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Saturday, October 8

Suspension or Expulsion? Trouble for Tinubu as APC Set to Investigate His Anti-party Activities in Ondo

Suspension or Expulsion? Trouble for Tinubu as APC Set to Investigate His Anti-party Activities in Ondo

Tinubu & Oyegun

There are indications that the All Progressives Congress, APC, may investigate its national leader, Bola Tinubu and some members of the party loyal to him for anti-party activities.

 It appears the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have initiated moves to investigate allegations of anti-party activities against the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and some of the party members believed to be loyal to him.

This is happening as the party appears to be in a dilemma over how to deal with the party leader over suspicion that he is backing the Alliance for Democracy in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election.

Tinubu is believed to be supporting Chief Olusola Oke, one of the governorship aspirants in the party’s primary in Ondo State who had recently defected to the Alliance for Democracy, along with his supporters.

The leadership of the APC, according to impeccable sources who spoke to Saturday Punch, considered the purported support for an opposition party by a leader of the APC ahead of the coming Ondo governorship election as constituting anti-party infractions that should not be overlooked.

Tinubu’s godson, Dr. Olusegun Abraham, was edged out in the primary won by Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who is believed to have enjoyed the backing of the party’s national leadership.

The delegates’ list for the Ondo APC primary was said to have been doctored to favour Akeredolu and this allegedly infuriated Tinubu.

As such, Tinubu asked the APC’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to resign over his alleged role in the primary in which his (Tinubu’s) candidate had come second.

In the statement in which the party’s national leader made the allegations, Tinubu said Odigie-Oyegun had “dealt a heavy blow to the very party he professes to lead” by derailing from the path of progressives.

The post-primary election crisis of the Ondo APC took a different dimension when Oke defected to AD in a move believed to have been instructed by Tinubu.

Party sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Saturday Punch that they had proofs that Tinubu was backing the AD governorship candidate. They added that the party leader had released funds for Oke’s campaign.

The Ondo State chapter of the APC confirmed that some members of the party were under investigation over alleged anti-party activities.

The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, said specifically that some members loyal to Tinubu had been found to be involved in some activities against the party in the recent time.

Abayomi, who said expulsion from the party was the penalty for any anti-party activity, said the national body of the party would investigate and later come out with an action against any national leader involved in such activity.

He said, “We have yet to confirm if our National Leader is involved in anti-party activities but we will investigate; we are very sure that some of his boys here are involved in anti-party activities but when it is time, appropriate action would be meted to them.”

“Anti-party action is a serious offence in any political party and in our own party, total expulsion is the penalty.”

But a chieftain of the APC loyal to Tinubu, Mr. Bola Ilori,  said APC members who supported Rotimi Akeredolu’s emergence as the party’s candidate were those involved in anti-party activities.

Ilori, who is a loyalist to Dr. Segun Abraham, alleged that the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, was also involved in anti-party activities by allegedly using veto power to over-rule the recommendation of the Electoral Appeal Committee and submitted Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

He said, “Whoever is promoting or supporting Akeredolu to be the candidate of the APC is involving in anti-party (activities) because the NWC voted five to six not to submit the name of Akeredolu, and the National Chairman went ahead and submitted his (Akeredolu) name. So, what they have done is anti-party (action) itself.

“What they have done is anti-party (action) that has never happened in the history of the party.”

Saturday PUNCH also learnt that the APC national leadership is aware of Tinubu’s alleged anti-party moves in Ondo State but is very reluctant to sanction him.

This, according to party sources, has to do with Tinubu’s influence in the party and his tight grip on the party structure in the South-West.

Meanwhile, APC members, who spoke to a correspondent, have explained that the ruling party’s constitution prescribes sanctions against anyone found to be engaged in anti-party misdemeanor.

The Publicity Secretary of the Kwara State chapter of the APC, Mr. Sulaiman Buhari, said “A panel will be set up to investigate the matter. After the investigation, it is the panel that will recommend the punishment but it is stipulated in the Constitution. The person can be suspended or expelled from the party, given the (nature of the) offence. The situation also applies to chieftains of the party.”

The Cross River State Chairman of the APC, Mr. John Ochala, simply said, “Suspension,” when asked the specific sanction the party had reserved for those engaged in anti-party activities.

In Rivers State, the Publicity Sectary of the APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, said any political party that is worth its salt must sanction any action by any member that is detrimental to it.

The Edo State chairman of the APC, Anselm Ojezua, said, “It (anti-party activity) can range from suspension to expulsion, depending on the circumstances of the case. There are no party chieftains; in the APC, everybody is a member.”

Meanwhile, Oke has said that he defected from the APC to the AD because he failed to get justice after he challenged the result of the primary of the party held on September 3. 2016 and the national leadership refused to act on the recommendation of the appeal committee.

The former National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party, who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, said he made a wide consultation with people across the 18 local government areas of the state before taking the decision to leave the APC, stressing that it was on the advice of the people that he took the decision.

He also declared that since he had the support of the people, many members of the APC, PDP and many other political parties in the state would soon join him in the AD.

On whether he had the support of Tinubu,  Oke said he had sold his credentials to Tinubu and national leaders of other political parties.

“Because of the status and personality  of  Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, we are duty bound as politicians to sell the dossier and credentials of capacity and experience to him  and all the leaders of political parties and hope that they would give support to progressive ideas that can develop the people and lead to the growth of our state when they see these ideas,”  Oke added.

Repeated calls to the mobile telephone of the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun were neither picked nor returned.

A response to a text message sent to him was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.

Similar efforts made to get a reaction from Tinubu were equally unsuccessful. Calls to the mobile telephone number of his spokesman, Mr. Tunde Rahman, were neither picked nor returned.

 A response to a text message sent to him was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.

Source: Punch
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Judge awards N10M to Dino Melaye, mocks him as self-professed anti-corruption crusader

Judge awards N10M to Dino Melaye, mocks him as self-professed anti-corruption crusader

Dino Melaye

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday granted N10 million in damages to controversial Nigerian senator, Dino Melaye, over a lawsuit filed by the senator against the Inspector General of Police.

Mr. Melaye had filed the lawsuit in 2014 after the police stopped him from protesting against former Aviation minister, Stella Oduah, who had just been exposed by SaharaReporters for a scam in which she authorized the purchase of two overpriced bulletproof BMW cars for her personal use.

Police had manhandled and briefly detained Mr. Melaye as he led a group of protesters against the former minister, who is now a senator representing Anambra State. The police had justified their actions on the grounds that Mr. Melaye and fellow protesters had not obtained permission to stage their protest.

Justice Kolawole ruled that the police had violated Mr. Melaye’s rights, and awarded N10 million in damages to the senator.

However, in a parting shot, the judge mocked Mr. Melaye as a “self-styled” anti-corruption activist. He said he awarded the cost to the plaintiff because Nigerians have a right to peaceful protest, but also noted that Mr. Melaye has now become a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The usually loquacious Melaye made little noise about his court victory apparently because he and Ms. Oduah, the target of his aborted demonstration, are now both senators and part of a cabal at the Senate that backs Senate President Bukola Saraki who is facing trials for falsification of his asset declaration as well as money laundering.

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Victor Moses reportedly being owed N8.7m by the Nigerian Football Federation

Victor Moses reportedly being owed N8.7m by the Nigerian Football Federation

Chelsea FC and Nigerian international footballer Victor Moses has turned down the chance to report to the Super Eagles camp.

The reason according to AllNigeriaSoccer is because the footballer is being owed around N8.7m £15,000 by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The lump sum is said to have occured with the player sponsoring his travelling expenses while honoring national team invitations.

Moses picked up an injury in his last game for Chelsea vs Hull but the player nonetheless would have traveled for national medics to access him. Moses however decided to remain in London as there was no positive sign of him getting a refund.

The NFF contacted foreign based footballers to buy their tickets few days before they were supposed to arrive Abuja.
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IMF asks Nigeria to implement fresh structural adjustment

IMF asks Nigeria to implement fresh structural adjustment

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Nigeria to implement fresh structural adjustment programme in the face of dwindling revenues.

Speaking in Washington on Friday, Abebe Selassie, director of the IMF’s African department, said the adjustment are needed to respond to current challenges.

“There was adjustment in the exchange rate, but despite that the BDC rate is much weaker. As we see, we need significant fiscal adjustment, particularly on the revenue side, taking measures to try and contain fiscal deficit will be very important,” he said.

“This has to be accompanied also by tighter monetary policies, and in simple terms, this has to be accompanied by structural reforms to try and improve public finances over the medium term, but also a lot of the structural reforms that are needed to foster stronger supply response in the country.

“One good thing in Nigeria is that the level of debt is not too high, so there is room to try and have a more gradual adjustment in the case of Nigeria, because there’s scope to do some financing.”

He said: “economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa in 2016 is set to drop to its lowest level in more than 20 years. We are at the moment projecting growth to be around 1.5 percent this year, lower than last year’s 3.5 percent”.

“However, we must guard against swinging from the strong optimism of recent years about the region’s prospect to excessive pessimism today.

“The full picture is one of multi-speed growth in which the regional aggregate number masks considerable diversity across countries.

“The hardest-hit countries, especially of oil exporters need to act promptly as the adverse external environment is set to endure, and existing buffers have been exhausted.

“In these countries, growth rebound will require a sustained adjustment effort, based on a comprehensive and internally consistent set of policies to re-establish macroeconomic stability.

“This implies fulling allowing the exchange rate to fully absorb external pressures in countries outside monetary unions, coupled with strong and orderly adjustment to contain fiscal deficits, and a tighter monetary policy stance focused on containing inflation.

“Let me stress here that, for these countries, adjustment is unavoidable given the scale and persistent nature of the shock.”
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Former president Goodluck Jonathan didn't treat Igbos well - Ekwueme

Former president Goodluck Jonathan didn't treat Igbos well - Ekwueme

Dr Alex Ekwueme

In a recent interview, one time Vice President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme disclosed that Igbo people were not treated well by ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.

Ekwueme claimed that Jonathan failed to undertake meaning developmental projects in the South-east region of Nigeria during his tenure as president.

"As I said in an interview in the past, Jonathan didn’t treat us very well for the support he got in 2011; which he confessed to me himself was more than what he got from his people in the South-South.

He gave an example, that the people who were running against him tried to get a running mate from the Southeast, but none of them succeeded in getting a running mate from the Southeast to run against him; but even in his own South-South, Oyegun was a running mate to somebody; and when the election was over the Youth Corps members who were brutalised in Bauchi were people from the Southeast, not people from the South-South. He told me this himself.

So, he had every reason to be fair-minded and equitable in his distribution of resources. But we could not go from Enugu to Onitsha on a federal road, you couldn’t go from Enugu to Port-Harcourt on a federal road, we couldn’t go from Aba to Okigwe on a federal road; you couldn’t go from Owerri on the federal road. None of the federal roads in the Southeast was motorable," Ekwueme said.
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Unbelievable!!! Two Killed in Oyo as Bribe-Seeking Police Officer Hijacks Truck, Causes Accident

Unbelievable! Two Killed in Oyo as Bribe-Seeking Police Officer Hijacks Truck, Causes Accident

File photo used only for illustrative purpose

Police officers have allegedly caused serious commotion in Oyo as they tried to take bribes from motorists.

A police traffic warden has caused the death of two persons in Oyo State which resulted in serious chaos in the area.

According to Premium Times, witnesses revealed angry residents on Thursday attempted to attack the Durbar station of the Nigerian police in Oyo Town on Thursday, after the incident.

Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, prevented what could have been a mob attack on the police by repelling the angry residents.

Witnesses said officers of the Area Traffic office of the Nigeria Police were on duty opposite Arena Lounge near when they flagged down a pick-up truck loaded with firewood. On the pile of firewood, were some passengers.

Premim Times reports that upon being the stopped, the police officers asked why the driver was endangering lives by allowing people to sit on top of the firewood. He was asked to drop them all off at the check point. He did.

When asked for the vehicle papers, the driver had none. The police asked him to drive to the police station which was not up to 1 kilometer away but he refused, Muideen Olagunju, a lawmaker in the Oyo State House of Assembly, who was briefed on the incident, told Premium Times.

One witness, Iyabo Makinde, said the driver’s refusal to yield to demand, understood as an attempt to compel him to bribe the officers, infuriated one of the wardens, identified as Mr. Jeleel.

The driver reportedly explained that he was returning from the farm and had no money.

But Mr. Jeleel commandeered the truck, and attempted to drive it to the police station. He lost control midway, and ran the vehicle into a pole.

The truck flipped and killed a passersby instantly. A second person, Jamiu, who was injured, later died at the hospital on Friday. Mr. Jeleel was unhurt.

“But other officers who I stood with fled instead running to the aid of those involved in the accident,” she said.

“In this hard time, police are still extorting people,” a resident, Olalekan Azeez, who also spoke to Premium Times on the incident, said.

A group, Oyo Global Forum, condemned the incident and called for prosecution of Mr. Jeleel.

The group said police had to “stop corrupt, disgraceful practice of extorting citizens to avoid angry reactions from people who have had to contend with the current socio-economic situation”.

Oyo police spokesperson, Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed the development Saturday morning. Mr. Ajisebutu said Mr. Jeleel and others on duty had been ordered to face orderly room trial.

A source at the Durbar station told Premium Times that Mr. Jeleel had been recommended for dismissal, while other officers on duty were recommended for demotion by a rank.
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EXPOSED: Tape shows Trump bragging about kissing and groping women

EXPOSED: Tape shows Trump bragging about kissing and groping women

Although it happened 11 years ago, Donald Trump’s brag in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women has come back to haunt him, weeks before the presidential election.

According to a video obtained by The Washington Post, Trump was caught on a hot microphone during a 2005 conversation, saying: “When you’re a star, they let you do it”

In the tape, a part of which was audio and another video, Trump was talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” on a bus with the show’s name written across the side, as they were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s cameo on the soap opera.

The tape was recorded several months after he married his third wife, Melania.

“I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump is heard saying as he discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.

“Whoa,” another voice said.

“I did try and f— her. She was married,” Trump replied, before adding: “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture’.

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”

At that point in the audio, Trump and Bush appeared to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who was waiting to escort them into the soap-opera set.

“Your girl’s hot as s—, in the purple,” said Bush, now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.

“Whoa!” Trump himself said. “Whoa!”

“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” he added.

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently Bush’s.

“Grab them by the p—y,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

After sharp criticism by Republican leaders, Trump issued a short video statement offering apologies.

“I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize,” he said. “But this is a distraction from the issues we are facing today.”

He said that his “foolish” words were much different than those and actions of Bill Clinton, whom he accused of abusing women, and Hillary Clinton, whom he accused of having “bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims”.

“This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

“I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not.

“I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.

“We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.”

Bush, in a statement released by NBC Universal, said: “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”

After the video appeared online Friday afternoon, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wrote on Twitter: “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.”

Her running mate, Tim Kaine also told reporters: “It makes me sick to my stomach.”EXPOSED: Tape shows Trump bragging about kissing and groping women

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I Wish to End My Life Through Assisted Suicide - Archbishop Desmond Tutu Asks on His 85th Birthday

I Wish to End My Life Through Assisted Suicide - Archbishop Desmond Tutu Asks on His 85th Birthday

Desmond Tutu

South Africa's Archbishop and anti-apartheid campaigner, Desmond Tutu has revealed that he wants to have the option of an assisted death as he celebrates his 85th birthday.

South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid, has said he would like the option of ending his life through assisted dying as he called on politicians, lawmakers and religious leaders to take action on the issue.

In an article published on his 85th birthday on Friday, and following several spells in hospital this year for recurring infections, the emeritus archbishop of Cape Town and anti-apartheid activist reiterated his support for assisted dying, first disclosed in the Guardian in 2014.

“With my life closer to its end than its beginning, I wish to help give people dignity in dying,” he wrote in the Washington Post.

“Just as I have argued firmly for compassion and fairness in life, I believe that terminally ill people should be treated with the same compassion and fairness when it comes to their deaths,” he added.

“Dying people should have the right to choose how and when they leave Mother Earth. I believe that, alongside the wonderful palliative care that exists, their choices should include a dignified assisted death.”

Tutu had changed his mind over assisted suicide two years ago after a lifelong opposition but had remained ambiguous about whether he personally would choose such a death.

He said: “Today, I myself am even closer to the departures hall than arrivals, so to speak, and my thoughts turn to how I would like to be treated when the time comes. Now more than ever, I feel compelled to lend my voice to this cause.”

He believed in the sanctity of life but also that terminally ill people should not be forced to endure terrible pain and suffering, he wrote. Instead they should have control over the manner and timing of their death.

He added: “I have prepared for my death and have made it clear that I do not wish to be kept alive at all costs. I hope I am treated with compassion and allowed to pass on to the next phase of life’s journey in the manner of my choice.”

Tutu pointed to laws in California and Canada that permit assisted dying for terminally ill people. But “there are still many thousands of dying people across the world who are denied their right to die with dignity”.

He said: “For those suffering unbearably and coming to the end of their lives, merely knowing that an assisted death is open to them can provide immeasurable comfort.”

He concluded: “In refusing dying people the right to die with dignity, we fail to demonstrate the compassion that lies at the heart of Christian values. I pray that politicians, lawmakers and religious leaders have the courage to support the choices terminally ill citizens make in departing Mother Earth. The time to act is now.”

Tutu, who won the Nobel peace prize in 1984, has been admitted to hospital several times, most recently in September, for recurring infections as a result of surgery for prostate cancer.

Assisted dying is legal in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Albania, Colombia and Japan as well as Canada. Several US states have enacted measures on assisted dying, including Washington, California, Oregon, Vermont and New Mexico.

Source: The Guardian UK
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Just In: Gov. Wike Threatens as He Resists Police & DSS' Attempt to Abduct River State Judge

Just In: Gov. Wike Threatens as He Resists Police & DSS' Attempt to Abduct River State Judge

Gov. Wike speaking to newsmen earlier today

An alleged attempt by operatives of the Department of State Security and the men of Nigerian Police to abduct a Judge at his residence in Port Harcourt, has been stopped by the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike.

Governor Nyesom Wike in the early hours of Saturday, mobilised to stop alleged attempt by men of the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Nigerian Police to abduct a Judge at his number 35/84 B residence, Forces Avenue, Port Harcourt.

The governor who fielded questions from newsmen in front of the Judge’s residence, said he was manhandled by men of the DSS and the Police who came to whisk the judge away.

“What has happened this night is unfortunate. Even in military government it has never happened like this , you listen to people. This is why we are here. I said not under my watch will I allow this type of activity take place.

“The DSS, Police they cocked their guns and said they will shoot me. And I told them I have never heard this type of thing happen before. Again this is to show that more of this will come."

Just In: Gov. Wike Threatens as He Resists Police & DSS' Attempt to Abduct River State Judge

(In red) Rivers Police Commissioner, Mr Francis Odesanya, Governor Nyesom Wike in dark native beside the CP Judge’s residence.

Wondering why the security men will choose 1:00 am to storm the residence of the judge, the governor said their action portend danger for the nation’s democracy, adding that all he expected the security men to have done was to invite the judge, and that if he had ignored the invitation then other legal steps should have been taken.

Continuing, he said he did not bother to know the name of the judge but he only had to come out to stop the attempted abduction of the judge because as Chief Security of the state he would not allow such lawlessness take place in his state.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Francis Odesanya was decked in a native attire and was among those going around as the governor fielded questions from newsmen on the incident.

Source: Vanguard
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UPDATE!!! DSS arrest two Supreme Court judges, 5 others over alleged corruption

UPDATE!!! DSS arrest two Supreme Court judges, 5 others over alleged corruption

In a nationwide crackdown, the Federal Government last night began rounding up judges suspected to have aided and abetted corruption in over the years.

But, the arrest of the judges, which was carried out by operatives from the Department of Security Services DSS, was in relation to those who allegedly took huge cash to pervert the cause of Justice before, during and after the 2015 general elections.

It was gathered that among those taken into custody last night were two Supreme Court justices, who allegedly played ignoble but crucial roles in subverting judgement in favour of one of the two leading political parties in Akwa Ibom State and another state in the South East.

Three judges from Sokoto, Bauchi and Kano were also taken into custody for allegedly collecting bribes, according to a top source involved in the operation. Similarly, a popular Federal High Court judge in Abuja from the South West and another who recently countered his colleague’s judgement relating to the ongoing PDP crisis, was also picked up.

Also taken into custody last night, were some suspected fraudulent court registrars, believed to have aided and abetted the sale of justice.

Another federal high court judge, who lives in Apo area of Abuja, had his house surrounded by DSS operatives as at the time of going to press but the secret police could not break in.

The judge who recently freed a retired Air Force officer accused of taking bribes running into billions of Naira, was scared and was calling for help, not knowing why he was surrounded by armed security men.

A top Federal Ministry of Justice official said last night: “The Federal Government has commenced the arrest and detention of some corrupt judges as part of its effort to cleanse the judiciary.

“This exercise has just begun and will continue until the bad eggs are flushed out to give the country a new lease of life. ”

The operation may not be concluded tonight but I can assure you that we will carry it to a logical conclusion in the overall interest of the nation,” the official said.
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I pray God to give me courage to be fair to all Nigerians – Buhari

I pray God to give me courage to be fair to all Nigerians – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja said that his greatest wish from God was the courage to be fair to all Nigerians irrespective of religious, tribal and cultural backgrounds.

He said his administration would continue to promote unity and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians by ensuring fairness and social justice to all. The president spoke while receiving Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin Muhammad Al-Qassimi, Imam of the Mosque of the Holy Prophet in Medina, Saudi Arabia at the State House, Abuja.

President Buhari said God had a purpose of bringing people from different ethnic backgrounds into one country- Nigeria. “God knows best- a population of 180 million people comprising more than 300 ethnic groups many of them with cultural ties stronger than religion can only co-exist peacefully in an atmosphere of social justice,’’ he said.

President Buhari urged Muslims and all other citizens to imbibe and practice social justice as a norm and prayed to Allah to guide his government in doing the same. “I pray that God gives us the courage to be fair to people he put in our charge so that we can enjoy his mercy,’’ he said.

Citing several personal life lessons from the country’s political crisis in 1966, the civil war, his incarceration for three and half years in solitary detention, and his attempts to win presidential election, President Buhari told the visiting Imam that he had learnt ‘‘an important lesson about social justice.’’

The President commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their efforts to create a better understanding and practice of Islam. He welcomed the visit of the Imam to Nigeria, noting that it would strengthen the bond of ties between the two countries.

A statement by senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said that Sheikh (Dr) Al-Qassimi in his remarks commended the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians of different faiths.

He expressed satisfaction with the cordial relations between government and religious leaders and called for a better teaching and practice of Islam devoid of extremism.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari said that peace was central to the development of country. He urged Nigerians across all religious strata to embrace peace for the progress of the country.
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How Sad! 10 Years After Their Tragic Death, Families of Late 13 Army Generals are Yet to Receive Benefits

How Sad! 10 Years After Their Tragic Death, Families of Late 13 Army Generals are Yet to Receive Benefits

During the burial of some of the victims

10 years after several senior army officers perished when an 18-seater Dornier 228 Air Force transport plane, carrying them crashed, their families are yet to receive full benefits.

 It was a memorable day when on Saturday September 17, 2016, widows of the 13 Army generals who died on September 17, 2006 converged in the popular Command Officers Mess, Asokoro-Abuja for an inter-faith memorial service to mark 10 years since the cold hands of death took their husbands.

The military officers were on their way to Obudu cattle ranch to attend a retreat on how to transform the Nigerian Army when the ill-fated plane, a Dornier 228-212, crashed at Oko village in Vandekiya local government area of Benue State, killing 13 of them.

The 13 army officers and Air Force officers who died in the crash include Major-Generals J.O. Adesunloye, SO Otubu, Agboola, SM Lemu, Nuhu Bamali, PM Haruna, JTU Amedu and Bitrus Duniya. Others were Brigadier-Generals Braimah, MB Bawa, Wing Commanders SS Balogun, EO Adekunle and Lieutenant-Colonel NA Mohammed.

Widow of Late Major General SM Lemu, Dr Aisha Salihu Lemu, told Leadership Weekend: “Today 17th of September makes it 10 years that our husbands died.

So we have decided to come together and pray together and to interact with other widows, in the Armed Forces, Navy, Air Force and Police and also to encourage them by our own experiences. This is because we felt that it is only a widow that knows the pains of a widow.

“So, we want to interact with them, talk to them and advise them and then give them what we have. We are widows too, but we want to touch others too in our own little way and to tell them that a widow can stand and become a better person.

We thank God, because we are all women of faith. In our faith and in our believe in God almighty, who has kept us together, we have been doing very well by His grace and by His special grace too, our children have been doing very well too,” she added.

Mrs Oluwayemisi Balogun, wife of the pilot of the ill-fated plane, Wing Commander SS Balogun told our reporter: “It has been 10 years that our husbands departed without saying farewell. When it happened 10 years ago, we thought that the whole world was going to collapse on us, but God has been so faithful and so good to us.”

But how have some of these widows, along with their children been coping with life since this unfortunate incident. Jumai-Jewel Idayi, one of the daughters of Late Major General Peter Haruna said that life has not been easy for the family since the death of their father.

“I can say that the death of our father was a trial, more or less. We have faced a very tumultuous years since the incident, because it was tough for my mother for myself and all the other siblings, but God has been faithful to us in these 10 years”, she noted.

She regretted that the Army where her father served and the government of the day have not done much to help the family in their sorrow.  “At the time my dad died, I had four siblings in school and up till today, nobody paid their school fees.

They were all in school then, but I thank God that they all have rounded up their schools after my father died. As we speak, I can tell you that there was no government or even the army that paid school fees for anybody of us,” she said.

She continued: “I remembered that there was a season they sent some packages to widows, including my mother, but aside from that I cannot really say the government is really there for us. I must tell you the truth. It is by the grace of God and of course, supports from family friends that carried us up to this point.”

Mrs. Balogun told Leadership Weekend that the government, as at that time, was not fair to them, knowing full well that their husbands died as heroes. “I must tell you, if we are to live by what the government promised us then, we won’t even be where we are today.

The government at the time the incident happened did not really do well, because our husbands died in service as heroes. So we expected something better from the government.

"Even the school fees they promised to be paying for our children was not actually what we are getting, because as people who died as heroes, we the families expected that better education  school fees should be given to our children.

"But as at today, what I am getting from the Army as school fees for my three children cannot even pay for one child’s education, per term. We expected that our children should be better taken care of, educationally. If I tell you what we are being given for the education of my children, you will be shocked. It is just a peanut,” she said.

For Mrs Elizabeth Metuo Haruna, widow of Late Major General Peter Haruna, said it has been management all through to train the children after the incident. “It is only God that did it, but the legacies my husband left behind are what make me happy.”

Dr. Lemu said: “I believe that whatever the army gives to the families is something good, because no matter how little, it is money they give. And I think they have this insurance policy which was introduced in 2006. So, all widows from 2006 till date can benefit from that policy.”

However, Mrs. Amedu,  wife of Late Major General JTU Amedu  told Leadership Weekend: “I believe that the Army has been trying since the demise of our husbands, because they take care of us, based on the provisions of the Army welfare scheme.

Those widows who are complaining about payment should also realise that their late husbands also had friends in the Army who also assist them. We should stop complaining and give thanks to God for everything.”

- Leadership
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Breaking News: DSS Storm the Houses of Two Supreme Court Judges in Abuja...Fresh Details

Breaking News: DSS Storm the Houses of Two Supreme Court Judges in Abuja...Fresh Details

File photo: DSS operatives

Operatives of the Department of State Services have caused a stir in Abuja after storming the homes of Supreme Court judges.

The houses of two Justices of the Supreme Court – Justices Walter Onnoghen and Sylvester Ngwuta – as well as two judges of the Federal High Court, Justices Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba, were invaded by operatives of the Department of State Services.

According to Leadership, it was gathered that the raid occurred between Friday night and Saturday morning as the operatives surrounded their houses before breaking in at 1am on Saturday.

After the raid, Justice Ademola was whisked away at about 5am. During the operation, a brother to Justice Dimgba was allegedly beaten.

Both Justice Onnoghen and Justice Ngwuta stay at the Judicial Officers’ Quarters in Abuja, while Justices Ademola and Dimgba reside at the Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja.

Sources say the DSS operatives came with doubtful search warrants bearing incorrect names.

The DSS is yet to make any comment on why it invaded the houses of the judges.
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Jungle Justice: Two Ladies Allegedly Stripped and Burnt to Death Over Lesbianism in Makurdi (Graphic Photos)

Jungle Justice: Two Ladies Allegedly Stripped and Burnt to Death Over Lesbianism in Makurdi (Graphic Photos)

Illustrative photo

An angry mob residing in the Makurdi area of Benue State took to the street to brutalize and set ablaze two young pretty ladies over lesbianism allegations.

According to reports making rounds on social media, two ladies were on Thursday, set ablaze by an angry mob at the Owner’s Occupier area in Makurdi, Benue State for allegedly involving themselves in acts of lesbianism.

DailyPost reported that the victims were caught in the act and were stripped n*ked, beaten and set ablaze on the street by residents of the area.

However, in a disclosure to a correspondent, the Benue State Police Command, denied knowledge of the report, saying that several efforts to get the details of the report had proved abortive.

The Benue State Police PRO, Moses Yamu said, “We have seen the story on social media but report has not been made. I still doubt if this happened in Benue.

"How can such event happen in Makurdi and the police is not informed? Anyway, we shall let the public know once we are done with our investigations.”

See the alleged graphic photos from the incident below (Viewer's discretion is highly advised).

Jungle Justice: Two Ladies Allegedly Stripped and Burnt to Death Over Lesbianism in Makurdi (Graphic Photos)

Jungle Justice: Two Ladies Allegedly Stripped and Burnt to Death Over Lesbianism in Makurdi (Graphic Photos)

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Oba of Benin’s coronation rites begin today

Oba of Benin’s coronation rites begin today

The activities for the coronation of the crown prince and Edaiken N’Uselu, His Royal Highness, Eheneden Erediauwa, as the new Oba of Benin will commence on Saturday (today).

The Chairman of the Coronation Planning Committee, Prof. Gregory Akenzua, announced this on Friday during a press briefing at the Oba’s palace in Benin, the Edo State capital.

Akenzua, who is also the Enogie of Evbuobanosa/Abudu, explained that the programme would begin with a foot procession by the crown prince from Eguae Edaiken (Uselu) to Oredo, in company of indigenes from the area.

He said the Edaiken would stop at a sacred palm tree, known as “Udin Amamieson-aimiuwa,” for a brief ceremony.

According to him, the Edaiken will arrive at Iya-akpan, where the Uselu chiefs will leave him and the Oredo chiefs will take over.

The crown prince is expected to arrive at Eko-Ohae, where he will stay for three days.

On Monday, October 10, Akenzua said the prince would leave Eko-Ohae for the Usama palace while coronation rituals would continue.

Akenzua also said that Prince Eheneden would later move to Use village for the ceremony of choosing a name on Tuesday, October 18, before returning to Usama.

The Enogie noted that the grand finale of the programme would hold on Thursday, October 20, when the crown prince would leave Usama for Benin, through Isekherhe to Urho-Okpota, where the coronation ceremony would take place.

He also said that the Omo N’Oba’s thanksgiving service at the Holy Aruosa Cathedral, on Akpakpava Road, would hold on Sunday, October 23.

Akenzua said, “It bears repeating here that from today (Saturday), when the Edaiken will leave Uselu palace, the use of coral beads by those who are normally entitled will be restored and the current use of ‘Omo N’Ore’ (white beads) will be discontinued.”

While pointing out that burial ceremonies were prohibited from being held by residents from Saturday, October 8, to Thursday, October 27, 2016, he urged the residents to halt commercial activities at Eko-Ohae and Urho-Okpota until further notice.

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Mobile phone subscribers hit 152 million — NCC

Mobile phone subscribers hit 152 million — NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC said yesterday that the number of active mobile network subscribers in the country has hit 152 million as at August 2016.

Its Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, also said Teledensity, which is measured as one Telephone to 100 of population, is above 107 percent while internet penetration has continued to rise with more than 97 million.

Professor Danbatta, who made the remarks while delivering a keynote address on the NCC Day at the on-going Abuja International Trade Fair, said the development was a major leap for the NCC and the nation’s economy.

He said that the eight-point agenda unfolded by the current leadership at the NCC was aimed at providing enhanced quality services, deepen broadband penetration and address issues of infrastructure development and deployment in the industry.

Professor Danbatta who was represented by the Head of Public Relations, Mr Reuben Mouka, said: “We presented a performance account of eight-point agenda of the EVC and one of the major highlights is that Nigeria has achieved more than 20 percent penetration as reported by the International Telecommunications Union.

“This is very good news because it shows we are nearer to the 2018 target of 30 percent broadband penetration as proposed by the National Broadband Strategic Report.”

Professor Danbatta, however, expressed concern on the increasing menace of pre-registered SIM card across the country, saying the commission had taken steps alongside security agencies to arrest the situation.

He said the activities of agents of telecom companies indulged in pre-registered SIM was not only fraudulent, but pose serious threat to the security of the country. “The attention of the commission has been drawn to this menace and the commission is leaving no stone unturned to arrest the situation. We have sent directives to the service providers to ensure that their agents are not used to perpetrate this fraud.

“But we urge the consumers to be wary of this fraud to avoid being victims of the circumstances. Members of the public are advised to desist from buying or using pre-registered SIM cards and to report anybody selling or buying pre-registered SIM cards,” Professor Danbatta said.

He urged telecom consumers to take advantage of the Do Not Disturb Code 2442 launched by the commission to get rid of unsolicited messages, adding that service providers have been mandated to ensure that they not only provide the solution to consumers but also create awareness about it.
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Buhari set to visit Germany to meet Angela Merkel

Buhari set to visit Germany to meet Angela Merkel

President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel next week in Berlin with the Boko Haram menace topping the agenda.

Also due to meet Mekel on the issue is President Idriss Deby of Chad whose country is one of Nigeria’s three neighbours badly hit by the Boko Haram insurgency. The others are Niger Republic and Cameroun.

The Germany leader is arriving Bamako, Mali tomorrow at the start of a three-nation visit to Africa. She will also visit Niger before heading to Ethiopia where she is to visit the headquarters of the African Union in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Merkel is expected to discuss ways to stem a migrant influx to Europe and the battle against jihadist groups with her hosts. On Wednesday, a day after her return to Berlin, she will host President Deby and cap off the week by meeting with President Buhari.

“The well-being of Africa is in Germany’s interest,” Merkel told Die Zeit weekly in an interview ahead of the visit, arguing that bringing more stability to Africa and improving living conditions on the continent would help reduce the numbers of people seeking to leave.

Simply ignoring the reasons that are pushing people to migrate “will not make the problem go away,” she warned.

Pointing to drought plaguing Chad as an example, Merkel said that “it does not mean that everyone who is in difficulties there can come to Europe as a refugee”.

“But we should be interested in whether 11 million people will have a livelihood or not,” she said.

Berlin’s ambassador to Niamey said on Wednesday that his country would build a military base in Niger to support the UN mission fighting jihadists in neighbouring Mali.

Germany has troops stationed in Mali and Niger as part of the UN mission MINUSMA, and Merkel is due to visit the soldiers during her upcoming tour.

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Failed presidential bids taught me lessons – Buhari

Failed presidential bids taught me lessons – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said his three-and-a-half-year incarceration, the nation’s civil war and his failed attempts to win presidential elections have taught him “important lessons about social justice.”

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke while receiving the Imam of the Mosque of the Holy Prophet in Medina, Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin Muhammad Al-Qassimi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari said his administration would continue to promote unity and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians by ensuring fairness and social justice to all.

He said God had a purpose for bringing people from different ethnic backgrounds into one country, Nigeria.

“God knows best. A population of 180 million people comprising more than 300 ethnic groups, many of them with cultural ties stronger than religion, can only co-exist peacefully in an atmosphere of social justice,” he said.

The President urged Muslims and all other citizens to imbibe and practise social justice as a norm and prayed to Allah to guide his government in doing the same.

“I pray that God gives us the courage to be fair to people he put in our charge so that we can enjoy his mercy,” he said.

The President commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their efforts to create a better understanding and practice of Islam.

He welcomed the visit of the imam to Nigeria, noting that it would strengthen the bond between the two countries.

In his remarks, Al-Qassimi commended the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians of different faiths.

He expressed satisfaction with the cordial relations between government and religious leaders and called for better teaching and practice of Islam devoid of extremism.
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White House Race: Clinton Gets 5-Point Lead Against Rival Donald Trump

White House Race: Clinton Gets 5-Point Lead Against Rival Donald Trump

Chicagoans are not too happy with Donald Trump’s portrayal of their home town.

Elected leaders in the third largest US city are trying to show their displeasure by taking down an honorary “Trump Plaza” street sign in front of the businessman’s Chicago skyscraper.

In the first presidential debate, on September 26, the Republican nominee brought up the thousands of shootings recorded in Chicago and asked, “Where is this? Is this a war-torn country? What are we doing?”

There have in fact been 3,324 shooting victims in the city so far this year, according to data compiled by the Chicago Tribune, and 568 murders.

The city, President Barack Obama’s home town, has the worst violent crime statistics of any major American metropolis.

But it is also home to vibrant tourism, shimmering skyscrapers — including Trump’s own glass and steel tower housing a hotel and condominiums — and one of the most striking waterfronts in the country.

Local officials have bristled at comparisons to war zones.

“His decision to drag us into this campaign and… paint a very distorted caricature of Chicago is a mistake,” said Brendan Reilly, a city council member and the architect of the sign removal effort, which now has the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a prominent Democrat and former chief of staff to Obama.

“We’ll put the sign back up when he releases his tax returns,” Emanuel quipped at a news conference this week, ribbing at Trump’s refusal to disclose those documents.

Trump’s campaign shot back that Reilly “should spend his time focused on economic growth, educational choice, and safer streets for Chicago children,” Chicago-based Trump surrogate Steve Cortes said, according to the Sun-Times newspaper.

It would take at least a month for the city council to vote on the idea. The presidential election may well be over by the time the sign’s fate is decided.

Early this year Trump offended another world-class city, saying that parts of Paris seemed to be “outside the law.” Mayor Anne Hidalgo later branded the candidate as “so stupid.”

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I am now matured to lead Eagles – Mikel

I am now matured to lead Eagles – Mikel

Super Eagles Captain, John Obi Mikel, said he had matured to shoulder the responsibility of the team as Nigeria sought qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Mikel said this at the team’s interactive session with the media on Friday in Abuja. “Sometimes when you are young, you make mistakes but the more you grow up, the more you know the things that are more important.

“I think that I am beginning to know where I come from and that is more important than anything. “I have more responsibility now to lead the country and the team; I think that is what I am doing right now because I enjoy every bit of it,” he said.

The Chelsea midfielder said that the Eagles would use the opportunity of the World Cup qualifying matches to make up for not qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) two consecutive times.

He acknowledged that the weather would be hot in Zambia, going by the time of the match with the Chipolopolo, but assured that Eagles would be careful to avoid a defeat. “We want to use this World Cup qualifiers to put things right; I don’t think we are under any pressure but we must put in our best to win.

“I think we have to go out there and play well to win; we want to qualify for the World Cup and there is no doubt about that. “Just like the coach said, we will not only be thinking about scoring but to also defend to ensure we win.

“So, we have to attack together and defend together; in doing this, we are sure of winning Zambia in Ndola on Sunday. “I am always ready to lead the team since I took over the Eagles captaincy because I know the responsibility on my shoulder and I will never shy away from it,’’ he said.

Mikel said that he was eager to lead the team to the World Cup, the way he led the Dream Team VI to the 2016 Rio Olympics. On his part, Arsenal attacker, Alex Iwobi, said that the team was going to Zambia for the maximum three points.

Iwobi said that the quality of players the team possessed was capable of defeating any team in the group. William Troost-Ekong and Chisom Egbuchulam who were among the four players that interacted with the media said the match against Zambia was very important to the team.

Egbuchulam, who won the Nigeria Professional Football League title with Rangers International FC of Enugu, said the team was working to pick the three points in the game. Nigeria has won six of 16 previous matches with Zambia, drawing five and losing five.

Nigeria defeated Zambia 5-4 on penalties to win a memorable Africa Cup of Nations final in Tunis in 1994. The Eagles are expected to depart Abuja for Ndola on Saturday for the crunchy tie against Chipolopolo on Sunday.

The team will host Algeria on Nov. 12 before four more games next year in the qualifying matches.
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Money laundering: Jonathan’s ex-aide loses bid to nullify guilty plea

Money laundering: Jonathan’s ex-aide loses bid to nullify guilty plea

Waripamo Dudafa

A former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, on Friday lost his bid to nullify the guilty plea by four companies linked to Jonathan’s wife, Patience.

Justice Babs Kuewumi dismissed the application because it was unmeritorious.

The companies, on September 15, pleaded guilty to laundering $15,591,700 (about N5 billion) when they were arraigned.

They are – Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited (represented by Friday Davis), Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited (represented by Agbor Baro), Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited (represented by Dioghowori Frederick) and Avalon Global Property Development Limited (represented by Taiwo Ebenezer).

Mrs. Jonathan claimed the monies in the companies’ accounts were hers.

The companies, along with a lawyer Amajuoyi Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, were arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi.

Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku, however, pleaded not guilty to a 17-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Dudafa and Briggs, through their lawyers, later urged the court to set aside the guilty plea entered on the firms’ behalf by their representatives.

They urged the court to replace the guilty plea and with a “not-guilty” plea for the companies.

They also contended that the court lacks the jurisdiction to accept the companies’ guilty plea.

The defendants said those who pleaded guilty for the companies did not exhibit any letter authorising them to do so by the firms’ board.

They argued that the prosecution failed to comply with Section 477(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which specifies that such a representative must have authorisation.

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Kemi Adeosun to World leaders - 'NIGERIA IS TOO BIG TO FAIL'

Kemi Adeosun to World leaders - 'NIGERIA IS TOO BIG TO FAIL'

Mrs. Kemi Adeosun

The Federal Government has vowed to do everything required to bring Nigeria back to the path of growth with a resolve to the world that Nigeria is too big to fail.

Speaking on sidelines of the plenary session of the 2016 International Monetary Funds (IMF)/World Bank meeting in Washington DC on Friday, the Finance Minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun categorically stated that “Nigeria is too big to fail and too significant in the region to underperform.”

Reacting to the speeches of the World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim and the IMF managing director Ms. Christine Largard, Adeosun stated that “what we are trying to do is to rewrite Nigeria’s economic story so that we can grow, and to grow we need critical infrastructure like power, transport, housing. These are where we are redirecting expenditure from our recurrent where we thought there have been a lot of waste and leakages.”

The finance minister who was very vibrant and visible at the meeting said the federal government is “redirecting spending to capital to create long-term value, it’s tough in the short term but the long term benefits will be there for the future generation. “We are confident of getting back to growth” she assured the international community.

With regards to calls by Lagarde and Kim for massive investment in infrastructure, Adeosun stated that, “if we invest in critical infrastructure there will be increased productivity, which will lead to job creation and prosperity for our people and it is very comforting to hear this coming from the highest levels that that is the way to go.”

Adeosun stated that Nigeria has aligned with the views of the multilateral institutions with regards to inclusive growth, stating that inclusive growth is one of the objectives of this administration to end poverty.

She noted that Government is “investing heavily in education and as part of our social intervention programme we aim to engage more young graduates into primary schools because, education, I am sure we will be soon start seeing improvements in our education indices.”

She also stated that government was pumping money into agriculture and women are many in agriculture, they are the key especially in agriculture so we are pumping money into agriculture with small business loans with 60% on agriculture.

BoI has assured that it will start disbursing micro loans to women so there is a great focus on women, out of the cooks for the school meal programme are women. Money coming in from part-time jobs makes a huge impact on family living.”

On his part, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the three-pronged comprehensive approach of monetary, fiscal and structural reforms “is the way everybody has to go and we are doing that in Nigeria, there is serious collaboration between the monetary and fiscal authorities and if we continue in this direction we will achieve these objectives.”

Commenting on whether the financial sector reforms has been enjoying a buy-in from potential investors, Emefiele said the CBN has “done a lot of reforms like the flexible exchange rate regimes which is picking up gradually, when you have the kind of situation that we have, naturally people will be a bit skeptical but with time as they develop more confidence we will begin to see more and more of them coming into the country.”

The CBN governor acknowledged that “there are positive indications that meeting and networking with foreign delegations and officials of the IMF and World Bank at this meeting we will achieve some of the objectives that we have in mind.

We will work together with China to see that we get our fair share of the benefit of being the earliest country to adopt renminbi as an international currency.”
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'If my children are corrupt, please probe them ' - Buhari tells EFCC

'If my children are corrupt, please probe them ' - Buhari tells EFCC

The war against corruption may gather more steam soon, going by President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest pronouncement.

The President has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to probe even his own children or members of his family implicated in corrupt practices.

He said he would not forgive the anti-graft agency if it fails to pobe any allegation of corruption against his children and family members.

A sketch of Buhari’s tough anti-corruption mindset and plans was contained in a book, “Muhammadu Buhari: The challenges of leadership in Nigeria”, which is authored by Prof. John Paden.

The book reveals how Buhari inspired the acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu as a school boy to develop anti-graft traits.

It adds: “Buhari’s attitude is to let the chips fall where they may in particular cases, although reform of the judiciary is one of his larger goals.

“Buhari has often said that if any of his own children were accused of corruption, and the authorities did not investigate, he would never forgive the authorities.”

It was also learnt that the President has rebuffed pressure to save his allies in the All Progressives Congress(APC) from being probed by anti-graft agencies.

In spite of their close family ties, it was learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to save the former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki because his policy is that there should be no sacred cows in the anti-corruption war.

It was also revealed for the first time that Buhari does not have any grudge against Dasuki despite the latter’s involvement in the August 1985 coup, which led to the former’s removal as a military head of state.

“On numerous occasions, Buhari has urged public officials to do their duty without fear or favour. He has also tried to inspire younger generations to regard public service as an honest calling.

“For example, the current acting head of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu was a schoolboy in Borno when Buhari was military governor in 1975. Buhari gave a talk to a group of boys that included Magu and urged them to do their best.

“Magu was inspired and became a professional policeman.

“In 2015, Buhari asked Magu to head the EFCC, a dangerous job if done well. By mid-May 2016, Magu had secured 143 convictions of corrupt officials.”

Unknown to many, the book has revealed how Buhari resisted pressure to save his allies in APC from being arrested or prosecuted for corruption.

It also unfolded Buhari’s vision for a set of specialized anti-corruption tribunals to fast-track the war against corruption.

The book adds: “The EFCC has been functioning since the administration of President Obasanjo, when it was under the direction of Nuhu Ribadu, a policeman and lawyer who initially was effective before political pressures began to intrude.

“Under President Jonathan, the EFCC was directed by Ibrahim Lamorde and seemed, from the outside, to be functioning well. Inside, however, rumours of corruption among EFCC officials abounded.

“Under President Buhari, the acting chair of EFCC has been Ibrahim Magu, who seems to have taken his lead from Buhari’s determined fight against corruption.

“The widespread investigations conducted by the EFCC and the number of referrals to prosecutors have been unprecedented in EFCC’s history.

“In addition, Buhari discussed his anti-corruption efforts with the Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Mohammed Mahmud, who agreed to establish a set of specialised anti-corruption tribunals.

“These tribunals would cover both military and civilian cases. Creating such tribunals, however, requires special authorization from the National Assembly, which has been slow in coming.

“Although a number of senior officials have been tried for corruption prior to the Buhari presidency, the extent of current corruption court cases in Nigeria is unprecedented.

“That does not mean that every case will lead to a guilty verdict.

“All of the accused are entitled to their day in court, and are likely to have high-quality legal representation; and there will surely be appeals and possible plea bargains.

“Cases may drag on for years. But the fact remains: the law is takings its course.

“Importantly, in none of these cases (apart from certain military procurement scandals that impacted National Assembly) has the prosecution been sponsored or encouraged by President Buhari.

“He has kept his hands off the judiciary, despite enormous pressure for him to come to the aid of APC allies.

“The question will arise when criminal cases are concluded as to whether the Nigerian judiciary is up to the task of being even-handed in such high-level cases.”

On a former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki it was revealed for the first time that the President has no grudges with the ex-NSA.

It says: “It is beyond the scope of this study to assess all the backstories of the relationship between Buhari and Dasuki. Suffice to say that the so-called grudge between the two has never really existed.

“Dasuki is 12 years younger than Buhari, even though Dasuki did participate in the 1985 countercoup.

“The family of Ibrahim Dasuki and the Buhari extended family have been linked by marriage for more than four decades.

“In addition, in his inaugural address, Buhari had professed that although “the past is prologue,” he had no time to pursue alleged “enemies”.

“Rumours were rife that the Dasuki trial would be held behind closed doors, rather than conducted in public.

“Dasuki insisted on a public trial and protested his innocence. How the judicial system handled such a high-profile case would be a major political test for Buhari.

“If the focus of the Dasuki case was on procurement corruption within the Jonathan military and political teams, the public exposure of the facts of the case would be in the public interest.

“But for national security issues that required confidentiality were involved, then a non-public trial might be warranted.

“The stakes were high for the Buhari administration. Buhari had insisted that legal accountability be left to the courts. He also had insisted that he was not interested in settling scores.

“Whether the judicial system was capable of handling such cases without fear or favour remained to be seen. The key was to deliver equal treatment under the law, and to be seen by wider public to be doing so.

“The last thing Buhari wanted was a show trial. His own administration would be on trial over how this matter was handled.”

The book has however X-rayed the complexities of the ongoing trial of some looters.
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Friday, October 7

Travelex sells $1/N356 to travellers

Travelex sells $1/N356 to travellers

Travelex, a global foreign exchange dealer, on Friday resumed sale of dollars directly to travellers at N356 to a dollar.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the firm’s office inside the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos terminal was besieged by hundreds of travellers.

Some Bureaux de change operators within the terminal were also selling from N470 to N472 to a dollar to travellers.

Travelex, which recently got the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sell dollar, however, gave stringent conditions for the transaction.

The requirements include presentation of valid international passport, visa to destination, Biometric Verification Number, BVN, card, airline boarding pass and signed copy of transaction.

The firm also directed that cash would only be handed over to the traveller at the boarding gate after security and immigration checks.

According to the firm, these conditions are to ensure that dollar is sold to only genuine travellers, and discourage racketeering.

Consequently, some of the travellers were unable to buy dollars from Travelex because they could not produce their BVN cards.

One of them, Uche Ikediashi, told NAN that he was hearing about the card for the first time.

“Yesterday I bought dollars from a BDC at N470. Today I was told that Travelex is selling at N356; that is why I came here, but they said I needed to bring my BVN card and I don’t have it,” he said.

Another traveller, Samson Uduak, commended the CBN for the initiative which, he said, had created easy access to forex for travellers.

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