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Friday, May 13

ICAN gives FG kudos over deregulation of petroleum downstream sector

ICAN gives FG kudos over deregulation of petroleum downstream sector

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Ikeja District Society, on Friday commended the Federal Government over the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

The Chairman of the society, Mr Gbenga Adewole, told journalists in Lagos that deregulation would ensure product availability across the country.

Adewole said that this would also enable investors in the downstream sector to come in and do business, adding that this would encourage job creation.

He, however, said that government should have allowed the forces of demand and supply to determine the price instead of fixing the price for the product.

“I support deregulation of the petroleum sector but what government did is partial deregulation and not total because you don’t deregulate and still dictate the price.

“After deregulation, it is the forces of demand and supply that will determine the market prices.

“By fixing the price, you are telling marketers to sell petrol for N145 per litre.

“All marketers will be working within that fixed price instead of allowing the forces of demand and supply to dictate the price,” Adewole said.

The chairman urged the government to do all within its power to ensure stability of foreign exchange, adding that only stabilised foreign exchange would encourage marketers.

He appealed to Nigerians to support the government in its effort to ensure total deregulation of the downstream sector.

NAN reports that the Federal Government on Wednesday announced a new price regime for petrol with the highest price of N145 per litre.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said in Abuja that the new price regime had taken effect from Wednesday.

NAN reports also that on Thursday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said the new pump price of N145 for petrol would help to sustain supply and reduce hardship in getting the product.

The minister told newsmen in Abuja that NNPC did not have the resources to supply the product to meet the demands of the nation.
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World’s oldest person dies in New York at age & Video

Susannah Mushatt Jones at her 113th birthday.

World’s oldest person dies in New York at age 116

World’s oldest person dies in New York at age 116

Susannah Mushatt Jones, the world’s oldest person, has died at age 116 in New York.

She died the night of May 12 at a senior housing facility in Brooklyn, her home for the past three decades, Robert Young, a senior consultant for the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group told the Associated Press.

She had been ill for the past 10 days, Young said.

In July 2015, Jones became the record holder for the Guinness World Records title of oldest living female. She was given the record on her 116th birthday.

What was her secret to a long life? Sleep and, bacon, Jones said in 2015. She kept a steady diet of bacon, eggs and grits for breakfast. A sign in her kitchen reads: “Bacon makes everything better.”

Jones, one of 11 siblings, was born in 1899 near Montgomery, Alabama. After graduating high school in 1922, she worked in the family business picking crops. She later worked as a nanny in New Jersey and New York.

Watch Video...

In New York, Jones started a scholarship for African American women to go to college. She was also involved in her public housing's building-tenant patrol until the ripe age of 106.

She was known as “T” (short for auntie) to her 100 nieces and nephews. Jones did not leave behind any children. She was married for a few years.

Now, 116-year-old Emma Morano, of Verbania, Italy, is the unofficial world’s oldest person.
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Another explosion rocks Chevron facility in Warri

Another explosion rocks Chevron facility in Warri

Another explosion rocked Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility in the oil rich Niger Delta on Friday.

The company had in the last few weeks recorded several attacks on its facilities.

Friday’s attack occurred in the Marakaba line operated by the oil firm in Warri, Delta State.

The Nation gathered that unknown persons detonated explosive on oil well head 10 on the Makaraba line.

Sources said Chevron had declared force majeure on the facility since last Wednesday’s attack on the offshore Okan manifold.

Friday’s attack, our correspondents gathered, was carried out by persons specifically engaged by contractors to work on damaged oil pipelines in the area.
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Police inaugurates gender unit to fight sexual, gender-based violence

Police inaugurates gender unit to fight sexual, gender-based violence

Solomon Arase

The Nigeria Police Force had created a ‘public friendly’ gender unit across the country to prosecute anyone culpable of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, represented by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Mr Fatai Owoseni, said this at a one-day sensitisation workshop on SGBV in Lagos.

The workshop was organised by the NPF in collaboration with CLEEN Foundation in Lagos‎ and sponsored by the Ford Foundation.

Arase said the gender unit of the force was set up due to the predominant rate of sexual and gender-based-violent crimes in the society.

He said that the unit was also to bring justice closer to the door steps of Nigerians faced with such violence.

The IGP said violence against women had been described as the most pervasive, yet the least recognised human rights’ abuse in the world.

According to him, most cultures and traditions in the society, unconsciously or ignorantly, support violence against women and girls.

“As a result of this, the so-called inhabitants of these cultures and traditions harbour the perpetrators of these crimes and condemn the victims with tirades, thereby, encouraging impunity and recurrence.’’

He said that most perpetrators of the crime had succeeded in sending most women and girls to emotional and psychological torments by their actions.

“Therefore, the police force will no longer spare or hesitate to prosecute anyone found culpable to serve as a deterrent to other perpetrators,” he said.

Arase said the Force ‎Gender Unit had since its inception embarked on full campaign against SGBV due to the daring dangers it portends.

He said that currently, the police was partnering the Ford Foundation in a sponsored project tagged; Curbing Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Nigeria- to curb the menace of the violence.

According to him, the project is scheduled to cover the six geo-political zones ‎and with pilot schemes done in, Kano, ‎Imo, Edo, Ondo, Lagos and Borno States and the FCT respectively.

“The North-West, South-West, North Central, South-South and North-East had been covered, using Kano, Imo Edo‎ and Gombe States as well as the FCT for their pilot schemes during the sensitisation workshop.

“The current sensitisation and awareness workshop in Lagos State will serve as the base for the South-West,” he said.

Arase said the gender unit of the force had seven laboratories across the pilot states scheduled to inaugurate the Ford Foundation project‎ and constantly sensitise the public.

The IGP said the unit would also sensistise the public on the urgent need for the populace and victims of violence ‎to break the culture of silence and contact the police when the need arises.

He said the police was willing to partner the civil populace, organisations and those who had been victims in the past to rid the society of violence.

According to him, the police passion to fight the violence ravaging the society cannot be done in isolation, as the civil society and those past victims must break their shells of silence and speak out.
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South-East traditional rulers favour cattle ranches to curb farmers/herdsmen clashes

South-East traditional rulers favour cattle ranches to curb farmers/herdsmen clashes

 Members of the South-East Council of Traditional Rulers have called for the establishment of cattle ranches by private investors to curb incessant hostilities between herdsmen and their host communities.

The Chairman of the council, Dr Eberechi Dick, made the call on Friday in Enugu when some traditional rulers in the zone paid a solidarity visit on Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

Dick said that the Federal Government would be doing a disservice to the unity of the nation if it dabbled into the creation of grazing reserves across the country.

He said that monarchs in the zone were pained by the killing of innocent residents of Nimbo in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.

“We are here on a solidarity visit and to console you over the sad and unfortunate incident that took place in Nimbo community.

“We also note with regret the failure of security agencies to timely intervene in the incursion of the suspected herdsmen,” he said.

The traditional ruler appealed to the Federal Government to urgently take necessary measures to disarm all herdsmen who were reported to be heavily armed.

“Herdsmen should not be allowed to carry arms apart from the traditional bows and arrows.

“On the rumoured grazing bill, our position is that cattle rearing is a private business and that government should not dabble into it as this will mean favouring one part of the country unduly.

“There should be cattle ranches established by private cattle owners where they are convenient to be established just as it is done all over the world,” he said.

Dick commended Enugu State Government for the mature and proactive measures it put in place to ensure the incident did not degenerate.

Responding, Ugwuanyi described the visit as reassuring and confirmed the sense of brotherhood in the people of the zone, particularly in times of distress.

The governor said he was confident that his administration had put measures in place to avert future occurrence through the reactivation of the neighbourhood watch in line with extant laws of the state.

“We have put in a holistic approach in checking incidences of the herdsmen and other infractions in the state and are confident that we will prevent future occurrence,” Ugwuanyi said.
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Financial meltdown: Bayelsa slashes salaries of political appointees

Financial meltdown: Bayelsa slashes salaries of political appointees

Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson

The Bayelsa State Government has announced a 30 per cent pay cut for all political appointees in the state, Commissioner for Information and Orientation,  Mr. Jonathan Obuebite,  has revealed.

Obuebite, who spoke on Thursday evening shortly after the State Executive Council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, stressed that the 30 per cent slash in salaries was necessitated by the prevailing economic situation.

He, however, gave a glimmer of hope for workers in the local governments, saying as from Monday, May 16, 2016, they would start receiving their salaries.

According to Obuebite, the SEC also resolved that payment of salaries would commence at the various designated centres including Peace Park, Samson Siasia Sports Complex, DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Izon Wari, Dr. Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre and Micro Finance Bank in Yenagoa.

Speaking alongside the Commissioner for Local Government Administration, Mrs. Agatha Goma, Obuebite said the council sympathised with the plight of workers.

He added that payment of LG salaries would be based on the recently-concluded verification exercise aimed at ascertaining the actual workforce in the councils and ensure that the right persons were paid.

The SEC, he said, decided to set up two committees to monitor salary payment at the state and local government levels, with representatives drawn from the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.

He said the Head of Service, Dr. Peter Singabele, would be in charge of the committee for the state mainstream civil service, while that of the LG is to be headed by Mrs. Agatha Goma.

According to him, the supervised payment is expected to further strengthen the verification exercise and confirm the payment vouchers emanating from the eight local government areas.

Obuebite also explained that the state government was to set up farms across the eight LGAs, as part of efforts to boost its internally generated revenue as well provide employment for the youths.

The commissioner also said the council urged all commissioners to submit within a week, a work plan to guide their various ministries, adding that the government’s focus in its second term would be to complete all ongoing projects, in addition to the payment of workers’ salaries, within the means of available resources.

In his remarks, the Head of Service, Singabele, said the executive council directed that all permanent secretaries, heads and chief executives of parastatals and extra ministerial departments as well as all principals of secondary schools and headmasters should prepare an authentic nominal roll and payroll of their various establishments.

He, however, noted that council cautioned that the officers concerned would be held directly responsible for any fraud or issues arising from the documents submitted.

He also pointed out that measures were being taken to ensure that pensioners were paid as soon as the State Pensions Board is established.
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I will do everything possible to emerge PDP Chairman – Sheriff

I will do everything possible to emerge PDP Chairman – Sheriff


Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has expressed optimism that he would emerge as the party’s Chairman in the forthcoming National Convention.

Sheriff, who disclosed this yesterday while addressing journalists in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, stressed that he will do everything possible to emerge victorious at the party’s national convention slated for Port Harcourt but acknowledged that only God crowns leaders.

According to him, “It is God that crowns leaders. My own is to do the right thing and sell myself to members of our party. With God on our side, I’m confident that our people will give me the mandate to lead them at this point in time.”

The former Senator from Borno State also expressed hope that the people of Taraba will throw their weight behind him at the convention, saying his people of Kanuri and the Jukuns share the same ancestry.
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I kissed, prostrated before Obasanjo during my last visit – Okupe

I kissed, prostrated before Obasanjo during my last visit – Okupe

Dr. Doyin Okupe

A former Senior Special Assistant to immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Dr. Doyin Okupe, says he kissed and prostrated before former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on his recent visit to Otta farm.

He disclosed this via a Facebook post on Friday.

Okupe, who once served under Obasanjo had claimed that their relationship turned sour after he started working for Jonathan’s second term.

Many will recall that during the build-up to the last presidential election, Obasanjo had openly criticised Jonathan.

Obasanjo had alleged that Jonathan had recruited a team of snipers and also said Jonathan was afraid that the then presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, would jail him if he won.

In response, Okupe had publicly condemned Obasanjo while defending Jonathan.

But speaking on his Sunday’s visit to Obasanjo, he said, “Last Sunday , in the company of some friends, I met with Baba Obasanjo principally to try and settle and resolve the misunderstanding that had existed between baba and I since I joined the Jonathan administration.

“Vintage baba, he descended on me heavily and vented his anger copiously. I prostrated and held his feet as a well trained Yoruba man and pleaded earnestly for his forgiveness, occasionally given short explanations for areas I considered my actions were misunderstood.

“Also typical of baba, ever willing to forgive a repentant son, we embraced; I even kissed him as a loving son.

“Politics sometimes is such a bad business, you hurt your friends and even benefactors, but all is well that ends well.

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Fuel price increase: Increase minimum wage, Murray-Bruce tells Buhari

Fuel price increase: Increase minimum wage, Murray-Bruce tells Buhari

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has called on President Buhari to either increase minimum wage for workers or excuse them from paying tax to cushion the effects of the recent fuel price hike.

Murray-Bruce made the appeal via tweeter late Thursday night.

“I appeal to @MBuhari to consider the immense suffering in Nigeria and increase minimum wage to help workers cope with increased fuel price,” he tweeted.

“Either @Mbuhari increases the minimum wage to help masses cope with increased fuel price or he should allow minimum wage earners pay no tax.”

He justified the call for minimum wage increase, saying the President and his cabinet, don’t buy fuel with their money, yet earn more than minimum wage workers who do.

He accused the government of first reneging on its promise ₦5000 allowance to poor Nigerians and further adding to the suffering by increasing the fuel price.
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We all know Nigeria is ‘fantastically corrupt’...NICE WRITE UP..BY ABATI

We all know Nigeria is ‘fantastically corrupt

“We have got the leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world”, UK Prime Minister David Cameron was caught on tape telling the Queen ahead of the anti-corruption summit organized by the UK Government, this week, which was attended by Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari. This diplomatic gaffe rubbed many Nigerians on the wrong side, but most of the responses, coloured by overtly emotional love of country and a certain defensiveness is downright hypocritical.

We all know that indeed Nigeria is “fantastically corrupt”, and that is why the most profound reaction, the most honest also, is the statement by President Muhammadu Buhari who admitted that indeed Nigerians are “fantastically corrupt” and that Cameron is right, but the clincher was the rider added by President Buhari, when he said he would not ask for an apology but he would be glad if Great Britain can release all the stolen loot in its custody. I know President Buhari is often criticized for condemning his own people offshore, but no one can fault his sharp honesty, certainly not in the present instance. His reply to the Cameron statement is absolutely brilliant, diplomatic and loaded with a meaningful sarcasm that is yet to be properly defined.

Nigeria is “fantastically corrupt.” Yes, our President says. The dictionary defines the word fantastic to mean something so extreme as to be unbelievable, strange, most unlikely, extra-ordinary. Can any Nigerian in good conscience really claim that this is not true?  We are probably one of the few countries in the world where corruption is the reality we grapple with, from cradle to grave. You go and try to have a baby delivered in a Nigerian hospital.  You can’t escape the nurses, matrons and the security men at the gate who upon hearing that your wife had been delivered of a baby would start greeting you: “Oga we go wash am oh.” The really smart ones among them will even poke your ego a little: “Oga, this one wey Madam deliver bom boy, na big celebration. Oga you sef na sharp shooter. You just do am, hit am, commot bom boy”.

You’d be in serious trouble if your wife is fertile enough to give birth to twins. Meanwhile, this has nothing to do with your hospital bills, and the aggressive solicitation is beyond culture. Where else in the world do people have to pay bribe just because their wives have given birth? If giving birth invites corruption, dying has even become more expensive around here. If you have to bury anyone in Nigeria, there must be a special budget for officials and sympathizers whose palms have to be greased.

I attended a funeral recently where a dignified beggar insisted that since the deceased was his benefactor, he would really love to die too, and jump into the grave, but everyone at the funeral would do well to keep him alive by putting something in his pocket. People laughed and obliged. Every funeral in Nigeria is a source of income for all kinds of scammers and no matter how sad you may be, you are not expected to complain. When you go for a funeral in Nigeria, you have to hold your pockets, monitor your phones, and even watch yourself, otherwise your personal items could be stolen and you may yourself be kidnapped. The children of the deceased are usually special targets. What kind of human beings would go to a birthplace or a funeral only to add to the burden of the people involved. Fantastic? Of course, Mr. Cameron is right.

Between birth and death is a significant polarity. When you live in Nigeria or you visit, or you have anything to do with Nigeria, including something as harmless as just passing through, you would feel the air of corruption. You will be touched by it. And if you stay long enough, you will imbibe it. There is corruption in other parts of the world, of course. Corruption is an English word, not so? And it defines all human beings, doesn’t it? But in Nigeria and some other countries, there have been very fantastic manifestations.

Every foreigner or traveller who has walked through any Nigerian port in the last, say 40 years, would most certainly have been asked for a bribe, not clandestinely, but openly and frontally: “Oga wey the dollar for the boys? Oyinbo, correct oyinbo, we dey here for you oh. Anything. Nigeria na your own. If you wan be Governor sef, just call us, or this my oga.” If the visitor is one of those difficult ones who do not know that a passport in Nigeria is supposed to be a sandwich at the point of entry and he is busy claiming that he has one funny visa, before he knows it, he will be detained.  Uniformed officials will ask him: who is this bomboclat who is trying to teach us our job? Such officials don’t allow stingy bomboclats to cross the border, any border at all.

Bomboclats can’t access government institutions either. You have to bribe every government official in sight: to move a file, to get anything done, to have your rights respected. And you can’t hold government positions. You are expected to steal government funds and make returns to the community otherwise you are considered a bad or stupid person, who can’t eat national cake.  Fantastic? Yes. America knows. David Cameron knows. Public and private Nigerian institutions are fully compromised. Petty corruption is encountered in ordinary places on a daily basis, grand corruption has also badly affected Nigeria as a state, country, and nation. President Buhari wants to deal with the latter, but he is overlooking the former.

Right under his watch, that other sphere is thriving. But the challenge of corruption is not just about grand corruption: the big money that is stolen, the mad men and women who turn elections into opportunities for theft and primitive accumulation, the greedy officials who manipulate the books big time and run away with the national patrimony or the civil servants who help to cook the books and later play holier-than-thou; it is certainly not about one particular administration, it is not about making examples and demonizing some people while bigger thieves prosper within and outside the system.  What is it about? It is about the Nigerian reality in which everyone is involved from servants to lords.  It is the reason why Nigerians, living in an oil producing country now have to buy fuel at a “minimum” pump price of N145 per litre. It is about the collapse of institutions and societal values.

President Buhari has declared a zero tolerance for corruption. How does he define and secure that legacy? His strategists don’t seem to understand the implications of that question: that is what this is also all about. And it is why almost one year after President Buhari assumed office, David Cameron, the Prime Minister of Britain, would still say Nigeria is “fantastically corrupt”.

It wasn’t an innocent remark, it may be wrong to describe it as a gaffe. And I also don’t think the leakage of that privileged and classified conversation with the Queen was innocent or accidental either. I imagine that Prime Minister Cameron despite the subsequent diplomatic fine-tuning was passing across a message. It should be noted that it was also at that supposedly confidential meeting that Her Majesty made a snide remark about the Chinese, our good friends, the Chinese whose economic expertise is supposed to help Nigeria, and who President Buhari visited recently.

International diplomacy is a game. It is high wire politics. The President’s team must step back from the recent trip to the anti-corruption summit in London and properly decode the signals. One signal is that Britain is probably not too pleased with the projected long-term impact of President Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign, and there may well be a lot that they know that they are not talking about in the open. Note the timing of that “caught-on-camera” comment. Note also that it is coming close to the first anniversary of the administration.

The Archbishop of Canterbury reportedly smuggled in an aside in President Buhari’s favour but did either the Queen or the Prime Minister respond to that priestly, consolatory aside? The only response by Speaker John Bercow was even worse: “They are coming at their expense, one assumes?” Classic Britishism! Every nuance, every gesture, every inflection in diplomacy is to be taken seriously – what is said, or mentioned often has deeper meanings than what is not said. If it is not important, the subject will not be broached at all.

But I commend President Buhari for his confidence. He got the message from Cameron. Old age and experience can be an advantage sometimes. And he gave it back to the Prime Minister in full measure. Rather than accuse our President of putting his own country down, Nigerians should actually applaud his understanding of the game of international intrigue. By telling Britain to return the stolen loot hidden in Britain and its tax havens, President Buhari was actually asking Cameron to shut up and walk the talk.

 In other words, Britain cannot organize an anti-corruption summit and spend time bad-mouthing other countries whereas it is a principal destination for stolen funds. It is a trite point in law that the receiver of stolen goods is also a thief. Nigerians are fantastically corrupt, yes, but they take the proceeds to countries like Britain where they are fantastically, and corruptly received.

The onus is on Prime Minister David Cameron who has not shown enough commitment to ridding Britain of stolen wealth, to take concrete steps to help fight international corruption. We do not expect that he will lie to the Queen, the sovereign whose Government he heads. He knows certainly that there is so much Nigerian wealth inside Britain, money stolen from both the government and the private sector and translated into acquisitions in Britain.

 Nigerians own some of the most expensive houses in London and elsewhere in Britain, on the best streets even; they also have fat bank accounts and they have investments that are fantastically alarming. But Britain and its Prime Minister cannot just laugh over that when they too are complicit in an“ole gbe, ole gba (you thief am, I collect, help you keep am) arrangement.

 Prime Minister Cameron has all the records of our stolen wealth and all the Nigerian thieves hiding in Great Britain.  Let him listen to our President and begin to show, beyond condescending gossip at the palace, and the rhetoric of talk shops, that Britain is indeed committed to the ideals of transparency, integrity and accountability.
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Banknotes company manager guilty of bribing Nigerian official...JAILED!!

Banknotes company manager guilty of bribing Nigerian official

Banknotes company manager guilty of bribing Nigerian official

A former manager of a polymer banknote manufacturer has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after being convicted of making corrupt payments to a Nigerian official.

Peter Chapman was convicted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of making corrupt payments to a Nigerian official after a five-week trial. He was acquitted of two other counts in the case brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Mr Chapman, 54, paid bribes to an agent of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting to secure orders for the purchase of reams of polymer substrate from his firm Innovia Securency.

Innovia’s Guardian polymer banknotes, often referred to as “plastic money”, were first issued in Australia in 1988 and are now used in 24 countries.

The total value of the bribes that he was convicted of paying to the agent was approximately £143,000.

The trial followed a joint investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the Australian Federal Police into Securency.

Mr Chapman, the manager of Innovia Securency’s Africa office, was arrested at Heathrow airport in April 2015, having been extradited from Brazil. On Thursday, Judge Michael Grieve sentenced Chapman to 30 months in prison.

But the judge said that the one year and five months that Chapman had already spent on remand, including in a Brazilian jail, will be deducted from his 30-month sentence. That means he is likely to serve no time in jail and was set to be released on licence on Thursday.

The judge told Chapman that a custodial sentence was necessary and added: “Corruption, particularly of foreign government officials, is a very serious global problem as the anti-corruption summit in London highlights.”

Mr Chapman’s defence counsel tried on Wednesday to have the trial stopped. Counsel argued that David Cameron’s comments that Nigeria was “fantastically corrupt” may have influenced the jury, who were then deliberating.

Judge Grieve refused to halt the case but gave the jury a strongly worded direction that they should “completely ignore” Mr Cameron’s comments on Nigeria.

The case is a success for the Serious Fraud Office which has had a mixed record on prosecutions.

David Green, director of the SFO, said the investigation had been long and detailed, adding that co-operation had been received from agencies globally, including the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Central Authority of Nigeria.

“Crimes like this damage the UK’s commercial reputation and this conviction shows that such activity will not be tolerated,” he said.

The Reserve Bank of Australia and Securency referred allegations of corruption to the Australian Federal Police in May 2009. The allegations were that Securency, at the time jointly owned by RBA and Innovia Films Ltd, a UK manufacturing firm, paid bribes to foreign government officials via agents in order to secure contracts with certain governments in Asia and Africa for the printing of banknotes.
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Wenger describes rumour of new Arsenal deal as ‘absolutely false’

Wenger describes rumour of new Arsenal deal as ‘absolutely false’

Arsene Wenger,

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has denied that he is set to sign a new deal at the club and described the stories as ‘absolutely false’.

The Frenchman has one more year on his current deal, but it was rumoured that the club wants him to sign a new two-year extension in October.

Wenger says he will only make a decision on his future at the end of next season.

“It is completely wrong,” he said at his Friday press conference, ahead of the season’s last game at home to Aston Villa.

“I don’t know where this comes from. You can treat that as an invention.

“It is absolutely false. They could have checked with the club and it would have been denied.

“I think about the next game. I have full commitment for as long as I am under contract.”

Asked if next season will determine whether he will extend his 20-year stay at the Emirates, Wenger replied: “Of course.

“What I focus on is to respect my contract and envisage what I will do after. I understand people are interested in that but it’s not important?

“I will see where the club stands at the end of my contract.”

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PDP founding members caused defeat in 2015 election – Wike

PDP founding members caused defeat in 2015 election – Wike

Chief Nyesom Wike

Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lost the 2015 general elections to the All Progressives Congress, APC, because some of the founding members of the party had hidden agenda which worked against the party’s plans.

He noted that anyone who has the party at heart will be ready to make sacrifices for the sustenance of the party after the loss it suffered during the 2015 general election.

Wike said this at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the State capital, while addressing the national convention planning committee of the party, adding that only party members with hidden agenda would work towards creating crisis in the party as dedicated members fight hard to re-position it.

He said, “Anybody who loves this party, knows that this is the time to make sacrifices. We are rebuilding this party and we need to work together in unity to succeed.”

Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Umahi, former governors of Ebonyi, Rivers and Niger states, Senator Sam Egwu, Sir Celestine Omehia and Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, as well as former deputy speakers of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and Chief Austin Opara, among others, attended the meeting.

The governor lamented that most of the founding members holding press conferences here and there could not travel to their constituencies to campaign for the PDP, despite being adequately mobilised as recent events have shown.

“It is important that we work as a team as that is the only way for us to achieve set goals. Only those with hidden agenda, will work against the party.”

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Police detain men for eating late, demand N15,000 bribe

Police detain men for eating late, demand N15,000 bribe

The Surulere Police Division, Lagos State, on Tuesday arrested four men, who were accused of eating late in the night around the Ojuelegba Bridge in the Surulere area.

Our correspondent learnt that the suspects – one of them identified as Sango Svengali – were eating noodles at a shop on Ogunlana Drive around 11pm, when the policemen, said to be about eight, rounded them up.

The policemen, who reportedly brought three vans, were said to have accused the men of eating late and queried why they did not eat in their houses.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects were subsequently whisked away to the Area C Command, Surulere.

It was learnt that the policemen at the counter allegedly demanded N15,000 ‘settlement’ from the men, threatening that they would sleep in the cell overnight if they failed to settle.

Our correspondent gathered that Svengali and his friends, who were not made to write any statement, offered N5,000 but the policemen refused.

Our correspondent learnt that on Wednesday, the suspects were brought before the area commander, who noted that they resembled Boko Haram members, ordering them to shave their beards.

Speaking with PUNCH Metro on Thursday after regaining his freedom, Svengali said the policemen did not ask any of them for identification before forcing them into their vans.

He said, “I had a stressful day at work on Tuesday. There was a lot of traffic. Instead of going home through the Third Mainland Bridge, I decided to spend the night at a friend’s place in Ojuelegba. Some other friends came to my friend’s place. Later, around 11pm, we were hungry and we decided to go down the road to buy noodles.

“The Mai shai are basically night-food people. So we knew they would still be selling food. We drove to Ogunlana Drive and saw a woman selling noodles by the roadside. The three of us decided to buy noodles and eat. We sat on the trunk of the two cars we brought and ate the food. As we were about to go, three police vans stopped by our vehicles. There were about eight policemen in the vans.

“The policemen dragged me into one of their vans. I was confused and wanted to resist. But when I saw the young man selling recharge cards beside the woman being slapped several times, I knew it was useless resisting. The policemen did not ask us any question. They did not ask us to identify ourselves.”

Svengali added that when they got to the station, they met eight others who had been arrested.

He said, “While in the van, the policemen sitting beside me collected my phone and started searching through it. He checked through my electronic mail, and when he did not find anything, he said, ‘Sometimes you go dey pray say you no dey road when devil dey pass.’ He added that we would ‘sort it out’ at the station.

“As we moved on, I noticed that my other friends – except one – were in the other vans. When we got to the station, we found that eight people had been picked up too. The policemen at the station said, ‘Why una no chop for house?’ One of my friends started negotiating for us at the counter. The policemen said they wanted N15,000 to let three of us go. He was begging them to take N5,000. They refused.

“The cell stank like a gutter. There were about 18 of us  there. We endured the stench till morning. When it was around 7am, we were brought before the area commander. We were lined up like criminals. He said our misdeed was that we ate at an unholy hour. He said we looked like fanatics and Boko Haram members.

“He ordered them to lock us up again. After some time, some of our friends came, one of them is a lawyer. He spoke to the area commander. He said the only way to release us was to shave our beards. The police bought shaving sticks and made us shave at the counter. I was so embarrassed. All this while, we never wrote any statement. We were not accused of anything. When I finally left, it was some minutes before 10am.”

Our correspondent learnt that one of the suspects communicated with the Complaints Response Unit, Abuja, through Twitter, to report the alleged bribe the policemen demanded.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, had yet to reply to a text message sent to her phone on the incident.

The Head of the CRU, Force Headquarters, Abuja, CSP Abayomi Shogunle, however, replied on Twitter that a team of policemen had gone to the police station to ascertain the claim of the complainants.

He said, “A special monitoring team from the Force Headquarters on nationwide patrol is at the police station in Ojuelegba to verify this report. The complaint is acknowledged and the tracking number is CRU 359117.”
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Navy intercepts 649 drums filled with oil in Badagry creeks

Navy intercepts 649 drums filled with oil in Badagry creeks

The Nigerian Navy said on Thursday that it impounded two wooden boats carrying 649 empty drums from suspected pipeline vandals in Badagry area of Lagos.

The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Commodore Abraham Adaji, told newsmen in Lagos that the vandals, numbering about 10, fled into the bush to evade arrest on sighting the naval team.

”When they saw us coming, they fled and abandoned these two wooden boats alongside their equipment.

”Unfortunately for them, we intercepted these two wooden boats from them,” he said.

According to the commander, the Badagry operation was led by Sub-Lt. Godwin Enefu.

“A total of 649 drums, each with a capacity of 250 litres, totalling over 162 metric tonnes of products would have been carted away from national supplies.

”What you see today is the testimony of our ongoing efforts to ensure that all matters of vandalism and pillage of our common wealth is arrested,” he said.

Adaji said the crime was an organised one, adding that there were nine outboard engines in the two wooden boats.

”Some of the items that were recovered include four pumping machines, engines, petrol to power their boats, food items and several hoses,” he said.

The commander said the boats had already been destroyed, adding that the navy was “fully equipped and ready to fight to and end pipeline vandalism and oil theft.’ (NAN)
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FG orders audit of Military payroll

FG orders audit of Military payroll

Mrs. Kemi Adeosun

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has ordered an investigation into the payrolls of the Air Force, the Navy and the Army by the Continuous Audit Team of the Federal Government.

This was followed by revelations in the course of the trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, that the sum of N558.2 million was allegedly diverted monthly from the Nigeria Air Force account into private pockets.

A statement from the ministry signed by Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta, Director (Information) of the ministry said “the Continuous Audit team has been charged with the responsibility of scrutinizing the payrolls of the three services, which have not yet been put on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information [1] System (IPPIS), to ensure that all possible loopholes that could lead to leakages were blocked.”

According to him, the exercise “will be conducted, pending the biometric capturing and migrating the payroll of the three services to the IPPIS, in line with the policy of the Federal Government to clean up the payroll of all public sector employees.”

The Minister of Finance said that the action became imperative as part of the change mantra of the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which included the restoration of the culture of transparency, accountability and control in the management of public funds.

The Continuous Audit Process was one of the initiatives of the Minister approved by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of the on-going reforms in the public finance management system of the federal government, which he emphasised in his 2016 Budget speech.

Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said the Director of Special Projects in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, will head the Continuous Audit Team and report their findings for appropriate action by the Federal Government.

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Senate Committee threatens to order arrest of Sports Minister

Senate Committee threatens to order arrest of Sports Minister

Mr Solomon Dalong

The Senate Committee on Sports on Thursday threatened to issue warrant of arrest on Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Solomon Dalong, for failing to appear before it for a second time.

The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Obinna Ogba, who issued the threat in Abuja on Thursday, however, gave the Minister Thursday May 19, 2016 to appear before it.

He said the minister had failed twice to appear before the committee without any reason, adding that it was an affront and disrespect to the Senate.

“The sports minister has not been respecting the Senate, we cannot continue this way.

“We are giving the minister a new date of Thursday next week to brief the Senate on the level of preparation for the Olympics.

“The Clerk of this committee is hereby directed to write a strongly worded letter to the minister inviting him to come here on Thursday”, he said.

He said that the minister had to brief the committee on the level of preparation for the Olympics, World Cup qualifiers, delay in appointing a new Super Eagles’ Coach and the crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation.

He decried the situation where the President of the Nigerian Football Federation would say something and the minister would counter it like they were operating in disunity.

“Dalong is a minister and he is not to run the affairs of football federation. As a minister, his function is to supervise and not to run the day to day affairs of the federation.

“The NFF President would say he wants to employ a foreign coach and the minister would say he has not been given approval.

“It is not the duty of the minister to give approval or not to give approval.

“I was the first Vice President of NFA and I want to use this medium to tell the Hon. Minister of Sports what we want to do and not to get approval from him.

“Whoever runs the Nigeria Football Federation is elected and the person has the mandate of the people”, he said.

A member of the committee, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP – Abia North), condemned the non-appearance of the minister, describing it as an insult.

“The absence of the sports minister at the Senate committee on sports invitation is an affront on the committee.

“The minister must be cautioned that he should not take the invitation of a Senate Committee for granted next time because the Nigerian people are represented by the lawmakers”, he said.

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Emeka Amakeze & Yvonne Jegede Strike Sexy Pose On Movie Set

Emeka Amakeze & Yvonne Jegede Strike Sexy Pose On Movie Set

Emeka Amakeze & Yvonne Jegede Strike Sexy Pose On Movie Set

Nollywood actor, director Emeka Amakeze recently shared the above romantic photo of himself and Yvonne Jegede with fans.

The photo was taken on the set of an upcoming movie.

See what his fans said about the thought-provoking photo…

Emeka Amakeze & Yvonne Jegede Strike Sexy Pose On Movie Set

The married actor looks so comfortable with Miss Jegede. #yeye dey smell
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Photos: John Okafor Mr Ibu Lotto Addiction Earned Him Another Mega Ambassadorial Deal

Photos: John Okafor Mr Ibu Lotto Addiction Earned Him Another Mega Ambassadorial Deal

Another lotto firm, Kingdom Lottery, has unveiled comic actor John Okafor aka Mr. Ibu as its brand ambassador.

Excited Mr Ibu thanked the owner of Kingdom Lottery for making him the face of the company.

He promises to use his influence to set a new pace for the firm.

Photos: John Okafor Mr Ibu Lotto Addiction Earned Him Another Mega Ambassadorial Deal

Photos: John Okafor Mr Ibu Lotto Addiction Earned Him Another Mega Ambassadorial Deal

Photos: John Okafor Mr Ibu Lotto Addiction Earned Him Another Mega Ambassadorial Deal

Photos: John Okafor Mr Ibu Lotto Addiction Earned Him Another Mega Ambassadorial Deal

Mr Ibu is currently an ambassador of Merrybet, a Lagos-based premier lotto firm.
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Beware Of Fraudsters Sending Fake SMS To Get Your BVNs – CBN Warns Nigerians

Beware Of Fraudsters Sending Fake SMS To Get Your BVNs – CBN Warns Nigerians

A message from the Central Bank of Nigeria on the desperate activities of fraudsters in Nigeria.

The statement made available to reporters by acting CBN Communications Director Isaac Okorafor in Abuja today warned customers not to reply text messages from individuals pretending to be Customer Care representatives of the CBN, asking for Personal Identification Numbers or Bank Verification Numbers.

Beware Of Fraudsters Sending Fake SMS To Get Your BVNs – CBN Warns Nigerians

See the press statement below;

“Those messages and calls are intended to lure bank account holders to reveal their personal details which the fraudsters could use to defraud them.

“The public is therefore warned that neither the CBN, deposit money banks nor their employees or agents would ever call bank customers or send email, text messages requesting for passwords or cards’ details.

“Bank customers are therefore advised to personally visit their banks for any issue requiring disclosure of personal bank details,”.

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Magu: Me? Disobey court order? Never!

Magu: Me? Disobey court order? Never!

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says he has not disobeyed any court order.

Magu was reacting to reports that he had been slammed with a contempt charge over his refusal to obey a court order releasing Wolfgang Reinl, an Austrian businessman, in the custody of the anti-graft agency.

“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to media reports on May 12, 2016 accusing its chairman, Ibrahim Magu of refusing to obey an order of court in the fundamental right enforcement action brought against the commission by an Austrian businessman, Wolfgang Reinl, who is being investigated for his role in the now infamous $2.1 billion arms deal scandal,” a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman, read.

“Contrary to the insinuations in the media, there is no disobedience to any court order by the EFCC and its chairman as the commission had since May 9, 2016 filed a notice of appeal at the appellate court challenging the April 20, 2016 ruling by Justice Peter Affen of the federal capital territory high court.

“The appeal thus nullifies any claim of contempt.

“It is trite law that judgement cannot be enforced in the face of an appeal. In the Nigerian legal system, an appellant has 90 days to appeal a judgement it deems inappropriate and wrong that window is still open to the EFCC.”
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Crisis rocks PDP as elders ‘kick out’ Sheriff

Crisis rocks PDP as elders ‘kick out’ Sheriff

The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new turn on Thursday after stakeholders of the former ruling party announced the dissolution of the Ali Modu Sheriff-led executive committee.

Led by Jerry Gana, former minister of information, the group rejected the decision to retain Sheriff as chairman of the party beyond the forthcoming convention slated for Port Harcourt on May 21.

They also faulted the current zoning arrangement, saying the Port Harcourt convention will not hold.

The group announced that it had set up a 21-man committee to preside over the affairs of the party in the interim.

Some members of the group are Tunde Adeniran, former education minister; Ibrahim Mantu, former deputy senate president; Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications; Ojo Maduekwe, former minister of foreign affairs; Okwesilieze Nwodo, ex-chairman of the party, and Bode George, former chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

Others are Wilberforce Juta, former governor of the old Gongola state; Grace Bent, a former senator, and Bala Mohammed, former minister of the federal capital territory.

They held a meeting in Abuja on Thursday after which they issued communique.

“The purported extension of the tenure of the chairman and other members of the national working committee by the Party by the NEC was an illegality and therefore untenable and contrary to the provisions of our party constitution which gives such powers ONLY to the national convention of the party,” the communiqué read.

“All actions purportedly taken by the said NEC and the national working committee, including the ward, local government, state congresses and the planned national convention of the party slated for the 21st of May 2016 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State constitute a nullity and are of no effect.

“Deriving from all the above and in order to stop further slide into unconstitutional confusion and widespread disenchantment of party members nationwide, we the founding fathers, stakeholders and leaders of the party from all the 6 Geopolitical zones hereby announce a 21-member steering committee to manage the affairs of the PDP, and work intimately with our respected members of BOT who are the conscience of the party till such a time that a proper, lawfully organized National Convention of the party, where a new authentic leadership of the party will be duly elected in accordance to the provisions of our party constitution and guidelines.”

But Sheriff who said the group comprised self-styled leaders, claimed that they were aggrieved, and advised them to present their grievances at the Port Harcourt convention.

Briefing journalists at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, Sheriff said he will go ahead with the amendment of the PDP constitution.

He spoke through Inuwa Bwala his media aide.

“I have seen the group of self-styled elders and stakeholders led by Professor Jerry Gana sweating on television, playing with language but at the end of the day saying nothing,” he said.

“The national convention will certainly hold in Port Harcourt on May 21 if the world does not end before that date. The group headed by Prof. Gana and similar others are not known to the party. They should take their grievances to the convention, if they have any. If they choose to leave the PDP, it would be good riddance to bad rubbish.

“It would be foolhardy for the PDP chairman to involve the same people who led the PDP to failure in the 2015 general elections in rebuilding the party. These are the same people that played ignoble roles in squandering the resources of the party.

Sheriff also threatened to report Gana to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly using the name of the party to obtain a loan of N500m from Skye Bank without following due process.

“It is on record that the same Jerry Gana on behalf of the party without using the machinery of the party collected the sum of N500million loan from Skye bank on behalf of the PDP for which the PDP has been dragged to court and is being compelled to pay back,” he said.

“Leaders of thought in this party including some elders have prevailed on the chairman not to make this matter known and to save this man from public embarrassment. But as it is the chairman may be left with no option than to drag Jerry Gana before the EFCC to explain his role in obtaining N500 million facility on behalf of the party and let him also explain what he has done with the money.”
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Melaye: I’ll mobilise Nigerians against Buhari

Melaye: I’ll mobilise Nigerians against Buhari

Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, has threatened to mobilise Nigerians against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration if it does not revert to the old pump price of petrol within seven days.

Melaye, who participated actively in the #OcuppyNigeria protests, which forced the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan to shelve the idea of removing fuel subsidy, accused the current administration of going against the campaign promises of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He asked John Oyegun, national chairman of the party, to advise Buhari to revoke the increment.

“My sincere advise is for the National Chairman of our party to suggest that the federal government immediately reverse the announced increase in the pump price of PMS,” he wrote on Facebook.

Melaye: I’ll mobilise Nigerians against Buhari

“If after seven days from Monday, there is no reversal, I will mobilise Nigerians from all walks of life for the mother of all protest. This is not what we promised Nigerians.

“The time is not right and the negative effects will be unbearable. A word is enough for the wise.”

Melaye is not the first APC senator to oppose the new price regime in the oil sector.

Shehu Sani, the lawmaker representing Kaduna central senatorial district, has also expressed reservation over the hike in fuel price.

“My position remains unchanged, crystal clear and unwavering; I stand opposed to the removal of petroleum subsidy and I STAND opposed to increase in pump price of petroleum products,” he said.

“It will do nothing other than add to the suffering and further impoverish the masses of our people.

“It amounts to capitulation and outright deception for those of us who led millions of people, out in the street, few years ago, against pump price increase and against subsidy removal to now give economic excuses to justify same.

“The moral flag we raised in the past is now the scale of justice to measure the degree of our conscience in the present.”

Sani, a renowned activist, also took part in the anti-subsidy protest in 2012.
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Ooni: I knelt down before Obasanjo for prayers

Ooni: I knelt down before Obasanjo for prayers

Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the ooni of Ife, has revealed the role former President Olusegun Obasanjo played in his ascendance to the prestigious throne.

Speaking when he visited Obasanjo at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, Ogun state, Ogunwusi said before he was crowned as a king, he knelt down before the elder statesman for prayers.

He described the Nigerian leader as a pillar of support, saying he will continue to get close to the ex-president.

The monarch also appealed to Obasanjo, whom he described as one of the most prominent “black men” on planet earth, to speak up for the youths.

“I remember that when I was still a prince, it was this same sacred room that I knelt down before Baba and he laid his hands upon me and prayed for me in African way. And the result is what we are seeing today,” he said.

“So, for me, I cannot but get closer and closer to Baba. May he forever live long for us not only in Nigeria but to the world. I am happy to be here and I will continue to come. You are one of the foremost black men on the surface of the earth. We implore you that what we grew up to know about is preaching for the unity of this country and it is based on that we are following you so that the unity of this country is not negotiable.

“Sir, in all you do, do not forget the youth. The more we have such person like you, the better the Nigerian society would be. It is the youth that some of the bad politicians approached to cause confusion in the society. And we want to say enough is enough.

“They need someone to channel their energy into productive venture and someone like you who have seen Nigeria and who possesses an incomparable experience is what they need to motivate them to become responsible elders.”
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Thursday, May 12

Oduku Reveals The Identity Of Niger Delta Avengers

Oduku Reveals The Identity Of Niger Delta Avengers

The Commandant General, Riverine Security (Coast Guard of the Federation), Commander Bibi Oduku, has said the militants bombing oil installations in Delta State under the cover of Niger Delta Avengers, NDA hails from Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state.

He also fingered an ex-militant leader, who he accused of “aiding and abetting criminals in their community in the recent attack on oil and gas installations within and outside the kingdom. Commander Oduku said: ”Investigation by our security outfit has shown that Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, which has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta are from Gbaramatu kingdom.”

 Speaking to newsmen earlier, Ijaw leader from Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, said: “Gbaramatu people are not part of Niger Delta Avengers, which took responsibility for the recent bombing of oil installations in the state and can never be part of them. We condemn their actions and are against pipeline vandalism of any sort.

 So, we do not see why the army should turn our community to a hunting ground.” Those who are disgruntled that Tompolo issued a statement against the activities of the group should not make Gbaramatu a battlefront. Tompolo has every right to denunciate the so-called Niger Delta Avengers because they are creating trouble for him, Gbaramatu and Ijaw people as whole.

 Also, the Pere (traditional ruler) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadaba, has offered to mediate in the face-off between the Federal Government and Tompolo, saying that political solution was not ruled out.

However, Oduku maintained that investigations by his group pointed to Gbaramatu kingdom. According to him, “It will be difficult for an outsider to storm Gbaramatu community and carry out such coordinated attacks on oil facilities without insider –collaboration.

 The people of Gbaramtu are enlightened enough to understand the economic and environmental implications of pipeline bombing and spill, and as such will not allow outsiders to carry out attacks on oil facilities within and close to the kingdom.

He said his Coast Guard of the Federation was prepared to put an end to the activities of Niger Delta Avengers, which had claimed responsibility for the latest attacks on oil installations in the area and environs and called for the support of government and stakeholders to actualize the aim.

 Oduku also tasked traditional rulers, community leaders and well- meaning Niger- Deltans to denounce the activities of group as devilish, advising youths in the region not to join this group and other militia groups.
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Again, EFCC raids Fani-Kayode’s residence

Again, EFCC raids Fani-Kayode’s residence

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) returned to the Abuja residence of Femi Fani-Kayode, former director of publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign.

This was disclosed by Jude Ndukwe, media aide of the PDP chieftain.

Last Friday, the commission laid a siege to Fani-Kaode’s house for eight hours, and he reported to the agency on Monday following an invitation to answer questions on “criminal conspiracy, fraud and money laundering”.

He has remained in custody since then.

However, Ndukwe said the anti-graft agency had been harassing his boss, saying Thursday’s raid was the fourth in the last one week.

“Earlier today, the EFCC invaded the residence of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode even when he was still in their custody,” he said in a statement.

“What miffed us most was their mode of operation which was forceful, provocative and dangerous as they wielded their guns with needless threats.

“The worst is that the invasion was without a warrant as they forced their way in, and after terrifying all the staff at home including the infant, they whisked the laundry man away even though he was later released.

“This is the fourth time the EFCC operatives would be invading Chief Fani-Kayode’s residence in just one week. We condemn this act of executive lawlessness, harassment and intimidation. Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has served this country even at the highest levels and he deserves some courtesy.

“We call on the EFCC to endeavour to carry out their functions within the ambit of our laws and stop brazenly  betraying the fact that Chief Fani-Kayode is under persecution. The world is watching!”
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No regrets dumping APC for PDP – Sheriff

No regrets dumping APC for PDP – Sheriff

The acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has explained why he dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Addressing newsmen at the Jalingo airport on Thursday, Sheriff explained that one of the reasons he left the APC was because the party was not in line with his political beliefs and ideology.

He was flanked at the airport by Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba, Senate deputy minority leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, Senator Sani Abubakar Danladi and Hon Victor Bala Kona.

Sheriff said though, he had contributed immensely to the growth of APC, he had no regrets joining the APC.

He maintained that the party would return to power at the federal level in 2019.
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This pain is necessary, says Tinubu on PMS price

This pain is necessary, says Tinubu on PMS price

Bola Tinubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has appealed to Nigerians to take the difficulties that might arise as a result of the new pump price of fuel as a sacrifice for a better future.

In a statement issued by his media office, the two-term governor of Lagos state, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking “a bold step”, telling Nigerians that “this pain is necessary”.

He said the new development will clear the rot in the petroleum sector, and push out “fake businessmen who became true billionaires over night”.

“We all want fuel at a cheaper price under the subsidy, we got the right price but not the fuel,” the statement read.

“This change will mean higher fuel costs in generally. I would be lying if I said this will cause no pain or dislocation. However, it will rational supply and end the hidden buy substantial costs associated with long waits and delays for fuel. The days and hours of waiting for fuel will be a thing of the past.

“As originally envisioned, the subsidy formed a basic part of the social contract between the people and their government. It was a benefit all were to enjoy. Yet, because past governments were not for and of the people, the true meaning and objective of the subsidy policy became lost. Over the years, the operation of the measure was distorted to where it no longer functioned for the benefit of the masses but for the undue enrichment of a small club of businessmen, some legitimate in their work, some not.

“Instead of remaining a positive aspect of the social contract, the subsidy was transformed into an opaque haven of intrigue and malfeasance. It was turned into a shadowy process from which the unscrupulous extracted large sums of money without providing the services and products duly paid for. Fake businessmen became true billionaires over night as if by supernatural force. They paraded themselves as such.

“To allow this unfairness to continue would have been a breach of the promise made by this government to the people. While we all have an emotional and sympathetic attachment to the ideals upon which the subsidy was founded.”

Tinubu said allowing the situation to remain the same would have translated to a breach of the agreement which the ruling party had with Nigerians in the electioneering period.

He confessed that even though he would have ordinarily preferred that the sector was sanitised and not totally liberalised, he believed that the current government took a decision that serves the people best.

“This administration entered office with a mandate of CHANGE. The government could not forever sit back and allow this dire inequity to continue less it forfeit the essence of its mandate,” he said.

“I wish we could have sanitised the subsidy regime and thus continue it, but I believe that President Buhari is removing it not for the austere purpose of saving money but for the nobler purpose of putting those same funds to fairer, more equitable use in order that government might better serve those of us who are truly in need.

“While this may not be perfect, it is a much better deal than the one the subsidy offered us.”
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