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Sowore's Detention, Grave Danger For Nigeria’s Democracy, Says Apoi Monarch

Thu, 2019-08-29 10:03


 

Oba Sunday Amuseghan, the Kalasewe of Apoiland in Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, has condemned the continued detention of pro-democracy activist, Omoyele Sowore, by the Department of State Services.

Amuseghan, who said the arrest of Sowore is an abuse of the right to freedom, added that Nigeria is gradually going back to the dark days when dissenting voices were silenced by the authorities for speaking the truth.

The monarch called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sowore by the government because according to him, keeping him further poses a grave danger for Nigeria’s democracy.

Amuseghan spoke to Sahara Reporters on Wednesday through his spokesperson, Eunice Dabo.

The monarch said, “This is democracy, not military regime where people are cowed and jailed over issues relating to their welfare.

“Sowore is an activist, and he was part of the struggle for this democracy. Therefore, he is entitled to express his feelings and that of Nigerians in a democratic setting.

“So, it is the right of the people to gather and demonstrate on the street provided the protest was peaceful and violent-free and it also represented the feelings of entire Nigerians.”

Speaking further, the traditional ruler said that Sowore, being a worthy son of Apoi land, could not have initiated or planned to topple President Muhammadu Buhari's government by calling for mass protest.

Sowore was arrested in the early hours of August 3, 2019 by the DSS for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets on August 5 and express their displeasure of poor governance in the country.

Despite growing calls for his release, the government has continued to hold on to him.

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Katsina State: Over 50 People, Including Pregnant Women, Children Kidnapped

Thu, 2019-08-29 09:43


Inspector-General of Police (IG-P), Mohammed Adamu

Inspector-General of Police (IG-P), Mohammed Adamu

 

More than 50 people, including pregnant women and children, were
abducted in a raid on a village in President Muhammadu's home state,
Katsina, seven residents told Reuters on Wednesday.

The attack on Wurma village in Katsina, northwest Nigeria, began
around 11:30 pm on Tuesday night.

Police pegged the number of those abducted at 15, but multiple
residents told Reuters that many more were taken.

Alhaji Musa, whose two daughters were among those taken, said more
than 100 bandits were "shooting from all angles."

"They operated for about three hours with nobody to challenge them," he said.

Seven residents and one man who was abducted but released by the
attackers said at least 53 people were taken, including pregnant
women, babies, and children.

Some residents had already received ransom requests from the
abductors, the sources said.

The attackers also took sheep, goats, and food, they added.

In a statement, Katsina police said 15 women were abducted, but that
10 of them were freed unharmed following a gun battle with police.

"Search parties have been dispatched into the surrounding bushes with
a view to rescuing the others," the police said.

Instability has roiled northwest Nigeria, including Katsina, the home
state of President Muhammadu Buhari, all year.

The government attributes the attacks to bandits, a term applied to
outlaws who rob, kidnap and kill residents.

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Kidnapping: 3 Ahmadu Bello University Students Rescued, 3 Being Held By Kidnappers -Police

Thu, 2019-08-29 09:39


 

The Kaduna State Police Command says it has rescued three students of
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria abducted on Monday along
Abuja-Kaduna highway.

Three other persons are still being held by the kidnappers.

The spokesman for the police in Kaduna, Yakubu Sabo, in a statement on
Wednesday said, “The command wishes to state that, on the said date,
August 26, at about 18:50hrs, armed men in military uniform
intercepted some commuters near Masari Village along Kaduna-Abuja
Expressway, opened fire on the vehicles, in the process kidnaped six
persons.

“However, due to the prompt response of the police and other security
agents to the scene, three people were later released by the hoodlums
due to intensive combing within the general area.”

The police assured that efforts were being made by the joint teams of
Anti-Kidnapping Unit, PMF, and the IRT to rescue the remaining the
victims and apprehend the perpetrators.

“The command wants the public to note that, while regretting the
unfortunate incident, the story being circulated on the incident is a
gross exaggeration and misrepresentation of fact aimed at causing more
fear in the minds of the public.

“Thus, the command enjoins the general public to jettison such report
as misleading information. Consequently, the press should continue to
uphold the high ethical standard of their profession,” the statement
added.
 

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INTERVIEW: How FBI Internet Scam Indictments Affect Nigerians—New Jersey Professo

Thu, 2019-08-29 09:38


 

Adesegun Ojo is a professor of Political Science and International
Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, USA.
Against the backdrop of the indictment of 77 Nigerians by the United
States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Ojo speaks with
SAHARAREPORTERS on the impact that may have on Nigeria and its
citizens abroad

SR: What impact could the recent indictment of Nigerians by the US
government have on potential investors?


Ojo: In the actuality, this should have nothing to do with potential
investors in Nigeria. Nigeria is a country of over 200 million people.
Yes, it is disappointing and embarrassing to continue to hear about
these kinds of stories and the notoriety of some Nigerians in these
types of criminal activities. Yes, we may all feel a pang of anxiety
or a feeling that we may all be tainted by the actions of just a few
hundred. Yes, when you travel overseas, immigration and law
enforcement agents are on the ready when they hear that you are from
Nigeria. But overall, if you have no criminal background and not
engaged in any illicit activities you don’t really have to worry.

When it comes to potential investors, my fear is that the conditions
in Nigeria lend themselves to corrupt practices on the part of all
participants sometimes. Even when foreign investors come with clean
hands and see the potential in the Nigerian economy or its people,
they know that the level of corruption is high to the extent that they
are conditioned to also game the system for their benefits because of
the lack of ethics and endemic corruptive nature of our system. Every
level is tainted by corruption and these investors are well aware of
this before they step onto our shores. They know what they have to do
to achieve success. They know government officials who are in charge
of public trust are themselves corrupt and the population that are to
be served are neither as clean as you might expect. These criminal
activities have been going on for years but are becoming more
pronounced because of social media. We now hear more about these on
Facebook, Twitter and all.

And I might add that while Nigerians are in the news because of the
arrests, we also have citizens of other countries carrying out illicit
activities. This is not an excuse but this is a strong signal to the
Nigerian leadership to address the foundation of such problems in
Nigeria. Our priorities must change. We cannot continue to see public
service as a means of acquiring wealth and not expect some others not
to aspire to do the same. We cannot continue to glorify ill-gotten
wealth, and expect some of our citizens not to dream of and hopes to
one day be celebrated with same.

SR: How does it affect the perception of Nigerians who are going
abroad for career/academic advancement?


Ojo: Of course, right from the port of departure here in Nigeria to
the point of entry abroad, there is the trepidation that you might
meet an overzealous border agent who might be biased based on the
notoriety of the Nigerian fraudster. As I said earlier, if you are
honest and you do not engage in illegal activities, though it might be
disconcerting but you have nothing to fear at all. The past few
decades have seen an increase in the number of Nigerians abroad in
their respective careers. There are successful Nigerians all over the
world and their host countries recognize this and Nigerians in the
diaspora will continue to excel in their chosen fields of endeavours.

SR: Does this have any influence on xenophobic attacks on Nigeria.
That is, will foreigners be more likely to attack Nigerians abroad
because they feel they are fraudulent?


Ojo: In actual fact, in many of the cases of xenophobia, particularly
in many other African countries such as South Africa, it is not only
because of the fraudulent activities but because also, of the fear
that Nigerians are doing well and therefore taking jobs away from host
citizens. This is a misdirected anger because their situation is a
product of the lack of employment as well as a result of the
ineptitude of their leaders. Nigerians also face the same problem here
at home. Dreams have been killed because of lack of opportunities,
which pushes some out of the door to seek greener pastures abroad.
Nigerians are as much a victim of incompetent leadership demonstrated
by a lack of vision to address the problem of basic amenities,
employment, and socio-political and economic development. It just
happened that it is a case of double jeopardy for Nigerians. They ran
away from a Nigeria with lack of opportunities and also become victims
and blame for the ineptitude of many other developing nations.

SR: Is it possible that the indicted Nigerians have foreign accomplices?

Ojo: Depending on the nature of the criminal activities, it will not
be surprising that there are local accomplices aiding and abetting
some of these people. Criminal intent is not solely a Nigerian disease
but a human problem all over the world. What makes it easier today is
the advent of the new media, where you can be in a remote village in
Nigeria and with a simple access to Facebook or dating sites, you are
able to reach out to millions of people in different countries around
the world.

SR: How does this affect the perception of Nigeria in the comity of nations?

Ojo: There are so many problems plaguing Nigeria and this is just one
of many. Our incompetent leaders and their activities and stealing
from the Nigeria coffers, affect the perception of Nigeria in the
comity of nations. The unachieved potential of once a giant of Africa
affects us and how others see us. The activities of fraudsters are
just one of many issues plaguing Nigeria today. We need a total
overhaul of the Nigeria socio-political and economic infrastructures
to enable Nigeria-oriented policy initiatives. Many see Nigeria merely
from the perspectives of their ethnic origin thereby creating tension
within the Nigerian political leadership. And until this process is
reversed and the government actually governs, people or other nations'
perception of Nigeria will never change.

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Suspect In Death Of 20-year-old Ondo Model Released From Prison Custody

Thu, 2019-08-29 09:19


Ebenezer Adejumola


Oluwaseun Ajila

Ebenezer Adejumola SaharaReporters Media

 

Ebenezer Adejumola, the prime suspect in the murder of Oluwaseun Ajila, a 20-year-old model, who was raped to death in Akure, Ondo State, has been released from prison custody, Sahara Reporters can confirm.

Adejumola was acquitted and freed from Olokuta Medium Prison in Akure where he was remanded last year for allegedly killing the young lady.

A court document sighted by our correspondent on Wednesday revealed that Adejumola was interrogated and investigated by the police over the murder before he was sent to prison custody.

Ajila was allegedly raped to death on October 4, 2018 inside her mother’s apartment at Mary Labake Street off Ijoka Road in the Abusoro area of Akure, the state capital.

A graduate of Biological Science at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Ajila was the only child of her 60-year-old mother, Mrs Yemisi Ajayi, before her death.

Following her alleged rape and murder, Adejumola was arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure on October 22, 2018 on a two-count charge.  Oluwaseun Ajila SaharaReporters Media

In her ruling, Magistrate B. Yakubu had ordered the suspect to be remanded at Olokuta Medium Prison in Akure and adjourned the case to January 22, 2019 pending advice from Department of Public Prosecution.

That was the last heard about the case until Sahara Reporters discovered on Wednesday that the suspect had been released from prison.

The document sighted in by Sahara Reporters showed that Adejumola was freed in March 2019 based on the recommendations of the DPP.

The document revealed that Ajila’s murder was firstly reported at the ‘B Division’ of the Ondo State Police Command but later transferred to the State Criminal investigation Department for proper investigation.

A source at Ondo State High Court however, said that the freedom of Adejumola remained questionable as his file at the Ondo State Ministry of Justice read “No Case To Answer”.

When contacted on the case, spokesperson for the police in Ondo, Femi Joseph, said he was not aware that the suspect had been released from prison custody.

He said, “I am not aware that the suspect had been released from prison custody.

“I remembered that we charged him to court and he was later remanded judging by the evidences we presented.

“Well, if such a person has been released, it doesn’t foreclose our investigations. We will still continue to investigate the case and it would require us digging deep by looking for other ways in arresting those who might have been behind this dastardly act.

“Criminal cases can last till anytime but when it happen like this, it help us in unravelling the mystery that might have been behind such.”

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Election Tribunal: Senator Abbo Knows Fate Today

Thu, 2019-08-29 09:16



Senator Elisha Abbo will know his fate on Thursday, according the Adamawa State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal.

Abbo, who gained prominence for assaulting a woman in a sex toy shop in Abuja, was dragged to the tribunal by a female politician, Senator Binta Garba.

Abbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, defeated Binta of the All Progressives Congress during the election earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, the tribunal delivered three  judgements on Wednesday, two of which were in favour of the PDP. 

While a former chairman of House or Representative Committee on Information, Abdulrazak Namdas (APC), had his mandate affirmed, Senator Binos Yaroe (PDP), had his victory sealed as a petition filed by his opponent was dismissed.

The tribunal also dismissed two petitions challenging the victory of Abdulrazak Namdas (APC) and Kwamoti La'ori (PDP).

 

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Policemen Accused of Brutalising FUTA Student To Face Disciplinary Action Thursday

Thu, 2019-08-29 00:39


The police officers accused of maltreating a female student of the Federal University of Technology Akure in Ondo State would now face a disciplinary panel on Thursday, Sahara Reporters has learnt.  

It was gathered that two out of the policemen have been found culpable and have questions to answer from their superiors.

The erring policemen, who are from the A Division of the State Police Command, had last week Saturday brutalised Sheba  Ogbu.  

The undergraduate was returning from a place she had gone to when she was accosted by the policemen.

Speaking to Sahara Reporters, a source at the police headquarters said the policemen would be invited for questioning and grilled over their involvement in the case.  

"The officers would go through an orderly room trial tomorrow (Thursday) at the Ondo Police Command headquarters in Akure.  

"They shall be facing the panel and will explain what actually transpired during the incident.  

"The Police Commissioner has ordered that all the parties involved in the matter should be made to appear too.  

"The CP has already vowed not to sweep this case under the carpet."
 

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ICPC To Prosecute Disability Advocate Over N1.7bn Fraud

Thu, 2019-08-29 00:38


The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has asked a Senior Magistrate Court in Abuja to grant an order for the remand of the National Coordinator, Federal Civil Service Staff with Disabilities Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Iliasu Abdul-Rauf, in prison custody over his alleged involvement in N1.7BN fraud.

In a statement signed by the spokesperson of ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Wednesday, the anti-graft agency also accused Abdul-Rauf of abducting 14 females between the ages of 11 and 33 years at his residence during a search by operatives of the commission.

Abdul-Rauf is currently on the wanted list published on the website of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission demanding for information concerning HIS whereabouts.

He was accused of allegedly collecting N1.7BN under the guise of awarding contracts for the establishment of rehabilitation centres in the states of the Federation.

According to the statement, the ICPC said Abdul-Rauf is currently under arrest by the commission for alleged involvement in multiple corrupt acts, including bribery, breach of trust, criminal misappropriation and other frauds running into hundreds of millions of naira.

The agency said he allegedly used his position to scam contractors into donating cash and items such as wheelchairs, crutches for persons living with disabilities.

The statement added, “The ICPC hereby uses this opportunity to urge contractors and businessmen to always verify the genuineness and authenticity of contracts offered or proposed to them with relevant government agencies in order not to fall victim of fraudsters like Abdul-Rauf.”

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Flood Destroys 300 Houses In Buhari's Hometown

Thu, 2019-08-29 00:31


At least 300 houses were destroyed by flood in Daura, hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina State. 

The News Agency of Nigeria said some of the houses were brought down while water submerged several others.

Affected Residents had since fled the town while some were seen trying to rescue some of their items.

The flood was said to have been occasioned by several days of rainfall with the mass of still water bringing down some houses on Wednesday.

A source blamed the incessant flood on the lack of drainage system in Daura and urged the local, state and federal governments to “do something urgently to check the trend”.

Acting Chairman of Daura Local Government Area, Abba Mato, who spoke on the disaster, described this year’s flood as “one of the worst ever witnessed in the area”.

He listed areas worst hit to include Kusugu, Sabongari, Sarkin Yara and Mazoji.

Mato said the floods affected houses, shops and farmlands, adding that most of the affected buildings were erected on flood-prone areas.

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Court Restrains APC From Adopting Direct Primary In Bayelsa

Thu, 2019-08-29 00:30


A Bayelsa State High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the capital, has granted an interim order restraining the All Progressives Congress from adopting direct primary for the rescheduled August 31 governorship primary.

Justice E. G. Omukoro granted the order upon hearing a motion ex-parte, according to a report by PUNCH.

The applicants are Japan Christopher, Evinson Oyindeyinfa, Oddu Ovinmiebi and Obiriki Isaiah.

They had sued for themselves and also on behalf of concerned members of APC in Bayelsa.

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El-Zakzaky Wants To Turn Nigeria Into Islamic State, Nigerian Government Alleges

Thu, 2019-08-29 00:26


The Nigerian Government has accused leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, of planning to turn Nigeria into an Islamic country.

The government made the claim in a counter-affidavit deposed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Enyinnaya Adiogu, in Abuja.

The court document also stated that the IMN members do not recognise the authority of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The affidavit reads, “That from history and facts available, the Islamic Movement IN Nigeria founded by El-Zakzaky has its sole aim of creating an Islamic state.

“That Sheik El-Zakzaky was heavily influenced by the Iranian revolution, which saw Ayatollah Khomeini take power in 1979 after the overthrow of the Shah in a popular uprising. 

“Khomeini remains the Islamic Movement in Nigeria’s main inspiration.

“That members of IMN first pledge allegiance to Khomeini at their gatherings, and then to their local leader, Sheikh Zakzaky.

“The IMN views itself as a government, and Sheikh Zakzaky as the only legitimate source of authority in Nigeria and it does not recognise the authority of the Nigerian Government, and views its leaders both Muslims and Christians as corrupt and ungodly.

“That till date, Sheikh El-Zakzaky enjoys the support of Iran in all the activities of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, including the agenda to make Nigeria an Islamic state.”

IMN is challenging its proscription by a court in July – a development that led to massive protests and clash between members and security agencies.

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We'll Address Killings Of Nigerians, South African President Assures Buhari

Thu, 2019-08-29 00:25


South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (R) at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks to Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (R) at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria VOA

 

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said his government will address the killings of Nigerians in his country.

He made the promise to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the ongoing Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development in Yokohama, Japan.

He said he was very upset about the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, adding that the country's criminal justice system was looking to proffer lasting solutions.

He said, “On the issue of Nigerians who are dying in South Africa, we feel very upset about that.

“Obviously, our criminal justice system is working on it. We don’t support killings.

“Nobody should ever be killed but it’s also good to use this opportunity in Japan to renew the bond between us.

“We know we have to play key roles in the overall development of the continent.”

 

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EFCC Arrests Lawyers Over N20m Fraud

Wed, 2019-08-28 23:38


 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Ilorin, Kwara State, has arrested three lawyers allegedly involved in defrauding a pastor of his property worth N20m.

The pastor, Adetunji Adedoyin, was duped when the suspects – Salman Rafiu, Sulyman Abaya and Saka Hammed – obtained a court order fraudulently and sold his property without his permission.

According to The Nation, Adedoyin claimed that the lawyers never gave him the chance to defend himself in the legal proceedings they instituted against him.

He said, “I was informed that I was served summons all through the court proceedings whereas it was Salman who picked and arranged his colleagues, Abaya Sulyman and Saka Hammed, to stand for me and these lawyers forged my signature on some documents purporting to consent in court to the sale of my hostel.

“The truth of the matter is, I never set my eyes on these people prior to or during the court proceedings, neither did I participate directly or indirectly in the proceedings. I also was not aware of the proceedings from the beginning to the end.

“Earlier in 2016, after seeking advice on what to do, I engaged a lawyer, Victor Okojie, in Ilorin to pursue justice for me because all attempts I made failed.

“Okojie later linked me up with the buyer Na’ Allah and the buyer’s lawyer, Ayodele Olarewaju, felt my pain and explained that he had spent about N12.5m for the acquisition of my property.

“He said he was willing to release it only if I can pay back the money.

“The hostel was taken over again in March 2019 by the alleged buyer through his lawyer on the grounds that I have not paid the outstanding balance.”

However, a source in the EFCC said other people involved in the fraudulent act will be arrested.

 

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Nigerian Held In India For Overstaying With Fake Passport

Wed, 2019-08-28 23:33


 

A Nigerian, Ndukwe Ibe, has been arrested by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch in India for entering the country allegedly with a fake passport and overstaying.

Ibe, 35, was initially deported from India in 2015 for overstaying, forcing the immigration in that country to place him on a watch list.

However, on August 2, he arrived at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport to take a flight to Turkey.

His passport identified him as Kouame Aristide, an Ivory Coast citizen, but upon careful examination, immigration officials found the passport to be fake and that his real name was Ibe.

Police said he had visited India thrice using the fake passport he procured from Ivory Coast.

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River State Government Refuses To Respond To Group’s FOI Request

Wed, 2019-08-28 23:08


Leadership Ng

 

The Rivers State Government has kept mum over requests sent to it under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to explain why certain projects under Governor Nyesom Wike have remained abandoned.

This is despite a 2018 ruling by the Court of Appeal mandating all states of the federation to reply all FOI’s sent to them.

The Anti-corruption Network, a coalition of civil society organisations investigating abandoned projects in the Niger Delta, had in letters dated June 27 2019, made FOI requests to the offices of the Bureau of Public Procurement, the Auditor-General and the Accountant-General in Rivers.

The coalition says it received no response after waiting for the mandatory seven days as stipulated by section 4 of the act.

Following the long silence from all three departments, the CSO sent a reminder to them on July 25 2019.

But instead of responding, Simeon Nwakudu, one of Governor Wike’s Special Advisers, said that the administration doesn’t flout FOI requests, adding that all those sending such were agents of the All Progressives Party.

Attempts to make him speak further by our correspondent proved abortive as he soon dropped the call.

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Condemnation Trails Appointment Of Bashir Magashi As Defence Minister Despite 2006 Involvement In $550, 000 Theft

Wed, 2019-08-28 23:02


 

Nigerians have condemned the appointment of Bashir Magashi as Minister of Defence despite his involvement in the stealing of $550, 000 public funds in 2006, according to a report by Premium Times.

Magashi, 74, a close friend of former military dictator, Sani Abacha, served as a military governor of Sokoto State from 1990–1992.

He was also appointed Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna in 1998.

Magashi’s improprieties was exposed in 1999 after then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, hired a Swiss lawyer, Enrico Monfrini, to track and repatriate funds stolen from Nigerian coffers.

Monfrini discovered Magashi had stashed away stolen funds at the Jessey, United Kingdom, branch of Bank PNP Paribus. The account had $550,000 (about N200m at N362 to a dollar).

On October 26, 2006, the National Security Adviser via memo NSA/A/225/I/C, updated Obasanjo on the cases of Magashi and four others.

The account (held for Magashi) has a total deposit of $550,000 and it remained intact until it was frozen in 2001.

The NSA confronted Magashi, who admitted wrongdoing, saying the money was a proceed of illegal crude oil allocation Abacha made to members of the Provisional Ruling Council under his government.

The officer was not a registered oil trader at the time and being a public servant, it was illegal for him to directly engage in private businesses.

Reacting to the development on Wednesday, some Nigerians on Twitter condemned the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for selecting Magashi as minister.

According to @Dann_10, “When those in public offices have alleged criminal records or hidden secrets home and abroad, expect the international community to view your country as one being led by unworthy people that can't be trusted.

“The image of the country is dented not only by fraudsters, also by these fellas."

Aminu Bello tweeting @AbBaminu32, said, “I'm beginning to lose confidence in this is govt.

“Why is it that any criminal is giving a portion to continue the deadliest act of looting?

“Eighty per cent of the present cabinet members are thieves. Some are quashed off their trials as they join the party. This is bad!”

@EkpedemeUkpong said, “I never expected anything different from this from a so called corruption fighting government.

“Yet, some people will continue support this government of thieves. We deserve what we got because we have refused to learn from our mistakes.”

Abba Umar Madaki tweeting @Abbamadaki said, “It's not just one man, a handful of them stole from Nigeria and now they are in the corruption fighting cabinet of Buhari.”

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Failure To Hear Sowore’s Case, Miscarriage Of Justice –Take IT Back Movement

Wed, 2019-08-28 22:55


 

The Take It Back Movement has described the failure of Justice Nkeonye Maha of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to hear the motion presented by its convener, Omoyele Sowore, on Wednesday over his arrest and continued detention by the Department of State Service, as an indication of confusion.

Sowore, who was arrested by the DSS in Lagos on August 3 and had been held since that time, filed a motion challenging an ex-parte order granting the secret police 45 days to keep him pending investigations into his involvement in alleged terrorism.

Through #RevolutionNow movement, the pro-democracy activist had called on Nigerians to pour out to the streets on August 5 to protest bad leadership in the country.

Despite his arrest by the DSS two days to the planned march, Nigerians took to the streets in about 21 cities across the country to express their frustration at the current state of the nation.

Reacting to the situation in a statement by its Director-General, Dr Joshua Adeoye, Take it Back Movement said, “Today, we saw the Nigerian judicial system plunge to new depths of justice evasion and surrender to governmental influence as the hearing brought by Omoyele Sowore and his lawyers challenging his unlawful detention by the DSS was negated by the judge, Hon. Justice Nkeonye Evelyn Maha, who shamelessly argued that she was unable to overturn the ruling of a “learned brother” despite all of the multiple precedents and the rules of court empowering her to do so.

“This faltering inability to rule decisively on a case is not a trait that typically characterises Justice Maha.

“We know, for example, that she rapidly granted a motion ex-parte in a case at the Federal High Court to stop the trial of Justice Walter Onnoghen in his corruption ordeal earlier this year.

“Her ruling served to restrain the Code of Conduct Tribunal from proceeding to hear the charge against Onnoghen, her very close friend and one-time boss, even when overwhelming evidence indicated he had a case to answer.

“It is therefore, not immediately clear whether her jurisdiction ends with friendships and alliances.

“It is also worth noting that the counsel to the DSS did not challenge the powers of the judge to hear Omoyele Sowore’s motion. He only asked for time to study the processes, claiming they had only just been received.

“Mr Femi Falana even reminded the court of the pattern of preferential treatment being meted out to the DSS by the judiciary so far.

“Justice Taiwo Taiwo who had referred the case to her, had granted audience to the DSS within 48 hours of receiving their counter-motion but neglected to reassign Sowore’s case to Justice Maha till August 27, 18 days after Sowore filed his appeal on August 9.

“Sadly, all these facts were ignored as she steam-rolled to her obviously pre-meditated ruling.

“To cap it all, she even denied Mr Falana the opportunity to orally apply for the bail of his client, allowed under the same terrorism act that the DSS wrongly relied upon to abduct and illegally detain Sowore.

“In any court in the world, the submissions of Sowore’s erudite legal team would have already highlighted the clear-cut pattern of human right violations he has suffered at the hands of the Nigerian Government and its private army, the Department of State Services; and he would be walking free as we speak.

“But this is Nigeria, the law is not absolute; it is merely a tool for the powers that be.

“There can only be one summary of the charade that was witnessed in court today – a high court judge declined to hear an appeal, claiming she did not have the jurisdiction to hear a high court case presented by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria because for her, the consequence of falling afoul of her paymasters would have been higher than her sworn oath to obey the law.

“Today is consequently, a sad day for justice anywhere that word has meaning.

“But the Take it Back Movement remains undeterred. We will not relent until we secure unconditional, unrestricted freedom for Sowore.

“There is work to be done in this nation, and the man who has become a beacon of hope to many cannot be left to languish in detention.

“Nigerian leaders must realise that it is no longer business as usual, and that, you cannot kill an idea whose time has come.”

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Policemen Harrass Enyimba Player For Driving Sleek Car

Wed, 2019-08-28 22:17


A player with Enyimba Football Club of Aba, Stephen Chukwude, was on Monday harassed by some policemen for driving a Mercedes Benz car, according to a report by PUNCH.

Chukwude took to his Facebook page to record the conversations between him and the policemen, who accused him of being a ‘Yahoo boy’.

He further said that despite identifying himself as a professional footballer, his car was searched by the security personnel, who insisted on taking him to the police station for interrogation.

While in the car, Chukwude asked one of the policemen why they were adamant in taking him to their station despite telling them he was on his way to the hospital to see a doctor, but rather than give a cogent reason, the officer answered and said, “I suspect you to be a yahoo boy.”

Not willing to give in to their antics, the footballer again asked the policemen if it was everyone driving a Mercedez Benz that was an Internet fraudster, the same officer answered and said, “Yes, it is everybody.”

However, upon noticing that Chukwude was recording the incident on his mobile phone, one of the policemen made an attempt to seize it from him.

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Court Remands Solider Who Killed Motorcyclist In Abia Over N100 Bribe

Wed, 2019-08-28 22:11


The Magistrate Court in Umuahia, Abia State, has remanded Ajayi Johnson, the soldier, who killed Chimaobi Nwaorgu, a commercial cyclist, over N100 bribe.

Presiding Magistrate, Linda Ugboaja, remanded the dismissed soldier and adjourned the case for lack of jurisdiction.

The soldier was dismissed by the Nigerian Army after the killing of Nwaorgu was reported in the media.

The Army claimed that Johnson was away without official leave.

He was handed over to the police for proper prosecution after he was cross-marshalled.

Spokesperson for the Abia State Police Command, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said the case would be transferred to the high court where murder cases are prosecuted.

He said, “The case has been adjourned till September 16 to enable the police to transfer the file to the appropriate quarters.”

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Nigerian Government Buckles, Slashes Visa Fees For US Citizens

Wed, 2019-08-28 20:47


The Nigerian Government has reduced the amount payable by citizens of the United States seeking visas into the country.

This was disclosed in a statement released by Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The statement reads, “The attention of the Ministry of Interior has been drawn to the introduction of reciprocity of visa fees by the United States of America.

"The ministry acknowledges that there were engagements with the United States Embassy on the issue and in the aftermath, a committee was set up to conduct due diligence in line with the ministry’s extant policy on reciprocity of visa fees.

“The committee had concluded its assignment and submitted a report but the issuance of authorisation for its recommendations was delayed due to transition processes in the ministry at the policy level.

“The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has approved the decrease of visa charges payable by US citizens in line with reciprocity policy as recommended by the committee.

“Accordingly, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has been directed to implement the decrease in Nigeria’s visa charges to US citizens with effect from Thursday, August 29, 2019.”

The move comes 24 hours after US authorities increased the cost of visa application for Nigerians.

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