Thursday, 30 June 2016

Plaintiff withdraws suit challenging Buhari's certificate

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday struck out a suit challenging President Muhammadu Buhari's academic credentials.

The presiding judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola struck out the suit consequent upon a notice of discontinuance filed by the plaintiff, Mr Nnamdi Nwokocha-Ahaiwe.

At the resumption of hearing on the matter on Thursday, Mr Chikordi Okeorji, counsel to the plaintiff informed the court that his client had filed a notice of discontinuance on June 27, pursuant to order 50 rule 2 (1) of the Federal High Court Rules.

Justice Ademola struck out the case after Paul Ajiboye, counsel to the defendant had said that he was not opposed to the application.

Nwokocha-Ahaiwe, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, had filed an application asking the court to nullify Muhammadu Buhari's  election  as president on the grounds that he did not possess the minimum academic requirements to contest for the position, having failed to sit for the Cambridge West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1961 as he had claimed.

Some officers, politicians behind coup rumours - Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai has disclosed that some military officers and members of the political class are behind recent rumours of an impending coup d'etat in the country.

The Army Chief warned against military misadventure in democracy, adding that investigations were on to unmask the faces behind the rumours.

“We are much better under democracy. Military misadventure in democracy should not repeat itself.

“We see it as an attempt to show some misgivings by some officers and the political class, but they will fail,” he said.

He assured that the Army would remain professional and stay out of politics.

$2.29m money laundering: Court orders Ohakim to opun his defense

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a no case submission filed by the immediate past governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim in a money laundering suit instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

In his no case submission, Ohakim had argued that the evidence aduced by the prosecution to prove its case disclosed no prima facie case against him.

However, Justice Adeniyi Ademola on Thursday ruled that Ohakim had a case to answer as the prosecution had established a prima facie case against him warranting that he should defend himself.

The EFCC had on July 8, 2015, arraigned Ohakim, governor of Imo State from 2007 to 2011, on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Ohakim is charged with purchasing a property at 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Plot No 1098, Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District, Abuja with a cash payment of $2.29m which was said to be the dollar equivalent of N270m in November 2008, contrary to section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 15(1)(d) of the same law.

Ohakim is also accused of attempting to conceal the ownership of the property by falsely entering into an agreement as a tenant in the property, contrary to and punishable under section 14(1b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

The ex-governor is also alleged to have failed to declare the property as part of his assets when asked to do so by the EFCC in January 2014, contrary to section 27(b) and (c) of the EFCC Act and punishable under the same section.

The prosecution closed its case after calling six witnesses and tendering documentary evidence as exhibits.

On May 5, 2016, Ohakim through his counsel, Awa Kalu (SAN), indicated his intention to file a no-case submission, contending that the prosecution’s evidence had not linked him to the commission of the alleged crime.

Eid-el-fitri: Tuesday, Wednesday are public holidays - FG

The Federal Government has declared Tuesday and Wednesday next week as public holidays to enable Muslims mark the Eid-el-fitri celebration.

A statement released in Abuja on Thursday by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Bassey Akpanyung said that the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) admonished the Muslim faithful to allow the spiritual benefits of
Ramadan, which include love, peace and justice to permeate their daily living and thus contribute to national development.

PDP's BoT Chairman, Walid Jubrin mourns Ojo Maduekwe

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Senator Walid Jubrin has confirmed the death of the Secretary of the party's BoT, Chief Ojo Maduekwe.

Jubrin while confirming the development in Abuja on Thursday, said that the sudden death of Maduekwe was shocking.

He explained that he had been expecting the former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America to return from his trip to that country so that they could continue to sort out PDP's leadership crisis, only to receive the shocking news of his sudden demise.

"I learnt with sadness and great shock about the death of this very devoted member of the party, a very dependable member and a very useful member with whom we have worked very closely together.

"We have been trying our best to find a solution to this problem and it is so sad that Maduekwe died at a very critical moment.

"It is sad that at this critical moment, Maduekwe had to go and we are definitely going to miss him and his ideas.
"He meant very well for this party, he meant very well for BoT.

"He had very fantastic ideas on the way out for our party crisis.
"Maduekwe has been national secretary of the PDP, he has been a Nigerian ambassador and so, we were utilizing his knowhow in BoT.

"He did very well for the few months he was in BoT. I will never forget him.

"I have lost a great partner,'' he said.

Read Fani-Kayode's purported message to Christians, Apostle Suleiman

A message purportedly written by detained former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode has been making the rounds lately.

The message alleges plans by the present administration to persecute Christians including Apostle Johnson Suleiman of the Omega Fire Ministries International.

Fani-Kayode has denied authoring the message through his Special Assistant on Media, Jude Ndukwe.

Read the message below.

''God willing am in custody of EFCC. But to me is a great time to commune with God just the way Paul and other brethren did in their days.

"I am here not only because my party gave me money to campaign for them like every other politician even in APC. But if it might interest you to know,what is going on is the persecution of Christians. Before i forget,this message should be taken to apostle Johnson Suleman the founder of OMEGA fire ministry. I had a revelation that they are planing to attack him. Because he is one of the major voice crying out for justice in the body of Christ.

"The Muslims are out to persecute the Christians.
I am here under custody because the likes of Kabiru are not comfortable with my position as a Christian.
God willing,the dark age will soon be over.

"They refused taking me to court to defend my civic right.
They want to keep me for the next 4years. But they don’t know it is dangerous. I now have time to pray more, study more, and even meditate.

"Before my arrest, Lai Mohammed offered me an amnesty if only i decamp to their anti-Christ party.
I refused because i know who i am.

"No man can cover your sin for you. If am guilty,i will surly come out strong.

"This is not just anti-corruption fight. Where are the PDP governors and leaders from the North? They are walking freely today.

"This is a fight to pocket the voices of Christians.
A situation where an officer picked offence on me for relating with my God through the name Jesus. He threw my Bible to the floor today.

"If it where to be the Quran,will he do that?
The head of who did that would’ve been at the gate of Aso rock by now.

"So many secret plots to eliminate top politicians and pastors who are Christians is on going.

"Tukur was right when he raised alarm that,a meeting was held in Dubai to overthrow Jonathan by all means. Part of what they discussed at the meeting,is what Aregbeshola and El-Rufai are displaying in their various states.

"I am not an infidel and i will never be one. I am a man of dignity. I will not stop fighting even here in prison.
I am the John the Baptist of my generation.

"I will not keep mute and watch anti-Christ imposing policies that are not religious friendly.
What has bible got to do with my case with the EFCC?
Why are they keeping me here when we have a competent court to prove if am guilty or not?

"I am blowing the whistle now for Christians to go on their knees. This was how i warned my brothers against Sheriff whose mission is to destroy the PDP and give room for Buhari to install one party system.

"We gave them opportunity to be opposition.
Why are they depriving us such right if they don’t have interior motive.

"A democratic system without vibrant opposition is said to be dictatorship government.
God willing,i will be alive to witness Nigerians glamouring for referendum like what took place in great Britain.

"And such referendum will tell if we truly saw the future under president Buhari’s government.
Arresting Kayode is the greatest achievement they’ve achieved. But for me,God used them to keep me here,in order to prepare for the challenges ahead.

"Today is pregnant. Let’s see what tomorrow will deliver.
They were not elected to be permanent. They have maximum 8years to stay. And is already counting.
Thank you all for your prayers.

–Femi Fani-Kayode"

Message to Apostle Suleiman and Christians: Fani-Kayode denies authorship

Embattled ex-Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has denied authoring a message purportedly meant for Christians and Apostle Johnson Suleiman of the Omega Fire Ministry.

A statement issued on Thursday by Fani-Kayode's Special Assistant on Media, Jude Ndukwe said that the so-called message was part of a systematic plan by his "traducers and detractors to continue to discredit and malign his person and character, and cause disaffection among his friends, associates and supporters."

Read the full statement below.

RE: FEMI-FANI-KAYODE SENDS MESSAGE TO ALL CHRISTIANS AND APOSTLE SULEIMAN FROM DETENTION

This is to inform the general public that the purported message making the rounds that Chief Femi Fani-Kayode wrote a certain message to Christians and Apostle Suleiman from detention is not true. That message was part of a long and systematic plot by mischief makers, his traducers and detractors to continue to discredit and malign his person and character, and cause disaffection among his friends, associates and supporters. We therefore urge members of the public to disregard that message and treat it as non-existent.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Why Buhari arrested own top aide Mohammed Umar

Until his arrest on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mohammed Umar was a key figure in the panel investigating the arms procurement fraud that happened during the last administration.

According to a Premium Times report, Umar was arrested at his home in Abuja over his involvement with a blackmailing and extortion cartel.

The Director-General  of the Department of State Services, DSS , Lawal Daura had reportedly tabled reports of blackmail and extortion involving Mohammed Umar before the President.

“The president became worried and jittery when he was confronted with the way a man he trusted had been behaving.

“So he ordered that he should be picked up while the allegations against him are thoroughly investigated,” said an anonymous source.

Day IBB hosted NEMA at Minna Hilltop Mansion (Photos)

Not long after returning from his medical trip to Germany, former military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida hosted officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA at hilltop mansion in Minna, Niger State.

The team used the visit to felicitate with Babangida on his recovery from illness and also intimate him of their activities in the state.

See photos.

Church members buy luxury Porsche for Abuja pastor

Biodun Fatoyinbo, the Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA, Abuja has just received a rare gift from his church congregation.

Fatoyinbo was spotted with the elegant Porsche 911 4S at the church premises.

It is believed that this is the first time a pastor would be receiving such an expensive gift from the congregation in Nigeria.

See photos of Fatoyinbo with the car.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Qatar govt donates N6.5m foodstuff to Borno IDPs

The government of Qatar has made a donation of food items worth N6.5m to Internally Displaced Persons in Borno State.

Presenting the donation at the Borno State Government House, Maiduguri, on Tuesday, the Director of Qatar Charity, Sheikh Mohammed Ajur, said that it was meant to complement “humanitarian assistance and intervention” of the United Nations and other donor agencies  to feed the IDPs.

The food items comprised of 1,500 litres of palm oil and 1,500 bags of grains including rice, beans, guinea corn, maize and millet.

Ajur explained that the foundation was a charitable organisation with activities worldwide and had worked in collaboration with the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II; and Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Ibn El Kanemi.

He praised the royal fathers and state governments for their cooperation and prayed for the quick return of peace to the state and the country at large.

President Buhari at breaking of fast dinner with judges (Photo)

ROn Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari hosted judges to a breaking of fast dinner at the State House, Abuja.

Rights Africa has said that the President's dinner with judges was a violation of judicial ethics.
RightsAfrica
@chairmanNHRC
1 of the biggest litigants in our crts is @NGRPresident . Judges doing Iftar with litigant violates judicial ethics pic.twitter.com/R8rp8GlQgn.

Saraki's supporters sing gospel songs in court

Surely, these are trying times for Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.

During a court session, his supporters went in search of divine intervention singing gospel songs.

N4.6b fraud: Nenadi Usman, Fani-Kayode in court (Photos)

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and ex-Minister of Finance Mrs Esther Nenadi Usman at a Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday.

The duo along with Danjuma Yusuf were remanded in prison custody pending the consideration of their application for bail on July 1, 2016.

They are standing trial over N4.6b fraud allegation.

Buratai blames Dubai property stories on Boko Haram cyber terrorists

Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai has attributed rumors of the purchase of two Dubai property by him and his two wives to defeated Boko Haram terrorists now operating on the cyber space.

He assured that under his leadership, the Nigerian Army would defeat the cyber terrorists just as they did their counterparts on land.

He disclosed that the Army was already developing its cyber warriors to checkmate the activities of internet and social media terrorists.

“I am not supposed to comment on this because the Federal Government has already made a statement on that through the Ministry of Defence. But if you want my take on the issue, it is that we have already defeated the terrorists and the insurgents on the land, now they have migrated to the cyberspace, they have migrated to the Internet and other electronic media and so on.

“We want to assure them that these terrorists, the Boko Haram terrorists, who have migrated to the cyberspace, we will follow them to that cyberspace, and equally defeat them and clear their doubts.

“We are meeting all the terrorists in the cyberspace, we have defeated them, in the battle ground. We are developing our own cyber warriors and we will defeat them as we have done in the North East.

“The issue of the refurbished equipment is still part of campaign of calumny. I refer you to the theatre commander. We are doing internal audit, they know my position. We will continue to do that. Definitely, the way we defeated them, we will defeat them in the cyber space,” he said.

Court sacks Gov Ikpeazu over tax clearance certificate

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday sacked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State from office.

Mr Samson Ogah of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP had instituted a case at the court accusing Ikpeazu of filing false information to the party in his tax clearance certificate prior to the governorship primaries in 2014.

In his ruling, Abang ordered Ikpeazu to vacate office with immediate effect. He also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to immediately issue a certificate of return to Ogah as the duly elected governor of Abia State.

The judge explained that the court relied on the Supreme Court decisions in the case of Obi vs INEC and Ameachi vs INEC to make the consequential order.

"It is hereby ordered that INEC, the third defendant should immediately issue certificate of return to Dr Samson Ogah as governor of Abia state in the election held in 2015 and restore to him all the entitlements as the elected governor of Abia.

"Dr Okezie Ikpeazu is hereby ordered to vacate office as governor of Abia immediately relying on the decision of the Supreme Court in INEC vs Obi,’’ he said.

According to the court, Ikpeazu’s appointment letter as General Manager, Abia Passenger Integrated Scheme on July 18, 2011 spelt out his salary and entitlements.

"Going by the appointment letter, Ikpeazu would have worked for Abia Passenger Integrated Scheme for five months 12 days.

"The earnings of the second defendant based on the letter of appointment by single calculation in 2011 for five months 12 days is N493 or N546, 669 if not assigned government vehicle.

"The tax payment submitted by the second defendant didn't reflect this figure,’’ the court held.

Abang noted that the tax certificate indicated the gross earnings of Ikpeazu for 2011 to be N1.14 million and his income tax was assessed on this figure.
He also pointed out that the date on the tax receipt filed by the governor was on a Saturday, adding that Saturdays , even in Abia State are public holidays.

The judge also noted  that Ikpeazu did not file his tax clearance in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and that all his payments before the 2014 primaries were made in one day and not as and when due.

Abang therefore held that Ikpeazu lied on oath when he said that he had fulfilled all the requirements to contest the 2015 governorship elections.

He also held that Okezie Ikpeazu was not qualified to contest the PDP primaries of 2014 and was also not qualified to be fielded as the party's candidate for the 2015 governorship election.

Justice Abang ruled that Ogah was the qualified candidate to contest as the governorship candidate of the PDP in the 2015 election and his name ought to have been forwarded to INEC as the PDP candidate.

Finally, he held that Ikpeazu did not win the PDP primaries since he was ineligible or unqualified to contest the poll.

He therefore awarded N100, 000 cost against Ikpeazu.

NAN

Monday, 27 June 2016

Kuje jailbreak: Dambazau orders security beef up at prisons

Following Friday's jailbreak at Kuje medium security prison, the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdurahaman Dambazau has ordered immediate security beef up at all the prisons across the country.

Dambazau gave the directive in Abuja on Monday during an on-the-spot assessment of Kuje prison where two kidnap and murder suspects escaped from on Friday.

He decried some lapses at the facility which he said he had earlier complained about.

“ The last time I was here I noticed some security gap in the prison, I made my observation then with the former CG with the present controller prison and I notice the security gap and I told them precisely what to do but unfortunately this has occurred.

“Two prisoners escaped and especially these are prisoners who are awaiting trial for murder. So, this is a very serious issue that I cannot be happy about,’’ he said.

Government within government: Presidency replies Saraki

The presidency has responded to a claim made by Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Monday that there is a government within the government of President Buhari that is after him.

In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina, the presidency dismissed Saraki's allegation as not being worthy of the paper it was written on.

"President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, claims there is “now a government within the government of President Buhari”, which has allegedly seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue a nefarious agenda.

"This claim by Senator Saraki would have been more worth the while, if it had been backed with more information. If he had proceeded to identify those who constitute the “government within the government,” it would have taken the issue beyond the realm of fiction and mere conjecture.

"But as it stands, the allegation is not even worth the paper on which it was written, as anybody can wake from a troubled sleep, and say anything.

"The Attorney-General of the Federation is the Chief Law Officer of the state. It is within his constitutional powers to determine who has infringed upon the law, and who has not.
Pretending to carry an imaginary cross is mere obfuscation, if, indeed, a criminal act has been committed. But we leave the courts to judge.

"To claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is anybody’s stooge is not only ridiculous, but also preposterous. It is not in the character of our President," the statement said.

Buhari receives leadership of Unilever at the State House (Photos)


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday hosted the Global Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Executives, Paul Polman and the Chairman, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe at the State House, Abuja.

Polman expressed Unilever's determination to build profitable and sustainable businesses in Nigeria.

“We have concluded plans to expand our business base in the country, albeit the prevailing economic challenges. We are a proud Nigerian company doing business here since 1923, and we intend to stay for even longer.

“At Unilever, we believe that businesses cannot exist without the environment, which is why we ensure that we create value that sustains our ecosystem. Nigeria is strategic to our business operations in Africa, and as we continue to do business here, we will add value to the community, to the people and the country," he said.

"Trumped up" charges another phase in persecution of Senate leadership - Saraki

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has said that the forgery charges against him and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu represent another phase in the persecution of the leadership of the Senate.

Saraki had on Monday appeared  before a Federal High Court in Abuja alongside his deputy Ike Ekweremadu, former clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr. Benedict Efeturi.

“It is farcical to allege that a criminal act occurred during Senate procedural actions and the mere suggestion demonstrates a desperate overreach by the office of the Attorney General.

“These trumped up charges is only another phase in the relentless persecution of the leadership of the Senate,” he said in a statement issued after the court session.

Accusing some people in the Executive of being after him, Saraki said that the charges against him constituted a violation of the principle of separation of powers. He also said that the charges did not serve any national interest.

"What has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who have seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.

“This latest onslaught on the Legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve. The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.

“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost Legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, 'the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy' .

“I will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without a doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate. This is a cross I am prepared to carry.

“If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent on undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal government to satisfy their selfish interests is the alternative to losing my personal freedom, let the doors of jails be thrown open and I shall be a happy guest,” he said.

New Police spokesman assumes office

The Acting Inspector-General Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris on Monday announced the appointment of DCP Don Awunah as the Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO.

Awunah takes over from the first ever female Police Force PRO, ACP Olabisi Kolawole.

Kolawole who personally informed the media of the change of guard thanked them for their support and urged them to extend same to the new spokesman.

Awunah called on the media to support the police in discharging its constitutional responsibilities.

The Philosophy graduate of the University of Lagos was until his appointment, the DCP in charge of Homicide Section of Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, FCIID Abuja.

Photos of President Buhari breaking the fast with Nigeria's richest men

On Monday evening, President Muhammadu Buhari broke the day's fast with a select group of Nigeria's wealthiest business people.

Among the privileged group were the Chairman Oando Oil Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu; President Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Chairman Zenith Bank Plc., Mr. Jim Ovia and the President Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman Forte Oil Plc., Mr. Femi Otedola and Africa's Richest Woman, Mrs Folorunso Alakija.

Photos by Abayomi Adesida.

How 3 former Air Force chiefs diverted N21b public funds - EFCC

Following investigation into the illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N21,467,674,707.43, the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized 29 properties from three former Air Force chiefs.

They are the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu; former NAF Chief of Accounts and Budgeting, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun (retd.) and  former Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo (retd.).

The Punch reports that 11 properties were seized from Amosu; 12 from Adigun and six from Gbadebo. Among the properties are three plazas, six mansions, a quarry, a hospital, a block of flats, animal farms, a school, two hotels, some uncompleted buildings and  parcels of land.

According to the Punch report,  properties worth N9.6bn were seized from Adigun. Among the properties are Capadar Shopping Plaza situated at Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, valued at N980m; a residential mansion on Lake Chad Street, Maitama, Abuja, worth N450m; an executive mansion at Imo River Close, Off Dandube Crescent, Maitama, valued at N710m and a four-unit terrace on Agadez Street, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, worth N720m.

Other properties, said to have been seized from Adigun, include a 35-room uncompleted hotel on Salt Lake Street, Maitama, Abuja; a parcel of land located on Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi, Lagos; a block of 12 service flats, located on Agodogba Street, Park View Estate, Ikoyi, estimated to be worth N1.8bn and a quarry in Bwari area of Abuja worth about $694,000.

According to a source quoted by The Punch, “Adigun spent most of his own share of the money on properties and so we did not recover much cash from him. Amosu, however, returned over N2.3bn and raised two bank drafts.”

The source listed some of the properties seized from Amosu as a house on Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, worth N250m; a duplex at House 11, Peace Court Estate, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, worth N110m; a N40m property located at NAF Harmony Estate, Asokoro Base and a five-bed roomed house at Valley NAF Estate, Port Harcourt, worth N33m, a hospital on Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Ikeja, known as St. Solomon Hospital with equipment worth $2.15m and a N95m house on Umaru Dikko Street, Jabi, Abuja.

The properties seized from Gbadebo are said to include a  N10m fish farm ; a N20m poultry, located at Musa Close, Oyibo Ayobu, Lagos and  Bloomsville International School, Divine Estate, Isheri-Olofin , off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The three former Air Force chiefs are expected to be arraigned by the EFCC this week.

The suspects are accused of diverting public funds to the tune of N21,467,674,707.43 in 2014.

Others to be arraigned alongside the three suspects are Delfina Oil and Gas Limited, McCallan Oil and Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, Funds and Pricey Limited, Degree Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Healthcare Limited.

One of the charges partly says, “That you (accused persons) on or about the 5th day of March 2014 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit conversion of the sum of N21,467,674,707.43, property of the Nigerian Air Force which was derived from stealing which is contrary to Section18 (A) of the Money Laundering Act of 2012 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

The accused persons are also charged with using  some of the aforementioned companies, which they allegedly own, to award phoney contracts to themselves.

Decomposing body of murdered lecturer found floating on river

The decomposing body of the former Head of Theatre Arts Department, College Of Education, Oju, Benue State, Mr Godwin Abuul has been found floating on Katsina-Ala River.

Abuul was allegedly murdered by his wife and her siblings two weeks ago over his philandering activities.

The police reportedly got their breakthrough in the investigation when they nabbed a suspect in possession of a cloth believed to have been worn by the victim on the day he went missing.

The suspect then confessed to the police that Abuul was  killed by his wife in connivance with her siblings after which they sold his car and shared the proceeds.

Mrs Abuul and the said siblings have been arrested and the case transferred to Command Headquarters, Makurdi for further investigations.

Vanguard reports a family source as saying that the badly decomposed body of the late Abuul was found stuck on a tree trunk in River Katsina-Ala.

“After the revelation by his killers that he was dumped in the river two weeks ago, a search party comprising the police, family members and local divers Saturday evening discovered the badly decomposed body in the river.

“What was left of him was hanging on a small plant in the river. Fishes had feasted on him.

“Those responsible for his death pretended all along and even claimed that he might have been kidnapped.

“We took the remains to Makurdi on the orders of the Police, where an autopsy has been conducted and we are burying him immediately because the corpse is in a bad state.”

Sunday, 26 June 2016

EFCC to go after banks aiding looting

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu has expressed the determination of the anti-graft agency to go after banks found to be aiding and abetting treasury looting.

Alert, the in-house magazine of EFCC reports that Magu warned that banks could no longer afford to be used by corrupt public servants and fraudsters to launder their loot.

“We are not only going after the personnel of banks, we are also going after the banks. What happens is that when a staff of the bank is involved in such activities, what the bank does is to take the person out of the system through dismissal.

“But now, we are going to go after the banks and the personnel used to perpetrate the fraud. It takes two to tango. In fact, very soon, you will see us going after the managing directors of the banks.

“We don’t care what happens because the right thing has to be done because they have given a lot of room for money laundering activities to thrive. They were used to hide all the stolen money," he said.

PMB hosting Atiku, other APC leaders to a dinner in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari hosted former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and other APC leaders to a dinner at the State House, Abuja on Friday.

They used the occasion to break the Ramadan fast together.

NAF to acquire 10 training aircraft from Pakistan

The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has announced that it will soon acquire 10 super mesh training aircraft from the Pakistani Air Force.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar  disclosed this on Saturday at the graduation ceremony of Student Pilot Course, SPC 41B in Kaduna.

He said that the aircraft when acquired would be inducted into the 301 Flying Training School, Kaduna.

Abubakar said that Pakistani pilots are expected in the country to train Nigerian pilots at the 310 Flying Training School, adding that the induction of the super mesh aircraft would help the student pilots to the full spectrum of military flying training.

He said that 20 out of 42 pilots recently left Nigeria for further training abroad.

He explained that of the 20 pilots, 10 were sent to South Africa while the remaining 10 went to the United Kingdom.

Kuje Prison jailbreak: two inmates on the run

The Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS has confirmed that two inmates escaped from Kuje Prison during a jailbreak at the facility on Friday.

The Public Relations Officer of the NPS, Mr Francis Enobore told newsmen that the incident had nothing to do with the detained leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND.

He said that the Comptroller-General of service has already ordered an investigation into the incident, adding that any official found culpable would be  dealt with according to the law.

“The Controller General himself came when the news was trending. I drove down here myself just to confirm what I was told.

“Actually, yesterday we had an incident where two awaiting trial inmates escaped from custody. The CGP has already directed a preliminary investigation to be carried out. The officers doing the investigation are in the prison yard now combing everywhere to find out how they escaped.

“Throughout the night our armed men and other security personnel that were deployed to search the nearby bush around the prison unfortunately came back this morning but has not been able to find the two prisoners that escaped.

“I can tell you that we maintain good relationship with other security operatives in order to recapture the prisoners. CG has directed that detailed account of what happened should be forwarded to his office soonest.

“And he has promised that any staff found wanting will not be spared and that such staff will be made to face the law. The two prisoners that escaped have no business with Charles Okah,” he said.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

World Youth Handball: FG charges team to defend title with integrity

The Federal Government has urged the Aso Rock Kings who will be representing Nigeria at the World Handball Youth Championship to play with maturity and integrity.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina said that the competition will hold from June 28th to July 4th.

25 June 2016 | STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
DEFEND WORLD HANDBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE WITH INTEGRITY, FG URGES STATE HOUSE TEAM

The Federal Government Saturday in Abuja urged athletes participating in the forthcoming 2016 World Handball Youth Championship in Granollers, Spain to defend their current title with diligence, maturity and integrity.
The State House handball team, Aso Rock Kings, will be representing Nigeria at the 2016 World Handball Youth Championship, which will be held in Spain, June 28th -July 4th, 2016.
Speaking to the team, which had a training session at the National Stadium, the State House Permanent Secretary, Jalal Arabi, told the athletes to remain focus, committed and unwavering in defending the gold trophy they won in Spain last year.
"You are going to come under intense pressure from other teams as the defending champions of the 2015 World Handball Youth Championship, but you must remember the spirit of sportsmanship.
"I have watched your training today, and from what I can see you have justified the two weeks you have spent in camp. More importantly, you have to work very hard to retain the trophy you won last year," he said.
Arabi assured the team that the Federal Government was fully committed to the development of sports in Nigeria, urging them to work very hard to justify the confidence that had been reposed in them by always upholding the image of their country.
The Permanent Secretary commended the handball team for setting a good precedence of winning an international trophy last year, pointing out that the administration would encourage all the other sports to move into the spotlight through competitions.
"As various sports progress in the State House Sports Club, we will need to strategize to bring them into the spotlight," he added.
In his remarks, the Coach of the State House handball team, Aminu Ibrahim, said the team had gained lots of experience by participating three times in the same international tournament, and won the gold trophy last year.
He promised that the team would put in their best to retain the trophy.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 25th, 2016.

Operation Delta Safe replaces Operation Pulo Shield

The Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta has been scrapped and immediately replaced with Operation Delta Safe.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Saturday.

"The OPERATION PULO SHIELD in Niger Delta has been scrapped with immediate effect and replaced with OPERATION DELTA SAFE.  This is in line with the Defence Headquarters initiative to restructure the Joint Task Force for better service delivery, efficiency and effectiveness in line with the vision and mission of the Chief of Defence Staff to contain the current security challenges in the Niger Delta especially protection of critical national assets and provision of security in the area.

"Under this arrangement, the Joint Operational Areas of the new outfit have been delineated into 3 sectors and 5 Operational Bases covering the entire Niger Delta, Ondo and Akwa Ibom States.  The Headquarters of OPERATION DELTA SAFE would be in Yenagoa.

"This development, according to Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin becomes expedient in order to inject new tactics and robust operational initiative to tackle the emerging security challenges in the Niger Delta region such as piracy, bunkering, vandalism and other criminalities prevalent in the area."

Army, Police issue joint statement on shooting over IDP rice

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE NIGERIAN ARMY AND THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE IN BORNO STATE OVER A CONTAINED FRACAS BETWEEN A POLICEMAN AND A SOLDIER AT THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR'S OFFICE ON THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2016

In the morning hours of today, Thursday, June 23, 2016, there was an unfortunate fracas between a soldier and a policeman around the office of the Deputy Governor over a disagreement which led to the unfortunate shooting of a policeman on his foot. The policeman is responding to treatment and has been visited by the theatre commander, operation Lafiya Dole, Major General LEO Irabor and the Commissioner of Police, Borno State Command, Aminchi Baraya, both of whom went together to sympathize with the policeman.

By way of background from the Permanent Secretary, Government House and Security, Mr Ahmed Sanda, the Borno State Government had on Sunday, June 19, 2016 began the distribution of rice to internally displaced persons living in the host communities of Maiduguri and Jere metropolis.

The distribution was meant to take place at 28 wards of the two local government areas unfortunately, when the exercise was launched in old Maiduguri ward for Jere local government area and at Shehuri north ward for Maiduguri on Sunday, hoodlums overpowered the committee in both instances and made away with many bags of the rice meant for the displaced persons. As a result, officials tasked with the distribution shifted the exercise to two premises around the office of the Deputy Governor outside the Government House in order to ensure security of the food items while beneficiaries were identified and issued with allocation notes to give them access to the distribution centers. The exercise had gone smoothly since Sunday with some wards covered, until the unfortunate development today, Thursday.

The Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force in Maiduguri jointly condemn this unfortunate incident which was quickly brought under full control within minutes.

The Army and the Police are jointly investigating the cause of the fracas with a view to ensuring that anyone found culpable amongst the security men are made to face disciplinary measures in line with laid down rules of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Findings and measures taken will be brought to public knowledge as soon as possible.

The Army and the police operating in Borno assure the general public that they will continue to collaborate and work together towards their ongoing counter insurgency and civil security efforts that have led to the emerging peace in Borno State.

The Army and the Police commands in Borno State call on all personnel to exercise restraint in the cause of their duties and should strive to respect one another and work together to secure innocent citizens and maintain peace.

Signed
Col SB Kumapayi
Commander, 7 Division Garrison
Operation Lafiya Dole
&
Aminchi Samaila Baraya
Commissioner of Police
Borno State Command.

Buratai's Dubai property: Army replies Sahara Reporters

SAHARA REPORTERS AND CAMPAIGN OF CALUMNY AGAINST THE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF.

The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to another round of campaign of calumny against the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai and his family by some unscrupulous elements as contained in Sahara Reporters story titled “Revealed: Buhari's Chief Of Army Staff, General Buratai, Wives Own Dubai Property”, alleging that Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Tukur Buratai, and his two wives are joint owners of a Dubai property that was paid for in one transaction posted on the website, this evening.

It is important to know that these baseless allegations were not new. In March this year, some groups of individuals under the aegis of “Concerned Citizens”, tried same smear campaign to their disappoinment, it could not fly, because it is not true.

You will recall early this week, there was similar campaign of calumny by yet another online news medium, The Cable, in which among other things, it alleged that wounded in action Nigerian Army personnel were abandoned by the Army, government and the nation which is not true.

Therefore, the latest round of smear campaign by Sahara Reporters is one of the series of campaigns of calumny by these faceless individuals to malign the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army. Yet, typical of blackmailers and mischief makers despite failures, they did not give up, hence they now found a willing accomplice reputed for muckraking like the Sahara Reporters. The online news medium this evening uploaded another campaign of calumny allegedly based on a petition by obviously fake and non-existent group it described as “Concerned Soldiers and Officers From the North East”.

The allegations contained in the Sahara Reporters write up are baseless and not correct. It is a fact that the Buratai family have two properties in Dubai that were paid for instamentally through personal savings three years ago. This, along with other personal assets have consistently been declared by General Buratai in his Assets Declaration Form as Commander Multinational Joint Task Force Commander and as Chief of Army Staff.
It is pertinent to state that the Chief of Army Staff does not have any account with Skye Bank as alleged, let alone making deposits in the imaginary bank account to the tune of the amount stated in the write up. Similarly, he has not been involved in any form of shady or dishonest transaction, not to talk of “contract scam”.

In addition, General Buratai was never near either Defence Headquarters or Army Headquarters in 2013. It is pertinent to also note that he was never a Director of procurement in Army Headquarters as alleged. As a matter of fact, the Nigerian Army never had a Directorate of Procurement till when he established one last year when he became Chief of Army Staff.
In a bid to rubbish the hard earned reputation and good name of the Chief of Army Staff, these blackmailers will stop at nothing hence all these kinds of mudslinging.

It is really worrisome that some people could condescend so low to fabricate baseless allegation against the Chief of Army Staff for reasons that could best be described as mischievous. It is equally worrisome that Sahara Reporters could lend space for this obvious mischief. We really do not believe that it is because the price is right.

Consequently, the public and indeed all well meaning persons should disregard this round of campaign of calumny against the Chief of Army Staff and similar ones because they are baseless and unfounded.

For the unscrupulous elements and their cohorts, these campaigns would prod the Nigerian Army and indeed the Chief of Army Staff to continue to serve the nation diligently and with utmost zeal.

You are kindly requested to disseminate this information to the public through your medium.
Thank you for your kind cooperation.

Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman
Acting Director Army Public Relations.

NPS confirms jailbreak at Kuje Prison

The Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS has confirmed that some inmates attempted to escape from Kuje Prison on Friday night.

The Public Relations Officer of the NPS, Mr Francis Enobore who spoke with Punch could however not confirm how many inmates escaped if any.

Enobore said that the incident had nothing to do with the detained leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Mr Francis Okah.

“Yes there was an incident yesterday, but Okah was not involved.

“It is not true, Charles Okah is still in custody. I have been in touch with our men in the prison facility and there is nothing like that [Okah escaping].

“The Comptoller of prisons has ordered an investigation and that is going on. We want to know if anybody escaped and if yes, what are their identities,” he said.

Brexit: Buhari praises Cameron's decision to resign

President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed the decision of British Prime Minister, David Cameron to resign over the decision of Britons to exit the European Union.

Buhari spoke in Abuja on Friday through a press release signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Read the press release below.

24 June 2016 | STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

BREXIT: PRESIDENT BUHARI PRAISES CAMERON’S STATESMANSHIP, COURAGE

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday said he regrets the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron, which will come into effect in October.

President Buhari said Nigeria has enjoyed remarkable goodwill, support and understanding under the capable leadership of the outgoing Prime Minister over the years.

The President said Cameron’s resignation in response to the outcome of a referendum that supported Britain to leave the European Union “was a demonstration of courage by a democratic leader who respects the will of the people, even if he didn’t agree with their decision.”

President Buhari noted that by ‘‘putting the will of the people before his political future, the Prime Minister proved himself to be a selfless leader with respect for democracy and voter sovereignty."

The President expressed hope that Nigeria looks forward to greater cooperation and consolidation of shared interests with Britain, despite the outcome of the referendum.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 24th, 2016

PMB with his newly promoted police guards (Photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari poses for a photo session with two of his newly promoted police guards

Friday, 24 June 2016

Nigeria draws Algeria, Cameroon in Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

The Confederation of African Football, CAF has conducted the draws for the Africa Zone of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Nigeria is drawn in Group B alongside Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia.

See how the teams are grouped. 

Group A: Tunisia - Libya - RDC - Guinea

Group B: Zambia - Cameroon - Algeria - Nigeria

Group C: Gabon - Mali - Cote d'Ivoire - Morocco
    
Group D: Senegal - South Africa - Burkina Faso - Cape Verde
.
Group E : Egypt - Congo - Uganda - Ghana
 

Osinbajo hosts former Georgia PM

Former Prime Minister of Georgia Nika Gilauri met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some ministers at the State House, Abuja on Friday.

N10b debt: AMCON takes over Silverbird

The Federal High Court last Friday granted an injunction for the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON to take over the premises of Silverbird firms in Abuja, Lagos and Portharcourt.

Justice C.M.A. Olatoregun had on June 17, 2016, granted an interim injunction against Silverbird Productions Limited, Silverbird Showtime Limited, Silverbird Galleria Limited and Ben Murray-Bruce, Guy Murray-Bruce, Roy Murray-Bruce and Jonathan Murray-Bruce based on an application filed by AMCON which is seeking to recover a debt of over ten billion naira owed it by the respondents.

AMCON said in a statement that it has appointed a receiver for the Silverbird firms while noting that it has been in negotiations with Senator Ben Murray-Bruce over the debt.

“Contrary to news making the rounds since the takeover, AMCON did not shut down the concerned companies. We appointed a receiver that took over the companies in the early hours of Thursday, June 23, 2016 as ordered by the Federal High Court and the receiver will be responsible for the companies on behalf of AMCON going forward.

“The court order affects the mortgaged asset located at Central Area, Cadastral Zone, AOO Plot No. 1161, Abuja; the mortgaged asset on Abonnema Wharf Road and Abali Park in Port Harcourt, Rivers State; as well as the mortgaged asset at 133 Ahmadu Bello Way, Lagos where the Silverbird Galleria is located.

“The court also ordered the Inspector General of Police, Assistant Inspectors General of Police, and the Commissioner of Police in charge of Lagos State and all other police officers under them to assist M. A. Banire SAN, the receiver; and the bailiffs of the Federal High Court in the enforcement of the orders of the court.”

At the Silverbird Galleria in Abuja, AMCON placed an enforcement notice at strategic locations: “Possession taken by court order — 23/06/16.”

Reacting to the development, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce said in a series of tweets that the situation is being taken care of.

3-Life continues. I will continue to positively ideate and brainstorm for the good of Nigeria, the public and my staff family of over 1000.

Ben Murray-Bruce

benmurraybruce

2-I thank well wishers for their support. This is life. Things will happen. With my firm faith in God and Nigeria, this will be resolved.

Ben Murray-Bruce
@
benmurraybruce

1-Irrespective of current challenges, Nigeria is the greatest country in the world & has given my family and I all. I have faith in Nigeria.

Ben Murray-Bruce

benmurraybruce
Jun 23
2-In 36 years, Silverbird has grown and like anybody, it will face challenges. Tough times don't last. But we, as tough people, outlast them

Ben Murray-Bruce

benmurraybruce
Jun 23
1-I have been on an international flight and have only just landed. The situation is being resolved and things will be back to normal

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