Court Grants Bail To Seven Shiites In Abuja

Shiites, Abuja, CourtA Magistrate Court in Karu has granted bail to seven members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, who are popularly known as Shiites.

The court on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, granted them bail of 100,000 Naira each on the three-count charge against each of them.

The defendants have been charged for the offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and inciting public peace, contrary to sections 97, 102 and 114 of the Penal Code.

Magistrate Abubakar Umaru granted the defendants bail with two reliable and reasonable sureties each in like sum.

He stated that the sureties must be civil or public servants in grade level eight and above.

The Magistrate further ruled that the sureties must live within the jurisdiction of the court and ordered that their addresses be verified by the officer of the court.

He asked the sureties to submit their passport photographs and national identity cards to the court.

Latest Protest Disrupted

Before their bail was granted, Shiites have continued to stage countless protests to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

However, the latest protest was disrupted by police officials on Thursday in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Alkali Usman, had defended the action, saying it was to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015, after a bloody clash between the Shiites and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Osun Flood: Residents Count Losses Following Heavy Rain

Flood, Osun StateTwenty-four hours after the heavy rains in Osogbo the Osun state capital, the rains are yet to subside.

No help has come from the emergency agencies or the state authorities.

Channels Television’s correspondent who returned to the scene of the incident, said properties have been destroyed and the flooding has left one person dead.

A woman and her daughter were trapped in a store just as many of the residents around one of the communities were stranded after a bridge collapsed.

The Muslim festival was going well with residents already looking forward to resuming back to their businesses when the holiday suddenly turned sour.

Some residents in areas like Testing Ground, Rasco, Oke-Onitea, Fiwasaye, Gbomi and Iludun in Osogbo have been counting their losses as the rain came down heavily for three hours, causing flood in many parts of the city.

According to a report by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Osun state was identified as one of the flood-prone areas and the residents believe that the government should have been proactive to avert this occurrence.

While the residents count their losses, no official statement had been made by the Osun state government at the time of the report.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency has predicted flash flood in Lagos, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Makurdi and Yola.

Speaking at the unveiling of the 2016 annual flood outlook, the Director General of the agency, Dr Moses Beckley has urged state governments to put in place artificial reservoirs to check the flow of the flood.

Saraki Calls For Strengthening Of Anti-Graft Agencies’ Laws

Bukola-Saraki-on-BudgetNigeria’s Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has called for the strengthening of the laws establishing the anti-graft agencies in order for the fight against corruption to be transparent.

Addressing reporters at his house in Ilorin on Tuesday, Dr Saraki explained that there was the need to strengthen the laws that established the anti-graft agencies to ensure that their activities were transparent and not selective.

He called for a holistic approach to the fight against corruption, emphasising that there should be no political coloration.

Increasing the budget of the agencies, training and retraining of the officers were some of the areas that should be looked into for the war to be won, he said.

On the alleged earth tremor that happened in Kaduna State, the Senate President assured Nigerians that the Senate would investigate the incident.

He said that the legislative chamber would invite relevant agencies to enlighten Nigerians on their preparedness in case of higher occurrence of the tremor.

The Senate President also spoke on the alleged disappearance of foodstuff meant for Internally Displaced Persons, saying he had added the issues to some other issues to be verified by the Senate on resumption.

Dr Saraki also talked on the economic recession that Nigeria is in and promised that the Senate would invite economists to consider how to move out of the economic crisis.


S.A Markets Battered On Monday

south africa marketThe Nigerian markets are closed for a two-day Muslim holiday, but in South Africa, the ftse-jse Africa all-share index fell as much as 1.7 percent in early trade on Monday.

The decline was led mainly by the mining index, down 3.7 percent as shares of mine giants – BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Anglo-gold fall, a Bloomberg report shows.

The South African rand nosedived 0.8 percent to 14.526 on the U.S. Dollar while the yield on benchmark government bond maturing December 2026 climbed 2 basis points to 8.78 percent.

Analysts say the South African markets are reacting to a likely funds rate hike this September by the U.S. Central bank.

FCT Residents Complain Of Indiscriminate Cattle Grazing

Grazing reserveResidents of the Federal Capital Territory are complaining of the indiscriminate cattle  grazing which obstructs traffic and pedestrians in the capital city.

They described the recent free movement of cattle in the city centre as shameful and unacceptable.

But officials of the FCT insist they are doing everything possible to enforce the FCT Minister’s recent directive to rid the city of cattle.

Prior to this time, cattle grazing and other activities such as street hawking were prohibited in the city.

The Director, Information and Communications, Stella Ojeme explained that the FCT Minister has given the directive to rid the city of cattle grazing.

Also the Chairman Joint Taskforce on FCT, Abdulahi Adamu, also gave the assurance that the city would return to its old glory.

Guinea Bissau Agrees To Deal Aimed At Ending Crisis

guinea bussaGuinea Bissau political rivals have agreed to a road map that includes the formation of a new government, according to a statement from regional mediators seeking to end a year-long political crisis in the West African country.

President Jose Mario Vaz dismissed Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira in August 2015 and the country’s political institutions have been paralyzed by infighting since then.

Observers hoped the appointment of Baciro Dja as prime minister in May would ease the deadlock but he has failed to win the support of a key faction within the ruling PAIGC party.

The United Nations has warned that the crisis might benefit drug traffickers and attract “extremist terrorist groups” seeking to gain a foothold in the region.

The former Portuguese colony is notoriously unstable and has seen nine coups or attempted coups since 1980. The turbulence has helped it become a major transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to Europe.

A team of mediators from regional bloc ECOWAS, led by neighboring Guinea’s President Alpha Conde and Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma, spent Saturday in talks with stakeholders in the capital Bissau.

“They (parties consulted) have all shown their support for the plan proposed by mediators,” said Guinea’s government late on Saturday, after meetings with the president, prime minister, PAIGC as well as the main opposition party PRS.

“The signals being sent are reassuring that the crisis in Guinea Bissau is beginning to ease,” the statement said.

The six-point plan includes a preliminary agreement to form a consensus government, an agreement to reform the constitution and the defense sector, it said.

It gave no time frame for the new government.

We Will Work Towards Ensuring Things Get Better, Saraki Promises Nigerians

Buhari-Saraki-JumatNigeria’s Senate President has given the assurance that the upper legislative chamber would continue to work towards ensuring that things get better for Nigerians.

Senator Bukola Saraki made the promise while addressing reporters after he joined President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, to observe the Friday Jumat service.

“We Will Overcome”

He appealed to Nigerians to bear with the administration, as it strives to bring the country out of the current economic recession.

“We will continue to appeal to Nigerians to bear. We know we are all going through difficult times.

“In every country, people go through challenges. But with prayers and support, we will overcome it.

“The most important thing is for us to stay together and give each other support and continue to believe in this great country,” he stated

Senator Saraki further assured Nigerians that things would get better, saying; “we will all weather this storm and sail through together”.

Dr. Saraki, who was conspicuously absent at the Council of State meeting on Wednesday, arrived at the Villa at about 1:00p.m. local time for the prayer.

The Senate President also wished Nigerians, especially the Muslim faithful, a happy sallah celebration.

‘Changes Would Come’

Top  government officials in Nigeria are making efforts to reassure citizens of their commitment to bringing the nation out of recession the oil-rich country officially slipped into last week after the National Bureau of Statistics released a report on the economy.

Professor Yemi Osinbajo said the government would partner with private investors in the renovation of the refineries

On Thursday, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, expressed optimism that the economic recession the country was battling with would be short-lived.

He said changes would come ‘once the Federal Government is able to resolve the issues concerning the pipeline vandalism and focus on sustainable diversification policy’.

The Vice President gave this assurance while speaking to reporters at the Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State.

Professor Osinbajo said that the loss of about 60 per cent of gas and 60 per cent of revenue were largely responsible for the economic challenges Nigerians have been facing.

Health Minister Reveals Plans To Drive Sector With ICT

Isaac-AdewoleThe Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has described the lack of accurate data for disease outbreaks across the country as one major challenge the sector is grappling with.

He made the remarks at a meeting to inaugurate the National E-health Committee in Abuja.

According to him, the 13-man committee which he heads alongside his colleague at the Ministry of Communications, would work to improve access to Healthcare delivery even among rural dwellers.

The two ministers said that the E-health initiative of the Federal Government would leverage on the access and use of mobile phones and other related information communication technologies in the country.

They further explained that the initiative would both reduce the time a patient spends trying to get medical assistance and assist government get accurate data during disease outbreaks.

FRSC Flag Off Campaign On Road Safety

frsc, fairly used, expired tyresThe high rate of accidents have been attributed to human errors emanating from dangerous driving.

This, according to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), includes unnecessary overtaking at bends; indiscipline and disrespect for traffic rules and regulations as well as overloading of vehicles among others.

The Deputy Corps Marshal in Charge of Operations, Mr Adei Abu said research and statistics by the agency identified speed and speed related offences responsible for high percentage of crashes, which stands at over 60%.

This, he added, informed the introduction of maximum road safety speed limit and limiters for vehicles.

The FRSC embarked on sensitisation campaign for safety on the roads which is usually characterised by upsurge in traffic volume across the nation, especially during the festive season.

Some measures have been put in place by the commission to curb recklessness on the road especially in Zone 4 of the FRSC made up of Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa States.

Some respondents at the campaign rally observed the timing for the introduction of the speed limiting device as not convenient considering the economic situation and other commitments at this period of the year.

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Accuses Judges Of Recklessness For Allowing Protests

Robert-MugabeZimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has accused court judges of being reckless in allowing anti-government demonstrations that later turned violent, state media reported on Sunday.

The report is coming a day before a legal challenge to last week’s official ban on protests.

The southern Africa nation on Thursday outlawed all demonstrations for two weeks in the capital Harare, which has witnessed protests against Mugabe’s handling of the economy, cash shortages and high unemployment.

Some political activists have approached the High Court to challenge the ban which they say is unconstitutional. The hearing is set for Monday.

Mugabe told a conference of the ruling ZANU-PF’s youth wing on Saturday that “enough is enough” and he would not allow violent protests to continue, the Sunday Mail newspaper reported.

Violence erupted more than a week ago when police used teargas and water cannon to disperse marchers.

“Our courts, our justice system, our judges should be the ones who understand even better than ordinary citizens. They dare not be negligent in their decisions when requests are made by people who want to demonstrate,” the Sunday Mail quoted Mugabe as saying.

“To give permission again when they are to the full knowledge that it is going to be violent or (there is)probability that there is going to be violence is to pay reckless disregard to the peace of this country.”

Police routinely cite lack of manpower and a threat to security as a reason for barring opposition protests, but the decisions have often been overturned by the High Court

Mali President Fires Defense Minister After Gunmen Seize Village

maliMali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has fired Defence Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly after suspected Islamist militants briefly seized the village of Boni in the center of the country on Friday, state television said late on Saturday.

Coulibaly is being replaced by Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga, a former minister for territorial administration, who was also the president’s campaign director at the 2013 election.

The attackers, who are suspected of belonging to the Ansar Dine group, burned public buildings and took an elected local official hostage before withdrawing after a few hours. No one was killed and the army is back in control, witnesses said.

The raid was the latest in a series this year in Mali, reflecting a rise in the power of Islamist groups that have spread a campaign of violence from the north to the center of the country only a few hundreds miles from the capital Bamako.

Armed groups have proliferated since Islamists took advantage of an ethnic Tuareg uprising in 2012 to seize the north of the desert country.

A French-led intervention drove Islamists back in 2013 but instability has continued and undermines a fragile U.N.-backed peace process.

Islamist militants killed 17 Malian soldiers and wounded 35 when they attacked an army base in the central Malian town of Nampala in July. Ansar Dine and a Peul ethnic militia both claimed responsibility for that attack.

NDLEA Destroys Huge Cannabis Farm In Oyo

NDLEAThe war against illicit drug use and abuse must be won at all cost, in order to stop the constant decimation of productive youth in the country.

The Director Operations and General Enforcement of the NDLEA Mr. Olugbenga Mabo led a special task force comprising of all security agencies destroy cannabis farm in Oyo state

Mr. Mabo noted that cannabis remains the most frequently abused and this makes it imperative to take the campaign to the roots and sources of cannabis, by  discovering farm lands where they are being cultivated illegally

The NDLEA boss added that the war must involve all strata of the society.

Situated in the heart of the Gambari forest reserve is over 58 hectares of forest that has now been converted to a plantation of cannabis.

The latest destruction of over 5o hectares of cannabis is the second in recent time at the same Gambari forest reserve which is one of the largest forest reserve in South west Nigeria.