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Group Endorses Strike By ASUP, SSANIP In Bida Polytechnic

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 15:46


 

The Education Rights Campaign has backed the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the organisation said the unions were in their right to enforce payment of their salary arrears and appropriate funding of the polytechnic.

The statement reads in part, “The full payment of salary is a right and we demand its immediate payment across the board.

“We also call for the adequate funding of education by both the federal and the state governments and the management of the Federal Polytechnic Bida led by Dr Abubakar Dzukogi.

“We urge ASUP and SSANIP and their members not to relent on in this struggle. We also urge them not to limit this struggle to a sit-at-home strike action but to commence mobilisation of members and students in mass protests in Bida, Minna and Abuja.

“The management is attacking the rights to dissent and harassing opposition staff unions. For instance six ASUP Bida leaders were arrested and detained in Minna for six days on the orders of Dr Dzukogi. 

“We condemn this repressive action against leadership of unions as it is an attack on their democratic rights. 

“Besides, it undermines the value of higher institutions of learning as a place where dissenting views must be accommodated. 

“The ERC calls on ASUP, SSANIP, other staff unions and students' union in Federal Polytechnic Bida to build a united movement that can begin to organise joint strikes, protests and mass demonstrations to force the management to meet demands of workers and students.”

 

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JUST IN: Midnight Fire Razes 12 Flats In Delta Army Barracks

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 15:43


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A block of 12 flats at the 3 Battalion, Army Barracks Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, have been reportedly razed by fire.

SaharaReporters gathered that the inferno started at about 2:00am on Tuesday, destroying buildings and valuables worth several millions of naira before firefighters arrived the scene.

According to a source in the area, residents of the barracks were prevented from recording the incident on their mobile devices, adding that no life was lost in the tragedy.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. 

 

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UPDATE: Boko Haram Rejected N50m Ransom For Adamawa Clergyman Before Beheading Him

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 15:32


Facts have emerged on how Boko Haram terrorists rejected a N50m ransom and went ahead to behead Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika, Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi on Monday.

The insurgents had demanded for £2m (N946m) but was only offered N50m, infuriating the terrorists, who soon turned their anger on the victim, according to CAN chairman in the state, Stephen Dami Mamza.

He said, “Pastor Lawan was beheaded yesterday.

“Negations were still ongoing when they stopped calling. They were offered N50m but they rejected it.

“They called his wife last week, informing her that they will be beheading him on Saturday but somehow they waited till Monday.

“Also yesterday, Pastor Dennis Bagauri of the Lutheran Church was killed in Jereng, Mayo-Belwa area of Adamawa State.

“It is now clear that Christians are not protected by the government; we don't feel like we have a government.”

Reacting to the incident, the Adamawa State Government described the action of the terror group as barbaric. 

Director-General, Media and Communication to Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, Solomon Kumangar, said, “The governor is saddened by the gruesome execution of the pastor.”

Andimi was abducted two weeks ago when Boko Haram fighters stormed Michika town in search of foodstuff and other basic items.

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Alleged Terrorism: Court Admits Ayade’s Critic, Joseph Odok To Bail

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 15:18


A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, has admitted a lawyer and critic of Governor Ben Ayade charged with terrorism to bail.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Simon Amobeda said the defendant had shown “exceptional circumstances” to permit the court to exercise its discretion and admit him to bail.

The terms include a bail bond valued at N10m with two sureties in like sum. 

One of the sureties must be a civil servant with either the state or Federal Government on Grade Level 13 or above while the other must be a “close relative with a verifiable address,” Justice Amobeda ruled.

Also, both sureties are expected to depose to an affidavit and provide two passport photographs.

The defense team was for the first time comprised of more than one lawyer with E. E. Osim, Oliver Osang and Assam Assam Jnr, who represented the Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, all entering appearances.

The matter was stood down for a few minutes after it was called due to the absence of the prosecution counsel, Dennis Tarhemba.  

However, another prosecutor from the Cross River State Police command, C. I. Eze, entered appearance for the prosecution.

Osim, thereafter moved the motion for bail dated and filed January 15, 2020. 

Brought pursuant to Section 35 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the motion was supported by an eight paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Mr Emmanuel Otona. 

The motion had three annexures and was accompanied by a written address, which the defense adopted as part of the oral argument to support the application.

In his oral submission, Osim said the defense was in receipt of the prosecution’s counter affidavit dated January 17, 2020 and drew the court’s attention to paragraph 6, which he said “goes into the issue that the court will entertain in the main trial.”

He submitted that the counter affidavit did not contradict the proof in the annexures of the application and urged the court to grant the defendant bail on self-recognition.

However, Eze who relied on all eight paragraphs in the counter affidavit deposed to by the investigating police officer, Ihezuo Ibe, and adopted the written address as part of the prosecution’s oral argument, submitted that the defendant/applicant had not shown exceptional circumstances in order for the court to admit him to bail.

In his ruling, Justice Amobeda held that bail pending trial remained a right enshrined in the constitution. 

He held that the counter affidavit of the prosecution was “bare” as the deponent is a police officer, who “has no expertise in medicine.” 

He ruled that the “mere claim” of the prosecution that the defendant/applicant was not sick was not enough to discountenance the material evidence placed before the court by the defense.

Odok, who arrived court in company with two correctional officers sporting a blue jean, slippers and a black shirt with the inscription “Freedom Cometh By Struggle”, was arrested at his Abuja residence on September 26, 2019 and spent 26 days in police custody before he was arraigned on October 22, 2019 on two charges bordering on terrorism and cybercrime. 

He pleaded not guilty and was remanded at the Medium Security Custodial Center of the Nigerian Correctional Service where he has spent 91 days so far. 

He risks a death sentence if convicted of the charges.

The matter was adjourned until January 28 and 29 for trial. 

His wife had told journalists that his arrest was a plot hatched by the Cross River State Government to silence him – an allegation the state denies.

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ALERT: Ansaru Planning Renewed Attacks In North-Central Nigeria

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 14:24


 

Terror group, Jama'atu Ansril Muslimina Naijeriya better known as Ansaru, is planning a series of renewed attacks in North-Central Nigeria, SaharaReporters can confirm.

Intelligence documents seen by SaharaReporters shows that the group recently received tons of arms and ammunition from Chinese smugglers in Burkina Faso.

The new cache of weapons is to unleash mayhem in states such as Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Kwara and Edo.

In November 2019, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group was given the green light to activate its sleeper cells for the commencement of hostilities in the region.

Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff, Yusuf Buratai, on Monday boasted that terrorism in Nigeria was a thing of the past and that renewed attacks were the last kick of a dying horse.

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Boko Haram Executes Abducted Christian Association Of Nigeria Chairman In Adamawa

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 14:14


 

Boko Haram Terrorists have executed Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Reverend Lawan Andimi.

A source authoritatively told SaharaReporters that the clergyman was killed on Monday.

Andimi was abducted in early January when the insurgents attacked his village.

Shortly afterwards, Boko Haram released a video clip where Andimi asked the governor of Adamawa State to rescue him.

In his plea, he said, “I have never been discouraged because all conditions that one finds himself is in the hands of God.

“God made them to take care of me. I am appealing to my colleagues, reverends, particularly my President, Reverend Joel Billy, who is a strong man, a man of compassion and man of love. He can do all his best to speak to our governor, Umaru Jibrilla (Fintiri) and other necessary agents for my release here.”

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Amotekun As A Metaphor By Osy Agbo

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:37


 

It's always a little challenge for me trying to ease back into life in the United States each time following a trip to Nigeria. I believe it has to do with leaving my happy place back to elsewhere to face the daily struggles that come with more opportunities. Although I have to admit that even that happiness doesn't always come cheap and easy. This last time, being that I travelled with the entire crew, I had to make sure to dot all I’s and cross all T’s. In fact, I even had to hire my own little security detail. Of course my detail though consisting of a pilot vehicle in addition to the one I drove was nothing elaborate like our glamorous politicians with unlimited budget. In the end it still managed to leave a deep hole in my pocket. A pocket already rendered shallow by other sundry demands. Little wonder Nigerian families in the Diaspora find it hard to make the yearly pilgrimage.

Few months ago, following some serious security breaches, Enugu State Government set-up a five-man Joint Security Committee that included former AIG, Aloysius Okorie. A former IGP, Ogbonna Onovo, was also appointed a security consultant to the state government. It was a culmination of extensive effort that saw to the establishment of the forest guard that now patrol all nooks and cranny of the state. The Ugwuanyi administration purchased 260 operational vehicles, 260 motorcycles and other secure communication gadgets to cover the entire electoral ward in the state. Though there are still occasional reports of attack by hoodlums, it's nothing in the scale of what obtains in other places in the country or even in Enugu few months prior to the implementation of the comprehensive security measures. Enugu State without doubt now enjoys relative peace compared to other states in the federation. And so throughout the country you have similar outfit springing up in their record numbers in an attempt to replicate such a feat.

Not too long ago, Chairman of South-West Governor’s Forum and Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, announced that plans were underway to launch a regional security outfit to combat the spate of security challenges plaguing the zone. Few weeks ago, that outfit was born and is now codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’. It's purported to be an adhoc security arrangement meant to tackle the scourge of widespread banditry allegedly mostly spearheaded by herdsmen. The operation is expected to be funded through a collaborative effort of the states that make up the SW geopolitical zone.

In the Northern states of Kano, Borno etc, you have hybrids program such Hisbah, CJTF that fight alongside the nation’s security agencies to curb the menace of Boko Haram and the likes.

To a lot of Nigerians who have been at the receiving end of the insurgency and pervasive insecurity in the land, such an outfit was long overdue. It's no secret that relying solely on an ill-equipped and poorly funded national police force that has been accused of being constantly manipulated for use in executing sectional agenda is a Hobson’s choice.

As would be expected, not everyone warmed up to the idea. Initially some of the staunchest criticism even came from the Southwest. Afenifere speaking through her national publicity secretary described the outfit as a waste of time and asked the governors to rather expend their energy in support of demand for true federalism instead. Even Aare Ganiyu Adams of OPC cautioned against politicising security by those in government. Later on, everything changed and it gained an almost unanimous support from the Yorubas. It appears that the opposition from Miyetti Allah was the tonic needed to galvanize the southwest to queue behind it. A typical case of enemy from without.

There has been lots of concerns raised about the legality of such an outfit. Folks are also worried about the command and control of such an arrangement to avoid spiralling out of control. In the past, such a setup had triggered instances of extrajudicial killings and some have been deployed to fight political opponents. Those are all genuine concerns and needs to be seriously looked into.

What is not in contentious is that state chief executives have a primary responsibility to do whatever it takes to secure the lives and property of the people under their domain. In the face of an apparent inability of the federal security apparatus to get the job done, the states have no choice than to step in. Which is why the actions of Governor Ugwuanyi, South-West governors and others demand a big commendation. I hope no one is suggesting that we retort to the usual prayer and fasting when the whole country is overrun by criminals, killing our men and women and raping our young girls. Anything short of that would be unconscionable.

Lately, there has been a surge in the push for the formation of a state police. One of the main argument in favour of a regional police force is that the force will be populated by men and women who are from the area of assignment and so will likely have a vested interest to protect where they serve. They will also enjoy more trust and confidence from the people and not seen as an occupation force. But just like restructuring, the government at the centre is yet to show any reasonable propensity to objectively look at these issues on their merit. It appears like the centre is very comfortable with the current arrangement and is very unwilling to listen to alternative arguments.

Not too long ago, the Federal Government put the death toll from banditry at 1460 in 330 attacks within a space of seven months. Of course most people believe this number is extremely conservative. Just this last Tuesday night, gunmen attacked the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum, Alhaji Umaru Bubaram, during his journey between Kaduna and Zaria. Though the Emir was lucky to have survived, four of his aids in addition to about 30 killed and estimated 100 kidnapped were not. Such is the reality of today’s Nigeria.

Truth is whenever a problem is left unsolved it doesn't just disappear into thin air. When it doesn't go away, folks will start to look for a way out. Amotekun just happens to be one of such.

Osmund Agbo, MD, FCCP, writes from Houston, Texas, United States

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The Broom Republic By Geleo Covenant

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:36


 

Who brought us here?

In this broom republic!

With their brooms

Unemployment swept in

This uncensored broom

Sickness swept in

Core hardship swept in

Corruption this, corruption that,

We are lost in dismay

Transmission, transmission, oh confusion

The Pharaohs of this generation.

 

Who brought us here?

In this chicken republic

Where we were, no longer where we are

Diversified distraction and classified extortion

...and the priest lost his words.

We tried finding our way back to where we were

Alas! Firemen blocking our way

In this technological era,

Dubai's tall tower,

China's moon car,

The USA and Russians alike,

And the broom republic

Oh what a shame!

 

In this broom republic,

The broomic stand of this broom saddens us

The broomees see nothing wrong about this

We are advancing? Nah, dehydrated!

The dehydration of this nation needs a legislation,

Who will pass the bill?

We are lost and confused!

Politiks of "touch not his anointed",

And the disastrous prophet

Godfathers and their rascality,

 

Area boys and their stupidity

Break this jinx oh compatriots.

Foreigners are scared

Looting and re-looting in a nation,

The gods are saddened

This broom of peaceful disaster.

 

Who brought us here?

Ghana must go, Ghana must go

And this rejection brought greatness to that city

Ah! This next level we desire,

 

...but not from this callous broom

Sick broom of uncircumcised division

Hate speech, hate speech

The body bag Mafian walks free

And the innocent is apprehended

Hunger strike and ASUU strike

 

The god of thunder must strike

Our politicians have conspired against us

Who shall deliver us from their wrath?

A dropout I am cos of this broom

Off my coast, they swept my education.

 

Oxford and Cambridge inhabits their wards

Yet I was made a drop out?

My life, I cannot surrender

For this useless broom is become a disaster.

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EFCC Files Another Seven-count Charge Against Ex-Nigerian Attorney-General, Adoke

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:15


 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed a seven-count charge against a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Adoke was charged alongside one Abubakar Aliyu.

The commission had earlier filed 42 counts against the former AGF and six others in connection with the controversial $1.09bn settlement agreement on Malabu Oil Block.

The seven counts borders on alleged acceptance and spending of about N797.3m. T

The former AGF, who has been in the custody of the EFCC following his arrest at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on December 19, is also being tried for his alleged role in the controversial $1.3bn Malabu Oil scandal.

According to the charge sheet signed by Bala Sanga, Aliyu Yusuf, M.S. Abubakar and H.A. Shehu on behalf of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, Adoke is facing six counts while Aliyu is facing one count.

The charges read in part, “That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke, sometime in September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, accepted as payment the sum of United States dollars equivalent to N300,000,000.00 (Three hundred million naira) from Abubakar Aliyu and you thereby committed an offence as specified under Section 1 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

“That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke, sometime in September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, made a payment of a sum of United States dollars equivalent to N367,318,800.00 (Three hundred and sixty-seven million, three hundred and eighteen thousand, eight hundred naira) to one Usman Mohammed Bello and you thereby committed an offence as specified under Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b)of the same Act.

“That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke, on or about the 16th of September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did cause to be made a structured cash payment in 22 tranches of a sum of money totalling N80,000,000.00 (Eighty million naira) into your Unity Bank Plc account No. 0020153263, which sums you knew was part of an unlawful act, to wit: the payment of an amount exceeding stated threshold amounts outside a financial institution, intending to conceal the origins of the said funds, contrary to Section 15 (2 )(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

 

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Balarabe On Amotekun By Wole Soyinka

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:14


 

Balarabe is sadly, but I hope not tragically wrong. I invoke the tragic dimension here because the making of tragedy, especially for nations, often begins when fears are mistaken, or promoted as facts, and governments either by themselves, or together with interest groups, are enticed by fears into embarking on precipitate, irrational, and irreversible acts.

Such acts turn out in the end to be based on nothing but fears, sometimes generated by guilt over past injustices, such as inequitable dealing. That is the basis of tragedy, towards which nations are propelled by a partial, or wrongful reading of socio-political realities and – history.

I would like to see this nation avoid such a blunder. So, I am certain, would Balarabe Musa. Raising the spectre of secession is a facile approach to the dangerous, self-evident lapses in governance which Balarabe himself acknowledges in his response to the Amotekun principle made flesh.

The midwives of Amotekun have repeatedly acknowledged that theirs is only a contribution towards a crisis of escalating proportions. Other states should be encouraged to emulate, not misread such initiatives, then demonize them by false attributions. That is the certain recipe for tragedy.

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Woman Arraigned In Court For Pouring Ash On Neighbour

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:01


 

A 27-year-old woman, Esther Augustine, has been arraigned before an Odigbo Magistrate Court in Ondo State for allegedly pouring hot ash on a neighbour, Ruth Omowa.

Augustine, who resides at New Town Street, Odigbo, is facing a charge of assault as a result of the act.

Prosecutor, Inspector Usifoh James, told the court that Augustine committed the offence at 9:00am on January 15, 2020.

James also said that the complainant suffered serious bodily harm from the attack and had to be rushed to the hospital where she was placed on admission.

Augustine, who described Omowa as her friend, said, “She is my friend but has been causing problems between me and other tenants.

“On that fateful day, Ruth was saying something bad behind my back and I challenged her, so we started fighting.

“We were dragging the hot ash between us when it poured on her back. It was not intentional.”

Presiding Judge, Mr T. J. Ajayi, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the case until January 29, 2020.  

A 27-year-old woman, Esther Augustine, has been arraigned before an Odigbo Magistrate Court in Ondo State for allegedly pouring hot ash on a neighbour, Ruth Omowa.

Augustine, who resides at New Town Street, Odigbo, is facing a charge of assault as a result of the act.

Prosecutor, Inspector Usifoh James, told the court that Augustine committed the offence at 9:00am on January 15, 2020.

James also said that the complainant suffered serious bodily harm from the attack and had to be rushed to the hospital where she was placed on admission.

Augustine, who described Omowa as her friend, said, “She is my friend but has been causing problems between me and other tenants.

“On that fateful day, Ruth was saying something bad behind my back and I challenged her, so we started fighting.

“We were dragging the hot ash between us when it poured on her back. It was not intentional.”

Presiding Judge, Mr T. J. Ajayi, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the case until January 29, 2020.  

 

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Man Beats Wife, Stabs Her To Death With Screwdriver In Ogun

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 13:01


 

The police in Ogun State have arrested one Bamidele Olanrewaju for beating his wife and stabbing her to death with a screwdriver.

Spokesperson for the command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said Olanrewaju was reported to the police by his neighbours when he attempted to bury his wife in a secret grave he dug at the back of their apartment in Bisodun Village under Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area.

The police said that Olanrewaju’s 15-year-old son, Ayomide, narrated that his mother had a misunderstanding with his father and a fight ensued between them.

The suspect was alleged to have used a big stick to beat his wife into a coma and thereafter proceeded to stabbing her in the head with a screwdriver, resulting in her death.

Oyeyemi said, “On the strength of the report, the officer-in-charge of the Ofada police post, Akinfolahan Oluseye, led his men to the scene at Bisodun Village where the suspect, who had been held down by the people of the community, was handed over to the police.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was fond of beating his wife. This time, after beating the woman to death, he was about to bury her secretly when the deceased’s children, who saw him digging a grave by the side of his house, alerted their neighbours who rushed to the scene and held him down before the arrival of the police.”  

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Delta Corps Member Contracts Lassa Fever

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 12:58


 

A member of the National Youth Service Corps in Delta State has contracted the Lassa Fever virus.

There has been a report of an outbreak in Delta and Ondo states.

The infected corps member was on Monday diagnosed at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, the state capital.

The victim simply identified as Yinka has now been relocated to Irrua Specialist Hospital in Edo State for further treatment. 

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Police Confirm Abduction Of Bank Managers’ Mother In Delta

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 12:57


 

The Nigeria Police Force has confirmed the abduction of the mother of a manager in a first generation bank in Delta State.

The 65-year-old woman known as Angelina Atiku, was kidnapped from her residence at Oguname-Olomu under Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state at about 8:00am on Monday.

Eyewitnesses said the kidnappers numbered up to four and were heavily armed with AK 47 rifles.

A close family source disclosed that as of Monday morning, the hoodlums were yet to establish contact with the family.

The incident is coming less than three weeks after a Peoples Democratic Party Ward Chairman in the area, Paul Onomuakpokpo, was assassinated by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.

Confirming the abduction of the woman, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, said the police are aware of the matter.

He said, “I heard about it and we are doing something towards ensuring that she is rescued soonest.”

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Court Fixes February 20 To Rule On Application Seeking To Join Pinnick, Sanusi In $9.5m Fraud

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 12:51


 

An Abuja High Court has fixed February 20 for ruling on an application to join Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick, and Secretary-General, Mohammed Sanusi, in the alleged misappropriation of $9.5m FIFA grant.

Justice Peter Affen had earlier fixed October 22, 2019 for ruling in the application before the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation said it wanted to harmonise all cases involving the alleged fraud.

However, at the resumed hearing on Monday, Abubakar Musa, Senior State Counsel from the Federation Ministry of Justice, told the court that the AGF was withdrawing the application for harmonisation to enable Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to go on with the matter.

EFCC had arraigned three officials of NFF before the court in an alleged $9.5m FIFA grant misappropriation before applying on April 30 to join both Pinnick and Sanusi in the matter as co-defendants.

Those being tried earlier were Christopher Andekin, NFF Director of Administration and Finance; Reagan Zaka, Cashier, and Fadanari Mamza, Head, Finance and Account Department.

The EFCC charged the defendants with five counts bordering on criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.

The EFCC alleged that they conspired between January 8 and 26, 2015 to commit the offense, contrary to Section 97 of Penal Code.

Andekin was alleged to have been entrusted with money meant for the development of football in Nigeria, a grant from world football body, the Federation of International Football Association.

He was alleged to have fraudulently diverted $1.3m from the NFF domiciliary account with Zenith Bank, an act that is contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code.

Zaka, on his part, was said to have fraudulently diverted $7.2m from the FIFA grant, while Mamza was alleged to have diverting $2.3m.

 

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EFCC Arrests Suspected Money Doublers, Seizes Fake Naira Notes

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 10:51


Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have arrested Badamasi Sule and Muhammad Muhammad, suspected money-doublers.

The suspects arrested by the Abuja Zonal Office were alleged to be in possession of counterfeit naira notes totalling N45m.

According to the commission, they were arrested in December 2019 following actionable intelligence reports exposing a syndicate of fraudsters specialised in printing fake N1,000 notes.

They were also found to be in possession of fake $100 bills, the anti-graft agency said.

“Investigations further revealed that two “Ghana-must-go bags” in their possession containing the N1,000 notes were shortly to be put into circulation. Their primary targets are bureau de change operators and unsuspecting members of the public.

“The syndicate is believed to be operating from Gashua, Yobe State, with its dispatch lodge being a hotel located in Abacha Estate, close to the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja,” EFCC added.

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Supreme Court Affirms Bala Mohammed As Bauchi Governor

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 10:24


The Supreme Court has upheld the governorship election that produced Bala Mohamed as winner in Bauchi State.

Mohammed of the Peoples Democratic Party was being challenged by former governor of Bauchi State, Abubakar Mohammed, of the All Progressives Congress.

The apex court dismissed the application of Abubakar on the ground that he failed to prove the allegations against Bala.

Bala was present in court to witness the judgment delivery.

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Completing Lagos-Ibadan Rail In April No Longer Feasible –Amaechi

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 10:22


Nigeria's Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that completing the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail will no longer be in April.

In November, Amaechi after an inspection told journalists, “We have told you we will be out of this place latest April (2020). 

“We are no longer giving ourselves the time, the contractor now give us the time.”

However, taking another position on Monday in a post on Twitter, Amaechi said, “Today (Monday), Oyo State governor is accompanying us on the monthly inspection of work on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line. We are going the whole nine yards.

“From the mega station in Ebute Metta to Apapa and all the way to Ibadan. A large chunk of this rail line is in Oyo State.

“Looking at the state of work in Apapa, completing the project in April doesn’t seem feasible, especially the extension of the rail line to the seaport.

“We’ll however work and redouble our efforts to complete the project and meet set targets.”

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Fisayo Soyombo, Kiki Mordi Win Prestigious $3000 Journalism Prize

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 10:19


Fisayo Soyombo, former Managing Editor of SaharaReporters, and undercover journalist, Kiki Mordi, have emerged winners of the People Journalism Prize for Africa 2019.

The prize is a $3000 (N1m) endowment from Gatefield, a sub-Saharan Africa public strategy firm.

Adewunmi Emoruwa, lead strategist at Gatefield, made the announcement in a statement on Monday.

Soyombo won the prize with his three-part investigation exposing bribery and impunity in Nigeria’s criminal justice system, while Mordi, a journalist with the BBC, clinched the prize with her investigation on sex for grades in some West African universities.

Soyombo’s story generated reactions from the public and the declaration of an official investigation by the Nigerian authorities, while Mordi’s story led to the suspension of University of Lagos lecturers indicted in the documentary.

Emoruwa said the organiser of the award was proud of both Soyombo and Mordi for subjecting themselves to torture in a bid to expose the truth.

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REVEALED: Ogun Governor Appoints A Third Official With Forged Certificate As Adviser

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2020-01-21 10:15


Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has appointed another special adviser whose academic credentials are forged.

Adeleye Adewale Adebiyi, who was recently appointed by Governor Abiodun was a former lawmaker in the state.

He is the third person SaharaReporters would expose to be involved in certificate forgery out of the 18 commissioners and 15 special advisers selected by Governor Abiodun.

Adebiyi was appointed as Special Adviser on Politics despite being sued for certificate forgery and perjury by Remo North residents in the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, for presenting forged school certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission in the 2015 ahead of the general election.

He was also charged for false age declaration.

Adebiyi claimed to have attended Ode Remo Community High School from 1986 to 1993, and that he earned a National Diploma from the Federal College of Freshwaters Fisheries Technology in New Bussa, Niger State.

The scandal was first revealed by the Remo State Youth Association, who submitted a petition to the Ogun State Police Command on September 16, 2015.

The petitioners were subsequently abducted by thugs led by Adebiyi and placed in custody before being granted bail. 

The police interrogated Adebiyi, invited the principal of Ode Remo Secondary School and also wrote to the West African Examination Council in an effort to obtain verification of his credentials but the police did not make the conclusion of the findings public.

Adebiyi eventually saw out his term as a lawmaker in Ogun State before his recent appointment as special adviser.

Governor Abiodun had on January 16, 2020, ordered all political appointees to produce their certificates and curriculum vitae after Sidi Osho’s story was published by SaharaReporters.

Since the order, the state government has remained mute on further findings as officials contacted had refused to speak on the matter.

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