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Nigerian Girl, Tobechukwu Philips, Breaks 125 Year Academic History In The US

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 22:38




Tobechukwu Phillips a Nigerian born teenager has broken the 125 academic history of her high school in Texas, US.

Phillips, who earned A's all through her stay at Alvin High School boasted a 6.9 GPA is now the first Black valedictorian of her school. 

Alvin High School was originally established in 1894. African-American students were allowed to join the school in 1965.

Speaking on her success Phillips said: “Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is a difficult task. It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself.

“My biggest advice to other scholars of colour is to truly adopt the mindset of Rosa Parks — ‘No.’ Do not conform to the stereotypes that have held us under thumbs for so long.

“Do not be discouraged when someone speaks out against you, simply allow what they say to fuel your fire. But more than anything, do not remain tight-lipped. Stand up for what you believe in and take it upon yourself to be the change you’ve always wanted. Say ‘No’ to the ways of the world and stick out.”

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UPDATE: Full List Of EFCC's 11-Count Charge Against Naira Marley

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 22:02




The Economic And Financial Crimes Commission has slammed an 11 Count charge against popular Musician, Naira Marley.

The case filed at the Federal High Court has suit number FHC/L/178c/19.

The charges read:

Count One: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley and Yad Isril (still at large) on or about the 26th day of November 2018, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired among yourselves to use access card No. 5264711020433662 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 32 of the same act.

Count Two reads: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley and Yad Isril (still at large) on or about the 26th day of November 2018, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court attempted to use card No. 5264711020433662 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 27 (1) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 32 of the same act.

Count three says: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley and Raze (still at large) on or about the 26th day of November 2018, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired among yourselves to use access card No. 42658840359191132 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 32 of the same act.

Count Four reads: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley and Raze (still at large) on or about the 11th day of December 2018, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court attempted to use card access No. conspired among yourselves to use access card No. 42658840359191132 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 32 of the same act.

Count Five reads: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with an intent to defraud, possessed counterfeit card with No. 42658840359191132 issued to another person and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33 (9) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015.

Count Six: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with an intent to defraud, possessed counterfeit card with No. 5264711020433662 issued to another person and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33 (9) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015.

Count Seven: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with an intent to defraud, possessed counterfeit card with No. 5573793034017422 issued to another person and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33 (9) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015.

Count Eight: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with an intent to defraud, possessed counterfeit card with No. 4539782440624281 issued to Nicole Louise Malyon and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33 (9) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015.

Count Nine: “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with an intent to defraud, possessed counterfeit card with No. 4921819410257431 issued to Timea Fedorne Tatar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33 (9) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015.

Count Ten: ““That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court attempted to retain possession of more than two cards issues in the name of different cardholders and which cards were retained under circumstances which constitute card theft and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (a) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 34 of the same act.

Count 11: ““That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did retain the possession of more than two cards issued in the name of different cardholders and which cards were retained under circumstances which constitute a card theft and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 34 of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, ETC) Act, 2015.

The charge dated May 14, 2019 was personally signed and collected by Naira Marley on May 15, 2019 who is still being detained by the EFCC in Lagos.

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Suspected Internet Fraudsters Release Dog On EFCC Detectives

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 21:44


Some officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office have been attacked by dogs after attempting to arrest suspected internet fraudsters. 

Suspects arrested in the operation are Paul Afolabi, Balogun Ibrahim Adebayo, Izu Ibobo Chukwunalu, Abe Tolulope, Onifade Gideon Idowu, Komolafe Tosin, and Igwe Kinsley Otuu.

The officers who received intelligence reports and launched preliminary investigations into the alleged illegal activities and stormed the suspects’ hideout at Agara area of Ibadan, Oyo State, at the early hours of Wednesday 15 May.

Vanguard reports that Instead of allowing them in, after a proper introduction, one of the suspects instructed the guard to release the attack dog on the operatives.

Still out of desperation to conceal useful information that could help the Commission in their investigation, one of the suspects smashed his android phone with the intention to destroy the gadget and deny access to the data therein.

The attempt equally failed as the operatives took possession of the broken phone, which is currently with the forensic unit, where analysis is being carried out to obtain data from it.

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Senate Passes Bill To Make June 12 Democracy Day

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 21:29


 

The Senate on Thursday passed the Public Holiday Act Amendment Bill to recognize June 12 as the new Democracy Day.

The Senate at the plenary on Thursday passed the amendment in concurrence with the House of Representatives which approved the new date earlier in December 2018.

The passage followed the adoption of a report by Senator Ahmad Lawan, the Majority Leader, for the Senate to concur with the House.

The bill was passed almost one year after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the date would replace May 29 for Nigerians to commemorate the return to the civilian government.

The legislation is now billed for transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

President Buhari had on June 6, 2018, announced June 12 as the new date which Democracy Day would be celebrated in the country, to honour the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola, who was fondly known as MKO.

The President made the declaration as the Federal Government honoured the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, with a posthumous conferment of the highest national award, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, on him.

The decision has made Abiola the second Nigerian who never presided over the country but was given the highest national award. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, before Abiola, was given the same award despite failing to become the president of Nigeria.

Buhari had also conferred on Abiola’s running mate in the election, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe and foremost human rights lawyer, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the Grand Commander of the Niger award, which is the second highest national honour.

 

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BREAKING: EFCC To Arraign Naira Marley On 11-Count Charges

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 20:53


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has perfected plans to arraign musician Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, for alleged credit card fraud.

Naira Marley was arrested last Friday together with Omomniyi Temidayo also known as Zlatan Ibile and three others.

SaharaReporters had reported that the two artistes are also under the agency’s investigation for songs and comments glorifying cybercrime; most recently "am i a yahoo boy?"

Zlatan and others arrested have been released while Naira Marley was retained at the EFCC custody.

The EFCC is backing on Section 33 (2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act to prosecute the artiste.

It states that “Any person who uses: a counterfeit access device; an unauthorised access device; an access device issued to another person; resulting in a loss or gain commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than seven years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 and forfeiture of the advantage or value derived from his act.”

Some of the counts in the charges filed against Naira Marley includes, “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 11th day of December 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use Access card 42658840359191132 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.

“That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, with intent to defraud possessed, counterfeit card 4921819410257431 issued to Timea Fedorne Tatar and you thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 33(9) of Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015.”

The charges with suit number FHC/L/178C/19 was filed before a Lagos State High Court.

Since he has been taken into detention, some top artistes have pleaded for his release from the EFCC custody.

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EFCC Arrests Kwara Lawmaker-elect Over N26m Property Fraud

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 20:41


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested Abdulgafar Ayinla, a member-elect of the Kwara State House of Assembly, for involvement in property scam, forgery and obtaining money under the pretense to the tune of about N26,000,000.

Ilorin Zonal Office of EFCC said it received a petition on the activity of Ayinla and moved on to arrest him after an investigation has been made.

Ayinla was to assist the petitioner in purchasing land but he received the money on behalf of the money but he failed to remit it to the owner neither did her return it to the petitioner.

According to the EFCC, “The petitioner who resides in the United State of America, USA stated that Ayinla who is a legal practitioner was introduced to her by her late Aunt as capable of helping her purchase some properties in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.”

Quoting the petitioner, the EFF said the lawmaker-elect sold “two plots of land with four bedroom bungalow at window level at Agric area of Ilorin. I paid N8, 240, 000 (Eight Million Naira Two hundred and Forty Thousand Naira) commission of which Ayinla informed me that the seller had received his money but he never pay the money to the seller up till today, and never refunded the money to me."

The lawmaker said Ayinla would soon be charged to court.

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Ganduje: Understanding The Pathology Of Revenge By Azu Ishiekwene

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 20:09


Kano State Governor Ganduje

Kano State Governor Ganduje

The Sarkin Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, always wanted to be to local. Even in his heyday as governor of the Central Bank, he said he was often amused when public office holders fought for appointment as ministers, state governors, ambassadors or for any position at all on the big stage. 

All he ever wanted after his tour of duty at the Central Bank, he said, was to be Sarkin Kano, the emir.

He got his wish. But as it has turned out almost from the onset, and progressively ever since, he has been subjected to far more siege than he might have experienced even if he had become Secretary General of the United Nations. Yet, it appears to be a largely self-imposed misery. 

The Sarkin Kano wanted the best of two worlds, but much to his grief, a third is being created for him – a hyperlocal ruler. A local emir with the power, glory, and omnipotence of a global icon is a mirage. Local with global reach is the stuff of advert copy. In the real world, to change local, you must make haste slowly.

It was not only that what he wanted all his life was not in the office he passionately desired, but it was also, in a significant way, anathema to it. Two years ago, a courageous journalist with a deep interest in the North, Jaafar Jaafar, published an article in which he directly accused Sanusi of financial recklessness. 

Jafaar claimed that about six weeks after the Sarkin Kano was enthroned the emirate’s safe was raided and, within two years, stripped of over N4billion, apart from nearly N500million spent on luxury cars. That was outside the millions of naira spent on travels and phone calls, which more than doubled the annual overheads of the palace.

Just the sort of thing that the Sarkin Kano condemned in the Goodluck Jonathan government for which he earned brownie points.

Why did he not see the plank in his own eye? Why did it not dawn on the Sarkin Kano who comes from the worst poverty-endemic zone in the country and who himself said that if we do nothing that Nigeria might remain the world’s poverty capital for another 30 years, that his lifestyle was inconsistent with what he was preaching?

And this is not kicking a man who’s down. There are, of course, other versions of the story out there. It’s been said, in some circles for example, that Sanusi’s problem started after the 2015 election when he made a pitch to President Muhammadu Buhari for the Senate presidency for his friend and old King’s College schoolmate, Bukola Saraki.

Beyond old boys’ ties, Saraki, once chair of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, was also instrumental to Sanusi’s appointment by President Umaru Yar’Adua as Central Bank governor. 

The Sarkin Kano felt obliged to repay a good turn. Buhari rebuffed him, but his friend, Saraki, got the Senate presidency through the backdoor, to the displeasure of the party and the Presidency. He was said to have returned again, this time, to ask for a reprieve for Saraki during his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). That second visit cemented the impression that the Sarkin Kano was a man to be kept at arm’s length. 

Yet, the failed episode of quiet diplomacy may not have been his biggest undoing. If at that stage, the cold war was between Sanusi and Abuja, the Sarkin Kano brought the battle home when he said of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s $1.8billion agreement with China in 2017 for a light rail project with the China Exim Bank: “At the end of the day what do you benefit from it in a state like Kano or Katsina?

“Where are you going to? You are not going to an industrial estate to work. You are not going to school? You are not going to the farm. You borrow money from China to invest in trains so that your citizens can ride on them and go for weddings and naming ceremonies.”

To be fair, the Sarkin Kano has used his considerable clout to the benefit of Kano. Part of the fruit of his effort is Black Rhino’s partnership with Dangote for a $150million 100megawatt solar electricity project in the state, apart from other efforts to revive Kano as a trading and industrial powerhouse.

But his China quip was the inconvenient truth: Inconvenient for Ganduje who in spite of his credentials has proved to be one of the most incompetent governors in Kano’s recent history, and certainly inconvenient for Sanusi whose arrogance robbed him of the benefit of the wisdom of his own words.  

Sanusi handed his enemies a stick, inviting the last straw when he openly – and rightly – praised the state commissioner of police, Muhammad Wakili, for resisting Ganduje’s blatant attempt to rig the keenly contested governorship election, before the election was declared inconclusive.

Ganduje is on a roll, but he would choke on his own spite. Wait and see. The governor is not after the Sarkin Kano because he has suddenly seen the light and recognized that neither a predatory emirate nor weekly carnivals of state-sponsored weddings will save Kano. He is not after the Sarkin Kano and the kingmakers because he has seen the need to restructure the centuries’ old emirate and make it more responsive.

Nor is he even motivated by the ideological difference that spurred similar tampering under former Abubakar Rimi; the “emancipation” mantra that instigated a similar exercise under Solomon Lar in Plateau; or the ethnically charged agenda driving gerrymandering in Southern Kaduna under Nasir El-Rufai.

It’s venge-fest pure and simple; the sort of thing that Ganduje’s in-law and outgoing Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, did in Ibadan, shredding the Olubadan’s domain in spite of the law and shamelessly naming streets after himself. 

Reliable sources said the Sarkin Kano resisted all entreaties to support Ganduje in the tight governorship race. The statement from the palace after the inconclusive poll that politics should not be a do-or-die affair, it was said, was aimed at the governor in his vulnerable moment. Politicians interested in 2023 poured petrol into the fire, telling Ganduje to mark the Sarkin Kano as his number one enemy.

Now, it’s payback time and among the most deadly armies in the governor’s service are those from within the royal household, including Aminu Ado Bayero, one of the Sarkin Kano’s bitterest rivals for the throne.

I’ve been intrigued by the pathology of this spite. Why is Ganduje determined to bring down the house Uthman dan Fodio built, instead of taking on the Sarkin Kano directly, if he has a case against him? Is it necessary to destroy the foundation to take the house to the next level? Why stir up the potentially deadly embers of a royal feud to quench one man’s perceived inordinate ambition? 

How can a governor who came to office with some of the best academic and experiential credentials make such a profound mess of his first four years in office that he’s literally twisting by a judicial thread? How can a man who came to power with considerable goodwill be at deadly odds with both the king and the kingmakers so soon afterward?

A few of the answers go back to the beginning – to Ganduje’s rise to power. He was handed power by his former boss, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who not only held him in contempt for the most part of his tenure but once reportedly said to Ganduje’s face that he would remove him from office if he didn’t perform. Ganduje was in office but an orphan in power, a complete hostage to the Kwankwasiyya movement. 

Kwankwaso’s bitter exit from the ruling APC was the window Ganduje needed to team up with Abuja and reclaim his mojo, one drop of testosterone at a time. Not only has he regained sufficient confidence to shake down contractors, but he is also pulling down electoral and monarchical strongholds – whatever bears allegiance to the Kwankwasiyya order

With the matter back in court, the game of thrones, which is just one aspect of the unfolding drama, has only changed gears. It promises to be a foreboding season.

Ishiekwene is the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview and member of the board of the Global Editors Network

 

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'Fayose Tags Fayemi 'Enemy Of The People' For Sacking 2,000 Workers

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 19:26


Ayodele Fayose, ex-Governor of Ekiti State, has condemned the sacking of 2,000 workers by Governor Kayode Fayemi.

Fayemi, had on Wednesday at the State Executive Council meeting, sacked over 2,000 workers employed into the state workforce by former Governor Ayodele Fayose after the July 2018 Ekiti Governorship Election.

Muyiwa Olumilua, Ekiti State Commissioner for Information, who spoke to newsmen said Fayemi had also directed Ayodeji Ajayi, Head of Service, “to collate all available vacancies in the civil service, with the overhead implications to enable the state government to prepare to recruit suitable and qualified Ekiti citizens into the public service, irrespective of the party affiliations.”

Fayose, reacting to the mass sack, said Fayemi has succeeded in writing his name in the history books of Ekiti as one who inflicted sorrow on the people.

He also branded Fayose’s supporters as being against the well being of Ekiti people.

“He has demonstrated this by sacking Ekiti people who were duly employed by the state government.

“Whoever that applauds this show of wickedness will be reminded in future when actions of Fayemi will also be reviewed,” Fayose said.

The former governor of the state urged the victims to approach the court of law to ensure their rights are not infringed upon.

“As for those who have now become victims of this act of wickedness and political vendetta, they should enforce their rights to seek redress in the court of law.”

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INEC Announces New Date For Kogi, Bayelsa Governorship Elections

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 18:54


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced new dates for the Kogi and Bayelsa State governorship elections.

The new date is Saturday, November 16th, 2019.

Festus Okoye, INEC Chairman on Information and Voter Education Committee, said in a statement on Thursday that the change is a result consideration of appeals received by the commission.

He said: "After careful consideration of the appeals, the Commission at the regular weekly meeting held today Thursday 16th May decided to shift the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states to Saturday 16th November 2019.

"The timelines for all other activities leading to the elections have also been adjusted to align with the new date".
 

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CBN Crooks And Thieves: Governor Godwin Emefiele, Three Others Busted Over 500 Billion Naira Loot By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 18:29


“Corruption” is an inadequate word to describe the Nigerian nation. Since independence in 1960, corrupt practices have constituted the rules by which Nigeria has been run. The old predatory political class has survived on corruption till date, and the fundamentals of the old system remain unchanged.

Sunday, May 12, SaharaReporters in a posted exclusive audio busted Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, Edward Adamu (deputy governor), Dayo Arowosegbe (finance dire tor), and Emmanuel Ukeji (special adviser to the CBN governor). 

In the audio conversation, Emefiele and the three top CBN officials were heard discussing how to cover up N500 billion loot which they had invested in a private business that ran aground. CBN director of corporate communications Isaac Okorafor has since confirmed the authenticity of the audio.

The CBN, like any other central bank, occupies a key role in modern economy. For any central bank to do its job diligently and effectively, public trust is critical to its operations. The role of the CBN is all-encompassing. Apart from monetary policy, it must ensure broader financial stability. 

The regulation and supervision of private financial institutions makes it necessary for the CBN to rid itself of improper influence and to put in place accountability mechanisms. Therefore, it goes without saying that anti-corruption measures in the CBN must consequently address political industry-related and internal sources that can encourage, compromise or lead to corruption which ultimately can impede its performance and threaten public trust.

In our history of banking corruption, the punishment for titans of the industry has never been commensurate with the crimes committed. Penalty for corruption in the industry is, mildly put, a slap on the wrist. Bank executives in Nigeria are too big to indict. While unemployed youths who took to yahoo yahoo and petty thieves who rob beer parlors get swift and severe jail terms, bank executives smile to the bank to cash their heist.

The audio on 500 billion Naira loot by Emefiele and his top three staff confirmed that the operating principles of CBN is a cesspool of greed, ethics, and criminal intent. From the audio, Nigerians now know that the CBN is an ungovernable, unregulated, hyper-concentrated financial institution that exacerbates the greed and inequality that are responsible for bank crash and bank failures.

While the nation awaits the official response from President Muhammadu Buhari, one can hazard a conjecture that Aso Rock in concert with supporters of President Buhari, will argue foolishly by presenting a comforting story that minimizes the importance of this outbreak of kleptomania in the CBN. 

Emefiele and the other three looters are criminal outliers and rogue profiteers determined to exploit the free fall corrupt culture and climate of Nigeria. The contagion of corruption has spread faster and furious as expected in a country haunted since its founding by the perils of corruption.

The EFCC is nothing to brag about. Till tomorrow, it has had seizures of conscience when it comes to investigating and prosecuting big whales and sharks of corruption like the Emefieles of the world. 

Emefiele has been renominated by President Buhari to a second five-year term. With the audio, Emefiele should resign today as CBN Governor. If he refused to quit, President Buhari should for once show some spine without wasting time and show Emefiele the way out. This is another textbook example that will serve a litmus test on how Buhari fights corruption. So far, his record on his war on corruption has been selective and sordid.

Leadership is best caught than learned. Leadership is by example. Change should and must begin with President Buhari and not the other way round.

bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

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Nigeria Senate Summons Health Minister Over Poor State Of Teaching Hospitals

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 17:00


The Nigeria Senate invited Isaac Adewole, Health Minister of the country to appear before it over the bad condition teaching hospitals in the country.

According to the Senate, Adewole would be briefing the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly on the current state of teaching hospitals.

The Senate, in a motion sponsored by Senator David Umar last week, decried the poor quality of service and state of Nigerian teaching hospitals while deciding to invite the Health Minister for an explanation.

Umar had noted that most teaching hospitals in the country are not up to standard and have been overstretched with patients having to sleep on bare floors due to lack of space and proper medical equipment needed for their treatment.

At the plenary today, Senate President Bukola Saraki announced that “Minister of Health will on Tuesday, 21st of May, brief the Senate on the current state of facilities in Nigeria teaching hospitals.”

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Bauchi Assembly Passes Bill To Stop Recovery Of Stolen Funds

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 15:48


The Bauchi State House of Assembly has passed a new bill to reverse an existing law granting tribunal the mandate to investigate and retrieve stolen funds and properties by politicians, government officials and other individuals.

The new bill, which scaled through first, second and third reading in one day without objection, is coming in less than two weeks to the end of the current administration.

Hon. Abdullahi Abdulkadir, Deputy Majority Leader of the House, moved the motion for the bill while it was seconded by Sale Nabayi, member representing Ganjuwa west and Magaji Inuwa of Jama’are constituency.

Kawuwa Damina, Speaker of the Assembly, said that only 13 of 31 members of the House were present at the sitting while adding that none of them objected to the passage of the bill.

He also said he would ensure that the Governor approves the bill into law and it is strictly implemented.

Hon. Aminu Tukur, member representing Lere/Bula constituency, criticized the speaker for presiding over the passing of the bill.

He added that the bill was passed “with an ulterior motive best known to the Speaker.”

He also labelled the 13 members of the Assembly present at the passage of the bill as cronies of Governor Mohammed Abubakar, while adding that the sitting was done before the usual sitting time.

The bill, if assented by Abubakar, outgoing Governor of the State, would set aside a 2017 law establishing Public Property and Funds Recovery Tribunal 2017 aimed at assisting the government recover all stolen public assets and funds.

 

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Four Reasons For Optimism On Economic Inclusion In Nigeria By Joe Abah, Nate Bourns, And Brigit Helms

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 15:33


Viewed in isolation, statistics on the Nigerian economy paint a bleak picture. Having emerged from the 2017 recession, Nigeria is growing at an anemic 1.5 to 1.9 percent per year—against population growth of 2.6 percent. Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world where poverty has worsened—90 million of its citizens languish in absolute poverty. With the median age stuck at 17.9 years, some say a “youth bomb” has already detonated; certainly, youth unemployment is unacceptably high at 43 percent. And development indicators around health and education leave much to be desired: 30 percent of Nigerians are unable to read or write, according to the Minister of Education.

Yet we are optimistic. Why? Because we see Nigeria not in isolation, but in context. We recently sat down with Nigerian stakeholders to talk in depth about how to build a more inclusive economic system. Together, we sense a new version of capitalism emerging. Instead of equating business with extracting economic value, a new generation of entrepreneurs and policymakers is focused on creating value for Nigeria—by increasing access to vital services and jobs.

We find at least four reasons for optimism if we take collective action now.

The Explosive Potential of the “Youth Bomb”

Aging societies in the West know that young people are the key to growth. Nigeria’s army of young job seekers could be readily transformed into an army of job creators, according to young entrepreneurs like Sam Immanuel, founder, and CEO of Semicolon. Africa, a training ground for young “techpreneurs” in Lagos’ “Yabacon Valley.” Semicolon’s 12-month programs train promising young people not only how to code but how to solve some of Nigeria’s seemingly intractable problems and build sustainable business models around them. Job opportunities for this new generation are global in reach and potential scale.

The U.K. Department for International Development’s Women for Health project in northern Nigeria has shown that even the most difficult-to-reach young women working in the most challenging conditions can leverage technology to make a difference. By enabling young women in primarily conservative Muslim communities to access digital health worker training, W4H is creating sustainable and culturally appropriate solutions to fill serious gaps in healthcare availability for women in the region.

Digital Dividends

The digital economy could revolutionize both service delivery and job creation, the two main pathways out of poverty. The GSMA indicates Nigeria has 97.5 million unique mobile subscribers, meaning roughly half the population has a mobile subscription, and half of this group accesses the mobile internet, making mobile the main driver of internet access. More than half of GSMA’s projected growth in new mobile subscribers in West Africa by 2025 will come from Nigeria. While access remains highly uneven—rural Nigerians tend to be excluded—the growth trend is clear. At the same time, fixed broadband access, while limited by State and local right-of-way regulations, is 22 percent (compared to a 30 percent target for 2018) but on the rise, and Federal and State governments increasingly understand that expanding access is the only way to go.

In terms of job creation, the tech conglomerate, incubator, and investor Lofty Group has demonstrated that tech startups can grow into major job creators. Companies such as Andela, Flutterwave, and Paystack have attracted heavy hitters in the investment world and created thousands of jobs. While some observers suggest fintech and payments services receive too much attention, overall this ecosystem shows that tech innovation is alive and well in Nigeria. Imagine putting that energy to work, at scale, for healthtech, edtech, energytech, govtech, or any other tech you can think of.

Universal ID Is Coming

Without a verifiable, credible identity, it’s difficult to participate in the formal economy. While some Nigerians lack any form of formal identity, many can avail themselves of a wide range of identifications. However, none of them is standard nor ubiquitous, and the National Identity Management Commission is working to harmonize these various forms. Shifting from a card-based approach to a universal digital ID holds enormous promise for growth. A recent report on digital ID from McKinsey estimates that over the next decade, Nigeria could unlock value equivalent to 5 to 7 percent of 2030 GDP by ensuring ubiquitous digital identity, most of that value accruing to consumers, microenterprises, taxpayers, and beneficiaries of public initiatives.

The commission strives to enroll 5 million people in digital ID per month, up from around 500,000 historically, to reach universal identity within three years. Some 35 million numbers have been distributed so far. While these targets sound daunting, there is a precedent. In India, under the Aadhaar scheme, the government distributed biometric identification numbers to 1.2 billion citizens in less than seven years. The Aadhaar number is now vital for Indians to access bank accounts, subscribe to mobile services, pay taxes, and receive government payments, among other things.

Movement on Mobile Money

Past policy choices have frozen most Nigerians out of the mobile money market, with major ramifications for economic inclusion. For example, only around 6 percent of the adult population are active mobile money users, compared to 73 percent in Kenya. A decade ago, Nigerian authorities determined to limit mobile money operations to banks, as opposed to the telco-led models in East Africa. Given the low levels of formal financial inclusion, this decision inhibited the growth of mobile money. However, the Central Bank’s new digital financial services policy of 2018 may remove those brakes, allowing mobile network operators to enter the fray more directly.

The Federal government, through the National Information Technology Development Agency and other stakeholders, seems to be taking digital and economic inclusion seriously. The benefits of digital inclusion—job creation, GDP growth, new industries, business innovation, workforce transformation—have captured the attention of policymakers. At the State level, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum has put the digital economy on the policy agenda. From ICT regulation to cybersecurity to digital jobs to increased local content, the question now is how to act on it.

More broadly, our discussions exemplified the fact that economic inclusion in the digital age has struck a chord with Nigerians across the spectrum, not just with Federal and State government but also with the private sector, civil society, development partners, and the media. One thing is certain: no single entity can solve this problem on its own. Collaboration—often among uneasy bedfellows—is critical, and that collaboration will have to be more committed, more energetic, and more tangible than ever for Nigeria to achieve a truly inclusive economic sysem in our lifetime.

Dr. Joe Abah is DAI Country Director for Nigeria and former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms in the Presidency, Nigeria.

Nate Bourns is DAI Vice President, Global Operations and Adjunct Professor at the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico.

Brigit Helms is DAI Vice President, Technical Services and a founding management team member of CGAP, the global center of excellence for financial inclusion.

 

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Udom Dismisses Two Top Government Officials In 24 Hours

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 14:33


Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom State Governor, has relived two of the government top officials of their duties in less than 24 hours.

Uduak Udo-Inyang, Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Sufficiency was sacked on Tuesday while Valentine Attah, Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, was suspended by the Governor on Wednesday.

While no reason was given for the sack of Udo-Inyang, Attah was suspended for alleged unauthorized recruitment into the state civil service.

Announcing Udo-Inyang sack through a statement, Emmanuel Ekuwem, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), noted that Nse Essien, Commissioner of Science and Technology would oversee the affairs of the ministry.

Ekuwem, in another press statement released on Wednesday, said an audit would immediately be carried out to check the recruitment done by Attah.

It was also announced that “the appointments of those who benefited from the said recruitment are hereby declared null and void.”

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BREAKING: Senate Confirms Emefiele's Appointment As CBN Governor

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2019-05-16 14:14


The Senate has confirmed Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank Of Nigeria.

The confirmation is coming after President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-corruption administration ignored numerous corruption allegations leveled against him, most recently documented in an audio tape with the apex bank confirmed as authentic.

Emefiele was screened yesterday by the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions sequel to a request put forward by President Buhari asking the Senate to confirm Emefiele for a second term of five years.

More to come.

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EFCC Grills National Assembly Clerk, Seizes International Passport Over Finances

Sahara Reporters - 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

Sahara Reporters - 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

Sahara Reporters - 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

Sahara Reporters - 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

Sahara Reporters - 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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