Sunday, 29 November 2015

2015 General Elections: INEC Compromised - Minister

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan had sufficient evidence to fire the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, although he decided to exercise restraint.

This disclosure was made by the former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, on Sunday, at the annual Zik Dinner Lecture/Award in Abuja where he delivered a paper on the 2015 power transition in Nigeria. 

He said that contrary to popular belief, there were instances of compromise by INEC.

“Few months to the general elections, there were calls from some quarters for the sack of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attairu Jega.

“There were sufficient grounds for such calls but President Goodluck maintained a position that taking such decision would truncate the process and create an impression which only an insider would understand. There were indeed cases of compromise on the part of the commission, but as the president so wished, let the sleeping dog lie.

“Invariably, the decision to maintain the status quo in the commission by the administration was one decision that further lent credence to the peaceful outcome of the electoral process. We must not forget that the president in his exercise of his constitutional power has the authority to fire the chairman and replace him with any of the National Commissioners to preside over the commission," he said.

Immigration Officer Alleges Elimination Plot; Sues DSS, AGF

A high ranking officer of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS who was allegedly detained for 21 days for supporting Boko Haram has dragged the NIS, the Department of State Services, DSS, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF before an Abuja Federal High Court .

Daniel Makolo, a Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI), formerly attached to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, was reportedly arrested and detained with some of his colleagues by the DSS in late 2012 over allegation by his employer, that they aided a Boko Haram kingpin, Abdul Rahman, to enter the country.

In a fundamental rights enforcement suit he filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, Makolo said that the allegation was aimed at eliminating him for querying some unlawful and fraudulent activities of some senior management personnel of the Immigration Service.

SERAP Receives World Bank Records On Abacha Loot

The World Bank has delivered documents totalling over 700 pages on information on the spending of recovered assets stolen by the late General Sani Abacha to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) .

The Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni disclosed this in a statement issued on November 29, 2015.

According to the statement, the World Bank documents suggest that the Abacha loot was spent on infrastructure like roads, water, electricity, education and health facilities.

“SERAP can confirm that last week we received several documents from Ann May of the Access to Information Team of the World Bank following our Access to Information Request to the Bank. We also received a letter dated 24 November 2015 from Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, Director of the World Bank in Africa.

“In total, SERAP has received over 700 pages of documents, which we are now closely studying and scrutinising with a view to discovering whether the documents contain details that Nigerians would like to see and whether the information correspond to the facts on the ground. After this analysis, we will respond to the Bank and consider our options, including filing an appeal before the Bank’s Access to Information Appeals Board and taking other appropriate legal actions nationally and internationally to discover what exactly happened to Abacha recovered loot.

“In the meantime our preliminary review of some of the documents and the letter from Mr Rachid Benmessaoud has revealed certain facts which raise more questions about what exactly happened to the Abacha loot: First, that Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Minister of Finance in a letter dated 9 January 2005 explained to the Bank that around $500m (N65bn) of Abacha loot received from Switzerland was programmed into and spent in the 2004 and 2005 budgets on roads, electricity, education, water and health across all 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria.

”Second, Mrs Iweala explained to the Bank that N18.60bn was spent on roads; N10.83bn spent on health; N7bn spent on education; N6.20bn spent on water; and N21.70bn spent on electricity. She also said that part of the funds were spent on new and ongoing investment projects. Mrs Iweala said that relevant federal ministries have the full details on the spending of repatriated Abacha loot. The Bank noted that there was no funds monitoring and tracking mechanism in place to trace the spending of Abacha loot.

“Third, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud confirmed that the World Bank played a monitoring role in a return of assets by Switzerland but that the Bank is not currently involved in the monitoring of spending of Abacha loot that have been returned to Nigeria in recent years. He said that the Bank would be prepared to set up a mechanism to monitor the use of Abacha loot if the Nigerian government request the Bank's assistance in this respect.

“Given Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s involvement in the spending of Abacha loot, SERAP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently probe the role of the Ministry of Finance and relevant federal ministries at the time in the spending of Abacha loot particularly given the strong allegations of mismanagement that characterised the use of the funds.

“Although Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said that Abacha loot was spent in the 2004 and 2005 budgets on roads, electricity, education, water and health across all 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria, there is no evidence of such projects as millions of Nigerians continue to travel on dead roads,while they continue to lack access to adequate electricity supply, water, health and quality education.

Therefore, President Buhari can no longer continue to remain silent on this issue of public interest if Nigerians are to continue to trust him in his fight against corruption."

SERAP had on September 21, 2015 sent an access to information request to World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, urging him to  release documents relating to spending of stolen assets recovered from the late General Sani Abacha.

Boko Haram Claims Responsibility For Kano Attack

Terrorist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack on a Shiite Muslims procession which killed 22 persons in Kano on Friday and left 38 others injured.

In a statement posted on social media yesterday, the insurgents said that the bomb which some of the people taking part in the procession was detonated by their member.

They declared that such attacks would continue.

“And by the permission of Allah, these attacks of ours against Shiite polytheists will continue until we cleanse the earth of their filth,” they said.

However, the Shiites have continued with their procession to commemorate the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Holy Prophet Mohammed.

“Following the attack, many more of our members have joined the procession,” Ali Kakaaki, a member of the procession told AFP.

Jonathan's Independence Celebration Spendings: El-Rufai goofed - FG

The claim by Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai that former President, Goodluck Jonathan spent N64b on Independence Day celebrations from 2011 to 2014 has been contradicted by the Federal Government.

On October 1st 2015, El-Rufai had in a Facebook post, praised Buhari's frugal N70m budget for this year's Independence Day celebrations while attacking Jonathan's lavish expenditures for the same purpose.

“This is the APC/PMB change we voted for. Independence anniversary expenditure for the past five years: 2011 – N13bn; 2012 -N15bn; 2013 –N14bn; 2014 – N22bn and 2015 -N70m coming from present administration,” he said on his timeline.

However, responding to a request by BudgIT Nigeria under the Freedom of Information Act,  the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said that the Jonathan administration had spent N332.6m on Independence Anniversary celebrations.

It added that Jonathan spent N1.7bn on the country’s 2010 golden jubilee celebration and N138,138,000 on the 2014 centenary honours awards.

In the response to BudgeIT's request headlined ‘Independence Day Celebration/Centenary Actual Expenditure from 2010 to 2015,’ the Director of Finance and Accounts, in the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Garba said ;

“With reference to your letter dated 2nd October, 2015 on the above subject matter, it is stated as follows:

“The 2010 (Golden Jubilee) – N1.7bn;
2011 (No release of funds); 2012 (53rd Independence Anniversary) – N107,600,000; 2013 (53rd Independence Anniversary) – N45,000,000; 2014         (54th Independence Anniversary) – N180,000,000; 2015 (55th Independence Anniversary) – N70,000,000.

“Please note that in 2013, Mr President approved the sum of N223,800,000 for the 53rd Independence Celebration, only N45,000,000 was released to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The sum ofN138,138,000 was released for centenary honours awards.”

Ngige Cuts Travel Allowances In Labour Ministry

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has announced plans to cut the travel expenses of the ministry and its associated agencies.

A directive limiting civil servants’ duty travels to a maximum of two days has already been issued.

Ngige said that the measure would help the ministry to save cost.

A statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press, Mr. Samuel Olowookere, said that the minister directed top officials of the ministry to seek the Permanent Secretary’s approval for travels exceeding one day and that of the minister for foreign trips.

According to the statement,  ". . . no officer including the Minister, Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary will be allowed to stay out of the station for more than one night. Any officer, whose job is taking him/her out of station for more than a night therefore, is expected to get the approval of the permanent secretary.

“This shall not exceed a maximum of two days. Any other stay that lasts for more than two days because of the peculiar nature of the duty shall be with the express approval of the minister.

“This will apply for both local and international travels. Of course, no officer will travel abroad without the explicit approval of the minister, even if the cooperation partners or donor agencies are sponsoring such.

“These are cost-saving measures, which will also enhance productivity, and we are all expected to abide by it. The days when we stay for as long as possible to accumulate allowances for ourselves are now over.”

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Abuja alerts residents, religious leaders against terror attacks

Plans by terrorist group, Boko Haram to bomb markets and places of worship in Abuja during the Christmas season have been exposed by the Federal Capital Territory administration.

The FCT administration which has already embarked on a massive enlightenment campaign in churches and mosques said that the measure is intended to frustrate the plans of the insurgents.

According to Director, Security Services, FCTA, Mohammed Mohammed, leaders of the relevant organizations have been advised on the appropriate security measures to thwart terror attacks.

“Based on this intelligence which we have shared with security agencies, we have therefore written a letter to the Christian and Muslim leaders intimating them on the security report and advising them on how to thwart terror attacks,” he said.

He also advised residents of  Abuja to report suspicious persons and movements to the police on 09063872207, 09053872208 and 09053872209.

How David Mark Reacted To Nullification Of His Election

The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi yesterday, voided the election of former Senate President and Nigeria's longest serving Senator, Mr David Mark as the Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District.

The appellate court ordered a fresh election within 90 days.

Here's David Mark's first reaction to the development.

“Whatever the situation may be, one thing I know is that my people are solidly behind me. They also appreciate the fact that I have done more than enough to lift up Idoma nation to a position of eminence in the contemporary political history of Nigeria.

“I won the election clean and clear. If we go back to the polls 100 times, I will still win convincingly.”

Thursday, 26 November 2015

NEMA to take relief materials to newly liberated towns.

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA has concluded plans to take relief materials to newly liberated towns in Borno State.

The North-East Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Alhaji Mohammed Kanar, disclosed this on Wednesday while overseeing the distribution of relief materials to internally displaced persons in Dikwa Local Government Area of the state.

“We are moving to Bama, Gwoza, Askira-Uba, Marte and Baga local government areas to distribute relief materials to liberated people in the areas,” he said.

Boko Haram Adopts New Packaging For IED's

Terrorist group, Boko Haram now conceals Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs in attractive objects, says the Defence Headquarters.

The Director of Defence Information, Col. Rabi Abubakar disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday during a media briefing in his office.

He urged members of the public to be wary of picking up nice looking objects around them.

“All these things we are doing is to make sure that the populace remains safe from the hands of these Boko Haram terrorists who are now devising different means of fighting through this issue of IED and even some cluster bombs which they conceal in attractive objects and drop in the streets for people to pick.

“We are using this platform to enlighten the citizens to make sure that our citizens do not fall victim on what could be avoided,” he said.

Audu's death: Read Faleke's Letter To INEC.

Following the sudden death of Prince Abubakar Audu, APC's candidate in last Saturday's governorship election in Kogi State, his running mate, Mr James Faleke has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC asking to be declared the governor-elect of the state.

See the letter written to INEC by Faleke's counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN.

Although an unfortunate and saddening incident had occurred after the announcement of results of the election and subsequent pronouncement of INEC that the election was inconclusive, the point must quickly be made that INEC’s wrong declaration of inconclusiveness of the election and ordering a supplementary election in 91 polling units was arrived at, according to the Returning Officer; on the basis that the number of cancelled votes outnumbered the number with which the candidate of APC led the candidate of the PDP.

With much respect to INEC and the highly distinguished chairman, the reasoning of INEC is non sequitur. While as at Monday 23, November 2015, INEC still insisted that it was not aware of Prince Abubakar Audu’s transition, however, INEC later on directed the APC to go and conduct another primary election to nominate its candidate for the supplementary election in 91 polling units.

With much respect to INEC, this new directive as well, is unfounded, both legally and constitutionally . It can also not be reasonably or rationally defended.

Our client is of the opinion that INEC is inadvertently prompting an avoidable political and legal crisis. What INEC should do is to obey, respect and comply with the letter, spirit, intendment and tenor of the constitution, by not only declaring APC as the winner of the election, but by also declaring our client as Governor-elect.

May we draw Mr. Chairman’s attention to the clear and mandatory provision of section 68(1)(c) of the Electoral Act to the effect that any result declared by Returning Officer shall be final and binding, and can only be reviewed or upturned by an Election Tribunal.

In effect, the results already announced by INEC are binding, not only on all the parties, but also on INEC itself. We want to believe that INEC is not unaware of the binding decisions of our appellate courts on this issue.

Furthermore, by the provision of section 181(i) of the constitution, our client, who was the deputy governorship candidate or the associate of Prince Abubakar Audu at the already concluded election constitutionally and automatically becomes the governor-elect of the state. With much respect, INEC has no discretion in this matter.

May we advise, most humbly, that INEC should not confuse this situation with what is intended in section 33 of the Electoral Act because the situation on ground has nothing to do with changing or substitution of the name of a candidate before election.

In fairness to INEC, it had already announced the results of the election, and as at the time it so did, it honestly claimed ignorance of the death of Prince Abubakar Audu. In law and logic, no new candidate can inherit or be a beneficiary of the votes already cast, counted and declared by INEC before that candidate was nominated and purportedly sponsored.

Assuming without conceding that INEC is even right to order a supplementary election, the votes already cast, counted and declared on Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 November 2015 were votes for the joint constitutional ticket of Prince Abubakar Audu and our client.

Therefore, no new or supplementary candidate can hijack, aggregate, appropriate or inherit the said votes.

Assuming further, without conceding that supplementary election in 91 polling units can hold as being suggested by INEC, it is our client who should be the automatic candidate of the party, since APC cannot conduct primary election for the supplementary election in 91 polling units.

Chairman sir, this is a rather simple and straight forward matter which does not need any delay, foot dragging or procrastination. It is a constitutional imperative. Put in other way, INEC has a bounden duty to declare our client the winner of the election. Any attempt to conduct any supplementary election in any unit whatsoever and howsoever will amount to INEC breaching and flouting the constitution and our client would definitely challenge it.

Senate confirms Prof Dambatta as NCC Chief Executive

The appointment of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta as the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC was approved by the Senate on Thursday.

Dambatta had occupied the position in acting capacity since his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari on August4 following the expiration of the tenure of Dr. Eugene Juwah as NCC Chief Executive Officer.

A statement  issued on Thursday by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo disclosed that the Senate confirmed Dambatta's appointment after a rigorous screening by its Committee on Communications headed by Senator Gilbert Nnaji.

Here is an excerpt from the statement.

“Before his appointment, he was the Acting Vice Chancellor, Kano State University of Science and Technology, Wudil.

“Born in Danbatta Local Government Council of Kano State, Prof. Danbatta obtained his BEng and MSc degrees from the Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland and his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) UK respectively.

“He has served as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Bayero University, Kano, for 28 years, where he taught courses in telecommunications engineering and electronics and held academic positions of Dean of the Faculty and Head of Department. His main responsibilities, in the university, included Deputy and Acting Dean of Students’ Affairs, Administrator of the Works Department and later, Director of the Centre for Information Technology (CIT).

“He was also a member of over 60 University committees and task forces, including numerous stints as Chairman.  In administrative and other responsibilities outside the university, he has served on over 20 committees, prominent among which was his Chairmanship of the implementation Committee of pioneer Deputy and Acting Vice-chancellor when it took off in 2001.  Prof. Danbatta has supervised more than 60 PhD, MEng and BEng projects in diverse areas of telecommunications.

“He has to his credit more than 50 articles in journals, conference proceedings and technical reports.  He is also the author of a six-chapter, 167 – page book titled – Elements of Static Engineering Electromagnetics.”

Dasuki Gets Permission To Stay Away From Court

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday granted permission to former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who has since November 4, 2015 been under house arrest , permission to be absent from court pending the determination of interlocutory applications filed by his lawyers and the Government of the Federation.

Dasuki had filed an interlocutory application asking the court for an order directing operatives of the Department of State Service to end their siege on his home in Abuja.

On its part, the Federal Government on November 20 filed an interlocutory application asking for the revocation of the bail granted Dasuki on September 1, 2015 by Justice Adeniyi Ademola on the grounds that the ex-NSA was under investigation for embezzlement of $2bn meant for the procurement of arms from 2007 to date.

Audu's death: Read Faleke's Letter To INEC.

Following the sudden death of Prince Abubakar Audu, APC's candidate in last Saturday's governorship election in Kogi State, his running mate, Mr James Faleke has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC asking to be declared the governor-elect of the state.

See the letter written to INEC by Faleke's counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN.

Although an unfortunate and saddening incident had occurred after the announcement of results of the election and subsequent pronouncement of INEC that the election was inconclusive, the point must quickly be made that INEC’s wrong declaration of inconclusiveness of the election and ordering a supplementary election in 91 polling units was arrived at, according to the Returning Officer; on the basis that the number of cancelled votes outnumbered the number with which the candidate of APC led the candidate of the PDP.

With much respect to INEC and the highly distinguished chairman, the reasoning of INEC is non sequitur. While as at Monday 23, November 2015, INEC still insisted that it was not aware of Prince Abubakar Audu’s transition, however, INEC later on directed the APC to go and conduct another primary election to nominate its candidate for the supplementary election in 91 polling units.

With much respect to INEC, this new directive as well, is unfounded, both legally and constitutionally . It can also not be reasonably or rationally defended.

Our client is of the opinion that INEC is inadvertently prompting an avoidable political and legal crisis. What INEC should do is to obey, respect and comply with the letter, spirit, intendment and tenor of the constitution, by not only declaring APC as the winner of the election, but by also declaring our client as Governor-elect.

May we draw Mr. Chairman’s attention to the clear and mandatory provision of section 68(1)(c) of the Electoral Act to the effect that any result declared by Returning Officer shall be final and binding, and can only be reviewed or upturned by an Election Tribunal.

In effect, the results already announced by INEC are binding, not only on all the parties, but also on INEC itself. We want to believe that INEC is not unaware of the binding decisions of our appellate courts on this issue.

Furthermore, by the provision of section 181(i) of the constitution, our client, who was the deputy governorship candidate or the associate of Prince Abubakar Audu at the already concluded election constitutionally and automatically becomes the governor-elect of the state. With much respect, INEC has no discretion in this matter.

May we advise, most humbly, that INEC should not confuse this situation with what is intended in section 33 of the Electoral Act because the situation on ground has nothing to do with changing or substitution of the name of a candidate before election.

In fairness to INEC, it had already announced the results of the election, and as at the time it so did, it honestly claimed ignorance of the death of Prince Abubakar Audu. In law and logic, no new candidate can inherit or be a beneficiary of the votes already cast, counted and declared by INEC before that candidate was nominated and purportedly sponsored.

Assuming without conceding that INEC is even right to order a supplementary election, the votes already cast, counted and declared on Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 November 2015 were votes for the joint constitutional ticket of Prince Abubakar Audu and our client.

Therefore, no new or supplementary candidate can hijack, aggregate, appropriate or inherit the said votes.

Assuming further, without conceding that supplementary election in 91 polling units can hold as being suggested by INEC, it is our client who should be the automatic candidate of the party, since APC cannot conduct primary election for the supplementary election in 91 polling units.

Chairman sir, this is a rather simple and straight forward matter which does not need any delay, foot dragging or procrastination. It is a constitutional imperative. Put in other way, INEC has a bounden duty to declare our client the winner of the election. Any attempt to conduct any supplementary election in any unit whatsoever and howsoever will amount to INEC breaching and flouting the constitution and our client would definitely challenge it.

Senate confirms Lawan Kuru as MD of AMCON

The appointment of Ahmed Lawan Kuru as the Managing Director of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON was on Thursday confirmed by the Senate.

Confirmed alongside Kuru were Kola Adeye, Eberechukwu Fortunate Uneze and Aminu Ismail as Executive Directors of the Corporation.

This followed the submission and the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions as presented by its Chairman, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim.

NNPC Gets Two Weeks To End Fuel Scarcity.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and all the agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources have two weeks within which they must end petroleum products’ scarcity  across the country.

According to an order issued by the Senate on Thursday, major sharp practices including discrepancies in prices of petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and hoarding of products should be stopped immediately.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Lilian Ekwunife, who issued the order on Thursday at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its parastatals in Abuja said that Nigerians were not interested in stories but in the availability of the products.

“We are therefore mandating the Minister, the Permanent Secretary and other relevant agencies to end fuel scarcity in the country in two weeks. Discrepancies in prices of products must also end,” she said.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Buhari seeks cooperation with Senate

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to cooperate with his administration in fixing the country's roads and rail ways.

He also urged them to ensure that the country does not default in payment of counterpart funds for projects. 

President Buhari who hosted Senators to a dinner at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja urged them to help sustain the tremendous goodwill which the country presently enjoys across the globe by supporting his administration.

“We are enjoying tremendous goodwill outside this country. Whatever we do, let us have it in mind that people have confidence in this government.

“The roads are dead. Those who drive between Lagos and Ibadan will have a lot of stories to tell you. Those who drive from Kaduna to Jebba may have more stories to tell. The same thing is applicable to the East-West road,” he said.

He noted that whereas previous administrations enjoyed oil revenue as high as $140 per barrel, his government is only getting $38 per barrel.

Responding, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki pledged the readiness of the upper chamber to accord national issues the importance they deserve.

“Petrol does not know APC or PDP. We will always work hard in the interest of the country in everything we do,” he said.

Read Buhari's warning to universities

The University of Benin on Tuesday installed the Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness,
Muhammad Sanusi II as its Chancellor.

President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the event by the Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu.

Read the President's stern warning to university administrators across the country as delivered by Adamu.

“This administration is committed to providing funding for the university system and indeed for the entire education sector. But I must warn that the Federal Government will not fold its hands and watch unscrupulous people mismanage all the viable resources that have been put into the sector. We will no longer tolerate this.

“The Federal Ministry of Education is to ensure that all leakages are blocked and this is a promise that we intend to keep. This administration is determined to fight corruption whether in the university system or elsewhere. Members of staff and students must be seen to do their part in this struggle to change our society for the better, it is not just the duty of government. We hope that other brother countries will support what the government is doing. Universities must be seen to be leading by example. Due process must not be compromised in all we do.”

FG To begin payment of N5000 next year

The Federal Government has declared that it will commence the payment of N5000 monthly stipends to the unemployed next year.

It said that the project could not begin this year because it was not captured in the 2015 budget.
Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalong, said this in Abuja on Tuesday during  a condolence visit to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, at the party's national secretariat over the death of Prince Abubakar Audu who flew the party's flag in last Saturday's Kogi State governorship election.

“I would want the youths to understand that every promise must be backed up by budgetary provision and our promise to pay N5000 is not contained in the 2015 budget. So, definitely, it is going to begin in 2016 as we have made budgetary allocations for that.

“We are committed to the campaign promises of creating jobs, providing wealth creation and combat poverty. We have embedded in our manifesto things that we are translating to reality.

“We are busy reviewing some of the youth empowerment programmes that are ongoing,  to ensure that they are more viable and people oriented. We are also looking at the possibility of realigning some of them to our vision so that in the final analysis, it can add value to the people," he said.

Contract Scam : EFCC Nabs APC Bigwig

Mr. Miebi Bribena, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in Bayelsa State, is by now in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC  explaining his role in a contract scam at the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Bribena who is said to have benefited immensely from the Amnesty Programme was reportedly picked up by EFCC operatives on Wednesday.

He is presently being detained at the agency’s headquarters in Wuse, Abuja, where he was earlier quizzed for several hours.

Abujacitynews learnt that Bribena is being quizzed for allegedly absconding with  huge mobilisation fees from the Amnesty office over a contract which he failed to execute.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

N465b Supplementary To Be Passed Next Week - Senate

The Senate on Tuesday resolved to quickly process the N465b Appropriation Bill to complement the efforts of the executive arm of government in resolving the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.

To this end, the Senate has directed its Committee on Appropriation to submit its report for deliberation and passage on Tuesday next week.

The upper chamber explained that the decision to quickly pass the supplementary budget was to facilitate speedy payment of outstanding subsidy claims of N413.3bn to oil marketers.

Senate Rejects Call To Invite Buhari

Senators on Tuesday shot down a motion seeking to make the upper chamber invite President Buhari to explain the persistent hardship being suffered by Nigerians over the lingering fuel crisis in the country.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe supported by other PDP Senators had proposed that the President should be invited in his capacity as the Petroleum Minister to explain what he is doing to address the key issues in the sector.

However, the motion was overruled by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki with a warning to the senators against playing partisan politics with serious national issues.

Speaking to newsmen after the plenary, Senate spokesman, Abdullahi Sabi defended Saraki's action.

“The fact that Mr. President chose to oversee the petroleum ministry does not make him cede his authority of being the Commander-in-Chief. If we need any explanation from a minister and in this case petroleum, the Minister of State (Petroleum), is the person that will definitely come forward to make this explanation," he said.

NYSC Insists On Ban On Hijab

The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Brigadier-General, Johnson Olawumi, said on Tuesday that the ban on hijab-wearing in its orientation camps would remain in place as it was meant “for security reasons.”

Olawumi said this while addressing a group of Muslim youths under the aegis of Muslim Youths in Da’wah who had come to the national headquarters of the NYSC in Abuja to protest against the prohibition of Muslim women from wearing long hijab in orientation camps.

The National Coordinator of the group , Luqman Hassan; and the Deputy Coordinator, Kamarudeen Adefila, had explained their mission to the NYSC Director-General.

“We are here to discuss with you about the incident that happened recently in various camps across the country. We have a guiding principle which is based on the Holy Qur'an. We are all Nigerians and the principle which guides us is the constitution and the African Charter on Human rights.

“Members of the NYSC are Nigerians who have contributed to the development of this country; female corps members deserve protection by the NYSC. We don’t believe that a female corps member putting on hijab has done any wrong against the Act establishing the NYSC. So they deserve the respect of the NYSC. We have travelled far and wide and visited different camps. Why are the rights of female corps members being infringed upon. We are here to register our displeasure.

”Many Muslim organisations wanted to protest, but we said wait a while. In fact, we had to intervene to avoid the situation and if Muslims march on the streets, it will attract a lot of negative comments, but people won’t know why we are protesting.”

Responding, Olawumi expressed concern about the hijab being used by female suicide bombers to conceal their explosive devices.

“Under my leadership, the NYSC will accord respect to every corps member, irrespective of tribe and religion. The incident in Benue State was caused by the use of long hijab. The security situation in the country is tough. There is the danger of somebody using hijab for other reasons.

“There have been cases where young girls put on hijab and eventually turn to suicide bombers. Boko Haram members know how to get at whoever they want as target. That is why we frown at the wearing of long hijab. Please call on all your Muslim youths to be patient and adhere to it, just for a short period during the camp. We frown at long hijab because of the security implication,” he said.

Military making steady progress to defeat insurgents - Buratai

“We are not there yet but we are gradually getting there. We are making steady progress."

Those were the words of Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai when he visited troops of the 72 Special Force Battalion in Makurdi, Benue State on Tuesday.

He stressed that the task of subduing the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group must be accomplished in good time.

President Muhammadu Buhari had given the military up till the end of December to defeat the terrorist group which has killed over ten thousand persons and displaced many more in its 6 years campaign to carve out a state governed by strict Islamic laws.

See Saraki's speech at the launch of his suggestion box

Today, the 8th Senate marks another watershed moment in our vision to take lawmaking back to the people with the symbolic launching of the Senate President’s Suggestion Box. Many may ask what we seek to achieve with this launch and wonder the correlation between the suggestion box and making laws. For the 8th Assembly, this event ticks all the boxes in terms of our vision which is to ensure that laws we make impact on our peoples’ lives.

Again, we promised the Nigerian people that this 8thSenate will be different. That we will do things differently. Some thought we were playing rhetoric but our footprints are everywhere clearly showing we mean what we are saying. We have adopted our legislative agenda, we are retooling our policy formulation process through closer engagement with key government agents, meeting with industry leaders,using courtesy call opportunities, to help us fully understand the state of things as we put together legislative interventions to help deal with the problems.

This Senate promised that we will be open to all Nigerians and engage them more robustly as we deliver laws with far reaching impact on their lives. For us this means having a strong feedback mechanism that is non-discriminatory, direct, open, uninhibited and continuous is equally as important.

With this launch today, we are saying that we are ready to hear and listen to all Nigerians of goodwill. With the Suggestion Box, which is both physical and virtual, we are saying we are interested in your opinion irrespective of your background, political orientation, social status, gender, religious or ethnic orientation. Be sure that this, your suggestions, opinions and ideas will not go unnoticed. The media is an important source of our feedback but hearing from you directly is for us much more enriching and unadulterated.

The 8th Senate is by this launch, inviting you to come share your experience with us. Whether you are an elected member, worker, tourists, government official, NGO, media or a co-citizen of this great country visiting the National Assembly, we invite you to come change Nigeria with us.

It is my hope that as we use this suggestion boxes and engage much more closely with you our constituents we are able to build a much closer relationship and a much better National Assembly.

Ladies and Gentlemen: it is my great honour to formally launch, the Senate President's Suggestion Box for the good of our people and to the glory of God.

45,659 inmates awaiting trial in Nigerian prisons - Comptroller-General

The Controller-General of Nigerian Prisons Service, Dr. Peter Ekpendu, has disclosed that there are 45,659 inmates awaiting trial in Nigerian prisons out of a total prison population of 55,033.

Dr Ekpendu made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday while receiving the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.) at the service headquarters.

He lamented that the Service lacked adequate logistics to transport inmates to courts for trial.

“The prisons formations are presently holding 55,033 out of which 1,639 are condemned convicts awaiting execution. We have 18 Black Marias, 12 non-functional trucks, 16 functional and four non-functional ambulances which are grossly inadequate to meet our transportation needs.

"The smallest prisons should have at least an operational vehicle, ambulance and escort vehicles,” he said.

Dambazau while acknowledging the challenges facing the Service, cautioned against congesting the prisons as that could harden the inmates.

Tor Tiv Dies At 71

The paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, Alfred Torkula has died. The Tiv king known as Tor Tiv IV died at the age of 71 after 24 years on the throne.

Close sources said the Tor Tiv died on Monday morning at a hospital in Abuja.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has confirmed the death of the paramount ruler and is billed to meet the Tiv Traditional Council later in the day.

Alfred Akawe Torkula was coronated Tor Tiv IV in April 1991, following the death of King Akperan Orshi.

He was until his death, the Chairman of the Benue State Council of Chiefs.

Army cries out against sabotage

The Nigerian Army has raised the alarm over suspected plans by certain persons to sabotage its ongoing war against insurgency.

In a statement issued on Monday by its spokesman, Col Sani Usman and titled “Alert On Impending Smear Campaign By Some Disgruntled Elements,” the Army said investigations showed that the Nigerian Army and Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai are the prime targets of the smear campaign.

See the statement here.

“The Nigerian Army has received report of some elements both within the Nigerian Army and outside, especially through the use of the social media circle to ridicule the Nigerian Army and the person of the Chief of Army Staff for reasons best known to them.

“They intend to execute this plan as from next month, December 2015, using all means possible; lies, fabricating baseless stories, falsehood, publishing and broadcasting them through some designated print and electronic media, most especially the Social Media.

“The Nigerian Army has identified some of the officers involved and their collaborators; the officers are being investigated to unravel their motive and motivation.

“It is imperative to note that the fight against Boko Haram terrorists is at critical stage, any attack on the Nigerian Army will be counter-productive and serious distraction on the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

“The public and the media are please requested to be careful and wary of these disgruntled persons; they should please disregard any such material from them.

“The Nigerian Army holds the media in high esteem; the Nigerian media is one of the best in the world and have consistently been partners in progress and very supportive, understanding and cooperative with the Nigerian Army especially in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

“This at times comes at the risk of their personal safety and corporate existence; the role of the media in nation building and conflict resolution, peace building and social responsibility is never in doubt.

“With this and so many other things, the media, especially the online publications, should not be involved or lured into such dubious campaign. As always, our doors are open for clarification, enquiries and reactions on any issue concerning the Nigerian Army before filing or publicizing such stories.

“Consequent upon this,  we are calling on all Nigerians not to fall prey to their campaign of calumny. This is because their evil intents would be distractive and capable of reversing the gains on the fight against Boko Haram terrorists.”

Looters are voluntarily returning stolen funds - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told the Nigerian community in Iran that some of the public servants who looted Nigeria's treasury have started returning some of what they stole.

The president however said that he was not satisfied with fractions being returned but would stop at nothing to ensure that the entire loot was recovered.

“. . . we are collecting documents and some of them have started voluntarily returning something. But we want all.

“When we get those documents, we will formally charge them to court and then we will tell Nigerians to know those who abused trust when they were entrusted with public funds.

“So, the day of reckoning is gradually approaching.”

President Buhari is in Iran for the third summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum holding in the capital city, Tehran.

Monday, 23 November 2015

How lawyers are frustrating anti-corruption fight - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for urgent reforms in the judiciary.

In a speech delivered on his behalf by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday at the  year’s All Nigeria Judges’ Conference in Abuja, Buhari said that lawyers aided by some judges employ delay tactics to stall corruption trials and hinder the recovery of proceeds of crime in high profile corruption cases.

“Government’s attempt to recover such assets in accordance with the law, are often faced with dilatory tactics by lawyers, sometimes with the apparent collusion of judges.

“These tactics are often not directed at reaching any conclusion or affirming innocence or guilt, but at stalling trials indefinitely, thus denying the state and the accused person the opportunity of a judicial verdict.

“I wish to echo the sentiments of the vast majority of Nigerians in saying that we cannot afford to continue like this," he said.

The conference was organized by the National Judicial Institute.

Kano Police Seize N11.1m Fake Dettol, Arrest 9

The Kano State Police Command has impounded adulterated Dettol soap and disinfectants valued at N11.1m.

This was disclosed to newsmen on Monday by the state's Police Public Relations Officer, Magaji Majia.

According to the police spokesman, 9 suspects were arrested in Sabon Gari market in Kano metropolis following a petition letter from some concerned citizens.

“After receiving the letter, the ambush squad swung into action and raided the market where six retailers and three dealers were arrested," he said.

He explained that 1,301 cartons of adulterated Dettol disinfectants and 4 cartons of fake Dettol soap valued at N11.1m were recovered from the suspects.

He added that they will be arraigned in court after the conclusion of investigation.

See Nigeria's AFCON U-23 full squad list

Flying Eagles coach, Samson Siasia has named his 21 man squad for the AFCON 2015 U-23 soccer tournament which kicks off in Dakar, Senegal on Saturday.

See the full squad here.

Goalkeepers: Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers), Yusuf Mohammed (Kano Pillars), Emmanuel Iwu (Heartland)

Defenders:
Sincere Seth (Supreme Court FC), Seun Oduduwa (Nath Boys), Zaharadeen Bello (Kano Pillars), Seun Olubayo (Sunshine Stars), Chizoba Amaefule(Dolphins), Ebuka Iroha (Diamond Football Academy)

Midfielders:
Ndifreke Effiong(Abia Warriors), Usman Mohammed (FC Taraba), Tiongoli Tobara (Bayelsa United), Bature Yaro (Nasarawa United), Oghenekaro Etebo (Warri Wolves), Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni Matalatyaspor/Turkey), Godspower Aniefiok (Kano Pillars), Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves)

Forwards: 
Kufre Ebong (Warri Wolves), Junior Ajayi (CS Sfaxien/Tunisia), Taiwo Awoniyi (FSV Frankfurt/Germany), Isaac Success (Granada CF/Spain)

Bring back displaced persons' funds, Sultan tells Northern governors

“People are suffering, billions of naira had been collected for their welfare but what we hear every day and what we see on the pages of newspapers is very bad. It is important that this money be disbursed immediately through the state governors.”
.
Those were the words of Sultan Sa'ad Abubakar III of Sokoto to Northern states governors at the 2nd General Assembly of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council in Kaduna on Monday.

“Whenever we meet with our political leaders, we always tell them that we are only here to advise them and that is what we are doing here and we will continue to advise them as long as it is necessary. We will continue to advise them for the good of our people especially in the Northern part of the country.

“We believe that once problems of the North are taken up from the troubled spots or the map of troubled areas in the world, we believe Nigeria will be a better place. So we intend to discuss on issues affecting the North and also the country in general,” he said.

FG Seeks Revocation Of Dasuki's Bail

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Matami (SAN) failed to appear before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday to explain the siege laid on the Abuja residence of  former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki by operatives of the Department of State  Services, DSS despite the bail granted him by the court.

Contrary to the expected  appearance of the AGF, the Director of Public Prosecution in the Ministry of Justice Mr. Mohammed Saidu Diri appeared in court with a fresh motion on notice requesting the revocation of the bail granted Dasuki in the unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering charges earlier filed against him.

DSS Seeks Discontinuation Of Kanu's Trial

The Department of State Services (DSS) on Monday asked the Senior Magistrate Court in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja to discontinue the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, Director of Radio Biafra and Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Kanu has been slammed with a three-count charge of criminal conspiracy, intimidation and belonging to an unlawful society, and has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, prosecution counsel, Moses Idakwo, told the Magistrate, Mr Usman Shuaibu that the prosecution has new facts which have taken the matter out of the jurisdiction of the court.

He said that having discovered that the suspect was involved in terrorism, “the complainant is, therefore, applying to discontinue the matter under section 108(1) of administration of criminal justice act 2015.’’

He added that the DSS had already obtained an order from the Federal High Court, Abuja to keep the accused in its custody for 90 days.

However , Kanu’s counsel, Vincent Obetta, asked the court not to grant the prayer of the  prosecution since they did not present any information from the Attorney-General of the Federation who has the sole authority to approve such.

Obetta told the court that the DSS violated the order of the court by refusing to release Kanu on bail as granted by the court even after the bail conditions had been met . He added that the accused had been in DSS custody since his  arrest.

Having heard from both counsels, the Magistrate adjourned the case till December 1 for ruling.

Angry youths go berserk as prophet fails to resurrect dead politician

The remains of the APC candidate in Saturday's Kogi State governorship election, the late Prince Abubakar Audu were on Monday afternoon, laid to rest at his Ogbonicha country home in Ofu local government area of the state.

Earlier on, the youths of the community had defied Audu's family to allow a prophet who claimed to have the power to resurrect the dead politician access to his body.

However, when he failed to resurrect the dead man, the youths went berserk and almost lynched the prophet.

It was after the prophet had failed in his mission that a team of imams from across Igala land performed the burial rites.

It was a harvest of tears at the well attended burial as the community bemoaned their loss.

Supporters Cheer As Director of Radio Biafra Appears In Court (Photos)

Following last Wednesday's court order, the Director of Radio Biafra and Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, was finally arraigned by the DSS on Monday,  at the Wuse Zone 2 Magistrate Court, Abuja.

See photos of Mr Kanu's supporters on a solidarity protest.

Photo credits : Vanguard

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Suicide Bomber Kills 8 In Maiduguri

Eight persons lost their lives on Sunday when a female suicide bomber disguised as an internally displaced person got into the midst of women and children who had just arrived Maiduguri and detonated her explosive devices.

Mohammed Kanar, Northeast Director of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, confirmed to AFP that the suicide bomber sneaked in amongst them disguised as an IDP (internally displaced person)before setting off her explosives.

The victims were said to have arrived from Mafa district near the border with Cameroun, an area that had hitherto been ravaged by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram : Bishop Kukah Questions Insurgents's Mental Health

Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah has been asking questions about the state of mind of people who kill people in their places of worship.

See what the bishop said after observing Sunday's Christ The King Procession in Sokoto metropolis.

“A good number of Nigerians have decided to make themselves agents of darkness. But because we are all God’s children, I don’t believe that anybody in his right frame of mind will decide to kill people in their places of worship. That is awkward.

“Can anybody claiming to be a Muslim kill people in the Mosque, or anybody claiming to be a Christian kill people in the Church?"

Abubakar Audu Dies At The Verge Of Victory

The death has been confirmed of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the Saturday, November 21 , 2015 governorship election in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu.

Audu was reportedly advised to take a rest on Saturday, having complained of stomach ache shortly after casting his vote.

He is rumored to have died around 10 am on Sunday, but some people said that he slumped and passed away when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC declared the election inconclusive.

The late APC governorship candidate was leading Peoples Democratic Party, PDP's incumbent governor Idris Wada by 41,353 votes when INEC declared the contest inconclusive due to irregularities in some polling units.

Kogi Governorship Election Declared Inconclusive

Following the failure of a clear winner to emerge in the Kogi State governorship election held on Saturday, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has declared the contest inconclusive.

After the collation of results on Sunday, the two leading contenders, Prince Abubakar Audu of the All Progressives Congress, APC and incumbent governor Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP polled 240,867 and 199,514 votes respectively.

Owing to violence and other factors, voting was canceled in several polling units with  registered voters totalling about 49,900.

Given that the APC candidate led his PDP rival with a margin of 41,353 votes which is less than the votes accruable from the areas where elections did not take place, INEC declared the election inconclusive in accordance with the electoral law.

We have lost our bearing - Obi of Onitsha

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe recently spoke on the state of affairs of the country.

In his speech during his investiture as the 7th Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the royal father lamented the profligacy of the present generation which he said would be borne by future generations.

See the speech below.

”We may have lost our bearing as a nation with the discovery of petroleum in the 50s. A false sense of national wealth has turned us into a nation of frolickers and hustlers, who are fighting one another for a greater share of the proverbial national cake, and spending it extravagantly, rather than leveraging the God given windfall to build a stable, diversified, and more prosperous nation.

“As the volume of production and market value of petroleum have fallen, that is, as the national cake has shrunk in size, the competition and struggle for a stake in that cake has become more intense.

“Thus, today, there is tension everywhere – Niger Delta, Boko Haram , MASSOB, industrial strikes, armed robbery, kidnapping, ethnic rivalries, tension between and within the political parties, etc. The sum total is that, our national mindset, particularly amongst the upper and middle classes, which includes most of us in this audience, has been focused on the consumption, rather than the creation, of our national wealth.

“We spend unbelievable amounts importing petrol and subsidizing its retail price whilst our three refineries with adequate capacity to meet our national requirement are literarily moribund, despite huge sums spent on endless turn around maintenances; smaller and less endowed countries successfully operate their own refineries optimally and do not suffer scarcity.

“Nigeria is probably the largest importer of electric generators in the world despite our endowment with natural sources of energy, such as petroleum, coal, hydro and solar energies, and the huge sums spent by successive governments on the power sector. On the other hand, a smaller country, Ghana, takes gas from Nigeria and generates most of its electricity requirements.

“Our food import bill, spent mostly on rice and wheat, is about $22 billion annually, yet our country is blessed with vast arable land and a large population of young jobless people that can be usefully deployed to agriculture.

“Road construction in Nigeria is more expensive than most parts of the world, yet our roads are breaking down faster than we build them because the traditional mode for heavy haulage, namely, railways, pipelines and waterways, are comatose; a trailer load of petrol from Mosimi to Maiduguri causes more damage to our roads than the value of the product being transported.

“A majority of our state governments have recently taken the so-called “bailout loans” for recurrent expenditure, meaning that future generations are being inflicted with the burden of the profligacy of the current generation.”

We didn't get Senate-approved $1b arms fund — Former Minister

A former minister in the government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that the administration did not receive the one billion US dollars for which it sought and received the approval of the 7th Senate for the procurement of arms to fight Boko Haram.

“Initially , the vote was about $900m but the leadership of the 7th Senate advised the Executive to ask for $1billion to accommodate unexpected financial challenges in fighting Boko Haram.

“The Ministry of Finance ought to write letters to those advancing the loan and those companies supplying the arms on how the government will remit the funds.

“We however did not get the $1 billion loan because the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, did not sign the necessary papers as a result of the inability of her office to receive the required votes and proceedings from the National Assembly,” he said.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

We won't bomb civilians in Sambisa - Air Force

The Nigerian Air Force, NAF has assured that it is conducting its airstrikes in Sambisa forest with due consideration for the safety of civilian targets.

This assurance was given on Saturday by Air Commodore Isiaka Amao, Air Component Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

He said that the air force always carries out surveillance missions before embarking on bombing raids.

‘’We are also aware that the terrorists usually keep abducted women and children among them; so we carry out series of intelligence-gathering before striking at any target in the hideout.

“We do not carry out strikes in women and children locations because we know that they are innocent persons kept by force by the terrorists.

“Our job is to degrade the terrorists and rescue vulnerable persons forcefully abducted in their hideout,” he said.

He added that the air force had made over 40 sorties on Sambisa forest with 80‰ success in hitting the intended targets.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Jonathan Denies $2b Arms Contracts

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has debunked claims by the current administration that he awarded contracts of two billion US dollars for the procurement of arms for the military.

Speaking on Friday in Washington DC where he attended an event, Jonathan queried;

“Where did that kind of money come from? I did not award any $2 billion contract for procurement of weapons."

He complained that some people were out to rubbish his achievements in office, pointing out that there was no way Nigerian budget could accommodate such a loss.

“In Nigeria, if you lose $59.8 million in a year, federal and state governments will not pay salaries, ”he said

It would be recalled that in 2014, Jonathan had sought the approval of the Senate to appropriate $1b to procure arms for the successful prosecution of the fight against terrorism.

Over 20000 Security Personnel Deployed For Kogi Election

No less than 20,000 security personnel comprising, 11,000 regular police, 5,000 Mobile Policemen and 6,000 Civil Defence Corps personnel have been deployed to monitor today's governorship election in Kogi State.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase disclosed this at a stakeholders' meeting in Lokoja earlier in the week.

He assured Kogi people that the police will ensure the security of lives and property in the state during and after the elections.

He also assured the political parties and candidates of a level playing ground in the elections.

Dasuki, Others May Forfeit Assets To FG

In accordance with the enabling Act of Parliament, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC may seize the assets of former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, and some ex-military chiefs allegedly fingered in the misappropriation of N644 billion meant for arms procurement.

Sources said the anti-graft agency plans to invoke the temporary assets forfeiture clause as part of the ongoing probe of the arms procurement deals.

“The EFCC may invoke Assets Forfeiture clause to seize the properties of Dasuki and other Service Chiefs who allegedly diverted or misappropriated funds meant for arms procurement in line with sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC(Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004.

“Section 28 reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.

’“We have appreciable list of assets in Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos and Port Harcourt to be attached. One of the affected officers built two mansions in Kaduna and Abuja under six months.

“A Service Chief is also being investigated for allegedly acquiring a property of the late first Civilian Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha," said a source.

Fake Arms Deals : Ex-Military Chiefs To Make Refunds?

Some of the former military chiefs and officers being investigated by the  Committee On Arms Procurement for multi-billion naira arms deals have volunteered to refund some money for unexecuted contracts.

A source close to the investigations said that ; “About four of such former officers have offered to make refunds. I think Dasuki does not know the extent to which the panel has gone in probing the arms deals.

“When the case gets to court, Nigerians will appreciate the depth of the investigation by the panel.”

Arms Deal : Three Suspects On The Run

It has been learnt that three suspects in the multi-billion naira arms deals currently under investigation have sneaked out of the country to escape arrest. 

The suspects include a high profile Nigerian and two Israelis.

According to a reliable source, Government's seeming hard stance on Dasuki may be a direct consequence of the escape of the three suspects who are alleged to be his close allies.

“The government may appear to have been hard on Dasuki because three suspects implicated in the arms deal have sneaked out of the country. The suspects, including a top Nigerian and two Israelis, were rated as closer to Dasuki.

“Wherever they are, we will repatriate them accordingly. With the cooperation of some countries, there is no hiding place for any suspect.

“This is one of the reasons why the Federal Government does not want Dasuki to travel out for medical treatment.

“The Department of State Security Service (DSS) was proactive in placing one of the suspects on surveillance but the recourse to court made the affected culprit to leave the country.

“Another factor is that the cases against the ex-NSA are many and the government cannot say because of an isolated matter, he should be allowed to go abroad. What if he does not return to the country?” he said.

Buhari To Attend Gas Exporters Meeting In Iran

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Sunday for the Iranian capital, Tehran to participate in the 3rd Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF) opening on Monday.

According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina in Abuja on Friday, President Buhari and other GECF leaders will be reviewing the current market outlook on gas and discuss strategies for boosting gas production.

GECF members currently account for 42 per cent of global gas production‎, 70 per cent of global gas reserves, 40 per cent of pipeline transmission of gas and 65 per cent of the global trade in Liquefied Natural Gas.

The statement  said that Buhari will also hold bilateral talks with other participating world leaders on the sidelines of the summit after which he will meet with Nigerians resident in Iran.

Scheduled to accompany the President on the trip are Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama; Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu and the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd.).

The team is expected to return to Abuja on Nov.24.

Kano Blast Victims Get N40m From FG

The Presidential Victims Support Fund has donated N40 million to victims of Wednesday's bomb attacks in Kano.

The money was on Friday given to victims of the blast currently receiving treatment at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital  and Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital Kano.

Announcing the donation to the hospitals, the Executive Director of the Fund, Prof. Sunday Ochoche said his team was in Kano to sympathize with the victims of the terrorist attacks.

“The Fund gave N20 million to each of the two hospitals we visited, making it a total of N40 million.

“We are here to assist the victims and bring succor to the injured people,” he said.

Ochoche said that the Fund would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the hospitals involved on how the donation which is intended for the treatment of injured persons would be used.

He added that before coming to Kano, the Fund had visited 14 hospitals in the Northeast.

“The MoU will clearly state how the intervention should be distributed among the victims for their immediate medical needs and attention.

“We have so far given out N240 million for the affected victims, including the N40m million given to the Kano hospitals,” he said.

Two young female suicide bombers had on Wednesday detonated their explosive devices at the popular GSM market in Kano, killing 15 persons and leaving over 50 others injured.

According to security sources, a manhunt is on for the other occupants of the minivan which dropped off the suicide bombers at the area.

How a lunatic caused panic at Kano mosque

There was pandemonium in Kano on Friday at the at the Ahalul Sunna mosque, opposite Rijiyar Zaki mosque, near Bayero University when a lunatic edged his way towards the Imam as he delivered his sermon at the Jumaat service. 

As the lunatic forced his way through, panicked worshippers began to scamper to safety, causing a stampede in the process.

An eyewitness who sustained injuries in the stampede said ;
“I sustained injuries on my legs and shoulders because I jumped over the wall of the mosque for my life.

“The suspect, who looked like a mad man attempted to be close to the Imam but was stopped by the mosque security.”

However, the timely intervention of security operatives attached to the mosque prevented the situation from degenerating.

The suspected lunatic was taken away by the police for investigation.

EFCC Invites Dasuki For Questioning

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday invited former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki for questioning.

The former NSA is expected to answer questions on arms contracts during his period of stewardship.

The invitation suggests that the EFCC may have taken over the arms procurement probe and the likely prosecution of Dasuki and others indicted by the panel which investigated the contracts.

Among those indicted by the panel are former defence chiefs and service chiefs. Thirty arms dealers were also summoned by the panel.

The EFCC in a letter signed by its Director of Operations, Mr. Olaolu Adegbite, invited Dasuki for questioning over alleged diversion of funds, a source said.

“A letter was delivered on Thursday to Dasuki by the EFCC requesting him to report for an interaction on Friday.

“This is an indication that the Presidency has forwarded the Interim Report of the Special Investigative Committee on Arms Procurement to the anti-graft commission.

“I think the development also indicated that Dasuki and those implicated in the arms deals might be prosecuted by the EFCC.

“Now all the parties have the opportunity to present facts, figures and relevant documents before the court for the public to know the true position of things,”
said the source.

Dasuki's residences has been under seige by the DSS since November 3 when he obtained permission from the court to travel overseas for medical reasons.

Peugeot Visits Buhari, Assures Of Full Return

Peugeot Automobiles has announced its intention to return to Nigeria next year for full commercial operations.

Peugeot’s Executive Vice President for Africa and the Middle-East, Mr. Jean-Christophe Quemard said this in Abuja on Thursday during a courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.

Buhari assured the company of the commitment of his administration to the privatization and commercialization policy.

He however said that special consideration would be given to companies with the requisite technical and managerial competence in the privatization of government-owned companies.

”Higher premium will be placed on the technical competence and financial clout of bidders in future privatisation exercises to avoid the running aground of privatised companies by ill-equipped and incapable investors," he said.

He added that “privatization can only succeed and yield desired benefits if buyers of government-owned companies possess essential skills and resources.”

Assuring the President that Peugeot was ready to reinvest in vehicle assembly in Nigeria, Mr Quemard said that the company had outlined a three-phased plan to resume vehicle assembly first with 4,000 cars, rising up to 10,000 cars by 2021.

He however called for the appropriate policies from the government.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

FG To Audit Pending Corruption Cases - AGF

President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized a thorough audit of all pending high profile corruption cases.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday while briefing newsmen.

He said that the audit will try to expose the reasons for the failure of past administrations to effectively prosecute corruption cases  involving "some politically exposed persons."

He added that cases found to have been compromised in the past would be revisited.

“Similarly, those who compromised investigations of such cases will be duly prosecuted. Under this administration, there will be no respite for the corrupt,” he said.

Most of the pending cases against some former governors in court over their alleged complicity in money laundering and wanton looting of public treasury have not made any meaningful headway several years after they were initiated.

To correct this anomaly, the AGF vowed to re-invigorate all the anti-corruption agencies in the country.

“The battle against corruption is one which the administration of President Buhari has identified as crucial to the ultimate capacity of the Nigerian state to rise to its full potentials.

“The linkage between corruption and under-development has long been established and explains why Mr. President, in his inaugural address on May 29, 2015, identified corruption as the worst form of human rights violation as it denies the people the resources they need to develop and thrive.

“The Federal Ministry of Justice will, therefore, be positioned under my watch to play this role in a credible and committed manner.

“The task of re-invigorating the ministry and the other anti-corruption agencies such as the EFCC, the ICPC and the Nigeria Police Force, is one to which I hereby pledge my personal commitment and energy, in order to position them to fight it within the bounds of law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and in line with international best practices.

“Fighting corruption, of course, is not only a question of having laws and institutions in place, but also involves the need to deepen institutional credibility and individual integrity.

“The staff of the ministry and the other agencies, who will be involved in this fight, must therefore, realise that new and improved standards will be required of them and this government will not accept excuses for failure in the investigation and prosecution of cases.

“On its part, government will continue to improve the levels of provisions of the resources and welfare requirements of the officers who will be involved in this campaign. We all must continue to be motivated by the fact that corruption is a monster which can consume us all if we do not collectively tackle it through individual efforts and collective approaches," he said.

Former Permanent Secretary Quizzed Over N500m Sure-P Fund

The immediate past Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Mrs Nkechi Ejele was on Thursday quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over her role in the alleged misappropriation of N500 million Sure-P funds released to the ministry in 2013 and 2014.

Ejele is said to be among five former Permanent Secretaries under investigation for corruption. Some directors in her ministry are also expected to be questioned by the anti graft agency next week. 

“We invited her in connection with N500 million vote for the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation. We received a lot of observations that the funds were mismanaged,” said an EFCC source.

Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC Mr. Wilson Uwujaren confirmed the interrogation of Mrs Ejele.

“The ex-permanent secretary was quizzed on Thursday by the commission,” he said.

Boko Haram Now World's Deadliest Terror Group.

Boko Haram has upstaged the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS as the deadliest terrorist group in the world.

According to the Global Terrorism Index 2015 from the
Sydney based Institute for Economics and Peace, ISIS is now the world's second deadliest terrorist group, behind Boko Haram.

The report  showed that Boko Haram killed 6,644 persons in 2014, while ISIS killed 6,073 people within the same period.

“Also notable over the past year is the major intensification of  the terrorist threat in Nigeria. The country witnessed the largest increase in terrorist deaths ever recorded by any  country, increasing by over 300 per cent to 7,512 fatalities.

“Boko Haram, which operates mainly in Nigeria, has become the most deadly terrorist group in the world. Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to ISIL (also known as the Islamic State) as the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) in March 2015,” the report said.

Although it is most active in Nigeria, Boko Haram also operates in Niger, Cameroun and Chad.

See Dasuki's statement on his indictment by Buhari's panel.

Former NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki has described the report of the Presidential Arms Procurement Committee as a desperate attempt by the presidency to hang him.

The committee had indicted Dasuki for awarding fictitious contracts for the supply of military equipment.

See the statement Dasuki issued on Wednesday on the committee's report.

“To set the records straight, Nigerians should appreciate that the AVM Jon Ode-led panel did not invite the ex-NSA under any guise before arriving at its ambiguous findings. At least, fairness demands that the panel ought to hear from Dasuki instead of its recourse to hasty conclusions. If the panel had been more patient and painstaking, it would have been availed of all relevant documents on some of the jaundiced findings.

“As if acting a script, the Presidency alleged that the panel accused Dasuki of awarding fictitious contracts between March 2012 and March 2015. Contrary to this claim, Dasuki was not the NSA in March 2012 and could not have awarded any contract in whatever name. The ex-NSA was appointed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on June 22, 2012.

“All contracts and accruing payments were made with the approval of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. Once the ex-President approved, the former NSA paid. So, there was due process for every purchase in line with regulations guiding arms procurement for the Armed Forces.

“The conclusions of the panel were presumptive, baseless and lacked diligence.

“While awaiting judicial process on these allegations,it is proper to make some references to show that the Presidency is just desperate to hang some former public and military officers, who served this nation at the risk to their lives.

“It is laughable for the panel to assume that four Alpha jets and 12 helicopters were undelivered.”

Buhari Approves Judge's Retirement For Misconduct

Following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, NJC, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate and compulsory retirement of Justice Lambo Akanbi of the Federal High Court, Portharcourt.

The Acting Director, Information, for NJC, Soji Oye, while confirming Justice Akanbi's retirement in a statement on Wednesday , said he was sacked for various allegations of misconduct levelled against him by Shell Petroleum Development Corporation Nigeria Limited in a petition to the NJC.

In the petition, Shell accused Justice Akanbi of unilaterally appointing Mr. Emeka Nkwo of CYN-JAC (NIG) Ltd, who was not proposed by any of the parties as referee or valuer in Suit Nos FHC/PH/CS/434/2012and FHC/PH/CS/435/2012, contrary to constitutional provisions.

According to the statement ;
“He also appointed the same referee or valuer in Suit FHC/PH/CS/25/2003, which is another matter involving one of the parties in the first suit.

“He heard and concluded the case without dealing with the Notice of Preliminary Objection on the Jurisdiction of his court.

“He sat on the case in the Federal High Court, Yenagoa in Suit FHC/YNG/CS/30/2013 after a new judge had been transferred to the state without a fiat from the chief judge of the Federal High Court.

“The judge also delivered the ruling in suit No: FHC/PH/CS/07/2009, four months after final addresses were taken without any cogent reason contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgment should be delivered within a period of 90 days.

“Justice Akanbi also dismissed the application to set aside the report prepared by the valuer, CYN – JAC (NIG) Ltd and later changed the ruling to judgment, which prevented the respondent from pursuing the application for a stay of proceedings at the Court of Appeal.

“That Justice Akanbi also failed to give a copy of his ruling delivered on June 12, 2013 to the complainant until June 28, 2013.

“In the exercise of its constitutional powers, at the same meetings of November 4 and 5, 2015, council had suspended Justice Lambo Akanbi from office before the approval for his compulsory retirement by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.”

Army, Police Capture Two More Wanted Boko Haram Leaders

Two more of the 100 Boko Haram terrorists declared wanted by the Army have been arrested.

Army spokesman Col Sani Usman said that a Boko Haram leader disguised as a watchman was captured by the troops while another one was arrested by police in Maiduguri metropolis after painstaking investigations.

“Yesterday, troops of 101 Task Force Battalion, 7 Division Garrison, along Lagos Street Maiduguri, Borno State, arrested yet another declared wanted Boko Haram terrorists leader.

“The suspect who gave his name as Abubakar Sadiq, works as night watchman to one Muhammad Daggash; a closer look at him shows that he was suspect number 28 among the suspected Boko Haram terrorists that were declared wanted by the Nigerian Army last month.

“The Nigeria Police, Borno State Command, arrested yet another suspected Boko Haram kingpin, Mohammed Usman, at Abuja Talakawa Ward of Maiduguri metropolis, Borno state yesterday.

“The suspect who matches the photograph of suspect Number 40 on the poster containing the photographs of the 100 wanted suspected Boko Haraam terrorists, was arrested after painstaking effort and tracking by the police.

“There is no doubt that the arrests of the suspected terrorists are important milestones which show the synergy of effort in the fight against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria among the security agencies and the public.

“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commended the vigilant troops and the Nigeria Police in particular, Borno State Command, for their great efforts.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to reiterate that as we move for the final onslaught against Boko Haram terrorists, there is the urgent need for all of us to be more vigilant and security conscious,” he said.

Army Destroys Boko Haram Rocket Factory

The Army on Wednesday announced the destruction of a
Boko Haram terrorists’ rocket factory at Jamrari, Borno State.

Army spokesman Col Sani Usman confirmed this in a statement. According to the statement ;
“The troops of 111 Special Forces Battalion, 7 Division Garrison, Nigerian Army, during a special raid carried out on Tuesday at Delwa general area, discovered and knocked out Boko Haram terrorists’ rocket factory at Jamrari, Borno State.

“This unprecedented development has put paid to the much-touted ability of the terrorists to fabricate rockets and their launchers using rudimentary materials.

“This has further crippled the terrorists and greatly emboldened the troops in carrying out more offensive actions against the terrorists till they are defeated.

“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai, who is in constant communication with the troops, commended them for this singular act and other similar feats and encouraged them to do more as the terrorists are on the verge of being defeated.”

Suicide bombings on soft targets have continued unabated even as the terrorists come under increasing pressure from the military in the Northeast.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Phoney arms deals : Panel to question ex military chiefs

Security agencies are set to arrest and question some former service chiefs and security chiefs over dubious arms deals running into billions of naira. 

Former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki who has been fingered in the deals has already declared his readiness to stand trial following President Buhari’s order for his arrest.

The panel which probed arms purchases from 2007 to 2015 also indicted former Chiefs of Defense Staff and some former service chiefs, all of whom are expected to stand trial.

A source close to the panel said;
“Those accused of mismanaging N644billion include some former Chiefs of Defence Staff, about five service chiefs and some security chiefs.

“They have all been placed under surveillance and some of them may be arrested any moment from now pending their arraignment in court.

“Their names have not been released to avoid any acts that may jeopardise attempts to bring them to justice.

“Immediately they are arrested, we will release their list to the public.”

The source also indicated that Dasuki is now considered a security risk and may not be allowed to leave the country.

“With the revelations from the panel probing arms deals, Dasuki is a security threat. No sane government will allow him to travel abroad.

“So, the ex-NSA cannot step out of Nigeria, until he is brought to trial on these allegations. But no one is molesting him at all; he is still under house arrest.”

Buhari’s Message To Nigerians On The Yola, Kano Bombings

Despite the devastating effects of the Yola and Kano bombings in which a combined total of 47 persons were killed and over one hundred others injured, President Muhammadu Buhari has a message of hope for Nigerians.

In a message released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari who sympathized with the victims of the blasts expressed “confidence in the ability of Nigeria’s reinvigorated, well-equipped and well-motivated Armed Forces and security agencies to overcome Boko Haram very soon”.

In the rest of the message, the presidential spokesman said ;

“The President condemns in strongest terms the barbaric suicide terrorist attacks which took place in Yola on the evening of Tuesday, November 17 and in Kano today, causing numerous deaths and injuries among civilians.

“The President extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the Government and people of Adamawa and Kano States respectively.

“President Buhari reassures Nigerians that his administration is very much determined to wipe out Boko Haram in Nigeria and bring all perpetrators of these heinous crime against humanity to justice.

“The President urges all Nigerians not to despair in the face of cowardly terrorist attacks but to have confidence in the ability of Nigeria’s reinvigorated, well-equipped and well-motivated Armed Forces and security agencies to overcome Boko Haram very soon.

“He believes, however, that vigilance is a potential life saver, since security agents cannot be everywhere to deter every planned attack.

“Citizen’s vigilance will therefore help to reduce the frequency of such attacks."

How Lola and Anita celebrated Psquare at 34

Multiple award-winning musicians and twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye (Psquare) are 34. Here is how their wives Lola and Anita celebrated them on their birthday.

Peter's wife Lola on Instagram ;

“To my boo of life, the king of my dreams, my hot chocolate, my love, my delight, the father of my beautiful children I celebrate your life today. Happy birthday my darling husband. May you always fly high in life and touch all your dreams. May God bless you with happiness, joy, continued success, wisdom and peace. Gold, platinum or diamonds are not enough to express your worth. May God continue to protect you for us. Your best years are still ahead IJN. I am proud of the man that you have become and I love you plenty my sweetheart. Have a fantastic day today.”

Anita's message to Paul ;

“Happy birthday to the love of my life, my soulmate, I cannot believe that after over a decade you still have the same effect on me as you did the first day I met you…. You have always been the amazing, caring and humble man you are today and I fall deeply in love with you with every passing day. I wish you God’s favour, divine blessings and guidance today and always. You are the best husband and father to our son and May your heart’s desires be granted. For always being compassionate towards others, happiness and peace will never leave your side. Happy birthday to this amazing hottie of a man! Andre’s number 1 super hero!!! My Pauly, Mr.Talent Bulus 1 of ifitedunu I love you….”

Man slaughters own 4 children over quarrel with wife

Following a heated quarrel with his wife, a man attempted suicide in Kaduna on Wednesday after slaughtering four of his own children.

According to neighbors, the wife was forced to flee their Ahmadu Bello Street home following a night of bitter quarreling. 

Later on, the middle aged man locked in the children aged between 6 years and 1 year and slit their throats before turning the knife on himself.

By the time the police forced the door open after being alerted by neighbors, the children were already dead while the man was still alive but in critical condition. 

The spokesman of Kaduna State Police Command, Zubairu Abubakar said that the man and the remains of the children have been conveyed to St Gerrards Hospital, Kaduna while investigation has commenced.

Govt Bans Night Markets In Yola After Bomb Blast

In the aftermath of Tuesday night's bombings at a fruits and vegetables market in Yola, the government of Adamawa State has banned night markets in the state capital.

Governor Muhammadu Jibrilla announced the ban on Wednesday after an emergency security meeting at the Government House, Yola.

According to the governor, all businesses that attract crowds including relaxation spots are expected to close at 6pm.

He urged those whose businesses are affected by the new law to show understanding as the ban was necessary for the security of lives and property.

Teenage Female Bombers Kill 15 In Kano Attacks - Police

Two young hijab-wearing female suicide bombers on Wednesday killed 15 persons at the busy GSM mobile phone market in the Nasarawa area of Kano City. One of the attackers is said to be about 11 years old.

Kano State Police Command spokesman, Musa Magaji Majia spoke to AFP after the attacks.

“A minibus carrying some women came to the Farm Centre GSM market and dropped off one girl aged about 11 and another aged about 18, both wore the hijab. 

“One went inside the market, the other stayed outside then they exploded, killing themselves and others nearby.

“The victims were taken to hospital and it was later confirmed that 15 people died, not including the suicide bombers,” he said.

According to Majia, the police have blocked all exits and entries into Kano City as the manhunt for the VW Sharan mini van that dropped the suicide bombers at the market continues. Four other women were said to be in the vehicle.

Bomb blast kills 32 in Yola market

A bomb blast occurred at a fruits and vegetables market on Tuesday night , killing 32 persons and injuring over 80 others.

The Red Cross and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA have confirmed the blast which is suspected to be the handiwork of Boko Haram.

An eyewitness, Alhaji Ahmed who spoke to Reuters said ;
“The ground near my shop was covered with dead bodies. I helped to load 32 dead bodies into five vehicles.”

Another eyewitness said that eight ambulances were used to convey casualties to hospitals.

294 trucks supplied fuel to Abuja on Monday, Tuesday - DPR

249 truck loads of petrol were supplied to Abuja and environs between Monday and Tuesday, says the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR.

According to Mr. Mohammed Saidu, Head, Public Relations of DPR in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, Abuja received 145 trucks of petrol on Monday, while Tuesday saw the delivery of 149 trucks into the city and environs.

NAN reports the DPR spokesman as saying that the measure was intended to clear the long queues at fuel stations in the city.

Of the 149 trucks supplied on Tuesday, 99 were delivered into Abuja metropolis while 50 were supplied to the immediate and extended environment of the city.

FG To Capture Unemployment Benefits, School Feeding In 2016 Budget

Abujacitynews has learnt that the Federal Government plans to capture the funding of the N5000 monthly allowance for 25 million vulnerable Nigerians and feeding program for school children in the 2016 budget.

According to the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, details of the financial arrangements for the programs will be contained in the 2016 budget.

“Let us just wait for the 2016 budget. I am sure that all the details will be available in that budget,” he said.

In a statement issued by its former spokesman, Lai Mohammed, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC had attributed the non implementation of the programs so far to the fact that they were not captured in the 2015 budget which was prepared by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

“Now, the Buhari administration has been busy putting in place measures that will make it possible to start the implementation of this project. Such measures include the introduction of the Treasury Single Account.“

We are happy to inform Nigerians that as of the end of September 2015, over N1.4tn – which hitherto was lying unproductively in various commercial banks – has been recovered and paid into the TSA,” he said.

He also pointed out the need to block all avenues of financial leakage before the implementation of the programs. 

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