Eight Malala Failed Assassination Suspects ‘Secretly Acquitted’

malalaReports from Pakistan indicate that eight of the 10 men reportedly jailed for the attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, were set free.

In April, officials in Pakistan said that 10 Taliban fighters had been found guilty and received 25-year sentences.

The BBC reports that only two of the men who stood trial were convicted.

The secrecy surrounding the trial, which was held behind closed doors, raised suspicions over its validity.

A spokesman for the Pakistani High Commission in London, Muneer Ahmed, says the eight men were acquitted because of a lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, Saleem Marwat, the district Police Chief in Swat, Pakistan separately confirmed that only two men had been convicted.

Mr Ahmed claimed that the original court judgement made it clear that only two men had been convicted, blaming the confusion on misreporting.

Ogun Customs Impound 90 Sacks Of Indian Hemp

customs impound bags of cannabisThe Ogun State Customs Command says it has intercepted and seized 359 parcels of substance believed to be cannabis sativa (indian hemp), stocked into 90 sacks with duty value of over nine million naira along the Imeko border town of Ogun State, south-west Nigeria.

Handing over the substance to its National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) counterpart, the Ogun State Area Comptroller of Customs, Haruna Mahmud, reiterated the commitment of the command in its anti-smuggling drive, in order to reduce smuggling activities to the barest minimum.

While sounding a note of warning to smugglers along the Ogun border posts, the Area Comptroller asked for more synergy and cooperation among security agencies in combating crime in the state.

In its revenue generation drive, Mr Mahmud said that over two billion naira has been generated in the first four months of the 2015 fiscal year, while 361 seizures with duty paid value of over 300 million naira was recorded by the command.

Kwara Health Insurance Programme Records 100,000 Enrollee

KwaraThe Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) programme of the Kwara State Government where beneficiaries are expected to pay an annual sum of 500 naira, has received a boost with the enrollment of 100,000 people.

The programme, which started seven years ago in Shonga, Edu Local Government, is targeted to reach 500,000 patients in the next two years and the beneficiaries are already singing praises of the government.

The CHIS was initiated by the former Governor of the state, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who partnered with foreign organisations for its execution.

With the payment of 500 naira per annum, the beneficiaries will get treatment for any ailment, including operations, if necessary.

Reports say that barely three years after its commencement, the programme spread to Afon in Asa Local Government, and the government of Abdulfatah Ahmed has gone further to spread the nearly free health programme to other two local governments.

While calling on other state governments to emulate its noble idea, the government believes the programme would record the success of 500,000 enrollee in the next two years.

Partners of the CHIS programme have also continued to laud the Kwara State Government for the initiative.

Governor Ayade To Establish Garment Factory, Others

AyadeCross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has said that plans are already in place by his administration for the establishment of a garment industry, cocoa processing plant, rice mill and modular refinery in the state.

Governor Ayade made this disclosure during a meeting with Heads of Commercial Banks and financial institutions operating in the state, at the Exco Chambers of the Governor’s Office in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The Governor also noted that other investments to be established will be in the petroleum sector, pharmaceutical sector, marine transport, poultry and afforestation; all geared towards creating numerous job opportunities for unemployed youths in the state.

Ayade also enjoined the banks’ representatives to have a shift from solely managing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and payment of workers’ salaries to identifying with any of the programmes of his administration and seeing to its actualization.

According to him, he expects banks to send in proposals on how they would key into the vision to ensure that the new town, which the state intends to build, no matter its size, beats other existing towns in the country.

Governor Ayade had earlier promised to create about a thousand jobs for unemployed youths in the state during his first 100 days in office.

Workers’ Strike May End This Week – Ajimobi

ajimobiThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has indicated that an ongoing dialogue between the government and Labour may not extend beyond this week as a mutually acceptable solution has been found to address the issues at stake.

In a chat with Channels Television in his office, Governor Ajimobi expressed optimism that the dialogue has generated a lot of goodwill and understanding between the government and representatives of Labour Union.

Admitting that resuming his second term without a workforce has put a strain on smooth running of government, Ajimobi added that options had been provided by government for Labour to find a way of ameliorating the ongoing glitch in the systemic run of governance caused by the strike.

Some of the aides of the Governor also confirmed that the strike has paralysed the engine room of government but hope for quick resolution.

In some schools visited, teachers were seen but no learning was taking place.

Some members of the public have also appealed to both the government and Labour to find an amicable solution as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, discussions continue between the Oyo State Government and Labour on ways of achieving a lasting solution, especially with Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) templates to boost government’s income.

Fire Kills More Than 90 In Accra, Ghana

fireOver 90 people have died in Ghana where a fire broke out at a petrol station in the capital, Accra.

Officials said that the fire started as people sought shelter in the station from the two days of torrential rainfall in the city that has left many homeless and without power.

There are fears that the death toll from the fire could rise as the search for bodies continues.

President John Mahama has visited the burnt-out petrol station and has appealed for calm as authorities try to cope with the aftermath of the fire and heavy rain.

Reports says there are chaotic scenes in the city with cars being carried away by the water and many roads blocked off.

A victim told a local radio station that he had put his children on top of a wardrobe to save them from the water coming into his house.

Weather forecasters in the meantime have said that more rain is on its way.

El-Rufai Assures Judiciary Of Independence

el-rufaiThe Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has an assurance of his administration’s total support for the independence of the Judiciary and Rule of Law which he affirmed as a necessary requirement for the sustenance of democratic governance, peace and development of the state.

Addressing principal staff of the Ministry of Justice, led by the Chief Judge, Justice Tanimu Zailani, during his visit to the ministry on Thursday, Governor El-Rufai said that his administration will not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary as regards the dispensation of justice, funding and rule of law.

He expressed worry over the poor state of prisons across the state due to congestion of prisoners, and appealed to the Chief Judge to ensure the speedy trial of inmates especially those awaiting trial.

The Governor also said that he would liaise with the Chief Judge to review the cases of some of the inmates, particularly those on death row to see how he can grant some of them amnesty if the need arises.

On his part, the Kaduna State Chief Judge thanked the Governor for the unscheduled visit to the ministry, and also used the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges confronting the ministry which includes; lack of Judges for the three arms of the state judiciary, High Court, Sharia Court of Appeal and Customary Court of Appeal.

He asked for an assessment of the need for the appointment of Sharia and Customary Court judges.

The Governor, while describing the judiciary as a very important arm of government, assured them of his readiness to work closely with the ministry.

El-Rufai’s visit to the ministry excited the workers who came out in large numbers to welcome him. They said that it was the first time a Chief Executive of the state would be visiting the ministry since the inception of the state.

FIFA Crisis: Jack Warner To Reveal All Despite Fears

fifa former vice president, jack warnerFormer FIFA Vice President, Jack Warner, has said that he will reveal all he knows about corruption at the world football body.

Mr Warner, who said he feared for his life,  said he could also link FIFA officials to general elections in his native Trinidad and Tobago in 2010.

He is one of the 14 people charged by the US over corruption at FIFA.

Another top FIFA official and key witness, Chuck Blazer, had admitted accepting bribes.

BBC says, the admissions came in a newly released transcript of Mr Blazer’s guilty plea from 2013, as part of a wide-ranging US criminal case that has engulfed FIFA and led President, Sepp Blatter to resign.

The US Justice Department also alleged that 14 people charged worldwide accepted bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.

Four others had already been charged, including Mr Blazer.

Jack Warner who is 72, resigned from all football activity in 2011 amid bribery allegations and later stepped down as Trinidad and Tobago’s Security Minister due to a fraud inquiry.

The former Vice President said he had given lawyers’ documents outlining the links between FIFA, its funding, himself and the 2010 election in Trinidad and Tobago. He said the transactions also included Chief Sepp Blatter.

“I will no longer keep secrets for them who actively seek to destroy the country,” he said in a political broadcast entitled “The gloves are off”, on Wednesday evening.

He promised an “avalanche” of revelations to come out.

Mr Warner, who denied charges against him, and faced extradition to the US, was released on bail after handing himself to the Police in the Trinidad and Tobago capital, Port of Spain last week.

Wike Tasks Tanker Owners, Sanitation Agency On Movement

governor wike of rivers stateRivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike, has called on tanker owners and the Environmental Sanitation Agency in the state to conduct their operations responsibly.

Governor Wike made this call during a meeting with stakeholders at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.

This is as a result of indiscriminate parking of tankers along major roads and the sudden resurfacing of refuse dumps on the streets of Port Harcourt.

It is reported that the situation is currently causing serious traffic and is becoming a source of worry to residents.

In another meeting, the governor told depot operators and tanker owners that their activities pose a security risk to residents in the area.

Both groups however gave assurances that the tankers will relocate from the highways and the streets of the capital city will be made motorable.