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Saturday, May 28

Ese Oruru: Yinusa names child ‘Fatima’ from prison

Ese Oruru: Yinusa names child ‘Fatima’ from prison

Yinusa Dahiru, the man who allegedly abducted, raped and impregnated 14-year-old Ese Oruru, has named the baby girl from prison.

The father named the baby Fatima. In Arabic the meaning of the name Fatima is: Captivating.

Ese delivered a baby girl on Thursday morning at the Government House Clinic after she went into labour at her Police Officers Mess temporary residence.

Yinusa who was granted bail since April but has been unable to meet the bail conditions and is remanded at the Okaka Medium Security Prisons was said to have broken into smiles when he was told that Ese had given birth to a baby girl.

Sources at Okaka Prison said Yinusa was very elated over the news and he immediately said he was going to name her Fatima, a name borne by the daughter of Prophet Muahammed, The Sun reports.

Yinusa was said to have expressed eagerness to see his daughter when he was told that the girl took after his complexion.

“Yinusa has been told about the birth of a baby girl by Ese Oruru. He was called from Kano and told that he has a daughter after the Internet pictures were confirmed to be true.

 He was very elated over the news and he immediately gave her the name Fatima after the daughter of Prophet Mohammed and because of the circumstances surrounding the birth of the girl, which he believes is divine. The name Fatima is the personification of high virtues and purity.

 As I talk to you, I can tell you that he is eagerly waiting to see the daughter”.
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Be patient with Buhari, things will be better soon – Maitama Sule

Be patient with Buhari, things will be better soon – Maitama Sule

Yusuf Maitama Sule

Elder statesman and Ni­geria’s former representa­tive at the United Nations,‎ Yusuf Maitama Sule has called on Nigerians to be patient with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

He said the policies of the govern­ment would result in pros­perity for all in no distant time.

Maitama spoke Friday at a town hall meet­ing, organised by the Federal Ministry of Information in conjunction with the Kano State government.

Alhaji Maitama noted that President Buhari is a good leader who has the interest of Nigerians at heart, adding that the president is an honest person who is transparent and committed to manage the economy for the good of all.

He lauded the achieve­ments of the administration in a number of fields and held that the administration is winning the war against insecurity in Nigeria, in ad­dition to its achievement in the war against corruption.

Maitama, a former Minis­ter of Solid Minerals in the sixties, said that as a former minister he is aware that Ni­geria is endowed with the wealth of resources outside oil, saying the country has gold, diamond and other re­sources.

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I have not reconciled with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome – Anita

I have not reconciled with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome – Anita

Anita Ebhodaghe

Anita, the former wife of the founder of the Christ Embassy, otherwise known as Believers’ Loveworld, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome has denied the social media reports that she had reconciled with her estranged husband.

Anita filed for divorce in February, 2016 over her husband’s alleged inability to control his third leg.

A statement she posted on her website on Thursday, explained that her decision to dissolve her marriage with the televangelist, was final and remained unchanged.

She said she was no longer a part of the church. According to the company’s financial statement, Anita, who now uses her maiden name, Ebhodaghe, resigned as a trustee of the UK branch of the church on 2nd June, 2015.

“It has been brought to my attention that there are persistent rumours and misinformation about my marital status being circulated and I would like to address the certain reconciliation rumours with this statement,” she said.

“Further to the formal notification of the dissolution of marriage made by my Solicitors earlier this year, please note that this has not changed; and I am no longer a part of Christ Embassy, aka Believer’s Loveworld or any such organisation in any capacity.

“I am reiterating this to ensure that no one is misled by the false rumors or unfounded statements that show up and are spread from time to time on the Internet,” she said.
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Leave PDP for party to have peace – Gana tells Sheriff

Leave PDP for party to have peace – Gana tells Sheriff

Prof Jerry Gana, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, has asked the ousted acting National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, to leave the party alone for peace to return.

Speaking in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, when he accompanied Governor Dave Umahi on the inspection and commissioning of projects, Gana said he was confident that the crisis in PDP “will soon be over”.

He saaid, “I like to place on record the role of your governor here, together with other governors who are working very hard to ensure this.”

Gana disclosed that the “Abuja group” was only protesting certain fundamentals, which were going wrong, and not interested in dividing the party.

The PDP founding member said party members were trying avoiding the mistakes of the past and have aligned with the resolutions of the National Convention held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Gana disclosed that the PDP caucus in the National Assembly and the governors of the party had met in Abuja and agreed that the PDP must continue to exist.

He urged Sherrif to give PDP some peace “for us to re-organize ourselves to move forward”, assuring that congresses would be held within the next 90 days in areas where they were not properly done.

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Friday, May 27

Patience Ozokwor Mama G: I Stopped Wearing Trousers, Earrings Because God Told Me It Is A Sin

Patience Ozokwor Mama G: I Stopped Wearing Trousers, Earrings Because God Told Me It Is A Sin

Patience Ozokwor Mama G: I Stopped Wearing Trousers, Jewellery & Dreadlocks Because God Told Me It Is A Sin

Veteran Nollywood actress Patience Ozokwor is now a born again Christian after fasting for 30 days. The actress disclosed this in a recent interview with Star Tells, at St. Marks Anglican Church in Eziobodo Village, Imo State.

According to the actress, who revealed that she has not heard from the Holy Spirit to quit her career as an actress, having now seen the light; she can no longer go back to her previous lifestyle of wearing trousers, dreadlocks and jewellery.

Ozokwor also revealed that after her meeting with Christ, she has not been involved in any movie projects, even though she makes up to a minimum of N1.5million per week from movie shoots.

Though she is presently enjoying the change, the actress popularly called Mama G, confirmed that her family see her new lifestyle as being weird.

The actress was said to have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit telling her to fast for 21 days; but complained that she have so many projects to handle; endorsements and movies to shoot within that period. As a result of the excuses, the Lord extended it to 30 days.

It was during the fasting period that the Lord revealed to her how she will be a voice for him all over the world; through her image in Nollywood.

She also revealed in the interview that one of the things God warned her on was her dressing and appearance; putting on makeup, jewelry, wearing trouser as a Lady is wrong.

Now on her natural hair, Mama G warned that it will be harder for colleagues in the movie industry, with permanent tattoos and eyebrows when they eventually encounter Christ. She also said that she should stop being referred to as Mama G, as that name was for when she was in the world.
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Monarch yet to be released as wife gives birth in kidnappers’ hideout

Monarch yet to be released as wife gives birth in kidnappers’ hideout

The Akwa Ibom Paramount Rulers’ Forum has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to help resolve disputes between oil companies and the host communities over oil spill in Niger Delta region.

The forum made the appeal in Uyo on Thursday while addressing newsmen on the plights of traditional rulers, whose royal throne had been desecrated by kidnappers.

The traditional ruler of Itu Local Government Area, Obong Edet Inyang, lamented that the royal fathers had been subjects to attack and abduction.

He alleged that because of non-payment oil spill compensation by ExxonMobil since 2010, his colleague, the traditional ruler of Esit Eket, Obong Peter Assam, was kidnapped.

Inyang said that the abducted monarch was kidnapped along with his pregnant wife and four children.

He said the monarch’s pregnant wife and children were released 15 days after abduction when the woman gave birth in the kidnappers’ hideout.

“The whereabouts of the paramount ruler is still unknown,” Inyang said.

He recalled that in 2010, a paramount ruler was abducted for allegedly receiving oil spill compensation from Mobil and he spent 23 days in Cameroon forest with the abductors before his release.

The royal father then called on the President to look into the oil spill disputes in the state starting from 1998 to 2016.

He further appealed to the president to investigate the whereabouts of the alleged oil spill compensation allegedly released by ExxonMobil in 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively.

“We understand that the thinking and belief of the kidnappers and other subjects is that there is no way Mobil could pay palliatives without the payment of main oil spill compensation.

“In fact, it is widely believed within the core communities of Akwa Ibom that Mobil had released May 1, 2010 oil spill compensation through the presidency,” the royal father alleged.

He noted that the major oil companies in the area had refused to handle the menace of oil spill with internationally accepted standard of practice in oil and gas industry.

Inyang said that the forum was happy with President Buhari for the court action instituted against the multi-national company over the Bonga oil spill issue.

The forum expressed the hope that the president would bring succour to the affected fishermen and communities impacted by the intermittent oil spill occurring in the area between 2010 and 2016.

Inyang was supported by the paramount rulers of Ini, Ukanafun and Nsit Ibom local government rulers.
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Aviation Minister, Sirika speaks on near-fight incident with Amaechi

Aviation Minister, Sirika speaks on near-fight incident with Amaechi

The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika has broken his silence on alleged quarrel with his colleague, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

Reports emerged that the ministers almost engaged in physical combat which led to the removal of the Sirika’s portrait on walls at the airport and buildings of agencies under aviation sector.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, Sirika said: “The social media said that I and the Minister are fighting but that is not true. The fact that there are no pictures of me at airports, offices and agencies under aviation is based on my personal choice.

“I believe that my photo will not give Nigerians anything, rather, it is my actions that will. I don’t need my pictures on walls, they were there before but I ordered that they be removed. Photo will not give us good airports and runways, rather good governance and that is my challenge and target.

“Having pictures everywhere as far as I am concerned is very trivial, unnecessary and it is not my style”, he said.

On removal of his pictures, Sirika responded: “My pictures should be put on walls when I have worked. Having my pictures on walls is not the major reason why I was appointed to serve, my dream is to change the industry for better and when that is done, then my pictures can be put everywhere”.
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Lai: We’ll turn the disaster of GEJ’s govt into a blessing

Lai: We’ll turn the disaster of GEJ’s govt into a blessing

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says the current administration will turn the “disaster” it inherited from the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan into a blessing.

Speaking at a meeting with members of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) ahead of the one year anniversary of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government, Mohammed said his party was aware that it was not elected to make excuses.

He acknowledged that the nation was passing through a very difficult situation with the loss of more than 60 per cent of national income due to the crash in the price of crude oil.

“This administration is aware that it was not elected to make excuses, but to put the nation back on a sound economic footing, ensure the security of lives and property and banish corruption,” he said.

“We have therefore decided to turn the disaster that we inherited into a blessing by diversifying our economy away from the mono-product of oil, leveraging on agriculture, solid minerals as well as culture and tourism, among others.”

He appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with the current administration, saying “change is not instant coffee”.

He said despite the current challenges, there will definitely be a reason to smile.

“In the words of Henry David Thoreau, all misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune,” he said.

“Change is no instant coffee, it is a process. We are now laying a solid foundation for our country.

“The road will be rough, but as the saying goes, the darker the night, the brighter the morning. Our long suffering people will surely smile again.”

Mohammed appreciated the unprecedented trust Nigerians reposed in the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to “steer the ship of state to safe shores”.

The minister reassured Nigerians that the change promised was real, in spite of the tough situation of the moment.

Mohammed added that if the government had not been elected, there would have been no economy in the country.

On the scorecard of the administration in the past one year, Mohammed said significant achievements were recorded in security, economy and the fight against corruption.
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Magu: Anyone invited by EFCC cannot come out clean

Magu: Anyone invited by EFCC cannot come out clean

Ibrahim Magu, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says there is no one who would “come out clean” after honouring the invitation of the anti-graft agency.

Speaking on Question Time, a programme on Channels Television, Magu said the commission carries out thorough findings before inviting suspects.

He denied the allegation that the EFCC had turned into a tool for political witch-hunt, saying the commission is only after “thieves”.

“We don’t chase innocent people; we investigate people before we arrest them. We follow the money, we trace when you recieved the money, and we also investigate how you utilized the money,” he said.

“That’s why anybody that is invited here will not come out clean, because we do our homework before we invite you. We may investigate for a year or six months and the person would not know.”

Magu said the agency does not select those it prosecutes, adding that once there is any evidence against suspects, the EFCC goes after them.

“There is no sacred cow, we will go after anybody who has stolen the resources of the people. We have no reservations,” he said.

“We fight corruption both within and outside. We don’t go after innocent people for political reasons, we are going after the thieves of state resources.”

He described London as the “headquarters of money laundering”, alleging that Britain’s capital had created a haven for stolen money.

“London is the capital of money laundering; it is where all the stolen money is hidden. It has given a haven to all the corrupt persons and stolen money from all states of the world,” he said.

“In fact, it is the headquarters of money laundering. Most of the stolen money are hidden either by properties or in banks or as physical cash.”

David Cameron, British prime minister, had referred to Nigeria as a “fantastically corrupt country“ in a conversation with the Queen.
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Hope fades for Sheriff as BoT endorses Makarfi

Hope fades for Sheriff as BoT endorses Makarfi

The board of trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has endorsed the caretaker committee of Ahmed Makarfi.

The BoT, which comprises some members of the faction, which held a parallel convention in Abuja on Saturday, said it would “convince” Ali Modu Sheriff, former chairman of the party, to support the new leadership.

Sheriff had fallen out with the leadership of the party in Port Harcourt on Saturday after realising that his bid to stay in office till 2018 was heading for the rocks.

He had announced the suspension of the PDP convention, asking delegates to leave for their various states, but Uche Secondus, deputy national chairman of the party, stepped in and the exercise went on as scheduled.

The convention not only inaugurated the caretaker committee, but also dissolved the national executive committee led by Sheriff, and the national working committee.

The caretaker committee was given three months to steer the affairs of the party, and conduct election before leaving.

This had annoyed Sheriff, who sought legal redress.

However, at the end of an emergency meeting in Abuja on Thursday, Ojo Maduekwe, secretary of the BoT of the main opposition party, said the two factions have agreed to work together and support the decisions reached at the Port Harcourt convention

Maduekwe, secretary of the BoT, disclosed this while addressing reporters on the resolutions of the board’s expanded meeting with various organs and groups in the PDP..

“We agreed that the national caretaker committee led by Markafi should involve members of the Concern PDP Stakeholders group for effective integration of all points of views and indices,” Maduekwe said.

“The BOT at the expanded meeting decided to immediately engage all groups, party leaders and members involved in whatever disputes towards a just, lasting and amicable resolutions.

“The BOT will therefore preside over the processes of major reconciliations in our party as part of its leadership responsibility.

“A committee has also been set up to meet with Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff in the spirit of working together and resolving outstanding issues.”

Maduekwe added that the meeting equally resolved that all matters that were in courts be withdrawn for the party to apply internal mechanisms towards resolving them.

He said that the advice was based on the party’s extant regulations that no matter should go to court without exhausting internal mechanisms.

Jubrin Walid, chairman of BOT, also spoke about the meeting. He said decisions were reached by all organs of the party represented at the gathering.

The headquarters of the party has been taken over by the police as a result of the crisis rocking the party.
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United Airlines pulls out of Nigeria over FX crisis

United Airlines pulls out of Nigeria over FX crisis

United Airlines, Chicago-based American airline, is pulling out of Nigeria over difficulty in recovering monies made from tickets sales, due to Nigeria’s foreign exchange policy.

The company says it will stop flying to Nigeria next month, ending the its only route to Africa because of weakness in the energy sector and difficulty in collecting money from tickets sold in that country.

According to Bloomberg, Jonathan Guerin, United spokesperson said: “Repatriation has been a significant issue, as has been the downturn in the energy sector”.

“The daily route from Houston to Lagos had underachieved for years but was kept alive because of its importance to Texas-based customers,” United Continental Holdings Inc. said in a note to employees.

The last flight will be June 30, after which Delta Air Lines Inc. will be the only major US carrier flying to Africa.

Nigeria restricted the amount of money that can be moved abroad after the global slump in oil prices depleted the government’s dollar reserves.

The country owed airlines about $575 million in air fares as of March 31, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Passengers can still fly to Nigeria on United’s trans-Atlantic business partner, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, through a connection in Frankfurt.

The Boeing Co. 787 serving Lagos will be used on the San Francisco-to-Tel Aviv route, which will expand to daily in October from three times weekly, according to the airline note.

The Nigerian foreign exchange regime has made it difficult for airlines to make the kind of profits of the past, following the ease of fund repatriations.

Most airlines sell their tickets in naira at the rate of N197 to a dollar.

This makes them lose a sizeable amount of money to the exchange rate regime.
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Bill to increase power of Sharia passes 2nd reading without debate

Bill to increase power of Sharia passes 2nd reading without debate

The bill to increase the powers and jurisdiction of Sharia Law in Nigeria passed second reading at the lower chambers of the national assembly without a debate.

The bill, which is being sponsored Abdullahi Salame, the lawmaker representing Gwadabawa/Illela federal constituency of Sokoto state, was said to have scaled through, “due to its sensitivity”.

Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi, deputy chairman of the house committee on media and publicity, made the disclosure, saying it had been discussed at the committee level.

“The bill came up on the floor and was automatically referred to the adhoc committee on constitution review. There was no debate on it either for or against because the house is a democratic representatives chamber of the Nigerian people,” he said.

“Even if five people only have an issue with any section of the constitution, the house will give it a listening ear. The ad hoc committee on constitution review has one member per state and women and other representation.

“The precedence is that it is in this committee that these kind of matters are thrashed out.”

Gbefwi said: “any bill that has potentials to divide the country on religious or tribal lines or to reopen settled constitutional issues will most likely fail in the committee”.

“It should be noted that constitutional review bills are special bills that undergo many stages unlike an ordinary bill.

“These include committee stage, plenary stage for voting by 2/3rd of the House, 2/3rds of all the state houses of assembly before it comes back again to the national assembly for voting again and finally it must receive presidential assent.

“We are still at a very early stage in the process and Nigerians should not worry about bills of these nature as the house has shown over the years to be the protector of Nigerians’ national unity and interest”.

The bill is seeking to amend section 262 and 277 of the 1999 constitution of the country.
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Buratai: Killer herdsmen may have links with Boko Haram

Buratai: Killer herdsmen may have links with Boko Haram

Tukur Buratai, chief of army sta‎ff, says violent herdsmen ravaging some parts of the country may have links with Boko Haram insurgents.

Buratai, who spoke during a courtesy call on Ibikunle Amosun, governor of Ogun state, said the army was investigating the activities of the violent herdsmen.

He identified timely information on the nefarious activities of the group as one of the best ways to tackle them, saying Nigerians must be security conscious at all times.

“We want to call on all Nigerians to be security conscious and to report any suspicious persons or group of people that are roaming about in their communities,” he said.

“One may not be too far from the fact that some of these herdsmen that are attacking communities across the country may have some affiliation with the Boko Haram terrorists.

“This we are further investigating and also pursuing them so that we can address the situation, so let’s be security conscious. Report movement of suspicious persons carrying arms; if you suspect any individual within your community, report them immediately.

“Timely information is very important. We have our troops deployed in certain areas and I believe the police are working with them to be able to tackle any challenge that comes.”

Amosun commended the army for restoring peace in the north-east.

“We want to commend their effort because we know what Boko Haram turned Nigeria into before now… Their efforts have restored sanity.

“The Nigerian army has shown us that they are more than capable by bringing back the dignity of the country.”
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Thursday, May 26

Remain on Strike If You Like, I Can't Sell Myself to Pay Salaries - Fayose Blasts Striking Ekiti Workers

Fayose Blasts Striking Ekiti Workers

Governor Ayodele Fayose

The governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has finally reacted to the strike action embarked upon by workers in the state.

Ayodele Fayose has said he has no immediate solution to the demands of striking workers in Ekiti State, stressing that he cannot sell himself or his family to raise funds for the workers.

The workers in Ekiti State had on Thursday begun an indefinite strike over government’s inability to pay five months salary arrears and for failing to refund deductions made from their December 2015 salaries.

However the governor said in a broadcast on Thursday that the workers must understand that strike was not an option and that the monthly wage bill was over N2bn but the state received as low as N751m in April.

He said, “Right now, I’m helpless. It is difficult to sell myself, my family or my property. I can only depend on what I get from Abuja. I want workers to understand that it is my priority to make them comfortable.

“Even before going on their strike, I got to know that many of them no longer come to office while many others were coming late to office. Why I refused to come hard on those involved was that I had no moral justification to do so since I knew we were owing them.

“If workers want to go on strike, I sympathize with them but we will be here waiting till when they come back. I can’t sell myself to pay workers.

“I don’t have powers to go on strike, we shall be waiting till when they come back, but they must realise that strike is not the best option

“Even in Government House, we don’t have money to power generators with diesel, whereas, I cannot sell myself or members of my family to raise funds, things are that difficult,” Fayose said.

The NLC Chairman, Raymond Adesanmi, in an interview with our correspondent said there was no going back on the strike.

“We are not saying the government should pay all the money at once. What we are asking for is a commitment. There should be a structured plan of how to settle all the arrears. When government is ready to dialogue, we will be waiting,” Adesanmi said.

The organised labour in Ekiti on Thursday began an indefinite strike to press home the demand for the outstanding five months salaries of workers.
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Ambode launches N400m Dangote Foundation Micro Grant Scheme for women

Ambode launches N400m Dangote Foundation Micro Grant Scheme for women

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday flagged off the N400 million Dangote Trust Fund Micro Grant scheme for 40,000 women across the state.

Ambode, during the ceremony at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said the scheme was designed to enhance the income generating capacity of beneficiaries through seed grants of N 10,000 and other accessories.

The programme will reach beneficiaries across the 20 Local Government and 37 Local Council Development Areas of the State.

He said: “We shall ensure that the micro-grant is administered to benefit the targeted disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our community, especially the widows and other special interest persons.

“The real essence of wealth is to improve the standard of living of people around us.

“True wealth is measured not by the property one acquires, but by the ability to positively affect the society and lift up less privileged people.”

The governor appealed to the first set of beneficiaries not to abuse the opportunity afforded t
them by the scheme.

“The seed grants you will receive have been provided to enable you engage in petty commercial activities and cottage business that will put food on the table for your family and not a largesse that should be spent frivolously,” Ambode said.

The governor urged members of the Micro Grants beneficiary selection committee to ensure transparency in the nomination process from the ward level.

“Nobody must be denied access to this facility on the basis of gender, political, ethnic or r
religious affiliation,” he said.

Ambode commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the gesture and urged other well meaning, public-spirited individuals and corporate organisations to emulate his kind gesture.

Earlier, Dangote said the programme was targeted at a minimum of 1,000 vulnerable women in each of the 774 Local Government Areas across the country.

He said that it provided the women the opportunity to reduce their vulnerability and meet their livelihood needs.

Dangote said that due to the special status of Lagos State, the number of beneficiaries per local government was doubled to enable the programme reach out to a larger population of women.

He said that the programme was implemented in partnership with the State Government to make it inclusive.

According to him, beneficiaries will be given mobile phones in addition to the N10,000.

Dangote said that payments would be made electronically via mobile money platform and beneficiaries could redeem their cash immediately.
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PDP is like beetle, it can never die – Wabara

PDP is like beetle, it can never die – Wabara

Adolphus Wabara

Former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, has likened the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to the proverbial beatle which can never die.

Wabara, who was addressing newsmen in Abuja, Thursday, expressed hope that the party would soon bounce back to life despite its many challenges.

The former Senate President observed that the main demand of almost all of the party’s factions was for the former Chairman, Ali Sheriff to back out as the leader.

According to him, members of the party are determined to reinvent and reposition it to attain greatness again.

Wabara said, “First of all, the PDP is just like a Beatle. A beatle they generally say never dies. There is nothing that can kill PDP, no matter the factions, no matter the factional politics going on there now. I think for the problems, I don’t want to apportion blames. We have come out of it now.

“So we are looking forward to see how we can bring the factions together. We pray that this does not repeat itself again. PDP is not owned by any individual or group of people or organization. PDP is very national in nature.

“Since we lost the Presidency, it would appear that the 12 Governors that we have are in charge; but in the future, the Governors should reach out and consult widely before they take certain decisions.

The former lawmaker said contrary to claims in some quarters that Sheriff’s emergence as National Chairman was by consensus, “Some of us kicked against that decision and wisely too, not because of any personal problems with the person in question; but because of our knowledge of that person.”

He lamented that the decision throw up the former Borno State governor as National Chairman was in itself a very bad decision which is largely responsible for the crisis which threatened the party’s existence.

Speaking on the role the party’s BoT is expected to play in resolving the crisis, Wabara said, “The BoT has a very vital role to play and I think it has already started playing that role to galvanise the factions, get them together and then move the party forward.

“Senator Jubril Walid, the BoT Chairman and of course, Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe will use their wealth of experience and wisdom to really get the warring parties together, including the Governors.”
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Mourinho appointed new Manchester United manager

Mourinho appointed new Manchester United manager

Jose Mourinho has put pen to paper on a three-year deal, to become the new manager of Manchester United.

The former Chelsea boss, concluded talks at a central London hotel, where he signed the contract.

Mourinho left his house at 2.50pm on Thursday and returned home before 5pm, with documents in his hand and a bottle of red wine, having met with United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, to seal the deal.

A number of image rights issues, including Chelsea’s ownership of Mourinho’s name, were resolved on Thursday and he is expected to be unveiled on Friday.

The Portuguese, who has been out of work since December when he was fired by Chelsea, replaces his former mentor, Louis van Gaal, who was sacked two days after winning the FA Cup.

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Jonathan’s principal secretary, Hassan Tukur granted $40m bail

Jonathan’s principal secretary, Hassan Tukur granted $40m bail

Hassan Tukur

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has granted administrative bail to Hassan Tukur, the principal secretary to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Tukur had been in detention for several days for allegedly diverting $40 million he obtained to negotiate the release of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Islamist insurgents belonging to Boko Haram.

Saharareporters quoted a source as saying that Tukur was detained and interrogated on charges that included his reported pocketing of about $35 million out of $40 million budgeted for negotiating the release of Chibok girls.

The source said Tukur was released yesterday, but ordered to report to the EFCC’s headquarters in Abuja whenever he was required to do so.
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We have secured 140 convictions, recovered billions of dollars under Magu – EFCC

We have secured 140 convictions, recovered billions of dollars under Magu – EFCC

Ibrahim Magu

Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has charged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of “living with clean hands” as a way of stamping out corruption from the society.

Magu, who stated that the job of EFCC entailed confronting looters of the nation’s commonwealth, taking on impunity and restoring hope to the hopeless, said the Commission had been reshaping the face of law enforcement in Nigeria in the past 13 years.

In his welcome address titled “We Must Win The War on Corruption and Impunity”, during the launch of EFCC Clean Hands Campaign on Thursday at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the anti-graft czar added that the Commission had kept faith with its mandate and the expectations of Nigerians.

In just six months of this year, we have secured over 140 convictions, including some elusive ‘high profile’ criminals. We have recovered billions of dollars worth of stolen funds and blocked numerous avenues of money laundering,” he said.

He also stated that EFCC had also given its prevention mandate a new lease of life, adding the people were now fully informed of its activities on all communication channels.

According to him, the new strategies being employed by EFCC had enabled Nigerians to take direct ownership of the war on corruption.

“Citizens are now more disposed to preemptively act against corruption; and where the act has been committed, they are willing to work with EFCC to fish out the criminals.

“However, in order to ensure that justice is fully served to the victim, the perpetrator and the society, it is important for us all to continue to hold everyone in the justice delivery chain accountable,’’ he added.

Magu also urged Nigerians to continue to push ‘‘due pressure’’ on the Commission to carry out diligent investigation and prosecution and to inform the people of its activities.

He, however, charged Nigerians to also take more seriously their watchdog role over the members of the National Assembly, so as to make them more alive to their responsibilities to pass laws that are adequate and functional.

“Nigerians must also take more seriously their watchdog role over the judiciary to meet the yearnings of Nigerians for justice,’’ he added.

In her address, the Co-founder of the Transparency International and Co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, urged every Nigerian to be involved in the fight against corruption.

Ezekwesili, who commended the vigour and commitment of Magu in the fight against corruption, said: “If any Nigerian is serious at all about the necessity for the greatness of nation, then, he or she must take the fight against corruption seriously. This is because the consequence of not taking the fight against corruption seriously is that the nation will forever be mortgaged.

“Nigeria is a country that the whole world agreed had incredible potentials to be one of the leading countries of the world. As a matter of fact, at the time of Nigeria’s Independence, many around the world took a bet that Nigeria was the black nation that would likely put in hot pursuit all other nations of the world in terms of greatness that it had.

“Sadly, 56 years after Independence, when some of those nations that took a bet on Nigeria look at what has become of the country, they ponder what has gone wrong. But what has gone wrong is what the EFCC has been established to tackle.’’

Also speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes and Anti-coruuption, Kayode Oladele, said it was important to start the fight against corruption from the grassroots.

According to him, “from time immemorial, we always know that one of the things that the EFCC does is to investigate and prosecute people who are found wanting for breach of public trust and corruption. But we have found out that the people who lead us did not fall from heaven. They are part and parcel of the society. Therefore, if we want to ensure that we stamp out corruption, then, we have to start from the grassroots.’’

He also urged Nigerians to see themselves as fighters against corruption, beyond giving legitimacy to the work of the EFCC.

The EFCC Clean Hands Campaign, which kicked off with a walk by staff and management of EFCC, among other interest groups, also featured match past and choreography by a number of primary and secondary school students in Abuja.

The event was held simultaneously in all EFCC offices across the country, including Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Ibadan and Enugu.
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Federal Government Bans Woods, Charcoal Exportation

Federal Government Bans Woods, Charcoal Exportation

Reports have it that the Federal Government has placed an embargo on the exportation of wood and charcoal as a result of the threat of complete deforestation.

The Federal Government has banned wood and charcoal exportation, following exporters’ refusal to adhere to the directive of cut-one plant-two policy.

The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, disclosed this at the just-concluded two-day retreat organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, at the Free Trade Zone, Onne, Rivers State, for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and its agencies.

Awolowo told Vanguard that the new directive had thrown exporters of charcoal into confusion as some of them had existing agreements with their partners abroad.

He said government must explain the reason for the move, adding “I just got that circular; this is part of the policy somersault we are talking about. “How can the government ban charcoal when people have been processing it? They did not even carry exporters along.”

Also confirming the development, Customs Public Relations Officer of Tin Can Island Port, Mr. Chris Osunkwo, said they were aware of the ban, adding that they were, however, waiting for the memorandum.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Giovani Locano, General Manager, China Shipping, told a correspondent that he was not aware of the fact that charcoal had been banned.

Although, Locano supported the decision of government to ban wood and charcoal exportation, he called for a more proactive approach so that peoples’ businesses are not affected.

Mr. Chris Osunkwo explained that wood and charcoal were banned because the exporters of these items failed to meet up with the agreement they had with the government on tree planting.
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Touching Life Story: How I Tested HIV Positive Nine Times While Pregnant...But, It was a Costly Error

How I Tested HIV Positive Nine Times While Pregnant...But, It was a Costly Error

Jeen Morson after giving birth to her baby son

A woman has shared a life-changing and touching story how she battled with herself after she tested HIV positive nine times - but there is a shocking twist.

Jenn Morson is a freelance writer from the suburbs of Annapolis, Maryland.

“It must be a mistake,” I told the doctor, confident there had been a mix-up at the lab.

“The test was run nine times,” she declared.

The lab had repeated my HIV test nine times, and my new obstetrician was lecturing me for endangering her by not disclosing my HIV status.

My husband found me crumpled on the bed. He took the phone from me and listened to what the doctor had to say. Then he wrapped his arms around me, repeating over and over, “Baby, this is impossible.”

I’d only been with my husband and we’d both tested HIV-negative the prior year as part of a life-insurance exam. So I turned to the man whose child I was carrying, whose daughter was sleeping soundly in her crib, and said, “If you cheated on me, you need to tell me now.” I believed him when he told me no, there hadn’t been anyone else.

Was I the first person to catch HIV from a public restroom? Had I contracted it from a mosquito? Worse still, had I given it to my husband? To my daughter? To our unborn child?

As soon as my daughter woke up, we took her to my parents and went straight to a lab for another blood draw. As we took turns in the stiff-backed chairs, arms tied off with rubber bands, I fell apart. The phlebotomist awkwardly patted my back, trying to assure me that even though it seemed bleak, I was going to be OK.

Could I handle a lifetime of precautions and pills? It scared me to admit that I did not know.

A follow-up visit with my OB only ratcheted up my anxiety. I told her my research had turned up cases of false-positives in pregnant women, but she was fixated on my failure to disclose my status. When I asked about HIV-2 — the type I supposedly had — she didn’t even know what it was. Instead she handed me a prescription for antianxiety pills and sent me away.

When I got home I called the Centers for Disease Control and learned that HIV-2 is a rare form of the virus. The CDC employee was extremely skeptical that I could have contracted HIV-2, but it was hard to feel reassured in the face of a positive test result. Nine times.

Next I contacted my former nurse midwife in Virginia, who offered to put me in touch with an immunologist at her hospital. He arranged for another blood draw, which would be sent to a lab in California, the only one at the time that could accurately run the PCR test for HIV-2. Results would take at least a week. In the meantime, I was told to carry on as if I had a positive diagnosis. If my baby girl were to get cut, I couldn’t kiss it to make her feel better. I couldn’t let her kiss me on the mouth, in case either of us had an open sore. I fixated on every patch of chapped skin — would it open and get blood on her?

Then there was my pregnancy. I had just made it through a hideous first trimester, including being hospitalized for morning sickness. Would I need antiretroviral medication? Would I get sick all over again? I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t slow my heart rate. I knew the stress wasn’t good for my unborn baby, but I was consumed by thoughts of not being allowed to breastfeed him, not feeling safe to clip his fingernails, not being able to smother him with kisses.

Ten days dragged past before the immunologist called. No, I was not HIV-positive. The test results showed my pregnancy had caused an elevated antibody count, not HIV. I was free to resume my normal routine.

My next call was to my OB, requesting that my records be sent to a new doctor. Her office was surprised I wanted to switch providers and made no effort to learn why I had received a false diagnosis. (Following a request for comment, the office said the OB in question retired five years ago.)

I had spent two weeks believing I was HIV-positive, an agonizing diagnosis more than a million people in the United States deal with every day. If the immunologist’s report had confirmed the positive results, would I have been strong enough to follow the drug regimen? Could I handle a lifetime of precautions and pills? It scared me to admit that I did not know.

 I prided myself on a willingness to sacrifice for my children, but I was suddenly humbled to consider what that might have meant had I been HIV-positive. And while I was able to change obstetricians, how many HIV-positive women were being stigmatized and enduring judgment from her and doctors like her? I wanted to find these women and apologize for all the wrongheaded people who made them feel anything but strong.

And when my sweet baby boy was born, I covered him in kisses, no longer afraid that I was a danger to my children, but also keenly aware of how lucky I am.
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Man Shoots Male Doctor for Assisting His Wife Deliver Baby...What Really Happened Will Shock You

Man Shoots Male Doctor for Assisting His Wife Deliver Baby

A man who was really angry with a doctor who helped to deliver his wife's baby has shown his anger in a devastating manner.

The man from Saudi Arabia has been arrested by Saudi authorities for shooting a male doctor who had helped his wife’s delivery, after arguing that a female doctor should have overseen the birth.

Gulf News reports that the doctor, Muhannad Al Zabn, delivered the baby in April at the King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh.

The man offered his thanks to the doctor and asked to meet him at the hospital to show him his appreciation in person for the delivery.

The pair proceeded to meet in the hospital garden to talk about the delivery when the father unveiled a firearm and shot at the doctor, seriously wounding him.

The man ran from the scene but Saudi police later arrested him.

Health workers transferred Al Zabn to the hospital’s intensive care unit but he is now in a stable condition.

Bassam Al Buraikan, spokesperson for the King Fahad Medical City hospital, confirmed the incident to Gulf News and said authorities were conducting an investigation using evidence from the scene of the shooting.
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We will pay your outstanding allowances soon – FG begs ex-Niger Delta militants

We will pay your outstanding allowances soon – FG begs ex-Niger Delta militants

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta, Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd) has appealed to former militants to exercise patience with the Federal Government over the delay in the payment of their outstanding allowances.

Speaking yesterday, the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Coordinator blamed the delay on

non-receipt of budgetary allocation by the amnesty office.

Boroh, however, assured that his office was working round the clock to ensure the release of all outstanding allocations, stressing that the Federal Government is aware of the pains the former agitators are going through.

“I want to assure the ex-militants under the programme that arrangements are being made to fast-track the payment of their stipends as soon as the amnesty office receives its allocation,” he said.

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Dana flights grounded as pilots go on strike

Dana flights grounded as pilots go on strike

Passengers of Dana Airlines are stranded nationwide as a result of a strike by pilots who are protesting non-payment of salaries.

The pilots have not been paid since March.

However, the airline has continued to sell tickets and check in passengers even with the knowledge that there may be no flights.

It's understood that some passengers were informed at the check-in counter that there would be a “slight delay”.

At the Abuja airport, announcements were regularly made via the PA system announcing a delay by “one hour”, a stranded passenger told.

“The deceit is too much. But you cannot blame Dana. It is the regulatory system that allow such maltreatment of passengers that should bear the blame,” he said.

Intending passengers who are unaware of the strike are still buying Dana tickets and checking in at the airport.
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Minimum wage may be increased soon – FG

Minimum wage may be increased soon – FG

Babachir David Lawal

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, has disclosed that the Federal Government and the Ayuba Wabba-led faction of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has agreed to set up a 16 man committee that will work out the new minimum wage for workers.

Speaking after a meeting between Labour and the Federal Government yesterday in Abuja, the SGF said the committee will also work on palliatives that will soften the effects of the recent hike in the pump price of fuel.

“This Wednesday evening, I’m proud to announce that, first of all, a 16-man committee has been set up as a technical committee. It’s half from the labour side and half from the government side to discuss issues concerning the minimum wage.

“The minimum wage involves almost every segment of the society, so it’s not just the Federal Government and workers alone, but all stakeholders, the local governments, the private sector. So, this technical committee will discuss the modalities on how this issue would be brought forward.

“Secondly, we have agreed that the 16-man committee will look at the issues of implementation and allocation of resources of that palliative, the half a trillion naira palliative. The committee is supposed to work and bring its report to the committee of the whole within two weeks of its inauguration,” Lawal said.

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Full text of Olisa Agbakoba’s appraisal of Buhari’s one year in office

Full text of Olisa Agbakoba’s appraisal of Buhari’s one year in office


An Appraisal of President Mohammadu Buhari at 365 days..


There is no doubt Nigeria was in a state of utter chaos and disorder prior to the 2015 elections. Nigeria struggled with massive insecurity, weak political structure, empty treasury and corruption. These issues actually influenced the election of President Mohammadu Buhari. How has the President handled these issues 365 days after assuming office?


The President has done well with the Boko Haram crisis. But unlike late President Yar Adua, the Niger Delta crisis is seemingly out of control. With oil production at about 900 Bpd, this is a danger signal. The President needs to adopt a more flexible approach. This also extends to pro Biafra agitators. Part of the flexible response is set out below:
The President must go back in history and borrow a leaf from President Roosevelt who ably dealt with the shock of the great depression that ravaged the United States of America when he became the US President in the 1930s.
Nigeria is in utter chaos and disorder. This greatly affects the nation. The disease of disorder has eaten deep into our national fabric. The absence of order has badly damaged the national psyche. Love of country is absent. It is suggested that government works out a framework to reverse disorder and instil discipline.

The issue of national order is closely linked with a new constitutional order. It is strongly recommended that priority should be given to the national question and resolved urgently. The Nation will not settle or move forward without solving the issue of disorder.


The most critical pillars are the political arrangements and agreements that bind Nigerians in one nation. We have not lived in peace and harmony. Nigeria is a fractured and divided nation. The Amalgamation agreement of 1914 failed. The colonial agreements in the shape of orders in council promulgated by the English crown failed us. The post-colonial constitutions and their military counterparts all failed. The result has been long years of national disorder and disharmony that has impeded economic development and political stability. This is a challenge the President must engage.


The President can build a new national order by recognising our diversity and managing it in an inclusive process that would lead to an agreed constitution by all Nigerians. The president must refrain from calling yet another wasteful national conference. All that is needed is a comprehensive review of the reports of the national conferences. It will be a very difficult but not impossible task. The key in arriving at a new constitution is in isolating what Nigerians will agree to immediately. I believe Nigerians will accept the need for a balanced federation. We must strive for a balanced federation and decentralisation of powers from federal to state government. The centre is too strong and can pass responsibility out of the ninety eight items of power, under its exclusive control, to the states. This will balance up the federation. It is recommended that a graduated process of constitutional amendments should be introduced to replace failed holistic attempts to write new constitutions in one fell swoop. Creating a new national order will be very difficult but not an impossible task. The effect of a national order will be stabilization and national rebirth.


Corruption is endemic in Nigeria and to reverse it requires strong new institutions. There has to be roots and branch reform of the anti-corruption agencies if we must succeed in slowing down corruption before even thinking of reversing it.

Salaries and emoluments voted to our legislators by themselves is about 25% of our national budget. This is unconstitutional because it is not approved by the Revenue Fiscal and Mobilization Commission. Stopping this outrageous conduct on the part of the legislators is, with respect the litmus test in assessing the sincerity of the anti-corruption agenda. It is strongly recommended that the NNPC be fundamentally reformed.

Corruption is also manifest in over bloated budgets for the presidential villa and government houses, corrupt/weak public procurement procedures and abuse of discretion of ministers in the award of contracts. All these have taken a major toll on our resources and encouraged corruption. The first crucial challenge is for the President to stop these aspects of corrupt practices and introduce major spending cuts.


Experts are unable to agree on whether Nigeria is in a recession or depression. Whatever the position, 5 conservative quarterly low GDP performances have had a massively negative impact. From Q4 2014 to Q1 2016 Nigeria has been in terrible economic straits. The critical nuggets to turn things around must be put in place right now because they are not in place. Confusion as to whether we are liberalizing or regulating different aspects of our economy is keeping investors away. A good example is the Petroleum Industry. The only way Nigeria can grow and sustain development to attract 5-10 GDP is to have an open deregulated economy. This will bring hardship but with a robust social benefit agency to properly implement welfare package in the Budget a substantial cushion can be provided.
The priority must be to diversify the economy and make it less dependent on imports. Nigeria has long depended on crude oil as if it is the only hydrocarbon to the utter neglect of gas. The economy heavily relies on oil revenue and is vulnerable to price shocks in oil and the associated risk to national stability. The most recent volatility in oil prices suggest that we must start to diversify our revenue income streams by developing non-oil tradable sectors.

A clear strategy, model and plan for economic diversification both horizontally and vertically is necessary. Horizontal diversification should explore new opportunities in the same oil and gas sector. There are at least thirty-six value added products to be explored in the extraction of crude oil. Vertical diversification means a shift from the oil and gas sector to other sectors, Agriculture, Services, Maritime, Aviation/space, Manufacturing, Health, Sports etc.

Pursuing economic diversification will make the economy less vulnerable to the boom and bust cycles of oil and natural gas prices. A model we can follow is the United Arab Emirate that has successfully diverted out of oil into new revenue sources.


Public Sector Economy is not properly defined in Nigeria. Whilst Nigeria’s State owned Public Enterprises are often ineffective, China’s Model appears very effective. The Privatization escape route that Nigeria is often eager to employ has not been successful. In fact, none of the privatized entities in Nigeria could serve as a model. It is urgent therefore, that Nigeria reviews her Public/Private Economy. Government must control the overarching sectors of the Economy. There is need for a strong Public/Private Sector Framework. It is important that despite current challenges, Nigeria is still rated as the 20th largest economy in the world. Reviewing Nigeria’s public/Private economy would go a long way in turning potentials into reality and move the economy forward.
Nigeria’s Forex policy is unclear and uncertain. We have CBN rates, rates for fuel importers, rates at autonomous markets and rates at the parallel Market “black Market”. This breeds corruption from differentials in the 4 markets.


There is no doubt the absence of National Order has hampered the President from delivering on most of the issues. This government needs to stop looking at the rear view mirror. It needs to develop a clear political and economic vision for the country. At the moment it does not exist. Therefore I have moved from being cautiously positive to cautiously negative.

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No court order dissolved the newly constituted PDP Caretaker Committee – Makarfi

No court order dissolved the newly constituted PDP Caretaker Committee – Makarfi

Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi

The Chairman of the newly constituted National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has dismissed reports that the committee has been dissolved by Justice I. N. Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Makarfi, in a statement, described the report as a reckless misrepresentation of facts and distortion of information, stressing that no member of the PDP is bigger than the Party and no “office, person, organ, or institution within the PDP is bigger than the National Convention, which is the Supreme organ of the Party with powers, to even dissolve the Party itself.”

Clarifying the ruling by Justice Buba, the new committee Chairman explained that the report was carried out by some aggrieved members of the party out to mislead the public.

Makarfi said the ruling of Justice Buba neither touched on the National Convention of the Party though the party acknowledge that a Motion on Notice was pending before Justice Buba.

The statement reads, “Justice I. N. Buba did not make an order dissolving the Caretaker Committee. An order of Court could only be made if the court is presented with either a Motion Ex-Parte or Motion on Notice which the Court hears and makes appropriate order(s) as deemed necessary. No court makes an order not sought.

“The Plaintiffs in SUIT NO. FHC/L/CS/613/2016 had on Monday May 23, 2016 filed a Motion on Notice for the purpose of setting aside the National Convention of the Party held on Saturday May 21, 2016. The Motion on Notice is yet to be served on the Defendant (the PDP being the 2nd Defendant in the suit) as at today Wednesday 25 May, 2016.

“The suit comes up Friday May 27, 2016 for the hearing of all pending applications, including Motions for Stay of Proceeding/Execution of the Order of May 12, 2016 pending the Appeal already filed against the suit; Motion to Set-Aside and/or Vacate the order of May 12, 2016; Motion for joinder of certain persons; Motion on Notice by way of Notice of Preliminary Objection on ground of jurisdiction, among others.

“At the proceedings of Tuesday May 24, 2016 Counsel to the Plaintiff, R. A. Oluyede drew the attention of the court to the fact that the order of Court dated May 12, 2016 had not been complained with. And that the 2nd Defendant has gone ahead to conduct election into the offices of the National chairman, national secretary and national auditor.”

Makarfi stated that in compliance with the above order, no election was conducted into the above mentioned offices during the last Saturday’s National Convention of the party, adding that some members of the Nation Working Committee of the party were dissolved.

“The National Convention of the PDP, in the exercise of its powers under section 12.88 of the PDP Constitution, dissolved the National Working Committee and appointed some of its members as Caretakers Committee for the next ninety (90) days, to enable it pursue true reconciliation of its disputant members towards peaceful, amicable and political settlement of the disputes leading to the cases in court.

“No orders of injunction or any order whatsoever is granted or exists against appointing Caretaker Committee for the PDP.

“As at today, the only order that is direct, specific and subsisting on the National Convention is that of A. M Liman of the Federal High Court,” he added.

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Niger Delta militants push global oil prices to $50 – highest in 2016

Niger Delta militants push global oil prices to $50 – highest in 2016

Oil prices eventually rose to a 2016 high on Thursday morning, hitting the highly anticipated $50 a barrel mark, following disruptions in Nigeria’s production levels.

The prices rose to a 7-month high on Thursday, as Brent, the global benchmark for crude oil, traded at $50.26 per barrel.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI), US oil, also rose to a 2016 high at $49.56 per barrel.

The price of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of thirteen crudes stood at $44.02 a barrel on Tuesday, one of its highest points in 2016, according to OPEC secretariat calculations.

This is coming on the wings of disruptions in production from Nigeria, Africa’s leading oil exporter after Angola, saving the world an oversupply of 800,000 barrels per day.

Earlier in the month, Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, said disruptions led by militants is costing the nation as much as 800,000 barrels per day, reducing production to 1.4 million barrels per day.

Niger Delta Avengers, the major group responsible for the disruptions in the region, has carried out over four different attacks on oil terminals within two months.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) data has shown that the disruptions can cost Nigeria as much as $1 billion in May 2015.
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Extra: My ‘lion’ will be vindicated, says Fani-Kayode’s wife

Extra: My ‘lion’ will be vindicated, says Fani-Kayode’s wife

Precious Chikwendu, wife of Femi Fani-Kayode, says her husband will be vindicated at the end of his investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Fani-Kayode has been in the custody of the EFCC since May 9.

On Monday, the anti-graft agency secured a court order to keep the former spokesman of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign in custody for 21 days.

Reacting to this in a terse statement issued on Thursday, Chikwendu said her “lion” would overcome “the lies and injustice”.

“If life was a movie I’m sure we would have our fingers on the fast forward button to skip so many scenes that ain’t just fair,” she said.

“But this is reality and in reality we live through it. It’s a time when strength and courage comes in play and only the brave can afford both. My lion (Femi Fani-Kayode) will walk through this webby den of lies and injustice.

“Persecution and trials are common, only the weak fear them. He remains brave and strong through all these and soon he will be vindicated. I stand with my husband Femi Fani-Kayode.‎”
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WONDERS SHALL NEVER END!!!! Our son ready to refund FG’s N400m, says Metuh’s family

Our son ready to refund FG’s N400m, says Metuh’s family

Olisa Metuh

The family of Olisa Metuh, former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he is ready to return the “contentious” N400m, which was allegedly taken from the government’s purse.

Metuh is facing trial for alleged criminal breach of trust and money laundering at the federal high court, Abuja.

The family in a statement issued by Gilbert Metuh, its representative, said the former PDP spokesman had made overtures to the government to return the money.

However, it expressed displeasure that the government had refused to accept the “offer of refund.”

The family alleged that it was clear that the government had resolved to “persecute” Metuh, since it rejected his offer to return the money.

The Metuhs also cried out that the life of their son was in danger, and that he could end up paralysed if an urgent surgery is not done to correct his spinal cord problem.

“Nigerians are aware that of all the people who have been facing the predicament of having worked for either the PDP or the previous federal government, our son has been the only one that was brought to court in handcuffs, paraded as a common criminal and treated without any dignity whatsoever,” the statement read.

“May we also point out that since his arrest and even up to about a week ago, our son has made several overtures to the arresting authority for him to refund the money since they now claim in court that it came from government coffers. All efforts have been unsuccessful.

“It is instructive that out of over 300 names listed as having received money from the ONSA, all those who offered to refund money were not arraigned in court.  Our son is the only one whose offer to refund money was rejected and has been arraigned in court and his case given accelerated hearing. On each trial date the hostility in the courtroom is palpable.

“As we speak to you the offer to refund the money to the federal government is still open and the government is yet to accept the offer. It is therefore clear to us that the intention is not the recovery of funds but a clear persecution of our son.

“Our son was diagnosed with a spinal cord problem in 2004. He has consistently managed it over this period. However, due to the treatments he received while in custody, the situation got aggravated. In the course of his trial, the situation deteriorated, especially after he fell at a meeting in the party office for which he was rushed to the National Hospital and was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. Notwithstanding the grave medical condition, he still kept his court date the very next morning in spite of medical advice by the doctors. On another such occasion he vomited in court and had to be rushed back to the hospital where he is lying critically ill.

“Our concern now is that that our son should not be sentenced to a life in a wheel chair especially as we believe that the paramount interest of the authorities should rather be more on the recovery of funds. In this case, our son has from the onset shown his willingness to refund the money rather than dragging in other party members involved in the said assignment.

“Finally we want Nigerians to note that our son has never held any public office, has never worked for any arm of government and is not being charged for stealing and/or corrupt enrichment.”
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Obasanjo: My father was the richest farmer in our village

Obasanjo: My father was the richest farmer in our village

Olusegun Obasanjo, one-time president of Nigeria, has gone down memory lane in an attempt to attract Africa’s brightest minds into agriculture.

In an article for the Africa Food Prize, first published by The Africa Report, Obasanjo, who said he started farming at the age of five years, revealed that his father made a huge fortune out of farming


Every year, thousands of young Africans join an exodus from their families’ small, often struggling farms in the countryside. Their dream – sometimes fulfilled, often not – is to find a more rewarding and stimulating life in the continent´s rapidly growing cities. Few return, but even fewer ever completely sever their ties.

It’s a complicated connection and one I deeply understand. My own exodus to the city as a young man opened up a lifetime of opportunity that culminated with serving as president of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. But not only did I retain my ties to agriculture, I have now returned to my roots. I’m a farmer again—at Obasanjo Farms Limited—and I’ve never been happier.

Working the land once more has given me a better perspective on two of the biggest challenges facing Africa today: how do we provide employment opportunities to the millions of young Africans, who are the world’s largest population of people under 25 years of age so they can stay in the village and farm? And how do we put an end to the seemingly endless cycles of food crises that are, as I write, playing out again with dismaying familiarity in parts of eastern and southern Africa?

Capitalizing on a $1 Trillion Food Market

Fortunately, more and more Africans like myself are seeing these issues as intertwined. We see agribusiness as Africa’s biggest opportunity to not only end hunger and malnutrition, but also as Africa’s best hope for generating income and employment, particularly in rural regions. The World Bank estimates that by 2030, demand for food in our rapidly growing urban areas will create a market for food products worth US $1 trillion. This market needs to be owned and operated by African farmers, African agriculture businesses and African food companies.

But one thing is clear to me as I return to farming: to achieve its potential, African agriculture needs a fresh infusion of innovation and talent.

I have many fond memories of my childhood in a small farming settlement near Abeokuta, the capital of Nigeria’s Ogun State. By the age of five, I was accompanying my papa to the fields where we grew cassava, maize, plantain, oil palm and other crops. A proud Yoruba man, my father was considered the most successful farmer in our village. While living with few modern amenities, we grew plenty of food, and we enjoyed the cultural wealth of our Yoruba traditions and history.

Ultimately, this way of life was unable to withstand pressures that would soon intensify – population growth, political turmoil, land scarcity and soil degradation.

Embracing Agriculture as a Calling and Career

Today, African farmers need several things that my father lacked but which farmers elsewhere in the world take for granted. We need improved crop varieties developed to resist disease and tolerate drought. We need access to modern inputs, like fertilizers. We need markets where farmers can profit from their labor and thus justify investments in improved production. We need affordable credit that all small businesses require and extension services that help us keep abreast of sustainable farming practices.

But ultimately we need people. Specifically, we need Africa’s best and brightest to embrace agriculture as a calling and a career.

Recently, I agreed to chair the selection committee for the new Africa Food Prize, an award that aims to recognize outstanding individuals or institutions taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It started out in 2005 as the Yara Prize. But moving it to Africa in 2016 and rechristening it the Africa Food Prize has given the award a distinctive African home, African identity and African ownership. It is also a substantial award: $100,000 for the winner.

The hope is that the Prize itself and its cadre of winners will signal to the world that agriculture is a priority for Africa that all should embrace. It can call attention to the individuals who are inspiring and driving innovations that can be replicated across the continent.

I sometimes portray my return to farming as coming full circle. But in reality, while I cherish my childhood memories, I don’t want to return to the past. I want to be part of the future, where farming in Africa is a lucrative, exciting entrepreneurial pursuit and young people aspire to be farmers because they see talented men and women building a rewarding career in farming and farm-related work.

I hope that the Africa Food Prize quickly becomes a symbol of all that agriculture in Africa can offer and that one day soon, we will see a shift, when young people in urban areas will look longingly to countryside and think: there lies the land of opportunity.

You can nominate someone for the Africa Food Prize here.
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