrims in view of the importance Nigerians place on their religious faith.

“However, the number of people to be sponsored on pilgrimages would be reduced in line with dwindling state resources.

“My administration will continue to promote religious harmony and support Muslims because of our belief in religious diversity,” he said.

Wike urged the boards to be prudent with resources and work hard to avoid financial scandal.
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IG directs medical personnel to treat accident victims

The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, has urged members of the public, including medical personnel to attend to accident victims and persons with gunshot injuries and thereafter, inform the police for necessary action.

This, he said, became imperative, following neglects and consequent untimely death of victims out of fear of being implicated without police involvement.

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu on Friday in Abuja, said the police high command had also directed its officers and men not to harass good Samaritans who assisted accident victims.

It added that the officers should endeavour to elicit correct facts in relation to incident from them.

The statement said, “Doctors on duty are equally duty-bound to treat victims of gunshot wounds and further inform police of relevant facts.

“The safety of Nigerians is a collaborative effort of all and sundry. Police therefore, enjoin citizens not to relent in their cooperative attitude in ensuring safety of all, while they are also to report any suspicious person or persons to the nearest police station.”
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WAEC not considering computer-based examinations – Official

The West African Examination Council says it is not considering adopting a Computer-Based Test mode for its examinations.

Its Head, National Office, Mr Charles Eguridu, made the clarification at an interactive forum with education correspondents on Thursday night in Abuja.

Eguridu said it would amount to ‘intellectual dishonesty’ for him to say that the council would introduce CBT in the next five years or in the near future.

According to him, the purpose of education is to prepare people for life, not to pass examinations; hence the need to examine different domains which CBT cannot accommodate.

“There is what we call the cognitive domain; that is what you have learnt that you can put in your head.

“There is also what we call affective domain that has to do with your emotions.

There is also what we call the psychomotor domain that is skills which you can express using your hands and your body.

“I am yet to see any education expert who will tell you that you can measure the psychomotor domain using CBT.

“Any test that will use computer to evaluate who will be a good carpenter cannot be a valid test.”

He said the examinations conducted by the council took into cognizance the three domains that measured ability to recall, apply and practicalise.

Eguridu said that in psychomotor domain, candidates did practical tests in agricultural science in the farm and the examiner supervised their actual agricultural practice.

He said that those doing woodwork were made to carry out physical designs of whatever woodwork assignment they were going to do and evaluated on the outcome of their work.

The WAEC official said that even Netherlands where people went to learn CBT had yet to apply CBT in all its examinations.

He said, “In Netherlands which people emulate in CBT, they have not been able to migrate 40 per cent.

“How many schools in Nigeria have hardware? How many schools in Nigeria have the facilities to have those computers?

“There is the additional problem of electricity and internet connectivity.

“What JAMB is doing is commendable because theirs is an admission test; it is a certification examination.”

Eguridu said that WAEC was using specialised gadgets in detecting examination malpractice as the device had ability to transmit any irregularity to its data base in Lagos.

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Group decries cases of child kidnapping in Cross River

A non-governmental organisation, Prevent Abuse of Children Today Coalition in Cross River State, says that no fewer than 20 children are kidnapped in Cross River within nine months.

This is contained in a statement by Mr. James Ibor, Coordinator, PACT Coalition, Cross River State and Executive Secretary Basic Rights Counsel Initiative of the group in Calabar on Friday.

Ibor said that PACT had been investigating the recent spate of child kidnapping in Calabar, an ancient city famous for its serene and peaceful environment.

According to him, the city regarded as the safest in Nigeria is now nose-diving into a den of kidnappers with incessant reported cases of child kidnapping.

Ibor said, “The fact that Calabar is increasingly gaining this sad reputation as a centre of child kidnapping should be of major concern to all state and national leaders.

“Over the last nine months, at least 20 children in the city and outskirts of Calabar have been reportedly kidnapped for suspected ritual purposes.

“The number of such cases seems to be increasingly on the rise. Children aged between one to seven years have been reportedly kidnapped, leaving families distressed and helpless.

“On the 9th of July 2015, a one year and nine months old baby was kidnapped at Ikot-Abasi Obori Street, Ikot-Ishie Town, Calabar. On 2nd June, 2015 a four and a half year old child was kidnapped at Awi, Akamkpa.

“On 15th May, 2015, a four-year-old child was kidnapped at Akamkpa and a two and a half year old child was also kidnapped at Idang, Calabar South. In April, 2015 a four-year-old child was kidnapped at 8 mile Axis of Calabar.

“Other cases include a one and half year old child kidnapped in May, 2015 when the kidnappers lured the child’s mother to Aba, Abia State, under the pretence of giving her a job.

“Again, in April, 2015 a seven-year-old child was kidnapped at Ambo Street, Calabar South. Another seven-year-old child was kidnapped in April, 2015 at Idang, Calabar South.

“On 14th May, 2014 a two-year-old child was kidnapped at Okon Ekpo Close, Off Jebbs, Calabar South. In September, 2014 a four-year-old child was kidnapped at Adiabo, Odukpani.

“Also, a little boy of six years and her sister (a two-year-old child), were both kidnapped in June, 2014 at Ikot-Eyo, Akpabuyo Local Government Area, Cross River.

“We have the full data and documentation of these kidnapped children in Cross River.”

He said that it was also worrisome that parents had been subjected to desperation and trauma in course of financing investigations by law enforcement agents.

The organization also condemned what it called heartless and senseless kidnapping of children in Cross River, and urged the Federal and state governments to put an end to child kidnapping.

According to the organisation it will help save and protect the lives of our younger generation.

He appealed to all to ensure that the victims were returned to their parents alive, adding that anyone suspected of involving in kidnapping of children should be prosecuted.

Ibor said,” Child rights are human rights. We must prevent abuse of children today.”

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We’re ready for war – North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his frontline troops to be ready for war, against a backdrop of rising military tensions between his country and South Korea.

The announcement follows an exchange of artillery shells across the two countries' heavily fortified border.

The Demilitarised Zone is a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war.

The North's official KCNA news agency said the move came during an emergency meeting late on Thursday of the powerful Central Military Commission of which Kim is the chairman.

During the meeting, Kim ordered frontline, combined units of the Korean People's Army (KPA) to "enter a wartime state" from Friday 5pm local time (08:00 GMT).

The troops should be "fully battle ready to launch surprise operations" while the entire frontline should be placed in a "semi-war state," KCNA quoted him as saying.

The CMC meeting came hours after the two Koreas traded artillery fire on Thursday, leaving no apparent casualties but pushing already elevated cross-border tensions to dangerously high levels.

The KPA followed up with an ultimatum sent via military hotline that gave the South 48 hours to dismantle loudspeakers blasting propaganda messages across the border or face further military action.

The ultimatum expires on Saturday at 5pm.

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PCN shuts 148 chemists in Cross River

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria on Friday sealed 148 medicine shops in Cross River for unauthorised sale of drugs.

Deputy Director and Head of Enforcement, PCN, Abuja, Mr. Stephen Esumobi, made this known during a press conference in Calabar.

He said the action was taken as part of measures to ensure that only quality drugs were sold to members of the public.

According to him, the patent medicine shops were also closed for operating without the supervision of a pharmacist, poor storage conditions of drugs and low education of medicine vendors, among others.

Esumobi said the enforcement was carried out after series of reports of the activities of unregistered premises, which engage in the illegal sale of medicines in the state.

He added that some of the registered premises were selling beyond the approved list laid down by PCN.

According to him, PCN is charged with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the education, training and practice of pharmacy in all ramifications as established by the PCN Act 2004.

"At the end of our one week enforcement exercise, we visited 198 drug premises. 148 of them, comprising two pharmacies, 48 patent medicine shops and 98 unregistered premises were sealed for various offences.

"In doing this, we are discharging one of the core mandates of PCN – ensuring rational distribution and dispensing of medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality.

"To carry out this mandate, the PCN established structures such as the Pharmaceutical Inspection Committee in all states of the federation and Abuja."

He warned that the Federal Government would not tolerate the indiscriminate sale of drugs without submission to regulatory control.

The director advised members of the public to purchase their medicines from licensed pharmacies and propriety medicines shops.

The official said owners of the affected shops would have to visit the PCN office in the state for more education on drug storage and drugs mixing.

"They are also to be attached with a supervisor for all related drugs issues," he said.


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Reporter dies in Ghana presidential convoy crash

A member of the press corps of Ghana's Presidency lost his life Thursday after the vehicle they were traveling skidded off road, a release from the presidency said.

The release said the reporter from the state-owned Ghanaian Times newspaper lost his life in an accident involving the press corps at Shai Hills about 45 km northeast of the capital.

The release said other members of the press corps were also injured and had been airlifted to the Military hospital in the capital.

It said the vehicle skidded off road at the Volta Regional capital, Ho.

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Reasons why I said APC’ll govern Imo for 24 yrs – Okorocha

Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has advised loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to stop losing sleep over his earlier stand that the All Progressives Congress, APC, would govern Imo for 24 years. Okorocha gave the advice in a press statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, and made available to journalists in Owerri.

“Some members of the PDP in the state, yet to recover from the shock of losing the governorship elections in 2011 and in 2015 consecutively, have been making fruitless efforts to read harmful meaning into that innocent claim of the governor,

by trying to compare it with a similar claim by the former National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Vincent Ogbulafor, some time ago that his party would rule the country for 60 years, which could not be achieved by the party,” Onwuemeodo said.

Government also acknowledged what it called “the concerted effort being made by some PDP elements in the state to wrongly situate the claim by the governor that his party would not only become stronger in the state and even in the South-East, but would govern the state for 24 years”.
Onwuemeodo explained that the background of Governor Okorocha’s claim and that of Chief Ogbulafor’s claim cannot be the same.

“That of Ogbulafor was only anchored on federal might they had always leveraged on to indulge in high degree of impunity during elections, while that of Okorocha was anchored on enviable record of achievements by his administration,” Onwuemeodo said.
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Tailor stabs colleague to death over N200

A tailor, Ifeanyi John, is now in police net for allegedly stabbing his colleague, Anthony Kalu, 28, to death, following an argument that ensued over N200 fine.

The incident occurred on Wednesday evening at Number 39, Bawas Street by Umuwaya Road, Umuahia, Abia State.

The tailors, mostly from Edda in Afikpo-South Local Government Council of Ebonyi State, were said to have gathered for their monthly meeting at the venue but the suspect, who allegedly failed to attend the meeting, stayed back in his makeshift workshop doing some work.

It was also gathered that over 15 tailors displaced by the relocation of Umuahia Main Market to Ubani had been using the venue of the meeting as their joint workshop and had shared things in common as kinsmen.

According to an eyewitness, trouble started when the victim, who was reportedly appointed by his colleagues to collect N200 absenteeism fine from the suspect, demanded the fine from the suspect in his makeshift shop.

The suspect was said to have accused the victim of looking for his trouble.

The source said that the suspect had threatened to deal with the victim for always antagonising him.

The source added that the suspect ruptured the victim’s throat with a pair of scissors which pierced through the back of the neck.

“When he stabbed the victim the first time, some of the tailors who were mediating in the matter held the victims hands and in the process, the suspect stabbed him in the neck with a pair of scissors,” the source said.

The victim was later rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, where he was certified dead as he had already given up the ghost on the way, according to the source.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abia State Command, Mr. Udeviotu Onyeke, confirmed the incident and said that the suspect had been arrested.

Onyeke, who said the suspect would be charged with murder, added that investigations had also commenced.
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How Mikel snubbed me in London - Super Eagles Chief Coach, Sunday Oliseh

Super Eagles Chief Coach, Sunday Oliseh yesterday explained why he left out Chelsea of England midfielder, John Mikel Obi from his list of players invited for the forthcoming 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Tanzania. Oliseh who revealed this at a media parley in Abuja said he made several phone calls including text messages to Obi’s number but he never responded to any.

The former international who reluctantly spoke about the issue of Obi revealed that he has no bias against anybody adding that under him, the national team will not favour or malign any Nigerian player.

“Well this issue is an enigma and we have been trying to understand it but I am in the dark personally, and with my assistants we spent time about 11 days in and around Europe talking to players, watching games. We contacted each of the players, call them up, call the clubs and eventually met with the players.

“I went to England on a Thursday and Chelsea was just coming back, we had fixed our visit to coincide with the end of their tour before they played Arsenal. I contacted Obi Mikel, called him on phone four times, the phone kept on ringing nobody picked it up, I sent him an SMS and got no response. But I called Victor Moses the phone rang three times and he picked it up and I spoke with him, told him to concentrate on his game.
Super Eagles midfielder, Mikel Obi eared to play against Cote D’Ivoire

After the game he came to my hotel and we met and I told him my plans for the national team. I left to Liverpool to meet the other player and I spent about six hours to go there and back but there was no response from Mikel until I returned here.
I think it was yesterday (Wednesday) that I saw a missed call, so at the moment I don’t know what the situation is. For me everybody is the same and will be treated the same.”

He also gave words of encouragement to the home based players by stating that any of them that proves his worth will be given the opportunity to play, if they were better than their foreign based compatriots.
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FG refuses to appeal ruling against Kashamu’s extradition

The Federal Government has not appealed against the ruling of Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which dismissed a suit seeking the extradition of the Ogun-East Senator, Buruji Kashamu, to the United States of America to face illicit drug charge, findings by our correspondent have shown.

Since it was an interlocutory ruling and not a judgment on the main suit, the government ought to have appealed against the ruling which was delivered on July 1, within 14 days.

Our correspondent learnt that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Justice, has only appealed against two separate judgments of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court which had stopped the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from going ahead with the extradition proceedings already instituted against the senator before Justice Kolawole.

Justice Kolawole had, in his ruling on July 1, dismissed the extradition suit on the grounds that his court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it since the judgment of the Lagos division of the court nullifying the proceedings had not been set aside by any appellate court.

Justice Okon Abang of the Lagos division had, on June 8, 2015, nullified the extradition proceedings instituted before Justice Kolawole in the Abuja division of the court on the grounds that the suit was commenced in contravention of some subsisting court orders which had exonerated Kashamu of culpability in the alleged crime in the US.

Justice Abang’s order nullifying the proceedings was affirmed by Justice Ibrahim Buba in a ruling on June 23, 2015.

Our correspondent’s findings showed that the Federal Ministry of Justice had appealed against the two judgments by Justices Abang and Buba.

No official of the ministry was willing to offer information on whether or not the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation had appealed against Justice Kolawole’s ruling, which quashed the extradition suit.

However, a senior lawyer with the case but who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak for the ministry, confirmed the outcome of our correspondent’s search at the registry of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal that no appeal had been filed against Justice Kolawole’s ruling.

One of the lawyers in Kashamu’s legal team, Mr. Babs Akinwumi, also on Thursday confirmed that there was no pending appeal against the ruling.

“They (the Federal Ministry of Justice) have not appealed against the ruling. If they have appealed against it, they would have served us with their notice of appeal. Up till now, we have not received copies of their processes in the office, where they usually serve us,” he said.

According to Akinwumi, going by the provisions of the law, the ministry ought to have filed an appealed against the court’s decision within 14 days since the ruling was interlocutory and not a ruling on the main suit.

He said if it was a judgment on the main suit, then the appellant would have up to 30 days to file an appeal against the decision.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Charles Nwodo, said he did not have information on the case.

But justifying the ministry’s refusal to appeal against Justice Kolawole’s ruling, our source said the ministry hoped that it would win its appeals against the judgments of Justices Abang and Buba, and that would clear the way for a fresh extradition application to be filed.

“Their (the ministry’s) strategy is to get the judgments from Lagos set aside and if they (the ministry) are able to achieve that, they will then file a fresh extradition application,” the source said.

The immediate past Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, had filed the application on May 28, 2015, upon a United State Government’s request asking the Nigerian government to submit Kashamu for extradition.

The then AGF stated in the application, FHC/ABJ/CS/479/2015, that Kashamu, described by the US government as being also known as Alhaji and Kashmal, was a subject of a one-count second superseding indictment in criminal case No. 94 CR 172 filed before the Illinois court on May 21, 1998.

An affidavit deposed to by the Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Diane MacArthur, attached to the extradition request from the US government, was said to be dated April 27, 2015.

By the US government’s charge against him, Kashamu allegedly conspired with others to intentionally import “and did import into the United States” quantities of mixtures containing heroin between 1992 and 1995.

The offence for which Kashamu is allegedly wanted in the US is said to contravene Section 952(a) of Title 21, United States Code, and punishable under Section 960 of the same law.

The penalty for the offence on conviction under the law, according to the charge, is an imprisonment of not more than 10 years or a fine of up to $10m in the case of an individual or both.
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