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We Have Spent N1.3trn On Education In Four Years, Says Buhari

Thu, 2019-08-22 22:14


President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration has so far invested around N1.3trn on the development of the education sector in the last four years.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Buhari, Femi Adesina, made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday, adding that the amount excludes funds spent on overhead and personnel costs.

He said, “It is no longer a secret that the state of facilities in our universities and other institutions of higher learning has not kept pace with the requirements of the ever-growing population of students and other stakeholders or with modern methods of learning.

“Let me reiterate here that this administration places much premium on education at all levels, as it is the bedrock of society’s progress, and the way to overcome poverty.”

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Ex-NBA Vice President, Ubani Condemns Arrest Of Jalingo

Thu, 2019-08-22 22:10

Agba Jalingo

Agba Jalingo

A former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, has condemned the arrest of Publisher of Cross River Watch, Agba Jalingo, by the police in Cross River State on Thursday.

The legal practitioner described the incident as an infringement on the right of Jalingo, who was billed to honour a police invitation earlier sent to him on Monday, August 26.

Ubani said, “I have just been informed by Mrs Agba Jalingo that the Nigerian Police from Cross River State have arrested her husband, Mr Agba Jalingo, for reasons that are not clear. 

“Recall that Jalingo had been having a running battle with his state governor, Mr Ben Ayade. 

“This stems from his criticisms of his inept leadership in Cross Rivers State, an act considered sacrilegious by the governor.  See Also Free Speech Police Invite Cross River Journalist Over Article 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“The Commissioner of Police in Cross Rivers State is clearly on the side of the governor as he has not hidden his subservience to the governor and his desires which includes the arrest and public humiliation of Mr Jalingo. 

“This arrest may not be unconnected with that desire. The surprise element in all this is that the same police have invited him to come on August 26 and he has promised to honour their invitation. 

“One is at a loss why the arrest on August 22, four days earlier than the day of the invitation. 

“Just hope that this arrest is not from Cross River State governor as this will be clearly illegal and condemnable.” See Also Corruption Police Arrest Cross River Journalist, Agba Jalingo 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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Oyo-Ita Returns To Work After Buhari Rejects Resignation

Thu, 2019-08-22 22:08


Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, is said to have returned to her desk on Thursday following the rejection of her resignation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oyo-Ita had sent in her resignation last weekend following pressure from her family members for her to retire. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had accused the HoS of using front companies to scheme N3bn from contractors, an accusation she strongly denies.

TheCable reports that Oyo-ita was present at the swearing-in of new ministers on Wednesday the stance of Buhari.

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Nigerian Customs Tightens Security At Seme Border

Thu, 2019-08-22 22:01


Travellers and vehicles were stranded for hours at Nigeria's border with Benin Republic following sudden restrictions of movement on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the restriction at Seme followed the joint border security exercise ordered by the government and aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.

The exercise, code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’, was being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

It was gathered that incoming travellers and vehicles were thoroughly searched by the additional security officials drafted to the border, causing long delays.

Many commercial vehicles conveying passengers into the country were ordered to park at the new border post for several hours, while hundreds of Nigeria-bound trucks were parked across the border.

Customs spokesperson, Joseph Attah, had, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said that the joint border security exercise would be conducted in 25 states across the South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West zones and urged the public to cooperate with the officials.

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Police Arrest Cross River Journalist, Agba Jalingo

Thu, 2019-08-22 22:00

The police in Cross River State have arrested Agba Jalingo, publisher of Cross River Watch.

Jalingo had initially been invited by the police for questioning for publishing an article exposing how Governor Ben Ayade approved and diverted N500m for Cross River Micro-Finance Bank.

In the article, Jalingo said the micro-finance bank had been rendered non-functional as money earmarked to start its operation was not released.

Jalingo had informed the police he was out of the state and the invitation was moved to August 26, 2019.

However, he was arrested by the police on Thursday, four days before the scheduled date for him to honour police invitation.

The arrest of Jalingo was confirmed by his wife.

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Policemen Remanded In Prison Custody For Killing Suspect

Thu, 2019-08-22 21:51


A Lagos State Magistrate Court has remanded four policemen in prison custody for killing an unarmed suspect.

The officers were remanded at the Ikoyi Prison following their arraignment by the Nigeria Police Force.

The four defendants including Fabiyi Omomayara, Olaniyi Solomon, Solomon Sunday and Aliyu Mukaila have also been dismissed by the police.

Sahara Reporters had earlier revealed the identity of the policemen when they were arrested by the police.

A viral video of a restrained man shot to death by two policemen had generated outrage on the social media, with Nigerians calling for the prosecution of the officers.

Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, said the men were subjected to internal disciplinary procedure at the Provost Department.

He said, “They were tried on three-count charges bothering on discreditable conduct; unlawful and unnecessary exercise of authority; and damage to article.

“The four policemen were found guilty and awarded the punishment of dismissal from service and prosecution.”

Following the investigation, they were handed over to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department in Yaba for prosecution in conventional Court.

The case was adjourned to August 23, 2019, for the Department of Public Prosecution to advice on their matter.

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Nigerian Undergraduates Devise New Strategies To Escape Robbers, Rapists

Thu, 2019-08-22 20:35

The heightened insecurity in Nigeria characterised by kidnappings, armed robbery, petty theft and rape has spilled into tertiary institutions in the country, forcing students to develop new strategies to protect their lives.

Recently, On August 1, 2019, a female undergraduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, was allegedly raped by some soldiers stationed at the military checkpoint in Ikare Akoko, Akoko North-East Local Government Area of the state. The incident has since forced other students of the institution to take measures to cope.

Babaleye Jeremiah, a student in the Faculty of Law in AAUA, told SaharaReporters that they have taken their destinies into their own hands.

He said, “We have had several issues of cultist clash, armed robbery and hostel robbery. Even though we have been persistent in reporting these issues to the school management and the police, it still happens.

“Sometimes, the police will be there when it happens and they will not do anything. 

“So, to protect ourselves, we now restrict our movement and don’t go out at night. 

“There are some parts of my school in Akungba that you cannot even go to after 10:00pm but before it wasn’t like this. 

“We cannot go to night classes anymore because of the activities of robbers and cult gangs.

“The raping of a female student by a soldier scared people but when it happened we wrote to the government but we haven’t seen much results.”

At the University of Jos in Plateau State, academic activities on campus are usually disrupted by ethno-religious crisis that ravaged the city since 1994.

James Davou, a student at the Department of Mass Communication in the university, told SaharaReporters that it had been tough living in an atmosphere of fear.

He said, “Since I gained admission to this university, it has been one crisis or the other. 

“The other day, there was tension due to a clash in town and because the university is located at an area that is a flashpoint in town, some boys from Russo Village invaded our hostel and started shooting at students. Even a soldier shot a student dead that day.

“Whenever things like this happen, we usually skip classes and go home until it is safe to return.

“Surviving as a student of this university has not been easy. When the school management notices that we don’t attend lectures regularly, they usually announce a two-week break for staff and students. 

“I don’t like it because I know in other parts of the country, this does not happen to students and it is affecting our academics.”

At the Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State, students were thrown into panic in May this year over a letter by a cult group that threatened to attack students on June 1, 2019.

On July 9, 2019, the university honoured five students, who were killed in a cultist attack in 1999.

Recalling events of the time in relation to happenings now, Olowolafe Oluwadunsi, a student of OAU, said, “If you remember the events of the July 10, 1999, a lot of students were killed and since then, the campus has always been a tensed place because students have always provided their own security.

“Recently, due to the attack on campus unions and ideological groups, there has been a drop in consciousness and an increase in crime. 

“A certain accommodation policy led to about 70 per cent of students leaving the campus to places in town and Ile-Ife town is not really a safe place and this has led to an increase in cult attacks and rape cases on campus.

“We have complained to school authorities to come to our aid but they have not been responding. 

“If there was a student’s union in place, students would have been able to address it by conducting searches and interventions. 

“But for now, we have to devise our own tactics to be safe from criminal gangs including armed robbers and rapists terrorising us on campus.”

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BREAKING: 133 Nigerian Refugees Arrive Adamawa From Cameroon

Thu, 2019-08-22 20:03

No fewer than 133 Nigerian refugees residing in Cameroon have returned home.

The returnees touched down at the Yola International Airport aboard Nigerian Airforce C130 at exactly 5:00pm local time on Thursday. 

Officials of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, said the refugees volunteered to return home on their own.

Director, Refugees and Migrant Affairs of the commission, Lawal Hamidu, told journalists that the exercise was not “repatriation, but the refugees voluntary signed to return to their ancestral homes”.

Some of the refugees recounted nasty experiences while in Cameroon, as according to them, life over there was tortuous.

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Attackers Of Ekweremadu In Germany Identified

Thu, 2019-08-22 19:51

An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed TheCable that four of the people, who attacked former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in Nuremberg, Germany, last weekend during a ceremony organised by Ndi-Igbo, have been identified. 

The source said they were figured out following an analysis of a viral video showing the incident.

The official said, “I cannot reveal their identities for now because the German authorities are now co-operating with us and investigating the attack.” 

It was learnt that Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar, pressured a reluctant Bavarian police to look into the incident.

Tuggar had impressed on the authorities that under section 102 (1) Chapter 3 of the German Criminal Code, attacks against heads of foreign governments or representatives of organs of foreign governments were punishable.

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10 Unauthorised Patent Medicine Stores Sealed In Ondo

Thu, 2019-08-22 19:49

A total of 10 patent medicine stores operating illegally at Ayede Ogbese and Shasha markets in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State were on Thursday sealed by a special task force. 

This came barely a month after 255 patent medicine stores and unregistered pharmacies were sealed in five local council areas of the state. 

SaharaReporters learnt that the stores were sealed by a team on fake and counterfeit drugs. 

Leader of the task force, Olugbenga Lasekan, decried the rate at which vendors flout the rules of practice. 

He said many patent medicine stores had also been selling and dispensing “harmful drugs” to sick patients without any prescriptions from doctors. 

He noted that the vendors had the list of drugs they were not permitted to sell even without exceptions of antibiotics, injections and control drugs. 

Lasekan said, “The shops that open without following rules and are not license are illegal while those drugs without NAFDAC registration are fake.”

While promising to go tough on vendors of adulterated drugs in the state, Lasekan affirmed that the government would prosecute all recalcitrant illegal operators, advising members of the public to always buy drugs from licensed patent medicine vendors or pharmacies.


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Ondo Accident Caused By Potholes, Speeding, Says FRSC

Thu, 2019-08-22 19:45

The Federal Road Safety Corps in Ondo State has attributed the fatal accident that occurred on Thursday at Ogbese in Akure North Local Government Area of the state to “multiple potholes” on the roads.

Head of Operation of FRSC in Ondo, Olusegun Ogungbemide, made the disclosure in an interview with SaharaReporters on Thursday.

Ogungbemide explained that the accident would have been avoided if not for the drivers of the vehicles involved trying to manoeuvre their way around potholes on the road.

According to him, the fatal accident occurred between a bus and a truck traveling on top speed.

The driver of the bus, Ogungbemide said, upon sighting the pothole lost control of the vehicle and veered off the road.

He said, “The accident occurred few metres to the Ogbese Bridge and we were able to gather that it was a result of potholes on the road.

“The driver of the bus was on top speed and as a result of trying to dodge the potholes, he lost control of the vehicle.

“In that process, he rammed into an articulated truck which was coming from the other lane on the tiny road.

“One person (a male adult) died instantly and 10 others were injured and had been rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Owo.”

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Falana Storms Court Over Delay In Hearing Sowore's Motion

Thu, 2019-08-22 19:43

Following delays in hearing the motion filed by activist, Omoyele Sowore, challenging his continued detention by the Department of State Services, his lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday stormed the Federal High Court in Abuja to demand for a date for the hearing of the application.

Falana, who arrived at the court while it was in session, walked quietly inside and sat at the back of the room.

Presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who sighted him from seated at the back, called his name and asked if there was a problem since he was not wearing his robe.

Falana, therefore, walked up to the judge and told him that he was in the court in respect of the motion he had filed on August 9 on behalf of Sowore.

After a conversation between both men, Justice Taiwo appealed to Falana to exercise some patience as a date for the hearing shall soon be fixed.

Falana said, “We filed our motion since last week and it had not been heard but the DSS filed its own and within 48 hours it was heard.”

The motion on notice is expected to be assigned to another judge next week since the role of Justice Taiwo as vacation judge on the matter ends on Friday.

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NYSC DG And Graduates That Can’t Recite Alphabets By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Thu, 2019-08-22 18:56

A teacher’s comment on the report sheet of a pupil, which came to people’s attention via the social media last week, is a sad commentary on a nation that has consistently ignored the root cause of its problems. The teacher, under the remarks’ section, had simply noted, “she has passed away”, in obvious reference to the pupil being promoted to the next class.

As some of us were still struggling to deal with this unpleasant reality, the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, dropped another bombshell. He told the nation that some graduates undergoing the government’s mandatory one year youth scheme, could neither recite the English alphabets nor read a bank statement.  

Of course, the NYSC DG gave the impression that universities in Benin Republic were the ones sending unqualified graduates for the scheme but I am aware that Nigerian universities cannot be totally exonerated from this anomaly. Just last year, the NYSC, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board,  Department of State Services and the National Universities Commission jointly investigated three graduates of Enugu State University of Science and Technology for what was described as “consistent display of glaring lack of academic ability and intelligence level expected of genuine Nigerian graduates”. 

Two of the corps members couldn’t teach pupils at the nursery school level. One of them couldn’twrite the Roman figure from one to 10 in words,while another, though a graduate of Electricals/Electronics, could not teach any of the science subjects. These corps members could have probably completed their youth service in peace but for the share ‘ill luck’ of being posted to places where their incompetence could not go unnoticed. Imagineposting an Electricals/Electronic graduate to King’s College, Lagos, where he is expected to teach a science subject.   At the end of the investigation, ESUTH simply withdrew the certificates of these people and moved on as if nothing happened. In saner climes, such admission of negligence would have affected the university rating and enrolment figure but not in Nigeria. Up till now, candidates in their thousands still compete for spaces in the university. Ours is a nation that values certificates, hence people struggle to get one by any means. 

As far back as 2015, I wrote about SS2 pupils that couldn’t spell their names. At that time, a Senior Secondary School pupil in Imo State was asked when she was born and she declared that she was born in 1905. Sensing that something was probably wrong with the answer she gave, she changed her date of birth to 1945.  When asked to write her name, she wrote Ezne instead of Ezinne.  

There are several other examples of similar dumb mistakes. For instance, a pupil in JSS2 was asked to write lizard and he wrote Eliza. Another one in SS2 defined a citizen as “anyone that can go anywhere and do anyhow”. Another one in JSS2 could not open the book of Numbers in the Bible, while many in JSS1 do not see anything wrong with saying things like, “Our daddy are going to work”. 

Sadly, most of the time, these pupils merely regurgitate what their teachers teach or say. For instance, a teacher in a private primary school once sent a note to a parent informing her that “her daughter have not brought her note to class”. Another one in a secondary school in Badagry, Lagos State, is fond of telling his pupils: “I see you here, I see you there, are you twice?” Another one always asks his pupils to “open the window and let the climate come in”.

I still remember my experience with Chester Smith, a young chap I met during my tour of Space Centre in Houston, United States of America. Smith was working at the space centre but he had been mentored by scientists and astronomers at the place right from the time he was in secondary school. Every year, more than 100,000 teachers and students around the world visit the space centre to learn and expand their horizon.  Definitely, such teachers cannot be advising that their pupils should “pass away”, neither would the kids that have the privilege of going to this centre, be so dumb as not to know their birth dates. 

Admittedly, education in Nigeria is poorly funded, but the problem seems to have gone beyond poor funding. It appears the education sector is a mere orphan that no one is willing to take the responsibility to nurture. Or how could anyone justify a situation where states that need funds to expand infrastructure in their schools, continue to lock up money belonging to them at the Central Bank of Nigeria in the face of obvious needs? As at October, 2018, 24 states were yet to access the N47bn education grants belonging to them. The grants were for 2015 and 2017. As at October 2018, no state had accessed the N36.4bn 2018 grants. The 2019 grants are still idle at the CBN. All that is required for a state to access the Universal Basic Education Commission grant is to pay a counterpart fund of about N500m and collect one N1bn in return. It is that straightforward. Another condition is that the money must go strictly into funding education. I guess this is where the states have problems as they would probably prefer to spend the money on any other thing but education. 

The Indian education system is one of the most poorly funded in the world yet it manages to maintain a standard that can compete with China’s, which is known to be one of the best globally. While serious governments are thinking of how to make their children perform better, we are playing kites with our own kids. Even the United Kingdom that we look up to as a good destination for education, employs mathematics teachers from China to teach its pupils in its centres of excellence.  

Similarly, China that many developed countries believe  to be the best in mathematics, still encourages its teachers to be more intelligent in both the way they teach the subject and the work expected of their  students. The teachers regularly hook on to locally-organised teachers’ research group where they can get suggestions for good lesson plans. That is not all. The teachers are expected to complete between 240 and 540 hours of further training every five years. Anyone that does not reach a certain level is fired. No wonder China has continued its ascent as a major economic power.

But over here, governments keep chasing the shadow. Rather than solve problems, Nigerians love speaking to issues. We waste money on trivialities. The amount of money that goes into our political process is enough to revitalise the nation’s economy. We make so much noise about fighting corruption, yet the monster becomes bigger every day. Nothing is done to punish erring institutions that produce fake graduates and award certificates to unqualified people. The governors keep deceiving themselves.  They accuse teachers of incompetence but retain them for political reasons. Which country does that and makes progress? 

We will keep dreaming of a better country forever until we address the problems bedeviling our education sector. Only quality education can give us the hope of having quality leadership. Investment in   education goes beyond structures. Governments at all levels should engage smart teachers that would be trained and re-trained on regular basis.

Olabisi Deji-Folutile, who is a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, wrote in via

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Oil From Chad, Angola To Sell Above Nigerian Grade

Thu, 2019-08-22 18:53

Crude oil from Angola, Chad and Cameroon is rising in value over Nigerian grades, as refineries in Europe shape up to meet new International Maritime Organisation rules for ships to cut the sulphur content in their fuel from 3.5 to 0.5 per cent. 

Despite Nigeria’s Bonny light being a sweet oil brand, research firm, ClipperData, says 75 per cent of the type of petroleum that will be consumed by seagoing vessels from January 1, 2020, will come from neighbouring states outside the hydrocarbon-dependent Nigerian economy.

Angolan blend Dalia, Chadian variant Doba and Cameroonian gradient Lokele were described by Reutersas the “Holy Grail,” in the new low sulphur fuel future. 

Angolan state oil company, Sonangol, is already selling its blends at prices higher than the benchmark Brent crude price. 

Traders informed the news agency that Dalia went from a 60 cent discount to a $2.50 premium from the beginning of 2018 till the beginning of this month.

Sonangol was offering Dalia at $3.00 above Brent and similar grade Girassol at $3.20, according to the traders, who sell Angolan crude. 

The Chadian blend, Doba, has risen to 75 cents above dated Brent this month from 60 cents below at the beginning of 2018 as well.

“Outages from Iran and Venezuela after United States sanctions, ramped up Chinese demand and the IMO rules around the corner – all these factors have been quite supportive for medium to heavy sweet grades,” the seller told Reuters.

Experts say the high prices are coming on the back of outages in Iran and Venezuela and the new IMO rule.

Based on Nigeria’s export programme for October, its two main brands Bonny Light and Qua Iboe, are expected to sell at $2.50 above Brent price.

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20 Days In DSS Pit Of Silence: We Must Not Forget Sowore By Fredrick Nwabufo

Thu, 2019-08-22 18:09

It has been 20 weary days since Omoyele Sowore was taken into a hovel of silence by the Department of State Services. The outrage over his abduction and detention is tapering off; dissolving with every quotidian day.

It is human nature to quickly glide past shock, happenstance or pain after sometime but in Sowore’s case, we must bring this weakness into capitulation and into conformity with the realities of our country.  Sowore could have elected to stay in the United States where he is a citizen, and enjoy the salubrity of a well-managed country. He could have chosen to clink glasses and drink champagne with the predatory ‘owners’ of Nigeria. He had no insular reason to call for a protest; he was well-off, managing successful businesses. But like Buddha who abandoned prince-hood, Sowore traipsed an uneasy path to awaken Nigerians to the duty of taking charge of their destiny.

Sowore is not an activist with pretensions of glory. He has been an unrelenting advocate of good governance, freedom and human rights since the early 90s. He led the students’ struggle against the June 12 abomination and lived in the trenches fending off military bullets with words of hope, passion and defiance.

The DSS has filed five charges, which border on treason against him. The secret police say he “planned to violently overthrow the government through a protest; he planned to join forces with the Shiite group to bring down the government; he planned to mislead the public to overthrow the government, and that he formed an alliance with Nnamdi Kanu to launch attacks on Nigeria and topple the government”.

I believe the DSS in truth knows these charges are farcical. But it appears “farcicality” has become the job description of the service. Since 2016, when the residences of judges were invaded in the dead of night and since when Nigerians, who criticise the government are abducted, the secret police has become accomplished in ludicrity.

It has become a norm to arrest citizens and rustle-up jocular charges to keep them shut out of civilisation. “Threat to national security” is now a password for neutralising citizens and keeping them locked up indefinitely.

As I said in a previous essay, the DSS must evolve. It should not be suspended in a militarised past. The agency must serve citizens' interest and not regime interest. It must understand civil protest or the call for it as democratic.

And what is the endgame in keeping Sowore? How is he a threat to national security, really? Why are the real threats to our security rehabilitated, negotiated with and pampered with promises?

There are speculations that the regime is exacting punishment on him for being critical of the government. His news platform, Sahara Reporters, is not letting up in publishing reports that agents of the government find abrasive. So, for them, it is about taking a pound of flesh.

The DSS is a critical security agency that must not lend itself to the neurotic pursuits of any regime. The detention of Sowore, an ex-presidential candidate, is reminiscent of an ‘era of tears, sorrow and blood’ in Nigeria; a crimson season of oppression and suppression.

Over the years, the secret police have racked up abysmally poor human rights records, and its perception by most Nigerians, judging by widespread condemnations, is of dread and scorn. This should not be the case.

This is a time secret services across the world are becoming open, humane, civil and cordial. Even the CIA, which in the past was dreaded and considered a “dangerous” organisation, has evolved. Our own secret police should not remain in a jackbooted past. Secret services today are not to be feared but respected and cooperated with. 

Also, the DSS should not be political police. Governments will come and go but the service will remain. The integrity of the agency and its perception by Nigerians should matter to it. The agency exists for Nigerians; it must serve and protect them. 

The DSS must know that releasing Sowore will be a step in redeeming its image. 

Fredrick Nwabufo writes in via @FredrickNwabufo.

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Man Hired By Nigerian Arrested With Cocaine In Thailand

Thu, 2019-08-22 18:08

A 43-year-old Kenyan man, Glenn Chibasellow Ooko, has been arrested by authorities in Thailand after he was stopped at Bangkok’s airport for allegedly trying to smuggle more than 60 wraps of cocaine in his stomach.

Ooko was said to have flown on Monday from Ethiopia to the Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi airport where he was detained.

A statement released by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board late on Wednesday reads, “He swallowed cocaine weighing 1.2 kilograms, which were in 68 packets.”

“Ooko was not the only one arrested but also with a Nigerian national, Osita Joseph Ukpa, who they claimed had hired the Kenyan to smuggle the drugs.

“This is part of a drug network in Thailand.”

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Fraud: EFCC Interrogates Board Chairperson, Five Others In Kwara

Thu, 2019-08-22 17:42

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has begun investigations into an allegation of N150m bursary fraud against the board chairperson and some management staff of the Kwara State Scholarship Board.

This was revealed in a statement by the media head of the commission, Mr Gbenga Adewoye, in Ilorin, the capital, on Thursday.

The statement said the Kwara State Government in 2017 and 2018 released the sum of N150m as bursary allowances for 10,000 students, who are indigenes of the state in various tertiary institutions.

It was gathered that the board did not pay up to 4,000 students and fraudulently converted the remaining money to personal use.

During interrogation by EFCC officials, many of the students alleged that the names and matriculation numbers they submitted were correct but their signatures were allegedly forged by the board.

The statement reads, “The petitioners, who are students in various higher institutions of learning, had alleged that their names appeared as beneficiaries of bursary allowances at the Kwara State Scholarship Board but that they never received the money.

“They claimed not to have been the original beneficiaries of the controversial bursary allowance despite their particulars on the scholarship board documents.”

As at the time of filing in this report, officials of the board are still being interrogated by the operatives of the commission.

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Gunmen Attack Imo Community, Kill Five, Injure Others

Thu, 2019-08-22 17:27

At least five persons were killed by some gunmen in the early hours of Thursday in Ilile, a community in Ohaji-Egbema Council Area, Imo State.

The gunmen stormed the community around 3:00am, killing a retired police officer and a leader in the community.

Also, many other people were hospitalised after sustaining bullet wounds.

An eyewitness, who spoke on the incident, said, “Five persons have been confirmed dead. Among the dead are a retired police officer, Mr Ukpabi, the immediate past president-general of our community, Napoleon Amadi, a member of vigilante group in our community, Uwagwu Eze and two others.

“Three persons died on the spot while two others died at the hospitals. Several others are lying critically at the hospital.

“The hoodlums killed the victims in their houses while they were asleep. It was indeed a tragedy.”

However, Police Public Relations Officers in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, said three persons were killed, adding that he could not ascertain the cause of the attack.

He said, “I can confirm that three persons were killed. But I cannot confirm if it was cult-related because they came and shot their targets. 

“The Commissioner of Police has ordered a full-blown investigation into the killings with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.”


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Government To Receive 4,000 Nigerian Refugees From Cameroon

Thu, 2019-08-22 17:24

The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, said necessary arrangement had been put in place to receive 4,000 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.

A director in the commission, Mr Lawal Hamidu, disclosed this to journalists in Yola, Adamawa State, on Thursday.

Hamidu said the team had visited Duware transitional camp, where the refugees would be camped.

He said, “We are in Yola to receive Nigerian refugees who fled to Cameroon some years ago to escape Boko Haram attacks.

“The refugees will arrive Yola International Airport on Thursday and all necessary arrangement are in place.”

He said the camp had been equipped with basic social amenities, including clinic, water and electric supply and adequate security.

Deputy Representative of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Roger Hollo, expressed satisfaction with the standard process of transporting the refugees.

He said that the UN commission would work with stakeholders for the successful evacuation of the refugees.

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Niger Deltans React to Akpabio, Keyamo’s Appointments As Ministers For The Region

Thu, 2019-08-22 16:45

Residents of Niger Delta region have expressed mixed views on the appointments of Godswill Akpabio and Festus Keyamo as Minister and Minister of State respectively for the Ministry of Niger Delta.

President Muhammadu Buhari had saddled the two men with the responsibility of overseeing development initiatives in the oil-rich region where poverty mocks the enormous wealth in resources.

Speaking to Sahara Reporters on Thursday, residents of the area said that regardless of the persons selected by Buhari, all they wanted was for the region to be developed by the government.

A newspaper vendor in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Ebi John, while reacting to the appointments of Akpabio and Keyamo, said both ministers should work closely to bring a new ray of hope into the Niger Delta.

He said, “The Buhari-led government has done well for us this time around in terms of appointments. 

“I am very happy and it will be good to see to them clean up the polluted sites because we are dying on daily bases over the neglect.” 

Another vendor, Etimigha Osem, want the appointment of the two men to translate to better living conditions for the people of the region.

He said, “We need basic amenities and enabling environment for the youths to thrive not the appointment of some jobbers who will only enrich themselves and their cronies.”

President of Ijaw Youth Council, Eric Omare, hailed the appointments of Keyamo and Akpabio, insisting that they are the best men to handle the affairs of the Niger Delta.

He said, “They are good materials with an understanding of the issues of the Niger Delta. 

“I expect them to properly galvanise and coordinate the development of the Niger Delta region in the next four years of the Buhari administration. 

“They must give priority to the completion of the East-West Road and other key developmental projects in the region.”

However, a resident of the region named Fyneface Fyneface said that the appointments of Keyamo as Minister of State in the Niger Delta Ministry, was a wrong choice as he would be underutilised given his background as a lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

He said, “I believe and trust in the capacity of Akpabio in driving the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs with a view to achieving the policies and programs of President Buhari for the region.

“But the appointment of Keyamo in that ministry is a misplaced priority because he would be underutilised.”

On his part, Austin Ozobo said the appointments speaks a lot on the abysmal crusade against corruption by the Buhari-led government.

He said, “Before Akpabio joined the All Progressives Congress he was accused of corruption, arrested and detained but since he joined the party, his sins had been forgiven. 

“It is also true that the fight against him is a big joke and appointing Keyamo as junior minister to Akpabio is to rubbish Keyamo who prosecuted Akpabio on corruption.”

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