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60% Of Looted Funds Still Hidden In Nigeria – EFCC

Thu, 2018-12-06 11:29


 

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu yesterday said 60 percent of looted funds is still hidden in Nigeria.

He spoke yesterday in Abuja during an interactive session with journalists at the EFCC head office.

He appealed to Nigerians to take advantage of government’s whistle blower policy, which enabled the EFCC to recover over $40m at an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos State.

He said 60 percent of looted state funds are still being kept in both foreign and local currencies, adding that the EFCC was collaborating with Bureau de Change operators to ensure that such activities are curtailed.

He lamented that such funds are being kept in different kinds of unorthodox storage facilities.

He said all law enforcement agencies must collaborate on the fight against corruption and double efforts to recover such hidden funds.

He said the EFCC is working to secure the extradition of former minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The commission had been given 72 hours by a High Court in Abuja to produce her.

He said the challenge is that she is being investigated by United Kingdom law enforcement agencies.

He noted that the difficulty in prosecuting the former minister in the UK is strange because her money laundering activities is known to several law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions across the world.

Magu also noted that over $300m looted from Nigeria is hanging in Jersey Island, in the United Kingdom.

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Herdsmen Collect N2.2m Ransom From Kidnapped Customs, NDLEA Officers, Others’ Families

Thu, 2018-12-06 11:24


Suspected Fulani herdsmen last week abducted six Abuja-bound passengers in Akunnu, in the Akoko North Local Government Area of Ondo State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the victims had boarded a Sienna SUV at Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos State, around 9am last Tuesday.

The vehicle was said to have been intercepted by the gun-wielding hoodlums around 1pm.

Our correspondent learnt that the herdsmen led the passengers and driver into a forest, where they held them captive for five days.

Among the victims were officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

A retiree and a female student were also said to have been taken captive by the gunmen, who reportedly threatened to kill anyone who refused to cooperate with them.

After rounds of beating with cutlasses and sticks, the hoodlums were said to have converted the phone lines of two of their victims to their operational lines through which they demanded N5m ransom from the families of the victims.

Our correspondent learnt that after they were paid N2.2m, the gunmen freed the captives on Saturday.

One of the victims, Segun Obisanya, who retired from the Federal Civil Service in June this year, said the hoodlums took advantage of the bad road to abduct them.

He said during the five days that they were in captivity, the herdsmen fed them with half-cooked yam stolen from other people’s farms.

Obisanya stated, “When we got to Akunnu, Ondo State, there were potholes on the road and the driver had to slow down. It was at that point that the herdsmen came out of the bush. They were 11 in number and were heavily armed. Two of them had cutlasses, while the others had guns. They blocked our vehicle from the front and the back and began shooting into the air.

“They led us into the bush. We were six in number, including a lady, who should be about 24 years old.

“We walked in the bush for over four hours, after which they asked us to wait. They said they were not armed robbers, but kidnappers and that each of our families must pay N5m. They said if our families did not pay, they would slaughter us.”

Obisanya said the group was always on the move, adding that they slept whenever the sun set.

He noted that the bandits asked them to decide on whose relative would bring the ransom.

He narrated, “They beat us with cutlasses and sticks and said we should call our relatives for money. The lady among us suffered the most in their hands. Later, they asked us to decide and appoint somebody who had a trustworthy relative. They said the relative’s bank account would be used to collect all the ransom and the relative would bring the money to them.

“One person raised his hand and said he had an uncle in Edo State. So, our family members transferred money into the man’s uncle account. The person brought the money on Saturday morning. When the man brought the money, they asked him to stop at a particular junction. About three of them then went to collect the money.”

The captives were later released.

Obisanya insisted that the men were Fulani herdsmen because of the language they were conversing in.

He noted that throughout the time the captives were in the kidnappers’ den, the men stole tubers of yam from nearby farms to feed them.

The female victim, identified only as Temilade, could not speak to our correspondent when contacted because she was said to still be traumatised by her ordeal.

However, her uncle, who did not want to be identified, said Temilade had sent him a message to request money for the kidnappers.

“Uncle, please I am in the hands of kidnappers. They asked each of us to pay N5m, but anything you can raise will go a long way with what I have asked from other people. Sir, I will be dead by this time tomorrow because today is the second day,” the text  message sent by Temilade to the relative obtained by our correspondent read.

Temilade’s uncle said some money had been sent by other relatives before she was released with the other victims on Saturday.

He stated, “They left the park at 9am and the incident happened around noon; it was in broad daylight. We initially thought the telephone number the kidnappers were using to negotiate with us belonged to them, not knowing that they converted two of the victims’ lines to their operational lines.

“They released them after getting a total of N2.2m. My niece was the only female in the group, which consisted of a customs officer and an NDLEA officer,” Temilade’s uncle added.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident.

“They (victims) have all been released. But we are still investigating the matter. That is all we can say for now. We don’t know those who did it, because none of them has been arrested,” Joseph told our correspondent.

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Prepare For Long Strike Action, ASUU Tells Members

Thu, 2018-12-06 11:12


The Academic Staff Union of Universities yesterday charged striking members of the union in public universities across the country to prepare for a long industrial action.

ASUU President Professor Biodun Ogunyemi enjoined members “to be on the watch and prepare for a long drawn-out struggle to salvage the university system”.

ASUU had on November 4 embarked on nationwide strike over unfulfilled past agreements by the Federal Government.

Ogunyemi, in Strike Bulletin No 5 sent to all members of the union a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent in Ibadan yesterday, charged members to remain steadfast “and resolute in the face of intimidation or antics employed by government through Vice chancellors and Governing councils to undermine the ongoing struggle”

According to him, “Government is yet to change its “keep them talking” style and stance as all the meetings held so far with the Minister of Education are yet to resolve any of the demands of ASUU”.

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2019: We Don’t Need Amosun, Okorocha To Win – Adams Oshiomhole

Thu, 2018-12-06 11:04


 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said the party would win the 2019 elections without the support of Ogun state governor Ibikunle Amosun and his Imo state counterpart, Rochas Okorocha.

Both governors are at loggerheads with Mr Oshiomole over the outcome of the party’s governorship primary election in their respective state.

According to him, the governors are poor students of their own history who had forgotten they lost elections before winning on the platform of APC.

He said, “We know there are people across the divide who are fighting back. There is a gang up by those who are used to sucking the system without adding any value but Nigerians will not allow that.”

On the election, the party chairman boasted that the 2019 election would be a smooth sail for President Muhammadu Buhari and APC because ethnic and religious sentiments that characterised the 2015 election lost by former president Goodluck Jonathan would have no play this time around.

“The two candidates are from the North and they are both Muslims. People are now going to look at character. Nobody has ever said Buhari is a thief. But who said the other person (Atiku) is a thief? it was his boss (Obasanjo).

“When you are working with me and I said you are a thief, God will punish me if I support you. And when you are confused because your supply line has been chopped off, you now turned around to support the same person. That God that you called with your name to punish you if you support the person is about to go to work. And He will go to work in February and HE will punish him thoroughly and the person he is supporting, in favour of Nigeria.”

He alleged that the popularity of APC in Ogun and Imo had soared despite the alleged anti-party activities of their governors.

Oshiomhole said, “Those who think our political future is tied to them; they are poor students of their own political history. Some of these people who talk as if they are invincible, they have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost until they abandoned their parties and joined us. So if they return back, history will repeat itself.

“In Imo state today, APC will win more votes. My focus is on ordinary Imo voters because on that day, the governor would have only one vote, his son-in-law would have only one vote while his Commissioner for Happiness would have only one vote.

“But artisans, traders, teachers and workers whose salaries are not being paid have the same weight of vote and they are excited about the renewed possibility of a new government coming with fresh ideas free of all the encumbrances of the present system. So in Imo I’m very confident.

“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from Ogun State. The state is one of the most enlightened States in Nigeria. They have a huge history; they are not in a political kingdom headed by one person.

“If they were looking for true reconciliation, they wouldn’t have done what they did (defection of aides). That is not how democracy works. Nigeria must grow beyond this syndrome ‘I’m the governor, I will decide.’ You have only one vote. With due respect, I was once a governor. Overall APC is much stronger now.”

He, however, stated that sanction for those involved with anti-party lies with the electorate, just as he said the efforts of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee were already yielding fruits in some places while those with negotiable grievances were being sorted out.

He again promoted the APC presidential candidate, stating that he had the best credentials to lead the country to progress, economic recovery, peace and stability.

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DETAILS: EFCC’s 10-Count Corruption Charge Against NBA President Usoro

Thu, 2018-12-06 10:54

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 10-count charge against Paul Usoro, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), SaharaReporters can report.

Earlier on Tuesday, SaharaReporters had reported that the commission arrested Usoro days before he is scheduled to preside over his first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting as President of the association.

He was subsequently released, and SahararReporters has now laid hands upon the corruption charges    for which EFCC is seeking to prosecute him.

EFCC’s allegations against Usoro relate to converting to personal use, concealing the source of, disguising the origin of and retaining in his account sums of money to the tune of billions of naira belonging to the Akwa Ibom State government.

EFCC said Usoro committed the alleged offences in 2015 and in 2016, and named as Usoro’s accomplices Emmanuel Udom, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, whom it acknowledged is currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution; Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large); Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance of the state (still at large); Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant General of the state (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large).

The commission also said Usoro was paid with Awka Ibom State’s funds for legal services he rendered in his personal capacity to Udom, who was then a governorship candidate but is now a governor.

EFCC listed its witnesses who would give evidence of their investigation, tender exhibits and reveal their findings as Ibrahim Musa Miringa and Abdulrah Mohammed Arabo

It said they took statement of the suspect and witnesses, while documents recovered by them in the course of the investigation would be tendered and analysed before the court.

It added that Udom Idongesit Ekom would give evidence of the transaction source of the sum of N300,000,000.00 and how the account of Paul Usoro & Co was opened.

More witnesses — Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Theophilus Oyesanya (SAN), Onyechi Ikeazu (SAN), Festus Jumbo and D.D. Dodo — will give evidence of the legal services rendered with the defendant for Emmanuel Udom, for which they received payments from the defendant.

Representatives of Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Sterling Bank will testify as well.

THE CHARGES IN FULL

Count 1: That you Paul Usoro (SAN), Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan (Commissioner of Finance Akwa Ibom State) (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah (Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State) (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large), sometime in 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired among yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of the sum of N1, 400, 000, 000 (one billion four hundred and ten million naira) property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (A) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Count 2: That you Paul Usoro (SAN), Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan (Commissioner of Finance Akwa Ibom State) (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah (Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State) (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large) on or about the 14th day of March 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N300, 000, 000 (three hundred million), property of the Government of AKwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Count 3: That you Paul Usoro (SAN), Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan (Commissioner of Finance Akwa Ibom State) (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah (Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State) (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large) on or about the 14th day of March 2016 in Nigerian within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court concealed the sum of N300, 000, 000 (three hundred million), property of the Government of AKwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Count 4: That you Paul Usoro (SAN), Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune to criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan (Commissioner of Finance Akwa Ibom State) (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah (Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State) (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large) on or about the 14th day of March 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court disguised the origin of the sum of N300, 000, 000 (three hundred million), property of the Government of AKwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Count Five: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 14th day of March, 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court used the sum of N300,000,000.00 (three hundred million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count Six: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 14th day of March, 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court used the sum of N300,000,000.00 (three hundred million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria in your Paul Usoro & Co’s account No. 1014604466 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count Seven: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 24th day of August, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N530,000,000.00 (five hundred and thirty million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria in Paul Usoro and Company’s Clients’ account No. 0690123425 domicile in Access bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count Eight: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 18th day of September, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N40,000,000.00 (forty million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria in Paul Usoro and Company’s Clients’ account No. 0690123425 domicile in Access bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count Nine: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 3rd day of December, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N260,000,000.00 (two hundred and sixty million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria in Paul Usoro and Company’s Clients’ account No. 0690123425 domicile in Access bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count 10: That you, Paul Usoro (SAN) on or about the 27th day of August, 2015 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court transferred the sum of N65,000,000.00 (sixty-five million Naira), property of Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria from Paul Usoro and Company’s Clients’ account No. 0690123425 domicile in Access Bank Plc to Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (Hon. Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Akwa Ibom State) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

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Police Reject Proposal To Make IGP Subject To Senate Confirmation

Thu, 2018-12-06 10:42


The Nigeria Police Force yesterday rejected an aspect of a bill that seeks to make the appointment and removal of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) ‎subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

The bill, which is on the reform of the Nigeria Police, came up for public hearing yesterday organised by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, chaired by Sen Tijjani Yahaya Kaura (APC, Zamfara).

Sponsored by Deputy Senate Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, Kebbi), the bill also provides that the seven Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs), as currently obtained, should be reduced to one.

But the police, through the IGP Ibrahim Idris, also opposed that proposal, saying one DIG would not be enough for the police to perform its functions optimally.

But the police agreed with an aspect of the bill, which proposed 5-year tenure for an IGP.

In a presentation, the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Musiliu Smith, a retired IGP, said the commission was in agreement with most of the proposals in the bill, which he said would transform the police.

He called for more provision in the area of accommodation so that more policemen could be accommodated inside barracks.‎

Also, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, who is a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), said members of the National Assembly would do good for the country if they reduce their monthly pay so that adequate funds could be made available to the Nigeria Police.

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ASUU Strike: Ngige Faults Falana’s Position On ‘No Work, No Pay’

Thu, 2018-12-06 10:28


The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has rejected the call by a human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, on the federal government to rescind its decision to enforce the ‘No Work, No Pay’ rule in the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

He said the ministry has formally taking negotiations with ASUU and has scheduled meeting for Monday.

In a statement issued wednesday night in Abuja by the Director of Press in the Ministry, Samuel Olowokere, the minister said his attention has been drawn to media publications in which Falana, described as illegal, the enforcement of Sec. 43.1 of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 on the ‘No- Work, No- Pay’ Act and asked the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately withdraw what he termed an “illegal order”.

“For a start, the minister is in disbelief as to whether the learned lawyer was correctly quoted. However, reading through the news item, especially his direct reference to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) wherein he urged the lecturers to disobey that aspect of the law, insisting also that ASUU complied with 31(6) of the Trade dispute Act 2005 as amended in declaring its strike, the Ministry is constrained to make the following corrections to avoid further misinformation of the general public,” it said.

The minister added that Nigeria is a member of the International Labour Organisation( ILO ) a United Nations specialised agency dealing with labour issues and whose aim is to promote the right at work for employees and employers, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

Ngige said it is important to state that Nigeria has also ratified and domesticated about eight core conventions of the ILO out of which two are most related in the instant dispute between ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“These are the rights to freedom of association and organisation as well as the right to Collective Bargaining.

“Based on these conventions, the ILO recognises the rights of the workers to strike. However, it also recognises the reciprocal rights of employers to withdraw wages during strike. This is the anchor for No Work, No Pay,” he said.

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OBJ, Atiku Alliance Will Fail – Oshiomhole

Thu, 2018-12-06 10:00


The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the new political romance between former president Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) and his then estranged vice, Atiku Abubakar, will not last beyond February next year.

Oshiomhole said that the past misdeeds of Obasanjo (OBJ) and his foe-turned friend, who is the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will work against them at the February 2019 presidential election.

Citing the curse Obasanjo earlier placed on himself if he supports Atiku for the presidency because of the latter’s alleged betrayal of the trust he placed on him, Oshiomhole said that now that the former president had eaten his words, the duo would certainly receive God’s punishment which would translate to President Muhammadu Buhari humiliating them at the presidential race next year.

Oshiomhole dismissed the grievances and anti-party activities of the governors of Ogun and Imo states, Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha respectively as he asserted that the APC had emerged stronger without them.

He assured APC’s’ supporters in Imo and Ogun that the national and state organs of the party would work hard to ensure the victory of the governorship candidates without Amosun and Okorocha.

The APC chairman stated this yesterday when he received APC women leaders from Edo State in his office in Aso Drive, Abuja.

Oshiomhole recalled that Obasanjo swore that God should punish him if he ever supports Atiku to become Nigeria’s president.

Asked of his fears for 2019 elections, he said: “I will rather tell you my hopes and that is that Buhari will win by getting more votes than he got before. Nobody has said that Buhari is a thief, but who said that the other person is a thief was the person he worked with.

“If you are working with me and I said that you are thief, that God will punish me if I support you and when you are confused because your supply line has been chopped off and you enter a new deal, come back to say I now support you, that God you invoked with your name to punish you if you support that person is about to go to work and He will go to work in February next year. He will punish you thoroughly and punish the person he is supporting in favour of Nigeria,” he said.

While describing the governors as poor students of history who had forgotten where they came from to join the APC, Oshiomhole declared that some APC governors no longer have electoral value.

He said: “Our popularity in Imo and Ogun states is much higher. What you don’t know and Nigerians always make me surprise by thinking that once you are a governor, you have electoral value. Yes, we have overwhelming majority of the APC governors with electoral value, but we also have others without electoral value.

“I can confidently tell you today that in Imo State, APC will win more votes. As I said, it is about numbers and my focus is about the ordinary Imo electorate because the governor, his commissioner for happiness and the son in-law have only one vote on that day.

“But those mechanics, market women, school teachers and workers, whose salaries are unpaid for years, have the same weight of votes. They are excited about the new possibilities of a new government coming with new ideas free from all the encumbrances of the present system. I am very confident in Imo.

“Also, in Ogun State, don’t forget that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from that state. We cannot focus on one person and not on the other. Ogun is one of the most enlightened states in the country and that is where the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, came from. They have a huge history in a political kingdom headed by one person.

“When a child runs out of his father’s house to bear a new name, according to history and the Bible, he returns when the weather thoroughly beats him as a prodigal son. That is why APC has prodigal sons. Those who think that their political future is not tied to the party are poor students of history.

“They forget that some of these people thinking that they are invisible have run elections before and lost deposit until they abandoned their parties and joined us. If they return back, history will repeat itself,” he said.

 

Odigie-Oyegun Expresses Sadness Over Instability In APC

Meanwhile, Oshiomhole’s predecessor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has appealed to the political class and general public to exercise restraint as the general elections approach and be ready to make sacrifices in the interest of the country.

Odigie-Oyegun expressed sadness over the current crisis rocking the APC, even as he expressed the confidence that the ongoing peace moves would yield the expected results.

He spoke with newsmen for the first time since he left office at his Abuja residence yesterday.

According to him, he does not know anyone who is happy with the raging instability in the party and called for compromises for peace to reign in the APC.

Odigie-Oyegun said:  “We need to begin to confront the elections in February next year which given the state of the nation, are bound to be challenging” even as he appealed that efforts be made to enthrone peace such that the party would approach the race as a united force.

When asked whether he was disturbed about the situation, he replied: “Well I can say something for sure that I am not happy as to the state of peace or the instability in the party. I don’t think I know someone who is happy today about that but like I said earlier there are peace missions that I have found all over the country and so at this point it will be improper for me to start saying that things went bad because that happened or because that did not happen. As a statesman, let me not start passing my own personal judgement where there is a team out trying to broker peace, I won’t be helping the situation.”

 

PDP Mobilises North Central For Atiku At Ilorin Rally

For the opposition PDP, the need to replace the APC-led federal government took the centre stage of its North Central zonal presidential campaign in Ilorin, Kwara State yesterday.

The first shot was fired by the director-general of the Atiku/Obi Campaign Organisation and Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who said that the APC administration had failed in all facets of governance.

While asking Nigerians to vote Buhari and the APC out of power next year, Saraki lamented that the party had failed to deliver on all its 2015 campaign promises.

Saraki said: “APC promised Nigeria a lot of things. They promised us security.  Then we had security problem only in the Northeast but now it has extended to North Central and even the Northwest.  APC has failed because security has worsened.

“People are dying of hunger because the economy has gone terribly bad. They have also failed in fighting corruption. Nigeria is today the world’s poverty capital. We need a president who will fix the economy, create jobs and unite Nigerians.

“This APC government must go because events of the past three years had shown that they don’t have the solutions to these problems. We must vote this government out and elect Atiku as our next president. My people of Kwara and North Central, we must vote out Buhari. Atiku is the solution to Nigeria’s problem.”

In his speech, Atiku lamented that Nigeria has gone worse under the APC, hence the need to provide an alternative administration which can make things work again in the country.

He said: “They promised us security, jobs, and to improve the economy, but in each of these, they failed. It is time for our people to return PDP to power because Nigeria was good when the PDP was in power.

“Today, in terms of economy, Nigeria is the poorest in the world. These are facts from international organisations.  The security situation has become terribly bad.”

Atiku alleged plans by the APC to buy Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from people as a way of perpetrating electoral fraud and urged Nigerians to guard against the plan so as not to mortgage their future and that of their children.

The PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, lauded  the large turnout of the people for the rally noting that Nigerians had been suffering since the APC took over power in 2015.

He said: “Look at the genocide in Benue and Plateau States and no arrest was made. APC is a government of propaganda. They can’t fool Nigerians again,” adding that Atiku has experience in both private and public sectors that he can use to return Nigeria to the path of glory and a buoyant economy.

The chairman of the organising committee for the rally who doubles as Kwara State PDP secretary, Alhaji Rasaq Lawal, thanked the people for turning out in large number to honour their illustrious son, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Describing the rally as a huge success, Lawal asked the people to repeat the feat at the 2019 elections by voting massively for all the PDP’s candidates.

The PDP flags were presented to the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Kwara, Barr Razak Atunwa, and his counterparts from the states in North Central zone at the rally.

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I’m Dangerously Wealthy, Receive Booty From No Govt – Oyedepo

Thu, 2018-12-06 09:55


Bishop David Oyedepo

Bishop David Oyedepo

The Presiding Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners’ Chapel, Dr. David Oyedepo has said that he has never received or shared any booty from any government in Nigeria.

He boasted of God’s blessings on his life and that he has a clear conscience. “I don’t share any booty from any government. I have a clear conscience; I am dangerously wealthy. I am rich, whatever I want, comes. That’s what they call wealth,” the Bishop said.

Oyedepo stated this at the opening session of Shiloh 2018, the annual gathering of the members of the Living Faith Church tagged “Dominion” at its International Headquarters, Canaan Land, Ota in Ogun State.

The Bishop warned those he called ‘political gladiators’ to understand that authority is now domiciled in the church, saying, “If the church says you are going nowhere, there is nothing you can do.”

Speaking on “Heralding the Dominion Era of the Church,” he declared that the authority that enthroned the church was from heaven and not man-made. “It is not something that we organise; it is by the hand of God. You can be upset, it won’t change anything,” he added.

He told the congregation, which included 4,512 delegates from 43 nations of the world that God would be confirming in these last days that heavens rules in the affairs of men. “If the church comes against any arrogant, puffing fellows, they shall be messed up,” he affirmed.

Oyedepo noted that for anyone to dominate his world, he has to first dominate the issues of his life. “Until one is rescued, he cannot rescue others. We must remove the beam in our eyes before we can remove the mote in other people’s eyes,” he urged.

The event, which will end with a thanksgiving service on Sunday, December 9, 2018, is the 20th edition of the annual programme that features prayers, special ministrations, instant testimonies and encounter nights.

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'We Bought Diesel For Rescue Operations To Continue' — Residents Lament Pace Of Work On Collapsed Building In Rivers

Wed, 2018-12-05 19:42


Members of the Nzuko Obodoukwu clan in Imo State have held a rally to call for better resources to aid the rescue of people still trapped in the rubble of the seven-storey building that collapsed in Rivers State more than one week ago.

Members of the clan expressed dissatisfaction with the slow rate of work recorded by the evacuation team, adding that one of their family members is trapped in the building.

President of the clan, Benjamin Obidegwu, stated that the clan had assisted with the evacuation, and expressed sadness that hopes of rescuing others trapped under the rubble is fading.

Obidiegwu also disclosed that a brother of one of the victims had to buy diesel for the evacuation team to aid the rescue process.

“We have tried in our capacity to get the needed help at rescuing not only our brother, but all others trapped under the debris of the collapsed structure. The brother of one the victims had to buy 150 litres of diesel after the rescue team stopped work due to shortage of diesel," he said.

The Nzuko Obodoukwu clan maintained that those yet to be rescued, if alive, would not be in the right frame of mind.

They, however, questioned the lack of urgency and resources deployed to rescue those still trapped.

“We wish to state categorically that the resources deployed to save our brother, Morgan, and others leaves much to be desired. The lack of urgency on the part of the rescue team and the low sympathy this ugly incident got, necessitated by the worrisome disposition of the media, is a cause for concern," he said.

He urged all relevant agencies to hasten up the pace of rescue activities at the site.

Meanwhile, the South-South Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Martins Ejike, had disclosed that 44 people have been brought out --- 31 alive and 13 dead.

Ejike lamented the lack of adequate manpower in carrying out their operations, adding that the rescue team had to work with the assistance of collaborators.

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Nigerian Army Killed Police Efficiency, Says Oba Akiolu

Wed, 2018-12-05 18:01


Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of Lagos, has said the Nigerian Army "killed the efficiency" of the Nigerian Police Force.

He stated this in his address at the public hearing on a bill for an Act to repeal the Police ACT CAP 19, 2004 organised by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs.

The hearing is currently holding at the Conference Hall 231, Senate New Building National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

The Police Reform Bill is sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah and was debated up to Second Reading in the House before being referred to the Committee.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Senate Majority Leader Ibn Na’Allah, who spoke on behalf of the Senate President Bukola Saraki noted that “A revamped policing structure will provide better guarantees for the rights and freedom of citizens".

“This proposed law will enhance communal relations, and in order to do this, will establish a Divisional State Police Board to foster better engagement with the people and the communities in which they live," he added.

Speaking at the event, Oba Akiolu said: "It is the Nigerian Army who actually killed the efficiency and the progress of the Police". Aside that, he restated the need for "adequate funding and not the normal envelope budget".

Also present at the hearing include Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris, Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty Igwe Alfred Achebe, among others.

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CSOs Protest At US Embassy In Abuja, Say No To Granting Atiku 'Politically-Motivated Visa'

Wed, 2018-12-05 18:00



A group of civil society organisations under the aegis of Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations In Nigeria have besieged the US Embassy in Abuja to advise against granting American Visa to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Bearing placards as they marched to the embassy on Wednesday, the protesters urged the officials at the Embassy to tread with caution on the matter.

Addressing the protesters, Comrade Wole Badmus, Convener and National Chairman of the group, said they had formally written to the United States Embassy against granting the visa request by the former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

Noting that issuing the visa would portray the US as endorsing his candidature, he said: "This is apart from the tacit and covert electoral gain such can confer him as the general correct perception in our country now is that Atiku is being denied American visa because of proven cases of money laundering and financial crimes against him.

"Sir, you may recall the outcome of the US Senate Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations chaired by Carl Levin. The committee submitted its report on 4 February, 2010. It is equally interesting to note that the probe was motivated by the US government's concern about corruption in the Third World and its corrosive effects on the development of honest government, democratic principles and the rule of law."

Badmus explained that there is a nexus between corruption and failed state, stating that the World Bank estimated that $1trillion in bribes alone exchange hands worldwide each year.

He continued: "A summary of the report indicates that between 2000 and 2008, Jennifer Douglas a US citizen and the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, helped her husband bring over $40million in suspect funds into the United States through wire transfers sent by offshore corporation to US bank account.

"In a 2008 civil complaint, the US Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Ms. Douglas received over $2million in bribe payments in 2001 and 2002 from Siemens AG, a major German Corporation."

He added that Ms. Douglas owned up when the banks began to question the offshore wire transfers that all the funds came from, stating that "granting American Visa to Atiku would amount to negation of the Patriot Act which makes the acceptance of foreign corruption proceeds a US money laundering offence".

He added that it would make a mockery of the United Nations Convention against Corruption enacted in 2003, in which USA played an active role in its enactment and presently ratified by more than 140 countries.

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Dear Bishop Oyedepo, God Is Not Happy With Your False Witness On Jubril By Churchill Okonkwo

Wed, 2018-12-05 17:43


On the weekend that Fr. Mbaka was shamelessly trying to extort money by harassing and blackmailing Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar, you, Bishop David Oyedepo was busy maliciously gossiping (from the altar) about President Buhari as one Jubril from Sudan. While Fr. Mbaka was driven by the quest for money, you, Bishop Oyedepo, blinded by hatred was driven by desperation for power. As a Christian, it was a depressing weekend as I was left wondering what’s happening to Christianity in Nigeria?

Clearly, you, Bishop Oyedepo was blinded by his hatred of President Buhari when you read the satire “Matters miscellaneous” by Prof. Olatunji Dare in the Nation Newspaper of November 27 th , 2018. If not, there is no explanation why you and your team should degenerate to the devilish innuendos that Nigerian President is one Jubril from Sudan. Prof. Dare employed satire by exaggeration in his piece as a technique to expose the foolishness of people insinuating that Buhari is one Jubril. Yet, blinded by hatred, you, Bishop Oyedepo fell for it. What a ridicule you made of yourself and your congregation that was shouting Amen in unionism to malicious prayers.

Dear Bishop Oyedepo, beyond your unhidden desire to regain influence that you used to exert when Goodluck Jonathan was in power, there is something gratingly noxious about your hatred of President Buhari. From making a mockery of President Buhari at every opportunity to shamelessly embracing a corrupt Atiku and the PDP in a desperate move to regain influence, your “blind” hatred of Buhari is so intense that it has led you to utterances that are unbecoming of a man of God.

Proverbs 26:24-26 says that “whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Dear, Bishop, you goofed by exposing your hatred of Buhari. What should the people of God do when hatred is spewed from God’s altar? Shout Amen to prayers that are driven by disdain and hate or cover their eyes and run out of the church? What is happening to Christianity in Nigeria?

In Exodus 23: 1, we were told “do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness. But here we you, Bishop Oyedepo acting as a malicious witness, Nnamdi Kanu’s mouthpiece and Atiku’s campaign manager all at once. I wouldn’t have worried so much, but the fact that you did all these from the altar of God should trouble every Christian.

To show how mischievous and malicious you are, you made no mention of Prof Dare’s reference in the same satire, to dependable sources telling him that “Abuja is close to unraveling the identity of the fake Jew parading himself on faked foreign soil as Nnamdi Kanu.”

Selective amnesia? You, Bishop Oyedepo and your team clearly selected a section of Prof. Dare’s piece that will advance your malicious agenda of slandering President Buhari, period.

Dear Bishop, your blind hatred of Buhari is unreasoning hatred, a hatred and fury over which you have lost control of yourself, yet again. This is grievously sinful as we are to remain in control of ourselves always, loving our brothers, and not wishing death on fellow beings. Hatred may not be sinful if it is directed towards some evil quality that a person has but does not touch that person.

For example, it would have been understandable if you dislike Buhari because of the failure of his administration to deliver on the promise of stamping out Boko Haram or revamping Nigerian economy. It is, however, sinful when you, Bishop Oyedepo extends your hatred to the person of Buhari by engaging in malicious gossip. Of course, you cannot possibly claim to hate Buhari for not stamping out corruption while kissing and caressing Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.

So, why engage in this needless slandering?

Scripture uses the word slander which means making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation. Slander can destroy someone's marriage, job, wealth, and family.

Let me refer you, Bishop and your congregations and all Christians to the Words from the Holy Book. Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what

is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

What was the benefit of the gossip on Buhari from you to your congregation and Christians? Nothing spiritual or related to salvation. The gossip was purely political to advance your personal agenda.

Among the things that the Lord hates is a false witness who pour out lies (Proverbs 6:16-19). What were you expecting Bishop when he poured out his heart about an imaginary slavery from a Sudanese Jubril? In his testimony and witnessing, Paul spoke the truth faithfully (2 Corinthians 11:31; 1 Timothy 2:7). Did you speak to your congregation faithfully and truthfully?

Was Fr. Mbaka speaking truthfully when he cajoled Peter Obi to spit money or his December 31 st prophesy will go against him and Atiku? What happened to true Christianity?

Bishop, you stated in the video that went viral that “if the President will not address the nation on a subject as sensitive as this, it must have been proved beyond any iota of doubt that maybe he is not our President.”

In case you and your team are claiming ignorance, I want to inform you that President Buhari saw the evil in their hearts and have addressed that unnecessary and idiotic
insinuation over the weekend in Poland. He stated and I quote "I can assure you all that this is the real me. Later this month I will celebrate my 76th birthday. And I'm still going strong!"

Leviticus 19: 16 warned Christians not to “go about spreading slander among your people.” So, I challenge you, Bishop Oyedepo to retract your malicious innuendo and apologize to President Buhari and Nigerians in the same altar of God. I will love to see the same congregation shout a loud Amen to your prayer of good health for Buhari next Sunday. Failure to do this, to use your exact words, “will prove beyond any iota of doubt” that you are not a true man of God. It is that simple.

Finally, to my Christian brothers and sisters, I will leave you with these Words from the Holy Book. As followers of Christ Jesus, our testimony should be based and anchored on TRUTH. If you tell lies, you draw loyalty to yourself, and not to Christ; He is TRUTH! (John 14:6) and He testified to the truth (John 18:37). We should earnestly pray for deliverance from deception (Joshua 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:15). We should not seek to hear only what is appealing to the ears or the flesh (Jeremiah 5:31; 2 Timothy 4:3). The time to STOP the foolishness on Jubril or Jubrin or whatever is NOW. These are the Words of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

From Brother Churchill, with Love.

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter
@churchillnnobi

 

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Police: 16 Officers Killed In Zamfara Ambush

Wed, 2018-12-05 17:42


The Nigeria Police Force has said it lost 16 officers in the ambush by bandits which occurred on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

The Police had earlier claimed that one officer was killed in the attack.

However, in the latest development, the Police said it rescued 20 officers alive, while 16 bodies were recovered.

This is coming after a report by SaharaReporters in which a relative of one of the affected officers said the Police lied about the casualty figure. See Also Police 'Dozens Were Killed' — Policeman's Family Says Police Lied About Zamfara Attack Casualty Toll 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

According to the Public Relations Officer of Zamfara State Police Command, 16 officers were found dead after search-and-rescue operations.

“The search-and-rescue operations embarked on by the Police Joint Intervention Force to rescue the missing Police Personnel after the 29th November, 2018, onslaught on the armed bandits in which 104 armed bandits were killed, fifty (50) bandits hideouts in three (3) camps destroyed and recovery of over five hundred (500) cattle and seventy nine (79) sheep from the possession of the armed bandits resulted in the successful rescue of twenty (20) policemen alive, while sixteen (16) Police personnel were found dead after the rescue operations carried out by the Police Joint Intervention Force," the statement read.

The Inspector General of Police condoled with the families of the deceased stating that “their supreme price they paid for the security and safety of the Country will not be in vain".

The Police has, however, not disclosed the names of the affected officers.

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Prostitution Is Capitalism On Campus By Emmanuel Onwubiko

Wed, 2018-12-05 17:20


With just few weeks to Nigeria’s most critical election, the major contenders who began their campaigns for the coveted number one political job in Nigeria which is the office of the President have so far not adequately addressed the critical issue of right to education.

Going through the various ramifications and segments of the nation’s highest law which is the constitution, it is unambiguous that the right to qualitative education opens the door to the enjoyment of all other fundamental right provisions espoused in chapter four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).

For instance, in section 17 subsection (3), the constitution stipulates that the state shall direct its policy towards ensuring that (a) all citizens, without discrimination on any group whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihoods as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment.

There is no doubt that the clearest way of obtaining suitable employment is the capacity building and/or manpower educational empowerment of the citizenry.

Section 18 (3) of the grund norm emphasized that “government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy, and to this end government shall as and when practicable provide (a)free compulsory and universal primary education; (b) free university education; and (c) free adult literacy programme.

The above mentioned objectives of state policy are never implemented because as I write, the educational sector is amongst the most marginalized even as the provision of the constitution which absolutely prohibits discrimination is not respected by top government functionaries who have continuously underdeveloped the public educational sector whilst diverting public fund towards providing the most competitive educational training for their own children in some of the best Ivy league universities in the advanced Western economies.

The neglect of the public educational sector got to a deteriorated extent that most parents have decided to cough out huge cash to be able to send their children to foreign jurisdictions for educational trainings. The public school system in Nigeria suffers from the twin evil of corruption by the management staff and criminal marginalization in terms of funding by all levels of government in Nigeria. Most public schools are at the different stages of collapse.

The focus of this piece today is not on the peremial neglect of the public educational sector but rather one of the most critical offshoots of these neglect and corruption that are weighing down the public educational institutions. This problem is the fact that most girls from disadvantaged homes in Nigeria who are in public tertiary institutions are forced to become sex workers so as to train themselves in those schools that have kept hiking tuition fees but without commensurate upgrade of standards.

This issue is a debilitating factor all around the globe but the Nigerian dimension is uniquely satanic. This is because unlike in some western societies whereby there are facilities from which students can borrow to pay for their very expensive university education and gradually pays off these debts when they begin to work, in Nigeria, the poor students have no form of scholarship funding nor any educational funding banks to borrow. They then resort to engaging in all forms of social crime so that they can pay their ways through school.

Last week when I visited most states in the South East of Nigeria whereby tertiary education is an attractive sector for most young persons, I came face to face with the existence of what can be called capitalism on campus which is another way of describing commercial sex activities by female students of these universities. Capitalism on campus is a menace all around educational faculties around the Country. Public and private universities are very busy commercializing honorary doctorate awards to the highest bidders and are engaged in different fields of businesses to boost their revenue generation, but nothing is done to ameliorate the untold and despicable hardships that most students go through. Moreover, nearly 60 percent of female students in Nigeria's tertiary institutions are their own educational sponsors. This is why in such places like University of Lagos amongst several others, there is the problem associated with what we call ARISTOS. This word is coined from the capitalist term ARISTOCRATS which means rich patron who deploy their wealth to obtain sexual gratification from female or even male students. There are also those that are pejoratively termed as RUNS GIRLS. 

The sad thing about it is that the school management have never really appreciated this issue as a fundamental stumbling block to the holistic training and the educational formation of the young persons.

As I write, the academic communities are on shut down due to needless industrial action occasioned by the consistent willful neglect of the funding of public university system by both the national and sub-national governmental administrations.

The academic staff union of universities embarked on strike for nearly a month now. Of course the academic and non-academic staffs are worried about how to make their wages big but the welfare of their students is never in their calculations.

Sadly, the student union bodies have for over two decades become a cash-and-carry contraption for never-do-wells who impose themselves as students union leaders only so they can use their positions to fleece and extort politicians and play the role of praise singers. 

There is really no concerted effort to address this issue of students prostitution on campus. This is compounded by the fact that some of the lecturers are even guilty of demanding for sexual gratifications from their students in exchange for marks.

However, my search for the main underlying reason behind the expanding spectre of commercial sex activities or mercantilism on Nigerian campuses led me to a scholarly work done on this issue by Dr. Ron Roberts, identified as Jamaica based university professor.

This university teacher is known to have researched into the menace and to have published a book he called “Capitalism on Campus: Sex work, academic freedom and the market.”

My reading of a recent book review on the above work done by Russell Whitehouse shows that virtually the entire factors he observed in that book are significantly present in most tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria in both public and private sectors.

In the review, he wrote that sex and student debt are viewed as two inevitable facets of university-student life. Kingston University’s Dr. Ron Roberts writes about the disturbing connections between these two and the state of academia as a whole in Capitalism on Campus.

Dr. Roberts writes about the growing phenomenon of uni students partaking in sex work (mainly stripping, camming & prostitution). The book cites multiple UK surveys conducted between 2012-2017 which, found that between 5-6% of students were engaging in sex work. Furthermore, many of these admitted sex workers came from middle-class backgrounds. Another survey found that 30% of students personally knew of another student(s) engaged in sex work, while another found that 16% of students were considering entering the adult industry.

These, figures, the reviewer affirmed, have reliably been rising in tandem with UK tuition hikes that started under New Labour in the late 90s. Such a trend hasn’t been isolated to the UK, of course. American rappers like Jay-Z and Juicy J and the Canadian Drake have been rapping about women stripping to pay their tuition for decades. Across much of the West, college has become exponentially more expensive. Young people in both the US and UK are shouldering total student loan debts in excess of $1 trillion.

This debt explosion,  according to the book reviewer combined with poor job prospects for “inexperienced workers,” soaring urban housing costs and the remnants of the recession have compelled many young women (and surprisingly high numbers of men) to take up sex work. Rather than addressing this crisis, schools, by and large, have chosen to ignore it. Worse, many universities and academic associations actively try to whitewash research and reporting about student sex work. Dr. Roberts cites personal experiences, as well as the experiences of other academics, of being stonewalled and threatened by administrators for daring to try to study the issue.

Universities, he observed, are obsessed with maintaining a façade. Ever since universities went from being a public utility to a privatized cash cow, schools have felt the need to sell themselves as a product. Dr. Roberts writes that, “The largely uncritical domestic support offered by university vice-chancellors to tuition fee increases and marketization suggests not merely a lack of vision and subservience, but a propensity to keep one eye on the huge salary and another on possible rewards from the honours system.” This prioritization of bringing in money over student welfare means an obsession with public imaging and maintaining a high rating in places like the U.S News and World Report Best Colleges Rankings and The Princeton Review.

The writer also stated that much of the weight for these rankings comes from student surveys. Several university teachers and administrators have been caught telling students to give disingenuous good reviews on such surveys. The exponentially rising tuition rates at these school means that front offices are largely beholden to prospective parents of students and donors. Thus, the administrator line of thinking goes: What parent or affluent donor is going to want donate to or to send their precious child to a school that’s been exposed for having loads of students who sell their bodies just to get by? Uni students who have to resort to such means are consequently not just deprived of help by administrators, but often threatened with disciplinary action.

The reviewer affirmed and rightly so that society foists upon its future workers not just serf-like levels of debt, but substantial psychological baggage, as well. 

The reviewer also asserted that the soaring rates of depression, anxiety and suicide among Western youth is, according to Dr. Roberts, better understood not as an index of personal failure, but as a consequence of the brutal circumstances which have seen cuts in investment, training and job opportunities for young people, low wages, exorbitant student loans and tuition fees, cuts to mental health and welfare services, as well as a savage primary and secondary school system where endemic testing has become the norm.” 

Worried about the lacuna in any form of legal frameworks to check the menace as highlighted above, I then checked nuc.edu.ng and found out that the National Universities Commission was established in 1962 as an advisory agency in the Cabinet Office. However in 1974, it became a statutory body and the first Executive Secretary, in the person of Prof. Jibril Aminu was then appointed.

The National Universities Commission (NUC) is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Education (FME). The Commission has a Governing Council, its Executive Secretary is Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed mni, MFR, who assumed office on August 3, 2016.

Over the years, the Commission has transformed from a small office in the cabinet office to an important arm of government in the area of development and management of university education in Nigeria.

The main functions of the Commission are outlined as follows:

Granting approval for all academic programmes run in Nigerian universities; Granting approval for the establishment of all higher educational institutions offering degree programmes in Nigerian universities; Ensure quality assurance of all academic programmes offered in Nigerian universities; and Channel for all external support to the Nigerian universities.

The Commission has twelve Directorates; Directorate of Academic Planning, Directorate of Inspection and Monitoring, Directorate of Management Support Services, Directorate of the Establishment of Private Universities, Directorate of Students Support Services, Directorate of Research, Innovations & Information Technology, Directorate of Finance and Accounts, Directorate of Accreditation, Directorate of Open and Distance Education, Directorate of Liaison Services and International Cooperation, Directorate of Corporate Communications,  and the Directorate of the Executive Secretary’s Office. Each of the Directorates is headed by a Director.

As a coordinating body, the Commission ensures it discharges its responsibilities by recruiting adequate and relevant man power and appeals to the Universities for their sustained support and understanding. The Commission also relies on support from the Federal Government, State Governments and other stakeholders in its bid to improve on the quality of tertiary education and graduates of the nation’s university system.

From what we have seen above regarding the functions and duties of the main regulatory body that coordinates standardization of the educational sector of the tertiary level, it would seem that the welfare of the students are not adequately captured. NUC has failed substantially to bridge this gap between the high tuition fees and the social demands and pressures on students to meet up with these different aspects funding requirements whilst they are in the higher institutions. 

The only faint approach towards the eradication of the social malaise of sexual abuses of students is the infinitesimal cases that the independent corrupt practices and other offences commission has instituted against randy lecturers.

I will therefore charge the candidates of the main national parties seeking for office of the President of Nigeria to tell Nigerians how each of them intends to tackle the menace of prostitution on campus.

The next president must look at the way to adopt strategies to assist students to be able to study without tears. The next president must work collectively with the national legislature and state legislatures to operationalize modalities for stopping the rising cases of prostitution on the Nigerian educational campuses.

The need to sanitize the educational sector in Nigeria and check the proliferation of all kinds of commercial sex work by students is anchored on the provision of the Nigerian constitution in chapter four and specifically section 34 (1) which states that: “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly :- no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment; no person shall be held in slavery or servitude; and no person shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.”

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is head of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) and blogs @www.emmanuelonwubiko.com; www.huriwanigeria.com; www.huriwa.blogspot.com.

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BREAKING: Fayose 'Involved In Accident' On Third Mainland Bridge

Wed, 2018-12-05 17:20


Ayodele Fayose, immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, was involved in an auto accident on Wednesday.

According to his aide, Lere Olayinka, the accident occurred on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos on Wednesday afternoon.

His condition is currently stable and he has received medical attention.

Olayinka posted the news of the accident via a tweet that read: "Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose was involved in auto accident on 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos few minutes ago. He is in stable condition as I write while he is receiving medical attention".

Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose was involved in auto accident on 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos few minutes ago. He is in stable condition as I write while he is receiving medical attention.

— Lere Olayinka - Aresa 1 (@OlayinkaLere) December 5, 2018

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BREAKING: Gunmen Abduct Three Health Workers In Ondo, Demand N50m Ransom

Wed, 2018-12-05 16:53


Armed men have abducted three workers of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo in Ondo State, SaharaReporters has just learnt.

The health workers were kidnapped on Tuesday along Emure-Ile/Owo road on their way to work at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo, a 45-minute drive from Akure, the Ondo State capital.

A medical doctor, nurse and records officer were kidnapped.

Our correspodent gathered that one of the kidnapped victims has been identified as Jospehine Fanikasi, a records officer at FMC.

A source, who confirmed the news to SaharaReporter on Wednesday, said the medical workers were abducted on a "bad portion" of Owo road.

The source, who preferred not to be named, explained that the gunmen double-crossed the vehicle that was coveying the health workers. The hoodlums later marched the three victims into a waiting vehicle, before they drove into the bush.

"Yes, it is true. Three of our medical workers were abducted yesterday (Tuesday) while on their way to their place of work at FMC, Owo. They are: a medical doctor, a nurse and a records officer, who are all working with the Federal hospital in Owo town of Ondo State," the source said.

"The three kidnapped victims were double-crossed with another vehicle along Owo road at gunpoint. The kidnappers spoke a different kind of English, and couldn't speak the language well."

A church member of one of the victims also confirmed the incident via phone call, stating that they had gone spiritual on the matter.

She said the abductors have contacted the family of the victims and are demanding N50million for their release.

"They have contacted their families and they were told to raise the sum of N50million to effect their release. Even in the church, we have resorted to fasting and prayer for God to touch the hearts of the kidnappers and let them release their victims," she said

Femi Joseph, Police Spokesperson in Ondo State, confirmed the incident to SaharaReporters.

Although he claimed that only two persons were abducted by the gunmen, he stated that the Police have begun investigation into the incident.

"I only know of two persons who were kidnapped by the gunmen in Owo, but our boys have swung into action and we will rescue the victims. Already, we have deployed our men into the bush and they have started combing everywhere. Investigation has also started on the case and we shall bring the peptrators to book," he said.

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BREAKING: Ambode’s Energy Commissioner Resigns From APC Over ‘Integrity-Deficient’ Gov Primary

Wed, 2018-12-05 15:42

Wale Oluwo, the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral resources, has resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC) with immediate effect.

Oluwo resigned from the APC shortly after also resigning from Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s cabinet.

In a letter to the Lagos State Chairman of the APC, dated December 3, he explained that he was quitting the party because of its “integrity-deficient” state governorship primary, and the use of an arm of government to blackmail the Executive.

“My decision to resign is not unconnected with the events of the last few weeks, which have created a heavy moral burden for me. Ihave found it rather difficult to come to terms or rationalize the party's conduct of the October 2018 primary elections, which were largely characterized by massive voter disenfranchisement, intimidation, violence, undue influence and non-compliance with all known principles of democracy,” he said.

“In the particular case of the gubernatorial primary, which was conducted using the "open ballot" option in violation of the guidelines of the APC that specified the "open-secret ballot" option, it is clear to me that the core principles of merit, competence, justice and fairness have been sacrificed by the APC on the altar of political expediency.”

He added that "the integrity-deficient nature of the primary" had "significantly diminished the hard-earned reputation of our state as a reference point for free and fair democratic practice".

THE FULL LETTER

A few hours ago, Isubmitted to His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, a letter of resignation of my appointment as the Honourable Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources. Consequently, as a registered member of the All Progressives Congress, I have deemed it necessary to formally notify you of my intention to reconsider my membership status.

My decision to resign is not unconnected with the events of the last few weeks, which have created a heavy moral burden for me. Ihave found it rather difficult to come to terms or rationalize the party's conduct of the October 2018 primary elections, which were largely characterized by massive voter disenfranchisement, intimidation, violence, undue influence and non-compliance with all known principles of democracy. In the particular case of the gubernatorial primary, which was conducted using the "open ballot" option in violation of the guidelines of the APC that specified the "open-secret ballot" option, it is clear to me that the core principles of merit, competence, justice and fairness have been sacrificed by the APC on the altar of political expediency.

The integrity-deficient nature of the primary has significantly diminished the hard-earned reputation of our State as a reference point for free and fair democratic practice. I have struggled for weeks to understand the rationale for the apparent desperation and brigandage brazenly displayed by the party apparatchik in the various elections. I had never thought such vicious attack could be unleashed on the progress that the state had made in its steady democratic journey.

The indifference of the APC to the continued use of an arm of government by a powerful group within the party, to intimidate critical institutions of democracy in the State, undermines the doctrine of separation of powers, creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and impairs government's ability to implement policies and programmes that will benefit the majority of the people. This is in conflict with my strongly held belief that group interest, no matter how powerful, must be subordinated to the interest of the majority.

Iam convinced that the present atmosphere of encirclement will not abate anytime soon. Itherefore resign my membership of the All Progressives Congress, immediately.

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Politicians Plan To Unleash Mayhem In Delta During 2019 Elections, Says Group

Wed, 2018-12-05 15:22



The Delta Central Equity Group (DCEG) has alleged that there are plans to "unleash mayhem in Delta Central Senatorial District during the 2019 general election".

DCEG is an amalgamation of youth groups within the Delta Central Senatorial District, dedicated to the principles of equity and justice within the governing framework/structure of Delta State.

At its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Tuesday at the Dome Event Centre (Glass House), Ughelli-Patani Expressway, Ughelli, Delta State, the group alleged that there were plans by one of the political parties to carry out violence in the district to make the election inconclusive.

In a communique issued shortly after a one-day retreat and an enlarged National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the group, signed by the convener of the group, Morris Idiovwa and Festus Otesiri Igherebuo, Urhobo Youth President, obtained by SaharaReporters, noted "plans to turn Delta Central Senatorial District into a theater of war so as to again achieve the grand plot of an inconclusive election".

The communique read: "There are ongoing behind-the-scene plots to incite and mobilise Delta Central youth as cannon fodders for election-related violence and upheaval to achieve the same set goal during the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections. Then there is the not-so-hidden and unfolding grand design to precipitate absolute chaos within Delta Central on the date of the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections to achieve the same grand goal.

"The Delta Central Equity Group NEC, having carefully considered these issues, has resolved as follows: That every son and daughter of Delta Central Senatorial District must reject every attempt by political desperadoes to manipulate them to achieve selfish political ends. That the security forces must both be neutral and perceived to be so during the course of these coming elections.

"That we, the youth of Delta Central, wholeheartedly reject any and every attempt by narrow-minded and wicked ethnic irredentists to sow chaos within our district to achieve their evil political goals. That we the youth of Delta Central stand firm on the side of justice and equity and shall continue to work towards these noble goals in the governing political framework in Delta State.

"That we the youth of Delta Central, under the banner of Delta Central Equity Group (DCEG), will fiercely resist any and every attempt by foreign-based political merchants to turn our district into a theater of war to achieve their evil agenda. That we will not accept any form of political gang-up and narrow ethnic supremacist calculations, devoid of justice and equity in the governing framework of Delta State.

"In conclusion Delta Central Equity Group wishes to state unequivocally that we shall always work with the twin attributes of justice and equity in espousing our vision for a united and equitable governing framework in Delta State today and always. Also, we hereby enjoin every political actor or group plotting to destabilise Delta Central for whatever narrow political calculation to bury such thoughts forthwith as we will not tolerate any attempt to do otherwise.

"Also, we want to state our readiness and resolve to work with all security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure peaceful conduct of the elections in the Delta Central area and to ensure that no single voter, duly registered, is disenfranchised by any means during the elections."

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Paul Usoro Picked Up Two Days Before His First NEC Meeting As NBA President

Wed, 2018-12-05 13:37

Paul Usoro, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), was arrested on Tuesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)in relation to multiple corruption allegations, SaharaReporters has been told.

However, he was released on bail and has been charged to court.

Usoro's arrest came two days before he presides over his first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting as President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Thursday.

He emerged NBA President in August following an election that one of his opponents said was characterised by “corruption, massive vote buying, vote capture, rigging and a skewed process”.

Earllier in November, the EFCC had narrated Usoro’s alleged role in how the sum of N1.7 billion was withdrawn from the Akwa Ibom State government’s accounts and diverted for personal use.

In a statement of defence filed before the Federal High Court in Uyo and seen by SaharaRepoters, the commission indicted Emmanuel Udom, Akwa Ibom State Governor; the Accountant General of the state, Uwem Sunday Andrew-Essien; Commissioner of Finance, Nsikan Linus Nkan; one Margeret Thompson Ukpe and a company, Paul Usoro & Co.

In August, the anti-graft agency had placed a freeze order on all bank accounts controlled by the Akwa Ibom State government, leading to the filing of a N50 billion law suit against the commission by the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State.

However, in its response, EFCC said it acted within the purview of its enactment act that empowers it to place a stop order on any account suspected to be involved in any crime. It said on March 10, 2016, the sum of N700 million was withdrawn in cash from the state’s Accountant General’s imprest account.

EFCC stated further: “That out of the said N700,000,000.00, the sum of N300,000,000.00 was deposited in cash to the Zenith account No. 1014604466 belonging to Paul Usoro & Co on the 14th of March, 2016 without any contractual relationship between Akwa Ibom State and the said Paul Usoro & Co.

“That the 1st defendant (EFCC) invited Paul Usoro (SAN) who volunteered extra judicial statement confessing that the said N300,000,000.00 was his professional fees for handling Mr. Udom Emmanuel’s personal matter before the election tribunal. That the remaining N400,000,000.00 was also diverted to private use.

“That in similar vein, the total sum of N1,100,000,000.00 was also removed from the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Justice account No. 1011191486 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc and lodged in the Paul Usoro & Co’s account number 0690123425 domiciled with Access Bank Plc without reasonable justification."

The anti-graft agency claimed that out of the N1.1 billion, Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko received a kickback of N65million from Paul Usoro.

The Akwa Ibom case is not the only bribery allegation against Usoro. In October, the National Judicial Council (NJC) asked President Muhammadu Buhari to dismiss two judges after they were investigated and found to be guilty of corruption allegations brought against them by the EFCC.

The affected judges were Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court and James Agbadu-Fishim of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, who had been in the news for at least two years for allegedly receiving bribe from Usoro.

NBA’s NEC meeting holds on Thursday (arrival on Wednesday and departure on Friday) at the NBA Auditorium, NBA House, Plot 1101 Muhamadu Buhari Way, Cadastral Zone A00 Central Area, Abuja.
Attendance is restricted to only statutory NEC members, who are the national officers, past presidents, past general secretaries, branch chairmen, branch secretaries, branch NEC representatives, and chairmen and secretaries of sections.

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