Rain, Thunderstorm Kill One, Leave Two In Critical Condition In Port-Harcourt

port-harcourt-rainstormTragedy struck on Monday evening in Port-Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, when a heavy rain with thunderstorm brought down at least two masts, destroyed bill boards and some roofs in Ikoku Mile 1 community.

A sixteen year old girl, who was said to be with her mother, was killed.

While two others, including the coach of the Community Football team were left with broken skulls and are currently battling for survival at the hospital.rainstrom-in-port-harcourt

The acting Managing Director of the Rivers State Signage and Advertising Agency, Chukwudi Dimkpa, told Channels Television that, “the state government was currently conducting integrity test on poles and bill boards”.

“Those found to have failed to obtain government approvals or to do maintenance will be made to face sanctions,” Chukwudi said.

Kwara State Seeks Saudi Arabia’s Support In Education, Manufacturing

How We Utilized N5b Paris Club Refund – Gov. AhmedThe Kwara State government is seeking the support of the Saudi Arabian government in the areas of education, agriculture and manufacturing to enhance socio-economic development of the state.

The state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, made request at Agbeyangi in Ilorin East Local Government Area during the foundation laying of a University.

Governor Ahmed in his speech urged the Saudi Arabian government to sustain its support and partnership with the university to provide functional education in the state.

“I hope that the university would boost human capital development, make Kwara a hub of tertiary education, and provide quality conventional and entrepreneurship education.

“The university would provide youths with credible conventional and faith-based education when it begins operation in order to make youths economically self-reliant,” Ahmed said.

However, He promised that the government would continue to support efforts aimed at improving access to quality education as basic ingredient for development at all levels.

Cynthia Osukogu’s Murder: Court Fixes March 23 For Judgment

Cynthia Osukogu's Murder: Court Fixes March 23 For JudgmentThe Lagos State High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island will on March 23 deliver judgment in the trial of four men charged with the gruesome murder of Cynthia Osukogu, a postgraduate student of Nassarawa State University.

Justice Olabisi Akinlade fixed the date on Thursday after counsel to the Lagos State government and those who represented the defendants adopted their final written addresses.

The late Cynthia Osokogu was murdered on July 22, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lake View Estate, Festac Town in Lagos by men she allegedly met and became friends with on the popular social media platform, Facebook.

Those accused of the crime are Okwumo Nwabufo aged 38; Ezike Nwabufo aged 28; Orji Osita, 37; and Ezike Nonso, 29.

They were all arraigned before the court on a six-count charge of conspiracy, murder, stealing, reckless negligence and possession of stolen goods, charges brought against them by the Lagos State government.

The offences are said to contravene sections 221, 249, 285 and 327 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

One of the defence counsel, Victor Opara urged the court to dismiss the charges against the defendants because the state had failed to link them to the crime.

The lawyer also argued that it is the law that in any situation where the prosecution fails to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, the court must rule in favour of the defendants.

However, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija urged the court to convict the defendants on the strength of the evidence the state has placed before it.

NNPC Opens Bid For Crude Oil Sale And Purchase

Maikanti-BaruThe Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, says only refiners, big traders and companies with substantial investment in the oil and gas sector, will scale through the bid for the 2016 to 2017 term contracts for Nigeria crude oil sale.

A total of 224 companies are bidding for the 12 month term contracts tender, for a number of slots the Group Managing Director says will be decided on actual production focus by February 2017.

Representatives from the 224 companies converged on the amphitheater of the NNPC for the opening of the bid.

Dr Baru, who opened the bid after a test of transparency, said that the volume of crude put out for the contract bid is nearly 700,000 barrels of crude per day.

He added that the actual number of companies to emerge from the bidding would be decided in the first quarter of 2017.

The NNPC GMD also stated that Nigeria’s crude is not struggling for market, contrary to speculation but continues to earn premium, with major markets in Europe and Asia, with the United States recently added to the list.

Prosecutor’s Absence Stalls Trial Of Former Militant Leader, Tompolo

TompoloThe absence of the federal government prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo at the Federal High Court, Lagos on Thursday stalled the scheduled trial of former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

Tompolo is facing a 22-count charge of alleged fraud of N47.6bn.

He was arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on April 18, 2016 alongside six brothers of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

All seven of them were declared as being “at large” when the charges were read before Justice Ibrahim Buba.

But Akpobolokemi and three others who were also listed as defendants in the amended charge, were present in court to answer to the charges.

The charges border on conspiracy, advance fee fraud and money laundering. But the defendants who were in court pleaded not guilty to all of them.

At the proceedings on Thursday, the court said that the prosecutor, Mr Keyamo wrote to ask for an adjournment on the grounds that his main witness was not available.

The trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, consequently adjourned the case till December 13 and 14, 2016 for trial.

One of the defence counsels, has however filed a preliminary objection to challenge the competence of the charges.

He asked the court to strike out the entire 22 counts filed by the EFCC against his client.

Another defence counsel also informed the court of his client’s pending bail application.

Justice Buba adjourned till November 10, 2016 to take the two pending applications.

Tompolo vs. FG: Court Fixes Ruling For Dec. 12

TompoloThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Tuesday, fixed December 12, 2016 to rule on whether or not to transfer to the Court of Appeal, a suit filed against the federal government by former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun fixed the date after hearing arguments from parties involved in the matter.

Tompolo, who is wanted by the EFCC over alleged fraud worth 49.5 billion naira, sued the federal government through his lawyer, Mr Ebunolu Adegboruwa.

He is seeking an order restraining the federal government and its agencies from further proceeding with the fraud charges.

The defendants in the suit are the federal government of Nigeria, the EFCC, the Inspector-General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff.

The Federal Government had in May 2016 asked the court to dismiss with cost the suit filed by the former Niger Delta militant leader.

The government said that the suit is an abuse of court process, frivolous, time wasting, grossly misleading and erroneous in its totality.

Ese Oruru: Hearing Of Abduction Case Shifted Till Dec. 8

Ese Oruru, AbductionThe hearing of the case of 14-year-old, Ese Oruru, allegedly abducted from Bayelsa state has been shifted to December 8, 2016.

The postponement follows the absence of the presiding judge of the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Monday.

Although both the prosecuting counsel and the defense team were present in the court for continuation of the hearing, no reason was given by the court officials on the absence of the judge.

The accused, Dairu Yinusa who is currently on bail was also present in court and his lawyer, Mr Kayode Olaosebikan, told journalists that he is eager to have the case concluded.

Meanwhile, the parents of Ese Oruru who were also present in court expressed concern over the outcome of the case, as well as the education and living conditions of their daughter and her baby, owing to their inability to adequately cater for their needs.

Dairu is accused of conspiring to abduct Ese to Kano and is facing a five-count charge of criminal abduction, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor.

He pleaded not guilty to all. A lawyer in the defense counsel’s team said they believed it was ‘a typical case of Romeo and Juliet’ and that they do not believe that Ese was 13 years old.

Charges against Yunusa were filed after Miss Oruru was handed over to her parents after six months of her alleged abduction.

He was granted bail of three million Naira and two sureties of like sum who were asked to present three years tax clearance receipts.

 

Leaders Must Rise Above Personal Interests – Gov. Ambode

Lagos State, lekki free zoneNigeria’s present economic situation may still be biting hard, but the situation urgently requires elected leaders to put aside personal differences and interests and focus on delivering good governance to those they represent.

This charge was giving by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to participants of the ongoing maiden edition of the executive and legislative retreat in Lagos.

Governor Ambode said that the recession taking its toll on Nigerians is a wakeup call for leaders at all levels to come together for the purpose of rescuing the nation rather than seeing it as an opportunity to amass resources for selfish purposes.

The 3-day retreat had in attendance members of the executive and the legislature at the state and federal level.

Party leaders from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in the state were also part of it.

ECOWAS Court Declares Dasuki’s Detention Unlawful

Dasuki, ECOWAS Court, Sambo DasukiThe ECOWAS community court of justice has declared the arrest and continuous detention of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki as unlawful and an arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Delivering judgment on the suit filed by the former National Security Adviser against the federal government, the three-man panel of the court presided over by Justice Friday Nwoke, ordered the federal government to release him immediately having detained him illegally without trial since the November 5, 2015.

The court also ordered the federal government to pay the sum of 15 million naira as compensation to Colonel Dasuki for unlawfully detaining him, invading and seizing his properties without a valid search warrant or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

The court further held that investigating Colonel Dasuki for allegedly committing or planning to commit a crime is not enough ground to detain him for over seven months without trial.

The court held that it was an arbitrary claim that there were plans to destabilise the government.

The court also said that the applicant, like any other ECOWAS citizen, has a right to own and enjoy property without interference.

The lawyer to Colonel Dasuki applauded the verdict of the court and asked the federal government to obey the judgment.

Edo Governorship Election: INEC Begins Announcement Of Results

Solomon-Soyebi-INEC-National-Commissioner-on-Voter-Education
INEC National Commissioner for Voter Education, Mr Solomon Soyebi.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has begun announcement of results of the  Edo State governorship election.

The Commission had earlier delayed the announcement as it awaited results from eight Local Government Areas before it begins announcement of the results.

The National Commissioner for Voter Education, Mr Solomon Soyebi, confirmed the delay to Channels Television.

Speaking during a phone interview he said the results started trickling in from midnight but the Commission decided to “have a number of them before we start collation and as of now we have about 10 out of the 18 local government results”, adding that “we believe collation will start in about one hour”.

He dismissed as “speculative” various results on newspapers, websites and blogs, maintaining that “whatever comes out from the Commission is the authentic result”.

He added that the Returning Officer is the only person authorized to make announcement of the result.

He, however, didn’t mention which local government areas these are.

Compilation of results in the Edo State governorship election began at the different local government areas across the state, with the electoral body getting ready at the headquarters to receive the results.

The compilation started after voting and counting of ballot papers at different polling units ended.

The exercise is said to have been largely peaceful.

However, cases of ballot box snatching have been reported at some polling stations.

Dissatisfied Opposition Parties

Dissatisfied with the way the election is going, the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has called for total cancellation of the poll.

Mr, Osaro Onaiwu on Wednesday alleged that financial inducement and intimidation of party loyalists occurred during the poll.

“The election is going to be inconclusive because there is a lot of damage already.

There was no election in Ologbo and Oluku and whatever result they are bringing out from these two places, it is not going to be accepted by us,” Mr Onaiwu said.

Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State claims there is a plan by the electoral body and Governor Adams Oshiomhole to rig the election at the collation centre.

The opposition party said that the delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin ward results announcement at the collation centre was a sign of the plan.

Governor Oshiomhole is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A statement by the spokesman for the party in Edo State, Chris Nehikhare, pointed out that voting stopped at 2:00pm and votes were counted immediately at the unit levels.

“From results made available to us we are in a very comfortable lead.

“We are however shocked that till now no ward result has been declared.

“We are aware that the APC and INEC plan to change the result at the collation centre and we wish to warn that any change to the result we are already aware of will be met with stiff resistance,” the opposition party said.

It further urged the INEC to tell Governor Oshiomhole that the changing and swapping of results at the collation centre was a no-no.

“Even worse is the attempt to prevent our agents into the collation centres.
“We, however, advise our supporters and members to remain calm. In a few more hours, the liberation of Edo will be official,” the statement further read.

Earlier, the candidate of the PDP, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said there were attempts to smuggle in results at the ward and the LGA collation.

He told reporters that the party was confident that the plan would not work.