Government Takes Over Arik Airline

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest The Federal Government has taken over Arik Airline, which has been experiencing difficulties in recent times.

According to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the decision to intervene “clearly underscores the government’s commitment to instilling sanity in the country’s aviation sector and prevent a major catastrophe.

The airline will now be managed by Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, an aviation expert, under Mr Oluseye Opasanya, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika expressed the belief that the development will bring about stability in the airline.

“We believe that this appointment is timely and will stabilize the operations of the airline. This will enhance the long term economic value of Arik Air and revitalize the airline’s ailing operations as well as sustain safety standards, in view of Arik Air’s pivotal role in the Nigerian aviation sector.”

The Minister further pledged that the Federal Ministry of Aviation would support the new management of the strategic carrier adding that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that there would be no undue disruption on Arik’s regular business operations or activities of other stakeholders, on account of the recent changes its leadership and management.

In the same vein, Capt. Ilegbodu, under the receivership of Opasanya, has also assured both staff of the troubled airline and all other stakeholders that his appointment at Arik would among other objectives enhance the value of Arik, improve customer experience, and sustain the safety, reliable and secure operational history of the airline before all those were eroded.

Gunmen Abduct Isheri North Estate Secretary, Kill Three Guards

Gunmen Kill Police Sergeant, Injure Another In EkitiUnknown gunmen have kidnapped the Secretary of Isheri North Estate, GRA, Lagos State, Mr Dayo Adekoya.

He was abducted by eleven gunmen who stormed the estate at about 10PM on Wednesday.

They reportedly opened fire, shooting into the air for about four hours before taking their victim away at around 1 am.

Eyewitness reports say three estate security men were killed as they attempted to prevent the gunmen from escaping  with the victim.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, also confirmed the incident to Channels Television

This will be the second time in six months that a kidnap incident will be occurring in the estate.

On September 17 2016, four landlords were kidnapped and were released five days after.

Wike Lauds Nigerian Navy’s Professionalism

nyesom-wike-governor-of-rivers-state-on-panel-probeThe Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has lauded the Nigerian Navy for being professional while performing their duties.

The governor commended the Naval High Command for tracking down Rivers State Fishing Commercial Fishing Trawler, which he said would boost the revenue base of the state.

He made this known when he received the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole and the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Commodore I.N Kayoda.

He said unlike other security agencies, the Nigerian Navy has concentrated on the promotion of security, rather than promotion of political interests.

“The Nigerian Navy has lived above board. They have refused to be dragged into politics. We have had rerun elections in the state, but I have had no reason to complain about the conduct of naval personnel”.

He assured the Naval High Command of the support of his administration in terms of the provision of logistics to fight crime.

The governor said that the gunboats being purchased for the Nigerian Navy by the Rivers State Government will be released to the security agency.

He charged the Nigerian Navy to ensure that the gunboats when delivered, should be used strictly for the protection of Rivers waters.

“We are always willing to support security agencies. Nobody will tolerate crime as it hinders development “.

Earlier, the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole announced that the Navy has tracked down the fishing Trawler of the Rivers State, and would soon be handed over to the state government.

He also commended the governor for his commitment to Naval Operations, adding that the 120 Housing Units completed by the administration for the NNS Pathfinder would help solve the accommodation challenges of the personnel at the facility.

Rear Admiral James Oluwole noted that the Nigerian Navy would judiciously use the gunboats when delivered by the Rivers State Government.

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.

Police Intercepts Shi’a Weapons, DSS Raids Bureau De-Change In Kano

Skaters, Unregistered driversThe Kano State police has intercepted a truck carrying weapons and supplies allegedly belonging to the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shiites.

Addressing a news conference, the command’s Public Relations Officer DSP Magaji Majia says the truck is coming from Potiskum in Yobe State and is said to be going to Zaria where the Shiites are marking the Arba’een ritual of the killing of Imam Hussain.

“You can see the weapons made off of cutlasses, generators and other supplies and the truck full of clothes and flags of the movement.”

According to Majia, the weapons are illegal and capable of killing its target on the spots.

“You can remember few days ago, members of this movement attacked and killed one police officer and injuring three others during their illegal procession, since then we embarked on investigation including stop and search to see if it is true they are carrying dangerous weapons, the results of such investigation led us to this discovery.”

Meanwhile, store keeper of the group who maintained that he was not aware that weapons were among the supplies he was escorting to Zaria also disclosed that the weapons are used to construct tents in an event of stop over during the course of their seven day trek to Zaria.

“We don’t carry weapons, am not aware the weapons are here but we used them to make tent and to protect women and children against intruders especially at night since we are all trekking”.

In a related development, over 40 people are said to have been arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security Service DSS at the popular Wapa Bureau De-Change market in the state.

Although no official statement from the DSS in Kano, but association of the bureau de-change in the state through the union auditor general one Kabir Abdul confirmed the arrest.

“They came arresting people on allegations that we are selling dollars above government approved price and up till this time we don’t know where they are keeping our members.”

An attempt to speak with the DSS was not successful as the Department Public Relations Officer told Channels Television that he has no knowledge that Wapa Bureau De-Change market was raided by his operatives.

Reps To Meet Buhari On Insecurity In Nigeria

Insurance FraudThe leadership of the House of Representatives is to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to find a solution to the state of insecurity in the country.

This is part of the resolutions reached by lawmakers following a debate on a motion presented by Rep. Simon Arabo on the killing of some people in the southern part of Kaduna State

The House is also calling on the Department of State Security, (DSS) which is in charge of internal security in the country, to rise up to its responsibility.

Gunmen Kill 31 In Kaduna

About 31 people were killed and several others injured, as gunmen attacked four communities in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna state.

The fresh attacks came just a day after the launching of public apology billboard by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai signaling the return of peace and an end to the frequent conflicts between Fulani Herdsmen and natives of Southern part of the state.

Eyewitness account reports that the gunmen invaded the four communities, Ungwan Rimi, Kitakum, Ungwan Magaji and Kigam all in Kauru LGA, on Sunday night, shooting people and burning down houses And farmlands. An indigene of the area told our correspondent on telephone that the entire communities have been deserted as people flee from their homes for fear of being caught up in the

Alleged N4.9b Fraud: Trial Of Fani-Kayode Stalled

Fani-KayodeThe trial of former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode over a 4.9 bilion naira fraud charge could not proceed at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday.

This is because he is still in Kuje prison trying to perfect the conditions for his bail granted by a Federal High Court in Abuja on five-count charge of diversion of 26 million naira.

His counsel, Mr Wale Balogun, told the court that he has been in Kuje prisons because he is yet to meet the bail conditions granted him by an Abuja court.

“My lord, the second accused (Fani-Kayode) was kept in custody of the prosecution for 21 days without any word, and finally, arraigned on November 10 before your learned brother, Justice John Tsoho in Abuja, on a five-count charge bordering on N26million.

“He was subsequently remanded at the Kuje prisons, and in view of this, we are helpless, as his bail conditions have not been perfected in spite of frantic efforts by family and friends,” Balogun said.

Mr Fani-Kayode had been facing a 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion before he was re-arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency.

He has been re-arraigned on fresh charges bordering on corruption, criminal breach of trust and diversion of funds by the EFCC.

Fani-Kayode, who was also spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, has pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge.

Court Grants Fani-Kayode Bail

Fani-KayodeA Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, in the sum of 50 million naira and one surety in like sum.

The court says that the surety must be resident in Abuja and own a landed property in the capital city.

The former minister is to submit his passport and other travel documents to the court.

The presiding judge, Justice John Tsoho, has directed that Mr. Fani-Kayode be remanded in Kuje Prison until he meets the conditions of his bail application.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency, as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos.

His arrest is connected to the recent 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion filed by the EFCC in Abuja against him.

He has been arraigned on fresh charges bordering on corruption, criminal breach of trust and diversion of funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Fani-Kayode, who was also spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, has pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge.

The former Aviation Minister has described his arrests as efforts to silence him.

Speaking to newsmen while being taken away by operatives of the EFCC as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos on Friday, he said: “They will not take my life, I am not scared, I’m not intimidated (and) I will not be silenced.

“I am very proud of the fact that the Nigerian people are beginning to understand what is going on in this country.

“They can re-arrest me a thousand times, torture me, lock me up, beat me, deprive me of food and my phones; they can do anything to me, I will never change.”

Zuma Lodges Complaint Over Leaked Audio Recording

zumaSouth African President Jacob Zuma has lodged a complaint with the office of the Public Protector over a leaked audio recording of his meeting with the anti-graft watchdog, his office said on Monday.

Zuma’s discussion with the former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, during her investigation into allegations of influence-peddling was broadcast on a private television channel at the weekend.

“The Presidency has sought clarity from the Office of the Public Protector on the policy of the institution regarding the release of audio recordings of interviews conducted during the course of investigation,” Zuma’s office said in a statement.

A transcript of the four-hour interview was made public by the Protector’s office last week when it released a report calling for a judge to investigate allegations of influence peddling in Zuma’s government.

Zuma is due to face a no-confidence vote in parliament later this week over the 355-page report by the constitutionally mandated watchdog.

It focused on allegations that members of the Gupta family of business tycoons influenced the appointment of ministers, and called for an investigation into whether Zuma, some of his cabinet members and some state companies had acted improperly. It stopped short of saying crimes had been committed, saying it lacked the resources to reach such conclusions.

Zuma denies granting undue influence to the brothers, who run a business empire ranging from media to mining, or to anyone else. Through their family spokesman, the Guptas have denied seeking influence.