Subscribe For ADC News Info updates!

We'll always deliver Adc news to your Email address.

January 30, 2021

ADC duty bound to salvage Anambra state, takes the critical steps and forms grand coalition

 



ADC duty bound to salvage Anambra state, takes the critical steps and forms grand coalition

A Press Release from Office of the National Chairman ADC.  

Builds a Coalition of Political parties and partners with Labour leaders, coalition of civil Societies, concerned professionals, Youth and women groups to take ownership of the party to rescue Anambra in 2021 to assure a transformational ADC Governor takes charge to create prosperity for the people.

Labor champion Chairman Comrade Sir Charles Onyeagba inducted as BOT member of the African Democratic Congress ADC.

Inaugurates 2021 Anambra Governorship Selection Committee with Comrade Sir Charles Onyeagba and Hon Eminent Uzoukwu as Co-chair, and Comrade Donatus NKEBISI as Secretary. Other members of this all important committee are Engr Toni Uche, Pastor Frank Agumadu, state Woman Leader Mrs Ifeoma  Okaforocha and Mrs Honor Umeh.

Honorable Patrick Obianyo JP becomes the Caretaker State Chairman of ADC with a formost civil society leader and a member of Concerned professionals Engr. Tony Aniebue mnse as state secretary.

As ADC strategizes to win the 2021 Anambra state election that holds in November this year, the NWC has in consultation with multiple stakeholders across the state and in Diaspora concluded to build a synergy that will deliver the people from the current state of bad, visionless and corrupt leaders.
A release from office of the National Chairman ADC Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu states that Anambra labor leaders, and well meaning civil servants have all identified with the ADC transformational mission in Anambra state. Chief Nwosu said that the ADC South East strategic committee led by Barr Ignatius Nlem, the Zonal Chairman South East ADC, Engr Toni Uche and Pastor Frank Agumadu "has been in consultation with numerous other stakeholders within and outside Anambra state to build a strong coalition to free Anambra state from the evil grips of bad Governance orchestrated by a few clique of greedy willy-dealers who have  cornered the wealth of the people into their private estate"
The national Chairman said with authority "As I speak with you, Labor, Civil Societies, Concerned professionals and youths and women groups in Anambra have taken ownership of our party ADC. All the groups did their own due diligence of all the parties in Anambra and Nigeria before the decision to embrace ADC." The era of stealing government funds, no local government election, and land grabbers in government is over. Like Nigerians, Anambra people have said they need a new party, and ADC has been chosen.
According to the the release personally signed by the national Chairman, a former Nigeria Labour Congress NLC  Chairman in Anambra state, Comrade  Patrick Obianyo JP has been confirmed as the Acting state Chairman of the party, while one of the foremost civil society leader who is also a member of Anambra Concerned Professionals, Engineer Anthony Aniebue mnse becomes state Secretary. The position of the woman Leader and youth leader remain unchanged.
The release further states "the change became necessary in order to fully integrate all the stakeholders into the party and to give impetus to the fact that ADC welcomes all good persons as our DNA leverages on inclusion and the power of ALL."

The release concludes that the ADC Elections and INEC Liaison office, headed by High Chief Anayo Arinze will reel out the guidelines for the party internal processes within the month of February.
"In consolidating its mission to rescue Nigeria, the ADC National Convergence and Operation Rescue Nigeria team, led by the national Secretary Alhaji Said Baba Abdullahi and Dr Bamidele Ajadi, Amb Esther Audu, Dr Chike okogwu, Elder A, Omonhinmin, Mallam Ibrahim Suleiman, Dr Peter Edeh, Hon Patricia Yakubu, Dr John Kome and Comrade Mrs Stella Chukwuma will storm Anambra to inaugurate Anambra its wing led by Comrade Donatus Nkebisi and Engr Tony Uche. ADC is poised to take over the reign of political leadership in the country beginning with the Anambra Governorship election 2021. The #A New Nigeria is Possible project, begins in Anambra pronto and by 2023 ADC will take the mantle as President of Nigeria to fully consolidate the Super Power Nigeria project driven by ADC global vision." The release from Chief Nwosu concludes in a high tone and reiterated the urgency of the moment by calling party faithfuls and good Anambra people to hit the ground running.

January 14, 2021

Patronise goods produced by inmates, Prisons Service urges Nigerians

 

BY LINUS CHIBUIKE

THE Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed, on Wednesday, urged Nigerians to patronise goods produced by inmates in order to support local content.

He said patronising the inmates after their acquisition of skills in shoe and garment making, would create a sense of self worth for them and enhance their employability when discharged.

Ahmed spoke during the signing of a Public Private Partnership Memorandum of Understanding between the NCoS and a private entrepreneur.

A statement by the Public Relations Department of the NCoS, signed by CSC James O. Okoh, said the Service was set to expand the frontiers of vocational skills acquisition for inmates in shoes, garments and leather works.

“The first phase of this engagement is the Shoe and Garment factory in Aba Custodial Centre and the Leather Factory in Janguza Custodial Centre, Kano State,” the NCoS said.

He said the project would also increase the internally generated revenue of the Service and enhance self-sustainability in the provision of staff uniforms and foot wears as well as inmates’ uniforms and beddings.

“This laudable initiative was borne out of the need to generate employment for Nigerians, conserve foreign exchange, utilise local raw materials and generate other value added services in the chain of production,” the statement said.

 

 

Retired soldiers protest non-payment of pension arrears in Abuja

 

BY LINUS CHIBUIKE

RETIRED soldiers, on Wednesday, stormed the Ministry of Finance, Abuja, to protest non-payment of their pension arrears.

According to a report by Channels TV, the retired soldiers also demanded the inclusion of officers who fought in the civil war in the military pension scheme.

They also asked the Federal Government to stop all deductions from the pensions of all retired medical officers.

The ex-servicemen further called for the approval of the payment of minimum wage arrears accruing to them since 2019.

Anthony Agbas, who delivered a letter to officials at the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the retired soldiers, told Channels TV that they fought for the country and deserved their pensions.

He added that they were hopeful that their demands would be met without further delay, following the peaceful protest.

 

 

BREAKING! UNILAG begins online classes Jan. 25

 

BY FOLASHADE KEHINDE

THE University of Lagos has announced January 25, 2021 as resumption date for online classes.

The date was released in the University’s revised academic calendar for the first semester of the 2019/2020 academic session.

The semester, according to the calendar, will end on April 1, 2021, barring unforseen events.

Students in Nigeria’s public universities have been away from school for almost 10 months, owing to the protracted strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities in March 2020.

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has however led to another controversy over whether the January 18, 2021 resumption date announced by the Federal Government is safe, in view of rising cases.

ASUU called off its strike on December 24, 2020, but academic activities have yet to resume.

 

 

British COVID-19 variant now in 50 countries, says WHO

 

THE coronavirus mutation first found in Britain has now spread to 50 territories, according to the World Health Organization, while a similar South African-identified strain has now been found in 20.

The UN body also noted a third new coronavirus “variant of concern” found in Japan may impact upon immune response and needs further investigation.

“The more the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads, the more opportunities it has to change. High levels of transmission mean that we should expect more variants to emerge,” said the WHO.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus which causes Covid-19 disease.

Since first being reported to the WHO on December 14, the British-identified variant VOC 202012/01 has been found in 50 countries, territories and areas, the agency said.

Test results showed the age and sex distribution was similar to that of other circulating variants, while contact tracing data revealed “higher transmissibility (secondary attack rates) where the index case has the variant strain”.

The South African-identified variant 501Y.V2, first reported on December 18, has now been detected in 20 countries, territories and areas.

“From preliminary and ongoing investigations in South Africa, it is possible that the 501Y.V2 variant is more transmissible than variants circulating in South Africa previously,” the WHO weekly report said.

“Moreover, while this new variant does not appear to cause more severe illness, the observed rapid increases in case numbers have placed health systems under pressure.”

The geographical spread of both variants is likely underestimated, said the WHO, given a bias towards detection in countries with virus sequencing capacity.

– Japan/Brazil newcomer –

Meanwhile, the agency said it had been notified by Japan on January 9 of a new variant detected in four travellers arriving from Brazil. The variant was found in two adults and two children.

“This variant has 12 mutations to the spike protein, including three mutations of concern in common with VOC 202012/01 and 501Y.V2,” it said, “which may impact transmissibility and host immune response”.

The WHO said researchers in Brazil had additionally reported the emergence of a similar variant, which had likely evolved independently of the variant detected in Japan.

“The extent and public health significance of these new variants require further investigation,” the report said.

The WHO held a meeting of 1,750 international scientists on Tuesday to discuss critical knowledge gaps and research priorities for emerging variants.

“Our collective goal is to get ahead of the game and have a global mechanism to quickly identify and study variants of concern and understand their implications for disease control efforts,” said Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, the WHO’s research and development chief.

The WHO said the new variants showed the importance of increasing diagnostic capacity and systematic sequencing of the virus.

“Research is ongoing to determine the impact of new variants on transmission, disease severity as well as any potential impacts on vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics,” the organisation said.

– AFP

 

 

January 13, 2021

Patronise goods produced by inmates, Prisons Service urges Nigerians

 

BY LINUS CHIBUIKE

THE Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed, on Wednesday, urged Nigerians to patronise goods produced by inmates in order to support local content.

He said patronising the inmates after their acquisition of skills in shoe and garment making, would create a sense of self worth for them and enhance their employability when discharged.

Ahmed spoke during the signing of a Public Private Partnership Memorandum of Understanding between the NCoS and a private entrepreneur.

A statement by the Public Relations Department of the NCoS, signed by CSC James O. Okoh, said the Service was set to expand the frontiers of vocational skills acquisition for inmates in shoes, garments and leather works.

“The first phase of this engagement is the Shoe and Garment factory in Aba Custodial Centre and the Leather Factory in Janguza Custodial Centre, Kano State,” the NCoS said.

He said the project would also increase the internally generated revenue of the Service and enhance self-sustainability in the provision of staff uniforms and foot wears as well as inmates’ uniforms and beddings.

“This laudable initiative was borne out of the need to generate employment for Nigerians, conserve foreign exchange, utilise local raw materials and generate other value added services in the chain of production,” the statement said.

-ThePoint

 

 

January 12, 2021

Visitation panels: Lawmaker kicks against alleged omission of Ebonyi professors on FG’s list

 

BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI

MEMBER representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Chinedu Ogah, has called on the Federal Ministry of Education to correct the imbalance on the list of the visitation panels to Federal Universities and Inter University centres across the country, released by the Federal Ministry of Education.

Ogah, while addressing newsmen, lamented the alleged shortchanging of Professors from Ebonyi State with regard to the said list, noting that the state had produced professors of international repute to merit the list.

He also alleged that professors Ikenna Onyindo and Kelvin N. Nwogu, who were penciled under Ebonyi State on the list were from Anambra and Imo states respectively.

Ogah called on the Minister of Education to urgently correct the anomaly and include genuine Ebonyi people to guarantee equity, fair play and justice.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the Committee that compiled the list, noting that no matter the criteria used in the selection process, glorifying two non-Ebonyians to represent Ebonyi State in the list was not only criminal but an affront to the sensibility of every right thinking Nigerian.

He said, “The list released by the Federal Ministry of Education as panels to visit all the Federal Universities across the country, shortchanging two Ebonyi people, depicts a calculated attempt to trample down the equity and fairness President Buhari’s administration was built on.

“I challenge the purported Ebonyians in the list to tender their Local Government Identification letter before the public to vindicate themselves.”

 

 

Nigeria spent N1.8trn on capital projects In 2020 – Finance Minister

 

BY VICTORIA ONU, ABUJA

THE Federal Government spent a total of N1.8trn on the execution of capital projects in the 2020 fiscal period.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, gave the figure on Monday during a public presentation of the 2021 approved budget.

Ahmed, during the virtual presentation, said the N1.8trn spent on capital projects for the 2020 fiscal period represented about 89 per cent of the provision made for capital projects.

The minister explained that out of the N1.8trn spent on capital projects, the sum of N118.37bn was released for COVID-19 related capital expenditure.

She added that while the Federal Government had projected the sum of N9.97trn expenditure for 2020, it actually spent about N10.08trn, representing 101 per cent performance.

She put the amount spent on debt servicing at N3.27trn, while the sum of N3.19trn was released for payment of salaries and pensions.

She also said the Federal Government generated the sum of N3.94trn in the 2020 fiscal year.

She said the N3.94trn generated during the period represented about 73 per cent of the target for the 2020 fiscal period.

This means that out of the projected revenue target of N5.39trn for 2020, the government could only achieve the sum of N3.94trn.

The minister said while oil revenue outperformed its target, the non-oil revenue performance was not too impressive.

Giving a breakdown of the revenue performance, the Finance Minister said that the Federal Government earned N1.52trn from oil revenue, representing an over performance of 157 per cent, while non oil tax revenue was N1.28trn, about 79 per cent of target.

She said Companies Income Tax and Value Added Tax collections were N673.22bn and N192.66bn, representing 82 per cent and 68 per cent, respectively, of the pro-rata revised targets for the period.

Ahmed put the Customs revenue at N410.21bn, about 79 per cent of revenue performance, adding that other revenues also contributed N993.73bn to revenue generation.

The minister blamed the revenue underperformance on the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that Customs revenue was affected by trade slow down caused by COVID-19.

 

 

Oil price: We’re not bringing back fuel subsidy, FG insists

 

BY VICTORIA ONU, ABUJA

The Federal Government, on Monday, ruled out the possibility of reintroducing fuel subsidy payment, about a year after the policy was stopped.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made this position known, during a public presentation of the 2021 approved budget.

There had been speculations that the Federal Government might be considering bringing back fuel subsidy to cushion the impact of high oil price.

But when asked if the Federal Government was considering the introduction of fuel subsidy to cushion the negative impact of fuel price increase, the Finance Minister said there was currently no plan for such.

She said that there was no provision for fuel subsidy by the government in the 2021 budget.

“We are not bringing back fuel subsidy. There is no provision for fuel subsidy in the 2021 budget. The recent adjustment by the government in the oil industry does not in any way suggest that fuel subsidy is going to be reintroduced,” the minister said.

She said this just as she disclosed that the Federal Government spent a total of N1.8trn on the execution of capital projects in the 2020 fiscal period.

Ahmed said the N1.8trn spent on capital projects for the 2020 fiscal period represented about 89 per cent of the provision made for such projects.

The minister explained that out of the N1.8trn spent on capital projects, the sum of N118.37bn was released for COVID-19 related capital expenditure.

She added that while the Federal Government had projected the sum of N9.97trn expenditure for 2020, it actually spent about N10.08trn, representing 101 per cent performance.

She put the amount spent on debt servicing at N3.27trn, while the sum of N3.19trn was released for payment of salaries and pensions.

She also said the Federal Government generated the sum of N3.94trn in the 2020 fiscal year.

She said the N3.94trn generated during the period represented about 73 per cent of the target for the 2020 fiscal period.

This means that out of the projected revenue target of N5.39trn for 2020, the government could only achieve the sum of N3.94trn.

 

Tax compliance: FIRS creates 35 additional tax audit units

 

BY VICTORIA ONU , ABUJA

THE Federal Inland Revenue Service has created 35 additional Tax Audit Units in the last one year and deployed experienced staff to take charge of the offices.

The Service said this was aimed at improving the level of tax compliance and stem illicit financial flow out of Nigeria.

The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed this in Abuja at a workshop on effective audit of multinational corporations for domestic revenue mobilisation in Nigeria.

He said, “At the FIRS, we are paying greater attention to tax audit in general and Transfer Pricing audit in particular in order to improve the level of tax compliance in the country.

“As a result, in the last one year, we have created more than 35 additional Tax Audit Units and deployed experienced and capable staff to take charge of these offices.”

Nami also revealed that Nigeria lost about N5.4trn through tax evasion by multinational companies operating in Nigeria.

He said the revenue was lost within a 10-year period, covering 2007 and 2017.

He cited a 2014 report by the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, which stated that “Nigeria accounted for 30.5% of money lost by the continent through illicit financial flows.”

Although Nami observed that some multinational corporations were leading in tax compliance in various sectors, he expressed worries that “many rich Multinational Corporations do not pay the right taxes due from them, let alone pay their taxes voluntarily.”

He charged participants at the event to come up with a methodology that would be used to uncover illicit financial flows and provide an overview of related policy options for enhancing tax revenue collection in general.

He further stated that with the signing of the 2021 budget of N13.58trn on 31st December, 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari, and given the recent decline of oil resources, which had been the major revenue earner for the country, taxation was expected to continue to shoulder the Government’s Budget performance the way it did in 2020.

He added, “This underscores the importance of this workshop, as tax audit of Multinational Corporations is very crucial in Nigeria’s domestic revenue mobilisation.

“For me, this workshop is an important step towards boosting compliance level; and I have strong hopes that its outcome will further increase our efforts at driving tax compliance among Multinational Corporations in Nigeria.”

 

FG approves posting of Ambassador-Designates, announces induction course

 

BY LINUS CHIBUIKE

THE Federal Government, on Tuesday, approved the posting of Ambassador-Designates to Nigerian missions abroad.

They include 43 Career Ambassadors and 52 Non-Career Ambassadors.

In view of this, the Ambassador-Designates and their spouses have been told to prepare for an induction course, which will hold very soon.

This information was contained in a press statement, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, and dated Tuesday, 12th January, 2021.

The Federal Government said the purpose of the induction course was to prepare and facilitate the movement of the envoys to their respective missions.

The statement, titled, “Federal Government approves Ambassadorial posting”, obtained by THE POINT, said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the posting of Ambassador-Designates to Nigerian Missions abroad.

“The list includes 43 Career Ambassadors and 52 Non-Career Ambassadors.

“With this development, the process of requesting Agrement from the respective host countries has commenced.

“The Ministry also wishes to inform that there will be an induction course for the Ambassador-Designates and their spouses, which will hold on a date to be announced shortly, to prepare and facilitate movement of the Envoys to their respective missions.”

President Buhari had, on May 12 and July 1, 2020, written to the Senate, seeking the confirmation of career and non-career ambassadors, respectively.

The career ambassadors were confirmed by the Senate on June 12, 2020, while the non-career ambassadors were confirmed on July 22.

The career ambassadors include: C.O. Nwachukwu (Abia); A. Kefas (Adamawa); R.U Brown (Akwa Ibom); G.A Odudigbo (Anambra); O.C Onowu (Anambra); Y.S. Suleiman (Bauchi); E.S. Agbana (Bayelsa); B.B.M. Okoyen (Bayelsa); G.M. Okoko (Benue); A.M. Garba (Borno); M.I. Bashir (Borno); M.O. Abam (Cross River); A.E. Allotey (Cross River); G. E. Edokpa (Edo); A. N. Madubuike (Enugu); Adamu Lamuwa (Gombe); Mr. Innocent A. Iwejuo (Imo); M. S. Abubakar (Jigawa); Y. A. Ahmed (Jigawa); S. D. Umar (Kaduna); A. Sule (Kano); G. Y. Hamza (Kano).

Others are: N. Rimi (Katsina); L. S. Ahmed-Remawa (Katsina); M. Manu (Kebbi); l. R. Ocheni (Kogi); l. A. Yusuf (Kogi); M. Abdulraheem (Kwara); W. A. Adedeji (Lagos); A. U. Ogah (Nasarawa); A. A. Musa (Niger); N. A. Kolo (Niger); S.O. Olaniyan (Ogun); A. R. Adejola (Ogun); O. E. Awe (Ondo); O. O. Aluko (Osun); I. A. Alatishe (Osun); V. A. Adeleke (Oyo); M. S. Adamu (Plateau); l. N. Charles (Rivers); Z M. lfu (Taraba); B. B. Hamman (Yobe).

The 41 non-career ambassadors are: Debo Adesina (Oyo); Ademola Seriki (Lagos); Dare Sunday Awoniyi (Kogi); Umar Suleiman (Adamawa); L.S. Mandama (Adamawa); Oboro Effiong Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Chief Elijah Onyeagba (Anambra); Abubakar D. Ibrahim Siyi (Bauchi); Philip K. Ikurusi (Bayelsa); Hon. Tarzoor Terhemen (Benue); Paul Ogba Adikwu (Benue); Al-Bashir Ibrahim Al-Hassan (Borno); Brig. Gen. Bwala Yƻsuf Bukar (Borno) and Prof. Monique Ekpong (Cross River).

Others are: Oma Djebah (Delta); Ominyi N. Eze (Ebonyi); Yamah Mohammed Musa (Edo); Maj. Gen. C.O. Ugwu (Enugu); Dr. Hajara I. Salim (Gombe); Obiezu Ijeoma Chinyerem (Imo); Ali M. Magashi (Jigawa); Prof. M.A. Makarfi (Kaduna); Hamisu Umar Takalmawa (Kano); Jazuli Imam Galandanci (Kano); Amina Ado Kurawa (Kano); Amb. Yahaya Lawal (Katsina); Ibrahim Kayode Laaro (Kwara); Abioye Bello (Kwara); Zara Maazu Umar (Kwara); Henry John Omaku (Nasarawa); Chief Sarafa Tunji Ishola (Ogun); Mrs. Nimi Akinkube (Ondo); Adejaba Bello (Osun); Adeshina Alege (Oyo); Debo Adesina (Oyo); Ms. Folakemi Akinyele (Oyo); Shehu Abdullahi Yibaikwai (Plateau); Hon. Maureen Tamuno (Rivers); Faruk Yabo (Sokoto); Adamu M. Hassan (Taraba); and Abubakar Moriki (Zamfara).

 

 

Trump says impeachment moves causing anger, but ‘I want no violence’

 

UNITED States President Donald Trump, under pressure to resign after his supporters carried out a deadly breach of the U.S. Capitol last week, said there was tremendous anger about moves to impeach him but added he did not want violence.

“I want no violence,” Trump told reporters as he left for a trip to the border wall in Alamo, Texas.

In his first remarks to reporters since Dec. 8, the embattled Republican president did not answer a question about whether he would resign.

He criticized impeachment moves by Democratic lawmakers.

“This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and they’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing,” Trump said. He added that the move to impeach him, on a charge of inciting insurrection over the Capitol attack, was a continuation of the “witch hunt” against him.

Trump would become the first U.S. president to be impeached twice if the House of Representatives votes in favor of impeachment on Wednesday.

– REUTERS

 

 

Court martial sentences soldier to death for killing army officer

 

THE 7th Division General Court Martial sitting in Maiduguri has sentenced a trooper, Azunna Mmadu-Abuchi, to death by firing squad for killing an officer, Lt. Babakaka Ngorgi.

Delivering judgement on Tuesday, the President of the Court, Brig. Gen. Arikpo Ekubi, said the prosecutor had proved his case beyond reasonable doubt that the accused intentionally shot and killed Ngorgi, who was the Adjutant of 212 Battalion, Bama.

Ekubi said, “You intentionally opened fire and empty your magazine of nine rounds of ammunition on the deceased officer, Lt. B.S Ngorgi, who was the Adjutant of 212 Battalion, Bama, which led to his instant death.

“You betrayed the trust and confidence reposed on you by the Nigerian Army to ensure dignity and respect for human life.

“Your action is therefore viewed with displeasure and as affront to efforts of the present leadership of Nigerian Army which emphasised the protection of human rights and professionalism in the discharge of its constitutional roles.”

“While condemning your action of unlawfully killing the deceased officer in a gruesome manner, this court consider the plea in mitigation punishment by your counsel, the General Court Martial takes cognisance of all your counsel has said and the fact that you are involved in the Theatre of Operation.

“However, the gravity of the crime that you have committed against the innocent officer which by application is a crime against humanity and an attempt to drag the good name of Nigerian Army into mud must be sanctioned appropriately.

“The general court martial for the offence of murder as provided by section 106 of the Armed Forces Act is death. This sentence is to be carried out by firing squad,” he added.

Ekubi also convicted four soldiers for manslaughter for their involvement in torturing a civilian, one Peter Apogu, to death over a missing car battery.

Based on their nature of involvement in the act, Sgt. Sani Ishaya who is the leader of the team, was sentenced to four years in prison. Lance Cpl. Fabiyi Bidemi is to serve two years, while Pte. Adamu Abdulrashid and Pte. Musa Bala are to serve one year each.

The court also sentenced one Pte Mohammed Kuru to three years in prison for accidental discharge at a civilian wedding ceremony that killed a 12 year-old-boy.

One Lance Cpl. Aja Emmauel was demoted to private for assaulting a civilian causing him “grievous bodily harm”.

The court president, however, said that all the sentences were subject to confirmation by the appropriate superior authority as provided under Section 151 Sub Section 1b and Section 152 Subsection 1b of the Armed Forces Act.

Speaking at the end of the sitting, the Borno Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission, Mrs Jummai Mshelia, lauded the Nigerian Army for its professionalism and show of respect for human rights.

– NAN

 

 

LASU VC selection: We have no vested interest in any candidate – ASUU

 

BY FOLASHADE SHIYANBOLA

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, Lagos State University, Ojo branch, has said the union has no vested interest in any candidate contesting the position of the Vice-Chancellor of the university.

In a statement, signed by the Chairman of the Union, Ibrahim Bakare; and Secretary, Slyvester Idowu, the union dissociated itself from a statement by two ex-staff of the institution, asking the Chairman of Council, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo, to step down as the Chairman of the committee for the selection of the new VC.

“ASUU-LASU wishes to reiterate its earlier stance that it had no vested interest in any candidate that contested in the past exercise and does not intend to have any candidate in the fresh exercise,” the statement said.

Recall that the 8th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, left office on Monday, 11th of January, after his five-year tenure as VC.

The initial process towards the selection of the new Vice-Chancellor for the institution had been cancelled by the Governor and Visitor to the university, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, owing to various petitions against the selection process.

The union, however, said, as critical stakeholders in the university, their prayer to the selection committee and the Governor and Visitor to the university was to kindly appoint whoever emerged the best at the end of the process.

The statement said, “We wish to recall that it was the 10th Governing Council of the university, chaired by Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo, that produced the outgoing Distinguished Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, who emerged first on the list of the best three presented to the then Governor.

“The outstanding performance of the outgoing Vice-Chancellor is enough to vindicate our judgement that whoever emerges first among the contenders should be appointed.”

The union reiterated its trust and confidence in the professionals and academics of high repute constituted in the selection committee.

“We have no doubt that the outcome of the fresh process would, once again, bring about the best candidate that all stakeholders within and outside the Lagos State University, and indeed Nigeria, will be proud of,” it said.

 

 

2023: Students’ support group for Tinubu, ANSSO, constitutes zonal, state committees

 

BY FOLASHADE KEHINDE

THE National Advisory Council of the Asiwaju National Students Support Organisation has constituted national, zonal and state executive committees.

Chairman of the Advisory Council, John Abbah, said the group was satisfied with the credentials of the former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, as a modern Nigerian leader, and was therefore ready to support his presidential ambition in 2023.

According to him, ANSSO was formed by a body of patriotic Nigerian students, across the federation.

These students, he said, were passionate about the development of Nigeria through good and effective leadership.

He tasked the executives to be dedicated and proactive in ensuring the buy-in of all students across the federation.

Other members of the NAC include Adeyemi Azeez Amoo, Secretary; Akanbi Afonja, Ibrahim Ibrahim, Tayo Sanyaolu, Esinrogunjo Musbau and Bala Mohammed Oshoke.

Others are Adebogun Adedayo, Onyedika Agbo and Comrade Mukhtar Akosh.

 

 

Audit: Ekiti Assembly sacks 21 workers

 

BY REBECCA AJANI

THE Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission, on Tuesday, sacked 21 members of its staff.

The employees were relieved of their duties for various offences, including irregular appointment, alteration and mutilation of files, among other irregularities.

The Chairman of the Commission, Taiwo Olatunbosun, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the decision was taken in compliance with the report of the staff audit undertaken as part of efforts aimed at reorganising the commission for effective service delivery.

”The audit ultimately discovered irregularities ranging from hiding, alteration, and mutilation of files, the advancement of staff without due process, appointees illegally retained in the system after expiration of tenure and arbitrary transfer of service without cognate experience.

”It also discovered overaged staff members, irregular appointments/promotion of staff without approval, cases of forgery, arbitrary placement of officers with utter disregard to the scheme of service, and many more,” Olatunbosun said.

He added, “The audit, which started last year on the assumption of office of the present Commission members, engaged the services of auditors over complaints, agitations, and petitions from some members of staff on allegations of irregular advancement, absenteeism, arbitrary promotion and placement of officers above colleagues without regards to provisions of the scheme of service.”

The chairman stressed that the routine staff audit was carried out in good faith, without any intention of vendetta, witch-hunt, or victimisation of any person.

He said the outcome of the report had since been discussed with the management staff of the Commission and the leadership of the state chapter of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).

The 21 affected workers have, however, protested what they described as unjust dismissal by the State House of Assembly.

The Secretary of the Ekiti State Joint Negotiating Council, Gbenga Olowoyo, maintained that the Commission should not have sent the names of the affected workers to the Accountant General to stop their salaries, while negotiation lasted.

 

 

Apapa Customs generates N518bn in 2020

 

THE Nigerian Customs Service, Apapa Area Command, said it generated the sum of N518, 046, 832, 016. 84 in the year 2020 and remmitted same to the federation and non-federation accounts of the Federal Government respectively.

The Comptroller, Mohammed Abba-Kura, disclosed this at a media briefing held in Lagos on Tuesday.

According to him, the revenue profile of the command significantly increased by N94,379,835,352.53 from the N423.6 billion generated in the year 2019, indicating a 22.3 per cent rise.

“As regards anti-smuggling and in line with the provision of extant circulars, trade guidelines and enforcement of government fiscal policy measures, the Command was able to further strengthen its anti-smuggling operations against economic saboteurs.

“This was done through credible intelligence-driven operations and continuous partnership with other relevant agencies for effective port management to stem their illegitimate activities.

“Accordingly, the command made a total of 318 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N21,196,806,637.00, and these figures almost tripled the total seizures for the year 2019 which stood at 112 with total Duty Paid value of N12.5 billion,” he said.

Abba-Kura listed some of the seized items to include: 133 containers of unregistered pharmaceuticals, including tramadol, 58 containers of parboiled rice, 30 of vegetable oil, 31 of used clothes and shoes, 13 of used tyres, and other sundry items.

He said that for export, the unit also witnessed a boost in its activities, from 262,095 metric tons in 2019 to 1,311,365 metric tons in 2020.

Abba-Kura pointed out that the Free on Board (FOB) value for the exported items equally moved up from $132,760,512.94 million to $340,884,102.99 million within the period under review.

He said that the naira equivalent of the exported items was estimated at N104,310,535,514.00, at N306 per US Dollar.

The comptroller said the items exported included steel bars as well as agricultural and mineral products.

“It is instructive to note that these unprecedented achievements were made possible as a result of our officers’ doggedness and tireless commitment to their duties, despite the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging economies all over the world.

“Nonetheless, as we look forward to a prosperous and glorious year ahead, the command has taken bold initiatives to ensure the collection of appropriate revenue by creating an enabling environment for legitimate businesses to thrive,” he said.

Abba-Kura said that as regards the Nigerian Export Proceeds (NEP) number, the challenge had to do with automation and sensitising stakeholders in using the number.

He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria was working in that direction.

The comptroller extended his appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, and his management team, as well as stakeholders in the clearance value chain, for their continuous support and encouragement.

– NAN

 

Rising COVID-19 deaths: Temporary morgues set up as UK hospitals run out of space

 

BRITISH authorities have had to set up a temporary morgues in some areas after local hospital mortuaries ran out of space due to a surge in deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Britain has reported record levels of deaths and new infections in the last few weeks, fuelled by a new variant of the coronavirus which has caused a surge in cases, especially in London and southeast England.

In Surrey, to the south of London, the county’s hospital mortuaries have reached their 600 capacity, meaning local authorities have had to start using a temporary morgue.

“To avoid patients who have sadly died being left on wards, or as we have seen overseas left in corridors … when the mortuaries are reaching capacity, they contact the temporary mortuary to go and collect bodies,” a spokesman for the Surrey Resilience Forum said.

There were about 170 bodies currently being kept at the Headley Court facility, a former Ministry of Defence site in Leatherhead, he said.

The temporary mortuary, which has space for 845 bodies, was first set up in April during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in Britain.

“Over a twelve-week period from April to June, they dealt with 700 bodies. In the last three weeks, we’ve dealt with 330,” the spokesman said.

Similar facilities have been set up or are being set up in London and Kent, also in southeast England.

Britain has reported more than 80,000 deaths – the fifth highest death toll globally – and in excess of 3 million COVID cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday it was a perilous moment for the state-run National Health Service, and hospital chiefs have warned that they face being overwhelmed.

– REUTERS


 

 

Former Edo Commissioner, Adodo, dies of COVID-19

 

BY ADEMETO ADELEKAN

A former Commissioner for Establishment, Labour and Special Duties, in Edo State, Comrade Didi Adodo, is dead.

Adodo, who hailed from Iruekpen, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State, was said to have died on Tuesday morning from complications related to COVID-19.

Until his demise, the former Commissioner was the General Secretary of the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN).

He served as a commissioner during the two terms of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

Details later…

 

 

Court remands woman, 23, for allegedly beating up ex-husband

 

A Grade I Area Court in Kubwa, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered that a 23-year old hairstylist, Gift Paul, who allegedly beat up her former husband, be remanded in a correctional facility.

The police charged Paul with criminal trespass, assault and causing grievous hurt.

The judge, Muhammad Adamu, adjourned the case until Feb.5 for hearing.

Adamu, however, stated that the defendant’s bail could still be considered before the next adjourned date if the defence counsel makes a formal bail application.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, John Okpa, told the court that Paul’s ex-husband, Mr Destiny Adams, who resides in Kubwa, reported the matter at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Byazhin on Jan. 7.

Okpa alleged that Paul and her brother, Isaiah, invaded Adams’ house with cutlasses and injured him on his head and body.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 246, 348 and 265 of the Penal Code.

Meanwhile, Paul pleaded not guilty to the charge.

She said that her encounter with Adams did not involve any other person.

The defence counsel, Taiye Okoya, made an oral bail application on behalf of Paul, saying that his client should be presumed innocent until proven guilty of the charge.

– NAN

 

 

Pro-Trump protest at Twitter HQ flops

 

A planned protest outside Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters against the social media platform’s ban of Donald Trump fizzled out Monday when just a handful of the US president’s supporters turned up.

Messages posted this weekend on popular far-right forum TheDonald.win had called on pro-Trump activists to assemble outside the tech giant’s offices, which are largely deserted as staff work from home due to the pandemic.

One user even urged participants to bring zip ties to “citizen arrest violent agitators,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Police deployed dozens of officers and constructed security barriers, but only a few protesters and counter-protesters arrived.

“I don’t like being censored. And I feel conservative voices are being censored,” one protester told the local Fox television station KTVU.

Kenneth Lundgreen, 71, told the Chronicle he wanted to “act as a counter balance” in case a crowd like the one that stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC last week arrived.

Shortly after that unrest, Twitter imposed a permanent ban on Trump’s account — which had 88 million subscribers — prompted by multiple violations of its rules and the risk of “further incitement of violence.”

Trump accused the company of conspiring with the “Radical Left,” while some international leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called the ban “problematic.”

Other platforms including Facebook and Snapchat also have suspended Trump.

US Democrats have launched the process of impeaching Trump for a historic second time for “incitement of insurrection” over the attack on the Capitol, in which five people died.

– AFP

 

 

Visitation panels: Lawmaker kicks against alleged omission of Ebonyi professors on FG’s list

 

BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI

MEMBER representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Chinedu Ogah, has called on the Federal Ministry of Education to correct the imbalance on the list of the visitation panels to Federal Universities and Inter University centres across the country, released by the Federal Ministry of Education.

Ogah, while addressing newsmen, lamented the alleged shortchanging of Professors from Ebonyi State with regard to the said list, noting that the state had produced professors of international repute to merit the list.

He also alleged that professors Ikenna Onyindo and Kelvin N. Nwogu, who were penciled under Ebonyi State on the list were from Anambra and Imo states respectively.

Ogah called on the Minister of Education to urgently correct the anomaly and include genuine Ebonyi people to guarantee equity, fair play and justice.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the Committee that compiled the list, noting that no matter the criteria used in the selection process, glorifying two non-Ebonyians to represent Ebonyi State in the list was not only criminal but an affront to the sensibility of every right thinking Nigerian.

He said, “The list released by the Federal Ministry of Education as panels to visit all the Federal Universities across the country, shortchanging two Ebonyi people, depicts a calculated attempt to trample down the equity and fairness President Buhari’s administration was built on.

“I challenge the purported Ebonyians in the list to tender their Local Government Identification letter before the public to vindicate themselves.”

 

 

January 11, 2021

US blacklists 4 Ukrainians who aided Trump’s lawyer in election campaign to smear Joe Biden

 

Derkach, the four “coordinated dissemination and promotion of fraudulent and unsubstantiated allegations involving a US political candidate,” the Treasury said.

“They have made repeated public statements to advance disinformation narratives that US government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine.”

The Treasury also placed on its blacklist three other Derkach aides and four Ukraine media companies Derkach used to “disseminate false narratives”, the Treasury said.

Derkach played an important role in the Trump-Giuliani effort to attack Trump’s lead election rival, former Democratic vice president Biden, in 2019 a year before the election.

Giuliani traveled to Ukraine and met with Derkach and his team, appearing with Derkach on the pro-Trump One America News Network to present a concocted story about the Bidens having been engaged in corruption in the Eastern European country.

Giuliani continued to use those meetings and the material they generated to try to smear Biden well into 2020 until the Treasury placed sanctions on Derkach in September, labelling him a Russian intelligence operative.

Kulyk, a state prosecutor until he was fired in late 2019, was the source of a seven-page dossier that purportedly proved “crimes” by the Bidens that was used by Giuliani and Trump supporters in Congress to batter the Democrat.

Onyshchenko is a former senior political official and lawmaker who fled into exile when he was removed in 2016 under allegations of corruption.

Telizhenko is a former Ukrainian diplomat who traveled with Giuliani as he sought to promote the Biden corruption claim.

Dubinsky currently serves in the Ukraine parliament and met with Giuliani in December 2019.

The sanctions seek to freeze any assets those blacklisted have under US jurisdiction.

The sanctions also ban US businesses and individuals from dealings with them, an effort aimed mainly at locking them out of the global financial system.

“Russian disinformation campaigns targeting American citizens are a threat to our democracy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

– AFP

 

 

CAC to block accredited customers’ accounts not revalidated by April 1 – RG


BY VICTORIA ONU, ABUJA

IN a bid to ensure the integrity of its records, the Corporate Affairs Commission has kicked off a revalidation exercise for all its accredited customers.

The revalidation exercise will last till March 31 this year.

The Registrar-General, CAC, Garba Abubakar, who disclosed this on Monday in Abuja while giving an update on the activities of the commission under his leadership, added that anyone who failed to validate their records would no longer be able to transact business with the commission.

Abubakar said the revalidation had become compelling because some of these customers might have been dead while others might have changed their addresses or location.

He said, “Every accredited customer must revalidate his accreditation with the commission before the end of March. This is necessary because we have recognised the fact that some of customers have died, some have changed addresses, some have changed locations without updating the database, and some have transferred their accounts to other people to manage it on their behalf.

“So to ensure the integrity of the information we are going to be receiving on behalf of our customers, all existing accounts must be validated before the end of March.

“By April 1, any account not revalidated would cease to have effect until the customer comes forward to revalidate.”

On the industrial crisis in the commission, he said that the board of the commission had taken steps to address the grievances of the workers.

For instance, he said that the embargo on promotion had been lifted last year, adding that two promotion exams for 2019 and 2020 were conducted for members of staff.

He said the promotion exercise saw about 258 members of staff promoted in 2019 while 190 members of staff of the commission were promoted for 2020.

The RG also said CAC generated the sum of N19bn as revenue for the 2020 fiscal period.

Abubakar said the N19bn generated by the commission in the 2020 fiscal period represented an increase of N1bn when compared to the N18bn target set for the CAC by the Federal Government.

He said from the N19bn, the Commission paid the sum of N2.7bn into the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account of the Federal Government as operating surplus.

He said the remittance of the N2.7bn was in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

The FRA stipulates that any agency of government that generates revenue must remit 80 per cent of their operating surplus to the CRF Account.

The CAC boss explained that over the years, the Commission had been remitting its operating surplus to the coffers of government.

On the outstanding tax obligation of the commission, he said that the management of CAC had negotiated with the tax authority and the sum of N700m had been paid as tax liability.

Abubakar also said that about 85 per cent of the N6bn liability which he inherited had been paid, adding that the balance would be paid soon.

 

 

Kano Pillars FC declares player missing

 

Idris Malikawa, Media Officer of the club, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Kano.

Malikawa said that the player was given a four-day casual leave by Technical Adviser Lionel Soccio, to visit his family, but had yet to return two weeks after.

He said that the player had also not informed the club of his whereabouts.

“The Chairman of the club, Shuaibu Surajo, has given the player three days to return or face disciplinary action.

“We are doing our best to protect the interest and welfare of our players, but the club will not condone acts of indiscipline from them,” Malikawa said.

He urged all players in the club to remain focused on the task ahead.

– NAN

 

 

January 10, 2021

BREAKING! Indonesia loses contact with passenger plane after take-off from Jakarta

 

…More than 50 passengers on board

INDONESIA’S Transportation Ministry said on Saturday that it had lost contact with a passenger jet after it took off from the capital, Jakarta, and flew over the Java Sea.

The ministry said that the last contact with the plane, Sriwijaya Air Flight 182, was made at 2:40 p.m. local time. The Boeing 737-524 was bound for the city of Pontianak on the island of Borneo. More than 50 people were believed to be aboard.

Four minutes after taking off, the 26-year-old plane lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than 60 seconds, according to Flightradar24, the flight-tracking service.

The aviation sector in Indonesia, a developing country of thousands of islands, has long been plagued by trouble, contending with poor safety records and the rapid growth of budget airlines.

In 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 plunged into the Java Sea with 189 people aboard after the 737 jetliner’s antistall system, designed by Boeing, malfunctioned.

Regarding the flight on Saturday, Sriwijaya Air said in a preliminary statement that “management is still communicating and investigating this matter and will immediately issue an official statement after obtaining the actual information.”

The country’s aviation safety commission said it was on alert and that the transportation minister was on his way to the international airport in Jakarta. Patrol boats were heading to waters northwest of Jakarta where the plane was last seen, the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency said.

“Whenever we hear this kind of news, we get ready,” Ony Suryo Wibowo, an investigator for the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee, said on Saturday. “We are gathering all the information we can get.”

– The New York Times

 

Iran bans foreign companies from testing COVID-19 vaccines on Iranians – President

 

FOREIGN companies will not be allowed to test COVID-19 vaccines on the Iranian people, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday, a day after Iran’s Supreme Leader banned vaccine imports from the United States and Britain.

“Foreign companies wanted to give us vaccines so they would be tested on the Iranian people. But the health ministry prevented it,” Rouhani said in televised remarks, without naming the companies or giving further details.

“Our people will not be a testing device for vaccine manufacturing companies,” he added. “We shall purchase safe foreign vaccines.”

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, said on Friday the U.S. and Britain were “untrustworthy” and possibly sought to spread the infection to other countries.

Iran could obtain vaccines from other reliable places, he added, without giving details. China and Russia are both allies of Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the coronavirus.

Khamenei repeated the accusations in a tweet that was removed by Twitter along with a message saying it violated the platform’s rules against misinformation.

Iran launched human trials of its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidate late last month, saying it could help the country defeat the pandemic despite U.S. sanctions that affect its ability to import vaccines.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been on the rise since 2018, when President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions.

– REUTERS

 

 

Bandits’ informants responsible for lingering insecurity – Zamfara Emir

 

BANDITS’ informants are responsible for the lingering security challenges in Zamfara, Emir of Maru in Zamfara, Alhaji Abubakar Maigari, said on Saturday in Gusau.

Maigari told the newly-deployed Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Abutu Yaro, who visited him that the police must check the activities of informants rigorously to put an end to insecurity in the state.

“We are appealing to government and security agencies to take serious measures of addressing informants’ activities in the state.

“Most of the informants are within our communities, and they are known by people. They move freely in communities carrying out ugly activities unchecked.

“We want security agencies to concentrate and deal with them decisively,’’ the emir said.

Earlier, CP Yaro told the emir said that his visit was part of his determination to ensure synergy with critical stakeholders, especially the traditional rulers.

He appealed for more support and cooperation from all stakeholders in the on-going peace process.

The Sole Administrator of Maru Local Government Council of Zamfara, Alhaji Salisu Dangulbi, who was in attendance, called for the deployment of additional police personnel to some parts of the area facing serious security challenges.

“Places like Mayanchi and its environs need urgent security intervention; we need more security personnel there for the people in the area to have rest of mind,’’ Dangulbi said.

He assured the police commissioner of continued support from the council to government and security agencies towards addressing security challenges in the state.

Recall  that CP Yaro also held an interactive session with religious and community leaders and other relevant stakeholders in the area with a view to addressing the security challenges.

 

Five commercial drivers feared killed in clash with soldiers in Kwara

 

BY UMMU ABUBAKAR

THERE was commotion in Ilesha-Baruba, Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State on Friday when the alleged refusal of a commercial driver to pay N100 bribe reportedly caused a bloody clash between the drivers and soldiers in the area.

About five commercial drivers reportedly lost their lives in the clash while many others were injured.

The incident occurred around a roadblock mounted on the road leading to Ilesha Baruba, where a commercial driver had allegedly refused to give the soldiers N100.

The driver had complained that he had paid the N100 six times on his way to and from Sinawu (being a market day), insisting that he would no longer pay the allleged bribe.

Angered by his confrontation, the soldiers allegedly slapped the driver many times, after which he abandoned his car and left to mobilise his colleagues.

It was gathered that about five of the commercial drivers were killed in the mayhem that followed, as the soldiers reportedly opened fire as they mobilised to the roadblock area.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the incident, saying that the Police had commenced full investigations.

According to him, the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Bagega, has directed that those injured in the clash be taken to hospital for medical treatment.

He called for peace and calm in the area.


 

 

INCREDIBLE: 2-year-old boy run over twice by car survives

 

A child in Switzerland survived after being driven over twice by a car, police reported on Saturday.

A driver was moving his car to a different parking spot in the town of Oberentfelden on Friday evening when he ran over the 2-year-old boy on a small balance bike.

When the boy’s mother shouted out at the 53-year-old man, he put the car in reverse and rolled over him a second time, police spokesperson Adrian Bieri told dpa.

The boy sustained bone fractures, but he remained conscious and responsive after the accident, according to the spokesperson.

A photo of the car showed that the driver had only cleared a small section of his windscreen of ice.

The man’s driving license was revoked.

– dpa/NAN

 

BREAKING! Court dismisses certificate forgery case against Obaseki

 

BY LINUS CHIBUIKE

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a certificate forgery suit filed against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State by the All Progressives Congress and one of its members, Edobor Williams.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in his judgment, held that the plaintiffs failed to prove their claim that the Governor who is in his second term in office, forged the academic certificates he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission before the September 19 governorship election in the state.

The judge said the plaintiffs should have made efforts to cross-check their claim with the University of Ibadan and the West African Examination Council, the institutions that issued the certificates in question.

He therefore described the plaintiffs’ attitude as lazy.

Details later…

 

 

Paternity scandal: Tunde is the father of my kids, not FCMB MD, Moyo breaks silence

 

BY BANYO TEMITAYO

A former employee of First City Monument Bank Plc, Moyo Thomas, has broken her silence over the allegation that she told her late husband, Tunde Thomas, that he was not the father of her two children, a development some friends alleged was the cause of Tunde’s death a few weeks back.

The media space had been filled with comments over the inappropriate relationship and paternity allegations against the Managing Director of FCMB, Adam Nuru, who was rumoured to be the biological father of the two children.

The development led to the voluntary leave embarked on by Nuru, and the appointment of an acting MD to perform his roles, pending the conclusion of investigations into the matter.

The allegation had been made by some people who said they were friends of Moyo’s late husband.

After days of controversy, Moyo broke her silence in a statement titled, “Tunde is the Father of My Kids”.

She said she had remained silent in the face of the false accusations for many reasons, including to preserve the memories of her late husband, who died on December 16, 2020.

She said, “I have refrained from responding to this matter for various reasons, one of which is to preserve the memories of Tunde who departed to be with his maker on December 16, 2020. Memories, not only to me, but to his children, who are still young, and to everybody who had a relationship with him.

“Just like any marriage, Tunde and I had a lot of differences in our marriage, some of which even led to police intervention. But I remain committed to keeping only positive memories of him.”

“No one can ever understand what transpired between us or what each of us experienced in the marriage; like they say, it is he who wears the shoes that knows where it pinches. In all of it, I never for once wished him bad. His untimely and sudden death is still a shock to me as it is to many others,” Moyo added.

She however dismissed reports that she had told him he was not the father of their children in strong terms.

Moyo said, “On no occasion did I ever tell him he was not the father of our two children. It is therefore deliberate falsehood and certainly malicious to allege and insinuate that I informed him that the children are not his.

“The children still bear his name. Only God knows why he died in an untimely period. It is not in my place, or any one’s place to play God and talk with certainty as to the cause of his death, without proven medical facts.

“Despite our separation, we never allowed our differences affect the relationships we respectively have with the children. He still had conversations with the children like any father will, up until his sudden and unfortunate death. It is quite sad and disheartening to see the pictures of these innocent children splashed all over the internet with very disparaging and weird comments.

“I do wish his family and friends the fortitude to bear the unfortunate loss and I ask that we all be allowed to grieve his loss in peace.”

Pleading that the media should respect their privacy and allow the family mourn the dead, she said, ”He has now been laid to rest and we implore all and sundry to please respect our privacy and allow those grieving his loss, including the children and I, to do so in peace.”

 

Crime: Edo govt moves to check influx of undocumented tricycle, motorcycle riders

 

BY AYO ESAN

THE Edo State Government has rolled out a licensing system for motorcycle and tricycle riders in the state, in furtherance of its efforts to check the influx of undocumented operators and curb criminality perpetuated with the motorcycles and tricycles in the state.

Director of Transport, Ministry of Infrastructure, George Aghahowa, in a chat with journalists, said the government planned to do this with the introduction of the Edo State Riders’ Permit, which would build a database of motorcycle and tricycle riders in the state for ease of identification and tracking.

He said, “We have commenced the issuance of the Edo State Riders Permit. The initiative is intended to sanitise the operations of tricycle and motorcycle operations across the state.

“While motorcycles and tricycles remain prohibited in Benin metropolis, it remains a veritable means of transportation in other major towns and suburban areas in the state.

“What we intend to do is to create a database that would profile all those operating motorcycles and tricycles in the state through the Riders’ Permit registration scheme and they get incentives to be enlisted, ranging from unique identification codes, health and life insurance packages as well as legitimacy to conduct business within the state.”

He added that another aim of the scheme was to check the influx of undocumented drivers, who would hide under the guise of riding motorcycles to perpetrate crime in the state.

“We often have incidents of robberies and kidnappings perpetrated by those who ride motorcycles. This would be put to a stop with this initiative, as all others with permits to conduct business would bear unique codes identifying them as genuine operators,” he noted.

 

 

Fire kills 10 newborn babies in India hospital

 

TEN newborn babies have been killed in a fire at a hospital in India as members of staff rushed to evacuate the ward in the early hours of Saturday.

Seven infants were rescued from the blaze before firefighters arrived at the Bhandara District Hospital in the western state of Maharashtra.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the incident as a “heart-wrenching tragedy”.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and an investigation is under way.

The fire started at about 02:00 local time (20:30 GMT Friday), according to hospital officials.

Rescue efforts were hampered by continuous blasts inside the ward, local media report. One nurse on duty said she alerted the authorities after seeing smoke streaming out of the hospital’s Newborn Care Unit.

“Hospital authorities have rescued seven babies but 10 have died in an unfortunate incident,” district civil surgeon Pramod Khandate told reporters.

In a tweet, Mr Modi said his thoughts were with the bereaved families.

India’s Home Affairs Minister, Amit Shah, said he was “pained beyond words” over the “irreparable loss”.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was “deeply saddened” by the deaths, adding: “My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.”

Bhandara is 62km (39 miles) from the north-eastern city of Nagpur – one of the largest cities of Maharashtra.

– BBC


 

 

Killers of former DR Congo President released from jail

 

TWENTY-TWO men convicted over the 2001 assassination of Democratic Republic of Congo president Laurent-Desire Kabila were released from prison Friday after being pardoned by current leader Felix Tshisekedi.

The men were met outside Makala prison in the capital Kinshasa by family and friends, some in tears.

Among those released was the slain president’s former aide de camp Colonel Eddy Kapend, who has always denied any part in the plot to murder Kabila, father of Tshisekedi’s predecessor and political rival Joseph Kabila.

After leaving prison by a jeep under military escort, 61-year-old Kapend later emerged from his home in the western town of Macampagne, looking relaxed and wearing a military kepi.

To shouts of “There he is!” and “Papa is here!” from supporters, he waved from a balcony, and smiled slightly before disappearing back into the house.

A 23rd man, former intelligence chief Georges Leta, was also freed, but did not appear at a release ceremony with the others due to ill health.

Laurent-Desire Kabila was gunned down in his office on January 16, 2001, by one of his bodyguards, who was then immediately killed.

The 23 were initially handed death sentences, which were then commuted to jail terms by Tshisekedi last June.

He issued the pardon on December 31, several weeks after a coalition he formed with Kabila supporters ended.

The pardons are “for purely humanitarian reasons,” deputy justice minister Bernard Takaishe told the 22 men at the ceremony, stressing that this did not amount to a “blank cheque”.

“You can’t just go out tomorrow and get yourself into the kind of situation which deprived you of your freedom,” he warned them.

Takaishe also said that pardon would not erase their criminal record.

The measure was taken “quite simply because we want to put the country back on track, to bring some peace to the Congolese people,” he told them.

Some of those released on Friday called for their cases to be retried.

“I was innocent, but condemned,”  said Cesaire Muzima following his release. “I was sentenced to death for treason, but whom did I betray?”

No one in the entourage of former president Joseph Kabila wished to comment on the releases from prison.

– AFP

 

 

Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road to be completed by 2023 – FG

 

BY VICTORIA ONU, ABUJA

THE President Muhammadu Buhari administration has said the reconstruction of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road will be completed by 2023, when its tenure will expire.

The Director, Highways Construction and Rehabilitation, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Funso Adebiyi, said this in a statement on Friday during a visit to the project site.

The statement was signed by the Ministry’s Deputy Director, Press, Salisu Haiba.

The project was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc on December 20, 2017, but commenced on May 21, 2018.

Based on the initial arrangement, the project was initially projected to last for 36 months.

He said, “We are satisfied with the quality of work going on and we are working to increase the pace of work.

“Work is going on simultaneously on all sections of both lanes of the dual carriage 375km long road from Abuja to Kaduna and to Kano.”

The Abuja-Kaduna-Kano was initially approved for rehabilitation, but a full reconstruction of the road is ongoing, according to him.

Adebiyi noted that the reconstruction was necessary over the volume of activities on the infrastructure.

The Director said, “We have made a lot of progress. Over 100km, although not at a stretch, have been completed under section one to three (Abuja-Kano).

“Also, 40km has been completed under section two (Kaduna-Zaria), and 70km completed under section three (Zaria-Kano).”

 

 

Why it is wrong to say Buhari hates Igbos – Gov. Umahi

 

BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI

THE Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, has called on Igbos for a revolution in character and content.

Umahi made the call when some Igbo stakeholders paid New Year homage to him at his Uburu home.

He made the call just as he listed reasons allegations that Buhari hates Igbos were unfounded.

Speaking during the visit, Umahi cautioned the people of the South East against unguarded utterances that were capable of igniting hostilities among brothers and other regions in the country.

“I believe that opposition strengthens our position but we can’t discuss the security of South East on the pages of newspapers, after all, we are still the safest in the country. We need a revolution in character and content; we need it. Igbos were originally know for character,” he said.

Governor Umahi, while debunking the allegations that President Muhammadu Buhari hates the Igbos, insisted that the Igbos, especially in Ebonyi State, never had it as good as under President Buhari.

“Buhari is not against the Igbo man; it is in his time that Ebonyi State is seeing development; it is from his efforts that we are building the International Airport, the Ultra-modern Teaching Hospital and he even gave us over N3 billion to build the Cancer Centre in that hospital, etc. So, he doesn’t hate the Igbos,” he explained.

The Governor declared his support and that of Ebonyi people for the election of Prof. George Obiozor as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo come January 10, 2021.

“I will stand with Ambassador Obiozor; we want character for the Igbo people. I love anyone that loves an Igbo man,” he said.

He tasked Obiozor to regenerate Igbo unity when he emerged as President General.

Earlier, foremost Igbo leader, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, commended Governor Umahi for his efforts at ensuring the peace and unity of the Igbo nation.

Iwuanyanwu, while appreciating Governor Umahi for the massive renewal of the Abakaliki Capital City and environs, solicited the support of Ebonyi State for the candidature of Professor Obiozor whom he described as best suited for the job of President General among his challengers.

“After rigorous evaluation, we have discovered that Professor Obiozor’s qualification and pedigree are quite appealing and we are convinced that he is the right person we can give to the South East Governors’ Forum and Ndigbo and we will not be disappointed. He is a very sound person; he has served Nigeria in so many capacities and he is the choice of Imo people,” he stated.

The top contender, Obiozor, who described Governor Umahi as one of the best and brightest in the region, thanked the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Imo State Chapter, for choosing him as their consensus candidate and pledged to live up to expectations.

“Governor Umahi is one of our best and brightest. He is the Governor of Governors; you are an example of Igbo exceptionalism…I also thank Imo Ohanaeze for choosing me as their consensus candidate.

“Igbos today are in a difficult situation  and we need maturity to solve those problems. My aim is to assemble the Igbos; all we need is to create a common cause. By coming to Ebonyi State today, we know that our future is bright.”

 

Trouble as woman dies in lover’s matrimonial home in Owerri

 

BY NGOZI OKORIE

THE Police in Imo State have commenced investigation into circumstances surrounding the death of a woman, who reportedly died in the matrimonial home of her lover.

The woman (names undisclosed) reportedly died on Thursday at the residence of a married man, at MCC Road, Owerri, the Imo State capital.

A source close to the family, but who preferred anonymity, told journalists that the deceased had been smuggled into the house by the head of the house, who had taken his wife and children to celebrate the New Year at the village.

Residents of the area where the incident occurred were thrown into panic as the cause of the woman’s death could not be readily ascertained. 

The source who spoke on the matter said, “The man took his family to the village, came back and took his mistress to a function. They attended a function together before going to his house.

“But the mistress died in the man’s house around midnight. The man has been arrested with the corpse evacuated.”

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, who confirmed the incident, said investigation had commenced into the cause of the death.

 

 

UAE firm to build world-class specialist hospital, medical diagnostic center in Osun – State Govt

 

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

OSUN State Government has disclosed that a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary firm with patented technologies, headquarted in the United Arab Emirates, UAE, and operating in several countries of the world, MGT Group, has expressed readiness to invest in building a world-class specialist hospital and a medical diagnostic center in the state.

The firm also expressed interest in investing in the State’s solid mineral asset.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor,  Ismail Omipidan, said in a statement that the Founder and Chairman of the MGT Group, Ashok Puri, applauded Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s administration for building, renovating and revitalising 332 Primary Healthcare Centres across the State, describing it as worthwhile, unprecedented and unparalleled.

Puri said this when he received Governor Oyetola, who was on a working visit to the firm’s office on Thursday.

The Governor was accompanied on the visit by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Abdullah Adeyanju Binuyo.

Puri noted that the firm had been following the news about Osun’s giant strides in the health sector, and was ready to complement the government’s efforts in boosting the sector.

He also commended the Governor’s leadership style and his commitment to attracting investments to the State.

In his response, Governor Oyetola expressed the administration’s readiness to attract investments to the State, stressing that the government would continue to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

“We are in a hurry to develop Osun. We have demonstrated this in the last two years and we will not be deterred even by the setback COVID-19 pandemic poses, in fulfilling our mandate to the good people of Osun,” he added.

The governor, accompanied by his Deputy Chief of Staff,  went on a trip to Dubai to seek partnerships with a team of investors in the health, water resources, tourism and solid mineral sectors, and attract investments to Osun.

 

 

Police, bane of Nigeria’s progress – Osun Judicial Panel of Inquiry

 

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR,OSOGBO

THE Osun State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra Judicial Killings, on Friday, said evidence brought before it by petitioners since it was constituted had shown that some officers of the Nigeria Police Force were the ones working against Nigeria’s progress.

Addressing journalists shortly after the panel resumed sitting on Friday, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Akinwale David Oladimeji, berated the attitude and misconduct of some officers and men of Nigeria Police Force.

Oladimeji said the panel had received 30 petitions so far.

The Panel reiterated its commitment to ensuring fair hearing and justice in all the petitions received within the time frame of the stipulated six months.

Oladimeji said it was unfortunate that most of the cases received were premised on the non-execution and non-implementation of court verdicts against police.

He said, “A lot of things have been exposed about the conduct and activity of the Nigeria Police.

“From the evidence we have gathered so far, it appears that it is some of the Police officers and men that are the cog in the wheel of progress of this country; that is my belief.”

Speaking on the proceedings so far, the Chairman of the Panel said some cases had been concluded while others had been treated for fair hearings.

He reafirmed the panel’s commitment to adjudicating justice within the period allocated to conclude all the hearings of all the petitions and cases before it.

He said, “We have been receiving petitions and we have about 30 cases. Though we have resolved some of the cases, there won’t be any report until we conclude all the proceedings.

“Generally, there has never been any delay except for some few cases. As you know, either the lawyer or petitioner can cause some delay because sometimes, they write letters for adjournments.

“We are used to that anyway, and we know how to handle such cases. The six months period will be sufficient. We have been in this business for years and we know how to manage lawyers.

“If it requires us to work extra time, we will do so. We will not hesitate to conclude the hearings within the stipulated period because we don’t want any extension of time.”

 

 

Orisabunmi: Nigerians suspect ‘Akufa’, COVID-19 as 3 siblings die in 3 days


BY REBECCA AJANI

THE death, in 72 hours, of three members of the family of popular Yoruba actress, Folake Aremu, widely known as Orisabunmi, has sparked off a debate on the likely cause of such a misfortune.

Some of those who spoke in separate interviews with THE POINT said the cause of the deaths might have been COVID-19 related as the siblings could have had close contact with one another while one of them was on treatment.

Others however said it could be a case of Akufa (a Yoruba terminology for deaths following a tragic death. It is usually of people related to the deceased).

THE POINT had reported that barely 72 hours after the death of Orisabunmi, her younger sister, Janet Ademola, also passed on.

The news of the death of Janet came as a shock to many, as Orisabunmi’s immediate elder brother, Steve Onisola, also died on Thursday, a day after the death of his younger sister.

Onisola, who was the Technical Director of Kwara Falcons Basketball Club, died at the age of 71 after a brief illness. Orisabunmi died at the age of 61.

Janet, who just passed on, was the last child of the family.

The news of her death was broken on Saturday by her nephew, Gbenga Onisola.

Janet had mourned her late sister, Orisabunmi, after her passing, saying she was her best friend who stood in as a mother to them all.

Recall that Orisabunmi’s ex-husband, under whom she trained, had died just a few months before the death of the popular actress.

The death, in quick succession, of these siblings has remained a mystery to many sympathisers.

Ademola Adeeyo, an Ibadan-based historian, told our correspondent that aside from the fact that COVID-19 was in the air and the new variant was very quick at doing irredeemable damage, what would come to mind in the case of the family of Orisabunmi was Akufa.

“Remember that Jimoh Aliu, her ex-husband died a few months before her death. It is not ordinary. I see this more as Akufa. The family members must take spiritual steps to stem the tide,” he said.

On his part, Sangodoyin Alamu, a script writer, told our correspondent that what was happening in the family of the late actress might not be related to COVID-19.

According to him, there might have been some spiritual steps taken in the past that could bring about such deaths if no one knows the antidote.

“The family needs serious cleansing for this to stop. It’s not about being educated. It is the reality. This is more like a case of Akufa,” he said.

But Anthony James said it was more like COVID-19.

“They were close relatives. If this new variant is as deadly as the doctors claim. Family members can die in quick succession,” he submitted.