Buhari’s Trip To China Is A Positive Step – Expert

Dapo Oyewunmi on Buhari's trip to ChinaThe CEO of Centre for Law and Business on Wednesday opined that Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to China is a positive step.

Mr Dapo Oyewunmi was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

The Business expert noted that “China has become a country to recon with. The days of the communist and cold war is over.

“Even the American government has relationship with China. It’s a major country in the world which is expected to be a super power, the economy is extremely large, America is the largest exporter of agric product to China as we speak now, Chinese investment in America is very large and the Chinese currency is being floated even in the western world.”

Mr Oyewunmi, however, said that the Nigerian-Chinese relationship has not just started but started a long time ago during the military era.

“It was being isolated by the western world and the Nigerian government because it was military, was also isolated. So, it was a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

“From there on, trade began to expand, an MoU was signed, the previous Chinese President visited Nigeria twice in 2003 and 2005 to address the National Assembly, they’ve been helping us with Boko Haram, they launched our satellite into space and there is a lot of collaborations between Nigeria and China ,” he explained.

The CEO of Centre for Law and Business maintained that the Chinese government has been a strong support of Nigeria for the United Nations permanent seat on the security council.

“This shows that this relationship has been going on for a long time perhaps people didn’t know that this relationship has been a long standing relationship that has been building over the years and has now reached a stage where the present administration is taking it forward.

“As far back as 2011, there were over 40 direct Chinese development projects in Nigeria; the airport, Abuja housing, Abuja water and 2.5 billion railways have been going on for several years.

“I think this is a good step and with the agreement signed by the Industrial and Commercial Banks of China, we are going to be sourcing very cheap funds; it is one of the cheapest sources of funding in the world today.

“The only thing we are going to be asking is that these funds be judiciously used for the purpose for which they were obtained. We don’t want funds being borrowed and diverted to other projects or put in people’s pockets.We know the present administration is unlikely to do that,” he added.

Akwa Ibom Police Advise Parents To Monitor Wards

Akwa Ibom PoliceAkwa Ibom State Police Command has advised parents and guardians to monitor their wards in order to prevent them from keeping company with criminals.

The Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer, Cordelia Nwanwe, on Wednesday, gave the advice while parading suspected criminals at the state Police headquarters in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State.

The PPRO said that the State Police Commissioner, Murtala Mani, has taken concrete measures to ensure that crime rate is brought down to the barest minimum.

She mentioned the current stop and search operation in the state as one of such measures, noting that the measures have so far yielded positive results.

Eight men aged between 20 and 35 years were paraded for their involvement in different criminal activities including armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism and illegal arms deals.

Some of the suspects confessed their involvement.

Mrs Nwanwe used the occasion to restate the Command’s commitment to the security of lives and property in the state.

She added that the Police would remain firm, fair and fast in its operations.

Amnesty International Seeks Abolition Of Death Penalty

death penaltyGlobal rights group, Amnesty International has called for the abolition of death penalty in Nigeria.

The Country Director of Amnesty International, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, on Wednesday, sought the abolition of death penalty laws in the country.

Speaking at a news conference in Abuja, Mr Ibrahim said, “The issue of death penalty is a constitutional matter which calls for the concern of all Nigerians irrespective of religious or economic status.”

He expressed concern that 10 states have so far signed the death penalty bill on kidnappings.

“Amnesty International Nigeria is worried about the growing number of state assemblies passing bills imposing death penalty for kidnapping and related offences.

“There are currently about 10 states in Nigeria, which had either passed a bill in the assemblies imposing the death penalty for kidnapping or in the process of passing such bills,” he said.

Thankgod Ebhos, who had been convicted to death, narrated what he went through for 19 years.

“I went to gallow to be executed along with four others. While in the gallow room, they hung four persons waiting for my turn, before they said no.

“The prison staff insisted that nobody from the gallow room has ever left there alive.

“Many of the prisoners are there because they don’t have lawyer or they don’t have people to ask of them,” he said.

An Aide to the Minister of Justice, Sylvester Imanobe, gave the Federal Government’s position on the matter.

“Nigeria is certainly moving towards the reformist philosophy of administration of criminal justice, that is why you find out that a renewed administration of criminal justice of 2015 laid emphasis on non custodial punishment.

“We are even moving faster from death penalty to discourage non-prison terms,” he said.

Death sentences in the sub-Saharan Africa fell from 909 in 2014 to 443 in 2015 mainly due to a decrease by Nigeria.

Nigerians Must Speak Against Corrupt Government Officials – Opadokun

Ayo OpadokunA foremost NADECO activist and Civil Rights Lawyer, Ayo Opadokun, says Nigerians must rise up to speak against corrupt government officials who want to hoodwink the nation into their whims.

The convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), in a press conference on Wednesday, suggested ways to go for the Buhari-led government in dealing with the issues posing a nightmare for millions of Nigerians.

The lawyer said that the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria need to sit down and dialogue to agree on ways to permanently resolve the nation’s common national problems.

“There are too many iniquities, injustice and unfairness in the land. We must restructure Nigeria.

“If there is anything that is common to the entire nationalists who were seated at that conference, it is that they possess common and acceptable ideology which could make Nigeria better than what it is today.

“For example, they were talking about devolution of powers and fiscal federalism. I don’t know any federal constitution where a region or state government is supposedly called a government and can make laws, yet have no law enforcement to enforce the rule it makes as we have here in Nigeria. Those things are still glaring.

“Nigerians have not settled their matter. It is sheer arrogance if anyone imagines that Nigeria’s matter had been settled during the Biafra war where two million people were killed, it is much more than that,” Mr Opadokun added.

Nasarawa Deputy Speaker Gives Reason For Six Lawmakers’ Suspension

nasarawa state house of assemblyThe Deputy Speaker of Nasarawa State House of Assembly has shed light on the reason behind the suspension of six lawmakers in the House.

Mr Godiya Akwashiki spoke to reporters on Wednesday in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State.

He said that the crisis in the House is beyond the appointment of local government sole administrators, but as a result of misconduct and violation of the House rules by the suspended lawmakers.

Mr Akwashiki also revealed that the commotion is a leadership crisis noting that the suspended lawmakers were plotting to impeach the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker believes their reaction had nothing to do with the appointment but their quest to be leaders of the House.

He maintained that their suspension was as a result of their unruly behavior during sitting in the hollow chambers of the House. He also faulted their use of provocative words.

The suspended lawmakers, who see their suspension as vilification, have insisted to seek redress in court.

The Deputy Speaker of Nasarawa State House of Assembly had earlier denied bribery allegations levelled against the House by six members in connection with the appointment of sole administrators.

The allegations led to the fracas that occurred in the State Assembly and indefinite suspension of the six lawmakers.

The suspended lawmakers accused 18 of their colleagues for going contrary to the resolutions of the House concerning the appointment of sole administrators by the state government.

Mr Akwashiki, who sees the exchange of blows as a normal happening in the legislative process, however, maintained that no money was received from the government to approve the appointment of sole administrators.

Nigerian Army Set To Conduct Range Classification Exercise

Classification ExerciseThe Nigerian Army has announced plans to conduct a range classification exercise as part of the Army training events for 2016.

The Army on Wednesday, advised members of the general public not to panic when movement of troops is noticed along the Abuja-Keffi road as from April 7, 2016.

A statement issued by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Aliyu Yusuf, said that the Headquarters Garrison will conduct the classification exercise.

The statement read that the exercise, which would last for one month, would hold from April 7 till May 7 at the Guards Brigade Range in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

The statement added that the exercise is designed to further test the art of weapon handling, expertise and marksmanship of officers and soldiers under the Headquarters’ departments and units in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Nigerian Navy Postpones Recruitment Exercise Till May 14

Recruitment ExerciseThe Nigerian Navy says the initial trainees’ recruitment exercise scheduled to hold on April 9 has been postponed to enable more Nigerians participate in the exercise.

The announcement was made by the Navy Secretary on Wednesday.

The exercise has now been scheduled to hold on May 14, 2016.

In a statement issued by the Secretary, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-ete Ibas, advised persons willing to participate in the aptitude test to prepare for the exercise.

The statement added that the recruitment exercise is part of efforts by Vice Admiral Ibas to re-position the Navy and increase its manpower base.

INEC Ready To Conduct Area Council Elections In Abuja

INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has put all necessary logistics in place for the area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The electoral umpire gave the assurance on Tuesday, at a meeting between the Commission and stakeholders in Abuja.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, said that there would be a curfew from 9:00am till 4:00pm on Saturday, April 9 in the FCT, as part of measures to ensure a credible electoral process.

Mr Yakubu also revealed that the INEC plans to conduct re-run elections in Usuma ward of Bwari Area Council on Saturday April 16, in line with directives from the court to include the All progressive Grand Alliance in the re-run election.

INEC Renews Call For Election Offences Tribunal

INECNigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has restated the need for the establishment of an Election Offences Tribunal, as a means of checking the growing spate of electoral violence.

The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Tuesday, reiterated the Commission’s position at a discussion on elections in Nigeria organised by some civil society groups in Abuja.

Professor Yakubu outlined some reforms needed and also touched on the need to urgently address the issue of electoral violence.

In his address, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the present administration intended to carry out a comprehensive legal reform to address challenges posed by outdated electoral laws.

One of the organisers, Clement Nwankwo, however, agreed that Nigeria must take concrete steps to address the electoral violence.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, Aisha Dukku, said that the legislature would ensure that the proposed amendments were carried out on time.

The discussion is expected to be transformed into a document that would suggest other ways to improve the political and electoral process in Nigeria.

Gunmen Attack Police Station In Rivers State

GunmenRivers State Police Command has confirmed that gunmen attacked a Police station at Ngo town in Andoni Local Government Area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer confirmed the incident on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, the capital of River State.

DSP Ahmad Mahhamad told Channels Television that some suspected militants stormed the Police station at about 3:00am local time on Tuesday.

According to Mr Mahhamad, the officers on ground were able to repel the assailants and no life was lost.

The spokesman for the State’s command said that more Police detachment had been sent to the area to beef up security around the vicinity.

He said investigations were currently ongoing to unmask the perpetrators.

The Chairman of Andoni Local Government Area, Victor Ere, told reporters that the gunmen broke into the Police station and took away some arms and ammunition.

Adekunle Gold Set To Unveil Debut Album

Adekunle GoldYBNL act, Adekunle Gold, is gearing up to unveil his debut album.

Adekunle Gold first hit limelight with his song, ‘Sade’, and has gone ahead to release two more hits, ‘Orente’ and ‘Pick Up’.

The Sade crooner earned himself top awards including the All Africa Music Awards and Headies.

The ‘afro-centric singer has now released a new track titled ‘Ready’ which would be followed by his debut album.

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Buhari Advocates Dialogue In Resolving Political Crisis In Burundi

Buhari and Pierre BuyoyaNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has urged the people and government of Burundi to explore dialogue in resolving the current political differences in the country.

Receiving the former Burundian President, Mr Pierre Buyoya, on Tuesday at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari said that Nigeria would continue to support peace processes in the continent through the African Union (AU), which had already intervened in Burundi.

The President said that since President Pierre Nkurunziza rejected the proposal of a “stabilising force from the AU, we can’t impose it on him, but we will continue to opt for dialogue.

“Nigeria has been playing a key role in the continent through the AU. We participated fully in ensuring a truce in Mali, and we want citizens to enjoy the impact of the truce, although the terrorists are not helping matters.

“Nigeria is always committed to regional and continental peace, and we will continue to do our best,” he said.

President Buhari told the former President of Burundi, who is the High Representative of the AU Mission to Mali and the Sahel, that he remained hopeful that there would be an amicable solution to the situation in Burundi.

In his remarks, the former President commended Nigeria for the role it played in restoring peace to Mali, noting that the AU was working to promote security in the Sahel, particularly through fighting trans-border terrorism.

He also urged Nigeria to use its clout to work for peace in Burundi, warning that the “country is gradually inching towards a civil war.”