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Two Persons Killed In Idimu Pipeline Explosion

jeu, 2019-12-05 15:09


 

Two unidentified individuals burnt to death in the pipeline explosion in Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area were having a spiritual cleansing bath when petrol from the ruptured pipeline went up in flames and consumed them.

A third person, who sustained ‘70 degree’ burns, was rushed to the Igando General hospital.

The pastor, who was conducting the holy bath, abandoned the victims upon sighting the fire, according to a report by PUNCH.

The pipeline was punctured by vandals tapping fuel from the equipment owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The fire raised four locations in the area due to the continuous spewing of fuel from the ruptured point.

“Two people were burnt to death, and another victim who sustained 70 degree burns had been taken to Igando General Hospital for treatment,” Nosa Okunbor, the Public Relations Officer for the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency said.

“What we gathered from bystanders was that the victims were performing spiritual cleansing when the fire met them there and burnt them but the pastor ran away.

According to LASEMA, rescue operation is still ongoing at the scene of the tragedy.

 

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Senate Threatens To Arrest NIMASA DG, Peterside Over Failure To Honour Invitation

jeu, 2019-12-05 14:34


Dakuku Peterside

Dakuku Peterside

 

The Senate Joint Committee on Navy, Marine Transport and Finance has threatened to arrest the Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dakuku Peterside, if he fails to appear before it on Thursday.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the committee is investigating the N263.9bn alleged illegal security services carried out by Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd at the Safe Anchorage Area in Lagos Ports.

Peterside had failed to appear before the panel but was represented at the hearing by the Principal Legal Officer of the agency, Haruna Argungu.

The Committee Chairman, George Sekibo, told Argungu to inform his client to appear before the committee unfailingly on December 5, failure of which “a warrant of arrest would be issued against him by the Senate”.

The committee refused to honour Argungu in that capacity by walking him out of the session in the presence of the Minister of State, Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki.

Trouble for the NIMASA boss started when Sekibo read out a list of heads of marine transport agencies invited for the hearing and discovered that Peterside was not personally present.

Sekibo further said, “The investigative hearing was supposed to have been held earlier but shifted to allow Peterside and other key players in Marine Transport to attend the International Maritime Organisation conference which took place in London.

“It is annoying that after that grace given to him, he still refused to appear before us.

“This is unacceptable as submitted by other members of the committee.”

Reacting, Saraki said OMSL contract on security services at the ports had not been suspended or dismantled as claimed by the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman, on Tuesday.

She explained to the committee that the ministry had scheduled a meeting with all stakeholders on the security services at the ports for December 9 in Lagos.

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Court Sentences Orji Kalu To 12 Years Imprisonment Over N7.1bn Fraud

jeu, 2019-12-05 14:32


 

A former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by the Federal High Court in Lagos over a N7.1bn fraud.

Kalu was found guilty of the charges brought against him and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Justice Mohammed Idris, who handed down the sentence, also ordered the winding up of Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, charged as third defendant in the case.

 

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I’ll Refuse Pension From Rivers Government If Offered –Amaechi

jeu, 2019-12-05 14:32


 

Minister of Transportation and former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that he would refuse any offering of pension if offered such by the state government.

He said this on Twitter after a Federal High Court in Lagos declared it unconstitutional for former governors occupying public offices to keep receiving emoluments from their states.

He said, “I have never requested for or collected one kobo as pension from River State Government.

“If offered, I will politely decline and request that the money should be given to Rivers State pensioners.

“I do not believe that I should receive pension as ex-governor while serving as a minister.”

A Federal High Court in Lagos had on Wednesday declared as illegal the practice of former governors now federal lawmakers and ministers to still be earning pensions in their previous capacity from their states.

 

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Government To Complete Kwara-Osun Road With N4bn

jeu, 2019-12-05 14:15


 

The Nigerian Government has approved N4bn for the completion of the Kwara-Osun link road.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this at the end of the Federal Executive Council’s meeting in Abuja.

Fashola said part of the road contract was awarded by the previous administration.

He said, “They relate first to Ajase/Epo/Offa/Erinle Road in Kwara; that is the road that connects Kwara and Osun.

“The approval was for the 18km section that completes the entire length of 26 km of the road. All that was awarded in the previous administration was just 8km of 26km.

“So, what we have done now is to award the 18km so that the full stretch of 26km is now under contract for the purpose of completion.

“That comes to a sum of N4.027bn for the 18km stretch; the previous contract is still going on, so, this is an addendum to that contract.

“What we awarded now was a variation of N825m. This is to expand the original contract by three kilometres go link Osogbo town– the built-up section because it is supposed to by-pass the town.

“This is the 3.4km that the governor requested when I went on the nation-wide road tour. He asked that we should help connect to Osogbo town.

“So, going through procurement and all of that we finally got the approval today for N825m to include that part.”


 

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OPEC Needs To Deepen Cuts To 2m Barrels

jeu, 2019-12-05 14:10


 

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries might need to add an extra 800,000 barrels daily to the 1.2m BPD of production it currently keeps out of the supply market to keep prices stable.

Energy research group, Rystad, made this prediction, saying the price of the commodity could fall to the $40-50 bracket if the cartel and its Russian-led allies choose to retain current output restrictions.

The head of Oil Market Research at Rystad Energy, Bjorna Tomhaugin, said, “The outlook will be bleak if OPEC+ fails to agree on additional cuts.

“We have a clear message to the OPEC+ countries: A ‘roll-over’ of the current production agreement is not enough to preserve a balanced market and ensure a stable oil price environment in 2020.”

Tomhaugin noted that there will be an imbalance in the market to the tune of 0.8m barrels if OPEC maintains current volumes.

“In order to ensure a balanced market, our research indicates that OPEC would need to reduce crude production to 28.9 million bpd – a drop of 0.8 million bpd from the level seen in the fourth quarter of 2019-levels – given our forecast for demand, non-OPEC supply and the impact of new IMO 2020 regulations on global crude runs.

“If OPEC and Russia don’t extend and deepen their cuts, we could see Brent Blend dip to the $40s next year for a shorter period,” Tonhaugen added. 

 

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Court Discharges, Acquits Four Ukrainians Accused Of Illegal Bunkering

jeu, 2019-12-05 13:57


 

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has cleared four men from Ukraine and a vessel charged with illegal oil bunkering by the Nigerian Government.

Justice Adamu Turaki Mohammed discharged and acquitted Vaskov Andriy, Garchev Mykhaylo, Shulga Vladyslav, Orlovkyi Lyvan and a ship, MT. San Pedro PIO, after finding them not guilty of six counts bordering on the offences.

The judge held that there was no evidence that they broke the law, before ordering that the vessel, which was seized, be released forthwith.

The government arraigned the Ukrainians on March 21, 2019, on a two-count charge.

The charge was amended on May 3, 2019 to six counts of conspiracy to deal in petroleum products, making false documents and uttering contrary to sections 3(6) and 1(17)(a), 1 (2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2007.

Each defendant pleaded not guilty.

According to the prosecution, MT San Padre Pio and a 16 all-male crew members were arrested by the Nigerian Navy in September 2018.

They were accused of illegally transporting five million litres of diesel without permit from Nigerian authorities.

The prosecution claimed that the vessel anchored around Odudu Oil Field, Rivers, and waited to discharge the petroleum product to smaller vessels before it was caught by a naval patrol team.

The government made its allegations through its counsel, Samuel Chime.

It also called nine witnesses and tendered several exhibits.

The defendants disputed the allegations through their counsel, Babajide Koku (SAN).

Koku contended that the government’s case was baseless because the defendants had obtained appropriate authorisation for its operations.

Delivering judgment on November 28, 2019, Justice Mohammed upheld Koku’s argument and said the government failed to prove its case.

The judge held, “By virtue of the sale agreement between August A Energy and Anosyke Group of Companies, the amended purchase order together with evidence of PW6 under cross-examination, who admitted that the Department of Petroleum Resources import permit is valid, I have no doubt that the prosecution has failed to prove that the defendants had no licence or authority to deal in petroleum product. I so hold.

“Again, Exhibit A1 has shown that Naval approval was obtained in respect of Exhibit J, while the Department of Petroleum Resources import permit attached to Exhibit 63 has shown that the necessary permit was equally secured in respect of Exhibit J from the DPR.

“It is clear both from Exhibit A1 and the DPR permit, that the company in whose favour the approvals were granted is Anosyke Group of Companies.

“Similarly, as I have held above that the prosecution has failed to prove Count 2 of the charge against the defendants, I am equally unable to infer, from the entire evidence adduced by the prosecution, how the 1st to 5th defendants conspired with each other to, without lawful authority or appropriate licence import; distribute or deal in/with petroleum product as contained in Count 1, particularly having regard to Exhibit A1 and the DPR permit attached to Exhibit G3. I so hold.

“Accordingly, therefore, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants are found not guilty as charged and are hereby discharged and acquitted.

“As a consequence, the order made on the 26-9-2018 in respect of Exhibit J is hereby vacated.”


 

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BREAKING: Women Protest In Court Over Sowore's Continued Detention

jeu, 2019-12-05 13:21




A group of women on Thursday protested in front of the Federal High Court in Abuja to demand the immediate release of Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare. 

To drive home their demand, the elderly women removed their blouses, revealing only their bras. 

According to the women, Sowore their son, had not committed any crime therefore President Muhammadu Buhari should order his immediate and unconditional release from the detention of Department of State Services.
 

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JUST IN: Court Convicts Orji Kalu In N7.1bn Fraud

jeu, 2019-12-05 13:18


 

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday convicted a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, over charges of embezzling N7.12bn while running the affairs of the South-Eastern state.

The ruling adds a new twist to the trial that has spanned 12 years.

More details shortly…

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BREAKING: Court Orders Sowore’s Release Within 24 Hours, Tells DSS To Pay Him N100,000 For Detaining Him Illegally

jeu, 2019-12-05 12:33



Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the Department of State Services to release human rights activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, within the next 24 hours.

The judge also ordered the DSS to pay the sum of N100, 000 to Sowore for refusing to release him on bail despite two court orders to that effect.

The court also adjourned the trial of the case brought against them by the Nigerian Government till December 6 (tomorrow) for continuation.

 

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BREAKING: You Cannot Have a Parallel Court, Justice Ojukwu Tells DSS Over Sowore’s Continued Detention

jeu, 2019-12-05 12:18



Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has taken a swipe at the Department of State Services for constituting itself into a parallel court and flouting orders.

She lambasted the DSS for asking the sureties of detained human rights activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, to come forward after she had signed a release warrant. 

Ojukwu, who confronted DSS’ lawyer, Hassan Liman, during the commencement of trial in a case of treason brought against the two activists by the government, said that the court had the final say on the matter.
 

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BREAKING: Security Beefed Up At Abuja Court Ahead of Sowore, Bakare's Trial

jeu, 2019-12-05 11:45


Security has been beefed up around the Federal High Court in Abuja over the trial of human rights activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, who are facing treasonable felony and cyberstalking President Muhammadu Buhari.

Heavily-armed policemen have been stationed within and around the court premises while officers of Explosive Ordinance Squad were seen screening the court room.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had on November 6, 2019 adjourned the matter for trial to December 5 (today).

The Department of State Services had refused to release the activists despite meeting bail conditions on two separate occasions.

Recall the DSS through its lawyer, Hassan Liman, had on November 27, 2019 filed an application seeking an order of the court to vary its pronouncement made on October 4, 2019 upon the request of the defendants and their counsel to be remanded at the facility of the DSS instead of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Kuje. See Also Breaking News Sowore VS Nigerian Government: The Trial Begins 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

The activists had objected to the application through their lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), and described it as frivolous, vexatious and a contemptuous abuse of the process of court.

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Sowore VS Nigerian Government: The Trial Begins

jeu, 2019-12-05 11:16


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Deduction: Auditor-General Indicts NNPC, FIRS, DPR

jeu, 2019-12-05 11:05


Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine

Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine

 

The office of the Auditor-General of the Federation has revealed that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and two other agencies deducted about N1.5trn from the N6.4trn generated by revenue collection agencies in 2017 without appropriate authorisation.

This was disclosed in the audit report released by the office on Wednesday and signed by the Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine.

According to the report, NNPC generated N2.41trn but deduction of N1.3trn before remitting the balance of N1.07trn into the federation account.

The DPR also generated N733.05bn, deducted and paid N26.77bn into a royalty account before remitting the balance of N706bn into the federation account.

Similarly, FIRS generated N2.66trn but paid about N2.45trn into the federation account.

Ayine in the report expressed concern over the deductions of funds, stating that it had impacted negatively on the funds available for allocation to the three tiers of government.

The report reads in part, “The total revenue inflows to the federation account from the various collecting agencies as per the Central Bank of Nigeria component statements for the period under audit amounted to N6,422,596,646,680.26.

“Department of Petroleum Resources collected the sum of N733,054,301,173.04 but paid a net figure of N706,283,397,141.80 to the federation account after deducting excess proceeds on the royalty of N26,770,904,031.24.

“The total amount of N2,653,810,173,226.72 was generated by the FIRS for the period under audit; however, the actual amount paid into the federation account was N2,457,272,701,077.09  after deducting N196,537,472,149.63 being the total excess proceeds on royalty.

“These collecting agencies made deductions from the revenue collected by them. This act contravenes the provisions of Section 162 (1) of the 1999 constitution which stipulate that ‘The federation shall maintain a special account to be called the federation account’ into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the government of the federation’.

“This has been a regular subject of my reports which has been ignored over the years.”

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BREAKING: Pipeline Explosion Rocks Lagos

jeu, 2019-12-05 10:45


 

A pipeline explosion has occurred at Gloryland Estate, Isheri Olofin, Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area of Lagos.

Video of the incident shows residents of the area scampering to safety.

Some part of Diamond Estate along Isheri/Lasu-Igando Road might be affected by the inferno.

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Nigeria Has Highest Rate Of Malaria Globally -WHO

jeu, 2019-12-05 10:38


 

The World Health Organisation has said that Nigeria has the highest rate of malaria cases in the world. 

According to the World Malaria Report 2019, Nigeria accounts for 25 per cent of malaria cases globally.

Six African countries; Nigeria (25 per cent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12 per cent), Uganda (five per cent), and Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, and Niger (four per cent each) accounted for more than half of all malaria cases worldwide.

The report also revealed that Nigeria accounted for almost 24 per cent of all global malaria deaths, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (11 per cent), the United Republic of Tanzania (Five per cent), and Angola, Mozambique and Niger (four per cent each).

The report says, “In 2018, prevalence of exposure to malaria infection in pregnancy was highest in the West African subregion and Central Africa (each with 35 per cent), followed by East and Southern Africa (20 per cent). About 39 per cent of these were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria. 

“There were about 155 million malaria cases in the 11 high burden to high impact (HBHI) countries in 2018, compared with 177 million in 2010. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria accounted for 84 million (54 per cent) of total cases.

“Of the 10 highest burden countries in Africa, Ghana and Nigeria reported the highest absolute increases in cases of malaria in 2018 compared with 2017. 

“Malaria deaths reduced from about 400 000 in 2010 to about 260 000 in 2018, the largest reduction being in Nigeria, from almost 153 000 deaths in 2010 to about 95 000 deaths in 2018.”

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Eight New Cases Of Lassa Fever Recorded In One Week -Report

jeu, 2019-12-05 10:29


Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever

 

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said it has recorded eight new cases of Lassa Fever between November 18 to 24. 

In its weekly report, the centre disclosed that five cases were recorded in Ondo State and three in Edo State, adding that there was no incident of death caused by the virus. 

A total of  681 suspected cases have been reported from 23 states between January 1 and November 24. 

According to the report, “Since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 160 deaths in confirmed cases. Case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 20.4%

“Twenty-three states (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi, Cross River, Zamfara, Lagos and Abia) have recorded at least one confirmed case across 86 local government areas.

“93 per cent of all confirmed cases are from Edo (38 per cent), Ondo (32 per cent), Ebonyi (seven per cent), Bauchi (seven per cent), Taraba(five per cent) and Plateau (five per cent) states

“Predominant age-group affected is 21-40 years (Range: >1 month to 98 years, Median Age: 34 years). The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:1 - Figure 6.

“In the reporting week 47, no new health care worker was affected. A total of 19 health care workers have been infected since the onset of the outbreak in ten States – Edo (6), Ondo (4), Ebonyi (2), Enugu (1), Rivers (1), Bauchi (1), Benue (1), Delta (1), Plateau (1) and Kebbi (1) with two deaths in Enugu and Edo states.

“Twenty (20) patients are currently being managed at various treatment centres across the country: Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital(ISTH) treatment Centre (9) Federal Medical Centre, Owo (9) and Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (1).”

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UK Resident Allegedly Contacts Monkeypox After Visit To Nigeria

jeu, 2019-12-05 10:25


 

A resident of United Kingdom has been diagnosed with rare viral infection monkeypox, Public Health England has said.

According to the Sun UK, the patient, who was staying in South-West England, is believed to have contracted the infection while visiting Nigeria.

The undisclosed patient had been transferred to a specialist high consequence infectious disease centre for appropriate care.

Health officials said they were working closely with NHS colleagues to implement rapid infection control procedures, including contacting people, who might have been in close contact with the individual to provide information and health advice.

This includes contacting passengers, who travelled in close proximity to the patient on the same flight to the UK.

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18 Indians Kidnapped Near Nigerian Coast

jeu, 2019-12-05 10:23


 

Eighteen Indians on board a Hong Kong-flagged vessel, have been kidnapped by pirates near the Nigerian coast, according to ARX Maritime, a global agency tracking maritime developments in the region.

ARX Maritime said on its website on Wednesday that the Hong Kong-flagged vessel, NAVE CONSTELLATION, was taken over by pirates on Tuesday evening while transiting through Nigeria and 19 crew members were kidnapped, out of which 18 were Indians and one Turkish national.

The vessel is now safe and under the escort of the Nigerian Navy, it added.

According to media reports quoting official sources, the Indian mission in Nigeria had approached the Nigerian Government for help to ascertain the details and rescue the abducted Indians.

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Lagos State Task Force, Police Raid, Arrest Night Traders, Prostitutes

jeu, 2019-12-05 10:16


 

Personnel of the Lagos State Task Force and Nigeria Police Force on Wednesday embarked on a raid of night traders and commercial sex workers in the Ikeja area of the state.

Three vans of the task force were used to cart away goods of traders as well as arresting some of them.

The police officers attached to Alausa and Shogunle division escorted the task force, arresting tens of traders and also forcing some of them to abandon their wares to escape arrest by the officers.

This comes weeks after some policemen extorted residents of the state of over N1m.

While some officers attached to Ikeja division illegally extorted one Kareem Damilare Jamiu of N715,000, another group of officers from FESTAC division extorted another Lagosian, Joseph Ejiro, of N185,000.

The traders lamented the “inhuman” act of the security personnel in extorting them. 

They explained that the task force and police always wait till 9pm before coming out and begin their raid from Shogunle, going through Ikeja Along, Ikeja GRA, Maryland and Ojota.

One of the traders, who spoke to our correspondent and pleaded not to be named for fear of being arrested, said that the frequency of the raid intensified since the turn of the new month.

The trader, who sells bread and noodles at Leventis bus stop, Ikeja, said the police officers do demand outrageous bail in exchange for their freedom.

“They usually raid once in a while, but since this December, the raid has been happening frequently.

“When they come, we all have to leave our wares and run away because anybody they arrest will pay like N50,000 as bail,” the trader narrated.

Another trader lucky not to be arrested, said she misplaced her mobile phone while trying to escape being arrested.

She also said that her goods had been taken away by the task force.

She said, “The sight of the van of the task force has become a nightmare for many of us. 

"They come both during the day and at night to pack goods and arrest anyone who does not have money to give them on the spot.

“I have to abandon all my goods and run away so that I will not be arrested. My phone got lost and I have been thinking of how to get money to buy another phone.

“Even the prostitutes on the road always run away when they see them or any strange person coming towards them because they will arrest them and collect money from them.”

The traders pleaded with Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to order the security personnel to immediately stop the arrest and extortion.

“This trade is our only means of survival and this is what most of us use to take care of the family.

“It is not our desire to stay out late at night to sell goods but we have to work since it is against the law to engage in immoral acts and we do not also support it.

“We do not make huge profits and it is inhuman and very bad when the task force and police come to collect the little money we make,” said one of the traders.

Another trader said, “The governor should please help us. We have families at home, students in university and it is from this trade that we take care of other responsibilities.

“Governor Sanwo-Olu should please help us beg the police and tell the task force to stop arresting us.”

 

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