FG’s Task Force Not The Solution To High Cost Of Food -Shehu Usman

farmerThe Financial Secretary Mile 12 Market, Shehu Usman, says the task force set up by the Federal Government to bring down the prices of food items is not the solution.

He said, what the government should do is to assist the farmers tremendously, by subsiding fertilizer.

He said it will go a long way in reducing the high cost of food items.

Mr. Shehu made this known on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He however, acknowledged the assistance of the former governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babatunde Fashola for ensuring a lot of farming was ongoing in Lagos state during his term as a governor.

“The former governor of Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, ensured that there was a lot of farming in Lagos state, which easily helped the people of Lagos state to get food items at a Lower price.

“The government could have provided more food when they came in, through importation of food items before closing down the border. For me that’s why food is very expensive”. He said

F.G Sets Up Task Force

The Federal Government had earlier set up a task force to address the challenges facing the nations troubled economy.

This decision was taken during the Federal Executive Council meeting, held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The task force has been given the mandate to reduce food prices in the county.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said the committee will report their findings to the council within the next one week.

Former Rivers Lawmaker, Monday Eleanya Killed By Gunmen

EleanyaA former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Monday Eleanya, has been killed by unknown gunmen in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Ahmad Mohammad, confirmed the incident.

He told Channels Television that the victim’s identity was not clear when the report first filtered in, hours after the victim was shot on Thursday, until later in the evening.

According to DSP Mohammed, the former lawmaker was on his way out of his house when he was accosted by armed men suspected to be robbers.

He said that although Eleanya’s car was not stolen, the assailants left him for dead and fled.

Mr Eleanya represented Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 1 between 1999 and 2003.

Army Repels Boko Haram Attack On Military Base In Yobe

Boko HaramBarely a day after the Interior Minister led a delegation to Yobe State to assess the extent of destruction by Boko Haram militants, the insurgents have attacked the 120 Taskforce Battalion of the Nigeria army in the state.

It was gathered that the militants attacked the Army base stationed in Goniri town in Gujba Local Government Area at about 4:00AM but were repelled by soldiers who engaged them in a gun battle.

The Spokesman of the 27 Task Force Brigade in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital Lieutenant George Okupe, told Channels Television that some of the militants were sighted by security forces around Tashan-Fulani village in Tarmuwa Local Government Area of the state, which is 35 Kilometres north of Damaturu.

He said 17 of the militants were killed while several others escaped with severe gunshot injuries in the encounter which lasted several hours, with many of the residents reportedly fleeing the violence.

One of the residents told our correspondent in the state that they heard heavy gunshots and explosions and had to run for safety, adding that the battle continued into the early hours of Friday.

The Spokesman also said that 300 rounds of assorted ammunition were recovered from the suspected Boko Haram fighters along with several explosive devices.

Goniri is one of the communities recently recaptured by security forces who are currently working to clear the town and other surrounding community preparatory to the return of the residents who are spread in IDP camps in Yobe and Borno states.

Dubai Investigates Skyscraper Fire

Dubai-fireAuthorities in Dubai have begun investigations into the cause of an inferno that engulfed a 63-storey luxury hotel in the city centre on New Year’s eve.

Firefighters managed to subdue the blaze, but part of the Address downtown hotel is still smouldering.

According to the BBC, 16 people were hurt in the incident.

While the Address Hotel was in flames, a fireworks show went ahead at the Burj Khalifa tower nearby, the world’s tallest building and an iconic symbol of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Yobe Police Recorded Less Serious Crimes In 2015 – Commissioner

RRS-yobe -policeThe Yobe State Police Command says it has recorded less serious crimes in 2015, compared to the year 2014.

Parading 17 suspects before journalists at the end of the year media briefing in Damaturu, the state capital, the State Commissioner of Police (CP), Zannah Ibrahim, said major crime statistics for the two years indicates that terrorists’ attacks recorded in 2015 stands at 19 cases, as against the 25 of last year.

According to the CP, other crimes that recorded decrease in 2015, compared to 2014 include; culpable homicide, kidnapping, unnatural offences, armed robbery, grievous hurt and wounding, as well as breach of public peace.

CP Ibrahim also revealed that rape and indecent assault offences against firearms and forgery of currency notes recorded various increase in 2015.

The Police Commissioner disclosed that four of the paraded suspects are believed to be involved in certificate forgery at the College of Education, Gashua.

While one is responsible for signing, stamping and issuance of forged certificates, two others were canvassing for interested “grandaunts” and the last person specialised in printing the certificate.

Musa Ahmed and Ali Yusuf, who are suspects to the crime, in an interview with newsmen, attributed his offence to an act of the devil.

The CP also disclosed that some of the suspects paraded were found to have engaged in the production and circulation of counterfeit currency, contrary to section 21 of the Penal Code Law.

He said further investigation revealed that the suspects had in their possession fake Nigerian currency totalling about 490, 000 Naira, Identity cards, a bottle containing mercury and forged land sale agreement, among others.

The Commissioner said that some of the suspects will be arraigned for culpable homicide, being in possession of dried leaves believed to be Indian herp or a control substances, suspected homicide and mischief, contrary to sections 221 and 327 of the Penal Code Law of Nigeria.

He appreciated the efforts of the state government, traditional institution, sister security agencies, the media and other security stakeholders in the state for their unflinching support given to the Police in the year under review, hoping similar synergy will be exhibited in the years ahead.

While assuring of a hitch free Christmas celebration, the CP said the command will intensify vehicular, foot and join patrol to ensure a crime free state.

New INEC Chairman Pledges To Hold Credible Elections

Mahmood-Yakubu-InecThe new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has promised to consolidate on the gains of the commission by conducting credible elections.

Speaking in Abuja on Monday shortly after taking over the affairs of the commission from its Acting Chairman, Mrs Amina Zakari, Professor Yakubu assured Nigerians that the commission would be guided by the constitution and the Electoral Act in the conduct of all elections.

“Mr President, we pledge our commitment to the discharge of our responsibilities without fear or favour.

“Free, fair and credible election is at the heart of our nation’s progress and stability. We shall not fail the nation,” he said.

Also speaking at the handing over ceremony, the former Acting Chairman said the commission was already prepared for the conduct of the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

During the swearing in of Professor Yakubu, President Buhari pledged to respect the independence of the electoral body and promised to give the commission all the support it may need.

The President said that a situation where people hide under technicalities to deny the citizens their rights was unacceptable. He called on state governments to make their electoral bodies work for the benefit of all.

Syria Conflict: Russia Wants ‘Coordination’ Against IS

Russia-Putin-ISRussia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has again reiterated his support for Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, saying the latter is fighting terrorist organisations, and Russia “will be pleased to find common ground for joint action against the terrorists”.

In a television interview in the United States (US), Mr. Putin also called for a regional “coordinating structure” against Islamic State (IS).

The crisis in Syria is expected to top the agenda as world leaders gather at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.

Mr. Putin will also hold rare talks with the US President, Barack Obama, to discuss the issue later on Monday.

Relations between Russia and the West have been strained ever since Moscow’s annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014.

Delta Governor Meets Stakeholders On BRT Scheme

Delta state on BRTIn a bid to further uplift the socio-economic activities and improve transport services, the Delta State Government has taken the initiative to look into the challenges facing the expansion and use of the ongoing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.

At a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Government House Annex, Warri, the State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, said that the essence of the meeting was to get first-hand information from all opinion leaders on their perception about the BRT project, and how best to forge ahead in the development of the town.

The stakeholders, which include the traditional ruler, Ovie of Uvwie Abe I, Chief Victor Otomewor, the Uvwie Local Government Council Chairman, Hon Henry Baron, opinion leaders and other direct beneficiaries of the BRT project, brainstormed on the challenges facing the BRT scheme on whether to continue with the project or not.

In his presentation, the representative of the BRT contracting firm, Mr Biodun Otunola, demonstrated the viability of the scheme.

However the road users expressed dissatisfaction with the ongoing scheme.

In reaction to this, the Governor said the views and opinions of every party involved would be taken into consideration, to ensure that government arrives at a position that would be beneficial to the people and create even development to the area.

Abia Development: Stakeholders, Governor Discuss Education, Others

abia state governorThe Abia State Government has held a one-day interactive session with principal stakeholders agenda on education and infrastructural developments among many others.

At the meeting, the State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, reiterated that his administration would prioritise the enhancement of the lives of the citizens in the state.

He called on the stakeholders to make their input and opinions, stressing that his administration’s intention is to run an all inclusive government where everybody will be part of governance.

The session, which took place at the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Umuahia, had in attendance representatives of Landlord Association, Market Association, National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), who took time to ask questions on issues and challenges as it concerns their immediate constituency.

In his speech, the Governor told local government workers to fish out ghost workers among them, saying “it is a source of worry that the workforce of Abia is taking huge chunk of state statutory allocation”.

Responding to the Youth Council’s question about what his administration had in mind about tackling youths unemployment, the Governor said some of the solutions would be to reinforce technical education and create a hub for the youths to have a platform to be self-reliant and employers of labour.

EU To Back Smuggler’s Boat Destruction In Mediterranean

euThe European Union (EU) Foreign and Defence Ministers are expected to approve a mission to destroy the boats used by people-smugglers operating in Libya.

At a meeting in Brussels, the Ministers will also discuss the mission’s command-and-control structure and headquarters.

This is part of the EU’s response to the vast number of illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

Report suggests that more than 1,800 migrants have died in the Mediterranean in 2015. This is a 20-fold increase on the same period in 2014.

On arrival for the meeting, EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, said: “Today the main point will be taking the decision to establish the operation, the EU operation at sea to dismantle the criminal networks that are smuggling people in the Mediterranean”.

“We are looking for partnership with the Libyan authorities, with all the relevant Libyan authorities,” she said.

 

Mayweather Eyes Money, Pacquiao 100% Confident Of Victory

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Manny Pacquiao - Pacquiao Fan RallyFloyd Mayweather taunted Manny Pacquiao ahead of their eagerly-anticipated super-fight on Saturday, telling him he should be earning more money.

However, the purse split is 60-40 in Mayweather’s favour and the American legend said his rival had not been looked after properly.

Mayweather said: “If he would have worked with us, he would have made $100 million (£90 million)”.

“Financially, he hasn’t been treated right for this fight. And [this fight] is all about the money.

“Saturday is just work, I’ll just do what I do. But I’ll make upwards of $200 million for this fight, which is $50 million apiece for my kids. So it was a smart move.”

Pacquiao Excited And Confident

The 38-year-old American said he instigated the initial meeting in Pacquiao’s Miami hotel suite – which Mayweather said was not up to his exacting standards.

Mayweather also reiterated his intention to retire after another fight in September, even though two more victories would leave him equal with heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano’s 49-fight unbeaten record.

Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao has said that he is 100 per cent confident of beating Mayweather.

“Don’t get nervous, I’m the one fighting, so relax.”

“I am very excited and my confidence is 100 per cent.

“Any time I am the underdog, I like that. It means my killer instinct and focus is fully there. This is the moment I believe he will experience his first loss.”

Trial Of Lagos Speaker’s Stalled As Prosecutor Withdraws

The trial of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Adeyemi  Ikuforiji and his personal assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi over allegations of money laundering has being stalled following the withdrawal of the Chief Prosecutor, Godwin Obla from the case.

The Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji

When the matter came up for continuation of trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday, a senior counsel with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Alli Yussuf  announced Mr Obla’s withdrawal in court.

Mr Yussuf told the presiding Judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke that though he was yet to see the letter written to that effect, he was compelled to appear in the case following the withdrawal of Mr Obla who had been handling the case since inception.

Mr Obla was said to have attributed his withdrawal to the 13 trial days in the month of April, starting from today Tuesday, fixed by the court for the hearing of the matter.

He said these dates would considerably constrain his ability to diligently prosecute the matter, as he had other legal proceedings before various courts and arbitral tribunals within and outside the country which conflict with the dates fixed by the court.

Mr Obla was also said to have advised the EFCC to retain the services of another counsel whose calendar can accommodate the dates fixed for the matter by the court.

Mr Yussuf however urged the court to adjourn the matter for another three weeks to enable him study the case file.

Counsel for the Lagos Speaker, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) opposed the request of the EFCC for adjournment.

The defence counsel pointed out that this was a case in which the accused person was begging for prosecution so as to clear his name while the prosecutor was running away from prosecuting. He therefore urged the court to either dismiss or strike out the charges against the accused persons.

The EFCC counsel swiftly opposed this application and further urged court for more time to enable him study the case file so as to properly prosecute.

Justice Okeke has enjoined the EFCC to engage the services of another prosecuting counsel to continue the case. He then adjourned the matter till the 24th of April.

Channels TV has however gathered that the trial judge is due for retirement in May and would not be able to conclude the case, thereby further stalling the trial.