Channels Tevision, Deutsche Welle Share Programme Collaboration Plan

Channels-Television-and-Deutsche-Welle-executivesChannels Television and Deutsche Welle (DW) have said that a programming collaboration that both broadcast stations signed in June will focus on sharing contents on a platform tagged ‘Africa on the move’.  

At live press briefing on Friday held in Lagos, south-west Nigeria, the Director General of DW, Peter Limbourg, said that both stations were collaborating on the platform to share daily service to their audience around the world.

Mr Limbourg said that the programme would also target special people who do special things and are game changers in their environment.

“Channels is a great station and a perfect partner for us and I really want to make you a big compliment for what you have achieved.

“We are very happy to work with you and working with you means not only being partners and visit each other, but also having concrete projects and we have started now.

“We bring the latest news from the German Stock Exchange and as regular service where we get more economic information about Europe and about Germany,” he said.

“One Sided Picture Of Africa”

Explaining the focus of ‘Africa on the Move’, Mr Limbourg stressed that it would report events in Africa from the African perspective with more focus on great things happening in Africa.

“One has to see all the changes which are going on here, what opportunities you have in this great continent and especially in Nigeria, where people have shown a better dedication to make life a better one.

“We do not want to have a one sided picture of Africa.

“I am happy we have a serious Africa on the move,” he said.

Mr Limbourg also expressed optimising that sharing of information with Channels Television was a learning process that would have impact on both organisation’s broadcast.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, said that the collaboration was a very heart warming one.

“The whole idea is to be able to bring African story, working with DW, to the wider society, to Europe and to the rest of the world.

“This is something that we are starting with DW very soon.

“We hope that this relationship will go a very long way. We have started reaping the fruit and I think, so far, it’s been very, very good,” Mr Momoh said.

At the event were the Consul General of Germany in Nigeria, Mr Michael Derus, the Vice Chairman of Channels Television, Mrs Sola Momoh, General Manager Operations, Channels TV, Mr Kayode Akintemi, Head of DW International Relations and other delegations from DW and Channels Television.

Channels Television and Deutsche Welle had in June signed the programming agreement in Germany.

More images from the press briefing.

Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, John Momoh and the Director General of DW, Peter Limbourg
Vice Chairman of Channels Television, Sola Momoh and Head of International Relations, DW, Claus Burgmann
The Consul General of Germany in Nigeria, Michael Derus and  Mr Peter Limbourg

Director General of DW

The Consul General of Germany in Nigeria, Michael Derus at the press briefing
Top management officials of Channels Television and DW
Vice Chairman of Channels Television, Sola Momoh
Channels Television’s Chairman/CEO, John Momoh, DW’s Director General, Peter Limbourg and other officials of DW at a meeting
Vice Chairman of Channels Television, Sola Momoh, Consul General of Germany in NIgeria, Michael-Derus, delegations from DW and Channels Television

Legal Practitioner Says State of Emergency Is Yet To Take Effect

A legal practioner and public affairs analyst, Ikechukwu Ikeji has faulted the manner in which President Goodluck Jonathan has handled the declaration of State of Emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Adamawa states.

Ikeji, who was fielding questions on Channels Television’s morning flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, argued that the president should have sent a Gazette of the declaration before going ahead with the announcement.

Ikeji said “What matters is the publication of the Gazzette. As sson as you want to declare a state of emergency, you publish the Gazette and send it forthwith as soon as you have declared it to the Senate and the House of Reps”.

He further argued that political structures in the affected states should not be upstaged until the Gazzette has been published. He also said the military shouldn’t have carried on with the deployment of troops to the states.

Reacting to a press conference by the Senate Majority Leader, Victor Nodma-Egba that the senate is yet to discuss the declaration because the Gazzette has not been sent to them, he said “If somebody is saying that the Gazzette has not been published or has not been transmitted, absolutely what we are just simply saying in effect is that there is no declaration yet of state of emergency”

Ikeji described the present declaration as an improper declaration of state of emergency, saying that people can seek redress in the law courts if they feel their fundamental rights have been trampled upon.

However, he agreed that the president, empowered by Section 130 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 218, can deploy troops to any part of the country.

He said the president can premise the deployment of troops on the aforementioned sections of the 1999 constitution but not on the state of emergency.

Moro Faults Professionalism Of Prison Officials

The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, says prison officers are ill equipped to hold high profile suspects and criminals, especially terrorists.

Mr. Moro said at a media Briefing in Abuja that terrorism suspects within the prison walls have made the prison service vulnerable to attacks by the insurgents.

The Minister added that the prisons were initially built for minor cases but the advent of insurgency has made it necessary to upgrade the facilities to be able to handle high profile inmates.

He traced the poor state of the prison service to inadequate funding, explaining that prison service is on the exclusive list which inhibits adequate development of the facilities.

Kwara Governor Advocates Labour Union Partnership For State Development

The Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed has called on trade and labour unions in the state to partner with governments for the attainment of economic growth in the country.

Governor Ahmed made the call in Ilorin when the newly-elected state executive council of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) paid him a courtesy visit.

He noted that virile unions like the NURTW must play critical roles in national development as it requires collective effort to achieve the desired objectives.

The governor described the NURTW as one of the most important unions in the country as its members are in charge of the movement of goods and services which he described as germane to economic development.

He said the NURTW’s role in ensuring easy movement of goods and services was commendable and emphasized that his administration remains committed to its road development programme, particularly the ‘operation no pothole’ and the extension of urban and rural road networks.

The chairman of NURTW, Isa Ore said with membership strength of 41,922, the union was the second largest employer of labour apart from the state government.

Mr Ore said NURTW contributes about N140 million yearly to the internally generated revenue of the state government through the payment of renewal fees for motor particulars.

The chairman said the union has zero tolerance for thuggery and all forms of violence and pledged that its members would not do anything that could disrupt the peace in the state.

Security Experts Advice FG To Shun Dialogue With ‘Faceless’ Boko Haram

Security experts today advised the Federal Government not to dialogue with the Islamist Boko Haram group.

The experts, who were speaking as guests on Channels Television’s weekend flagship programme, Sunrise Saturday, said the president was right in refusing to offer amnesty to the “faceless” group.

A civil rights activist and security don; Razak Oladosu called for proper use of available information channels to combat crime in the country. He advocated the use of combined forces, from the local community and military personnel, in the fight against the Boko Haram sect.

Another security expert, Nojeem Shobo charged the Federal Government to locate the operational base of the group and send equipped soldiers to clear the place within three months.

Similarly, Ona Ekhomu, said “the dreaded sect members do not have reasons to be granted amnesty as they haven’t presented their grievances and have their hands soiled in blood”.

If amnesty is to be considered then the bloodshed has got to stop, but because the blood still flows, there isn’t basis for the talk of amnesty because we don’t know what the issue are’’.

The Sultan of Sokoto had called on President Goodluck Jonathan to offer amnesty to the sect in order to end the violence in the northern part of the country.

Senate Charges Works Ministry To Commence Work On Niger Bridge

 The Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Works to commence immediate repairs of the Niger Bridge and take urgent action to commence work on the second bridge across the river.

The upper chamber also directed its Committee on Works to carry out investigation with the Ministry of Works and proffer immediate solution to the poor state of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

The federal lawmakers made these recommendations after two lawmakers brought up the issue of the poor state of the Niger and Third Mainland Bridges.

Senator Hope Uzodinma pointed out the worsening condition of the River Niger Bridge and the need for the federal government to ensure that the second bridge becomes a reality.

Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who moved the motion on the Third Mainland Bridge, noted that if the deplorable condition of the bridge is not addressed immediately, it could lead to a national disaster.

The Third Mainland Bridge which measures 11.8 km is the longest bridge in the country and connects the Lagos Mainland to the Island.

It was built by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Borini Prono, and commissioned by former military president Ibrahim Babangida in 1990.

The Federal Ministry of Works completed repair works on the bridge in October 2012.

However, some of the lawmakers are of the opinion that the repair works done on the bridge is not sufficient.

Farmer Records Victory Over Shell In Oil Spill Case

A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell can be held partially responsible for pollution in the Niger Delta, saying the company should have prevented sabotage at one of its facilities.

Shell's office in Port-Harcourt
People walk past Dutch oil giant Shell's sign board in Nigeria

The district court in The Hague ordered Shell to pay unspecified damages to one farmer, but dismissed four other claims filed against the Dutch parent company.

Four Nigerians and interest group Friends of the Earth filed the suit in 2008 in the Netherlands, where Shell has its global headquarters, seeking reparations for lost income from contaminated land and waterways in the Niger Delta region.

The court backed Shell’s argument that the spills were caused by sabotage and not poor maintenance of its facilities, as had been argued by the Nigerians.

“Shell Nigeria should and could have prevented this sabotage in an easy way,” the ruling said.

“This is why the district court has sentenced Shell Nigeria to pay damages to the Nigerian plaintiff.”

The Nigerians said they could no longer feed their families because the region had been polluted by oil from Shell’s pipelines and production facilities.

The pollution is a result of oil spills in 2004, 2005 and 2007, they said.

It is the first time a Dutch-registered company has been sued in a domestic court for offences allegedly carried out by a foreign subsidiary.

Reactions Trail Judgement

The company, reacting to the judgement afterwards, said “it was “happy” with a verdict issued by a Dutch district court, which acquitted it of the bulk of pollution charges filed by Nigerian farmers”.

The court said “its wholly owned subsidiary Shell Nigeria was responsible for oil spills but that they had been caused by sabotage, not poor maintenance of its facilities”.

The farmer who won compensation, 52-year-old Friday Akpan, who has 12 children, said he was very happy with the judgment.

“I am not surprised at the decision because there was divine intervention in the court. The spill damaged 47 fishing ponds, killed all the fish and rendered the ponds useless. I had loaned the money from the agriculture loans board and had no way to pay it back,” he told Reuters in Port Harcourt.

“Since then I have been living by God’s grace and on the help of good Samaritans. I think this will be a lesson for Shell and they will know not to damage people’s livelihoods.”

Friends of the Earth spokesman Geert Ritsema said they would appeal against the acquittals “because there is still a lot of oil lying around. These sites need to be cleaned.”

Compensation To Be Negotiated

Royal Dutch Shell said on Wednesday it was “happy” with a verdict issued by a Dutch district court, which acquitted it of the bulk of pollution charges filed by Nigerian farmers.

“We will pay compensation. We didn’t lose the case. It was not operational failure. The leak was the consequence of sabotage,” Allard Castelein, Royal Dutch Shell’s vice president for environment, said in comments after the verdict was read.

“Shell Nigeria should and could have prevented this sabotage in an easy way,” the ruling said. “This is why the district court has sentenced Shell Nigeria to pay damages to the Nigerian plaintiff.”

Castelein said Shell will negotiate the amount of damages with the farmer, but that an appeal could postpone the outcome of those talks.

Farouk Gate Revisited On Politics Today

The Farouk/Lawan bribery scandal has become one of the most talked about and perhaps the biggest that has hit the Legislative tier of government in several decades.

As there’s been some quiet on the further investigations on the matter and possible prosecution by relevant agencies, legal practitioner and activist Festus Keyamo has taken it upon himself to force the Attorney General’s hands to see to the proper handling of the matter.

On This edition of Politics Today, we dissect the issues and all the angles in the saga. We also take a closer look at President Jonathan interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Senate Will Fully Support Performing MDAs- Mark

The Senate President, Senator David Mark says the National Assembly will henceforth approve additional funding for any government agency that carries out its duties judiciously towards a positive impact on the lives of Nigerians.

Senator Mark said this while inaugurating for use, over 20 vehicles purchased for the orientation mobilization activities of the National Orientation Agency which he said has an enormous task to perform with the transformation agenda resting on its shoulders.

The Chairman House Committee on Information, Representative Buba Jibril, earlier stressed on the need to re-order existing priorities and review the structure for running agencies in Nigeria commiserate with the functions they perform.

Fuel Price Will Remain The Same In January 2013-NNPC

The Acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr Fidel Pepple, has assured Nigerians that the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol will not be increased in January.

Pepple said this on Sunday in Abuja while speaking with newsmen where he also restated that the Federal Government had earmarked some money for fuel subsidy in the 2013 budget.

He also announced that the vandalised Ije-Ododo and Arepo pipelines in Lagos and Ogun had been restored.

“I can affirm to you that our engineers from the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Ltd. (PPMC) have finally fixed the Ije-Ododo pipeline that was ruptured last Monday by pipeline vandals.

“Going forward, the good news for Nigerians is that we have resumed pumping petroleum products through the pipeline and system 2B is equally working after the restoration of the pipeline,” he said.

Pepple assured motorists that with the restoration of the Ije-Ododo pipeline and the NNPC system 2B pipeline, normalcy had been restored in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

He stated further that pumping of the PMS had resumed in earnest to depots and tank farms in system 2B, spanning from Atlas-Cove in Lagos to Ilorin in Kwara. He described media reports that fuel scarcity and queues in some parts of the country might last beyond the New Year as “mischievous and misleading”.

Pepple said that that the NNPC was working hard to check fuel scarcity and eliminate queues at filling stations across the country. He attributed the long queues at filling stations to the activities of vandals and the closure of some filling stations, due to the Christmas holidays.

The spokesman said that the company had product sufficiency that could sustain the country for more than a month. He said the NNPC was working hard to supply PMS so as to ease the hardship of motorists before and after the New Year.

Pepple appealed to independent marketers to stop diverting petroleum products to the black market, saying that sanctions would be meted out to culprits.

The general manager stressed the need for marketers to team up with the NNPC in ensuring steady supply and distribution of petroleum products.

He also called on motorists to desist from panic buying and hoarding as the NNPC was doing its utmost to restore normalcy in the supply and distribution chain.

Fuel subsidy scam: Court adjourns Ali’s trial to accommodate more suspects

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, has adjourned the trial of the son of former PDP National Chairman, Ahmadu Ali – Mamman Nasir Ali, alongside others till the 12th of November, 2012.

The others expected to face trial before presiding Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo alongside the former PDP National Chairman’s son, includes Nasaman Oil Services and Christian Taylor.

They were all charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence, forgery and the use of false documents.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, counsel to the EFCC, Francis Usani, informed the court that the matter had earlier been adjourned till today (Tuesday) for trial, but explained that the commission would not be able to continue with the trial because of what he termed “some pressing issues which would assist the court in the true dispensation of justice”.

According to Usani, “The prosecution intends to join one Seun Ogunbambo as defendant in the matter.

“This is because as at the time the charge was filed, information relating to Ogunbambo had not reached the EFCC.”

In response, defence counsel, Toyin Pinheiro (SAN) who did not object to the submission of the EFCC said, “We would wait for the amendment of the charge to be effected.

“Though I know the defendants have no case to answer.”

In the meantime, Mamman Nasir Ali as well as the other defendants will continue to enjoy the bail already granted them by the court after their arraignment.


PDP chides ACN, congratulates re-elected Ondo state governor

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accepted defeat and congratulated the Governor-elect in the Ondo State gubernatorial election, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.

The PDP also commended the people of Ondo State for what it termed “their emphatic rejection of tribalism and narrow political adventurism which it stressed were the hallmark of the campaign of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN in the just concluded gubernatorial election.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary on Sunday,  Olisa Metuh, however hailed its candidate,  Olusola Oke for his courage, determination and doggedness, adding, ‘’though the PDP was not declared the winner of the election, the Party was happy with the performance of its candidate “who obviously joined the race late.”

‘’How better do Nigerians say no to the drumbeats of tribalism and political narrowness than what the people of Ondo have just done with their votes? It is a quantum forward leap for those who understand the dangers of undue manipulation of national diversity for narrow political whims and a huge set back, utter rejection for the champions of ethnic politics.

‘’While we commend, Chief Olusola Oke, his running mate, members and supporters of our party, we wish to also congratulate Olusegun Mimiko on his victory. In spite, another lesson is here for the nation, especially the opposition political parties to draw from the commitment of our great Party to the full entrenchment of the legacy of free, fair and credible polls.

“Ostensible is the manifest unwavering devotion of President Goodluck Jonathan to the cause of democracy. He led the campaign of our Party to Ondo and promised free and fair election. Free and fair election he has once more delivered.”

The party hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the polls, the PDP however urged ‘’them to learn from any observed loopholes so as to continue improving in future elections.’