Government is treating insecurity with kid’s gloves – Bimbo Daramola

A member of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola on Tuesday said that the Federal Government is treating the present insecurity in the country with kid gloves.

Mr Daramola, who spoke as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, also comment on the recent violence in Jos and the controversies surrounding the invitation of President Goodluck Jonathan by the House of Representatives.

Boko Haram claims Plateau attacks

The dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram said on Tuesday that it was behind the graveyard attacks in Plateau state last Sunday that killed at least 22 people including a Senator and a member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, but security forces blamed the violence on localised ethnic clashes.

“We praise God in this war for Prophet Mohammed, we (Boko Haram) thank Allah for the successful attack in … Plateau state on Christians and security men,” an email from the group’s spokesman Abul Qaqa said.

“We will continue to hunt for government officials wherever they are; they will have no peace again,” said the statement from the Islamist group that has carried out waves of assaults in the North.

The email was sent to reporters in Maiduguri from an address previously used by Qaqa.

Fish out killers of Senator Dantong, Jonathan orders Police

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday ordered security agencies to fish out the killers of a federal Senator, Gyang Dantong.

Mr Dantong, who represented Plateau North constituency and the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani were on Sunday killed along with over 20 people during an attack by some gunmen.

The incident followed the earlier gruesome discovery of 50 corpses in a church in the area. They were the corpses of members of a church said to have fled an onslaught by Fulani herdsmen.

President Jonathan, speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, described the killing as cruel and regrettable.

Mr Abati said that the President had directed security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation to ensure that the culprits are apprehended and brought to justice in due course.

He further said “President Jonathan commiserates with the government and people of Plateau State and members and the leadership of the Senate on the incident.”

“The Federal Government is working hard to ensure that there is a check on impunity.

“That much was demonstrated with the recent changes made in the top echelon of our security architecture, especially with the appointment of the new National Security Adviser.

“We shall continue to re- invigorate our fight against terrorism and impunity and we are already taking concrete steps. The President further assured citizens of their safety wherever they live,” Mr Abati said.

Repairs on Third Mainland Bridge begin today

The Minister of State for Works, Bashir Yuguda on Friday said that the repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge which was suspended indefinitely by the Lagos state government will be begin on Friday.

The Minister disclosed this while inaugurating the repair of eight expansion joints on the Third Mainland Bridge.

According to Mr Yuguda, the repair of the longest bridge in Africa will cost N1.055 billion and is being handled by Messrs Borini Prono & Co (Nig.) Limited.

The contract will run from July 6, 2012 to November 5, 2012.

According to the contract papers, the first phase of the replacement of expansion joints will begin on the inward Lagos side between Ebute Meta Interchange and Adeniji Adele. This section will be shut for the duration of the repair work.

The second phase if on the outward Lagos side between Adeniji Adele and Ebute Meta Interchange.

FG arraigns two Nigerians suspected to be members of Al-Qaeda

The Federal Government has arraigned two Al-Qaeda suspects before a high court sitting in Abuja for allegedly aiding and abating terrorist activities in the country.

The two accused persons Olaniyi Lawal and Lukman Babatunde both pleaded not guilty to the six counts and were later remanded in prison custody pending their next appearance in court.

The first accused person Mr Lawal, 31, is said to have received monies in Saudi Riyals and in US Dollars equivalent to N1 million from a terrorist organisation known as Al-Qaeda in May 2011 to recruit and transport new members to Yemen for combat training in terrorism.

Mr Lawal alongside the second accused Mr Babatunde, 30, allegedly convened a meeting in June 2011 to further the objective of the proscribed organisation.

Also in the charge sheet, the second accused person was said to have provided facilities and logistics for the meeting.

The offence committed by the duo as stated in the charge is punishable under the terrorism and prevention act 2011.

The trial judge adjourned the case to October 2 and 3.

Arsenal postpone pre-season game against Super Eagles

Arsenal Football Club on Wednesday announced it is reluctantly postponing its proposed trip to Nigeria this summer.

The Club on its website said it took the decision as a result of complexities linked to the planned game against Nigeria on Saturday, August 5 in Abuja.

Arsenal marketing director Angus Kinnear said: “Bringing a top-level club to an international market is always complicated and logistically challenging. With the proposed match in Nigeria planned for early August, we could not get comfortable on everything needed to satisfy our requirements, so we have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the team’s visit.”

Kinnear continued: “We have a huge and loyal following in Africa, and we are sorry that the team will not be visiting this summer. However, we have a long-term commitment to Nigeria and we are already making plans for a visit next summer.

“In addition, we also have some exciting forthcoming activities planned with our commercial partners in Nigeria – Emirates, Airtel and Malta Guinness, which will kick off in the next few weeks.”

The divisional senior vice-president, corporate communications of Emirates said: “Emirates shares Arsenal’s disappointment that the team’s visit to Nigeria has been postponed. We look forward to working with Arsenal to bring the Club closer to its loyal Nigerian fans through new initiatives over the coming months.”

A UK Football promoter, David Omigie of DanJan Sports had last month announced that English Premier League side Arsenal will on August 5 play the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a pre-season match in Abuja.

The London club traditionally hosts an annual pre-season tournament at the Emirates Stadium, but they opted to postpone the event for a year because of the 2012 London Olympics.

The visit to Nigeria would have concluded Arsenal’s pre-season after tours to both China and Malaysia in July.

Lagos Speaker fails to stop money laundering trial against him

The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos on Thursday dismissed the application brought by the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji to quash the money laundering charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC).

The presiding judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke in a ruling delivered in a packed courtroom filled with Mr Ikuforiji’s supporters and some lawmakers, held that the reasons canvassed in support of the application to quash the charges were not tenable.

The court also dismissed a counter motion filed by the EFCC challenging the propriety of the Speaker’s application; the judge held that the objection raised by the commission was misconceived, and lacking in merit.

Justice Okeke in his ruling also faulted the Speaker’s argument that since the alleged acts were done in his capacity as the Speaker he was not liable as that would amount to suing Lagos State government.

According to the court such reasoning cannot stand because the Speaker and his aide were charged to court in their own capacity.

The judge maintained that “If the prosecution had wanted to, it could have filed the action against the Lagos State Government or the Attorney-General, but this action is filed against the accused persons.

The motion to quash the charge was therefore dismissed while the court ordered an accelerated hearing of the matter.

It will be recalled that the EFCC had on March 1, 2012 arraigned Mr Ikuforiji and his Personal Assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi, on an amended 20-count of money laundering.

The commission is accusing the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and his aide of accepting cash payment from the Assembly to the tune of N501 million without going through a financial institution.

Justice Okeke adjourned the case till the 24 October for commencement of trial.

AUDIO: Telephone conversation between Farouk Lawan and Femi Otedola – Part 2

Channels Television has obtained the Part 2 of the audio recording purported to be the conversation between Honorable Farouk Lawan and Femi Otedola over the $3million bribery allegation scandal.

Here is the audio recording:

Transcript of the audio recording

Lawan: it wasn’t like my brother talking. That’s one. Secondly, please this thing that we are doing, keep it to yourself otherwise you will make it difficult for us …

Otedola: Ok, ok. I am na

Lawan: Because somebody called me now and said that we said we are going to address it.

Otedola: address what?

Lawan: Yea. Because if it is already out that we are going to do something, when we do it, people will think that we are doing it because we have been compromised. And you know that is something that errrrr… And if my colleagues get to hear about it, I wouldn’t be able to convince them. So keep it to yourself.

Otedola: ok

Lawan: Let it not be like anybody is aware of what is happening. If anybody ask you, simply explain that this thing, you know from your records. You have all records and you have made a case to the committee. You have sent your documents to the committee

Otedola: Yea, Yea

Lawan: Yea. It’s left for the committee… it’s left for the committee to decide what to do. Please keep it that way.

Otedola:  Yea. God bless you. God bless you

Lawan: Yea. Because the moment it gets out now we are going to correct it. Then it means we have already Haaa… so let it be …

Otedola: Ok, Ok

Lawan: I want to spring a surprise on the floor and only that is the only credible way I can do this. So please, please.

Otedola: God bless you. God bless you my brother. I have been crying. Anytime I hear your voice

Lawan: Yes. You know your sector is small. Everybody knows… and people are already saying … Somebody just called now and said Femi has gotten his way around you guys and he has already succeeded.

Otedola: That is not true. But let me also tell you one thing ….

Lawan: No, no, no, no. I am saying it because this is what I heard

Otedola: But my brother, let me also tell you one thing. You know me as a person

Lawan: It doesn’t have… I know… I don’t want

Otedola: People just get up

Lawan: I know. That makes it difficult. Just, just whoever… you know… no. I didn’t do this. I’m sure it must have been a mistake from the committee but I have sent a letter to set the record right

Otedola: ok

Lawan: That’s all

Otedola: Ok my brother

Lawan: Yea. Yea

Otedola: Ok. Great, Ok

Lawan: Yea

Otedola: thank you