EFCC To Arraign Dele Belgore

EFCC To Arraign Dele BelgoreThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore at the Federal High Court, Lagos on Wednesday.

Mr Belgore, a PDP Chieftain who vied for the party’s governorship ticket in the last Kwara state election is to be arraigned on a five-count charge alongside the immediate past minister of national planning, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman.

In the charge sheet obtained by Channels TV’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, the two defendants are said to have conspired on March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of 450million Naira, a sum which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.

They are also charged with being in possession of the sum and making a cash payment of 50million Naira to one Sheriff Shagaya without going through a financial institution.

The EFCC said that the charges are contrary to and punishable under certain sections of the Money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act, 2012.

Mr Dele Belgore and Prof Abubakar Sulaiman are to be arraigned before Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

Rivers Rerun: Police Recover Alleged 111m Naira From Electoral Officers

Rivers Rerun: Police Recover Over 111m Naira From Electoral OfficersThe Police claims it has recovered 111 million Naira from some of the electoral officers who conducted the Rivers rerun election.

Releasing the report of the investigative panel on Monday, the Police showed cash evidence allegedly recovered from 23 suspects.

The recovered cash was displayed at a news conference where the panel submitted its report to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.

Receiving the report, the Inspector General vowed to end the culture of political violence perpetrated by politicians.

He promised that all those indicted by the panel’s report, including six dismissed Police officers would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others who see elections as a do or die affair.

Reacting to the report of the panel, the Director, Voter Education and Publicity‎ of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, pledged to cooperate with the Police authorities in prosecuting indicted officials.

There has been a lot of controversies since the conduct of the re-run election leading to allegations of bribery and intimidation.

When the panel was set up by the Police, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, openly criticized the composition of the investigative committee, saying he had no confidence in it.

He also set up his own committee to look into the complaints and allegation of fraud during the Rivers re-run election.

Osun APC Tells Aregbesola’s Critics To Rethink

Osun APC Tells Aregbesola's Critics To RethinkThe All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun state has called on citizens who are loudly opposed to Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s reforms in the education sector to think again.

In a statement on Monday in Osogbo, from the party’s Directorate of Publicity, Research and Strategy, signed by its Director, Kunle Oyatomi, the party insisted that “no amount of reckless criticism of the state education policy can diminish its impact on educational development in the state”.

According to the party, “if critics and political opponents act blind and ignorant, intelligent and responsible people in the country and abroad have continued to acknowledge and appreciate Aregbesola’s achievements in that regard”.

One of such acknowledgements, the party said, came at the weekend, from the head of the Nigeria National Office of West African Examination Council (WAEC), Mr Isaac Adenipekun.

Speaking during a visit to the Governor in Osogbo, Mr Adenipekun described the Mega Schools Project of Osun as “second to none in Nigeria”.

He also described as remarkable and revolutionary, the development in education infrastructure innovation and content that the Aregbesola-led APC government has effected in Osun in the last six years.

WAEC Endorses Aregbesola's 'Opon Imo'
Head of the Nigeria National Office of the WAEC, Mr Olutise Adenipekun with Governor Aregbesola

He also described the knowledge tablet (Opon Imo) as a great development which has enabled students that are writing Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) to overcome most of their difficulties.

“These achievements have resonated throughout the country and beyond,” the APC claimed, adding that, “it has even won awards internationally”.

“The people of Osun should therefore stand tall over these achievements. They should not allow selfish politicians, and misdirected interest groups to diminish their pride through false claims, designed by the opposition to scandalise the Governor

“History will vindicate Aregbesola and generations of beneficiaries of his educational revolution in Osun, will in future, curse those who today are trying to destroy the governor’s good work.

“Already, WAEC, through its head of a National Office, Mr Adenipekun has endorsed the project as the best in Nigeria.

“Many more people will do so in the months and years ahead to the shame and discredit of the opposition,” the party concluded.

Police Arrest 195 Rustlers, Recover 612 Cattle In Niger

Police Arrest 195 Rustlers, Recover 612 Cattle In NigerThe Niger State Police Command has arrested 195 suspects in various areas of the state that have been attacked by kidnappers and herdsmen criminalities.

The State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Mu’azu, while parading the suspects at the Police headquarter in Minna, said that most of them were herdsmen and kidnappers who have terrorized several communities on the Niger East senatorial districts in the last one month.

According to him, “aerial and land operations” carried out by men of the command led to the arrest of not less than 194 suspects from various locations in January alone.

“The Police in collaboration with sister security agencies took the battle to the dens of armed bandits in Allawa, Kukoki, Pandogari, Isau, Kaffinkoro, Sarkin- pawa, Shiroro, Mangoro, Lapai and Gurara.

“The aerial surveillance and ground raids culminated into the harvest of arrests and recovery of assorted weapons”.

CP Zubairu Muazu said among those arrested were “24 most wanted kidnappers and cattle rustlers” adding that 612 cattle recovered from the suspects had “been handed over to their owners”.

According to him, weapons recovered from the suspects were five AK47 riffles, 648 rounds of live ammunition, 21 single barrel guns with 248 cartridges, one revolver riffle and five revolver short guns.

Others, he said were six Ghana made pistols, one locally made pistol, nine Dane guns and other dangerous such as axe, bow, arrows and knives.

The Police Commissioner said a man suspected to be giving treatment to injured herdsman and a box containing some drugs and other medical equipment was also recovered.

He further said 21 victims were rescued from the criminals hail hearty while some were rescued injured.

The Police Commissioner advised the public “to remain calm and stop peddling rumour” saying the Police would always track down any criminal in the state.

Senate Working On Bill To Legalise Constituency Projects

Senate Working On Bill To Legalise Constituency ProjectsThe Senate is working on a bill which would ensure that 2.5% of funds generated in the federation is set aside for constituency projects.

The bill, called the Constituencies Development Catalyst Fund Bill, if passed into law, would give legal backing for the deduction of funds intended for constituency projects.

Speaking at a public hearing in Abuja, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Buhari Abdulfatai described as regrettable, allegations that lawmakers siphon monies meant for constituency intervention projects.

He said that constituency projects are handled by the executive and not the legislature, adding that those who make such allegations have little or no knowledge of the workings of the legislature.

Ogun Students Protest Against ‘Outrageous Fees’

Ogun Students Protest Against 'Outrageous Fees'Students of the Ogun state-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun have staged a peaceful protest against what they termed outrageous fees being paid by students of the institution.

The protesting students in their hundreds stormed Abeokuta, the state capital, saying that the lofty ideas of the institution’s founding fathers are under serious threat with the alleged high-handedness of the management of the institution.

The students opposed increase in acceptance fee of new intakes from N30,000 to N40,000; final clearance fee for graduating students from N25, 000 to N45,000; increase in vocational studies fees from N1,000 to N25,000; payment of N10,200 as Student Tax; N7,500 as payment for replacement of lost final clearance and N1,500 fee for any reprint of school fees receipt.

In a letter of protest addressed to the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, the students identified victimization of students’ activists, inadequate learning facilities, under-funding of the school by the state government, inadequate learning facilities as some of the challenges confronting the school.

The letter reads partly, “Education is supposed to be the leading social responsibility of the government. It is supposed to be seen as the major way of giving back to the society, but has turned to source of income and revenue for some people. Education is totally commercialized in TASUED. You pay for everything!

“As a result of several complaints and cries from the students, the leadership of the students’ Union government tried all they could to engage the school management to look into our plights in view of the present economic reality in the country and see ways of managing the situation at hand.”

Addressing the students at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in the state capital, Governor Ibikunle Amosun asked them to show more understanding and cooperation with government, especially in the face of the current economic recession in the country

”in Ogun state, education is free from primary to secondary but not free in our tertiary institutions and if you  want your certificate to be worthwhile, you have to pay.

“It cannot be totally free, if you don’t want to pay, that means you may not get the type of education you rightly deserve,” he noted

The Governor, however, promised to liaise with the institution’s management with the view of getting a way out of some of the challenges confronting the students.

Edo State Assembly Passes 153.2bn Naira Budget For 2017

Edo State Assembly Passes 153.2bn Naira Budget For 2017The Edo State House of Assembly on Monday passed the state’s 2017 budget proposal of 153.18bn Naira.

Governor Godwin Obaseki had on December 19, 2016 presented a budget proposal of 150bn Naira to the House for consideration and passage.

The budget consists of N75.11bn for capital expenditure, while the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N74.9 billion

The House of Assembly increased the appropriation bill with about N3bn, representing 0.15 increase.

The Chairman, Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Project Monitoring, Mr Damian Lawani, said that the budget reflected the needs of the people and was designed to consolidate and complete all ongoing projects.

During the consideration of the bill, N76.6bn was allocated for capital expenditure, while N76.5bn was allocated for recurrent expenditure.

The breakdown of the proposal showed that N18.5bn, N7.2bn, N3.6bn and N6.034bn were allocated for the recurrent expenditure of the administrative, economic, law and justice and social sectors, respectively.

Also, N5.68bn, N47bn and N1.84bn and N22.09bn were allocated for the capital expenditure for the administrative, economic, law and justice and social sectors, respectively.

The House of Assembly, after the consideration of the document with amendments, passed the bill.

The Speaker, Mr Justin Okonoboh, directed that the clean copies of the bill be sent to the Governor for his assent.

Petrol Now Sells For N150 Per Litre In Benin City

Petrol Now Sells For N150 Per Litre In Benin CitySome independent petroleum marketers in Edo state are now selling petrol for 150 naira per litre instead of the regulated price of 145 naira.

Motorists, as well as petroleum marketers, who spoke to Channels Television in Benin City, the Edo state capital, lamented the increase in the price saying it has brought more hardship on the people.

Meanwhile, some fuel stations in the state did not have products for sale. Some who had the product were selling above the approved price of 145 Naira a litre.

A fuel marketer, Valentine Aisuen, said: “PMS is not readily available in most of the depots and apart from that, the price at which we are buying it is high because of the limited product that is available.

“We are buying at 145, we haulage for three naira and it gets here at 148 and we now sell for 150.”

The marketers who were seen selling at the recommended price said it would not be for long before they join the fray as they were not making profit from their sales.

“If you check our pump price now we still remain at 145 naira per litre, our meter reading is accurate.

“We are keeping that to make sure we remain with our customer but we are going to do it for the time being, pending when the union will come up with their report for us to shut down because the cost of buying now, I don’t think anybody is making profit if you cannot sell above 145 naira per litre.”

Unstable Power

Some motorists also lamented the hardship the increase in price has brought to the people.

A driver told Channels TV: “Passengers complain, drivers too are complaining because things are difficult. We heard they have increased it to 200 naira; this morning some people bought for 150, some others for 200.

“Selling above that 150 is really biting us and things are not moving well. Supposing things are moving on and the power is stable then we can cope. But the power is not stable and the energy we are getting which is the fuel is very high, so it’s biting everyone one of us; we are feeling it real bad.”

Attempts to ascertain the cause of the scarcity at the Benin depot of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was met with stiff resistance by the chief security officer who denied the news crew access to key officers of the depot.

“I am working under instruction, don’t provoke me this afternoon; I beg you in the name of God don’t provoke me,” he warned.

Although the head of the Department Of Petroleum Resources (DPR) was not on seat, another official who wished not to be named said that the scarcity was due to power outage at the Warri refinery which has now been addressed.

He promised that the situation would normalize soon.

Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Sasawa Town In Yobe State

Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Sasawa Town In Yobe StateSuspected members of the Boko Haram terror group have launched attack at a military base in Sasawa town of Yobe state in northeast Nigeria.

Sasawa is an agrarian community in Damaturu Local Government Area and is located 27 kilometers north of Damaturu the Yobe state capital.

Witnesses told Channels Television that the terrorists came to the town in five pickup vans around 6:00PM on Sunday and launched an attack on the military base before carrying out a coordinated attack on the town.

The source informed that after over powering the security operatives in the town, the insurgents went on burning houses and destroying facilities in the town.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sumonu Abdulmaliki, who confirmed the incident, could not give further details as he said “the town has no any means of communication at the moment and I don’t have any details of the current situation.

“All I can confirm to you is that Sasawa came under attack yesterday by the insurgents but there is no further details for now”.

This incident came barely four weeks after the insurgents attacked a military formation in Buniyadi the headquarters of Gujba Local Government Area of the state.

A Sasawa resident who pleaded anonymity informed Channels Television that security forces have since mobilized and were after the insurgents who are well known to be operating in the suburb of Sasawa community.

“We have been seeing these people in our bushes as we go out to farm and we have been informing security forces located in our community but to our greatest dismay, they could not go after them.

“Since securities (agents) are aware of their whereabouts, it is expected that the insurgents should be confronted in their hideouts rather than allowing them to attack our community any time they so wish,” the source said.

The source claimed that a security personnel and a civilian JTF were killed during the attack which lasted for over four hours.

Sunday’s attack has brought a renewed fear into the minds of Damaturu residents as well as other nearby communities like Babbangida, Mafa, Damakasu, Ngamdu, Benisheikh, Biriri among others.

Nigerians Need To Know Buhari’s Health Status – Falana

Nigerians Need To Know Buhari's Health Status – FalanaA senior lawyer and rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, has advised the Presidency to do more in telling Nigerians about President Buhari’s health status as it did in 2016.

Mr Falana said on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics that Nigerians need to know the state of the President’s health.

Although he admitted that the law does not mandate the President to disclose his health status, he argued that citizens should not be left speculating about their president’s condition.

“Under the Freedom of Information Act, the right to health is supposed to be shrouded in secrecy but I am saying now that henceforth, this situation calls for a review of the law so that we won’t be left guessing next time.

“We are talking of the President. Many state governors go in and out of the country, some for a month or two, some for three months without anybody asking any question and without any handover to their deputies.

“But I am saying that with what we are going through now, we must come to appreciate that if you are going into public office, you have no secrecy,” he said.

He said that since the Presidency started on a good note by informing the nation of the treatment of an ear infection last time, more information this time around would remove speculations and erase any form of rumour.

“It is our duty and right and the President took cognizance of that last year when he disclosed to Nigerians what he was going abroad for. This year should not be an exception.

“This is what has given room to a lot of rumours and speculation which are totally uncalled for,” he said.

Cameroon Are Champions of Africa

Cameroon Are Champions of AfricaThe Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have emerged champions of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after beating Egypt 2-1 in the final played on Sunday night.

Goals from Nicolas N’Koulou and Vincent Aboubakar sealed a remarkable comeback victory for Cameroon after Mohamed El Nenny put Egypt ahead in the 22nd minute.

Cameroon have now won the Africa Cup of Nations for a fifth time and it is the first Africa Cup of Nations final in which both teams have scored since 2004.

The Pharaohs have not conceded two goals in any match since November 19, 2014 and have been unbeaten for 13 years.

It is also the first time Egypt have been defeated in the final since 1952 and Cameroon now become the second most successful side in the tournament’s history.

The Indomitable Lions defeated the Black Stars of Ghana 2-0 while Egypt defeated third place winners, Burkina Faso to reach the final of the competition.

 

Ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida Returns From Medical Vacation

Ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) Returns From Medical VacationFormer Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has returned to Nigeria after a 7-week medical vacation in Switzerland.

He arrived Minna International Airport on Saturday evening at 6.45PM.

Alighting from the aircraft, he expressed gratitude for prayers and goodwill messages from different quarters during his vacation.

He said: “I am feeling stronger and better now. I must thank Nigerians immensely for the prayers and concerns over my health.

“I must use this opportunity to also call on Nigerians to continue to pray for the leaders and the country to move forward in positive direction.

“We should remain united and work collectively towards the progress of our nation by thinking positively about the leaders and providing constructive criticisms and solutions to any challenge we may face.”

On the situation in the country, IBB said that the current economic recession is not peculiar to Nigeria.

“I am aware that other countries face different political, social and economic challenges. I believe the current government is working assiduously towards addressing some of the issues.

“We need to support all arms and tiers of government in their efforts to ensure economic recovery and political stability,” he concluded

General Babangida left the country for medical vacation in the Europe on December 18, 2016.