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February 27, 2021

ADC Calls For Internal Audit Of INEC By-Elections

 ADC Calls For Internal Audit Of INEC By-Elections

The African Democratic Congress (ADC), has called for an internal audit of the incessant by-elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying that the cost is too heavy for the state, Political Parties and citizens.

The National Chairman, ADC, Chief Ralph Nwosu, while briefing newsmen on Friday, said another budget guzzling area that should concern Political Parties, INEC and the National Assembly is the state of elections in Nigeria and the effect on the economy.

According to him, “if anything untoward happens to our democracy, the National Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Political Parties will be the most hit, as having happened in our not too distant history. We must therefore be wary.

“Recently INEC has been on the offensive to create more polling stations in addition to the 120,000, in spite of the Nigeria budget limitations and economic struggles. INEC and the National Assembly has shown apathy to due diligence and efficacious financial management. The ration and rationale of election expenses to the GDP of the country are mind boggling and sparks signs of irresponsibility”, he said.

Nwosu further noted that many state Governors run their States from their expensive mansions in Dubai, London or States in the US, adding that at the national level, Legislators have become deal making and self-serving conspirators, whose salaries and allowances are far above that of their counterparts in any part of the world.

He also stated that Nigeria has become more divided than ever before, saying that the leaders at the national and state levels have learned the art of designing and borrowing framework to source for money across the world to no end, while they leave the country and future generations in perpetual debts.

Speaking on the progress of the Party, he said, “To show that we have made good progress, in 2018, ADC emerged as a party of choice after due diligence scrutiny conducted by eminent persons and leaders of civil societies in the country.

“Within the last 4months various Nigerian youth and women organizational leaders have openly endorsed ADC, and have integrated their structures into the struggle”.

While noting that Nigerians in the diaspora have adopted to embrace ADC, he added that they have started the formation of the largest global diaspora network with the formation of ADC Diaspora Network (ADC-DN).

“Also 23 political parties have agreed to party with ADC because our DNA appeals to them. Nevertheless, as no true and lasting foundation can be without challenges, ADC has become the number one target of the so-called parties in power.

“The positive has come as one to champion the cause and together, we shall prevail,” he said.



Nigeria More Divided Under PMB led Administration – ADC


The National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ralphs Okey Nwosu has accused the present administration of running the country at it’s  pace.

Mr. Nwosu who made the accusations while addressing a press conference in Abuja at the party head quarters said, Nigeria has become more divided than ever under President Buhari led administration.

“Today the President can afford to stay away for many months without handing over to the Vice, and many of our State Governors run their States from their expensive mansions in Dubai, London or US. At the national level, Legislators have become deal making and self-serving conspirators, whose salaries and allowances are far above that of their counterparts in any part of the world”. He said.

“The State Legislators are mere rubber stamps and boys/ladies of Ogas. Legislation has been turned upside down to legislooting. Ours has become a democracy where none of the  players strive to become statement/ladies, but money men/ladies; the new billionaires in town a few months after the election, specializing in giving handouts to their constituencies instead of providing opportunities and assuring quality health of the systems”.

He expressed worries over the members of the National Assembly who do not recognize their role in a tri-camera democracy, as according to him, the National Assembly is a treasure house from where they can deep hands into the treasury bank of the Country.

Nwosu further accused the speaker Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila of starting a willful journey that will further undermine the integrity of the National Assembly by orchestrating the APC  national poaching game into the house.

This he said, he did it by illegal announcing that Hon. Peter Makinde of Ondo East  and West decamped from ADC due to crisis in ADC.

“As the world can see, except the speaker and his co-travellers want to start a phantom storm in our party, ADC is intact and not just ready, but determined to take Nigeria to a great and new democratic leadership experience, by taking over the presidency and wininng most of the states and General Elections in 2023”. He noted.

While calling on internal audit of the bye-elections which according to him take place every month, he lamented the cost are too heavy for the state, political parties and Citizens.

“In some democracies, vacant positions especially at the legislative level are filled by Executive, the State Assembly members or a special arrangement  of political parties. Our elections and democracy must not continue to sap the country because leaders are inept, corrupt and uncreative. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the labour of our heroes last doesn’t end in vain”.Nwosu explained.


February 16, 2021

Buhari asks Senate to confirm Abdulrasheed Bawa as EFCC Chairman

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The President, in a letter to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, said he was acting in accordance with Paragraph 2(3) of Part1, CAP E1 of the EFCC Act 2004.

Bawa, 40, is a trained EFCC investigator with vast experience in the investigation and prosecution of Advance Fee Fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes.

He has undergone several specialised trainings in different parts of the world, and was one of the pioneer EFCC Cadet Officers in 2005.

Bawa holds a B.Sc degree in Economics, and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy.



NIRSAL facilitates N148bn investments in agric sector – MD



THE Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending has facilitated over N148 billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness.

Managing Director, NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhameed, who disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja, said the company also facilitated over N30 billion into the agric sector from January last year to date.

He said the organisation grew its balance sheet to N140 billion, adding that equity rose by 1,415 per cent and total assets by 87 per cent through prudent management of resources.

NIRSAL is a wholly-owned corporation of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Aliyu said though the company suffered a a stall during the COVID-19 induced lockdown in 2020, NIRSAL had to continue working.

“The stomach does not know whether there is pandemic or not,” he said.

He added, “In the course of the last 13 months, we facilitated the flow of over N30 billion into agricultural value chains from commercial banks and other sources.

“Even though our operations suffered a stall during the lockdown of 2020, our technological depth gave us a pathway to return to work while remaining safe and socially-distanced. As you know, it was important to continue, even increase, food and raw materials production as the pandemic bit harder.

“As enablers of actors in the agricultural value chain, we remained operational for those who were allowed by the Federal Government to move around for the purpose of producing food and rendering essential services in the society.”

“By remaining operational, our numbers grew: As at fourth quarter 2020 (Q4 2020), we had achieved the following: Facilitated over N148 billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness; aggregated over 3,000 agro geo-cooperatives with 500,000 farmers on nearly 800,000 hectares of land; and enrolled 1.4 million persons onto innovative insurance products designed by NIRSAL in collaboration with a consortium of agricultural insurance underwriters,” the MD said.



IGP moves to ‘reclaim public space from criminals’, flags off Operation Puff Adder II



THE Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Monday, flagged off a reinvigorated special security action plan, code-named, ‘Operation Puff Adder II’ to reinforce the ongoing fight against violent crimes in the country.

The IGP said the special operation was aimed at reclaiming the public space from criminals that were bent on threatening the internal security order across the country and bringing them to book.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, titled, ‘Stabilising Internal Security: IGP Flags-Off Operation Puff Adder II.’

The Intervention follows series of ethnic/herdsmen clashes and worsening security situation in many parts of the country.

According to the IGP, the flag-off is the first phase of the operation targeted at the full restoration of peace and security in the North-West and North-Central Geopolitical Zones of the country.

He said the operation was aimed at dislodging bandits from their current operational spaces and denying them space to regroup in other parts of the country.

The statement read, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has today, Monday, 15th February 2021 flagged-off a reinvigorated special security action plan, code-named ‘Operation Puff Adder II ’ to reinforce the ongoing fight against banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.

“The new special operation, which will be intelligence-led and community-driven, will be executed in sustained collaboration with the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Community and other sister security agencies. It is aimed at re-dominating and reclaiming the public space from criminals that are bent on threatening the internal security order across the country and bringing them to book.

“The IGP, during the flag-off of the Special Operation at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, noted that Operation Puff Adder II is an initiative of the Force conceived from a deliberate and critical evaluation of the pattern and trend of crimes in the country.

“With the Special Operation, there shall be a massive and well-planned deployment of both human and other operational assets of the Force to reinforce and consolidate on the successes and achievements of Operation Puff Adder I, launched by the IGP in April 2019.

“The IGP further noted that the flag-off is the first phase of the operation targeted at the full restoration of peace and security in the North-West and North-Central Geopolitical Zones of the country. The operation is aimed at dislodging bandits from their current operational spaces and denying them space to regroup in other parts of the country.

“It will also ensure that all arrested bandits and their collaborators are brought to book. In the long run, it is expected that the operation shall be replicated across other states of the Federation to deal with the security challenges inherent in those States.

“The IGP, while assuring the Police operatives of adequate welfare provisions during the mission, charged them to be civil with law-abiding citizens but firm and ruthless with criminal elements who may want to threaten the safety of citizens in their Areas of Responsibilities.”

The IGP assured Nigerians that the Force would continue to ensure stable security order across the country and urged the public to work with the Police and other security agencies by providing useful, relevant and timely information.


Court remands 2 members of notorious gang over alleged attempt to kill village head


A Makurdi Magistrates’ Court on Monday ordered that the duo of Samuel Odeh and Moses Ijuo, be remanded in a correctional centre over alleged attempt to kill one Chief Francis Okogi.

Okogi is the Clan Head of Ogege Idelle Village in Oju Local Government area in Benue.

The defendants, both from Oju Local Government area are being tried for criminal conspiracy, attempt to commit an offence to wit culpable homicide and illegal possession of firearms.

The Prosecutor, Insp James Ewache, told the court that the case was reported by one Abraham Onyeka of Ogege Idelle Village at the Oju Police Station on January 21.

Ewache alleged that the defendants, who had been terrorising innocent citizens of the village, were arrested by members of the community.

He said that one locally made pistol was allegedly recovered from Odeh when he was arrested.

Ewache said that Odeh conspired with his gang members, many of whom were at large, on January 20 and invaded the residence of Okogi.

He alleged that in an attempt to kill the village head, they shot at him but the village head escaped.

He said that during police investigation, Odeh allegedly revealed that the pistol he used during the attack was given to him by the second defendant, Ijuo.

Ewache said the offences contravened Section 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms Act, 2004 and Section 230 of the Penal Code, Law of Benue state, 2004.

The Magistrate, Mrs Erdoo Ter, who did not take the plea of the defendants for want of jurisdiction, ordered that the defendants should be remanded at the Makurdi Correctional Centre.

Ter adjourned the case until March 15, for further hearing.



UPDATED! APC officially welcomes Omisore in Osun



FORMER Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, on Monday, formally defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Omisore, who analysts said had nominally remained in the Social Democratic Party since after the 2018 governorship election in Osun State, picked his APC membership card at St. Gabriel Polling Unit 003, in Ife-East Local Government area of the State.

The top Osun politician contested the 2018 governorship poll on the platform of SDP, but came third in the election declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

He subsequently entered into an alliance with the APC for a rerun, to ensure victory for Governor Gboyega Oyetola, as Ife, his stronghold, was among the four Local Government Areas, where the rerun was billed to hold.

Recall that the former Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, had in 2002 defected from the Alliance for Democracy, the political platform on which he was elected Deputy Governor to former Governor Adebisi Akande.

Reacting to his defection, the Chairman of Osun APC, Gboyega Famodun, said Omisore displayed progressive tendencies and formed an alliance with the APC to banish the reign of PDP.

He said, “I want to welcome former Deputy Governor and illustrious son of Ile-Ife, Senator Iyiola Omisore, to our party, APC.

“Omisore displayed his progressive tendencies which are service to his people and unalloyed love to the well being of Osun People; he chose between lies and truth; he opted for the truth and service to the people and formed an alliance with our great party to put an end to PDP rascality.

“Otunba started his political career as a progressive and this is a homecoming for us. I welcome you to this party.

“I am glad to witness the registration of Senator Iyiola Omisore into APC. What is being done today puts an end to all the insinuations that he will never join APC and that he is deceiving APC.

“On behalf of the leadership of the party, I want to thank you, Senator, such that what you are doing today will be of immense benefit to APC, Ile-Ife and Osun State. This will be the beginning of a new era in the state.”


February 15, 2021

46-year-old civil servant stabs wife to death over ‘strange text messages’



THE Ogun State Police Command has arrested a 46-year-old man for stabbing his wife to death over a suspicion that she was engaging in extramarital affairs.

The suspect, identified as Sobola Olatunji, a staff of Remo North Local Government Area of the state, was said to have been arrested, following a report by the father of the deceased.

The father of the late woman, Ambali Yinusa, had reported at Owode-Egba Divisional Headquarters that his son-in-law stabbed his daughter at the back with a knife during a misunderstanding.

The DPO at Owode-Egba Police Division, CSP Matthew Ediae, was said to have dispatched detectives to the scene where the suspect was arrested.

The victim was said to have been rushed to the hospital, but died while receiving treatment. Her corpse has been deposited at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital morgue for autopsy, it was learnt.

The suspect, Olatunji, claimed to have been married to his wife for 20 years during interrogation, adding that he had suspected that she was having an extramarital affair, owing to some text messages he read on her phone.

He added that when he confronted her, the situation degenerated into a fight, which eventually led to the death of the victim.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the homicide section of the state criminal investigation and intelligence department for further investigation and prosecution.


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, new WTO head ‘not just liked in Nigeria, she is loved’

TWICE Nigeria’s finance minister and first woman foreign minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been described as a trailblazer.

The 66-year-old made more history on Monday when she was appointed as the first African and woman to head the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Aside from her time in public office, the development economist also spent a quarter-century at the World Bank — rising to be managing director and running for the top role in 2012.

“I think she has delivered, whether in Nigeria or in other countries where she worked,” Idayat Hassan of the Centre for Democracy and Development research and advocacy group told AFP.

Born in 1954 in Ogwashi Ukwu, in Delta State, western Nigeria, her father is a traditional ruler. She spent much of her life in the United States, graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, where she sent her four children.

“She is not just liked in Nigeria, she is loved, because she is a symbol, and people are gunning for her because of what she represents for womanhood,” said Hassan.

– ‘Boldness, courage’ –

Okonjo-Iweala has also brushed off claims she lacks experience as a trade minister or negotiator.

“I’ve been doing that all my life, working on trade policy issues,” she said during a webinar organised by Chatham House in July.

“Most of all,” she said, the choice for director general should go beyond technical skills, “you need boldness, courage”.

She was recently named the African Union’s special envoy to mobilise international support for the continent’s efforts to address the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Okonjo-Iweala has warned that growing protectionism and nationalism have been spurred on by the crisis and insists barriers need to be lowered to help the world recover.

“One way to ensure the adequate supply and equitable distribution of vaccines is to remove some of the barriers created by intellectual property and technology transfer laws,” she wrote in April in Foreign Affairs magazine.



WHO urges African countries to map out response plans, as Ebola spreads in Guinea


THE World Health Organisation (WHO) says Guinean health authorities have declared an outbreak of Ebola in a rural community in the south of the country with no fewer than seven people infected.

WHO Regional Office for Africa, in a statement posted on its website, stated that three people have died out of the seven people infected.

According to the statement, this is the first time the disease has been reported in the country since the deadly 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa which claimed over 11,000 lives.

The statement quoted Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, as saying, “It’s a huge concern to see the resurgence of Ebola in Guinea, a country which has already suffered so much from the disease.

“However, banking on the expertise and experience built during the previous outbreak, health teams in Guinea are on the move to quickly trace the path of the virus and curb further infections.”

According to the UN health agency, the cases, which were confirmed by the national laboratory, occurred in Gouéké in N’Zerekore prefecture, in southern Guinea.

Initial investigations found that a nurse from a local health facility died on the 28 January.

Following her burial, six people who attended the funeral reported Ebola-like symptoms and two of them later died. The other four are in hospital.

Samples of the confirmed cases have been sent to the Institut Pasteur centre in Senegal for full genome sequencing to identify the strain of the Ebola virus.

Guinea was one of the three most-affected countries in the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak which was the largest since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

The outbreak, which saw some 28,000 cases, including 11,000 deaths, started in Guinea and then moved across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

According to the statement, staff from WHO are already on the ground, assisting surveillance, and infection prevention and control efforts.

“WHO personnel are also reaching out to communities to ensure they take a key role in the response.

“In addition, the agency is also helping Guinea procure the Ebola vaccine which has proven instrumental in controlling outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

As the epicentre of the current outbreak in a border area, it stated that WHO was also working with health authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“WHO is helping the countries to step up community surveillance of cases in their border districts as well as strengthening their capacity to test for cases and conduct surveillance in health facilities.

“WHO is also reaching out to Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and other countries at risk in the region,’’ the UN heath agency said.

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a rare but severe, often fatal illness in humans. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50 per cent, with rates having varied from 25 per cent to 90 per cent in past outbreaks.

The Ebola virus spreads through contact with the body fluids – such as vomit, faeces or blood – of an infected person, or through surfaces and materials (such as bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is from two to 21 days. The symptoms of EVD can be sudden and include fever, fatigue, muscle, pain, headache, and sore throat.

This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases internal and external bleeding.


Shasha crisis: IGP deploys 4 units of mobile police, surveillance helicopter to Oyo


THE Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the immediate deployment of Police Intervention and Stabilisation Forces to Oyo State.

This, he did, to reclaim the public space, reinforce security and bolster public confidence in the areas affected by the recent crisis in the state.

Disclosing this in a statement, Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, said, “The deployments, consisting largely of intelligence and operational assets of the Force, include four (4) Units of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), seasoned operatives from the Force Intelligence Bureau and one (1) operational/surveillance Police helicopter from the Police Air-wing department

“The Intervention Force is charged with the responsibility of reinforcing and stabilizing security in the State, preventing further breakdown of law and order, protecting lives and properties and ultimately enhancing public safety and general security in the State.”

He added that the Intervention Force was being coordinated by a Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG David Folawiyo, who was expected to mobilise all relevant stakeholders towards achieving the mandate of the squad.

“The IGP assures that the Force is committed to the safety of lives and properties of the citizens in the country,” he said.

“He calls on the citizens and residents of Oyo State and other Nigerians to embrace peace and cooperate with the Police and the security community as they redouble their efforts in ensuring that sustainable peace and security are restored to the affected areas,” Mba added.


WAEC releases ‘WASSCE for Private Candidate’ results, withholds 5,548



WEST African Examination Council, WAEC, Nigeria, has announced the release of results of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE for Private Candidate, 2020, Second Series.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Head of the Nigeria National Office, Patrick Areghan, said a total of 66,375 candidates, representing a 31.63 per cent decline when compared with the 2019 figure, entered for the examination.

He, however, noted that 61, 509 candidates actually sat for the examination at 540 centres spread across the country.

According to him, of the total number of 61,509 candidates that sat for the examination, 30,507 were males while 31,002 were females, representing 49.60 per cent and 50.40 per cent, respectively.

Areghan said, “I also wish to report that a total of One Hundred and One (101) candidates with varying degrees of Special Needs were registered for the examination. Out of this number, Thirty Nine (39) were visually challenged, Fifteen (15) had impaired hearing; Ten (10) were Albinos; One (1) was spastic cum mentally challenged, and Thirty Six (36) were physically challenged.

“All these candidates with special needs were adequately provided for in the administration of the examination. The results of these candidates have also been processed and released along with those of other candidates.”

He, however, said out of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination, 61,111 candidates, representing 99.35 per cent, had their results fully processed and released while 398 candidates, representing 0.65 per cent, had a few of their subjects still being processed due to errors on the part of the candidates.

He said, “The analysis of the performance of candidates shows that out of the 61,509 candidates that sat for the examination, 24,491 candidates, representing 39.82 per cent, obtained credit and above in minimum of five subjects including English and Mathematics.

“Of this number 12,040, that is 49.16 per cent, were male candidates while 12, 451 (50.84 per cent) were female candidates.”

He explained further that the percentage of candidates in this category in the WASSCE for private candidates, 2018 and 2019, those who obtained credit and above in a minimum of five (5) subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, were 35.99 per cent and 35.10 per cent, respectively.

“Thus, there is a marginal increase of 4.72 per cent in performance in this regard,” he said.

According to Areghan, 31,751 candidates, representing 51.62 per cent, obtained credit and above in a minimum of five (5) subjects (with or without English Language and/or Mathematics; out of which 15,376 were males and 16,375 were females, representing 48.43 per cent and 51.57 per cent, respectively.

He added that the results of 5,548 candidates, representing 9.02 per cent of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination, were being withheld in connection with various reported cases of examination malpractice.

“The cases are being investigated and reports of the investigations will be presented to the appropriate Committee of the Council for determination in due course. The Committee’s decisions will be communicated directly to the affected candidates thereafter,” he said.

The HNO expressed the council’s profound gratitude to the Government of Nigeria for creating the enabling environment for WAEC to successfully conduct the examination, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are happy to report that throughout the conduct of the examination, there was no reported case of any candidate, invigilator, supervisor, WAEC staff or any examination functionary, for that matter, going down with the dreaded Coronavirus disease,” he stated.


BREAKING! Finally, WTO confirms Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala as DG


FORMER Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has finally been confirmed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

She was selected by consensus to be the next WTO DG at a closed-door meeting on Monday, Reuters reported, quoting two sources attending the meeting.

All members of the WTO’s top decision-making body, the General Council, agreed on her appointment in a virtual meeting, which had just one agenda item, they said.

The WTO subsequently confirmed the choice.

Details later…


Jaguar Land Rover to go 100% electric, to add 6 ‘pure electric variants’ in 5 years


LUXURY car group Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unveiled plans to go electric on Monday, saying it aims to be net zero on carbon emissions by 2039 as it joined a global race to roll out clean-energy vehicles.

The Tata Motors-owned group’s strategy – internally referred to as “Reimagine” – comes as car groups worldwide accelerate moves towards fleets powered by electric and other green technologies.

Land Rover will add six pure electric variants in the next five years and future Jaguar models will be built exclusively on a pure electric architecture, JLR said, adding, that the first all-electric variant of Land Rover will debut in 2024.

Shares of parent company Tata Motors jumped as much as 3% to 335 rupees after the announcement.

Last month, General Motors Co said it aimed for all new cars, SUVs and light pickup trucks to have zero-tailpipe emissions by 2035, a dramatic shift by the largest U.S. automaker away from gasoline and diesel engines.

By 2030, it is anticipated that 100% of Jaguar cars, and 60% of Land Rovers, will be equipped with zero-tailpipe powertrains, JLR said.

Late on Friday, Tata Motors named Marc Llistosella as its new chief executive.



Police arraign man for allegedly stealing 165 Samsung phones


THE Police, on Monday, arraigned a 26-year-old man, Abu Adams, before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing 165 pieces of Samsung phones, worth N11.6 million.

The defendant, who is being charged for theft, under Section 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, ASP Benson Emuerhi, told the court that Adams committed the offence on January 16 at 7am, at Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja.

Emuerhi said that the defendant stole 165 pieces of Samsung phones, valued at N11.6 million, property of Nelson Nigeria Ltd.

“Adams entered the shop and stole the items from where they were kept,” the prosecutor said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 287 stipulates a seven-year jail term for the offence.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr J. A. Adegun, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000, with two sureties in like sum.

He, thereafter, adjourned the case till March 1 for further hearing.


ADC congratulates Buhari, Nigerians on Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as WTO DG



THE African Democratic Congress has congratulated former Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her confirmation as the first African and first female to be appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

The party in a statement, on Monday, signed by the National Chairman, Ralphs Okey Nwosu, said the report of her confirmation, at a time drums of disintegration were sounding louder than ever in Nigeria, came as a relief to those who still believed in a greater Nigeria in the near future.

ADC congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, and indeed all Nigerians, for the success of Okonjo-Iweala’s struggle for the Number One trade facilitating position in the world, saying it was not by chance that Nigerian men and women were directing critical affairs, globally.

Nwosu said, “We join President Muhammadu Buhari, and indeed, all Nigerians to rejoice over the successful bid of our own Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in the WTO Director-General race.

“We also thank all countries and groups that have made this dream a reality and assure them that the new DG will put her experience to bear in her new duty and demonstrate to the world, once again, that Nigerians, with first rate brains, can excell in the toughest of terrains.

“Okonjo-Iweala has demonstrated her capacity to lead in any frontline global position, as a two-time minister in Nigeria, at a time, coordinating all other ministers, and as a force to reckon with at the World Bank, among others. We are sure that she will justify the confidence reposed in her.”

The ADC National Chairman, however, urged the President to urgently and truly address the ongoing ethnic crisis in the country, saying hiding behind a finger in the name of intervention could spell doom.


SERAP asks court to stop Buhari from ‘violating human rights’ by implementing CAMA 2020



SOCIO-ECONOMIC Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit, seeking an order stopping President Muhammadu Buhari from implementing what it described as the unconstitutional provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, which allow the Federal Government to arbitrarily and unilaterally cancel or revoke the certificate of registration of any association on “flimsy grounds”, noting that these provisions may be used as a pretext for violation of rights.

SERAP is specifically asking the Federal High Court, Abuja, to stop the President from implementing the provisions of CAMA, 2020, which allow the Federal Government “to arbitrarily merge a new association with an already registered association; to suspend and remove trustees of any association; and to take over funds belonging to any association, and transfer such funds to another association on the pretext that the account is dormant.”

Joined as Defendants in the suit marked, “FHC/ABJ/CS/172/2021”, filed last Friday,
are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Corporate Affairs Commission.

SERAP had, in August 2020, written a letter to the President, requesting him to revoke his assent to CAMA 2020 and return it to the National Assembly for repeal of the “repressive provisions”, particularly sections 839, 842, 843, 844 and 850 contained in Part F of the Act, and any other similar provisions.

The group said, “The right to freely associate with others works both ways. The others you want to associate with must be prepared to associate with you. None can be imposed on the other. The right to freedom of association also connotes the right of the others to freely associate with or dissociate from whosoever.

“The Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights guarantee to everyone the right to freedom of association, to belong to any association of their choice. By allowing the Defendants to arbitrarily merge two or more private associations, religious associations, charities, NGOs or professional bodies, CAMA 2020 blatantly violates this fundamental human right.”

“Section 842(2)(a)(b)(5)(6) of CAMA 2020 violates the right of these associations and other Nigerians to property including the right to operate their bank accounts and use their funds the way they choose to subject to already existing banking regulations and practices,” it added.

SERAP has therefore sought for an order of injunction restraining CAC or persons acting on its instructions from further implementing, applying and enforcing “the offensive and unlawful provisions of sections 831; 839; 842; and 850 of CAMA 2020 and any regulations made pursuant to these provisions, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.”

The suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers – Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi.

It read in part, “The power under section 831[i][ii] to merge associations without their consent is manifestly unwarranted and serves no purpose, and yet most likely to be abused to violate the rights of individuals to associate with other people of like minds, particularly given the growing restriction on civic space and crushing of peaceful protests in the country.

“The Defendants do not have the constitutional and legal power to suspend or remove a trustee of any registered association on a mere belief or suspicion the association is engaged in fraud, and without due process of law, and fair hearing.

“There is no provision in Section 839(7) of CAMA 2020 to the effect that a person or trustee affected can make representations and defend themselves as stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution and international standards. This provision does not provide for any administrative or quasi-judicial review or appeal process, which means the decision by the Corporate Affairs Commission is final.

“The power to arbitrarily and unilaterally suspend and remove trustees of any legally registered association, and to appoint an interim manager or managers to run the affairs of any such association on the basis of undefined public interest is unlawful, and contrary to the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights treaties to which the country is a state party. The exercise of this arbitrary power is subject only to the approval of the supervisory Minister, a political appointee.

“Section 842(2)(a)(b) of CAMA 2020 which allows the taking over and transfer of funds belonging to a registered association such as private associations, religious associations, charities, NGOs or professional bodies registered under Part F, to another association is in clear violation of Section 44(1) of the Nigerian Constitution, as it does not provide for payment of compensation and the opportunity for the determination of the interests of the association before a court of law.

“In Nigeria, everyone has a right to their property, and this right cannot be arbitrarily taken away. A recognized and acceptable canon of interpretation is that statutes such as CAMA 2020 which purport to deprive citizens of their proprietary interest and acquired rights, are always interpreted strictly.

“Section 850(3) of CAMA 2020 which provides for notice of hearing of the petition to be given to association is of no consequence, as the subject matter of the suit for dissolution would have been dealt with by the act of the Corporate Affairs Commission alone without recourse to due process of law.”

On account of these arguments, SERAP is seeking the following reliefs:

“A DECLARATION that Section 831(i)(ii) of CAMA 2020 which empowers the 3rd Defendant to treat an association as forming part of an already registered association and treating two or more associations as one is null, void and of no effect under Section 1(1)(3) of the Nigerian Constitution, for being inconsistent with Section 40 of the Constitution, Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

“A DECLARATION that Section 839(1) and (7) of CAMA 2020 which empowers the 3rd Defendant to suspend and/or remove trustees of a legally registered trusties is null, void and of no effect under Section 1(1)(3) of the Nigerian Constitution, for being inconsistent with Sections 36(1)(2) and 40 of the Constitution, Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

“A DECLARATION that Section 842(2)(a)(b), and (5)(6); 850(1)(d) and (2)(e) of CAMA 2020 is null, void and of no effect under Section 1(1)(3) of the Nigerian Constitution, for being inconsistent with Sections 36(1)(2); 40 and 44(1) of the Constitution, Articles 22 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Articles 7 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

“AN ORDER OF COURT declaring Sections 831(i)(ii); 839(1)(7); 842(2)(a)(b), (5) and (6) and 850(1)(d)(2)(e) of CAMA 2020 as null, void and of no effect under Section 1(1)(3) of the Constitution, for being inconsistent with Sections 36(1)(2); 40 and 44(1) of the Constitution

“AN ORDER OF COURT setting aside portions of Company Regulations and other directives and regulations made by the Defendants [particularly the 3rd Defendant] pursuant to, and specifically relating to Sections 831(i)(ii); 839(1) & (7); 842(2)(a)(b), (5)(6) and 850(1)(d)(2)(e) of CAMA 2020

“AND any other ancillary or consequential orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this case.”

A date has yet to be fixed for the hearing of the suit.



Why we’ll enforce 7 days ultimatum given to killer herdsmen to leave our community – Yewa youths



THERE was pandemonium at the weekend in Orile-Igbooro, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, when hoodlums, suspected to be herdsmen reportedly launched an attack on the community, killing no fewer than four persons.

Some houses were burnt while many people were seriously injured in the crisis, which was said to have affected some other communities in the area.

In reaction to the recent attack and previous ones cited, Yewa youths, under the auspices of Yewa North Patriotic Forum, has given killer herdsmen seven days to vacate the community.

In a statement titled, “YNPF to killer Fulani herdsmen: We can’t condone you beyond seven days”, signed by the President of the group, Sani Omobolaji, the youths alleged that villagers had been living in fear of killings which could only be traced to the killer herdsmen.

Abiodun Kazeem, an indigene of the community, told our correspondent that though the youths were aware that it was not right to take laws into their hands, they would do everything to implement the ultimatum given the herders.

“We sent a message out. They must obey it. They can’t continue intimidating us in our own community. Enough is enough. Governor Dapo Abiodun should do the needful and not treat this with kid gloves. We can’t continue suffering the loss of lives and property,” he told THE POINT.

The Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, has also appealed to the Federal Government and the State Government to wade into the crisis and protect the lives and property of people in the area.

This was as a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Wahab Haruna Egungbohun, also spoke on the incident, saying the killings in the community were becoming unbearable.

He noted that his people could no longer sleep with their eyes closed.

He said, “On Thursday, some communities in Yewa North, that include Owode Ketu, Ijoun, Eggua, Igan-Alade, Tata were reportedly attacked by herdsmen who killed two villagers.

“On Friday night again, heavily armed men entered Orile-Igbooro village in Yewa North and no fewer than four villagers were killed, some houses burnt while many people were left with varying degrees of injury.”

“It is clear that these herdsmen are behind the attacks. Ketu Constituency II has often witnessed violence attacks stemming from disputes between herdsmen and farmers,” the lawmaker added.

THE POINT had reported that the Chairman of the South West Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, had appealed to the Yorubas in Ibadan, Oyo State, and all residents of the South West, to remain law abiding even in the face of provocation.

Akeredolu said while he understood the height of provocation in the light of recent happenings in Shasha, Ibadan, he, along with other South West Governors were against willful appropriation of laws into indigenes’ hands.

He spoke in a statement he personally signed on Saturday night, saying the governors noted “with deep concern, the most unfortunate and avoidable orgy of violence in Shasha, Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital.”

According to the Governor, the situation people from the South West are confronted with is most despicable and contends against the values they are known for.

He therefore appealed to Yorubas to sustain the values of not identifying with lawlessness, noting that this was not a sign of weakness but strength.



Why I will never give up on Buhari – Tunde Bakare



SERVING Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said he will never give up on President Muhammadu Buhari, regardless of the circumstances.

He said the President could only do his bit in the efforts at setting things right in the nation, while others would also play their parts.

Bakare who was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election, under the Congress for Progressive Change, added that he could not also give up on Nigeria because his destiny was intertwined with that of the nation.

He spoke during a sermon in Church, monitored by THE POINT on Sunday.

He said, “I was talking to some friends; we constantly meet in Abuja to discuss the present, the future of Nigeria and what we think can be done. And when they were talking, I said to them: Why I will never give up on Buhari is that he can only do his bit, if he is a forerunner, others will come and fix it.

“I can never give up on him because any friendship that ends never started. Regardless of what he does, he is one person; regardless of who surrounds him.”

The pastor noted that he could not also give up on Nigeria because of the circumstances of his birth.

“When I was born, for the first three years, I couldn’t walk, I would crawl to go and get water, until my third birthday when I got up and started running. My mother never gave up on me; if she had given up on me, I would have given up,” he said.

“If Nigeria is crawling and can’t walk, I will never give up on this nation. No matter what happens, I will never give up on this nation because my destiny is intertwined with that of this nation. Nigeria will be saved; Nigeria will be changed; Nigeria will become great in my lifetime,” Bakare, who is also the Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society (Africa), declared.

On the current Fulani herdsmen crisis in the South West and the various narratives surrounding it, he advised Nigerians to mind their utterances in the interest of peace.

He said, “Not all Fulanis are evil. Stop the nonsense going on in our land. There are criminals among Fulanis, there are criminals among Yorubas, there are criminals among Igbos. Don’t make a sweeping statement to paint everybody with the same paint.

“The Lord will begin to diminish the criminals amongst us, East, West and South, and let a new culture evolve in our land. Don’t misuse your tongue to bastardise everybody and just call everyone names.

“What do you want to say about me? If I tell you the story of my life now, they will call me Fulani, so I’ll keep quiet. I’m a thoroughbred Nigerian and the hope of Africa is getting Nigeria right so that every black man, everywhere can walk tall.”

Recall that Pastor Bakare had recently explained that he was quoted out of context in reports that quoted him as saying that President Buhari had disappointed Nigerians.

He said the newspapers chose the angle they liked and misrepresented the facts in the process, in order to sell their papers.

He was quoted to have said that there was a general feeling of disappointment among Nigerians with the Buhari administration.

Bakare had, in an interview with the Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu, said the drum of disintegration was louder in Nigeria than before, but that he was optimistic that the country would survive and become “the Nigeria of our dreams”.



FG hands over National Theatre to Bankers’ Committee, as N21.89bn renovation project begins



THE Federal Government has handed over the National Arts Theatre to the Bankers’ Committee for renovation, as approved by the Federal Executive Council.

A Memorandum of Understanding and Contract Award Signing ceremony to this effect held at the weekend in Lagos between the Federal Government and the Bankers’ Committee, which is expected to provide about N21.89 billion for the project.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, represented the Federal Government at the ceremony, while the Bankers’ Committee was represented by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

Also present at the event were the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; and Chairman, Body of Bank CEOs, Herbert Wigwe.

According to the CBN Governor, the reconstruction and refurbishment of the National Theater, including the proposed Lagos Creative and Entertainment Center, is expected to be completed within 15 months.

He also projected that 35,000 jobs would be created with the implementation of the project.

Recall that the Minister of Information had, after the last FEC meeting in Abuja, told State House Correspondents that the Bankers’ Committee was expected to provide about N21.89 billion for the renovation of the National Theatre.

He said the apex bank was also expected to manage the refurbished National Theatre for a few years before handing it over to the Federal Government.

“The President had in 2020 given approval to the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee, to develop, refurbish, renovate the National Theatre, and at the same time, take over the adjoining lands to create a veritable creative industry where there will be four hubs. One for films, one for music, one for IT and the other for fashion,” Mohammed said.

Shedding more light on the project, Emefiele said, “The idea behind the project, christened, ‘Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre,’ is simple. First, we seek to restore the glory of an iconic building by aligning most of the fabric and equipment, and facilities in the building with the aesthetics of the 21st century.

“Second, to develop an ecosystem of creative hubs on the adjoining 44-Hectare parcel of land. This new facility will complement and enhance the National Arts Theatre.

“The Bankers’ Committee is providing funding for a prototype cluster located to the north of the National Arts Theatre, a development which we have labelled the ‘Signature Cluster’. This facility will be a convenor, providing space, support network, business development, and community engagement for the creative, cultural and technology sectors.

“The Signature Cluster will consist of a building each for Music, Film, Fashion, and Information Technology verticals. In addition to these, a welcome/visitor’s centre, Police and Fire Stations, and structured parking for up to 500 vehicles will be built.”

The apex bank boss said he anticipated that about 10,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created during the construction of the Lagos Creative and Entertainment Centre.

“We also project that over 25,000 people will be engaged in different sections of the Centre, when the Signature Cluster is completed, with an anticipated multiplier effect of other job opportunities,” he noted.


‘Attacks on Yoruba race’: Tinubu silent because of his political ambition – Timi Frank



FORMER Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, has called on a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, to speak up in defence of the Yoruba race “now under fierce attacks by herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers.”

He made the call just as he berated President Muhammadu Buhari and Tinubu, over the recent crisis in Oyo State as well as across the South West and other regions of Nigeria.

Frank, in a statement in Abuja, on Monday, also decried the spate of insecurity in the country, especially in the South West, saying that Buhari and Tinubu should be held responsible for the crises.

He urged the APC leader to break his silence and speak up against the attacks in his region, saying his continued silence does not portray him as a leader who has the interest of his people at heart.

He said, “The crisis in the South-West should be solely blamed on Tinubu who foisted Buhari on Nigerians and especially on the South West.

“How can Tinubu continue to keep mute over the attacks in Oyo State and other South West states?

“Tinubu is a leader of the Yorubas in South West. Asiwaju cannot be silent over matters involving threats to life, peace and security of his people.

“His continued silence has become too loud, especially owing to the fact that he was the major influence and the reason the Yorubas voted massively for Buhari in 2015.

“Tinubu’s silence shows he is only protecting his business interests in the South-West as well as protecting his political ambition.

“He does not want to shatter his relationship with Buhari which in turn, by his calculation, would attract the President’s nod for him to have a shot at the presidency come 2023.

“But as a leader of the region, Tinubu should speak against the attacks against his people and not be driven by his selfish 2023 presidential ambition.”

The Bayelsa-born activist added, “Nigeria is more divided under Buhari than it has ever been before. Buhari’s government has polarised the country across religious and ethnic lines.

“This government is so clueless and incompetent that it recognises and shows a soft hand on terrorist groups like Boko Haram, killer herdsmen and bandits, but sadly mete out cruelty on innocent and patriotic Nigerians.

“Look at the number of security personnel it sent to wickedly dehumanise and arrest peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.

“Yet, the Buhari government can’t send a similar proportion of law enforcement agencies after killer herdsmen.

“Instead, the President is emboldening the terrorist groups with his direct and indirect support, even against the South-West region and the likes of Tinubu have kept silent while their people suffer.”

Frank, however, urged all Nigerians and especially the leaders in the South-West to “unite and fight this common enemy.”

He urged other regions to also join in the fight, warning that if the trend was allowed to fester, sooner than later, the crisis of insecurity might grow out of proportion in every region of the country.



Valentine: Access Bank’s ‘It’s a Love Thing’ campaign to run till Feb. 28



ACCESS Bank Plc has unveiled a series of exciting offers to celebrate its customers this Valentine season.

The campaign, tagged, “It’s a Love Thing” is the 4th edition and will run from February 10 to February 28, 2021.

A statement quoted the Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, as saying, “Valentine season gives us another opportunity to show love to our customers and reward their loyalty for banking with us. We are using this opportunity to thank our customers for their commitment to Access Bank.

“We appreciate our customers as well as non-customers who depend on our services and products to achieve seamless banking transactions and wish everyone a happy valentine’s celebration.”

Group Head, Consumer Banking, Adaeze Umeh, added, “In the spirit of the love season, we have created unique and amazing offers to meet the needs of our customers this season. Our Device Finance offer allows our customers to gift their loved ones with new devices for as low as N1,500 per month. All they need to do is to download the Quickbucks app to get started.

“Customers who perform at least fourtransactions daily using our mobile app or USSD service *901# will stand a chance to win N1 million at the end of February, 2021.

“We will also offer a 20 per cent discount to the first 4,000 customers who subscribe to our XclusivePlus quarterly plan between today and the last day of February 2021.

“Our merchant customers are not left out of the fun this season, we will be rewarding them with shopping vouchers when they perform transactions up to N200,000 or more on SwiftPay which is a revolutionary payment platform designed for SMEs who do business on social media.

“We are offering these and so much more to show how much we appreciate our customers for their consistent patronage.”

“To join the rewarding train, all you need to do is to dial *901# to open a new account or walk into any Access Bank branch close to you to reactivate your account and start transacting today to enjoy the Valentine Campaign benefits,” Adaeze noted.



How France ‘helped Rwanda genocide suspects escape’ in 1994 – Report


AUTHORITIES in Paris helped suspects in the 1994 Rwanda genocide to escape while under French military protection, according to a diplomatic cable, rekindling Kigali’s allegations France secretly supported Hutu forces behind the killings.

The document, written by France’s envoy to Rwanda and obtained by AFP Sunday from a lawyer researching France’s actions during the genocide, suggested that Paris knew suspects had sought refuge in a “humanitarian safe zone” controlled by French soldiers.

The soldiers had arrived in June 1994 as part of the UN-mandated Operation Turquoise to stop the massacres that left at least 800,000 people dead, mainly among the Tutsi ethnic minority.

French envoy to Rwanda Yannick Gerard wrote to his superiors to ask what to do with the genocide suspects, in a cable found in the archives of an adviser to Francois Mitterrand, the French president at the time.

“We have no other choice… but to arrest them or place them immediately under house arrest to wait for international judicial authorities to decide their case,” Gerard wrote, in excerpts of the cable first published by French investigative website Mediapart on Sunday.

– ‘All indirect channels’ –

The cable was discovered by Francois Graner, a lawyer who works with the victims’ rights group “Survie” (Survival) and who won a years-long battle last June to finally get access to Mitterrand’s archives.

In response, French foreign ministry officials told Gerard: “You can… use all indirect channels, especially your African contacts, without exposing yourself directly, to transmit to these authorities our wish that they leave the Humanitarian Safe Zone.”

“You will note in particular that the international community, and in particular the United Nations, will determine very soon how to proceed with these so-called authorities,” it continued, referring to the former Hutu regime who had sought refuge in southwest Rwanda near the border with what was then Zaire.

It is signed by Bernard Emie, a foreign ministry adviser who is now the head of France’s DGSE foreign intelligence service.

“It’s the missing written piece of evidence, an essential piece of the puzzle,” Graner told AFP.

Tensions have remained fraught between Rwanda and France, which has always denied claims that it sided with the Hutu regime and failed to stop the surge in anti-Tutsi hatred following the 1994 assassination of then-president Juvenal Habyarimana.

But in 2019, President Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of an expert panel of historians and researchers to look into the claims, widely hailed as an effort to confront France’s troubled past in Africa.

While Rwanda was never a French colony, successive French governments cultivated close ties after the country’s independence from Belgium in 1962, including training its top military leaders.



Fidelity Bank issues largest ticket Tier II local bonds in Nigeria



FIDELITY Bank Plc has successfully issued N41.21billion in fixed rate unsecured subordinated bond, with a 10-year tenor, at 8.5 per cent coupon rate, due in 2031.

The bank said the bond issuance was fully subscribed, noting that total investor interest and commitments in the bonds were N56.6billion.

This, it said, added to the impressive portfolio of landmark transactions structured by Fidelity Bank and underscored its capacity to successfully execute debt capital market transactions.

The transaction is a landmark achievement in the Nigerian domestic debt market for being the largest corporate bonds ever issued by a Nigerian bank.

In December, the bank had announced plans to issue fixed income securities with a 10-year tenor to support the growth and development of Small Medium Enterprises, Retail Business as well as its technology infrastructure. It conducted the debt issuance under its registered N100billion bond issuance programme.

Speaking on the significance and success of the bond issuance, Chairman, Fidelity Bank, Mustapha Chike-Obi, said the bond issuance further demonstrated the bank’s confidence in Nigeria’s debt market.

“It also validates the continued investor confidence in our corporate strategy and aspirations, strong corporate governance structure and solid and stable executive management team with robust history of superior financial performance and returns,” Obi explained.

In her comments, Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, noted that proceeds from the transaction would be utilised to support growth in the issuer’s risk assets in SME and retail business as well as investments in technology & retail infrastructure.

This, she said, was in line with the bank’s Tier I aspirations, noting that the bank’s business fundamentals had remained strong despite the challenging economic environment occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic and the attendant recession.

“The successful bond issuance highlights the confidence in the Fidelity brand, as well as our capability to expand our funding sources, and deliver innovative financial services to our esteemed customers,” she added.

The issue was assigned a rating of A- by Agusto, and A by Datapro and will be listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria, with over 5.7 million customers who are serviced across its 250 business offices and various other digital banking channels.

The Bank is focused on select niche corporate banking sectors, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and is rapidly implementing a digital-based retail banking strategy which has resulted in annual double-digit growth in savings deposits in at least seven consecutive years while over 50 per cent of its customers are now enrolled on its digital platforms.


Fayose to Makinde: We can address you as ‘Excellency’ outside, at home, we’re your father



FORMER Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has declared that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State cannot claim to be his leader, because he is the only Governor elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South West, just as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State cannot claim to be the leader of former Governor Bola Tinubu.

While claiming that he was not in any leadership struggle with Makinde, Fayose said he respects his office as the current Governor of Oyo State and that he would be referred to as “Excellency” in public gatherings.

He, however, noted that, at home, “we are his father,” pointing out that Makinde would probably be 32 years when he was Governor in 2003.

“He is the leader in the South West by reasons of his office. When we go out, we will say Your Excellency but when we are at home, we are his father,” Fayose declared.

He said he used to be like Makinde in the South West too, but he never told anyone that he was their leader.

The former Ekiti Governor spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme.

Fayose said, “I am not into any leadership struggle with Governor Makinde but the fact is that Governor Makinde cannot come out and say he is my leader. He is not. The fact is that if my son is coming and he is a governor, I have to get up because it is the norm.

“The gentleman is a governor and I must respect his office. Governor Makinde by all standards is the only PDP governor in the West. But all South South PDP governors, who is their leader? Because he is the only one we have, I used to be like that, but I never said to anyone, I am the leader of the west. But if he wants to be addressed like that, it is okay.”

On the issue of party leadership and elected office, the outspoken PDP chieftain said, “Is Governor Sanwo-Olu the leader of Asiwaju in Lagos? Is Ambode the leader of Tinubu in Lagos? Or is Governor Wike the leader of Odili? That language we have to choose it. Governor Makinde will probably be 32 years when I was governor in 2003.”



Why I said herders carry Ak-47 rifles for self defence – Gov. Mohammed



GOVERNOR Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, on Sunday, cleared the air on a comment he made about Fulani herdsmen carrying Ak-47 rifles for self defence.

He said he made the comment with the primary objective of averting the dangerous prospect of a nation-wide backlash and generalisation of the Fulani clan as criminals.

The Governor made the clarification in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mukhtar Gidado.

He said it would be inappropriate to label an entire Fulani tribe as criminals, based on the crimes of a few members of the ethnic group.

The statement said, “The attention of the Bauchi State Government has been drawn to reactions from various members of the public to Governor Mohammed’s speech, at the closing ceremony of the Press Week of the Correspondent’s Chapel of the NUJ in Bauchi State, last Thursday.

“The Governor used the occasion to weigh in on the contentious issue of clashes between herdsmen and farmers, particularly against the backdrop of the eviction and other forms of restriction orders, issued by some state governments and non-governmental entities.”

It added, “The primary objective of the Governor was to avert the dangerous prospect of a nation-wide backlash as tempers flared, and given that the phenomenon of inter-ethnic migration, is a national pastime involving all ethnic groups in Nigeria.

“By extension, the Governor made it abundantly clear that it will be inappropriate to label any one tribe based on the crimes of a few members of the ethnic group.”

The media aide said Mohammed’s reference to AK47 was simply to put in perspective, the predicament and desperation of law-abiding Fulani herdsmen who, while carrying out their legitimate cow-rearing business, had become serial victims of cattle rustling, banditry, kidnapping and assassination.

He argued that these were the people who, in the absence of any protection from the security agencies, were forced to resort to self-help, to defend both their means of livelihood and their lives.

He said, “As a Constitutionalist which, he has proved over time, all through his political career, Governor Mohammed will be the last person to advocate a subversion of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“He did not do so in the past; he will not do so today.”

Explaining what the Governor meant by describing forests as no man’s land, the statement said this was a carry-over from his geo-political environment where he said a pastoralist could set up a camp in any forest, for a few weeks, without causing any uproar or opposition.

It said, “To interpret such a temporary stay as a form of ‘land grab’ by the Fulani herdsmen is completely incorrect. In actual fact, neither does such temporary habitation of the forest inconvenience anyone nor does the itinerant Fulani sojourner, bother anyone about his plight in the forest characterised by life without access to electricity, pipe borne water, good roads or hospitals.

“On the contrary, Mohammed is very familiar with the Land Use Act, including the criteria for land acquisition and cannot, therefore, seek to undermine the statute which, as Governor, he has sworn to uphold.”

Gidado added, “Rather than vilify Governor Mohammed, it is incumbent on all those criticising him to admonish those governors whose lack of restraint is responsible for the escalation of this crisis.

“Mohammed’s antecedents, as a bridge-builder, humanist and nationalist, are so well known that he will never, under any circumstances, deliberately fuel any national crisis or subvert the Constitution.”


We won’t allow any ethnic, religious group to stoke hatred, violence against others ― Buhari



PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will not allow any ethnic or religious group to stoke up hatred and violence against other groups.

He said his administration would also protect all religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria, whether majority or minority, in line with its responsibility under the Nigerian Constitution.

The President said this in a statement on Sunday night, signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in reaction to violent ethnic clashes in some parts of the South West.

The President condemned such violence and assured that his government would act decisively to nip the development in the bud.

He also appealed to religious and traditional leaders, as well governors and other elected leaders across the country, to join hands with the Federal Government to ensure that communities in their domains were not splintered along ethnic and other primordial lines.

“Our government will protect all religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria, whether majority or minority, in line with our responsibility under the constitution,” Buhari said.

He added, “We will not allow any ethnic or religious group to stoke hatred and violence against other groups.

“I appeal to religious and traditional leaders, as well as Governors and other elected leaders across the country, to join hands with the Federal Government to ensure that communities in their domain are not splintered along ethnic and other primordial lines.”


Killings, arson: Senator Adeola vows to join kinsmen in self defence amid Govt’s failure to act



THE All Progressives Congress lawmaker representing Lagos West in the National Assembly, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, has vowed to join his people from the South West in the defence of their right to life if the security agencies, state and Federal Governments fail to urgently address the insecurity situation in the region.

He hinged his decision to join in the defence on the claim that Government had failed to stop the incessant attacks on communities in Yewa area of Ogun State by Fulani herdsmen.

The senator, who made his position on the issue known in a statement, signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Kayode Odunaro, said the latest of such attacks were the ones brazenly carried out in Yewa North, Imeko, Afon, Ipokia and Yewa South Local Government Area, which had led to several deaths and destruction of property.

“Let it be stated that as a representative of the people sworn to uphold the constitution and the laws of the land, including the right to self defence, I will not hesitate to join my people in the defence of their rights to life, property and peaceful coexistence with others at the back of seeming failure of duly constituted authorities to defend such fundamental rights against anyone or forces,” he said.

The senator argued that, having waited in vain for over two weeks for government’s positive action against what he said were clearly criminal acts of arson and murder, he deemed it fit to call on both the Federal Government and the Ogun State Government to rise up to their constitutional obligations of protecting the lives and properties of all Nigerians, particularly the peace loving people of Yewaland in Ogun State.

While noting that the attacks could no longer be treated with kid gloves, Adeola said relevant authorities must rise up to the challenge, failure of which might make people in the affected communities resort to self help.

“I recall that at various occasions on the floor of the Senate, I contributed to debates on the deteriorating security situation in different parts of the country and was always agitating for restructuring of the security architecture of the country,” he said.

“I made a similar contribution to a Senate wide motion on general security only last week. Now something specific must be done urgently to stop the arson and killings in Yewaland by relevant authorities and security agencies,” the Senator added.




Empowerment: Dangote Foundation disburses N3.9bn to women, youths in 11 states



ALIKO Dangote Foundation (ADF) has so far disbursed the sum of N3.924 billion to 392,490 women and youths across Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Lagos, Niger, Nasarawa, Sokoto and Katsina states as part of its microgrant programme.

Additionally, the Foundation has concluded plans to extend the disbursement of the micro grant program to Ogun, Osun, Kwara, Edo, Rivers, Anambra, Ebonyi and Bauchi states, as part of the next phase of the programme.

A breakdown of the disbursement shows that N880 million was distributed to 88,000 women in Kano State; 27,000 women received N270 million in Jigawa State; 22,000 women received N220 million in Kogi State; 31,500 women and youth collected N315 million in Adamawa; and 54,000 Women and youth got N540 million in Borno State.

Furthermore, 40,000 women received N400 million in Lagos; 25,000 women received N250 million in Niger; 13,000 received N130 million in Nasarawa; 23,990 women benefitted from the sum of N239.9 million in Sokoto; 34,000 women benefitted from N340 million in Katsina State; and 34,000 women and youth benefitted from N340 million in Yobe State.

The Foundation said in a statement on Sunday that, in some states, mobile phones and bank cards were added to the grant to start up or improve income generating activities as a delivery mechanism for the funds in partnership with the respective State and Local Governments and mobile money/bank operators.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, was quoted as saying that the Board of the Foundation had already approved the next phase of disbursement of the grants across Ogun, Osun, Kwara, Edo, Rivers, Anambra, Ebonyi and Bauchi states.

She described the Aliko Dangote Foundation Micro-grant programme as a N10 billion programme designed to provide a N10,000 one-off grant to at least 1,000 vulnerable women, and in some cases, youths, in each of the 774 LGAs across Nigeria. 

She said that the programme was being implemented in partnership with state governments who work with committees set up down the ward levels to ensure the appropriate beneficiaries are reached.

Youssoufou said the scheme provided recipients with a one-time, unconditional N10,000 cash grant to meet immediate household consumption and economic needs.

“As far as possible, participants also receive training tailored to bolster their income-generating activities which are critical for the welfare of millions of Nigerians. Beneficiaries of this programme are evenly selected from the target communities with primary consideration for vulnerable women, food distressed household with infant or children under-five year old, disabled, divorcees, widows with multiple dependents and extremely poor residents in these communities,” she said.

Recall that the programme is being implemented in partnership with State Governments to complement their economic empowerment and poverty reduction drive.

The Executive Governor of each state is tasked with setting up a committee to oversee the implementation of the programme alongside Aliko Dangote Foundation staff.

Since 2016, the Foundation automated the beneficiary enrolment and payment processes. In addition to the cash grants, beneficiaries were also given mobile phones and SIM cards by the Foundation.

In the last two states where the scheme was implemented, the Foundation partnered with a leading commercial bank to open bank accounts and provide ATM card for each beneficiary. 




We were preparing for our father’s 92nd birthday, not his death – Jakande’s son


SON of the late former Governor of Lagos, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Mr Seyi Jakande, said on Sunday that the family was not prepared for the demise of their patriarch.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jakande, who served as governor between October 1979 and December 1983, died on April 11 at the age of 91, while his remains were interred on Feb. 12.

Jakande, while speaking shortly after receiving Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who paid the family a condolence visit on Sunday in Lagos, said the family was planning to celebrate the late politician’s 92nd birthday in July before death struck on Thursday.

He told NAN: “Though we had hoped that the death of Baba would not happen now because we were not prepared for it.

“If at all we were preparing for anything, it was his 92nd birthday in July, because he kept giving us assurance that he would still spend more years on earth.

“Sometime in June 2020, he was checking his 90th birthday cards and he said he would be 91 years by July, thanking God that he was still looking young.

“He told us that he thought he was older but he was still looking young. But at 91, my father deserved everything he received during his burial, because of what he had done for the people of Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.

Seyi, who was Jakande’s third son, said that after living a fulfilled life, his father’s chapter had closed, saying that to him, it was a life well spent and a journey properly completed.

According to him, this is the time for full assessment of Jakande’s life and times, urging leaders in the country to take his book, study it and make further progress on it.

Jakande gave thanks to God for the life of the late politician, pointing out that his father would not have served humanity without serving God.

“My father was known for service to humanity and that was exactly what he did till he breathed his last.

“Even outside government, we recently stopped people from coming to his residence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we designed a date which we called ‘Sunday Clinic’, from 7am to 7pm.