PHOTOS: Burkina Faso President Visits Buhari In Abuja

 

President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, and President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja

 

The President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore on Thursday Visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

See Photos Below:

PHOTOS: The Abuja Community Attacked By Gunmen

Residents of Tungamaji, a satellite community on the Gwagwalada, Kaduna road in Abuja lament over the attack on Thursday PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television /September 11, 2020

 

Residents of Tungamaji, a satellite community in Abuja are still in shock, 48 hours after gunmen overran the settlement, robbing, and kidnapping 11 people including women and children.

Some of the victims who have now regained their freedom narrated their gruesome ordeal in the hands of their captors to Channels Television on Friday.

Meanwhile, they have also called on the government to beef up security in the area.

The gunmen stormed the Tungan Maje village, a community bordering the Federal Capital Territory and Niger State, on Thursday, shooting sporadically in the air, after which they kidnapped some residents.

See more photos below.

Osinbajo Declares Ministerial Retreat Open In Abuja

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared open the First Year Ministerial Review Retreat at the State House Banquet Hall in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He represented President Muhammadu Buhari who attended the ECOWAS summit in the Niger Republic.

In attendance are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, all ministers, the head of the civil service, permanent secretaries and other top government functionaries

The retreat is meant to create transparency on the status of the implementation of policies programs and projects of government and provide a roadmap towards the delivery of the nine priority agenda during the first year of the second term of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

READ ALSO: Amid COVID-19, Nigeria’s Revenues Have Fallen By Almost 60 Percent – Buhari

It will also help the participants deepen their understanding of the best practices towards ensuring effective delivery on government business in the next three years.

A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Resource persons for the retreat include Osinbajo, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Mustapha, the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; former SGF Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, and former British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair.

The retreat is a two-day event.

SEE FULL SPEECH BELOW:

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE FIRST YEAR MINISTERIAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW RETREAT

STATE HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA

7TH SEPTEMBER 2020

PROTOCOLS

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat. We are meeting a time that mankind is struggling to overcome the economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted life as we knew it. The consequences of the pandemic will no doubt influence our deliberations at this gathering, especially as we will have to adjust our policy approaches and methods of working going forward.

  1. I stressed at last year’s Retreat that the Nigerian people expect dedication and commitment by all of us in implementing policies, programmes and projects to improve the quality of their lives and set Nigeria on the path of prosperity. I also reiterated the resolve of this Administration to set the stage for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years. Even today, these remain our overriding objectives.
  2. The priorities we set for ourselves were around nine inter-related and inter-connected areas, which are: stabilizing the economy; achieving agriculture and food security; attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products; improving transportation and other infrastructure; driving industrialization with a special focus on SMEs; expanding access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians; enhancing social inclusion by scaling up social investments; as well as building a system to fight corruption, improve governance and strengthen national security.
  3. In the course of the past year, Ministers have rendered reports to the Federal Executive Council on their activities and outputs related to the achievement of these objectives. Some of the notable achievements include:
  4. Economic recovery prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. The economy recovered from a recession and we witnessed eleven

2 quarters of consecutive GDP growth since exiting recession. The GDP grew from 0.8% in 2017 to 2.2% in 2019, but declined in the first quarter of 2020, as a result of the downward trend in global economic activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Implementation of a Willing Buyer, Willing Seller Policy for the power sector has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to homes and industries. We are also executing some critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, which will result in the transmission and distribution of a total of 11,000 Megawatts by 2023.

iii. On transportation, we are growing the stock and quality of our road, rail, air and water transport infrastructure. The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund projects are also progressing very well. These include the 11.9 km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and 375 km Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Expressway. At the same time,

3 we are actively extending and upgrading our railway networks, as well as our airports which are being raised to international standard with the provision of necessary equipment, to guarantee world-class safety standard.

  1. The Government has continued to support the Agricultural sector, the key to the diversification of our economy, through schemes such as the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative programme.
  2. The work of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has resulted in Nigeria moving up 39 places on the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking since 2015 and Nigeria is now rated as one of the top ten reforming countries. We are confident that the on-going ease of doing business reforms would result in further improvement of this rating.
  3. Nigeria’s Law Enforcement Agencies have significantly scaled up their footprint across the country. As part of the efforts

4 towards strengthening our internal security architecture, the Ministry of Police Affairs was created. Amongst others, we have increased investments in arms, weapons and other necessary equipment, expanded the National Command and Control Centre to nineteen States of the Federation, and established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund, which will significantly improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force. We have also approved the sum of N13.3 billion for the take-off of the Community Policing initiative across the country, as part of measures adopted to consolidate efforts aimed at boosting security nationwide.

vii. Efforts are also being made to empower the youth and other vulnerable groups by enhancing investments in our Social Investment Programmes.

  1. These accomplishments are a testament to the fact that all hands are on deck in establishing a solid foundation for even greater successes in future.
  2. Distinguished participants, when we met one year ago, little did we know that the world would be in a serious economic, social and health crisis that had left even the major economies in disarray, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as in other jurisdictions, the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria has experienced a severe shock. Nearly 55,000 of our people have been infected with the virus while we have recorded 1,054 deaths by 4th September. The economy contracted by -6.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year; normal schooling has been disrupted; businesses are struggling and in certain instances completely closed; many people have lost their jobs and earning a living has been difficult. It has been a trying time for all of us and particularly for those in the informal sector who make their living from daily earnings.
  3. It has not been any easier for Governments whether at the Federal State or Local Government level. As a result of the poor fortunes of the oil sector, our revenues and foreign exchange earnings are stretched. Yet we have had to sustain expenditures, especially on salaries and capital projects, in order to keep the economy going. We acted to mitigate the effect of the economic slowdown by adopting the N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan but we have also had to take some difficult decisions to stop unsustainable practices that were weighing the economy down.
  4. As you all know, in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic; we developed the N2.3 Trillion Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), which consists of fiscal, monetary and sectoral measures to enhance local production, support businesses, retain and create jobs and provide succour to Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable. In addition to improving the health sector, the ESP lays emphasis on labour-intensive interventions in agriculture, light manufacturing, housing, and facilities management. It also complements on-going major infrastructural projects in power, road and rail by prioritising the building of rural roads, information and telecommunications technologies as well as providing solar power to homes which were not hitherto connected to the National Grid.
  5. Alongside interventions in these critical areas, including agriculture and food security, affordable housing, technology, health, and providing jobs for youths and women post-COVID; the ESP will provide different avenues of Government support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to enable them respond to the economic challenges of COVID-19. This includes safeguarding about 300,000 jobs in 100,000 MSMEs by guaranteeing off-take of priority products; and Survival Fund to support vulnerable SMEs in designated vulnerable sectors in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguarding jobs from the shock of COVID-19.
  6. Under the ESP MSMEs component, both the Survival Fund (Payroll support), and the Guaranteed Off-take Scheme, GoS, are to impact about 1.7 million individuals within three to five months. Also, 45 per cent of total business beneficiaries will be female-owned; and 5 per cent of total business beneficiaries will be dedicated to special needs business owners.
  7. In addition, under the Survival Fund (payroll support) scheme; 250,000 new business names are to be registered at a discounted rate of N6,000 by the CAC, but this will be free for the MSMEs; while 330,000 transport workers and artisans will get one-time grants of N30,000 each.
  8. Following an MOU to be signed by BOI and the FG, the total beneficiaries for Survival Fund Scheme tracks are about 33,000 beneficiaries per State; with minimum payroll support at N30,000 and maximum support is N50,000.
  9. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected economies globally, has compelled us to make some far-reaching adjustments that may cause some initial pain, but which is necessary for long-term gains. As you all know, when oil prices collapsed at the height of the global lockdown, we deregulated the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) such that the benefit of lower prices was passed to consumers. This was welcome by all and sundry. The effect of regulation though is that PMS prices will change with changes in global oil prices. This means, quite regrettably, that as oil prices recover, we would see some increases in PMS prices.
  10. There are several negative consequences, if Government should resume the business of fixing or subsidizing PMS prices. First of all, it would mean a return to the costly subsidy regime. Today we have 60% less revenues, we just cannot afford the cost. The second danger is the potential return of fuel queues – which has, thankfully, become a thing of the past under this administration. Nigerians no longer have to endure long queues just to buy petrol, often at highly inflated prices. Also, as I hinted earlier, there is no provision for fuel subsidy in the revised 2020 budget, simply because we are not able to afford it, if reasonable provisions must be made for health, education and other social services. We now have no choice.
  11. Nevertheless, I want to assure our compatriots that Government will remain alert to its responsibilities. The role of government now is to prevent marketers from raising prices arbitrarily or exploiting citizens. This was why the PPRA made the announcement a few days ago setting the range of price that must not be exceeded by marketers. The advantage we now have is that anyone can bring in petroleum products and compete with marketers, that way the price of petrol will keep coming down.
  12. The other painful adjustment that we have had to make in recent days is a review of the electricity tariff regime. If there is one thing that we have heard over and over again, it is that Nigerians want consistent and reliable power supply. So the power sector remains a critical priority for the administration. Protecting the poor and vulnerable, while ensuring improved service in the power sector, is also a major priority for Government. And our policies, like the social investment programmes and other socio-economic schemes to benefit Nigerians, show that we remain focused on improving the welfare of the common man.
  13. The recent service-based tariff adjustment by the Discos has been a source of concern for many of us. Let me say frankly that like many Nigerians I have been very unhappy about the quality of service given by the Discos. That is why we have directed that tariff adjustments be made only on the basis of guaranteed improvement in service. Under this new arrangement, only customers who are guaranteed a minimum of 12hours of power and above can have their tariffs adjusted. Those who get less than 12 hours of supply (Band D and E Customers) will not see any tariff adjustment. The poor and underprivileged who were on R1 lifeline tariffs in the old structure will be maintained on lifeline tariffs, meaning that they will experience no increase.
  14. Government has also taken notice of the complaints about arbitrary estimated billing. Accordingly, a mass metering program is being undertaken to provide meters for over 5 million Nigerians, largely driven by preferred procurement from local manufacturers – creating thousands of jobs in the process. NERC has also been instructed to strictly enforce the capping regulation which will ensure that unmetered customers are not charged beyond the metered customers in their neighbourhood.
  15. In addressing the power problems we must not forget that most Nigerians are not even connected to electricity at all. So, as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan, we are providing Solar home systems to 5 million Nigerian households (impacting up to 25 million individual Nigerians) in the next 12 months. We have already begun the process of providing financing support through the CBN for manufacturers and retailers of Off-Grid Solar Home Systems and Mini-Grids who are to provide the systems. The Five million systems under the ESP’s Solar Power Strategy will produce 250,000 jobs and impact up to 25 million beneficiaries through the installation This means that more Nigerians will have access to electricity via a reliable and sustainable solar system.
  16. The support to Solar Home System manufacturers and the bulk procurement of local meters will create over 300,000 local jobs while ensuring that we set Nigeria on a path to full electrification. The tariff review is not about the increase, which will only affect the top electricity consumers but establishing a system which will definitely lead to improved service for all at a fair and reasonable price.
  17. There has been some concern expressed about the timing of these two necessary adjustments. It is important to stress that it is a mere coincidence in the sense that the deregulation of PMS prices happened quite some time ago, it was announced on 18 March 2020 and the price moderation that took place at the beginning of this month was just part of the on-going monthly adjustments to global crude oil prices. Similarly, the review of service-based electricity tariffs was scheduled to start at the beginning of July but was put on hold to enable further studies and proper arrangements to be made.
  18. This government is not insensitive to the condition of our people and the very difficult economic situation and we will not inflict hardship on our people. Ministers and senior officials must accordingly ensure the vigorous and prompt implementation of the ESP programmes to give succour to Nigerians at this difficult time.
  19. In this regard, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has created credit facilities (of up to N100B) for the Healthcare (N100 Billion) and Manufacturing (N1 Trillion) sectors. From January 2020 to date, over N191.87B has already been disbursed for 76 real sectors projects under the N1Trillion Real Sector Scheme; while 34 Healthcare projects have been funded to the tune of N37.159B under the Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility. The facilities are meant to address some of the infrastructural gap in the healthcare and manufacturing sector as a fall out to the COVID-19 pandemic and to facilitate the attainment of the Governors 5-year strategic plan.
  20. Distinguished participants, to address our current economic challenges, and consolidate on our achievements over the past year, this retreat has been designed to:

Review the performance of each Minister in delivering the priority mandates, including programmes and projects assigned to them upon their appointment in 2019;

Identify key impediments to implementation; and

Re-strategize on how to accelerate delivery of results, given the current economic situation.

25.evaluate the activities of the Ministries over the last twelve months with regard to the delivery of our agenda and promise to Nigerians.

  1. The Ministers are urged to work closely with the Permanent Secretaries to ensure accelerated and effective delivery of the policies, programmes and projects in the priority areas. I have also directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to intensify efforts at deepening the work of the Delivery Unit under his coordination

The retreat would also provide the opportunity to effectively towards ensuring effective delivery of Government Policies, Programmes and Projects in the coming years. It is also my expectation that progress on performance of the implementation of the 9 priority areas will be reported on a regular basis.

  1. In closing, I encourage optimal participation and contribution by all participants, while observing all the necessary safety protocols and compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
  2. On this note, it is my pleasure to formally declare this Retreat open. I look forward to a very fruitful session and a stimulating exchange of views.
  3. Thank you.
  4. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Resident Doctors Begin Indefinite Nationwide Strike

Logo of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

 

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has embarked on a nationwide strike to press home its demand.

The union says the strike is coming on the heels of the inability of the Federal Government to meet its yearnings in June this year.

The demands by the doctors include a pay rise, better welfare, and adequate facilities, union leaders said.

The industrial action by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), which represents some 40 percent of doctors, is the latest in a string of stoppages by medics to hit Africa’s most populous nation as it struggles to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“We have kicked off the strike today,” NARD president Aliyu Sokomba told AFP, adding that medics treating virus cases would join the action this time around.

“There will be no exemptions,” he said.

READ ALSO: Amid COVID-19, Nigeria’s Revenues Have Fallen By Almost 60 Percent – Buhari

Sokomba said long-standing issues such as provision of life insurance, a pay rise, payment of salary arrears as well as provision of adequate facilities for doctors were the reasons for the strike.

“We have arrears of 2014, 2015, 2016, salary shortfalls that were supposed to have been paid over six years ago, still pending,” he said.

“These are the issues we have and they appear not to have been addressed up till this day,” he said.

“It is an indefinite strike,” Sokomba said, adding that it would be called off only when the union’s demands were met.

Strikes by medics have been common in Nigeria where the health sector is underfunded.

The authorities fear any reduction in capacity could severely hamper its ability to tackle the pandemic as the number of cases continues to rise.

In June, NARD staged a week-long strike over welfare and inadequate protective kits but doctors treating virus cases remained on the job.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation of 200 million inhabitants, has recorded over 55,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,057 deaths.

FCT Resident Doctors Embark On Indefinite Strike Over Hazard Allowance

Logo of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

 

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have embarked on an indefinite strike in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Channels Television learned that the decision of the medical practitioners to down over the non-payment of COVID-19 hazard allowances and other related inducements promised by the government.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the NARD President (FCT Chapter), Roland Aigbovo, the industrial action became imperative after several failed attempts to resolve the impasse.

“The congress observes with dismay that despite timelines and promises made to pay the COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance within the period of the issued ultimatum, the allowance is still yet to be paid to health care workers in the various FCT Hospitals and the COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres thereby negating the positive gains already achieved.

“As an association, we believe in dialogue as a means of dispute resolution and we have always stood by this principle in all our dealings with the FCTA management even in the face of financial burden but we note with dismay the care free approach exhibited by the office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory in handling this issue,” Aigbovo said.

According to the doctors, they will only get back to work after the various payments demanded are made to their members’ accounts.

The FCT has over 5,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, second to Lagos State in the list of high burdened states and cities.

PHOTOS: Flooding Ravages Abuja Community

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television
Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

 

On August 26, torrential rainfall hit Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, leading to flooding.

At least one person died after trying to cross through a flooded section of the community, according to the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Director-General of FEMA, Idriss Abbas, has lamented that most deaths recorded in the past from flooding the FCT were as a result of non-compliance to instructions from authorities.

Below are pictures from the flooding’s aftermath.

Note: All pictures were taken by Sodiq Adelakun for Channels Television.

 

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

 

 

Oshiomhole, Gambari ‘Arrest’ Video Is A ‘Patchwork Of Mischief’ – Presidency

Adams Oshiomhole (l), President Muhammadu Buhari (c), and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari (r) during a visit by the former APC National Chairman to the Aso Villa on August 17th, 2020. Photo: [email protected] of Nigeria.

 

 

The Presidency has refuted claims that a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari has hatched plans to arrest opposition members ahead of the Edo Governorship poll. 

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had alleged that a video of Oshiomhole telling Gambari about “arrest” before his (Oshiomhole’s) meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari is a prelude to the arrest of some unnamed opposition politicians ahead of the September election.

However, in a statement on Tuesday night, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, described the claim by the PDP as a “patchwork of mischief,” calling on Nigerians to dispel the “misguided” message.

APC Veteran Adams Oshiomhole (R) and Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari, at a State House corridor on August 17, 2020.
APC Veteran Adams Oshiomhole (R) and Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari, at a State House corridor on August 17, 2020.

 

“It is equally a fact that various political parties campaigning in Edo have levelled accusations of violence against one another,” the statement said.

“In such a heightened state of uncertainty, responsible leadership must ensure that elections are conducted in a peaceful manner and if warranted, judicious use of Law enforcement to protect lives and properties of citizens is mobilized thus preventing criminal elements from subverting the democratic process.”

 

 

According to him, Oshiomhole and Gambari who have a track record of working to ensure the rights of Nigerians are protected and the poor are not marginalized, “will not be found encouraging any conduct that runs counter to these values.”

The presidential aide reiterated his principal’s stance on a free and fair poll in the South-South state.

“He does not support violence of any sort and its propagators will be brought to justice,” he added. “ELECTIONS MUST REFLECT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.”

‘The Laws Are Clear’

 

Oshiomhole had during the meeting briefed the Nigerian leader on the happenings in Edo State ahead of the poll, restating Buhari’s quest for an exercise devoid of violence. 

“The President is excited at the prospect of having a free and fair election devoid of violence and the fact that the laws are clear; when people misuse firearms, the laws are clear as to what should be done,” the former Edo governor told reporters after the meeting.

 

 

Absence Of Finance Minister, Others Stall Public Hearing On Treaties And Protocols

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Hearing on Treaties and Protocols, Nicholas Ossai has adjourned the public hearing for one week.

 

The absence of the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and officials from the Debt Management Office have stalled the public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties and Protocols by one week.

Speaking during the resumption of the hearing on Tuesday, Chairman of the Committee, Nicholas Ossai wondered why the minister and the officials from the Debt Management Office were not in attendance.

READ ALSO: Mali Crisis: Ex-President Jonathan Visits Buhari In Abuja

Before a motion was moved for the adjournment, Ossai argued that the lawmakers cannot interrogate the agencies in their absence.

The FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, speaks during the House of Representatives public hearing on August 18, 2020, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

He thereafter asked his colleague to deliberate on the matter, suggesting that they adjourn for one week to carry the government officials involved along.

His remarks came after the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, and his colleague from the FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello took turns to introduce themselves.

The two ministers were accompanied to the venue of the hearing by the Permanent Secretaries in the respective ministries.

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Hearing on Treaties and Protocols, Nicholas Ossai has adjourned the public hearing for one week.

 

However, unlike Monday’s hearing, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila were not in attendance.

 

Anger, Despair As FCDA Demolishes Houses In Abuja Community

The aftermath: Apo NEPA, a community in Abuja said to contain over 100 houses was left in ruins after a demolition team visited it in the early hours of Saturday.

 

Residents of a community in a suburb of Abuja were left angry and picking up the pieces on Saturday after the Federal Capital Development Authority demolished their houses.

Officials of the FCDA stormed Apo NEPA in the early hours of the day and the bulldozers they commandeered quickly went to work pulling down buildings that had been deemed illegal.

By the time the bulldozers departed and the exercise, said to have been coordinated by the Chairman of the FCT Task Force on City Sanitation, Ikharo Attah, ended, residents said more than 100 houses had been demolished.

Members of a family try to salvage valuable items from the rubble of their house

 

The exercise is said to have taken place months after the buildings were marked for demolition, according to officials who participated in the exercise. The community, whose residents are the original natives of the FCT, was reportedly on land meant for a road interchange and the residents had been asked to leave.

But the residents disagreed with the authorities and condemned the demolition, especially its timing with several of them telling Channels TV that some people were asleep when the crew arrived. They also said they were brutalised and tear-gassed.

Spokesman for the FCT natives, Yunusa Yusuf, insisted that the residents were not given adequate notice before the exercise was carried out.

According to him, the expected procedure is for the Department of Development Control of the FCDA to give a notice about the demolition.

“Nobody can say here that they came and gave a notice. There was no notice,” he told Channels Television. “Even if they say the people (in the community) settled here illegally, what notices did you give to them? How did you tell them that you were going to demolish their houses?”

Yusuf is also unhappy with the way the people were treated during the exercise.

“If you want to demolish houses, will the government now be the one tear-gassing people as if they are terrorists? How will you wake up by 4 am and by 4 am you have already taken over a community just because you want to access their houses?” he asked.

Anger, Despair As FCDA Demolishes Apo Houses In Community
Yunusa Yusuf, who say he is a spokesperson of FCT Natives, described the demolition as unfortunate and unexpected

 

For Yusuf and many others in the community, the development increases the grievances of the natives of the FCT and exposes them to vices.

“This is the same government that has not been able to stop kidnapping, they have not been able to handle security, but, today, they can bring up to 300 security men to surround this community. It is very unfortunate. It is very unfortunate. This is not what we expect,” a visibly upset Yusuf lamented.

Officials said to be involved in the exercise could not be immediately reached for comments. 

As residents went through the rubble of what was once their homes, several of them stopped to lament about what had happened. Their emotions ranged from anger, disappointment, sadness, and despair.

Several residents said they were not given the chance to get their property out before their houses were pulled down.

 

Some of the residents accused the security officials that came with the demolition crew of preventing them from getting their properties out before they pulled down their houses even though most of them were still asleep when they arrived.

“They can’t just come by 4 am just to demolish everywhere and chase us out. We don’t have access to pack our properties, we don’t have any means of surviving. Can the government live without the poor people?” a resident, who said he is a graduate of accounting but works as a dispatch rider because he couldn’t get a better job, lamented.

A woman backed his position, saying, “We were all sleeping in our houses before they brought caterpillars (bulldozers) with troops of mopols (mobile policemen), they started beating people – women, not even men. The women came out (and) were crying, they fired tear gas… They demolished everything.”

A distraught woman is consoled by another amid the rubble of what was her home and shop.

 

According to the woman, some people were still looking for their children at the time Channels TV visited the scene.

Continuing she said, “Without prior notice, you came at 4 am in the morning to demolish. Are we not Nigerians? Is this Nigeria not our country? After the lockdown, they never brought any palliative into this country. We stayed here for months, they locked us down; no work, no businesses. The next thing is to come and demolish our houses.” 

Residents try to salvage their property.

Murder: Court Martial Sentences Soldier To 55 Years Imprisonment

Lance Corporal Babangida Ibrahim was accused of robbing and killing one Bello Abdullahi Aliyu in Gidan Darib, Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State on August 11, 2014.

 

A General Court Martial (GCM) sitting in the nation’s capital, Abuja has sentenced a soldier serving with the Nigerian Army to 55 years in prison for culpable homicide, theft and housebreaking.

The soldier, Lance Corporal Babangida Ibrahim was accused of robbing and killing one Bello Abdullahi Aliyu in Gidan Darib, Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State on August 11, 2014.

He pleaded guilty to the four-count charge preferred against him and was sentenced in line with the provisions of the Armed Forces Act.

Delivering the judgement, the President of the Court, Major General Priye Fakrougha advocated the need for members of the Armed Forces to adhere strictly to rules and regulations guiding the conduct of military personnel in and out of uniform.

President of the General Court Martial, Major General Priye Fakrougha, delivers judgement in Abuja on August 12, 2020.

 

While reiterating the determination of the Army under the command of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to discharge its constitutional responsibility in a professional manner, Fakrougha warned that defaulters will be made to take responsibility of their actions

“Having listened to the plea of litigation of the Defence Counsel and the submission of the Prosecution Counsel, this General Court Martial finds the accused soldier guilty as he earlier pleaded of all the four-count charges,” he said.

“In this particular case before this court, there is no amount of sentence that will be commensurate to the life that has already been lost.

READ ALSO: ‘I Shall Continue To Offer My Shoulders For You To Climb,’ Atiku Tells Nigerian Youths

“Therefore, this General Court Martial, having found the accused soldier 2008/NA/61/2672, Lance Corporal Babangida Ibrahim guilty as he earlier pleaded, hereby sentence him as follows:

“Count one on culpable homicide not punishable with death contrary to and punishable under Section 224 of the Penal Code CAP P3, Laws of the Federation 2004 be awarded 40 years of imprisonment.

“Count two offence of housebreaking contrary to and punishable under Section 110 of the Armed Forces Act is awarded five years imprisonment.”

Lance Corporal Ibrahim was sentenced to 40 years in the first count, five years in the second, third and fourth counts.

Although the second, third and fourth counts are to run concurrently, the verdict is, however, subject to ratification by the Nigerian Army Council.

Trial Of Ex-AGF Adoke Resumes In Abuja

A file photo former AGF, Mr Mohammed Adoke. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The trial of the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke has resumed in Abuja.

The former AGF will be arraigned today alongside Aliyu Abubakar who is an Abuja based businessman, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court.

During the last sitting, the defendants pleaded not guilty to a 14-count charge filed against them bordering on money laundering.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in June filed an additional seven charges against the former AGF over money laundering allegations involving about N400 million.

Mr Adoke’s trial was expected to begin last week but it was stalled due to the amended charges.

The initial charge contained seven counts, with six of them relating to Mr. Adoke.

At the resumed trial, the prosecutor, Bala Sanga, informed the court of an amended charge he filed on July 29 which was served on all the defendants.

READ ALSO: Former AGF Adoke Pleads Not Guilty To Money Laundering Charges

The trial judge, Justice Ekwo who frowned at the late filing of the amended charge adjourned the trial on the ground that he is yet to sight the amended charges.

In the former seven counts, the EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the money laundering offences involving over N400 million in Abuja, in September 2013.

In the counts relating to Mr Adoke, he was accused of among others, receiving the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367,318,800 to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300 million, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities, all in violations of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

He was also accused of making “structured cash payments, in 22 tranches” amounting to N80 million, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50 million into his Unity Bank account.

The commission alleged that the funds were not only part of the proceeds of unlawful acts but they also exceeded “thresholds outside a financial institution,” and that the payments were done with the intention of concealing the origins of the funds contrary to Section 15(2(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same law.

The former AGF was granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on February 10, 2020, in the sum of N50m with one surety in like sum.

Woods Set To Compete At PGA Championship

A file photo of Tiger Woods. Credit: AFP

 

Four-time PGA Championship winner, Tiger Woods insists the lack of competitive golf and playing without spectators will have little impact on his performance when the first major of the year tees off in San Francisco.

At a press briefing on Wednesday to announce the 102nd edition of PGA championship, Woods who will be competing for his 16th major title on a TPF Harding Park Course beamed with confidence when asked whether he can win this week.

“Of course,” he said with a smile, according to a report by Reuters.

The former world number one knows the course well but will have to cope with August temperatures he is unaccustomed to when cool San Francisco fog blankets the area.

The Florida resident, who got to know the course on the shores of Lake Merced when he played at nearby Stanford University in the mid-1990s, has said his surgically-repaired back can tighten up in colder weather.

“I think that for me when it’s cooler like this, I need to make sure that my core stays warm, layering up properly,” Woods told reporters.

“I know I won’t have the same range of motion as I would back home in Florida where it’s 95 degrees every day. That’s just the way it is.”

The famous San Francisco fog, which pours in from the Pacific Ocean in the summer, will likely be a bigger factor for the morning groups and Woods is scheduled to tee off on Thursday at 1:58 p.m. local time, when some of it may have burned off.

The fog, also called a marine layer, also keeps the ball from flying as far at the course, which is a challenging 7,251 yard par-70 municipal layout.

“It’s going to be playing longer. It’s heavy air whether the wind blows or not, but it’s still going to be heavy,” he said.

“I’ve known that from all the years and times I’ve had to qualify up in this area… I think the weather forecast is supposed to be like this all week – marine layer, cool, windy -and we are all going to have to deal with it.”

The course, which underwent a massive renovation in 2002-2003, is famous for its overhanging Cypress trees, narrow fairways and nasty rough, which rewards accuracy off the tee.

With the recent battle for supremacy, this year’s edition of the Championship will be competitive.

Jon Rahm’s reign as world number one lasted just two weeks but the Spaniard confirmed he expected the turnover at the top to be the norm going forward with nobody dominating the sport right now.

Rahm rose to the top with a win at the Memorial Tournament on July 19 but quickly lost the crown when Justin Thomas won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday (August 2).

“I think we are in an era right now where it’s going to be hard to have somebody distance themselves,” Rahm told reporters at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco where the first major of the year, the PGA Championship, kicks off on Thursday.

“When you have so many great players playing who go out at the same time, at any given point for two or three months one of us can get hot and take the number one spot. I think we might be entering an era where we bounce back and forth.”

The 25-year-old, who has never won a major but has been knocking on the door in recent years including being tied for third at last year’s U.S. Open, said it was an exciting time for golf and likened it to the battle at the top of men’s tennis.

“You have Rafa (Nadal), (Novak) Djokovic and (Roger) Federer who are competing at the same time. Who is (going to be) number one? You don’t know, it depends on who plays better that year.

“It’s going to be hard to have a Tiger-esque case right now because there’s so many players with so much talent and (they) are really, really good,” he said, referring to the 44-year-old, 15-time major champion Tiger Woods.