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I was Freed By Soldiers, Arrested Kidnap Kingpin, Wadume Says

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 18:48


Hamisu Bala Wadume, alleged notorious kidnap kingpin, has said that he was freed by personnel of the Nigerian Army after he was arrested by the police. 

Wadume escaped while he was being transported from Taraba to Abuja by the operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team on August 6. 

Three of the police officers were killed by soldiers who claimed they thought the policemen were kidnappers.

However, Wadume escaped and his whereabouts was unknown until he was rearrested by the police on Monday in Kano.

Speaking in a video recorded by the police, the alleged kidnap kingpin said that the soldiers helped him cut off his handcuffs before he ran away. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Police Arrest Taraba Kidnap Kingpin, Wadume 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

He said, “I am Hamisu Bala also known as Wadume. The police came to Ibi and arrested me.

“After arresting me, they were taking me to Abuja when soldiers went after them, opened fire and some policemen were killed.

“From there, the soldiers took me to their headquarters and cut off the handcuffs on my hands and I ran away.

“Since I ran away, I have been hiding until now that the police arrested me.”

Video of I was Freed By Soldiers, Arrested Kidnap Kingpin, Wadume Says I was Freed By Soldiers, Arrested Kidnap Kingpin, Wadume Says

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Customs Impound Elephant Tusk, Other Items In Adamawa

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 18:44


Elephant tusks and buffalo horns were among contrabands impounded by the Nigeria Customs Service in Adamawa State.

Other items seized by the customs include assorted grains, used clothes and petroleum products, according to the Customs Area Comptroller, Adamawa/Taraba states, Kamardeen Olumoh. 

In a report of its activities, the command seized two elephants tusks, 126,350kg (2,527 x 50) of foreign parboiled rice, 12 motor vehicles, 22 motorcycles and 240 bales of second hand clothing.

Speaking with journalists on Tuesday in Yola, the state capital, Olumoh said the Adamawa/Taraba Command has recorded huge successes in anti-smuggling activities, where it also seized cartons of noodles, used tyres and tricycles.

He said, “The most recent being the seizure of 52 drums of premium motor spirit with each drum containing 230ltrs.

“The duty paid value for all items seized is N80,598,476.23.

“The Command has so far between January and July generated the sum of N105,945,138.44. 

“This figure represents 44.66 per cent increase over the corresponding period of the previous year by N73.23m.”

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EFCC Yet To Communicate With Me, Says Ambode After Raid On Home

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 18:33


Immediate-past governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is yet to directly communicate with him on the investigation of his administration or any subject matter.

Ambode said this while speaking after officials of the anti-graft agency raided his houses in Epe and Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The EFCC operatives searched his Parkview residence but met stiff opposition by kinsmen and neighbours in Epe.

The ex-governor, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Habib Aruna, said while the EFCC had not directly communicated with him, he is “ready and willing to respond” whenever the anti-graft agency does. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: EFCC Invades Ex-Lagos Governor, Ambode’s House 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

Aruna said, “This morning, operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe home and Parkview, Ikoyi, residence of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode with warrants to conduct a search.

“These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise, the operatives left without any incident.

“The former governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs, he is ready and willing to respond.

“The former governor urges his supporters to stay calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.” See Also Politics Ambode's Kinsmen, Neighbour Prevent EFCC's Raid Of Former Governor Ambode’s House 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

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Twitter Users React To EFCC Raid On Ambode’s Epe Home

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 17:47


Epe residents in front of Ambode's house

Epe residents gather in front of Ambode's house

Nigerians have taken to the social media to share their opinions on the raid of the home of immediate-past governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday.

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had raided Ambode’s house in the Epe area of the state.

Reacting to the development, Dr Dipo Awojide, a popular Twitter user with the handle @Ogbenidipo, asked, who the former governor had offended to warrant such treatment.

He said, “Who has Ambode offended? What has he done that the others have not done too? Why not go after all the rest too?

“Tinubu can stop the humiliation of Ambode if all of this is political. That is if EFCC doesn’t turn on Tinubu himself.”

Another user on Twitter known as DaddyMo, who seem to believe that the raid was political, said Ambode was only being humiliated.

“The humiliation of Ambode is now at a crescendo. Who did this man offend?”

Ibeh Ignatius, also on Twitter, said, “Good because he fell out with the godfather and the undercover president. 

“EFCC should tell us what the true position is with the story of a bullion van at the residence of Tinubu on the election day.”

Another Twitter user, Ndokizone IPOB with the handle @ndokizone, said, “Let’s work for growth and not separation. 

“Ambode was removed for suggesting other regions should be developed instead of Lagos alone. God is watching all of you/APC.”

However, there are those who believe that the raid was not politically motivated. 

Chukwuka Ifedi with the handle, @Chukwuifedi said, “I believe they are after Ambode because he had access to all the files that will indict both Tinubu and Fashola’s corruption.”

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BREAKING: Police Arrest Taraba Kidnap Kingpin, Wadume

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 17:41


HAMISU BALA WADUME

HAMISU BALA WADUME

The Nigeria Police Force has arrested Hamisu Wadume, a high-profile kidnap kingpin in Taraba State.

Wadume was sighted within the premises of the Force Headquarters, Abuja, today, according to a report by Premium Times.

Wadume was being transported to Abuja on August 6 after his initial arrest by police officers on a covert operation before being attacked by troops of 93 Battalion based in Takum, Taraba State.

The attack led to the death of three officers including a civilian while Wadume was set free by the soldiers.

The incident led to a face-off between the police and the Nigerian Army with a panel set-up to investigate the matter.

Confirming Wadume’s arrest on Monday in his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State, Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said that his capture would shed light to everything hidden about his escape and the killing of the policemen by soldiers.

He said, “The Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, believes that the re-arrest of the suspect, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, will no doubt help in bringing answers to the numerous but hitherto unanswered questions touching on the incident and the larger criminal enterprise of the suspect.”

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INEC Server: Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku, PDP's Appeal

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 16:32


The Supreme Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the February 23 general election.

The party had challenged the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that prevented Atiku and his party from accessing and inspecting the central server of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The petitioner headed to the Appeal Court to seek redress on the ruling of the tribunal.  

The apex court noted that the lower court was right to have restrained itself from the application of the petitioners since parties had joined issues on the existence or non-existence of INEC central server.

Recall that on June 24, the lower court dismissed the appeal based on the ground that granting the request of Atiku and PDP would amount to delving into an application, which is the subject matter of the substantive petition.
 

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Senator Elisha Abbo: Sickness Stalls Lawmaker's Sex Toy Shop Assault Trial

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 16:05


The trial of Senator Elisha Abbo was stalled at the Zuba magistrate's court in Abuja today (Tuesday).

He was said to be ill.

The lawmaker is standing trial for assaulting a nursing woman in a sex toy shop.

His lawyer, Adegbite Adeniyi, told the court that his client was suffering from "acute febrile" illness and was not available for the trial.

He also acknowledged the receipt of the proof of evidence served on Abbo by the prosecution, adding that they needed more time to go through it and to enable them to prepare defence.

The prosecution counsel, James Idachaba, did not raise any objection to the reason for the non-appearance of the senator in the court, admitting that anybody could fall sick. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Again, Court Adjourns Senator Elisha Abbo Sex Toy Shop Assault Case 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

He also told the court that he served the defendant the proof of evidence in the court because the defendant did not make his residential address available.

One of the prosecution witnesses was also in court in preparation for the trial.

The case has been adjourned until September 24,  2019. See Also CRIME BREAKING: I’ve Learnt My Lesson, Says Senator Abbo, Apologizes For Assaulting Lady In Sex Toy Shop 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

Abbo was arraigned on July 8 on a two-count charge which bordered on criminal force and assault.

The offence is punishable under section 263 and 264 of Penal Code law.

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Ambode's Kinsmen, Neighbour Prevent EFCC's Raid Of Former Governor Ambode’s House

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 15:07


Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have been barred from entering Akinwunmi Ambode’s house in Epe by his neighbours and kinsmen.

The EFCC stormed the house of the ex-governor as part of an investigation of his administration.

In a video obtained by SaharaReporters, some residents of Epe could be heard asking where the operatives of the EFCC were in a bid to chase them out of the community.

A woman was heard saying in Yoruba, “They were unable to do anything there. It is good they did not do anything.”

An individual recording the attempted raid said the EFCC operatives ran away, boasting that the people of Epe would not allow the commission to enter Ambode’s house.

He said, “You can see what is going on now, the Epe people did not allow them enter the house. They ran away.

“Epe people will not allow this, it will not happen, they all ran away. Live at Ambode’s house.”

However, the EFCC said it was acting within the confines of the law.

“It is instructive that his administration, like other former governors, is under investigation since they no longer constitutionally enjoy immunity against prosecution.

“Whatever the commission is presently doing with regards to the investigation is in line with its mandate and the rule of law,” it said.

The EFCC alleged it traced and froze N9.9 billion in three bank accounts domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Access Bank, and Zenith Bank with numbers 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254, respectively.

According to the commission, the accounts are managed by Adewale Adesanya, permanent secretary in the office of the chief of staff to the governor of the state on behalf of the state during Ambode’s administration.

The anti-corruption agency had denied raiding the former governor's Epe home in a statement today. 

 

FULL TEXT OF STATEMENT

We Did Not Raid Ex-Gov. Ambode’s Residence-EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has since early hours of today, been inundated with calls that operatives of the Commission raided the residence of the former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.

We need to state for the records that the EFCC did not raid Ambode’s house. It is instructive that his administration, like other former governors, is under investigation since they no longer constitutionally enjoy immunity against prosecution.

The Commission hereby states with a high sense of responsibility that the operatives did not raid Ambode’s residence.

Whatever the Commission is presently doing with regards to the investigation is in line with its mandate and the rule of law. We wish to inform the social media to be circumspect in the reportage of any news with regards to investigation activities of the Commission.

As a tradition, the Commission does not carry out an investigation on the pages of the newspapers or through the media. Our operations are always covert until at a time when we file charges in court.

Therefore, the attempt to cast the Commission in a bad light is unacceptable as the EFCC will never engage in an illegal act. We remain committed to the war against corruption.

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Remittances From Abroad To Nigeria Can Grow To $25.5 Billion In 2019 -PwC Report

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 14:00


Nigerians in diaspora

Nigerians in diaspora

Migrant remittances were 77.2% of the federal government's budget in 2018 and more than 10 times the foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the same period, according to PwC's latest White Paper Series, Strength from Abroad: The Economic Power of Nigeria's diaspora.

PwC estimated that migrant remittances to Nigeria could grow to $25.5 billion, $29.8 billion and $34.8 billion in 2019, 2021 and 2023 respectively.

Over a 15-year period, PwC said it expected total remittance flows to Nigeria to grow by almost double in size from $18.37 billion in 2009 to $34.89 billion in 2023.

Dr.Andrew S. Nevin, Partner and Chief Economist, explained, "The report is an analysis which shows the critical importance of the diaspora to Nigeria’s economy. The recently established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) led by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, indicates that the Federal Government recognizes the strategic importance of the Nigerian diaspora. The key next steps for the newly established Commission is to formulate and execute a strategy to maximize the benefits of Nigeria’s diaspora.

"In addition, we’re very keen to see State Governments start to engage the diaspora. The primary benefits of remittances to recipient households is the improvement in their general welfare, and studies show that 70% of remittances are used for consumption purposes, while 30% of remittance funds go to investment-related uses. So it is important that Nigeria has a diaspora strategy both at the national and state level.

According to the report, Nigeria accounts for over a third of migrant remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa. Egypt and Nigeria account for the largest inflows of remittances into Africa in 2018. In 2017, Nigeria led the Continent in terms of remittance receipts but dropped to second place behind Egypt in 2018.

It said, "For four consecutive years, official remittances have exceeded Nigeria's oil revenues. Since many transactions are unrecorded or take place through informal channels, the actual amount of remittance flows into the country is arguably higher."

PwC, therefore, recommended the need to create platforms that increase the accessibility of crucial information for Nigerians in the diaspora; encourage and create pooled investment vehicles, and early-stage businesses with smaller financing needs, presents a great opportunity for those in the diaspora to invest through angel networks.

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Hajj 2019: 2,737 Nigerians Back Home Out Of 45,450, Says National Hajj Commission

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 13:45


The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has so far transported 2,737 people back to Nigeria out of some 45,450 Nigerians, who performed hajj in Saudi Arabia this year.

Four hundred and twenty-eight pilgrims from Lagos State and four from Oyo State departed Jedda on Tuesday aboard a Flynas Airways flight back to Nigeria.

The flight brings the number of flights that have departed the holy land to six, the command and control centre of NAHCON announced in a statement in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an officer of NAHCON, told the News Agency of Nigeria: “Nobody can say for now when the return flights will end. However, we are looking at mid-September for the completion of the exercise."

Over 40,000 people made the pilgrimage through NAHCON, while 18,000 others travelled using private tour operators.

Meanwhile, many of the pilgrims, including journalists, who have spent more than one month, covering the hajj, have expressed their desire to return home.

Some of them told the news agency that their families wanted to know when they would return home, after the Arafat and Eid-el-Kabir festival.

Pilgrims from Abuja are expected to be flown home on August 23, according to the agency's source familiar with the flight operations.

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Woman Jailed 30 Years For Having A Stillbirth To Face Re-Trial

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 12:43


A Salvadoran court on Monday acquitted a woman accused of homicide after giving birth to a stillborn baby in a case that drew international attention to the socially conservative nation’s strict abortion ban.

Evelyn Hernandez, 21, was previously convicted of intentionally inducing an abortion and had already served three years of a 30-year prison sentence.

“Thank God, justice was done,” Hernandez, in tears, told a cheering crowd outside the courthouse. “There are many women who are still locked up and I call for them to be freed soon, too.”

In February, the Supreme Court ordered Hernandez released and retried, saying that the original judge’s decision was based on prejudice and insufficient evidence.

Hernandez was raped by a gang member and said she was unaware of her pregnancy until just shortly before she gave birth to a stillborn son in April 2016.

“This is a resounding victory for the rights of women in El Salvador,” Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas director, said about the verdict.

Some 147 Salvadoran women have been sentenced to up to 40 years in prison in such cases between 2000 and 2014, according to the Citizen Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion, a local rights group.

The group said it will seek fresh reviews of at least 16 similar cases, Reuters reports.

Now that Evelyn has been acquitted, @amnesty calls on #ElSalvador to end the shameful and discriminatory practice of criminalizing women once and for all by immediately revoking the nation’s draconian anti-abortion laws. https://t.co/jiRQ6s5OPH pic.twitter.com/OLu4TeqJwC

— Erika Guevara-Rosas (@ErikaGuevaraR) August 19, 2019

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Nigerian Andrew Akingbaje Jailed In UK For Assault On Woman

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 12:37


A Nigerian man who launched an attack on a woman outside a nightclub in Clapham in the United Kingdom on New Year's Eve has been sentenced to 32 months in prison.

On Monday, Andrew Akingbaje, 24, from South London, was jailed at Inner London Crown Court for the violent assault.

On New Year’s Eve, Krystal Misson and her two female friends were outside Lotus Bar in Clapham. Akingbaje, who up until that point had not been known to the group, attacked Ms. Misson, punching her several times and dragging her along the ground by her hair.

A second attack followed in which he hit Ms. Misson repeatedly in the face and body, causing her to fall to the ground. This second attack was filmed by a friend of hers and was posted on social media, leading to Akingbaje’s subsequent arrest.

Akingbaje had pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm on 31 January of this year.

Alex Matthews, a Senior Crown Prosecutor within CPS London South, said: “This was a sustained and violent attack. Akingbaje struck Krystal Misson in the face repeatedly, continuing to do so even when he had knocked her to the floor. He then fled the scene.

“Akingbaje did not act in self-defence as he claimed. Ms. Misson was posing no threat to him and in fact, she was being held by a street warden trying to protect her at the time of the second attack.

“Despite the obvious danger to her safety, a friend of Krystal’s, Tanya Matangaidze showed courage and filmed the incident. This was central to our prosecution and to this conviction.

“Akingbaje, who has previously served prison sentences for GBH against another woman and drugs offences, will now return to prison and serve a further term.”

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Traditional Worshippers Get Public Holiday In Nigeria As Osun State Declares Today 'Traditional Religion Worshippers' Day'

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 12:32


The government of Osun State has declared Tuesday (today) as a public holiday to mark the 2019 Traditional Worshippers’ Day also known as ‘Isese Day'.

Dr. Obawale Adebisi, the supervisor for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, made the announcement yesterday in Osogbo, urging traditional worshippers to be peaceful and law-abiding as they celebrate the holiday.

Olawale also encouraged the worshippers to pray for the success of the government and other stakeholders in the state.
 

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BREAKING: EFCC Invades Ex-Lagos Governor, Ambode’s House

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 12:29


Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are currently raiding the house of Akinwunmi Ambode, immediate past governor of Lagos State.

The commission said it was investigating a petition it received against the former Lagos governor, TheCable reports.

Confirming the raid, Tony Orilade, EFCC spokesperson told TheCable that the commission is investigating the administration of Ambode.

“Yes, we received petitions regarding the governor, and we are investigating,” Orilade said.

Ambode's Kinsmen, Neighbour Prevent EFCC's Raid Of Former Governor Ambode’s House​

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have been barred from entering Akinwunmi Ambode’s house in Epe by his neighbours and kinsmen.

The EFCC stormed the house of the ex-governor as part of an investigation of his administration.

In a video obtained by SaharaReporters, some residents of Epe could be heard asking where the operatives of the EFCC were in a bid to chase them out of the community.

A woman was heard saying in Yoruba, “They were unable to do anything there. It is good they did not do anything.”

An individual recording the attempted raid said the EFCC operatives ran away, boasting that the people of Epe would not allow the commission to enter Ambode’s house.

He said, “You can see what is going on now, the Epe people did not allow them enter the house. They ran away.

“Epe people will not allow this, it will not happen, they all ran away. Live at Ambode’s house.”

However, the EFCC said it was acting within the confines of the law.

“It is instructive that his administration, like other former governors, is under investigation since they no longer constitutionally enjoy immunity against prosecution.

“Whatever the commission is presently doing with regards to the investigation is in line with its mandate and the rule of law,” it said.

The EFCC alleged it traced and froze N9.9 billion in three bank accounts domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Access Bank, and Zenith Bank with numbers 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254, respectively.

According to the commission, the accounts are managed by Adewale Adesanya, permanent secretary in the office of the chief of staff to the governor of the state on behalf of the state during Ambode’s administration.

The anti-corruption agency had denied raiding the former governor's Epe home in a statement today. 

FULL TEXT OF STATEMENT

We Did Not Raid Ex-Gov. Ambode’s Residence-EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has since early hours of today, been inundated with calls that operatives of the Commission raided the residence of the former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.

We need to state for the records that the EFCC did not raid Ambode’s house. It is instructive that his administration, like other former governors, is under investigation since they no longer constitutionally enjoy immunity against prosecution.

The Commission hereby states with a high sense of responsibility that the operatives did not raid Ambode’s residence.

Whatever the Commission is presently doing with regards to the investigation is in line with its mandate and the rule of law. We wish to inform the social media to be circumspect in the reportage of any news with regards to investigation activities of the Commission.

As a tradition, the Commission does not carry out an investigation on the pages of the newspapers or through the media. Our operations are always covert until at a time when we file charges in court.

Therefore, the attempt to cast the Commission in a bad light is unacceptable as the EFCC will never engage in an illegal act. We remain committed to the war against corruption.

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South African Journalist Abducted In Syria Begs For Help As Captors Demand $1.5 Million Dollar Ransom

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 11:26


Shiraaz Mohamed before his kidnap

Shiraaz Mohamed before his kidnap

South African photojournalist being held captive in Darkoush, Syria made a desperate appeal to the South African government and international community late Monday to help secure his release from gunmen who are demanding $1.5 million in ransom.

Shiraaz Mohamed, who was abducted in early 2017 while documenting the suffering of Syrian refugees, pleaded for assistance in a new video released by his captors.

In the video, a masked gunman wearing a military uniform is seen walking into an underground prison where he finds Mohamed sleeping on the floor. Dressed in torn clothes, Mohamed is seen being blindfolded by the gunman and later handcuffed.

He is taken to another room where his blindfold is removed and the gunman starts shaving his beard.

The kidnappers are seen throwing an orange overall at Mohamed, which he catches and later wears. He kneels down and starts speaking in the video, which surfaced on social media.

“My name is Shiraaz Mohamed, a South African photographer. My government, my friends, Dr. Fekri Shabaan and anyone watching this video who can help me, please help me,” he said.

Shabaan has been involved in negotiations with Mohamed’s captors to free him.

“My life is still in danger. I’ve been living in captivity for almost three years now. I need your help. Please free me,” Mohamed said.

He also appealed to Shabaan to cooperate with his captors, or else they will harm him.

“Dr. Fekri Shabaan — these people are very angry with the way you are speaking with them. With the way, you are doing the negotiations.

“My living conditions up until the last time you spoke with them were OK. My life has become very difficult. Please — I beg you Dr. Fekri Shaban — change the way you are speaking or negotiating with them.

“Listen to them and give them what they want. Please! My life is very difficult.”

Mohamed also said he fears that his captors might put a bullet in his head if his negotiators don’t cooperate.

“They are very angry at the moment. I’m not eating properly, and they say if I’m killed, you (Dr. Fekri) will be responsible for it. Help me, please! End this nightmare please!” he said.

In May, Mohamed’s captors sent a message demanding a ransom of $1.5 million for his release, said relief agency Gift of the Givers, which is brokering his release.

Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, the founder of the relief agency, said the captors called his organization that month to commence negotiations for the journalist’s release after sending an initial video in April showing that Mohamed was still alive, Yeni Şafak reports.

“I live in fear of my life. I am scared. The area that I am in has been bombed by the Russian air force; bombs are getting closer and closer. I need your help. Please help me,” he pleaded in the video.

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Siasia Life Ban: Nigeria Football Federation Comes To Ex-Super Eagles Coach's Rescue

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 11:18


The Nigeria Football Federation says it is reviewing the life ban imposed on Samson Siasia by the world football governing body, FIFA, while waiting to take action after seeking legal advice.

FIFA had on Friday announced the ban of Siasia, former Super Eagles coach, from any footballing activities both national and international after being found guilty of bribery and match-fixing.

The NFF described the life ban as a “massive sanction", adding that it is shocked by the decision of the FIFA Ethics Committee.

Acting President of NFF, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, in a statement, said, “The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and the subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr. Samson Siasia. But we have, however, now received documents, including one known as the 'motivated decision', and we have handed them to our lawyers to study and provide legal advice to the Federation. See Also Sports Match Fixing: Siasia Gets Life Ban From FIFA 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

“It is a massive sanction on one of our legends. Siasia is a football legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian. We must, therefore, be interested in the matter and be properly advised.”

He added, “While we respect the FIFA processes and appreciate that an investigation was conducted prior to the decision, the least we as a Federation can do is empathize with him at this time, make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name as he has promised to do.”
 

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Tunde Fowler Replies To Buhari's Query, Explains Why FIRS Didn't Meet Revenue Target

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 11:17






Tunde Fowler, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) chairman, has replied to the query from President Muhammadu Buhari on the agency's inability to meet revenue projection target.

Abba Kyari, on behalf of the president, had queried Fowler to explain “significant variances between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018” and FIRS’s inability to meet the target.

Fowler, in response, said: “The non-oil revenue collection grew by N1,304.20 trillion or 21 percent within the period 2016 to 2018” adding that “the total budget collection figure during 2012 to 2014 stood at N12,190.52 trillion compared to N16,771.78 trillion for the period 2016 to 2018, which represent an increase of 37.58 percent.

“Please note that the variance in the budgeted and actual revenue collection performance of the service for the period 2016 to 2018 was mainly attributed to the following reasons: The low inflow of oil revenues for the period especially Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) was due to the fall in the price of crude oil and reduction of crude oil production. Notwithstanding government efforts to diversify the economy, oil revenues remains an important component of total revenues accruable to the Federation. The price of crude oil fell from an average of $113.72, $110.98 and $100.40 per barrel in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to $ 52.65, $43.80 and $54.08 per barrel in 2015, 2016 and 2017." See Also Economy Buhari Queries Fowler Over Suspected Non-remittance Of Tax By FIRS 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

Continuing, he noted, "There was also a reduction in crude oil production from 2.31mbpd, 2.18mbpd and 2.20mbpd in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to 2.12mbpd, 1.81mbpd, and 1.88mbpd in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively” the letter explained. Secondly, he noted that “the Nigerian economy also went into recession in the second quarter of 2016 which slowed down general economic activities.

"Tax revenue collection (CIT and VAT) being a function of economic activities were negatively affected but the actual collection of the above two taxes were still higher in 2016 to 2018 than in 2012 to 2014. During the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, GDP grew by 4.3%, 5.4%, and 6.3% while in 2015, 2016 and 2017 there was a decline in growth to 2.7%, -1.6% and 1.9% respectively. The tax revenue grew as the economy recovered in the second quarter of 2017.

"It is worthy of note that strategies and initiatives adopted in the collection of VAT during the period 2015-2017 led to approximately 40 percent increase over 2012-2014 collections. In 2014 the VAT collected
was N802billion, compared to N1.1 trillion in 2018. This increase is attributable to various initiatives such as ICT innovations, continuous taxpayer education, taxpayer enlightenment, etc embarked upon by the Service.”

He added, “It is pertinent to note that when this administration came on board in August 2015, the target for the two major non-oil taxes were increased by 52 percent for VAT and 45 percent for CIT.

"Notwithstanding the increase, FIRS has in line with the federal government’s revenue base diversification strategy has grown the non-oil tax collection by over N1.304 trillion (21 percent) when the total non-oil tax collection for 2016-2018 is compared to that of 2012-2014.”

 

 

 

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INEC: Atiku Didn’t Score Majority Of Lawful Votes

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 11:07


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has told the presidential election petitions tribunal that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar did not score the majority of lawful votes in the February 23 election.

In a written address filed by its lead counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN), INEC said PDP and Atiku could not prove allegations of wrong entry of results in 11 states of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Zamfara States.

INEC argued that the burden of proof which was on the petitioners was not successfully discharged, adding that they failed to establish that the election of February 23 was invalidated by corrupt practices and non-qualification against President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Daily Trust reports.

“Furthermore, by virtue of section 150(1) of the Evidence Act, the results declared by the first respondent enjoy a presumption of regularity.

"Accordingly, the petitioners herein are duty-bound to rebut this presumption with credible evidence,” INEC said.
 

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Mugabe Vice President Flees Zimbabwe – Officials

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 10:33


Zimbabwe’s former vice president has fled from anti-corruption questioning after he was summoned over alleged criminal abuse of office, officials said.

Phelekezela Mphoko, 79, who served under long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, was due at the police in Bulawayo, the country’s second city, to record a statement on the allegations.

But he drove off as soon as officials from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) approached his car.

“We had agreed to meet at the police post at the magistrate’s court to record a warned-and- cautioned statement and have his fingerprints taken but when our officials approached his car, he drove away at high speed,” ZACC spokesman John Makamure told AFP.

“He is now a fugitive from justice,” the spokesman said, facing accusations of ordering the release from police custody of a chief executive officer and a non-executive director of the state-run roads authority.

Mphoko was, along with current president Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of two vice presidents at the time of the ouster by the military of Mugabe in November 2017.

He left the country as the coup unfolded but later returned, reports SowetanLive.

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I'm Posted To Nigeria To Consolidate Military Cooperation -Indonesian Ambassador

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 10:26


Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Usra Hendra Harahap, says Indonesian is ready to strengthen military cooperation with Nigeria at a time of Nigeria's rising level of insecurity.

The ambassador revealed this during the 74th Independence anniversary and flag hoisting of the Republic of Indonesia in Abuja.

Harahap who said Indonesia and Nigeria had enjoyed decades-long relations in bilateral and military cooperation indicated that his posting to Nigeria as well as that of a defence attache is an indication of Indonesia’s commitment to strengthening the existing relationships between the two countries.

“I have a military background. My posting to Nigeria is to consolidate on the existing military cooperation between the two nations. We also have a defence attache. It is through the DA that a lot of military cooperation will be discussed.

“Military cooperation was one of the issues I discussed with President Buhari when I submitted my letter of credential. We have to strengthen cooperation in training, knowledge-sharing, reciprocal exchange and military equipment,” he explained.

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