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Updated: 11 min 32 sec ago

EFCC Grills National Assembly Clerk, Seizes International Passport Over Finances

Thu, 2019-05-16 14:00


Mohammed Sani-Omolori, the clerk to the National Assembly,  has been subjected to grilling over the financial transactions of the National Assembly by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

It was gathered that Sani-Omolori was also quizzed on how the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly was handled apart from asking for the records of the financial dealings of the Natioanl Assembly.

The grilling was said to have lasted for six hours, 11 am to 5 pm.

The anti-graft agency was also said to have inquired from the clerk the method of election adopted by the National Assembly that led to the emergence of the presiding officers of  Ninth National Assembly.

Sani-Omolori, whose international passport was seized by the anti-graft agency,  was said to have “duly cooperated with EFCC officers.”

It was gathered that the EFCC would not spare any of the key officials of it is quizzing as the agency is set to invite the Clerk of the Senate, Clerk of the House of Representatives as well as their deputies

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REPORTER’S DIARY: How Governor Amosun’s Goons Detained, Tortured Us For ‘Daring’ To Cover Ogun Gubernatorial Election By Adeoba Abiodun And Adeyera Damilola

Thu, 2019-05-16 13:34



When death stares you in the face, they say, at that moment you  have a fleeting but panoramic view of how you spent your life till that moment. I never believed such theory until I saw what the powerful sentence meant.

On Saturday, March 9, 2019, a day I will never forget for I had an ordeal that nearly took my life. In the heat of the ordeal I’d thought that would be all for me. I started contemplating being with the angels in an environment suffused with bliss. My blood thinned with fear, and within a twinkling of an eye I thought the end had come to my mortal existence. Numb with fear, my mind started entertaining loony notions; I thought I would soon be turned into organic manure feeding   trees, the earth, and grasses.

We Set Forth At Dawn

On a lovely election morning, I and my colleague, Adeyera Damilola, left our hotel (Moakland Hotel) in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State where we lodged a day before the election, to cover and report situations at various polling units in the state.

We started our coverage from Abeokuta South, where we interviewed domestic observers, and residents concerning their expectations at their polling units.

Our ‘Crime’

It was around 9:45 am, the Governor of Ogun State left his White house located at GRA, Ibara. We didn't know where he was going, but we knew he would head to vote somewhere. We searched online for his Polling Unit  and  we saw ‘Obafemi-Owode, where he voted at the 2015 Presidential election. However, we decided to cover other polling units first knowing full well that the Governor would not likely be one of the early voters.

While  covering and reporting other polling units, the convoy of 8-Vehicles of Governor Ibinkunle Amosun passed by, at 10:00 am. He was driving a Range Rover. This debunked rumour circulating online that Governor Ibinkunle Amosu was under house arrest. There and then, we decided to follow the Governor.

While following him at a discreet distance, he got to his Polling Unit, ‘Itagbangba', at exactly 10:10 am  with a convoy of 4 vehicles. He personally drove a Black Land Cruiser and held  a Walkie-Talkie. He walked leisurely up and down the polling unit as if on inspection and afterward, he addressed the press.

We quickly rounded off our coverage, reports and interviews. We continued to keep tabs on the movement of the Governor from  a safe and  even reverential  distance. We ensured that we were not too close to the last vehicle—a bullion van—in the Governor’s  convoy. Mind you, we didn’t leave anything to chance; we were fully kitted with INEC’s official ‘obtrusive’ lemon jacket, a white cap, and an accredited tag.

We noticed that the governor was not heading to his polling unit directly, so we got more interested in where he was headed, apparently, he was strutting the whole capital city, perhaps to show to his political opponents that he was the real man in charge. And we wanted to report this.

Impunity Bared Its Fang

At 10:39am, one of the Convoy, a blue Toyota Hilux laid an ambush for us at Totoro. And like naïve and unwary insects we got entangled in that web of trap laid for us. Before we could say Jack Robinson we were challenged by three hooded fully-armed police officers and a man wearing mufti, which we later got to know as THUNDER. They asked us to identify ourselves.

We humbly responded to this challenge and presented our media tags accredited by INEC. This made them so sad  and disappointed; they had thought we would fail that very first test: The test of identification. However, realizing that we were genuine journalists did not deter them from executing their evil plot; it only forced them to change the method of execution. Perhaps they had initially thought of shooting us on that very spot but showing them proof of being professional journalists called for a  more decent manner of  execution. So, they hauled us into their vehicle and drove off . My mind—initially—could not process what had just happened. It took some moments for me to understand what was happening. We had been kidnapped  by Governor Amosun’s “kill and go” thugs!

Once in the vehicle they threw decency and decorum into the wind. A voice pelted us with a pointed but vague statement: “We noticed you guys two weeks ago, and thank God we caught you now",  the voice belonged to Leye,one of the governor’s photographers. And as if on a cue  Leye’s statement was followed by a  flurry of vicious slaps, pernicious punches, and  callous kicks on various parts of our bodies by Thunder and the hooded Police Security. Leye,  Amosun's field photographer snapped our pictures and promised to assist Thunder in killing us quickly.

Thunder, living up to his name, bellowed and barked his questions at us.

On our way to the  Governor’s polling unit,Thunder bellowed:

“Who sent you?”

“Where do you work?”

“Why did you decide to report Ogun state?”

“Why do you want to kill the Governor?”.

We were expected to answer all the questions without hesitation. Each answer offered-- the plausibility or otherwise notwithstanding—attracted  a couple of slaps, .

We finally got to ‘Itagbangba', Gov. Amosu's polling unit. We were keenly watched over like bags of money and transferred to the Attack Van, a black Toyota Hilux vehicle, where intense interrogation continued.

The attack van and  other vehicles awaited the Governor outside the Polling unit and immediately he finished voting, the convoy took off, but not  after he had shared close to 10 wads of crisp 500 Naira notes to thugs and other people around.

The sharing of money continued as he was driving around the whole state; doling out and throwing money to  people, the same brazen manner he threw his weight around.

He drove off with some of his security details. However, no sooner had he left than he called the other group of thugs and security details holding us hostage.

[Radio In, Amosu's Voice: “Attack Van! Attack Van, go to Sapon Bridge , close to where they sell ram, they are currently fighting over the  money we gave them".

Response: “We are en route sir".]

[Interrogation continued by Thunder: “Why do you want to bomb Ogun state?”]

The Mufti security man then cleaned my colleague’s  bloodied mouth with tissue paper and said: “ You will be wasted in a second today, I promise you, you'll be sacrificed for his excellency’s  triumph, I will kill you like a chicken and no one will know your whereabouts or find your dead body".

At this stage, things got worse and I had thought  that I was going to die.

Thunder: Your last chance, Who sent you?, he removed his shades. His eyes were glowering; his lips quivering with intense anger

In my mind, I asked myself: is this how I die?. I have witnessed automobile accident. I have heard of boat mishap and plane crash but to be struck  by the fury of thunder and dispatched to the other world in a blaze of leaden colour would be strange; stranger than fiction

At that very moment I became paralyzed with the weight of anticipated death.

My mind became a home to terrible contemplation:

How would thunder end my mortal existence, suddenly or piecemeal?

“Will it be a shot to my head or a lethal substance injected into my bloodstream?”, I continued to wonder.

My colleague began to say his last prayer. He  called on “the blood of Jesus" non-stop. He was frantic and restless. He must have been hallucinating because he  reacted as if he was jolted from a terrible reverie back to life, frequently. I was not faring anyway better. I thought the train of my life was at its terminus.

Our Saving Grace

[Radio In, Amosu calls: Thunder! Thunder! Go to Ake round about , there are two important polling units there, APC are planning to steal and hijack  ballot boxes there, I know them, they are very clever, I don't need anyone at home you guys should split, especially this time that voting is ending, goodbye].

That was a slight saving grace for us as Thunder obeyed the clarion call and headed straight to the described tense area.

We were left in the vehicle and the car key was right there, staring at us.  A thousand thoughts came to my head of driving the vehicle off, but I don't really know the map of Abeokuta. I came back to my senses and realized that if I took this action, my death will come quickly. So I woke up from imaginations.

We looked so tired and I can assure you that we only got a half life each  while the remaining half had been beaten to stupor. Quickly, I remembered that I am a Serving NYSC Corp member in Nigeria, so I brought out my NYSC ID card and showed the security guys standing outside that we are currently serving NYSC members. This approach gave us a 50/50 negotiation of our lives, as the ADC gave us audience.

Being a reporter or a journalist, sometimes it is good to go the manual way . What saved us after the NYSC approach was that we wrote all the Polling Units we'd covered before we got caught up in the vortex of violence unleashed by Amosun’s hired thugs. We had also interviewed  the Ogun state Commissioner of Works, and Former Ogun state Governor, Osoba; again, we presented all these as proof of the legitimacy of our business.

The time was  4:00pm and we were still waiting for  a certain man that went on  an errand for Governor Ibinkunle Amosu, to distribute money to their party leaders, and immediately he arrived, we left the spot.

Resuming the journey, we realized that the vehicle we were held hostage in and one Toyota Hiace where the ADC was sitting in the front , was heading to the Governor Amosu's white house . On getting to his house, the ADC came to us and asked us some questions before the decision whether to be killed or released would be made.

“Why do you want to Kill the Governor?”, he said.

“We are NYSC Corp members and we work for a media house to cover the Ogun state governorship elections,” we replied.

“So why didn’t you stay in Lagos and cover your Lagos?,” he continued

“We were deployed to Ogun state by our Organization”, I replied.

We both made sure that we didn't mention that we work for Sahara Reporters as this might speed up our execution.

So apparently, I was doing the talking and response, while my colleague was getting most of the beating, in fact he got his balls squeezed by Thunder.

“Okay show me your Identities,” the ADC requested.

At this point we gave him all our IDs, accredited media tags, and showed  him the video recording  of the interviews we had been making since morning, though our phones were with them.

They went into the palatial white house and came out at exactly 5:30 pm, we checked time from the vehicle and we noted every time at all point intervals. Thunder wasn't satisfied with the decision by the ADC to release us and pleaded with the ADC to keep us till tomorrow or till after election results  have been known. So he continued beating us and finally agreed to let us go, only when the ADC intervened again. They left us with souvenir of excruciating   pain and aches.

The ADC took the Blue Toyota Hilux Van and dropped us at exactly 5:45pm close to the government house in Abeokuta, which was very far from the location we had earlier been kidnapped.

After our release, I couldn't stand properly because I was ‘lapping’ my colleague  all along the interminable death trip and the  effect of his massive weight on my lap had spread and became palpable all over my body; taking its toll on me.

Down but not out. The unquenchable passion we have for our profession  made us to visit the Ogun state INEC collation Centre at Magbon, Abeokuta to  report the results of the election.We slept over at the INEC State Collation Centre with pains and aches. Nothing arrived the center until 8:00am the next day.

We successfully covered and reported the final result collation in Ogun State INEC Collation Centre.

We live to die another day. We live to tell the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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'Obasanjo Is Powerless After Buhari's Victory' Says Oba Of Lagos, Akiolu

Thu, 2019-05-16 13:26


Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos has said that the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the 2019 polls is proof that former president Olusegun Obasanjo's influence has been made bare.

He said this on Wednesday when receiving participants of the Senior Executive Course 41 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, who visited him in his palace in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the visitors, who were on a study tour of the state were led by Nasirudeen Usman, NIPSS Acting Director of Studies.

Akiolu said, "He arrogated to himself the powers of the Almighty Allah by saying it was the support he gave to Buhari that made him win the first term.

”Obasanjo said Buhari would not win the second term but did Buhari not win? Did I not say Obasanjo will be disappointed by the time the results were announced.

”The president’s victory clearly shows power belongs to God only and no man can decide who leads the country.

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LIVE: Nigerian Government Knows The Problems Of The Country But Are Not Ready To Solve Them

Thu, 2019-05-16 13:04

Video of LIVE: Nigerian Government Knows The Problems Of The Country But Are Not Ready To Solve It LIVE: Nigerian Government Knows The Problems Of The Country But Are Not Ready To Solve It LIVE: Nigerian Government Knows The Problems Of The Country But Are Not Ready To Solve It

Adeniyi Johnson, popular Nollywood actor, has slammed the Nigerian government for failing to tackle the problems the country is facing.

He said the government deliberately leaves the problems unsolved in order to create more avenues for stealing money.

Adeniyi also tackled Nollywood stars who patronize politicians and collect money from them.

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UPDATE: Imo Assembly Deputy Speaker Resigns Day After Speaker Ran Away With Mace

Thu, 2019-05-16 13:00


Ugonna Ozurigbo, deputy speaker, Imo State House of Assembly has resigned.

His resignation on Thursday is coming less than 24 hours after 21 out of the 27 state lawmakers served impeachment notices on the speaker, Acho Ihim and the majority leader, Lugard Osuji, after suspending them.

The resignation letter is dated May 15 but was received by the office of the Clerk of the state House of Assembly on May 16.

More to come.
 

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'Borno Is Safer Than Abuja, Zamfara, Katsina' Says Gov Shettima

Thu, 2019-05-16 12:37


Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno, has said that the state which is the hotbed of Boko Haram insurgency, is safer than many states in Nigeria.

Shettima made the declaration when he spoke to the Chairman House Committee on Army, Rima Shawulu and other members of the House of Representatives on a courtesy call at the Government House, Maiduguri on Wednesday. 

He said: “The military and other security agencies are doing their best in Borno State, the only problem now is the inadequate publicity accorded to our military operations. For example, when Boko Haram attacks and kill even one person, it will be celebrated on the front page of our newspapers, but when military kill dozens of insurgents and capture several others alive, such success against the insurgents will be published in a tight corner of our newspapers.

“Our Military is now overwhelmed with the increasing security challenges in some parts of the country; there is the deployment of soldiers in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, and many volatile states of the federation despite the paucity of funds and inadequate personnel.

“Presently, Borno is safer than Abuja, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and other volatile states of the federation. This is because, in Borno, we don’t have cases of kidnapping, banditry as obtained in other states mentioned earlier. I want to appeal to this Committee to serve as a soul, driver, and consciousness of our great nation, for peace to reign. We in Borno do not have the issue of kidnapping or banditry, and I believe very soon we will overcome our security challenges.”

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UPDATE: Candidates Can Now Access UTME Results Online Says JAMB

Thu, 2019-05-16 11:57




The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said candidates can now access their Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results for free online.

Fabian Benjamin, the JAMB's head, media and information, said this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday night in Lagos.

He said: “Candidates can now check their results on the portal.

“They must first log in their profile and then, click on ‘check UTME Examination Results."

The development follows widespread complaints by candidates who could not access the result checker code 55019.

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Bandits Kidnap 3 Month-Old Baby, Kill 2 In Zamfara Village

Thu, 2019-05-16 09:48


Bandits have kidnapped a 3 month-old baby while killing 2 others in Kanoma village in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The bandits also kidnapped seven people.

An eye witness, Malam Ibrahim Muhammed told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gusau on Wednesday that the bandits in their hundreds besieged the area at about 3am on Tuesday and fired gun shots sporadically in the air to scare the residents away.

Muhammad further explained that “It was while they were scaring the people with gun shots that they killed the two victims who came out in the confusion. “We tried to raise alarm to security agencies who were stationed in different places along Sokoto/Gusau road, but everyone was afraid of being sighted by the assailants who held powerful fire arms,” he said.

He said the bandits went to the residence of one Dan Haja, a business man, beat him with iron rods and inflicted serious injuries on him after which they went away with his wife who is a nursing mother and her three months old baby. He also said the bandits moved to the house of a retired Director-General in the state government, Alhaji Sani Abdullahi, and picked him too along with six other persons and disappeared.

“At a later time, they called to demand for a ransom of 50 million naira for the release of those abductees,” Muhammad said.

When contacted, the state Police Command spokesman, SP Mohammed Shehu confirmed the attack but said, “from the report we received, no one was killed and a total of eight persons mostly women and children were abducted by the attackers.”

He said, the command’s Tactical and Anti-terrorism units had been deployed to the area to trail the bandits and arrest them, adding that peace had been restored to the area.

He urged members of the public to always report such attacks or suspicious movements in good time so that assistance could come. 

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Daddy Showkey Begs EFCC To Show Naira Marley Mercy

Thu, 2019-05-16 09:38


Veteran Nigerian singer, John Asiemo better known as Daddy Showkey has sent out a plea to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to temper justice with mercy in the case of Naira Marley who is currently in their custody for his involvement in cyber crime popularly called “Yahoo Yahoo”.

Naira Marley was arrested alongside Zlatan Ibile; Adewunmi Adeyanju Moses and Abubakar Musa on the early hours of Friday May 10.

However, while Zlatan Ibile and two others have been released on conditional basis, Naira Marley is still cooling his heels at the anti graft agency’s office.

In light of this, Daddy Showkey who became popular for making 'ghetto' music has called on the commission to show Naira Marley mercy. 

In a video post on his Instagram handle on Wednesday the Ajegunle born singer said: “Temper justice with mercy. This is just a young man growing up, lets not use his mistakes to spoil his career we all went through so many things growing up....we can use him as a spokesman to young people against crime @officialefcc maybe he will learn with this.”

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EFCC Reveals How Belgore Shared N126.5m In Kwara To Rig 2015 Elections For Jonathan

Thu, 2019-05-16 09:27


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told Justice Rilwan Aikwa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how Muhammed Belgore, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2011 Kwara State gubernatorial election, shared N126.5m to members of the Kwara senatorial districts

This came up on Wednesday during the cross-examination of Belgore on the alleged cash out of the N450m allegedly paid by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The sum was allegedly to manipulate the outcome of the 2015 general election in favour of former president Goodluck Jonathan.

At the resumed hearing, Rotimi Oyedepo, the prosecution counsel, asked Belgore if he recalled that he had stated, in his evidence, that he saw N450m at the bank, signed the receipt and instructed the bank to safe-keep it for him.

Oyedepo further asked Belgore if he recalled that he also stated in his evidence that he called a stakeholders’ meeting upon receipt of the money. Belgore responded: “Yes, I called a stakeholders’ meeting. It was at the meeting we discussed the disbursement of the money and agreed that each senatorial district should nominate two people each, who would collect money for their district.”

Oyedepo put it to Belgore that:“ Mr. Zikrullah Balogun, your personal assistant, made several disbursements  on your instructions and received in cash N80m; Mr. Sheriff Shagaya received N50m; Mr. Isa Beau, N61,656,000; Mrs. Shola Adeoti, N102,298,000; Mr Iyola Oyedepo, N9,574,000 and Senator Sulaiman Ajadi, N19,689,000.”

Belgore told the court that the stakeholders gave him instructions which he passed to his personal assistant, Balogun, to carry out. “Yes, I was informed that they all received the money and it was paid in cash,” he confessed.

Justice Aikawa adjourned the case to June 17, 2019 for continuation of cross-examination.

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Gunmen Kill 20 In Katsina Villages

Thu, 2019-05-16 09:15


No less than 20 people have been killed by gunmen in Dan Marke Z, Dan Sabau and Karya, villages in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Anas Isa, transition management committee chairman of the council, confirmed the incident on Wednesday.

He said all three villages share border with Zamfara, a hot zone for banditry.

He said the bandits came and opened fire on the locals before rustling some of their animals.

He described the attacks as regrettable “especially during this holy month.”

“We held a security meeting even today (yesterday) where we resolved to meet with the state government to further intimate them on the situation.

“The thing is for just to go and enter this forest and confront them face to face, is the way out.

“The bandits are more in number than the security operatives on ground and moreover, the terrain is a rocky zone with no good roads before security reaches them, they have concluded the operation, so it’s just to confront them squarely” he said.

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'Someone President Buhari Trust Misled Him To Reappoint Emefiele' Says Kazaure

Thu, 2019-05-16 08:59





Muhammed Gudaji Kazaure, member representing Kazaure, Roni, Gwiwa, Yankwashi from Jigawa state in the House of Representatives has expressed his disappointment at the re-appointment of Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank.

Kazaure who is a member of the All Progressive Congress and a staunch supporter of President Buhari on Wednesday said he believes the president was misled by someone he trusts into reappointing a corrupt man.

Speaking at a press conference on the matter, he said: We met as different groups in the country and concluded yesterday to have this press conference because we are in the government of change and we expect to go to the next level but from the beginning of the appointment many of the people in the President's camp are surprised at Emefiele's reappointment. 

"We at Buhari campaign organisation and many other groups believe he is a man of integrity and that he is fighting corruption. If we remember in this country, many things happened during Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's administration, now we are accusing Dasuki, Deziani, and many people yet all the monies they stole was released through the Central Bank.

"With this type of appointment, I believe some people misled the President and he believed because he trust the people that came and briefed him.

"Based on all that has happened in this country, we do not expect the President to reappoint Emefiele. 

"Emefiele met the dollar at 180 so what is the reform now? Dollar is now 360, we do not have confidence in him.

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'Your Afro Hair Could Benefit From Cannabis Plant', Sowore Fires Back At Shehu Sani For Kicking Against The Idea

Wed, 2019-05-15 23:40




Less then forty-eight hours after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State announced his visit to Thailand for the purpose of learning more about Cannabis extract development, lots of reactions have continued to trail the idea.

Akeredolu, who is in Thailand along with Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah rtd, the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), are looking into the advantages of Cannabis in the making of food and drugs.

Cannabis extraction and export was first proposed by Omoyele Sowore, the 2019 presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) during the campaigns.

On Twitter, Senator Shehu Sani, the member representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly reacted by advising Akeredolu to look into other ideas by partnering other states in the areas agriculture to boost income in Ondo state. 

Senator Sani who tweeted with his official tweeter handle @ShehuSani asked Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to jettison the idea of extracting the Cannabis plant. 

"My dear brother Akeredolu, Lagos partner Kebbi for Rice, Pls partner Niger for Beans, Kaduna for Ginger or partner Benue for Yam: Pls leave this Indian Hemp matter for now, Abeg" he tweeted. 

Tweeting immediately, Omoyele Sowore said he was "disappointed" in the Kaduna Senator for kicking against the brilliant idea which had already been put into test in country like Canada and recently in Uganda.

@YeleSowore noted that it was unfortunate Sani has refused to see the opportunity in which the Cannabis extraction help the country adding that it could also help grow his "Afro hair" if legally approved by the government.

"I hate to stand between two Nigerian politicians engaging asinine arguments but i am disappointed in you for this tweet. Have you ever thought of it that when this idea finally gains legal ground your Afro hair could benefit from a locally produced line of Cannabis hair products?


Sowore had on the 5th of September 2019 while proposing the idea said: "We have to start taking care of our weed, igbo, such that we can also contribute to the GDP of the world. Some of the best weed in the world are grown in Ekiti state. I am very serious and people are making billions out of that particular plant that is very potent in Nigeria. We should be focusing on it." he said.

"Our NDLEA should get the memo in advance that Nigeria would be exporting weed to cure cancer in other parts of the world instead of chasing after people who are growing weed. Whereas, they are not chasing after our politicians who are smoking cocaine in their houses".

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'People Planning To Attack Oil Installations For Political Reasons' Police Raise Alarm

Wed, 2019-05-15 22:42




The Nigerian Police Force has raised an alarm warning of coordinated plans to attack oil installations across the country. 

The information is contained in a statement on Wednesday by Force Spokesman, Frank Mba.

Mba said: “These plots, which are politically motivated, are aimed at sabotaging oil installations with intended negative consequences on national security, economic development and global oil market".

He added that the Inspector General Of Police, Mohammed Adamu, "warned of dire consequences for persons or group of persons who may want to resort to the use of violence in advancing their political or economic goals".

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Seun Kuti Reacts To Akeredolu's Plan To Cultivate Cannabis In Ondo State

Wed, 2019-05-15 22:16


Seun Kuti, son of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti has reacted to Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo State Governor’s plan to cultivate Cannabis in the state.

Akeredolu and Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah rtd. the chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had during a visit to Thailand to learn about Cannabis extract development said that they were in the country to see “how can (cannabis) be cultivated for specific purposes and not be abused?”

The Governor tweeted, “Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the @ndlea_nigeria. I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of jobs for our youth & spur economic diversification.

“We all know that Ondo State is the hotbed of Cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the sunshine state. With an estimated value of $145 billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed to tap into the legal marijuana market.”

On Wednesday, alongside a picture of the Governor’s tweet, Seun Kuti suggested that he might be relocating to Ondo state in the nearest future.

The post read: “Ehn Mr. excellency sir, if u want me to move to your state, just say so. This beating about the bush is unnecessary. Afrobeat is about to switch home base y’all. Just imagine one good joint for my back ache then better Ondo pounded yam to heal my stomach pain, nuff said #getthesax#getmyload!!”

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LIVE: Nigerian Government, Military Know They Have Failed In Securing Lives Of Nigerians - Barr. Jide Ologun

Wed, 2019-05-15 22:05

Video of LIVE: Nigerian Government, Military Know They Have Failed In Securing Lives Of Nigerians LIVE: Nigerian Government, Military Know They Have Failed In Securing Lives Of Nigerians LIVE: Nigerian Government, Military Know They Have Failed In Securing Lives Of Nigerians

Jide Ologun, a lawyer and social commentator, has bemoaned the inability of the Nigerian government and military to combat insecurity in the country.

He also said that the government knows it has failed Nigerians by not securing their lives of properties.

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Interrogating APC’s Muslim-Muslim Leadership Option In NASS By Ariyo-Dare Atoye

Wed, 2019-05-15 20:52




The jury is still out. So, this piece could also qualify as an open letter to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).  Wisdom is very profitable to direct in leadership. Strategic leadership is central to the progress, stability and unity of every society.

Obviously, we have come to a point where we must ask the “main” drivers of the ruling APC to declare the party’s unwritten codes; unwritten because the party’s dictates have been found to be consistently contradictory to its constitution and that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

At this juncture, the Smart Alecs regaling us with falsehoods that this regime is for everyone should stop. There is absolutely no need for further pretension about what is unfolding in the polity. We have suspected the President long enough; so, it is about time we openly discussed what the APC truly represents to our nation and democracy. This could help us to better agitate for the alteration of sections 10 and 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The former dwells on our secularity and the latter on federal character principle. Again, I repeat that time has come for us to face our demons and deal with them squarely.

The ruling party lacks fidelity to its own law book. The preamble to the constitution of the APC reads: “We, the true progressives and patriots, determined to render service at all levels  of  governance;  and  to  build a nation  which will  guarantee  equal opportunity  for  all, mutual  and  peaceful  co-existence,  respect  and understanding, eliminating all forms of discrimination and social injustice among Nigerians, rendering selfless service that will rekindle a deep sense of patriotism and nationalism; hereby make, enact and give the following constitution  to  ourselves  for  effective  governance  of  our  Party  and promotion of its ideals, aims and objectives.” 

This preamble was framed based on, first, Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which provides that: “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall  be  no  predominance  of  persons  from  a  few  State  or  from  afew  ethnic  or  other  sectional  groups in  that Government or in any of its agencies.”
And, second, Section 10 of the same constitution provides thus: “The Government of the Federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion”. This important section, which declares Nigeria a secular state, had, however, consistently and reasonably operated in the consciousness and thought process of previous administrations, national leaders and stakeholders, deliberately guiding them in showing sensitivity to religious diversity. But since Gen. Muhammadu Buhari returned in a civilian garb in 2015, executive provincialism has attained an unprecedented level, fueling concerns over Islamisation plot.

The sectional and demographic profiles of his appointees validate a deliberate refusal to show fealty to the constitution, his oath of office and fairness to all. President Buhari has been duly observed to have, in breach, honoured his own pledge to the nation that he did not belong to everyone. The Punch Newspaper, in an Editorial on August 1, 2016, said: “Buhari’s sectionalism is not only unprecedented, it could not have come at a worse time. The reality today is that Nigerians are deeply divided. Seventeen years of dashed hopes of progress under a democratic dispensation have reopened the deep fissures in the polity and polarised the populace into mutually suspicious camps.” It might get worse in 2019.

The APC has told the nation that the President was consulted over its proposed leadership composition of the 9th National Assembly before it settled for Ahmed Lawan (North-East) as President of the Senate and Femi Gbajabiamila (South-West) as Speaker of the House of Representatives - a Muslim-Muslim ticket. And according to the party, Buhari has endorsed this option. Interestingly, the possibility of the duo also fielding Muslims as their deputies is also very rife. Femi Gbajabiamila’s camp has already settled for Idris Wase (North-Central), a fellow Muslim for the choice of Deputy Speaker.

Religious concern is resonating because only recently, Gbajabiamila’s campaign manager Abdulmumin Jibrin, made an arrangement for him to lead an Islamic prayer in a desperate bid to appeal to the Islamic-centred Buhari regime and Muslims in the North. Jibrin frantically displayed this in the social media and the intent of it did generate concerns. Not convinced, Jibrin has also ensured Gbajabiamila visited Saudi Arabia.

An insensitive ethno-religious game is on in the APC. While Senator Ahmed Lawan is yet to openly make commitment to anyone, his fellow senator also from the North, Kabiru Gaya, who has openly declared his interest to vie for the deputy senate president’s slot, has however told the South to perish the idea of securing the number two seat in the Senate. “It is not fair because with six million votes, 20 senators, I think North West deserves the deputy senate president slot,” Gaya said in a recent declaration statement.

The Hausa-Fulani Muslim North is in a majority-take all mood in the APC. The body language is to win Nigeria forever for themselves. And Northern irredentists have started telling us to perish fairness. Doom looms. The President is unperturbed and has not deemed it fit to question his party’s arrangement that would not reflect the country’s ethno-religious diversity.

Remember when Gov. Nasir Elrufai told a bewildered nation that he had consulted the President before he settled for a Muslim-Muslim ticket in Kaduna – a state with more than 40 per cent Christian population, and which had, in the past, maintained a tradition of religious sensitivity and balancing. Also recall when the APC brooked the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticked ahead of the 2015 Presidential election before former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other notable Nigerians kicked against it.

The whisper about the APC being an Islamic party is getting louder.

Resentment. Unease. Bad blood. Mutual suspicion. Hidden Agenda. These and many more are the consequences of the avoidable agitation that will ensue post the leadership arrangement being proposed for the National Assembly by the leaders of the APC. Head or tail, the “real drivers” of the APC have plotted an arrangement that is a Muslim-Muslim agenda for the National Assembly except the lawmakers themselves oppose it like they did in 2015. It would be disastrous for the country if the lawmakers endorse what is gradually emerging as ethno-religious conquest of the country.

According to APC proposition, this is how the first-line leadership composition of the country might look like after June 11, 2019: Executive arm – led by Buhari (Muslim), Legislative arm – President of Senate – Ahmed lawan (Muslim plus a likely Muslim Deputy), Speaker House of Representatives – Gbajabiamila (Muslim plus a Muslim Deputy), Judiciary after the conspiracy against and removal of Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen – Justice Tanko Mohammed (Muslim, plus other headships of the lower courts). Today, Nigeria is led by a party that is pursuing an ethno-religious domination of the country. Nigeria risks being consumed by deep-seated resentment that could blossom into serious agitation and political instability.

 Every administration must be conscious of “the need to promote national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or any of its agencies.” One Nigeria has become a mirage under Buhari as Hausa-Fulanis plus Kanuris – tribes directly related to Buhari – dominate every arm and agencies of government at the expense of over 340 other groups. Political conquest?  It is a shame and very unfortunate. I could as well have titled this piece, “NASS Leadership and the Islamic Republic of the APC.”

ATOYE contributed this piece from Abuja via aristotle001us@yahoo.com
 

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'Defeated Politicians In 2019 Elections Sponsoring Bandits, Herdsmen As Revenge' Says Buratai

Wed, 2019-05-15 19:55


Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai




Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai The Nation

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai on Wednessday said the army has strong evidence against politicians sponsoring bandits, kidnapping and other forms of criminality in the country.

Lt. Gen. Buratai stated this while receiving the Chairman House Committe on the Army after visiting Maimanlari cementary to honor fallen heros in Maiduguri on Wednessday. 

He said: ''The myraid of security challenges we are facing right now in the northwest, north central and other parts of the country, I want to believe and rightly so that it is a fallout of the just concluded general election.

"There are political class intrests, politicians in particular who saw their defeats as a way of trying to revenge, sponsoring these criminal activities even the bandits, the farmers and herders.

"There are strong political undertones and strong political influnces including (in these) kidnappings.

"We use this opportunity to call on the chairman house committee on army to prevail on some of these politicains, to really look at national intrest first, before any political or sectional intrest.

"We have some strong evidence but we are still being conscious so that we don't get it wrong but the best is to advice these politicians.

"The threat by boko haram is quite real, they have been dealt with but they are still much around. In terms of their various soft target attacks on some military locations, right now Boko haram terrorists are on the run but because of the resilient nature of terrorism they are always trying to score points to shows that they are much around".

 

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Senate Panel Approves Emefiele, Prays For Him Amidst Audio Showing He Stole N500bn

Wed, 2019-05-15 19:05


Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been approved by the Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions on Wednesday. 

So far, no anti-graft agency in the anti-corruption administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has launched an investigation into the matter despite the CBN confirming the authenticity of the audio.

Emefiele was caught on tape making frantic efforts to cover up N500 billion which he pilfered and invested in a private business from the apex bank.



At the Senate screening members of the committee dismissed the allegations of stolen N500 billion at the apex bank.

Rafiu Ibrahim, its chairman, said the allegations were targeted at “bringing you down because you are a good person”.

“I do not have any question for the Governor. I am overwhelmed. I wish you well and pray for you. May God continue to guide you.

“Now, we know the reason why there are some videos on social media because in Nigeria, once you are a good person, some people will always try to bring you down. We will expeditiously take a report to the chamber for consideration. You can take a bow.

Emefiele oversaw the CBN when Nigeria experienced it's worse recession in 29 years.

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EFCC Re-arraigns Ajumogobia, Obla Over Alleged Corruption

Wed, 2019-05-15 18:46


Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia

Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday brought Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, the dismissed Judge of the Federal High Court, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Godwin Obla, for alleged money laundering.

Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla were re-arraigned on 18 counts of conspiracy, unlawful enrichment, retention of crime proceeds and money laundering before Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

Each defendant pleaded not guilty.

Following an application by his counsel, Chief Ferdinand Orbih, SAN, Justice Aikawa granted Obla a N10 million bail, among other conditions. 

Ofili-Ajumogobia is already on bail on similar terms having taken her plea to the same charge on April 18, 2019.

The EFCC had earlier arraigned the duo on a 30-count charge bordering on corruption before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court.

During their trial, the 30-count charge was later amended to 31 counts on February 23, 2018.

Justice Oshodi, on April 16, 2019, struck out the charge against Mrs Ofili-Ajumogobia and Mr Obla on the grounds of a lack of jurisdiction.

The former judge was, however, re-arrested by operatives of the anti-graft commission as she made to leave the Ikeja High Court premises.

The prosecution preferred the same charges against the defendants on April 18 before Justice Aikawa.

However, Obla was absent from court when Ajumogobia took her pleas.

On Wednesday, Obla arrived in court and was re-arraigned alongside Ajumogobia.

They both pleaded “Not guilty” to a charge marked FHC/L/139C/19.

Messr Robert Clarke(SAN) and Orhib, counsels to Ajumogobia and Obla respectively announced appearance for both defendants.

Prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to give a trial date, while the defendants be remanded in custody.

But Orbih informed the court of Obla’s bail application filed on April 24, adding that same had been served on prosecution.

In response, Oyedepo described the bail application as “strange” on the grounds that the defendant(Obla) pre-empted that court in filing for bail application. 

He said the charge was only served on Obla in court yesterday morning and so, he could not have filed an application for bail while the charge had not been served on him.

But Orbih opposed him. He informed the court that he got wind of the proceedings on the pages of newspapers, following which he approached the court to get a copy of the charge even before receiving same from prosecution.

He told the court that the defendant was desirous of  clearing his name by attending court and defending the allegations against him, rather than evading.

Orbih added: “My Lord, the defence is a senior member of the Bar, he was called to Bar in 1984, he became Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2013. I urge my Lord to grant bail on liberal terms." 

In a bench ruling, Justice Aikawa also granted Obla a bail of N10 million with two sureties in the like sum, who must be landed property owners in Lagos.

The judge added: “The surety must not be below Grade Level 16 in the federal or state civil service. The defendant must deposit his international passport with the deputy chief registrar of the court. The defendant shall endeavour to fulfill the conditions within 10-days or the bail will be revoked. The defendant shall be released to his lead counsel, chief Ferdinand Orbih SAN, pending the expiration of 10 days.”

Clark also informed the court of a pending motion filed on May 13, challenging the court’s jurisdiction from entertaining the charge.

He said the substance of the charge had been decided by Justice Oshodi who, he argued, struck out the charge based on the Appeal Court’s decision in Nganjiwa’s case, “where it was decided that no judicial officer can be tried unless the NJC has sanctioned such judge. The position is still playing here.”

But Oyedepo opposed him, arguing that the position changed on November 7, 2018 when President Muhammadu Buhari approved the NJC recommendation for Justice Ajumogobia’s dismissal.

Justice Aikawa adjourned till May 23, for argument on the preliminary objection.

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