Nigeria, Neighbours Have Increased Capacity To Deal With Boko Haram – Buhari

president buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, says that with the formation of a stronger regional coalition, Nigeria and other neighbouring countries have an increased capacity to deal with Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.

President Buhari said this on Friday during a conversation with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President reaffirmed his belief that the full activation and deployment of the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which has been established under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, would lead to the speedy defeat and elimination of Boko Haram.

President Buhari also said that with the Command and Control Centre of the Nigerian military now in Maiduguri, Borno State, the morale of troops in the front-line states had improved significantly.

“You can tell the Secretary-General that we are doing our best and our best will be good enough for the nation and the sub-region,” President Buhari said.

Against the background of upcoming elections in Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea and Burkina Faso, the President also called on the United Nations to assist African countries in the acquisition and use of innovative technologies to ensure more credible elections.

“When citizens recognize that their votes count, it will boost their confidence in democracy and their countries’ electoral systems,” he said.

Recalling that in the last general elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) used smart card readers to authenticate prospective voters, President Buhari observed that while Nigeria could afford the use of such technology in its elections, other African countries may require support and assistance from the international community.

Dr Ibn Chambas commended President Buhari for his strong and positive actions against terrorism.

The United Nations envoy also welcomed President Buhari’s successful visit to Cameroon during the week and his reaffirmation of Nigeria’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of all border issues with Cameroon.

HIV Can Be Flushed Out By Cancer Drug, Researchers Say

hiv virusThere is good news from the health world where researchers say the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be flushed out of its hiding places in the body using a cancer drug.

Already, the anti-retroviral therapy, kills the virus in the bloodstream, but leaves “HIV reservoirs” untouched.

This latest study shows that the cancer drug is “highly potent” at reactivating hidden HIV.

Experts say the findings are interesting, but it is important to know if the drug is safe in patients.

A strategy known as “kick and kill” is thought to be key to curing HIV. The kick would wake up the dormant HIV, allowing the drugs to kill it.

MH370 Search: Officials Predict Debris Is Part Of Plane

mh370 Search and rescue officials involved in the MH370 search have said that they are quite optimistic that the debris found on the Indian Ocean Island of Reunion is that of the missing flight.

Martin Dolan, who heads Australia’s search efforts, also said that the operation was continuing “in the right place” in the southern part of the ocean.

The wreckage, said to be a wing part, is to be flown to France for analysis.

The Malaysia Airlines flight – a Boeing 777 travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing – vanished in March 2014.

There were 239 passengers and crew on board when the MH370 went missing.

Aviation experts who have studied photos of the debris said that it resembles a flaperon – a moving part of the wing surface – from a Boeing 777.

“There is no other recorded case of a flaperon being lost from a Boeing 777,” Mr Dolan said.

“We are confident we have the quality of the search to cover that area and find the missing aircraft,” he added.

 

 

Police Uncover Illegal Arms Factory, Arrest 33 Robbery Suspects In Kaduna

policeMen of the Kaduna State Police Command, on Friday, stormed an illegal arms manufacturing factory at Kogun village in Jemaa Local Government Area of the state.

During the raid, several guns and ammunition were recovered and two suspects were arrested in connection with the illegal business.

The State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, while parading the suspects before newsmen at the Kaduna Police Command headquarters, said that the illegal gun manufacturers were arrested, following a tip-off from members of the public who alerted them of the nefarious activities of the suspects.

The Police Command also paraded 33 robbery suspects for car snatching, terrorism and illegal possession of fire arms at different parts of the state.

The Police Commissioner disclosed that his men had arrested an armed robbery syndicate that has been terrorising travellers at Dangwa village, and Kachia area of the state after a gun duel that lasted for several hours with his men.

According to him, four stolen vehicles, assorted charms and several dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects.

It was also reported that at other operations, the other suspected robbers blocked the major highways at Abuja, Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi states, snatching cars and cattle at gun points, as some of the suspects confessed.

He reiterated that the command would not relent in its fight against criminals and criminality throughout the state, urging the public to cooperate with the Police by reporting criminals and their activities to the command.

Other items recovered from the suspects include; four locally made AK-47 rifles, several locally made pistols, Police coloured AK-47 magazines and over 40 live special revolver ammunition and cartridges.

Some of the suspects have denied their involvement in the crime, saying the manufacturing of the weapons were not meant for clandestine purposes.

While all the suspects remain in Police detention, the Commissioner gave the assurance that on completion of the investigation, they would be charged to court.

PDP Seeks Review Of INEC And DSS Heads’ Appointments

pdpThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the review of the appointments of the acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Mrs Amina Zakari, and that of the Director General of the Department of State Services, Mr Lawal Daura.



The acting National Chairman of the PDP, Mr Uche Secondus, told Journalists at a press conference on Wednesday that the party was uncomfortable with the treatment of its members in the hands of the DSS in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States where elections results are being contested in the tribunals.

Aside from the DSS boss, the PDP also insist that the appointment of Mrs Amina Zakari as the acting Chairman of INEC should be reviewed by the Nigerian President, Muhamadu Buhari, ahead of the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.

Meanwhile, the electoral commission has assured Nigerians that the scheduled governorship elections holding in Kogi and Bayelsa states would be free and fair.

Osun NLC Suspends Strike Again, Recalls Workers

osun workers strike-nlcThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Osun State has again suspended its ongoing eight weeks industrial action, with a call on Workers to resume work immediately.

The workers union ended the strike after it singed another Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) with the State government at the Governors Office in Abere, Osun State.

The Chairman of the NLC in Osun State, Jacob Adekomi, explained that the agreement contained a promise to pay workers the salary for February 2015, with effect from August 3, while the balance of the fraction payment made to level eight and above would be returned.

Adekomi said that the decision to suspend the industrial action was in the interest of the state workforce and the State government, believing that the government would live up to its part of the agreement.

While directing all the workers to resume with immediate effect, the NLC Chairman maintained that the state government had renewed its commitment to full employment ‎and not retrenchment of its workforce.

The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, said that the government had never reneged on its agreement. He also explained that the industrial action was due to shortfall in the Federal Allocation which was not peculiar to the state alone.

Last week, the Labour Leaders resolved to continue with the strike until the State government fulfilled its part of the agreement contained in the MoU.

However, the Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Bayo Adejumo, maintained that workers would not return to work until the full payment of January and February salary was implemented.

Second Edition Of Bayelsa Economic Forum Begins In Yenagoa

BSIEF-BayelsaThe second edition of the Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum (BSIEF) has kicked-off in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

The State Commissioner of Trade, Investment and Industry, Mr Kemela Okara, told reporters on Wednesday that he essence of the Economic Forum was to bring the world to Bayelsa State and vice-versa.

Mr Okara said that this year’s edition of the summit was intended to consolidate on the achievements made from the forum during the first edition that was held in July last year.

The Commissioner, who assured participates at the forum of a safe environment in the state, advised them to take advantage of the preparedness of the present administration to unveil the projects of the government, and enter into fruitful partnership with all interested participants.

The BSIEF is a platform through which government of Bayelsa State seeks to collaborate with the private sector to build a system where private enterprise will thrive.

According to the BSIEF’s website, this year’s forum will showcase to the world, Bayelsa State’s industrialisation plan and the consequent investment opportunities existing in the state.

The platform is also organised to unveil the proposed Eco-Industrial Park and the investment opportunities that are existent in its development, foster discussions and dialogue between projects developers, investors and financiers and the state government, encourage and facilitate investments in oil and gas and power generation among others.

Senate Asks Buhari To Constitute North-East Rehabilitation Committee

Nigeria-SenateThe Nigerian Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to establish a Presidential Intervention Committee on the rehabilitation of the north-eastern part of the nation, devastated by activities of the Boko Haram terrorists.

The Senate reached the resolution after an observation by Senator George Sekibo, a Peoples Democratic Party member representing Rivers East Senatorial District, on infrastructural damages caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east.

He said: “Thousands of personal buildings and properties, social amenities and infrastructure, such as electricity, and telephone services have been destroyed in many parts of the zone.

“The livelihood of many indigenes of the area has been disrupted such that majority of the people are either in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps or are helplessly roaming the streets without any hope for their future”.

Some lawmakers argued that any rehabilitation of the north-east without first winning the insurgency would be a waste of time.

Others also called for a deliberate strategy to generate adequate funds for the reconstruction of social infrastructure destroyed by the insurgents.

While rounding off the debate, the Senate President pledged that the Senate should complement the efforts of the President to actualise his campaign promises, which was basically to guarantee security and welfare of Nigerians.

After an exhaustive debate on the issue, the Senate resolved that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, would lead a delegation to visit the troops and Internally Displaced Peoples camps in the north-east.

For over five years, the Boko Haram terrorist group has carried out series of attacks on communities, schools, places of worship and other public places in the north-east, rendering many homeless.

House Of Representatives Wades Into WAEC Debt Crisis

waec-WASSCE-2015The Nigerian House of Representatives has set up an Ad hoc Committee to intervene in the alleged debt crisis between the West African Examination‎ Council (WAEC) and some states, resulting to a threat by the examination body to withhold the results of some students.

The House took the decision following a motion by a lawmaker, Linus Okorie that the academic pursuit of more than half of the 1.2 million candidates who sat for the examination would be disrupted if WAEC was allowed to carry out its threat.

The motion was passed unanimously after deliberations, and the House mandated the Committee to report back in one week, to allow actions be taken before the date for the release of the May/June 2015 West African Secondary Schools Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results.

On Monday, the examination body claimed that 19 states out of the 36 states were owing about four billion Naira exam entry fees for state government sponsored candidates.

The Head of WAEC in Nigeria, Charles Eguridu, said: “A total number of 19 states in the country owe the Council in respect of entry fees for state government sponsored candidates for the May/June 2015 WASSCE. Some states also still owe the Council registration fees for the May/June 2014 WASSCE.

“We, therefore, want to publicly plead with the affected states to off-set the registration fees of their candidates as soon as possible, as we cannot guarantee that the results of their candidates for the May/June 2015 will be released along with others”.

Court Refuses To Stop Speaker From Setting Up Committees

courtA Federal High Court in Abuja has again declined to stop the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, from appointing principal officers and standing committees for the House of Representatives.

While ruling in an ex parte motion brought by Honourable Abubakar Lado and Olanipekun Jimoh, seeking to stop the Speaker from appointing principal officers, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that the issue was a domestic affair of the House of Representatives.

Justice Kolawole said that “the court could only intervene when there is substantial infraction of the 1999 Constitution”, stressing that ‘for now there has been no breach of the Constitution’.

He added that it was not the duty of the court to choose principal officers for the National Assembly, because it had its own machinery.

The court also maintained that it would not allow itself to be used as a platform by aggrieved members, to get what they should canvass on the floor of the House.

Justice Kolawole insisted that  the court was not a supervising institution for the National Assembly on account of Separation of Power and that there was no evidence before the court that the constitution had been breached.

He, therefore, refused the application in its entity  and thereafter directed that the defendants in the substantive suit, which includes the Speaker of the House of Representatives, his Deputy, the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the National Assembly, be put on notice and served with the originating summon.

The case has been adjourned to August 12 before Justice Adeniyi Ademola.

In a related development, an ex parte order seeking to stop the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, from constituting the Senate Standing Committe, was rejected on Tuesday.

The Judge, Justice Kolawole, said there was nothing urgent in the application.

Court Refuses To Stop Police From Investigating Ekweremadu, Others

Deputy_Senate_President_Ike_EkweremaduA Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to grant a request to stop the Police from its on-going investigation of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and some others in relation to the alleged forgery of the 2015 Standing Rules of the Senate.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in his ruling, refused an ex-parte application filed by Senator Gilbert Emeka Nnaji, in which he sought to restrain the Police from proceeding with the investigation and making public the report of the inquiry.

Senator Nnaji had sought interim orders to restrain the defendants in the case, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase and the Attorney General of the Federation pending the determination of his substantive suit.

The substantive suit is challenging the constitutionality of the investigation within the context of the doctrine of Separation of Power.

However, Justice Kolawole said he could not grant the request sought by the plaintiff at the ex-parte stage when his court possesses the power to conduct a judicial review of the action complained about in the substantive suit.

He also refused the plaintiff’s request to abridge the time within which the defendants could respond.

According to him, while the court’s rules allow defendants 30 days, within which to respond, a reduction in the period must be with the consent of parties in the suit.

He ordered the defendants to appear and explain why he should not grant the request of the plaintiff in his ex-parte application.

After hearing the applications, Justice Kolawole adjourned the case till August 4.

NASS Crisis Would Soon Be Forgotten – Oshiomhole

Adams-OshiomholeThe Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, says the ongoing crisis in Nigeria’s National Assembly over the choice of principal officers will soon be a thing of the past.

Addressing reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, alongside Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Oshiomhole said the meeting they had with the warring Senators on Sunday evening was useful.

“I feel the position now is ‘look how do you ensure that having elected this two (Senate President and his Deputy), that the remaining position that are within the discretion of the APC caucus in the Senate are distributed in a way as to give the other group that were shut out of the process a sense of belonging?

“We are convinced that a winner-takes-all in this case won’t work and building peace is making concession and power works better when it acknowledges that even the person who is powerless has a right to exist,” the Edo State Governor said.

Oshiomhole told reporters that he had met with President Buhari to brief him on how their meeting with the Senators went.

“My brother (Bagudu) and I spent some time with the senators last night (Sunday) and we had what I think was a useful conversation. We have come today to report to the President what transpired at the meeting and make few suggestions to him and I think for me there is light, as they say, at the end of the tunnel.

“One thing is clear, we are all APC family, we are all committed to change. We recognise that there are few issues; people may not be comfortable, but we have what it takes to resolve the issues so that in the National Assembly we will have an APC Senate caucus that is united, that is ready to support the change agenda as the President is committed to and work along with PDP.

“Nobody is suggesting that we shouldn’t work with PDP. PDP exists in the House, just as APC had existed in the House under PDP government. So, at some point there has to be a way to engage bipartisan. So, that is basically why we are here,” Governor Oshiomhole stated.

The National Assembly has been embroiled in crisis following the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President and Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party as Deputy Senate President.

The party had nominated Governor Oshiomhole and his Kebbi State counterpart, to mediate between the warring Senators.